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Old 07-17-2021, 06:22 AM   #61
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Hi, Kook. I'm 2 years into retirement, and I know what you mean. It took me about 5 years to completely pull the trigger. I had a lot of the same struggles that you did -- a lifelong pattern of saving/accumulating, a reluctance to give up the paycheck, and worries about making a mistake. It all seemed so "final," to quit work completely. I also had some apprehension about whether I'd be able to make retirement work for me (e.g., establishing new friendships, moving to a new location, finding enough to fill my time).

I spent a lot of time doing pro/con analyses, reflecting about the question, reading books about the topic, discussing concerns here. I went back and forth, back and forth.

For me, cutting back to part-time -- rather than quitting completely -- worked well. It was a way to take a half-step, to test the waters, see how it felt. I worked part-time for two years, then pulled the plug entirely. If part-time is an option for you, you might consider that. You can stepdown gradually, rather than all at once.

If it's any reassurance to your acquisitive nature, I've been surprised at how my resources have just continued to pile up during retirement. I expected that there would be a slow draw-down of those resources, but instead they have continued to grow and grow. I'm earning more now than I ever did by working (although I suspect you make considerably more than I did).

The "time > $" theme keeps being repeated. That was a big factor in my eventual decision to pull the plug. At a certain point, I actually felt embarrassed about continuing to work. I felt as if it was a breach of personal integrity or courage, to continue to churn away at a job I no longer enjoyed, just for the sake of a paycheck I no longer needed. It felt shallow to me.

I knew that from the perspective of finances, I was fine; I had nothing to worry about. So why was I hesitating? For me, it was worry. Worry about losing the intellectual and social stimulation of work. Worry about making a mistake. Worry about the finality of the decision. Worry about life without the customary props of paycheck and benefits and work culture.

In the end, the timing was a personal thing. They say you'll know in your gut when it's time, and I knew.

No regrets. None of my worries have come to pass. Retirement has been a wonderful, stimulating, exciting phase in my life. It's the best I've felt in decades. I encourage you to jump in - when you're ready, that is.
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Old 07-17-2021, 07:49 AM   #62
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Kook, I'm in the club too. Could pull the trigger wherever I want (about to turn 55). But WFH during the pandemic has been a dream come true (though I already did it 2x a week). And if I can finesse my way into maybe only going on one day a week, it'd be even harder to leave. Plus, four+ years into widowhood, I'm still only figuring out what I'd want to do with myself. So, in the meantime, if Megacorp wants to keep giving me money, it's hard to stop.

(Also, my leaving would put them in quite a bind, and they sense that I don't really have to work anymore. So the leverage is nice.)
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Same here at that point in life
Old 07-17-2021, 09:40 AM   #63
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Same here at that point in life

Was in a similar situation to you except I was 60 yo at the time, and our assets showed us having more of a multiple than even yours, which are also impressive. What caused me to stop after a lifetime (starting at age 7 or so) of loving the accumulation stage, and of making good money? The wife. She was retired for three years already and said she wanted to travel and have fun while we were still able to. Even though I had initial trepidation, it has been seven years now and it is great. Assets have grown well in the seven years. Get out and enjoy life, my friend.
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Old 07-17-2021, 11:19 AM   #64
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I'm in the same boat (FI but struggling to pull the RE trigger before my DW). Positive testimonials are encouraging, but the market may not perform as well over the next decade as it has over the past decade (see similar posts in threads a decade ago, for example).


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I would think it more risky to retire in a bull market, where a 4% SWR would be a lot more. Really, a 4% during a bull market might represent 5% or 6% later on in the depths of a bear market.
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I am like you
Old 07-17-2021, 12:10 PM   #65
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I am like you

Very similar situation. I retired 3 years ago at 57, I had all the points for hotels and airlines after decades of travel. After retirement we did extensive travel to Europe, South Africa, and the United States. Best thing I ever did....however, it is always better when the wife is retired too. She retired before me about 4 years prior.

