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Old 12-18-2008, 09:40 AM   #41
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So is there anyone here who has done it without a pension?
We are still talking about retirement here, right?

Yep, we managed to reach what I think thought was FI and R semi-E at age 58 without a pension (or an inheritance, or an annuity). We probably could have done it a few years earlier if we had not built a new retirement home at age 52 and decided to wait until the mortgage was paid off before pulling the plug, or had been willing to lower our living standards a bit.
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Old 12-18-2008, 09:41 AM   #42
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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.
Had the choice of a pension or lump sum, took the lump sum, does that count ?
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:06 AM   #43
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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.
I am strictly self-financed, and also pretty well financed my ex.

Ha
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:37 AM   #44
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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.
No pension here. ER'd at 52 after working part time/telecommuting for megacorp from my little ranch for 3 years.
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:38 AM   #45
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I have a small DC pension amount, since its value moves with markets and withdrawals are fully taxed, to me it's another kind of savings. FWIW, all living expenses to date have come from saving/investing/ESOP and these are 80% of invested net worth.
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:18 AM   #46
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There's a big difference between doing something because you want to rather than doing something because you have to, even if it's the same thing. Right now, I'm doing engineering because I enjoy it, which is much different than doing it because I need the money. Also, the type of engineering I'm doing now is a heckuva lot more interesting than the mind-numbing cr*p that the megacorp/warmongers had me doing. It would be nice to make a little money down the road, but I've got substantial flexibility in that regard unless our society collapses . To me, retirement appears synonymous with death, so I prefer to call my current adventure "Early Retooling" rather than "Early Retirement".
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:04 PM   #47
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I don't exactly like the state called retirement, but I do like having full control over how I spend my time.
Same here Ha. If I'm asked when I "retired," I usually state the last day I was employed by Megacorp. But in reality, I drifted from unemployment to "retirement" over a year or two. Even today, since DW and I count on investment income to cover about half of our expenses, I consider portfolio mangement a part time job. And spending some time to keep expenses under control by maintaining our home and cars and being a smart consumer has a bit of the flavor of a part time business, no?
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Old 12-18-2008, 02:06 PM   #48
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I enjoyed this thread. In fact, I think it could be a poll. I thought there were 35 responses to the original question. I tried to summarize them below. Note that the total is more than 35 because I counted all "mentions". My apologies for over-simplifying some really interesting thoughts, such as the neat "Have enough? Had enough?" questions.

5 - Just had enough, stress, butting heads
4 - New (bad) Boss/Management
4 - New (bad) Assignment
4 - Silly corporate BS
4 - Laid off
2 - Health

3 - Planned for years
2 - Opportunity to work part time
5 - Wanted to live, be free, reflect, pursue passions
2 - Move to beautiful area

5 - Mortality, deaths in family, life is short
1 - 9/11

1 - Took advantage of housing bubble
1 - Working after early pension date is working for half pay
1 - This board

It's somewhat discouraging that I count 17-29 "negative" comments compared to 7-12 "positive about life after RE". That may reflect my counting problem, or it may be the OP question.

I was generally positive about the idea of retiring. But it was bad stuff at work that finally pushed me to make the move, not a compelling "have to do it now" vision. It could be that I'm fairly typical. (Looking at the list, I could have mentioned 7 of them.)

My advice to a 30-40 person who is feeling pretty competent and satisfied in a career would be, "Things can change. You may be surprised at how you just aren't willing to put up with the same old ___, get charged up for the new boss/merger, or look for a new job after you get outsourced. You may want to retire earlier than you can imagine today."
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Old 12-18-2008, 02:30 PM   #49
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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.
No pension here. Got a big 401k rollover (14 years) in 1997 into an IRA, that grew into more than enough to retire on (via 72t withdrawals)(with another 401k plus after-tax savings plus a paid-off house) by 2006.
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Old 12-18-2008, 05:28 PM   #50
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Why ER?
New CEO; it wasn't fun any more; chance to get a generous severance package; knew we had enough to FIRE

Best career move I ever made!
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:57 PM   #51
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I put 'This Board'. That was actually a positive answer. We had been saving for retirement, and I have multiple pensions some with COLA some without. I had fun working, but just never put it all together or even really thought much about it. Just generally considered I would retire at 65 or so.

Bored one day at work, I was surfing the web and found this site. It got me thinking, about all the other thinks we could do. DW was a teacher had just gotten a Master in Education and planned on teaching a 'couple more years'

So the short of the long story, after reading this board we decided "Why Wait" and never looked back.
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:04 AM   #52
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W*rkplace political correctness run amok and inhouse political drivel cubed.
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:09 AM   #53
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This thread reminds me of the old saying: "Work sucks, but I need the bucks."

