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I'm Rethinking My Plans
Old 01-27-2010, 11:23 PM   #1
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I'm Rethinking My Plans

I wasn't sure where to put this, but it isn't about money entirely so I put it here. Anyway, I have stated elsewhere on this forum that I will retire with a COLA'd pension that is 75% of my present salary (works out to 82% of take home and more if you consider I won't be subject to furloughs anymore) in July 2010. I have been planning to work part time after that in my field for a private consulting firm, partly because my kids are only 12 and 14 and my thought was since they are in school anyway and we can't just pick up and travel and such till their gone, I might as well work.

I am having second thoughts. Part of me wants to chuck that idea even though I can make a lucrative salary. I am so sick of working, doing what ai presently do. Not that I would just retire to my lawn chair on the driveway and complain about the government, but I want to pursue my interests. Work in a different field, start a small business, etc. I am reading and applying the principles in "Your Money or Your Life" and we will see how that comes out. But we are already pretty tight due to my wife working from home part time to raise the kids.

On the other hand, working for a different employer, even doing the same type of work could be enough to reinvigorate me and since it will part time and hopefully at least partly form home, I would still have more time for me and my family.

Since none of you know my situation as well as I do I am not asking for approval or whatever, just maybe some pros and cons, some cautionary tales or some encouragement to follow my dreams. Just reading this site and other stuff is making me rethink everything and adjust priorities. I guess, I could always give it a shot and if things get tight, look for work as a consultant. Just looking for a little support and encouragement. Thanks!

Now I think this should go under "Young Dreamers". Mods move this if you want.
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:13 AM   #2
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Just wondering if the best option might be to take some time off totally from any kind of work to evaluate how you really feel. Until you experience the actual sensation of not being required to do anything you don't want to, you don't really know how you will feel.

You may be one of those itching to get back into some kind of work within 3 months, or then again you might be one of those wondering why you didn't give up work earlier.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:11 AM   #3
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If I were in your shoes and uncertain, I would gut it out until the pension started and then give myself a year. You will probably need 6 months just to decompress and adjust. After that you can see what appeals to you. If you make a deal with yourself to reevaluate after a year you keep yourself honest and it is short enough to just call it a sabbatical if that is what you choose.
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:53 AM   #4
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Just to play Devil's advocate, I would point out that sometimes people get carried away when they read the forum and see so many people not working at all and enjoying it. That can inspire some to want to push up their retirement to an earlier date than they might otherwise plan. So, that would be a "con" - - maybe you aren't so much ready to retire, as to take a few weeks' vacation. Normally I wouldn't even mention this, except that you are fairly new to the forum as I recall.

Now that I am retired, I wish I had figured out how to do it 10 years ago, though. I have been retired for almost 3 months. Although most of the decompressing happened in the first 2 months, I am still not ready to work very hard on anything constructive (despite the way I envisioned my retirement beforehand). So I can believe that it will take me 6 months to finish decompressing, as brewer suggests.

There are years of psychological tangles built up due to working that I am still busy unraveling. For example I still can't believe that I can stay up late or sleep in any time I want without getting "in trouble" with somebody, somehow. Yet I am a morning person so this really isn't what I want to do for the rest of my life. Still testing, I guess, since I am still staying up until 3:00 AM and sleeping until 10:30 AM most days just because I can, and then kicking myself because I have slept half the day.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:06 AM   #5
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Reading your earlier posts, you seem to be all over the map about what you want to do--consult, start a business, write a novel. I don't know if you have other retirement/emergency funds saved but you mention your 457 (is that what it's called?) having $25,000 in it--would you want to sock more away?

Maybe as suggested above take some vacation time.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:33 AM   #6
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I retired three years ago and went back to work in a real part time very flexible position . Instead of reinvigorating me it cemented my idea to fully retire . It was the same old problems . I just was dealing with them a lot less but if money was tight I would have stayed at the job.
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:03 PM   #7
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I am back to work 3 days a week as a contract worker at my old company after about 1.5 years of ER, I dont mind it so far. Worst part is getting up and out early. I don't have to deal with all the management crap, as in the past. Just do what I need to do and go home. One problem I did notice yesterday is that I work too fast, ran myself out of work by 1PM so I had a short day.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:07 PM   #8
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Everybody has to "find their own way" in retirement. After 29 years in law enforcement I thought it would be great to great to "do nothing" forever, but it turns out I'm not made that way. So I started looking for other stuff to do, helped a friend build an airplane for 18 months, did some short-term consulting before my certifications expired, tried the long walks along the C&O Canal, fishing, model airplanes and so on. Before retirement it looked idyllic having nothing else to do but frankly, I got bored with it.

