Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Ten Years Ago Today I Retired! An Update
Old 12-02-2015, 09:18 AM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,702
Ten Years Ago Today I Retired! An Update

I retired from my company ten years ago today on 12.2.05, exactly 12205 days after I started. (note the numbers) I was 53.

I had had an extraordinary run of 33 years. My company was eventually sold and I was given the opportunity to “pursue other interests” by the acquiring company with an obscenely generous severance and payout.

Despite a stellar resume, looking for new employment over age 50 was an eye opener; I was either “overqualified” or “just a rich guy looking to play golf with clients and do little else for the next 10 years” or “we can get a young kid cheaper” were the unspoken themes.

Then came the Great Recession and……..reluctantly, retirement came knocking on my door.

At first DW and I were a little concerned. We were never terrified, but more unsure and frankly hadn’t thought about an early retirement too much. We “thought” we were ok but had no idea where to start. We had a lot of money and investments but now the trick was to figure out how long it would last.

Can we do this?

Then….
Somewhere along the way I stumbled into this forum; sort of backed into it via FireCalc if I recall. I ended up lurking awhile before signing up about 6 years ago.

The things I’ve learned here over the past 10 years have been simply amazing and opened up a whole new life for us! Seriously, this forum should be required reading for high schoolers. Collectively, the folks here have saved me tens of thousands of dollars in varying ways and allowed us a new life.

Investments, taxes, social security, health care, and a dozen other RE topics along with some that are just fun.

When I first started lurking here, I was expecting the FI part of be a lot of super wealthy ‘financially independent’ types; trust funders, retired business owners and maybe an internet billionaire. What a surprise to realize that RE includes an entire subculture from all walks of life and financial situations!

Meanwhile, we had all kinds of stuff that we sort-of-kind-of thought we knew but slowly realized that we had NO CLUE!!! We were leaving all this stuff to accountants and lawyers with no idea what was going on!!!

More or less by default, my new “job” was to get us to 95 years old with just our money, time, and newly learned and evolving skills. This forum has been a huge factor in that learning.

I didn’t know an expense ratio from a cap gain! But I learned and the folks here helped me along.

We eventually dropped our FA and went DIY.
We cut a whole bunch of expenses; $10K a year in subscriptions alone! We got a good handle on our spending. Our only non-negotiable was that we would never, ever cut corners on the quality of our food (and drink). I learned to cook, really, really well. We started doing our own taxes.

Ten years later, here we are.
After a few years, you see that the bills are getting paid and you have more money at the end of the year than when it began. You start to relax and realize “Hey, this is working!”. You slowly start to see your portfolio grow over time. You get confident making changes. You don’t panic in a downturn. You start to loosen the purse strings (just a bit).

Bored? What’s that?!
Hey! Guess what?! I get by on about 90% fewer clothes in my closet than when I was working.
The work friends that I thought would stay in touch haven’t called in 10 years; I’m still having lunch with the ones I thought I’d never hear from!

My work had kept me away from home 200 days a year, so best of all, I'm now getting to do all the stuff I never had time for; early morning paper and a cup of coffee, working on my boat (instead of paying someone to do it), long walks, leisurely swims and slow dinners.

On the forum you go from a lurker, to asking serious questions, to being a contributor. The people here become your friends. You get to know who’s truly knowledgeable, who’s just cranky all the time and who to avoid. Most of us have never met but you empathise on someone’s loss and celebrate their wins. You see newcomers and want to help them with the same questions you once had.

To this day, I keep learning something new on this forum. I check in almost every day and most days, several times a day. I just want to see what my friends are working on each day!

Cons: The first thing I noticed was a minor slowing of my mental capacities. Not in a bad or scary way, but after being “on” and having to operate at a high level, hair-trigger for years, I found that I just wasn’t quite as quick mentally as when my life demanded being quick on the draw.

Pros: I found that it took me over 2 years to “come down” and find myself as a person. Thirty-plus years of “being your profession” takes some undoing.

I find myself more empathetic to others. More caring, a lot less hostile and less combative (many reading my posts over the years may disagree). As an executive, I had to play a certain role; it was never ‘me’ but what I had to do to stay on top of the game. I was always a little bit of a sociopath (heh!) so I don’t expect to end up helping out at a homeless shelter, but I do find myself being a lot more understanding toward others. I’m also more relaxed, less stressed and more willing to roll with the punches. I’ve gone from sleeping 4-5 hours a night to 9 or 10! I was actually able to get rid of my distance glasses.

So that’s been my first ten years of retirement! A lot more personal growth than I was expecting and a lot more insight as to who I am.

I thank the good folks here who’ve become my on-line friends helping on this journey and for this forum itself! It’s been quite a trip so far………..

