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Is FIRE a disappointment?
Old 12-28-2011, 09:26 PM   #1
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Is FIRE a disappointment?

I've been running my FIRE spreadsheet for 5 years, actively thinking about it for the past 10 and now that I'm actually there it's a bit of a let down. There have been other things that have taken me few years to accomplish and I know that after they were achieved, and the initial euphoria of success, I felt as if I'd lost something. So once your spreadsheets or FIRECALC etc said you could actually retire was it a bit of an anticlimax?
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:31 PM   #2
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Disappointment? No. Trepidation? Yes. At times there can be a less-than-pleasant feeling of "from here it's all downhill".
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:03 PM   #3
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So once your spreadsheets or FIRECALC etc said you could actually retire was it a bit of an anticlimax?
No it was scary, as new situations sometimes are. You focus can change now that you've achieved financial independence.

Now What is a good question. Financial Independence gives one options, one of those options is to Retire Early. Firecalc and spreadsheets can get you to FI. But everyone has to do the RE themselves.

No spreadsheet will tell you when its time to RE or if RE is the right choice for you.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:06 PM   #4
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Not at all, it was a great relief. I even kept working as extra 2 years as all of what little pressure there was disappeared (until the environment was about to turn toxic).
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:10 PM   #5
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I've been running my FIRE spreadsheet for 5 years, actively thinking about it for the past 10 and now that I'm actually there it's a bit of a let down. There have been other things that have taken me few years to accomplish and I know that after they were achieved, and the initial euphoria of success, I felt as if I'd lost something. So once your spreadsheets or FIRECALC etc said you could actually retire was it a bit of an anticlimax?
Not at all. I set a goal to retire on 11/7/09 or shortly thereafter, and all by myself made a plan to get to that goal, beat it to death over a decade to try to anticipate and head off any obstacles, stayed on course, beat it to death some more, and finally... I am there! As one whose original username was "Want2Retire", I have to admit that being retired is one of the biggest thrills of my life.

I think it is important right from the beginning to be careful in setting this goal and being completely sure that this is what you want more than anything, never wavering once the goal is set. My suggestion is to spend some time on introspection and make sure you know yourself and what you truly want. If there remain any doubts on that aspect, I can see how it might be a little unsettling.

As for the trepidation, my signature line from Moby Dick is intended to address these feelings as one approaches and enters retirement. It takes an adventuresome spirit to launch your ship upon the deep and to leave the familiarity of shore and harbor far behind.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:59 AM   #6
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Not at all, it was a great relief. I even kept working as extra 2 years as all of what little pressure there was disappeared (until the environment was about to turn toxic).
This was almost exactly my situation. I would probably have stayed a little longer but I no longer liked the direction the organization was moving although I still liked the people I worked with and for.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:00 AM   #7
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Not at all, it was a great relief. I even kept working as extra 2 years as all of what little pressure there was disappeared (until the environment was about to turn toxic).
+1 it was liberating. I actually enjoyed my w*rk more since I knew that I didn't "have" to. I subtly make it known that I was in a position to ER and that I wasn't going to tolerate the BS. I think I was more valuable to my employer because I could call it like I saw it, but I was still careful to be diplomatic about the message so as to preserve relationships.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:08 AM   #8
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DW and I never had much job security, so reaching FI and no longer being dependent on a paycheck was a huge relief.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:24 AM   #9
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Occasionally I get a bit depressed, but then I force myself to recall the sleepless nights and general anguish I experienced in the corporate world.

Snaps me out of it every time.

It's only when my memory of the alternative fades that FIRE seems a letdown.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:38 AM   #10
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DH and I have arrived at FI a year early due to some luck. I'm still working full time and he is still working part time as we sort it out. It is a bit disconcerting - what do we really want to do with this new potential freedom. It will be ER for me but not for him as he's already at retirement age.

