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Living in the Now
Old 05-11-2017, 03:59 PM   #1
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Living in the Now

A year and a half into ER and probably the biggest surprise is how little I think about the future. Certainly I still make some plans for travel and the like, but day to day I find myself thinking about little more than the pleasant mundane details of the day: where I'll go biking or hiking, what sort of entertainment or food to enjoy with the DW - and not much else, rinse and repeat the next day and the next...

The surprise is that before retirement I was such an obsessive planner. That seems to have fallen by the wayside. Finances are on autopilot. Thoughts of eventually relocating have drifted to the far back burner. I guess I'm not accomplishing much of anything, but that doesn't seem to bother me all that much anymore. This sort of pleasantly useless drift sound familiar to other ERers or have I just turned into some kind of weird zen hippy in my old age?
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Old 05-11-2017, 04:22 PM   #2
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I guess I'm not accomplishing much of anything, but that doesn't seem to bother me all that much anymore. This sort of pleasantly useless drift sound familiar to other ERers or have I just turned into some kind of weird zen hippy in my old age?
Sounds very familiar. I don't plan much ahead either, just to the next family gathering (one this weekend, a cousin of DW's has twin sons who just graduated college, so a party for that) but other than that we just kind of drift along day-to-day. One of the nice facets of retirement!
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Old 05-11-2017, 04:33 PM   #3
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Planning? Sure, but mainly the next travel. Lots of planning for some trips, and that's fun in itself.

Otherwise, I think of it as a perpetual weekend. Never having to face the dreaded Sunday night angst is a dream come true.
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Old 05-11-2017, 04:40 PM   #4
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A year and a half into ER and probably the biggest surprise is how little I think about the future. Certainly I still make some plans for travel and the like, but day to day I find myself thinking about little more than the pleasant mundane details of the day: where I'll go biking or hiking, what sort of entertainment or food to enjoy with the DW - and not much else, rinse and repeat the next day and the next...

The surprise is that before retirement I was such an obsessive planner. That seems to have fallen by the wayside. Finances are on autopilot. Thoughts of eventually relocating have drifted to the far back burner. I guess I'm not accomplishing much of anything, but that doesn't seem to bother me all that much anymore. This sort of pleasantly useless drift sound familiar to other ERers or have I just turned into some kind of weird zen hippy in my old age?
Yeah, isn't it great?
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Old 05-11-2017, 05:14 PM   #5
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The surprise is that before retirement I was such an obsessive planner. That seems to have fallen by the wayside. Finances are on autopilot. Thoughts of eventually relocating have drifted to the far back burner.
My obsessive planning for retirement, has migrated into obsessive planning for old age. Maybe this is because I am 68, and rapidly moving towards old age already (although I don't feel like I am quite there yet). Anyway, by gosh, I didn't go into retirement unprepared, and old age is a much greater challenge! I'm going into it prepared and ready to battle.

I read about problems of aging and how to cope with them. One example is falling. Falling is a big problem of old age, especially for women. There are several inexpensive ways to make it less likely (like, securing the corners of throw rugs, using fluorescent tape to mark the edges of that step on the way out of the side door, nightlights, and so on). None of these fixes will inconvenience me if I do them now, and I won't have to learn each one by falling that way once I am older.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I GET IT about the near-obsessive planning. And, you don't have to let it go unless you want to. For me it's a personality trait and I just apply it to other challenges now.

Another thing I plan for is the next big market crash. But I think I've got that pretty well in hand, thus the migration to old age planning.
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Old 05-11-2017, 06:18 PM   #6
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My obsessive planning for retirement, has migrated into obsessive planning for old age. .... Anyway, by gosh, I didn't go into retirement unprepared, and old age is a much greater challenge! I'm going into it prepared and ready to battle.
Sometimes I get the feeling that it's just me. I am glad to see someone else on the bandwagon. People tell me I'm crazy but they've been telling me that for 50 of the last 60 years. The future doesn't take care of itself (Like most broke people believe)
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Old 05-11-2017, 06:23 PM   #7
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I also used to be an obsessive planner...I had to be, otherwise i could find myself stranded in some foreign country or without needed presentations or...etc. I was recalling, a couple years ago with some friends, how on one vacation to Hawaii I had planned things down to the minute or at least the quarter hour. DD was there at the university and she needed us to help with some things, so, trying to be a good Dad, I cancelled a planned 6 mile run so I'd be ready to help her. And then, she didn't wake up when she said she'd be ready...eventually getting up and ready some 2.5 hours later than scheduled. I could have gone for my run, gone for a swim at the beach, had my shower and a leisurely breakfast and I still would have been waiting for her. Now, what you've got to know, is that when I go to Hawaii, I go for a run along the beach every morning, because its my favorite place and my favorite thing to do...with the exception of doing things for my family to make them happy. I was like a pressure cooker for pretty much the rest of the trip, not just because of a skipped run, but because nothing else followed any schedule for the rest of the trip.

Reflecting back on it, what I learned from that trip is that not everything needs to be planned out to the minute. You have to learn to enjoy just being in the moment...finding joy in the journey. That's my signature line, btw...Find Joy in the Journey, because I found that out way too late in life. I was always rushing here, rushing there...accomplish something big and celebrate for a nanosecond, then off to the next target.

