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Old 03-31-2011, 05:51 AM   #21
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So look at it this way. You are 40% retired. With that income for 3 days work, I would keep it as an option as long as I could. Nice to have that ace in the hole. Take 3 days off every other month (equates to 11 days), kick back and enjoy the sweet scenario.

Sometimes the joy of playing hooky makes the job worth it.

You have not said what your expenses are?

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Old 03-31-2011, 06:03 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by bentley View Post
Thanks for all the comments guys. I guess in a nutshell, the one thing that holds me back is still a significant insecurity about the future of our economy.
I'm still sorta waiting on the double dip taking the DOW to a fraction of where it is now.

I have a good friend who felt similarly, and he bought a fixed index annuity with a third of his savings. That helped him sleep.
This sounds a lot like an excuse to me. I think it is natural to have a fear of the unknown and it is psychologically difficult to do something other than what the herd believes is the correct action. So it is natural to hesitate when faced with a big change or a major decision.

That said, you did not get to where you are without at least occsionally making some big leaps and being bold, so you can do it if you wish. So this is really about figuring out what you want out of life and how to get it. Spend some time and energy figuring that out and you may have a bit more conviction in whatever your decision is. And if you decide you want to keep working part time, great! You are free and can do as you wish.

If you really do spend a lot of time wringing your hands over a huge drop in the equity indices, I would strongly suggest that you stay away from FIA/EIA products. Search the forum and you will find a thread where I explained how you can DIY at far lower cost and with a lot more flexibility (although I think this is a silly strategy, personally). Alternatively, leave your portfolio alone and just spend some money buying long-dated, somewhat out of the money put options on SPY or DIA. That way if we do get that plunge, your losses would be mitigated. The up-front cost of the options is effectively an insurance premium.

"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."

- Will Rogers
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:09 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by bentley View Post
Have any of you felt similarly when you were at that point of your life?
Yes. What worked for me is was to do two things. The first was that I called my retirement 'The Big Vacation', which would make it much easier to back out of if I wanted to.

The other was that after I'd done all my paper planning I started implementing the check list leading to my last day at work. Immediate onset of physical ailments like insomnia, anxiety, intestinal distress told me that I had FIRE issues. Stopped the implementation, identified the issues and addressed them, which was much easier said than done. Eventually I got to where I began the implementation and looked forward to finishing each task and getting one month/week/day closer to the end of w*rk.
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:26 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by traineeinvestor View Post
It has often been said that one of the keys to a successful retirement is making sure that you do not merely retire from your j*b but that you retire to something.

Are you using those 4 days/week developing /advancing / confirming "what you are retiring to" ?

I do not necessarily want to "get out of work" as much as I want to "get into retirement"

4 free days/week is a lot of time - I'd make sure I was maxing out in "retirement practice" in that time before pulling trigger on 3 days/week work.
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:34 AM   #25
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Welcome back Rambler. I hope you and your family are doing well.

Originally Posted by Rambler View Post
Bentley, I know what you mean. Even when someone has amassed a much larger amount, the fear is still there.
Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:53 AM   #26
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My Mom and stepdad both got wishy-washy about retiring. I know Mom had been threatening to do it for about two years, but they kept giving her nice raises so she stayed. However, she finally went out for good, January 31 of this year, just a few weeks past her 62nd birthday.

My stepdad is 58 (59 this July), and he's been getting fed up with his job for some time, and I've lost track of how many times he's decided to retire. He has enough years in to get a modest pension, but it'll only replace about 30% of his salary, where Mom is getting 80%. He had been taking it on a month-by-month basis, but finally got fed up enough, that today is his last day!

My Mom's not worried, now that she finally took the plunge and is looking at her retirement date from the other side of the goal post. But my stepdad is actually a bit scared.

My guess is that it's just human nature to be a bit nervous, and afraid of the unknown. We're pretty much ingrained from childhood that you go to school, go to work, and don't retire until you're OLD! And after years, decades even, of a structured day (school, then work), and that safety net of bringing in those paychecks, retirement can sometimes be a scary thing. I have the feeling that once you actually do it, and realize that you're going to make it, you'll be fine.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:44 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by bentley View Post
Have any of you felt similarly when you were at that point of your life?
I was going to leave last year, but have talked myself into staying until the end of August 2012. The reasoning, a couple hundred thousand more in my account, and company provided retiree health insurance at the age of 55. I've had people (including my accountant) tell me to keep working, that I'm too young to retire, and can't believe that I could, or would walk away from such a good paying job.

