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Old 07-14-2014, 05:28 PM   #21
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I recommend a couple of books to help you transition. Bob Clyatt's Work Less, Live More and Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez.

Retirement is a lofty goal for many but no one ever talks about what to do when you have hit the mark. Clyatt's book goes over this pretty well.

Because you have been working 70 hours a week for 20 years your identity and ego is tied into your paid employment. I would gradually taper down. You are a consultant. There is no boss over your head saying you need to maintain this crazy schedule. You have already made it to FI, you just don't realize it yet.

I am sure that you know other people in your industry, maybe get a referral fee for sending business their way. Also why not hire some competent people around you that you can delegate to? Eventually become CEO Emeritus and still get a nice paycheck.

I don't recommend retiring right away. You would be a crash test dummy going from 80 mph to 0 in one second. Taper down gradually. Jeff Yeager coined the term "Selfishly Employed." You only take work that makes you truly fulfilled and the pay doesn't really matter.

Hope this helps
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:39 PM   #22
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I spoke to my wife 2 weeks ago and told her I was proposing reducing my work load by about 50% next year so I would have more free time. Her response surprised me a bit. She said "why would you do that? Our youngest still has 3 more years of school. Why not wait until she has finished?"

I think scaling back is the answer - otherwise I could see myself being that crash test dummy.
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:55 PM   #23
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I spoke to my wife 2 weeks ago and told her I was proposing reducing my work load by about 50% next year so I would have more free time. Her response surprised me a bit. She said "why would you do that? Our youngest still has 3 more years of school. Why not wait until she has finished?"

I think scaling back is the answer - otherwise I could see myself being that crash test dummy.
Does your wife work full time?

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Old 07-14-2014, 06:02 PM   #24
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Does your wife work full time?

Ha
No, she does a few hours part time work each week.

She did work for 17 years of our marriage.
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:09 PM   #25
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Often times spouses don't properly communicate what type of financial shape they are in. One spouse might manage the finances while the other takes care of the kids and never the two shall meet.

Does she know that the kids expenses will be taken care of regardless of the hours you work? Does she know how much you spend on travel? If you communicate properly and she knows that you are FI and that this schedule is taking a toll on you then she would have been the one to suggest the reduction in hours.
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Old 07-14-2014, 06:21 PM   #26
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I do look after the income side of things. My wife is the expert on spending!

She does not get into details but she know we have enough to be FI (particularly if some unnecessary expenses are cut).
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:05 PM   #27
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Your wife may have a harder time accepting and adjusting to your spending more time at home in Australia than the financial aspect of ER. I can totally relate to your wife. In the summer I work out of our beach house while my DH works in the city on weekdays. We only see each other on weekends. Boy do I enjoy home alone! Every Sunday evening I find myself actually looking forward to sending him back to the city. I'm not saying your wife doesn't enjoy having you around. It may just take her a while to make the adjustment, both mentally and financially.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:11 PM   #28
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Your wife may have a harder time accepting and adjusting to your spending more time at home in Australia than the financial aspect of ER. I can totally relate to your wife. In the summer I work out of our beach house while my DH works in the city on weekdays. We only see each other on weekends. Boy do I enjoy home alone! Every Sunday evening I find myself actually looking forward to sending him back to the city. I'm not saying your wife doesn't enjoy having you around. It may just take her a while to make the adjustment, both mentally and financially.
I suspect that is right.

She just had 2 weeks up visiting me. It was a bit of an adjustment as she has never lived in the current apartment I am living in (she has visited a few times). She kept wanting to reorganise cupboards, move the furniture etc.

Having me around full time means a lot more adjustments.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:44 PM   #29
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I don't have any specific advice just some resources and questions you may find helpful to think about -

Netflix - Stress: Portrait of a Killer
Amazon Book - What Happy People Know - Dan Baker
Most of the books and DVDs by John Gottman. He studies people in relationships and writes best selling books and makes DVDs to share what the happy couples are doing right, which are skills other people can learn. I know there are some videos that can be rented from Amazon for a small fee. The DVDs I own (which are older versions now and no longer available) have a lot of couples exercises on developing shared life goals and visions for couples.
I second The Money or Your Life book, too.

