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What's the most overrated thing about ER?
Old 05-09-2012, 07:49 PM   #1
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What's the most overrated thing about ER?

I'm reading through all the threads describing the great things about ER but I'm wondering what some of the more overrated things are about it. If you had to say 1 thing that's overrated in ER, what would it be?

I'm not trying to be a downer here. I want more than anything to join you guys! I just want to get more of a clearer picture, both sides of the coin so to speak.

I was thinking the other day who I would hang with in ER because all my friends would be at work! Maybe the loss of a "tribal" feeling one gets during work gets lost? Maybe that's one of the more overrated things? That you have all this freedom but not that many people to spend it with during the day while everyone's at work?
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:56 PM   #2
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The only thing I can think of is not having a steady pay check.

After rereading the OP's post I think I have this backwards but what the heck, it's the only bad thing.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:06 PM   #3
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I'm reading through all the threads describing the great things about ER but I'm wondering what some of the more overrated things are about it. If you had to say 1 thing that's overrated in ER, what would it be?
Absolutely NOTHING. I knew I wanted to retire - - after all, my former username was Want2Retire. But really, I never realized how good it could be.

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Originally Posted by Boglehead213
I'm not trying to be a downer here. I want more than anything to join you guys! I just want to get more of a clearer picture, both sides of the coin so to speak.

I was thinking the other day who I would hang with in ER because all my friends would be at work! Maybe the loss of a "tribal" feeling one gets during work gets lost? Maybe that's one of the more overrated things? That you have all this freedom but not that many people to spend it with during the day while everyone's at work?
I spend time every day with Frank. Although I don't see the people from my work all the time, I have gotten to know people at the gym where we attend regularly during the early afternoons. There's plenty of "tribal" feeling there, since most are retired like we are and working hard on physical fitness. Also, I enjoy having enough time by myself to pursue my projects and pastimes.

Probably this would not be enough social interaction for some people, but it is just right for me.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:32 PM   #4
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I'm reading through all the threads describing the great things about ER but I'm wondering what some of the more overrated things are about it. If you had to say 1 thing that's overrated in ER, what would it be?
I'm not trying to be a downer here. I want more than anything to join you guys! I just want to get more of a clearer picture, both sides of the coin so to speak.
I was thinking the other day who I would hang with in ER because all my friends would be at work! Maybe the loss of a "tribal" feeling one gets during work gets lost? Maybe that's one of the more overrated things? That you have all this freedom but not that many people to spend it with during the day while everyone's at work?
I asked this question back in early 2004 along the lines of "This is too easy. What am I missing?"

The answer was "Not a thing!"

If I had to name one downside to ER, it's that there's too much you want to do and not enough time to do it. You have to be responsible for your own entertainment, but you also have to manage your own time. It's sort of like turning yourself loose in The Chocolate Bar and suggesting that you limit yourself to 2000 calories per day.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:47 PM   #5
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There is a period of adapting to the new routine. You need to create your own structure and friends. It is a blessing, not a challenge for life to give one the freedom to be retired. When in doubt, I always think:
It is always better to be retired than to be at w*rk, no matter what.

I hope I was able to broadcast some objectivity amidst all these unnaturally happy people.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:19 PM   #6
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I worked with some smart, high quality people. I miss lunches with them.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:58 PM   #7
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While I have many relationships outside of work, I do miss my colleagues and clients and the camaraderie we had when working a big project. I also miss colleagues calling me wanting my views on certain difficult client issues.

But all things considered - its GREAT!!!!
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:52 AM   #8
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Although we are loving retirement (5 1/2 years in), I did miss being a "big shot" early on. Also the excitment of a senior exec job was hard to replace (not the stress though). I got over it though and on balance it has been great.
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:52 AM   #9
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The downside of RE is that you eventually don't have the time to work even if you wanted to <grin>

Seriously.....I started to write down a few items here on the downside and kept erasing them. They just didn't seem important enough or things that can be easily rectified.

I found that my thought process slowed a bit (after 30 years of being 'on') and that sometimes (only sometimes!) it can get a little lonely during the day.

Otherwise, ....nothing!
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:58 AM   #10
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Although we are loving retirement (5 1/2 years in), I did miss being a "big shot" early on. Also the excitment of a senior exec job was hard to replace (not the stress though). I got over it though and on balance it has been great.
Same here! My company had an extremely generous travel policy. I was living like a rock star...first class flights, dinners in Rome, drinks in Tokyo, everyone wiping my a**.

