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Another one "gets it"
Old 01-11-2006, 10:27 AM   #1
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Another one "gets it"

A longtime family friend, retired Navy with a follow-on career, lost his Japan job a few months before the end of the contract. Long story fraught with personality conflicts but the military bosses decided that they'd rather reorganize to get rid of his contract billet instead of having to deal directly with him or his company. So the job was gone and no employment alternatives presented themselves.

He wasn't feeling quite ready to leave the workforce so he asked us about Hawaii employment opportunities. I gave him the local economy/jobs rundown, apologized for sending him over to "The Dark Side", and then made amends by describing his ER options.

He decided to look into a few job recommendations but I don't think he ever contacted any of our friends. Then he admitted that he was kinda enjoying getting up in the morning without having any deadlines. His (employed) girlfriend was very happy to come home to cooked meals and a clean house, let alone someone who was no longer exhausted & stressed.

A few weeks later he said that he'd checked out the ER websites and introduced his Smith-Barney financial advisor to FIRECalc. They came up with a 93% success rating. BTW Dory, Smith-Barney is probably abusing the heck outta your FIRECalc server and owes you a big frosty-beverage payment.

On Monday I got the following one-line e-mail from him:
>>Please tell me again why I "need" to go back to work?<<

My answer was:
>>You need to go back to work because:
- if you can't go to an office then you'll have to be responsible for your own entertainment.
- "you're just too young to be put out to pasture like that"!
- you'll be bored & unfulfilled.
and, my personal favorite,
- you have to have an answer for the question "But waddya DO all day?!?"<<

His response:
>>So, let me see if I have this right:
At my age, without any bills, already drawing a pretty good retirement check from Uncle Sam's Canoe Club and with some good investment returns due to kick in a little under one year from now...................... I should just blow this pop stand and become a real human being Is that about right<<

I think he gets it!
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Re: Another one "gets it"
Old 01-11-2006, 10:33 AM   #2
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Re: Another one "gets it"

Nords,

Please stop converting people. I need spenders and workers in the U.S. economy to pay taxes and buy things. How is my portfolio going to support me in ER otherwise?

(this is sarcasm)
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Re: Another one "gets it"
Old 01-11-2006, 10:42 AM   #3
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Re: Another one "gets it"

Sorry, I figured that eventually he'll have to leave Japan and start spending money in the U.S.

Maybe I should make him buy his own darn longboard...
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Re: Another one "gets it"
Old 01-12-2006, 09:02 AM   #4
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Re: Another one "gets it"

Nice work Nords. Don't worry, he'll find something to do. Either that, or his girlfriend will find something for them to do...
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Re: He got it.
Old 02-10-2006, 02:53 PM   #5
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Re: He got it.

From my friend's recent e-mail I believe I've identified a highly accurate ER readiness indicator:

"I forgot to tell you that one of the last things I did before 'wiggling my toes in the sand', which further convinced me that I should just 'get on with it' was to take off my watch. The only time now that I wear the thing is when I'm going out on a date, and that's only because I try to make it as close to on time as I can."

He says he turned down an offer for a job in Singapore because he's too busy trying to explain to his buddies what he does all day...

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More progress...
Old 05-23-2006, 11:33 AM   #6
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More progress...

Got another e-mail from my old shipmate as he feels his way along:
"Spent my really first day with my watch off, list of things I wanted to do, and just got on with it!!! What a great day! Thanks!"

I should mention that he was in Navy aviation. Most aviators would prefer to stroll naked in public rather than be without a wristwatch, so this is a huge step forward.

Shift of focus on the same ER subject:
Spouse just got back from Bangkok where her team was helping with a military exercise. This year it pretty much involved sitting in the back of a bus waiting for problems to crop up (your tax dollars at work, folks), so she had a lot of time to talk story[s/] let senior foreign military officers practice their English with her.

It's interesting to watch foreign cultures pop their circuit breakers over her. She's a naval (*pop*) officer (*pop*)(*pop*) with a lot of experience in meteorology (*pop*), oceanography (*pop*), and submarine warfare (*pop*)(*pop*). We live in Hawaii and we've lived overseas so she knows a lot of weird cultures & foods and how to surf (*pop*). The Navy Reserve is her only job (*pop*) and we "only" have one kid (*pop*)(*pop*). I used to work but now I'm retired so I stay home with the kid, freeing her to pursue her career (*pop*)(*pop*)(*pop*). Add in the potential language/vocabulary barriers and their unfamiliarity with American lifestyles and it gets very confusing. I think she's single-handedly destroyed the careers of two of the PRC's HUMINT collection officers who will not be believed by anyone in their chain of command.