We have no debt and about $3.5 million in cash, retirement accounts etc. Plus we have a house worth about $850K free and clear.

I have come to the conclusion our kids will get plenty when we die. However, in our 60's we are going to continue to travel a lot and enjoy anything we want to do because when I'm in my 80's.....I will not have the energy to do it. I am also not setting a goal to see how much I can give my kids....they will be fine if it is $5 million or $500K.

In the mean time, we are having a lot of fun.....party on!
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Old 07-17-2021, 02:17 PM   #66
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It is tough to stop. Iíve been counting the days til June 29, 2022, my target end date, and BOOM - Iím offered a better job at another company and I accept. What the heck is wrong with me

I guess I still am not mentally ready to step out of work. The type of job I accepted is one I had been coveting for a few years; a good challenge for me and one that had eluded me earlier in my career. Iíve been so bored with work; maybe this is the role that makes me feel challenged and interested in what Iím doing at work.

I guess I can quit whenever I want if I donít like it. I still dream of being on the beach somewhere or playing tennis all day. Yet here I am, about to continue my career. I have enough money so there must still be some internal reason why Iím not hanging it up.
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Old 07-17-2021, 02:36 PM   #67
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Boy, are they going to be surprised next June!
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Old 07-17-2021, 02:39 PM   #68
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A confident ER at 55 for me meant I wanted to be at 33x minimum my yearly spending. I ER'd two years now at 53 instead and I barley spend $30k per year let alone the $50k I planned for. All the numbers look above great but I still worry about running out of money due to some useable event and I think many of us inevitably do continue to worry even when all is going well.
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Old 07-17-2021, 02:55 PM   #69
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A confident ER at 55 for me meant I wanted to be at 33x minimum my yearly spending. I ER'd two years now at 53 instead and I barley spend $30k per year let alone the $50k I planned for. All the numbers look above great but I still worry about running out of money due to some useable event and I think many of us inevitably do continue to worry even when all is going well.
So if I did correct math, you are at about $1.6 million, and withdraw $30k annually? I have just about the same amount in one of my after-tax accounts and the qualified dividends bring in about $53,000 annually. Passive income was the game-changer for me. Make each dollar go to work for ME, while I retired. I just spend income, and have not touched 'capital' since i retired a decade ago.

There will always be "unforseen events". How are you invested?
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Old 07-17-2021, 09:45 PM   #70
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I have been saving, saving, saving and living below my means for over 25 years. Now, at 57 (almost 58), I have accumulated 43x current spending and 30x projected spending, which includes health care and increased spending. DW is also bringing in anywhere from 60-100K per year in her job and she has no intention of giving it up just yet. Social Security also awaits.

For the past several years I have dreamed of having "enough" and quitting my high stress, high paying job. I have done OMY twice now.

I guess its the psychological aspect of being an accumulator and transitioning to the spending phase . I love accumulating - everything from money, hotel points, credit card points to pocket change. I have jars and jars of change.

I have my resignation letter ready and my corporate BS bucket is completely overflowing, but I am just having a hard time giving it up.


There is so much that I want to do and I know that I will never be as healthy, active and young as I am now and time is flying by. Yet....here I am.


Is it me? I know the time is right but what if its not? There is just such a finality to it because I will never make the same money once I resign. Anyone else have/ had this problem?

Man, is it tough!
It is not you or at least just you. Was the same for me but the smartest thing I did was to invest money that would deliver funds every month into my checking account automatically. Investment accounts still grow but I am not withdrawing money! After 8 years retired I feel terrible when I pull out a chunk of money for something from my investment account Purely psychological but it works for me
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Pulling the Trigger
Old 07-18-2021, 06:29 AM   #71
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Pulling the Trigger

In the accumulation part. You should be able to continue that, at the level you have achieved. However, I have found for me the journey in some ways is better than the destination. So stay on the journey at your own pace. Congratulations!
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Pulling the Trigger is Tough!
Old 07-18-2021, 07:25 AM   #72
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Pulling the Trigger is Tough!

