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Old 02-27-2010, 07:57 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by flyfishnevada
I am just so anxious for it to happen. I used to have anxiety attacks about my health (normal getting older fears) and this feels like that. Tight chest, difficulty concentrating, tired, etc. I am totally unmotivated at work (reasons for that beyond this, but this isn't helping).
During the last months before retirement, no tight chest and no difficulty concentrating. I felt very, very tired and stressed, but then work is tiring and stressful. I was motivated to finish up old projects but I didn't spend much time thinking up new ones. I was worried that some unexpected obstacle would arise, preventing me from retiring on the chosen date, so I spent a lot of time planning and building failsafe strategies into my plan and making sure I hadn't forgotten anything.

One thing that probably helped me a lot, was taking over half of my last two months off as vacation time, mostly 1-2 weeks vacation, then 1 week back, and repeat. This gave me something to look forward to. Taking this vacation time helped me to ease into retirement and decrease the stress, which was more valuable to me than getting paid for that time when I retired.
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:33 PM   #22
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flyfishnevada, I had some similar anxiety. Once I committed to a date, I had some anxiety that increased the closer I got to the date. I was confident of the finances -- it wasn't related to that. It was a combination of two almost opposing emotions. First, just breaking the daily pattern I had followed for 27 years, working on a team, accomplishing things. I so looked forward to the change, but at the same time there was a part of me that worried that I would not handle the change well. Second, it just got harder being at work. As my time horizon shortened it became more and more difficult to really care about my work. I'd never just put in time at work, but it became more that the closer I got.

Eleven months later now, and it all came out fine. Transitions can be scary going in, but looking back this one brought new rewards, pleasures, goals and ambitions.

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Old 02-27-2010, 08:51 PM   #23
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I knew I was FI a couple of years before I RE'ed. For me the last 6 months was a piece of cake. I had no idea I was going to retire until 6 months before I did. I knew I was bullet proof at work, and pretty much set my own schedule. We had completed our dream house, and we intended to work another year or so. After a few weekends 'out on the deck at the lake' we ask each other the same question 'Why the heck aren't we here full time'. Decision made, never looked back, no regrets.
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:08 PM   #24
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An earlier post mentioned sleeping badly, and I can say that I was just the same. I was often waking up at 4:30, and getting to work by 5:30 Flex time meant I worked 9 or 10 hours and didn't work any full Fridays at all during the last month. Unusual for me as I'm normally a very good sleeper
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:22 PM   #25
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An earlier post mentioned sleeping badly, and I can say that I was just the same. I was often waking up at 4:30, and getting to work by 5:30 Flex time meant I worked 9 or 10 hours and didn't work any full Fridays at all during the last month. Unusual for me as I'm normally a very good sleeper
I think I was sleep deprived during all of the time while I was working. If I missed sleep for some reason (such as stress, job travel, or other demands), there was never time to make it up. The quality of my sleep was not good due to being all "wound up" from work. Being sleep deprived did not do my general health any good.

One of the most wonderful aspects of retirement is being able to sleep when I want, and to get up when I want.
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:32 PM   #26
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Wow! I guess it is this hard! I appreciate the stories. I go to Jamaica in three weeks for my last vacation. I will have three months left when I get back. I am hoping that time off plus the shorter time will help relax me. I also have some sick leave to burn, but I am trying to hold on to my vacation and comp time because I get paid for it. I am going to use that pay off to supplement my pension income to allow me take some time off before I begin working part time. I get to play RE instead of SRE for up to a year. I may use the time to figure out how to stay RE and not have to be SRE, but more likely it will allow me to find the "perfect" part-time work. I already have some leads. I may be rambling, but it is good therapy!

SRE = Semi Retired Early
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:29 AM   #27
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First, just breaking the daily pattern I had followed for 27 years, working on a team, accomplishing things. I so looked forward to the change, but at the same time there was a part of me that worried that I would not handle the change well. Second, it just got harder being at work. As my time horizon shortened it became more and more difficult to really care about my work. I'd never just put in time at work, but it became more that the closer I got.

Eleven months later now, and it all came out fine. Transitions can be scary going in, but looking back this one brought new rewards, pleasures, goals and ambitions.

