Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
somanyquestions
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 5:53 am

Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by somanyquestions » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:41 pm

I'm 57 and pretty sure I could retire at the end of the year and have the means to live the life in retirement I would like to live ($2.5 million saved, a little trailing income, low cost of living area, house and kids' college paid for, kids seem to be on paths to full independence, I can live frugally if necessary).

I'm very ambivalent about retiring -- I want to travel a lot more than I can while working, and do other things I can't do now, and my partner is significantly older than I am and he's retiring, so I feel some pressure to get on with this. On the other hand, I make a good living, am saving a good bit each year, and I like my job most days. I feel very lucky to have the job I have.

I'm not motivated to keep working simply to add some more bucks to the pot from which I can spend 3.5 or 4 percent a year in retirement -- again, I think I've got this covered, and the incremental difference of having an extra, say, $5,000 a year does not seem worth it. I would be much more motivated to keep working if I allowed myself to put the surplus I earn over the next couple of years not into the general pot but into a special fund. I could use this to help relatives pay for college, for higher-end travel, fancy camera lenses -- stuff I might not otherwise indulge in (though I probably could afford to even without the fund, just much less likely to do it).

What do you think of this approach?

HomeStretch
Posts: 3709
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by HomeStretch » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:47 pm

If you are financially OK to retire, then the decision when to retire is a personal one. Best of luck.

runner3081
Posts: 2779
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by runner3081 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:07 pm

Not something that would interest me, but if you like it.... It is your life, go for it!

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 23133
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by dm200 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:10 pm

Can or could you transition to a part time position, perhaps in a slightly;y different field to keep it from being boring? Going part-time might give you more time to travel as well.

User avatar
Jerry55
Posts: 729
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:56 am
Location: That Toddlin' Town

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by Jerry55 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:17 pm

Good question and one which only you can answer. Here's 3 scenarios....

1. Friend retired, has been good for 28 years, still happy, although health is now an issue.

2. Friend retired, immediately had health problems and stumbled thru life, has been for 12 years.

3. Friend retired, died within 1 year.

I went out at age 57 in 2012, still do LA Fitness M-W-F. I ride my Goldwing around here, as well as to NJ, OK and WI from here in ChicagoLand.
Health still good. So Far.
I could be ANY one of the 3 I mentioned above, as they were all my ex coworkers and know them well.
I left when I knew I could afford and enjoy it.

Where do you stand ?
Retired CSRS on 12/19/2012 @ age 57 w/39 years | Good Bye Tension, Hello Pension !!!

User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 4799
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by JoeRetire » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:20 pm

somanyquestions wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:41 pm
I'm very ambivalent about retiring -- I want to travel a lot more than I can while working, and do other things I can't do now, and my partner is significantly older than I am and he's retiring, so I feel some pressure to get on with this. On the other hand, I make a good living, am saving a good bit each year, and I like my job most days. I feel very lucky to have the job I have.

I would be much more motivated to keep working if I allowed myself to put the surplus I earn over the next couple of years not into the general pot but into a special fund. I could use this to help relatives pay for college, for higher-end travel, fancy camera lenses -- stuff I might not otherwise indulge in (though I probably could afford to even without the fund, just much less likely to do it).

What do you think of this approach?
I think you should do whatever feels right to you. And I don't think this has anything to do with the presence or absence of a "special fund".

I don't think folks who are ambivalent should retire. When the right time comes, you'll know it, and you won't feel ambivalent.
Very Stable Genius

backdoorRoth
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:13 pm

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by backdoorRoth » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:24 pm

I'm not near retirement, so take this with a grain of salt, but I really like this idea. And at any point, you're free to change your mind and go ahead and retire.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 23133
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by dm200 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:26 pm

