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Old 07-09-2014, 06:03 AM   #21
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FI is an amplifier. Kind, generous, empathetic people become even more so. Rude, self-centered, jerks ... well, you get the picture.
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:34 AM   #22
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Changes your outlook, but it does not have to change your behavior. I think it gives you a power position, and whether you exercise that or not is the beauty of FI.
I woud agree with this. No doubt it does take away people having power over me. That is one of my worst fears. People in power tend to abuse it. Plenty of examples of this everywhere. Perhaps I do this a little as well as a way to cut thru the BS so I can focus on other things. I do find the BS tends to be the same old core stuff no matter what the situation is once you get down to it and analyze it. Maybe that is what is going on that I now have time to think. Don't get me wrong being FI is a great feeling overall much better than the alternative. I pretty much have enough time and resources to do what I want when I want.

Focused on getting the kids thru HS right now and I enjoy being there when they need me and staying out of the way otherwise as they navigate the rough waters of peer pressure, trying to figure out their future, etc. My goal is to keep them in the range fan between the left and right markers.

I was thinking last night that once they are launched whenever that is CINC house and I might take two years to do what we want when we want where we want how we want with no upper or lower limit on resources. I have no idea what this would look like but I do think it would be a fun experiment. I do think my only criteria is that it has to be away from the homestead, and we start with what we can carry in a couple of bags. HMMM Wheels are turning.
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:41 AM   #23
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Like others, FI to me simply means freedom. There haven't been any behavioral changes. Certainly not buying my way out of problems.

What it does allow is a certain kind of bemusement about what many others find important. It allows you to shed annoyances with a laugh, while acknowledging - as I'm frequently wont to do with DW - that "people are crazy."

For me, there is no downside to being FI...
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:48 AM   #24
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FI is an amplifier. Kind, generous, empathetic people become even more so. Rude, self-centered, jerks ... well, you get the picture.
I think that's basically it. Less need to conform to (perceived?) norms.

I find that the nearer I get to FIRE the more I 'revert' back to previous behaviors I had in early childhood and youth (care-free study years )

Also, I get happier since I feel as if people around me have less power over me. They never had any to begin with, but still.

It does kill my productivity though. Specifically, it kills my productivity doing things that don't interest me that much.

Not sure whether that's a bad thing though ..
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:36 AM   #25
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Totoro, funny you mention reverting back to your youth. I thought of FIRE as the first time I was truly free since the 6-week stretch between my last college final exam in May, 1985, and when I started my regular job just after July 4th. That was a fun stretch which included a week trip to California which was a lot of fun, my most memorable trip there of many in the 1980s. I also made a car trip in the NY-NJ area to visit friends. I also had my college graduation itself soon followed by a somewhat bittersweet act of moving my stuff out of the dorm for the last time after 4 years living there.

The growing power I felt as I was nearing FIRE in 2007-08 reminded me of an old Star Trek (original series) episode in which an alien being held captive is obtaining mental powers which he is sure will be strong enough soon for him to escape his imprisonment. He eventually becomes strong enough to break free before being subdued by Captain Kirk. While that last part was not part of my feelings, the "growing stronger and stronger before breaking free" was surely how I felt as I saw that company stock value rise and rise as the rest of the pieces of my ER plan fell into place. I broke free in 2008 an have never looked back!
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:22 AM   #26
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I only experience positive things from FI. As far as I am concerned, it is a financial status and should not affect who I am though it does open up opportunities to what I can do and I guess, this affects my lifestyle too. But I am basically quite thrifty, so any shortcuts I take by paying extra (because I can afford it) are usually well thought through as to whether they are necessary and whether they warrant the comfort they bring.
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Old 07-09-2014, 02:01 PM   #27
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I've seen other FIs who have became arrogant, boastful, and aloof to others. A few of them acted like they can solve everything with money and raise their children that way. E.g, rather than spending time with their child, they will give the child another toy (e.g, latest tablet) never to see the child again until next toy becomes available.

I have to check myself time to time to not fall into a similar trap.
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:29 PM   #28
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I find FI (or almost FI) very empowering. As a result, the annoyances seem much less bothersome and my personal response to them is less annoyance, not more.
Where I worked we called it "earning your KMA* hat". A lot of annoyances went away.

*KMA=Kiss My %ss.
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:54 PM   #29
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Also, I get happier since I feel as if people around me have less power over me. They never had any to begin with, but still.

You might be one of the 297 people in America who can say that.

Are you married? Been in the military? Have a boss? Drive a car? File a tax return? Go through customs?

Various people have power, or can assert power over me, and I don't believe that will change until I am no longer living.

Ha
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:43 AM   #30
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I've told the story before about reaching FI but continuing to w*rk because I had arrived at a place which was very satisfying. When that changed abruptly, I gave my notice and was gone before HR even had a chance to take my picture for the retiree newsletter. Who was it who said "I've been rich and I've been poor. Rich is better." YMMV
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:51 AM   #31
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Koolau, I would love to hear some details about your departure if you care to share. What was the straw that broke the camel's back? Did you walk out that day or give a few weeks of notice? Just curious.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:59 AM   #32
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I agree that it gives one choices and that is a good thing. I also think it 'can' make one lose perspective a bit. It is difficult to relate to someone who doesn't have the financial means to just buy their way out, or walk away. Most people do not have that luxury and it is good to keep perspective about that aspect.

