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Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?
Old 02-25-2006, 04:47 PM   #1
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Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?

I read alot here about folks retiring from their job in the.. __fill in the blanks__ and implementing a plan to do something entirely different with their lives. Buy a farm, move abroad, or some other entirely unaccustomed lifestyle.

I'm way too chicken to do that, though I envy those who pull it off. In the back of my mind, I wonder how many actually embrace their new identities long-term versus those who slilp back into some modified version of the familiar life-long pattern.

I'm not talking about a post-retirement extended travel plan or some amusing new fun part-time job, etc. I'm talking about big-time uprooting. Any stories about successes or failures? Tips for success or warnings?
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?
Old 02-25-2006, 07:04 PM   #2
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?

I spent 24 years doing what the Navy wanted me to do, and I've spent the last four doing what I/family want to do.* According to emerging research, I'm one of only 11.7% of military ERs to break the programming.* I started surfing the day I retired and I love it. Does that count as "entirely different"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
I'm not talking about a post-retirement extended travel plan or some amusing new fun part-time job, etc. I'm talking about big-time uprooting. Any stories about successes or failures? Tips for success or warnings?
Well, I don't know your definition of "extended", but the Kaderlis have been perpetual travelers for over 15 years.* It's a pretty big change from working in a brokerage or running a restaurant.

http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/

Their CD is definitely worth the $14.95, too.

Bob Clyatt didn't uproot & relocate, but he's completely changed his lifestyle too.
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?
Old 02-25-2006, 11:29 PM   #3
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I spent 24 years doing what the Navy wanted me to do, and I've spent the last four doing what I/family want to do. According to emerging research, I'm one of only 11.7% of military ERs to break the programming. I started surfing the day I retired and I love it. Does that count as "entirely different"?
Don't know. We do have some retired military friends in their early 50s who are struggling emotionally with their new civilian life. I don't have the pleasure of knowing you personally, but it sounds like you are very fortunate and perhaps unusual in your successful radical lifestyle change.

Does your reference number of 11.7% reinforce the observation that drastic change is a pretty high risk retirement strategy for many others?
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?
Old 02-26-2006, 09:14 AM   #4
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?

I've seen many military people retire and have problems adjusting. It is a large change from the military lifestyle to one of retirement, I guess it all depends on how much they really want to retire.
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?
Old 02-26-2006, 11:11 AM   #5
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Does your reference number of 11.7% reinforce the observation that drastic change is a* pretty high risk retirement strategy for many others?
Quote:
Originally Posted by lets-retire
I've seen many military people retire and have problems adjusting.* It is a large change from the military lifestyle to one of retirement, I guess it all depends on how much they really want to retire.*
Don't know how it applies to the population at large, although it's possible that senior officers "really retire" at an even lower rate than the 11.7%.* I'd sure hope that non-military retirees could do better.

Military retirees are required to go through a "pre-retirement counseling" program that's heavily oriented toward starting a second career.* Financial planning is discussed too but the presumption is that everyone wants to jump back into the work pool.* Motivational speakers for retirement seminars are in high demand, but I bet I'd have a hard time finding an audience for my version.* I guess from the govt perspective it's considered necessary to ensure that military retirees are able to keep paying their Social Security & Medicare taxes equipped with the skills to avoid ending up living under a freeway overpass.

While change may be seen as a high-risk retirement strategy, I think status quo & stagnation are even more "dangerous" to one's quality of life.* If you're gonna make a big life change, it's easier to do so when you're financially independent.

My "adjustment problems" were mostly related to letting the nightmares subside.* I even used to wake up in a heart-pounding panic that I'd have to go to work that day.*

It has been interesting, however, to note that my ponytail makes me pretty darn near invisible on military bases.* If you're used to having your insignia make you the center of attention, I can understand how retirement would be a tough adjustment.

What do you see for your retirement plans?
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?
Old 02-26-2006, 01:36 PM   #6
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa

I'm not talking about a post-retirement extended travel plan or some amusing new fun part-time job, etc. I'm talking about big-time uprooting. Any stories about successes or failures? Tips for success or warnings?
I live in a "tourist destination". I can't tell you how many times I've seen people "retire" here to run a bed and breakfast (cuz that's incredibly cool and the last one I stayed in was so nice and it wouldn't be hard work and I love having interesting visitors and ...) and turn completely miserable. It never occurs to them that what was once a very part time pleasure, while they worked at something else entirely which they didn't enjoy very much, could turn into full time on call drudgery.

