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Peer's achievements casting doubt on my ER
Old 05-24-2016, 12:23 PM   #1
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Peer's achievements casting doubt on my ER

Talk me out of my nonsense thoughts.

DW and I are on track for ER at 55 in 2 years or less. We are essentially in OMY mode now. Should the paycheck disappear today, we'd survive.

Recently, a really good colleague, one of the few who I really care about, got let go by Megacorp and went back to school and got a very difficult advanced degree (not an MBA).

I've always been an overachieving egghead. I took pride in my great schoolwork, and pride in my excellent w*rk at the j*b. But the BS bucket is full, and now I don't care. But my friend's achievement perhaps set up a weird sense of envy? I don't know, it is strange. He is really going to do great things in a second career, starting in his 50s.

I don't think it is for me, but I have to admit this has put doubts in me. Maybe I can achieve more? No, wait... why bother? The BS will be there too.

Conflicted!
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:25 PM   #2
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The only thing that matters is to do what you want to do.

If you want to go to school and learn new tricks to do what that is, then do it.
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:34 PM   #3
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I went through something similar when I RE'd.

I'd see colleagues and former subordinates move into some very tasty jobs and say to myself "I could do that job with my eyes closed!" and the competitive juices would start flowing.

Then I realized that just because I could DO the job didn't mean I had to GET the job.

I view that most folks here got to RE because of some weird competitive-ness; it's how we amassed enough cash to RE in the first place. Paycheck drones can't do that and just try to keep ahead of the onslaught. After RE it's sometimes hard to hit that competitive "off button".

What does work is to stop worrying about what others are doing and do your own thing.
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:38 PM   #4
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I don't think it is for me, but I have to admit this has put doubts in me. Maybe I can achieve more?
A very close fellow colleague (we even shared the same birthday) hung on because he wanted to "achieve more". His plan was to finally get his PhD, retire at 65, get his full SS and then 'see the world'.

He died at 64. With his PhD.
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:43 PM   #5
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I could do a lot more than I have, if I continued to work beyond July. I have more than enough to do what I want to do, when I want to do it. Saturday's are much more fun than Tuesdays.

I would rather volunteer doing something I get more satisfaction from. Or just work on staying healthy and living longer. Completing things that I did not have the time to do when I was working. Take a vacation, to actually vacation, rather than take a class, rehab a building, etc.

I did think about a law degree for a while. Or just starting businesses and selling them.

If you want to work on something, work on something that makes you feel better. And if the world ended tomorrow, something that would make you feel like your life was as much fun as it could be.
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:46 PM   #6
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Be happy for him! It sound like he was not yet prepared for retirement, and is trying to turn a lemon into lemonade.

Before I retired, I was seriously thinking of going back to get an MBA after retirement. Why? I don't exactly know. Both of my brothers have one. I just thought I'd learn all sorts of cool stuff.

Now that I am retired, that is the LAST thing I'd want to do. I am having too much fun with life now that I have "stepped off the merry-go-round", so to speak. I don't want extra demands on my time. And then, there is the BS bucket you mentioned.
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:46 PM   #7
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It is the motivation of the person that matters....

Some people have a job they love... I mean really love to do...

At my old mega there was a big merger... the group I was in had a power struggle... so the CEO brought in a person he had known for awhile.. in his 70s... had millions of dollars, so did not need the money...


But, he loved working and changing the org to fit how he thought things should be run... he was a high A personality and really was an SOB to many people.... he also did exactly what HE wanted... if he did not want to deal with something he assigned someone else to do it...


SOOOO, that being said... what do YOU want If this friend had not gotten a degree would you want to get one? If the answer is not a big YES, then you are following someone elses dream... why not follow your own
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Old 05-24-2016, 12:50 PM   #8
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To be honest I do get a little jealous of former coworkers doing well, achieving great things, pulling in fat salaries and big raises, earning those advanced degrees and posting on facebook about it all.

Then I go back to doing whatever I've got going on at the time and the jealousy quickly washes away. I don't have to get up early, put on a a tie (or even pants for that matter), attend meetings, sit inside a metal tube for hours each day to go somewhere then come back on the same metal tube within 24 hours.
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Old 05-24-2016, 02:11 PM   #9
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SOOOO, that being said... what do YOU want If this friend had not gotten a degree would you want to get one? If the answer is not a big YES, then you are following someone elses dream... why not follow your own
Didn't say I wanted a degree. Just saying it brought up unexpected feelings of envy or jealousy. It really came out of the blue since I normally don't have them.

But I knew you'd all straighten me out. I think I'm back on track for OMY.
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Old 05-24-2016, 04:03 PM   #10
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I would do what I want to do based on my needs and desires, not by comparison to someone else.
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Old 05-24-2016, 05:07 PM   #11
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Isn't it one of the reasons we associate with other people - to get new ideas from them? We can't think up everything by ourselves, can we?

Depending on whom you've identified as a "peer," peers sometimes do cool things that you hadn't really thought about. Suddenly it's, "Hey, that looks cool, and if so-and-so can do it and everything works out, then maybe I could try it too."

