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Old 06-05-2014, 01:56 PM   #21
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I may be jaded right now. One of my former co-w*rkers just died of a heart attack at age 51. I've seen far too many go at even younger ages. So no I don't feel guilty. I can't help anyone from the other side, I firmly believe stress is a major contributor to disease.
That was one thing that motivated me. I was showing physical symptoms of stress, including insomnia and chronic shoulder pains, despite being in very good shape overall and at least an hour of cardio every day. If you're under a lot of mental stress at age 35, you'll probably survive it. I'm 61. It just wasn't worth the gamble.
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:03 PM   #22
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I could stay and work till I am 75 and bring more money in and help out many in our immediate family as well as give more to charities, so many of them deserving. Just the idea of no longer working after 34 yrs, I almost feel that I am being selfish and should help others.

Curious how others felt.

Thanks
I'm not retired (yet) but I can guarantee I won't feel this way. I've never felt compelled to work to provide for people other than myself (I'm single, so don't have any dependents to support).

As people have mentioned here, there are other ways to support causes you're interested in (church, charities, etc) than by working and giving them money. Many places have a need for talent and peoples' time, not just cash.

My advice...don't ever let somebody else, or guilt, compel you to continue working if you want to hang it up and enjoy more in life than sitting behind a desk. That cartoon people like to post here definitely rings true...the one where the guy with a briefcase is rushing to work saying "Time = Money" and the tombstone of the dead guy in the cemetery next to him reads "Time > Money".

Every day spent working is one less day you'll ever have to enjoy life. That's why I plan on getting out as soon as I can. People weren't meant to spend the best years of their life sitting in cubes. Just my .02
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:31 PM   #23
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I agree that there are plenty of other ways to help people besides money. I am still working, but I volunteer a bit. I'd love to volunteer more once I retire. Find a way to give your time and expertise to an organization/cause that you love, and I would think your guilt would disappear in a heartbeat.
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:46 PM   #24
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I'm retiring from the fed in less than a month, under CSRS. Unlike you, I'm not at the peak of my profession, though. However, after 37 1/2 yrs, with the CSRS pension plus my military reserves pension that will come on line fairly soon, plus my TSP account, I'll get a pretty good pay boost after I retire, in terms of net income. Wife will work another 3 yrs, which will allow additional contributions to her 401k, allow us to contribute to our Roth IRA's, and will also allow us to delay tapping my TSP for at least that long, if we even decide to do that at all.

Congrats on your upcoming fed retirement. Sounds like you've got the bases covered and know what you want to do. Best of luck going forward. Oh...by the way, I don't anticipate feeling any guilt whatsoever!
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:49 PM   #25
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I could stay and work till I am 75 and bring more money in and help out many in our immediate family as well as give more to charities, so many of them deserving. Just the idea of no longer working after 34 yrs, I almost feel that I am being selfish and should help others.

Curious how others felt.

Thanks
I used to feel that way. But after sharing my wealth and free time with a number of family members over the years, it seems to me that whatever help I can provide is never enough. I never feel much gratitude either. People seem to quickly become entitled to my resources. So a line has to be drawn, and I don't feel guilty about it.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:20 PM   #26
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Should people who are successful investors feel guilty too? There are other people who lost their shirt buying the wrong stocks, or kept buying high selling low.

I dunno. I do not feel guilty, but I hope that I will stay grateful.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:30 PM   #27
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With the market going up like today, I feel fear, not guilt. The more this goes on, the more I sense déjà vu.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:30 PM   #28
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Yes, I used to feel guilt about "retiring". But I think there was some fear mixed in too. Fear of having to define who I would be in my new life. Before, it was easy to just let the job define me.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:36 PM   #29
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....Here's my question to those who retired. Did you feel guilty about retiring??

I could stay and work till I am 75 and bring more money in and help out many in our immediate family as well as give more to charities, so many of them deserving. Just the idea of no longer working after 34 yrs, I almost feel that I am being selfish and should help others.....
Not at all. I felt fortunate to have play my cards so I was postured to be able to retire.

I help others in other ways. I am now free to do small projects here and there for friends and family and derive satisfaction from that.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:37 PM   #30
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About giving up the work that I loved and got well-paid for it, I did not feel guilty, but greedy. It was good money I was making. What to do with that extra money? Well, just add that to the stash to watch it grow is satisfying. Without it, it is more difficult to set new high-water marks, as I found out.

