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Old 04-23-2016, 05:54 PM   #21
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This is tremendously valuable to me, as someone just starting to plan my exit. I am very interested in the psychological and lifestyle adjustment, the impact on marriage and relationships, thinking about money in the decumulation phase, etc. I look forward to reading more!
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:08 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by papadad111 View Post
Thanks. Well. I can see that I won't get to this in one fell swoop. I'm finding time is at a premium. And actually it's a lot harder to write this post than I anticipated. I know what I want to say but not quite sure how to say it. So far, one year in, retirement has been, in a few words:

Massive change - with our FIRE plans came an international move back to America, Resettling our kids, living near family for the first time in decades, empty nesting with one of two kids heading to college, learning to budget and navigate in the USA again.

It's also included a new post FIRE "career" for both me and DW- I took on a teaching role in exchange for free tuition and am a year closer and several credits to a masters degree - oh that too. Going back to school as a student after several decades is not easy. The degree- It's totally just a bucket list thing and am wondering if it's worth it just to say I did it. Subconsciously Maybe it's more of a way to add to my capabilities if ever returning to work were required eg. pacify my fear (see below)

DW also working part time just to meet some people and social interaction because we live in the countryside and it's too quiet just talking to the dog all day...

What I have found is that the mind does not turn off so easily after multiple decades in a high paced mega Corp especially in a fast paced industry. Also proves I'm never too old to learn new stuff - keep your mind busy and have purpose. What ever that may be.

Biggest concern for me - I Still have Massive and deep seated money fear: while the math looked more than good, I continue to be a nervous Nellie about money and finances. January didn't help either with the fears of bad sequence of returns. I continue to worry about money. I'm a worrier by nature. Firecalc and other calculators say we are good. WR is nicely below 4%. But still I worry -- will I have to pay for mom who is in assisted living. Will we have financial hardships later. Will the kids launch (one is struggling to readjust Etc ). This has been mentally tiring and I can't let go of the fear. I find my frugal behavior is at times irrational. I just can't get my head around spending down. Even my post fire WR budget is snipped here and there to stretch portfolio out. Not having pension, SS 20 years away, and having to do it all myself may be part of the fear. It's huge for me. I can not under stress that point. Huge. Then I get reminded that dead men have no pockets and try to loosen up. Has not been easy. We don't yet have a mechanized approach to draw down either. Asset allocation is still being adjusted too. Guess that part is normal. Nothing is on auto pilot yet. Too early to do that. A few arguments over petty money matters. Mostly my fault as I forgot we have money in the bank . I do get more aggravated when wife or kids waste money especially now that it's finite.

We are running a lazy portfolio now and I don't like bonds. AA is 85/15. Next post can discuss money status in more detail. What our budget is etc.

College classes do seem a lot like work at times.

Accepting that Yes we are strange: People can't figure out why we are young and retired. Relatives judge us a little negatively. This combined with frugality make some think we are broke. We drive 20 year old cars. Live in a modest home... Look completely middle class. Frumpy and middle aged. Wife is not a fashionista at all. Blend in.

When I suggest retired, they think we should be much older, that I was victim of a layoff or they suspect some inheritance etc which of course didn't happen for us. Out look throws them off. We are average just like them but we don't need to work.

It's gotten to the point where now I purposely and pointedly use the word retired and say I worked my tail off so I could stop working early. I don't at all hide that fact that I earned it the hard way. In fact, maybe I'm narcissistic in that "tell" has become a great source of entertainment for me to then watch people's gears turn and then they squirm a bit with disbelief and curiosity and their own self denial ...

Being early retired is more lonely than I thought. It is very very difficult to find a similar friend group at my upper 40's age.

This board has been helpful and I interact with my mba students but only professionally.

I find meeting the "old" people hanging at McDonald's in the morning is entertaining - lots of wise "old" retirees hang out there. My dad used to hang out there before he passed and he told me once it's the only place he could find people to leisurely chat with on a Tuesday morning at 9:30 am when everyone else was rushing to and fro.

Marriage is ok - but an area that I want to pay more attention to. It's gotten a bit stale combo of a middle aged marriage and me working all the time before FIRE. Lucky to have her and need to show it more. I'm more conscious of, and ok spending a little money for the occasional spouse date. I was glad she went back to work part time because even PT, her insurance is covered and anything she brings it reduces our stash draw down. Plus she enjoys the social aspect as she is high Introvert and would otherwise not meet many people.

I do not miss the travel for work at all. Infact I've not been on an airplane in 6 months and that's after being multi million miler -- seeing the airline status go to " not ****" status has been sad. But I do not miss long commutes or work travel one iota

As for travel, we spent 2 decades traveling as a family. I'm enjoying my chunk of land and not traveling. Plus we have a kid in HS and parents really need our help as they age so being on terra firma for a while has been surprisingly ok for me, a person who was always moving around or traveling and is a global nomad. We will definitely get back to that at some later stage.

