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Old 06-19-2015, 08:37 PM   #21
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What will I do all day? Take up a hobby. Do volunteer work. Finish all those projects you've been putting off at home. I work harder now than when working.
What if I miss my job? I've never heard anyone say they miss a job. You won't.
Am I really done with work? - Have I done all I want to? No, you're not going to be done with work. Done with a job, yes. You'll find so many new interests in life.
I feel guilty because my retirement fund has not been earned. Although your employer might have paid part or all of your pension, believe me that you've earned it. Have no doubts.
I don't know how I would explain it to my friends, and I feel that it might create barriers and resentments. Real friends should be happy that you can retire early and have the resources to enjoy life.
Is it really wise at my age to pull the plug on my human capital? You never know how long you will have on this good earth. Plan on living life to the fullest as long as you have good health.
I feel already that my mind is not as sharp as it was, and I worry that without work pushing me I might just end up slumping into sloth… My mind's not quite as sharp as it was 20 years ago, but I'm much happier doing my own thing. I get by quite well, thank you.

I watched my father live his dreams from retirement 1979 until 2007. I've just been in preparation to walk in his footsteps for many years. I never intended to work until I died.
Nice post!
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Old 06-19-2015, 08:54 PM   #22
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As an exercise, why don't you make a grid with 21 spaces? Label the spaces with the days of the week and morning, afternoon, evening. Try filling them in. I realized I was ready to retire when I could fill the spaces in and what I saw there made me happy.
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Old 06-19-2015, 08:54 PM   #23
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I discovered that retirement improved my health significantly. That is priceless!
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Old 06-19-2015, 10:33 PM   #24
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I'm older than you (62), but I'm struggling with the same things you are. I hope I can resolve most of them in the next ten months. Good luck, whatever you decide.
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Old 06-20-2015, 06:25 AM   #25
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Talk to people who have retired. Ask them if it was a good decision, or if they'd change their decision if there could. I haven't found anyone yet who regrets retiring, but I am sure there must be a few. Probably a very few.
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Old 06-20-2015, 07:56 AM   #26
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I discovered that retirement improved my health significantly. That is priceless!
Yes this may be one of the most important benefits. More time for fitness activities and easier to eat better.
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Old 06-20-2015, 08:10 AM   #27
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I don't know your friends but all of my friends were both jealous (because I could and they couldn't) and ecstatic for me. No one will likely think less of you and I would venture if they do you probably don't need/want them as friends...
+1 to this.
I'm also very recently in your situation and about the same age. Coming from a high risk/high exposure role with large-ish public company, and my last day is July 3.

When I gave notice a while ago, the reactions were the same as described (largely) by nuke_diver.

FWIW I agree w the other posters that you don't have to 'do nothing' and may decide to do something else. One of my good friends coined a great phrase for it: he 'wants to work for someone who can't afford [him]". That may be a great outlet if you simply want to do a different and perhaps more rewarding role.
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Old 06-20-2015, 09:04 AM   #28
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The OP has received a lot of good advice here.

on the question of happiness, Richard Bach I think put it best “If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem.”

I have been known a workaholic all my career. I RE earlier this year and many of my friends and co-workers figured that I'd be back in a couple weeks or months. No such doing. The one thing I did was to make a list of things I thought I wanted to do... or thought I did want to do. I've been down selecting and prioritizing to figure out what I will do... and I know I can always change my mind.
Think about what you might want to do in the following:
  • making the world a better place-- charity
  • keeping your mind engaged -- what do you want to learn
  • keeping your body working-- exercise, etc
  • socialize -- we all need human interaction
  • spritual - stay active in your beliefs... whatever they are
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Old 06-20-2015, 09:08 AM   #29
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It takes a while to be deprogrammed. Since you were a child you have had someone else tell you what to do and when to do it. Freedom is scary. Look at long-time inmates that want to just stay in jail when offered a parole.

And unless you replaced Mother Teresa, your work is not that important and you won't really be missed for long, if at all.
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Old 06-20-2015, 09:27 AM   #30
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Yes this may be one of the most important benefits. More time for fitness activities and easier to eat better.
+1

I've had health issues for the last several years. Finally I got scared enough to follow my Dr's suggestions. I used to rationalize I didn't have time to do the work. Now I realize I don't have the time, to not do the work.

