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Old 10-11-2014, 09:36 AM   #41
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FIRE'd since April 1, 2007

3. Now that I have reached the 7.5 year mark, I am surprised at myself being able to actually chill out and do nothing (well at least for 30 minutes ). A lifetime of high achievement (from age 14 to age 48) and always striving for the next level has now become a life of la-de-da and growing plants for enjoyment. My accomplishment markers have completely changed.

2. I am able to maintain my weight more easily without those daily lunches that served as an escape from the cubicle in the windowless building from h*ll. I get to see the days pass in full from sunrise to sunset, not just little time snippets on break or during lunch or the drive to/from w*rk. Sometimes I just sit and watch the rain fall.

1. I thought I would stick with volunteering more in my ER. I found that the "people in groups" part of the volunteer gigs reminded me too much of the nauseating office politics I departed from. So I do small things on a 1:1 basis, i.e. favors for individuals instead of being part of a group effort. This approach is more satisfying.
Freebird,
How poetic and insightful. I wish that we were neighbors.
-BB
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Old 10-11-2014, 09:43 AM   #42
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Sitting here today with 280 days until freedom, I am inspired and excited by the overwhelmingly positive responses. I feel like an immigrant arriving in New York harbor and glimpsing the statue of liberty!
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Old 10-11-2014, 01:20 PM   #43
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Sitting here today with 280 days until freedom, I am inspired and excited by the overwhelmingly positive responses. I feel like an immigrant arriving in New York harbor and glimpsing the statue of liberty!
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Old 10-13-2014, 12:51 PM   #44
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1. I thought I would stick with volunteering more in my ER. I found that the "people in groups" part of the volunteer gigs reminded me too much of the nauseating office politics I departed from. So I do small things on a 1:1 basis, i.e. favors for individuals instead of being part of a group effort. This approach is more satisfying.

Not retired yet but I figured this out while working. Too many do service work as a status thing or work so hard at it they get unpleasant to be around. Bigger organizations almost always violate my rule about charities--I don't donate to charities that take government funds. Really limits my choices but I find there are a lot of small local things that need doing.
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Old 10-13-2014, 01:47 PM   #45
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I like what I hear except for "Time goes by much quicker than when I worked full time." but I think that indeed is the case and will be case for me as well.
My short term (2-1/2 months so far) experience has me also realizing how fast time can pass, but it is not in the sense of "fleeting" where one would feel time is passing so quickly as to be escaping - it is really more like a quite wonderful awareness of how I am enveloped within time, with the incredible freedom of choosing how I will spend it.
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:56 AM   #46
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My surprises:

1. I sleep longer. Typically on weeknights when I was working I fell asleep around 10 or 10:30 and the alarm was set for 6:30 AM- a respectable interval. Now I don't set the alarm (woo-hoo!) and on an average morning I wake up at 7 or 7:30.

2. I didn't gain weight. I was concerned about that. I've been diligent about diet and workouts over the years and was afraid that being home with food around might mean I'd eat more. My weight is still what it was when I got out of HS, maybe because my workouts are a little longer.

3. I do NOT want to go back to work. A friend works at a large mutual fund company and she'd said at one point that they always needed part-timers to handle customer service- not selling, but processing requests to change in and out of funds. It was in the back of my mind that I could do that if I wanted. After 2 weeks of freedom I said, "Nah". I don't want to set the alarm again. My Geology class at the local community college (9 AM-noon Monday and Wednesday) is just enough structure.
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:17 AM   #47
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I feel the same way about computer/software depictions on TV.

My favorite is when it just takes one click to enhance a very blurry image so that it becomes crystal clear. Right....
Mine is when they show scrolling computer code, or logs, or whatever on the displays in an attempt to show how computery they are. My code always stays where I want it when I use vi.

