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Old 01-03-2013, 11:18 AM   #21
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I got out 6.5 years ago at 49. I think of my early career very positively (20 + years) it was the last few years as a regional manager that really burned me out - I could not imagine going back to work now. Any encumbrance on my time really annoys me now

Freed at 49. You only live once - live it
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:30 AM   #22
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My ER was definitely due to burnout with Megacorp politics and incompetent senior management. After about 4-5 months, I was recovered to the point of seriously trying to develop a consulting business. I worked on that for several months to the point of having a significant 6-month contract on the table which for various reasons never materialized. That cost me a lot of momentum and in the meantime my volunteer pursuits became much more time consuming, to the point I didn't really want any more of my time scheduled, so I pretty much stopped pursuing gigs. Just when I was about to pull the plug on my LLC completely, I landed a small contract which I'm just starting on, so we'll see if that gets my consulting juices flowing again. Like some of the others, I am finding it hard to keep up in my field. Also, I've recently realized that my real talents are not in the specifics of what I did, but in my management style and approach, which really isn't used in my consulting. Not sure what I'll do about it, if anything.
"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute." William Feather
ER'd Oct. 2010 at 53. Life is good.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:32 AM   #23
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Walt34 closely echoes my situation. His signature line "Retired at 52. Then decided to get a job until I don't want it anymore. Having the option matters."

Many in my megacorp were living with burnout but I was in a "field marketing" position - that means I worked out of my home and did not have to tolerate the politics that others had to endure. The down side to working from home, you really don't leave the office behind so I found myself calling on customers all day and in the office after dinner until midnight. That got old. Six years ago, there was a change in the retirement plan so almost all who qualified for full retirement took it rather than live with the new rules.

I was 59 and enjoyed working with my customers so I did some contracting that kept me in touch with them. A company came knocking a few months later and wanted me to help introduce a new marketing approach. They made me an offer I couldn't resist. Again, this is a field job that is a thousand miles from the head office so I roll out of bed and either head to my home office or jump in my car to visit customers. Sometimes we met in their office - sometimes we would meet away from their office (places like golf courses) so it's been a good gig without a lot of stress and has allowed me to add a significant amount to my bottom line. Probably the biggest change - my attitude changed and I stopped the nights and weekends in my office. As Walt34 says, options matter.

So I really don't know if I ER'd six years ago or if I just changed jobs. Either way, in my case, a change was as good as a rest and it worked for me. Stress from the megacorp went away pretty quickly and I've added enough to the bottom line to buy a MH, pay for a son's college and add to the NW. For me, that was a good trade off. BTW, many of the others who "retired" from megacorp have done the same as me and as far as I can tell we've all been pleased with our decision.

Today, I'm ready to really retire and I plan tell the general manager to look for my replacement when I meet with him next month. Whenever that replacement shows up, I'll be ready to train him/her and move on but that better happen by the time the grass gets green this spring. I have a stack of golf balls ready for me to hit in the water and a little motorhome ready to help us explore.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:52 PM   #24
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I retired in 2011 after 21 yrs in the military. I was pretty fried and just wanted to go on. I took about 4 months off just hanging out, traveling, doing what ever. Prior to starting the 4 month time off I had a mentor that had been working on me to come back to work and help him. I guess I discounted all the BS and agreed under the guidelines that I would stay until I got what he needed done complete. Immediately the BS set back in and I loathed almost everyday. 8 months into the debacle I went to him and told him I was going to resign on X date.

Shortly after that I began to get interviews with other govt agencies as a legacy of my applying for jobs. The interview process was fun as I could have really cared less and just wanted to see if I could win at the game. Some job offers were more of the same with a different label. I eventually took a job with another agency and it is working out pretty well. I like it for now and enjoy the day. Of course I am prepared to leave anytime if things turn south. So for now I am just filling the war chest.

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Old 01-03-2013, 08:56 PM   #25
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I was burned out at 35 but made some changes and practiced for 16 more years with a lot less stress. I'm 8 months into retirement with no intention of going back. I may pick up a part time job at a golf course to get free golf.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:18 PM   #26
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I'm 39 and I'm burned out and can't take it anymore.

