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Strange Pre-FIRE Dreams
Old 05-10-2021, 11:29 AM   #1
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Strange Pre-FIRE Dreams

My planned FIRE date is March 2022. I have spent many years diligently doing the number crunching and expense tracking (FIREcalc is 100% success rate, Vanguard PAS has me at 95%). So I'm comfortable that I'm good to go on my planned timeline and have some plans in place for my post-FIRE life.

I have never been out of work and spent almost 30 years in the corporate trenches w*rking 9-5 (often more) so w*rk has been a major part of my adult life.

Recently I've been having strange dreams that I think are related to FIRE. They generally follow a pattern of me at w*rk (on a large corporate campus) wandering around interacting with various people - some past colleagues, some personal friends and family. Then inevitably I take a turn and end up on some type of dark road or path. I realize I'm lost but keep moving forward toward something I cannot see in the distance. Once it was a beautiful canyon with a river running through it, another time it just lead to a maze of more trails.

I'm guessing this is the manifestation of some uncertainties related to FIRE.

Anyone else have any strange dreams prior to pulling the plug?
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Old 05-10-2021, 03:13 PM   #2
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@caninelover What do people in your family or close circle think about FIRE, either directly or indirectly? Have you discussed FIRE with any of these people? This can play into your conscious and subconscious thoughts.

Retirement, which means ending paid work, is a big life change. When my spouse and I started talking about the "R" word (retirement), it was viewed as scary by my spouse. We no longer call it the "R" word, but spouse is not as favorably disposed towards it as I am.

Summary - comprehend the idea that people in your close circle can influence you.
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Old 05-10-2021, 03:39 PM   #3
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@caninelover What do people in your family or close circle think about FIRE, either directly or indirectly? Have you discussed FIRE with any of these people? This can play into your conscious and subconscious thoughts.
I've discussed at great lengths with my SO and he is completely supportive. He is also the only opinion that truly matters to me

I've discussed with close friends and they too are supportive (and a little envious in some cases).

My parents are of the opinion that I'll be bored if I retire so young (50 next year), so maybe that's the influence that is spurring the dreams. I haven't discussed it with them recently though and was only planning to tell them my firm plans later this year.
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Old 05-11-2021, 12:07 AM   #4
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I don't recall having such dreams prior to my early retirement. "After" I retired, for a few years I did have some dreams about being back at w*rk. Most times those dreams involved a plot along the lines of I was doing (or being asked to do) some project at work I didn't really want to do. And I was happy knowing I was going to just walk away when I wanted to. Sometimes, the dream involved using up most of my project budget then leaving them in the lurch with the project nowhere near completion! Other times, I wasn't as persnickety to them, but just had a feeling of gladness knowing I could walk out whenever I wanted.
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Old 05-11-2021, 09:56 AM   #5
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I have a feeling I'll have post-FIRE dreams as well but not sure what they will entail!

RetireeRobert - right now that is the w*rk mindset I'm in - trying to keep my head in the game but not taking it seriously since I know I'm about to FIRE! It is so nice to not get caught up in the stress of the rat race...
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Old 05-11-2021, 10:55 AM   #6
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Perhaps your brain is trying to warn you that early retirement won't necessarily be nothing but rainbows and sunshine?

I think this is relevant to this thread: https://livingafi.com/2021/03/17/the...rement-update/ [The entire blog is great, btw]

This link provides an update to somebody who took early retirement ~5 years ago. It made me re-think some of my own post-FI plans, and indicates some of the potential snags that you may possibly hit after early retirement.

Worth reading and considering before you hit next March.

And in any case, congrats on your financial accomplishments thus far!
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Old 05-11-2021, 01:51 PM   #7
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I read that article with some trepidation but soon realised the author was in his late 30s when he retired. I have no doubt that retiring at such a young age played a significant factor in his experiences. Nonetheless, some thought provoking comments and down to earth realisations.
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Old 05-11-2021, 03:41 PM   #8
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Perhaps your brain is trying to warn you that early retirement won't necessarily be nothing but rainbows and sunshine?

I think this is relevant to this thread: https://livingafi.com/2021/03/17/the...rement-update/ [The entire blog is great, btw]

This link provides an update to somebody who took early retirement ~5 years ago. It made me re-think some of my own post-FI plans, and indicates some of the potential snags that you may possibly hit after early retirement.

Worth reading and considering before you hit next March.

And in any case, congrats on your financial accomplishments thus far!
Interesting blog post.

I've been surprisingly content during the pandemic lockdowns so that's helped convinced me to pull the trigger next year. I am also not lean FIRE so I have some money to dabble in travel, hobbies, and social activities. And a few of my friends are already retired so I have a social circle to do these activities with. Mostly I'm definitely older than the poster (will retire right before my 50th birthday) but there are still a lot of good years ahead.

But I think the basis of my fears are that my parents are right and I will be bored after a couple of years in retirement. I have a master's degree and have a 'Plan B' to teach at the local community college if I do need something to fill time - but I still can't lose these pesky dreams!

