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Why am I so nervous about ER?
Old 03-30-2011, 07:43 PM   #1
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Why am I so nervous about ER?

Okay, I'm 58 with $1.65 mm, home paid for, and small rental real estate income. I have discussed my situation with several financial "experts", and they all tell me that I can retire whenever I want. I still w**k part time (3 days a week) with an annual income of +/- $100k. I really would like to pull the trigger, but just cannot bring myself to act. It's just easier to go to w**k, even though I'm tired of it.

Have any of you felt similarly when you were at that point of your life?

This vacillating is killing me.
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:59 PM   #2
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bentley:

I'm with you. Working allows you to collect on/realize your human capital and provides additional financial security.

When I reached "The Number" my mindset changed and I actually started to enjoy what I did. The contrast was remarkable.

On the other hand, sometimes I wonder just why I keep rackin' em up. I never have been into things and stuff all that much. So what's the point ?

The other night, I was re-reading Ralph Warner's book "Get a Life: You Don't Need a Million to Retire Well". He interviews a number of people who are very content with modest retirement lifestyles. The book is a breath of fresh air compared to all the articles from the (save till it hurts) Retirement Industry. He writes about utilizing the income you have now and in your nestegg - while you still can. You may want to pick up a copy. I noticed that Amazon is selling (used) copies for $0.37 plus shipping.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:05 PM   #3
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Not only would I pull the trigger, I'd put it to my head and blow the job off. I'm certainly no expert but if I had your assets and wanted to retire I would not hesitate. Life and money should be enjoyed. So enjoy. Everyone I know who has retired just loves it and tells me they don't see how they had time to go to work.

April
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:09 PM   #4
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Thank you for raising this question. I'm guessing it's an issue that many feel but remain silent about (while remaining "lurkers" on sites like this). It's sort of similar to feelings of "cold feet" prior to any major life change. I know I've got it, so you are not alone.

The book mentioned by MasterBlaster sounds very interesting and useful, and I'm going to have a look.

It sounds like you are quite well-positioned.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:18 PM   #5
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I officially retired last October, and two months later went back to work as a "rehired annuitant." I discovered the achieving financial security is only part of answer (achieving a successful retirement). I also need to replace the stimulation that work provides. That's proved to be tricky, and largely explains why I went back to work. I'm hoping to find that "missing link" soon, and will gladly pull the plug on my job when I do. My suggestion is don't give up your job until you find something (stimulating) to replace it.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:23 PM   #6
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It's pretty hard to quit when you can draw that kind of money on a part-time basis. If finance is not an issue, what's stopping you from quitting? Is it boredom? Do you have a hobby? What do you like to do with your spare time? What would you rather do other than work? How about travel? How about education? There must be a lots of things that you like to do.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:32 PM   #7
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It's pretty hard to quit when you can draw that kind of money on a part-time basis.
Heh heh heh... You could be asking me that question. Not just part-time, but I even have long periods off for trekking...

Quote:
If finance is not an issue, what's stopping you from quitting? Is it boredom? Do you have a hobby? What do you like to do with your spare time? What would you rather do other than work? How about travel? How about education? There must be a lots of things that you like to do.
Don't know about bentley, but a couple of my hobbies look just like my work, except I would not get paid, and have to pay the expenses out of my pocket, and these hobby "things" I would need aren't cheap. About travel, one can only do so much, else it would lose the allure for me.

So, off to work I go. Heh heh heh...

PS. Some of the problems they ask me to help solve, I would not be able to think of as a challenge for myself. Weird, mysterious engineering problems... Heh heh heh...
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:34 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:37 PM   #9
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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.

At the risk of bing kicked off the board as an apostate, if you don't have interests and plans that will keep you mentally, physically and socially stimulated keeping the j*b (or at least a j*b) may be the better option.

