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Was It This Hard For Everyone?
Old 02-27-2010, 01:04 PM   #1
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Was It This Hard For Everyone?

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.
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:27 PM   #2
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The answer depends on whether you are feeling anxious about (1) reaching your long awaited goal, or about (2) life after ESR ("what will I do all day?") or about (3) finances (which sounds unlikely).

I am anxious about it for all 3 reasons.
(1) I tend to strategize and plan endlessly and that has certainly helped me get closer to ER, but it also raises my anxiety level;
(2) I have worked hard my entire life but I don't have a puritan ethic; when I can ER, I feel I will deserve it. However, as a physician I come from a profession where the "one more year" syndrome is rampant (just ask R_I_T) and to some extent I have to reassure myself that it really is OK to ER. I don't discuss ER plans at work as it might make me a "lame duck". I'll wait till all my ducks are in a row. Having to keep secrets is alien to me and causes me anxiety.
(3) I won't have a pension, don't have a partner to share the risk, and can't afford to screw up financially. Black swans DO happen! Hence, back to #1.
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:30 PM   #3
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It is tough for me knowing my date is still three years away. I am FI, but I will get health benefits for life if I hang in there 3 more years. To make myself feel better I figured out that 3 years was 10% of my remaining work life. That still didn't make me feel better, but then I realized if my career was on the scale of a work week then I'm sitting at Friday at noon. That helped.

I don't know if this is what you mean, but waiting for my ER date to arrive is difficult.

TGIF!!!!

PS - a lot of my anxiety went away when my Mom died in December. I realize now that part of my race to ER was so that I could be available for her if she needed me.
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:32 PM   #4
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You'll get older.
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by flyfishnevada View Post
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.
Yes, it was very tough for me. I had job burnout but still obsessed over it for more than a year before ERing. For some reason, "retired = old" to me and it made me much more cognizant of the hourglass, if you know what I mean. That may not be reasonable, but it was my reality. Now that I've been out of the workforce for over 6 months, I'm still not sure I made the right choice.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:01 PM   #6
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No problem for me! I decided to retire one year early due to annoying management. In fact it was a spur of the moment type of event. Of course I knew where I stood as I had been making trips to the retirement office and checking things out. But one week I was there and the next gone! After 2 1/2 years haven't regretted my decision once! I love retirement. AND it gets better every day!!
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:03 PM   #7
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It was very difficult for me so difficult in fact that I retired and went back to work for one more year. That year solidified my intention to retire and not look back . I was most concerned about social contact and keeping busy . It has now been two years and I'm happy & content .
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfishnevada View Post
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.
It was very difficult for me for the final year up until the last few weeks - no anxiety, just "will my pull the plug date ever get here?" Then a month or so before R-Day, every day became an at work holiday as I knew I was both bullet-proof and FIRE-proof. My only complaint was a chronic case of suppressed giddiness.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:23 PM   #9
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Geez, was it this hard for everyone as they approached their retirement?
Another "trick question" ?

Of course not, grasshopper...
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:33 PM   #10
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big chicken here - we have enough rental income to cover our living expenses and have enough $ lent out and in CDs much of the time to cover modest annual expenses. even have enough in stocks to cover expenses for a few years - OTOH, no pensions, diddly in qualified SSI, no COLAed or un-COLAed nuttin an not much 401. We're fine, got lucky and are in better shape than many we know, but I suspect I'll be scheming and worrying and planning for the future a week before I'm dead.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:36 PM   #11
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I guess I should have been clearer. I meant anticipating retirement. Very little anxiety over financial issues and none of what to do with myself. Doesn't make me feel old. Just the anticipation. I want it to get here so I can start doing what I want. Work is cramping my style, man! Maybe I started planning for the day to day stuff too early.

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
It was very difficult for me for the final year up until the last few weeks - no anxiety, just "will my pull the plug date ever get here?" Then a month or so before R-Day, every day became an at work holiday as I knew I was both bullet-proof and FIRE-proof. My only complaint was a chronic case of suppressed giddiness.
I am waiting for that feeling. Right now its just drudgery. My boss is a control freak and everyone in my division is feeling unmotivated. I know it will get here, but I just thought it would be easier. I didn't expect the anxiety. Sounds like I am not alone though.
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Old 02-27-2010, 02:52 PM   #12
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Gotta plan plan plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfishnevada View Post
I guess I should have been clearer. I meant anticipating retirement. Very little anxiety over financial issues and none of what to do with myself. Doesn't make me feel old. Just the anticipation. I want it to get here so I can start doing what I want. Work is cramping my style, man! Maybe I started planning for the day to day stuff too early.



I am waiting for that feeling. Right now its just drudgery. My boss is a control freak and everyone in my division is feeling unmotivated. I know it will get here, but I just thought it would be easier. I didn't expect the anxiety. Sounds like I am not alone though.

You bet!

Its the biggest adventure since you left home 30-40 years ago.

My wife and I are selling all our property and moving 600 miles away from everyone to a place we've always loved.

But the transition will be hard even so. Financially it should be OK unless my pension explodes and SS goes bankrupt. But its the issue of friends and stuff to do.

I'm already planning my activities, and looking for part time work. We've planned it to the minutae, and as soon as the house we live in now is sold we'll move. But I will retire from my part after 40 years in the education business on June 30, 2011. There is just no more reason to keep doing it.

