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Old 11-30-2017, 11:09 AM   #41
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While reaching FIRE 9 years and one month ago was very significant, I actually consider the time when I first switched from working full-time to working part-time back in 2001 as having a bigger impact on my life. This is because that change in my everyday life enabled me to recover my personal life. It was back in 2001 when I was able to add to my life some new hobbies and resurrect some old one because I now had the time and energy to do them. I was also able to abandon having to get my personal errands done on the busy and time-constrained weekends and brief weekday evenings. And, of course, the reduction of my daily commute to far less than 5 days a week was a huge benefit.


I wasn't actually FIREd yet, but that change to working part-time was a huge launch pad toward my eventual FIRE in late 2008, 7 years later. The actual change in my day-to-day lifestyle wasn't nearly as large, as I continued to do my personal errands during the week. I still had the hobbies I had added to my everyday life, I was able to expand on them to some degree while being able to schedule them more freely without the frequent conflicts among them and with my part-time, albeit flexible, work schedule. But I eliminated the dang commute, the biggest improvement to my life.
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Old 11-30-2017, 11:34 AM   #42
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No real pursuit of significance or purpose for me. But that wasn't coming at work either. Now at least I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. Seriously, there was nothing fulfilling in my last few years at work, so it couldn't get less fulfilling in retirement.
If we had a wiki this post should be in it. My job wasn't even half bad but going to a botanical garden or museum during the day is still better.
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Old 11-30-2017, 11:39 AM   #43
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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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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.
+1

It's an undeniable fact that nearly every single one of us posting on this board will be completely forgotten about within 100 years, almost as if we never existed. IMHO, life ultimately comes down to finding enjoyment and fulfillment in the simple doing of things that you find interesting and that make you want to get up in the morning.
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Old 11-30-2017, 12:36 PM   #44
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+1

It's an undeniable fact that nearly every single one of us posting on this board will be completely forgotten about within 100 years, almost as if we never existed. IMHO, life ultimately comes down to finding enjoyment and fulfillment in the simple doing of things that you find interesting and that make you want to get up in the morning.
And another +1. I will admit that after I retired, I was somewhat happy to get a few calls asking about something that I was considered an expert in. It was annoying in that I was done with that life, but to think that my opinion/knowledge was still being sought was a slight boost to my ego. Well, it wasn't too long before those calls stopped and in the last 3 years, no one has asked me my opinion on anything about what I did during my "contributing years". Also when I saw the AT&T commercial about Puerto Rico and saw that my "old plane" was in it, airlifting valuable supplies to folks who were/are in desperate need...I was a little bit sad that I wasn't in the "action" anymore...but that feeling soon passed.

I am under no illusion that once I am gone, no one will remember me or my accomplishments. That's OK...I am happy just "being" and living my life in a manner that brings as much joy as possible.

I have mentioned this before (I think) that as a matter of course, my Dad has a happy hour on the weekends. Over the years, participants have come and gone, and the ages have been as young as me (early 40's) to as old as my Dad (90). Two of the long time participants have since died, and their lives were so very, very different. Man "A" lived to be 81. He once held elected office, was a newspaper publisher, and traveled the US and South America by RV many years ago. Even married a flight attendant that had a layover in South America. Oh yeah, and owned a restaurant in Germany for a while. When he died, he had the most basic obit...basically just the legal proclamation that "A" had died on so and so day. When we asked his daughter about the short, SHORT obit, she said that is what her Dad wanted. He never bragged and did what he did in life for HIM and no one else. Most of the stories about we never heard until he died. NOW...Man "B" died at 68 after fighting cancer for many, many years. He had dreams of living on a lake (and owned a nice plot of land on a lake, but never built) but worked, Worked, WORKED up until about 6 months before he died. We had asked him if had considered retiring, but he just felt that he "owed it to society" to work as long as he could. He was one of the most boring people I have ever met in my life...lots of hot air, but no substance. When he died, his obit was almost 2 full columns...it looked like a resume or something from LinkedIn...and to me that was pretty sad. The fact is that in 10 years, no one will remember that "B" helped set up the first network system in Atlanta for GTE.

