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Old 02-20-2021, 07:37 AM   #21
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Regrets? Iíve had a few, but then again, too few to mention
Iíll mention one, but it wouldnít have stopped me from retiring. I was at a point in my career where the money I was making was very good and the effort I was exerting was minimal. There are times where I think that I should have stuck around for a little while longer and grabbed a few more years of easy money.

However, I didnít, and frankly itís just One More Year syndrome done after the fact. That extra money would not change my life at all. So Iím still good with my decision as I start year four.
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Old 02-20-2021, 07:50 AM   #22
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OP, your question implies retirement is about leaving work. For me, retirement is about choosing what I want to do with my life. I have never regretted placing myself in a financial situation which allowed me the opportunity to choose my own path.
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Old 02-20-2021, 07:54 AM   #23
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Seven months in and no regrets at age 55. It does take some getting used to, however. Iíve also noticed that my ER Forum posts are longer, so apologies.

We spent a couple of winter months down south this year, including visits with my two longest friends, both now highly successful and ďself-madeĒ, with kids in private schools, big homes and new Mercedes. Of course, they are naturally benchmarks for my life, since weíve known each other since childhood, when we delivered pizzas or shagged golf balls for extra money. Even though I never had a career path with their kind of high income potential I, however, chose a path back in my twenties to buy my freedom ASAP, while they have no plans to retire. We have Japanese cars and an old bungalow that we do a lot of hands on work to. Different strokes for different folks.

One friend bought a spec house for his family last year, which came with a beautiful wine cellar. My friend bought probably 200 random bottles simply to fill it up and said to me that he knows nothing about wine and (as a busy attorney) said he likely would never dedicate time to learn. I replied that I did love it, have been studying it and would be glad to help him spend and drink his wine budget. I mentioned that we are going to Bordeaux with some friends this fall, if Covid allows. I said he would really enjoy taking his wife to Sonoma sometime but I could tell it didnít even register with him as a possibility. They only visit Miami and St. Barts. Nowhere else holds any interest.

A few years ago, I did manage to get my other friend to park his IT business long enough to visit the Turks and Caicos with me for some bone fishing, which he genuinely loved.

Iím still settling in to this new life but this long, relaxed trip home has confirmed that Iíve made the much richer decision ó FOR ME.
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Old 02-20-2021, 07:58 AM   #24
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I retired too early at 57, but no serious regrets. I thought DW (2 years younger) would retire shortly after me, but she continued to work another 8 years! And though I certainly realized none of my age cohorts, friends or strangers, would be around during the day Mon thru Fri - it wasn’t fun to have “no one to play” with Mon thru Fri. I wasn’t ready then to play with other retirees who were all (much) older.

Even though I was at over 200% FIRECALC success rate when I retired early, I might was well have worked a few more years and retired a little later as I was at the peak of my earning years in a very well paying job I could do in my sleep. I did miss about 20% of my co-workers, but I was glad to be rid of about 20% of them.

Now I’m an actual senior at 66 and DW is retired, life is good. Hindsight is a wonderful thing...
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:01 AM   #25
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Well I only have been retired for 2 months (at 55) and winter and Covid is a tough start (but I knew that of course!). I was going to do a bunch of home projects, I haven't.. I never think about work only the people. I was feeling guilty for not doing much but as my friend said, 35 years of working, getting degrees and raising kids I need to go easy on myself. Once I can, I will be making list (for those home projects, because I love checking off lists!), travelling, volunteering, visiting my parents and lunching with friends!
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:06 AM   #26
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:10 AM   #27
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Retired earlier than anyone else on this thread has mentioned, at least so far.

Didn't plan on it being retirement...left to take care of a very ill parent...that ate up the next decade or so until they died...was able to work part-time for a friend of the family, mostly to have health insurance...spouse returned to teaching once our kids hit grade school.

Like I've said before, I tell people I'm unemployed (not retired) just to see their reaction...
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:15 AM   #28
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I retired on Jan 2 of last year a few years earlier that I had always planned. The money that I left on the table was a concern , but it reached a tipping point with a lot of things at work. All heck broke loose with covid a month or so later.

My wife started working from home which is a mixed blessing. We had to nix some travel plans and have not done things with friends but overall it has still been great. The peace of mind factor of being free far out ways any positives that working life may bring. The money thing seems to work itself out . I haven’t missed it.
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:20 AM   #29
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After a year of early retirement, I returned back to work. I missed the collaborative atmosphere, intellectual stimulation, and social aspects of work.

I tried volunteering at various places, but so far they have all felt like unpaid work with less collaboration, stimulation, and socializing than regular work, and more arbitrary rules.

Volunteering felt like I was working with random strangers, rather than working with close friends who I helped, got help in return, and went out to lunch with. I felt like part of a "tribe" at work. I have formed close friendships at work, but none so far with volunteering.

It is true that you can do many more things in ER than you can at work, but I have to find friends who are willing to do the same stimulating and collaborative things that I enjoy.

I am currently working to find or create the right kind of environment for my needs, and I think that's going to take some time. Once I find it, then I plan to go back to ER. Until then, I am doing what I like best so far. I am still volunteering, but trying to be more imaginative about what an ideal volunteering experience might look like for me.
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:33 AM   #30
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Just like almost everyone else who's responded, I've had no regrets. But we (the people on this forum) are different than the general population. If you ask the same question of the latter group, you'll get much different answers.
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:39 AM   #31
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I'm still working, and my current mindset is that maybe, just maybe, it's still too early for me to retire. Like, perhaps there is something I forgot to plan for, I messed up my calculations, the next time we have a downturn it WILL be different, etc.