Jerry55 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:17 pm
Good question and one which only you can answer. Here's 3 scenarios....
1. Friend retired, has been good for 28 years, still happy, although health is now an issue.
2. Friend retired, immediately had health problems and stumbled thru life, has been for 12 years.
3. Friend retired, died within 1 year.
I went out at age 57 in 2012, still do LA Fitness M-W-F. I ride my Goldwing around here, as well as to NJ, OK and WI from here in ChicagoLand.
Health still good. So Far.
I could be ANY one of the 3 I mentioned above, as they were all my ex coworkers and know them well. I left when I knew I could afford and enjoy it.
Where do you stand ?
There are many stories, alleged "statistics", etc. that claim that a great number of those who retire completely dis proportionally develop health problems (some very serious and some fatal). I think that many men (probably not many women) go to work every day for decades - then retire, and a big part of their day in retirement is watching TV and drinking beer - certainly not good for one's health.

The previous generations pattern (both sides of my family - all farmers) has been to work full time (for a farmer this might be 60+ hours a week) - and then at some age - phase down the days and hours worked. My father started his "phase down" between 55 and 60, while my maternal uncle began a phase down at about 80 and was mostly (but not 100%) retired at age 87.

User avatar
Tamarind
Posts: 1985
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:38 pm

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by Tamarind » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:32 pm

somanyquestions wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:41 pm
I'm not motivated to keep working simply to add some more bucks to the pot from which I can spend 3.5 or 4 percent a year in retirement -- again, I think I've got this covered, and the incremental difference of having an extra, say, $5,000 a year does not seem worth it. I would be much more motivated to keep working if I allowed myself to put the surplus I earn over the next couple of years not into the general pot but into a special fund. I could use this to help relatives pay for college, for higher-end travel, fancy camera lenses -- stuff I might not otherwise indulge in (though I probably could afford to even without the fund, just much less likely to do it).

What do you think of this approach?
Sure, go ahead. But if I were you I'd be either retiring or at least looking for a way to drop to part-time or reduce exposure to the things you like less about the job. You seem to have won the game.

User avatar
firedup
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:42 pm

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by firedup » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:46 pm

Obviously a personal decision but your most valuable asset is time and unfortunately, none of us know how much we have left.

If you and your partner want to travel together and he is significantly older than you, you may want to get on with it.

Would you regret having missed that opportunity with him to save a few more bucks? I think that might be a question you have to ask yourself.

In any event, you have saved well and put yourself in an excellent position. Kudos to you. I say go enjoy it with your loved one but that's my opinion.

Best of luck...
"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike" --Maya Angelou

Quaestner
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:39 pm

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by Quaestner » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:32 pm

somanyquestions wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:41 pm
I would be much more motivated to keep working if I allowed myself to put the surplus I earn over the next couple of years not into the general pot but into a special fund. I could use this to help relatives pay for college, for higher-end travel, fancy camera lenses -- stuff I might not otherwise indulge in (though I probably could afford to even without the fund, just much less likely to do it).

What do you think of this approach?
Judging from your title, it seems like you want to keep working. This random Internet person says it's OK for you to work until you are 60! Your tactic is fine.

Pierre Delecto
Posts: 298
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:45 pm

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by Pierre Delecto » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:36 pm

I was close to retiring early once. To motivate myself I made a sizable pledge to a charity to be paid out by RSUs that would only vest if I was there through the year. Was a great mental trick and the charity benefited. And my view of my job, benefits of work and life changed over the course of the year and I’m really glad I didn’t pull the trigger.

prairieman
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by prairieman » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:55 pm

I did not read other replies but was moved by the OP’s post. I went through the same calculation when I was 58. I liked my job but we could also reduce expenses if necessary, spouse was retired, and we wanted to travel more together. I was absolutely shocked to find myself going in to tell me supervisor I intended to retire when the current projects were finished. It was emotional when I left, but I soldiered through.
Now, a little over three years out I realize tha, for me, OMG I made the right decision. My new life is MUCH better than the former working life. Although I had convinced myself that I had liked my old job, it doesn’t compare to the freedom I’ve felt since retirement. Of course, our investment performance since retirement have helped to ensure that it was also the right decision financially.
I won’t say, “Just do it!”, because I don’t know your life’s details, but you sound like I felt several years back.

campy2010
Posts: 958
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:01 pm

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by campy2010 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:00 pm

With a spouse that is significantly older, I would retire and enjoy active retirement years with him. The next stage is the less active years and care taking. And there is no timetable for when that stage will come. For me, I would not risk missing out on the active retirement years of my own for a few extra dollars of splurge money.

quantAndHold
Posts: 3897
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:10 pm

I retired 3 years ago at 53 in a similar financial situation as you. I'm certain that I left 7 figures on the table by retiring when I did. But we had enough. My wife is significantly older than I am and had already retired, and we wanted to travel and do things together while we both were healthy.

