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Old 12-30-2019, 11:41 AM   #41
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This is a good point. I’m thinking I need to divorce myself from the idea that my value is related to my earning ability. I have been using the “I can always go back to work” as a coping strategy but I’m so burned out that the thought of working in my chose field makes me almost physically sick. I guess I can always go back to work doing something else, since you’re right...I’m not saving for years of retirement, just putting a little more cushion into the equation.

Appreciate the input. Thank you.
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:19 PM   #42
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I made a graph showing my projected lifespan and where I was currently. This helped me give up $$$ that I could have earned. Every year you will have less quality life left you have to decide how you want to "spend" it.

I left at 591/2 three years ago and I have no regrets.
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Old 12-30-2019, 02:37 PM   #43
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Here's the "Rich, Dead, or Broke" calculator, for those who missed it.
https://engaging-data.com/will-money-last-retire-early/

I'm in the third year of the OMY syndrome. I am very ready to quit, except that each month I w$rk means I save $800 on insurance, and earn $X,XXX income. But this year, it's finally coming to a head, as I no longer have enough vacation time to meet my travel desires. So, this is how I see this year going: Maui (Jan 1-6), New Zealand (Feb-March), Germany and Italy (May), Japan (July-August), and Galapagos: December. To help fund this, I'm planning to work through April, but will have to FIRE then, because I won't have a month of leave for the Europe trip.
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Old 12-30-2019, 10:03 PM   #44
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Here's the "Rich, Dead, or Broke" calculator, for those who missed it.
https://engaging-data.com/will-money-last-retire-early/

I'm in the third year of the OMY syndrome. I am very ready to quit, except that each month I w$rk means I save $800 on insurance, and earn $X,XXX income. But this year, it's finally coming to a head, as I no longer have enough vacation time to meet my travel desires. So, this is how I see this year going: Maui (Jan 1-6), New Zealand (Feb-March), Germany and Italy (May), Japan (July-August), and Galapagos: December. To help fund this, I'm planning to work through April, but will have to FIRE then, because I won't have a month of leave for the Europe trip.
+1
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Old 12-31-2019, 06:14 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by KateIswell View Post
This is a good point. I’m thinking I need to divorce myself from the idea that my value is related to my earning ability. I have been using the “I can always go back to work” as a coping strategy but I’m so burned out that the thought of working in my chosen field makes me almost physically sick. I guess I can always go back to work doing something else, since you’re right...I’m not saving for years of retirement, just putting a little more cushion into the equation.

Appreciate the input. Thank you.
That's a strong statement and a very clear signal that you should not return to work. Don't listen to the worrisome, self-doubting chatter in your head. Listen to your body.

I have to disagree with your username. Kate is unwell. Kate is damaged and depleted by a draining, exhausting, stressful career. I'd suggest you not even think about considering the possibility of returning to work until Kate is truly well -- that is, happy and at peace.

I've been retired 6 months now. I've gone through a variety of changes, and I'm still adjusting.

Give yourself plenty of time. Do what you like. Take it easy. Give yourself time to decompress, detox, and recover.

I like what Walt said earlier about retirement itself being a major stressor. Very true and often forgotten in all the celebration. It's a big adjustment. Give yourself plenty of time to poke around, feel out what works for you and what doesn't, what feels good/right and what doesn't, etc. It's a whole new life and it'll take a while to find your rhythm.

The mind likes to worry. That's what it does. It's an evolutionary thing. It likes to concoct negative crap for us to worry and fret about. You know that you are financially okay; that is the factual truth. Try to find ways to get out of worry and relax your mind. Be good to yourself.
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Old 01-01-2020, 05:53 PM   #46
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I'd like to add another book to my suggested reading for the OP. Maybe that's the last thing KateIswell needs - another book to read, but here goes...

Your Money Or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. DW and I found this book invaluable back in 2000 when we started evaluating early retirement, clutter and excess, and clarify a sense of purpose in our lives.

The title of the book sounds ominous and it is to some extent. The authors go into quite a bit of detail about how we (humans in general, particularly in 1st world societies) live our lives with too much clutter, whether that's possessions or w*rk or etc., etc. and we become preoccupied with those endeavors rather than focusing on living life to the fullest.

If you take time to read this book I recommend that you also do the "homework" associated with each chapter in the book. The book itself doesn't have homework assignments but there are companion workbooks that allow the reader to work through many of the issues associated with money, possessions and fulfillment in our lives.

I do take one major exception to the book, at least the edition I read, the final chapter or so regarding how to save/invest is very, very conservative. So read that chapter with the proverbial "grain of salt."
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Old 01-01-2020, 06:12 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
I'd like to add another book to my suggested reading for the OP. Maybe that's the last thing KateIswell needs - another book to read, but here goes...

