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Anyone Financially Independent, but still working?
Old 02-08-2012, 10:51 PM   #1
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Anyone Financially Independent, but still working?

I know this board is mainly about retirement, but is anyone financially independent, but still working? I realize that most of you have now either stopped reading, or am looking at me like I have two heads, but bear with me.

I still have decades to go before I am FI, but I honestly have a hard time picturing myself retiring. 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 can imagine that someone born independently wealthy (aka trust fund baby) might have the same difficulty. I wonder how they make a go at a career, if only for the purposes of contributing something useful to society?
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:01 PM   #2
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Give it a few decades and you'll see yourself retired very clearly.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:11 PM   #3
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I'm nearing the point of being able to FIRE (thank you recent market run-up). So if I wanted to be slightly more frugal, I could in fact be FI now. It does change my perspective. I take work tensions much less seriously because they do not threaten my livelihood. I still want to work a few years and reach my target FI goals, but having reached my minimal baseline FI makes me surprisingly much more patient with the small annoyances of work. Because they really are small now. I know if things get intolerable I can just leave, which surprisingly makes it easier to tolerate petty annoyances.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:33 PM   #4
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I know this board is mainly about retirement, but is anyone financially independent, but still working? I realize that most of you have now either stopped reading, or am looking at me like I have two heads, but bear with me.
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...
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:39 PM   #5
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Give it a few decades and you'll see yourself retired very clearly.
+1. When we grow older, at some point the short duration of life becomes a greater factor, and the dreams of changing the world meet reality face to face. At the same time, our bodies age, making the physical requirements of work more rigorous at some age. This can lead one to start thinking of retirement more seriously.

There are always some who want to keep working, and should. I guess I was ready to retire by about age 55 or so. I was pretty ambitious up to that age.
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Old 02-08-2012, 11:49 PM   #6
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I know this board is mainly about retirement, but is anyone financially independent, but still working? I realize that most of you have now either stopped reading, or am looking at me like I have two heads, but bear with me.

I still have decades to go before I am FI, but I honestly have a hard time picturing myself retiring.
I am semi-retired working 1 or 2 days a week. I could fully retire (DH is fully retired) but at present I enjoy working part time and the benefits from it enough that I continue with it. It is very nice to know that I could walk if I wanted to.

But here's the thing. I was at a meeting the other day and chatting with a client who asked me how I was liking semi-retirement. I honestly answered him that it was great and that I don't really know how I had ever had time to work full-time before. And, that was no joke. DH and I are both very busy and have lots to do and are glad we now have the time to do many of those things that we had little time to do when we worked full time.
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:08 AM   #7
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FI is a step on the way to RE. Most FI people will continue to w*rk for a while after achieving FI in order to build a buffer. There have been many discussions about it on the Board. For many, being FI allows them to stop worrying about the BS elements of a career, facilitates setting some boundaries (no, I will not w*rk three weekends in a row!) and may contribute to a more enjoyable last few years. I am happy to be in that situation.
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:17 AM   #8
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Hello - to answer your question I am FI and still work. I am 46.

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I know this board is mainly about retirement, but is anyone financially independent, but still working?
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:34 AM   #9
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Retired last summer with no need to work and followed my wife to SE Asia where she'd taken a senior job with a multi-national bank. After 4-5 months of playing, and accompanying my wife on great business trips, I answered the call of a friend and agreed to help get her international development organization back on track. I have no intention of working full-time, but looks like this will be nearly so, at least for the next six months.

It's actually been quite enjoyable, though, thus far (one month in). But the fact that its (relatively) short term and that I can take days, weekends or even weeks off when I feel the need helps a lot. I also feel less guilty these days when joining my wife in business class (her firm pays) when accompanying her on trips rather than flying in back, myself).

Of course, it means I can't be quite as carefree about my time as I was before (e.g., I won't join my wife on her two week business trip to London and Switzerland next month, but then again, it is the middle of winter and SHE will have to work hard. And, I also skipped a long weekend in Jakarta. But I will join her on business trips to Singapore, Bangkok and Beijing later this spring and summer.

All in all, life seems pretty good when you can work, when you want, when something worthwhile comes along and not work when you don't want!

After all, the whole point of being fired is to be able to do what YOU want, whatever it may be!!!
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:41 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by mortal View Post
...
I still have decades to go before I am FI, but I honestly have a hard time picturing myself retiring. 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.
My goal is FI, and then if I want to work ok, and if not then ok. I'm 55 and plan to retire in 4 years, and my attitude about work was like yours but recently it has started shifting to thinking I'll be ok or better without a J*B. There are other things I would like to do that don't pay and more freedom to take time off.