Since I retired, we've averaged 4 months per year traveling. We are also both very fit and healthy now, which is something I couldn't say while I was working. We both spend about 20 hours a week doing health and fitness activities. Our overall quality of life is much improved, and our relationship, which was always good, is better now than it ever was. It was exactly the right decision for us.

User avatar
Svensk Anga
Posts: 652
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:16 pm

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by Svensk Anga » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:22 pm

You might see if you can negotiate an unpaid leave of absence if your annual vacation time is not enough. This could turn into an annual thing, though I suspect your employer will frown on that. or it could be an extended one time deal. Take a month (or more) off. Call it a trial retirement, but with the option of returning. Maybe then do another year and call it quits with a bit more splurge fund available.

Wanderingwheelz
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:52 am

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by Wanderingwheelz » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:29 pm

dm200 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:10 pm
Can or could you transition to a part time position, perhaps in a slightly;y different field to keep it from being boring? Going part-time might give you more time to travel as well.
+1

MoneyMarathon
Posts: 646
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:38 am

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by MoneyMarathon » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:21 am

somanyquestions wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:41 pm
What do you think of this approach?
Transitions are hard.

You say "I want to travel a lot more than I can while working, and do other things I can't do now" but do you mean it? If so, retire.

deikel
Posts: 998
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:13 pm

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by deikel » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:46 am

somanyquestions wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:41 pm
I could use this to help relatives pay for college, for higher-end travel, fancy camera lenses -- stuff I might not otherwise indulge in (though I probably could afford to even without the fund, just much less likely to do it).

What do you think of this approach?
But that is the definition of life style creep and even if it is singular items, they might become multiple items, multiple times and all of a sudden working becomes a must have to pay for these things ?

I would suggest to re-evaluate once your partner is retired and has done some travel without you. If that does not motivate you to do the same, maybe it is more his wish to travel then yours ?

If you like your work, stay there and let one person go through the changes (although you are missing out on doing something new together - that is fun too), maybe that is a gentler approach to the change ?

Maybe start with one larger travel (longer in time or more fancy in cost and location) and get more vacation days from your employer for this one event first - see if you like it?
Everything you read in this post is my personal opinion. If you disagree with this disclaimer, please un-read the text immediately and destroy any copy or remembrance of it.

JBTX
Posts: 5882
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by JBTX » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:01 pm

somanyquestions wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:41 pm
I'm 57 and pretty sure I could retire at the end of the year and have the means to live the life in retirement I would like to live ($2.5 million saved, a little trailing income, low cost of living area, house and kids' college paid for, kids seem to be on paths to full independence, I can live frugally if necessary).

I'm very ambivalent about retiring -- I want to travel a lot more than I can while working, and do other things I can't do now, and my partner is significantly older than I am and he's retiring, so I feel some pressure to get on with this. On the other hand, I make a good living, am saving a good bit each year, and I like my job most days. I feel very lucky to have the job I have.

I'm not motivated to keep working simply to add some more bucks to the pot from which I can spend 3.5 or 4 percent a year in retirement -- again, I think I've got this covered, and the incremental difference of having an extra, say, $5,000 a year does not seem worth it. I would be much more motivated to keep working if I allowed myself to put the surplus I earn over the next couple of years not into the general pot but into a special fund. I could use this to help relatives pay for college, for higher-end travel, fancy camera lenses -- stuff I might not otherwise indulge in (though I probably could afford to even without the fund, just much less likely to do it).

