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2 big factors contributing to FIRE fantasies
Old 01-29-2017, 02:33 PM   #1
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2 big factors contributing to FIRE fantasies

Hi all - I discovered this site a little while ago, been reading a bit, and posting for the first time, and really like how supportive and informative people are.

So, here's my story: I think a *lot* about early retirement, for two key reasons. First, I really dislike my job. Without getting into specifics, I'm white collar professional who has seen my job sphere change radically for the worse, both on an individualized basis and also for the profession at large. I don't have much reason for optimism for my current job to become remotely satisfying again, and the stress levels have gone through the roof. So there's that.

Second, I am the beneficiary of some substantial family financial assistance. Some of it already provided, some of it to be distributed over the course of a number of years. Not enough to immediately retire, and I live in a VERY HCOL area, but enough to ensure that my nuclear family should be safe and secure even if the fit hits the shan, and likely enough to set me up for a good retirement as long as I don't just live on it now (early 40's). This is on top of any potential inheritance, which is also likely and probably substantial (but I am not counting those chickens).

So, with these two factors, you can imagine that I think a *lot* about the fantasy of not having to work my job. No more Sunday anxiety. No more cringing when checking work email. No more having difficulty relaxing during the second half of a vacation because of the thoughts of returning to my job. No more groaning dozens of times a day at the office.

But here's the thing: I don't hate the idea of working per se, and think there are a lot of great reasons to continue working until at least my kids are in high school (including but not limited to setting a good example, and I never want them to know about the family money if at all possible). But future career prospects outside of my (pressure-cooker) job are unattractive/nonexistent, and really have no idea what else to do. Sure, I could say the heck with it and work as a barista or something, but that's not exactly realistic for a number of reasons, especially having worked so hard to be where I am (graduate degree, respected hard-working professional, etc.). Without getting into too much detail, if I keep at the job for a bit longer, I'll get to a point where I will earn a significant benefit that will be good for me in the long run, but it has been a very, very long slog and each day seems like a year at this point.

Anyone else in a somewhat similar situation? Either good money in hand and/or on the horizon, coupled with a job you really do not like, no idea what is next, and thus you become obsessed with fantasizing about early retirement? Thanks for reading.
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Old 01-29-2017, 02:46 PM   #2
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Anyone else in a somewhat similar situation? Either good money in hand and/or on the horizon, coupled with a job you really do not like, no idea what is next, and thus you become obsessed with fantasizing about early retirement? Thanks for reading.
Yes, while our circumstances are different, your mood/thought process is me to a T. Rather than strictly thinking about quitting altogether in three years at age 42, I'm thinking more and more about trying another career more in line with something I love doing. I don't know what that is yet, but rather than using FI as the means to quit, I'm thinking more and more about using it as the means to quit working someone else's job for a paycheck/pension/health care.
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Old 01-29-2017, 03:06 PM   #3
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I found this book a terrific help. Taking a page right from the book, I convinced my employer to create the job I really wanted. And knowing this goal beforehand I was (surprise!) the only one of some 800 people qualified.

That may not work for you but he offers a lot of good advice and updates the book every year. I first read it in 1982 or '83.
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Old 01-29-2017, 04:43 PM   #4
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I don't have a 'gifts from family' line item in my budget. I don't want to be dependent on anyone, regardless of how secure those gifts seem to be.
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Old 01-30-2017, 08:31 AM   #5
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Old 01-30-2017, 08:12 PM   #6
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But here's the thing: I don't hate the idea of working per se, and think there are a lot of great reasons to continue working until at least my kids are in high school (including but not limited to setting a good example.
Everyone has different values, so I'm going to propose a different perspective.

A good financial example for my child means I take care of business, live within my means, prepare for emergencies, and have time or money for charity.

It does not mean that I work, especially in a high-stress job. Think of the riches you'll gain from having a better relationship with your children by having more unstressed time and energy for them.

Plus, if you retire now, you can start them on the path to take care of their own business sooner...

There's a guy, root of good, that's raising 2 or 3 kids off savings and frugality. Maybe you could send him a note asking for a different perspective than the "daily grind" viewpoint we have drummed into us?
(his website is Root of Good | Retired in 2013 at age 33. Life is Good. . I think I may have even seen a post from him here, but wouldn't swear to it)
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Old 01-30-2017, 11:08 PM   #7
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Would it be possible for you to use your skills to land a government job? I was in a very similar situation as you last year and quit my job for a government gig. It's much lower paying and less stress but still practicing law. The biggest change has been that I don't fantasize about ER anymore and I went from reading this blog a dozen times a day to once or twice a month.
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Old 01-31-2017, 09:44 AM   #8
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Would it be possible for you to use your skills to land a government job? I was in a very similar situation as you last year and quit my job for a government gig. It's much lower paying and less stress
When I was in my 20's I was advised to "get in with the courts, RMV or MBTA" and lots of my buddies did.

