Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
ER Summary 2 1/2 years in!
Old 12-03-2015, 11:59 AM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 684
ER Summary 2 1/2 years in!

I joined the ER forum in 2006, and thanks to the many great contributors, I hit the ER button in 2013. I thought I would write this summary one year in, but it’s probably better to summarize now after 2 Ĺ years. I am still evolving in this process. Let me just say that ER has been great, but a significant change, and one that is one of the biggest changes in my life. The only others that compare are getting married and having a child. In both cases, there is significant impact on roles, personality, finances, and relationships. Even with those you love dearly, the changes in roles are significant. I can only imagine the impacts if someone was forced into ER, or they misjudged the decision.

I have been very busy, and planned too much at times, much like the old me. But we learned that, “hey, we can do that tomorrow, or Monday”. I learned that much of my stress was actually created by me. Not everything needs to be jammed into the weekends now. We can work around the weather, and even travel to areas where the weather is better. Surprising that the weather in Florida can even vary from coast to coast and in the middle of the state, so we go with the flow.

We have developed a great hobby – kayak fishing. Florida is great for fishing, and the kayaking adds another level for us. My wife actually blazed the trail here, paying for much of it and doing an extensive amount of learning. Amazing stuff for us, and it was not really on my ER radar at all

There have been a few minor, surprises. I thought I would wash my car more, but it’s actually dirtier than prior to ER. Partly because we are traveling a lot, and why wash it, when it gets dirty again. And after our travel trips, which often involve a lot of kayaking, fishing, golfing, or cleaning up at MIL house, I don’t have the energy to wash the car. Before ER, washing the car was a nice break after work, or an easy task on a weekend, somewhat of a stress reliever. Now there is no stress, and I don’t drive a car to work anymore, so nobody to impress. Same is true with yard work.

My true personality is coming back, which can be exciting, but challenging, and a little dangerous for relationships. My wife thinks I brought some of my work personality into ER, since it needed a place to go, but I think it’s more complicated than that. However, I know that some of my personality issues I dealt with at Megacorp came home with me. I remember a conversation I had with my best friend when we had graduated high school, and were preparing for college. No more easy street. For the next 35 years, my personality was formed and bounded by being a dedicated worker, wrapped around the role of spouse and Father. In addition to technical issues, I worked hard at self-improvement, including reading books and attending seminars on leadership. Now, who cares? My attitude has plummeted to apathetic on some issues. I probably need to spend some additional time in this area to make sure that my relationships continue to be good. Despite a good marriage, the 24 x 7 time with each other can create conflicts. And I can’t go to the water cooler to vent with someone who has the same issues.

I am sleeping way better than I ever did. I never used an alarm clock when I was working, because my eyes would always pop open at 5:00 a.m. Now, as long as there are no big personal issues going on, I easily roll over, and go back to sleep. 7:30 seems normal time, and
yesterday, I slept until 8:30.

I did not miss ANYTHING or ANYONE from work. This was despite the last couple months when I thought I may as I got closer to ER. I have interfaced with a few people, but they are leading the same old life, 100 mph, and most have no time. I will caution others, though, that this may be a big challenge. It is certainly a big change, and you have to really know yourself to understand if this may impact you.

My transition to ER was nearly immediate – one minute after walking out the door. I had started keeping a list of “what I would do after I retire”, and it proved to keep me very busy. Add in the opportunities that came up, and we would just jump at the chance. These items started to form the basis of a lifestyle change.

I looked forward to spending some of my 401k/IRA/72t funds. I was always willing to spend a pile after I earned it. I don’t have any problems spending within the 4% levels. I plan on taking a long-term look every few years, but no worries here.

I spend very little time analyzing my expenses. I used to be a detailed Quicken person, but now, with most of our spending habits ingrained, I don’t worry about the details. If we start to spend too much, I could see myself getting back into Quicken. For now, I just look at the big picture on an annual basis. I did have a $312 per month increase in insurance, so that may force some analysis next year.