The ER subject came up so often that one of her shipmates said "tell me more." We've learned to move cautiously on the ER subject since many are initially enthused but somehow never get around to doing any of the things that worked for us, and a year later they're asking the same questions.

We should already have realized this, but it quickly became clear that the level of ER knowledge on this board exceeds 99.9% of the general public. We just didn't expect that the deficiency would include fellow naval officers with whom we have much in common. Spouse was talking with someone of the same general age, background, career experience, and lifestyle-- a couple "just like us" in many ways. While the other couple was earning a fine dual-career living, had a home and only mortgage debt, no kids, and was saving whatever wasn't spent, they'd just never thought about how to put their money to work. They didn't know:
- how much they spend a year
- that Social Security would estimate their benefits
- how to calculate the amount of their pensions
- how much they'd need each year in retirement as various pensions kicked in
- the difference between a conventional & a Roth IRA, let alone conversions
- their portfolio diversification
- volatility
- their mutual fund expenses
- SWR, let alone a 4% SWR
- the interest rate on their mortgage (used to know but forgot)

I could go on for another paragraph about not knowing when they'd be eligible for SS benefits, SS's military wage credits, the options & expenses of the Thrift Savings Plan, the various military retirement systems, wage vs CPI indexing, and the other trivia that we discuss so intently here. (Spouse says "The other ERs would be proud of my preaching!") It wasn't a lack of intellect or ability-- it was just a total lack of interest. She was literally blissfully ignorant.

The common refrain was "We haven't saved enough money to retire." (If you don't know how much you spend or save, then how the #$%^ do you know?!?) I think the biggest flash of light came when spouse pointed out that the other couple would both have military pensions (with a COLA), lifetime medical care, AND Social Security. Their savings didn't have to last the rest of their lives-- just the 15 years after his retirement until her pension kicked in.

Ironically her husband is another highly analytical INTJ engineer who, if he pulled his head out of his career for a week's leave, would grab these issues and shake them out like a pit bull with a chew toy. (She's no slouch either, so she's probably going to do that on her own when she gets back home.) He'd probably do a better job than I have and point out a few logical inconsistencies in my thinking. Again it's not a lack of capability, just a near-total absence of awareness.

So here we go corrupting other people again, in a good way! I'm loaning out my umpteenth copy of Bob Clyatt's book. They're going to try to slog through "Four Pillars". They might actually start tracking their spending. Next time they're in Hawaii we're having them over for dinner overlooking the back lanai view, followed by a few frosty beverages over FIRECalc.

I'm not looking for a job, but I'm sure enjoying the consulting...
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Re: Another one "gets it"
Old 05-23-2006, 06:25 PM   #7
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Re: Another one "gets it"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Ironically her husband is another highly analytical INTJ engineer who, if he pulled his head out of his career for a week's leave, would grab these issues and shake them out like a pit bull with a chew toy. ... He'd probably do a better job than I have and point out a few logical inconsistencies in my thinking. Again it's not a lack of capability, just a near-total absence of awareness.
Scary similarities with what I have seen here. I think a lot of my former co-workers who are now retired were afraid to take a close look at their situation because ignorance is bliss. But, when some people were finally coerced by the pension system to just come in and see "what your possibilities are" they started coming back and turning their papers in right away. "Hell, I could have retired five years ago...I'm outta here".

There was an ER pandemic after people were hit in the face with reality.
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Re: He got it.
Old 05-23-2006, 08:19 PM   #8
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Re: He got it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
From my friend's recent e-mail I believe I've identified a highly accurate ER readiness indicator:

* * *"I forgot to tell you that one of the last things I did before 'wiggling my toes in the sand', which further convinced me that I* should just 'get on with it' was to take off my watch.* The only time now that I wear the thing is when I'm going out on a date, and that's only because I try to make it as close to on time as I can."
This is interesting to me. I always wear a watch; it is hard for me to imagine being without one.

HA
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Re: He got it.
Old 05-23-2006, 08:31 PM   #9
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Re: He got it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
This is interesting to me. I always wear a watch; it is hard for me to imagine being without one.
It's a very liberating experience, plus it's interesting to see just how bad we are at estimating time without help from our machine friends.
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Re: He got it.
Old 05-23-2006, 09:40 PM   #10
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Re: He got it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
This is interesting to me. I always wear a watch; it is hard for me to imagine being without one.
Except for airports and the occasional wait for my turn at a tae kwon do tournament, I haven't worn one in almost four years.
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Re: Another one "gets it"
Old 05-24-2006, 12:11 PM   #11
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Re: Another one "gets it"

About watches .. my battery went dead 15 years ago, and wore it anyways for 3months out of habit. I was tired of chasing down batterys for the thing, and also realized there were at least 5 time devices within a 3 foot radius of my work space

And Nords get this, I'm a Pilot.

