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Old 07-04-2018, 08:52 PM   #581
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Summary of my first 6 months of retirement (spoiler alert - itís fantastic!)

Background: 57 years old with a 60 year old DW and one successfully independent child. Retired at the start of 2018 after 35 years with my defense industry megacorp. I was fortunate to have a decent pension although they announced a freezing of the pension that is being phased in and donít offer the pension to new employees. Started as a software engineer and worked my way to a Program Manager position with about 400 people reporting to me. My last 8 to 10 years, I averaged about 50 to 55 hours a week, traveled about 2 weeks a month and felt under constant pressure. However, I did enjoy my work, believed it was important to our national defense and loved my co-workers. DW was a RN and has also retired now.

I started saving through our 401k plan a bit late, starting around age 32, after 10 years of working. We gradually increased my 401k deferments up to 13% with a 4% match from my company. Retired with a 401k balance of about $1.3M, split about 60/40. With my pension and savings (401k, DWís IRA, and after tax savings) we have about the same spendable income as when we were working. We are also eligible for about $40k a year in social security if we both take payments at age 62.

Deciding it was time: I went through a phase about 10 years ago with my spreadsheet planning where I calculated how much additional money I would have if I worked until 60 or 62. I mean thatís still pretty early, right? By age 55, my annual retirement income was increasing about $8k to $10k for each additional year I worked. So working an extra 5 years until I was 62 would produce a minimum of an extra $40k a year in income! And since I enjoyed my work, I could have done that.

Then as I approached age 55, I realized we would have enough to be happy by 57 and decided that enough is enough! But that took some time and real soul searching to decide I could walk away from that much money. It was a very scary decision.

Best preparation: I read the Ernie Zelinski books on retirement and it helped reduce my fears about how I would spend my time. I highly recommend for people to spend some time planning for the non-financial part of their life in FIRE.

Best things about FIRE:
- Having a sleep schedule more natural to my body. I never enjoyed getting up at 630am.
- Being able to enjoy the morning with a leisurely breakfast and newspaper. Previously, I was on the road within 30 minutes of waking up and mornings were just miserable.
- Getting 10,000 steps a day without really trying; Before FIRE, I averaged about 2,000 steps unless I was able to make it to the gym. And going to the gym meant giving up an hour of sleep.
- Having time to read. Previously, the only time I read was on airplanes.
- Being able to take time to do something right without either rushing or doing multiple things at a time. I got pretty good at multitasking at work but I hated having to always cut corners with everything I did.
- I donít feel resentful doing household chores or running errands. Before, my free time was so limited that I would get mad when it was time to cut the grass.
- My blood pressure dropped about 10 points within days of announcing my departure at work. I always felt like I handled work stress pretty well but after FIRE I realized how much the job had affected me.
- Playing golf on Wednesdays. Makes me feel like Iím playing hooky from work. Every week now on my way to the golf course, i break out in a huge smile and just shake my head in disbelief.

Downside of FIRE:
- Healthcare premiums went way up. Although Iím eligible for retirement medical ďbenefitsĒ from my company, they put the retirees into their own pool and so the premiums are sky high. Iím actually saving about $100 a month using COBRA and paying 102% of the cost of my employee plan.
- Occasional guilt for not working. Mostly for my friends and co-workers who are older than me and some may never be able to retire. It takes a certain amount of luck to avoid job loss, health issues, divorce or other factors that delay retirement and I feel very fortunate to have avoided those. But the guilt doesnít last long

So my 6 month report is overwhelming positive! I havenít been bored even once and I appreciate my freedom every day. Will that wear off in a few years? I donít know, but for now Iím still pinching myself every day in disbelief that we pulled this off.

Thanks to all the wonderful contributions to this board for all the wisdom, help and encouragement. I might not ever believed it was possible to FIRE without the assistance of this site.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:06 PM   #582
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Thanks for the report and congratulations on the success thus far!

I too read Ernieís books. I donít think the transition will be an issue for me. I already have a huge list of things to keep me busy in retirement. Right now Iím just waiting on the calendar...
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:59 PM   #583
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boilerman View Post
Summary of my first 6 months of retirement (spoiler alert - itís fantastic!)

