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View Poll Results: What's the best aspect of retirement for you? No work or free time?
Not having to go to work 44 55.70%
Having more free time to do whatever I like 31 39.24%
Other 4 5.06%
Voters: 79. You may not vote on this poll

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Poll:Not working vs. more free time?
Old 07-14-2011, 09:03 PM   #1
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Poll:Not working vs. more free time?

This may seem like a silly question (I hope not) but for those already retired for any length of time, I am curious about what opinions are about which aspect of your freedom is the best: whether it is not having to go back to work (e.g., boring job, high stress, long commute, psychotic boss), or simply having the time back that work used to occupy. Or something else?

Those first two choices may seem like the same or related things, but I view a difference.

I'm guessing I've overly simplified this, but I hope it may be interesting to members.

I did not vote because I am still not retired, but I am guessing my answer would be not having to go back to work. Not that my job is obnoxious (to the contrary), but just that it is a regular responsibility/chore that I've outgrown.

I did not allow multiple choices in the poll because obviously both specified choices are positive aspects. I want to see which way the scales tip.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:16 PM   #2
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For me, it's having the time back so that I can do what I want, when I want. I like the freedom that we get when retired. I also like the stress free, relaxed lifestyle that I have chosen to lead since I retired.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyman
whether it is not having to go back to work (e.g., boring job, long commute, psychotic boss)
Nope, not this choice.

My commute was only 6 minutes in the morning, and 30-45 minutes in the afternoon (I lived 1.5 miles from work with an unavoidable bottleneck in between).

My job was not entirely boring. Sometimes the work itself was interesting. But a job is a job is a job, so most of it was not actually doing the work, so much as dealing with politics of every kind effectively, and similar silliness.

The psychotic supervisor was promoted up the line so I had a great supervisor by the time I left.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:19 PM   #3
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The psychotic supervisor was promoted up the line so I had a great supervisor by the time I left.
Wow, do I relate to this one. In my case, the crazy man finally managed to get himself fired, and my current manager is a very old friend who is a pleasure to see and talk/work with every day.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:25 PM   #4
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Wow, do I relate to this one. In my case, the crazy man finally managed to get himself fired, and my current manager is a very old friend who is a pleasure to see and talk/work with every day.
That's exactly what happened to me! She was my best friend and we worked closely together, sharing the same job duties that nobody else had. She heard ALL my complaints and woes and also what made me happy, for about 8 years, and vice versa. When she became my supervisor, I didn't even have to tell her when I was going to retire because she already knew!
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:32 PM   #5
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That's exactly what happened to me! She was my best friend and we worked closely together, sharing the same job duties that nobody else had. She heard ALL my complaints and woes and also what made me happy, for about 8 years, and vice versa. When she became my supervisor, I didn't even have to tell her when I was going to retire because she already knew!
Sweet, isn't it? Almost makes you want to keep on working for a little longer.

But it is my understanding that once you are included on Midpack's list for the Class of 2011, this constitutes a binding legal contract. I'm leaving, and on schedule! E-r.org comes through again
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:40 PM   #6
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Working part time gave me pretty much all the free time that I wanted, but sometimes I had to work specific times that I wanted free. So I'm not sure how that applies in the vote. The work itself wasn't too bad though I was getting more irritated by things the longer I stayed, and also got pretty bored. I guess with that combination I'll vote "not having to work". Looking back over the past few months, it hasn't been so much of a case of enjoying how much extra free time I have, it's been more that I don't have the work obligation hanging over my head.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:41 PM   #7
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Sweet, isn't it? Almost makes you want to keep on working for a little longer.

But it is my understanding that once you are included on Midpack's list for the Class of 2011, this constitutes a binding legal contract. I'm leaving, and on schedule! E-r.org comes through again
Can't back out now! Unless you want to, anyway. I retired in 2009, which I think was the only recent year that didn't have a "Class of" thread. We had just gone through the market crashes so maybe that's why.

I still wanted to retire. Just knowing that I COULD end up having another sociopathic boss like that earlier one, was pretty stressful (especially since the good supervisor was too good and on her way up fast). And then there was the back-stabbing and other non-work related stuff that can be so stressful.

Most of us are really shocked to find out, after retirement, how stressed we really were. I thought I was a pretty calm person and letting things roll off me like water off a duck's back, but I shed layer after layer of stress after ER. Probably still shedding and it's been 20 months.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:41 PM   #8
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It's the time. Once I was FI, work was no big deal. I wore my KMA hat all the time, did an exemplary job, didn't put up with the BS, and still retired when the opportunity arose to get out with a bonus. If it was just the politics I'd have stayed because I was immune. But having the time to do anything or nothing is too addictive. I'm never going back.
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:30 AM   #9
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Not retired yet so not voting. However, more than anything, I'm looking forward to the ability to be spontaneous. Yes, I do want more free time. Yes the stress is tough sometimes. But what I'm really seeking is the ability to do what I want, when I want. For example, wake up in the morning, and decide to go for a bike ride with DW to a diner 6miles away for breakfast, or perhaps just say "hey let's go see (fill in the blank-DS, DD, good friends etc who live a few hundred miles to a few states away) and then, just go and do it. Sure there will be things on a schedule, like doc appts or mowing the lawn. Some things are easier to blow off than others. But ah, freedom...sure sounds wonderful. Like Harley said though, once you've reached a certain level of FI, dealing (or not) with the BS and politics that get flung your way is a much easier proposition. You just decide to do it or not. That in itself is the freedom that is allowing me to stay working. I know that if one too many cowpies get flung my way, I can simply exit the pasture. No more cowpies.