I know, I know...I am rambling...that's my bad. My last point...I am very happy to be insignificant. I like flying under the radar and will do everything in my power to keep that up.
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Old 11-30-2017, 01:20 PM   #45
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For me, the fellow who runs the blog ESI Money said it best in his guest post on another blog (Budgets Are Sexy) entitled "10 Things I Didn’t Expect in Early Retirement":

#6. My Family Relationships Are Much Better
I assumed that retirement would give me more time with family, but I didn’t know how meaningful and far-reaching this time would be.


I don't think I have poor relationships with family and friends, but I spent a lot of time in the office and on the road during my career, and missed a lot of events and time with family and friends.

What will be most fulfilling for me will be to spend my time in retirement investing time and effort in my relationship with my wife, kids, grandchildren, old friends, and maybe even new friends.
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Old 11-30-2017, 01:44 PM   #46
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The beauty of retirement is that you can do as much, or as little, as you want. The key word there is "you"..........you are the one directing your life (probably for the first time in your life), not someone else that you have to please in order to earn a living. If you feel like you need a purpose in retirement, there are a zillion worthy organizations/agencies that would love to have you volunteer for them. It shouldn't be too hard to find a few whose missions are aligned with your interests. If volunteering doesn't interest you, surely there must be a few hobbies or pursuits that interest you? Have any grandkids or other family to spend time with? My biggest problem in retirement is finding the time to do everything that I am interested in. So it's kinda hard for me to relate to those who have no idea how to spend their time in retirement.....
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Old 11-30-2017, 03:20 PM   #47
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... I would hate to live solely on golf, wine, lobster, and sleep...
No golf here, but wine and lobster are OK. Throw in some shrimp, steak, and Dungeness crab too, please. And Cognac, of course. Martini when I want some change.

Yesterday, I fired up my o'scope to look at a circuit I was building, and writing a bit of firmware for. Oh, happy, happy... Took 2 hours to find a simple stupid bug that was right in my face all that time, but felt good when I got it. Just like when I was working.

When I get tired of this, or get it all working, I will go back to surfing the Web looking for the next travel destination. Domestic RV'ing, or fly-and-drive in Europe? What to do? So many choices, so little time (and energy)...
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Old 11-30-2017, 06:21 PM   #48
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Great thread. And go DAWGS! Looks like several Dawg fans on this site...very nice.

The initial post is very interesting to me. I am an over-achiever...always have been - some say a super type A. When I finished my graduate degree and training I was a bit disappointed. That's it?? I immediately reached out to the military looking for another challenge. Health issues kept me from pursuing that or I would have in a NY minute. I had the carrot in front of me for so long that once I got it, it was very anti-climactic.

I have been FI for at least a few years now but I still w*rk some. I get some satisfaction from a job well done. That's why I am afraid to completely walk away. I still think about retiring but I fear it will be anti-climactic once again.

I'm sure the answer is in finding another challenge. I just haven't found that yet.
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Old 11-30-2017, 06:22 PM   #49
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Man... I stepped away to my day job and you all went to town! Let me be clear... I am not suggesting I want to hang on to my “job” for significance, I’m just suggesting we all have certain talents that might be leveraged in our ER yrs to leave the world a better place. I’m not suggesting everyone should sell all their $hit and open an orphanage in S Africa, but I was just suggesting perhaps some of you felt an itch/pull to do some something “more” with your talents in RE. No judgement here if you want to just hang out on the beach all day and drink beer, but just thought many might feel the pull to mix some “give back” in between happy hour. I have 4 kids and anticipate some grandkids soon with my 2 married ones and plan on vesting myself there/in family, like many of you. I would suggest that most people on this site that are FIRE have allot of good knowledge to help others, especially the next generation. That’s the slant I was going for in my original post.

Now, what’s most important... I have a crazy positive feeling about my dawgs!
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Old 11-30-2017, 06:23 PM   #50
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...I get some satisfaction from a job well done. That's why I am afraid to completely walk away. ....
You can get the satisfaction of a job well done without having a job.

