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firewhen 11-15-2014 06:46 PM

Non Financial Reasons
So I joined this forum 8 years ago and have dreamed about ER for years. I have grown older (now 52) and wealthier with continuing to work and the stock market rise. Really, finances are not an issue. Our WR would be about 1.5% (even paying for healthcare and taxes), not because of any windfalls but from good steady pay and LBYM. So why am I still at it:

- who retires at this age plus what would I do with myself?
- DW does not really agree with FIRE though she has been a housewife now for about 10 years (she is a nonfinancial person and cannot really conceive that we could live the rest of our lives and very realistically dramatically grow our portfolio in retirement). I guess if she thinks working is so wonderful we can trade places and I can stay home:laugh:

I always thought I would one day write a message like this and this would be the beginning of the end of my working. So now I am actually writing this message. Yeah! Though I still do not know when I will RE.

One thing that bothers me is what is the point of having so much money if I am still working like everyone else? Yes deep down I know I do not have to worry about the paycheck but I am still there about 45 hours a week so what is it getting me?

Unfortunately it is all or nothing. No one is part time and I do not see that as an option. I know the OMY thing, but that is often waiting for a financial goal of some sort. How does one pull the trigger when it seems like such a big deal and so wrong, almost a decadent thing to do?

I do think I would be very happy so there is my answer. I just feel stuck now. Please give me some encouragement:greetings10:. I probably will not do anything for awhile but reading and rereading the responses will be helpful and might help push me over the edge;D

Free To Canoe 11-15-2014 06:58 PM

The puritan work ethic and other fallacies are things I deal with in my family.

Would you rather have a lump sum or a employee pension that pays 1% of that? Some in my circle believe in their gut that the pension is a better deal.

DW has an MBA but in her gut, still doesn't feel secure unless someone is "working" even though we are comfortably FIRED.

Do what makes you happy. If you don't want to change things, then don't.

FUEGO 11-15-2014 08:14 PM

Well, I got fired, and then realized I was FIRE'd, so there's that if you're lucky.

When you get too fed up to go in every day and deal with BS, then it's time to call it quits. DW is still waffling back and forth as to when she wants to quit since they are giving her 4 months paid time off in 2015. Who knows, maybe she'll get refreshed and keep working?

bad_LNIP 11-15-2014 09:06 PM

- who retires at this age plus what would I do with myself?

Whatever you want! That's the best part. Your life doesn't have to revolve around work to home, home to work, office politics, etc...

You could always do the dart vs a map and see what happens after that.

What are your hobbies, interests, what makes you happy? Really, only you can answer that, but whatever "that" is, that is what I would do.

- DW does not really agree with FIRE though she has been a housewife now for about 10 years (she is a nonfinancial person and cannot really conceive that we could live the rest of our lives and very realistically dramatically grow our portfolio in retirement). I guess if she thinks working is so wonderful we can trade places and I can stay home

I agree with that. She doesn't really get a vote and she can go work if it gives her comfort.

38Chevy454 11-15-2014 09:26 PM

I read it on here and it makes a lot of sense:
"Retire when you have enough and when you have had enough"
It seems you are are reaching the had enough point, since you state you already have enough to retire.

Rickt 11-15-2014 09:36 PM

Explore the possibility of working fora non profit doing what you really like to do with or without getting paid. If you are lucky , you may even find your purpose in life. Good Luck!

Moemg 11-15-2014 10:00 PM

There comes a day when you just have had enough and the thought of more money does not make you yearn for one more year .

2B 11-16-2014 06:05 AM

I've been a OMY-er since 2005. I definitely have enough but my actual job is low stress and reasonably pleasant. I'm finally retiring in January mostly because I really feel it's time. I'd like to be free to do things I'd rather do while I'm still healthy enough to do them. If I keep working it will only be piling up cash for the grandkids.

I think it is fair for you to become a house husband and your wife going to work if she is worried about the loss of income. She won't, of course. I've seen many "busy" non-employed women that immediately wonder what their husbands would do all day if they retired.

racy 11-16-2014 06:33 AM

Hi fire,
With financial independence you can now choose how to spend your time, including whether to w*rk. W*rk is an option, but with FI you can find something you like. And, you can switch jobs anytime you want.

Go do something different. If you don't like it, find something else! You don't need to worry about salary, just how fun it is.
Good luck!

pb4uski 11-16-2014 07:11 AM

I was in a situation similar to yours (though my WR was not near as low) and came to the realization that once I had enough money that time was more valuable than money. I retired at 56 for a number of reasons. One, just read the obituaries and you'll see some for people near your age with increasing frequency - just a subtle reminder that you never know how much time you have. Second, since we had plenty to support ourselves for the rest of our days, in the end the financial beneficiaries of my continuing to work would be our heirs.... and while I love them, I would rather enjoy the time to do what I want to do rather than work. Third, while I was part-time and enjoyed my work, I was effectively on-call 24/7 because I was in a demanding business where time was of the essence and I wanted to have contiguous time off so I could do things like play golf on Thursdays with the boys, or plan to go to certaain things on certain days and work always got in the way.

No regrets at all. I love having my time to myself and being able to do what I want to do.

Don't give up on part-time simply because it has never been done before. For many employers, 1/2 of a valued and experienced employee's time is better than none.