These are all related to work-life balance and work-life-marriage balance.

Food for thought from these resources - What would your ideal day be like? How do you picture yourself in 5 years, 10 years? What are your wife's goals and dreams? Do you have a shared vision of what a happy retirement would mean for both of you? If you knew you only had 6 months to live, how would you spend it?
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Old 07-19-2018, 08:11 PM   #30
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Update after 4 years!!

I am still working in the same consulting business but over the past 2 years have been working a lot less hours (and with it the reduced income).

I wanted to pull the pin on work earlier this year but one of my colleagues that I work with closely has been on extended sick leave (he is 15 years younger than me) so I agreed to stay on.

My current plan is to finish in December 2018.

My firm has decided to change the way we are paid - if I was continuing to do the 70 hours per week it would not matter much but it is a disincentive to part time work so there is no reason to stay (and while I am "working" I cannot access may tax free pension in Australia).

Maybe I should have gone a few years earlier but the stars seem to be aligning now for an end of 2018 "retirement" at which stage I will be 60.

In terms of what to do going forward, I think I can find things to keep me busy but currently I have no specific defined activity in mind. I have been travelling a lot and hope to keep going on that and expand on writing etc.
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Old 07-19-2018, 10:53 PM   #31
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Update after 4 years!!

I am still working in the same consulting business but over the past 2 years have been working a lot less hours (and with it the reduced income).

I wanted to pull the pin on work earlier this year but one of my colleagues that I work with closely has been on extended sick leave (he is 15 years younger than me) so I agreed to stay on.

My current plan is to finish in December 2018.

My firm has decided to change the way we are paid - if I was continuing to do the 70 hours per week it would not matter much but it is a disincentive to part time work so there is no reason to stay (and while I am "working" I cannot access may tax free pension in Australia).

Maybe I should have gone a few years earlier but the stars seem to be aligning now for an end of 2018 "retirement" at which stage I will be 60.

In terms of what to do going forward, I think I can find things to keep me busy but currently I have no specific defined activity in mind. I have been travelling a lot and hope to keep going on that and expand on writing etc.
That's great news and I'm glad your happy. The bigger question probably is how is your relationship with your family, particularly your wife? Are you spending more time with your two kids and wife?

I'm also a long term expat in Asia, and I know many guys in their 40's and 50s doing the same thing as you are (living away from their families and working long hours). Honestly speaking, and I don't know you, but almost all of them have poor relationships with their families. They either are running away from their wives (but don't want to divorce for financial and children reasons) or just aren't interested in spending time with their kids so they make excuses on how they "have to" live in Asia away from their families to keep working. These are mostly small business owners who already have millions of dollars in assets and don't really need to keep working. Its a common occurence to see expats in Asia like this.

I'm not saying this is you, but it appeared you had a relationship problem with your family and not a financial or career problem.
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:00 PM   #32
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That's great news and I'm glad your happy. The bigger question probably is how is your relationship with your family, particularly your wife? Are you spending more time with your two kids and wife?
A fair comment / question.

I just spent 6 weeks with my wife (she was here and then we were travelling together). Things are never perfect but they are good.

I think one of the issues in retirement will be to ensure we give each other space and allow each other to pursue the interests we have developed.
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Old 07-20-2018, 06:29 AM   #33
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Based on your spending, you have the raw materials for a secure retirement; children are expensive, I have three and often worry about this like you, despite having saved a lot of money for them.

I know property has been hot in Australia and it seems like you have a lot of exposure there. No idea what kind of income stream you can expect to draw on it and if it will keep pace with inflation. You might diversify more, but I know little more than what I read in the papers in the U.S.

I know Australia is expensive, but isn't a $7mm net worth pretty high on the wealth spectrum for Australia. I know it would be very high in the U.K. for example. You also have excellent healthcare etc.

In terms of lifestyle work life balance, it sounds like you need a change and I give you credit for recognizing it and not resorting to drinking etc. I could tell you stories in my neck of the woods about type A to the extreme behavior but this is about you and I am sure you know the story. I see it destroy people and families all the time. Everyone is different and it depends on the individual but you are smart to be thinking along these lines. I think you should be able to figure it out.
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