Others do very well at "doing nothing". YMMV.

So I stumbled into a job, that for now, fits. It pays enough to make the trip (3.4 miles) worthwhile and to buy some toys like a new motorcycle that I otherwise would not have spent the money on.

But I still have my KMA hat and will be singing Johnny Paycheck songs if anybody gives me any crap.

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Old 01-28-2010, 01:20 PM   #9
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Yes, everyone has to follow their own path when it comes to retirement. Otherwise it will be what others define retirement as.

For me, I'm still in the "never underestimate the joy of doing nothing" phase
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:33 PM   #10
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I would suggest taking a stab at starting your own business. It really doesn't seem like work when you are doing something you enjoy.

It is more motivating when you know that if you work really hard you might be able to double or triple your income in a year instead of looking forward to a best case scenario of a 3% raise and not getting laid off.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:07 PM   #11
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Not only am I all over the map, seems the group is too. Maybe this is just jitters, or maybe I am just sick of doing the same thing and not looking forward to more of it. I definitely want to sock some more money away, but do I have to do something I don't like to do it? I could probably do it faster that way, but I don't think I would enjoy it. I seem to have a couple of options. Get a job and reevaluate, or don't get a job and reevaluate.

No matter what, I am "retiring" from my present job in July. No sense in staying. I can't increase my pension or get any more benefits. I am just torn between safe secure job I may not like, or a less secure, but more enjoyable scenario ike starting a business, getting a job I might like or something completely different.

As for not being ready for retirement, I am. That is not the problem, its more how do I handle this semi-retirement period.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:29 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
There are years of psychological tangles built up due to working that I am still busy unraveling. For example I still can't believe that I can stay up late or sleep in any time I want without getting "in trouble" with somebody, somehow.
This is what I have been doing since we've arrived in FL 5 months ago. Lately, I have been watching the Australian Open until all hours. The feeling of being able to do whatever I want, whenever I want is exhilarating!

Unfortunately, the party may be over soon. I got a call yesterday from the local defense contractor I have interviewed with several times over the last few months. My new boss (aaaaaaaaaargh!) called to say they finally had their selection meeting and I was the victim, I mean candidate, selected for the position. If they continue to work at their normal speed, I won't receive the offer for another 3-4 weeks.

I also got a call yesterday from a recruiter for a position at another defense contractor. It looks like it would be more fun (closer to the production floor) but I doubt they can move fast enough. I told the recruiter an offer was imminent from another company but I would interview for his position if he could get things rolling.
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:11 PM   #13
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Buckeye, CONGRATULATIONS! You got a job, in a new state, that fast, in the middle of an unemployment crisis? You go, girl!

(Not that I would want a job right now, but you did and they aren't easy to get, y'know.)
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:57 PM   #14
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W2R - Thanks. I keep telling myself it will be okay and I will enjoy it and I won't be bored because it's all new....new industry, new company, new culture, new city, new co-workers. The benefits are good (starts with a good amount of vacation) and they are known for paying well (haven't seen the offer yet) and it's only a 5 mile commute. What's not to like?

Back to OP - I recommend taking 6 months to chill before committing to a new j*b. You will be retiring at a good time of year to get out and enjoy. Of course everyone is different, but my experience is it takes a good 4-6 months to decompress and begin to truly enjoy your freedom and regain your strength. I am already mourning the loss of this feeling of bliss just knowing I'm going back to work in the not too distant future.
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:44 AM   #15
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Flyfish -

Given that you have kids at home that prevent you from traveling, part time work is a great option. You could possibly set up a flexible schedule with the consulting firm you mentioned. This would allow you ease into full retirement until the kids are older.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:47 AM   #16
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I woke up in a different mood. I don't have the horrors thinking about working part-time today. I just have this feeling it will be just like my present job. I'm sure it will in many way, but not in others. I just don't know if those ways will be offensive enough to make me not want to do it until I do it. I am taking 6 weeks off before I am making myself available. It may not be enough time to fully decompress, but enough to do some thinking. I may not even be able to get a part-time job so the decision will be made for me. However, I am in transportation and the government is throwing stimulus money at us like mad, so it isn't the worst market to be in.

Thanks for all the advice, it has given me stuff the think on. Keep it coming.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:54 AM   #17
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I have been planning to work part time after that in my field for a private consulting firm, partly because my kids are only 12 and 14 and my thought was since they are in school anyway and we can't just pick up and travel and such till their gone, I might as well work.
Home schooling might provide you with the flexibility to travel. See e.g. home school; Cruising with Kids: Home School Ideas.
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