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Come to the Dark Side (of ER)
Old 01-02-2016, 11:11 AM   #1
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Come to the Dark Side (of ER)

A thought-provoking article that purposely looks from the dark side of ER. I think it has some value in challenging the ER goal. For me the #5s are the closest to resonating:

The Dark Side Of Early Retirement | Financial Samurai
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:19 AM   #2
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This attitude leads all too often to disappointment:

Quote:
I would feel like a disgrace not to at least try and do great things.

45 is just an age goal. If I havenít achieved my potential by then, I donít plan on retiring even if I have the money to do so.
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Old 01-02-2016, 11:49 AM   #3
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The given list of dangers of early retirement includes:

Quote:
1) Oops, you change your mind.
2) You run out of money.
3) You lose touch with friends and family.
4) You may find it difficult to start your own family.
5) You lose your own self-respect, and the respect of others.
My comments are:

1) Really? Really? If anyone would prefer to be told what tasks to work on and how to spend every moment of the day, than to make those decisions for himself, I think he may need some serious psychological intervention or at least some serious introspection regarding his life goals. And if anyone is free to do whatever they want at work, then more power to him - - but is that really work? And is he really doing what he would do anyway, without earning money for it?

2) This is why we run FIRECalc, check, doublecheck, and build some slop into our retirement financial plans BEFORE retiring.

3) Why lose touch, when you have more time to stay in touch? This makes no sense.

4) More difficult to start your own family? When you have all day and all night of every day and night, to work on procreating? Of course, one would put aside money for raising and educating the children, just as a working person would. Maybe he means that the only possible way to meet a spouse is at work, but many people make a policy of not dating others at work. I never dated anyone at work. Mixing work and romance can be pretty explosive IMO.

5) You lose your own self respect, and the respect of others? I think others have a huge amount of respect for those who are truly FI at an early age. Sure beats being a bum dragging himself to a dead end job 9-5. As for self respect, again this sounds like a person who needs some psychological intervention. Why would setting a challenging goal, working towards that goal, and achieving it years before most people can do it, be a detriment to one's self respect?

OK, those are my thoughts on his list of "dangers". I think the author had a deadline to meet and didn't really think through what he was writing.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:06 PM   #4
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What a pantload. (The article, not W2R's response.)
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:07 PM   #5
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This author has a total mis-definition of what work is. Perhaps a limited definition is more accurate. He's confused retirement and leaving his current job because he no long has a financial need to stay. I'm retired. I'm financially independent. I don't 'work' in the traditional sense. I've spent the first couple years making up for the 30+ years I did work and sacrificed my leisure for security. There is no way I'm going to be made to feel guilty for now having the sole authority to call all my own shots.
If I choose to go fishing, or volunteer at my grandson's school today, then that is my option. I've found that once my immediate gratifications were fulfilled, I was able more to look into deeper personal gratifications like volunteer work.
I'll tell you this; I'm much nicer to people now that I don't look at them through 'money' colored lenses; where the primary focus was how was this going to benefit me. I'm satisfied, so now I can focus 100% on the other person's satisfaction. Wouldn't it be great if everyone you had dealings with was there because they wanted to and not because they had to to support their financial obligations?
Financial independence has liberated me to be a better person and to focus on others much more than I was able to when I was slaved to an income that I had to continually earn.

****EDIT****
I just want to add a couple comments on a few of the author's points;
1. Loosing touch with friends and family. First, I had my eyes opened after retirement on the definition of friends. Co-workers are not friends. Not usually. One could use the author's argument to never leave college; after all, you leave college, you loose your friends and family as you move on. And that's what retirement/Financial independence is; moving on.
2. ER is selfish. It's the exact opposite of selfish. I think, "how dare I hold onto a job I no longer need to survive when there are so many out there who NEED a job?" By retiring, I provide the next person my job and the means to also grow and evolve to the point that they too can be FI. In fact, saving and making it to FI is the most unselfish thing I've ever done. I'm no longer a burden on anyone and won't be for the future to my family. What an unselfish gift I've given my family that I won't be a financial burden to them and will most likely leave them an estate that will provide for them like grandkid college, etc.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:30 PM   #6
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"Early retirement is like the cowards way of not having to be the best any more. Some even liken it to suicide. "

Yep. I gave up. Im a loser. Oh well.

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Old 01-02-2016, 12:38 PM   #7
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I (sort of) know the author through the blogging world. He's in love with productivity and doing. He lives in SF/Silicon Valley and thrives on the tech culture in the city. He's wealthy enough to be able to do whatever he wants but chooses to stay involved in a half dozen different endeavors.

Nothing wrong with that. It just means he's not cut out for early retirement.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:56 PM   #8
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Awfully gloomy. I agree with two of his concerns: possibly running out of money, and difficulties in raising kids if you ER. Back in the 1980s, I was with a sub of Prudential and there was a round of early-retirement incentives. Clerical types who had joined out of HS an were in their mid-40s were taking early (reduced) pensions so they could "travel and spend more time with the grandkids". Sometimes I wonder where those people are now. ER is great but not if you realize at age 70 that you better go back to work and can only find a job handing out Greek yogurt samples at the local grocery store.

I'm also glad I retired after DS was out of college and on his own- it would have been a much tougher decision otherwise.

