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Almost one year into ER-here are my observations
Old 12-31-2017, 09:40 AM   #1
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Almost one year into ER-here are my observations

January 6th, 2017 was my last day working so as I approach my one year anniversary I wanted to express gratitude for being able to share about it on this board. I guess I'll just state what I view as the pros and cons my first year of early retirement.

Pros
- It's an indescribable feeling of relief and freedom not having to be someplace every single morning. Especially Mondays!!
-The ability to do over 100 hours of volunteering with NY Cares doing projects such as helping the elderly with creative writing, teaching chess in Queens, as well as tutoring young adults to prepare for their GED.
-Ample time to exercise 3-4x per week consistently
-Having the time to volunteer on numerous projects to benefit animals such as vegan education, anti animal circus campaigns, anti pet store protests and anti fur protests
-Having the time to read 18 books in 2017 ( read only 10 in 2016)
-Spending more time with my aging parents
-Not being devastated on Sunday nights about the prospect of the week ahead
-Not having to share a bathroom with coworkers. Ugh--sitting in a stall next to somebody. Just awful!
-Not having to deal with the small talk on the elevator at my office
-Little things like having a dream at night about being on a beach then waking up the next day and taking the subway out to Brighton Beach and enjoying the day at the beach
-The feeling of freedom that can hit me at any moment during the day just puts a smile on my face
-Having the time to work on my meditation practice so I can be more relaxed and be present in my life
-Simple things like sitting on a bench in Washington Square park on a midweek spring or fall afternoon reading a book and and feeding almonds to squirrels
-Being able to spend more time with our 2 cats!
-Waking up on any given morning and then just turning over and sleeping for another 30 minutes without a worry in the world



Cons
-Very seldom, but sometimes feeling like I don't "deserve" this
-Feeling a bit alienated from people who are still working
-Sometimes feeling "this is too good to be true" and thinking something bad is going to happen
-Accepting the strange and bewildered looks on peoples faces when I tell them I retired
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Old 12-31-2017, 09:43 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FREE866 View Post
January 6th, 2016 was my last day working so as I approach my one year anniversary I wanted to express gratitude for being able to share about it on this board. I guess I'll just state what I view as the pros and cons my first year of early retirement.
Is losing track of time a Pro or a Con?
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Old 12-31-2017, 09:51 AM   #3
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I can not think of a single con for my list
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Old 12-31-2017, 09:52 AM   #4
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Is losing track of time a Pro or a Con?
January 6th , 2016 was day 1...and i said " as I approach"

not sure why that is confusing
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Old 12-31-2017, 09:53 AM   #5
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Is losing track of time a Pro or a Con?
oh..I see...lol..i meant 2017!!!
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Old 12-31-2017, 10:47 AM   #6
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Your long list of pros definitely outweigh the short list of cons, which may not be cons. Congrats!
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Old 12-31-2017, 11:28 AM   #7
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Old 12-31-2017, 05:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by FREE866 View Post

Cons
-Very seldom, but sometimes feeling like I don't "deserve" this
-Feeling a bit alienated from people who are still working
-Sometimes feeling "this is too good to be true" and thinking something bad is going to happen
-Accepting the strange and bewildered looks on peoples faces when I tell them I retired
I've been retired almost 8 years now. I was trying to think if I ever experienced any of the feelings on your "con" list. My conclusion: if I did, they faded away within the first month or two of retirement. Maybe my experience is not normal, but I never really cared much what other people thought about my being retired. If they have a problem with it, I guess that is their problem, not mine......
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Old 01-01-2018, 08:56 AM   #9
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I early retired in January also. Your post is almost exactly what I would say. I was a stock analyst for 27 years and still have a big passion for stocks and investments. ER allowed me to manage my own portfolio instead of for other people which has been alot of fun for me. I love Mondays now!
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Old 01-01-2018, 10:28 AM   #10
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very happy for you, and for your cats, and glad your pros outweigh your cons by a lot. of the cons the only one that I can relate to is "Feeling a bit alienated from people who are still working", but even that should be a fleeting feeling soon as you continue with all the activities you have listed and whatever else pleases you going forward. I expect your meditation practice (may want to try a variety of methods there just to mix it up and keep it effective over time) will help you let loose of the other cons eventually.

