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Any Regrets?
Old 05-17-2012, 09:01 PM   #1
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Any Regrets?

OK, I don’t know if this is a taboo subject, but I need to know if anyone that has taken ER has any regrets for doing so. I am also interested as to why you may have these regrets.
This forum has shown me that I am financially capable of taking the ER plunge but I have this nagging feeling that I may regret it. Let’s face it; we spend our lives envisioning ourselves elsewhere. When we were kids, we wished we were older. When we were older, we wished we could be adults. As adults, we wished we had more money. We’ve got a few bucks, we want to retire. Seems to me that we spend too much time living in the future. I can’t help but recall the old adage; “Be careful what you wish for” Sorry if I am being too introspective but I would appreciate your insights.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:11 PM   #2
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I'm not ER yet. But say you ERed and then regret, not a big deal start working again.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:14 PM   #3
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Not a regret but an observation. Many people identify and place some degree of self value/worth to the job/position they hold or held when working. Being an A type personality it took me some time to disengage from that flawed perception.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:16 PM   #4
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I think the possibility of regret is one of the sources of "one more year" working for many people. If I were to ER for a few years and regret it, I would find it very difficult to return to the kind of work I do now or the kind of working income I enjoy now. I would regret that if I miscalculated and found myself needing to work again.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:27 PM   #5
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No regrets at all and already have been retired for more than 1.5 years. Having said that, I did achieve what I wanted with my career both in terms of financial and status. I did consider whether I would lose my self-esteem, identity or importance once I resign but that did not happen and I blended into being a homemaker and many other ER activities very smoothly. It surprised me a lot but I guess working till 50 is the max and I just did not look back. So, no regrets at all.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Islandtraveler View Post
OK, I don’t know if this is a taboo subject, but I need to know if anyone that has taken ER has any regrets for doing so. I am also interested as to why you may have these regrets.
This forum has shown me that I am financially capable of taking the ER plunge but I have this nagging feeling that I may regret it. Let’s face it; we spend our lives envisioning ourselves elsewhere. When we were kids, we wished we were older. When we were older, we wished we could be adults. As adults, we wished we had more money. We’ve got a few bucks, we want to retire. Seems to me that we spend too much time living in the future. I can’t help but recall the old adage; “Be careful what you wish for” Sorry if I am being too introspective but I would appreciate your insights.
So true... and now that I am retired, I wish I was immortal because I am enjoying life so much more than ever before.

(No, I personally have no regrets, except that I did not retire sooner.)

The three books listed by Midpack in this post, Mid life crisis? (especially the Clyatt and Zelinski books) have been cited by many here as being very helpful in coping with the psychological adjustment to retirement. I never had to read them, but I kept them in mind when I was newly retired "just in case".
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:28 PM   #7
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Just ER'd last December. No regrets at all. Best thing I have ever done, but my work/career had only been one small part of my self-identity for many years.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:14 PM   #8
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OK, I don’t know if this is a taboo subject, but I need to know if anyone that has taken ER has any regrets for doing so. I am also interested as to why you may have these regrets.
My biggest "regret" is that I still struggle to manage my time.

Every day I run out of daylight before I run out of things I want to do.

Spouse recently wrapped up a 150-day boss job. She hated it. It was the right thing to do, and a lot of things got done right, but she still hated it. She's not going to make that choice again.

It's like flying first class and then having to go sit back in coach.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:23 PM   #9
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I do regret ERing in 2006. I regret not ERing earlier. So many things to do and not enough time to do them all. Maybe I am getting much slower as I age. Who cares, I'm FIREd.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:57 PM   #10
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Two years in, and no regrets other than not saving, investing, and retiring sooner.
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:02 AM   #11
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While I certainly miss many things that I did and people that I w*rked with, after making the adjustment (between 1-3 years for me) and settling in to ER, it is such a better and healthier place to be.
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:12 AM   #12
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When I first entered the full time w*rking world, I saw that the traditional retirement age was 65, so I set myself the goal of retiring at 55.

