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So how do you manage the journey?
Old 07-29-2003, 11:28 AM   #1
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So how do you manage the journey?

For those of us who have several (many?) years before retirement, what do you do along the journey to keep the dream alive as well as make today as pleasant as possible while you work toward your dream? What adjustments have you made along the way to handle life's inevitable bumps? Do you hope to retire completely or will you be making the landing gradually? Curious minds want to know!
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Re: So how do you manage the journey?
Old 07-29-2003, 05:01 PM   #2
 
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Re: So how do you manage the journey?

what do you do along the journey to keep the dream alive
Not a problem for me, its a dream that could never die, Just going to work each day keeps this dream alive.

make today as pleasant as possible while you work
I have tons of hobbies, all low cost, thats why I need to retire - no time to do the things I want to do - none of them could earn me $0.10.

What adjustments have you made along the way to handle life's inevitable bumps?
My retirement date has slid out a little. Just trying to stay on course - anywhere from 8-13 years now. I'm now thinking of taking a 6 month leave of absense in 3.5 years to do something I've always wanted (hike the appalachian trail). I was going to wait until I retired but I am thinking of doing this earlier. I think I might go nuts if I don't get away from work for a while. So having a goal that just a few years away gives me something to look forward to. Waiting 3 years gets the Kids out of School and wife and I are downsizing to an apartment at that time.


Do you hope to retire completely or will you be making the landing gradually?

Except for possible Leave of Absense - Once I'm out its for good - cold turkey on work.
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Re: So how do you manage the journey?
Old 07-30-2003, 07:19 AM   #3
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Re: So how do you manage the journey?

"what do you do along the journey to keep the dream alive ??"

Hmmmm, good question. It seems to keep itself alive ! My hobbies have always been cheap or made me money and I've never been one to even notice, never mind keep up with the Jones', so I always have extra $$ to invest.

The hobbies that take up time also seems to be a common thread among RE wannabes. We all have things we would much rather do than work. 10splayer, you say you want to hike the AT (appalachian trail) eh ? That's great ! I love hiking and camping as well. Just hiked Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire a few weeks ago, beautiful ! Anyway, another cheap hobby that I would much rather do than work. BTW, I want to hike the AT straight thru as well !

I also agree that just going to work every day is enough to keep the dream alive by itself. I like to work, it's this 40 hour per week job stuff I don't like ;-)

As for the inevitable bumps, I just like to roll with things. If you have a hard and fast plan, you will stress with every wrench that gets thrown into it, and with such a long time horizon to accumulate enough $$, bumps are going to come along, sometimes huge ones ! Just roll with it, keep an eye on the investments, and most importantly, have fun NOW ! We don't all make it to RE. I had a very good friend die at the age of 45 the night before we were supposed to go to Daytona Bike week ! I'm 12 years younger, but there is definitely a lesson to be learned here !

Complete or gradual RE ? I don't know, we'll have to see how I feel when I have the $$. My hobbies will always continue to make me a couple $$ anyway, but when I leave engnineering, I won't be doing that again, nor will I work in a $$%#$%%& cube again !


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Re: So how do you manage the journey?
Old 07-31-2003, 05:30 AM   #4
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Re: So how do you manage the journey?

Here is my advice for all of you, regardless of age.
This is right from Paul Terhorst "Find out what makes you happy and do it TODAY!" If you can't do it today,
at least work toward it steadily. I am almost 59 now,
and my life has just zipped by. It has been interesting
to say the least. However, in the long run we are all dead, soooooooooooooo regardless of your religious
beliefs you better get started toward whatever you want to use your (irreplaceable) time on. For me,
although I am loaded with hobbies (mine don't make money like panhead), I also have a "big dream" I am
working on. Just bought a small ranch in Texas
(near where I used to live). will be building a home
within the next year. Then, with the cash out of this
place, I will buy a large power boat and dock it a short
distance away. I figure I can do this and still invest a
large chuck of cash from our current home. Once that
is all done I will be in line for SS and hopefully my wife will be retired also. Probably by that time we will just
live out our lives on the ranch. Neither of us has the
energy for much stress/change any more. Young people
don't see this coming either. It sneaks up on you, but
one day you notice things you used to do without
even thinking are no longer possible. Anyway, wring as
much out of life as you can. Tomorrow is promised to no one.
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Re: So how do you manage the journey?
Old 07-31-2003, 09:55 AM   #5
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Re: So how do you manage the journey?

Quote:
When I hit 30 years old it was a wakeup call.
Same here. When I was younger I always figured I'd be married and have kids by 30. I hit 30 and realized I wasn't there and wasn't sure where I was going and decided I'd better quickly figure out what to do when I grow up because I'm already grown up!

Actually I had a career farily well underway but I had no plans or direction outside of my career and my finances were a mess (high debt). My career was my life and my self identity, and that's never what I intended.

After a few changes I'm getting the fincances in order but still have little direction in my personal life. I keep thinking I'd like to get married, but I'm just not meeting potential partners and am trying to decide if I should try harder or just start enjoying myself and take what life gives me.

