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Pre-ER Practice
Old 01-05-2007, 11:26 AM   #1
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Pre-ER Practice

The "Do Nothing after RE" thread prompted me to wonder how many ERer's and ER-hopefuls have had pre-ER opportunities to get a taste of 'the life'. That is, before being FI, did you have a time in your life when you were not w*rking (or schooling), and as a result, know you will be able to fill your time.

I was living alone and found myself unemployed for 14 months. I was never bored and had plenty to do. While $$ was tight and I needed to w*rk after unemployment ran out, I didn't miss the grind, and the experience made me certain that if I can get to FIRE I will be able to set my own schedule with ease.
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Re: Pre-ER Practice
Old 01-05-2007, 11:50 AM   #2
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Re: Pre-ER Practice

I went straight from High School graduation to work in my present occupation. 22 1/2 years ago. I've never taken a day off to just stay home, I do take about 7 or 8 days off a year and get the he!! out of town. I own a small business in a small town, so even when I'm home I'm not off duty. I get calls at home anytime anyday. Very little time for a private life.

I know I'm going to have to move when I retire to have any peace of mind. That won't be a problem, I'd rather live closer to the good fishing anyway.

I have no idea how I'll do in ER, but I know I want to try it in 8 years.
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Re: Pre-ER Practice
Old 01-05-2007, 12:04 PM   #3
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Re: Pre-ER Practice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy
I was living alone and found myself unemployed for 14 months. I was never bored and had plenty to do.
When we finally persuaded the Navy to return spouse and I to Hawaii, I actually managed to scam obtain 30 days of transfer leave. I'd never used so much leave in one year, let alone in one chunk.

It was a stark contrast to spouse's leave request. She was initially also granted 30 days of leave but then her XO started phoning daily with "just one question". By the end of the week she was commuting downtown for a multi-day offsite Stephen Covey "7 Steps" seminar led by her new CO. (Hint to active-duty military: If your new CO is a Stephen Covey fan then you're not gonna enjoy a good tour. Write your congressperson ASAP.) So between her "work" and our kid's school I was alone in the house.

Unpacking and organizing took about three days, and then it was time for those home improvement projects we'd been planning-- a new water conditioner, a new water heater, a lot of paint, and fixing the landscaping. The best thing was that I suddenly had plenty of time left over to surf the Internet, catch up on my reading, and enjoy the beach.

It wasn't hard to fill the time. Even after nearly five years of ER the day is full before I get out of bed.
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Re: Pre-ER Practice
Old 01-05-2007, 01:02 PM   #4
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Re: Pre-ER Practice

I have never had a big chunk of time (>2 weeks) off since 1971.

But I had a recent "retirement" discussion with a similar aged (late 50's) co-worker that made me think about it. I had asked his thoughts on "pulling the plug" and he replied that he'd "...tried it out while he was tending to his ill wife for three weeks and was bored to death". Thus he wasn't interested in it.

Though sort of shocked me. I just absorbed it and said nothing. But the more I've thought about it, the more I come to believe that it might be impossible to find the true retiree mind set, from just a temporary absence.

Maybe it's just me, but several of the things already know I want to get involved in are activities that would exceed a multi-week absence period. As an example, I'd love to audit some college classes - this time ones that I LIKE!!! These take a semester. So I'd find myself looking at my to-do list and saying "Nope, can't do that. Or that. Or that."

Pretty soon, I'm just on another vacation, fenced in with limits. The pasture might be bigger, but it's still fenced in.

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Re: Pre-ER Practice
Old 01-06-2007, 12:48 AM   #5
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Re: Pre-ER Practice

After 20 years at my current employer I finally wrangled a 2-month vacation. I biked, hiked, hung around the house, read books, went to the farmer's market, found out what 'Project Runway' was, and so on. It was great and I could see myself doing this.... for the rest of my life!

When I went back to work, people actually told me that I must be feeling glad to get back to work because a vacation that long would be BORING. Huh I wasn't bored at all ! I guess some of us are more capable of entertaining ourselves than others are.

(I'm not even sure that I have any understanding of how you could be bored by so much time off. Guess that makes me a good candidate for early retirement, eh? )
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Re: Pre-ER Practice
Old 01-06-2007, 06:29 AM   #6
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Re: Pre-ER Practice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords

Hint to active-duty military: If your new CO is a Stephen Covey fan then you're not gonna enjoy a good tour. Write your congressperson ASAP.
I am not a Covey 'disciple', but when it first came out, I bought and read his Seven Habits, and also First Things first. I have also taken the Covey time management seminar. So, I would just wonder if that boss never did progress to the Seventh (and in my mind most important) step: Sharpen the Saw!, which would include letting your folks recharge during their leave!



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Re: Pre-ER Practice
Old 01-06-2007, 09:55 AM   #7
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Re: Pre-ER Practice

I just went back to work after 40 days off. I saved all my 2006 vacation till the end and had to use it or lose it.

I was amazed that after a week or so I forgot all about work and really got into some productive hobby time, did a few odd jobs around the house and even refinished a piece of furniture.

Sometimes I would even find myself in my shop at 10:30 at night just enjoying doing my thing.

The big letdown was going back to work last Tuesday.


