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Old 06-21-2015, 09:32 AM   #41
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- what will I do all day?
This will be a problem whether you retire now or later. Delaying only kicks the can down the road, doesn't solve the problem.

-what if I miss my job?
I hated my job, so for me it is a no brainer.

-am I really done with work - have I done all I want to?
If you have enough to survive on what is the problem?

- I feel guilty because my retirement fund has not been earned
Who cares if it is earned? Enjoy.

- I don't know how I would explain it to my friends, and I feel that it might create barriers and resentments.
Tell them they are losers and you won the game, then flip them off.

- is it really wise at my age to pull the plug on my human capital?
So you are holding the world up by your magnificent work? The world is big and you really don't matter to it.

- 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…
These seem like excuses for someone who is afraid of change.

-I don't know, it just feels against the natural order not to be working whilst I am still able to. Perhaps that's just overblown Calvinistic work ethic (although, I should emphasise, I am NOT a workaholic - I haven't worked full time since my kids were born - but my job is quite demanding nonetheless)
Maybe you should keep working if retiring feels unnatural.

-I just wondered how many of you have these hangups, and do they go away once you finally get the courage to pull the plug.
Never had these hang ups so I couldn't tell you if they go away.
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Old 06-28-2015, 08:39 AM   #42
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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.

Quitting cold turkey is indeed hard.
Yes, cold turkey can be really hard. In my case I was able to slow down somewhat the year before I retired by working only 4 days a week. Even then it took maybe 2-3 years to really get the "job" out of my system. Hard not to define yourself by the "job" you do. Successful high paying "jobs" really require this, I think. Anyway, retired 9 years now and things have worked out very well.

My DW and I are consummate planners and this has really helped. We must have had a dozen spreadsheets projecting and planning financial aspects of our retirement. There were so many moving pieces it is really a little surprising that it all worked out pretty much as planned.

Think of this as a new phase, one that will come sooner or later. Plan to make it sooner. Take control.
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Old 06-28-2015, 08:54 AM   #43
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I started gearing down for retirement 10 years before pulling the plug. Went from 55-60 hrs a week down to 8 over that time. And developed interests/hobbies to eat up my free time. After working 1-2 days a week for the last year, retiring was easy.


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Old 06-28-2015, 09:00 AM   #44
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Quitting cold turkey is indeed hard.
It isn't like giving up smoking. For some of us it was easy - and exhilarating.
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:23 AM   #45
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It took a while for me, lack of proper planning on my part. As far as what to do all day, that's easy now. What did you do on summers when you were off from school? Before you started w*rking, even babysitting or mowing lawns! I play like I'm 12 years old again, hiking, walking, stop and talk to strangers, fishing, helping friends and strangers. We're all different but most have been told what to do for many years, j*bs, school, family commitments, your told what to do, by when.
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:39 AM   #46
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It isn't like giving up smoking. For some of us it was easy - and exhilarating.
No argument with "exhilarating" but if you had a very well paying, or responsible job that required a real emotional and intellectual commitment, quitting can be an emotional challenge. Worth it for sure but not usually easy.
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:38 AM   #47
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No argument with "exhilarating" but if you had a very well paying, or responsible job that required a real emotional and intellectual commitment...
I did.

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...quitting can be an emotional challenge.
Certainly it is for some, but for those of us who could separate the job from who we were, the emotion associated with retiring (early) was far more exciting than challenging. We're all wired differently...
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:07 AM   #48
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It took a while for me, lack of proper planning on my part. As far as what to do all day, that's easy now. What did you do on summers when you were off from school? Before you started w*rking, even babysitting or mowing lawns! I play like I'm 12 years old again, hiking, walking, stop and talk to strangers, fishing, helping friends and strangers. We're all different but most have been told what to do for manyi years, j*bs, school, family commitments, your told what to do, by when.
Yes, for all those years, one has commitments that take up all of one's time, and so one forgets how to have fun! Instead of calling it retirement, one may consider calling it going back to " the school of finding enjoyment in life". I was going to say "we are not born with the knowledge of how to have fun", but that's incorrect. We are, but we don't get to exercise it, and we simply can't execute effectively on having fun after being chained to the cube for so long; we forget how to have fun. And it doesn't have to be headonistic; your fun can be what someone else considers work. But be careful there, because we've had the " should" pushed on us, that we may try to fool ourselves into believing some "fulfilling" pursuit that sounds good to others is fun when it isn't.
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:37 AM   #49
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I took a golden handshake 15 years before mandatory retirement. I worked for an extra 2 months to make their transition easier. But that got me cured of the corporate culture and work buddies. Two of my work buds worked the extra 15 years and then died 2 years later.

I spent 10 years as a management consultant with expertise in effecting corporate change. I resisted any jobs just taking assignments. I ended up in several executive positions as a consultant, including 2 CEO positions.

By the time of the last CEO position, I was ready. I did my serious planning after that last position to convince myself that I could live on my nestegg. Close active management of our portfolio for 2 years proved that we could make it. If I had believed FIRE, I would have stayed working, so the portfolio performance turned out to be key.
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Old 06-28-2015, 03:01 PM   #50
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I did.



