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Old 03-04-2010, 09:10 PM   #21
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I guess I'll confess. I was FI for some time but still w*rking. I had this silly idea implanted by my ancestors that suggested that you had to w*rk to "contribute to society". As well, for the first 38 years, I actually loved my various j*bs.

Toward the end of my working life, I got a new boss. He actually was a nice guy with a few brains, scary. As a newly minted Sr. V.P. he felt he had to do something "Peter Drucker might approve of". He decided we should all produce a "personal plan" for what we hoped to accomplish in the year. This included corporate goals, personal stuff (as in learning whatever) and anything else. He was the kind of guy who could handle critism and I suggested in several staff meeting that this was BS. About 3 years ago to the day, he came to my office and said "I know how you feel about the personal plan stuff, but I asked for it by March 1, I need it by (2 days hence)." My reaction was "my personal plan does not include mega-corp after the end of the first quarter".

So I guess that was either an impulse reaction or an epiphany, but the net result was my retirement and I've enjoyed it enough that I don't care why it happened.

For you bosses out there, know who you can afford to piss off.
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:02 PM   #22
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I suspect some of us "young dreamers" would be interested to see if anyone who had to rely completely (or almost completely) on their own investments were able to pull the plug this suddenly. Seems like that would take a lot more planning and forethought with your finances than simply knowing you have a "big enough" pension waiting for you on a certain date. Growing a large enough personal retirement savings nest egg to retire doesn't happen overnight or even in a couple of years of working on it.
I think your comments went right on by, but since it pretty much reflected my situation - thought I'd comment.

I have worked for very large private companies and also private start-ups, but all of them phased out of or never offered pensions or even 401k's (and forget about medical coverage until Medicare kicks in). Only had one small pension coming for 11+ years of labor early on, and I cashed out and rolled it over (figured I could do a better investment job - so far, so good).

I've been investing heavily for (early) retirement for the last 15 years, and proud of my nest egg. I use to think that if I just had half the amount saved for retirement - I'd "have it made". Now I worry that it's not going to be enough.

The overwhelming retirement crusher I see when going it alone - is the uncertainty of projecting what it will take to make it out 25-30 years (and not have to work at McDonald's or live with my kids). Can't see cleaning tables at McDonald's when I or my wife are in our 80's, or living with our kids and having our family see our early retirement as an embarrassing failure. I would compare this to a blind man attempting to steer a train from the caboose ;-)

Done the projections and tried the calculators (and they all give me the green light) - but took two forced looks at retirement to finally move along that path. When looking back - I still prefer saving for my own retirement over the security of a pension. I am also grateful for having the taxed advantaged saving opportunity for my retirement and not relying on someone who doesn't have my best interest for retirement. I fear that our government will eventually screw up this opportunity for the average person to accumulate wealth and retire on their own terms.

My objective is to successfully work the money during retirement - living as best we can off it, and leave as much as we can to our children. Although not as secure as a pension - it has a potential legacy that pensions will never provide. Health care until we are both 65 is the great unknown (we are 57/59). Worried about this one considerably, and ultimately decided that whatever happens - it's better to have enjoyed some retirement than never to have retired at all.
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:44 PM   #23
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... He decided we should all produce a "personal plan" for what we hoped to accomplish in the year. This included corporate goals, personal stuff (as in learning whatever) and anything else.
Bwahahaha! I had that annual ritual to perform. Each employee had to write an evaluation of himself, as well as peers in the work group. The evaluation had a standardized outline that management tweaked a bit each year.

Several years before I finally retired, I switched to working remotely about 80% of the time. From that year's evaluation:

Quote:
Key Areas for Development:

M needs to develop a better interaction methodology while working remote. Some other teams and individuals respond best to face-to-face contact, rather than through E-mail or phone, so more aggressively seeking out others to drive work forward when M is on-site might be beneficial. In the interest of safety his clue-bat should be replaced with a lightweight foam bat beforehand.
The last self-review, a few months before I retired, had one of those wonderful 'confess your sins' items that you just know that any reasonable answer you give will come back to haunt you. I used it to provide valuable information to management...

Quote:
- What didn't you achieve that you wanted to?

I'm not quite retired yet, but I'm working on it...
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:51 PM   #24
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Oh, and back on topic. In my case there was no sudden epiphany. I knew what I wanted, early retirement, and why, having seem far too many family members work until they had to retire for medical reasons. I wanted out while I could be active and do some traveling. (As a bonus, this also got me to take better care of myself, hopefully deferring that medically induced slowdown.)

I ran lots of retirement calculators, read books on the subject (Thanks, ESRBob!), and did much research into hidden expenses (medical, for example). Eventually, I knew how much I'd need to retire, and was well on my way to accumulating it. Once the after-tax value of a bunch of employee stock options put me over the top, I acted to rebalance my portfolio for retirement and let folks know I was leaving.
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:31 PM   #25
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For me, there were a series of events which happened to enable me to ER. But a big one was in the middle of 2007 when I asked to have my weekly hours worked reduced from 20 to 12. This made me ineligible for enrollment in my company's group health plan but I knew at the time that I could very well retire at the end of the COBRA period 18 months later as two big remaining pieces fell into place in that time.