Also, itís important to keep oneís promises - including to oneself. I think part of the reason we often get so tied in knots approaching retirement is that OMY Syndrome is a failure to keep oneís word, in a sense, or honor a commitment made, and a failure to stick to a plan. We wouldnít do that to other people but we can easily and thoughtlessly shaft ourselves. And there are consequences.

My former supervisor is such a person. A lovely workaholic, it took her YEARS to finally quit, torturing her retired husband whose clock was ticking and wanted her to travel, and her staff who were in perpetual wait and see mode. When itís time to go, the kindest thing for everyone involved, is to go.
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Old 07-18-2021, 08:44 AM   #73
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I just went back and re-read all the comments, and wow...thank you all!

It seems that my "psychological problem" is pretty common, both with those who have already retired and wondered if it was the right thing to do at the time, and for those who are in my boat waiting to pull the trigger. That is reassuring. However, and very helpful for me and my decision, those comments from those who have already retired, I don't recall seeing a single post from anyone regretting their decision. Overwhelmingly, they are glad they did and wish they would have done it sooner. Most stated that their portfolio has also increased since retirement.

I need to clarify that in my original post I stated that I had 43x current expenses. However, this does not include health care and increased travel. When I factor those two added costs in (22K/year in healthcare, 10 - 15k additional travel), my projected expenses are only a smidge over 30x. That said, my wife is still making 60 - 100k per year....so there's that. Also, SS awaits.

I am going on vacation in 10 days and expect to come back with a definite decision. 99% sure that means retiring.
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Old 07-18-2021, 09:41 AM   #74
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Me also. Diagnosed with BPH in 2013. Recent eight week follow up PSA was 3.97. Previous in April was 3.75. Up to 4.00 is considered normal for my age group but given I'm 55 Doc says it's still a bit high normal for age. Primary Doc referred me to a urologist which a have an upcoming initial next week. What's scary is the only previous correct ways to diagnose was needle biopsy but that's now no longer consider the gold standard because a cancer can still be missed.

I'm reading that a MRI prostate is the best and of course less evasive and no risk of infection so I hope to go that route.
I have requested an MRI scan of prostate at least twice, but my urologist said that it is not necessary. I saw him very year once. I had a negative biopsy about 7 years ago. I will ask for an MRI scan again later this year when I see him.
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Old 07-18-2021, 09:45 AM   #75
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Kook,
There is truly addition by subtraction. If you're concerned about what you'll do retired, or whatever, clarity comes without a cluttered mind. It is difficult to think under stress. Your vision will clear once the work stresses disappear.
With solid finances and supportive wife you've got the basics covered. You'll figure out the rest without the pressure of work on you.

I made my decision to resign/retire in Nov 2017. Worked thru the boring winter and eventually left about June 30, 2018. Going 2 more months to get your bonus is easy.

Many of us pass up bonuses or stock options when leaving. That's part of retirement.
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Old 07-18-2021, 10:56 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by ER Eddie View Post
Hi, Kook. I'm 2 years into retirement, and I know what you mean. It took me about 5 years to completely pull the trigger. I had a lot of the same struggles that you did -- a lifelong pattern of saving/accumulating, a reluctance to give up the paycheck, and worries about making a mistake. It all seemed so "final," to quit work completely. I also had some apprehension about whether I'd be able to make retirement work for me (e.g., establishing new friendships, moving to a new location, finding enough to fill my time).

...

At a certain point, I actually felt embarrassed about continuing to work. I felt as if it was a breach of personal integrity or courage, to continue to churn away at a job I no longer enjoyed, just for the sake of a paycheck I no longer needed. It felt shallow to me.
This is sort of where I'm at. I know I'm "close" but just haven't been able to summon the courage. My business is competitive and the chances of me finding the level of job I have again are slim to none.