Vacations are different now. Planning used to be dependent on work, and whatever deadlines or projects were due. I used to count the days, and try to grind through them until vacation. Packing and preparation was usually frantic, trying to get everything done at home and at work. Returning was also stressful, too. I always dreaded Mondays, but the Monday after vacation was particularly challenging. I usually stressed about this on the travel home, often a little crabbier than I was. Now we go whenever we want to, and avoid the weekend travelers if we are going local, and we avoid the rush hours. Since there is no rush to get back, we prefer to travel with our dog, and DW hates to fly, we now drive more than fly, which allows the experiences of various items we never knew existed. It is way more flexible. After Labor Day, we were a little rushed, so we delayed our trip one day. Everyone asked when we were coming back, and we said we weren’t sure. It drives some of the planners in the family a little crazy, but it’s not my problem.

It’s easy for me to help with errands and small tasks around the house. I do yard work whenever it’s convenient, not late some evening after work. Usually I like to do in afternoon or mid-morning, depending on the weather. I may go for a bike ride after that.

It’s a lot easier to fix things when they break, since I have plenty of time. I also tend to finish larger projects, put tools away, and not leave tasks half done.

We have settled in to two-house routine, although that is still evolving, and will likely continue to do so. We have an 1800 square foot house up north we downsized to, and a 1200 square foot townhome in Florida that we bought in 2012, one year prior to ER. We do about seven months in Florida, and five months up north. We have talked about various scenarios in the future, but this works for now. For us, we like the warm weather that Florida provides. We don’t miss the fall, winter, or spring. If not for the oppressive heat in Florida during May – September, we would consider living there full time. If not for the family, old friends, and reasonable house costs up north, we would consider selling there. As it is, we budgeted both places into our ER plans, and bought the Florida place in part to establish real costs prior to ER. So no regrets here. One wild thought I have is to actually have a smaller, third place on the coast, near fishing and on the Gulf side. It’s all fun to plan and wonder.

After one year of ER, I went back to my Megacorp as a contractor for five months. Prior to ER, I had put together a list of work options, including not working at all, and continuing to work and not ER. The contractor gig scored the highest, and it proved to be a good idea. There was little stress going back, and I initially signed up for only three months, so my “countdown” to resuming ER started at 66 days! I nice number to deal with. The pay was good, and the responsibility and assignments were easy. Even some of my old adversaries were glad to see me. There were a few people jealous/resentful of my double-dipping. They asked me to stay for another six months, but I declined, since it was too cold, and it was starting to feel more like work. I have since turned down two additional offers, both full-time, three month minimum contracts. Too many family issues to deal with, and they did not want to entertain part-time or telecommuting.

We have jumped in to a lot of critical family issues. After spending more time with MIL, it became clear that she was suffering from vascular dementia. We have since found her assisted living, emptied and sold one of her homes, emptied and trying to rent her remaining house, and taken over all of her finances. My wife is now her durable POA. Prior to ER, we may have not noticed issues, or not as been as involved. Maybe my wife would have struggled solo with much of this. At times, I resented my BIL who does absolutely nothing. But, we can take breaks from this as needed, and I wouldn’t trade my life for his. So I am over that. ER allows that to happen, and it provided the skill set necessary. Even the ER forum has helped here. I have similar issues to deal with on my side of the family, but I will spare the details.

I love Sundays and Mondays now. No stress. I feel sorry for those still dealing with this.

I dislike any schedules or routines. Even tee times at the golf course seem a little restrictive. I prefer to just go when it strikes me and there is nothing else going on. Same with riding my bike. They are both fill-in activities for me now.

I have avoided volunteer commitments, although I will jump in and help on something if it works that day or week. Maybe that will change when I get into my sixties.

All in all, it has been great, and this forum was instrumental in making it happen. It continues to be a great source for me!!!
__________________

__________________
48Fire is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-03-2015, 12:23 PM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
jjquantz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 846
Thanks for the update. Sounds like you have made a complete adjustment.
__________________

