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View Poll Results: I had a difficult time transitioning from full-time employment to retirement.
Strongly Agree 2 2.27%
Agree 8 9.09%
Disagree 29 32.95%
Strongly Disagree 49 55.68%
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Transition to retirement poll
Old 05-11-2011, 06:55 AM   #1
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Transition to retirement poll

In light of this thread, I thought it would be interesting and helpful to have an unscientific, but more representative, poll of folks who spend a lot of time thinking and preparing for retirement.

For those retired at least one year, choose an answer that best reflects your agreement with the statement above.
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:11 AM   #2
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I answered "Strongly Disagree" but my road to retirement was not directly from working full-time to not working at all. Instead, I went from working full-time to working part-time while mostly telecommuting back in 2001. Then, in 2003, the telecommuting ended but the part-time remained, forcing me to go to my office 3 days a week instead of one day. In 2007, I reduced that to 2 days a week. Finally, in 2008 I left.

Therefore the biggest change to my everyday life occurred in 2001 when I switched from a 5-day-a-week commute to a 1-day-a-week commute. That was a most welcome change, enabling me to get my personal life back. Going from a 2-days-a-week commute to a zero-days-a-week commute was also very welcome, but I was already doing plenty outside of work. That switch enabled me to expand on my my outside activities and more easily continue and schdule my existing ones
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:48 AM   #3
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Transition time for me was one day. It was harder for DW, kids, friends, etc, but not for me.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:08 AM   #4
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No difficulty at all. Retired in March 2008 and the time has really flown by. Life is good.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:14 AM   #5
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I only think about retiring very occasionally. For example, when I wake up, when I shower, on the commute to w*rk, first thing at w*rk, any idle time at w*rk, on the commute home, semi-comatose in front of the telly, last thing before I fall asleep. Not that much at all...

So will I have a difficult time transitioning? I doubt it
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:15 AM   #6
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I put down 'disagree', I really am having a great retirement but I had a job I liked and went to one thing I liked from another I liked. I think those who had issues around work would like the change into retirement even more than I did.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:27 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jamtin34 View Post
I only think about retiring very occasionally. For example, when I wake up, when I shower, on the commute to w*rk, first thing at w*rk, any idle time at w*rk, on the commute home, semi-comatose in front of the telly, last thing before I fall asleep. Not that much at all...

So will I have a difficult time transitioning? I doubt it
You sound a lot like me in my final months of working. I found myself asking, "Why am I still working here?" and "When will this end?" all the time, especially during the awful commute or in the morning as I was nearly nauseous while getting ready to go to work even 2 days a week. It was such a relief to stop hearing those questions plague me once I announced my ER in 2008.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:35 AM   #8
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Thanks Scrabbler1, it's nice to hear we're not alone or unique.

I wondering (and if anyone wants to chime in, I'd appreciate it): how much of the drive to FIRE is based on an unfulfilling job, and how much is based a desire for financial independence? I guess what I'm asking is, might one find a different job and be happier and potentially minimise "FIRE desire" (hey that rhymes - please conact me for trademark queries!). I can't because no-one else will pay me what I make now and I can't imagine having to re-build colleague relationships, networks etc in a new job. So I'm driven by 70% job frustration and 30% desire to just do nothing. Anyone else feel similar/different?
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:47 AM   #9
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I had a hard time thinking about it before I did it. Once I was retired I got good at it real quick.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:51 AM   #10
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I only think about retiring very occasionally. For example, when I wake up, when I shower, on the commute to w*rk, first thing at w*rk, any idle time at w*rk, on the commute home, semi-comatose in front of the telly, last thing before I fall asleep. Not that much at all...

So will I have a difficult time transitioning? I doubt it
Must really hate your job?
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:54 AM   #11
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Jamtin. I think I was around 70/30 also by the time I retired. Part of my problem was that I had a long lead time to retirement which caused me to dislike my job even more during this period. This was a mistake on my part as it reduced my performance on the job, made me dislike it even more, and made the time to retirement go slower.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:00 AM   #12
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I guess what I'm asking is, might one find a different job and be happier and potentially minimise "FIRE desire" (hey that rhymes - please conact me for trademark queries!).
If I could have worked part-time, I may have considered it, at least for a while. The job was interesting, prestigious, 'important', challenging, and at times, exciting. It took me nearly a decade of night-school and targeted job hopping to land in that seat. I may have even considered a deal that paid me 15% of my income for 30% of the hours. But that wasn't possible. 100% commitment was considered the bare minimum. Competition was so fierce that if you weren't giving 100% you either had to simply be better than everyone else or you became worse than useless - you became a potential liability. And you were judged daily.

Along with the prestige and excitement came tremendous stress and job insecurity. For 10 years I was always one bad decision away from being fired and humiliated (which would have been worse).