I really did like my work and I still keep up with industry news because insurance is a fascinating business, but for the last few years before I retired, as near- contemporaries announced their retirements, I started feeling the tiniest twinges of jealousy. Developing toxic politics were just what I needed to send me out the door. I thought for about 10 minutes a about finding something PT and realized there were too many things I wanted to do and another job would just interfere.
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:13 PM   #9
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I'm also glad I retired after DS was out of college and on his own- it would have been a much tougher decision otherwise.
Is this from a financial concern?
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:31 PM   #10
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I forget whether it was on ER Forum or some other place - something was posted about "regretting your life" because you hadn't done Great Things. Man, when I think about all the terrible things I had the chance to do in life - but did not do - I think, "Right there, I've already lived a good life."

I find the "Great Things" attitude to be perverse. Sure, people who do Great Things are great, but that doesn't mean everyone else is a loser! It's as if it's not enough to have been kind to others, done your best at work, paid your bills and taxes, and raised good kids/dogs/cats/whatever being you prefer. No, you should have achieved world peace while you were at it.
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:31 PM   #11
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Is this from a financial concern?

Yes- my parents put 5 of us through state schools with zero loans and I wanted to do the same for DS.
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Old 01-02-2016, 01:37 PM   #12
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Heh... "Somebody" has defined themselves by their job and work associates.


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Old 01-02-2016, 01:53 PM   #13
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Yes- my parents put 5 of us through state schools with zero loans and I wanted to do the same for DS.
Just curious. We're not 100% sure we'll be able to do the same for all 3 of ours but we'll come pretty close. And federal undergrad loans for 4 years cap out at $27k or so anyway so it's not like our kids could end up deep in the whole ($27k = 1/2 a decent starting salary; they should be able to pay it off in a few years max).

I'll still have my college loans while my kids are in college but student loans aren't all bad (especially when they are fixed at 0.75% for 30 years but forgiven after 25).
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Old 01-02-2016, 02:10 PM   #14
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Heh... "Somebody" has defined themselves by their job and work associates.
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I agree with MP that some people are defined by their jobs and it is important to their self worth
I one read an article classifying people as either putter in's or taker outs. The implication was that the taker outs, (retired, on pensions or SS) were drones.
I am sorry, but as a putter in for 50 years, I would have loved to take all my SS contributions and bought annuities with the money. I bet i would have more than I get now.
I feel right now with my volunteer work I am doing more for society than in my job.
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Old 01-03-2016, 07:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim584672 View Post
"Early retirement is like the cowards way of not having to be the best any more. Some even liken it to suicide. "

Yep. I gave up. Im a loser. Oh well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
I (sort of) know the author through the blogging world. He's in love with productivity and doing. He lives in SF/Silicon Valley and thrives on the tech culture in the city. He's wealthy enough to be able to do whatever he wants but chooses to stay involved in a half dozen different endeavors.

Nothing wrong with that. It just means he's not cut out for early retirement.
The author of the article doth protest too much, methinks. I didn't read the article but from those two posts I would speculate that this guy may very well have some insecurities and defensiveness about his own choices. Maybe a need to constantly prove his worth?
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Old 01-03-2016, 09:52 AM   #16
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1) Havenít found the right job. The number one reason why people want to retire early is because people havenít found a job that gives them enough fulfillment to do for the rest of their lives. Nobody quits a job they like. If there was a job paying $80,000 a year to hike in the mornings and get massages in the afternoon, Iíd do that forever! - See more at: The Dark Side Of Early Retirement | Financial Samurai
I would go back to work for that job.
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:10 AM   #17
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"1) Haven’t found the right job. The number one reason why people want to retire early is because people haven’t found a job that gives them enough fulfillment to do for the rest of their lives. Nobody quits a job they like. If there was a job paying $80,000 a year to hike in the mornings and get massages in the afternoon, I’d do that forever!"

It does sound like an ideal job (if one likes to hike and get massages) but even then I would add that I wouldn't take this job if it came with a boss to tell me how to do it. With my luck I would get one that says " you must hike this particular trail with that 50 pound back pack over there and it must be done in less than 2 hours and when you get back, you massage is to be administered by gargantuan Org ..."
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:42 AM   #18
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Eh, the financial samurai wants to finish up by age 45. Says so in the second sentence of the first paragraph. I stopped reading after that.
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:46 AM   #19
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Eh, the financial samurai wants to finish up by age 45. Says so in the second sentence of the first paragraph. I stopped reading after that.
Well then, you missed the gem that ER people are lazy and want things now. And here I always thought that one of the reasons I could ER is that I worked hard and didn't spend my money on junk for immediate gratification. But I'm not a financial samurai so what do I know?
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:59 AM   #20
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I am always taken aback whenever I see that "selfish" line of reasoning applied to one of my lifestyle choices. First, it's being childfree. Now, it's retiring early (at 45). What the hell is it with people always sticking that label onto others? Is it simple jealousy that we don't adhere to the so-called "life script" of getting married and having kids while working until at least age 65?


I ERed 7 years ago at age 45 and I have been able to use my added free time to increase my volunteer work, hobbies, and help my friends out. That's selfish? I also freed up a slot in my former company's division to hire someone else who really wanted (and needed) that job. That's selfish?


That "what if you change your mind" is another overused line those of us who are childfree or early retirees hear from time to time. With both choices, we who choose them have thought them out far, far more than those who took the simple "Life Script" path and mindlessly got married, had kids, and worked until age 65 or later. We in both camps have ZERO plans to change our minds because we carefully weighed the pros and cons of each choice and decided that being childfree and/or an early retiree were the better choices.
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