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View Poll Results: When did you start to really anticipate retirement?
A few weeks away 3 3.70%
A few months away 9 11.11%
About six months away 6 7.41%
About a year away 11 13.58%
Other 52 64.20%
Voters: 81. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-12-2013, 10:39 AM   #21
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Before I read subsequent replies and ER Eddie's clarification post(s), I took his "being able to taste it" as the time I began to select an exact resignation date (and notification date) and began writing my brief resignation letter. This occurred a few months before I actually left the company, when the last piece of my ER plan had fallen into place. (Hence, I chose the "a few months away" option in the poll.)
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musing about anticipation and thrilled fulfillment during that last year of work
Old 05-12-2013, 11:01 AM   #22
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musing about anticipation and thrilled fulfillment during that last year of work

Quote:
Originally Posted by ER Eddie View Post
Hmm. Maybe I need to work on amplifying my anticipation, then. I have been keeping myself focused on the present, with the rationale that it would make the time move faster if I stopped watching the clock (and also help to enjoy the present), but maybe I should shift strategies and savor the anticipation. Tom Petty says the waiting is the hardest part, but maybe the waiting is also one of the best parts. That's part of the fun of retiring, I would think -- knowing it's out there in the future, knowing you're getting closer, planning it, fantasizing about it, relishing the anticipation of it.
As retirement grew nearer, during the last year, it was very satisfying when things fell into place exactly as planned. I had planned for so long, and had almost expected something to go wrong. So, I was extremely ready to deal with whatever-it-would-be. At each of those last year milestones, such as officially giving notice, training my replacement, going through pre-retirement appointments with my doctor and dentist, getting my pension lined up, work-generated check lists completed, and so on, I was expecting some obstacle but nothing went wrong! So that was a really great feeling as everything fell into place, just as I had imagined it all those years.

Which is not to say that there were no obstacles - - all of us have them from time to time, and for example Hurricane Katrina (4 years before retirement) was one that I encountered and had to overcome. But I was thrilled when no more big obstacles came up during that last year. Seriously, life is not always easy and I honestly did not expect this.

During 2009, my last year, it was almost like my anticipation was giving way to thrilled fulfillment. For each milestone, you might have sensed my silent, mental shrieks of joy: "It happened! Right on schedule and just like in my plan! Oh my gosh! Woo-hoo, unbelievable! Smooth as silk! On to the next milestone and I am ready to tackle ANY obstacle now!"

As I got closer and closer to my retirement date, I could just hardly stand waiting any more. I took no vacation for quite a while and then took ALL of my accumulated vacation time during the last few months, even though that was not supposed to be a smart thing to do. For much of the last four or five months or so, I worked one week, took two weeks vacation, and repeat. That helped to make my transition easier. Besides, my daughter and only child decided to get married and her wedding was in Oregon two weeks before my long-planned retirement date, so I had that to deal with, plus the fact that the confluence of these things made me feel extremely old so I had that to deal with too.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:43 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ER Eddie View Post
Hmm. Maybe I need to work on amplifying my anticipation, then. I have been keeping myself focused on the present, with the rationale that it would make the time move faster if I stopped watching the clock (and also help to enjoy the present), but maybe I should shift strategies and savor the anticipation. Tom Petty says the waiting is the hardest part, but maybe the waiting is also one of the best parts. That's part of the fun of retiring, I would think -- knowing it's out there in the future, knowing you're getting closer, planning it, fantasizing about it, relishing the anticipation of it.

Here are some quotes I found:

“Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.” -- A.A. Milne

“The idea of waiting for something makes it more exciting” - Andy Warhol

“..that sanguine expectation of happiness which is happiness itself” - Jane Austen

“...anticipation of happiness can sometimes be as gratifying as its consummation.” - Gaynor Arnold

"We need the sweet pain of anticipation to tell us we are really alive.” - Albert Camus
Yes!