It's disgusting to me how I let w*rk change my priorities. If I'd dropped over dead on the j*b some folks might be a little sad for a couple of days. Then back onto the same hamster wheel going in mindless circles.

Lots of great advice in this thread. Ever bit of of it true.
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Old 06-20-2015, 09:37 AM   #31
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I didn't think of ER until I found this forum last year soon after I sold one of the the two businesses I owned.

There was a chain of events that led me to finalize my decision:

1. My dad passed away early last year at age 83--made me realize that we all have finite time on earth, it is best to enjoy the time doing something I like to do instead of just working to make more & more money.

2. Later in the year 2014 I had a gallbladder attack-they removed my gall bladder. Those four days in the hospital made me realize that I may not even last as long as my dad lived and decided that I must sell my business & ER soon.

3. Thereafter another wake up call came in December 2014--this time it was my lower back and the sciatic nerve that pretty much left me incapable of walking more than a couple of blocks

I finally realized that my sedentary, high stress lifestyle had created health issues for me and unless I made major changes in my lifestyle I may never be able to enjoy the retirement that I so eagerly dreamed about.

I have now listed my business for sale and expect to sell it within 12-24 months. Have reduced my working hours from 10+/day to 5-6 hrs/day, joined a gym and started working out 5 days a week. Have started cooking my own healthy meals with fresh ingredients.

I now feel better and lighter than I have ever felt. Know for sure that I can fill my days with meaningful activities that do not involve working for a living. Looking forward to ER as soon as my business sells.

You too will figure it out soon.
Cheers.
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Old 06-20-2015, 09:57 AM   #32
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A lot of your concern may simply be fear of the unknown. You've been conditioned all your life to work, and you feel safe knowing that you have a job, paycheck, etc, and falling into a regular routine.


Retiring, whether it be early or not, is a major lifestyle change, so it's natural to be apprehensive and have concerns about it. But, once you transition into it, and it becomes your regular routine, you'll probably wonder why you didn't bail out of the workforce earlier!


Here's something else to think about...while people are living longer, they're not always living longer, healthier. So the early years of your retirement are most likely going to be your best...your healthiest, your most active, etc. Chances are, your 60's are going to be a slowdown from your 50's, and your 70's are going to be less active and "meaningful" than your 60's, and so on.


Anyway, you might not be quite ready to retire right now, but when the time really feels right, you'll know it.
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Old 06-20-2015, 10:40 AM   #33
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Thank you all for your further thoughts. I'm really torn to be honest. It is fear - mostly that I won't 'make the most' of the time.
I do feel a sense of excitement at the freedom and possibilities (slightly tempered by the fact that my freedom is currently constrained by caring responsibilities for children and elderly relatives).
I suppose part of it is sadness at giving up my career, which hasn't really reached the heights I had hoped - and I certainly don't want my retirement/next phase of life to be blighted by feelings of failure. My career progression has really run into the sand lately, and I feel demotivated and burned out - but I want to retire for positive rather than negative reasons. (In other words, I want to jump rather than be pushed!)


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Old 06-20-2015, 11:07 AM   #34
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What will I do all day? Take up a hobby. Do volunteer work. Finish all those projects you've been putting off at home. I work harder now than when working.
Since I retired at end of last year I've already lost 10 pounds just with PT volunteer work and doing projects around the home. Feel much better now that I'm not chained to a desk job 5 days a week.

OP always consider your health and how it will benefit once you ER.
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:20 AM   #35
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Can you ease into retirement by working part time?

I still put in 16 hours a week at my old employer. I like the extra money, the work is OK, and I have zero "political" concerns.

Believe it or not, though, I am starting to grudge those 16 hours. Now that I'm paying attention to many things that I used to "let go" because work came first, there is more to do than I ever dreamed!

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Old 06-20-2015, 11:27 AM   #36
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well, I already work 'part time' (Officially 30 hours a week, but if I include commuting and additional hours at home, it's probably at least 36 hours a week) - but it's essentially a full time role and objectives/expectations are not much less than full time colleagues (probably many of whom don't know I am not full time, it's the sort of job where many people work from home and many are workaholics ). I think there is probably zero likelihood of being able to reduce my hours further within the current job. It is just possible I could get some part time contracting work (I mean really part time, maybe 1-2 days a week), and I may investigate this further.