As it turned out, I made it right on target, and have been delighted every day since.
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:25 AM   #13
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Just into my 6th year. I regret not saving more and faster so that I could have retired before age 54.
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:45 AM   #14
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I just turned 49 and I have been ERed for 3.5 years. I have no regrets whatsoever. Had I retired earlier, it would have beena little tougher financially but not impossible. Had I retired, say, one year later, I would have been at best slightly better financially because ERing during the economic downturn in late 2008 was a huge benefit to me I did not foresee, a benefit which would have eroded some had I done the "one more year" thing others often mention around here.

If you had asked me in 2005, for example, when I thought I could retire, I would have answered age 55 or maybe a few years earlier. But things rapidly fell into place in 2006-2008 so my timetable accelerated a lot, enabling me to ER in late 2008.
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:45 AM   #15
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Regrets? I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention...
No, not really. As others have said, I tried not to identify myself by my job, so I'm still the same, with much less angst.
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:43 AM   #16
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I've been out six years now - it gets better every year
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:24 AM   #17
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Coming up on the three year anniversary. Regrets? None!
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:40 AM   #18
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In good company with the class of 06, my only regret is that I love being a volunteer Firefighter in retirement, I think I would have liked to have make a career of it.
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandtraveler View Post
This forum has shown me that I am financially capable of taking the ER plunge but I have this nagging feeling that I may regret it. Let’s face it; we spend our lives envisioning ourselves elsewhere. When we were kids, we wished we were older. When we were older, we wished we could be adults. As adults, we wished we had more money. We’ve got a few bucks, we want to retire. Seems to me that we spend too much time living in the future. I can’t help but recall the old adage; “Be careful what you wish for” Sorry if I am being too introspective but I would appreciate your insights.
All the answers will be different of course. I've only been retired for 11 months, but so far I'd call it a draw, there were/are advantages and disadvantages to working and not IMO. I've spelled them out before, though they may be of no use to anyone else. And that may well change in time, I'm just enjoying the journey, can't know where it will go (I'd rather live in the present).

I have no regrets about retiring from my first career, I was beyond ready to move on. But when I retired I knew that I could start over in another career if I wanted to. I also knew that resuming my old career would be almost impossible, you just don't re-enter as an exec in the industry I was in after retiring. Being FI was always far more important to me than ER.

You may have heard the adage "it's not enough to retire from something, you need to have something to retire to" - that's very important IMO. Some people adjust without any firm plan with great results, some need to really give it some thought to identify what they rather be doing, and of course others fall somewhere in between. If you have no idea what you'll do when retired, it's not a long vacation, it might be a red flag. That's my big concern with these threads, some people come back with definite answers - yet in most cases they hardly know the OP or other members. I'd read the ones that explain their experience, I'd be very wary of any that recommend what you should do. We're all different.

I wrote out a bucket list of about 70 items, it's what I needed to be comfortable with actually pulling the plug. Happily I really haven't had to rely on it much so far. W2R already linked to the books (above) that I found helpful in that period between FI and later ER. The Get-A-Life Tree exercise in the Zelinski book is a good way to develop a bucket list if you don't know where to start.

Only you can decide, best of luck...make it a good experience. If you have reservations, I'd sure try to come to grips with them before pulling the plug.

My 2¢, at a discount.
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:10 AM   #20
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I agree that always living in the future is kind of futile. Eventually, you run out of future! My situation is a little different. I didn't willingly envision myself as an employed person. I had to work, so that was that. Also, work itself was never a problem. I like to work hard, whether in school, at work, or at my home pursuits.

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.

I look forward to retiring before the work-related battles between my native integrity and my survival instinct pull me apart.

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.Let’s face it; we spend our lives envisioning ourselves elsewhere. When we were kids, we wished we were older. When we were older, we wished we could be adults. As adults, we wished we had more money. We’ve got a few bucks, we want to retire. Seems to me that we spend too much time living in the future.
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