Pulling the Trigger

I can retire
I haven’t done it yet.
Now that I am there, it is difficult to actually retire.

  • no, I don’t love the job, but it is kinda fun and had a lot of travel before the pandemic
  • Yes, it is keeping me from doing other things I’d like to do.
  • Health care is a concern, but when isn’t it.

Anyway - did or does anyone else have trouble actually retiring once they can?
How did you finally get past it?

V

Anyway - did or does anyone else have trouble actually retiring once they can?
How did you finally get past it? – V

For me, it was a great day.

But I see something in what you wrote that may be an answer…

You talked about pluses and minuses of your job, but this just seemed to be more of afterthought:

“it is keeping me from doing other things I’d like to do.”

Do you REALLY have things to do in retirement that EXCITE you?

Maybe you’re not motivated to retire because you don’t have anything in your life that really excites you outside of work. You could work on developing something worthwhile. Something that excites you.

Rob
Former RB and BL Home Fool, Supernova Portfolio Contributor & Maintenance Fool
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

“The whole secret of investment is to find places where it’s safe and wise to non-diversify. It’s just that simple. Diversification is for the know-nothing investor; it’s not for the professional.” Charlie Munger

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I pulled the trigger two weeks ago. I didn’t have any trouble pulling it. Right now it still feels like I’m on a long vacation rather than being retired.

PSU

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The point of financial independence is that you CAN retire early.

Nobody is saying you SHOULD, let alone that you HAVE TO.

If you love your job, stay at it. If you love it, but maybe not this much, talk to your boss and see about working half-time. If you’d rather have a different sort of job, change careers - go back to school if necessary (or if you just want to). If you have something else you’d rather be doing, you can do that.

It’s up to you. Your choice. Your freedom from the necessity of working at the high-paying job you’ve earned your way to… but if necessity isn’t the only reason you’re still there…

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I am officially without job as of July 31. Do I have a lot to do? Not really. We’ve already done a cruise (and caught COVID). Planning on a London trip soon. I’ve done a few things I had been putting off, but it’s still too hot (Phx) to do a few things I want to finish. I’ll probably do then within a month or so as it cools.

I liked my job OK. More in the past when I was learning new stuff. Lately people were coming to me for the learning. The medical was what kept me a bit longer than I really needed to. We’ve signed up with healthcare.gov, and are getting used to the new plan. I do like not having to ask for permission to take my measly 4 weeks of vacation per year. We can go anytime, for as long as we want, and we answer to nobody for it.

Maybe you can’t really retire. That’s totally fine. Some people are happy right where they are. Maybe you’re one of those. I’m OK puttering around the house, reading financial boards, posting my input like I’m doing now, etc. It’s not exciting, but I’m content. And we are in the planning stages for several trips over the next few years, which I’m looking forward to. We have one solid (London), and two probable within the next 12 months. There will be a lot of home time, but a lot more travel time than was previously possible.

COVID actually helped since I am used to being home most of the time. The difference now is that I don’t have to request vacation, and I don’t have to log-in to the office every day.

FWIW.
1poorguy

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Right now it still feels like I’m on a long vacation rather than being retired.

I retired 11/1/2020, and it was the same for me for quite a while. I’m not even sure when it stopped feeling that way, but man, it’s great!

Draggon

I do like not having to ask for permission to take my measly 4 weeks of vacation per year.

You just brought up something I had forgotten all about. I used to get six weeks of vacation and it was a pain arranging for someone to fill in for me. Yea, that’s another cool thing about retirement.

ImAGolfer (retired '03)

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I couldn’t wait to leave my tech job, because I really wanted to do something else. I left in 2005 to get some additional education so I could do something rewarding that wouldn’t pay as well. I wasn’t FI at that time, but I knew my investments would earn more money annually than my new venture.

I lowered my spending to continue to live within my new smaller earned income and allowed the investments to grow.

My father was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in 2018. I closed my business to help care for him. He died in January 2021 and I am almost finished settling the estate.

While it was a difficult thing to do, I am so grateful that I had the means and the opportunity to care for him without having to navigate hospitals, nursing homes, and home hospice while answering to an employer at the same time.

