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Old 10-10-2012, 04:41 PM   #41
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When I shut down my new car dealership in 2008 I was hopelessly burned out and mad at the world, and from a pure financial perspective I shouldn't have closed it. I should have hung on, laid off most of my employees, and waited out the storm. But like I said, I was burnt and I just couldn't make myself do it. I made more of an emotional decision to close it rather than a calm, rational financial decision. And that's probably why after two years of "ER" I got bored and I decided to start up ANOTHER dealership, albeit it one structured where I'm not chained to the desk for 10 hours a day six days a week. I got really lucky in that I've almost duplicated my previous income but with much less work, but that's just due to our strong local oil-based economy and not because I'm super smart.

So I guess my point is, be really careful and rational, not emotional, before you pull the plug on a super-early ER. Your previous income will be hard to duplicate, and the stress if you ER in a overvalued market* can be considerable, even with a sub 3% SWR.

*the current overall market level (high IMO) and uncertainties facing our country make me worry that this might not be the perfect time to ER, if you are trying to time such a thing...........
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:13 PM   #42
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Retiring will not extend life, or likely, cut it short.
Ha

I think it's impossible to accurately relate retiring or not retiring to extending or shortening life. I've known people who have retired and died in a short period of time. I've also known retirees who look 10 years younger since they retired and are extremely happy. You could get killed in an auto accident the day after you retire. You could also get killed driving to work. It's a judgement call. I do know stress is a killer. Some are more stressed at work and others are more stressed in retirement.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:03 PM   #43
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I think it's impossible to accurately relate retiring or not retiring to extending or shortening life. I've known people who have retired and died in a short period of time. I've also known retirees who look 10 years younger since they retired and are extremely happy. You could get killed in an auto accident the day after you retire. You could also get killed driving to work. It's a judgement call. I do know stress is a killer. Some are more stressed at work and others are more stressed in retirement.
I may have been unclear. I mean the same as you-that retirement on average will have no effect on living or dying. Some obvious exceptions might be if someone works on a crabber or similar in Alaska, or does street robbery or prostitution as a career. Then retirement might well extend life.

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Old 10-10-2012, 08:27 PM   #44
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Most working persons in their 40s are in a job that is not easily replaceable. I'm not kidding myself, once I leave, there's a slim chance I could ever get anywhere near the income level I am at now. Thanks again for a good topic.
Rings true. File this away for me under the "What's holding you back" thread. Especially true in technology. In my field, the idea of "consulting" or "going back for a while" is impossible in the current environment. When I make that decision, it will be final.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:35 PM   #45
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But this really has nothing to do with it. Retiring will not extend life, or likely, cut it short. If you die, you die. Is your current way of going about living so bad that it is not considered life? Is emptying septic hoses while touring around the country a totally different realm of existence from going to the office, having colleagues, having lunch with work friends?
Hmm let's see. Get up while it is dark, get ready for work, drive or ride the bus to work, push paper all day, deal with imbeciles, drive home, decompress. Rinse repeat 5x a week. Take a week off here and there for vacation.

Sure, a limited number of colleagues are somewhat interesting to spend time with, one or two may actually be very interesting to the point of wanting to be real friends outside of work. So many others are boring or annoying. I prefer real friends outside of work that I choose to voluntarily spend time with.

RVing isn't for me (partly because of dealing with the septic hoses), but like most here, I have enough interests to keep me busy. And at age 32, I have enough friends that work odd shifts, stay at home and care for kids, are self employed or frequently play hooky from work that socializing during the day with friends wouldn't be a constraint on my social life. Since I'm still working and have a few kids, juggling work and kids eats up most of the free time, so there isn't a lot of time for socializing with friends right now.

Maybe it is a difference of circumstances. I have a wife and kids and like spending time with all of them (though never have enough time). Maybe some day when the wife wises up and leaves me and the kids are grown and out of the house, I'll miss having work to keep me busy. Then I'll go get a job I guess.

I see your point about having more money = more freedom, but I guess we all weigh time vs money differently. I guess I view ER as a sabbatical at first, and not until after a number of years is it really "retirement". Even then your aren't locked into never working again. Nothing wrong with going back to work to broaden your financial horizons.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:36 PM   #46
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I guess I view ER as a sabbatical at first, and not until after a number of years is it really "retirement". Even then your aren't locked into never working again. Nothing wrong with going back to work to broaden your financial horizons.
Can be true, but as others have pointed out, few of us can ever hope to leave good well paid professional jobs, and go back to anything even in the same ballpark financially. The more demanding the job, the truer this is.

Of course, ymmv, and you have made clear for many years what your intentions are, and how you view it. My comments were intended more for fence sitters. I'm a little over 70, and I have seen a number of things play out. Few of them were made worse by having more resources. I can think of one situation that perhaps qualifies. If someone is trying to qualify for taxpayer funded benefits, it can help to have less.

Ha
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:34 PM   #47
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Can be true, but as others have pointed out, few of us can ever hope to leave good well paid professional jobs, and go back to anything even in the same ballpark financially. The more demanding the job, the truer this is.


