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Old 05-18-2012, 11:25 AM   #21
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I am a very honest person, and the price, for me, of the relentless social dishonesty that office life requires has been high. Even as a teenager, I knew this would be the case, because I'd already learned the high cost of "being myself" in high school. To survive, I adopted a false persona and lived a sort of half-life, pretending to like things I didn't like and dislike things I did like, until college, when for some reason I was finally free to be myself, for the most part. Then, work, and having to wear the full-body mask again. I don't know how many other people feel this way, since nobody talks about it.
Here's someone who is evidently having a somewhat similar experience.
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It's odd when I think of the arc of my life, from child to young woman to aging adult. First I was who I was. Then I didn't know who I was. Then I invented someone, and became her. Then I began to like what I'd invented. And finally I was what I was again. It turned out I wasn't alone in that particular progression. Anna Quindlen
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:50 AM   #22
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Well into my fifth year (retired Jan 2008) and no regrets here (except for the knee injury, skiing in 2011, but that isn't related to the retirement decision).
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:55 AM   #23
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Any Regrets?

Is this a trick question?

5+ years retired thus far, and "living a dream". I wish I had the nerve to do it earlier...
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:05 PM   #24
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Seven years of having escapted a Dilbert cartoon.
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:42 PM   #25
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Amen! Dilbert is funny because it's not far from real life.

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Old 05-18-2012, 12:43 PM   #26
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It was 2 years ago this month that I started seriously considering earlier ER, having for many years planned to ER at 58. Once I discovered we were already FI with a good cushion, it only took a few weeks to decide to go for it.

The only time I have had any serious regrets was a few months ago when I got caught up in the idea that my value as a person was less because I was no longer w*rking. I happened upon the Zelinski book during that time and after reading the first two chapters, it knocked some sense back into my crazy head and I was immediately happy again.

The stress reduction for me has been transformational. I'm still a type A but my husband and kids assure me I'm a lot easier to live with now.
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:01 PM   #27
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That's an interesting quote, and bears some resemblance to my feelings. Still, the quote sounds as if Anna was able to reconcile herself to her "reinvented" self. I never was able to do that.

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Here's someone who is evidently having a somewhat similar experience.
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:12 PM   #28
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OTOH:
If I had to do it all over again, I'd have gone the teacher/firefighter/city worker route.

After killing myself, back breaking post grad work, a life of saving and 25 years of business travel I find that my neighbors in the above vocations 1) retired earlier than me, 2) are living better than me, 3) have lifetime pensions that pay more than my 4% SWR and 4) have lifetime Cadillac health plans.

I'm not denigrating those jobs, but if I knew then what I know now....fully retire at 43 and maybe get another job with another pension at 63?

Not sure about other states, but here in Mass that's the game.

What a chump I was!!
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:16 PM   #29
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OTOH:
my neighbors in the above vocations 1) retired earlier than me, 2) are living better than me, 3) have lifetime pensions that pay more than my 4% SWR and 4) have lifetime Cadillac health plans.
My neighbors grass is always greener....

The question I am straggling with - do I have enough to ER and don't look at somebody's pensions.
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:29 PM   #30
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Wow, some great insights. This is a real thought provoking group. Thank You all for your responses. The general consensus appears to be that ER was the right move. I think I do need to explore the “life after” scenario a bit more but at the end of the day, I believe that I will enjoy reclaiming my own time.
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:39 PM   #31
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Wow, some great insights. This is a real thought provoking group. Thank You all for your responses. The general consensus appears to be that ER was the right move. I think I do need to explore the “life after” scenario a bit more but at the end of the day, I believe that I will enjoy reclaiming my own time.
Is it conceivable the consensus here could be otherwise? Those who regret retiring (early) aren't going to be active here (for long).

If you ask about buying a Hummer at hummer.org, I suspect the consensus would be overwhelmingly in favor of buying. The minority there who have regrets about buying a Hummer would be less likely to post because a) it would be admitting they'd made a mistake (people don't like to do so), b) the majority would override them and c) they wouldn't be members for long.
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:44 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by marko View Post
OTOH:
If I had to do it all over again, I'd have gone the teacher/firefighter/city worker route.
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My neighbors grass is always greener.....
That's a really good point. If I had taken any of those jobs as my career, I'd probably be a nervous wreck in these hard economic times, with local communities finding it so difficult to scrape up the necessary money to cover their pension obligations each year. Sure, most will probably find it somewhere but I would worry every time I listened to the news.
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:48 PM   #33
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Point well taken. I do think I will enjoy ER. I do not however, like Hummers!
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Old 05-18-2012, 01:51 PM   #34
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That's a really good point. If I had taken any of those jobs as my career, I'd probably be a nervous wreck in these hard economic times, with local communities finding it so difficult to scrape up the necessary money to cover their pension obligations each year. Sure, most will probably find it somewhere but I would worry every time I listened to the news.
Sacred cows here in Mass. Different world...nothing to worry about!

