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Old 10-26-2013, 09:49 AM   #21
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Live and learn, nothing wrong with that.

I've also happily over planned - in financial terms, relocation, activities, etc. And some of the work has not provided the results I expected, or ultimately just duplicated an earlier exercise. But I don't consider them a waste of time at all, not has it taken the fun out of the process. Many of those dead end exercises gave me that much more confidence that my earlier plans were solid. As they say, you can learn more from your mistakes than from your easy successes - and that's where real and invaluable understanding comes from.
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:04 AM   #22
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I enjoy the planning aspect very much. I don't gamble, play golf, participate in fantasy football or any one of a hundred different pursuits.
+1. Although I differ in also enjoying golf and fantasy football, but not gambling (unless you count a roughly once a month "date night" penny ante Texas Hold-em Poker with friends .

I have always enjoy math and mathematical modeling, I use in my job and and it has helped me there, so using it in my own life is even more fun as DW and I challenge ourselves to achieve financial goals. Call me an aging nerds .
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:09 AM   #23
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I guess the key may be "balance". Might be easier said than done. As indicated in my tag line I have been "retired" almost half of my life (34 of almost 73 years). Looked at that as I will be hitting another birthday celebration this week coupled with the fact that my first namesake Great Grandsion was born this past week. We planned for retirement but looking back it turned out great but not even close to the myriad of plans and revisions along the way. Now we have just resigned to the adage" it is what it is" and the "go with the flow" plan. I think our new way will be just fine and it has done wonders for my high blood pressure.
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:38 AM   #24
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I think one of the things that keeps many of us posting here is a common interest in planning and future modeling, working on goals, tracking milestones, etc. I don't know many people offline with these same interests.

Many here are probably more future planners like the chipmunks in this article from The Onion -

Chipmunk

"Researchers also repeatedly witnessed the small quadruped stuffing its cheeks with seeds and nuts and depositing them in one of its subterranean chambers for consumption during winter, displaying an inclination toward saving resources for the future that had “almost no behavioral equivalent” among U.S. citizens."
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Old 10-26-2013, 01:17 PM   #25
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I recall in the last several months before I ERed back in late 2008, I was viewing the ER budget spreadsheet all the time, trying out various what-if scenarios while updating the data for new values of my budget and company stock I would liquidate upon leaving the company. At times I did feel a little obsessed but it also made me feel more confident that I was going to be okay financially after I ERed. And I have been just fine.

As for the non-financial aspects, I already had that taken care of because I was working only part-time at the time and was already doing lots of things. I already knew which things I could expand doing as a result of working zero days instead of 2 days a week.
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Old 10-26-2013, 01:33 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
I think one of the things that keeps many of us posting here is a common interest in planning and future modeling, working on goals, tracking milestones, etc. I don't know many people offline with these same interests.

Many here are probably more future planners like the chipmunks in this article from The Onion -

Chipmunk

"Researchers also repeatedly witnessed the small quadruped stuffing its cheeks with seeds and nuts and depositing them in one of its subterranean chambers for consumption during winter, displaying an inclination toward saving resources for the future that had “almost no behavioral equivalent” among U.S. citizens."

Thank you for this! It made me laugh out loud several times. I am an honorary chipmunk, and I may start using that as my response when my coworkers ask me why I don't join them for their three-times-a-week lunches out, or why I don't take a cruise for my vacation, or why I don't buy a "nicer" car. They already think I'm crazy, so telling them I am a chipmunk probably won't change their opinion of me one bit.
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Old 10-26-2013, 02:32 PM   #27
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Thank you for this! It made me laugh out loud several times. I am an honorary chipmunk, and I may start using that as my response when my coworkers ask me why I don't join them for their three-times-a-week lunches out, or why I don't take a cruise for my vacation, or why I don't buy a "nicer" car. They already think I'm crazy, so telling them I am a chipmunk probably won't change their opinion of me one bit.
I have friends and relatives who will confide all these horrible financial predicaments, then tell me about their latest cruise, vacation or shopping expedition.

I just try to be a sympathetic listener and never give any unsolicited advice, but I really don't get their life and financial decisions on a really fundamental level. I would be a nervous wreck living like that. I would rather live like the chipmunk.
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Old 10-26-2013, 03:13 PM   #28
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I have friends and relatives who will confide all these horrible financial predicaments, then tell me about their latest cruise, vacation or shopping expedition.

I just try to be a sympathetic listener and never give any unsolicited advice, but I really don't get their life and financial decisions on a really fundamental level. I would be a nervous wreck living like that. I would rather live like the chipmunk.

I learned long ago that giving advice is a waste of breath. I just go on burying my seeds in my burrow and sleep soundly at night.
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Old 10-26-2013, 03:18 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by daylatedollarshort View Post
I think one of the things that keeps many of us posting here is a common interest in planning and future modeling, working on goals, tracking milestones, etc. I don't know many people offline with these same interests.