I'm 2 yrs into ER, so perhaps by this time next yr your cons will be gone or at least of even less importance to you than they may be now.
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Old 01-02-2018, 02:13 PM   #11
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I just passed my three-year mark. From just a little further down the ER road, here are my observations (YMMV) on a few of your notes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by FREE866 View Post
Pros
- It's an indescribable feeling of relief and freedom not having to be someplace every single morning. Especially Mondays!!
If anything, I look forward to Mondays, since that means fewer crowds everywhere. For me, the euphoric sense of freedom faded with time, as retirement became the new normal. But I found a way to gain it back (see below).
-The ability to do over 100 hours of volunteering with NY Cares doing projects such as helping the elderly with creative writing, teaching chess in Queens, as well as tutoring young adults to prepare for their GED.
Is that a hundred hours a month or during the year? If it's per month, looks like you've got a part-time job equivalent. A couple of years after I retired, I picked up a no-stress, very part-time job I enjoy a lot with hours that I choose (no mornings!), and that's helped me maintain my appreciation of the time I have off.
-Ample time to exercise 3-4x per week consistently
Good for you. Oddly, it's had the opposite effect on me. I've lost my interest in going to the gym.
-Having the time to read 18 books in 2017 ( read only 10 in 2016)
To my surprise, I'm reading much less than I expected in retirement. Well, I read a lot online, but fewer books.
-Spending more time with my aging parents
Can't put a price on that. I'm sure they greatly appreciate it.
-Not being devastated on Sunday nights about the prospect of the week ahead
So true. Like I mentioned above, you start to look forward to Mondays (if you can remember what day of the week it is)!
-The feeling of freedom that can hit me at any moment during the day just puts a smile on my face
It'll be interesting to see if you can maintain that through your volunteer work -- or perhaps gratitude exercises. Being adaptable creatures, we eventually take our earned freedom for granted, as I mentioned above.
-Waking up on any given morning and then just turning over and sleeping for another 30 minutes without a worry in the world
I realized after retiring that I'd been sleep-deprived for years and that made me irritable. Now that I get my 8 hours every night, that irritability is gone.



Cons
-Very seldom, but sometimes feeling like I don't "deserve" this
Ah, our puritan culture.
-Feeling a bit alienated from people who are still working
I get it.
-Sometimes feeling "this is too good to be true" and thinking something bad is going to happen
See puritan culture reference above.
-Accepting the strange and bewildered looks on peoples faces when I tell them I retired
As you grow older, those bewildered looks will go away. I actually rarely speak about my early retirement directly. I find few people are interested.
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Old 01-02-2018, 03:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FREE866 View Post
January 6th, 2017 was my last day working so as I approach my one year anniversary I wanted to express gratitude for being able to share about it on this board. I guess I'll just state what I view as the pros and cons my first year of early retirement.

Pros
- It's an indescribable feeling of relief and freedom not having to be someplace every single morning. Especially Mondays!!

Completely agree

-The ability to do over 100 hours of volunteering with NY Cares doing projects such as helping the elderly with creative writing, teaching chess in Queens, as well as tutoring young adults to prepare for their GED.

I do volunteer work in batches. The most is doing taxes for low income/elderly which is 25+ hours a week for 8 weeks.

-Ample time to exercise 3-4x per week consistently

Have done 4-5 times a week for over 25 years

-Having the time to volunteer on numerous projects to benefit animals such as vegan education, anti animal circus campaigns, anti pet store protests and anti fur protests

Sorry but I diverge here as I love meat, eat meat, love people that eat meat and love the animals that allow us to have meat.


