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Old 11-30-2017, 05:24 AM   #21
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I would have to say that the last 6 years of my life in ER have been great years.... possibly the best.

While I enjoyed my career and early on was very driven to achieve goals, later on I became disenchanted... it seemed that as an international M&A consultant the only thing that I was doing was to help the rich get richer.

There were some close friends and colleagues who thought that I would be climbing the walls after a year or so but that has not turned out to be true.

Golf has been a great outlet for me in retirement... fun, social and some exercise as well.

My new, more fullfilling purpose in life is now having free time to help friends and family... I served as legal guardian for my grandmother and great-aunt and settled their estates when they passed away, I helped a family frined get out from a low performing deferred annuity into Wellesley, I do volunteer work at the local food pantry, building out the loft over our garage and my workshop on the main level of our garage, renegotiating the lease and some improvements at my Mom's commercial property, serving as Treasurer for our community association and many other projects. All satisfying but things that I can control my schedule for the most part... keeping me busy but not too busy.

And when I get the occasional slow spell, I am pleased at how content I can be just puttering around the house not doing much of anything.
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:36 AM   #22
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Getting out of the rat race saved stress, long commutes, our Heath, and our relationships. For others, we just hit a magical number that we dreamed about that made us FI and we dreamed of golf, margaritas, and the carefree life.
This works fine for me too (although I don't golf). 36 years of "significance" was plenty. I contributed to industry long enough, and now I enjoy not having to.
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:46 AM   #23
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Looking back, I was never really significant, no matter what I thought at the time.
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Old 11-30-2017, 06:11 AM   #24
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No significance or purpose here. But I may have had both when I worked. I can't remember. Now I just get through the days by doing whatever I want when I want without any schedule.
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Old 11-30-2017, 06:15 AM   #25
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Appreciate and expected the responses to vary based on everyone’s individual experience and how they are wired. I’m all about making time for the “party” and just “being”, but I suppose I feel like I need/should leave this planet making the world a better place by using some of my time/talent/resources in this 2nd half of life. For me, I don’t think of it as an ego drive or necessarily type A personality drive, just a human condition pickle which is why I posed the question. I’m not judging anyone’s post RE path/decisions, just throwing around the concept to see how/if anyone struggled/solved this post RE... anyone who does not have “dawg” in their tag line.

Oh, and Go Dawgs!!
To me, FI was more important than the RE part. FI allowed me to do what I wanted. It's okay to keep working if that is at the top of your to do list. FI lets you work on your terms, when and where you want to without worrying about the dollars. If your goal is to better the world, FI allows you many more options. It's all about choice.

Go Dawgs, beat the tigers, war eagles, plainsman (or whatever they call themselves today)
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Old 11-30-2017, 06:42 AM   #26
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Pursue my hobbies anytime I want, travel whenever want, sleeping in late when I want, sitting on the porch until noon if I want, drinking beer anytime I want, etc, etc, etc "anytime I want" all "trump" working, whenever "they want".
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Old 11-30-2017, 07:11 AM   #27
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Ah yes. I remember the days when I'd drive into work over the big tall bridge, gaze out at the city of 3/4 of a million and think, "I'm responsible for all those people's water, sewer, and solid waste service!" Seems pretty hilarious to me now. My significance now comes from how I can be the best husband, stay healthy, and enjoy anything I want. Oh, and absolutely not be obligated to ever do anything based on anyone else's time, schedule, or direction.

If ever there were a post that laid out how it's different strokes for different folks, this is it. Enjoyed my career wildly, until I didn't. Then I left. Life is good. I'm even planning on enjoying blowing the leaves this morning.
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Old 11-30-2017, 07:14 AM   #28
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No pursuit of significance and purpose here. I've spent the 12 years since retiring practicing the art of simply being. I'm getting to be pretty darned good at it.
+1 coming up on 13 years in January. I have lots of things I enjoy but I am not driven by needs to achieve, pay back, or pay in. I know lots of people who feel otherwise. Sounds like you are one of those. I see no need for you to fell the need to achieve our equanimity.
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Old 11-30-2017, 07:16 AM   #29
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If you obtain "significance" from work, that's beyond my comprehension.
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Old 11-30-2017, 07:49 AM   #30
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I'm a retired actuary, really liked what I did, but quit at 61 due to toxic politics. One week passed between my telling DH (already retired, 15 years older) "I think I'm going to quit my job on Monday" and the day I walked out of the office for the last time.

DH died a year ago so, first of all, I was PROFOUNDLY grateful I could be there for him in his last days and for the travel we had the years after I retired and before he got too weak to travel (Alaska, Paris, Iceland).

I love not having to set the alarm, having few scheduled commitments, being able to take a nap in the afternoon, and especially being free to travel without counting how many vacation days I have left. Life would be a bit meaningless for me if it were all about plane tickets and goofing off, but I'm active in several organizations that interest me, I maintain Web sites for my church and my Toastmasters Club and I donate platelets and either plasma or whole blood once a month. I also try to keep my charitable giving at the same level as my travel expenses! Finally, I have two beautiful granddaughters who live 3 hours away. I want to be around for them for a long time.
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Old 11-30-2017, 08:09 AM   #31
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Ah yes. I remember the days when I'd drive into work over the big tall bridge, gaze out at the city of 3/4 of a million and think, "I'm responsible for all those people's water, sewer, and solid waste service!" .
I'd say being responsible for that service is way more important than a majority of other positions!
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Old 11-30-2017, 08:23 AM   #32
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I think your question is not really about FIRE, but related to the usual "What is the meaning of life" that everyone, FIRE or not, has to answer for themselves.
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Old 11-30-2017, 09:29 AM   #33
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Appreciate and expected the responses to vary based on everyone’s individual experience and how they are wired. I’m all about making time for the “party” and just “being”, but I suppose I feel like I need/should leave this planet making the world a better place by using some of my time/talent/resources in this 2nd half of life. For me, I don’t think of it as an ego drive or necessarily type A personality drive, just a human condition pickle which is why I posed the question. I’m not judging anyone’s post RE path/decisions, just throwing around the concept to see how/if anyone struggled/solved this post RE... anyone who does not have “dawg” in their tag line.

