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Any workaholics able to hang it up?
Old 02-11-2014, 08:32 AM   #1
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Any workaholics able to hang it up?

My wife and I are on track to become FI in 5-10 years and are most excited about the freedom it will bring. She enjoys what she does for work (for the most part), is very driven, has climbed the corporate ladder but the intensity of her job and hours can be overwhelming.

She could try to cut back on her job and possibly take a pay cut or keep climbing the corporate ladder and we'll become FI sooner. However, I’m wondering if once we're FI, she’ll be able to call it quits. I’m not even sure if I’ll be able to call it quits completely myself (will probably want to have some hobby income or do contract work), but having the flexibility to do so would be incredible.

Anyway, considering this forum, I'm sure the feedback will lean heavily towards retiring early but am curious to hear some responses nevertheless.
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:10 AM   #2
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I've only been out of the megacorp for two weeks, and already I've agreed to meet a small business owner to do some consulting work. I don't consider myself a workaholic, and don't need the money (in fact I can't afford to make much or I'll shoot my subsidy in the foot), but it sounded like fun!
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:28 AM   #3
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Never been a workaholic, so...
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:33 AM   #4
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Two thoughts:

1) 5-10 yrs is a long ways away. You don't know what you will be thinking and feeling about the work and post retirement then.

2) You don't suddenly become a different person when you retire. You become FI. Whatever energy you've got has to and needs to be channelled into something else. You are not only retiring from something, you are retiring to something. That said, you should have or develop some interests outside of w*rk.
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:52 AM   #5
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You have to think about what your going to do rather than what you used to do when you retire. So, do you have a hobby that you'de like to expand, can you spend time with a Charity that needs your help, could you teach a college business class?
If you don't know what you want to do in retirement you may get bored and frustrated. There are a lot of good classes you can take in the next few years. But, retirement without a plan just hasn't worked for my friends.......hopefully, I have enough on my agenda to stay busy doing what I WANT to do rather than doing what others tell me I HAVE to do.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:03 PM   #6
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I have concerns about DH being able to actually retire. We are set to head to a life of kayaking, fishing and hiking in 18 months, and will probably do some volunteer maintenance on the Appalachian Trail, or one of the many public trails that are nearby. He mentions volunteering in other ways, but I envision that as leading to another 70 hour work week, but this time without the pay. I am looking forward to having time for a fantastic garden. Might need to spend all our time fending of the deer and the bears, though!

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Old 02-11-2014, 12:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
My wife and I are on track to become FI in 5-10 years and are most excited about the freedom it will bring. She enjoys what she does for work (for the most part), is very driven, has climbed the corporate ladder but the intensity of her job and hours can be overwhelming.

She could try to cut back on her job and possibly take a pay cut or keep climbing the corporate ladder and we'll become FI sooner. However, I’m wondering if once we're FI, she’ll be able to call it quits. I’m not even sure if I’ll be able to call it quits completely myself (will probably want to have some hobby income or do contract work), but having the flexibility to do so would be incredible.

Anyway, considering this forum, I'm sure the feedback will lean heavily towards retiring early but am curious to hear some responses nevertheless.

In 5-10 years, you will be that much older and your attitude may change. I have always been a believer in the candle that burns the brightest burns the fastest. If you really worried about being a workaholic, take the next 5-10 years to burn yourself out. I did it in three.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:18 PM   #8
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7 - 8 years ago, I still cared about my megacorp, and career. Since then, my company was bought out by even bigger megacorp, and my career has deteriorated into a job. I can say with definitive authority that I am no longer a workaholic. Things can change.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:37 PM   #9
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With "Workoholism", some have success quitting cold turkey, others do better by weaning down, and some claim they enjoy it so much they never give it up. I generally favor weaning, but in some situations it's tough to cut back without risking loosing the j#b completely. Some cliques of "workoholics" seem to despise anyone attempting to control their affliction. In that case, might w#rk another 5-10 before continuing "workaholic" pace by volunteering with adjustments from there as you wish.
Sounds like you've got time & resources to consider options and plan accordingly.
Good luck!
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:06 PM   #10
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Well, why worry now when you can put it off to later?
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:46 PM   #11
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i am a "cilohakrow", that is workaholic spelled backwards because I am the opposite, in fact I am pretty laid back.

I retire from a MegaCorp where the workaholic was not only the norm but it was almost required. Way too many people retired then died of a heart attack within a year or two. A workaholic needs something in their life to stir those competitive juices and reinforce their personal identity, part time consulting or business is often the answer.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:42 PM   #12
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I just spoke with a good friend and former colleague who just got laid off from his middle management job with a fairly prominent and growing company. He was with them over 6 years and had 30 people reporting into him. He was very loyal and passionate about his company but a recent management change led to a reorganization that included him being walked out of the building last Friday. He was similarly laid off from the company he worked for prior to this one.