Other than that, I don't see a downside though.
Very true. If often catch myself when I hear someone complaining that they don't have X amount of $$ to pay for something. Yet at the same time, I keep my opinion to myself because they actually could have that $$, but they spent it on $15 lunches, expensive vacations (because they deserved it), new cars, boats, etc... I just shrug and try to fake a bit of empathy.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:03 AM   #33
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Koolau, I would love to hear some details about your departure if you care to share. What was the straw that broke the camel's back? Did you walk out that day or give a few weeks of notice? Just curious.
Okay, the short version of the long story: I had always had a mental picture of the "perfect j*b". Essentially, I would be an expert in a narrow field of competency. It took me a long time to get there. I did it by identifying the field, early in my c@reer, becoming educated in that area and then demonstrating my competency by pulling off a couple of spectacular "saves" for Megacorp (no brag - just fact). Typically, Megacorps have a short memory (not to mention short attention span) and it was decided I should go back to being a "generalist".

Once I got the "news", I walked into my boss's office, the day after labor day, and informed him my last day in the office would be Friday. He was stunned for a moment. (My actual retirement date was weeks later since I had vacation saved.)

Before I left, my division director stopped at my desk and was also incredulous that I was leaving. I basically said "My new assignment is something I don't want to do. I don't have to do it because I'm retiring." Again, there was a stunned silence. The gratifying aftermath was hearing from a friend that the my director had relayed the story at some gathering, months later. The director then stated "When my time comes, I'd like to do it the way Ko'olau did it."
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:21 AM   #34
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Where I worked we called it "earning your KMA* hat". A lot of annoyances went away.

*KMA=Kiss My %ss.
I agree. It was a sense of inner peace and heightened tolerance.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:31 AM   #35
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At one of my old employers, the retirement policy was "age plus years of service = 85 points" So when a person reached that 85 points, and was still working, it was referred to as their KMA Day. Basically, if the BS of work got to be too much, they told the company to "KMA, I am out of here"
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:15 AM   #36
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As many others have already posted, FI = options. The option to continue working if you enjoy it, the option to leave if you don't, even the option to tell your boss "kiss my ass" if you really want them to know how you feel.

I'm a few months away from being fully vested, but I've already mentally checked out of the place I'm at, and starting to exhibit certain behaviors I associated with being (almost) FI. I've started telling people "no" a lot more to projects, conference calls, business trips, etc, I'm not interested in. I'm speaking my mind a lot more, and not holding back my opinions as much as I normally do. I'm far less tolerant of BS and politics in the workplace now, and call people out for it.

So, yes, my tolerance for BS, both in and out of the workplace, is decreasing.

I'm also the kind of person to buy my way out of things, or buy better service, regardless of FI. If I can afford it, I will buy first class or business class airline tickets instead of coach. Hell, I'd charter a private jet if I could afford it (I HATE commercial airline travel).

Once, I had a fridge break in the house and the repair people told me it would take a few days to get new parts. I bought a new one instead.

To me, money buys options, and for me, those options include not having to tolerate BS as much, not sticking around at a job I don't like, and fixing day-to-day problems much easier even though it means paying more to eliminate them.
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:19 AM   #37
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On the flip side, I can't imagine not being FI. The mere thought of having to work/answer to someone else about where I am and what i'm doing is flat out intolerable!
I love the freedom having $ brings. I am happier now than any time in my life...except for a few times in college . Being your own boss in all aspects is a good gig.
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:34 AM   #38
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Being free to decide how I spend my time is of great value to me. Like many people here, I find myself constantly occupied and rarely bored, asking myself "How did I get all of this done when I was working?"

Of course, the answer is I didn't get it all done.
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:14 PM   #39
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You might be one of the 297 people in America who can say that.

Are you married? Been in the military? Have a boss? Drive a car? File a tax return? Go through customs?

Various people have power, or can assert power over me, and I don't believe that will change until I am no longer living.

Ha
Fair enough. I was mostly talking though about the work environment where you trade income and in turn give someone a great deal of say on how you spend most of your time. I tend to forget that that agreement is voluntary, and being FI helps reminding me of that fact.

Also, just to be pedantic: I don't live in the US, am not married, never been in the military, am self-employed, (almost) never drive, and have an accountant that files my taxes. You do have me on the customs bit, I like to travel
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Old 07-10-2014, 12:15 PM   #40
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On the flip side, I can't imagine not being FI. The mere thought of having to work/answer to someone else about where I am and what i'm doing is flat out intolerable!
I love the freedom having $ brings. I am happier now than any time in my life...except for a few times in college . Being your own boss in all aspects is a good gig.
Agreed. Once I FIRE, my goal is to never work for anybody else again. Ever. No more jobs, no more bosses, no more compromises with my time.
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