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Of course, it means I can't be quite as carefree about my time as I was before (e.g., I won't join my wife on her two week business trip to London and Switzerland next month
Have you not heard of the winter in Europe? you may have lucked out on this trip
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:57 AM   #11
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Retired six years ago and FI but work part time in the winter to keep mind, body and soul active.
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:20 AM   #12
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Give it a few decades and you'll see yourself retired very clearly.
+2. FI and ER can (should IMO) be independent goals. The earlier you start accumulation toward FI and the later you start to long for retirement, the better IMO. I worked about 7 years beyond FI, but after a while the temptation to retire was just too much. Unfortunately very few (less than 10%?) people are able to find and land a job they truly enjoy...
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:07 AM   #13
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I know this board is mainly about retirement, but is anyone financially independent, but still working? I realize that most of you have now either stopped reading, or am looking at me like I have two heads, but bear with me.

I still have decades to go before I am FI, but I honestly have a hard time picturing myself retiring.
FI isn't a single number it is a range. A lot of people around here continued working beyond what was necessary to become more FI. A lot of others got caught up in the "one more year" syndrome for a variety of reasons. But virtually everyone who bothers to post here, including you, has some interest in retirement vs working so they will eventually lean toward pulling the plug rather than working until they can't. And a large +1 to those who pointed out that the lean toward ER tends to increase with age and years at work.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:24 AM   #14
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I know if things get intolerable I can just leave, which surprisingly makes it easier to tolerate petty annoyances.
That's the position I'm in too, along with most others where I work now. While I don't share the total aversion to work that many others here do, my tolerance for BS and abuse has sunk to a new low.

And most of the company managers understand that. The people they're hiring are mostly retired law enforcement and military; these guys are just not going to put up with it.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:45 AM   #15
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Yup, FI...still working. Sometimes bored. Always tired. Trying to make sure the succession plan works before I jump outta the plane. I'm mostly tired of the politics and bureaucracy involved in the dept that controls our industry...if I ever left before the date to which I have committed, it would be for this reason.

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Old 02-09-2012, 07:46 AM   #16
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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...
Agreed.

Even though I/we were FI years before we set a common retirement date, I still needed the acceptance/approval of DW before making such a drastic life change. In a married/partner situation, any indivudial decision will impact the relationship.

When the date actually came around (1st of May for me, 27th of May for DW), I happily retired. However, DW got cold feet a few weeks before and said that she wanted to continue wor*ing. I'm sure part of her decision is that nobody in her own large/extended family ever left work before "normal age" (whatever that is ) and as an example, has an older brother that still is in the workforce in his late 60's. Her own father also retired in his mid/late 60's, even though he could have retired earlier with a pension and SS. I guess her family is more "wired for pain ".

Since we had no major plans (like live somewhere else in the world for six months), I simply stated that she should retire when she felt she was ready.

Almost five years later, I'm still waiting . No problem at all, its worked out well for both of us. I contribute much more to "home duties" (household duties, shopping, etc.) and also do volunteer work, such as Meals on Wheels (where I'll be this morning), delivering meals to elderly/disabled/shut-in's.

Life is good...
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:23 AM   #17
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Yup, FI...still working. Sometimes bored. Always tired. Trying to make sure the succession plan works before I jump outta the plane. I'm mostly tired of the politics and bureaucracy involved in the dept that controls our industry...if I ever left before the date to which I have committed, it would be for this reason.

R
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.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:31 AM   #18
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Been FI for a while, but I have to wait a bit until I qualify for the early retirement benefit. I started the year shot a few months of service credit for ER. i could retire, and be comfortable, but by waiting for the benefit, I get more income, and a group health insurance plan that is better than any individual plan I could purchase on my own. Note: it is not a paid health plan, I pay 100% of the premium, but it is a better plan for the same money.
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Old 02-09-2012, 09:27 AM   #19
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I know this board is mainly about retirement, but is anyone financially independent, but still working? ....
There are many that did/do that. I have been FI for quite a while and still worked, dropped down to part-time work for about 10 years and recently RE'd at 56.

Being FI and still working is liberating and in my view you can actually be a more valuable employee because you can be more candid and principled on issues facing your workplace without repercussions as long as you are reasonably diplomatic. If you enjoy your work and your colleagues, once you get to the point that you could retire, by all means follow your heart and do what you want.
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Old 02-09-2012, 09:28 AM   #20
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FI but waiting until Sept 2012 to retire when I will be eligible for retiree health insurance. I've been counting down the days for the last 8 years!
I have enough family, friends, and hobbies to keep me busy in retirement.

I have always worked to live, not lived to work, and right now work is getting in the way of my living!
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