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How to endure last 2 years
Old 03-28-2018, 04:12 PM   #1
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How to endure last 2 years

I'm 46 and we are FI. If I stay two more years (677 days, but who is counting) I qualify for a retirement package which includes a generous payout plus access to co healthcare, etc. Waiting will increase our investment assets by 40%- we'd go from safe to ridiculously safe.

Unfortunately my job has taken a turn towards the miserable. Last year I signed up for a career designation program (mostly to distract myself from job misery) and Monday I achieved it. Now that I no longer have a goal, this last 677 days is looking interminable. Any ideas? Masters degree?? Invent another goal?
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Old 03-28-2018, 04:32 PM   #2
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Congrats on being FI at such a young age (ugogrl)

Company healthcare is probably worth the 2 year wait, even though it can go poof at a moment's notice.

No great words of wisdom here. Another goal might help. Get your mind focused only on the short term, at work. One option: Don't get sucked in to spending time on 5-year plans, long term goals, etc. Just give them the answers they want. Second option: Now you can speak your mind. I don't mean be nasty, but you can now be honest with your opinions. What's the worst they can do? Fire you for being honest?

I opted for the second, and it felt liberating! I didn't complain, but I presented options that were not necessarily in compliance with company politics. Sometimes they listened, sometimes not. Ultimately you do need to follow the final decision, or you do risk being canned for cause.

The good news is: you have worked over 25 years to get here, and only have 2 to go!
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Old 03-28-2018, 04:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ugeauxgirl View Post
I'm 46 and we are FI. If I stay two more years (677 days, but who is counting) I qualify for a retirement package which includes a generous payout plus access to co healthcare, etc. Waiting will increase our investment assets by 40%- we'd go from safe to ridiculously safe.

Unfortunately my job has taken a turn towards the miserable. Last year I signed up for a career designation program (mostly to distract myself from job misery) and Monday I achieved it. Now that I no longer have a goal, this last 677 days is looking interminable. Any ideas? Masters degree?? Invent another goal?
The only good news I can share is the 2 years will go by much faster than you think and the rewards seem to be worth the wait.

Best wishes,

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Old 03-28-2018, 04:54 PM   #4
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I kind of threw myself into the job, and the busier I stayed, the faster the time went.
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Old 03-28-2018, 05:15 PM   #5
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I agree that tuffing it out for 2 more years to secure company funded HC is worth it especially given the current administration's assault on ACA. You don't mention if you have to go into the office, but if you do, can you try to work form home at least one day a week? That's what I do and it really helps. If you don't like your current job and/or boss, can you apply for a different position within the company?

I need hardly mention that you can let go of any concerns or cares about climbing the career ladder or seeing someone else be promoted or rewarded. By the way, I have 13 months to go to the safe line, and about 22 to go to maximize my pension, so I can definitely relate. Notice that I count months and not days. The months click by pretty fast and the numbers are much smaller
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Old 03-28-2018, 05:47 PM   #6
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There certainly is some relief at not having to play the game to get a promotion or raise or position yourself for the next job. Are you going public with your plan or not? If you are, you can probably set some expectations with your boss, and game-playing co-workers won't view you as competition and hopefully leave you alone. If you're not, having a golden secret like this can be fun. You don't want to be talking back or refusing assignments if it might cost you your job and retirement benefits, but it can be easy to let things roll off your back when you know it really doesn't matter anymore.

What is it about the job that's so miserable? And was it unavoidable?
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Old 03-28-2018, 06:39 PM   #7
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I had to work two extra years beyond FI, to get retiree healthcare. That was from 2007-2009. At the time, healthcare didn't seem like such a big deal but as time passed it became a problem for so many. Anyway, I am glad I worked those two years.

Meanwhile I wanted to retire so much. My original username here was "Want2Retire" and I really, really did.

I had a tiny number in the lower left corner of the whiteboard in my office, "677" very clearly in red. I changed it each morning when arriving at work. I never told anyone what it was, although maybe a few guessed.

Also, an old man at work that I confided in, told me to write each date one after the other on sheets of paper, and cross off each day as they pass. So I did that too. I know, sounds redundant but it helped a little.

It's tough!! I know. But soon it will be over and you will (finally!) be retired.
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Old 03-28-2018, 11:29 PM   #8
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Ugg
We are in the 2 year period now. Planning to pull the plug end of 2019.

It is not easy, especially knowing you have enough now, but the extra time and monies is at least for us - worth the time remaining.