Like you several financial planners have told me that I'm good to go at anytime, however my warm and fuzzy moment will come when I know my health insurance will be covered in my retirement. Or at least that is what I am telling myself now……
Not all who wander are lost - J. R. Tolkien
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:18 AM   #28
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Bentley, I can relate. Pretty close on numbers too, little less age, but no way could or would I pull the trigger on ER right now. At your age? Dunno, I'll let ya know.
The uncertainty is the main thing, not of the economy but of my mindset to stop working, so DW and I discussed with our bosses about taking more time off for the next few years. We've found by taking 3-4 day weekends here and there we get so disconnected from work that the 8-5 grind doesn't suck as much as it used to.
We're also trying to come to terms with enjoying spending whatever we make while leaving the next egg alone to grow awhile longer. That's tough enough to get comfortable with, spending down the nest egg would be stressful right now if the numbers started coming down at our age.

And I actually like my job to a point, management turn overs have made it less fun but the fact they know I can walk but don't means they leave me alone. They do need me and I enjoy the income.

My goal has always been 55-58, but even then I'd probably do some contracting work in my field until I got completely bored with it.
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Thanks for all the posts
Old 03-31-2011, 11:37 AM   #29
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Thanks for all the posts

I have been lurking for many months and became a member recently. I just wanted to thank you all for giving me a place to go to when I was having trouble getting ready to retire. I had been very unhappy with my job for a few years and it seemed that no matter how hard I worked it was never enough. We had some younger employees hired who were very good at promoting themselves while the older ones did all the grunt work that actually got things done. And quietly tooAnyway I had had enough and had actually walked out the door. That night a good friend councelled me to get my job back and take a holiday to clear my head. Thankfully the main boss recinded my letter of resignation and gave me an opportunity to step back, evaluate the situation and return to work. It was hard and for a year or so I was not sure I had made the right choice. (Reading your posts helped ) Now three years later I have redefined myself, have an incredible new position and am very glad I stayed. I am turning 60 and hope I can work for at least another 5 years, perhaps more.
One main reason I am glad to be working is that I believe we are in for an incredible economic ride. The world is changing and we will need to change in order to have a chance for a decent life. A good job only makes that situation more manageable. JMHO
The second reason is that my husband has been retired for 20 years. His pension which was adequate 20 years ago has eroded to very little for today. Who know what the next 20 years will bring? To plan 30 years into the future is not something I want to leave to others. Working longer shortens that timeframe. Take care everyone. Reading all these stories provided me with a framework that helped me make my decisions
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:00 PM   #30
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Hey bentley, you'll be amazed at how different things look once you bite the bullet. There is a whole another world out there waiting for your talents, abilities, and passions. Try taking off a month (if you can) and pretend you are retired. There are many commitments that you cannot make now that you will be able to when you retire. And spend time with the family. Those grandkids are in desperate need of your time to teach them work ethic and values! An investment into just one of their lives will pay greater dividends than you can imagine. Leave a legacy, other than the job.
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:06 PM   #31
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You seem to have your financial situation under control.

You did not provide much information other than net worth. Do have a pension, SS, other sources of income due?

Also, you did not describe your income needs (expenses).

You should develop a financial plan. That may help you to better understand your situations.

Read Jim Otar's Book: Unveiling the Retirement Myth. It is often recommended on this forum.
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Old 03-31-2011, 06:05 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by bentley View Post
It's just easier to go to w**k, even though I'm tired of it.
I don't think there would be a wrong answer here if you were still enjoying it. But since you are not, I think I would go for it.

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Old 03-31-2011, 07:24 PM   #33
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If it is any consolation, you are far from alone.

