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How to stay FIREd?
Old 01-09-2012, 07:54 PM   #1
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How to stay FIREd?

FIRE has been something that I have looked forward to for long.
Now, into a phase where have one year's expense in cash, rest of the amount in real estate and some in the market. A job just ended, so thought will give FIRE a shot.

We LBYM, with some travel expenses (about twice a year) and have enough to FIRE.

Few weeks into FIRE, here are the concerns:
1. Unable to answer questions from family & friends on what my next job is? Specially with parents still working.
2. My passion/ pass time was to LBYM and FIRE. With that on its way, wonder what to do next? Volunteer, take care of things around the house, browse forums,follow the market, is something one can do, even with a job. There is a push from within me to keep working for money for I do not seem to enjoy much else!!
3. Without incoming income, feeling uncomfortable to spend from savings.
4. Sorry to say this, but kinda feel useless. Do not follow organized schedule (sleep, eat and shower at odd times), everyday feels the same, the enthusiasm is low. Weekends do not excite me anymore.
5. Friends are at the workplace, so now have to request lunch dates rather than just go with the flow.

In short, life seems to be centered around work and everything else is something to be enjoyed at or between work.

Could take up a job, and earlier there was FIRE to look forward to, but now what?!

Any advice please? Where am I going wrong?
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:01 PM   #2
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Any advice please? Where am I going wrong?
You may not be going wrong at all. You just may need to give it some time. Life changes can take some time for adjustment.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:44 PM   #3
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You may not be going wrong at all. You just may need to give it some time. Life changes can take some time for adjustment.
Thanks steelymann. That's about i,t is it? Feels like an anticlimax to what I was expecting FIRE to be like.
Once I get used to this, then going back to the old schedule may feel the same probably!
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:56 PM   #4
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Congrats on getting to FIRE. You are going through a major life change. It will take time to adjust to a new routine and get comfortable with it. If you don't have immediate family, i.e. parents, kids, grand kids, etc) in the area, that needs your assistance, you have much more freedom.

After a few months, if you are still itching, look for a fun volunteer activity or part time job to learn something new.

I'm not ER'd but I hope my schedule is something like this (at age 50 or so):

Morning - wake up
Mid-Morning - turn on radio/TV, have breakfast, shower, internet
Mid-Day - errands, bike ride, walk, bug DW or whatever I want, light lunch
Evening - dinner with the kids as mines will be in high school, kids activities maybe (they might not want me there LoL), research/plan vacation deals
Late night - TV and internet/reading

repeat and alter as desired YMMV
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:53 AM   #5
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If being FIREd is that difficult for you, why don't you get a part time job ?
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Originally Posted by FIREINDUS View Post
There is a push from within me to keep working for money for I do not seem to enjoy much else!!
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:32 AM   #6
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IMHO, it sounds like you are not ready.

Just because you can, dosen't necessarily mean you should.

As an example, DW/me were to retire in the same month, just under five years ago. I retired, she did not due to finding out she was not "emotionally ready" to do so, a week before submitting her retirement papers.

The last (almost) five years have been all I expected from retirement. DW? She's still employed since it suits her "lifestyle" and need for interaction (with folks, other than me ).

What has made her life much easier is that she can leave any day she wishes, without any financial concern (e.g. there is enough water to jump in the pool, whenever she's ready).

Just my simple POV...
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:28 AM   #7
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Just because you can, dosen't necessarily mean you should.

.
Remember this site is FIRE--Financial independence comes before retirement, early or otherwise. Once you are financially independent work or do whatever you want. After I hit retirement age with enough assets (and a medical 'event' inducing me) I was ready to go and I liked my job. Until FI I worked because I had to after that because I wanted to. It changed the nature of the job that I could leave if I wanted, took a lot of pressure off.
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREINDUS View Post
FIRE has been something that I have looked forward to for long.
Now, into a phase where have one year's expense in cash, rest of the amount in real estate and some in the market. A job just ended, so thought will give FIRE a shot.

We LBYM, with some travel expenses (about twice a year) and have enough to FIRE.

Few weeks into FIRE, here are the concerns:
1. Unable to answer questions from family & friends on what my next job is? Specially with parents still working.
You could say, "I'm in a pretty good situation financially so I'm not in any rush, especially with the job market and economy being as bad as it has been lately. I think I'll take a break for now."

Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREINDUS
2. My passion/ pass time was to LBYM and FIRE. With that on its way, wonder what to do next? Volunteer, take care of things around the house, browse forums,follow the market, is something one can do, even with a job. There is a push from within me to keep working for money for I do not seem to enjoy much else!!
Might be worth devoting some thought as to why this is. Maybe you don't like feeling in control of your own time, or maybe you are not fully convinced that you are financially secure, maybe you are like me and have a hard time handling change, or maybe there is some other reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREINDUS
3. Without incoming income, feeling uncomfortable to spend from savings.
This I wouldn't know about. I only spend dividends, which are my income. I never spend from my principal/savings. (I also have a teeny tiny pension, but that isn't a big factor for me.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREINDUS
4. Sorry to say this, but kinda feel useless. Do not follow organized schedule (sleep, eat and shower at odd times), everyday feels the same, the enthusiasm is low. Weekends do not excite me anymore.
Yes, every day is a weekend for you, now. I think the suggestions in other posts of perhaps volunteering or taking a part time job are good. Another possibility is finding a project to work on, such as building a bookcase, organizing your files, going to the gym and getting more physically fit, or whatever appeals to you and would feel like an accomplishment to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREINDUS
5. Friends are at the workplace, so now have to request lunch dates rather than just go with the flow.
It's a good idea to make a point of getting out of the house and around other people every day. If you choose to go to the gym, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or whatever else in order to do this, you will probably gradually make some friends there.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREINDUS
In short, life seems to be centered around work and everything else is something to be enjoyed at or between work.

Could take up a job, and earlier there was FIRE to look forward to, but now what?!

Any advice please? Where am I going wrong?
I was lucky in that my adjustment to retirement went unusually smoothly, but one never knows. So, had it not, I planned to read Zelinski's "How to Retire, Wild, Happy, and Free" which some forum members said was extremely helpful in the psychological adjustment to retirement. So, I thought I'd pass that information on.

Good luck to you, and I hope that whatever you choose to do ends up in a happy, even blissful future for you.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:21 AM   #9
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Thank you Aiming_4_55, obgyn65, rescueme, yakers, W2R. All very valid points.
Though have the funds, it seems like I'm not ready.

Aiming_4_55, have no immediate family around in the same town.
Per my individual perception, folks who cannot find a job soon enough, seem less skilled. Wrong, but a perception it is. Same with my family.

obgyn65 and yakers, probably would take up a job (temporary in nature) soon, not sure of the same pay, but something worthwhile.

rescueme, yes, it is becoming clear as days go by, I'm not mentally ready for this yet.

W2R, I have to go the dividend route too, any suggestions on this please. Have read a few blogs, but other competing investments have always taken the priority. Now, thinking about, after one year, having to dilute one of the investments makes me uncomfortable.
(Thank you for the suggestion on the book, will read soon).

One thing I have to agree, have started appreciating the simple pleasures of life, have begun to notice people and surroundings more carefully, and in general, life seems more meaningful in a way (this contradicts my earlier thoughts, but apart from a regular routine, more money, and buddies to chat, W*rk just consumes life).

Planning to take it slow, and take more than a few days off each year and move to FIREd. Not just pull the plug, but one week or month at a time and keep increasing the window as needed.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:20 PM   #10
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You are not alone and I know the feeling, though 6 months in I haven't found myself bored yet. In addition to
Amazon.com: How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor (9780969419495): Ernie J. Zelinski: Books mentioned above,

I'd add
Amazon.com: Work Less, Live More: The Way to Semi-Retirement (9781413307054): Robert Clyatt: Books

and/or
Amazon.com: Encore: Finding Work that Matters in the Second Half of Life (9781586486341): Marc Freedman: Books.

My local library had all three, though they were so good I bought the first two - maybe you can find them near you. Best of luck...
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:14 PM   #11
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Thank you Midpack. Have read WLLM and its workbook. Will read the other two, starting with #1.

Life is what we make of it, but now that there is more time to think about it, there are too many questions!
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:36 PM   #12
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I took an early retirement in 06/06 at age 53. I loved the time I had and did not get bored, but took a part-time job 3 days per week in 03/10. I really like my job and the people that are there. Even the patients are very nice and they are not sick (I work for a glaucoma specialist). My pay is extremely low, but I had a goal of finishing my social security credits. I am starting to question my sanity about continuing to work. Even though I only work 3 days per week, there is still a schedule. Today, I ran to the library, a bakery grand opening (yummy), the Map room at the courthouse, Aldi's and Sam's Club. Surfed some on the web, made dinner and I am back here again. There are a ton of things that I want to do still. My DH just asked me if I was going to watch a TV program with him, I have 4 books from the library that I can't wait to start on and there are a few people that I should probably touch base with, but won't tonight. There is also a ton of work that I could do around the house, if I were so inclined. Somehow, it is 7:31PM already. Time just seems to fly anymore.