Although I closed the business in 2018 at the age of 55, my retirement is really just starting now. I love taking my time in the morning and visiting trails during the week when they are less crowded. I am excited about figuring out what I want to do next.

If you’re not sure yet, maybe stay where you are and retire for a reason, especially if your job is still kinda fun. Once you pull the trigger you might not be able to go back. And you can enjoy your job with a totally different mindset once you know you can leave whenever you want.

Congratulations!

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Anyway - did or does anyone else have trouble actually retiring once they can?

The first time I could have, I actually worried about not needing to work. So I gave a substantial amount of money to a charity, which forced me to continue working.

Then, somewhat sooner than expected, I hit that magic number again. I felt it was a sign, so I walked.

Honestly, I love it. The only problem I have with retirement is my friends aren’t retired. I live alone and my social circle is quite small (which I tend to prefer).

I spent most of my life glued behind a screen as a software developer. I was able to get my body back in shape, hiking in parks instead of sitting behind a monitor. Years of sitting all day and staring at a monitor 20 inches in front of your nose really can add up and take their toll.

I have many interests, most of them now intellectual. Just prior to Covid I bought a small electronics kit off Amazon and got completely absorbed in learning microelectronics.

Last year I began microscopy, and studying microbes in a local pond. This year I discovered iNaturalist.

I have a large and growing collection of “Dummies” books, which are actually quite great - everything from Crypto to Calculus.

Once we flip that switch in our mind the world opens up. I’ve done plenty of traveling years ago, including plenty of countries. I used to be involved in a lot of cycling, scuba, etc. But now, for me, it’s all about intellectual pursuits. I’ve always had a hungry mind which isn’t satisfied with road trips.

The internet, YouTube channels, Amazon - these are incredible days to be living. You can take free courses online in art, music, literature, mathematics - everything!

As for the interior movement, it took quite awhile to become deprogrammed from viewing my value as a mere producer of goods and services, and learning once more that I’m a human being, not a human doer. It’s great to be available to others: neighbors, friends, family. But I’m completely content becoming absorbed in contemplating the mysteries of the electromagnetic spectrum, and bioelectricity, and the consciousness problem in quantum mechanics.

I spend a fair amount of time weight training, HIIT training, and overall fitness and diet. I’d like to be very healthy as I continue to age. It’s also my hedge against healthcare expenses.

Each day it feels like more sand is moving through the hourglass. Time is speeding up, life is short. I really want to see where this world is heading, and try to be as prepared as I can for whatever it may ask of me.

I feel deep gratitude for having had a wonderful career, a great team - really, a dream job. But all things change, the wheel keeps turning, and we all have to move on into the unknown sometime.

Peace,
Mark

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax3M2V2JTVE

John Hiatt - It’ll Come To You

That girl you were seein’ back in ‘72
Somethin’ 'bout a hotel room and bath water in your shoes
Were you into your Catholic thing then or some other stew
Were you both holed up in that honeymoon suite practicing voodoo

[Chorus:]
It’ll come to you
Don’t look back, it’ll come to you
In the middle of the night, with you covers pulled up tight
It’ll come to you :eyes:

And that business partner you took for every red cent
You can’t even remember where all of that money went
Some on liquor and women, maybe a little rent
But as far as paying it back, Buddy, you ain’t made a dent

[Chorus]

Yes they’ll all be standin’ ‘round you in your sleep
Askin’ for a promise you couldn’t keep
‘Cause back when you were hollow inside
You were tryin’ to puff yourself up with your own foolish pride

Now you’re happily married with a wife and kids of you’re own
But sometimes in the closet at night you can hear them rattlin’ bones
Takin’ bets on your future and your current postal zone
It’s a spooky equation, but check out yourself, Jack, you’re the great unknown

[Chorus]

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Anyway - did or does anyone else have trouble actually retiring once they can?
How did you finally get past it?

Once I could retire financially, everything, including work looked different. Mostly I went to consulting which was even more fun, particularly for the years I had kids in college and wanted to attend some of their activities. It gave me some flexibility as my mother became ill a few months after my youngest headed to college and died about 18 months later. That flexibility also helped as my husband be came ill about 4 months after my youngest graduated from college. He died about 20 months later.