Many here are probably more future planners like the chipmunks in this article from The Onion -

Chipmunk

"Researchers also repeatedly witnessed the small quadruped stuffing its cheeks with seeds and nuts and depositing them in one of its subterranean chambers for consumption during winter, displaying an inclination toward saving resources for the future that had “almost no behavioral equivalent” among U.S. citizens."
I love it! I think we should adopt the chipmunk as our mascot on ER.org.
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:10 PM   #30
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I think there is actually a lot of FIRE related wisdom in The Onion articles. This other one is also good -

Man still trying to find right work-anxiety-life-anxiety balance -

Man Still Trying To Find Right Work-Anxiety

"It seems like I’m always so busy dwelling on the countless dilemmas that come up in the office that I barely have any time to stress over the problems facing me at home,” said Humphrey, 38, noting that the demands of worrying about work leave him precious little time to worry about his family, health, and finances.....I just wish I had the time to freak out about both my job and my personal life without feeling like I’m neglecting the other."
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:59 PM   #31
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During my working years, I regularly used Quicken (the anal accountant in my I guess) and regularly updated Lifetime Planner and looked at some what-ifs (probably a couple times a year). As I approached a final decision, I went on a retirement analysis binge and looked at my situation 20 different ways from Sunday and they all pointed to my being ready. Now that I am ERd, I only look at it a few times a year as a check to make sure things are ok.

Actually the market has been so good since I ERd that I am far ahead of where I thought I'd be when I retired. Whee....
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Old 10-26-2013, 07:42 PM   #32
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It's interesting that most folks have responded to Eddie about planning in a financial sense. I agree that it is extremely important to do that to have peace of mind in retirement.
But I'm curious to see more discussion of "over-planning" for the lifestyle aspects of retirement.
I'm probably the strangest one here, as I'm over-planning-while-leaving-lots-of-options-open with respect to the lifestyle aspect, in addition to the financial. For me, FIRE will represent a big life change: changing cities, downsizing, doing much more travel than I've done in past 10 years,changing personal values, even possibly having more money to spend than I do now (currently mega LBYM here!). Most important, will at some point work with homeless youth before moving/downsizing (lost angeles has second largest concentration of homeless youth in the country). Given my passion about the subject, what if it led to a second "c*reer"? Anything's possible, but even if it did turn into something I got deeply involved with, I would never, ever work at it, and certainly wouldn't do it for the money (wouldn't have to). Will never do the j*b thing again, regardless.

It's been said you should be retiring to something, not from something. Recently realized I am indeed retiring from a field I am currently emotionally/psychologically divorced from, while simultaneously retiring to a big new phase of my life, whatever that turns out to be. It's exciting, but quite fluid.

So, yea. I'm strange...
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:29 PM   #33
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I wonder if anyone else has had the experience of realizing that their planning for retirement was taking the fun out of retirement?

Here's what I mean. I'm sure everyone has read that the people who are happiest in retirement are those who plan for it. So, planning is good. I'm a planner by nature, a rather organized and analytical person, so I dove in. I prepared.

And prepared ... and prepared. I analyzed my financial situation multiple times. I repeatedly looked at the issue of how I would occupy my time. I analyzed where I should live, from a variety of different angles. I thought about multiple different lifestyle options. I won't go into the details of all analyses, because I'd bore you. Suffice to say, I prepared for retirement ... a lot.

A week ago, it occurred to me that all this analysis and preparation was taking a lot of the fun out of it.

When I think about retirement, which is about 45 weeks away, what I most love about the idea is the freedom of it, combined with the idea that this is a time in your life to re-explore who you are, what really matters to you, to rest and then go deep again and find what you want to do next. To explore. To discover.

But all of that is something you make up or find out along the way. It is not something that you plan and arrange in advance. If you do, you've taken the exploration and discovery out of it.

All my planning and list-making and analysis were helpful -- don't get me wrong, I'm not saying "Don't prepare," especially from the financial angle -- but at a certain point, all the planning started to drain the life out of my sense of retirement, to constrict and restrict my view of the future. Others may feel differently, but for me, that sense that things are wide open, that there are multiple roads you can take and a sense of mystery about what lies around the next bend ... that's all a very important part of what I hope my retirement years to be.

It was an odd thing, to realize that my retirement planning was actually draining the life out of my retirement, robbing it of its sense of adventure and exploration.

So, I have learned to put down the lists, the analyses, the multiple files and documents ... to stop over-planning for retirement. I am leaving well enough alone. The rest, I will make up along the way, once I get there.

Ever since I made that shift, I have felt a sense of joy again about anticipating retirement. Lesson learned: you can definitely over-plan for retirement, to the point where you drain the fun out of it.

Anyway, just thought I'd share.
I agee that I can suffer from over-planning. Fortunately my wife is very spontaneous, so I try to put down the spreadsheets, and just have fun. I am debating about giving up Quicken, Excel, and all of the rest of the tools that I was a slave to during my accumulation phase. Yesterday we just dropped everything and went on a short road trip. Great day and it was not planned.
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:18 PM   #34
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I've loved finance and investing for years. And planning for FIRE is truly a joy for me, especially as what once was only a distant dream slowly sharpened into view. Like you, Eddie, I'm not too far from that finish line.

