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Okay.... Does anybody not like early retirement/pitfalls?
Old 07-23-2017, 03:38 PM   #1
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Okay.... Does anybody not like early retirement/pitfalls?

This question may seem strange.

I'm FI now and thinking of RE within the next two years or less. Financially is not an issue. My hesitation is.... What will I do? Will I regret it? Will I miss work?

Brief bio.... 51, wife is sahm, down to the last kid in high school, one out of college, the other in last two years of college. I enjoy putzing around, gym, tennis, whatever.

I figure my fallback is that if I'm bored or regretful I could always work again, part or full time. Maybe for less coin than I'm making now but, it wouldn't really matter since I'm FI now.

I've read many posts here and everybody is thrilled to be early retired, and frankly, I get it. It would seem one would be crazy to not enjoy being out of the rat race.

What, am I nuts, why don't I just pull the trigger today and call it a career? Maybe I am nuts.

Is there anybody out there that regretted it? If so, what do you think you did wrong? That could help a fella like me out from making a mistake either in planning or execution on the big RE. Even second hand info is most appreciated!

Thanks!!
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Old 07-23-2017, 03:47 PM   #2
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18 mo side FIRE and still going strong!
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Old 07-23-2017, 03:48 PM   #3
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Just search "OMY syndrome" on this site and you'll find plenty of discussions dealing with this.
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Old 07-23-2017, 04:03 PM   #4
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I'm loving it. Enough to "do" hasn't been a problem for me. It seems to find me without my trying very hard.

OTOH, I'm not sure those who don't find that FIRE is right for them would hang out here much. I'm sure if you looked hard enough you'd find threads on the subject. I recall one or two but I can't say what to search on.
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Old 07-23-2017, 04:23 PM   #5
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Now I am only speaking for my former cow@rkers, but most that returned back to w@rk did so because their FA screwed up or they did not have any outside interests other than w@rk. One gentlemen put two kids through med school, and his kids were busy practicing medicine. He told me,"There is only so many times you can clean the garage out, until it's empty." Hell, I haven't had time to clean mine once in three years, and I have 3 garages, 3 basements and 1 wine cellar, although the wine cellar is spotless and has been since I built it 5 years ago.
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Old 07-23-2017, 04:26 PM   #6
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Been ER for about 5 years now. Have really enjoyed it. DW will also ER early next year.

I recognize that there may be challenges/changes ahead as we both will occupy the same space at home now during the days.

We have a very strong marriage so I don't suspect any major issues but I do expect it to be a transition.

Since your wife is already SAHM, you will likely experience something like this in addition to your transition from w*rk to ER.

-gauss
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Old 07-23-2017, 04:47 PM   #7
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Asking this question on an early retirement forum is not likely to produce the results you apparently desire. An analogy might be... walking into a 4th grade math class and asking the students if anybody hated Disney World or saw any pitfalls in deciding to go there instead of finishing their multiplication tables.

There is nothing wrong with not retiring if you don't want to. You aren't going to find many here who would agree, but the important thing is to do what YOU want to do with your life.
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Old 07-23-2017, 04:51 PM   #8
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Can you go part-time, or take an extended vacation or sabbatical to see how it goes? It's something you can only answer for yourself. There are also some books you can read to get a better idea of what you can do during retirement, if you don't already have ideas. (FAQ archive) But... what will I do all day? is the FAQ that has links to prior discussions that I'm pretty sure have references.
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Old 07-23-2017, 04:53 PM   #9
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This is a self selected interest group. From time to time, a poster voices dissatisfaction with ER, and subsequently vanishes. It's impossible to know whether he or she has gone back to w*rk or just left the forum. Be aware that you will not find a sample representative of the population at large here.
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Old 07-23-2017, 06:09 PM   #10
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After 7+ years, no regrets here whatsoever. Keeping busy has never been a problem........I have more things to do than I have time for. I cannot imagine going back to work for a paycheck, and don't anticipate having to do so ever again.
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Old 07-23-2017, 06:15 PM   #11
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I'm not 'retired', (I had nothing to retire from), but I did quit working 28 1/2 years ago.....thing is, I'm not quite sure what constitutes these supposed 'pitfalls' you've alluded to.
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Old 07-23-2017, 06:45 PM   #12
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Do I like early retirement? Absolutely!

Do I sometimes get bored or frustrated? Absolutely!

Is it all fun and games? Certainly not!

Ok, what do I like about it? "Freedom" is the single word answer that best describes it. But with freedom comes responsibility...once FIREd you are now responsible for your own entertainment. You have to figure out what to do with your newfound free time. One thing we both wanted to do is exercise more, spend some time and effort on "better" nutrition, and the resultant weight loss...which we achieved. We also wanted to travel to visit our kids a bit more...done, and still doing.