Not complaining about the path I took but there's a lot to be said about COLA pension at 45, HI until Medicare, tax breaks on your property taxes etc etc.

My neighbor even has his pension Fed taxes paid for him because he developed a 'disability' (tinnitus) within 6 years after retirement.
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Old 02-01-2017, 08:26 PM   #9
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Would it be possible for you to use your skills to land a government job? I was in a very similar situation as you last year and quit my job for a government gig. It's much lower paying and less stress but still practicing law. The biggest change has been that I don't fantasize about ER anymore and I went from reading this blog a dozen times a day to once or twice a month.
Alas, poor Yorick...

Thanks Legally_dead, but I am in government already. Can't give specifics, but the stress and workload is nuts, and not anything like death penalty/habeas stuff. Just...yeah. Can't say more, but yeah. Not all government work is created equal. By a longshot.

I appreciate everyone's input, and I am hanging in there. It's challenging, but I am trying to do small things to take the pressure off to make it to my goal. Hard to do with small kids (i.e. hard to take real vacations/go away, have adult time), and things can seem like one stressor after another. But trying, and reminding myself I'm not perfect (so much for New Year's resolutions).
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Old 02-03-2017, 07:54 AM   #10
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Until you said you were worked for the government, I thought you were surely working in my field, which has also taken a turn for the worse lately. What used to be a fun and rewarding profession has become an exercise in frustration, and something I no longer want to be a part of. Fortunately after 20 years of saving like crazy (40% many years) we could both quit and live on a 3% w/d of our portfolio. My DH does not want to quit, and he makes more than enough to support us. I probably wouldn't be able to get another job earning this kind of money, but high paying jobs are usually stressful and I don't have to do that anymore. I will probably take a year off, and consider doing something else-or not. Not in this industry- ever, but my skills are marketable.

How lucky you are to get assistance from your family! Our 12 year old son accidentally overheard us discussing financial issues including our net worth and it turned out to be a wonderful teaching opportunity. I'm sure not every child would take it the same way, but it was a good thing in our situation. We also talked about the fact that I will be retiring and that being able to do that is a result of working really hard, saving, conservative spending, and investing.

Sounds like you are waiting for your pension to vest or something like that. Maybe after that you could talk to a professional recruiter. You might be surprised what jobs your skills qualify you for.
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Old 02-03-2017, 09:22 AM   #11
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Without getting into too much detail, if I keep at the job for a bit longer, I'll get to a point where I will earn a significant benefit that will be good for me in the long run, but it has been a very, very long slog and each day seems like a year at this point.

Anyone else in a somewhat similar situation? Either good money in hand and/or on the horizon, coupled with a job you really do not like, no idea what is next, and thus you become obsessed with fantasizing about early retirement? Thanks for reading.
I was. By the time I realized I didn't want to be where I was any more, the pension was close enough that my best option was to ride it out until then. Even then, "close enough" wasn't all that close. It was 8 years. The survival strategies started kicking in. Stay engaged, but not too engaged, avoid overly visible/stressful assignments, transition from relationships and identity derived from work to derived outside of work. I survived.
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Old 02-03-2017, 07:31 PM   #12
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Is there anyway you can use your expertise at your job and start your own business?
Would you enjoy that field?

Is there another field you could enjoy?
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Old 02-03-2017, 09:01 PM   #13
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Everyone has different values, so I'm going to propose a different perspective.

A good financial example for my child means I take care of business, live within my means, prepare for emergencies, and have time or money for charity.
It does not mean that I work, especially in a high-stress job. Think of the riches you'll gain from having a better relationship with your children by having more unstressed time and energy for them.
Plus, if you retire now, you can start them on the path to take care of their own business sooner...
There's a guy, root of good, that's raising 2 or 3 kids off savings and frugality. Maybe you could send him a note asking for a different perspective than the "daily grind" viewpoint we have drummed into us?
(his website is Root of Good | Retired in 2013 at age 33. Life is Good. . I think I may have even seen a post from him here, but wouldn't swear to it)
My one regret, was I was wo*king 60 hours a week and going to school when my sons were young. I missed a lot of the growing up with them. I now have a darling 3 year old granddaughter, and watching her develop is a joy. But, it reminds me of what I missed with my children.
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Old 02-04-2017, 03:50 AM   #14
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No j*b is worth losing your health or an early death over w*rk related stress. Many here have survived heart attacks or other scares, some in their 50's or even earlier.

My suggestion is to read Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Monique Tilford.

Surely there is a j*b out there you would either love, enjoy or tolerate, even if it requires a cut in pay and/or moving to a LCOL part of the country.

Your (future) adult children will appreciate that more than any financial gains you make by staying and being miserable.
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:57 PM   #15
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yes I can relate. I stand to inherit, and am already well on my way myself. My job is not terrible so long as I dont let stuff bother me.

I keep my eye on the prize. My formula is for success and I am not varying.

15more years. I can imagine as I nail down some of the longer term goals my anxiety to FIRE will increase.

