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Old 02-21-2015, 04:29 PM   #21
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4. Once you’ve tasted the freedom that comes from having full control of your life and no work-related stress, it’s very hard to give it up.
3. Related to the above, if things get tight financially, I think it’s more likely that I’ll economize further rather than try to earn new income. I've stopped worrying too much about it, since it appears I can live on less than I originally estimated, barring unplanned major expenses.
These were the biggies for me. Time goes quicker cause I do what I want ( for the most part ).. not what I am told.
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:35 PM   #22
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Another one I just thought of... much lower taxes. I expected my taxes to be lower in retirement but was pleasantly surprised how much lower they were, principally because of preferential rates for qualified dividends and LTCG going from 15% to 0% (for me). That 15% makes a big difference!

I think this is a common surprise.
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:45 PM   #23
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Another one I just thought of... much lower taxes. I expected my taxes to be lower in retirement but was pleasantly surprised how much lower they were, principally because of preferential rates for qualified dividends and LTCG going from 15% to 0% (for me). That 15% makes a big difference!

I think this is a common surprise.
Nice surprise, I agree! Unfortunately, I think it might be the opposite in my case:

Dealing with taxes as RE/nonRE couple
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:03 PM   #24
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One other observation. Urgency tends to go out the window. I can take my time to do things and not rush things because whatever doesn't get done today can get done tomorrow.
This could be a problem for me. I was pretty focused on getting my house built until winter set in. I've slowed way down. Hope I can pick it back up in the spring.
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:25 PM   #25
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I didn't think I'd be as good at doing nothing as I turned out to be.

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Old 02-21-2015, 08:16 PM   #26
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Good point. I never would have thought that I could be so happy puttering around and not doing much of anything.
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Old 02-21-2015, 10:30 PM   #27
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It was time to change my early-retirement.org user name, formerly wishin&hopin. All that wishin’ and hopin’ paid off about six months ago when I ER’d, and now it’s all about focus. That is, focusing fully on the present and, since the choices of what to do are many, focusing my energies. Thus my new name.

One month into ER, I posted the three things that most surprised me. I’ve now updated that list and expanded the items to five:

5. I’ve come to realize that I spent the last few years at work sleep deprived, and a full night’s sleep (at least eight hours for me) is one of the most crucial parts of living a healthy, well-balanced life. I was as productive as ever at work with less sleep, but I was constantly irritable. I chalked that up at the time to some of the challenging personalities I had to deal with, but I now think it was more about me -- if I’d had enough sleep, it would have been like water off a duck’s back. Maybe.

4. I now understand why relatively few end up working part time in retirement, despite what they tell pollsters before they retire. Once you’ve tasted the freedom that comes from having full control of your life and no work-related stress, it’s very hard to give it up. Although I’ve heard retired friends say they’re seeking opportunities to do “meaningful” work of some sort, they want it entirely on their own terms. Not surprisingly, there aren’t many of those unicorns around. And as previous threads here have made clear, volunteer work can be as frustrating as regular work, without the financial compensation.

3. Related to the above, if things get tight financially, I think it’s more likely that I’ll economize further rather than try to earn new income. I've stopped worrying too much about it, since it appears I can live on less than I originally estimated, barring unplanned major expenses.

2. I’m never bored. Ever. It's very easy for me to stay mentally engaged, and being an introvert (like most of us here), I haven’t even had to ramp up my socializing much.

1. Time goes by much quicker than pre-ER. That’s why focusing my energies is an important part of making the most of each day.
@21 years ER and counting that's a 10/4. Did temp work after a year in ER(not recommended) and learning to be curmudgeony to the point of down right disagreeable when it comes to volunteering(yes I have got caught using the yes word more than I care to admit).

heh heh heh - ER goes too fast. Spend it wisely. I have found doing nothing in particular incredibly meaningful and soul satisfying.
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:55 PM   #28
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Thanks for the summary. I retired almost three years ago and experienced the same five things... Plus, if I am honest, I would add that I am adjusting to having too much time around my wife of 35 years. hope to work through it...
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Old 02-22-2015, 05:07 AM   #29
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I think the more crap that we have had to put up with in our stressful jobs just makes you appreciate ER even more. I simply cannot wait, the thought of never having to work again blows my mind!
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Old 02-22-2015, 05:26 AM   #30
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Retired now for 6 weeks. What a great thread this is ... just smiling reading it and nodding my head. Here some things:

