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View Poll Results: My PRIMARY motivation for retirement is or was...
to escape a very bad work situation; I could barely take it any more 17 12.69%
to get out of a tolerable but unpleasant work situation 12 8.96%
to pursue specific enjoyable pursuits in retirement; work was OK but irrelevant 42 31.34%
to just relax and minimize anything of a stressful or demanding nature 38 28.36%
to reduce my workload which was rewarding but too demanding 8 5.97%
I can't really identify a predominant motivation - it was a balance 17 12.69%
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Push or Pull Retirements
Old 10-05-2009, 09:46 AM   #1
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Push or Pull Retirements

Recent posts like Moe's "goals" thread reinforced an observation that some people seem to retire primarily to escape 30 years of a very toxic career (i.e. to get out of a bad or even traumatic work situation), while others are primarily "enticed" into retirement by various personal, family, or other desires and goals ("lofty" or otherwise),

I figure it's a mixed bag for most people, or at least I think it is for me. I can see why it's a welcome transition regardless of the motivation. At least on this board, both types seem to be pretty happy with the end result.

How would you categorized your primary climb to retirement? I'm a 5, reduce workload but with lots 6 (balance) as a close runner up.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:53 AM   #2
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Socially acceptable (to most onlookers) escape from work.
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:13 AM   #3
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Escaped a barely tolerable PC environment. The w*rk with my full size electric trains, complete with real live operator's (drivers) was fun and challenging, unfortunately it took 8th or 10th place behind ensuring all PC was taken care of first.
Several rounds of TQM became the joke of the week/month/year and a spectacular time waster.

Kayaking is so much more fun.
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:57 AM   #4
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"to just relax and minimize anything of a stressful or demanding nature"

I may be biased today because I just returned from a week long vacation at the beach, but I don't think my job is particularly bad. It is just inconvenient for the most part - it really interferes with what I want to do everyday (the upside is they pay me). The stressful part is trying to cram "life" into the 110 or so hours that I have each week that don't involve work.

So I would have to say today the motivation is simply to relax and minimize stressful situations in general. I want to have time to pursue more personal interests, relax, hold down my hammock. Enjoy the weather outdoors. Cook more and better. Travel a little more leisurely. Spend more time with the kids, family, and friends. Catch up on some movies, tv watching, and game playing.
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:13 AM   #5
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I loved my job at Megacorp...until the last year or so. I was placed in a position that was dull and meaningless; we were in good financial shape, so I left. If I could have stayed in my old position, I'd probably still be there. I really enjoyed it and was making a great salary.

Of course, sleeping late and having a cold brew in the early afternoon is kind of nice too....
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:18 AM   #6
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I picked 6. My desire for early retirement is caused by multiple factors, but it's mostly 1 (escape a bad work situation), 4 (lead a less stressful life), and some 3 (pursue enjoyable activities).

I really hate work. I have frequent headaches and often wake up in the middle of the night with dread. I've gained a lot of weight over the last 4-5 years. OK. That's my fault, but work certainly hasn't helped. I'm not a government employee, but I work at a government organization. The amount of crap is unlimited. I work very hard, but most of my time is spent doing "non-work." I spend more than 40-hours/week on useless tasks that have no benefit. There is no feeling of productivity or accomplishment. I recently had a pre-meeting, to a pre-meeting, to a pre-meeting, to a meeting. After showing up for the actual meeting at 10:00, and waiting around for 20 minutes, I'm told to come back at 12:30. After showing up at 12:30, and waiting around for 30 minutes, I'm told that the meeting is being canceled. Anything useful is done at nights or on the weekends.

That aside, even if work was tolerable, I would still like to live a stress free life. Being able to do what I want, when I want, is very desirable.

