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The Dilemma
Old 06-15-2015, 07:38 AM   #1
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The Dilemma

So, I am in my mid-50's and have been early retired now for almost 18 months. I have a good handle on my expenses and have seen my NW actually increase thanks to a good market and some part-time work that I have really enjoyed. Firecalc gives me a 100% success rate based on my NW and expenses for which my expenses are 80K per year, so I am living very comfortably. I saw where one person said, Retirement is when everyday is Saturday and that is how I have felt. So, whats the problem?

Well, I have been bombarded over this period with various opportunities to jump back into the Rat Race and recently a couple of these opportunities would be very lucrative.

The problem is the OMY syndrome. I could tell myself that I could do this for a couple years and pad the nest egg. I know there would be plenty of days where I say, What the Hell was I thinking? But, the income would probably sooth the pain. However, I have had taste of the good life and being my age, the concept of YMOYL is much more acute.

Thus, my question is for those who have been in my situation. What did you do? How did it turn out. Any transcendental thoughts. Any regrets?
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:03 AM   #2
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You've hit on the exact situation that I faced when I decided to retire (except it was staying in my half-time job that I liked and paid very well rather than a new opportunity).

I decided that for me, the net effect of continuing to work was just making our kids inheritance greater since we had plenty to live our life as we want to. I decided that for me, while I still enjoyed my job and my colleagues and clients, that I valued having free time more so I decided to retire.

No regrets at all. I now have time to do things I hired out before and to do projects for other people (mostly family).

It really comes down to a personal decision but a key question you need to answer for yourself is whether you would enjoy the work over the freedom and what is the purpose of having the extra wealth.
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:04 AM   #3
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How many days could you buy wirth the income to increase your life span?
Not a single day.
So, if you are happy in retirement, stay put.
But if the opportunities make you reconsider, you might be bored and missing some of the interactions at work. Find out how to overcome these issues in retirement.

If you go back to work you risk to look back at retirement with similar regrets.
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:08 AM   #4
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Here's one testimonial:

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Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
I came out of retirement for summer school this year to tack on some more Roth money. One week to go...Big mistake! The damnedest thing is I did the same thing last year and swore I wouldn't do it again. It wont happen again!
Why give up something you know is great for something you already know will have you asking, "What the Hell was I thinking?". Sounds to me like a sure-fire way to exchange happiness for regret.
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:22 AM   #5
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What would I do? Well I think with the info. you've given about your needs/wants currently being met that I would only go back if there were someone in my life that I felt it was important that I sacrifice part of my freedom in order to significantly help.

ie. If I had an Adult child that was going to be paying on student loans for 20 years and I could work a year and change their families future dramatically in a way that I was not able to do without returning to work.

It would need to be clear to me that my sacrifice was going to cause an extremely positive change for a deserving person, but THAT would be something that would motivate me to return to the grind for a LUCRATIVE income for a specified time.
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:44 AM   #6
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Not fashionable to say here and most members replies are entirely predictable. Anyone can come up with anecdotes where people have gone back to work and been happy with their decision. And probably even easier here, coming up with anecdotes where people have found coming out if retirement to be a mistake. Obviously the latter will be much more common here, you're essentially asking Chevy owners what they think of Fords...

Nothing wrong with soliciting thoughts, but what's right for you is uniquely yours. Only you can know what's right for you. You will be retired for a long time - either way.
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:52 AM   #7
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You will be retired for a long time - either way.
Not if he goes back to work...
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by chris2008 View Post
How many days could you buy wirth the income to increase your life span?
Not a single day.
So, if you are happy in retirement, stay put.
But if the opportunities make you reconsider, you might be bored and missing some of the interactions at work. Find out how to overcome these issues in retirement.

If you go back to work you risk to look back at retirement with similar regrets.
+1.

Time or more money? Freedom or more money? Family/Friends or more money? Hobbies and other FUN activities or more money? It appears that you don't *need* more money, so it's obvious to me.