- definitely agree about working post retirement. The setting of one's own schedule is such a stress reducer. Plus, and I guess many of us may be like this, part time work is not part time, you're thinking about it more than the hrs you actually put in. I don't need that.
- so many people are stressed. It's nice now to just sit back and relax and go slower. I was walking my dog and listening to cars. Almost everyone just floors the gas or hit the breaks, run thru red lights. Everyone just rushing to get somewhere. It's finally nice to go slower and enjoy the time, and not get stressed about it.
- I have started volunteer work. It really opens your eyes to how fortunate we are. Yes we worked hard and saved hard. I am just saying that to retire early with a pension or savings or health insurance, we are very lucky.
- been married 30 years. Kids are out on their own, we both have time now. It's like being kids again. Let's go to the movies, how about a bite to eat at this new restaurant, I heard a good concert at the university, .... It's fun.

So overall I would recommend retirement

Best to all my FIRE's.
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Old 02-22-2015, 08:57 AM   #31
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All five for me, too. I might add that there's no way I could work another job.
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:14 AM   #32
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this was a very pleasant surprise
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:19 AM   #33
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Yes to all 5 for me. My retirement in September of last year was a bit traumatic for me because even though I knew I could do it at any time, it got so toxic that my body really shut down and I felt like I was pushed out the door. It has taken me a lot of time to detox. I think I am just about there.

I really needed to catch up on sleep! Before I was relying on some pretty heavy duty (not recommended) sleep aids. I weaned myself off them easily and still slept 10 - 11 hours per night for the first 4 months. While it felt great, I was starting to wonder if this was my new normal. Now that it is getting lighter out I sleep 8 hours per night with no alarms and feel great. I love being well rested.

About 3 months into ER I had an MD appt about 3 miles away from my house at 8AM. I was amazed at how annoyed I was to have to be anywhere at a particular time, especially in morning traffic! I really like an unstructured schedule. In a few months (after a Europe trip) I plan to check to in to volunteering at a great cat shelter, all volunteer run close to home. I know many people who volunteer there and it is a cause that is very important to me. It is also known for treating volunteers well. I hope I can force myself to commit to a few hours 1 day per week!

Time does fly! I forget to wear my watch and have to remind myself what day of the week it is. DH joined me in ER 1 month ago and that is helping me to settle in as well.

The bottom line.....there is no going back to work. We are keeping the budget tight the first year likely - 1.5% WR just to see how this first year works. It is pretty much the same spending we did while working but we'll have to pick up health insurance next month. It doesn't feel like deprivation since my time is now my own. I highly recommend ER.
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:14 AM   #34
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3 weeks into ER and my surprises are:
1. How little I miss work.
2. How rest deprived I have been for years.
3. How easily I can fill my days.
4. How quickly the week goes by.
5. How little I am interested in making time commitments that don't align with unstructured days.
+1 to all this (I'm also 3 weeks in), except for #1! I miss work exactly as much as I expected to, which is to say, not at all.
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:23 AM   #35
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When people ask us what we do all day, we start with your #5. We sleep 8 hours a night. And follow it by - we rarely hurry through anything any more.

Good list.
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Old 02-22-2015, 03:22 PM   #36
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I didn't think I'd be as good at doing nothing as I turned out to be.
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Good point. I never would have thought that I could be so happy puttering around and not doing much of anything.
I wondered about that too but found that, with practice, I finally have it down pretty good. But there is still room for improvement so I'm directing my creative energies to developing new ways to take more time to do less.
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Old 02-22-2015, 03:24 PM   #37
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Time does fly! I forget to wear my watch and have to remind myself what day of the week it is.
Which brings up another revelation: TGIF becomes TGIM. Instead of looking forward to the weekend, you look forward to the start of the workweek, when the roads and stores aren't crowded.
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:48 PM   #38
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One month into ER, I posted the three things that most surprised me. I’ve now updated that list and expanded the items to five:
+1 Excellent!
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Old 02-22-2015, 05:34 PM   #39
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I only had one surprise, and that was how much I enjoy having each day be mine.
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Old 02-22-2015, 07:20 PM   #40
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Which brings up another revelation: TGIF becomes TGIM. Instead of looking forward to the weekend, you look forward to the start of the workweek, when the roads and stores aren't crowded.
+1


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