-Having the time to read 18 books in 2017 ( read only 10 in 2016)

Yeah, I've done my share of reading

-Spending more time with my aging parents

Mine are both dead and have been for quite awhile

-Not being devastated on Sunday nights about the prospect of the week ahead

Ditto

-Not having to share a bathroom with coworkers. Ugh--sitting in a stall next to somebody. Just awful!

Sorry, but I've traveled all over the doggone place and have sat down on many a strange toilet. All kinds, all sorts of places. Never bothered me but I do like having my favorite potty.

-Not having to deal with the small talk on the elevator at my office

Small talk yes. However, I am a social creature and believe even a smile or a hello can brighten up somebody's day.


-Little things like having a dream at night about being on a beach then waking up the next day and taking the subway out to Brighton Beach and enjoying the day at the beach

I like to take light rail downtown and do a pub crawl.


-The feeling of freedom that can hit me at any moment during the day just puts a smile on my face

Ditto

-Having the time to work on my meditation practice so I can be more relaxed and be present in my life

Not a meditation person but I do like a good quiet time in the Good Book


-Simple things like sitting on a bench in Washington Square park on a midweek spring or fall afternoon reading a book and and feeding almonds to squirrels

I would eat the almonds and read the book
-Being able to spend more time with our 2 cats!

[Made a conscious decision not to have animals after three cats, one of which barfed on the rug on a daily basis. However I will pet most any animal unless they want to kill me or are a "rat dog"

[/B][/B]
-Waking up on any given morning and then just turning over and sleeping for another 30 minutes without a worry in the world

Now you've got it![/B][/B]


Cons
-Very seldom, but sometimes feeling like I don't "deserve" this

I get it

-Feeling a bit alienated from people who are still working

They just want what you have

-Sometimes feeling "this is too good to be true" and thinking something bad is going to happen

That's anxiety talking

-Accepting the strange and bewildered looks on peoples faces when I tell them I retired
Most people are concerned with the bewildered look on my face
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Old 01-02-2018, 04:31 PM   #13
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I can not think of a single con for my list
1+
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Old 01-02-2018, 04:48 PM   #14
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Nice post!! Great list.
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Old 01-03-2018, 03:43 PM   #15
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Next time my Dad asks me why I'm aiming for early retirement, I'll share this list! Articulates it well
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:58 PM   #16
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Thank you for all the comments everybody!

Today was one of those amazing days actually. Tutored with NY Cares at a high school up in the Bronx for a couple hours math and reading with a group of kids from Bangladesh, came home and made a tasty home cooked lunch then went down to IFC theater in the village and saw Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart lol Me and 2 other people in the theater! Then had a great dinner while listening to sports talk radio.
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Old 01-03-2018, 08:09 PM   #17
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No cons for me either.
To the OP: I'm a Brooklyn native, now live in New Jersey. Several times I've gone back to my roots, always in early Spring or late Fall. It's great walking on the Coney Island boardwalk without dealing with any crowds.

Glad to read your happy first year of retirement. I think you'll find that the joy does not end.
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Old 01-03-2018, 08:29 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Focus View Post
I just passed my three-year mark. From just a little further down the ER road, here are my observations (YMMV) on a few of your notes...

Thank you Focus

I did 110 hours all of last year, not per month

Edit:
I'm sorry..did 140 hours for whole year
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Old 01-03-2018, 08:33 PM   #19
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No cons for me either.
To the OP: I'm a Brooklyn native, now live in New Jersey. Several times I've gone back to my roots, always in early Spring or late Fall. It's great walking on the Coney Island boardwalk without dealing with any crowds.

Glad to read your happy first year of retirement. I think you'll find that the joy does not end.
ahhh..Coney Island...good idea for this year....thx....
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Old 01-05-2018, 06:26 PM   #20
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Thanks for the write-up and congratulations on the smooth transition.
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