In this day and age I don't see much point in being a workaholic for any company or job per se, and I think if one is so inclined he/she should channel that energy toward personal goals such as financial independence, family, etc. It is sad to see so many people I know spending the best years of their lives on companies and careers only to be tossed aside like an old newspaper.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:54 PM   #13
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In this day and age I don't see much point in being a workaholic for any company or job per se, and I think if one is so inclined he/she should channel that energy toward personal goals such as financial independence, family, etc. It is sad to see so many people I know spending the best years of their lives on companies and careers only to be tossed aside like an old newspaper.
If pay is proportional to work, that is one thing. If w*rkaholism is required just to keep a j*b, well, uh, nope...

Of course, I never really wanted to be a manager, or move up the ladder very far, precisely because of the soul-sucking requirements, which often aren't matched with incentives. Of course, those with beau coup stock options, who received large bonuses, and big salaries, might disagree...
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:29 PM   #14
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Of course, those with beau coup stock options, who received large bonuses, and big salaries, might disagree...
I agree .
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:15 PM   #15
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I would not describe myself as a workaholic, but I am definitely a driven person. I have only been out of a cube for 3 weeks and I have already unwittingly tried to turn a voluntary pursuit into a job. I am stepping back and trying to reassess. I imagine this will take time.
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:26 PM   #16
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In 5-10 years, you will be that much older and your attitude may change. I have always been a believer in the candle that burns the brightest burns the fastest. If you really worried about being a workaholic, take the next 5-10 years to burn yourself out. I did it in three.
Loved my job......the whole career. But fully, 150%, unequivocally burned myself out. Have NEVER regretted ER. So far, it's meant 18 months of making up for all the fun I missed while grading essays, writing curriculum, running meetings, worrying about individual students and/or teachers, jumping through yet another hoop created by the state dept. of ed.

Succeeding in the field required full workaholism for 34 years.

There was little to no time for a personal life. Now, that's all I do. Live.

(I'll be grateful for as many years of this as I can get!)

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Old 02-13-2014, 10:43 AM   #17
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I likewise define 'workaholic' as simply meaning someone that is driven. That drive will not go away in ER, it will simply, ideally, be directed elsewhere. I think my DH and I are pretty good examples of former workaholics who are now ERaholics. We are just as driven in our ER pursuits as we were in our pre-ER jobs.
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Old 02-13-2014, 05:18 PM   #18
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I am off the mega corp tread mill for 6 weeks and finally beginning to get the hang of things. I love the freedom and the low stress and not dealing with arrogant bosses. I will never go back!
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Old 02-13-2014, 06:46 PM   #19
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I was self-employed for 13 years in the construction industry. I worked long hours and when I got home I still worked on paperwork on getting ready for the next day. Every waking moment I thought about work, and I did such a great job, my boss had me doing a lot of his job also since I did it better than he did. When I was able to go on vacation, all I wanted to do was lay down as I was exhausted.

I burned out twice to the point I couldn't move and my muscles started to spasm. I basically didn't have a life and also didn't have time to spend the money I was making so we saved 75% of my net income every year. I loved my job but there was long hours, it was physically demanding/exhausting and the pressure was very high.

After 13 years of this, my wife sat me down and said, "we can't do this anymore", I wasn’t home much and when I was, my mind was elsewhere. I had no idea I was a workaholic but she gave me choice, work or our marriage. I choose the marriage and retired at age 49.

The decision was instant, I finished my last contract and stayed home and went into depression. It took over a year for me to start getting use to the idea but I slowly got to know my kids again and 8 years later, the best decision I ever made. Our marriage is stronger than it has been in years and I enjoy all the time I get to spend with my 2 kids.

In a nutshell…………. in the end family came first.

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Old 02-20-2014, 11:36 AM   #20
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Loved my job......the whole career. But fully, 150%, unequivocally burned myself out. Have NEVER regretted ER. So far, it's meant 18 months of making up for all the fun I missed while grading essays, writing curriculum, running meetings, worrying about individual students and/or teachers, jumping through yet another hoop created by the state dept. of ed.

Succeeding in the field required full workaholism for 34 years.

There was little to no time for a personal life. Now, that's all I do. Live.

(I'll be grateful for as many years of this as I can get!)

LitGal

I know from whence you speak. Being in education can burn you out quicker than anything you can name (depending on the position and the person). All the things you speak of is why I jumped ship. And some of those reasons you name has forced many educators into early retirement. (as well as the new pension reform). The ones I've spoken to are so happy and wish they had done it sooner.

Sometimes it's best to get out while you can and enjoy life. A friend of mine kept on deferring retirement waiting for the next raise so that her check would be bigger; every year it was another excuse. It wasn't my business but it was making me mad. Here she was with more than enough time to retire and I envied her the opportunity as I wanted to retire so so bad. She finally did retire but within a few months her husband died and she now regrets she did not spend that time with him.
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