If it sucks badly enough that it sprus you on to "engineer" your financial situation in a way where you have enough bucks without working for a paycheck, you FIRE.

I'm not at all surprised that most people said they retired early because of conditions they didn't like at their work. After all, if you really liked your work, would you have retired? In honesty, there are few people I envy more than those who truly love their work -- people who enjoy what they do, the circumstances under which they do it, AND get paid for it. But that group of fortunate souls is probably a small minority. Even if we enjoy the type of work we do, the conditions, the office politics, the bureaucracy, bad bosses and the like may still chase us out.
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:31 AM   #54
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Question for the folks that have REd. Preparing to RE probably took decades of planning and sacrifice. Was there a triggering event that drove you to actually retire? For instance, the proverbial camel straw at work, reaching your financial ER goal, or realizing you dont have enough time to spend on your passions? Had you previously determined that you were financially able to RE, but you waited some time to actually RE?
my decision to FIRE was driven by many things.
long term dissatisfaction and boredom...
personal tragedy and the impetus to stand up and start a new life...
continued injury of upper body and hands from stress and overwork...
politically motivated bashing and bullets fired at me by a well connected antagonist...
extreme negative w*rk environment across the board (no fun allowed)...
stress reduction...
just because i finally could
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:47 PM   #55
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This thread reminds me of the old saying: "Work sucks, but I need the bucks."

If it sucks badly enough that it sprus you on to "engineer" your financial situation in a way where you have enough bucks without working for a paycheck, you FIRE.

I'm not at all surprised that most people said they retired early because of conditions they didn't like at their work. After all, if you really liked your work, would you have retired? In honesty, there are few people I envy more than those who truly love their work -- people who enjoy what they do, the circumstances under which they do it, AND get paid for it. But that group of fortunate souls is probably a small minority. Even if we enjoy the type of work we do, the conditions, the office politics, the bureaucracy, bad bosses and the like may still chase us out.
Ziggy you have really hit the nail on the head. I haven't punched out yet, and like others here, I have in the past truly enjoyed my work. Honestly, the challenge of trying to succeed under the current economic situation is interesting while at the same time devastating (having to lay people off is not fun). But the real problem is as you say, the politics, bureacracy, and bad bosses who can't even remember their promises beyond the time it takes the breath with which they made those promises to pass their lips. Can you tell I'm fed up this morning? Its a story for another day, when I've cooled down, because

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"Work sucks, but I need the bucks."
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:22 PM   #56
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Was there a triggering event that drove you to actually retire?
I was temporarily assigned (TDY) for 120 days to Kuwait, working as the supply flight chief in a large squadron. I got to hang out and work with the Airmen who were actually "kicking" the boxes and working on the nuts-n-bolts of the operation. I loved it!

So, I realized that when I went back home, it was back to the day-to-day grind of management and paperwork (OMG - the paperwork!!).

Which caused me to understand that, in reality, I was BORED!

I had plenty of time in (27+ years), so I "dropped my papers" for retirement while I was in Kuwait (told my boss at home what I was doing first). I was gone 5 months after that.

Now - after a year - I've discovered that not only was I bored ... I just don't want to work. And that's been working out just fine for me.

Marilyn
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:35 PM   #57
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I was a maintenance programmer for many years, planning on retiring Feb 2008, when I had 30 years.

They made me a manager, BP went up (176/96), weight went up (215#); found REHP, went to a retirement seminar, realized I could live on $25K/yr, took an early retirement offer in Dec '04'.

No longer have to deal with the Frumious Bandersnatch.

BP: 124/76
Weight: 135

Still saving money.
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Old 12-19-2008, 07:44 PM   #58
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....

No longer have to deal with the Frumious Bandersnatch.

BP: 124/76
Weight: 135

Still saving money.
I'm hoping to follow in your footsteps, Khan.

Bye bye Frumious Bandersnatch, done;

BP down without meds., I'm working on that;

still saving money, I think I can, I think I can.
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Old 12-19-2008, 08:09 PM   #59
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No longer have to deal with the Frumious Bandersnatch.
Well, Khan, I haven't seen those words in years. As the man said in the first Dirty Harry movie, "I just gots to know"...

Are you referring to the Lewis Carroll version, or is this a reference to your younger & wilder days?

Bandersnatch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Frumious Bandersnatch Band
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Old 12-20-2008, 01:40 PM   #60
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Well, Khan, I haven't seen those words in years. As the man said in the first Dirty Harry movie, "I just gots to know"...

Are you referring to the Lewis Carroll version, or is this a reference to your younger & wilder days?

Bandersnatch - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Frumious Bandersnatch Band
Lewis Carroll.

Wasn't aware of the band.

"and shun the Frumious Bandersnatch"

It's amazing how much time and energy some people can expend to make others miserable.
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