Life is good!
__________________

__________________
Living well is the best revenge!
Retired @ 52 in 2005
marko is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-02-2015, 09:38 AM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 182
Thank you. This is beautiful.
__________________

__________________
pjm-7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 09:50 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,107
Outstanding post, marko! Thanks for sharing your experience.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 10:04 AM   #4
Moderator
MBAustin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,154
Wonderful post, marko! Perhaps it will encourage a few more lurkers to come out of the closet and join the fun.
__________________
"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute." William Feather
----------------------------------
ER'd Oct. 2010 at 53. Life is good.
MBAustin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 10:08 AM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
Accidental Retiree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 975
Happy anniversary, Marko. Much of what you've written applies to my husband and me, 7 years after our unexpected dual early retirement. Wasn't 2008 a great year? 😖

Your thoughtful post would have been a calming and consoling read to me back then, and I imagine it will also be useful for other readers out there now.




Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
Chief Retirement Strategist
The AR Group
Accidental Retiree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 10:23 AM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,104
Excellent post. I think what the biggest benefit of this site is, is the ability to talk/share ideas about MONEY. While I do have one friend I can openly discuss finances with it's generally taboo to talk about your investments and philosophy re finances. And yet money and financing a retirement is probably one of the issues that consumes more thinking than just about anything except, well you fill in the blank. I know some of our neighbors are a bit suspicious, but it's really fun being the millionaire next door. OTOH because it took a lot to get here, we (well I, DW not so much) still keep a keen eye on the financial status. For us it's a little over 4 years, but the portfolio has grown about 20%.

As my hat says, Life is Good.
__________________
H2ODude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 10:30 AM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 402
Thanks for sharing Marko. Occasionally, I get a panick attack just thinking about retirement. It's good to know you survived 10 years and the recession.


__________________
cyber888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 10:34 AM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 609
Thanks Marko for such a great contribution to the community. I'm only 2.5 years in, but can relate on so many levels.
__________________
Retired July 2013 at age 49.

Lazy Portfolio Investor:
AA: 55% Stocks
35% Bonds
10% Cash
NanoSour is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 10:43 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,495
Excellent post, thanks for the update. I added my experiences, those similar to yours, after ER of only 6 months. I can only imagine the changes after ten years.


Quote:
Originally Posted by marko View Post
I retired from my company ten years ago today on 12.2.05, exactly 12205 days after I started. (note the numbers) I was 53.

I had had an extraordinary run of 33 years. My company was eventually sold and I was given the opportunity to “pursue other interests” by the acquiring company with an obscenely generous severance and payout.

Despite a stellar resume, looking for new employment over age 50 was an eye opener; I was either “overqualified” or “just a rich guy looking to play golf with clients and do little else for the next 10 years” or “we can get a young kid cheaper” were the unspoken themes.

This has been the most surprising aspect. I had intended to work a bit, and only in very short stints, but have been unable to get anything short term. Were I looking for FT, however, I'd have no problem. Also very surprised at my lack of motivation to work now even on short term basis

Then came the Great Recession and……..reluctantly, retirement came knocking on my door.

At first DW and I were a little concerned. We were never terrified, but more unsure and frankly hadn’t thought about an early retirement too much. We “thought” we were ok but had no idea where to start. We had a lot of money and investments but now the trick was to figure out how long it would last.

Can we do this?

Yes. Even though I have 53x expenses, a part of me still wonders if I made a mistake.

Then….
Somewhere along the way I stumbled into this forum; sort of backed into it via FireCalc if I recall. I ended up lurking awhile before signing up about 6 years ago.

The things I’ve learned here over the past 10 years have been simply amazing and opened up a whole new life for us! Seriously, this forum should be required reading for high schoolers. Collectively, the folks here have saved me tens of thousands of dollars in varying ways and allowed us a new life.

Investments, taxes, social security, health care, and a dozen other RE topics along with some that are just fun.

When I first started lurking here, I was expecting the FI part of be a lot of super wealthy ‘financially independent’ types; trust funders, retired business owners and maybe an internet billionaire. What a surprise to realize that RE includes an entire subculture from all walks of life and financial situations!

Meanwhile, we had all kinds of stuff that we sort-of-kind-of thought we knew but slowly realized that we had NO CLUE!!! We were leaving all this stuff to accountants and lawyers with no idea what was going on!!!

More or less by default, my new “job” was to get us to 95 years old with just our money, time, and newly learned and evolving skills. This forum has been a huge factor in that learning.

This. Another big surprise, how much time I'm spending on maximizing everything. Just finished an entire month analyzing PF tax management, to include Roth conversions/recharacterizations to maximize investments.

I didn’t know an expense ratio from a cap gain! But I learned and the folks here helped me along.

We eventually dropped our FA and went DIY.
We cut a whole bunch of expenses; $10K a year in subscriptions alone! We got a good handle on our spending. Our only non-negotiable was that we would never, ever cut corners on the quality of our food (and drink). I learned to cook, really, really well. We started doing our own taxes.

Ten years later, here we are.
After a few years, you see that the bills are getting paid and you have more money at the end of the year than when it began. You start to relax and realize “Hey, this is working!”. You slowly start to see your portfolio grow over time. You get confident making changes. You don’t panic in a downturn. You start to loosen the purse strings (just a bit).


Bored? What’s that?!
Hey! Guess what?! I get by on about 90% fewer clothes in my closet than when I was working.
The work friends that I thought would stay in touch haven’t called in 10 years; I’m still having lunch with the ones I thought I’d never hear from!

