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Three years after ER - what I would do differently
Old 06-24-2009, 10:53 AM   #1
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Three years after ER - what I would do differently

I'm coming up on 3 years of ER this year and thinking what might do differently if I (reasonably*) knew then what I know now.
*reasonably does not include the stock market or housing decline.

The answer - nothing.

If pressed, I would say that I really like RVing (I never did it before I ERd). So, instead of buying a house in 2006 I might have rented an apartment. So, if there is a lesson; wait awhile before making decisions with long term implications.

Then again, would I say this if the housing market was still increasing in value? Most likely not.

Anyone else have lessons to pass along?
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:09 AM   #2
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I need to ER before I can become a wise sage to others.........
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:43 AM   #3
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I'm still a working stiff, too, but I think this is a great tread idea. I'm anxious to hear some more real-world experiences!
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:52 AM   #4
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4 years since I reitired. Maybe I should have started then to practice playing guitar instead less than a year ago. Ditto with browsing and posting in this forum, if it existed then....
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:04 PM   #5
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The only thing I would have done differently is not immediately throw myself into activities . I felt I needed to accomplish something and now I know that contentment is an accomplishment in itself .The one thing I was surprised to find out is that now that I have endless time travel has lost the luster it had when I was working . I still like to travel but it is not the driving passion it once was .
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:18 PM   #6
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Only 2 years under my belt.
Other than take some tranquilizers to subdue all that pent up energy I had for almost a year (just kidding), I really can't think of anything I would have done differently.
I got caught by inflation and had to severely reel in my "mad money" expenditures while gas was $4+ a gallon, but it wasn't a show stopper. I never had to tap my investments to cover basic living expenses.
I am very glad that I took the time to button down my exact living expenses before I pulled the plug. No mysteries or guess-timates.
It chewed up a lot of time make a highly customized expenses spreadsheet, but I continue to use it as a budget tool.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:49 PM   #7
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Only been retired one year. The jury is still out, but my decision to take lump sum Defined Benefit Pension versus lifetime monthly payment sure doesn't look fantastic due to the stock market crash. (Invested lump sum in July of 2008.) Historically nearly everyone at MegaTech took lump sum; my guess is that this is changing in 2009.

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Old 06-24-2009, 03:58 PM   #8
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If I could start ER all over again I'd make sure to tell all of you guys to put all of your $ into CD's or cash in late 2007 and hang on for the ride of your life. But, you guys would have laughed at me.
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:04 PM   #9
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If I could start ER all over again I'd make sure to tell all of you guys to put all of your $ into CD's or cash in late 2007 and hang on for the ride of your life. But, you guys would have laughed at me.
This reaffirms my plan to have at least three years' expenses in CD's when I leave in the Spring
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Old 06-24-2009, 04:15 PM   #10
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January 1, 1993.

Hindsight being being a wonderful thing - I think I should have been a lot more arrogant - 'I don't have to work no more - and you do sucka!'

But I kept a low profile as a 'poor, lowly unemployed.' Til my age 55 pension.

Heck - not finding this forum til 2003, I had to 'do it by myself' so to speak.

heh heh heh - And to think all that I could have been handing out autographed dryer sheets and laying extemporis lectures on poor working stiffs. . Man I coulda been a real pain in the butt instead of an ordinary one.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:37 PM   #11
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I'm getting worried - I understood every word of UncleMick' post.
Seriously - he does have some good insights.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:42 PM   #12
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Coming up on 4.5 years.
Don't know what I would have changed.
I realized I spend ~$20K/year and ran screaming into the night.
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Old 06-25-2009, 11:46 AM   #13
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Not be in such a rush to move to WV, take more time to look around the area and consider more options. We are not unhappy with where we are now but if we had it to do over we'd buy a little bit smaller house. I heard somewhere that one should "never buy a house with more bathrooms than you're willing to clean." Two is okay, but three is too much.

And give some more thought to what I was going to do with me. After 29 years in a fast-moving, intense occupation to go from that to... what? I planned out the finances and such but didn't plan on what to do with me. Retirement was a much bigger adjustment than I thought it would be. The stuff I thought I was going to do I completely lost interest in, like radio control models.
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:54 PM   #14
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"The stuff I thought I was going to do I completely lost interest in, like radio control models"
None of my co-workers are doing all they said were going to do when they retired. I had no plans or anything like that, but I took up audiobooks, cycling and playing the guitar.
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:57 PM   #15
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I'm getting worried - I understood every word of UncleMick' post.
Seriously - he does have some good insights.
Me too !!!
Do you think Katrina may have pushed some of that swamp water further north into our water supplies?
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:07 PM   #16
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And give some more thought to what I was going to do with me. After 29 years in a fast-moving, intense occupation to go from that to... what? I planned out the finances and such but didn't plan on what to do with me. Retirement was a much bigger adjustment than I thought it would be. The stuff I thought I was going to do I completely lost interest in, like radio control models.
This type talk concerns me a little as I approach retirement.
I was always told that wishing and hoping for things was sometimes more enjoyable than actually having them. I have several hobbies and do enjoy them. Sure hope I can entertain my self and adjust easily when the time comes. I know my Dad seems to be relaxed and having a good time in his retirement so maybe it's in the genes.
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:20 PM   #17
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Also out 3 years. Let's see.

I sold my house back east at the top of the market, bought cheaper house at top of market. Pocketed about 100K. value of house dropped, but who care's? Need a place to live.

I put most of my money in laddered cd's despite banker telling me I'm crazy, getting about 5.75% interest. Put one cd in for 7 years, generates enough to pay my utilities until SS kicks in at 62. I have no mortgage.

Have state health care from job, cost about 200 per mo.

Have 35K defined beney pension, would have had 10K more had I stayed another 4 years, but job was affecting my health.

So the only thing different is that I would have given none of my relatives my phone number, or moved to Australia, they are all pains in my ass.

Otherwise getting bored a bit, but that is normal
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:27 PM   #18
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... The stuff I thought I was going to do I completely lost interest in, like radio control models.
I'm finding there is a definite ebb and flow to these "favorite" things. And that's OK, right?
As long as we have a large diversity of things we enjoy, good to go.
If not, take up a new hobby like Mr. Zelinski suggests.
My mainstays for pre- and post-FIRE are gardening, reading, surfing for learning new things, junk food surfing for laughter, and home projects. I like to revolve them frequently.
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Old 04-01-2017, 09:58 PM   #19
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!!!!!!!
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Old 04-01-2017, 10:02 PM   #20
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Welcome back, Dex. We've missed you.
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