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What's The First <Day/Week/Month/Year> Like?
Old 11-20-2011, 04:55 PM   #1
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What's The First <Day/Week/Month/Year> Like?

We'll be joining the FIRE ranks in 10 days as long as nothing derails our business sale deal.

I'm 35, live in Manhattan, married, with a kid still in school.

What's the first day/week/month/year like?

I've worked basically 70+ hour weeks for the last 7 years growing this business. To be clear, I'm not a workaholic (at all). It was necessary to build the business to where we are now.

My retired father is convinced I'll be bored out of my mind within a week.
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:22 PM   #2
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What's the first day/week/month/year like?
Christmas morning when you were five/the first week of summer vacation when you were ten/the last month of high school when you were a senior/better than any other year of your life.

Hope that helps...
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:24 PM   #3
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For me it was:

First few days: complete relaxation. Doing nuttin.

First few weeks/months: After the first week or two, I started doing lots of "projects" around the house (things that had been put on the back burner because I didn't have time to do them while working).

After a few months: constantly working on "projects" started to get old and I slowed down. That's when I found out that it was OK to not be doing things all the time. Living became more important than doing.

This how it could be summarized:
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:39 PM   #4
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For me it was:

First few days: complete relaxation. Doing nuttin.

First few weeks/months: After the first week or two, I started doing lots of "projects" around the house (things that had been put on the back burner because I didn't have time to do them while working).

After a few months: constantly working on "projects" started to get old and I slowed down. That's when I found out that it was OK to not be doing things all the time. Living became more important than doing.
+1 My experience, exactly, especially the last part.
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:50 PM   #5
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Christmas morning when you were five/the first week of summer vacation when you were ten/the last month of high school when you were a senior/better than any other year of your life.

Hope that helps...
+1 That's a great description.

It took me a month or two just to catch up on my sleep. I was doing a lot of catnapping. Also, I was shedding a lot of stress that I didn't even know I had accumulated during that time. It was great to wake up and find out that every day was a day off.

My first day of retirement? If I remember correctly, I got up, made coffee and dressed. By late morning I was feeling a little unsure of what to do, so I went shopping for an inexpensive "good for me" present. I ended up buying three pairs of long pants that I needed anyway. It was fun to be out driving around and shopping, when most others were at work. After that, I didn't feel so unsure of what to do, really.

Edited to add: Here's my post describing my first day of retirement, written back then (post #2690 on the "what did you do today" thread).

Here's my post describing my second day of retirement, also written back then (post #2695 on the same thread).

I might have gone window shopping a couple of times during very early retirement to stave off momentary attacks of that feeling of uncertainty. I never feel that way any more, though.

If you don't get bored on your days off, in my opinion you won't get bored in retirement. On the other hand, if all you can think about on your days off is how much you want to get back to work, then your reaction might differ from mine.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:04 PM   #6
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Welcome to the board, Z.

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Originally Posted by z-d-g View Post
What's the first day/week/month/year like?
My retired father is convinced I'll be bored out of my mind within a week.
Remember when you finished second grade and started summer vacation?

That's what it's like. You can get up each morning, eat breakfast (or lunch), then go outside & play for the rest of the day.

Only this time you don't have to go back to school unless you want to.

You could work on Ernie Zelinski's "Get-A-Life Tree" to develop some concrete activities. I have a copy laying on my desk, where I've been meaning to work on it any day now for over nine years.
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You don't mention the age of your school kid, but I spent a lot of time helping out with field trips and activity days. It was an amazing overnight metamorphosis from "Annoying Parent" to "Cool Retired Dad Who Can Help Out At School Anytime I Want". And if your kid's in high school (too cool for field trips) then it's time to start planning the college-visit trips. Only now you can do it on your schedule and not with 10,000 other families.

As for your father, he's going to have to learn to be responsible for his own entertainment...
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:09 PM   #7
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These were my feelings in the run up to the final day and the first days after.

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Old 11-20-2011, 11:30 PM   #8
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Z-d-g, because I had been working part-time in the 7 years before I ERed in late 2008, it wasn't a huge change to go from working 2 days a week to working zero days a week. Or, I went from having 5 days off to 7 days off per week,

For the most part, my first week or ER was not a lot different from my last week of working until I finished the week and realized that I did not have to endure any of the lousy days I had going to the office in Jersey City, NJ, on the lousy trains (LIRR and PATH). I still had my volunteer work and hobbies.

