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Ramblings of dreamer
Old 08-25-2005, 11:28 AM   #1
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Ramblings of dreamer

I’m only 32, and I am planning/hoping to retire within 3 years, but man, 3 years just seems so far off.* *The thought of retiring just consumes me right now, and the thought of working for *another* 3 years is frankly depressing.

My desk is surrounded by pictures of our cottage and our 4 dogs.* I’m looking at a winter picture of our cottage right now, the ground blanketed with snow, a little bit of smoke gently billowing out of the chimney.* I think we had a stew slow-cooking on the wood stove that day.* I remember walking in, the sharp contrast of the cold to hot, with that delicious aroma just permeating the place.* I want to be there so bad right now I could cry.

Its funny, you go through University (in my case, engineering) thinking about all the crap you’re going to buy and how deliriously happy you’re going to be with your big screen TV, your dream house and your sports car.* And then you get that stuff and it turns out its this itty-bitty cottage filled with all your old stuff that you get to with a 96 Pathfinder and a boat as old as you are where you finally find happiness.* *

We got the cottage to fill a void in our (well, my) life.* I got sick of the weekends being about “what do you want to do today”.* It seems like in the city, there’s only one thing to do, go out and spend money.* At the cottage, that question is never posed.* There’s always something to do.* We’re currently redoing the siding.* Come September, we’ll start preparing for winter by making firewood.* The lake with freeze over by December, and we’ll start walking on the ice again with the dogs, watch the deer, feed the birds.* *Mid-winter we’ll make some more firewood to restock our supply to see us through to the spring.* In spring the sap starts to run, and we’ve been blessed with 30 or so sugar maples on the property, so we’ll start collecting and boiling sap to make maple syrup.* Early summer we’ll plant our garden, start swimming and canoeing.

The funny thing is, in many ways, the cottage made things worse.* It’s the cottage that got me thinking seriously about ER.* We were sitting out by the fire one night listening to the loons and I suddenly realized that, for once, I felt content.* I felt happy.* I didn’t need anything else.* It was a strange feeling, to realize that what you’ve been programmed to believe by society is all a crock of ****.

And then Monday came and back to work and I realized that this is most definitely what I do not want.* Maybe it’s a coincidence, but it seems like I’m hearing and reading more and more stories about people who retire at 60 and then die, or get horribly sick, and its just so completely and utterly sad.* The other day on the radio they were discussing Alzheimer’s and a woman called in.* Her and her husband had retired a few years ago at age 60 and 3 weeks after retiring he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.* I’ll never forget what she said. “Suddenly, the golden years don’t seem so golden anymore”.* It’s enough to make you cry.* Its really reinforced my desire to quit the rat race ASAP.*

Anyhow, sorry for rambling.* Trying to kill of another day of work so I can get to the cottage.
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer
Old 08-25-2005, 11:45 AM   #2
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer

eric, if you haven't seen it already, rent a copy of "Fight Club".
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer
Old 08-25-2005, 11:51 AM   #3
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer

Quote:
eric, if you haven't seen it already, rent a copy of "Fight Club".


Brew -

You just violated the 1st rule! Don' tell anyone about Fight Club
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer
Old 08-25-2005, 11:59 AM   #4
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer

Second Rule: Don't tell anyone about "Office Space"

ooops
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer
Old 08-25-2005, 12:00 PM   #5
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer

Eric,

I feel your pain. *I have a cabin in the mountains here near Park City, UT. *I can see the Olympic Ski jumps from my front deck. *I love going there and losing myself in the mountains with all the wildlife around. *We saw two bulls and on cow moose last Sunday as we were driving down the mountain to go home. *

One thing that keeps me going at work is that... work is what allows me to have this in the first place. *It is too small to live there year round but works fine for serveral days as long as it is just the two of us. *But, it is our real "home" now and we love going there to unwind. *Work there (and there is a ton of it) is not the same kind of work and I really my chores there as it is work for "me" and not someone else.

Life is too short to live without a place to get away...even if it is only in your mind.
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer
Old 08-25-2005, 12:09 PM   #6
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric
I’m only 32, and I am planning/hoping to retire within 3 years, but man, 3 years just seems so far off.* *The thought of retiring just consumes me right now, and the thought of working for *another* 3 years is frankly depressing.
3 years will be an eternity if you think about it every day. Kinda like watching grass grow.

If you can fully retire in 3 years, why not consider semi-retirement now? Going from 40 or more hours a week to 20 or less hours a week makes a huge difference. You'll have less stress and more time to do some of the things you love. Even if you take long weekends like Friday-Monday, you could have enough time away to make the Tue-Thur workweek not that bad. I know some people who work every other day and that reduced some of the work poison in their lives.

Whomever invented the 40 hour workweek should have been shot. It's just not natural.
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer
Old 08-25-2005, 12:25 PM   #7
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer

"Stuff you own ends up owning you."

I own a copy.*

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
eric, if you haven't seen it already, rent a copy of "Fight Club".
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer
Old 08-25-2005, 12:49 PM   #8
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer

Eric,

Wouldn't everyone like to retire at 35? Good luck, and hope you make it.

To avoid dragging out the time, I suggest that you stay very involved in your work, and try to find ways of enjoying each day; even little things. Think of live in terms of running a marathon. If you sit at the starting line and think of those 26.2 miles ahead of you, you may get depressed. If you just start putting one foot in front of the other, you'll get to the finish line before you know it.

My ER goal is within 3 years. Sometimes that seems like a long time...but is it? 2002 seems like only yesterday...
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer
Old 08-25-2005, 01:39 PM   #9
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer

Wow, 35. I'll be lucky to do it at 45-I'm 31 now. I try not to think about it, I don't want to get depressed. Don't wish your time away, find aspects of each day to enjoy.

