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Been thinking lately
Old 07-11-2005, 05:06 PM   #1
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Been thinking lately

about life, especially life after FIRE. More specifically, I have been thinking about what I really want out of life and what is really important. After all, my life to date has been taken up with marriage, family, getting educated, and making money. The first two are of enduring importance to me, but I can't say that much of getting educated is, and that goes double for most of the making money part.

So I am left with a sensee that much of my time is taken up by things that don't really matter much in the grand scheme of things. I have responsibilities to my family, and I am the sole breadwinner, so I have to forestall doing more worthwhile, but less lucrative things until I have built my hoard to escape velocity. But eventually, I will have completed my indentured servitude and have the freedom to pursue other things.

What other things might I pursue? Obviously spending more time with family is high on the list. Plus travel, de-stressing, better lifestyle, etc. However, when I consider how much human misery there is in the world (to say nothing of animal cruelty, environmental destruction, etc.), I'm not sure I would be happy just puttering around doing things that are fun.

I don't know where this leaves me, except that I know I am unlikely to figure out what is right for me until after I get FIREd. I am curious if anyone else has grappled with this sort of thing. So, anybody else following this path?
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Re: Been thinking lately
Old 07-11-2005, 05:19 PM   #2
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Re: Been thinking lately

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
about life, especially life after FIRE.* More specifically, I have been thinking about what I really want out of life and what is really important.* After all, my life to date has been taken up with marriage, family, getting educated, and making money.* The first two are of enduring importance to me, but I can't say that much of getting educated is, and that goes double for most of the making money part.

So I am left with a sensee that much of my time is taken up by things that don't really matter much in the grand scheme of things.* I have responsibilities to my family, and I am the sole breadwinner, so I have to forestall doing more worthwhile, but less lucrative things until I have built my hoard to escape velocity.* But eventually, I will have completed my indentured servitude and have the freedom to pursue other things.

What other things might I pursue?* Obviously spending more time with family is high on the list.* Plus travel, de-stressing, better lifestyle, etc.* However, when I consider how much human misery there is in the world (to say nothing of animal cruelty, environmental destruction, etc.), I'm not sure I would be happy just puttering around doing things that are fun.

I don't know where this leaves me, except that I know I am unlikely to figure out what is right for me until after I get FIREd.* I am curious if anyone else has grappled with this sort of thing.* So, anybody else following this path?
I have "grappled" plenty. IMHO the world is going to hell in a hurry.
I can't save it and so I have opted out. I will eat, drink and make Mary
until my demise. I am too old and too tired to fight the good fight.
I admire those who do, although I believe they struggle in vain.

JG
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Re: Been thinking lately
Old 07-11-2005, 05:22 PM   #3
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Re: Been thinking lately

I have a growing list of ways I can change the world.
Which I pursue will depend somewhat on what exists in the FIRE land I choose.
High on my list is taking care of the doggies as you mentioned. 8)
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Re: Been thinking lately
Old 07-11-2005, 06:28 PM   #4
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Re: Been thinking lately

Brew -

Being the planner type I have thought about this a little. I like the idea (for me at least) of teaching for a little while before I retire. I think once I am 2/3 to 3/4 of the way there in terms of what I need for ER I think I would like to slow it down some. I hope money means even less to me at that point and I would rather have summers/holidays off and teach others what little I know about business. I don't think I would be interested in business at all had it not been for a professor so in a way it is a generic way of giving back and winding down.
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Re: Been thinking lately
Old 07-11-2005, 06:31 PM   #5
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Re: Been thinking lately

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRGALT2U
I have "grappled" plenty.* IMHO the world is going to hell in a hurry.
I can't save it and so I have opted out.* I will eat, drink and make Mary
until my demise.* I am too old and too tired to fight the good fight.
I admire those who do, although I believe they struggle in vain.

JG
Hey JG: *I remember I had a discussion one time about 2 mos. before I pulled the pin, with my cousin and brother-in-law. *They were going to also be retiring a year or so after I was going to.

They asked me what i was planning on doing in retirement, and I mentiioned that I was going to play as much golf, and get in as much fly-fishing as humanly possible.

I could tell from their reaction, that they both thought that was a shallow, somewhat selfish goal. *My brother-in-law said he was going to volunteer at Habitat-for-humanity, and other worthy causes. *My cousin, basically the same thing, only for different causes.

Long story short, neither one of them has done anything since retiring, except for a lot of TV, and working in the yard, etc.

