Kook, I could have written many of your words! I am also an accumulator.
My original retirement target was 2017 but for various personal (divorce) and professional (project I wanted to see through) it got pushed out.
After working from home for over a year and loving it I really started to look for a way to retire when my ccompany decided it was time for everyone to work in the office earlier this year. I found a way to make it happen now so was faced with a dilemma. One issue is tha my partner has a traditional pension and cannot retire for a couple more years. So if I retire now my travel and other plans would be limited for a couple of years. I have also taken on a new project that I want to follow through.
Is this OMY syndrome? Maybe.
But I've now set a date, the Friday before my 59th birthday, just over 2 years from now. I have repurposed my job until then as a means to "accumulating" several personal goals:
- achieving a professional certification that depends on my job (I know, no value in retirement but a nice personal accomplishment)
- achieving the highest tier lifetime elite status in a travel loyalty program (requires spending that I could still afford in retirement but my income will make it easier)
- achieving a million points in that program. (Done, just recently.) This will be enough to fund 2-3 years of travel in retirement.
- Doing some remodeling on my house
- Accumulating 10 years at my present employer (which leads to a valuable perk/recognition plus a few thousand extra bonus pay)
Knowing I can quit anytime might mean I make a rash decision if management does something stupid. But having a date written down has really made time fly since I did it this spring. I like my job. I just don't like having a job when my time could be my own!
Our road trip through California this summer, which was after picking my date, was also an influence. Seeing the horrible condition of the forests in California (this was mostly before the fires currently burning) and watching what is happening with the Colorado River has made me realize that time may be running out to see some of the things I want to see in the world. While I have always believed in climate change, I have never worried too much about it because I viewed it as something that would have impact long after I am dead. I know it is selfish but realizing some things I have on my bucket list might be gone forever in a few years has put renewed urgency on leaving work behind and getting out to see them.