Background: 57 years old with a 60 year old DW and one successfully independent child. Retired at the start of 2018 after 35 years with my defense industry megacorp. I was fortunate to have a decent pension although they announced a freezing of the pension that is being phased in and donít offer the pension to new employees. Started as a software engineer and worked my way to a Program Manager position with about 400 people reporting to me. My last 8 to 10 years, I averaged about 50 to 55 hours a week, traveled about 2 weeks a month and felt under constant pressure. However, I did enjoy my work, believed it was important to our national defense and loved my co-workers. DW was a RN and has also retired now.

I started saving through our 401k plan a bit late, starting around age 32, after 10 years of working. We gradually increased my 401k deferments up to 13% with a 4% match from my company. Retired with a 401k balance of about $1.3M, split about 60/40. With my pension and savings (401k, DWís IRA, and after tax savings) we have about the same spendable income as when we were working. We are also eligible for about $40k a year in social security if we both take payments at age 62.

Deciding it was time: I went through a phase about 10 years ago with my spreadsheet planning where I calculated how much additional money I would have if I worked until 60 or 62. I mean thatís still pretty early, right? By age 55, my annual retirement income was increasing about $8k to $10k for each additional year I worked. So working an extra 5 years until I was 62 would produce a minimum of an extra $40k a year in income! And since I enjoyed my work, I could have done that.

Then as I approached age 55, I realized we would have enough to be happy by 57 and decided that enough is enough! But that took some time and real soul searching to decide I could walk away from that much money. It was a very scary decision.

Best preparation: I read the Ernie Zelinski books on retirement and it helped reduce my fears about how I would spend my time. I highly recommend for people to spend some time planning for the non-financial part of their life in FIRE.

Best things about FIRE:
- Having a sleep schedule more natural to my body. I never enjoyed getting up at 630am.
- Being able to enjoy the morning with a leisurely breakfast and newspaper. Previously, I was on the road within 30 minutes of waking up and mornings were just miserable.
- Getting 10,000 steps a day without really trying; Before FIRE, I averaged about 2,000 steps unless I was able to make it to the gym. And going to the gym meant giving up an hour of sleep.
- Having time to read. Previously, the only time I read was on airplanes.
- Being able to take time to do something right without either rushing or doing multiple things at a time. I got pretty good at multitasking at work but I hated having to always cut corners with everything I did.
- I donít feel resentful doing household chores or running errands. Before, my free time was so limited that I would get mad when it was time to cut the grass.
- My blood pressure dropped about 10 points within days of announcing my departure at work. I always felt like I handled work stress pretty well but after FIRE I realized how much the job had affected me.
- Playing golf on Wednesdays. Makes me feel like Iím playing hooky from work. Every week now on my way to the golf course, i break out in a huge smile and just shake my head in disbelief.

Downside of FIRE:
- Healthcare premiums went way up. Although Iím eligible for retirement medical ďbenefitsĒ from my company, they put the retirees into their own pool and so the premiums are sky high. Iím actually saving about $100 a month using COBRA and paying 102% of the cost of my employee plan.
- Occasional guilt for not working. Mostly for my friends and co-workers who are older than me and some may never be able to retire. It takes a certain amount of luck to avoid job loss, health issues, divorce or other factors that delay retirement and I feel very fortunate to have avoided those. But the guilt doesnít last long

So my 6 month report is overwhelming positive! I havenít been bored even once and I appreciate my freedom every day. Will that wear off in a few years? I donít know, but for now Iím still pinching myself every day in disbelief that we pulled this off.

Thanks to all the wonderful contributions to this board for all the wisdom, help and encouragement. I might not ever believed it was possible to FIRE without the assistance of this site.
Congratulations Boilerman. I wouldn't be surprised if we retired from the same megacorp. Lots of similarities in your background with megacorp and mine. I look forward to reading more updates from you.
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:36 AM   #584
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That's a Wrap!