Beings you've been retired for a while, also, have you ever seen any of your friends go against character, and actually do any of these activities? *I haven't.

After I retired and moved, I did do volunteer coaching, but hell that was a previous interest of mine, and I enjoyed it.

Interesting post though.
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Re: Been thinking lately
Old 07-11-2005, 07:10 PM   #6
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Re: Been thinking lately

Quote:
Originally Posted by ex-Jarhead
Hey JG: *I remember I had a discussion one time about 2 mos. before I pulled the pin, with my cousin and brother-in-law. *They were going to also be retiring a year or so after I was going to.

They asked me what i was planning on doing in retirement, and I mentiioned that I was going to play as much golf, and get in as much fly-fishing as humanly possible.

I could tell from their reaction, that they both thought that was a shallow, somewhat selfish goal. *My brother-in-law said he was going to volunteer at Habitat-for-humanity, and other worthy causes. *My cousin, basically the same thing, only for different causes.

Long story short, neither one of them has done anything since retiring, except for a lot of TV, and working in the yard, etc.

Beings you've been retired for a while, also, have you ever seen any of your friends go against character, and actually do any of these activities? *I haven't.

After I retired and moved, I did do volunteer coaching, but hell that was a previous interest of mine, and I enjoyed it.

Interesting post though.
I thought about this a while. I can't think of a single person among my
close friends, associates and contemporaries who did this. I know some people
do (move to Somalia to build huts and dig wells).............I just don't know them.
Most of the people I know play golf, fish, travel, ride motorcycles, etc.
One guy (retired dentist) teaches, which he enjoys. But, he is paid very well
so I don't think that counts.

JG




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Re: Been thinking lately
Old 07-11-2005, 07:30 PM   #7
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Re: Been thinking lately

I think about this a lot.* I tend to overcommit even now, while working 50 hrs/week,* to charitable causes so I expect that I will continue to do that in ER.* * *

I have found a lot of satisfaction and direction in Rotary.* (I know I know, it sounds like a bunch of rich white old farts, but they're fun when you get to know them).* * Thru Rotary connections I have been working with a couple different organizations in Honduras involving water purification (contaminated water kills 50,000 children in Honduras every year) and microlending.

I have made some good friends down there, and hope to continue to network with them, increasing the time I spend there gradually, while still working.

Also -* Honduras' Bay Islands has some very affordable property, and world class scuba diving.* * *my FIRE dream is to spend 3-4 months per year there doing both diving and volunteering.

I'm also looking into Architects without Borders but they seem rather disorganized...* I've heard they need architects and builders in Thailand, but probably won't get the time to do that, either.

I would also like to work with the literacy foundation, but they require 4 hrs./wk for a min. of 1 year, and I can't commit to that while still working.

But to address the general question in this thread -* I think if you are active in volunteering during your work life it's going to be easier to continue doing so in ER.* * *It's just a matter of finding something that feels important and meaningful to you -* don't pick something up just for busy work.

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Re: Been thinking lately
Old 07-11-2005, 07:31 PM   #8
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Re: Been thinking lately

Nope

Me neither - the few times 'I mght have been seen' doing something along those lines - at most a day or two at most - was basically to hobnob and B.S. with old buddies retired from the plant.

Doesn't count in my book - I never volunteer - and have no great passions in that area.

As to B.S. and hobnobbing - wellllllll - just count my posts.

Heh, heh, heh, heh.
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Re: Been thinking lately
Old 07-11-2005, 08:07 PM   #9
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Re: Been thinking lately

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
I think about this a lot.* I tend to overcommit even now, while working 50 hrs/week,* to charitable causes so I expect that I will continue to do that in ER.* * *

I have found a lot of satisfaction and direction in Rotary.* (I know I know, it sounds like a bunch of rich white old farts, but they're fun when you get to know them).* * Thru Rotary connections I have been working with a couple different organizations in Honduras involving water purification (contaminated water kills 50,000 children in Honduras every year) and microlending.

I have made some good friends down there, and hope to continue to network with them, increasing the time I spend there gradually, while still working.

Also -* Honduras' Bay Islands has some very affordable property, and world class scuba diving.* * *my FIRE dream is to spend 3-4 months per year there doing both diving and volunteering.

I'm also looking into Architects without Borders but they seem rather disorganized...* I've heard they need architects and builders in Thailand, but probably won't get the time to do that, either.

I would also like to work with the literacy foundation, but they require 4 hrs./wk for a min. of 1 year, and I can't commit to that while still working.