There are jobs for yourself, friends and family, volunteer work, etc.
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Old 11-30-2017, 07:08 PM   #51
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... I am not suggesting I want to hang on to my “job” for significance, I’m just suggesting we all have certain talents that might be leveraged in our ER yrs to leave the world a better place. I’m not suggesting everyone should sell all their $hit and open an orphanage in S Africa, but...
I was good at doing a few things for which they paid me decent money, but don't know how I could use my skills to "leave the world a better place".

We have been sending money to real orphanage in some 3rd world countries. The above were run by Catholic sisters and Buddhist monks and nuns, and were vetted by people whom we trust. Other than that, I hope I don't leave the world a worse place.
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Old 12-01-2017, 03:15 AM   #52
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Man... I stepped away to my day job and you all went to town! Let me be clear... I am not suggesting I want to hang on to my “job” for significance, I’m just suggesting we all have certain talents that might be leveraged in our ER yrs to leave the world a better place. I’m not suggesting everyone should sell all their $hit and open an orphanage in S Africa, but I was just suggesting perhaps some of you felt an itch/pull to do some something “more” with your talents in RE. No judgement here if you want to just hang out on the beach all day and drink beer, but just thought many might feel the pull to mix some “give back” in between happy hour. I have 4 kids and anticipate some grandkids soon with my 2 married ones and plan on vesting myself there/in family, like many of you. I would suggest that most people on this site that are FIRE have allot of good knowledge to help others, especially the next generation. That’s the slant I was going for in my original post.



Now, what’s most important... I have a crazy positive feeling about my dawgs!


Yes, having a positive influence on young people whether through family, mentoring, or other volunteer work is a very fulfilling way to "give back" IMO. It also helps one keep learning (for me, Instagram, Snapchat) to have young people in your life.
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Old 12-01-2017, 05:28 AM   #53
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I’m just suggesting we all have certain talents that might be leveraged in our ER yrs to leave the world a better place. I’m not suggesting everyone should sell all their $hit and open an orphanage in S Africa, but I was just suggesting perhaps some of you felt an itch/pull to do some something “more” with your talents in RE. No judgement here if you want to just hang out on the beach all day and drink beer, but just thought many might feel the pull to mix some “give back” in between happy hour. I have 4 kids and anticipate some grandkids soon with my 2 married ones and plan on vesting myself there/in family, like many of you. I would suggest that most people on this site that are FIRE have allot of good knowledge to help others, especially the next generation. That’s the slant I was going for in my original post.
As a retiree you get to contribute however you want.

Quote:
but just thought many might feel the pull to mix some “give back” in between happy hour.
You seem to keep coming back to the idea that for folks here being retired is all about happy hour and that nobody here is using their “talents” or giving back in RE. Why is that?

Many skills developed at work may have little bearing once retired. I suspect many retirees here have developed whole sets of new ones once they retired.

Quote:
I would suggest that most people on this site that are FIRE have allot of good knowledge to help others, especially the next generation.
You seem to feel the need to suggest to us that FIREd folks here are missing out on something big here. And that we aren’t helping others?

I think some people are reacting to your “motivational” posts as if we are no longer doing “important” things because we are retired. As if we can’t figure that out or make those judgement calls for ourselves.

Are you just looking for testimonials from retirees here about all the ways they make the world a better place? I guess I’m stumped on why you would assume that many aren’t.

You may never think other retired people here are doing “enough” to make the world a better place. Fortunately it’s our call what that means and at whatever level we do it.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:06 AM   #54
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For many folks who retire, their sphere of influence shrinks drastically. They can build a new one by becoming involved in a larger organization or by even starting their own charitable organization or non-GMO if they want.

Some of us are content contributing within a much smaller sphere of influence once we retire. They say charity begins at home. I find it hard to imagine something more important than spending time with family or close friends and my local (small) community. But there are tons of other options.
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:02 AM   #55
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I think most of us see FI as a necessity to RE. RE is my goal, FI is just the means to get there. However, I can see how FI alone could be the goal too, maybe in your case?