I just took Work Less, Live More back to the library today and I borrowed How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free because I have heard it mentioned here so many times. I also borrowed Retire Smart by David & Virginia Cleary and The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

I am thinking that I need to quit working again, in order to have more time to play again. I am not sure how old you are and I think that can make a big difference. I am 58 and time flies for me anymore.

Good luck in making your decision and just remember that you can change your mind again at a later time.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:02 PM   #13
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Thank you Dreamer! Have decided to go back to w*rk and the day I made this decision, now each day seems more like a worthy break, like a vacation... (the human mind!)

Have assured myself to take extra weeks of break each year, travel more than usual and learn the balance.

Also have to plan for a stable income, do not feel comfortable living off cash in Savings or selling part of the investments. Beginning to read more here and Bogle to draft a strategy in this regard (dividend income most probably).

Love this forum!
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:48 PM   #14
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Also have to plan for a stable income, do not feel comfortable living off cash in Savings or selling part of the investments. Beginning to read more here and Bogle to draft a strategy in this regard (dividend income most probably).

Love this forum!
I have found that getting the retirement income issues "settled" was a big part of the battle for me and I'm guessing, for most here. If you retire and don't quite know what to do with yourself, you have many options - and, for the most part, you can play it by ear. But if you retire and don't have a sufficient income stream, your options are quite limited IMO. So, I second the notion to nail down the income stream. My main suggestion is to build a plan with backups (e.g., what if dividends go out of "fashion"? Then what?) I think the one watchword you will find in your financial quest is "diversification". Good luck and don't forget that YMMV.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:29 PM   #15
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By fall of this year, I plan to retire. I am 62 yrs old, not really early retirement for most, but it is for me. I was a workaholic.
For the past few months I have been drawing a list of things I want to do which does not entail employment. These includes hobbies, trips, daily schedules and activities.
I will certainly miss my work and the big pay. But I am FI. Instead, I like to use the few years to enjoy things I don't really have time when working.

Foremost, I have to redefine what is work! I have to determine which is important for me, my health, my mind and body.

My goal is how to grow old gracefully!!!!!
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:57 PM   #16
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Somebody suggested to me that I make it a point to have one thing on the schedule each day. It needs to be relatively substantial - for example, measure the room to determine how much paint is required and buy said paint - not something trivial like watch the news.

DW and I try to have one or more things on our daily plan. It may be to run several errands, work in the yard a few hours, fix something around the house, etc. Combine that with a morning walk, watching Charlie Rose at lunch (my new favorite show), cooking meals and some other day to day stuff and the days seem to fly by.

We also take time to volunteer with our church and other organizations. For example we spend time traveling in our RV (travel trailer) and working on 2-week stints for Habitat for Humanity.

Take a vacation here and there. Visit friends and family once in while. The past 6 months have flown by. The upcoming year is chock full of activities.

DW and I keep our weekends free as much as possible. We do our around the house stuff and volunteering during the week so we can still hang out on weekends. Watch a little TV, read the newspaper or a book, have a cup of hot tea.

Seems to work out well for us. I hope you can come to terms with your situation.
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:56 PM   #17
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I was in college when I figured out how to make the days fly by. This is not the measure by which we should determine meaning. Find something within youself. Write it down. And that one thing, not something that you do every day, should be what you judge your progress by. For me, it is building a 4B USD gas plant in Algeria so that people can have cleaner energy
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:04 AM   #18
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Remember this site is FIRE--Financial independence comes before retirement, early or otherwise. Once you are financially independent work or do whatever you want. After I hit retirement age with enough assets (and a medical 'event' inducing me) I was ready to go and I liked my job. Until FI I worked because I had to after that because I wanted to. It changed the nature of the job that I could leave if I wanted, took a lot of pressure off.
Agree with Yakers. I am looking at my job much differently now that I feel I have reached financial independence. I work now because the pay is good and just adds to my FI. Little things at work that used to bother me, no longer irritate me. The freedom to leave anytime I feel like it is a wonderful feeling.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:59 AM   #19
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I feel like I've responded to this but I don't see my response. Maybe I thought about it. Anyway, the think I don't see in the OP is any mention of following a dream and passion. I don't think "working for money" is a dream or passion. It's a habit maybe. there's got to be something that excites you beyond collecting a paycheck.

Maybe you just need to get out of the mind set that what you do should have some monetary value. You can do stuff just for the sake of doing it. If you enjoy it, you can do it. You should concentrate on finding that thing or those things that excite you and do them. Beyond that, give it some time. It is an adjustment and it could take months, even a year or more to fully adjust.
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