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Old 02-09-2012, 10:53 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by mortal View Post
At the same time, I can imagine that never *having* to work again would make me have much less patience with the small annoyances of work, even if the overall experience is worth it.
I think I am FI, at a minimal level now, and still work at a job I like. I am having problems with my current manager now, however, and am torn between the options of pretending there is no problem and hoping for it to get better, quitting, or waiting to get fired so that I can possibly collect unemployment. I'm also looking for another job, but nothing comes close so far.

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Old 02-09-2012, 03:00 PM   #22
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DW and I are still working - her a lot, me not so much. We might be FI, but she's not sure. She wants to work a year or more to boost her pension. So it really doesn't matter if we're FI or not - she's focused on working until 2013 and I can't retire until she does without risking relationship armageddon. So I keep working.

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Old 02-09-2012, 05:18 PM   #23
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I have been working sporadically for the last 7 years. As far as FI, it's tough for me to say, as our expenses in the last few years have been a lot higher than they should be, due to support for children education, and me buying "stuff".

Now that those "one-time" expenses are done with, I will re-evaluate to see if we are truly FI. Even then, I may continue the part-time work if I still think it is fun. Yes, one may get lucky sometimes, and gets to do hobby-like work for a good pay, but of course there's no guarantee that it will last. So, FI rules!
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leo Tolstoy
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:34 PM   #24
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Work 15 hours a week, 9 months out of year, and officiate during winter for a few months. If I do this 15 more years, it will increase my SS from $100 to about $135 a month at 62. Better continue doing it, that $35 a month might come in handy
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:37 PM   #25
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FI but still working because of health insurance benefit as well as generous pay. I am 58, very tempted to retire but can't seem to find the gut to RE. Planning to retire at 62, don't know if it still qualified as RE.
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:13 PM   #26
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Well Mortal, you are not immortal!
Stats on retirement says, that although some may want to work forever,
most quit at about 62, because of health, layoff, burnout, downsized,
and other reasons.

As the other poster said, give yourself several decades, and see what your opinion will be.
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:15 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Disappointed View Post
Planning to retire at 62, don't know if it still qualified as RE.
In my book age 62 certainly qualifies as early retirement. Both, my pension and SS reduce benefits if I retire before 65 (actually 66 for SS).. If that isn't ER, I don't know what is.
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:32 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Disappointed View Post
FI but still working because of health insurance benefit as well as generous pay. I am 58, very tempted to retire but can't seem to find the gut to RE. Planning to retire at 62, don't know if it still qualified as RE.
I'm not sure if it matters because ER is in the eye of the beholder. My view is it would be before you can draw on pensions or SS and have to rely solely on savings for living, generally 55 or earlier. But 62 is better than 65 or 66!
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:50 AM   #29
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Just reached FI after paying off the last two rental properties I bought. Still w*rking and watching the cash pile up. Almost brings back some of that youthful enthusiasm and ambition I thought was gone. How long will this last?
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:57 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by mortal View Post
At the same time, I can imagine that never *having* to work again would make me have much less patience with the small annoyances of work, even if the overall experience is worth it.
I know for a fact that this is something I have a problem with. Back in college, I had a part time job as a waiter and, this might sound odd, but I was actually making too much money! I didn't really spend alot, so most of the tips and wages were getting banked. So, I started cutting back my hours. But, I found that the less I worked, the less BS I was willing to put up with. And finally, one of the managers torqued me just the right way and I decided that was it, called the store the next day, and said that was it, I'm done.

It happened a few years later, too. I had gone through a bad marriage/divorce that left me in a lot of debt, and picked up a second job delivering pizzas. For the first two years, I was often working 35-40+ hours delivering pizzas, on top of my regular 40 hour per week job. And I was willing to put up with a lot, because I was making some serious progress in getting that debt paid down. Once the debt was almost paid off, I started cutting my hours back. But again, I was finding that the less I worked, the less I needed that job, the less I was willing to put up with the various annoyances. Until finally I quit.

I can see it happening with my full-time job, as well. Starting this year, they're making me take more time off, as they changed their vacation policy. Used to be, anything I had over 200 hours would be cashed out to me at the end of the year, but for 2012 they changed it. Now, I can accrue up to 300 hours of leave, but once I hit that level, it stops, unless I start taking time off.

So, little by little, it feels like this job is getting phased out as well. So far this year, I've only taken one day off, the Monday after Martin Luther King day. Didn't do a damn thing all day, other than go with a friend to drop his car off for servicing and then take him to pick it up that evening. Felt good, being lazy! But it was kinda hard coming in to work the following day!