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Old 07-15-2011, 04:50 AM   #10
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Not having to go to work is the main thing for me. All the free time and activities I can do now that I never had time for while working is a huge plus as well.

The job stress levels had become very high.

In the last 7 years working I had 7 bosses and it was extremely irritating. One of them was really bad, 2 of them were excellent (but were removed because they didn't work well with the CIO), and the other 4 were okay.

PS - I love being able to be spontaneous as Rambler suggests. e.g. Get up, look at the weather and make a decision on what to do today.
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:15 AM   #11
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I checked the box "other." I enjoy the free time I now have. And there were some aspects of working that I don't miss. But the real benefit of RE for me has been the opportunity to change pace and do different things.
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:22 AM   #12
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I didn't hate my job, in fact, I liked many aspects of it. But I really didn't want to work any more -- any sort of work that I am obliged to go to. So I checked box number 1.
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:55 AM   #13
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For me a combination. When I was deciding to retire it was more #2 then as I approached retirement it became more #1. Now that I am retired seems pretty even between the two.
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:43 AM   #14
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Work had become extremely stressful the last several years. I am thrilled to not be in that environment any longer.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:00 AM   #15
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Not retired yet, but the reason I am pursuing ER is certainly because I do not want to work anymore. I generally have enough free time already to do the things I really want...I will just be able to do them more often when not working.

It just seems ridiculous and out of balance to me that most people in this country work 5 days per week with only about 3 weeks vacation per year. I don't think we were meant to "work" that much. The Europeans certainly do not as they have on average 3 times the vacation that we do. If I had a teacher's schedule with 12 weeks off every summer I am betting that would be a big enough break to perhaps make me content.

I think part of my real motivation is I have just honestly become lazy. My job is not that terrible at all, but just the fact that I have to get up everyone morning and go put in my 8.5 hours seems like a chore and something I would stop doing today if I could. The minute I get off work on Friday I have this feeling of eurphoria that is hard to describe. It lasts until Sunday evening when I realize tomorrow is "back to work". Another option I am hoping to explore is to see if my current boss will let me change jobs and go to part-time, 3 days per week. I could live fine on that income and probably deal with the schedule.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:19 AM   #16
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Skyvue: But if you already have enough time to do the things you want, why would you want more time off? Being lazy isn't a very impressive attribute don't you think?
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:29 AM   #17
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Being lazy isn't a very impressive attribute don't you think?
Careful, you're on the slippery slope to "you have to work to contribute to society..............". If you can afford to be lazy, lazy is fine.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:32 AM   #18
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Skyvue: But if you already have enough time to do the things you want, why would you want more time off? Being lazy isn't a very impressive attribute don't you think?
"Lazy" is a word that has negative connotations that I am guessing were not intended. It implies doing nothing, and all you have to do is read a few posts about what people here who have already taken the leap are doing with their time to realize they are far from doing nothing.

So maybe "relaxed", "laid back", "content" are more descriptive.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:33 AM   #19
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Skyvue: But if you already have enough time to do the things you want, why would you want more time off? Being lazy isn't a very impressive attribute don't you think?
I will clarify.......my motivation for wanting to quit work is not cause I desire more time to do something else such as volunteer, spend more time with family or devote time to a passion/hobby (though I do want to travel for a couple years at some point in my life.)

Given a choice, I would rather be sitting on my couch watch tv, golfing, at the sports bar watching my teams or just about anything else I can think of rather than working. In other words, anything and everything I can think of is mor enjoyable than my current existance as a senior level manager in a Fortune 500 company. I find Corporate America life unbearable. Ironically though, this is the one thing I am actually good at. I have been promoted to a point where only my boss is above me in my profession (IT) within our company.

The things I truly loved in life (mostly sports) I was not good enough at them to make a decent living doing them. In all honesty, if I could make what I make now, digging ditches, I would rather do that.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:52 AM   #20
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....In all honesty, if I could make what I make now, digging ditches, I would rather do that.
During the Great Recession our company wanted to hang onto all its employees, and even though 2/3rds of the units were moth-balled it managed this in part by laying off a large percentage of contract staff and having skilled operators performing these roles. Once business picked up and the units were made ready to start up one of the operators said to his area manager, "I actually enjoyed working as a security guard, do you think a permanent transfer is possible?". He changed his mind once he was told how much a security guard earned
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