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Why retire early?
Old 08-08-2015, 01:00 PM   #1
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Why retire early?

I guess I always thought I would retire early. I'm 41 and a saver and will likely be in a financial position to do so. We have about 11x our gross income or 19x estimated retirement expenses in savings. I'm having trouble figuring out what I would do with myself, however, if I stopped working. I know people say you only have so much time left, etc., but I feel like I do everything I want to already and work FT plus raise a child. I work out, see my friends, eat well, vacation a few times a year, volunteer, spend time with my DH, relax, craft, am learning French for fun, go to DD's events, watch TV... I am lucky to have found a job that requires only 30-35 hours a week and pays $135k with a 15 min door to desk commute. It's a contract, however and may not last more than another 4-5 years. I guess I feel like if you will regret not doing something if you die, you should do it now regardless. If I'm diagnosed with cancer or another life-threatening illness, it will suck, but I don't think I'll have true regrets about how I spend my time. Maybe things will change in an unpredictable way. Of course, I'll never regret saving too much if I become disabled.

So, do you want to retire early? If so, what will you do with the extra time? Are you worried about dying before you do something? If so, why not do it now?

Maybe I'm just a boring person.
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Old 08-08-2015, 01:08 PM   #2
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I was in a similar situation to you when I was your age - enjoyed work and was well compensated for it, managed to enjoy the kids, vacations, and life in general outside of work. We saved, paid down the mortgage, and that was to give ourselves options.

Now ten years later, I'm retired. Somewhere in between (and a few corporate mergers/sell offs/restructurings later) I realized work wasn't as fun as it used to be. I also found that as the kids got older, I felt a stronger need to be there for them than I did when they were little tykes. Fortunately, the planning/saving when I was your age had the laid the foundation that let me retire last year.

I find I have no problem filling my time. I started Italian classes at the community college, I coach robotics for one son's FLL team, I have time to putter, cook, annoy my kids.... No issues at all filling my time.
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Old 08-08-2015, 01:57 PM   #3
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FI (financial independence) does not automatically mean RE (retiring early). It just means you are in the position to call the shots and do what YOU want to do. Right now it appears that you want to work. Nothing wrong with that.

But life happens. That nice easy going boss you have now might leave and be replaced with a real asshat that makes your life miserable. Being FI puts you in a position to tell Mr. Asshat goodbye instead of sucking it up and grinding on to pay the mortgage.
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Old 08-08-2015, 02:15 PM   #4
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+1 If you like your life as it is keep enjoying. I actually liked my work and colleagues and (most) clients... I just got to the point that I despised travel and that even though I worked 50% time that I didn't have contiguous periods of time off. For me, it was that we had enough and I wanted to do something different so I retired.
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Old 08-08-2015, 02:20 PM   #5
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It's always good to aim for ER so you have it as an option. Stuff happens. When I was 53, my employer was acquired. Quite a few people panicked and jumped ship. DH and I looked at our savings and realized we could withstand a fairly long period of unemployment if it came to that. It didn't, and I had 6 more good years with that company. So, your savings is not only for retirement but as a cushion that gives you more freedom to take risks.


I had planned to retire at 65 but last year I got fed up at age 61. My last day at work was a week after I'd called my husband on a Friday and said, "I think I'm going to quit my job on Monday". Benefits: more time to devote to my garden and keeping the house clean (DH, who is 15 years older and retired in 2003, was supposed to be in charge of housekeeping but was pretty lax), more time with DH, more time to goof off. My volunteer activities have expanded but nothing that requires me to be somewhere on schedule! The other thing is that there are no guarantees you'll stay healthy forever. I really wanted to go to Australia and NZ after retirement but long-haul trips are getting harder and harder on DH. He always comes down with some bug that morphs into pneumonia or bronchitis afterwards. We're trying Iceland the week after next, but with 2 overnights in Boston and then the 5-hour flight to Reykjavik in Business Class. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I suspect that by the time I reach 65, he's not going to be up for much air travel at all.
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Old 08-08-2015, 02:38 PM   #6
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But life happens. That nice easy going boss you have now might leave and be replaced with a real asshat that makes your life miserable. Being FI puts you in a position to tell Mr. Asshat goodbye instead of sucking it up and grinding on to pay the mortgage.
I saw this happen in my last job. The immediate supervisor didn't change but all of upstream did and it wasn't a good change. Out of 48 people 19 quit and I felt lucky to be one of the ones who was able to say "Bye bye" because we didn't need the paycheck.

And wow was I glad I did! Things went way further worse than I thought they could, including violations of state and federal labor laws, and I was so happy I didn't have to put up with any of it.
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Old 08-08-2015, 02:55 PM   #7
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" I am lucky to have found a job that requires only 30-35 hours a week and pays $135k with a 15 min door to desk ,commute."

Nothing wrong with working till death or disability on a job like that
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Old 08-08-2015, 03:16 PM   #8
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FI gives you choices, not a mandatory RE. Do what you want.

