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Old 08-07-2017, 08:41 AM   #41
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All you high earners, Please stay in the workforce forever. The Social security fund needs your donations. I will personally thank you. And the high earner will presumably save more money and live even better, its a win -win.
LOL -- remember the cutoff is around $127K for most of FICA
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:53 AM   #42
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I spent my legal career in private practice and earned a very good income. I enjoyed my job (mostly) and got on well with my colleagues (mostly). I FIREd in 2013 at 47. My motivation for leaving was not that I disliked my job/career but an awareness that my life is a finite thing and time spent in the office is time that could be spent doing other things that I would like to do (many of which get harder as I get older).



I did go part time (and continue to do some very occasional consulting + HK Law Society committee work), but only because I find it interesting not because I need the money.



For me it was all about retiring to something rather than retiring from my career and it's been great.


+1, except I have actually turned down consulting and Board work. Realized after ER that I don't want to do things that were similar to my career. I enjoyed my career, but similar to traineeinvestor, felt that time with DH, family, friends and the opportunity to reinvent myself were more motivating to me than continuing to work for someone else.

For me, it would have been much harder to leave a business I had created where I was my own boss. While I did enjoy my career working for others, I got a new boss about 18 months before ER. His style was not a good fit with mine, so once a couple of lucrative bonuses paid out, I RE'd. Between the pull of other interests, a horrible commute that I was having to do more often, and a boss I didn't enjoy working for, resigning once I got my bonuses was clearly the right decision for me.

A good friend told me I would know when the time was right. I found this to be very true. Once I was emotionally ready, it seemed obvious that we had sufficient financial resources and that it was time to ER. The time will come when it feels right for the OP. Until then, nothing wrong with continuing to w*rk, especially if one enjoys it more than one can envision enjoying other pursuits.
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:02 AM   #43
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Transitioning from a producer of assets to a consumer of assets is something that most retirees face... it is a hard transtion... however in most cases you are not really consuming assets but rather just spending some of the annual buildup but your assets will still be growing (for example, it returns are 7% and your WR is 4% then your nest egg will still grow... just more slowly).
True but a lot of it is in context. When I was working my portfolio growth was "interesting" but not something I thought too much about.

Now as my primary source of income it is my "new job" (however abstract) that sends me a paycheck on a regular basis. So I still get a paycheck but now it comes from dividends and a touch of cap gains (I know, I know...total return).

Mentally I just turned my portfolio into my 'job'...one that I don't have to go to every day but just have to keep an eye on from time to time. In my case, my portfolio is now more than double what I started with 11 years ago when I first RE'd.

Those who are just starting to first draw from their portfolio may try "contexting" it as income property: The value goes up, the value goes down but (if you've set it up for good dividend generation) the "rent" keeps coming in. You've just traded your regular job for being a landlord! --without those pesky tenants!
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:46 AM   #44
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From my perspective, the early years of retirement are likely better than later years. You are healthier, have your complete mental facilities, are very mobile etc. By working one more year, you have likely lost the best year of retirement. My guess is that most people on this site are planners and thus are probably conservative and therefore likely working longer than they have to. I struggled with giving up the high income, but don't regret getting out at 53. Once you cover your expected expenses, with factors of safety get out. How many good years do you have left JMHO
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Old 08-07-2017, 10:02 AM   #45
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. Once you cover your expected expenses, with factors of safety, get out. How many good years do you have left JMHO
+1 I've told this story here several times, but it really made a huge impact on me:
We ran into an older gent --80ish--at a restaurant bar and started chatting. He asked how old I was. "60" I said.

He said: "Do you realize that even if you live to be 90, you only have 15 good summers left? Eighteen at the most! After that, things start to go south and it's a lot less fun and you don't want to do as much anyway."

I still view that man as one of those angels who appear with a message and then you never see them again. It hit me like a 2X4!
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Old 08-07-2017, 11:21 AM   #46
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We did a test run. We had been single income for 25 years since my DW left the workforce when our 2nd child was born. We budgeted ourselves to our projected retirement income, about 25% of my working income, for about 3 years before I finally retired. No regrets since we don't need more "stuff'. If you are 55 and choosing to work OMY for money you don't really need, you have traded the best 5% of the "rest of your life" for no real reason.
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:20 AM   #47
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Shanky...that is exactly why we made the decision to FIRE.

We looked at how many good, healthy years left we had...years in which there would be no health impediments, etc. to doing what we wanted to do.

At that point we determined the cost (to us) of one or a few more years was too high.. We moved forward to early retirement.
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:51 AM   #48
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True but a lot of it is in context. When I was working my portfolio growth was "interesting" but not something I thought too much about.

