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Old 12-17-2008, 05:37 PM   #21
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Health reasons. I was planning on ER at 62 which is not very early but only made it to 57.
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Old 12-17-2008, 05:47 PM   #22
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My wife. Was planning on retiring 3 years latter than I did. We were on vacation, saw a beautiful place in SW Oregon, went back to work but we kept talking about it and finally my wife said "What will be so different 3 years from now other than we'll be 3 years older? we already have enough money to retire on lets do it!" and so we did. Glad we did.
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Why ER
Old 12-17-2008, 06:23 PM   #23
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Why ER

Why did I ER? Illness and Death. I have lost my mother at age 63,cancer, father at age 79, alzheimers. Uncles at 73, parkinsons, 75 Cancer, 48 Heart Attack. I am turning 52 and growing older with every passing day. Some day it will be cancer, or parkinsons, or dementia, or heart attack or something else for me (and you).

You get the picture.

I wanted TIME to myself, not have to be anywhere or responsible to anybody else for awhile. Markets go up, markets go down. Our lives are literally sand in the hour glass and it never stops flowing and never refills.
When this line of thought goes from abstract to real you will figure out how to ER if that is what you want to do.

Being able to stay ER's is a probability, illness, infirmity and death a certainty.
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Old 12-17-2008, 06:36 PM   #24
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Old 12-17-2008, 07:45 PM   #25
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Always figured that every day at work was one less day on this earth to do something that I truly loved. And once I qualifed for the pension (age 52, 25 years fed service), I was actually only working for half pay since they would pay me the other half for staying home. DW and I were serial savers, paid off the house this year (last debt) and now have a little play money for travel. Dad passed a year before I retired and it occurred to me that IF I lived to be his age (81), I only had about 30 years to follow my dreams. After you accept your own mortality, the decisions that follow are easy. No regrets.
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:40 PM   #26
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The year I was 40 my mother died at age 62, only a few years after my dad had retired at age 60.

We decided then that 55 was to be a target for RE and we started saving.

Since then we have seen other friends and relatives including MIL have their retirement enjoyment ended by illness or death in their early 60's.

The closer it gets the harder it seems to be to drag myself to work each day. Feels like running a race with a rubber band around the waist. The closer the finishing line gets the harder it is to run.

Only 14 months to go .......
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:58 PM   #27
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Quote:
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Why did I ER? Illness and Death. I have lost my mother at age 63,cancer, father at age 79, alzheimers. Uncles at 73, parkinsons, 75 Cancer, 48 Heart Attack. I am turning 52 and growing older with every passing day. Some day it will be cancer, or parkinsons, or dementia, or heart attack or something else for me (and you).

You get the picture.

I wanted TIME to myself, not have to be anywhere or responsible to anybody else for awhile. Markets go up, markets go down. Our lives are literally sand in the hour glass and it never stops flowing and never refills.

When this line of thought goes from abstract to real you will figure out how to ER if that is what you want to do.

Being able to stay ER's is a probability, illness, infirmity and death a certainty.
Good thoughts - exactly what keeps me committed to my planned semi-ER date of 12/09 despite this sucky economy.

Sometimes lately I catch myself thinking -well, maybe one more year - but then thoughts like you expressed (bolded above) bring me back to myself & "the plan".
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:09 PM   #28
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After 35 years it gets easy to answer the two prerequisite questions most people ask themselves before retiring. Do I have enough? And, Have I had enough?

I had enough several years before I retired, but I was enjoying the work so I stayed on. As time went on my job started to turn into more paperwork and documentation with less design and engineering. When the last project ended in June of 2007 I decided that was it.
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:03 AM   #29
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Had a job I loved and was very good at it. Worked with great people until my last boss...he had no moral compass or ethics and expected his staff to "cover" for him. I was very uncomfortable playing that role, so I started to look at other options. When I realized I could afford to leave...and was able to use the increasingly negative work situation to my advantage (i.e., I negotiated an early retirement package)...I was GONE! I never once regretted my decision.

Talking to some of my former colleagues confirmed that I made the right decision.
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:33 AM   #30
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Got my BS and started working for Megacorp. in my field of study. Assignments varied from boring to not too boring. Found/helped develop a niche specialty at Megacorp. which they needed and I thoroughly enjoyed. At age 37 got MS in my new field and was promoptly rewarded by being put in an assignment for which I had no school, experience or interest. It was then I decided to ER. Got serious about becoming FI.

By the time pension vested at 51 I had already returned to old, enjoyable assignment so I stayed on and got even more FI.

