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Mental struggles to let go of the working world
Old 07-15-2020, 06:37 AM   #1
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Mental struggles to let go of the working world

I'm 66,DW 64. $5+M invested, 70/30 AA, 80% taxable accounts, no mortgage or other liabilities except one car lease, just became a grandpa, no kids that need my support. My aviation related consulting business just about dried up recently. $190-200K/yr in expenses .
Starting my SS next month (modest $2100/mo. DW will get $2400/mo in 2 yrs)), small pensions ($2000/mo).
I find myself looking for work, or other consulting opportunities (for income, but why?, and interest) and not fully enjoying the free time this pandemic afforded me. Deep down, not sure I can let it go, relax and stop worrying. We live in a beautiful house, in a stunning spot on the bay, nice beaches, amenities, no reason to move (except my downsize-to-reduce-expenses mentality).
I ran FIRECALC but not sure if the instability of the markets/economy is a red flag (or just another excuse not to make the move and fully retire).
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Old 07-15-2020, 07:00 AM   #2
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While we can give you all sorts of advise and encouragement, the issues you are having can only be resolved from within. You can only "let it go" when you are ready and you won't be ready until you are. Often that takes a health scare for you or someone close. Hopefully you can get there before that happens.
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Mental struggles to let go of the working world
Old 07-15-2020, 07:01 AM   #3
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Mental struggles to let go of the working world

Hi, I can understand the jolt experienced from lots of work responsibilities to lots of free time, because Iím going through it, too, and itís disorienting. I have no answers for you yet but can at least empathize. All my friends and DW are w*rking, so thereís no one to play with. Still, I am committed to giving this new life ample time to try a bunch of things to replace the default work habit.

It doesnít sound like you have to worry about money, though everyone needs a different sized security blanket. For the habitual money worries, which I share, too, we have worked with a Vanguard Personal Advisor. In addition to robot calculators, helps to have a knowledgeable human look at your stuff and say the words out loud about your situation. It might be worth having a one time analysis with wherever your money is parked to give you comfort on the money part. Habits are hard to break, though.
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Old 07-15-2020, 11:51 AM   #4
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I can understand the apprehension. I'm on the cusp as well. I've been working from home for 18 weeks now, and just before all hell broke loose, had briefly hit my financial number. The working from home has given me a lot more free time, but I still feel tethered.

My finances did take a hit, but have mostly recovered. I'm down about 4.5% YTD, and, net worth-wise, knocked back to roughly where I was last November. Only difference is, it seemed so much more optimistic back then.

Right now, it's just the feeling of uncertainty that's hanging over me, like I'm sure it is with many of us. However, it seems like you have a good nest egg saved up, and are at a good age to retire and start enjoying it.

My guess is that going into retirement is sort of like going into a swimming pool. If you try to go in slowly, it will be a bit uncomfortable at first as different parts of your body react to it, and that might make you cautious. But, if you just go into it with a no-looking-back sort of mentality...jump off the diving board or go down the slide, you'll go into it full-force, and notice that momentary shock was just your anticipation of it being too cold, and in no time flat you'll find out that the water's just fine!

Also, this probably isn't the best of times to be getting the full retirement experience. We're limited on where we can travel. There are occasional shortages here and there, and not everything is opened back up. But, it will get better.
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Old 07-15-2020, 12:27 PM   #5
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If you're enjoying your work & it isn't negatively impacting your family or health, why not keep going? It is possible to look for work AND enjoy the enforced free time.

I agree with ReWahoo - these issues can only be addressed from within. Take this time-off as a gift to think deeply about what is important to you.

If your sense of identity is very strongly tied to your career, then you may want to think about that. That work-based identity is going to wane with age & you need to have something to take its place - maybe grandpa extraordinaire
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Old 07-15-2020, 12:47 PM   #6
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You can be free to do whatever you want. What is that? I'm not sure I know but after seven years I no longer care.
For me retiring was a process not an event. Yeah I did the give notice and leaving, the event. Now what? That is a problem for many, perhaps more if a male trait but I have a female friend who is very much going through this right now. 9Oh yeah, I have a seventy yo sister who's still w*rking.

The upstream advice is correct.


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Old 07-16-2020, 06:42 AM   #7
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I would gladly FIRE tomorrow if I could just get my wife on board. Funny how when we first talked about this a few years ago, we set X number. We are well beyond that but she has so much anxiety in letting go of her J*B.

