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Close to ER but scared to death!!
Old 04-17-2007, 05:53 PM   #1
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Close to ER but scared to death!!

I have run multiple calculators and being 49 years feel that I would be able to retire next year with almost $3M in investments and savings. I still have young kids at home and there are days that I still really enjoy my work (but those days are harder to find.) My biggest fear is not knowing exactly what I would do with my free time. I am thinking of taking time to get involved in charitable work or something more fulfilling but haven't figured out how to explore those options. I am curious if others with young families have taken the plunge and how they found out their "purpose" for the second half of their lives. Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.
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Re: Close to ER but scared to death!!
Old 04-17-2007, 06:33 PM   #2
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Re: Close to ER but scared to death!!

Well per the FIRECALC calculator a $3M portfolio should generate (at least) $120k in income for say at least 30 years. There are lots of posters here on this forum that live on half or a third (or even less) of that. It seems to me that if you really want to retire then the money aspect is covered. I'll caveot that by sayingf, If you live in a very high cost city like Manhatten or Tokyo then just maybe you'd want a bigger stash pile.

As to find stuff to do when you are retired, read some of Ernie J. Zelinski's books. "The Joy of not Working" is pretty good. Per Ernie, The thing(s) that you must replace in retirement that work provides (besides a salary) are:

1) a sense of community
2) a sense of purpose and direction in life
3) structure in your life

So you need to think about and develop those three areas to feel comfortable and happy being retired. Ernie Zelinski has some suggestions in his book as to overcome some of those issues and a long list of potential things that you could consider doing.

I have not retired yet and have some of the same questions/issues as you. If nothing else you could post most of the day on this forum like the rest of us.

As for charitable work, my personal opinion is that if I am going to work then I'd like to get paid for it. So for me it's either work and get paid or play.

Also I hear that if you are used to working for a company where the management kind of knows what it's doing and makes timely decisions etc, then working at a charity will drive you nuts with all the round-about decision making and poorly executed plans. If however you really believe in the cause of the charity then they just might make up for their weak management style.
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Re: Close to ER but scared to death!!
Old 04-17-2007, 07:25 PM   #3
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Re: Close to ER but scared to death!!

You did not discuss your expenses - but, 3 mill. would...hopefully cover it!

I was 49 when I quit 6/06 - I have 13 & 16 yo. kids. and have no regrets about jumping. I made my decision to jump pretty quick as some change in policy at megacorp was going to keep me away from home 4-5 nights instead of 2-3 nights...that was the last straw. I never really considered what I would do w/ my time - but that has not been a all! It seems like I am as busy now as when working and I never get everything done....kinds like work but much better and stress free 8)

We ski(alot), hike, fish, spend more time w/ friends...initiate alot of get togethers w/ the friends we have had and some we always wanted to get to know better. Many short to medium trips in our RV(large cabover camper) w/ a long 6-8week trip starting in early May. Was going to be late April....but we took in a stray pregnant cat and now have kittens that are 7 days old(who wants one?! I have a shop full of tools I look forward to using(more) to be creative - and improve our home.

Someone here said that it took a year to really get into the groove of retirement(Cut throat?) I have been free for 9 months and continue to enjoy more and worry less in general - there is SO much I want to do - I am getting excited thinking about it - now I have to become more motivated to get more done....or not

Freed at 49. You only live once - live it
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Re: Close to ER but scared to death!!
Old 04-17-2007, 07:37 PM   #4
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Re: Close to ER but scared to death!!

Originally Posted by bfernand
I am curious if others with young families have taken the plunge and how they found out their "purpose" for the second half of their lives. Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.
Welcome to the board, Bfernand.

You seem pretty sure that you'll be able to go the distance on your ER portfolio. That's my conclusion too-- I think your numbers put you within the top 10 of the thousands who have ER'd on far less.

I retired five years ago at age 41 when our kid was approaching her 10th birthday. So I have to ask-- if you have young kids at home, what gives you the mistaken impression that you'll have any free time?

Having read a few posts like yours, I'd say that the #2 worry of Young Dreamers (after the #1 $$ question) has been what they'll do all day, and when they've ER'd then every one of them has wondered what the heck they were worrying about. Setting aside your kids & free-time confusion for a minute, you'll spend the first month recuperating-- sleeping in, taking naps, eating healthier, exercising, and generally decompressing. (Or at least that's what you'd do if the kids let you.) Then as you restore your health & stamina you'll start to explore those interests you've always had, and you'll grow curious about others.

After five years I have to say that it's not finding things to do, it's finding the time to do them in. I don't know how I ever found the time to work.

But if you're still looking for inspiration in between bursts of childcare, try Ernie Zelinski's book "How to Retire Happy, Wild, & Free". His "Get-A-Life" tree will help you brainstorm your way to all those things you've always meant to try if work didn't get in the way.

Co-author (with my daughter) of “Raising Your Money-Savvy Family For Next Generation Financial Independence.”
Author of the book written on "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement."

I don't spend much time here— please send a PM.
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Re: Close to ER but scared to death!!
Old 04-20-2007, 12:41 PM   #5
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Re: Close to ER but scared to death!!

Did someone call me??

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