Ha
True, it would be hard to find another well paid job. But would you have to? Most of us on this forum live on less than $100K per year (many on much less actually). Assuming your portfolio didn't get completely decimated, it should still cover a significant portion of your expenses. So, in the worst case scenario, you might be a few $10Ks per year short. Why would you have to find another job paying $100Ks a year?
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:14 PM   #48
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True, it would be hard to find another well paid job. But would you have to? Most of us on this forum live on less than $100K per year (many on much less actually). Assuming your portfolio didn't get completely decimated, it should still cover a significant portion of your expenses. So, in the worst case scenario, you might be a few $10Ks per year short. Why would you have to find another job paying $100Ks a year?
Really, it is just a matter of how you frame things. There is no answer that is absolutely true.

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Old 10-10-2012, 11:51 PM   #49
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Eh, one can decide to RV or not to RV, but the decision should not be based on the fear of the handling of the sewer hose.

Before I got started RV'ing, I did substantial research of this subject on the Web, and by reading RV'er blogs and books. Let's just say I suffer from coprophobia. It's been many many years since I had to change diapers, so I cringed when the thought crossed my mind.

But after several trips, many thousand miles, and quite a few ceremonious waste tank dumpings, I would have to say that the following words were very true, taken from this post: RV Expenses.
The "dumping the poo" process really isn't a big deal. Truth is you are much less exposed to the sight and smell of human waste when you dump your tanks than when you use the toilet. Systems and equipment have been designed to make this task simple and uneventful.
I'd rather be dumping my RV tanks than changing baby diapers, or even be near a baby diaper changing station.

We shall now return to the question of whether the OP should ER.
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:45 AM   #50
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Subsequent reality, perhaps? Events turn on realities, not perceptions thereof.

Ha
How do you suggest we prepare for the subsequent realities?
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:00 AM   #51
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Agree. This is why it is so difficult for me to pull the plug. I will never have the same income level when I FIRE. I can practice medicine a couple of days a week, but not the same. And I am only 47, planning for a 48-year time horizon.
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Your previous income will be hard to duplicate, and the stress if you ER in a overvalued market* can be considerable, even with a sub 3% SWR.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:02 AM   #52
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Can be true, but as others have pointed out, few of us can ever hope to leave good well paid professional jobs, and go back to anything even in the same ballpark financially. The more demanding the job, the truer this is.

Of course, ymmv, and you have made clear for many years what your intentions are, and how you view it. My comments were intended more for fence sitters. I'm a little over 70, and I have seen a number of things play out. Few of them were made worse by having more resources. I can think of one situation that perhaps qualifies. If someone is trying to qualify for taxpayer funded benefits, it can help to have less.
I guess I have not reached that "good well paid professional job" in my career. I don't think I ever will. I'm still making well under $100,000, although I could step into a role that paid about that much tomorrow IF I were interested in working a lot more, a lot harder, and not being at home as much due to work load and travel requirements. No thanks! To much to see and do right now that is way more fun than work.

Where I am at now in my career for my current employer, I am about $20,000 above the entry level salaries for new college grads. So worst case, at some point in the future after I stop working, I could back track, go back to the current employer doing something a little different but for a $20,000 pay cut. Still ample money to fund our projected expenses plus a little more to pay taxes, work related expenses, etc. I suppose this is the advantage of never making it into the "good well paid professional job" - I can quit working without throwing away a huge income source that would be difficult to replicate.

From my perspective as a 32 year old, I don't know if I'll make it to 70 (odds must be under 87%). Having the benefit of hindsight, you now know that you did in fact make it to 70 and probably have more years in the future (hopefully many!), so in hindsight you could have worked longer to acquire more financial resources and then enjoyed them over many decades of your retirement. But things could have worked out differently, and no one knows how things will turn out from an ex ante perspective (which is how decisions are made).

My take on life is you have to make the best decisions at the time based on what you know. Things like mortality and portfolio survivability have well researched odds of giving certain outcomes in the aggregate, but those outliers can be killer unfortunately. Then there are black swans that aren't even factored in to either mortality or portfolio performance - but how much of your current resources do you allocate to preventing or ameliorating the unknown unknowns? At the end of the day we all make the best choice for ourselves based on our own weighting of a wide variety of factors (hard numbers and soft, emotional issues). And that is ok.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:47 AM   #53
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How do you suggest we prepare for the subsequent realities?
Money, Honey. As I said above, people do what they want and that is cool. It can be scary when someone realizes that the river of no return has been crossed forever.

Ha
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:00 AM   #54
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From my perspective as a 32 year old, I don't know if I'll make it to 70 (odds must be under 87%). Having the benefit of hindsight, you now know that you did in fact make it to 70 and probably have more years in the future (hopefully many!), so in hindsight you could have worked longer to acquire more financial resources and then enjoyed them over many decades of your retirement. But things could have worked out differently, and no one knows how things will turn out from an ex ante perspective (which is how decisions are made).