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I would do what I want to do based on my needs and desires, not by comparison to someone else.
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Old 05-24-2016, 09:14 PM   #12
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To be honest I do get a little jealous of former coworkers doing well, achieving great things, pulling in fat salaries and big raises, earning those advanced degrees and posting on facebook about it all.

Since some are revealing insecurities in this thread, this is exactly why I'm taking a mental health break from Facebook. I like the real humans I know, including myself, better than the Facebook Humans, whose posts are too often idealized, again including myself. I think I'll let my experiment run, oh, through about "early November". If I'm happier, I might even deactivate my account. And I ain't going near Twitter! That's like a loaded gun.
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Old 05-24-2016, 09:27 PM   #13
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Talk me out of my nonsense thoughts.

....

Maybe I can achieve more? No, wait... why bother? The BS will be there too.

Conflicted!
I don't think it's nonsense. I keep thinking that I've been retired long enough to have unwound from the work stress, but I'm still young enough to achieve something while I can.

But what? It would have to be a labor of love, and little BS. What are the chances? But who knows, something may click.

-ERD50
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Old 05-24-2016, 09:46 PM   #14
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Since some are revealing insecurities in this thread, this is exactly why I'm taking a mental health break from Facebook. I like the real humans I know, including myself, better than the Facebook Humans, whose posts are too often idealized, again including myself. I think I'll let my experiment run, oh, through about "early November". If I'm happier, I might even deactivate my account. And I ain't going near Twitter! That's like a loaded gun.
Then again there are just as many peers actually doing good in the world and sharing about it (Harvard grad doctor working at a public clinic in Boston and sharing all the bad tales that walk in the door as an example). Facebook isn't all bad. And I 95% enjoy (and 5% envy) the travel pics. Good way to get some ideas of where to go next.
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:46 PM   #15
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There is a lot of focus in the U.S. on achievement in terms of career and material wealth, but many suffer from time poverty. Many of the factors research shows lead to greater happiness - getting enough sleep, developing relationships, being a part of the community, eating healthy, being out in nature - require free time from work, school and commuting.
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Old 05-25-2016, 12:50 AM   #16
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I prefer to read those successful friends' feeds rather than the constant tales of woe and martyrdom that some people post to Facebook.

Since I post photos of needlework to hobby sites, I get friend requests from women I've never met. Boy, can some of those women be sanctimonious on FB! Don't buy a puppy from a breeder; only adopt old dogs from shelters; never tell a widow that it's time to get over her grief (even if it's been 10 years); fat is beautiful; never lose your temper with a demented relative; always remember that everyone you meet is fighting a silent battle; coconut oil cures every ill; and on and on. Gives me the fan-tods.

Give me pictures of boats, cars, kids, vacations, fish caught, vegetable gardens producing abundantly...while I agree that bragging is not exactly the most sterling human behavior, I want to sustain the fantasy that life is good!

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Since some are revealing insecurities in this thread, this is exactly why I'm taking a mental health break from Facebook. I like the real humans I know, including myself, better than the Facebook Humans, whose posts are too often idealized, again including myself. I think I'll let my experiment run, oh, through about "early November". If I'm happier, I might even deactivate my account. And I ain't going near Twitter! That's like a loaded gun.
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Old 05-25-2016, 03:50 AM   #17
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I went back to school after FIRE for an advanced degree. Not sure how I'll use it or even if I'll use it. Original plan was career 2.0 on my terms but who knows if I'll even do that now...

Higher Ed Was a bucket list thing for me. It's kept me busy that's for sure.

As for achievement of others and jealousy? I learned long ago to only compete against myself.

I don't Facebook.

FB is riddled with far too many insecure people who post their overly dramatic life events and overly embellished daily activities in an attempt to look perfect to the rest of the world and to somehow stoke jealousy. Maybe they have yet to self- reconcile that they are boring and need to get on with living life.

I prefer to live real life than post about it on FB.

And... For 99 percent of posts...Who really cares anyway??!!
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Old 05-25-2016, 04:44 AM   #18
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JoeWras - I can relate. I enjoyed school and enjoyed excelling at it. We are over achievers. The trait is what helps us reach FIRE at younger ages.

When I had finished my training (residency) I felt a like, "this is it?", next challenge please. So I almost quit medicine to join the Navy and try for BUDS. Honestly the thing that kept me out was a mild case of asthma or I might have gone for it.

Even now as I type this my hampster is going in circles in my head about what is next. I think I really just ER'd 2 days ago. I am going to have to fight the "this is it?" voice that wants to climb the next mountain.

Good luck to you.
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Old 05-25-2016, 05:13 AM   #19
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I view that most folks here got to RE because of some weird competitive-ness; it's how we amassed enough cash to RE in the first place. Paycheck drones can't do that and just try to keep ahead of the onslaught. After RE it's sometimes hard to hit that competitive "off button".

What does work is to stop worrying about what others are doing and do your own thing.
Keeping or growing your net worth while withdrawing money to live on - it's the 'next-level' competitiveness for retirees!
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Old 05-25-2016, 05:32 AM   #20
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Keeping or growing your net worth while withdrawing money to live on - it's the 'next-level' competitiveness for retirees!
Oops, lol! Didn't know I was in a competition!

Pssssst - It only counts if it's inflation adjusted.
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