As to what ER is like compared to previous times in my life, I would compare it to the 6 weeks between the time I finished my last final exam at college and the first day I started my first full-time job. I woke up, did not have to be anywhere in particular, came and went as I pleased, and was not really accountable to anyone. But that lasted only 6 weeks. I am just starting my 4th year now!
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:27 AM   #9
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z-d-g I hope to be behind you in two months.

However, what we've decided if it actually happens is to take 6 months and not even contemplate what to do next. We're both exhausted and stressed and I think we really need a bunch of unstructured time.

We plan at the 6 month mark to start thinking about if we want to start another company, get some sort of job or consult. I feel we can't even make a decision yet on what's next until we get through this.

Going from 70+ hrs to nothing will take getting used to and you may feel out of sorts after the first few weeks.
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:18 AM   #10
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My DD gave me 2 weeks to go out of my mind with nothing to do. Didn't happen. It has been almost 4 months now and I am loving it. I have not gone this long without w*rking since I was about 7-8 years old. I am having to do some adjustments to spending habits but nothing major to keep within budget.

I have a high schooler and a 2nd grader that keep me busy with transportation needs. I became a scout leader and that is fun.

Don't worry, be happy.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:19 AM   #11
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Varies from person to person of course. If you have something to retire to in general at least, you should do well. If you're retiring just to escape work, without any idea what's next, anything could happen - good, bad or mixed. And if the first day, week, months aren't great...you only know if your retirement was successful after years.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:38 PM   #12
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Going from 70+ hrs to nothing will take getting used to and you may feel out of sorts after the first few weeks.
Now that you mention it, I remember taking daily two-hour naps for nearly a month before I got caught up with the chronic fatigue.
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:58 PM   #13
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Now that you mention it, I remember taking daily two-hour naps for nearly a month before I got caught up with the chronic fatigue.
I am positive this will be me as well. The sale of the business has been easily the most stressful thing I've ever been a part of and I haven't had a full night of sleep in almost a month. I'm exhausted. I imagine the first week I won't even remember since I intend to be asleep the entire time.

I'm going to have to spend 3 months working part time at the business I'm selling, but can't imagine taking it half as seriously as I do now as the owner. After that, I'm free for good. Looking forward to walking my kid to and from school and being able to go do whatever the hell I want with her (and my wife) without being tethered to my laptop and Blackberry.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:26 AM   #14
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I am positive this will be me as well. The sale of the business has been easily the most stressful thing I've ever been a part of and I haven't had a full night of sleep in almost a month. I'm exhausted. I imagine the first week I won't even remember since I intend to be asleep the entire time.

I'm going to have to spend 3 months working part time at the business I'm selling, but can't imagine taking it half as seriously as I do now as the owner. After that, I'm free for good. Looking forward to walking my kid to and from school and being able to go do whatever the hell I want with her (and my wife) without being tethered to my laptop and Blackberry.
You had me there 'til the blackberry. Nobody gives up a blackberry that easily, unless it's to trade it in for an iPhone.

The three months will probably be a challenge. When the business is no longer yours you may find yourself with a terminal case of work boredom.

Having time for family was the first big change in my life after I stopped working. Not sure how they liked it but for me it was fantastic. DW felt (feels?) the house was a bit crowded when I no longer left for work, but a home office with a door helped.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:35 AM   #15
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I haven't slept since August myself. I'm selling a business and dealing with ds applying to college at the same time.

We're negotiating being consultants, not employees. I can't imagine they'd want us around too long afterwards.

Do you have employees? How much if anything do they know of the sale, or how will they be told?

Can you imagine not having to concern yourself with payroll and all the day to day issues most people don't care about but are so critical? We're still in the negotiation phase so I've got to figure out how to carry on and not plan my life post sale in case it doesn't happen.
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:16 PM   #16
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Do you have employees? How much if anything do they know of the sale, or how will they be told?
You'll think I'm just saying this because you asked...easily the most stressful part of the sale was pussyfooting around my staff, who I feel are family. I've always told them everything and it absolutely murdered me that I couldn't (by contract) tell them what was happening until last week. Thankfully, giving speeches has always been my strong suit. Everyone was called into a room, assured they'd keep their jobs, and given details. All of them seemed genuinely happy for me and glad to be part of a much larger future at the company.

Every single day was a non-stop stressfest as my top employee (who knew) and I pretended we were planning for the next 7 years.