Of course I plan to re-evaluate every few years.


I do get something out of feeling needed, even though I know damn well I am replaceable in a second. I do sometimes think, oh these people I work with are nice...no they are all equally selfish and willing to throw you under the bus in a heart beat...certainly not things my friends would do to me.

I try not to spew too much info to these folks, get in do my work and get out. To compensate for the life getting sucked out of me 40hrs/week I try to live life to the fullest on my own free time.

FIRE sometimes seems like the slowest journey ever, but I look back in the rear-view mirror and think, ya know...I see a lot of my peers far back their and I've come a long ways.
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Old 03-03-2017, 12:56 AM   #16
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I could also have written your exact same post. I would be happy to continue w*rking and have developled knowledge and skills sets that I know are quite valuable, but there is so much nonsense and politics in the w*rkplace that it becomes so unecessarily draining.

I wish I knew an easy solution. Best of luck to you.
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Old 03-03-2017, 07:39 PM   #17
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Wow, sounds like me less the family assistance part. And yes, the Sunday night anxiety. The second half of my vacations exactly like you thinking about the nightmare at work high quota impossible odds. Find yourself not being able to enjoy dinners with family or friends because you're thinking about the anxiety of your position at work.

Thankfully I should be done in about a year .
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:54 AM   #18
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If you want to set a good example for your kids, but don't need a huge salary, how about going to work for a non-profit that supports a cause in which you believe? Making a difference is certainly an important lesson (and I'd argue more important) than just making money and having a job.
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Old 03-26-2017, 01:13 PM   #19
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OP here -- thank you all for your replies and thoughts.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:06 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Dreamingaboutretirement View Post
Hi all - I discovered this site a little while ago, been reading a bit, and posting for the first time, and really like how supportive and informative people are.

So, here's my story: I think a *lot* about early retirement, for two key reasons. First, I really dislike my job. Without getting into specifics, I'm white collar professional who has seen my job sphere change radically for the worse, both on an individualized basis and also for the profession at large. I don't have much reason for optimism for my current job to become remotely satisfying again, and the stress levels have gone through the roof. So there's that.

Second, I am the beneficiary of some substantial family financial assistance. Some of it already provided, some of it to be distributed over the course of a number of years. Not enough to immediately retire, and I live in a VERY HCOL area, but enough to ensure that my nuclear family should be safe and secure even if the fit hits the shan, and likely enough to set me up for a good retirement as long as I don't just live on it now (early 40's). This is on top of any potential inheritance, which is also likely and probably substantial (but I am not counting those chickens).

So, with these two factors, you can imagine that I think a *lot* about the fantasy of not having to work my job. No more Sunday anxiety. No more cringing when checking work email. No more having difficulty relaxing during the second half of a vacation because of the thoughts of returning to my job. No more groaning dozens of times a day at the office.

But here's the thing: I don't hate the idea of working per se, and think there are a lot of great reasons to continue working until at least my kids are in high school (including but not limited to setting a good example, and I never want them to know about the family money if at all possible). But future career prospects outside of my (pressure-cooker) job are unattractive/nonexistent, and really have no idea what else to do. Sure, I could say the heck with it and work as a barista or something, but that's not exactly realistic for a number of reasons, especially having worked so hard to be where I am (graduate degree, respected hard-working professional, etc.). Without getting into too much detail, if I keep at the job for a bit longer, I'll get to a point where I will earn a significant benefit that will be good for me in the long run, but it has been a very, very long slog and each day seems like a year at this point.

Anyone else in a somewhat similar situation? Either good money in hand and/or on the horizon, coupled with a job you really do not like, no idea what is next, and thus you become obsessed with fantasizing about early retirement? Thanks for reading.
Sorry I'm late posting a response to this but perhaps you'll still read it and it may be of some benefit.

I originally started reading this forum years ago when I was not very happy at my job. It got me fantasizing about retiring. But then about four years ago I managed to weasel my way into a different company. Basically I do much the same work I used to do, but much less of it and at a much lower stress level than before. Income is certainly lower, but I also work fewer hours, and my total stress level could hardly be lower, frankly. Thanks to all of this, I can now honestly say I love my job.

If you look at my posting history here, you'll find that my posts dropped off tremendously a few years ago. A big part of the reason for that is I now enjoy my job, so I don't really fantasize that much about retiring early. Actually, I do still fantasize about it, but it no longer seems like something I really need to do for my physical and mental health.

I'm telling you this, fellow anonymous internet forum-poster, because perhaps it could inspire you to try and get out of your current situation. Harness all the passion and skills and intellect that allowed you to obtain your current position, and put all of that toward finagling a better position (whatever that means for you) elsewhere.

You might find the challenge of improving your situation to be energizing in and of itself. And then once you do make a change, you'll enjoy all the thrill and excitement that naturally comes with a major job change.

You can do this. As you are no doubt well aware, life's too short to just try and run out the clock each day or every year, living for the future instead of enjoying the present.

Good luck!!!
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