Coach
That's about where I was with it too. I retired on July 1, 2002 and two months later we moved away from the rat race traffic of the Washington, DC area to West Virginia. DW and I talked and talked about whether we had made the right decision. I did miss the people at work and the sense of being involved in something that really did make a difference. She also "kind of" missed her job but she sure didn't miss the stress that went with it.

The clincher came six months later when one of my sisters said "You two look more relaxed than I've seen you in years."

For both of us any lingering doubts went away then.
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:03 AM   #28
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Stuff you have to do now, when you don't have any of the long term orientations. I can't look at circumstances now assuming that if I don't do this this now, then I will have some big problem to deal with in the future. For me, there isn't any future. I don't plan for anything in the future. I stopped volunteering for any long range planning activities.

When people come to me with stuff that has to do with long range considerations, I find myself saying or wanting to say what a former boss said in the two years before he retired in Spring of 2008: "Perhaps you have confused me with someone who actually gives a sh*t about this problem."

There's a part of me that wishes I could just win about $100K in the lottery. If that happened, I'd retire immediately, with 30 days notice of course. BAM! COLD TURKEY!

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Old 02-28-2010, 11:31 AM   #29
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1. Death in the family.
2. Divorce.
3. Retirement.

Don't remember where I read that - but of the above no. 3 is the best to have some frazzle quotient over. I would think.

heh heh heh -
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:26 PM   #30
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My worries are not really financial, and not really "what will I do all day", at least I don't think so. It is just such a change after a lifetime of always working (or studying). I should try and enjoy the anticipation more I suppose, but I'm basically just looking forward to getting to the other side.
That about sums up my feelings. It is just such a huge change after 26 years at the same employer. Even though I know it is what I want it feels overwhelming actually doing it. I guess that is one of the reasons so many people work "one extra year".
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:12 AM   #31
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I'm not looking for sympathy, just wondering and venting. I am going to ESR in July. I have known the date for 20 years. I get a good great pension, cola'd with health benefits, but I will still work, probably part time and likely for myself. I am just so anxious for it to happen. I used to have anxiety attacks about my health (normal getting older fears) and this feels like that. Tight chest, difficulty concentrating, tired, etc. I am totally unmotivated at work (reasons for that beyond this, but this isn't helping). Geez, was it this hard for everyone as they approached their retirement? I know I will make it, but wow. Its tough, relatively speaking of course.
I had quite a bit of vacation saved up in the months just prior to my retirement. I used it to "practice" for retirement. This practice allowed me to avoid sitting around at work pretending to do something. Plus, I'm sure the practice helped me cope with actual retirement
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:49 PM   #32
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I just posted this in the fire & money forum. Then i saw this thread.
So here is my input copied from that:

Its been over one year since I seriously considered "jumping out of the plane". The downsizing package offered in the fall of 2008 had me creating spreadsheets and thinking hard. When the economy crashed the opportunity I was about to land to do something completely different dried up and I backed off. At the time I was clearly unprepared to fully retire.

Prior to that I was much more concerned with getting caught up in a downsizing than I was thinking about voluntarily retiring.

1.25 years later and another downsizing and (somewhat reduced) package comes along. However, this time I had the benefit of having played with my numbers for a year. Low interest rates increased my retirement lump sum. The economy bottomed out and seemed on a much more stable footing.

The DW and I were processing the scenario at some level for all that time.
Im a numbers guy. I did so many what-ifs it would make a normal person numb. Returns, inflation, how much do we really need etc...

We talked about downsizing our house and budget. We talked about moving and the prospect of stepping outside our comfort zone " for once in our lives".

I grew to consider the change a a "blue ocean" experience, an adventure. I cant quite describe it but it took all this time to really get psychologicaly prepared.

In the past week or so we have clearly transitioned from "ruminating and oscilating" to taking action. We've crossed some sort of threshold. Now the inertia associated with implementing some of these changes (e.g getting the house staged for sale) is building. Our plan is coming alive and the stress associated with the decision is receding.

I could never have come to this in a month or two. Its too big.
Now Im with one foot out of the plane. Turning back seems a very remote possibility. Im coming to peace with the choice... to a point.
I sure do hope the chute opens.
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