I was glad I had the work network since it did give me a choice on what to do then.There were definite pros and cons of consulting vs full time employment.

Not sure I am “past” it. I enjoy doing what I want to do, when I want to do it and without anyone else’s opinion.

Why is it a problem to make your own choice ?

Dear all -

Thank you very much for all the excellent replies.
Definitely food for thought, and I really do appreciate it.

Vol

I can retire
I haven’t done it yet.
Now that I am there, it is difficult to actually retire.
- no, I don’t love the job, but it is kinda fun and had a lot of travel before the pandemic
Anyway - did or does anyone else have trouble actually retiring once they can?
How did you finally get past it?

For me, being able retire made a huge difference emotionally. Plus, over half the stuff I didn’t like about work was mitigated in 2020 due to Work From Home caused by the pandemic quarantine. Skipping the commute 3-4 days a week and being able to read or do home chores for a couple hours during the day (in between 2 to 3 hour chunks of work) let me see what retired life would be like. By sticking around longer than I had to, I was still around when very generous severance offers got put on the table to reduce headcount.

I had created a spreadsheet, and modeled the high cost of paying my own health insurance from retirement until Medicare eligibility (which isn’t free, either). Plus, I’ll be spending more of my own money before taking social security at 67 or later.

My own calculations, plus Fidelity’s online retirement planner, plus a plan made by a financial planner, all concluded I could stop “working for money” on Day 1 of 2020, but I had it in mind to “earn a car” to replace my 18 year old sedan. However, being “able to” retire was such a mindset improvement, I didn’t feel the need to pull the trigger. But when the company wanted to pay me to leave, I grabbed he opportunity and didn’t look back.

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I do like not having to ask for permission to take my measly 4 weeks of vacation per year.

You just brought up something I had forgotten all about. I used to get six weeks of vacation and it was a pain arranging for someone to fill in for me. Yea, that’s another cool thing about retirement.

Not to mention that most places aren’t over-staffed such that there’s adequate back-up. So, you end up busting butt the week or two before a long vacation, and having a large list of tasks to prioritize when you get back. You might even get a few calls while you’re on your vacation.

I don’t miss it.

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For me, being able retire made a huge difference emotionally.

Definitely. When all the calculators said I was more than safe to retire, I became much more relaxed. Suddenly nothing was urgent to me. I still did my job, but there was no pressure anymore.

And, as you say, WFH for the past 2+ years really helped. The idea of going back to an office 5x/week…nope. (And mine was a lab job…during the pandemic I mostly showed up on weekends when no one was there, and then did computer work from home during the week.)

I initially used firecalc.com. But the Fido calculator is good, too. They both told me basically the same thing: I could retire any time I liked.

PLUS(!!)…there have been a few vacation opportunities I had to pass on because I only had four weeks, and these would have taken longer. Holland America offers a 40 day Antarctica cruise, but I couldn’t do it. They got edgy when I tried to take more than two weeks consecutively. One coworker was in the habit of taking December off, but management stopped that even though he had enough vacation to cover it. They didn’t want him gone that long.

Screw that. First you top out at 4 weeks (no matter how long you are with the company), and then you don’t want people taking it all at once??

Good chance we’ll do that 40 day cruise in 2024.

And, as you say, WFH for the past 2+ years really helped.

Oddly enough, I have been WFH since 2003, except for when I was traveling.
WFH is great. No traffic, no commutes, no wardrobe, no wear and tear on vehicles . . . . .

It can be isolating at times . . .

V

1 Like

But the Fido calculator is good, too.

Where is this?

Oddly enough, I have been WFH since 2003, except for when I was traveling.
WFH is great. No traffic, no commutes, no wardrobe, no wear and tear on vehicles . . . . .

It can be isolating at times . . .

Same, since 2007 - self-employed, home office. Mainly very good. Do sometimes miss the camaraderie I used to have with co-workers. I get a dose of it every few months visiting clients.

I go back and forth on pulling the trigger. I tell myself I’ll definitely do it once the kids are all out of high school (1 down, 2 to go). Freedom! Maybe…

If you log in, it’s under “planning” and then “goals”. It allows you to customize your info, and produces charts and projections.