The boredom or frustration comes when there isn't something I want to do "right now" which is often because I've failed to plan for that block of time. Part of that comes from not having exactly the same interests as my DW, who now has a condition that does not allow her to drive for a while...which means I have to be around for her transportation needs, and I can't really go away and do what I'd always dreamt of doing in retirement: camping and hiking. She's never been a big fan of that, but I believe that may be changing, as our daughter talked her into going camping and hiking with her and her husband, and she just loved it. And, hopefully the doc will clear her to drive again soon so that If I want to go and she does not, I can just go for a quick overnighter and not feel guilty about it. Another word about "freedom" here, is that because I'm retired, when she developed this condition, I was available to care for her 24/7. If I hadn't been retired, I could not have, and in my job, I travelled 2-3 weeks out of the month, usually a 5-12 hour flight from where we were living. In fact, if I had not been retired/home when this started, she may have died.

But that's us. What do YOU and your DW want to do, both together and separately? Do those desires mesh, or clash? Will she be ok with you at home all the time? If not, what will you do? Will she be ok if you want and/or need to go and do something to maintain your sanity? With a kid still in HS, will that tie you down when you don't want to be tied down? How do you feel about retiring with a kid still at home? I wanted to show an example to them of "work ethic" and didnt want to retire while they were still in high school...but this is a very personal decision.

My final thoughts: retirement can be great if you've prepared yourself in more ways than just financially. I highly recommend it, but I also recommend that you be prepared for periodic "slow" times, things that don't go exactly as expected (stay flexible), and perhaps even a bit of loss of self worth tied to your working role. Learn to relax in ways that you do not or cannot now. Good luck with your preparation and decision making process.
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Old 07-23-2017, 06:50 PM   #13
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Retired at 56. Last 13 years in Big 4 consulting.... the last 5 were part time (80% then 50%). When I announced that I was resigning, some people (including many who knew me well) were concerned that I would be climbing the walls after 6 months of not working. I didn't think so but there were some doubt there but I took the plunge anyway.

One of the most surprising things about being retired is how content that I can be puttering around and not doing much of anything, though I am pretty busy with golf, home projects, voluntter work, small project for friends and family, etc. I occasionally get a slow spell and boredom, but very infrequently.
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Old 07-23-2017, 07:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyBoy View Post
I'm loving it. Enough to "do" hasn't been a problem for me. It seems to find me without my trying very hard.

OTOH, I'm not sure those who don't find that FIRE is right for them would hang out here much. I'm sure if you looked hard enough you'd find threads on the subject. I recall one or two but I can't say what to search on.
Had this conversation yesterday with a fellow retiree. We're both a little over a year in. He asked me how I was dealing with it.

I thought for a moment and said I've been too busy to think about it. He asked what I'd been busy doing. I told him about the 3-month boat trip last summer, the renovations I did on the house over the winter, all the little stuff I do around the house, the yard and the boat, and of course the volunteer activity we were both involved with.

It turns out he's having trouble finding anything to do. He lives in a condo. He sold his boat last year.

Some days I'd like to trade with him. The thought of having nothing to do seems foreign to me. I don't think I'd like it. But I suspect I'd volunteer for things and take on responsibilities until I was just as busy as I am now.

I think you need to decide if you're going to be more like him, or like me. If the former, might as well keep working.

Oh, and for the record, it's a different kind of "busy." Yes, I get stuff done, but I can afford to wait for the right weather, or for the right part or tool, or just until I feel like it.
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Old 07-23-2017, 07:10 PM   #15
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Honestly, I had the same exact fear, and put it off for 2 years. Turned out much better than I expected. Started volunteering at a dog rescue a few months ago, walking dogs at 3 hour shifts. Feels like a big responsibility sometimes, but I do enjoy it. My best advice: you will know when it is time, then JUMP in.
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Old 07-23-2017, 07:50 PM   #16
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One thing I did before I FIREd was to address your question of "What will I do?" by making a list of all the things I wanted to do but couldn't do while working. I made a list of a bunch of travel destinations and hobbies and so forth.

For your question of "Will I miss work?" I made a list of things that really bugged me about work and were driving me to retire early.

If I got bored, my plan was to do something off my first list.

If I felt like going back to work, my plan was to read my second list.

So far (about 18 months in), I have done a lot of things but not very many from my first list. I have not even had to worry about reading my second list, but the market being kind to me has helped with that too.
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Old 07-23-2017, 07:57 PM   #17
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3 years in to a pretty early retirement and have zero regrets. I can't think of a greater freedom.

Downsides? Nothing really to speak of.
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Old 07-23-2017, 08:09 PM   #18
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After 8 years of ER, I've never stopped building--something all the time.

When I get home, I listen to my wife talking to herself constantly. Every thought coming out of her mind comes out her lips. She's not a boring person, however.

We spend most days raising our grandchildren--or being a big part of their lives. Other than not being able to travel during the school year, it sure beats working for a living.
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Old 07-23-2017, 08:19 PM   #19
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What will I do? Will I regret it? Will I miss work?
IMO if you have to ask yourself "Will I miss w*rk?" then you should probably keep w*rking, especially if your finances are in any way marginal (I know yours aren't).

In my case it was, "Will I blow my brains out if I go to w*rk tomorrow?" That meant it was time to FIRE.
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Old 07-23-2017, 08:29 PM   #20
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Great input! Thank you so much. I think I'll just go ahead and pull the rip cord after year end bonuses early next year!!
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