Your Money Or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. DW and I found this book invaluable back in 2000 when we started evaluating early retirement, clutter and excess, and clarify a sense of purpose in our lives.

The title of the book sounds ominous and it is to some extent. The authors go into quite a bit of detail about how we (humans in general, particularly in 1st world societies) live our lives with too much clutter, whether that's possessions or w*rk or etc., etc. and we become preoccupied with those endeavors rather than focusing on living life to the fullest.

If you take time to read this book I recommend that you also do the "homework" associated with each chapter in the book. The book itself doesn't have homework assignments but there are companion workbooks that allow the reader to work through many of the issues associated with money, possessions and fulfillment in our lives.

I do take one major exception to the book, at least the edition I read, the final chapter or so regarding how to save/invest is very, very conservative. So read that chapter with the proverbial "grain of salt."
There's a 2018 version on Amazon kindle. I only read an older version but +1
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Old 01-01-2020, 07:34 PM   #48
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Good book. One of the first I read on voluntary simplicity, ~ 30 years ago. I'd also recommend Circle of Simplicity, by Cecile Andrews.
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Old 01-01-2020, 09:40 PM   #49
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Another book worth reading is Manís Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl. It gives some clarity to the areas in life where we find meaning. It can be through work, family, community, and spiritual.

Give yourself time to search for new meaning. As a physician, I experienced toxic levels of stress much of my career. I ended up overweight, with swollen sore legs, borderline hypertensive, and teetering toward alcoholism on days off, just to mask the anxiety and chronic burnout. All of that is so much better now.

It takes time for the fog to lift. Be patient with yourself. It also takes time to establish a new routine. Make taking care of yourself priority one for awhile. Eat healthy meals, and donít eat late at night. Get exercise-walking outside for an hour each day is a fantastic way to reduce stress. Sleep when you are tired. Eat only when you are hungry. Embrace your new routine.
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:26 AM   #50
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ER Eddie,

You see me very clearly. I am not well. I OMY’d one year too many and paid a price. I am inspired by the Japanese idea of kintsugi and am letting that be my focus.

Others: I appreciate the book recommendations and will look into doing some reading. I so, so appreciate the support and advice. Thank you.
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:05 AM   #51
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All I can say as a person still w*rking is, if Iím gutting out my job every day, then Iím gutting out my life every day, and that seems no sane way to live. Sounds like parts of you know you did the right thing for you. Congrats!
Not quite at that level yet... still have 11 more years to go myself though so it will come. But...I do feel like work really gets in the way of the things I really want to do, ski, beach, bike, lift, travel, fix up the house. Sure I can do these things now, but not as much as I would like.

By 50 I will be ready to take my time back after 35 years in the workforce. My ole man made it 50 years in the workforce that is too much for me.
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Old 02-24-2020, 07:59 PM   #52
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I'm processing the switch from earning and saving to spending by working part-time. I gave up my full-time job over a year and a half ago when I was 53 due to health reasons. I really wanted to retire full time but because of my age and the overwhelming mental adjustment the change requires, I compromised. It has worked out so far even though I only make a third of what I did before, it is enough to pay monthly expenses. If any unexpected costs arise, I pay it out of savings. Working just enough keeps me from dipping into savings too much and yet gives me lots more free time and way less stress at work. It's allowing me to decompress from the working world and I expect to fully retire by the end of this year or by the time I am 57 at latest. When I first had to accept that I needed to start the process of how I was going to transition, the whole things was overwhelming. But the writing was on the wall and the universe, I believe, was trying to tell me that a change was needed. I didn't have a chance to do the "one more year" thing because I was exhausted and had pushed my body too far. So, I've spent the last year adjusting to working less, making less, having more time, getting my expenses down to the lowest possible amount and mentally preparing for full self-relying retirement. In the meantime, I made a point to find another way to make additional income, if needed, from home with very little spare time knowing this would help psychologically. Don't feel bad if you do decide to work some part time even if it is for less. If it helps mentally and you still have lots of free time and enjoy it and it isn't stressful...hey whatever works. When I take that final step, I'll remind myself that one, I can always return to work if I have to....(not planning on letting that happen) and two, I'm not guaranteed to live to any particular age and by all accounts, I have MORE THAN ENOUGH so enough's enough. I'll remind myself that it took great resourcefulness to put me in this position and that is an amazing quality to possess. Sounds like you have that same quality too! Good luck to you! Worrying is what normal people do who care and are concerned about a particular outcome!
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Old 02-24-2020, 08:06 PM   #53
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I love that book, still have it and read thru it sometimes. My favorite part of Your Money or Your Life is the Crossover Point. It made the biggest impact on me when I first bought the book over 20 years ago. The Crossover Point being that point in time when your passive investment gains exceed your expenses. Then you know, for the most part, you can retire.
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Old 03-01-2020, 07:07 AM   #54
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🐝 Happy 💑