I agree with most others related to "significance". I passed 50% of my DNA to each of two kids, so my significance in life is completed. 50 years from now only a handful of humans will remember me and in a 100 years mankind didn't now I existed and I am fine with that.
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:36 AM   #56
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Man... I stepped away to my day job and you all went to town! Let me be clear... I am not suggesting I want to hang on to my “job” for significance, I’m just suggesting we all have certain talents that might be leveraged in our ER yrs to leave the world a better place. I’m not suggesting everyone should sell all their $hit and open an orphanage in S Africa, but I was just suggesting perhaps some of you felt an itch/pull to do some something “more” with your talents in RE. No judgement here if you want to just hang out on the beach all day and drink beer, but just thought many might feel the pull to mix some “give back” in between happy hour. I have 4 kids and anticipate some grandkids soon with my 2 married ones and plan on vesting myself there/in family, like many of you. I would suggest that most people on this site that are FIRE have allot of good knowledge to help others, especially the next generation. That’s the slant I was going for in my original post.

Now, what’s most important... I have a crazy positive feeling about my dawgs!
I admit I'm a bit perplexed by this thought process as well. In my prior life, pre-FI, I worked in advertising to convince people to buy a product they possibly didn't need. How exactly was what I did contributing to the world being a better place?

In FIRE, conversely, I have had the time to do what I think of as bloody amazing things - I trained, then rode 100 miles to raise money for the MS Foundation, I provided a year of childcare for my newborn grandchild, I joined the Sierra Club, supporting it's environmental causes with both my money and my time, I volunteer at working to raise awareness about the impact of humans on our fragile coastline, I work in a soup kitchen monthly, belong to a political action committee, am working to learn a second language so I can aid new arrivals in seeking citizenship.

Additionally, I have more personal goals and pursuits than I can count, and I assure you I feel pretty darn (damn?) good about how I spend the majority of my days. No way could I have said that about the last few years I was in the rat race.

Sometimes people project their fears outward to avoid the work of self-examination. Although I have no way of knowing this to be the case for you, I do think it's something worth considering.
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:41 AM   #57
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Although nominally retired for 15 months, duties with my dying mom kept me from really starting retirement until August. It may be the bereavement process but in general,I find retirement disorienting and unsatisfying. A large part of my challenge is dealing with the organized, "get it done" driver so ingrained in me.

I was used to juggling ten tasks at a time, often in time and resource-challenged situations. (Non profit management my whole career). There was lots of people contact, with many who had totally different ways of seeing the organization and their jobs. Even in mom's care, many of these skills had to come to the fore.

So now it's like I am having withdrawal symptoms. Although my head knows all is fine and I am doing many projects and tasks I wanted to get done prior to retiring (also reading, movies, hikes, and kiting ), there are more days than I want to admit where I feel wasteful and useless. However, everything in me tells me I have had my run, I am tired, and I need and deserve a rest. So I am taking on the withdrawal pangs ODAT.

Perhaps someday I will go back to work. Today I would do that in desperation and I know that is the wrong motive.
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:57 AM   #58
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Although nominally retired for 15 months, duties with my dying mom kept me from really starting retirement until August. It may be the bereavement process but in general,I find retirement disorienting and unsatisfying. A large part of my challenge is dealing with the organized, "get it done" driver so ingrained in me.

I was used to juggling ten tasks at a time, often in time and resource-challenged situations. (Non profit management my whole career). There was lots of people contact, with many who had totally different ways of seeing the organization and their jobs. Even in mom's care, many of these skills had to come to the fore.

So now it's like I am having withdrawal symptoms. Although my head knows all is fine and I am doing many projects and tasks I wanted to get done prior to retiring (also reading, movies, hikes, and kiting ), there are more days than I want to admit where I feel wasteful and useless. However, everything in me tells me I have had my run, I am tired, and I need and deserve a rest. So I am taking on the withdrawal pangs ODAT.