It is a little scary as there are still financial pitfalls but I think staying in my job until a wrap my head around the possibilities sounds good.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:16 AM   #11
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I've been running my FIRE spreadsheet for 5 years, actively thinking about it for the past 10 and now that I'm actually there it's a bit of a let down. There have been other things that have taken me few years to accomplish and I know that after they were achieved, and the initial euphoria of success, I felt as if I'd lost something. So once your spreadsheets or FIRECALC etc said you could actually retire was it a bit of an anticlimax?
I am not completely sure I understand your dilemma. Could you give an example? Is it that you've defined a clear end goal and so feel you've reached the summit?

FIRE for me has been a process of discovery. Some activities I always did have been elevated to a newer level. I increased my running amount (in the park behind our house) and read more now. Also I get more gardening done and have gotten our grounds into much better condition.

I also had to develop new activities and goals. One was landscape painting in oils. I have not really defined an end goal. It's a constant challenge to keep the ball rolling but that is what makes life worth living.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:53 AM   #12
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Disappointment no...relief yes. Once I pulled the plug I had a much more difficult time emotionally with actually making that first withdrawl from what I had worked so hard to save. That really set my mind spinning.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:10 AM   #13
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Occasionally I get a bit depressed, but then I force myself to recall the sleepless nights and general anguish I experienced in the corporate world.

Snaps me out of it every time.

It's only when my memory of the alternative fades that FIRE seems a letdown.

same here.....
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:25 AM   #14
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"Is FIRE a disappointment?"

Is this a trick question?

If you are serious, my answer is "He__ No!"

The reality of retirement continues to be much better than the dream of retirement, speaking for myself...
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:28 AM   #15
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"Is FIRE a disappointment?"

Is this a trick question?

If you are serious, my answer is "He__ No!"

The reality of retirement continues to be much better than the dream of retirement, speaking for myself...
Not a trick question. I don't mean retirement itself, as much as having the goal of reaching FIRE completed. I suppose it gets replaced with figuring out how to generate income
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:30 AM   #16
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Not a disappointment. You will know when you are truly ready, though some doubts may creep in and pass from time to time, like all of life.

FI is just one of many goals in life, albeit a big one. FI and RE are just steps along the way, not destinations.

It took about a year between when I reached FI+ (essentially 2.5% WR w/o Soc Sec) and when I actually retired, but by then I was more than ready to start another chapter. I expect many more chapters in life, retirement is not the last...my bucket list has about 70 items completed, with 50 identified to go, and it will always be a dynamic list.
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:09 AM   #17
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Not a trick question. I don't mean retirement itself, as much as having the goal of reaching FIRE completed. I suppose it gets replaced with figuring out how to generate income
Exactly.
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:41 AM   #18
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Not a trick question. I don't mean retirement itself, as much as having the goal of reaching FIRE completed. I suppose it gets replaced with figuring out how to generate income
And figuring out how you want to spend it and at what rate.
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:53 AM   #19
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Being FI was a comfort when my entire department was let go, with severence pay. I was able to retire a little earlier than expected and not worry about finding another job. One of those options it is nice to have.

But, just reaching FI was not that big a deal. Nice to be there, but it is such a vague thing to pin down that it doesn't feel like a normal better defined milestone or accomplishment.
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:12 PM   #20
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i just made the decision to FIRE and it has been a relief, but it sure took me a lot of time and effort to reach the decision. I ran retirement scenarios using FireCalc as well as calculators from Vanguard, Fidelity and one other I can't think of at this time. All showed a 90% probability my money would out last me. I also ran them using overall returns that varied from 8% to 4.5%. Again, it worked, though 4.5% will probably mean being a bit sharper when I purchase things.

Somebody here said something to the effect that "you can always sell your time to the man, but you can never buy it back." I think that is what convinced me. What is the point of having a somewhat newer car, or drinking fancier wine, or going out to eat more often, if it costs me two more years of what are probably the healthiest years of the rest of my life?

Oh, the fact the pressure at work is increasing and that older folks seem to be more expendable than ever, may have had something to do with it.
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