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What a difference a year makes
Old 10-22-2006, 04:31 PM   #1
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What a difference a year makes

I haven't posted here in over a year. I haven't even looked at this website much over the past year. I still apply the same early retirement principles that I have learned over the years. I just don't feel the need to keep it on the forefront of my mind.

Net worth during my last post (August 2005): $186,000
Net worth today (October 2006): $236,000

What led to the $50,000 increase? About $20,000 was thru my personal saving and investing, which was greatly accelerated when the federal government lifted the percentage limits impossed upon our 401K program. This allowed me to up my contributions to the IRS limit of $15,000 per year. The other $30,000 came from a great year in the stock market.

Now I'd like to share a more personal issue. In October 2005 I was struck with depression from my extremely stressful civil service job. Yeah, I said extremely stressful civil service job. I spent two months away from the office in a mixture of group therapy, antidepressants, psychiatrists, and family members watching over me. I started to realize how much working life meant to me. I don't feel successful without a job. I don't know what to do with my day if I'm not working. I end up wasting time and not being productive if I don't go to work. I took a reassignment into a less stressful division and that sped up my recovery. Now, I'm back to enjoying work again.

I don't know what the future holds for me but I'm more able to handle uncertainty and change that I was just a year ago. I've begun helping and mentoring others with anxiety and depression both on and off the job. I focus less on the early retirement aspect of life and more on the financial freedom and philanthropy areas.

I wish everyone on this board well and I hope you enjoy many future successes in your life.
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Re: What a difference a year makes
Old 10-22-2006, 07:34 PM   #2
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Re: What a difference a year makes

Congratulations on your financial prowess, Daystar. I'm glad to hear that you were able to transfer to a more suitable positon.

By the time you're ready to hang up your badge, I bet you'll have figured out what you like to do with your time besides work. Meanwhile, take extra-good care of yourself--if you feel you might be sinking back into a blue funk, don't hesitate to get help.
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Re: What a difference a year makes
Old 10-22-2006, 09:46 PM   #3
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Re: What a difference a year makes

Quote:
Originally Posted by daystar
...I don't feel successful without a job. I don't know what to do with my day if I'm not working. I end up wasting time and not being productive if I don't go to work. I took a reassignment into a less stressful division and that sped up my recovery. Now, I'm back to enjoying work again...
This is the scary side of dedicating your entire life to working. It can literally suck the life out of you.

This is why it's important to develop interests and hobbies outside of work. EVERYONE has at least one interest or hobby, but those interests and hobbies tend to atrophy over time if you don't make them real.
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Re: What a difference a year makes
Old 10-23-2006, 04:05 PM   #4
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Re: What a difference a year makes

Congratulations Daystar! Great to hear that you health and financial health have improved so much
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Re: What a difference a year makes
Old 10-23-2006, 05:04 PM   #5
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Re: What a difference a year makes

good job star! glad to hear that you are on the road to recovery....I agree that any job can turn sour after awhile....I second the idea of finding more hobbies and life outside of work
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Re: What a difference a year makes
Old 10-23-2006, 05:34 PM   #6
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Re: What a difference a year makes

daystar,
Thanks for checking in, and for sharing insight from the personal side of things. Sounds like you've found a way that works for you to build more balance into your activities and your goals--super! There are many worse things than being dedicated to a job you love, but growing too focused on any one thing, even a great thing, is often a recipe for trouble.

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Re: What a difference a year makes
Old 10-23-2006, 06:15 PM   #7
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Re: What a difference a year makes

Daystar, congratulations on getting through an extremely difficult time. I've experienced only moderate depressions, nothing like what you describe, but I've seen what severe depression can do to people. Anyone who can experience a severe depression and have the strength and courage to do what needs to be done to recover, as you have, deserves an enormous amount of respect and praise.

Thank you for sharing that.
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Re: What a difference a year makes
Old 10-29-2006, 08:25 AM   #8
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Re: What a difference a year makes

daystar, congratulations on getting through a tough period. Many, many people are challenged like that these days. Work is tough, and sometimes that hill seems much too steep.

In the end, the love of those around us can save us, and we can help them have better lives as well.

Congrat's on your accumulation success as well.

With the reminder above, we're off ... to kayaking and later, music. Have a great day!
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Re: What a difference a year makes
Old 12-15-2006, 09:27 PM   #9
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Re: What a difference a year makes

Congratulations!

You are doing great and I wish you the best with your future investments. Would you mind sharing with us your investment strategy?
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Re: What a difference a year makes
Old 12-15-2006, 09:45 PM   #10
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Re: What a difference a year makes

See my other post:
http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...?topic=11057.0
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