Thanks Zach!
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Old 05-11-2021, 03:43 PM   #9
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I read that article with some trepidation but soon realised the author was in his late 30s when he retired. I have no doubt that retiring at such a young age played a significant factor in his experiences. Nonetheless, some thought provoking comments and down to earth realisations.
Agree - and his point about his peers moving on an upwards with their lifestyle while he and his wife weren't was very interesting and sincere. At that age I would probably feel the same but in my 30's I was still full of ambition and wanting to work the hours and climb the ladder. Right now I feel like I've been there and done that. And our friends are retired or retiring soon - so also generally steady with their spending/lifestyles or even scaling back a bit as they age.
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Old 05-11-2021, 04:36 PM   #10
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I retired a few months ago and no real work dreams, but dreams have been more vivid and I recall them more, probably since the daily tasks don't come rushing in when I wake up.

One the money side, Firecalc uses historical data, whereas Vanguard uses Monte Carlo. Monte Carlo always produces unrealistic "fat tails" as unlike real markets, there's no reversion to the mean. So you seem to be good to go.

My countdown year dragged on forever, hope you are able to get through yours more easily.
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Old 05-12-2021, 04:12 AM   #11
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I think we all have strange dreams. At this time you're surfacing a dream, probably because you have conflict in your life about retiring at fifty. In one column are the opinions of parents. In the other is what your SO thinks. Sounds like you're straddling these opinions while your ER event approaches. Nothing unusual here, at least as I see it. Enjoy the times!
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Old 05-12-2021, 09:36 AM   #12
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I retired a few months ago and no real work dreams, but dreams have been more vivid and I recall them more, probably since the daily tasks don't come rushing in when I wake up.

One the money side, Firecalc uses historical data, whereas Vanguard uses Monte Carlo. Monte Carlo always produces unrealistic "fat tails" as unlike real markets, there's no reversion to the mean. So you seem to be good to go.

My countdown year dragged on forever, hope you are able to get through yours more easily.
Thanks Exchme. It is dragging on. I am trying to focus on the next holiday instead of the overall countdown (i.e. Memorial Day, then after that a short time to July 4th, then after that a short time to Labor Day, etc.) but the feeling of being in limbo - especially when my work colleagues don't have a clue yet so I also feel a little guilty about that too.

Yes I also check Fido's calculator and don't recall the score there but it was high. I feel like I'm good to go from a numbers standpoint and I have thought through some safety buttons to push if the outlook sours after the first few years.
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Old 05-12-2021, 09:39 AM   #13
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I think we all have strange dreams. At this time you're surfacing a dream, probably because you have conflict in your life about retiring at fifty. In one column are the opinions of parents. In the other is what your SO thinks. Sounds like you're straddling these opinions while your ER event approaches. Nothing unusual here, at least as I see it. Enjoy the times!
Thanks target, yes that is what I think it is too. I hope I stop dreaming about w*rk soon after FIRE-ing...
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Old 05-12-2021, 11:16 AM   #14
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Thanks target, yes that is what I think it is too. I hope I stop dreaming about w*rk soon after FIRE-ing...
Unfortunately work dreams may continue.

I sent this to my kid just this morning. It may fit your situation with some tweaking. The idea is that parents need to find the proper row or level to sit in.
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Old 05-12-2021, 11:21 AM   #15
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Unfortunately work dreams may continue.

I sent this to my kid just this morning. It may fit your situation with some tweaking. The idea is that parents need to find the proper row or level to sit in.
I love this, thanks!
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Old 05-12-2021, 11:32 AM   #16
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Strange dreams? No. Occasional insomnia from overthinking my plan.
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Old 05-12-2021, 11:45 AM   #17
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Strange dreams? No. Occasional insomnia from overthinking my plan.
My insomnia is more than occasional and is menopause-fueled. But during those times I do lay awake and overthink my plan
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Old 05-13-2021, 03:22 AM   #18
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Can't recall a pre-fire dream - for one thing "pre" and reality was about a week - unless you count the 7 years POST FI that I continued w*rking 'cause it was fun - until the day it wasn't.

Since then, I've had a few clusters of dreams (2 or 3 in a week - then none for 6 months, then a year, etc.) Most have been irritating at worst. Thinking back to some stupid Megacorp edict or policy or more likely, program (Performance Excellence comes to mind.) No actual night mares. Even a few pleasant dreams about folks I actually miss - once in a while. YMMV
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Old 05-13-2021, 07:50 AM   #19
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The closest thing to a pre-FIRE dream was the frequent voice in my head asking me, "Why am I still working here?"
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Old 05-13-2021, 10:39 AM   #20
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The closest thing to a pre-FIRE dream was the frequent voice in my head asking me, "Why am I still working here?"
This is actually what I think about when I'm awake - especially when w*rk begins to talk about going back into the office. Yuck.
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