__________________
jjquantz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2015, 01:09 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
robnplunder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 2,124
Quote:
Originally Posted by 48Fire View Post
My true personality is coming back, which can be exciting, but challenging, and a little dangerous for relationships. My wife thinks I brought some of my work personality into ER, since it needed a place to go, but I think itís more complicated than that. However, I know that some of my personality issues I dealt with at Megacorp came home with me. I remember a conversation I had with my best friend when we had graduated high school, and were preparing for college. No more easy street. For the next 35 years, my personality was formed and bounded by being a dedicated worker, wrapped around the role of spouse and Father. In addition to technical issues, I worked hard at self-improvement, including reading books and attending seminars on leadership. Now, who cares? My attitude has plummeted to apathetic on some issues. I probably need to spend some additional time in this area to make sure that my relationships continue to be good. Despite a good marriage, the 24 x 7 time with each other can create conflicts. And I canít go to the water cooler to vent with someone who has the same issues.
I need to get my personality back, too. Having been a leadership role for so long, I need to start behaving like another member of a herd instead of a stag all the time.
__________________
Pura Vida
robnplunder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2015, 02:46 PM   #4
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by robnplunder View Post
I need to get my personality back, too. Having been a leadership role for so long, I need to start behaving like another member of a herd instead of a stag all the time.
Yeah, it's a big challenge to decelerate in ER. Some do it naturally if they are exhausted. I think it is harder for others.
__________________
48Fire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2015, 02:59 PM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
jjquantz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 846
Quote:
Originally Posted by 48Fire View Post
Yeah, it's a big challenge to decelerate in ER. Some do it naturally if they are exhausted. I think it is harder for others.
Some of us never learned to accelerate in the first place.
__________________
jjquantz is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2015, 03:43 PM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjquantz View Post
Some of us never learned to accelerate in the first place.
Haha, that's true! Probably easier for me, since it wasn't natural behavior to be so driven.
__________________
48Fire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2015, 04:05 PM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
urn2bfree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 711
Quote:
Originally Posted by 48Fire View Post
[SIZE=3][FONT=Calibri]
I dislike any schedules or routines. Even tee times at the golf course seem a little restrictive.
+1
This is something my family and friends just cannot comprehend...



Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
urn2bfree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2015, 04:44 PM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Midwest
Posts: 890
Nice post. Interesting about your two homes. DW and I are both about 2 1/4 months in, although I still work part time, when I feel like it. We also purchased a Florida home two years ago. We are the reverse: 4 months in FL (Gulf coast) and 8 months up north. Really, the best of both worlds (although we talk about changing to a 6/6 month routine-still too cold in April in Indiana!). And the spur of the moment vacations are the best! Just last week we decided to visit the coast of South Carolina for a few days, since we had never been there. Couldn't have done that in the "old" life!
__________________
brucethebroker is offline   Reply With Quote
LR 6 years in
Old 12-12-2015, 05:40 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Souschef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Santa Paula
Posts: 1,176
LR 6 years in