So, I try to slow down and enjoy things. But, I'm now finding that my DW has picked up some of my bad habits in this regard. She always asks me "so, what's your plan today?" I've had to ask her a few times if it was ok to not have a plan, since I'm retired...
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Old 05-11-2017, 06:32 PM   #8
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I used to plan nonstop when I was working, but not much now. Just plan to cut the grass whenever the forecast calls for sunny days. Plan to take a bike ride, hike, go on a photo taking mission whenever conditions are ripe. So i wake up and then I do whatever I want given what the day has given me. I do plan trips to a greater detail in advance to try not to miss anything interesting.
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Old 05-11-2017, 06:45 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by stepford View Post
A year and a half into ER and probably the biggest surprise is how little I think about the future. Certainly I still make some plans for travel and the like, but day to day I find myself thinking about little more than the pleasant mundane details of the day: where I'll go biking or hiking, what sort of entertainment or food to enjoy with the DW - and not much else, rinse and repeat the next day and the next...

The surprise is that before retirement I was such an obsessive planner. That seems to have fallen by the wayside. Finances are on autopilot. Thoughts of eventually relocating have drifted to the far back burner. I guess I'm not accomplishing much of anything, but that doesn't seem to bother me all that much anymore. This sort of pleasantly useless drift sound familiar to other ERers or have I just turned into some kind of weird zen hippy in my old age?
Retired three and half months ago and feeling just like what you wrote. Haven't paid much attention to stock market since retirement, so unlike the old me.
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Old 05-11-2017, 06:45 PM   #10
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I was not obsessive planning for retirement and so is the same as after retirement. In general, I just keep an eye out for things. But I love to play with the stock market. It's my vice. Has nothing to do with worrying.
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Old 05-11-2017, 07:38 PM   #11
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I love living in the now. I don't plan anything. I hate planning, seems like a waste of time doing stuff that's not "fun"

I like to have as much fun as possible -
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Old 05-11-2017, 09:28 PM   #12
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Retired three and half months ago and feeling just like what you wrote. Haven't paid much attention to stock market since retirement, so unlike the old me.


+1
I'm no longer wearing a watch and frequently have to think about what day it is. Much less obsessive and more relaxed than I used to be.
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Old 05-11-2017, 10:10 PM   #13
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You're not alone. I was very future-focused before retiring. I knew there would be a shift away from this once I arrived at the other end, but I thought it would take time, since it was such an ingrained habit. However, the change was immediate. I find myself almost entirely focused on the present now.
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Old 05-12-2017, 12:13 AM   #14
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Same here, am 16 months into ER. Change was immediate as well. Not what I expected at all. But it is very pleasant not to plan much of anything nor to pay much attention to finances either. Planning well before ER apparently and happily means no need for planning during ER. It gives me a chuckle when I think of the pre-ER me, how obsessively worried I would have been if I had known how much I would change and how quickly. Glad I had no clue.
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Old 05-12-2017, 04:53 AM   #15
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I'm 6 years into retirement and I don't plan and obsess like I used to either, but I don't see anything wrong with that. Other than maintaining our home, cars, health, etc. I do what I want when I want mostly. I've redirected my need to plan and obsess on my hobbies and activities, seems to fill the void nicely. I happily know way too much about several subjects, but fortunately people don't ask often and when they do, I know to limit myself to simple answers so they don't glaze over...
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Old 05-12-2017, 07:31 AM   #16
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I'm 18 months into ER. I am also surprised by how much my thought process has changed. While working, my entire focus was on the logistics of getting subsistence things done. Currently my thinking is more about life-purpose, religion, the history I've been reading. If I had delayed retirement until 65 I believe I would have sleep-walked through my entire life worrying about if I would be able to leave work in time to avoid the traffic.

Obsession over trivia does die hard though. Just recently I discarded my massive list of rotating chores because I realized I would not have to wait for the next weekend if I forgot to do one.
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Old 05-12-2017, 07:54 AM   #17
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I'm ~7 years from retirement still, but have started focusing on "now" a lot more lately. While I enjoy planning for the day I can retire, lately I'm reminding myself more often that I need to make sure I'm living for "now" too. As such, I've decided to increase how much I travel and trying to do "more" enjoyable stuff each week instead of just working and watching TV most days.
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Old 05-12-2017, 08:07 AM   #18
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I love living in the now. I don't plan anything. I hate planning, seems like a waste of time doing stuff that's not "fun"

I like to have as much fun as possible -
+1

My vision of FIRE aligns with your descriptions of your epicurean lifestyle. No rules, just right. (I think I stole that line from a restaurant, but I like it.)
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Old 05-12-2017, 09:51 AM   #19
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This thread brings up a good point. So many people obsess over retiring early, 20+ years out...that they forget to live in the now. Then they get to their retirement goal and 2 decades just blew by them. Stop and smell the roses...before retirement and especially after.

You hear it all the time how people say they want to travel so much when they retire. News flash...you wont be a spring chicken anymore. You wont be able to do the things you could have done in your 20s/30s/40s...not gonna happen. Within reason and without going broke do the things you want to do now!
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Old 05-12-2017, 10:02 AM   #20
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We are 6 weeks away from retirement and I can only hope my mind, planning, obsession to every detail falls by the wayside.

I need a relaxed "don't worry or care" attitude for at least 6 months.

Good to know so many ER'S now have a wonderful state of mind.
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