Today is Monday. I do not know what your schedule would be if you elected to go back to w*rk, but give a thought to what you might have been doing this morning when you made the post. Perhaps you would have already been at w*rk for a couple of hours after getting up at 5AM. Personally, it makes me sick to the stomach even thinking about it.
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:20 AM   #9
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Not if he goes back to work...
Whether you retire at 55 or 65, odds are you will be retired for a long time (30 years +/-). Understandably easy to lose sight of the long term, when faced with the present.
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:24 AM   #10
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If you are at 100% what is the additional money for?
Do you have a special need in mind?
To give up time for money that is not really needed, is a waste of precious time.
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:26 AM   #11
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Whether you retire at 55 or 65, odds are you will be retired for a long time (30 years +/-). Understandably easy to lose sight of the long term, when faced with the present.
Another way to look at this: As a 55 year old male (no other assumptions), the calculated lifespan is 77.94 years, so the difference in retiring at 55 and 65 is damn near DOUBLE.

Would you prefer to be retired for 22.94 years or 12.94 years? Not only to mention the younger you are, the more you will MOST LIKELY enjoy your retirement (physically).
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:28 AM   #12
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So is there anything about the opportunities that recommend than other than money? If you really have enough money, then cash alone is only a motivator if you want to use it for something you wouldn't ordinarily do, say a special trip or founding a service. But if the opportunity lets you try something you always wanted to do, or get into a new field you want to learn about, or make an impact in a way you would like to but cannot without employment, then maybe you do go try it. Good luck either way.
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyBoy5 View Post
Another way to look at this: As a 55 year old male (no other assumptions), the calculated lifespan is 77.94 years, so the difference in retiring at 55 and 65 is damn near DOUBLE.

Would you prefer to be retired for 22.94 years or 12.94 years? Not only to mention the younger you are, the more you will MOST LIKELY enjoy your retirement (physically).
Fair enough, I am probably undoubtedly biased having 93 yo parents. But on average, half of us will live (much) longer. Barring an accident or unusual health issues, many of us have a pretty good idea if we're likely to live longer/shorter than average - another consideration for each of us.
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:44 AM   #14
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It is quite true -- the resounding truth that you can have more money or more time, but not both -- For me it breaks down a bit when it is limited to a ME only equation

I see another equation which is a/little/of/my/time = A/LOT/OF/THEIR/TIME

The reality for me is that I might with one additional year of work in my prime earning years ( after I have all I and my wife need stashed ) be able to greatly increase the probability of someone I love being able to also consider Early retirement as a viable possibility.

It is of course a very personal choice. I do want to retire at an early age! But also want to provide a heritage for my kids and hopefully Grand-kids that will give them a hopeful future where they too might "pay it forward"

I was blessed in one realestate transaction that enabled me to early-on have a nice mortgage free home moving forward the rest of my life and I think that has made a HUGE difference in me being able to live comfortably now and prepare adequately for a retirement before age 60. I know my kids might not be able to get the same blessing that I had but maybe at a strategic point in their life I'll be able to make the same kind of difference financially.

It has been important for me along the way to raise self-sufficient kids but equally important to me has been raising children that would be able to value, appreciate and be responsible with any type of gift that would come their way.

My bet is that I'll never even have to consider working OMY for their benefit at all -- but that is the kind of situation that would need to arise for me to work my alternate equation of leveraging my time for theirs.

Oh and also, While working OMY may not be bliss, it is not necessarily as if you'll have no life while working-- no family while working --- etc etc

I really feel for those spending their 30 or so working years in a job they are miserable in. Couldn't do that, found another job when things at one such place went south ( less $$ and Security ) but you GOTTA live while you work for goodness sake! Enjoy every day! Working or retired
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The Dilemma
Old 06-15-2015, 10:11 AM   #15
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The Dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyBoy5 View Post
Another way to look at this: As a 55 year old male (no other assumptions), the calculated lifespan is 77.94 years, so the difference in retiring at 55 and 65 is damn near DOUBLE.

Would you prefer to be retired for 22.94 years or 12.94 years? Not only to mention the younger you are, the more you will MOST LIKELY enjoy your retirement (physically).

Its not just that. For most people health and mobility declines signifigantly after late 60's, so if you want to travel and see the world its either a few good years left vs over a decade.