There are things I want to do (outdoor activities), but this is not the primary driving factors for early retirement. I can do many activities (e.g., running, bicycling, hiking) whether or not I'm retired, although retirement will give me more time. Some plans, however, like spending 6 months hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, will be made a lot easier by early retirement.
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:31 AM   #7
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I had been working since I was twenty and while I still enjoyed the patient care I was getting burned out so I decided it was time . I did waiver when I first retired and went back in a real part time position but that year taught it was time to just jump fully into retirement . I had no lofty goals , no to do list , no idea at all of what I was going to do but I knew I could handle it and I have . The first few months I relaxed until I bored myself and then I jumped into a new life . The hardest part for me was replacing the friendships I had with my co-workers and slowly but surely I have .
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:32 AM   #8
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My career (programming) was mostly easy and very non-stressful, with occasional bouts of interesting stuff thrown in. After being spoiled for decades and hitting FI in 2004, my workplace changed dramatically for the worse in 2006, prompting retirement.
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:38 AM   #9
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I chose 3, but my motivation was a little different than what was on the list. I Got really angry many years ago during a bad situation, but realized I was pwned by the corp. Either the one I was at or some other one. My main motivation was FI, not so much ER. I didn't want to be in that situation anymore.

5 of my last 7 years at w*rk were pretty crappy, due to a bad management situation, but I liked the job. The last 2 years were really pretty nice, new position, new management. But the stars then aligned to make it more rewarding to leave than to stay, so here I am.
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:55 AM   #10
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I chose #4. My job isn't particularly bad or hard and the pay and bennies are good. But it's occasionally stressful (I'm almost a single point of failure for a critical function visible to upper management), and in reality just the feeling that my time isn't my own is one I'd really like to jettison.
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Old 10-05-2009, 11:58 AM   #11
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I picked 4 - lends itself well to semi-retirement - but the more time I take to relax the more I realize that I need even more time to relax
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harley View Post
I chose 3, but my motivation was a little different than what was on the list. I Got really angry many years ago during a bad situation, but realized I was pwned by the corp. Either the one I was at or some other one. My main motivation was FI, not so much ER. I didn't want to be in that situation anymore.

5 of my last 7 years at w*rk were pretty crappy, due to a bad management situation, but I liked the job. The last 2 years were really pretty nice, new position, new management. But the stars then aligned to make it more rewarding to leave than to stay, so here I am.
Wow - - The above post could have been written by me! Well, 7 out of 10 years rather than 5 out of 7, but otherwise very similar. By the time things improved, I already had my plan and it was coming along just beautifully. I was mentally retired, so to speak. I didn't see much reason to work for anybody, despite the infinitely improved new management here.

It has been a real eye-opener to see what working can be like when one's management is encouraging, actually understands what you do, and stands 100% behind you. Had the job been that good when I started, I might have ended up working another ten years. (groan) So, as they say "everything happens for a reason". Not true, but it almost seems like it this time.
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:08 PM   #13
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Door number 1, no question about it to escape a toxic environment.
The progression went from bad to worse to downright attack mode on me. A real predator set me square in her (yes, her) crosshairs when she became my supervisor. She did everything to try to trip me up.
I was way too experienced and fleeter of foot for that to happen.
I tried to go by the book and do my j*b, but she was inescapable wielding that flaming pitchfork in her hand.
I asked for a transfer, and it was refused. So I just left by resignation, with my dignity intact and a big smile.
It wasn't just me...she did manage to get an older gentleman in a corner with horrible reviews so that he retired before he wanted to. His other choice was termination for insufficient performance.
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:52 PM   #14
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Maybe 4 & 6 for me. Worked for myself most of my working life, so I can't blame the boss. As a landlord I feel a lot of responsibility to my tenants - have kind of a 24/7 ownership of the job. That's me. Result is that while I don't have to spend a huge amount of time doing stuff, I am on call all the time - a week away and I feel guilty and there are things that should have been addressed. I like feeling competent and useful, but dealing with some of the tenant personalities is stressful.