Over the past few years, as I've been saving and investing, I've been seeing a lot of dividend growth in my online brokerage account. In 2008 for example, dividends would have only covered about 2.8% of what I figure I'd need per year to live. In 2009 that went to 3.8%, 9% for 2010, and 16.6% for 2011. For 2012, I'm calculating dividends will account for about 21-22% of what I'd need to live off of.

Of course, right now, since I'm still working, I'm just using the dividends to reinvest, rather than live off of them. But, if that keeps on growing, it's going to be harder and harder to come into w*rk!
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:55 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Alan

How long before you jump ship? couple of years?

We were FI 3 or 4 years before quiting and at times I really felt like throwing in the towel before my target date of my 55th birthday. For various reasons I'm pleased that I waited, although I didn't stop DW from pulling the plug 5 years before I did.
Original plan was mid 2009. Agreed to 4 more years at the beginning of 2009, i.e., end of 2012. That was a good thing given the condition of the markets.

In 2010, agreed to move back to the states end 2012 and visit asia a couple times a month from 2013. In 2011, the chairman asked me to hold off on the move back until the end of 2013, then visit asia once a month. I agreed on condition that I take more time off, more home leaves, and begin to ramp down from late 2012. The board accepted my conditions. I have some big tasks this year to get accomplished and succession has not gone as smoothly as I had wished. How long the once a month visit to Asia will last is an open question. I will enjoy still having the involvement, a salary, and health insurance. I suppose that once this phase begins, I will do it until either I get to the point that I don't want to travel so much or to the point that the powers that be decide that the expense of keeping me has become greater than the benefit. However, when this phase begins I will consider myself semi-retired, and will have about 3 weeks out of 4 to do what I want.

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Old 02-10-2012, 03:05 PM   #32
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Thanks for the follow-up Rambler.

It sounds like you have a nice planned descent into ESR, then ER, when and if you are ready for it.
Retired in Jan, 2010 at 55
Now it's adventure before dementia
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:34 PM   #33
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Financially, for a couple of years now, I have been at the point where I could leave at any time but I like what I have been doing for the past 40 years. So I will wait until August when I finish teaching my last term. I will miss academia, students, and colleagues but I had a good run and it is time. The system wants me to embrace too many new ideas and methods (some good and some bad) that I am not willing to adopt. There are also a few administrator wannabees that I might tell to go pound sand but I don't want to spoil my last few months. I'm pretty "old school" and my students and their successes tell me my style has worked well for them and I'm not willing to change and sacrifice my student's future for a method that is less effective. It does my heart good to have students and colleagues wanting me to stay indefinitely but it is time to "pull the bandaid" quickly and look for new challenges. It has been great to have enough for FI.

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Old 02-10-2012, 03:50 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Spouse was volunteering with a non-profit, and that turned into a full-time job. It's going well and she's on day 69 of about 180. Less if her relief takes the job sooner.

I had always thought that if my "dream job" came along then I'd take it. Turns out I'm not as enamored of work as I thought.

Dory36, the creator of this board, used to say that you went around the workplace with a bucket in each hand: FI in one and BS in the other. Both of them would fill slowly. However if you managed to fill the FI bucket, then the BS bucket would also suddenly fill to overflowing.

There are occupations whose occupants may have no reason to retire: lawyers, doctors, professors, clergy. Maybe CEOs and social workers with the commitment of Mother Theresa (I'm referring to the social workers, not the CEOs). Having said that, we have ERs on this board from all of those occupations (except Mother Theresa).

In general, once you're FI, I think you'll decide that you'd rather have more control over your time. You can still contribute to society-- only on your own terms, and without endless department meetings or mandatory training or rush-hour commutes...
Farmers. Hobby Vineyards and Horses usually. It's not too hard to pick out those who are FI - for now.

heh heh heh - After a career (50 to age 70) of 20 years of ER, I might give myself a gold watch and go back to work - as a hobby mind you. Or I might just wash my mouth out with soap and put such silliness out of my mind.
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:42 PM   #35
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Since FIRE in 09 I have taken on a couple of "special projects" for my former company and a couple of companies with similar businesses. The $$$ is excellent, stress level low and most of it is done from my home office. Try and keep the work to the winter time so that it doesn't get in the way of my golf game.

It has been enjoyable to me...seeing old acquaintances, exercising my brain and a knowing that I still have something to contribute. It has not made me regret retiring one bit. In fact the envy expressed of my situation by those that I deal with only further cements my decision.