The easiest way to change your mindset is to understand that retirement is a state of "mind" (not finances). Once that sinks in, you can walk out of the door of that job that has many brainwashed/bound all of these years and begin to truly live. Absolutely nothing wrong with staying if the job makes you happy because that should be our ultimate goal. I decided to walk away from my government job, not that I hated it but felt as though my time spent there was enough and realized that the traditional 30 year federal retirement wasn't so great after the 15 year mark. In any case it clicked once I realized I didn't have the household burdens that most of my peers had (mortgage, kids in the nest, etc..) my job was done and I could move on with my life and start living 100% for me and God (not my employer). Life's been great!!! Though I still work, I don't feel like I do because now I do what I enjoy and know I could quit tomorrow if I wanted to (because of no burdens). Everytime I glance at the picture of me and my great-grandma standing in front of her home that I now work out of as my private office, she reminds me that I have it made. Watching the mockingbirds play every morning from my front-porch while eating breakfast each morning there reminds me that my definition of retirement is good and wouldn't trade it for the world. 🐝 Happy !!
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Old 03-01-2020, 08:29 PM   #55
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KateIswell,

Good luck to you. Iím still working and Iím not quite able to give personal experience on how to handle making the decision to retire and proceeding to go through with it. But Iíve learned a lot on these forums from several people who have successfully done it.

I know I will struggle with the same fears and emotions when it gets to be my time. I think the following lessons Iíve learned from others will help me make the necessary adjustments to retired life. Hopefully these lessons will help you too.

1. Have a plan and trust in your plan. I have no doubt youíve been planning this for a while. What Iíve come to realize by learning from the experience of others here is that a good plan is a must but you also have to trust that your plan will work.

2. At some point time becomes more valuable than the money you will inevitably leave on the table by retiring. Life is too short. Spend more of it doing what you want and not what some employer wants.

3. Retire to something and not just from something. Understand that you will have to find things to use up the time you will have once you stop working for good.

4. It doesnít have to be all or nothing. Maybe cutting back on hours or find a different and less stressful part time job. There are options between working zero hours and full time employment.

5. Everyone is different and handles retirement in their own unique way. Thereís no wrong way and we canít tell you whatever you choose to do is not correct. You are the boss and the CEO of your life.

6. Itís not just about money. If the decision to retire was simply a math problem we all wouldnít be here looking for advice and encouragement from others. There are lots of emotions involved in such a big change.

Good luck! You will have the time of your life and people like me who arenít quite there yet will live vicariously through your wonderful experiences. I hope this helps and I hope I can find these words and take them to heart when Iím going through this process myself someday.
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:16 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by KateIswell View Post
This is a good point. Iím thinking I need to divorce myself from the idea that my value is related to my earning ability. I have been using the ďI can always go back to workĒ as a coping strategy but Iím so burned out that the thought of working in my chose field makes me almost physically sick. I guess I can always go back to work doing something else, since youíre right...Iím not saving for years of retirement, just putting a little more cushion into the equation.

Appreciate the input. Thank you.
I read your first post as well as replies.

Glad you came to this conclusion, that you can make another choice if the situation warrants. You're no longer constrained by that awful job, right? You may hear about another opportunity, or may not. But going forward you'll feel in control because you ARE in control.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:30 AM   #57
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This is a good point. Iím thinking I need to divorce myself from the idea that my value is related to my earning ability...
Wow, this one hits home for me as well. Job=Money=Identity...a difficult cultural norm to break.
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Old 03-11-2020, 09:35 AM   #58
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1. Have a plan and trust in your plan. I have no doubt you’ve been planning this for a while. What I’ve come to realize by learning from the experience of others here is that a good plan is a must but you also have to trust that your plan will work.

2. At some point time becomes more valuable than the money you will inevitably leave on the table by retiring. Life is too short. Spend more of it doing what you want and not what some employer wants.

3. Retire to something and not just from something. Understand that you will have to find things to use up the time you will have once you stop working for good.

4. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Maybe cutting back on hours or find a different and less stressful part time job. There are options between working zero hours and full time employment.

5. Everyone is different and handles retirement in their own unique way. There’s no wrong way and we can’t tell you whatever you choose to do is not correct. You are the boss and the CEO of your life.

6. It’s not just about money. If the decision to retire was simply a math problem we all wouldn’t be here looking for advice and encouragement from others. There are lots of emotions involved in such a big change.
Great words of wisdom RxMan. I just printed your bullet points and now have them pinned to my cubicle wall at MegaCorp (next to all the maps I printed of the places I will visit in FIRE).
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