The hardest decision I ever made was to take that job in the first place, because I never saw myself as an all-work and no-play kind of guy. Every time I boarded a plane to go on a hated business trip, or every morning I'd wake up after only a couple hours of sleep, I'd ask myself 'how much longer am I going to do this to myself?' Ten years was far longer than I ever thought I'd make it, but in retrospect, it was a worthwhile sacrifice to get to where I am now.

A year later I still imagine what I'd be doing at given times of the day if I hadn't left. It always puts a smile on my face.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:01 AM   #13
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@Danmar: "hate" is perhaps overstating it. I think a little more like not feeling fulfilled. I also look around objectively at the masses of corporate nonsense (objectives, meetings, deadlines, politics) and wonder if it's worth it. Others who play these corporate games seem happy. I think they're a bit delusional in thinking that's happiness. I just can't summon enthusiasm for team-building, love-ins, mindless meetings etc. But it's hard to truly hate a job that sets you up financially for FIRE. Plus I do feel a responsibility to our shareholders, that while I have a job, I should do the best job for them that I can.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:05 AM   #14
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Gone4Good: I absolutely agree with your sentiment - I too would take that deal if it were on offer, but like yours, it isn't an option. All or nothing kind of job sadly.

I am truly uplifted by these comments about post-job bliss. Thank you all for making at least today a little more bearable!
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:14 AM   #15
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Jamtin, as you can see from my earlier posts and from a separate thread I just started in the "Life after FIRE" forum, it was the commute which frustrated me. In the 1990s, I did not like the (full-time) commute, but I did like the work once I got to the office. In the 2000s, it was taking me longer to recover from the awful (part-time) commute, especially after it got worse when I had to go to New Jersey instead of lower Manhattan.

When my mostly telecommute gig I had in 2001-2003 got repealed, it became tougher to schedule my other activities once I had to go to the office 3 days per week. I knew even in 2003 that this change would be my ultimate undoing. It took 5 years to the day for that undoing to become....undone!

The combination of the awful commute along with the increased difficulty of scheduling my outside activities (I had frequent scheduling conflicts, forcing me to give up one activitiy for a day or put up with another negative consequence) accelerated my desire to ER. Was it 70/30 in favor of the commute? Probably, because the switch from working 3 days per week to 2 days per week eased (but did not eliminate) my scheduling conflicts but still left me upset with the commute anyway. I needed to reduce the commute to ZERO.

Because my daytime activities are usually in the middle of the day, and I hated the commute so much, I told the HR guy in my exit interview that I would not accept my old telecommute gig even if they offered it back to me. I needed my commute to be ZERO, not even the one day per week to the office I had for 27 months in 2001-2003. Even today, it would be very difficult for me to find a local job I could work a few hours per week which would fit into my schedule. ER is the only solution.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:31 AM   #16
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I chose Strongly Disagree. It was like transitioning from having a headache to having no headache.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
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For those retired at least one year, choose an answer that best reflects your agreement with the statement above.
We need another poll choice along the lines of "You must be joking, right?"

It's been almost nine years, but I still wake up screaming after occasional nightmares that the assignment officer called to discuss my next duty station.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamtin34 View Post
I wondering (and if anyone wants to chime in, I'd appreciate it): how much of the drive to FIRE is based on an unfulfilling job, and how much is based a desire for financial independence? I guess what I'm asking is, might one find a different job and be happier and potentially minimise "FIRE desire"...
My job was actually pretty good and the pay seemed amazingly high for what I was required to make happen, but it still interfered with family priorities. It still had dissatisfiers that could never be reduced, let alone minimized, by the satisfiers.

We certainly couldn't declare morning liberty just because the surf was up...
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:12 AM   #18
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Strongly disagree. I went from stressful, full time plus to zero in one day. Never had a minute's regret or problem. I did give more than 3 months notice so I had time to anticipate the changes. For me it was close to Gone4Good's situation in that the job was interesting and prestigious but the stress was always a burden. Like Nords I occasionally dream of work related hassles. I love to walk down a leafy side street on a sunny work day and reflect on bliss of ER.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:16 AM   #19
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I chose Strongly Disagree. It was like transitioning from having a headache to having no headache.
Amen. I liked my job but the 2 plus hour drive with suicidal maniacs trying to run over me every day took it's toll. One of my favorite things is seeing it's 5 o'clock and I'm somewhere other than making that drive.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:18 AM   #20
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I disagree rather than strongly disagree. I've had some trouble adjusting, but only because I was so unhappy at my job and so stressed out, it took a while to settle down. No trouble leaving the workplace, though. I don't feel guilty or that I'm missed or that I'm letting people down. No regrets at all. I don't wonder what I'll do in retirement, either. I've got too much planned, if anything.
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