Now as my primary source of income it is my "new job" (however abstract) that sends me a paycheck on a regular basis. So I still get a paycheck but now it comes from dividends and a touch of cap gains (I know, I know...total return).

Mentally I just turned my portfolio into my 'job'...one that I don't have to go to every day but just have to keep an eye on from time to time. In my case, my portfolio is now more than double what I started with 11 years ago when I first RE'd.

Those who are just starting to first draw from their portfolio may try "contexting" it as income property: The value goes up, the value goes down but (if you've set it up for good dividend generation) the "rent" keeps coming in. You've just traded your regular job for being a landlord! --without those pesky tenants!
I can identify with your point of view. Portfolio returns, especially divs, feel like income and make it easier to spend, at least up to the divs. Over time, if the markets do well, it gets easier to "encroach on capital". I also know it's total returns that count, but I still like receiving those divs.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:18 AM   #49
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We did all the usual things prior to FIRE. Did a tape on two or three years of after tax spend. Incremented that with lots of travel budget dollars, added 10 points for inflation and anther 10 points for buffer.

Bottom line....after five years, lots of travel, our net worth has increased substantially. I did not anticipate this, even after netting out the potential tax implications of dispositions. So glad we pulled the plug and changed our lives.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:38 AM   #50
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My exit was planned. I told my boss in 2009 that I would need to leave and go back home to the US at the end of 2012. My daughter was graduating HS in 2009 and would graduate college in the spring of 2013, and would likely be married by about the same time. We did not want to be working overseas when grandbabies came along. Further, I knew what my income would be, and I knew my basic expenses (in Japan) so I knew pretty much how my savings would grow, from the input side, but not from the capital appreciation side. So I had a rough idea of where I'd be at the end of 2012. I knew it would be enough. My income including base, cost of living allowance for living in Japan, bonus, and stock plan was well into the seven figures, with well over half taken in Japan, US and California taxes. Basically we lived on the cost of living allowance, while all our friends were using their COLAs and their salaries in very extravagant living as expats.

At the end, however, when the sense of inevitability became overwhelming, I'll admit to trying to grab at every branch and weed as I went over the cliff. I knew I had enough. That wasn't the problem. Everything I knew, everything that I was, my entire social network, my professional identity, my friendships, all of it, circling the drain. My replacement wasn't ready, and was in fact a failure. I begged for another year to set that failure right...I didnt want to leave my legacy without a strong leader. At the end of the day, the answer was "no". A new person from overseas was hired...someone who knew nothing of the market, but who was familiar with a new global strategy the company was trying to implement.

So, I got on the plane and went home, as had been planned. The company kept their promises to me. I kept my promises to them. I watched their results for 3 years, and couldn't take it any more, sold all of my remaining stock, and don't look at them much anymore. The results have been awful. While I was on my non-compete period, I was approached by a couple of firms that wanted me to go back to Japan to replicate my successes there, and to do the one thing I wanted to do but never had the chance to do. But it was during my non-compete period. I asked them if they'd wait out my non-compete I'd do it, otherwise my integrity would not allow me to participate. So I missed that chance because of 6 weeks left on my non-compete. That is the only job I would have taken, because of the chance to do something I'd wanted to do.

All in all though, I'm glad I'm out. Once I was actually out, that circling the drain feeling went away, and I mostly found other things to do to keep my mind occupied. We still have plenty financially. I do get bored from time to time. But it never lasts long. I do want to go back to work from time to time for the sense of accomplishment, but when I think of the rigidity, the always-on lifestyle I had, I shudder at the thought. Now, for the most part, its just me, DW, and the dogs. We see DD and DSIL about every 2-3 weeks, which will dissipate now that she is going to have a baby in a few weeks, because they live too far to visit that often, and they are likely to move further away in the next 6 months.
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Old 08-08-2017, 12:04 PM   #51
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+1, except I have actually turned down consulting and Board work. Realized after ER that I don't want to do things that were similar to my career. I enjoyed my career, but similar to traineeinvestor, felt that time with DH, family, friends and the opportunity to reinvent myself were more motivating to me than continuing to work for someone else. ...
I was a little slower than you, keeping three Board positions for 3 years, then finally decided that they were too much like w*rk.
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:38 PM   #52
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I was a little slower than you, keeping three Board positions for 3 years, then finally decided that they were too much like w*rk.


It's funny, before I ER'd, I was really interested in Board work, but hadn't found any opportunities. About 6 months after ER, when an opportunity arose, I realized I had moved on and didn't want to do that type of work. I do still serve on a university advisory board and our HOA Board but those roles are not similar to my corporate life.
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