No matter how good the quality of life is, 250 days on the road a year for 20 years does wear you down though and you realize how much you've missed at home.

I miss the 'attention' but the stress and the aggravation I can do without.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:03 AM   #11
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I believe w**king is over rated.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:34 AM   #12
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I miss my co car, expense account with co card...but, not enough to get back in the shark pool!
When I first retired I had plenty of free time because all the folks I knew were still working. I am way busy now with friends that are also retired or have days off during the week. I really enjoy the freedom of retirement. There was some adjusting to it for me - slowing down and unwinding in general.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:36 AM   #13
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Same here! My company had an extremely generous travel policy. I was living like a rock star...first class flights, dinners in Rome, drinks in Tokyo, everyone wiping my a**.

No matter how good the quality of life is, 250 days on the road a year for 20 years does wear you down though and you realize how much you've missed at home.

I miss the 'attention' but the stress and the aggravation I can do without.
yes I totally understand. I really missed the company jet-at least for a while.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:09 AM   #14
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Since it's unique to each of us, I'd only suggest that you take some time to think about the non-financial aspects of retirement. They say "it's not enough to retire from something, you need to have something to retire to."
  • Some people indeed adapt easily with no plan at all,
  • some take some time to get their footing with/without a plan,
  • and others who actually enjoy their work or make their career a large part of their identity may have a difficult time (they often don't retire early, they retire "late").
I'd only recommend before pulling the plug you've read one of the good books on the non-financial side of retirement. These are the three I've read and know to be worthwhile, there may be others though most retirement books are (almost) entirely about the financial aspects (the simple but not easy part). Best of luck...
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:03 AM   #15
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Good topic. Enjoy reading these and although yes this is a biased group, the lack of negatives about ER is good to hear. Need to read one of the suggested books, leaning towards ...Happy, Wild and Free.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:21 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Boglehead213 View Post
I was thinking the other day who I would hang with in ER because all my friends would be at work! Maybe the loss of a "tribal" feeling one gets during work gets lost? Maybe that's one of the more overrated things? That you have all this freedom but not that many people to spend it with during the day while everyone's at work?
That is the most noticeable downside to me. I used to closely interact with probably 30-50 people every day (among 80 employees on site and Corp & Sales folks all over the world). While I stay active with others while now retired, there's no way I can interact with that many people outside of work (that I've figured out). Quality has not replaced quantity (yet). I miss 90% of the folks I worked with but not the work itself...
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:52 AM   #17
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That is the most noticeable downside to me. I used to closely interact with probably 30-50 people every day (among 80 employees on site and Corp & Sales folks all over the world). While I stay active with others while now retired, there's no way I can interact with that many people outside of work (that I've figured out). Quality has not replaced quantity (yet). I miss 90% of the folks I worked with but not the work itself...
Personality has a lot to do with it, I think. There is an abnormally high proportion on INTJs and ISTJs on this board. In other words, many of us would find interacting with that many people everyday exhausting. So there may be a bias here. Personally, I don't need to connect with a lot of people to have my fill of human interactions.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:32 AM   #18
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Personality has a lot to do with it, I think. There is an abnormally high proportion on INTJs and ISTJs on this board. In other words, many of us would find interacting with that many people everyday exhausting. So there may be a bias here. Personally, I don't need to connect with a lot of people to have my fill of human interactions.
I would agree. I never thought of the folks I worked with many years as friends, nor do I have relationships outside of my immediate family.

To the OP - retirement (at any age) is not for everybody. If you feel that you want/need to continue to wo*k for whatever reason (money, relationships, challanges, whatever), that's fine IMHO.

It's like the old saying - "just because you can (retire) dosen't necessarily mean you should"...
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:43 AM   #19
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I worked with some smart, high quality people. I miss lunches with them.
Now I set up lunch dates with them and drive there and meet them for lunch.

omni
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:03 PM   #20
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I can't say I miss anything about working. If there is one tiny thing I have noticed in my 3.5 years of ER, it is that I am not really interested in office politics of the working people I know. When my ladyfriend or my best (male) friend talk to me about those types of things at their workplaces, my mind glazes over compared to when I was still working and was more interested in stuff like that. As a friend, I will still listen to them but a large part of me will think to myself, "I am SOOOO GLAD I don't have to deal with crappola like that any more!"
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