I do wish I had taken more thinking time to be more purposeful with some of my time. I'm busy. Not sure if that activity leads to something productive.

I need to exercise. Pay attention to health. That's been one of the big gaps during year 1. I do like to cook and cook more at home but exercise took a back seat because I got so busy with other stuff. I need to fix that in year 2 of FIRE. After I finish the masters degree.

Ok- that's a start to some ramblings. Overall I am glad I FIRED but still after a year am just getting the hang of some of the very basics. A few things I wish I had done differently too.

More to follow.
Interesting. I'm coming up on a year in a couple of weeks and my experience has quite the opposite:

1) I purposely delayed making any moves after retirement because I've read too many recommendations against it. It also gives me time to thoroughly explore relocation locations in order to avoid the expense of multiple moves. I was affected by this blog regarding the financial/emotional impact of hastily selecting a retirement relocation destination (in this case, Florida):

Read the Florida Move Guide Before Moving | Indie Publisher

Quote:
I moved to Florida in the mid ’90’s and worked full time as a real estate agent and broker. I saw the pattern repeated over and over. People would move to Florida to fulfill a dream. Then realize that living there was far different than what they expected. Then move out. This is great for real estate agents, moving companies, “Florida lifestyle” furniture stores and others who make thousands of dollars when you move down, and then again when you move out, but it was often devastating both financially and emotionally to the folks who thought they were “permanently” moving or retiring to Florida.
2) I have absolutely no desire to pursue any sort of formal education, as I already have a graduate degree and certifications in my former field. Retiring means I know longer jump through those hoops. In fact, I came *this* close to throwing out all of my diplomas (did throw out the expensive office wall frames), as they belong to another life, someone I used to be. I'll be giving away the last of my business clothes (ties/suits) having decided if any occasion requires wearing a tie, I don't want to be there.

3) I live in a city of millions and millions and millions of people and can't wait to relocate to something much smaller. This place has infinitely too much cacophony, theatrics, and histrionics in the guise of social interaction for someone with my limited social needs.

4) Not at all worried about running out of money, and maybe that's because I have several backup plans. This "what, me worry?" attitude is the exact opposite of my level of worry/"having to be sure" before retirement, and it's surprising. One thing that has really helped is a 40/60 AA to help mitigate sequence of returns risk for the next 5 years or so. As a result, I've barely noticed the past year's market volatility in my PF.

5) Deeper into retirement I get the more I'm craving simplicity. After years of reading Pfau, Kitces, Cotton, Bernstein, blogs, blogs, blogs and all the rest, there's just not a lot more to do (I'm really really over the whole 4% WR debate). The PF is set, the plan is set, so I find myself spending a lot less time second guessing what I've set up. Surprising but freeing at the same time.

6) Without gushing, this has been a magical year. So much accomplished that benefited me for a change. So much stress eliminated. So much time eliminated feeling harried, rushed, spent. A very real sense of how much of my life was sacrificed at the expense of working for someone else solving someone else's problems while chasing the brass ring. And for what? Seems bizarre now.

7) Perhaps the most surprising aspect has been how much my attitude has changed with regard to tolerating BS. Retirement for me brings a sense of entitlement, as in, "I'm retired, and I don't have too put up with that anymore." Without exception, everyone has been impressed and even a bit jealous when I tell them I'm retired. Maybe that's because it took so much to get here, and I'm proud having done it.
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:12 PM   #23
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Very enjoyable posts. I am reading with envy. I am hoping to go 6 more years.
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:06 PM   #24
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I do think age of FIRE has impacted me. Being a younger retiree, in mid 40s, I feel the need to be busy. Do something productive by helping/ mentoring others.

I only imagine that urge will decline as I get older...

Congrats on your first year.

It's remarkable to me how different it can be for different people ...

Also thanks for sharing your perspective and adding to this thread !!
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Old 04-24-2016, 01:33 PM   #25
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Actually, no, I'm older than you and this first year of retirement was one of the busiest of my life (in fact, friends make fun of how busy I say I am in retirement!).

I think it depends on your personality, as I've never understood those "what do you do all day/what do you do with your time" concerns. My experience is the result of a number of factors. First, retired, I don't run around and pack 10 things into one day like I used to (no wonder I was always stressed/angry/rushed). Now, it's at most one or two things. Second, what's been enormously helpful is that I never stopped calendaring my time. This inadvertently provided structure that so many new retirees are afraid of losing. For larger projects, I had calendared them for the next five years after retiring. This helped to stay on track to get the important things done I wanted to get done after retirement. I also have a deal with myself to do at least one productive thing per day, even if it's only going to the gym. I didn't do any of this consciously, but only recently realized how it solved the "time" problem organically.