Looking before you leap - actually trying before you leap - is IMO a very good thing.
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?
Old 02-26-2006, 03:09 PM   #7
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
While change may be seen as a high-risk retirement strategy, I think status quo & stagnation are even more "dangerous" to one's quality of life...
No doubt. Somewhere in between drastic and status quo is probably what I would aim for. No value judgment implied, just my nature and life experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
What do you see for your retirement plans?
At the moment, I am shooting for part-time at age 60 or so (I just turned 57). I really like my work but do not like the weekend/evenings and 12 hour days. Maybe I'll do part-time for a couple of years, cut back or retire altogether when I either stop having fun or have enough assets to truly be home-free. We'll see.

Once part-time, hope to travel more and see more of my kids and grandkids who live far from us, avoid dipping into my savings, but adjust to the lower income by stopping contributions to my retirement (other than via random left-over money and employer match funds if relevant). Part-time should cover health insurance, too.

Living in a semitropical city as we do, we are happy and have no plans to uproot. Maybe consider a downsizing to speed the process up by a year or two. For all this babbling, I can see any number of scenarios that would change the plan, both good and bad. For now, at least it's a blueprint.
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?
Old 02-26-2006, 03:29 PM   #8
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?

I am retiring in 62 days at age 57 myself. I am tired of 11 hour days and loads of cross-ocean business travel. I am tired and can't take it any more. I don't have the option of part time work at my company, although coming back as a part time contractor is a theoretical option.

At the same time, DW and I are re-locating back to Canada from Texas. So there will be huge change (everything changes) and I am a little anxious about how that will work after the first month or two of settling in. I've decided to see how that goes and look for something to keep me occupied (volunteer or otherwise) when/if I get bored. If that is not gratifying, then I will consider part time paid work at something... but not what I have done as a career. Besides, project management does not lend itself well to part timers.
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?
Old 02-26-2006, 06:32 PM   #9
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
I really like my work but do not like the weekend/evenings and 12 hour days. Maybe I'll do part-time for a couple of years, cut back or retire altogether when I either stop having fun or have enough assets to truly be home-free. We'll see.
Have you read Marc Freedman's "Prime Time"? One of its themes is retired doctors who found organizations to assume their malpractice insurance. They're able to donate their time to patients without all the liability & HMO hassles.

Book report thread.
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?
Old 02-26-2006, 06:39 PM   #10
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Have you read Marc Freedman's "Prime Time"? One of its themes is retired doctors who found organizations to assume their malpractice insurance. They're able to donate their time to patients without all the liability & HMO hassles.
No - I'll check it out. Thanks.

I am very lucky - being in academics, officially I work for a state university so I have "sovereign immunity" from malpractice (i.e. sue me and you sue Jeb Busch), as well as no billing hassles (along with access to a 457 retirement plaln on top of my 403b). Maybe that's why I still love my job .
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?
Old 02-27-2006, 07:19 AM   #11
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?

This is an interesting question, but ultimately I think that if you don't irrrevocably commit yourself to a course of action, as a FIREd person you always have the option of going back to your old life.
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?
Old 02-27-2006, 07:35 AM   #12
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
This is an interesting question, but ultimately I think that if you don't irrrevocably commit yourself to a course of action, as a FIREd person you always have the option of going back to your old life.
True. It'll probably cost you, though.
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?
Old 02-27-2006, 07:41 AM   #13
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?

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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
True. It'll probably cost you, though.
Maybe, maybe not. A lot of the lifestyle alternatives that I have seen retired people pursue are FAR less costly than my suburban NJ lifestyle (and I don't live particulary extravagantly).
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?
Old 02-27-2006, 08:59 AM   #14
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
No - I'll check it out. Thanks.

Maybe that's why I still love my job .
Rich: I think you're on the wrong board.

My question to you would be "why do you want to retire?"

After close to 20 years of being in the "retired" state, I've discovered a lot about myself, and in the process, a lot about others.