But I totally get the "embarrassed" feeling. I have also been considering that by me staying just out of fear is preventing a younger person from having the opportunity I've had.

For the moment I'm trying to make the very best of my job, which means taking all my vacation and mentoring others while I'm in the seat. But I am really looking forward to the moment when "I'll know."
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Old 07-18-2021, 11:56 AM   #77
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Kook,
There is truly addition by subtraction. If you're concerned about what you'll do retired, or whatever, clarity comes without a cluttered mind. It is difficult to think under stress. Your vision will clear once the work stresses disappear.
With solid finances and supportive wife you've got the basics covered. You'll figure out the rest without the pressure of work on you.

Wisely said. Thank you.
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Old 07-18-2021, 12:04 PM   #78
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Also, itís important to keep oneís promises - including to oneself. I think part of the reason we often get so tied in knots approaching retirement is that OMY Syndrome is a failure to keep oneís word, in a sense, or honor a commitment made, and a failure to stick to a plan. We wouldnít do that to other people but we can easily and thoughtlessly shaft ourselves. And there are consequences.

Funny you say that. 6 or 7 years ago I promised my wife that I would retire once I achieved 25x expenses. In fact, I put it in writing and placed it in our safe. That was always the plan but OMY just kept leading to OMY, and with it, more cushion. My wife is not at all unhappy that I have kept working and has encouraged me either way. We have both benefited from the OMY. That said....and as many have said, one knows when it is time and I think I am about there. The time vs money thing is really starting to sink in.
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Old 07-18-2021, 12:31 PM   #79
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I worked with someone who retired. She came back as a consultant a year later working almost full time and I asked why she did it. She didn't need the money she was just bored and needed something to do as she didn't have any hobbies. I asked her what she was doing now to create hobbies so she wouldn't have the same problem in the future. She gave me a deer in the headlights look and said she hadn't thought about it

The lesson I took from that is to not sit around thinking about your identity based on your job. I plan on off roading more, camping more. I bought a welder and plan to take a class to learn how to use it. I built a gym in my house as I see my primary job is to stay as healthy as I can to enjoy life to the fullest. If I get bored, I will by an old vehicle and restore it or learn woodworking and enhance my house. In other words, when you retire you are starting anew phase of your life and leave the old one behind. Try new things you have always wanted to do and expand the stuff you enjoy doing.

Now since I am not retiring until the end of the year, we will see how this works in reality, but the majority of the posts I see on this site and talking to my brothers who have retired suggest that is the right way to approach this.

In my case, breaking is still hard. I have been designing, building and operating spacecraft for 38 years. It's a cool profession and one that has given me great satisfaction. It is still a megacorp with all the BS that goes with it. I have already moved my date twice (by months) due to upcoming milestones to make it easier on the team. It was labor day and now I am going out the first week of January, just coming in after the two week holiday to checkout
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Old 07-18-2021, 12:50 PM   #80
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The lesson I took from that is to not sit around thinking about your identity based on your job. I plan on off roading more, camping more. I bought a welder and plan to take a class to learn how to use it. I built a gym in my house as I see my primary job is to stay as healthy as I can to enjoy life to the fullest. If I get bored, I will by an old vehicle and restore it or learn woodworking and enhance my house. In other words, when you retire you are starting anew phase of your life and leave the old one behind. Try new things you have always wanted to do and expand the stuff you enjoy doing.
Losing my identity has been one of my biggest concerns. My job has pretty much been who I am for the past 30 years and most of my friends are associated with my job but they are all scattered across the US.

I do have plenty of hobbies and woodworking is one of them, so I plan to keep plenty busy. I don't think that will be a problem at all. The social aspect is a concern, though. Luckily, my wife is also my best friend so I have that but our local friends are few so I will need to venture out socially in our community.
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