You are in a great spot ! Wonderful dilemma to be in.

At your age, I would try to hang tuff and make the 2 years.

Just knowing that you have the option to stop at the time of your choosing is very comforting.

Hats Off and Well done to you for reaching FI at such a young age !
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Old 03-29-2018, 12:57 AM   #9
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I'm in a fairly similar situation. 46yo but the missus is 39yo. We're FI based on our current spend but we're looking to build up the nest egg to support more extensive travel. Plus the missus needs to work longer to take better advantage of her DB pension. I'm trying to go for another 4 years hit 25 years at work and a few other various milestones. It's a slog and I feel a lot of stress and anxiety in the role I'm in.

I've got a countdown in my spreadsheet but I try not to look at it too often because it's too demoralizing to see the numbers shrink so slowly. I end up running scenarios to see what my cash flow might look like if I actually do pull the plug early.

One thing that kind of helps me is that we try to travel a few times a year so I trying to focus on the countdowns to the departure date for those trips. It's kind of easier to get lost in those countdown numbers because we spend a lot of time researching places to go, where to stay, etc.

The other thing I do is a reverse countdown. I've got 1480 days until retirement so I look back in my calendar to see what I was doing 1480 days ago. I kind of relive the day and usually end up thinking that it took place not that long ago.
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Old 03-29-2018, 01:20 AM   #10
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I found another job and spent as little time and thought in the job I was in for my last couple years. I worked in winter as a ski instructor. My job was a 4-10 schedule so that gave me 3 days a week to delve into skiing. From Thanksgiving until Easter and beyond, I'd be on that mountain. The rest of the year I took lessons to get a license to fly helicopters. The money earned teaching skiing paid for the training to get the license.

It helped that I had spent some time in the military, including some remote tours. (without family) Talk about time standing still! Instead of fearing not making it to the end to gather the medical plan, I feared not making it to the end period!
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Old 03-29-2018, 02:18 AM   #11
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I kind of threw myself into the job, and the busier I stayed, the faster the time went.
+1, that’s exactly how I approached it. I had some very satisfying accomplishments over the last few years, on some things I hadn’t made time for earlier, and that made the time pass. I must have goals, and that didn’t change nearer the end. Just working without real goals would drive me nuts. YMMV

And as someone else noted above, I was always pretty direct but I was even more candid than ever over the last few years. Not contrary, belligerent or mean spirited - but I just said and did exactly what I thought was most effective. That also made the days more satisfying.
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Old 03-29-2018, 04:38 AM   #12
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I'm also in a similar position. I've got 631 days to go. The other day my wife and I were discussing how we are 12.5% through the last two years. I've been working 3 days per week since 2016 which has made it more bearable.

A colleague of mine retired today. She has been working at our workplace since 1978. I was born in 1979 so that hit home about how short 1 year and 9 months is in the scheme of things.
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Old 03-29-2018, 05:44 AM   #13
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If you can't throw yourself into your job, throw yourself into your retirement prep. Research hobbies, travel plans, places to live (if you might move), any plans to make side income, etc. It sounds like you like to be goal oriented, so make those things into goals, and treat work as just something else you do between working toward these goals. If you aren't focused on thinking about work maybe it'll go by faster.
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Old 03-29-2018, 06:00 AM   #14
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I found another job and spent as little time and thought in the job I was in for my last couple years. I worked in winter as a ski instructor. My job was a 4-10 schedule so that gave me 3 days a week to delve into skiing. From Thanksgiving until Easter and beyond, I'd be on that mountain. The rest of the year I took lessons to get a license to fly helicopters. The money earned teaching skiing paid for the training to get the license.

It helped that I had spent some time in the military, including some remote tours. (without family) Talk about time standing still! Instead of fearing not making it to the end to gather the medical plan, I feared not making it to the end period!
Great ideas. Work on a hobby (or invent one). Volunteer or coach. Take some vacations and plan them out for a few months-that gives you something to look forward to. Travel to spots where you might want to buy a vacation home (even if you REALLY aren't sure you want to). Travel to away ball games of your favorite teams. Good luck.
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Old 03-29-2018, 06:04 AM   #15
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I kind of threw myself into the job, and the busier I stayed, the faster the time went.