You know, I would think being only 3 years away would still be an awesome feeling. You've figured out what you want when you retire, you've got your "happy place", and you are still young. You are free from kissing butt, making "connections", worrying about getting that next promotion etc. You can pretty much say and do what you want at work, it takes most companies 3 years just to pigeonhole someone, much less fire them. In a way, you are already more free than 99% of people.
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer
Old 08-25-2005, 01:44 PM   #10
 
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer

You probably know this, but don't tell people in the general population that you are going to retire at age 35, but you're bummed that you can't retire earlier.
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer
Old 08-25-2005, 02:00 PM   #11
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
You probably know this, but don't tell people in the general population that you are going to retire at age 35, but you're bummed that you can't retire earlier.
Ya, that wouldn't be a good PR move.
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer
Old 08-25-2005, 02:05 PM   #12
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer

I know it sounds like whining to be complaining about having to work until 35. *I am psyched to be pulling it off so young, just that here to there seems far away. *

I guess I worked a lifetime already, being self-employed. *During the bubble most days were 10 am to 11 pm, and weekends were just shorter work days. *There were also several 30 hour straight stints. *Those were fun.

Good advice from everyone. *During the week, my wife and I try to make every night a "something" night. *Thursdays are "movie night", Tuesday is "sushi night". *It just makes the week go by faster. *Weekends at the cottage are just a blur. *It always seems like its Sunday.

I'm just a little down now because summer is ending. *My wife is a teacher, so she gets the summer off. *What we've be doing this summer is going up to the cottage Thursday night, I work from the cottage on Friday so at 5 I just close the notebook and start my weekend. *We also come back Monday morning instead of Sunday night, and she just drops me off at work. *

Looking forward to X-mas now. *We'll be spending two full weeks up at the cottage.
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer
Old 08-26-2005, 08:52 PM   #13
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer

Was in a similar boat Eric.
But decided to take a few years out and do something that I had intended only to do @ ER.
So now it'll take me a little longer (40ish). But I think it'll make me less crazy, and add some useful life perspective.

While I feel I have killer drive, you can still get burnt out, or have zero motivation some days. Even worse you can easily become stale at work, and all of these things can potentially drown a dream.

My advice- take a break if you need to, 6 months a year plus.
Do it as long as it wont sink your plans - just delay them a little.
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer
Old 08-27-2005, 08:27 PM   #14
 
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer

Eric,

Your cottage must be close to Minnesota, If not there?
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer
Old 08-29-2005, 09:14 AM   #15
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer

Its about 1/2 an hour north of Montebello.

http://tinyurl.com/dqfaq

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Eric,

Your cottage must be close to Minnesota, If not there?
EDIT: Modified to shorten length of URL
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer
Old 08-29-2005, 09:38 AM   #16
 
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric
Its about 1/2 an hour north of Montebello.*
Canada eh!
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer
Old 08-31-2005, 05:44 PM   #17
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer

Eric I feel your pain . . . well, sort of. You've clearly got it bad, but you seem to be dwelling on the negative. You're only 32, man!! You're practically financially independent and you've still got practically a whole lifetime ahead of you! Life seems pretty darn good for you right now.

But do yourself a favor: don't count the days until early retirement. In fact, stop frequenting this forum. You're going to make yourself sick. And if it's really so bad, why not do something else more enjoyable? I'll bet six years of work you sort of enjoy would be better than three years of work you find torturous.
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer
Old 08-31-2005, 05:56 PM   #18
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer

Avoid this forum? I dunno... misery loves company, they say. ;-)

Besides... this is about the only place we can go to convince ourselves that we're NOT crazy and that all of the people on the 40 year plan ARE.

Eric, you're not alone in your thinking. Just keep stashing that cash and looking forward to your independence day. Take more time off for yourself so you can de-stress. Find a new hobby. Start running. Study another language. Volunteer in your community. Lord knows many of us have jobs that are less than exciting... you gotta find some other way to spice things up or you'll obsess... more.

Good luck.
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer
Old 09-01-2005, 07:20 AM   #19
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer

I'm in my happy place right now!* Decided to take a mini-vacation and took today and friday off ahead of the long weekend.* Just heard a loon call out just now.* I love that sound.* Gonna cut some firewood today before fall gets here.* *Soon, its going to look like this.

[img]http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0YQCbAscb3wvvnAy4lbsNuXyQbVDKuMC8jboeVyR5G4bYLEZwg 7LufXBqpwJV1zFx*lTeufNVCNmRrP!jY2lsBtObpUNhcPZersr !WBxOtt*k2qbsfvAZtbnxZOQFZi6LD2Gw7nB34IzzoxYrR9Y5I w/dec%2012,%202004%20022.jpg?dc=4675537436432719791[/img]

I'm always amazed at how dramatically my whole outlook changes when I'm here.* Plus, some dividends were declared recently.* So far averaging 8.1% yield, so the plan is working!

As Sisyphus mentioned, I enjoy coming to the forum because it helps to know I'm not the only one who thinks this way.* I was at a client's yesterday and the engineering VP I'm interfacing with was lamenting how the long weekend was impacting the schedule and suddenly blurts out "I hate holidays".*

What would possess somebody to say that, to think that?* Your priorities have got to be so completely screwed up to actually prefer to be at work than to be at home with your family.* But maybe that's the problem.* I often think my buddy uses work as an excuse to not go home.* Its just easier dealing with the wife and the kids.

I just feel like the workplace is often Bizzarro World, and I'm the only one who sees it.
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer
Old 09-01-2005, 08:28 AM   #20
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Re: Ramblings of dreamer

Quote:
something else more enjoyable?
than this site? never.....
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