But to address the general question in this thread -* I think if you are active in volunteering during your work life it's going to be easier to continue doing so in ER.* * *It's just a matter of finding something that feels important and meaningful to you -* don't pick something up just for busy work.

Well, I do belong to several organizations which have departments which
encourage/promote charitable/volunteer activities. However, their
main purpose is social (bringing like minded people together)
or political (pushing a particular point of view or agenda). I cut my memberships back to only the groups I was deeply committed to, and
have thought about volunteering to support them in some way.
Frankly, I am so busy now I don't see how I could work it in.

JG
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Re: Been thinking lately
Old 07-11-2005, 08:45 PM   #10
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Re: Been thinking lately

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
However, when I consider how much human misery there is in the world (to say nothing of animal cruelty, environmental destruction, etc.), I'm not sure I would be happy just puttering around doing things that are fun.

I don't know where this leaves me, except that I know I am unlikely to figure out what is right for me until after I get FIREd.* I am curious if anyone else has grappled with this sort of thing.* So, anybody else following this path?
People often think they need to make a biblical contribution and have the recognition of the masses to have made a change in the world.

I have made small contributions to the world like driving my elderly next door neighbor to the store, helped clean my area of town one Sunday, donated my time and money to various local nonprofits, etc.

None of this stuff will even come close to showing up on anyone's radar nor is it intended to, but I know if everyone added the same drop of water in the bucket, the bucket would get filled pretty quickly.
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Re: Been thinking lately
Old 07-11-2005, 10:12 PM   #11
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Re: Been thinking lately

Quote:
Originally Posted by retire@40
People often think they need to make a biblical contribution and have the recognition of the masses to have made a change in the world.

I have made small contributions to the world like driving my elderly next door neighbor to the store, helped clean my area of town one Sunday, donated my time and money to various local nonprofits, etc.

None of this stuff will even come close to showing up on anyone's radar nor is it intended to, but I know if everyone added the same drop of water in the bucket, the bucket would get filled pretty quickly.
Excellent post, I agree 100%. I do want to see if I can do college guidance and/or teach computer skills to kids that might otherwise miss the boat. I like kids and I need them to take care of the SS fund when I'm old.

I will do volunteer work that would show up on the radar, but I do that sporadically now, so it wouldn't really be a change of life. And I'll be the first to admit we do it as much to hob nob with other nice people as to help for helpings sake.
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Re: Been thinking lately
Old 07-12-2005, 07:34 AM   #12
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Re: Been thinking lately

Quote:
Originally Posted by retire@40
People often think they need to make a biblical contribution and have the recognition of the masses to have made a change in the world.

I have made small contributions to the world like driving my elderly next door neighbor to the store, helped clean my area of town one Sunday, donated my time and money to various local nonprofits, etc.

None of this stuff will even come close to showing up on anyone's radar nor is it intended to, but I know if everyone added the same drop of water in the bucket, the bucket would get filled pretty quickly.
That's about the way I think about it. Actually, I don't even like to be publicly listed as a donor when I contribute to a charitable organization (I think it is vulgar and detracts from the spirit in which I do such things).

I must admit to being inspired by someone I never met, but who profoundly influenced me: I went to a VERY well respected high school that was originally founded for smart kids who couldn't afford a good education. It was bankrolled by a wealthy woman who worked with the local Jesuits and agreed to fund anything and everything they required on one condition: she would be the sole source of support and they would never publicly recognize her for it. For about 60 years, she and her family were the sole source of support, until the family fortunes failed. Now the school is supported by its endowment and alumni donations. Naturally, I don't aspire to such a lofty goal, but the huge difference that the founder made in literally thousands of people's lives (including mine) does make me want to make adifference in the world.

I guess I am surprised at how few here have done much volunteering, etc. after achieving FIRE. Its probably partly a funtion of who we are. After all, most of us were motivated to do this by a disgust with organizational nonsense, so the idea of voluntarily jumping back into a potentially similar situation is obviously not going to work.
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Re: Been thinking lately
Old 07-12-2005, 08:45 AM   #13
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Re: Been thinking lately

I'm with Retire@40. Little things mean a lot. My DH doesn't tend to want to belong to organizations. But he would spend time with disabled tenants, even taking them to the doctor. He snowblows the whole block. He checks in on elderly neighbors. Etc.

