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How did you decide to FIRE?
Old 06-09-2020, 11:43 AM   #1
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How did you decide to FIRE?

If you FIREd, how did you time quitting work with your desired asset level? Right away?
Wait a year for security?
Worked a few more years for some economic benefit such as a pension?

All options are on the table for me, not sure how to handle it.
THanks
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Old 06-09-2020, 11:53 AM   #2
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Was able to retire at 50 but liked my job at the time so planned to retire at 58. That was a compromise between me liking my job so happy to work longer and my wife wishing we had more time together. Turns out I retired at 55. Main driver was my wife experienced some serious health issues which made our time together more valuable. My job had also changed and I didn't have much desire anymore to stay. So decision at 55 was easy.


In terms of acceptable asset level, I felt fine if Firecalc showed a 80% chance of our assets outliving us at our existing standard of living. We were quite aware that we could pinch back expenses if needed so 80% could be almost anything above that we wished it to be. Working to 55 gave lots of security and we have no real need to budget anymore.
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Old 06-09-2020, 11:55 AM   #3
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This is a pretty common issue. Just do a search for OMY (one more year) and you’ll spend that year reading! Fundamentally it comes down to your own gut, appetite for risk, need for security,...how much fun you’re having, how much BS you can stand, how prepared you are to fill your days when they are yours to do whatever you want with. Theres no perfect answer, only the one that works for you
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Old 06-09-2020, 11:59 AM   #4
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Encouraged by my father who ER'd in his 50s, I had planned to retire when I was 57 (maximize megacorp pension and retiree health benefits. But in 2010 I was in a very unpleasant w*rk situation, we had completed remodeling and moving into our retirement home, I'd bought a new car, and both kids were well along in college. I realized we had plenty of assets (we probably could have comfortably ER'd some years earlier) and I didn't have to do this anymore. It took about 6 months of hanging out here as well as a discussion with a financial advisor to convince me it was time. So I did it. Have never regretted that decision.
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Old 06-09-2020, 12:00 PM   #5
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I picked the year I wanted to retire first and then worked backwards. I probably could have retired a year or three earlier, but had made commitments to the folks buying me out so I honored that agreement.
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Old 06-09-2020, 12:05 PM   #6
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I realized I was saving 8k a month during my last year of employment and knew my investments would cover all living expenses.
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Old 06-09-2020, 12:40 PM   #7
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The psychology of work changed for me when my calculations showed I had the
financial ability to retire, that I was no longer dependent on a paycheck. Before that
happened I was less happy at work and assumed I'd go pretty quickly once FI. I even
fantasized about the big blow up that would probably trigger my departure. Once the
spread sheet said I could safely leave if I wanted, my angst at work diminished some.
I started avoiding most overtime and dialed back my give-a-sheet. Interestingly, it
seemed like the perceived value of my work by superiors increased in spite of me not
putting out as much. I hit FI by my calculations 5 years ago. The last 5 years have
been the most enjoyable of my career.

I am retiring in Sept now, about 5 years past FI. My reason to go is the remaining
time has become more valuable than additional money. I have a "bucket list" and it is
an ever increasing gamble whether there is time and health to complete it. I have
thought about it, if I were younger but in the same financial position, I think I would
continue to work. My particular work isn't bad at all, as long as you aren't
indentured to it, and it provides some very nice perks.
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Old 06-09-2020, 01:18 PM   #8
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I realized work was going to kill me and that there had to be a way out. I started researching early retirement and found this site, which led me to the Bogleheads. Eight years later I was able to actually do it.

I thought I had a number but got caught in the OMY syndrome. Eventually I realized I really was cutting my lifespan short. My only regret is not having done it sooner (easy to say in a bull market, I suppose).
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:12 PM   #9
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I had always hoped/planned to retire early. My inheritance pushed me into FI for good in 2009, but I really wasn't ready to contemplate it until 2014, at age 55. I was working on and off after that, actually went a year doing no patient care from mid 2016-2017, then got spooked by Congress playing around with the ACA, so I went back until 13 months ago. Psychologically, it feels very different now than it did in 2014. I cannot imagine going back to work in the hospital again. The thought of the stress level that would be involved, even without COVID-19, makes me physically ill.

I'm perfectly content to do next to nothing "useful" for days on end. Gardening, hiking, cooking, shopping, and playing some music is all I need.
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:13 PM   #10
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I'm married and we're sort of taking a phased approach. We planned A LOT, tracked our spending for several years, estimated and re-estimated anticipated retirement spending/budgets, and read A LOT. After all of this, we have opted for a quasi-OMY approach.

My DW retired Jan of this year, while I continue to work (we both earned approx the same income). The idea is that we're going to test drive our anticipated retirement budget in 2020, figure out what we got right/wrong, and if we wished we would have saved more.

If it goes well, I'll likely phase into semi-retirement sometime next year. I'm still planning to work part-time semi-retirement jobs for 2-4 years after that. That would be another phase of the plan, and while we likely won't need the income, it won't hurt and I think I might actually like to phase-out of the work world rather than simply cut it off entirely.

If it doesn't go well this year, I plan to continue working my career job until the numbers add up. My profession is very secure and I'm confident I can work as long as I like.