Oh, and Go Dawgs!!
So find something rewarding to do. Volunteer at a hospital. Teach prison inmates to read. Learn to play the tuba.
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Old 11-30-2017, 09:30 AM   #34
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I've always desired my freedom. Doing what I want when I want. If retirement gives me nothing other than sitting on the beach listening to the waves and feeling the breeze, then I'm chasing that dream. If it's sitting on the dock staring at a bobber, then I'm chasing that dream. If it's sitting on my patio listening to some tunes with a beer in my hand and something in the smoker, then I'm chasing that dream.
My freedom and independence is more important than any significance I can get from working and placing so much of my effort towards something that does not benefit me.
This thread is one of a myriad of reasons I love this site. The sharing of views and experiences is captivating. Love this place.
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Old 11-30-2017, 09:55 AM   #35
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So find something rewarding to do. Volunteer at a hospital. Teach prison inmates to read. Learn to play the tuba.
This. I probably misread the first post. I read it as "I'm going to keep working so that my life has purpose and meaning." Perhaps instead it's looking for how to have purpose and meaning in retirement. For those of us who filled the work day filling out TPF reports ("Office Space" reference), retirement affords us a better chance for that. I've done more volunteer work in retirement than I did while working. I could definitely find more.
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:05 AM   #36
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I miss my cube in the windowless basement.
Milton, is that you?

Back on getting bored in retirement, I can only travel so much. Eat and drink too much can get me into health problems. Being an engineer, I miss doing technical work, so I think of projects for myself. I don't get paid, but can now do what I want, in the way I want, and when I want it.

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Old 11-30-2017, 10:16 AM   #37
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Achieving FI allowed me/us to leave megacorp a few years earlier than most. I took a second career job teaching at the same university where I got my undergrad degree. The second career allowed a soft-landing opportunity towards retirement. The calculations said I didn't need the money, but the university job was something I had thought about a number of years earlier, and I wanted to give it a try.

My megacorp career was good. I enjoyed new product development. I had significant chunks that I had designed in production, and they worked very well for our customers. I still enjoy seeing my designs on the production line and in the field. The management side of megacorp had become quite frustrating and stressful. I was glad to jettison those parts of the job.

Teaching was/is quite different. Relative to megacorp, there is close to zero stress. I enjoy working with the students, and they seem to enjoy interacting with me. The money is not so good, but when added to the pension from megacorp, it is roughly the same money that I was bringing home from megacorp. And the $2 for $1 match on the retirement funds works well. As far as rewarding, I know of three students where I was a critical link in connecting them to a job that was their 'dream job'. They call me up on occasion and talk, and that is very rewarding.

I am finishing up my fifth year teaching, and will probably do it for one more year, maybe two. We are trying different summer routines and a few different winter trips, along with a heavy schedule of football, men's basketball, and women's basketball season tickets. That experience may influence our next phase of retirement.
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:17 AM   #38
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Just sayen...

My take after reading so many posts on this site is most of us have worked hard, planned, sacrificed to reach FIRE. Yes, for many, getting out of the rat race saved stress, long commutes, our Heath, and our relationships. For others, we just hit a magical number that we dreamed about that made us FI and we dreamed of golf, margaritas, and the carefree life. I fall in the latter camp and while I have not pulled the plug yet, I am FI, but find my early selfobsorbded dreams don’t feel as motivating or fulfilling as they did when I pursued them. Yes, I want to improve my golf game, do some more travel, explore some hobbies, but I have determined it can’t be all about me living like Jaba the Hut. It all sounded like a great plan when I was younger and working the Plan, but now I am here and “so what”? I just read a book called Half Time by Bob Buford and I find the premise of pursuing significance to be both energizing and sobering at the same time. How are you finding significance and purpose in your second half? Did you have an epiphinony or what changed for you? I just don’t think I can play golf every day, drink wine, eat lobster and sleep. Maybe 3 out of 7 days...
  1. What you end up doing after you retire will evolve, and probably end up quite different from what you initially imagine.
  2. Not all retirement activities are leisure/recreation. There are tons of things to do that are creative, challenging, involve projects, planning, etc. heck, maybe even dedication, discipline, and mental gymnastics!
  3. Pursuing significance, the meaning of life, etc.? Significant in whose eyes? By what standard are you seeking to be judged. That stuff doesn’t matter to me. I’m content to be a participant within my small sphere of influence.
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:23 AM   #39
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I never pursued significance (the kind of significance that most of us will achieve in our lifetime is rarely long-lasting IMO). As for my purpose in life, it's to live enjoyably before the light goes off. But I would hate to live solely on golf, wine, lobster, and sleep. I like to keep myself challenged and work has nothing to do with it.
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Old 11-30-2017, 11:08 AM   #40
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I volunteer for several causes now, while I am still working, and would love to have more time to devote to those. We also love to travel, and I'd love to be able to take month long trips (we are doing 3 weeks in NZ in early 2019, but that's a stretch while I am still working).


I am almost 49, I want to retire in 3 1/2 years. But, in addition to the above, I want to do it because my SO is 60, and I want to enjoy all the time with him I can due to the age difference....
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