They actually have an expression here: "the DPS"...the dreaded private sector!

The OP was asking "any regrets?". That's mine. Again, what a chump I was!
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:33 AM   #35
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OTOH:
If I had to do it all over again, I'd have gone the teacher/firefighter/city worker route.

After killing myself, back breaking post grad work, a life of saving and 25 years of business travel I find that my neighbors in the above vocations 1) retired earlier than me, 2) are living better than me, 3) have lifetime pensions that pay more than my 4% SWR and 4) have lifetime Cadillac health plans.
It can be a bit of the "grass being greener". I worked as a police officer for 29 years and if I was 22 I'd do it again. At the time I didn't realize how high-risk that job is. Firefighters get killed/injured at about the same or higher rates than police officers. The county I worked for still has it's AAA bond rating and is one of the few with no unfunded pension liability so I'm not concerned about the pension.

I'm also very much aware that ~20-25% go out on permanent disability because of injuries at work. So at the most basic level I feel lucky that I can still walk across the room and get myself a glass of water without being in pain. I know a bunch of people who can't.

So if you end up being one of the ones on crutches or in a wheelchair for the next 30 years it isn't such a good choice.

There are all kinds of risk. I took a physical risk and got lucky. Sometimes I think it's nothing more than that. Just luck.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:39 AM   #36
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To survive, I adopted a false persona and lived a sort of half-life, pretending to like things I didn't like and dislike things I did like, until college, when for some reason I was finally free to be myself, for the most part. Then, work, and having to wear the full-body mask again. I don't know how many other people feel this way, since nobody talks about it.


I can dig it.
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:44 AM   #37
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My wife and I retired at age 56. The first six months were difficult for me. It took me that long to adjust to the lack of structure, pressure of deadlines, expectation of finishing the day with something concrete accomplished, etc. The other adjustment was getting used to so much "togetherness" with my wife. It all really does take some getting used to. But after getting over those "humps", I have never had a single moment of regret in the 11 years we've been retired, not one!
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:53 AM   #38
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OTOH:
If I had to do it all over again, I'd have gone the teacher/firefighter/city worker route.
After killing myself, back breaking post grad work, a life of saving and 25 years of business travel I find that my neighbors in the above vocations 1) retired earlier than me, 2) are living better than me, 3) have lifetime pensions that pay more than my 4% SWR and 4) have lifetime Cadillac health plans.
You aren't going to have any neighbors who were severely injured or even killed in those occupations... a different sort of survivor bias!
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:32 AM   #39
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That's an interesting quote, and bears some resemblance to my feelings. Still, the quote sounds as if Anna was able to reconcile herself to her "reinvented" self. I never was able to do that.

Amethyst
I hadn't read the post re: Anna. But I immediately thought of Anna Karenina, who clearly could not reconcile herself to her social role.

I think your experience is very common- people, especially girls, hate high school, feel much freer in college, like work for a few years for the money and the autonomy, then begin to be ground down by the required role-playing and the cutthroat politics.

Boys are usually not as hard on one another in high school as girls are. But work, especially today, often requires much of same soul sacrifice. One thing I think tends to make it easier for men is that we tend to be aggressive, and feel quite free to actively hate our oppressors usually with little or no guilt.

Ha
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:20 PM   #40
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OTOH:
If I had to do it all over again, I'd have gone the teacher/firefighter/city worker route.

After killing myself, back breaking post grad work, a life of saving and 25 years of business travel I find that my neighbors in the above vocations 1) retired earlier than me, 2) are living better than me, 3) have lifetime pensions that pay more than my 4% SWR and 4) have lifetime Cadillac health plans.

I'm not denigrating those jobs, but if I knew then what I know now....fully retire at 43 and maybe get another job with another pension at 63?

Not sure about other states, but here in Mass that's the game.

What a chump I was!!
Maybe, but if you were drawn to those professions, you would have gone into them. The good teachers that I know have a calling for their professions, and becoming a fire-fighter (or police officer) is not easy, never miind the actual job. And "city workers" cover such a range of jobs but just like the private sector, they're subject to office politics (pun intended) and budget cuts, etc.
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