Another thing that helped me was reading several books on simplicity, where I didn't just downsize or simplify, but examined the choices I'd made to this point that each item I was looking at signified. This was very helpful (although I didn't know it at the time) in my closing the door on my old life pre-retirement and looking forward to creating something exciting and new (like mentoring youth, which I start next month).

I think you just have to find your way. I've read the transition period can take up to three or four years, that it's different for each person, that it's never a perfect process, and that regardless, it's important to enjoy each phase of retirement (transition, active, slower, and non-active). The idea of retirement is, after all, a relatively new concept in history and we are lucky enough to be able to experience it!
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Old 04-25-2016, 05:14 AM   #26
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And if it's not to much trouble, please mention how much fortune you started with. That's where my biggest fear is; running out of money. Who wants to look for work in their 80's?

One of the money challenges is that we did not have a good feel for our expenses post FIRE. We had lived abroad for a couple decades due to work and only back in USA for a year or two here and there. So it has been hard to figure out exactly what a baseline would cost when moving back to USA.

That fact brought some nervousness. A year into retirement and a year living back in USA, we have a better feel for our general expenses.

My overall assumption on annual expenses was not far off , at least based on this past year, but the categories are totally different from what I expected it would be here and more like apples and oranges to what and how we spent while living abroad. Eg. Health insurance here is lots more...but we gave up house help/Nanny/Maid.

We are also much less indulging now - less access to the stuff and less need to offset hard work and challenging environment by treating ourselves.

I think that reduced lifestyle remains until we get the real hang of costs here and refine our drawdown plans.

I anticipate withdraw rate to be 3.5% for a fully loaded budget . That includes travel and new toys but could drop to the Spartan budget and reduce the WR to 3%.

Having small side hustles that include benefit of health insurance really helps reduce our near term WR thus reducing Sequence of Returns risk, at least in theory.
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Old 04-25-2016, 04:22 PM   #27
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As I get closer to my targeted retirement day in just over 5 years, I'm quite interested to learn about the transition period just into retirement so I can start preparing. I really appreciate the insights and experiences shared in a thread like this.

It's nice seeing different stories because everyone has their own preferences and it's nice to be able to pick out info that seems more relevant to you situation and likes/dislikes.
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Old 04-25-2016, 04:52 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by YVRRocketSurgery View Post
As I get closer to my targeted retirement day in just over 5 years, I'm quite interested to learn about the transition period just into retirement so I can start preparing. I really appreciate the insights and experiences shared in a thread like this.



It's nice seeing different stories because everyone has their own preferences and it's nice to be able to pick out info that seems more relevant to you situation and likes/dislikes.

I agree! I have 20 work days left and have been reading here for over a year. For a while I thought I might be loosing my mind, then I read that someone else went through the same thing. I laid on my side the other night and wept like a baby for 10-15 minutes about leaving the fire service. Next morning all was well. Without reading the stories here I would have thought myself wacko.


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Old 05-03-2016, 12:06 AM   #29
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Best to you both. Welcome here all the time. Intelligence and rationality are the norm here I've found ...


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Old 05-03-2016, 12:11 AM   #30
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Actually, no, I'm older than you and this first year of retirement was one of the busiest of my life (in fact, friends make fun of how busy I say I am in retirement!).

I think it depends on your personality, as I've never understood those "what do you do all day/what do you do with your time" concerns. My experience is the result of a number of factors. First, retired, I don't run around and pack 10 things into one day like I used to (no wonder I was always stressed/angry/rushed). Now, it's at most one or two things. Second, what's been enormously helpful is that I never stopped calendaring my time. This inadvertently provided structure that so many new retirees are afraid of losing. For larger projects, I had calendared them for the next five years after retiring. This helped to stay on track to get the important things done I wanted to get done after retirement. I also have a deal with myself to do at least one productive thing per day, even if it's only going to the gym. I didn't do any of this consciously, but only recently realized how it solved the "time" problem organically.

Another thing that helped me was reading several books on simplicity, where I didn't just downsize or simplify, but examined the choices I'd made to this point that each item I was looking at signified. This was very helpful (although I didn't know it at the time) in my closing the door on my old life pre-retirement and looking forward to creating something exciting and new (like mentoring youth, which I start next month).

I think you just have to find your way. I've read the transition period can take up to three or four years, that it's different for each person, that it's never a perfect process, and that regardless, it's important to enjoy each phase of retirement (transition, active, slower, and non-active). The idea of retirement is, after all, a relatively new concept in history and we are lucky enough to be able to experience it!
Good comments. We are continuing to simplify bit by bit. It's a process in and of itself. I find we are less worried about stuff now days.... Its not what makes us happy. Keep us posted on mentoring youth. Insightful and to me a real life joy that I never had time for when working.


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