For me, yesterday was rough as I had to call a number of people who were on furlough, some had 30 years seniority, and tell them their position was eliminated. My department was only one of many that were impacted. Many people that I have known for decades in other areas were also released. It will be a long rest of the week as we all realize how many were impacted.
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Old 07-16-2020, 06:49 AM   #8
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I always repost this here.....but it really hits home to me. Remember, you'll never be as young as you are today:
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Old 07-16-2020, 07:03 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by retire202052 View Post
I always repost this here.....but it really hits home to me. Remember, you'll never be as young as you are today:

+1
I also like the saying:
"You can always make more money but you can't make more time."
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Old 07-16-2020, 07:51 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jeffman52 View Post
I would gladly FIRE tomorrow if I could just get my wife on board. Funny how when we first talked about this a few years ago, we set X number. We are well beyond that but she has so much anxiety in letting go of her J*B.

For me, yesterday was rough as I had to call a number of people who were on furlough, some had 30 years seniority, and tell them their position was eliminated. My department was only one of many that were impacted. Many people that I have known for decades in other areas were also released. It will be a long rest of the week as we all realize how many were impacted.


That is really rough. I canít imagine. My management was heading toward making me do that in June with the team I led and it was one of several major reasons I pulled the plug on the j*b and left last week instead of January, as Iíd planned.
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Old 07-16-2020, 08:07 AM   #11
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Yours is an emotional issue, not a financial one. You have to change your mental approach and (possibly) your self definition. You have functioned and defined yourself for a long time by your work, and the associated work relationships. Changing that is what you need to do.
You have plenty of money, even given the current volatility. Unless your discretionary expenses are crazy large amounts, between your pension, SS, and savings there is no justification for needing to continue working and the income it provides. You are 66, and not getting any more time to enjoy retirement. So do you want to spend the rrest of your time working, or doing other things that you can enjoy the benefits of your work and savings?
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Old 07-16-2020, 08:19 AM   #12
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So nobody else wanted to ask how someone with zero debt, no mortgage has a $190-200k yearly expenses? I know COL & taxes are high in NYC, but $69-70k/yr taxes high? Am I that out of touch? (Could be, wouldn’t be the first time). Most people wouldn’t call a $24k/yr pension small. It’s not easy street, but it ain’t peanuts either!

Without even looking at FIRECalc, $6k/m fixed income is $72k, leaving $130k “needed”. With a very safe (even with todays outlook) 3% WR, $5M is still $150k/yr, and that is mostly after tax! Walk away and deal with the feelings and what to do after you see what it is all about. After Covid, assuming your still alive and things get back to normal, then you can re-evaluate if you want to w*rk at something you love to do. The money for retirement sure isn’t a reason.

Edit: 38chevy beat me to it!
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Old 07-16-2020, 08:41 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
While we can give you all sorts of advise and encouragement, the issues you are having can only be resolved from within. You can only "let it go" when you are ready and you won't be ready until you are. Often that takes a health scare for you or someone close. Hopefully you can get there before that happens.
The mental (for me ) was the hardest part. Age 50 lay off, worked some temp gigs( aka contract engineer) and took early very small pension at 55. Finally found the forerunner to this forum.

Heh heh heh - lurk here and perhaps you too can become a 'born again slacker' I mean high class ER.
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Old 07-16-2020, 11:52 AM   #14
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The mental (for me ) was the hardest part. Age 50 lay off, worked some temp gigs( aka contract engineer) and took early very small pension at 55. Finally found the forerunner to this forum.



Heh heh heh - lurk here and perhaps you too can become a 'born again slacker' I mean high class ER.


Unclemick, Please tell us youngsters how you evolved past the mental struggle. Iím only on Day 6! Honestly, each day has been better than the last, with less w*rkplace mental hamster wheels spinning, so maybe Iím already getting the hang of it.
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Old 07-16-2020, 01:16 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Perryinva View Post
So nobody else wanted to ask how someone with zero debt, no mortgage has a $190-200k yearly expenses? I know COL & taxes are high in NYC, but $69-70k/yr taxes high? Am I that out of touch? (Could be, wouldn’t be the first time). Most people wouldn’t call a $24k/yr pension small. It’s not easy street, but it ain’t peanuts either!

