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Took the first step - next is the leap!
Old 12-13-2015, 05:54 PM   #1
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Took the first step - next is the leap!

I discovered this wonderful forum years ago when I was starting to think about retirement, have been reading here regularly and want to thank everyone for the information, inspiration and insights. (w2r, you are my inspiration!) At first I zeroed in on the ďFIRE and MoneyĒ section because that was the focus of my calculations, but eventually I realized that for me, the financial considerations are the easy part. Iíve read many of the books recommended here Ė hey, I think I could now write a book on the subject. But ďditheringĒ has been my middle name, and posts on this subject always resonate with me.

So hereís who I am: late 60ís and still working (I know, I know!). My long-time employer is a government agency, so thereís a good pension waiting (along with SS at 70) and Iíll be in good shape financially, even in a high COL area. In fact, Iím actually w**king for peanuts since my after-tax pension income will be almost what Iím making now. Iíve always practiced LBYM so thereís a nest egg too. Bottom line: probably much more than I will ever spend.

Iíve w**ked really hard for a long time, went to law school at night and have accomplished a lot professionally Ė really, nothing left to prove in that area. Iíve been fortunate to have a professional niche that suits me and was interesting and satisfying. The first 25 years or so were blissful Ė lucky to w**k with brilliant people with high standards who challenged and made me better. Then, with new regimes things became, well, letís just say different. I have influence and can keep some bad things from happening, but itís like holding my finger in the dike. Itís harder every day to get myself to the office.

So I know itís time.

I know everyone is yelling: Go!!!

And Iím lucky that I can do that when I want, on my terms.

Whatís held me back: (1) relationships with a few smart, good people who appreciate what I do; and (2) fear. Who will I be when Iím not identified by my job? How will I adjust to the loss of status and structure? I have vague ideas of what the future might be like, but itís hard to envision it when my mind is on w**k 24/7. Iíve been working on this though.

And hereís the good news: I took a big first step last week: I announced that I believe I will retire next year and that when I figure out the date, Iíll give ample notice to allow for a good transition. That was it Ė I decided to do it in 2 steps since the R-bomb was huge. But I think each step will be much easier now. The results were very positive. No one is going to push me out, and I can do it on my terms, and nothing will happen till I give a date (ďyou might change your mind,Ē they said). There was some talk about ďwhat can we do to make you stay?Ē but I donít even want to go there. With some changes, maybe I could eke out a few more months, but I want to make clear this is not a negotiation.

Incidentally, I do not think that cutting back to part-time status is a feasible transition Ė not financially feasible for my employer, who has to pay my replacement, and probably not desirable for me either. When I go, I want to cut the cord and not look back.

Because of the nature of the w**k, itíll be several weeks till I can meet with the group again, so that may be a time to announce a date. No reason, really, to drag it out further. Training my successor will take a while and I have vacation time to use, but Iím determined to make this happen and be retired next year.

I know there are no magic words that will make the transition easier and at my age I shouldnít need a cheering section, but I welcome your thoughts and advice.
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:00 PM   #2
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Welcome lucky penny!

There are many threads here about "OMY" (one more year) syndrome and you'll find lots of encouragement there (use the search box to find them).

Also, I highly recommend Ernie Zelinski's books - The Joy of Not Working was very helpful to me and others have recommended his other titles.

You can also enter yourself in the Class of 2016 and set the date later!
"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 12-13-2015, 08:28 PM   #3
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Just do it soon! There's so much more to life than work.

No to consumerism, Living a simple life, enjoying the experience - not the material stuff
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Old 12-13-2015, 10:04 PM   #4
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Welcome! I think some of your concerns are understandable. When you're in the midst of something, it can sometimes be hard to get out of that mindset and see a whole different way You're so focused on fulfilling a task or doing what needs to be done immediately that it's hard to put yourself in a different mindset.

But I think once you get out of the environment and focus on new goals, you'll have no problem seeing yourself as more than your job and finding things that continue to engage and challenge you. Congrats, you've built a solid foundation and I hope you enjoy the many options you're about to have!
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Old 12-13-2015, 10:29 PM   #5
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Congratulations on being so prepared financially, lucky penny!

In addition to the recommendation above, you may also want to take a look at Ernie Zelinski's other book: "How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free". I think both would be great books for you to read while you are winding things down at w*rk.

I also read this forum for several years before I FIREd this year, and was inspired by many regulars here who so graciously shared their stories and helpful advice. This forum is such an invaluable resource with alot of great info and encouragement. I can also relate to being a lawyer and having a bit of status with your job, and difficulty imagining not working as a professional any longer. Our identities are often so wrapped up in our job and title while working (mine was, anyway).

I think you are ready to go, you just need a breather to imagine your new life. Maybe you can use your vacation time to go somewhere relaxing to reflect (and read and imagine). Best of luck to you!
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