I had issues at work the put my stress meter pegged. RE @53. good for me right now.
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Old 08-08-2015, 03:18 PM   #9
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I have happily had several jobs like that. Jobs I would have been happy to do even if the pay was minimal and would have volunteered to do for free if I could have afforded it. In some cases this lasted for years. But eventually these companies were bought, merged or changed executives and the result changed the dynamics into something no where near as pleasant. I'm preparing for ER, so I can stay or go on my terms. Just being FI may or may not mean I want to retire, but it means I do not have to stay in a job I no longer enjoy.
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Old 08-08-2015, 03:25 PM   #10
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I retired at 55. My outlook on life changed a great deal over the preceding 15 years. Yours might, too. Your job appears to be satisfying all your needs at present. That's great! Carry on! If things do change, being FI gives you options.
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Old 08-08-2015, 04:51 PM   #11
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If you are generally satisfied with your job (and your life), and can't imagine how you would spend your time if retired, then I'd say you should definitely keep working. I had a good career (for the most part), but I knew without any doubt when it was time for me to retire. And since I retired, I have had no problems filling my days with things to do, so boredom has never been an issue. Heck, I don't even have time to do all the things I'd like to do.......
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Old 08-08-2015, 05:04 PM   #12
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I just do not have enough time in the day for work. Like you, at 41, I was enjoying work. I think I was making $75 per hour, almost 15 years ago.

As you get older, you have less patience for the mundane megacorp hoops that you must jump through. Far too many useless meetings, doping things just to do them, digging a hole just to fill it in the next day.

Your vacations can be open ended. Your time at night not cut short by 'bedtime' because of the office, the traffic in the snow not mandatory any more.

I am still not quite their yet, but I will never have to look for a job again.
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:08 PM   #13
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I must agree with all I have read. Only want to add that my attitude has changed quite a bit in last 5 years or so. I could never understand what retired people do all day. One friend golfed every morning, then took his wife to Post Exchange (a shopping trip on Air Foece base) in the afternoon. That was his typical day. But it made him happy. Now as I have almost reached 60, and feeling every bit of it it takes almost an hour after my daily run to recover and shower. Age creeps up on ya. I don't have to keep up with that 40 yr old in next cube, across town or wherever.

I also have finally realized that my retirement can be what I want. Part time work, no work, seasonal, or whatever. Also, as things come up i will adapt, like I always have.

When you are FI and you go through changes in mind and body, you can continue where you are or retire. It becomes your choice.
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:17 PM   #14
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FI (financial independence) does not automatically mean RE (retiring early). It just means you are in the position to call the shots and do what YOU want to do. Right now it appears that you want to work. Nothing wrong with that.
Exactly.

Is spending more time with your child a good reason?
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Why retire early?
Old 08-08-2015, 07:34 PM   #15
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Why retire early?

Another thought on this: you may want to change careers someday. If you've got the savings you can stop, study something else and start at the bottom in your new career or even start a business. My Dad wanted to start law school when I was just looking at colleges- and I'm the oldest of 5. Mom had to talk him out of it. He did try a second career as a financial advisor when his job in the steel industry went sour. Then he retired for good!
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:35 PM   #16
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"I feel like I do everything I want to already and work FT plus raise a child. I work out, see my friends, eat well, vacation a few times a year, volunteer, spend time with my DH, relax, craft, am learning French for fun, go to DD's events, watch TV...

You answered your own question several times.
Listen to your inner voice & no one else!
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Old 08-08-2015, 08:13 PM   #17
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Thanks, everyone. I appreciate the kind words, perspective, and support. I know things might change. Sometimes, I just want to ease up on my savings goals, currently 22% of gross income, but I don't think I could let any tax advantaged space go unused regardless. I did decide to spend my bonus on vacations rather than plow it into savings. I figure, if I'm on track and not miserable, I better enjoy my money while I can with my little family. So we are going to the Caribbean next spring and then Europe the following year. I don't want any regrets.
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Old 08-08-2015, 08:17 PM   #18
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I figure, if I'm on track and not miserable, I better enjoy my money while I can with my little family. So we are going to the Caribbean next spring and then Europe the following year. I don't want any regrets.
It is usually a good thing to spend your money on experiences rather than stuff. Good choice.
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Old 08-08-2015, 08:28 PM   #19
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serion,

Congratulations, it looks like you are well on your way to FI, then ER can be an option you can exercise or not. Sounds like you aren't ready to hang it up, which is fine.

As others mentioned, I suggest you keep in mind that j*bs and circumstances can change and change quickly. FI will allow you more choices when it's time to choose.

And no, I don't think you are a boring person because you like who you are and what you do. There is no need to mind others external standards, actual or imagined. As FI strength grows, you may grow to care even less. But what do I know, some considered me a boring person, but I don't have to consider them at all anymore, LOL.

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Old 08-08-2015, 08:33 PM   #20
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As you get older, you have less patience for the mundane megacorp hoops that you must jump through. Far too many useless meetings, doping things just to do them, digging a hole just to fill it in the next day.

Your vacations can be open ended. Your time at night not cut short by 'bedtime' because of the office, the traffic in the snow not mandatory any more.
Amen Senator

As for bedtime, I continue into ER as a lifelong night owl. I never go to bed before 1 am, often staying up to 2 or 3 am. Now I just sleep until I get up. I can't believed I survived on 6 hrs of sleep most of my w*rking life.
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