The first was my ESOP account had to hit $300k in that time, which it did in the middle of 2008. The second was my being able to find an individual HI policy which cost no more than $500 a month. I had to find an individual HI policy anyway because my company refused to let me pay even 100% of the group health premiums nor extend COBRA for me.

Once these two things happened in mid-2008, I set an end date for me. I chose October 31st, partly because my volunteer work begins to pick up in November, so scheduling those activities would become easier. Another reason was a little poetic justice. It was October 31st, 2003, when my company ended its open-ended telecommuting policy and forced me back to my awful commute (even 3 days a week). That was a bad day for me 5 years earlier, so I thought I'd make it my day of freedom instead.
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:56 PM   #26
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Years ago, a cow*rker went out to lunch on a Friday and didn't come back. He was at a local establishment, drinking a margarita, and thinking about going back to the office when he decided to take advantage of an early out offer that ended at COB that day.
OK, this is a riot!

Many years ago I had a friend/co-worker who used to look at the vacation balance on her weekly paystub. If she had accrued at least 4 hours, she marched into her boss' office and announced that she was taking the rest of the day off.

But your story sure beats mine!
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:03 PM   #27
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I planned by escape from megacorp for about 15 years. The details weren't formalized until the final year, but it was something I knew I was going to do. However, I always dreamed of the satisfaction of getting fed up one day and walking out.

In fact, what kept me going the last few years was just the fact that, if push came to shove, I could in fact leave (although I would always have been much more likely to give notice than to just walk). At some point I made a deal with myself - if things got so bad that I couldn't take it, I would allow myself to resign. The only catch was I had to think about it overnight. If I felt the same way in the morning, I could hand in my resignation.

This isn't how it worked out in the end, but it was freeing just knowing that I could do it. In reality I told my boss about a year ahead of time that it was coming, and then let him know the details 2 months ahead of time.
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:22 PM   #28
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OK, this is a riot!

Many years ago I had a friend/co-worker who used to look at the vacation balance on her weekly paystub. If she had accrued at least 4 hours, she marched into her boss' office and announced that she was taking the rest of the day off.

But your story sure beats mine!
Sounds a bit like a coworker of mine years ago. He often took the day (Friday) off after our biweekly payday (Thursday) after a night out drinking, calling in sick.
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:30 AM   #29
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....My reaction was "my personal plan does not include mega-corp after the end of the first quarter".

I'm not quite at the point to pull the plug yet, but it seems like a great way to break the news when I do, would be in the form of my semi-annual "objectives" required here at Mega-Corp!

Maybe I'll start writing those now!

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...he decided to take advantage of an early out offer that ended at COB that day.

Khan, forgive my ignorance, but what is COB?
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:23 AM   #30
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One friend of mine was given an action item
[Shivering] Can't we ban that a-phrase on this board?
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:43 AM   #31
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I'm not quite at the point to pull the plug yet, but it seems like a great way to break the news when I do, would be in the form of my semi-annual "objectives" required here at Mega-Corp!

Maybe I'll start writing those now!


Khan, forgive my ignorance, but what is COB?

I believe that is "Close of Business," meaning the end of the business day.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:57 AM   #32
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Thanks, seabourne - (in my Mega-Corp world we call that EOD - end of day)
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:20 PM   #33
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My dad had an epiphany-driven retirement, although he and my mom were planning for a long time. They are both educators, and he was planning on staying a few more years to finish his current contract as superintendent. He really liked his district and a lot of the people he worked with, but the school board was extremely difficult to work with and causing all kinds of problems and headaches. He was really unhappy for at least a year and one night when he and my mom were talking, my mom ran the numbers again and said, "You know what? You could quit tomorrow and we'd be fine." He was kind of stunned, because he hadn't actually considered leaving early, but slept on it and woke up feeling great about the prospect of leaving. It took him a few days to come up with the best plan to spread the word, because he wanted to ensure a good transition, but he never looked back.
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:15 PM   #34
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I believe that is "Close of Business," meaning the end of the business day.
Correct.
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Old 03-06-2010, 04:27 PM   #35
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Yes, it is COB (Close of Business) in my agency as well - - thought that was universal so I have learned something!
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:01 PM   #36
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[Shivering] Can't we ban that a-phrase on this board?
I'll try not to use it again but doesn't it make you feel "all the more glad you are RE?"
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:07 PM   #37
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At some point I made a deal with myself - if things got so bad that I couldn't take it, I would allow myself to resign. The only catch was I had to think about it overnight. If I felt the same way in the morning, I could hand in my resignation.
I know a lot of midshipmen who got through four years at USNA that way...
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:51 PM   #38
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I'll try not to use it again but doesn't it make you feel "all the more glad you are RE?"
Definitely! I'm so glad I no longer have to think outside the box and monetize my paradigm-shifting action items.
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Old 03-07-2010, 06:52 PM   #39
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Definitely! I'm so glad I no longer have to think outside the box and monetize my paradigm-shifting action items.

But are you deleveraged?
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Old 03-07-2010, 07:10 PM   #40
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And is this initiative finalized?
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