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FI/BS bucket analogy
Old 07-22-2013, 12:38 PM   #1
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FI/BS bucket analogy

Is it inevitable (regardless of age) that once the FI bucket is full, the BS bucket WILL overflow?

My current plan is to RE before 45 but I don't know how I can hold out for what seems like such a long time. For reference, I'm a 38 year old specialist solo-practictioner and early this year I've made some changes in reducing my work hours from 32 to 28 hrs and made sure I have a full hour lunch break everyday. I already work an enviable 4 days work week but I feel guilty considering a further reduction to 3 days/week in the near future. I'm not burned out in any way but I seemed to have lost my career mojo which I partially attribute to this FI/BS bucket analogy.

I've been an overachiever for much of my life, now I aspire to underachieve and be lazy? What gives??
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:45 PM   #2
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Is it inevitable (regardless of age) that once the FI bucket is full, the BS bucket WILL overflow?

My current plan is to RE before 45 but I don't know how I can hold out for what seems like such a long time. For reference, I'm a 38 year old specialist solo-practictioner and early this year I've made some changes in reducing my work hours from 32 to 28 hrs and made sure I have a full hour lunch break everyday. I already work an enviable 4 days work week but I feel guilty considering a further reduction to 3 days/week in the near future. I'm not burned out in any way but I seemed to have lost my career mojo which I partially attribute to this FI/BS bucket analogy.

I've been an overachiever for much of my life, now I aspire to underachieve and be lazy? What gives??
You either need a vacation or a wife and some kids.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:50 PM   #3
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You either need a vacation or a wife and some kids.
yes, that would be the normal assumption but I've got a DW and kids who are 3 and 6! And every weekend is a long-weekend!!
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:36 AM   #4
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I'm in a similar boat and at a similar age. Several trusted friends have reminded me that working until a very old age is only a recent--probably VERY recent--thing on the scale of human history. And certainly working 60-80 hours a week for luxury material things is even more recent.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:04 AM   #5
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I think the dynamic is this: Once you reach FI, either the BS bucket fills up very quickly and you want to ER ASAP, or, the opposite occurs: You know you can leave if you want to but w*rk starts feeling different than before, and you start to easily shrug things off that would normally go into the BS bucket.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:27 AM   #6
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I feel the same way too. Reached FI at probably 37 or so, figured I would semi-ER at 40.
Just hit 40. Still moping along. I to reduced my hours (mostly by reducing the client list of my business) and am trying to take it easier and enjoy life a little more with DW.

I guess I'm in the golden handcuffs phase right now.
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:31 AM   #7
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I've been an overachiever for much of my life, now I aspire to underachieve and be lazy? What gives??
Welcome to the club! I was an overachiever for the first 35 years of my life. I was always proud of my ability to strive under pressure. I didn't see the BS bucket fill up until my body said no mo'. Now, the only achievement I yearn for is a peaceful and happy life.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:16 PM   #8
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I think the dynamic is this: Once you reach FI, either the BS bucket fills up very quickly and you want to ER ASAP, or, the opposite occurs: You know you can leave if you want to but w*rk starts feeling different than before, and you start to easily shrug things off that would normally go into the BS bucket.
I'd be interested if anyone on this board has reached FI and felt like the latter scenario or if that falls into the believing in Unicorns category.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:22 PM   #9
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I'd be interested if anyone on this board has reached FI and felt like the latter scenario or if that falls into the believing in Unicorns category.
I don't believe that being FI, liking what you do, and making money at it is believing in Unicorns.

I have a friend who is CEO of a social service agency and is 69 years old. She loves the work, travels frequently, and earns a salary commensurate with her abilities. The key is 'loves the work.' She is now considering retiring next year at 70, not because the BS bucket is full, but life is not about working til you drop.

If you aren't challenged by your work you have choices: spend the extra day off volunteering at an endeavor that speaks to your heart. That endeavor or firm may not exist. Maybe you need to create the endeavor. There was recently an article about a man who has started a non-profit whose sole purpose is to take no longer needed/used prosthetics and send them to individuals in third world countries who do need them.

You'll find your muse. Give it some thought!

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Old 07-23-2013, 03:57 PM   #10
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I'd be interested if anyone on this board has reached FI and felt like the latter scenario or if that falls into the believing in Unicorns category.
Absolutely once I reached FI the BS ceased eventually. It took quite bit of time however for it to set in. But after a year or two I began to realize none of this stuff matters. After decades my job is pretty easy but involves considerable travel in the Eastern US. But since the kids are grown that doesn't even matter. My wife retired from nursing in '10 and travels with me part time and runs the show at home the rest.
My boss doesn't even bother to call which I'm sure would make some people nervous. However, I do my job, but don't buy into any of the drama. Never screw with someone who has nothing to lose.
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:02 PM   #11
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I think when you realize the company has no plans to erect a statue of you in front of the main office and you have determined that you have enough money saved for the long run, it's time to move on.
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:10 PM   #12
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Is it inevitable (regardless of age) that once the FI bucket is full, the BS bucket WILL overflow?
Nope. There are people who reach FI and keep working for any number of reasons. I worked about 7 years past FI because my BS bucket didn't fill until later.

