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Another classmate passes and reflections on SER
Old 08-18-2008, 07:25 AM   #1
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Another classmate passes and reflections on SER

I am just 44 and SERed at 43. Another high school class mate out of 363 passed away last week and one more is terminally ill now. I think our class has been lucky statistically since we have only lost four to date.

The last one was a very popular girl who was so kind and considerate to everyone thus the reason she was popular. She was married with two children. I really feel for her family. I know this is part of life but it does give one a reason to pause and reflect.

SER has been wonderful for me and my family. and news like this makes the summer we were able to spend together at the lake and our two week vacations during spring and fall break even more special. W*rking and planning enough to pull off SER was a trade of free time in our twenties and thirties for a future we could control instead of being at the mercy of Mega Cr*p. The risk was we might not have made it but the payoff now makes it so worth the effort.

As they say life is fatal so spend sometime with your family and do some good while you can and definitely find a way to ER!

Worked the plan and now living the Dream!
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:38 AM   #2
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A true observation.

In the obit section, we found that a classmate of my DW's (and a distant relative of mine) passed, at age 60 (our age) last week.

What really made me think is that the company I retired from last year (at age 59) just announced that they are relocating the local office. The option is to either transfer or lose your job and get termination benefits (for long time employees, it results in 6 months full pay and 6 months unemployment benefits).

My wife said that maybe I should had stayed. After thinking about it, I have to consider the idea in two sceneiros. The first being that if everybody "knew" and I was asked to stay an additional two years with the knowledge that I would get the "termination benefits" when I was employed, the answer would be simple - it would be "yes", primarily since I would not have yet known what retirement was like.

Now, after being retired a bit over a year, being past the "honeymoon period" of feeling that it is just a "long vacation", and getting a "schedule" that includes volunteer work, helping around the house (not much - but much more than when I was "traveling the world" for w*ork ) the question comes down to "would you give up two years of your "retirement life" to gain additonal income for a year.

The answer is simple. Today in retirement, I wake with a smile on my face (unlike the last 30+ years). Could I give up two years of retirement (replaced by continuing work for two years) for an additional year of (reduced) income? Nope! Realizing that life is short, and I was able to ER without any impact to my retirement income, I know I made the right decision (with absolutely no regrets).

- Ron

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Old 08-18-2008, 07:57 AM   #3
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fisherman, I am 37 and just lost a classmate last week, a lovely and sweet girl with a 6 year old son. Our school was small, with only 40 in my graduating class. I'd lost touch with her in the 20 years since high school, but like you, I feel the tug of mortality very strongly right now.
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:11 PM   #4
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During the first 15 years after graduation, we averaged 1 classmate death per year, out of a class of 427. Over the last 18 it has averaged 1 every 2-3 years. The odds seem to be looking better, but in reality most classmate deaths during the first 15 years were attributed mostly to stupidity (drug OD's, playing with 'supposed' unloaded guns, the inevitable "I ain't to drive to drunk", and of course home-made explosive devices) rather than natural causes or freak accidents (about 4). Over the last 18 years all of the deaths have been to natural causes, which is still bad....but at least it wasn't caused by self-inflicted stupidity.

May they all rest in peace.
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:55 PM   #5
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at 50 we've lost about a dozen out of i think about 130-150 of our class. i expect that percentage will be rising with greater acceleration as the years start to pass even faster.

just last night i was talking with a school chum who is early retiring and moving down here. he almost quit last year but then worried that he doesn't have enough (anyone here would think he is in excellent financial shape) and so went back to do a few more deals. now he's come to find he has potentially serious heart problems and the doc wants him to reduce the stress in his life.

better too early and cut expenses then make more money but retire too late.
"off with their heads"~~dr. joseph-ignace guillotin

"life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages."~~mark twain - letter to edward kimmitt 1901
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by fisherman View Post

As they say life is fatal so spend sometime with your family and do some good while you can and definitely find a way to ER!
Yes, you are speaking to the choir here, truer words were rarely typed.

Every once in a while I stop short and say to myself, "what would Sam think about this?" "Sam" was my best friend in High School, was sick with liver problems thru most of middle school, went into a research hospital at the end of our Sophomore year and died there at the end of our junior year. We were in a lot of clubs together, did a special volunteer project which was designed to help prevent auto accidents.

Almost 30 years later I was at mega-corp. when one of my bosses came back from sick leave after having a liver transplant. Coincidence? I couldn't help thinking that Sam somehow helped this guy live a few years longer.
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:59 PM   #7
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Right after graduating high school, a classmate died. I remember having conversations with him about the things we were going to do with our lives after high school. It breaks my heart thinking about the life he dreamed of but never had.

That was a real eye opener for me that life really could end at any moment. I remember thinking if I really was going to have another 60 or 70 years in my future.

Just one of my life experiences that keeps me focused on early retirement.
No man is free who is not master of himself. --- Epictetus
Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think). --- Guy Lombardo
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Old 08-18-2008, 06:21 PM   #8
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A coworker of mine was holding on for the retiree health insurance - her husband had a heart attack, then discovered he had cancer. Everyone told her to take a year-long leave of absence. She didn't want to, she was pushing through to complete her 20 years to get retiree health insurance. Sorry to say, her husband died two weeks after she retired. And a year later the corp. stopped health insurance for retirees.

It's all a big crapshoot anywho.
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:45 PM   #9
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All your responses help remind me why FIRE is such a desirable thing, even with $1000 monthly health insurance premiums paid out of pocket.

And I actually did have a classmate in high school die---literally work killed her! She had mono and was supposed to rest, but instead chose to push herself and worked her waitressing job as scheduled (as far as I know, just for extra spending money for extra clothes---don't think her family needed it). She died a week or two later.
“It is not a sign of good health to be well adjusted to a sick society”.------Krishnamurti
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:51 AM   #10
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SER is semi-early retirement? sorta- early retirement? Secure? stable? not finding it in the acronym thread and not sure of the meaning. Thanks
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:00 AM   #11
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No man is free who is not master of himself. --- Epictetus
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Old 08-21-2008, 05:19 AM   #12
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How suddenly things can change hit me a lot at work. A friend and mentor was killed by an armed robber. I "drew the short straw" and had to deliver the bad news to the parents of a 15-year-old boy killed in a car crash. Being at the scene of a wreck where a couple in their 60s were killed instantly in a head-on collision. And lots of others....

A friend I'd known since I was old enough to walk across the street died of a heart attack at age 49. A guy at work retired and died two weeks later.

So I'm expending a lot of time & energy at FIL's house doing maintenance on it that he deferred for decades because he didn't know how to do it. Basically just because it makes DW smile at me.
Tomorrow is not a given.

I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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