No kids, so no need to pass on a dynasty, as time passes I become more aware that each year leaves me hurting more and less capable physically. We've piled up about enough to feel confident we won't run out of money and have to start flipping burgers at 85. So is that all there is? I want to clear the decks and see.
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:01 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
I figure it's a mixed bag for most people, or at least I think it is for me. I can see why it's a welcome transition regardless of the motivation. At least on this board, both types seem to be pretty happy with the end result.
How would you categorized your primary climb to retirement?
I'd have to go with "all of the above":
Quote:
to escape a very bad work situation; I could barely take it any more
This was a persistent risk with every change of command. In a scenario right out of "Dilbert", my worst-ever supervisor from eight years ago was literally transferred 5000 miles across the country to be my last CO before I retired. Luckily I was judged to be his worst-ever supervisee so we mostly avoided each other.

Quote:
to get out of a tolerable but unpleasant work situation
Dory used to comment that you had the FI bucket in one and the BS bucket in the other. When the FI bucket was full enough, the BS bucket seemed to fill up a lot faster. I knew nearly a decade ahead of time when I'd be retiring, so perhaps the anticipation was harder than the actual transition.

Quote:
to pursue specific enjoyable pursuits in retirement; work was OK but irrelevant
If I had to pick just one reason...

Quote:
to just relax and minimize anything of a stressful or demanding nature
... with a secondary reason, these would be the ones.

Quote:
to reduce my workload which was rewarding but too demanding
In my case it was the "special projects" that couldn't be ducked. The daily routine (and my co-workers) pretty well ran in autopilot... but then Navy HQ would come up with a initiative and of course there had to be an action officer.

Quote:
I can't really identify a predominant motivation - it was a balance
I wanted to be in charge of the balance part of the problem. Of course now that I'm in charge of it, I still struggle with it.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:00 PM   #16
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to escape a very bad work situation; I could barely take it any more
-----------------------------------------
I've told my tale before.

Mainframe programmer, introvert.

They made me a 'program lead' and I had to deal with different people on different levels.

I took an early retirement when I realized I could live on less than $20K/year (and got health insurance).

My job was 'killing me': obese, high BP, tooth grinding, migraines...
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:23 PM   #17
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I voted #1 - to escape a very bad work situation; I could barely take it any more .

I started planning for ER when I was 32, after I had just changed jobs and came to the sad realization that changing jobs wasn't going to help me - what I needed was to be able to exit megacorp as early as possible. As someone else said, I didn't want to be "owned" by a corporation.

In the 15 years that followed, some jobs and some years were better than others, but the last few years were utterly miserable. I wasn't and still am not certain that I am FI, but I decided that I was close enough and that life is too short to be that unhappy. I think the final push for me was seeing two women I knew in their mid to late 50's die rather suddenly.

I do still work a few hours a week at a very enjoyable pt job and that has helped me get over my financial uncertainty. Despite the market turmoil since I left (in Sept. 07) , I have never regretted making the leap.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:47 PM   #18
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DW loves what she does but she dislikes her work environment. Too much BS, too much politics, and too much unnecessary stress. So for DW, the answer would be #1 or #2, depending on the kinda day she is having.

I don't handle stress well anymore. It makes me sick, physically sick. I used to handle stress so much better in my twenties, I don't understand what happened. But that's what it is. So for me, I definitely just want to relax and avoid stress at any cost, and the answer would be #4.
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:18 PM   #19
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I chose three... not retired yet but that is my primary reason... now the funny thing is I have always enjoyed my job as I feel it fits my personality perfectly until the last month or so when megacorp decided to consolidate my small department with 17 other small departments and put me in charge of one of the areas I really didn't want... so for the first time in my life work isn't as fun as use to be ... but my plan was already in place primarily attributed to my DW getting breast cancer 4 years ago... we decided we would retire early and enjoy life... our plan is for early 2012 but now with the new job situation I will leave earlier if the market conditions allow...
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:19 PM   #20
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I loved my job at Megacorp...until the last year or so. I was placed in a position that was dull and meaningless; we were in good financial shape, so I left. If I could have stayed in my old position, I'd probably still be there. I really enjoyed it and was making a great salary.

Of course, sleeping late and having a cold brew in the early afternoon is kind of nice too....
that is what I like about vacations (practice retirement)... I like to have a cold one at noon and wait for someone to ask why I am drinking a beer so early... where I reply..."Because I can"... man I can't wait...
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