I am more an organizational person, and belong to several nonprofit boards and am working on lobbying efforts regarding healthcare. Hope to do more of that when I retire.
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Re: Been thinking lately
Old 07-12-2005, 09:11 AM   #14
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Re: Been thinking lately

Martha, I have little interest doing so, but I am curious: how did you come to be a member of non-profit boards?
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Re: Been thinking lately
Old 07-12-2005, 09:13 AM   #15
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Re: Been thinking lately

Slightly off-topic but....

I have found the perfect retirement gig in Texas - it is almost a full time job.
  • I try to avoid all people that appear to be gay.
  • I refuse to discuss religion with my neighbors.
  • If someone has retired early and has considerable acreage - they must be growing dope - I let everyone know of my suspicion.
  • If am sure anyone that speaks Spanish must not know English - they must be illegal aliens (love that term).
  • If it's good for "bidness" its good for me.

My only outlet for entertainment is an occasional trip to Austin to see all of the weird-o's.

Life is Good.

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Re: Been thinking lately
Old 07-12-2005, 09:39 AM   #16
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Re: Been thinking lately

brewer
know people who have done: red cross volunteer (after training, 2-3 weeks emergency work, i.e. hurricane disaster relief), habitat for humanity (work on a house or two each year) , mission work (hospital business manager in africa), medical doctors who took year off to work in clinic. Other than the last two, which were clearly full time, all the others have also had plenty of time to fish, hunt, drink beer, bs, etc.
Depends on what you want to do, but plenty of ways to contribute.
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Re: Been thinking lately
Old 07-12-2005, 09:43 AM   #17
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Re: Been thinking lately

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beststash
Slightly off-topic but....

I have found the perfect retirement gig in Texas - it is almost a full time job.
[list][*]I try to avoid all people that appear to be gay.
How does someone "appear to be gay"? Tattooed on the back of the neck? Pink triangle? Neon signs?

Since I apparently drive the first choice of lesbian moms everywhere, I am thinking of putting a little rainbow sticker on the back of my subaru wagon just to confuse the hell out of everyone.
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Re: Been thinking lately
Old 07-12-2005, 09:45 AM   #18
 
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Re: Been thinking lately

Wow, JG's post really said it for me. *

The number one problem in this world, and the root cause of most other problems, isn't even on the radar for 99% of people, so I'm throwing up my hands and running away.
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Re: Been thinking lately
Old 07-12-2005, 10:10 AM   #19
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Re: Been thinking lately

I am firmly in the camp of retirement being "my time" to do only those things I feel like doing when I get up each morning.

This weekend I went to a gathering of family and friends at my sister's home in N.J. My brother-in-law is what he terms "pension activated" also. He is a retired school superintendent. Several of his friends were there who are also pension activated, two were former superintendants and one was a former college administrator. They are all very actively self employed now. My BIL has found a publisher for a series of books he is writing with a partner on the spiritual and emotional aspects of leadership. They have also organized and run several nationwide symposia on educational leadership. The others have educational consulting businesses. These guys are all high energy type-A personalities. I, on the other hand, have always been a low energy (especially after cancer treatments), more laid-back type.

I didn't have much to contribute to the conversations that revolved largely about what "great works" they were all involved in. I got the sense that they all thought it was somehow shameful that I was not out there volunteering or doing something "useful". On the other hand I have the feeling that these guys have such large egos that they need to be at the center of all this activity to feel good about themselves.

I think they should do what gives them satisfaction during retirement. That is what I do. What gives me satisfaction is swimming every day, reading several books a week, listening to music, spending time on-line, going for walks, and not doing anything because somebody else wants me to do it.

If you reach FIRE then you have earned the right to live the life you want to live. Find what pleases you. You don't need any one else's approval.

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Re: Been thinking lately
Old 07-12-2005, 10:26 AM   #20
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Re: Been thinking lately

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Originally Posted by brewer12345
Martha, I have little interest doing so, but I am curious: how did you come to be a member of non-profit boards?
Depends on the board. I was recruited for a couple of boards where they wanted someone familiar with lending and creditor issues. One was an organization that made small loans to emerging businesses using block grant money. Another was a program that worked with women returning to the workforce.

I also was recruited to the symphony board. I did however indicate my williness to be recruited by making contributions to the organization. I fit because I am a lawyer in an old and reputable firm and know classical music.

I also have simply volunteered various services to a variety of organizations without serving on their boards, like habitat for humanity, our local womens' clinic, the volunteer attorney program, etc. All services have been legal services.
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