And about charity gifts, last year that added 0.5% to our WR. Did I do that to ease my conscience? Maybe it was. Now I sleep very well.

"Conscience is the part that hurts, while the rest of your body feels so good." - Anon.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:41 PM   #31
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My former employer decided that it was in their best interest to pay me NOT to come into work. Guilty? Ya gotta be kidding.
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:11 PM   #32
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The rest of the world should feel guilty for making me have to work.
Bingo.

I would modify it slightly to read, "The rest of the world should feel guilty for making me endure the corporate experience," whose torments have nothing to do with real work.
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:35 PM   #33
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Bingo.

I would modify it slightly to read, "The rest of the world should feel guilty for making me endure the corporate experience," whose torments have nothing to do with real work.
At MegaMotors we had an saying - "in the real world, that guy would be driving a soda delivery truck".
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:57 PM   #34
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Welcome! The other thread referenced above contains my thoughts.

Interestingly, DD (in her 20s) told me recently that she thinks I would be seriously ill or dead if I hadn't retired when I did - from her view, my w*rk was extremely toxic. That actually made me feel even better about my decision to RE nearly 4 years ago.
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:27 PM   #35
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Many thanks to everyone. What a great website this is - really enjoy all of the thoughts. Key summary:
Time> Money
Time, Talent, Treasure
Other ways to give
".... never seems enough ...."

Thanks again. I think too some part of this is fear, not guilt. I have been working since I was 11 yrs old (worked with brother on lawn mowing). 45 yrs of identifying myself as working. Big change.

I do plan to up my time volunteering and also up our charity support. But the thought too of sleeping past my 4:30am wake up is selfishly very appealing. Have to find someway of dealing with the small guilt I think will always be there - thinking Starbucks or more gym time,

Best to all those retired.

Kannon
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Old 06-06-2014, 08:24 AM   #36
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I don't know if "guilty" is the right word, but I do feel something, compared to some of my friends who aren't doing as well as me. Maybe some form of "surivor's guilt"? Tomorrow, I'm riding up with a friend to a classic car show in Carlisle, PA. He has a '78 Lincoln Mark V he's putting in the show. He's also upside-down on his home, has a lot of other debt, very little saved up for retirement. And just got laid off last week. Worse, the job he got laid off from was a step down from a better paying job he got laid off from about 4-5 years ago. So, he's in a bit of a rough spot now.

Now, he's lived beyond his means for years...some expensive upgrades to his house, frequent expensive vacations, nice cars, etc. So, much of the situation is his own doing. Still, I feel bad for the guy.

Another feeling that I have, I don't think is guilt so much, but a questioning of my own abilities. I've never been laid off or fired, so I have no idea of how I would cope with it. My friend, at least, has experience, and will no doubt land on his feet again and score a comparable job. I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to do that, if I was in the same situation.
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:20 AM   #37
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I am not retired yet and already feel sad for friends and family that will likely be in terrible financial situations once they can no longer work. No guilt. Got to where we are by hard work, some good luck and an acceptable level of sacrifice in terms of luxuries. It is very unlikely that we will have enough cushion to be philanthropic, even with family. At least we will not be a burden to our kids or friends.
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:40 AM   #38
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Ummmm... NO!!!! I am 4 1/2 years downstream, FIRE @ 55 1/2. **My** view is this: Not ONE of us knows 100% how much time (incl QUALITY of time) we have in retirement. BUT I know this - Every day at work is ONE LESS in retirement, whatever the retirement number is.
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Anyone Feel Guilty?
Old 06-07-2014, 07:31 PM   #39
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Anyone Feel Guilty?

No guilt whatsoever. I put my time in, gave my best effort, took my hits and rewards, and left when it was time for me to go. Opened an opportunity for someone else. They'll do fine without me.
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Old 06-07-2014, 07:48 PM   #40
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By retiring, you are creating a job opening for someone else - that's helping the unemployed.

Seriously, I retired at the age of 48 and have never felt guilty or that it was the wrong thing to do. In my former career, I was pretty good at what I did, but I learned a long time ago that no one is irreplaceable. If I'm not there to help the team, someone else will fill that void. And now that I'm retired, my days are so much more enjoyable.
+1 When I first saw the title I thought you were feeling guilty for holding that Gov job for so long. There are lots of young up and comers looking to get started and need more FIRE's to move on down the line, it's their turn I'm trying my best to get out of the way...
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