Sitting here at my desk with only 3hrs of my working life left to go!

My DW is also retiring today - DOUBLE !!!

We were on the list for October since DW would turn 55, but in February, DW's employer decided they would no longer offer retiree health insurance benefits for new retirees So we figured - why wait?

We have been weekend sail- and trawler-boaters for 25+ years on far too many different boats. We have now purchased a used live-aboard capable boat and will be selling our ďdirt homeĒ in the next couple of months and moving aboard full time. Now this is true ďdownsizingĒ!

There will be enough continuous maintenance and repair issues with the diesel, electrical, and water systems that will keep my engineering mind plenty busy. We will cruise locally for a few months, get some projects on the boat completed, and then maybe down to the FL keys this winter -- chasing the 80 degree weather.

In the spring we will start the Great Loop (America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association) which is typically a year or more, following the four seasons. The Bahamas will be also be must when we come back around. After that, we donít know -- or care !!

Drone picture from Memorial Day this year

I already smashed the alarm clock this morning.....
That's awesome. I would love to be able to do that. But, my kids are 5, 6, 8. So we are more home bound retired.
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Old 07-06-2018, 07:36 PM   #585
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With the health issues Iíve developed, issues at MegaCorp and my general attitude, Iím evaluating revising my FIRE date from December 28th to November 30th. Nothing in stone yet. Stay tuned...
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Old 07-06-2018, 09:38 PM   #586
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Retired today! Left at noon and spent the afternoon fixing the pool pump. Celebrated with a glass of very good brandy this evening!
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Old 07-07-2018, 04:52 AM   #587
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Retired today! Left at noon and spent the afternoon fixing the pool pump. Celebrated with a glass of very good brandy this evening!


Congratulations!
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Old 07-07-2018, 07:32 AM   #588
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...spent the afternoon fixing the pool pump...
Sounds like a dream come true.
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Old 07-07-2018, 08:58 AM   #589
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Sounds like a dream come true.


You know what? For me, piddling around the house and fixing or cleaning stuff is my dream!
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Old 07-07-2018, 03:31 PM   #590
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You know what? For me, piddling around the house and fixing or cleaning stuff is my dream!
It is amazing how gratifying housework is compared to completing assessment reports that everybody wants, but nobody reads. Those clean windows? They provide value!
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:04 PM   #591
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IT'S DONE The rest of the month is vacation. The rest of my life is here! What a combination of feelings - gratitude, excitement, satisfaction, anticipation, curiosity. Adjustment .... what adjustment? I'm here!
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:54 PM   #592
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IT'S DONE The rest of the month is vacation. The rest of my life is here! What a combination of feelings - gratitude, excitement, satisfaction, anticipation, curiosity. Adjustment .... what adjustment? I'm here!


Congratulations!!
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:42 PM   #593
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Congrats Pellice!
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:54 PM   #594
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Retired today! Left at noon and spent the afternoon fixing the pool pump. Celebrated with a glass of very good brandy this evening!
Congratulations. It was great day one and keeps getting better.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:55 PM   #595
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IT'S DONE The rest of the month is vacation. The rest of my life is here! What a combination of feelings - gratitude, excitement, satisfaction, anticipation, curiosity. Adjustment .... what adjustment? I'm here!
Congratulations!
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:11 PM   #596
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Congratulations to the Class of 18', thus far. Hopefully, more will join.
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:28 PM   #597
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Congratulations to the Class of 18', thus far. Hopefully, more will join.


Unfortunately Iím afraid I will be last. Right now my date is 12/28. There is a chance however I may move it to 11/30...
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:53 PM   #598
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I'm a bad classmate. Somehow I've gotten into OMM. I'm still in Aug, just the end instead of the start. I have to stop this madness!
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:11 PM   #599
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Unfortunately Iím afraid I will be last. Right now my date is 12/28...
Nope, I am 31 December.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:25 PM   #600
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Congrats! The commute here on Oahu is mind-numbing, time to get on with life!
I remember the tough commutes on da Big Island when we called it home. That's a long trek mauka up Hualalai !
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