You're right that it is a big decision and change is hard. The hard part for me is after a life of accumulating and optimizing, it seems very out-of-character to just walk away from a good, high-paying job that many people would covet to "do nothing" and to start taking from the pile rather than adding to it, but I am happy to report that the nestegg is about 20% higher now than when I retired 3 years ago and that is after withdrawals of about 10% of our beginning balance for living expenses and building a garage.

Senator 11-16-2014 07:15 AM

I just turned 55. I am in a similar situation too, I have ~20 months left. I am doing those 20 months so that I have less risk, and perhaps my DGF, who is 43, can retire at the same time.

Look at it this way. If you won the lottery, would you still keep working?

I am not worried about finding things to do. I am more worried about dying before I have a chance to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Dying before I get through with by bucket list.

Frisco Kid 11-16-2014 07:55 AM

Perhaps your DW who has been a housewife for 10 years has concerns with how your being around the house may effect HER lifestyle and routine?

As others have suggested, what hobbies and interests do you have outside of work that can occupy your time?

You may want to consider looking into volunteering........

I recently RE'd at 59 and am busier than ever. I quickly found I enjoy doing various volunteer work

mystang52 11-16-2014 08:17 AM

I realize this might be counter to the general mantra of this website, but to your question: "plus what would I do with myself?" I think it's important to have something planned for ER. Otherwise, you might be second-guessing the decision and what should be a happy experience may be something less than that.
By no means am I espousing "9-5" activities every day, but I do think having some ideas as to how you will enjoy your new-found "freedom" is important. In the year or two prior to my ER I had read several books on the non-financial aspects of retirement and found them helpful -- i.e., above and beyond this wonderful website.

Which Roger 11-16-2014 08:23 AM

DW may become more receptive to the idea if she can see some benefit for herself. You will have more free time, so you can pick up some of the chores that she doesn't enjoy. Or you can complete some projects that you never had time for while w*rking. Or take long trips together that weren't feasible while w*rking, or...

MRG 11-16-2014 08:42 AM

It's not decadent, it's fortunate. If you have the resources go, you can't buy more time. FIL retired at 42, he adjusted.

What are your hobbies? DF turned his love of fishing into a second career as a guide. DM always said he didn't make any money at it, but it was fun for him and his clients. He admitted it was as much fun as he could ever have. They also spent more time together in other hobbies, golf being important for both of them.

Go, show your DW what's in your future, at the same time discuss her fears.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Early Retirement Forum mobile app

imoldernu 11-16-2014 09:25 AM

No advice from me...
DW and I decided @ age 53... not because we we were financially independent, but a health scare, and a worry about dying and leaving her with the big debt that we were planning to take on to grow my own business.

We did retire, and of necessity, watched our expenses closely for the first 14 years of a now 25 year retirement. In an odd sort of way, it meant learning to live on less... as a replacement for employment in the regular sense of the word.
Now, not wealthy but can see clear sailing for the future.

Being retired is very different. Imagine the amount of time being spent working for others. The amount of time commuting, the time spent during the day, and the amount of time spent thinking about the job, planning and worrying, even when the workday is over. All of that burden (if indeed it is a burden) is suddenly lifted. An additional 40 to 60 hours of life, to be used in pleasure, whether it be for self interests or in service to others... to be used on one's own terms.

We have never gotten over the sheer joy of being independent, doing whatever we want, whenever we want. Not abandoning the world, but doing what we could to make things better for others while fulfilling our personal dreams, on our own schedule.

Meadbh 11-16-2014 09:43 AM

When my father RE'd at 62, my mother was very worried that he would be bored. The truth was, as a SAHM, she was mistress of her domain, and she was afraid he would encroach on it. The problem was avoided when he took up golf, which became his passion for many years.

travelover 11-16-2014 10:55 AM


Originally Posted by firewhen (Post 1518069)
......... How does one pull the trigger when it seems like such a big deal and so wrong, almost a decadent thing to do?

Having a good friend suddenly develop cancer and die at a young age, within a few months, can be a real eye opener.

And it is not all or nothing. You can work somewhere else part time if that is what makes you happy. It's not like you need the money.

martyp 11-16-2014 11:24 AM

I ER'd at 55 three yrs ago. I am truly amazed at the number of volunteer opportunities there are out there once I really started looking for them. I volunteer with an educational organization, The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and now I put on science classes for seniors.

A friends wife retired from her law career and went to work, part time, at the front desk of her favorite yoga studio. She said it's the best job she ever had in her life.

I agree that you should plan for what you will do in retirement. But it is also true that you will see things a little differently once you've taken the plunge. Some of the stuff you plan to do will happen. Some won't. But you will find new things you never thought of.

You have to be proactive about finding alternative things to do. Usually new opportunities won't just happen to you which is no different than during you w*rking life.

Also . . . retirement is not like vacation. There is some overlap but mostly it is an entirely different existence.

Chuckanut 11-16-2014 11:31 AM


Originally Posted by travelover (Post 1518211)
Having a good friend suddenly develop cancer and die at a young age, within a few months, can be a real eye opener.


And seeing a younger relative die early is also a real wake up call. When I turned 55, it seemed that hardly a month went by without somebody I knew or knew of passing on in his/her mid 50s. And there were others who suffered life altering illnesses.

It's not all a downer. A fellow I know in his early 70's takes several backpacking trips a year in the mountains.

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