My work had kept me away from home 200 days a year, so best of all, I'm now getting to do all the stuff I never had time for; early morning paper and a cup of coffee, working on my boat (instead of paying someone to do it), long walks, leisurely swims and slow dinners.

On the forum you go from a lurker, to asking serious questions, to being a contributor. The people here become your friends. You get to know who’s truly knowledgeable, who’s just cranky all the time and who to avoid. Most of us have never met but you empathise on someone’s loss and celebrate their wins. You see newcomers and want to help them with the same questions you once had.

To this day, I keep learning something new on this forum. I check in almost every day and most days, several times a day. I just want to see what my friends are working on each day!

Cons: The first thing I noticed was a minor slowing of my mental capacities. Not in a bad or scary way, but after being “on” and having to operate at a high level, hair-trigger for years, I found that I just wasn’t quite as quick mentally as when my life demanded being quick on the draw.

Not at all in my case. In fact, this is probably the sharpest I've ever been. Although I've always been a reader, I'm reading a lot more books now than ever before (and loving it!).

Pros: I found that it took me over 2 years to “come down” and find myself as a person. Thirty-plus years of “being your profession” takes some undoing.

This is a work in progress, and I can see it taking at least two years to "come down". My pace has yet to decrease from when I was working, although I am much more calm and content now.

I find myself more empathetic to others. More caring, a lot less hostile and less combative (many reading my posts over the years may disagree). As an executive, I had to play a certain role; it was never ‘me’ but what I had to do to stay on top of the game. I was always a little bit of a sociopath (heh!) so I don’t expect to end up helping out at a homeless shelter, but I do find myself being a lot more understanding toward others. I’m also more relaxed, less stressed and more willing to roll with the punches. I’ve gone from sleeping 4-5 hours a night to 9 or 10! I was actually able to get rid of my distance glasses.

So that’s been my first ten years of retirement! A lot more personal growth than I was expecting and a lot more insight as to who I am.

I thank the good folks here who’ve become my on-line friends helping on this journey and for this forum itself! It’s been quite a trip so far………..

Yes, and a very interesting one.

Life is good!
__________________
Options is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 10:47 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,268
Very inspiring post. Keep up the good work...oops. Keep up the good retirement.
__________________
utrecht is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 10:55 AM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
naggz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 93
Thanks very much for sharing.
__________________
My 2¢ is only worth a penny.
naggz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 11:27 AM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Villa Grande
Posts: 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by utrecht View Post
Very inspiring post. Keep up the good work...oops. Keep up the good retirement.
+1. Yes, inspiring and so helpful to those of us not as far along the way.
__________________
TimSF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 11:39 AM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 100
This is a great read, thanks. There is hope yet!
__________________
ChicagoGal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 11:39 AM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Duesseldorf, Germany
Posts: 1,005
Great post, thanks for sharing.
__________________
chris2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 12:11 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,905
Excellent post! Thank you very much for sharing your experience.
__________________
ejman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 12:18 PM   #16
Full time employment: Posting here.
jjquantz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 848
Thanks, marko! Although I agree with your sentiments regarding high schoolers and this forum, I speak from 15 years of teaching - 98% of them wouldn't do it if they had to and the 2% who would do it probably wouldn't see the relevance to them. Required reading for 30 year olds, perhaps.
__________________
jjquantz is offline   Reply With Quote
Really great post
Old 12-02-2015, 12:22 PM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 98
Really great post

A lot of things in there Marko that will be relevant to many and are definitely thought provoking for me. Congratulations on your success.

I enjoy your mainstream posts very much as well and look forward to reading them on the threads I end up being interested in following.
__________________
timemoveson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 12:26 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 220
I stopped lurking and joined just to thank you for your post.

I retired 3 months ago and despite having "enough" according to projections, and any rational assessment, still anxious. It's a big transition. Very helpful to get a glimpse of the other side.
__________________
misshathaway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 12:34 PM   #19
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 60
Thanks marko, excellent post!
__________________
DektolMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2015, 01:03 PM   #20
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Beaverton
Posts: 288
This is a great post and very helpful. I started P/T in Sept but I just looked at my original proposal to my company yesterday and laughed because it said 2-3 years. Then I decided Aug '16 and now I've concluded the end of April '16 is the final straw because I just can't do it anymore.

At this time 80% of my money is being managed by two different firms. The remainder I manage. I expect this to change but for a year or two I just don't want to deal with it. Plus, one is local and my DW wants someone she can call in case I croak.

I have been very encouraged by this forum and I know it will be a couple of years for me to pull my head out.

Good luck
__________________

__________________
Bir48die is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
retirement insights


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Update and vent about something I posted 2 years ago rodi FIRE and Money 11 10-19-2015 02:18 PM
Ten year early retirement update cute fuzzy bunny Other topics 96 10-04-2012 12:16 PM
41 and retired a year ago... magellan_nh Hi, I am... 22 10-09-2006 02:36 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:24 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.