As I get closer to pulling the trigger I am more worried about this issue than I am about the loss of my pay cheque.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:47 PM   #10
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Yes I am right there with you. My networth is way high for my age at 38. I don't have any debts and a great income job. I still live way below my means, and I am very nervous about actually looking at pulling the retirement trigger in maybe as little as 3 years. I just think we are so en-grained that we are what our job is, and that is what makes it so hard to think of life without a job. I am starting to feel like I have been saving too much, and living too frugally given my income. Maybe I should have lived a little higher on the hog I am guessing I will hit my magic number at age 42 and still keep on working. It really scares me to think of not getting up every morning and booting up the computer for work.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:54 PM   #11
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Only you will know for sure when to pull the trigger for good, and even then you might change your mind. Working 3 days and having 4 off is a pretty sweet set up except that you don't appear to be enjoying it. I retired with few assets at 46 this year, but a very generous pension that more than covers my monthly needs. Now I find myself saving more in retirement than I did working because I get to thinking about the "what ifs" scenarios. I'm not bored, but I am now getting restless as I accomplish nothing and next thing you know it's time to go to bed. I think I will work a little more to get my focus and structure back in a different type job. Make sure you have something to retire to, because you will definitely notice the difference between having 7 days off instead of 4, I assure you!
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:47 PM   #12
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Being a person who has never done well with uncertainty I was scared to death at the idea of living off savings. The closer it got, the worse I got. I don't think I slept for several months and then gradually I began to relax. Now neither DH nor I have time to fret. It works!!! I think getting cold feet is common.
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enjoying retirement
Old 03-30-2011, 09:54 PM   #13
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enjoying retirement

It simply amazes me how much many posters have saved at relatively young ages. Although I have a very good income, I guess my expenses have been higher than theirs.

I for one will have no hesitation retiring when I believe I can afford it. I have plenty of hobbies and interests that will keep me busy during retirement. Right now, I feel like work gets in the way of my many fun activities. If I won a big lottery tomorrow, I would not return to work.
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Old 03-30-2011, 10:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentley View Post

Have any of you felt similarly when you were at that point of your life?
Maybe just a little, but it didn't stop me from retiring. If your confident you are set financially, I recommend going for it. Retirement is a wonderful thing.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:01 PM   #15
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I felt the same way when I joined this forum in January. I was going crazy trying to decide if I should give up a good paying job, even though I didn't like it any longer. I received some great advice in the thread below. I made the leap to ER and told my employer. Now each day that passes, the fear subsides and the excitement grows. Trying to keep working to May 31 is now the challenge.

Good luck on your decision.


So unsure, so I came to this forum
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:01 PM   #16
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Bentley, I know what you mean. Even when someone has amassed a much larger amount, the fear is still there. I'm still on the job for a variety of other reasons. However, just as your experts have told you that you have enough, we are also quite comfortably FI. That said, I fiddle with my spreadsheets every day, wondering if I'm going to have enough. I wonder whether, with what we have, could we help our kids in a crisis (I can if I'm still working). I wonder if I will be able to enjoy the activities I want to enjoy, and if so, for how long. As I said, I still need to continue doing what I am doing for a while longer for other reasons, but I wonder, if when my commitment to what I am doing ends, will I want it to continue, so that I can keep racking up points on the scorecard? Will I feel like I have enough on the scorecard but feel worried about being relegated to the rocking chair on the front porch?

I can't remember who on this board said it first, but, I think it bears saying again: retirement ain't for the faint of heart, or for sissies. However, (not being FIREd yet myself) my impression is that it will be like jumping into a cool pool...if you try to sneak your way in, little by little, it seems too cold and not at all refreshing for most people. But if you jump in, it feels great once you get over the initial shock.

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Old 03-30-2011, 11:02 PM   #17
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I did not see this when I made my post see "early retirement - verification".

I hope this works for you.
These types of posts give me confidence as my DW and I are really ready to retire and start our next life after working 38 years for the same company.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:10 PM   #18
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However, (not being FIREd yet myself) my impression is that it will be like jumping into a cool pool...if you try to sneak your way in, little by little, it seems too cold and not at all refreshing for most people. But if you jump in, it feels great once you get over the initial shock.

R
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:45 AM   #19
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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.
You guys need to take surfing lessons.

Seriously, though, what you're feeling is "just one more year" syndrome, perhaps with a side helping of paralysis by analysis.

At this point, with the financial independence problem solved for most practical purposes, you have one of two choices:
1. Design your ideal ER life, perhaps aided by one of Ernie Zelinski's most excellent books, or
2. Keep working until you have a health/family emergency design your ER life (or what's left of it) for you.

Two of the top three ER worries are "Do I have enough?!?" and "What will I DO all day?!?" Running FIRECalc and perhaps annuitizing some income are great ways to work through the first.

As for the second, three months after ER you'll be wondering what the heck you were worrying about.
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:19 AM   #20
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Many of us feel the same way. I know I do.
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bentley:

On the other hand, sometimes I wonder just why I keep rackin' em up. I never have been into things and stuff all that much. So what's the point ?
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