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Old 06-29-2015, 04:29 AM   #61
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I am similarly situated to the OP. In 2009 I received an inheritance that was almost enough to allow me to quit working, but not quite. I had wanted to retire at 55 from the beginning, but 3 years of poor earnings (2004-2007) really screwed up my savings. Long story.

5 years later my BS bucket filled up, and an amazing couple of years in the market put me in the position to ER. I had wanted to quit cold turkey, but our group is now very short staffed and since it involves taking care of babies, I couldn't walk away. So I work just a few days each month to fill gaps in the schedule.

I'm still in decompression/recovery from burnout. I'm exercising more but not enough. I admire the perfect people who brag about their health.

One of the most helpful things has been traveling. I haven't done much, but to take even one 2 week trip made it easier to let go of the workplace, even though I go in occasionally.

It is a process. You will continue to evolve and grow. When that old feeling of wishing I had done more comes up, I tell myself that we humans are screwing up the planet trying to do so much. I tell myself I am a human being, not a human doing. It's ok to smell the roses instead of trying to win a competition for the best rose.

Most of us aren't going to change the world from our workplace. Ben Franklin's major accomplishments all occurred after he retired from his printing work in his 40s. And they did not occur in the first year of retirement.

I did FireCalc a hundred times before I decided to retire. I'm not finished for good, but will be by the end of the year. I read some of this forum's recommended reading. Think of some things you have wanted to do and start planning. It really helps to have some things to retire to.


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Old 06-29-2015, 06:31 AM   #62
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The recent posts are very interesting and useful and demonstrate that for some (many?) it isn't as easy as you might think to retire. It is such a personal thing.

Good luck to the OP. Many people have travelled the road you are on. It will all work out, eventually.
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:43 AM   #63
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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.
For someone who is feeling the urge to ER, but is facing this hurdle, I would recommend initiating the "letting go" process while still working. Start looking at the job as being a job, instead of something that define's one's identity, and work on developing one's identity outside of the job. Doing so will make pulling the plug much, much easier.
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:52 AM   #64
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Regarding the sense of achievement and purpose that one gets from working: Unless you own a business, most of the those things come on someone else's terms, by accomplishing a task that someone else tells you that you have to do (and is paying you to do it).

With retirement comes the responsibility of filling that void - nobody is telling you what to do anymore - but when you find the things to fill it, what you get out of those things will far exceed whatever sense of achievement and purpose you received while earning a paycheck.

Two examples from my retirement: First, I recently completed a major home remodeling project which I was hesitant to take on and for which I was sure I would need some hired help. But I took it upon myself to learn and plan and execute the project, and other than a few hours of help from a buddy, I did it all by myself, and it turned out great. Second, while vacationing during my working years, I fell in love with an economically-depressed area, and since I ERd, I have been doing various things to support the area and to get people to go there and spend their money.
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:10 AM   #65
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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!).
The highlighted phrases describe what you need to deal with. Such burnout is natural and is a major reason why many people FIRE.

If you can't rekindle the fire, then shop yourself around for another position (either within or without the organization) for some new challenges. If that turns out to be fruitless, then study what you might do after work to gain some of the same feeling.

Your issues are real and deserve serious attention. I have been retired for 13 years, but when I made the decision, it was really about not committing to another 4 year project (which is the minimum time to learn a company and the key people and make the changes necessary and watch them progress to automatic pilot).

I get my jollies out of who I am and not what I do now.
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:25 AM   #66
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Some of us retired early in part because we believed that there are other causes, endeavors, hobbies, self-care, family-interests, etc. worthy of our time. You may not be "done" with your career work yet, and that is just fine. But consider what else your life perhaps might be for.
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How?
I'm a little late to this discussion, but I just went through something very similar to this. I was not quite ready to pull the plug and was thinking about looking for a new career. My mentor gave me the following exercise:
1) Make a list of the career areas in which you excel.
2) Make a list of the parts of you current work that you most and least enjoy.

You must be very careful to be honest with yourself. Now look for areas of intersection and for careers that might fit.

When I did that I decided that I could best apply my strengths and "wants" through some volunteer work that I'd already explored. That helped me decide not to get another FT job and to pull the plug. I have an opportunity lined up in a local financial education/counseling program. I can help others reach their goals. I've always taken pride in my career. Now that won't have to change in retirement!

Yes, you can have it all if you think outside what might seem like the typical path.

Good luck!
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:22 PM   #67
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For someone who is feeling the urge to ER, but is facing this hurdle, I would recommend initiating the "letting go" process while still working. Start looking at the job as being a job, instead of something that define's one's identity, and work on developing one's identity outside of the job. Doing so will make pulling the plug much, much easier.
Agree and I tried. Easier said than actually done though. All worked out eventually.
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Old 06-29-2015, 12:26 PM   #68
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I get my jollies out of who I am and not what I do now.
I understand what your are trying to say, Keith, but I get a lot of enjoyment from what I do in retirement, eg physical fitness, volunteering, travel, sports, etc. agree it has nothing to do with my "job"
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Old 07-03-2015, 03:03 PM   #69
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thank you to everyone who has replied here. It's given me a lot to think about, and hopefully the answers have helped others too.


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Old 07-04-2015, 07:39 AM   #70
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I tell myself I am a human being, not a human doing. It's ok to smell the roses instead of trying to win a competition for the best rose.
This is a very tough one for me, too.

I get bouts of a low sense of self-worth and self-perceived value.

Which is all the more strange since intellectually I've never made the connection of self-worth to the fact I earn money, and didn't in particular think my work activities contributed to a much better world, let alone defined me.

The unbearable lightness of being I guess.

Although I do think in my case it may be connected to a shortage of intellectual activity. Just have to find a way to fill in that niche properly.

Thanks everyone for the comments here, interesting perspectives here.
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