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Old 06-20-2015, 11:45 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Rickt View Post
I didn't think of ER until I found this forum last year soon after I sold one of the the two businesses I owned.

There was a chain of events that led me to finalize my decision:

1. My dad passed away early last year at age 83--made me realize that we all have finite time on earth, it is best to enjoy the time doing something I like to do instead of just working to make more & more money.

2. Later in the year 2014 I had a gallbladder attack-they removed my gall bladder. Those four days in the hospital made me realize that I may not even last as long as my dad lived and decided that I must sell my business & ER soon.

3. Thereafter another wake up call came in December 2014--this time it was my lower back and the sciatic nerve that pretty much left me incapable of walking more than a couple of blocks

I finally realized that my sedentary, high stress lifestyle had created health issues for me and unless I made major changes in my lifestyle I may never be able to enjoy the retirement that I so eagerly dreamed about.

I have now listed my business for sale and expect to sell it within 12-24 months. Have reduced my working hours from 10+/day to 5-6 hrs/day, joined a gym and started working out 5 days a week. Have started cooking my own healthy meals with fresh ingredients.

I now feel better and lighter than I have ever felt. Know for sure that I can fill my days with meaningful activities that do not involve working for a living. Looking forward to ER as soon as my business sells.

You too will figure it out soon.
Cheers.
Impressive. Congratulations on taking positive action after listening to all the warning signs.
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Old 06-20-2015, 04:00 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by collingwood View Post
Thank you all for your further thoughts. I'm really torn to be honest. It is fear - mostly that I won't 'make the most' of the time.
I do feel a sense of excitement at the freedom and possibilities (slightly tempered by the fact that my freedom is currently constrained by caring responsibilities for children and elderly relatives).
I suppose part of it is sadness at giving up my career, which hasn't really reached the heights I had hoped - and I certainly don't want my retirement/next phase of life to be blighted by feelings of failure. My career progression has really run into the sand lately, and I feel demotivated and burned out - but I want to retire for positive rather than negative reasons. (In other words, I want to jump rather than be pushed!)


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Life is for living. That "sense of excitement" you mention was what I felt before I retired. It will likely build and build as you further consider your options and what things you might be doing with your remaining life if not having to work. As it builds, you will begin to realize that the concerns about your career are not so important and that you'd really rather be living your remaining time on this good earth doing other things. You are giving this some excellent thought and I think you'll know when the time is right.

With me, I had given retirement thought for a long time. Could have retired a few years before I did. But didn't for some of the same considerations you had in your original post. Then it just hit me one day due to a slow accumulation of small things that added up to a realization that retirement was a good step for me. The next day I notified my management and began the few weeks of work I needed to complete to feel good about leaving my job. Am now very happy in retirement and busier than I expected. Best wishes that you pick just that right time for you personally.
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Old 06-20-2015, 08:08 PM   #39
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How did I retire? As the OP said, it is indeed difficult to let go of that paycheck. And most early retirees are in their 50s, hence at the top of their game and command good pays.

I had it easier than most folks, just due to circumstances. I worked sporadic part-time for 9 years, doing consulting and contracting work, after our startups failed. That got me used to having a few continuous months of freedom at a time, and the lack of steady income too. It was good training wheels.

Quitting cold turkey is indeed hard.
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:04 AM   #40
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Quote:
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+1

I've had health issues for the last several years. Finally I got scared enough to follow my Dr's suggestions. I used to rationalize I didn't have time to do the work. Now I realize I don't have the time, to not do the work.

It's disgusting to me how I let w*rk change my priorities. If I'd dropped over dead on the j*b some folks might be a little sad for a couple of days. Then back onto the same hamster wheel going in mindless circles.

Lots of great advice in this thread. Ever bit of of it true.
Me too. When I retired, I had 90 days to extend my key man insurance of $1.5. million without a physical. I had been climbing the 19 floors to our penthouse twice a day. I was in such good shape that the agent ordered a new physical and got better coverage from another company.

And the climbing became routine and easily done in any weather. Plus the second spouse was the beneficiary rather than the company. It was to compensate for my first wife getting all my pension when I die (although substantially less than $1.5 million).
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