Another fun thing about having my FIRE plans be my own little secret was, at times, like during my performance reviews when the topic turned to my 5 and 10 year career goals, I would drop something about retiring early into the conversation with my boss followed by a huge smile and a wink. I looked younger than my age and had joined mega-corp at age 40, so everyone knew that I did not have the age and service for the "30-year early out program" so they just thought that I was simply joking around. Little did they know...

More delightful anticipation.

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Old 05-12-2013, 12:06 PM   #24
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I didn't start to anticipate it until about 5 years ago, When I became eligible for retirement at Megacorp and we had finished college payments for all but our youngest child (who will be starting this fall). That meant a boost in my future pension that started make real FIRE (in my mind retiring and not having to work at all, even part time) feasible. Megacorp also increased their layoff rate as an an older worker I knew I might be a target. DW and I continued to crank up saving/investing and reduce spending. As was mentioned above the anticipation hasn't been a leap, but more a steady growth.
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Old 05-12-2013, 12:38 PM   #25
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No anticipation... Left the Corporate world in 1986 when my company's division closed down, and started my own business. In 1989, in the process of taking out a very large loan for a major expansion, along came the diagnosis of cancer.

Leaving DW with an impossible debt, was not an option, and uncertainty about the future led to extensive calculations, and the nervous decision to take a try at retiring. In retrospect, a scary proposition, as the financial part wasn't exactly "safe", but so far, so good. We weren't exactly "dreamers" but it all worked out.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:02 PM   #26
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I started planning about 5 years prior. Then the economy tanked and I thought different. But about a year before I left it looked better and it was OK to use a countdown app.
I re-read this thread and thought I'd add to my answer (I seem to recall answering an earlier similar one).

I suppose in the sense that Eddie intended, it was when I told my manager in person and with a formal letter it was what I would do. I gave three months notice. After that, I wasn't doing cartwheels or anythibg, but I was One Relaxed Dude. I also did a vacation/work cycle a la W2R, which was very nice.

Being in and reading our "The Class Of.." thread made it fun, too!
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:37 PM   #27
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I really started to enjoy the idea of retirement about 6 months from the end of the school year. But only to a small amount. Work was work and and teaching is not the kind of job that provides much down time. In addition, my supervisor had a way of making people feel bad even when things were good. Her motto must have been "Find the negative, and emphasize it."

Then summer vacation hit. Since I officially retired on September 1 there was no big difference until....... the Back To School sales arrived!!! Walking past all of those BACK TO SCHOOL signs thinking "Nope, Not me" was a very good feeling. It made the 6 weeks leading up to my official retirement very pleasurable.

I anticipate renewing that pleasure again this year, sometime around mid July.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:17 PM   #28
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I suppose in the sense that Eddie intended, it was when I told my manager in person and with a formal letter it was what I would do. I gave three months notice. After that, I wasn't doing cartwheels or anythibg, but I was One Relaxed Dude.
I think that'll be a turning point for me, too. Until then, it's a fantasy in my head, an abstract plan. No one knows except my family, and ideas can always change. Once I give notice, though, it becomes much more real and concrete. Then it's all out there on the table. And hopefully it's one long downhill coast to the finish line (at least that's how I imagine it).
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:25 PM   #29
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I think that'll be a turning point for me, too. Until then, it's a fantasy in my head, an abstract plan. No one knows except my family, and ideas can always change. Once I give notice, though, it becomes much more real and concrete. Then it's all out there on the table. And hopefully it's one long downhill coast to the finish line (at least that's how I imagine it).
You go, guy! (not a bad slogan for ER )

It's a little strange and worrisome - it was for me, anyway - but then I remembered I can do math and have a reasonable grasp of spreadsheets.
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:12 AM   #30
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:43 AM   #31
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Hard to answer. For me, it was a slow and steady process over about 20 years. Started out as a dream, but slowly, as my portfolio increased, it became more possible. It's hard to pinpoint one time when the anticipation level really took off.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:07 AM   #32
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I started anticipating the reality six years out. I'm at four and a half years out now, and I am anticipating so intensely that I can taste it. I think about it every single day. I tell myself I am sticking it out for my future self (pension and limited subsidized post-retirement health benefits).