I retired in January 2009. Two days after LR, We were on a plane to South America for a two week tour. The only reason I waited until January was to collect my profit sharing, which was 7% of my salary.
And now for the rest of the story.
My wife was brain injured in 1993, and I was her caregiver until she passed away in 2005. I had to work to keep up the medical insurance, especially for her. After she died, I kept working to have something to fill the time. I did a bit of traveling on my own, but it is not the same as with a partner.
In the mean time, I was putting money into my 401K with a shovel! The company had a 3% match on the first 6%, and there was also the catch up provision.
Well life is funny, because I met a widow who shares my love of travel. We were married on the island of Santorini in November while on a cruise.
The only problem we had was downsizing from 2 1800 sq foot homes to one 1400 sq foot home. Needless to say, eBay, Craig's List and the Salvation Army all helped.
Now to the financial aspects:
I have my SS and a small pension from my company. My wife has survivor's SS and a small pension from a union.
Our home is free and clear, and property tax is $400 a year. Our cars are paid for, and our credit cards are paid off every month.
I transferred my 401K into an IRA, and it has done quite well. My wife has some stocks plus her late husband's IRA. I also have an IRA account, plus some taxable accounts.
We basically LBOM, but do quite a bit of traveling. We budget somewhere between 10K and 20K for travel every year.
I fly for Angel Flight and Pilots & Paws, volunteer on a tourist train, do data entry and data reduction for a local food bank, and help prepare taxes for low income people through the IRS-AARP program.
We manage to stay out of each others hair, and we share a passion for cooking. I am the souschef and the cleaner upper.
Life is good!
__________________
Souschef is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2015, 03:50 PM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucethebroker View Post
Nice post. Interesting about your two homes. DW and I are both about 2 1/4 months in, although I still work part time, when I feel like it. We also purchased a Florida home two years ago. We are the reverse: 4 months in FL (Gulf coast) and 8 months up north. Really, the best of both worlds (although we talk about changing to a 6/6 month routine-still too cold in April in Indiana!). And the spur of the moment vacations are the best! Just last week we decided to visit the coast of South Carolina for a few days, since we had never been there. Couldn't have done that in the "old" life!
Thanks, that's great! Looking forward to heading back to Florida from Indiana after the holiday visit.
__________________
48Fire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2015, 03:52 PM   #11
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by Souschef View Post
I retired in January 2009. Two days after LR, We were on a plane to South America for a two week tour. The only reason I waited until January was to collect my profit sharing, which was 7% of my salary.
And now for the rest of the story.
My wife was brain injured in 1993, and I was her caregiver until she passed away in 2005. I had to work to keep up the medical insurance, especially for her. After she died, I kept working to have something to fill the time. I did a bit of traveling on my own, but it is not the same as with a partner.
In the mean time, I was putting money into my 401K with a shovel! The company had a 3% match on the first 6%, and there was also the catch up provision.
Well life is funny, because I met a widow who shares my love of travel. We were married on the island of Santorini in November while on a cruise.
The only problem we had was downsizing from 2 1800 sq foot homes to one 1400 sq foot home. Needless to say, eBay, Craig's List and the Salvation Army all helped.
Now to the financial aspects:
I have my SS and a small pension from my company. My wife has survivor's SS and a small pension from a union.
Our home is free and clear, and property tax is $400 a year. Our cars are paid for, and our credit cards are paid off every month.
I transferred my 401K into an IRA, and it has done quite well. My wife has some stocks plus her late husband's IRA. I also have an IRA account, plus some taxable accounts.
We basically LBOM, but do quite a bit of traveling. We budget somewhere between 10K and 20K for travel every year.
I fly for Angel Flight and Pilots & Paws, volunteer on a tourist train, do data entry and data reduction for a local food bank, and help prepare taxes for low income people through the IRS-AARP program.
We manage to stay out of each others hair, and we share a passion for cooking. I am the souschef and the cleaner upper.
Life is good!
Glad everything worked!
__________________
48Fire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2015, 09:14 AM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Live And Learn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Tampa Bay Area
Posts: 1,688
I love updates ! Thanks for posting. Onward and upward !!!
__________________
"For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." ~
Hebrews 12:11

ER'd in June 2015 at age 52. Initial WR 3%. 50/40/10 (Equity/Bond/Short Term) AA.
Live And Learn is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2015, 09:37 AM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 56
Thanks for the update! My last day of work is April 29 2016 so I am looking forward to my "real self" coming back as opposed to the grumpy one that comes home from work everyday.
__________________
OnTheBeach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2015, 01:25 PM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 213
Excellent update. Thanks for sharing.


Sent from my iPhone using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
RenoJay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2015, 02:32 PM   #15
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by Live And Learn View Post
I love updates ! Thanks for posting. Onward and upward !!!
Thanks, you too!
__________________
48Fire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2015, 02:35 PM   #16
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheBeach View Post
Thanks for the update! My last day of work is April 29 2016 so I am looking forward to my "real self" coming back as opposed to the grumpy one that comes home from work everyday.
Your welcome! Hope your SO enjoys the "real self".
__________________
48Fire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2015, 02:36 PM   #17
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 684
Quote:
Originally Posted by RenoJay View Post
Excellent update. Thanks for sharing.


Sent from my iPhone using Early Retirement Forum
Thanks, I always enjoyed these before ER. Kind of like a prisoner released, and letting everyone know what life is like outside the walls.
__________________

__________________
48Fire is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HSA Summary TromboneAl FIRE and Money 96 12-28-2006 08:28 PM
Health Insurance Summary REWahoo Health and Early Retirement 18 12-21-2006 03:59 PM
SUMMARY OF MY LAST YEAR OF E-MAILS Alex Other topics 0 12-07-2006 06:07 PM
Summary of S&D allocations? lazyday FIRE and Money 15 01-24-2006 11:09 AM
Summary of tax law changes thru 2010 Nords FIRE and Money 7 07-08-2005 11:07 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:59 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.