My take on life is you have to make the best decisions at the time based on what you know. Things like mortality and portfolio survivability have well researched odds of giving certain outcomes in the aggregate, but those outliers can be killer unfortunately. Then there are black swans that aren't even factored in to either mortality or portfolio performance - but how much of your current resources do you allocate to preventing or ameliorating the unknown unknowns? At the end of the day we all make the best choice for ourselves based on our own weighting of a wide variety of factors (hard numbers and soft, emotional issues). And that is ok.
From someone who has had a huge health scare and contemplates mortality risk on a nearly daily basis, I can tell you that I lean a bit more towards being willing to take financial risks over loss of time risks - within reason. You still need some level of security, too. All I know is that as soon as we have enough we will be pulling the plug, assuming we can figure out healthcare coverage for me. DH wants to do consulting - doesn't want to fully retire, but wants to be his own boss and decide how much work he takes on - so all we need is a big enough nest egg to take this leap of faith. If it doesn't work out, he will still have marketable skills to return to a regular job b/c he wouldn't be completely quitting and losing his skills. This semi-FIRE plan seems to be a better fit for our finances as well as his desire to stay somewhat engaged in the work world. He doesn't feel full retirement would be a good fit for his personality, at least not yet.
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(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:03 AM   #55
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Money, Honey. As I said above, people do what they want and that is cool. It can be scary when someone realizes that the river of no return has been crossed forever.

Ha
How much is enough, dear? Sure it's scary. A 45 year old has options in case things go bad.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:12 AM   #56
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How much is enough, dear? Sure it's scary. A 45 year old has options in case things go bad.
Some think you can never have enough, others think there is some balancing act of time vs money (although the former are really the latter, just heavily weighting the money vs the time).

It really is an individual decision. I think the OP has figured it out for himself by now. And as for his question, it isn't any longer one of "keeping the good high paid professional position" as it is one of "should I get another good high paid professional position even though I am, by most measures, financially set for the rest of my life".

Let me engage in a little hyperbole for a minute. I always wonder how much more a billionaire can enjoy life's experiences than us commoners. Does a cheeseburger taste better? Is looking at a beautiful work of art any more thrilling? Feeling the warm salty air from the deck of a vessel any more exhilarating? Climbing to the top of a mountain and seeing the entire world at your feet? Drinking beer with good friends and having a good laugh? Does crying when you lose someone you love hurt any less when you are a billionaire? Replace billionaire with hundred millionaire or even 10 millionaire and I think you get similar results as you do if you are a 2 millionaire (as long as you have "enough"). Just IMHO.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:16 AM   #57
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From someone who has had a huge health scare and contemplates mortality risk on a nearly daily basis, I can tell you that I lean a bit more towards being willing to take financial risks over loss of time risks - within reason. You still need some level of security, too. All I know is that as soon as we have enough we will be pulling the plug, assuming we can figure out healthcare coverage for me. DH wants to do consulting - doesn't want to fully retire, but wants to be his own boss and decide how much work he takes on - so all we need is a big enough nest egg to take this leap of faith. If it doesn't work out, he will still have marketable skills to return to a regular job b/c he wouldn't be completely quitting and losing his skills. This semi-FIRE plan seems to be a better fit for our finances as well as his desire to stay somewhat engaged in the work world. He doesn't feel full retirement would be a good fit for his personality, at least not yet.
I like your take on it - you are healthy and good to go one minute, then something bad happens that makes you realize your time may not be as infinite as you thought. Career decisions aren't irreversible in general, although extended absences from the labor market can adversely impact your employability.

After all, you spend wisely and save for your retirement so you can pursue whatever life you want. This is harvesting the fruit of your hard work accumulating wealth. Nothing wrong with realizing you may need to get more wealth later.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:22 AM   #58
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I am just glad I found this forum when I was already in my 50s, working part-time, wife already quit her work out of despair and disgust with her job, children in college and on their way, having some money in the bank, and enough in the stock market to make it interesting to run Quicken several times a day for stock quote update.

If I had come here earlier, I would be tormented with the same question. Should I stay or should I leave? It is difficult to tell anyone what to do, because I am not in their situation, nor have their feeling about life and work.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:36 AM   #59
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How much is enough, dear? Sure it's scary. A 45 year old has options in case things go bad.
No desire to argue. Like I said, whatever suits me. As a general point though, I believe that the world has changed, and that very early retirement by people who are not also very wealthy -most of whom have no interest in retiring anyway- will turn out to be a fin de siècle phenomenon.


Hard to make a case that one has more flexibility with no job than with one, and flexibility might become a much sought after value.

No doubt many people’s jobs really stink, but quitting is not the only approach to that.

Ha
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:40 AM   #60
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Most working persons in their 40s are in a job that is not easily replaceable. I'm not kidding myself, once I leave, there's a slim chance I could ever get anywhere near the income level I am at now.
This was and is undoubtedly true today for folks that are 55+, at least middle management types, but its disheartening to hear that this is also the case for folks in their 40s who should have many productive years ahead of them.
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