And this is hardly the place to ask and expect an objective mainstream answer, by definition this is a community of folks interested in ER (vs work).
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:13 PM   #13
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My step mom continued working long after reaching FI. Her BS bucket didn't fill up till a few weeks ago - the university she taught (known for a lot of online programs) changed their software that professors used - and at age 87 she got frustrated with it. She finished the first day of training (out of 4 days) for the new software and drafted her (second) retirement notice. (She'd been forced to retire from a different university at age 67 due to age.)

She'd still be working if she wasn't frustrated by the new software. She loves teaching. Even at age 87.
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:25 PM   #14
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I think the dynamic is this: Once you reach FI, either the BS bucket fills up very quickly and you want to ER ASAP, or, the opposite occurs: You know you can leave if you want to but w*rk starts feeling different than before, and you start to easily shrug things off that would normally go into the BS bucket.
I think WR has it exactly right. In my case, both things happened simultaneously: difficult work situations got more manageable because I knew that I could walk out the door, and the desire to leave gradually grew also. A double benefit of feeling FI.
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:38 PM   #15
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I'd be interested if anyone on this board has reached FI and felt like the latter scenario or if that falls into the believing in Unicorns category.
I reached FI but continued to work because I was able to reduce the BS bucket by reducing hours and focusing more on the procedures I enjoyed. And then new regulations and insurance headaches were filling the BS bucket back up so I said good bye.
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Old 07-24-2013, 03:07 AM   #16
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I have a similar view. Still stuck in the OMY syndrome also.

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I guess I'm in the golden handcuffs phase right now.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:14 PM   #17
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If we look at it objectively we may find that the BS is constant. Maybe our tolerance of BS drops when we attain FI?
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:48 PM   #18
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So, what is the BS bucket?
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:02 PM   #19
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Apex1-
As a fellow health professional I can tell you that for me the reduction of hours even if possible could not cancel out the toxicity of the BS. Whether it is onerous regulations, new EHR BS, ungrateful, or even worse litigious patients and families, those flavors are too strong and just weigh too much in the bucket for me. Not sure how it works in Canada, but in my neck of the woods they just changed the rules making my previously thought out asset protection strategy less bullet proof. I cannot wait to hit the Exit door before I might lose a sizable chunk of my savings to some jackpot justice seeker.
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:17 PM   #20
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Sorry for this overdue reply on some of the posts..... its taken me some time to digest the responses I have gotten. Thanks everyone!

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I guess I'm in the golden handcuffs phase right now.
This describes me as well. My families needs are all taken care of but our wants for the kids (private school and possibly out of state/country universities) however, are underfunded. The kiddie handcuffs are the toughest to escape

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Originally Posted by Gotadimple View Post
I don't believe that being FI, liking what you do, and making money at it is believing in Unicorns.

I have a friend who is CEO of a social service agency and is 69 years old. She loves the work, travels frequently, and earns a salary commensurate with her abilities. The key is 'loves the work.' She is now considering retiring next year at 70, not because the BS bucket is full, but life is not about working til you drop.

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My litmus test of whether I "love my current work" is whether I would be willing to do it for "free". The answer is no.

However, I do like the pure clinical side and would be willing to serve for a charitable cause versus the pressure and BS that comes from doing it for money.

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Absolutely once I reached FI the BS ceased eventually. It took quite bit of time however for it to set in. But after a year or two I began to realize none of this stuff matters.
This would be nice....i am giving it more time, its still early

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I think when you realize the company has no plans to erect a statue of you in front of the main office and you have determined that you have enough money saved for the long run, it's time to move on.
I wish it was this simple. The "enough" part is sometimes difficult to predict when you have young dependents.

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Nope. There are people who reach FI and keep working for any number of reasons. I worked about 7 years past FI because my BS bucket didn't fill until later.

And this is hardly the place to ask and expect an objective mainstream answer, by definition this is a community of folks interested in ER (vs work).
This makes sense but I don't know who else to ask. Really close friends/family think I am nuts to pull the plug before 45. I was hoping to see if there were any here who after reaching FI would continue to work because they discovered that they actually really enjoyed their work (environment) rather than the reasons of "not having enough". Ideally, I would like to take the risk of hiring an associate and taking off on a sabbatical once the wants are completely taken care of and there is nothing much to lose.
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