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Can you imagine not having to concern yourself with payroll and all the day to day issues most people don't care about but are so critical? We're still in the negotiation phase so I've got to figure out how to carry on and not plan my life post sale in case it doesn't happen.
It's definitely weird as hell already. I'm 35 and this is my 5th business. We're just starting to move things over like bills and payroll and websites and it's all just so surreal. I've been the final voice on everything for 8 years now (this business) and suddenly I can feel...it's....not......my.......problem.........a nymore. And it's such a relief that my brain doesn't know how to deal with it yet. My default emotion is "uh oh, what problem do I have to solve NOW?" And in a week... I can keep doing my best to help clients and make the machine keep running, but at the end of the day, I get to check out at 5pm and complaints are no longer mine to resolve.

I'm really excited.
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Old 11-25-2011, 05:07 AM   #17
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You'll think I'm just saying this because you asked...easily the most stressful part of the sale was pussyfooting around my staff, who I feel are family. I've always told them everything and it absolutely murdered me that I couldn't (by contract) tell them what was happening until last week. Thankfully, giving speeches has always been my strong suit. Everyone was called into a room, assured they'd keep their jobs, and given details. All of them seemed genuinely happy for me and glad to be part of a much larger future at the company.

Every single day was a non-stop stressfest as my top employee (who knew) and I pretended we were planning for the next 7 years.



It's definitely weird as hell already. I'm 35 and this is my 5th business. We're just starting to move things over like bills and payroll and websites and it's all just so surreal. I've been the final voice on everything for 8 years now (this business) and suddenly I can feel...it's....not......my.......problem.........a nymore. And it's such a relief that my brain doesn't know how to deal with it yet. My default emotion is "uh oh, what problem do I have to solve NOW?" And in a week... I can keep doing my best to help clients and make the machine keep running, but at the end of the day, I get to check out at 5pm and complaints are no longer mine to resolve.

I'm really excited.
I've gotten sick to my stomach and major anxiety attacks over the employees. Here I am interviewing for some open positions and in 2 months I could be telling them we've been sold. There are a few we're very close to, one is a relative! I do believe they'll all be kept on, but I can't guarantee they'll love the new situation or what will happen once we're not in the picture.

That being said, we've prayed about this and talked it over and over about our responsbilities and desires to our employees vs ourselves. In the end we've always said we wanted to sell some day, and no one is guaranteed a job until they don't want it anymore. We have to do what is right for us. We're just sick of doing this and I don't feel we should keep having to do it to keep other people happy and comfortable.

I can't envision the transition period. I can imagine being totally done, but not working and not worrying about the details of the biz.

Best wishes to you, it's an exciting time!
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Old 11-25-2011, 02:44 PM   #18
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I've gotten sick to my stomach and major anxiety attacks over the employees. Here I am interviewing for some open positions and in 2 months I could be telling them we've been sold. There are a few we're very close to, one is a relative! I do believe they'll all be kept on, but I can't guarantee they'll love the new situation or what will happen once we're not in the picture.
That being said, we've prayed about this and talked it over and over about our responsbilities and desires to our employees vs ourselves. In the end we've always said we wanted to sell some day, and no one is guaranteed a job until they don't want it anymore. We have to do what is right for us. We're just sick of doing this and I don't feel we should keep having to do it to keep other people happy and comfortable.
You haven't mentioned the buyout terms, but one option would be to give each of your employees (or some subset of them) a large cash distribution from your share of the sale. It could be anywhere from a bonus to a couple years' salary.
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:51 PM   #19
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Honestly, I don't remember. It was nice. I never experienced a sudden change. I worked full time until the end, but I was burning leave I'd never get paid for and had given most of my projects away so I had a transition of sorts. I transitioned after as well. Took months to get over the Sunday dreads and the feeling I had to be somewhere. Took me a while to settle in.

I'm not a good example. My father in law got ill about 5 months in and died a couple of months later. He lived 11 hours away and his estate was a mess. We're still dealing with it, though only occasionally. Really put a hitch in my retirement that I am just now getting over. I also have two teenaged sons at home. Prevents us from being able to travel extensively like we want. DW works part-time from home.

All in all it's fantastic. I wonder what it would have been like dealing with my FIL's stuff if I was working. Kid's are still here, but if I was working I couldn't go see their games. My wife works most days 4 or 5 hours, but If I was working, I'd see her even less. All in all, no matter what, being retired is better than working.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:34 PM   #20
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.

What's the first day/week/month/year like?

.
Try it, you'll like it.
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