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How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-06-2007, 06:49 AM   #1
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How long delayed FIRE?

Did anyone significantly delay their RE from when they first became FI? I can think of a few reasons:

really enjoyed what they did; SO was w*rking anyway so couldn't really travel etc; scared...

If you did delay, for about how long, what were the major reasons, and perhaps most importantly, looking back to you have regrets that you did? Thanks
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-06-2007, 08:07 AM   #2
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?

Firewhen:

I have reached FI this year. So I guess you can't say I have "significantly" delayed RE. However, my hangup is that I have not determined what the "next phase" is. I believe this is due to my type A, lack of hobbies, etc. I can see this taking me a few years to RE.

Bob Clyatt's "Work More, Live Less" first chapter is called Figure Out Why You Want To Do This. Guess I'm still on chapter one, however, (don't tell) I have read the remaining of the book .

I look forward to the responses to your question.

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Re: How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-06-2007, 09:32 AM   #3
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?

Ah, yes. The infamous "just one more year" problem.

I'm guilty. Here is my thinking (which I'm rethinking):
  • Probably FI but a little too close for comfort at our current lifestyle, so some more cushion is in order.
  • Market has been good. Too good. About to retreat, better hang in there.
  • Like my work a lot. Gotta keep going or the void will be too big.
  • Better down-size the house before FIRE to allow more flexibility of expenses, increase assets, etc. But housing market is awful for sellers, so better wait.
  • Making good money now, every extra year means big retirement savings.
  • Kids and grandkids are still a little unsettled - better to let them sink roots somewhere before making the final retirement decision
  • etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc

Philosophically I know that a list similar to the above will be there no matter when I FIRE, so ... you know the drill. I'm near the tipping point, though, and probably will know it when the time is right.

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Re: How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-06-2007, 09:45 AM   #4
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?

I could have probably retired a couple of years earlier, but it was more of a matter of preparing myself for a major transition. Plus the time period between which I probably could have FIREd and when I actually did, I saw a spike down and recovery in my net worth.

I owned a lot of company stock.

I did have to wrestle with the idea of living off of investments. That was a very scary idea to me. So I needed time to gradually diversify away from company stock and build a more stable retirement portfolio.

And finally, I needed time to make a personal transition plan, and to start handing things at my job so that I could exit gracefully. I had worked there for almost 18 years and was in a fairly senior role.

I gave my company about 6 months notice so that they could handle the transition and allow me to train a replacement. But I was implementing things privately at least 6 months before that - not committing to major new projects, delegating things well so that I had to no long term commitments. Focusing more on training other people. LOL - I remember getting a low grant on the final stock options grant go round because "I didn't seem that committed" - but they didn't quite make the connection that I was really withdrawing.

Oh yeah - I also spent the time getting back into much better physical shape, and I took more vacations and spent a lot of time sailing. This was also some kind of "prep" for me.

When I finally did retire I was on much firmer footing financially, and had finished most of my divesting before taking that giant leap of faith....

Audrey
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-06-2007, 10:06 AM   #5
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?

I became FI in mid 2004, and celebrated by paying off my mortgage. I had
full confidence that I had enough $$, and no concerns about being bored.

However, at that moment my job (programming) was going very well. I was
at 0 stress at tasks that I could do in my sleep, yet interesting enough to
hold my attention, flat 40 hour weeks, relaxing commute on my bike, laid
back boss, etc, so I took the opportunity to pad up the $$ for a while. You
know work situations this pleasant do not last forever.

Mine lasted an additional 2 years. Top management then forced all programmers
into a very unpleasant work environment (extreme programming) at that
point, and that triggered my retirement last year. I have no regrets. My
savings had reached 60% over my target, allowing me a much lower
withdrawal rate and the ability to use a dividend-only income stream, which
to me is a much lower stress way of living.
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-06-2007, 11:32 AM   #6
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?

I became FI 2 years ago after an inheritance from my Mom. Frankly, I had never counted on getting anything. It took me at least a year to acclimatize to the fact that this gave me choices. I have been researching and planning ever since and have learnt a lot from this board. Simultaneously, my career has been going well and although my work is exhausting it is very fulfilling at present. So I'm focusing on medium term plans to RE, when certain milestones will have been achieved at work. Those include getting access to my defined contribution pension, and succession planning. Many physicians work well into their seventies and beyond so I know there will be a surprise when I announce my resignation. Unfortunately I will have to give lots of notice.
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-06-2007, 04:29 PM   #7
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?

I was FI in 2002 and ERd but then went with a different company with the original expecation of one more year.

Four years later, I am now going to ER. A lot of reasons for the delay..some personal and some professional. All that is behind me now and now is the time.
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-06-2007, 06:02 PM   #8
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?

We are FI, but we have not reached our target retirement amount. We should be there in about 4.5 years. Bottom line: we will RE in 4.5 years. If the target is not met, we will trim back a little on planned discretionary expenses. Of planned expenses are higher than our current expenses... so it will not be a problem. Mainly waiting on Health Benes.
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-06-2007, 09:51 PM   #9
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?