This is a visceral longing for the freedom from the workweek time suck. Between commuting and working long hours, more than half my day is spent NOT doing the things I'd prefer to be doing. This is not a fanciful daydream of "well, it will be nice, someday..." This is a strong impatience to be there. I have worked without a break (part-time during later high school and college, fulltime otherwise) since I was 15, and I am ready to be DONE. My vacations are "practice retirements" and I revel in the freedom of filling my days how I want to fill them.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:23 AM   #33
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I would say about 7 years out is when the reality set in that it was very possible and likely to ER. I'm still working and a little under 3 years from that tentative ER date. We could do it today on a shoestring budget but why not work a little longer and have a huge margin of safety vs ERing today?

7 years out from ER for us was 2009, the middle of the Great Recession. But I was pretty confident that it was the best buying opportunity of my lifetime so we were dumping everything we could into the market and into pretty aggressive investments. Over the last few years, as we watched our net worth double and double again and keep growing the reality set in that ER isn't that far away and layoffs or other temporary unemployment wouldn't be too bad financially.

I guess the anticipation is mostly the knowledge that hassles of juggling work, household, kids etc is a short term thing. DW and I will sit out on the patio by the lake on a Sunday evening and now the feeling is like "ok, tomorrow is just another Monday but we can do this" because we know the hassle won't last forever.

Work isn't too bad for me, just an often annoying, occasionally interesting task that has to be completed on a near daily routine. I just look at it as a block of time that can't be used on other more interesting or rewarding or fun endeavors. And it takes away mental and physical energy that could be spent on other pursuits.
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Old 05-14-2013, 12:04 PM   #34
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My experience has been a little different. My anticipation came from getting closer and closer to an investment amount that would allow me to walk away whenever I want.

The day I sat down and realized that I was there with all but the most conservative assumptions was the when I could really taste it. I'm not sure any point even up to the day I walk out will taste as sweet. It may be anti-climatic (at least that is my story for now...).
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:35 PM   #35
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Bout the time I did a practice run retirement in my thirties. Sold house, bought a motorhome, bummed around the US for a year and half +. Then started getting low on $ and resumed gainful emplyment. @ 59.5 exited the the rat race.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:07 PM   #36
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I am on track to retire July 2014 and some mild anticipation has started to kick in right now. I am mulling some post-retirement travel itineraries and also formulating plans for some long deferred projects.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:21 PM   #37
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A couple weeks ago with about 8 weeks left to ER. I even started not hating Mondays. Strange, but Tuesday became my new Monday.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:45 PM   #38
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I am on track to retire July 2014 and some mild anticipation has started to kick in right now. I am mulling some post-retirement travel itineraries and also formulating plans for some long deferred projects.
I am likely 11 months away from pulling the plug. I've planned extensively, am in the middle of purchasing a home in the southwest, have my money ducks in place (I think)...... But it still has not sunk in. My gut is still churning on the next national meeting, the next business plan, etc. My brain knows it's coming.....but my heart seems to be having a hard time acknowledging the fact I will RETIRE SOON.

It's going to happen, I really want it to happen, and I want to act like a "short-timer".... But it hasn't sunk in yet. I guess I will know when it does finally does...I guess.
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:24 PM   #39
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I'm only 36 at the moment, so it's not quite on the radar for me. I want to run several calculators to compare. My husband who is 34 is thinking this is happening in 10 or less years! I am not so convinced!
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:30 PM   #40
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I began to feel the anticipation about 2 months before I left. That is when I noticed that I didn't think about work on the weekends any more. I also started to realize that I didn't have much to do at work anymore and I was trying to look busy when I really wasn't busy.
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