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Old 08-19-2009, 03:13 PM   #1
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2 Year Countdown

Good day!

As I'm approaching this period of "rebirth" at 44, I've been chatting with folks in the same boat as me. All of us men (sorry, I haven't chatted with many women in this stage...) are comfortable in terms of relationships, finances, and other basic "stage of life" human development concerns. Some want to become stay-at-home dads, many want to return to work after a limited hiatus, one wants to cut residential lawns on a seasonal basis, and others are like me and still searching. None want to return to what they've been doing for the past XX years.

Just as a start to a new string - somewhat redundant for long term posters, I'm sure - what have some of you folks done (or are doing) to prepare for the beginning of your next life that's 2 years out? Build business plans? Try part-time or consultation work? Test a business prototype? Network for low-risk/involvement opportunities? Go back to school?

If you have the time and inclination to provide input, please do. I'd love to read your comments.

Too young to cash in my chips --- RSH
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:01 PM   #2
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Good day!

As I'm approaching this period of "rebirth" at 44, I've been chatting with folks in the same boat as me. All of us men (sorry, I haven't chatted with many women in this stage...) are comfortable in terms of relationships, finances, and other basic "stage of life" human development concerns. Some want to become stay-at-home dads, many want to return to work after a limited hiatus, one wants to cut residential lawns on a seasonal basis, and others are like me and still searching. None want to return to what they've been doing for the past XX years.

Just as a start to a new string - somewhat redundant for long term posters, I'm sure - what have some of you folks done (or are doing) to prepare for the beginning of your next life that's 2 years out? Build business plans? Try part-time or consultation work? Test a business prototype? Network for low-risk/involvement opportunities? Go back to school?

If you have the time and inclination to provide input, please do. I'd love to read your comments.

Too young to cash in my chips --- RSH
Hi Royboy65, and welcome to the Early Retirement Forum. You can introduce yourself on the "Hi, I am..." section of the forum, if you want.

I am less than 3 months from retirement, but I do remember what it is like to be 2 years away from retirement. I didn't do any of those things because to me, they all sound like work of a different kind, and I don't want to work any more. Maybe a change of career is something that would interest you. We do have some early retirees who are working part time or at jobs that they like better than their prior work.

As for me, two years out I was thinking of moving my retirement investments into a more conservative asset allocation since I was getting close to retirement. I have never really considered working after I retire. But then, my retirement will not be so "early" as that of most of our members since I am 17 years older than you are.
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:03 PM   #3
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Are you in the military at present?
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:33 PM   #4
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I don't know. I'm more than 2 years away, but may be around your age when I jump ship. I have a vague notion of putting together my own little business just for fun, but I am going to plan to not make any definite plans just yet ...
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:06 PM   #5
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Welcome to the board, Roy.

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Too young to cash in my chips --- RSH
You don't have to cash in-- you can also make smaller bets or just take a break.

And in blackjack, sometimes it's just more profitable to put in a few chips, follow the basic strategy, and let the dealer do all the work. In other words take retirement at your own pace and don't feel obligated to rush into finding a job or recreating your old work environment.

Ernie Zelinski has a "Get-A-Life" tree for brainstorming in his book "How To Retire Happy, Wild, & Free".

You might want to read through some of the "tough love" retirement advice from the MyNextPhase guys:
Retirement? Retirement?!? You can't HANDLE retirement!!

There might be wheat grains in this chaff:
(FAQ archive) But... what will I do all day?

And finally, check your Private Messages.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:28 PM   #6
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Just as a start to a new string - somewhat redundant for long term posters, I'm sure - what have some of you folks done (or are doing) to prepare for the beginning of your next life that's 2 years out? Build business plans? Try part-time or consultation work? Test a business prototype? Network for low-risk/involvement opportunities? Go back to school?
Welcome Royboy!

My retirement timeline changes from time to time. Just this morning I went back and looked at a list of options I had laid out of potential income producing ideas. I find that as time goes on I mark more and more of them off the list. I think I have about boiled down the true goals of ER for me. All these things were just distractions and my denial of the core issue. I will say though the exercise of exploring the options have really helped me get to the comfort level I am experiencing. Many on this board have helped. I picture them setting back and laughing at me as they probably went thru the same thoughts and are now living their dream.

I have a pretty well laid out plan but I am not looking at ways it can blow up and how I mitigate this should it occur while still protecting the core issue.

For many of us its hard to shift gears from type A go go to slowing down. I bet you are also feeling this whether you want to admit it or not

Welcome again!

Tomcat98
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:59 PM   #7
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just surfing...
Whew, you already surf. This is going to be a lot easier than we expected.

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I doubt that I can do that in my upcoming rebirth...
Good point; you'll probably want an air mattress to go with that pup tent.

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... but there is one similarity in yesteryear's story to today's story - my lack of individual solid planning while peers around me had a "plan". Some plans were successful, others were not - nonetheless, their plan existed and mine did not.
26 years later, nine investment properties, a couple of steady income streams and I still don't have a plan. (Maybe not having a plan is my plan)
When I attended the pre-retirement training seminar, I was the only one among 30+ veterans with no plan. As I later discovered, I was also the only one whose income exceeded expenses and thus didn't need to have a plan. My motivation was family time and leisure, not looming mortgage payments.

If you're managing and maintaining those nine properties by yourself then maybe you won't have time for planning anyway...

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I envy those that have plans - writing a book, starting a small business, realigning financial portfolios - all noble activities. What drives you to do it? What makes you get up and say to yourself, "Today, I'm going to edit Chapter 8 of my book"
Is the desire to return to work exasperated by the desire to eat three square meals a day?
I envy those who found an avocation in their 20s and never looked back. In our case, the first military decade was fun but the second decade conflicted with higher priorities like family. The pre-retirement career search was filled with hours of assessing, evaluating, surveying... all to determine that I'd be good at things I didn't enjoy doing. Zelinski's Get-A-Life tree was much more enjoyable.

You may find that enjoying ER is your avocation. You may also find that you need quite a few more months of "you time" after the retirement ceremony before you're able to determine what's important to you. In the meantime you could always work on your cutbacks.

In my case Chapter 8 is one of the few plans that came together, and it's been "under construction" for over four years. Most of the motivation came from knowing that 60 or 70 people would be asking how it's going. Starving authors write much faster... or at least the surviving starving authors do.

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At some point (I'm arbitrarily giving myself six to eight months from today) I've got to narrow my choices - or do I?
Most of us ERs, especially us military veterans, have found that we're in too much of a hurry. After retiring there's more time for relaxing, thoughtful contemplation, thorough planning, and "trying things on for size" before you make a commitment. You may find that weeks stretch into months and months become years before you feel your plan is ready. You'll probably also do a better job of it.

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If uncertainty is an unknown outcome to a plan and risk is the unknown certainty of variable factors that compose that plan, maybe statistically I'm just as well off wandering. After all, "not all those that wander are lost" (I read that on a car bumper sticker).
For years I thought that was Robert Frost, but it's Tolkien:
All that is gold does not glitter,
not all those who wander are lost;
the old that is strong does not wither,
deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
a light from the shadows shall spring;
renewed shall be blade that was broken,
the crownless again shall be king.
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