I'm at a crossroads in my carrer now (more talk about that here) and it's really making me think about what I want to do in life. All this reading about retiring early make me want to try to semi-retire, but I'm really not in a position to do that yet and/or I'm not ready to live with a ver low income at this point.
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Re: So how do you manage the journey?
Old 07-31-2003, 01:40 PM   #6
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Re: So how do you manage the journey?

johngalt writes:

Here is my advice for all of you, regardless of age.
This is right from Paul Terhorst "Find out what makes you happy and do it TODAY!"

This is a great statement, and of course I've read "Cashing In" and oh man, would I like to just drop out and screw off now ! Working has a lot of drawbacks, the biggest for me is not being able to do the things I really want to do that take more than the standard two to three weeks of vacation. Some of these have already been discussed, Hiking the AT, taking a motorcycle trip cross country, sailing around in a sailboat, exploring Europe, the list is endless.

Could I just quit my job today and do many of these things ? Sure, but obviously I would have to go back to work sometime. I kind of have the "golden handcuffs" problem right now, so getting laid off vs. quitting would be much more preferable ! If that happens, watch your rearview, if you see a big ol' Harley toolin' up behind you on some windy mountain road, it might be me !

The other problem some of us need to deal with is helping to care for aging parent(s). This is probably the biggest thing that keeps me tied to my job and location at the moment.

But I very much agree with johngalt and everyone else about doing what you want while you're young, b/c it might become much more difficult or even impossible as you get older. Thinking along these lines, I'm gonna march right into my boss's office and quit now ! I'll go hunt down Galeno in Costa Rica and see what he's up to !

OK, just kidding, but seriously, how many people do you know who have followed their bliss ? Much of the RE mindset is to gain enough $$ so you don't have to work anymore unless you chose. I haven't decided if that's the path I'll take or not. Are there any dreamers out here who are planning (or who have) dropped out and are following their bliss now ? Hmmm, getting me thinking along these lines is very dangerous !


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Re: So how do you manage the journey?
Old 08-01-2003, 04:36 AM   #7
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Re: So how do you manage the journey?

Hello panhead. I've forgotten your age, but 2
observations. Like you, I love to ride. Sadly, I can
see the end of my biking days coming up ahead.
I have lots of hobbies, but the day I have to stop riding will be a bitter pill. As far as getting into sales,
obviously lots of folks are cut out for that. I wasn't.
I was pretty successful when I forced myself into
it (like when I owned my own company), but I hated
it with a passion. I miss business a little at times, but
I would starve in the street before I would go back
to selling.
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Re: So how do you manage the journey?
Old 08-06-2003, 08:17 PM   #8
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Re: So how do you manage the journey?

Keep the dream alive:
This site and all other resources that tell me I can do it and more importantly how! I try to do something/anything to head toward my goals. The sense of accomplishment for achieveing a mini-goal helps spur me on. (and gives me a reason to indulge in a small treat)


Make it pleasent:
I have an allowance each week that gets blown however I want. I hate detailing how every penny is spent in a budget, so this "free" money helps me stick with it.


Adjustments:
My goal is to plan for as many contingencies as I can. I hear over and over that marriage, house, kids and aging parents can eat into expenses. So I'm starting a fund for house, kids and parents now to help soften the blow.

Cold Turkey or using the patch?
I'm in favor of going cold turkey, but in reality will probably be working at a high paying job and drifting down the pay scale as I move/need more hours etc until my nestegg is ready to hatch.
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Re: So how do you manage the journey?
Old 08-07-2003, 07:29 AM   #9
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Re: So how do you manage the journey?

Hey johngalt, wow, I can imagine how difficult it will be for you to stop riding, that indeed will be a tough one to swallow. I'm only 33 right now, and I figure I'll be able to ride into my 60s, maybe 70s. Alas, going cross country and camping, hiking along the way on a motorcycle won't really be feasible at these ages. I'll have a pretty good chunk of change at 35 if things keep going the way they have. If that's the case, I may choose around there to take off for a while, and live on about a 5% withdrawl of the chunk. I may hang in a year or two after to make it a little more permanent.

As for selling, I hear what you're saying. I'm not sure I'm cut out for it either. I'm a field engineer, so I do some sales, but my job is to give honest facts about our product, not to make promises we can't fulfill, b/c after all, I have to make it happen ! The interaction and changing environment I like, but I don't know if I'd fit the sales mold or not. I may hold off on that until I'm very close to FI/RE, so if I don't like it, I can easily walk.

I may very well start my own company when I am FI, but it will definitely be a part time, enjoyable venture that will probably only make a couple of $$, maybe $5000 to $10000 a year.

OK, I suppose this is getting a little off-topic for this thread, although I hope it continues, there's definitely some interesting stuff being posted !
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Re: So how do you manage the journey?
Old 08-08-2003, 04:14 AM   #10
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Re: So how do you manage the journey?

Hello Panhead! I thought I was done riding last winter
and so I sold the bike to one of those wholesalers
(low prices but quick sale). This one buys around 15,000
bikes a year. Anyway, once it got warm I decided to
contnue on. Bought a new bike in April and have around 3,000 miles on it so far. Been in 5 states.
Bottom line is to maximize your riding time now as
even if you make it to 60 - 70, who knows if you will still be able? The guy who bought my bike said that a big chunk of their business is older guys giving it up,
usually due to age/health problems.
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