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Regrets or disappointments
Old 05-05-2014, 11:08 PM   #1
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Regrets or disappointments

This is a question to those who are already FIRE and "retired";

Now that you have reached and experienced FIRE and are "retired" do you have any regrets or has it turned out to have any disappointing elements?

I am already FIRE but do not have the guts to pull the trigger on working.
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:27 PM   #2
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I am only 4 months in, but I suppose some of the transition would have been easier if I were retiring "to" something. Still, not much of a big deal.
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:33 PM   #3
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I am only 4 months in, but I suppose some of the transition would have been easier if I were retiring "to" something. Still, not much of a big deal.
Do you mean you would like to have been retiring from working into doing something else or some other type of work?
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:40 PM   #4
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Do you mean you would like to have been retiring from working into doing something else or some other type of work?
Doing something else. I did not escape the cube by age 40 by not being driven, goal oriented, etc. It is not something that is easy or simple to change about myself. Sometimes I think it would be a lot easier to make the transition if I had some consuming goal to move onto, but then I suppose I would still be stuck in the same trap. I am still exorcising this particular demon, lately by whacking the crap out of some huge, knotty, wavy-grained logs I am turning into firewood. A necessary part of a transition to a new way of life. In actuality, I have plenty of interests and pursuits (brewing, hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, beekeeping, figuring out how to garden, earning to forage, etc.), just nothing as consuming as what I had during my career.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:03 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Aus_E_Expat View Post
This is a question to those who are already FIRE and "retired";

Now that you have reached and experienced FIRE and are "retired" do you have any regrets or has it turned out to have any disappointing elements?

I am already FIRE but do not have the guts to pull the trigger on working.
I haven't had any regrets at all.

I have always been pretty good at entertaining myself and finding interesting things to do, so that helps. In retirement I get to define my own tasks and goals (instead of having someone else do it), and I get to work on my projects when I feel like it, at whatever pace I wish.

Also, the recent booming market has been helpful financially.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:13 AM   #6
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No regret or disappointment. I keep myself entertained and challenged just fine. I was made for this lifestyle.
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:37 AM   #7
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Now that you have reached and experienced FIRE and are "retired" do you have any regrets or has it turned out to have any disappointing elements?
I'm closing in on year 12 of an unplanned early-early retirement.

Regrets? - None really. At first, it seemed like a bit of a waste, since I had abilities and capabilities that were not going to be used anymore. And I saw many others older than me in the same boat - seems like society was losing the efforts and abilities of some really good people.
HOWEVER... these thoughts of worthlessness were swamped out by the feeling of freedom!

I worked in a very high-stress job. It would have been OK, if I could have gotten rid of a bunch (ok, maybe more like a gross) of people. Some afternoons, for a couple of minutes, I would escape to an area that had big windows that looked out at trees and bushes, and just think how much I wanted to be in a position that I could be out there on my own (and not poor!). And then someone would find me, and my moment of peace would be over, back to reality.
Since E-ER, I often think of that spot, looking out at those trees and wanting to be gone. And I am!!! Freedom!

Disappointing elements? - None really. I have always been a self-starter, and I never worried that I would run out of things to do, or not know what to do, if I had the opportunity to retire. Just give it to me!

That said, in my opinion, one needs to be realistic about early retirement once there. If every day is good... are they still? Without being whacked by a big stick everyday, "good" can become the new normal, which means it won't feel as good as it did in the beginning. You just get used to it, and may not appreciate it as much. I am NOT talking about going back to work, but rather the human condition of complacency. We can always find something to complain about, after complaining about work is over.

But tomorrow is another day, and I'm NOT going to work, I'm going for a walk, do some things, putter around, maybe take an after-lunch nap after my un-hurried low-stress lunch. If I should kick the bucket while napping, I'm ok with that, I won't feel cheated out of life.
I sure would have felt cheated if I kicked the bucket while working! That phrase about life being short and brutal...

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Old 05-06-2014, 01:16 AM   #8
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If I were younger, like in my 40s, then I could see myself wonder what I was doing walking away from good money doing what I liked. But at this age and just been through an unexpected health issue, it was time for me to enjoy the rest of my life doing something other than work.
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:41 AM   #9
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Tomorrow I will be retired for 5 weeks. No regrets or disappointments other than I should have retired sooner. I have more than enough activities to keep me busy.
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:51 AM   #10
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As some of you know, I have taken a break from work. I find that I am having no problem keeping busy and enjoying the time away from the frantic schedule. Of course, I have a lot of personal things I had not attended to over the last few years, so that alone fills in my days. However, what I find interesting is the reaction many of my friends are having with my choice.

Someone said you have friends for a reason, season or a lifetime. The ones I am referring to have been my friends for a lifetime but right now my shift seems to make our relationship different. I might be assuming as much, but it seems to me that they know they have a ways to go and spending time chatting with me is counter productive to their quest. Most are people who LBYM. Some have had the life changing events (divorce, business failure, etc.) that ate up whatever savings they had accumulated. So they are, in effect, starting over in their late 40's early 50's. On the other hand, other friends are on track to FIRE, but yet they think I am too young to pull the ER trigger. It seems in all cases, they are uncomfortable with the conversation as it just does not compute.