I'll have to admit that with a couple of months to go until my ER I am nervous about what I'm going to do, even though I have a list of stuff I need to do and a wish list of other nice stuff. I have to get past the thought that there's a lot tied up in your self-worth because of work. 25 years at the same employer/same job in IT will do that to you.
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:07 PM   #48
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I'll have to admit that with a couple of months to go until my ER I am nervous about what I'm going to do, even though I have a list of stuff I need to do and a wish list of other nice stuff.
I was a little nervous about that, too, especially since everybody at work thought I'd get bored. I made list like you did, a wish list of about two dozen things I always wanted to do or study but hadn't had time for. These ranged from playing piano again, to learning Mexican Spanish, to gardening, to going back to school to get that MBA I always wanted, and more. That list made a wonderful crutch for me and kept me from feeling bored because when I felt adrift (and sometimes I did at first), I knew I could start on my list.

Turned out I really didn't need to start on anything on that list; I just needed to know the list was there for me so I wouldn't panic. I haven't even started the first thing on that list so far during nearly 5 years of retirement. My guess would be that most intelligent people are capable of entertaining themselves; or at least, I am and I still don't have enough time for everything that comes to mind. I just didn't know this until I retired and had the opportunity to see how things went.
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:49 PM   #49
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I was a little nervous about that, too, especially since everybody at work thought I'd get bored. I made list like you did, a wish list of about two dozen things I always wanted to do or study but hadn't had time for. These ranged from playing piano again, to learning Mexican Spanish, to gardening, to going back to school to get that MBA I always wanted, and more. That list made a wonderful crutch for me and kept me from feeling bored because when I felt adrift (and sometimes I did at first), I knew I could start on my list.

Turned out I really didn't need to start on anything on that list; I just needed to know the list was there for me so I wouldn't panic. I haven't even started the first thing on that list so far during nearly 5 years of retirement. My guess would be that most intelligent people are capable of entertaining themselves; or at least, I am and I still don't have enough time for everything that comes to mind. I just didn't know this until I retired and had the opportunity to see how things went.
W2R, it's amazing that your list included "get MBA". That's such an intense, busy thing to do! I got an MBA about 12 years pre-ER. It was my third degree. My ER list included not getting any more degrees. However, that doesn't mean I don't still love to learn. I have done some hands on cooking lessons (fun!) and have taken advantage of informal learning online, including a wonderful history course that I recently completed. In a few weeks I will start a creative writing course. When I was 10 years old, becoming a writer was one of my top career choices. I did a lot of scientific writing during my working years (as you did too, I'm sure) and may still delve into writing, but for pleasure this time.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:00 PM   #50
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Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'.

To me, once I got "credentials", I just did what I could. I don't want to go to formal school anymore, the people I know teach me plenty.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:58 PM   #51
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I was a little nervous about that, too, especially since everybody at work thought I'd get bored. I made list like you did, a wish list of about two dozen things I always wanted to do or study but hadn't had time for. These ranged from playing piano again, to learning Mexican Spanish, to gardening, to going back to school to get that MBA I always wanted, and more. That list made a wonderful crutch for me and kept me from feeling bored because when I felt adrift (and sometimes I did at first), I knew I could start on my list.

Turned out I really didn't need to start on anything on that list; I just needed to know the list was there for me so I wouldn't panic. I haven't even started the first thing on that list so far during nearly 5 years of retirement.
Glad you shared this, because I have a feeling my experience will be much like yours. I drafted a long list before retiring, and so far I've only done some brainstorming about a couple of items on it.

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My guess would be that most intelligent people are capable of entertaining themselves; or at least, I am and I still don't have enough time for everything that comes to mind. I just didn't know this until I retired and had the opportunity to see how things went.
That's my sense too. I believe a truly successful education instills in us the ability to keep learning -- on our own -- the rest of our lives. I'm coming to realize that never does this pay off more than in early retirement.
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Old 10-15-2014, 11:07 PM   #52
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"A friend works at a large mutual fund company and she'd said at one point that they always needed part-timers to handle customer service- not selling, but processing requests to change in and out of funds."

This sounds like an ideal transition job for me - would love to know more!
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Old 10-27-2014, 12:10 PM   #53
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1. I'm surprised that I'm not as anxious as I thought I would be (giving up the sizable paycheck). Although it has only been 3 months. I've been busy with the details of my recently deceased Mom's Will and small estate. I think that has kept my mind occupied. I've just been able to start on some of my "retirement to do's" list.