I plan to build whirley-gigs, furniture, loudspeakers, and wooden toys, and get back into my previous sideline of wedding and portrait photography, adding landscape to it, selling calendars with pictures of Acadia National Park through local outlets in the summer(amazingly there are none).

At this point I am planning. My wife expects to continue to work with children, and not be self employed. I might work part time at the local Kids Peace operation.

But in my opinion, if you don't plan you'll be lost. And if you ae moving you will need to plan to build new friendships, they won't just happen, and you won't have a lifetime to do it.

Z
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:15 PM   #13
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You bet!

Its the biggest adventure since you left home 30-40 years ago.

My wife and I are selling all our property and moving 600 miles away from everyone to a place we've always loved.

But the transition will be hard even so. Financially it should be OK unless my pension explodes and SS goes bankrupt. But its the issue of friends and stuff to do.

I'm already planning my activities, and looking for part time work. We've planned it to the minutae, and as soon as the house we live in now is sold we'll move. But I will retire from my part after 40 years in the education business on June 30, 2011. There is just no more reason to keep doing it.

I plan to build whirley-gigs, furniture, loudspeakers, and wooden toys, and get back into my previous sideline of wedding and portrait photography, adding landscape to it, selling calendars with pictures of Acadia National Park through local outlets in the summer(amazingly there are none).

At this point I am planning. My wife expects to continue to work with children, and not be self employed. I might work part time at the local Kids Peace operation.

But in my opinion, if you don't plan you'll be lost. And if you ae moving you will need to plan to build new friendships, they won't just happen, and you won't have a lifetime to do it.

Z
Since we have teenage boys, there will be no drastic, life altering changes for a few years. Those do scare me, however. But in a good way. We are talking about selling our home and doing the fulltime RV thing for a while. Of course that my change of the next few years. But the idea of such a significant change in lifestyle does induce a great sense of anxiety and anticipation.

Either way, if you planned it all well it should be good stress. My current anxiety isn't necessarily bad, I just wasn't expecting it. Now that i know what it is, I can seal with it.
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Old 02-27-2010, 04:18 PM   #14
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It was very difficult for me so difficult in fact that I retired and went back to work for one more year. That year solidified my intention to retire and not look back . I was most concerned about social contact and keeping busy . It has now been two years and I'm happy & content .
14 years ago here. Nothing like a stint as a jobshopper to cure the idea of work.

heh heh heh - Actually I was layed off and went back close to two years later - for about a year.
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Old 02-27-2010, 04:45 PM   #15
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It was very difficult for me for the final year up until the last few weeks - no anxiety, just "will my pull the plug date ever get here?" Then a month or so before R-Day, every day became an at work holiday as I knew I was both bullet-proof and FIRE-proof. My only complaint was a chronic case of suppressed giddiness.
This describes my experience very well.

1-2 years out we were still in buy-out talks with a company well known for immediately modifying pension plans and I was a nervous wreck until the deal fell through about a year before I could ER. A lot of stress fell away at that point but still incredibly anxious until the last month which was then pretty easy going

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfishnevada View Post
I guess I should have been clearer. I meant anticipating retirement. Very little anxiety over financial issues and none of what to do with myself. Doesn't make me feel old. Just the anticipation. I want it to get here so I can start doing what I want. Work is cramping my style, man! Maybe I started planning for the day to day stuff too early.
For me, the closer it got, the more I felt like a kid awaiting Christmas Day !!

I'm still not fully relaxed a month into ER as I still haven't signed the papers and started receiving the pension. This should happen in a few days - we have to go into work (DW and I) to choose the options, sign all the paperwork and have the retirement party etc. We already moved 300 miles so this is quite an event.
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Old 02-27-2010, 05:18 PM   #16
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I found out I was getting an early out offer in October (2006) , but final day was not until March 1. I waited as long as possible to let everyone know, but once it was out, I was effectively retired in place. So for the last two months or so, I came in late, took a long lunch, left early and spent most of my time researching anything and everything on the internet. Compared to the anxiety pre October - looming layoffs, idiot boss, project stress with too few resources, etc, it was a cakewalk to the end.

Once everyone knows you are leaving, they'll bypass you and bosses know you are untouchable, so they tend to back off, too.
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Old 02-27-2010, 05:30 PM   #17
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I have been ready to retire, i.e. have 100% control over my time, since I was 17. Unfortunately, it wasn't until I was 38 that I realized you needed money to do it. Since then, the journey to freedom for me has often felt like a death march, full of soul-numbing repetitiveness and fawning before small-minded people. "Hard" doesn't even begin to describe it. Yesterday was my last day of work, so I'm hoping to find some reward for the years I spent building pyramids for stupid pharaohs.
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Old 02-27-2010, 05:53 PM   #18
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Ccngratulations, Onward! Now, Onward!
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Old 02-27-2010, 06:20 PM   #19
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Thanks for the topic. It IS hard for me. I'll be retiring in a few months. Only a few key superiors know yet. I think disclosure will be in a month or so. But I am anxious. I'm not sleeping as well as usual, I'm having trouble concentrating, I'm eating more crap. At least I am also exercising more, which is a bit of an offset.

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.

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Old 02-27-2010, 07:32 PM   #20
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Very easy for me. I reached FI, paid off my mortgage early to celebrate, coasted at work (programming) for 2+ years because it reached a sweet spot, then trained my replacement and retired at 48 (3+ years ago) when work conditions soured. The ride home that day was very relaxing. Not a moment of regret since.
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