Perhaps someday I will go back to work. Today I would do that in desperation and I know that is the wrong motive.
Understanding you may be still be grieving and therefore not at a point where you are ready to be proactive, when you are ready I think it's important to recognize that boredom is almost 100% the case of being passive in one's own life. It's a sign that something needs to change. What those changes are are up to you, and for many people I understand that can be really hard.

If you truly love being employed, and can't find happiness in any other capacity, than for goodness sake, go back to it. There is no law that says you have to stop working after obtaining FI. This is an ER board, so of course we are all oriented toward, well, ER, or we wouldn't be here. If it's not for you, then it's not for you, and that's perfectly OK. I would imagine seeking employement after reaching FI might be quite liberating - you can pick and choose based on your personal desire, not because you're worried about making rent or paying your mortgage.
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Old 12-02-2017, 07:05 AM   #59
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I discovered this forum 3-4 months before I ER'd 7 years ago.

The first thing I tell people about retirement is that it is not the same as vacation. What you described sounded more like you were looking for a longish vacation. Nope. That is not retirement.

Second . . . you not only have to be retiring from something but retiring to something.

Third . . . FI is not the same as retirement. Being able to retire is both having the financial resources but also doing what you want rather than what someone else compels you to do through a "job". If you are FI and doing what you want then by all means, keep doing that. Your job has just become the thing you do in retirement. However, if you don't know what you want then you need to start thinking about that. Eventually you will have to stop working and you want to be ready for that.

Fourth . . . Time. Time is different in retirement. It actually means something different. My first 30 days was significant because I had never not worked for that long. Most people have a bucket list of things to do which generally takes about 6 months to complete. Some of the things on that list will not get done because they are no longer important to you by the time 6 months passes. It is the time after this 6 months you have to plan for.

As for providing meaning in your life I would say that there are more volunteer opportunities than you could possibly imagine. You don't stop doing things that look like "work". You just do them without an employment obligation. You do them because you WANT to. In my case I organized science classes for seniors (50+yrs and up). I recruited faculty from the local university and set up 6 week lecture series. It kept my hand in science. It was personally and intellectually satisfying. And I only did it 1-2x per year on a voluntary basis.

I had enough of that early this year. I moved to Thailand and now I'm exploring another culture.

You are only a couch potato if you let it happen. Time to find out who you are.
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Old 12-02-2017, 08:39 PM   #60
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I admit I'm a bit perplexed by this thought process as well. In my prior life, pre-FI, I worked in advertising to convince people to buy a product they possibly didn't need. How exactly was what I did contributing to the world being a better place?

In FIRE, conversely, I have had the time to do what I think of as bloody amazing things - I trained, then rode 100 miles to raise money for the MS Foundation, I provided a year of childcare for my newborn grandchild, I joined the Sierra Club, supporting it's environmental causes with both my money and my time, I volunteer at working to raise awareness about the impact of humans on our fragile coastline, I work in a soup kitchen monthly, belong to a political action committee, am working to learn a second language so I can aid new arrivals in seeking citizenship.

Additionally, I have more personal goals and pursuits than I can count, and I assure you I feel pretty darn (damn?) good about how I spend the majority of my days. No way could I have said that about the last few years I was in the rat race.

Sometimes people project their fears outward to avoid the work of self-examination. Although I have no way of knowing this to be the case for you, I do think it's something worth considering.
The majority of folks on this site "advertise" ER. I get it. Is is called ER.org. What I think Dawg Man(OP) is saying or what I am saying: I am FI. My commute is maybe 15 minutes. My hours are flexible, My boss is hands off, The subject is awesome, The pay is fabulous, I am a subject matter expert(there are others and I won't be missed), I tried ER and didn't like it. They pay me for my knowledge and results not strictly watching the clock(40 hours). DW is still in the same industry and when i was ER for 8 months many (at least 10) days I was where she worked helping out for free. If/when the job sucks in any of the categories mentioned(commute, office politics, etc...), I will quit. I have plenty of time to umpire baseball games, referee volleyball matches and enjoy travel and other hobbies.

Most people on this site have found reasons to quit their jobs. I can't find one yet. Sounds like Dawg Man(OP) can't either.
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