So, regrets I have none at this point, but what I am finding is I am sorta in a twilight zone with many of my lifetime friends. Maybe the reality is that they all know me well and just can't imagine this type A person taking a break.

As I have said, I will take some time to reflect on that decision and might end up working a few more years.
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Old 05-06-2014, 06:08 AM   #11
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No regrets for me. Surprisingly it all turned out more or less as expected, except for the divorce 30-some years ago, but I had time to recover from that. I never expected to be living in West Virginia, but neither did I anticipate the insane level of traffic where we used to live. So that's okay.

I just plodded along and eventually got where I was headed.
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Old 05-06-2014, 06:55 AM   #12
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No regrets here. I retired 5 1/2 years ago and things have gone as I expected. I just turned 51 last month. Not having the awful commute I so despised, even only 2 days a week (I worked part-time for 7 years before I ERed; the last 17 months was 2 days a week), is by far the best part. My mornings are nice and peaceful instead of harried and often nauseating (I am not a morning person).
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Old 05-06-2014, 06:57 AM   #13
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Nine years in for me; RE'd at 53. No regrets at all, although FI helps a lot.

DW and most friends were terrified I'd be bored within days. Hate to sound like an old retired person but I don't know how I found the time to work! Busy every day (factoring in for nap time).

Started out with small home projects and the time vacuum slowly filled up from there.
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Old 05-06-2014, 06:59 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Aus_E_Expat View Post
Now that you have reached and experienced FIRE and are "retired" do you have any regrets or has it turned out to have any disappointing elements?
Nine years after FIRE, absolutely zero regrets - and even fewer disappointments.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:16 AM   #15
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No regret or disappointment. I keep myself entertained and challenged just fine. I was made for this lifestyle.
+1. I always found working to be highly overrated!
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:19 AM   #16
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No real regrets, but at 60 I left long term career for what looked like an interesting gig I was recruited to. Turns out the work they thought they had for me evaporated so rather than sit around I left. So it was more unplanned unemployment/retirement than a deliberate decision. Some wouldn't consider 60 that early, but I really was not all that prepared for it. Financially, in retrospect, we could have opted out far earlier but until my last few years (pre- 60) I had enjoyed the job most days.

While I don't have any regrets (see my auto signature!) I do find a lot of days difficult to fill. I've done about all the remodeling I can do and woodworking. Not a golfer, fisherman, and haven't been able to find a volunteer gig that makes me smile. Do enjoy hiking and mountain biking, but a broken collarbone from the biking has definitely slowed me down in some of my endeavors.

I'll close this with what is now a major milestone for DW and me. 8 years ago we built an addition to care for her mother. I had always joked to coworkers that as soon as she passed I would retire; there was no point in it before then as we were pretty much hobbled to the house as DW caring for her was almost a full time job and our one desire in retirement was travel (both kids live overseas). Her care has exceeded our abilities in many ways (falls all the time, hospitalized 3x since Christmas from them) not to mention that as we watch her failing health we realize our window of great health won't last forever and we do want to travel. So yesterday we took her from the physical rehab place that followed most recent fall to a very nice AL facility 2 miles from our home. In the last 5 days that we have informed her of this she has been sullen, lashing out at us, and upon entering her room yesterday said "Welcome to my burial vault!" As it turned out, within an hour her attitude seemed to have turned considerably brighter, perhaps because we had moved a lot of her personal possessions in. So the big milestone for us is that once we hook up with someone to house sit the dogs we can start roaming and spending some cash. So, I'm hoping that some of the dissatisfaction I've felt will be taken care of by our new freedom. I know perpetual travel is not for us, but I always seem to enjoy life when we have a trip planned in the near future to look forward to. Having grandkids overseas is not a great thing!
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:38 AM   #17
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No regrets for me. I was in a situation where the company was struggling, my j*b was unfulfillling, and most of my w*rk friends were long gone. So ever day sitting at a desk felt like deferring the dreams of what I really wanted to do.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:56 AM   #18
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Fourteen years later things have gone differently than planned. Mann tracht und Gott lacht. A little resiliency and a bit of flexibility go a long way. No regrets at all.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:07 AM   #19
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13 years here, with no regrets, no disappointments, and still enjoying it to the hilt.
Sure, some things were not as planned, but that's the condition of all phases of all lives.
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Old 05-06-2014, 09:17 AM   #20
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I have been retired for almost 4 years and now close to 50. I am certainly glad that I am not a type A personality who needs to hang pelts on the wall as a sense of accomplishment. Because if I did, I would have to consider myself a big loser in retirement. I have become so damn lazy, but enjoy every minute of it! Yes I have plenty of time for my hobbies, but I swear it takes me all day clean the house. When I was working I could clean the house nearly spotless in an hour.


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