Without even looking at FIRECalc, $6k/m fixed income is $72k, leaving $130k “needed”. With a very safe (even with todays outlook) 3% WR, $5M is still $150k/yr, and that is mostly after tax! Walk away and deal with the feelings and what to do after you see what it is all about. After Covid, assuming your still alive and things get back to normal, then you can re-evaluate if you want to w*rk at something you love to do. The money for retirement sure isn’t a reason.

Edit: 38chevy beat me to it!
TLDR: OP can easily have a $200k annual expense budget.

Sure, here's my targeted budget
Housing
a small house in a hcol area like the one I currently rent in the SF bay area is about $1.5m to buy, that is $15k in prop taxes, and generally folks budget 1% for maintenance so that's another $15k. Have a really nice house (there's a lovely one for $2.75m on the road I want to live on in our neighborhood) and that can go higher.

Transportation
I'm not a car person and my wife doesn't drive at all (city girl, she's talking about getting a vespa to get around the city maybe which would add a bit to this number) and I budget $10k a year for transportation costs (amortized vehicle purchase, operating costs, repairs, plus non-special air travel to visit family). If you like fancy cars instead of running a honda civic until it dies of old age, and you want two or more cars, that would be a bigger number.

Medical
There are repeat threads about how much this can cost, I personally budget $30k for myself and my wife, and probably should be targeting higher based on numbers I see coming out of other folks here.

Food/Drink/Consumables
I budget $40k a year for this, we eat well, my wife likes to drink, we throw frequent big parties where we host large numbers of people (I'm pretending that life will go back to normal someday and I need the budget) and we enjoy fancy restaurants, high quality sushi, and the occasional Michelin 3 star outing a couple times a year.

Hobbies/Toys/Clothes/Makeup/Electronic gadgets/Games/Books/Cooking Gadgets/etc
We each have a $10k a year budget for this.

Recreational Travel
My wife is a traveler and we expect this to be a big line item in retirement, I want to do a long antarctic cruise, when travel, and cramming into small boats are a thing again. Yeah right now nothing is being spent on this, but the budget includes $20k for this.

So that's $150k in after tax expenses I target for what we'd like to be able to spend. I want to be able to live our current lifestyle indefinitely with lots of adventure travel that we haven't been able to do while we've been saving and working.

If somebody has some fancier hobbies (high end photography, flying small airplanes, etc.) that can add a lot of money. Our food budget is high, but if you are a Michelin starred restaurant multiple times a week person, you will likely crush our food budget. More first class flights and 5 star hotels can run that travel budget way past ours. Own a couple houses, have them be nicer than what $1.5m can get you, there goes the house end of the budget. Be super into cars you can add essentially unlimited costs there. Heck, even that medical budget doesn't cover it if you end up with a loved one being sick with something that insurance doesn't want to treat and you end up spending on cutting edge medical care.
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Old 07-27-2020, 08:47 PM   #16
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Unclemick, Please tell us youngsters how you evolved past the mental struggle. I’m only on Day 6! Honestly, each day has been better than the last, with less w*rkplace mental hamster wheels spinning, so maybe I’m already getting the hang of it.
Not well actually. Was an under the radar lurker, outwardly unemployed job seeker with the appropriate mental attitude even though I 'knew' math wise we could make ends meet.

Luckily I discovered the forerunner to this forum and a few other early sites in the 1990's. However I really didn't 'come out' as early retired until age 55 early pension check ( 5 years later). Then I could go to the retirees luncheon gatherings as an official although young old phart. Grin. Paradox intended.

heh heh heh - ER and or FIRE is more 'official'.
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Old 07-28-2020, 06:46 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Retch The Grate View Post
TLDR: OP can easily have a $200k annual expense budget.

Sure, here's my targeted budget
Housing
a small house in a hcol area like the one I currently rent in the SF bay area is about $1.5m to buy, that is $15k in prop taxes, and generally folks budget 1% for maintenance so that's another $15k. Have a really nice house (there's a lovely one for $2.75m on the road I want to live on in our neighborhood) and that can go higher.

Transportation
I'm not a car person and my wife doesn't drive at all (city girl, she's talking about getting a vespa to get around the city maybe which would add a bit to this number) and I budget $10k a year for transportation costs (amortized vehicle purchase, operating costs, repairs, plus non-special air travel to visit family). If you like fancy cars instead of running a honda civic until it dies of old age, and you want two or more cars, that would be a bigger number.