I have been approached about a couple of full time positions after some folks heard that I was doing a bit of consulting. Guess they figured that I was bored or something. My respone? Now why would I want to go and do something like that!
FIRE'D in July 2009 at 51...Never look back!
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:55 AM   #36
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I also fall into the marginally FI category. I plan to work about 3.5-4 more years to qualify for HI on my pension plan, and pad the retirement accounts. While we would not be homeless if I stopped today, I would like to have the resources to do some extended travel and snowbirding. That would still allow me to ER when pushing 56, pay full price HI on her pension plan for 4 years, then kick my slightly subsidized HI in at age 60. Stopping work today would mean counting on her plan and paying full price for 13 years vs. 4, and if it would go away we would not have another option. At least my plan is in better shape, so it's a belt and suspenders approach.

One caveat, both of our plans are currently being evaluated for changes, we need to see how that shakes out. In the meantime, I'm maxing out my retirement savings options and doing Roth conversions at the lower tax bracket. When I look at the cash flow over the next 40 years under different scenarios, these few years could have a big impact on our situation.
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:49 PM   #37
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Relayed several times in this forum, I became FI at 51 but stayed until 58. Many reasons - some of which I've never completely thought through. At the time, I had 3 kids at home and, perhaps, I considered it a good "example" to go off to work every morning at 6:00AM. Rarely made it home before 5:00PM (did do some errands on the way home at times). I got to travel occasionally which was just about EXACTLY the right amount. Also, even though FI by almost any definition, my belt-and-suspenders mentality was in play. If FI X 1.0 is good, FI X 1.5 is better, right? But, the real reason I hung around was because I had achieved a position and duty which was (for want of a better description) a "fantasy" I had been nursing for years. God (and the forum) forgive me, but I actually enjoyed going in almost every day. The few exceptions were when performance appraisals or c*reer planning were due. As long as my direct supervision stayed out of my hair, I could do pretty much what I liked to do. Not a bad gig - especially when they paid me decent money to do it. I had gotten to a point where vacation time was in abundance, so I could leave for 5 weeks at a time if I so desired - and have enough time for several sanity days off as well. In short, the only "bad" things were occasional interruptions of the fantasy and not having total freedom of time.

When the assignment suddenly changed, I handed in my 2 week notice and left at the end of the week, finishing out my c*reer with unused vacation time. Sweet! Probably said it before, but FI was much more important to me than ER - at least for those last few years. I guess I just never hated having a j*b. It's just that some assignments were (became) intolerable. Being FI gives you options - options you can exercise at YOUR will. YMMV
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Anything which can be used can be misused. Anything which can be misused will be.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:45 PM   #38
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When to actually RE after deciding you have reached FI is a personal decision based on many things, not just money. I ended time with megacorp at 55. To me, that just seem too early to stop accumulating for FI. Looking back now, it was possible, but DD was still in high school for crying out loud. So I found other work (consulting, working with small businesses etc.).

But in the end, even before DD finished college, the commute did me in. The 2- 1/2 to 3-1/2 hours per day on the road just getting to work and back seemed so pointless. So I ended it. Of course, with rental property I still have things I must do some days, but it's my things. And no commute.

DW is still working part-time, but that has more to do with HI since she has technically become uninsurable since her bout with cancer. Her earnings are almost nothing. If the healthcare system works out that little wrinkle in the next few years, she'll hang it up too, I think. Then we will be able to travel a little more.

The bottom line is FI opens up many more options. When it's time to RE, you'll know it.
Can't you see yourself in the nursing home saying, " Darn! Wish I'd spent more time at the office instead of wasting time with family and friends."
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:00 PM   #39
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FI, but working because:
  • Can't really move or travel much (kid in HS), so might as well work.
  • I love my work, work from my home office, and don't let the megacorp do anything to my spirit.
  • Don't want to fork over the bucks for HI.
  • The company that's buying my current company allows you to 'buy vacation', so soon I can get all the vacation I want by just taking a pay cut...sweet!
  • Can't imagine what I'd do with my time if I didn't work (I'd probably work and just not get paid for it [software engineering])
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:07 PM   #40
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I'm FI and turned 47 last year. I had planned to be part of the class of 2012 and actually submitted my retirement papers, but pulled them back before they were official. I had the opportunity to stay in Europe, where I work, for an extra year so I decided an extra year to travel Europe while young was a good trade-off. DW and I just bought our retirement home in Colorado last week (taking advantage of buyer's market), so now we know where we will go, but have to decide when. I suppose it will be much harder to work past 2013 now that we have a home to go to. I have to admit that I really started questioning my sanity after submitting my retirement paperwork, especially since the next few years would do a lot towards being much more comfortable financially in the long run. However, now that we have our house, and are anxious to start living the life that we've imagined for ourselves, I think I'm committed to 2013. The worst that can happen is that I go back to work to earn a few more bucks if I must.

"Our lives are what our thoughts make them" - Marcus Aurellius
FIRE'd on 1 June, 2013 at age 48, DW FIRE'd with me on same day at age 47.
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