Been flying under the radar without a watch for 15 years. The origanl premise for having one has long since faded from peoples memories. I have never been late, or missed anything due to a lack of a timepiece on my wrist. It is one less thing to lose, wind, recharge, or remind myself that it is 5 minutes later than when I last looked it.

Watches are overrated. It's like the phone. It's amazing how fast we react when the thing rings and how it 's a whole workshop on feeling anxiety by not answering the thing. Most folks I know, cannot let a phone just ring.
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Re: Another one "gets it"
Old 05-24-2006, 01:47 PM   #12
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Re: Another one "gets it"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris24
And Nords get this, I'm a Pilot.
Been flying under the radar without a watch for 15 years.
Interesting - I've not worn a watch since '97 exept for flying.
Do you have a clock or timer in your plane?
I need the clock/watch/timer at least to switch the fuel tanks and sometimes to tell FSS what time I took off to open a flight plan.

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Re: Another one "gets it"
Old 05-24-2006, 02:50 PM   #13
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Re: Another one "gets it"

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailor
Interesting - I've not worn a watch since '97 exept for flying.
Do you have a clock or timer in your plane?
I need the clock/watch/timer at least to switch the fuel tanks and sometimes to tell FSS what time I took off to open a flight plan.

Lets see, 2 chronograph clocks on the forwad dash. 2 set up in the navigation comp. 1 in the air ground link, 1 on the First officers wrist, and a boatload in the back of the airplane if desperate. (flights have been full these days). Have HF radios also to tune in the atomic clock if needed.

The thing is I have a hard time wearing anything on my appendages, whether it be jewlery, a tie, or the like. Took awhile for DW to get use to the idea of me not wearing a wedding ring, but relented when she realized I don't wear any jewlery or the like. For what ever reason it actualy hurts to wear a ring, watch etc. I do wear a tie when I have to, but very loosely. For awhile I did carry a pocket watch, but lost it somewhere on this planet, and realized I didn't even look at it that much. You would be amazed how good you get at aquiring an awareness of what time it is when needed. I am never late, and never keeping anyone waiting. You do get a good inner sense when it's "time".


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Re: Another one "gets it"
Old 05-24-2006, 02:51 PM   #14
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Re: Another one "gets it"

Not being ERed I still need a watch... but even when I do I will probably have one out of habit... *and it is not so I am tied to anything.. *I do like to be places on time and if I make an appointment with someone I expect them to be there and ME to be there.. *I will still do what I want and when I want... a watch does not change that at all.
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Re: Another one "gets it"
Old 05-24-2006, 02:55 PM   #15
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Re: Another one "gets it"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris24

Watches are overrated. It's like the phone. It's amazing how fast we react when the thing rings and how it 's a whole workshop on* feeling anxiety by not answering the thing. Most folks I know, cannot let a phone just ring.
Heh, ain't that the truth. My 2 YO daughter says "telephone!" at the first ring and gets quite upset if you don't answer. We have gotten to the point of pretending to answer after the telemarketer has gne to voicemail just to appease her.
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Re: Another one "gets it"
Old 05-24-2006, 07:28 PM   #16
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Re: Another one "gets it"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris24
The thing is I have a hard time wearing anything on my appendages, whether it be jewlery, a tie, or the like. Took awhile for DW to get use to the idea of me not wearing a wedding ring, but relented when she realized I don't wear any jewlery or the like.
The Navy had too many four-fingered mechanics for me to wear a wedding ring on active duty. (They used to publish before, during, & after photos in the safety magazines-- yecccch.) Now when I put it on I get an arched eyebrow from my spouse, as in "Big plans for tonight?"

Gonna have to wear my ring-knocker for the alma mater trip this summer. I'll probably lose it in some embarrassing location on the campus-- poetic justice after two decades of dragging it from one storage location to another.
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Re: Another one "gets it"
Old 05-24-2006, 08:55 PM   #17
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Re: Another one "gets it"

Quote:
I always wear a watch; it is hard for me to imagine being without one.
after many years of never being without one, i stopped wearing a watch about two years ago ... absolutely liberating!*
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