If it goes exceptionally well, I might join DW in full retirement next year, though that seems unlikely to me. For one thing, this virus has already thrown a wrench in that idea. Currently we're spending well below our anticipated budget, but I attribute much of that to the lack of spending opportunities during lock down and so I don't completely trust the numbers. Also, we're doing well on the investment side of the ledger, but who knows how the rest of the year will play out.
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:26 PM   #11
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I'd lost my enthusiasm at work due to management. Nothing terrible, but enough for me to spend too much time reading the forums on this web site. The companies 401K was through Fidelity and my DW and I met numerous times with their on site rep and at the local office. They all said we were good to go. With a downturn in the industry in the fall of 2016 a voluntary severance package became available and we decided to take it. We had not accumulated what I had hoped before retiring, but our timing was great and we are still 22% ahead.
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:31 PM   #12
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I didn't have a hard level, I knew that the longer I waited the bigger the cushion.

I stayed to finish a project I enjoyed, and quit because I didn't like the next one. That was after I had a cushion that "seemed about right".

But, we had a new CEO a couple years earlier and I thought he was a $&^# Also,I had a coworker who died six months after he retired (fell off a roof). That was on my mind.

I started a poll on this many years ago. A lot of people said they couldn't hack something at work - new boss, re-organization, another year of HR paperwork, ...

The number who quit just because they hit their number was lower than those who had a specific negative at work.
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4nursebee View Post
How did you decide to FIRE?
Been a while, but since you asked...

I told my boss I had to retire due to an acute medical condition known as "Anal Glaucoma" - I could no longer see my @ss showing up for work.
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:33 PM   #14
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My target was to have enough dividend income to replace my salary, adjusted for taxes, paying off mortgage, health insurance, saving, etc. I had planned to stop at 50, but was able to leave at 48.
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:47 PM   #15
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Retired from the Army, but got a job afterwards, because OMY or something like that. Then we realized that we have $$ leftover from pension income, even without the job. So why work? Found a few hobbies, and life is great now.
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:53 PM   #16
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I had OMY syndrome for awhile, though I was able to cut down to 1/2 time. Wanted to have some padding to sleep better at night. Thinking about it now, in a way it was protection from SORR (Sequence of Return Risk). Instead of investing cautiously in case of a major downturn, I instead stayed employed, and left when I was more or less past SORR.
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by bada bing View Post
I started avoiding most overtime and dialed back my give-a-sheet. Interestingly, it
seemed like the perceived value of my work by superiors increased in spite of me not
putting out as much. I hit FI by my calculations 5 years ago. The last 5 years have
been the most enjoyable of my career.
I had a similar experience, but for me it was just six months. I told my boss I wanted to retire, but I could stay and finish a project. I did, and it was relaxing to know I didn't have to worry about my next performance appraisal.
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:57 PM   #18
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I was FI for quite a while, and just waiting for a good opportunity since I enjoyed what I did so it hardly seemed like work. Then the small company got bought by a megacorp and they laid off over a third of us. I couldn't have been happier and it was really funny on layoff day. I walked into the room grinning from ear to ear while my boss was nearly in tears at having to give me the news.

But that was long ago. Since then it just keeps getting better and better.
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:58 PM   #19
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I first decided how much would be "enough" money in my mind. For me, that was taking my current spending level over the past six months, adjusting for some things that I knew wouldn't continue (child support, taxes, college expenses), annualizing that, and then divided by 3.79% (not sure why I picked that number).

I watched my spreadsheet and hit that FI number on July 8, 2013. The job was OK, so I continued working and piling up money. The job eventually took a turn for the worse (bad fellow managers). Also, my Mom was sick and on hospice. So I started a sabbatical on November 21, 2015 and FIREd February 19, 2016.

I do remember feeling badly about the project I left, because I felt like I was beneficial to keeping it on track and keeping my bad fellow managers from doing stupid things ("Hey, we can double our velocity by browbeating and guilt-tripping engineers into working 80 hour weeks for no reason other than we over-promised on features and delivery dates"). Turns out I needn't have worried; the project was so messed up from the bad management that it got delayed multiple times and finally canceled due to a merger. The merger, which was done partly to accelerate development, had not released the replacement project several years later. So the last three years of the project not getting delivered was after I left and therefore not my responsibility.
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Old 06-09-2020, 03:19 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by EastWest Gal View Post
I had always hoped/planned to retire early. My inheritance pushed me into FI for good in 2009, but I really wasn't ready to contemplate it until 2014, at age 55. I was working on and off after that, actually went a year doing no patient care from mid 2016-2017, then got spooked by Congress playing around with the ACA, so I went back until 13 months ago. Psychologically, it feels very different now than it did in 2014. I cannot imagine going back to work in the hospital again. The thought of the stress level that would be involved, even without COVID-19, makes me physically ill.

I'm perfectly content to do next to nothing "useful" for days on end. Gardening, hiking, cooking, shopping, and playing some music is all I need.
LOl Right, that's where i am at right now and that's why i am starting to look into retirement. i can see lots of people in healthcare dropping out by all the retirement email i have seen lately. The patient care (not a MD) is not too bad and overall i thought i liked my work. But administration is the worst i have seen in my 20 year career
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