Medical
There are repeat threads about how much this can cost, I personally budget $30k for myself and my wife, and probably should be targeting higher based on numbers I see coming out of other folks here.

Food/Drink/Consumables
I budget $40k a year for this, we eat well, my wife likes to drink, we throw frequent big parties where we host large numbers of people (I'm pretending that life will go back to normal someday and I need the budget) and we enjoy fancy restaurants, high quality sushi, and the occasional Michelin 3 star outing a couple times a year.

Hobbies/Toys/Clothes/Makeup/Electronic gadgets/Games/Books/Cooking Gadgets/etc
We each have a $10k a year budget for this.

Recreational Travel
My wife is a traveler and we expect this to be a big line item in retirement, I want to do a long antarctic cruise, when travel, and cramming into small boats are a thing again. Yeah right now nothing is being spent on this, but the budget includes $20k for this.

So that's $150k in after tax expenses I target for what we'd like to be able to spend. I want to be able to live our current lifestyle indefinitely with lots of adventure travel that we haven't been able to do while we've been saving and working.

If somebody has some fancier hobbies (high end photography, flying small airplanes, etc.) that can add a lot of money. Our food budget is high, but if you are a Michelin starred restaurant multiple times a week person, you will likely crush our food budget. More first class flights and 5 star hotels can run that travel budget way past ours. Own a couple houses, have them be nicer than what $1.5m can get you, there goes the house end of the budget. Be super into cars you can add essentially unlimited costs there. Heck, even that medical budget doesn't cover it if you end up with a loved one being sick with something that insurance doesn't want to treat and you end up spending on cutting edge medical care.
Your list is in fact very close to ours. The notion that $200k budget is outlandish, just shows how divergent and even disconnected people are from different parts of the country (and world). $200K budget is indeed $150k available after tax. I just paid Uncle Sam and NYS $40k last week . Touching
on some in your list: $23K property tax + homeowners Ins. on the house, maintenance+ repairs $6k, Utilities+ phones + internet $10k, Out of pocket health expenses $15k, Cars and related transportation $20k (3 cars, but only 1 car payment), (local sales tax is 8.625%), Food & dining $20k, consumables $10k, travel $20K,
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Old 07-28-2020, 07:44 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Retch The Grate View Post
TLDR: OP can easily have a $200k annual expense budget.

Sure, here's my targeted budget

Food/Drink/Consumables
I budget $40k a year for this, we eat well, my wife likes to drink, we throw frequent big parties where we host large numbers of people (I'm pretending that life will go back to normal someday and I need the budget) and we enjoy fancy restaurants, high quality sushi, and the occasional Michelin 3 star outing a couple times a year.
Wow! We (2 of us) eat "very" well (minus the frequent big parties where we host large numbers of people) at ~$8,300/yr - and that includes plenty of alcohol ...

Of course, that's eating out only 2-3X / month and cooking most of our food (including frequent filet, seafood and other more expensive entrees) at home..

Not doubting your #s, but hard to fathom how food can be $40K or so / yr without really going crazy eating at the highest end restaurants possible on a really frequent basis..that's >$3,333 / month which obviously is more than $100 a day on average..

The other #s posted for travel, healthcare, autos, etc seem pretty spot on..we're at ~$11K/yr for two leased autos, insurance + gas (not 'fancy' cars - 2 Jeeps), budget $15K or so/yr for travel ($0 for 2020), similar #s as you for healthcare, etc. But we also come in under $90K including taxes ($60 - $70K before taxes) for our total # and would be closer to $121K if we had your food budget..($40K - $8,300) + 90K..
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Old 07-28-2020, 01:06 PM   #19
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Have you thought about signing up for a short series of coaching sessions to help you work through your feelings about retirement? Of course, it's possible to read a self-help book on the subject, but sometimes it's worth the money to talk the issues through with a trained, objective counsellor.
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Old 07-28-2020, 02:22 PM   #20
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I have been very surprised how many people I've known who have ended up bored, unfulfilled and basically lost without employment. If you haven't lived a life with many other interests other than working, especially something that has or you think will provide a purpose, I'd strongly consider having your life's plan include some kind of work. It's nothing other than that's how some people are, simple as that.
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