2. I don't miss work at all. That really surprised me.

3. I've really cut back on the amount of TV I watch. I would rather listen to music instead.

So far - so good and am now anticipating DH joining me in 2016!



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Old 10-28-2014, 11:35 AM   #54
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Retired five years

I am surprised at how quickly time passes.

I'm surprised how much I resent having my time scheduled. Some weeks when I have a lot scheduled I find myself resenting it even though most of the scheduled events are pleasant. Turns out that I am not too keen on having to be somewhere at a specific time.

I'm surprised at how much I have appreciated retirement in the bad times as well as enjoy the good times. My mother passed away and I was able to spend her last month with her. I would not have been able to do this if I was still working. I am grateful for that time.


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Old 10-28-2014, 01:56 PM   #55
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I'm surprised how much I resent having my time scheduled. Some weeks when I have a lot scheduled I find myself resenting it even though most of the scheduled events are pleasant. Turns out that I am not too keen on having to be somewhere at a specific time.
I'm right there with you. In anticipation of ER, I stopped using a watch. Very freeing.
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Old 10-28-2014, 04:27 PM   #56
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1. I was surprised to find I was reluctant to admit to others that I am retired. At first I guess this was partly because there was a possibility I would return to work and I didn't want to appear foolish. Later it was because I did not want to brag or make others feel uncomfortable, especially friends or family of similar age who don't like their jobs (most of them). I am coming out of this lately and am beginning to feel more comfortable telling people I am retired.

2. I thought I would spend more money. I am actually struggling to spend as much now as I did when I was working. All of my financial models suggest I could spend more than I do, and I am making a concerted effort to splurge more on myself in 2015.

3. I thought I would volunteer more, do pro bono work, and generally seek out ways of replicating work in order to find "meaning" in my life. I have come to find that I simply enjoy taking each day as it comes and that "meaning" comes from doing what I feel like doing without living according to others' demands or expectations. If opportunities come up where I can help out others I take them. If at other times I just feel like hanging out at the gym or chilling at a coffee shop all afternoon so be it.


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Old 10-29-2014, 01:42 AM   #57
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1) That I actually like doing nada. I thought I might miss p*ssing people off at w*rk. I also thought I might miss "contributing". When I announced my ER to my boss, he told me he liked two things about me (I was FI and could say what I wanted): I could and did translate "Geek-talk to English", I told him my opinion, not what he thought I thought I should tell him.

2) You always worry about $ to some extent. Been ER'd for ~8 years. Our NW is about 150% of what it was at RE. Still, you never know, bad stuff might happen......................... don't obsess over it.

3) How much I hate winter, here in the frozen North. Never liked it but when I worked, I had somewhere to go at -44C.

4) how I should honour Allah by joining Jihad in the middle east (OK, just kidding and maybe not funny) but I've run out of things to contribute.

Having retired, I sometimes feel sympathy with Wiley in the first part of this video, the second not so much.

WARNING - NOT FOR WORK

WARNING - NOT FOR THOSE WHO TAKE OFFENSE EASILY
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Old 10-29-2014, 08:25 AM   #58
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Rick_Head, I love it!!!
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3 biggest ER surprises
Old 10-29-2014, 08:42 AM   #59
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3 biggest ER surprises

My three surprises:

1) How most everything I need is within a 10 mile radius....don't need to travel to Houston! I've rediscovered my town...Sugar Land!

2) I've lost 20 lbs since retiring and enjoy my jaunts to Whole Foods and HEB (local Texas supermarket)

3) No longer worry about if my pension will be enough....loving my federal pension that covers expenses plus money for saving. (I still live by a budget....and take my casino get aways every few months)
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Old 10-29-2014, 12:20 PM   #60
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Rick_Head, I love it!!!
+1: Best post I have read today. Thanks.

Although, #3 about hating winter frightens me. But, I am hoping that when I actually ER, I will have time and energy to escape the winter desolation regularly. (My idea of a white Christmas involves certain Caribbean white sand beaches, palm trees with the only ice in sight floating in my drink.)
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