But, I have a feeling that once I'm actually on the other side, and have a few years of retirement under my belt, I'll look back and wish I had done it sooner!
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:45 AM   #32
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I retired at 56 eight years ago next month. Best decision I could have made. DW retired three years later and loves it. This past year has been tough with Covid and taking care of my wifeís father, who lives with us. Both have hurt our travel plans, but we realize how fortunate we are. Three grandkids keep us busy and all live close to us. Life is hood!
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:50 AM   #33
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I tried volunteering at various places, but so far they have all felt like unpaid work with less collaboration, stimulation, and socializing than regular work, and more arbitrary rules.

Volunteering felt like I was working with random strangers, rather than working with close friends who I helped, got help in return, and went out to lunch with. I felt like part of a "tribe" at work. I have formed close friendships at work, but none so far with volunteering.
+1. I’m sure there are fulfilling volunteer roles (depends on leaders IMO), but I had similarly bad experiences. The people in charge took advantage of the workers, and workers didn’t feel much obligation to contribute. Workers might show up for meetings and assignments, they might not “you’re not paying me, so don’t hassle me man.” Leaders showed up for all meetings but delivered even less on their responsibilities or assignments “I’ve paid my dues, the workers should do it, not ME.” After 3 years of hard work in two volunteer orgs, and do nothing leaders taking credit, I quit. During the 3 years, new volunteers came and went constantly. The do nothing leaders never changed. At least with corporate paid leaders and workers, there are usually consequences for poor/non performance...
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:52 AM   #34
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No regrets, whatsoever.
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Old 02-20-2021, 09:03 AM   #35
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The novelty of retirement never ends. It's great.
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Old 02-20-2021, 09:04 AM   #36
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I semi-retired at 60. Self-employed. I narrowed down the type work I still accept. Work 20 hours some weeks, but less most of the time. It keeps me active and mentally involved, but I still have plenty of free time. DW and I do not have to touch our savings and I probably will not draw SS till 70. I will be 66 this year and I take it year by year. If I get tired of it or have health problems I will stop. Of course, not everyone does or did the type work that is amenable to this arrangement. Only drawback is that I work enough that I really do not FEEL retired. Even though I work much less, I still think about what I HAVE to do all the time. I do not have that totally carefree feeling, which I think would be nice. So, I may stop in another year. We will see. If DW was more interested in travel, I would stop now.
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Old 02-20-2021, 09:29 AM   #37
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Similar to Rocket Man, I am still working as an advisor to my last company - it requires answering an e-mail or phone call once or twice per week. I do have a one hour meeting every 2 weeks that I can attend in person or by phone. I like the people so I usually go in person, unless DW and I are traveling. The unfortunate side of this is I hear about the company problems which causes me some stress. We own hotels and restaurants so plenty of issues in the last year and year to come.

Fortunately I haven’t worked 40 hours for the last 13 years and didn’t thru most of my working life. In my early 40’s, as someone else said, I couldn’t find anyone else to play with, so an office sounded good again.

Now I like having the freedom to do what I want when I want and will give up the advisor role the second the company doesn’t want me anymore.
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Old 02-20-2021, 09:30 AM   #38
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Iím still in the honeymoon phase of retirement. Punched out on May 1 last year at age 56.

The year before retirement I sold my soul to mega-Corp for a promotion to run an office on the other side of the State. Rented a little condo and worked 10 to 12 stress filled hours a days. It was truly a rat race and after a year I had enough.

After my annual review with the CEO I asked, ďHow much notice does he need before I retire?Ē We settled on 30 days and I walked out of the office and onto to street to call my wife to let her know what I just did. Her response was priceless ... ďItís about time ... come on homeĒ.

Nearly a year into retirement and I have no regrets. The stress induced weight I gained the last few years is coming off and in exchange am regaining the fitness I once had. Wife (also retired) got two new knees last year and is recovering nicely. I also enjoy a weekly date with Mom and little brother for a leisurely breakfast and a walk.

I figure I added years back to my life by retiring when I did.
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Old 02-20-2021, 09:33 AM   #39
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+1. Iím sure there are fulfilling volunteer roles (depends on leaders IMO), but I had similarly bad experiences. The people in charge took advantage of the workers, and workers didnít feel much obligation to contribute.
I'm sorry you had such terrible volunteering experiences. I would not call my volunteer experiences "bad", but rather, not as satisfying as I might have hoped. So the search continues.

I've seen some organizations where most of the "volunteers" were people who had to perform community service as punishment for some minor offense they committed. I wonder if you were seeing that in your fellow volunteers and leaders, and you just happened to volunteer for that kind of organization.

BTW, isn't it strange that the courts view community service as a punishment?
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Old 02-20-2021, 09:39 AM   #40
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I'm still working, and my current mindset is that maybe, just maybe, it's still too early for me to retire. Like, perhaps there is something I forgot to plan for, I messed up my calculations, the next time we have a downturn it WILL be different, etc.

But, I have a feeling that once I'm actually on the other side, and have a few years of retirement under my belt, I'll look back and wish I had done it sooner!
Still working, I probably could leave now, but I have the same thoughts.
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