One thing for sure, whether you were a butcher, baker, candle-stick maker, or in your case an MD, you have to be prepared to leave your ego behind. (Because nobody, well, really cares).

For me personally, it's been very rewarding, but I had some very solid reasons to do so.

INMHO, unless you have a passionate reason to want to retire, and are comfortable without the
prestige and social benefits that your employment appears to be offering you, why bother?.

Hard to beat "Loving it".

Good Luck, Jarhead
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?
Old 02-27-2006, 01:11 PM   #15
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?

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Rich: I think you're on the wrong board. My question to you would be "why do you want to retire? INMHO, unless you have a passionate reason to want to retire, and are comfortable without the prestige and social benefits that your employment appears to be offering you, why bother?.
Fair questions, Jarhead. Points well taken.

The answer lies in my desire for balance. This can be a demanding profession notwithstanding the rewards (like many others, I hasten to add). Maybe it's a case of "too much of a good thing:" 12 hour days, nights, weekends, adrenalin-rich (at least in my specialty).

I'll probably seek a part-time, no-call, "small" job nearby as I ease on out of my "big" professional life. We'll see. But for me, it's time to begin reigning it in - visit the kids and grandkids more, pursue hobbies, smell the roses, etc. I suspect alot of my colleagues wish they had done so sooner.

I wonder how many others out there have both a career they enjoy, and a desire to retire. I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. May be worth a new topic .

Your observations really made me think about this more carefully.
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?
Old 02-27-2006, 01:25 PM   #16
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?

Some professions lend themselves to part time work more than others. Mine does not so it is either quit cold turkey or go into consulting. I have no desire to do what is required to consult...too much PR and marketing for my tastes and my employer will not do a consultancy or part time position for my line of work. That leaves me very little in the way of choices. For now it will be full and complete retirement from this profession. I am leaving the door open to other part time jobs that might be fun but would do so only on my terms. We will do a lot of volunteer work so that will be our outlet for involvement and fulfilling our need to help others.

If you like what you are doing and you can scale back to achieve some balance in your life then by all means do so. Retirement is not always about no longer working. It is about doing what you want to do rather than what you have to do.
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?
Old 02-27-2006, 02:49 PM   #17
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
* Retirement is not always about no longer working.* It is about doing what you want to do rather than what you have to do.
Steve: You've hit it out of the ball-park with the above quote. (At least as far as I'm concerned).

I believe that for most of us, (certainly for me),
we spend most of our "careers" hand-cuffed by our obligations. Children, aging parents etc.

If, and when, you have an opportunity to do something for yourself, and your wife, free (in the most part) of those obligations, why not?

Life's short, make the best of it. (Wheat Bread Helps).
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?
Old 02-27-2006, 03:03 PM   #18
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?

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Originally Posted by Jarhead*


Life's short, make the best of it. (Wheat Bread Helps).
Whole wheat pasta too.
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?
Old 03-01-2006, 12:18 AM   #19
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Re: Are after-FIRE "Plans" Dangerous?

Hi RIT,

I retired at age 49. I knew I had a lot of other interests beyond being a director of research at a major engineering firm. And I was fed up with a lot about that job. But after about 6 months, I was seduced back into some engineering work by obscene payment offers. I came to understand that the payment wasn't really that significant to me, but I remembered why I had originaly liked engineering. So I have gradually found the balance that suits me. Today I am working on a second edition of an edited volume of one engineering book, I am nearly through writing a second book, I am serving as editor of a technical magazine, I work 1 day a week (on average) for a local start-up. These activities take up a total of about 1/2 my time. They don't pay much ~$50,000 per year total. They also pay for a lot of travel all over North America and Europe, which I now do with my wife. We enjoy travel. I agree to travel for these various organizations only if I can spend a few days before and after in the city where the work is.

The other ~1/2 of my time I spend doing things my wife and I enjoy like volunteer archaeology work. We've worked on projects all over the US and Mexico. We also do a lot of camping, hiking and backpacking. We enjoy travel.

There are times when I overcommit and go through a few weeks when I wish I wasn't as involved in one or more of these activities as I am. Sometimes my overcommitment is related to engineering, but I have also overcommited to archaeology efforts or vacation travel. I keep refining my formula. Mostly it is very rewarding and enjoyable.

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