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Re: Pre-ER Practice
Old 01-06-2007, 11:05 AM   #8
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Re: Pre-ER Practice

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRiP Guy
I am not a Covey 'disciple', but when it first came out, I bought and read his Seven Habits, and also First Things first.
Same here. First Things First was quite a life changer for me. I definitely rearranged my priorities after that. Still go back and peruse it ocassionnally....for a refresher & refocussing. Biggest thing learned.....Sharpening the Saw!! 8)
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Re: Pre-ER Practice
Old 01-06-2007, 02:36 PM   #9
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Re: Pre-ER Practice

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRiP Guy
I am not a Covey 'disciple', but when it first came out, I bought and read his Seven Habits, and also First Things first. I have also taken the Covey time management seminar. So, I would just wonder if that boss never did progress to the Seventh (and in my mind most important) step: Sharpen the Saw!, which would include letting your folks recharge during their leave!
Yeah, that subject came up. It was laughed off as "Well, after you get these projects cleared out then we can all take a well-deserved break." But of course the "old" projects were quickly replaced by "new" ones that were even more imperative.

This CO took it to the point of fraud/waste/abuse by requiring his command's officers to attend a multi-day seminar led by him, a certified Covey trainer. I'm sure that he paid all his costs out of his own pocket but the captive audience resented being used for practice. I'm sure they also resented being expected to keep up with their usual jobs, discuss their status with him during breaks, and have their departments held up for critique during his presentations.

After the seminar he had the command fill out a Covey survey (command climate, morale, etc) and sent the results to Covey HQ for grading. The results were so abysmal that he actually got a call from them asking what he was doing out there. That was the end of the Covey era.

Covey's probably not bad. But abusive implementation of any system, no matter how beneficial its advantages, will more than wipe out its benefits.
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Re: Pre-ER Practice
Old 01-06-2007, 02:42 PM   #10
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Re: Pre-ER Practice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
This CO took it to the point of fraud/waste/abuse
Wow! I guess we see where the major malfunction in that operation was!

That is so wrong on so many levels.... well, I'll let it go.

Anyhoo, back on topic for me, I have been taking an extended vacation myself, going back on Monday, and while I don't dread it, I could certainly get used to having the time continue. So, I also am either easily amused or good at managing to keep myself entertained... I guess it doesn't matter which if it's just me!
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Re: Pre-ER Practice
Old 01-06-2007, 02:50 PM   #11
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Re: Pre-ER Practice

After getting laid off from my last 'real' job, I became a contractor. From time to time there are gaps in my work. I have learned to enjoy them!
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Re: Pre-ER Practice
Old 01-06-2007, 02:56 PM   #12
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Re: Pre-ER Practice

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Wow! I guess we see where the major malfunction in that operation was!
That is so wrong on so many levels.... well, I'll let it go.
I'm OK with that. He's retired from the Navy but he's still working, and in fact he's spending over $20K/year to send his two daughters to a private high school while paying the mortgage on a seven-figure home perched on a hillside. I don't think retirement is in any of his plans for this decade or possibly even the next.

"Living well is the best revenge." We've heard through mutual friends that he's expressed a bit of frustration that he achieved so much more in his career than spouse did in hers, yet she's retired (and will eventually collect the same pension that he's getting now) while he's still slaving away. So she's forgiven him.

But he doesn't surf, and I don't think we'll ever be quaffing frosty beverages together on anyone's lanai.
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Re: Pre-ER Practice
Old 01-06-2007, 03:00 PM   #13
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Re: Pre-ER Practice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords

But he doesn't surf, and I don't think we'll ever be quaffing frosty beverages together on anyone's lanai.
I just watched Apocalypse Now again last night, and you reminded me of a good Duvall line: "Charlie don't surf!"
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Re: Pre-ER Practice
Old 01-06-2007, 03:35 PM   #14
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Re: Pre-ER Practice

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I just watched Apocalypse Now again last night, and you reminded me of a good Duvall line: "Charlie don't surf!"
That movie's in the surfer's hall of fame, right down to the classic Yater spoon offloaded by the beachmasters...

The board is apparently worth a chunk of change now:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniont..._1c19surf.html
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Re: Pre-ER Practice
Old 01-06-2007, 03:48 PM   #15
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Re: Pre-ER Practice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
That movie's in the surfer's hall of fame, right down to the classic Yater spoon offloaded by the beachmasters...

The board is apparently worth a chunk of change now:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniont..._1c19surf.html
Great article!

I recall in high school, my buddy's girlfriend had her name drawn from a radio promotion and won a board autographed by the Beach Boys during one of their concerts in Blaisdell Center. Of course, none of us: she, my buddy, or me, really surfed... I guess that was appropriate because I don't think the beach boys ever did either...

The Kilgore boards sounded pretty good, until we get to who is offering it and just why they are in hot water and need those funds... hmmm....

What is interesting is I have that movie for a long time on DVD, one of the first DVDs I bought, so it is not the later one with Director's cut and added scenes mentioned in the article... anyway, there is a scene on PBR Streetfighter *after* beach scene when you can see the board, replete with Air Cav markings, and it is never clear how or why it got there! I thought Clean had his own board before Kilgore, but now I am not sure... may warrant another viewing to get it right...
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Re: Pre-ER Practice
Old 01-06-2007, 05:31 PM   #16
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Re: Pre-ER Practice

Just before I turned 40, I took a year off and traveled the world. I loved it. Now when I take vacation time I rarely go anywhere. I pretend that I am retired. Coworkers ask aren't you glad to be back? No and then no again.I say!! I think I'll do fine in retirement. 8)
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