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Old 06-15-2015, 10:29 AM   #16
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It is a personal issue and no one can tell me what's best for me other than me or my immediate family. That said, I have found that some of my best decisions were made with the help of people who "have been there and done that". So, thanks to all who have commented. It is giving me some broader perspective to help with the thought process.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:02 AM   #17
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I have never become "un-retired" but Mr B has, to some extent.

When he took an early out from a county j*b 5 years ago, within a few years (can't remember exact time frames), he enrolled in upper level college courses to convert his decades old bachelor's degree in Business Management to a current bachelor's degree in Accounting. After 2 grueling years of full time study, he set up his own tax accounting business, operating out of the house. He keeps his client load small, and w*rks intensely for a few months each year.

Money is not the issue. He likes to keep his mind sharp and stay current with tax laws. He is currently doing online coursew*rk to become an IRS registered agent. He turns 64 in a few months, for reference.

His favorite clients are veterans, to whom he offers great discounts. He is a veteran himself.

He is very happy with his choices, and I strongly support his need to keep professionally current and mentally occupied.

Bonus : I get my taxes done for free.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:10 AM   #18
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Oh the lure of easy money. How is it that when people admit they have enough, nay, MORE than enough, that they even hesitate when offered lucrative compensation for their time.
You can't bank the moments that will make up your life. If you don't need to work, then why would you waste a second at it??!! You will only make someone else richer still or they wouldn't be trying to hire you.
There are so many ways to make your life fulfilling without someone else exploiting it for their own financial gain. Unless you would do the task for free and for your amusement, do not go to work if you don't have to. If you need help finding things to do with your new found time, that in itself is a strong message that you've already wasted too much time at work and not enough time with your own interests, your family, your friends.

I was offered easy money on my own terms and turned it down, THANK GOD, and instead have been leading a very satisfying and fun filled retirement with my family, especially my grand kids. One grandson, 8 years old, likes 'shiny cars'. So I picked him up from my son last week and we rented a red convertible cougar from a classic car rental company. We had a blast. I'd never give that up for work of any sort!

If making memories for the eventual days of when you can't do much more than sit on the porch in a rocking chair is more important than don't go back to work. Otherwise, those days on the porch in the rocking chair will be memories of regret. Live your life, there are no guarantees. Now or perhaps never.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:18 AM   #19
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he set up his own tax accounting business, operating out of the house. He keeps his client load small, and w*rks intensely for a few months each year.

Money is not the issue. He likes to keep his mind sharp and stay current with tax laws.
Similar story here, but just went from engineering to taxes, and I do it as a seasonal employee of a CPA firm. My "dog days of winter" job for past 15 years (65 now).

Just got off the phone with the IRS regarding e-filing my personal return, seems they transcribed one of my son's returns incorrectly forcing me to mail in my return.
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:26 PM   #20
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Similar story here, but just went from engineering to taxes, and I do it as a seasonal employee of a CPA firm. My "dog days of winter" job for past 15 years (65 now).

Just got off the phone with the IRS regarding e-filing my personal return, seems they transcribed one of my son's returns incorrectly forcing me to mail in my return.
Oh, the joys of dealing with the IRS. I overhear a lot of Mr B's conversations with them and just shake my head . He has the patience of a saint.

One of the side benefits of Mr B's ongoing "career" is he has helped many people who have had their returns screwed up by other preparers. In one case, he got a 92 YO vet a refund of $6000 from the state because of an oversight on the original return done by another firm.
He also serves as a consultant to an non-profit lighthouse preservation society, doing their periodic financial statements for the state. He is on call with two local attorneys who deal with estates.

My guess is he felt boxed in by his county budget dept job, and now has the time to do what he wants professionally and in service of those who really need his talents. He doesn't do anything for free, but are highly discounted rates for those who have lower or medium retirement incomes, are veterans, or are involved in some type of community benefit.

I'm proud of what he does.

Back to the OP's situation...maybe you can find something that does some good for the community. Not for free, but as a discounted service. Your personal rewards will outweigh any paycheck.
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