Certainly it is for some, but for those of us who could separate the job from who we were, the emotion associated with retiring (early) was far more exciting than challenging. We're all wired differently...
Yes, I had a tough time separating career from "who I was". That's why I found it difficult. Good for you that it was easy. I guess it depends somewhat on the career. It would not have been easy to have the career I had without "becoming the job". You were lucky not to fall into that trap.
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Old 06-28-2015, 05:27 PM   #51
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Yes, I had a tough time separating career from "who I was". That's why I found it difficult. Good for you that it was easy. I guess it depends somewhat on the career. It would not have been easy to have the career I had without "becoming the job". You were lucky not to fall into that trap.
Dammar, if I had had your earnings, I would have "become the job" too. In fact, with a fraction of same, I did, outwardly, for a while. But I plotted quietly.....
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Old 06-28-2015, 06:54 PM   #52
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I was just a nobody, so it was enormously gratifying to quickly get as far away as possible from the people whose lives were the job.
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Old 06-28-2015, 07:22 PM   #53
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Perhaps it's time to focus on the next phase of your life. One without working.

You have permission to not work and still be a valuable person. :-)


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Old 06-28-2015, 07:46 PM   #54
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Yes, for all those years, one has commitments that take up all of one's time, and so one forgets how to have fun! Instead of calling it retirement, one may consider calling it going back to " the school of finding enjoyment in life". I was going to say "we are not born with the knowledge of how to have fun", but that's incorrect. We are, but we don't get to exercise it, and we simply can't execute effectively on having fun after being chained to the cube for so long; we forget how to have fun. And it doesn't have to be headonistic; your fun can be what someone else considers work. But be careful there, because we've had the " should" pushed on us, that we may try to fool ourselves into believing some "fulfilling" pursuit that sounds good to others is fun when it isn't.
Sage advice!

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Old 06-28-2015, 08:28 PM   #55
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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!)
I can really relate to this. I never went to graduate school, and chose a field for potential security because I didn't have confidence in my abilities to do what I would rather have done. At 46 I definitely feel like I am having a midlife crisis. I don't know what the answer is besides figuring out how to let that go. If someone else has the answer, please share.

I have been retired now for almost 10 months and wish I could say that I have no regrets and that I am having the time of my life. I can say that I really enjoy not having the feelings of dread and all the physical symptoms of burnout. I like having unstructured time, but I debate adding a very small amount of structure. I am sometimes bored, but I was sometimes bored while working, in fact frequently while I was at work. I enjoy being able to see friends and family whenever their schedules allow. I enjoy being able to go for walks in my neighborhood and have long conversations with my neighbors. I enjoy being able to plan vacations whenever I want to travel. I do have moments when I feel like I am back in college and can do whatever I want. I would like for those moments to become more frequent and last longer.

I am envious of those who can jump into ER with both feet, for some of us it is a little more complicated.
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Old 06-28-2015, 08:33 PM   #56
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[QUOTE=texcurtis;1608917

You have permission to not work and still be a valuable person. :-)

[/QUOTE]

I think this may sum it up.
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Old 06-28-2015, 08:57 PM   #57
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Utrecht, that is exactly what keeps going round in my head. I genuinely can't rationalise my resistance. I think a lot of it is fear of the unknown, perhaps also of people's reactions, and I guess of trying to do things a different way in a world which is somewhat disapproving of 'slackers'.
I was certainly happier when I was younger and not on the career treadmill. I even enjoyed my casual jobs that I got for money while a student. But it's not really possible to travel back in time and live like a youth or even a child with no responsibilities is it? I also feel that I should be using my talents and experience for some greater good (not that I'm saying my work is necessarily the only way to do that, but I do wonder how meaningful a contribution can be made as a volunteer).



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There are many other ways to contribute to society and find purpose beyond either working or volunteering. Start a company, write a book, learn to play an instrument, a new language. Start your own charity or civic group to do good works. Go back to school and get that next degree.

So many possibilities in life if one isn't constrained to a 9 to 5 job, taking orders from someone else.

Sounds like you need to read some memoirs and biographies to get ideas of what else is out there and then start to understand yourself again outside your current self-image as a salaryman.

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Old 06-28-2015, 09:00 PM   #58
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yes, I think you're right (about caring what people think). I don't really mind what strangers think, but I wonder whether things would change with my friends. I may be underestimating them though.
Most important though is that I care what I think, and I have to get to the point where I think it's ok. I'm working on it



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Things will likely change. It may take extra effort to stay connected to your working friends. I have struggled to do this well after retiring in my 40's.

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Old 06-28-2015, 09:11 PM   #59
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I have become the job. Contacted a business broker whom I knew and will list my 35 year old business for sale. There was a sudden relief and weight lifted off my shoulders.

I will retire completly by 62 or so.
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Old 06-29-2015, 03:26 AM   #60
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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.
+1 I like that approach, although I don't have much in the way of inactive time after 1 year of leaving the yob. :-)

To OP's dilemma:

I was in a similar situation as I approached 55. I had enough in the way of saving and financial wherewithal to pull the plug, but, certain other (personal) reasons required me to stay employed, in a place far away from where I wanted to retire. Luckily for me, I was in a position where I could continue working at a diminished pace and have enough time to do other things (travel to exotic places on vacation, for instance). The hard part was to shut off the competitive juices at work and not be bothered with all the corporate politics and the self-imposed restriction on career progression. Once I made up my mind that I could continue to work in such a manner, I found that I deal with working until finally I was completely through with it all. The nice thing about waiting that far is that I could leave with no regrets, nor a backward glance...

So, if at all possible, continuing to work in a diminished capacity/role might be a palatable option to consider. (Many in this thread have mentioned taking on a part time role for a long while before retiring.) However, I should emphasize that my particular circumstances forced my hand to adopt such a compromise. It may be too specific to me.

As far as finding things to do after retiring, I can honestly say that I've been super busy and I'm trying to cut down on activities and interests that I've been pursuing since I retired. There is no need to worry about boredom if you have interests and activities that you pursue outside of work.

All the best. You have a good dilemma on hand - either way you win.
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