When I've had a crappy few hours at work, logging in here and reading a few threads is a surefire pick-me-up. And for the first time in my life I truly look forward to paying my bills - because it's then that I can update my retirement spreadsheet and get one more affirmation that the plan I mapped out is, indeed, running as expected.

I haven't spent too much time worrying about or planning for the non-finance aspects of retirement. I was unemployed for fifteen months back in 2001-2003 and that experience - minus the several hours every day I spent looking for work; and the financial worry that colored everything - gave me a glimpse into what that kind of life could be like. That, and that I still have the dreams of a young man to get back to.

Mostly, all the spreadsheets and all the planning are my talismans against what otherwise would be a tragedy. Last night, as every night, I woke a couple times. As I'm always wont to do when rousing from sleep, I raised my head and glanced at the alarm. Early in the night - say midnight or 1am - you process that time with a sigh of relief. Still a few more hours before you have to get up. You can close your eyes and get back to that dream. Come 3:30 or 4ish, though, and that relief turns to dread.

Kind of the middle-of-the-night version of the Sunday evening blues.

What underlies all the planning and thinking and reading is the hope all that will soon be done.

There's magic in that.
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:24 PM   #35
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Mostly, all the spreadsheets and all the planning are my talismans against what otherwise would be a tragedy. Last night, as every night, I woke a couple times. As I'm always wont to do when rousing from sleep, I raised my head and glanced at the alarm. Early in the night - say midnight or 1am - you process that time with a sigh of relief. Still a few more hours before you have to get up. You can close your eyes and get back to that dream. Come 3:30 or 4ish, though, and that relief turns to dread.

Kind of the middle-of-the-night version of the Sunday evening blues.

What underlies all the planning and thinking and reading is the hope all that will soon be done.

There's magic in that.
I had those nights, too. 3 months post ER, and they have disappeared. Something you can look forward to
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:30 PM   #36
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I've loved finance and investing for years. And planning for FIRE is truly a joy for me, especially as what once was only a distant dream slowly sharpened into view. Like you, Eddie, I'm not too far from that finish line.

When I've had a crappy few hours at work, logging in here and reading a few threads is a surefire pick-me-up. And for the first time in my life I truly look forward to paying my bills - because it's then that I can update my retirement spreadsheet and get one more affirmation that the plan I mapped out is, indeed, running as expected.

I haven't spent too much time worrying about or planning for the non-finance aspects of retirement. I was unemployed for fifteen months back in 2001-2003 and that experience - minus the several hours every day I spent looking for work; and the financial worry that colored everything - gave me a glimpse into what that kind of life could be like. That, and that I still have the dreams of a young man to get back to.

Mostly, all the spreadsheets and all the planning are my talismans against what otherwise would be a tragedy. Last night, as every night, I woke a couple times. As I'm always wont to do when rousing from sleep, I raised my head and glanced at the alarm. Early in the night - say midnight or 1am - you process that time with a sigh of relief. Still a few more hours before you have to get up. You can close your eyes and get back to that dream. Come 3:30 or 4ish, though, and that relief turns to dread.

Kind of the middle-of-the-night version of the Sunday evening blues.

What underlies all the planning and thinking and reading is the hope all that will soon be done.

There's magic in that.

So I'm not the only one who wakes up at 3:30 am with that feeling of dread.

My spreadsheets and my planning and my countdowns are what keep me going - one foot in front of the other, slow and steady, and I know I will make it to the finish line. But boy those 3:30 am moments are killers.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:11 PM   #37
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So I'm not the only one who wakes up at 3:30 am with that feeling of dread.

My spreadsheets and my planning and my countdowns are what keep me going - one foot in front of the other, slow and steady, and I know I will make it to the finish line. But boy those 3:30 am moments are killers.
+1
For me, it's about half hour before I have to get up...
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:55 PM   #38
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I too am a planner. Focused on ER since I was 18. Then when the ER date approached, I adopted my motto, 'wake up each morning and decide what to do!'.

I have ultimate freedom. Sure, I have projects, book groups, play golf. But I make sure I have 3 days a week totally unscheduled so I can follow my whims and LIVE IN AN UNPLANNED WORLD! It's wonderful! And quite refreshing to be the anti-me!
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:12 AM   #39
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Lots of people have those 3:30 wake ups. I mostly liked my job but the problems and challenges still popped my eyes open in the wee hours. But 48Fire is right -- that disappeared post ER. Keep looking at your spread sheets, time flies.
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:42 PM   #40
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+1
For me, it's about half hour before I have to get up...
That brings up the start of another good mini thread:

"During your w*rking years what was the average wake up time during the weekday before getting ready for your w*rkday?

For me it averaged about 7:30 am. I am not a morning person, so that's several hours before my natural waking time if I did not have to work. My normal wake sleep cycle when not working is probably 9:30 am - 1:30 am and anything else seems to burden me. Not having to wake by an alarm before say 8:30 or earlier is something I very much look forward to.
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