The assignment was once again yanked from under me several years later and I retired with 3 days notice. You should have seen the look on my director's face. It was priceless!
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:35 AM   #31
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Got canned by MegaCorp at 58. Never took looking for another job very seriously. Lately (at 61) I've been refering to myself as retired as opposed to unemployed.
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:58 AM   #32
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Got canned by MegaCorp at 58. Never took looking for another job very seriously. Lately (at 61) I've been refering to myself as retired as opposed to unemployed.
This is similar to me, only in my case it was a business running down. I considered myself unemployed rather than retired, but that was only a little game I played to trick my work ethic and allow me to continue to mess around without a lot of guilt.

When I came to this board in 2003 I was still short of 65, but not much, so I admitted that I had no desire to return to working and began to openly say that I was retired. I am "retirement age" now, but still I don't talk about it much as very few of the people I know are retired. If they are well to do, they like work, or the cash flow or the social position and stimulation that comes with work. If they are less well off they need to work.

I don't exactly like the state called retirement, but I do like having full control over how I spend my time.

Ha
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Old 12-18-2008, 06:52 AM   #33
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I was 53 and nine months and planning on retiring at 55 when my pension stopped growing. I got a new manager two levels up who I knew was a proceedural stickler. Then came the thought that I would no longer be able to work a four day compressed work week but have to come in five days so the office was covered in case someone visited. This happened about three times a year and normally by appointment so realistically was not a factor.

I went home on the day he was appointed and calculated the difference between my pension at 55 and 53. Announced my retirement to all in an email two days later, gave seven weeks notice, booked five weeks vacation, had my get aquainted meeting with the new manager two days later in which he was going to discuss our proceedural failings. I was covering two and a half positions at the time and had no time for B$ cover the bosses A$$ crap. This turned into one statement from him to the effect of How the heck does your office get so much done.

The new guy who I knew from a past life is not really as bad as this sounds. He gives credit where credit is due and is generally a not bad guy but it turned out I was right. No one is working a four day week now and everyone is behind but the paper work is up to date

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Old 12-18-2008, 07:40 AM   #34
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After a 22 year career at Megacorp, they moved all of the division's work to asia and laid everyone off. I took a job with a very small company and everything was fine until a management change caused everything to turn sour as a working environment. I quit the job for health reasons (to get a transplant) and while I was off, an inheritance amount became clearer what would be left after taxes and lawyers. So..with $ at the FI level, the experience of months off from work living without a paycheck, and a job I could go back to that was becoming increasingly toxic, the choice became easy. I would like to say it was due to great planning but it was more due to a confluence of events.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:02 AM   #35
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Once I got into the witness protection program, it was a no brainer !
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:29 AM   #36
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Original plan was to never retire. I think of people I respect, like Paul Harvey and Peter Drucker who opined that to stop working was to die.

However, MegaCorp also had its effect. First, there was a nice retirement package at ago 60. I also had a military check and TRICARE. My 401k was fat. So the financial needs were covered. Second, and most important, the work was becoming more and more unpleasant. Godawful meetings, unnecessary deadlines combined with inept bosses helped make my decision.

Upon looking back at it, had I planned it I could have retired at 50, certainly by 55.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:56 AM   #37
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Once I got into the witness protection program, it was a no brainer !
Does it pay well?
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:16 AM   #38
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Unquestionably, the housing bubble was my primary motivator for ER. I retired in June of 2006 soon after the humungous bubble had been pricked with telltale evidence of the hissing sound of air slowly escaping. DW and I lived in San Diego at the time and figured it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to sell our home with windfall profits.

Two years before ER, we flew to Central Oregon on Memorial Day weekend and paid cash for a house at a cost of less than half of what we would eventually receive for the sale of our house in San Diego. ER is much easier financially and emotionally when you don't have to contend with house payments.

There were also some secondary reasons for ER: 1) I turned 55 the year I retired, which is the earliest I could begin collecting a cola'd pension. 2) My employer subsidizes health and dental insurance for retirees until the age of 65. 3) I wanted to escape the traffic congestion and over-crowded conditions of life in a large city. 4) I wanted to be free.
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:18 AM   #39
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So is there anyone here who has done it without a pension? I think some of us 401K-dependent unfortunates would love to hear some success stories.
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No pension
Old 12-18-2008, 09:29 AM   #40
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No pension

Ziggy I have done it with no pension. I guess in my case an inheritance tipped the scale in my favor vs. a pension. (But I do have, let the flames begin, a large variable annuity from TIAA-CREF).
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