From a 2011 study by the National Institute on Retirement Security:

"When it comes to retirement, Americans continue to have high anxiety. An overwhelming majority of Americans are anxious about their retirement prospects. Some 84% are concerned that current economic conditions are impacting their ability to achieve a secure retirement, with more than half (54%) of Americans very concerned. This level of anxiety has not dissipated, with 83% of Americans in 2009 reporting retirement concerns."
We are, as I have said, one equation short. – Keynes
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:38 PM   #34
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.. Some 84% are concerned that current economic conditions are impacting their ability to achieve a secure retirement ..
What other concerns will they have as economic conditions improve?
May we live in peace and harmony and be free from all human sufferings.
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:09 PM   #35
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By 57, I had worked myself into a 4-day week, but I was still stressed, and hated it. You're still young enough that you can quit working, and just call it a "Sabbatical" if you wish. You can probably expect pressure from some of your friends and family, as some of them might be jealous of your retirement. Some people would say, "I don't care about that," but it did bug me. Calling it a Sabbatical allows you to back out "with dignity" in a year, if you discover you made a mistake. A year off might do you good, anyway!
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Old 04-01-2011, 08:56 AM   #36
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People, and especially men, are wired to want to feel like they are doing something meaningful. When we are young, most of us are working for a paycheck, maybe trying to support a family or whatever. As we get older, most of really want to feel like we are doing something that is more important than just earning a paycheck.

You have the assets to walk away from a job if it has been just a frustrating way to earn money. But as many have said, what are you going to do for the rest of your life to fulfill the need to contribute to the world somehow? There are many, many options. If you could find something you really have a passion to do, even without getting paid to do it, you might find yourself jumping at the chance to FIRE!

So what's your passion? And how do you engage it when you quit your job?

Those are the questions I'm trying to answer right now. We have enough that it is unlikely we could ever run out of money, unless we adopted what we both would think is a crazy lifestyle. For me, the tentative answer is to continue doing a lot of non-demoninational men's ministry, trying to help guys in their faith walks, and doing mediations in court cases. For 35 years, I've been a commercial trial lawyer and I'm a bit tired of it--it isn't usually very signficant to the world at large. But helping people save money and resolve disputes through mediation does appeal to me. And I will be able to set my own schedule, taking off whenever I want.

Again, you ought to ask, what's your passion and what can you do to pursue it after you quit your job?
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:36 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by LightningDawg View Post
I for one will have no hesitation retiring when I believe I can afford it.
What we tend not to realize is "afford it" is a term of art. Would a well to do upper-middle- class middle-aged man in Germany in 1921 think he could afford to retire? Quite possibly. Would he have been correct? Quite definitely not.

Commanding Heights : The German Hyperinflation, 1923 | on PBS

Unfortunately, retirement is pure faith, and the degree of confidence that we hold has almost nothing to do with how things might work out. One of the most robust findings of modern social psychology is that people's "confidence" has almost nothing to do with events that follow. Over and over again we see that people underestimate the range of probabilities of any event. And shown this, we continue to underestimate.

"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:52 AM   #38
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Bentley, I had no choice in my case (company was sold) but I jumped when I was 52 and never looked back. I was a 65 hour a week, 200 days-on-the-international-road exec and (as you say) *just got tired of it*.

There's more to life. Really.

It takes about 2-3 years to fully *come down* but after a while you start to realize that you're not *on vacation* but instead a new, better lifestyle has slowly evolved around you.

I'm now 59 and, as I posted elsewhere today, two people I know, aged 59 and 61, have died in the past three weeks. Life's too short buddy.
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:22 PM   #39
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It's not unusual at all. I hoped to retire a few years ago, planned to retire Mar 2010 and will definitely retire Jun 2011. I used to stress about the decision, but gradually I realized the uncertainty would never go away even if I had more $, if my nest egg goes to hell in a handbasket, I'll go back to work long before it gets down too seriously. But I'll take up work I enjoy a lot more than the first career. The first one was for money first, the second one will be for the pure job satisfaction with money a distant second.
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
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Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:48 PM   #40
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May I have a suggestion for you?

Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
... if my nest egg goes to hell in a handbasket, I'll go back to work RV'ing in the New Mexico mountains long before it gets down too seriously.

"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
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