Ditto here as well. My work is highly scheduled and each passing month seems to fly by. Right now I’m at 6 months until I announce and 9 months until I leave...
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Old 03-29-2018, 06:26 AM   #16
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If you can't throw yourself into your job, throw yourself into your retirement prep. Research hobbies, travel plans, places to live (if you might move), any plans to make side income, etc. It sounds like you like to be goal oriented, so make those things into goals, and treat work as just something else you do between working toward these goals. If you aren't focused on thinking about work maybe it'll go by faster.
Good advice. I'm not a goal oriented type person(other than reaching ER) but I simply looked forward to doing whatever I wanted to do. I love golf so working towards that was enough for me.
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Old 03-29-2018, 07:59 AM   #17
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There certainly is some relief at not having to play the game to get a promotion or raise or position yourself for the next job. Are you going public with your plan or not? If you are, you can probably set some expectations with your boss, and game-playing co-workers won't view you as competition and hopefully leave you alone. If you're not, having a golden secret like this can be fun. You don't want to be talking back or refusing assignments if it might cost you your job and retirement benefits, but it can be easy to let things roll off your back when you know it really doesn't matter anymore.

What is it about the job that's so miserable? And was it unavoidable?
I used to have a fairly autonomous job, but thanks to a law change, upper management put lawyers in charge of every aspect of my job. A whole new computer system was required to comply with the law, and its dreadful. 10 months after implementation, I called the help line last week and was number 23. The message actually said if you are on hold after 7 hang up, and try again tomorrow.

I've had to let clients go that I loved and who have been with me for 15+ years because new policies made us unable (or unwilling) to handle parts of their business. Paperwork has quadrupled, and every process has become cuss-out-loud frustrating.

I am rather direct- tactless some (my mother) would say. And since I don't fear job loss, I have been pretty forthright about it. My team leader made the mistake of asking me "how it was going" a few months after the change, and I gave him an earful including my intention of retiring the moment I was eligible.
Since he is the same age as me he was stunned, but I think he thought I was blowing off steam. I haven't made a secret of it, but haven't made a point of telling people either. No chance of promotion or job change unless I move and I am unwilling.

I'm feeling better today though. Thanks Y'all.
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Old 03-29-2018, 08:29 AM   #18
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If you can't throw yourself into your job, throw yourself into your retirement prep. Research hobbies, travel plans, places to live (if you might move), any plans to make side income, etc. It sounds like you like to be goal oriented, so make those things into goals, and treat work as just something else you do between working toward these goals. If you aren't focused on thinking about work maybe it'll go by faster.
+1

During the last few years of my corporate job, my then-BF and I were thinking about getting into real estate (fix & flip, etc.) after my retirement, so we studied for and got licensed as both realtors and general contractors. After I retired in early 2007, I did pursue real estate sales until the crash of the real estate market, then I quit. Taking classes and studying for the exams kept my mind busy and focused on things post-corporate career.

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Old 03-29-2018, 08:53 AM   #19
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Plan 12 vacations. One every other month to places you enjoy. Then, plan which movie you want to go to see that weekend, and buy the ticket. Try to focus on the before and after work fun, look fwd to a little time with each other in morning. Then take a walk with eachother after cooking dinner together at night. Plan for the holidays when those come! Plenty to keep you busy.

If it makes you feel better I am 3000 days away. So only 10% of your 12%! That's over a 13 year span. Eventually I hope to decrease that to ONE LESS YEAR, instead of OMY, OLY!

Do some self reflection. That always passes the time for me. Don't get too involved in many big projects. Those tend to drag and have slow periods, instead pursue the shorter duration projects.

Change what you've reflected on as negative. Set some personal goals unrelated to work and focus on those. Work is only 1/3 of your day when you are there...focus on the other 2/3!
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Old 03-29-2018, 09:07 AM   #20
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I'm 46 and we are FI. If I stay two more years (677 days, but who is counting) I qualify for a retirement package which includes a generous payout plus access to co healthcare, etc. Waiting will increase our investment assets by 40%- we'd go from safe to ridiculously safe.

Unfortunately my job has taken a turn towards the miserable. Last year I signed up for a career designation program (mostly to distract myself from job misery) and Monday I achieved it. Now that I no longer have a goal, this last 677 days is looking interminable. Any ideas? Masters degree?? Invent another goal?
I don’t think there is a “ridiculously safe” level, and it probably doesn’t help your mindset to view it this way. Maybe look at the extra money as “new opportunity”?
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I kind of threw myself into the job, and the busier I stayed, the faster the time went.
This is what I did. My decision was made one year in advance, I was very concerned about losing focus (and my mind ) so I put my nose to the grindstone and pushed myself. Like Mr. Brau, that year flew by in an instant.
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