Everyday I come to work, I just think about quitting.

Sunday used to be my favorite day, now I just hate Sunday because I know I have to work on Monday.

This tells me I'm done.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:28 AM   #27
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I was in a similar situation some years back. There was a black cloud of dread that rolled in every Sunday evening. My pay was very high so I tried to hold on, but finally left without having something else lined up. I should have done it sooner and although I had some nervous months of being unemployed, I now realize that the specific job and place I was working was more of the problem than I realized. I am still on track and planning to FIRE, but as a couple others have said I think FI will be bigger to me than RE.

Originally Posted by comicbookgujy View Post
I'm 39 and I'm burned out and can't take it anymore.

Everyday I come to work, I just think about quitting.

Sunday used to be my favorite day, now I just hate Sunday because I know I have to work on Monday.

This tells me I'm done.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:36 AM   #28
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Thanks for all the great comments and for sharing your stories! It's encouraging to see that recovery from burnout can happen in "nanoseconds"! This will help me every day as I plod through this last year before ER. Thank you!
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:56 AM   #29
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I was never quite burned out but I was getting pretty tired, felt like I had been in the same meeting three times already (centralizing Vs decentralizing, new ADPsystems & the like) I liked my work but was offered a small buy out to leave early and I had a night in the cardiac ward that convinced me that this was the time to go.
Now, the point of all this is: the name of this board is FIRE and IMHO the Financial Independence is more important than the retire early part. Once you are financially independent work or not work as you see fit. I ecame retirement elligible a couple years before I actually retired, 'jerk proofed' my work life and just made life even better.
And retirement is even better than work was.
T.S. Eliot:
Old men ought to be explorers
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:15 PM   #30
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I too reached burnout a few years before I could afford to retire. At that point, I did what I could to reduce stress and make it easier to make it to the finish line. I knew I was just trying to make it for a few more years and I was no longer worried about getting ahead, so I avoided problematic job assignments and arranged to work from home two days a week.

Planning for early retirement was a nice distraction from work issues. I focused on my spreadsheet that tracked my finances and tried to keep in mind that work was just temporary for one purpose only.

Once I retired, I thought I'd want to work again in a different environment, but now I would HATE to have to return to work. I encourage you to make sure you've tracked your expenses enough so that you know how much you need. You don't want to be forced back to work for financial reasons.

The detressing started right after I retired. For example, the insomnia that plagued me for years went away almost immediately.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:17 PM   #31
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I retired at 47. My original goal was to retire at 50 (company health care benefits .. at least so they said , better pension). But my choice was to retire when I did or try and work "3 more years" in a horrible environment.

Looking back, for my sanity's sake, leaving earlier than originally planned is probably one of the best decisions I ever made.

My tag line pretty much expresses what I think about w*rking too long if you don't have to
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:22 PM   #32
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Like Jim747 I'm a field guy who has to manage working out of a remote location. The upside is freedom and the downside, believe it or not is that the job consumes a large part of your life. Your job is a large part of your lifestyle. On top of it all the travel is either killer or a big adventure. It depends on your outlook.
With all that said, after about 35 years on the road, when I retire in 1.5-2.4 years there will be no going back. This forum is helping me to put those pieces together.
Took SS at 62 and hope I live long enough to regret the decision.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:53 AM   #33
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Well I freely admit I am burned out like many here. Too many issues with peers, too many patients to see, huge malpractice-related matters, MAs from hell, on calls, and constant litigation risk. While I do not plan to "un-retire" after I FIRE, I plan to work at a couple of clinics only a few days a month maximum and take my CE credits, just to keep my license active.
Originally Posted by howdidigetthisold View Post
Questions for the group are, if you retired early due to burnout, 1) how long did it take you to recover? and 2) did you "unretire"? If so, for how long and at what level (part time, full time)?

Thanks for any comments on this issue!
Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:47 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Gatordoc50 View Post
I may pick up a part time job at a golf course to get free golf.
That can work for those who play golf. A guy I worked with bought a house a block away in WV and is doing the minimum-wage part time gig in the pro shop two or three days a week for the free golf.

He likes it.
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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burnout, early retirement

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