Reached FI a couple of years ago but the cost of insurance outside the company plan caused me to stay around. The boss is letting me move my reponsibilities to my "next in line" and take some extra time off ( in addition to four weeks vacation) during the next 18 months. So , it looks like I am gradually drifting into retirement.
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-07-2007, 09:21 AM   #10
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?

I could have retired about 10 months ago, but haven't, for many of the reasons that Rich_in_Tampa outlined -- plus a project at work I'd like to see through. My current plan calls for about one more year of work. But we'll see....

Coach
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-07-2007, 11:03 AM   #11
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?

We reached FI about two years before retiring...but as my DH is self employed and we relied on my employer's benefits (esp. health insurance), I waited to RE until eligible for benefits (at 55 years old).

Must say that my attitude about work definitely was affected once we reached FI -- knowing that I could walk if I wanted to really made a difference!
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-07-2007, 08:18 PM   #12
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?

DW and I are right at the point of pulling the trigger. The numbers work but we want to build a bit more wealth for a cushion. The fact that we both like what we do is making the choice easier.
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-07-2007, 09:00 PM   #13
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?

Quote:
Originally Posted by firewhen
Did anyone significantly delay their RE from when they first became FI?
If you did delay, for about how long, what were the major reasons, and perhaps most importantly, looking back to you have regrets that you did?
Heck no. Navy was pretty insistent that I leave at 20 years of service.

For the first 6-12 months I was a bit concerned that I was ER before reaching FI but I haven't felt that way for a few years. However at the time I wasn't actually so concerned that I hauled my butt out of the recliner to look for a job, either.

No regrets on skipping the job offers, either.
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-16-2007, 07:47 PM   #14
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?

Worked a year and a half past my earliest pension date to boost the $ amount to a number that I liked. During that time the market also stayed in recovery so that eased some concerns. The extra time boosted retiree health care to include my spouse (received no info on retirement benefits from my employer, none!).
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-17-2007, 04:46 AM   #15
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?

I think FI is as much an emotional decision as a mathematical one.
It's a bit of a gray area, you might be FI but then decided you want
a little more just in case....
TJ
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-19-2007, 08:29 PM   #16
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?

We are financially independent today - probably have been for a year or so. We plan to ER a year from now - about 2 1/2 years ahead of schedule.

I do worry that the stock market will drop & reduce the padding we have, or that health-care will be more expensive than expected, we'll want to spend more than we do now due to extra free time..etc etc.

I balance that with the fact that we live in a nice house in one of the highest cost of living areas in the country, so we can cut back to a less expensive house in a part of the state that has lower property taxes; or move to a lower cost of living part of the country, or vacation in a less expensive part of the world for a few months each year, or if things go south soon, I could return to work - though I'd need to do that within 2-3 years or else my skills will be obsolete.

I've been spending a lot of time thinking about ER & re-running the calculations now that its within sight. This board has been a super source of cammaraderie and support. Thank you all.

ww.
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-19-2007, 10:45 PM   #17
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?

Guilty!

Both me and DW are children of serious depression era parents. Our parents did come close to starving in the great Cdn dustbowl. Later, every spare cent they had went to making sure that they never were hungry again.

While we are not quite as bad as them, we learned LBYM early.It bothers me a bit that both parents, when they had accumulated 7-digit savings wouldn't spend anything on themselves, now we have it and odds are that our ungrateful children will eventually squander it all. After all, the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.

Some things last generations, the great depression is one of them.
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-19-2007, 11:03 PM   #18
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?

My parents raised 10 kids, working over 6 days a week, no vacation until they retire at 60+ and then my father was too frail to enjoy anything but watching TV. Lesson learned for me, ER before i turned 47 and no kids please.
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-19-2007, 11:19 PM   #19
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kumquat
... , now we have it and odds are that our ungrateful children will eventually squander it all.
I say break the 'enablement' string ... squander it yourself.... if you need help let me know .... I saw a real nice 67 footer .. but I'll have to learn how to sail....
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?
Old 05-20-2007, 10:39 AM   #20
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Re: How long delayed FIRE?

I think I am FI now but haven't retired yet. I am 59 and have a net worth over 600K so wouldn't starve. My boyfriend/roommate gives me 170 per week, I could sell my house and move someplace cheaper to save having a mortgage. I don't retire yet because:

The longer I wait the nicer next home I can buy.

He can't retire yet and doesn't seem to be saving enough, I won't support him, he wouldn't let me anyhow. So he would have a huge commute if I retired.

I like my boss and my job is easy. If my boss retires I might too since I may not want to deal with the next one or they might try to make me take his job and I don't want to.

11 more months my profit sharing will be 100% vested instead of 80% but it isn't enough to worry about.

This year will be very profitable the profit sharing might be awesome.

My networth is increasing at about 60K per year if I retired it wouldn't and I like watching it go up.

I need a trigger like my boss retiring or the company being sold then I would retire
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