What do you think of this approach?
I find this kind of confusing. I think you need to prioritize, and only you can do that

- retire and travel with spouse before spouse gets too old
- work more to save more for retirement (which doesn't seem to be a motivator for you)
- work more to splurge on goodies and share with relatives.

It would seem that goodies and sharing your wealth is a higher priority than traveling with spouse at the moment. That is fine, but just be honest and realistic about your priorities.

When I retire I'd like to travel, but I'm not sure doing so with spouse will always be the most enjoyable, because we have very different expectations of what we like to do when traveling.

renue74
Posts: 1824
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:24 pm

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by renue74 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:11 pm

My step mother is a CPA in Florida. Every time she see me, we discuss finances and she has pointed out many times that she has seen clients work hard throughout their lives, retire and die within a few years.

It's a personal decision...you see people on this forum who are 70 and still want to work and you see people 35 who want to retire.

Nobody here can help you make this decision, because they don't have your mindset.

What's that survey say? The one that asks dying people what is their most regret...and it's something about spending more time doing xyz. Nobody dying says, I wished I would have made another $1M.

User avatar
Wiggums
Posts: 2741
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:02 am

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by Wiggums » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:51 pm

somanyquestions wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:41 pm
I would be much more motivated to keep working if I allowed myself to put the surplus I earn over the next couple of years not into the general pot but into a special fund. I could use this to help relatives pay for college, for higher-end travel, fancy camera lenses -- stuff I might not otherwise indulge in (though I probably could afford to even without the fund, just much less likely to do it).
I retired at 56, found this forum and opened a DAF. Only you should decide when to retire, but I highly recommend it. After accumulating money for so long, I personally find it challenging to spend the money on myself. Simply put, I don’t need a lot of material things and my family is doing well. I do buy whatever I need without hesitation. It’s a good problem to have. I walk approximately 2 hours a day for exercise. I’m really glad that I opened the DAF. Might as well share...

Topic Author
somanyquestions
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 5:53 am

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by somanyquestions » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:02 pm

Thank you so much for all the thoughtful responses. My question was not artfully stated: I had intended to ask the relatively narrow question of whether what I am proposing -- to put surplus from continued work into a special fund rather than the general pot -- is kosher from a financial perspective. But I'm glad most of you interpreted my question more broadly, and addressed the much more important issues surrounding my priorities. So much food for thought. I plan to check back with you all in a few months when I will need to finally decide whether to work another year. Thanks again for the time and care so many of you took in your responses.

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 9042
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:52 pm

A middle road is a good road.
Consider any path a transitional one.
All or nothing is rarely a good solution.

Have fun with those camera lenses. (Canon "L" or Nikon equiv?)

j :D
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

aristotelian
Posts: 6850
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:05 pm

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by aristotelian » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:16 pm

Whatever works for you but at the end of the day you are still working for incremental benefit. If you have enough and no longer like your job, go enjoy life with your partner. Camera lenses would not make it worth it to me.

mak1277
Posts: 1235
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:26 pm

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by mak1277 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:13 pm

somanyquestions wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:02 pm
Thank you so much for all the thoughtful responses. My question was not artfully stated: I had intended to ask the relatively narrow question of whether what I am proposing -- to put surplus from continued work into a special fund rather than the general pot -- is kosher from a financial perspective. But I'm glad most of you interpreted my question more broadly, and addressed the much more important issues surrounding my priorities. So much food for thought. I plan to check back with you all in a few months when I will need to finally decide whether to work another year. Thanks again for the time and care so many of you took in your responses.
Personally, I like the idea as long as you think about it as (1) something you really truly want, that will be a huge treat and (2) you don't make it a recurring lifestyle inflation.

I did something similar this year. I had hit my retirement number but knew I was going to keep working for a little while until some family matters were sorted out. So I decided to treat myself by spending my whole bonus instead of saving most/all of it as I've done in the past. I have a spreadsheet going of planned and actual expenditures and am going to really enjoy splurging for the next few months.

k3vb0t
Posts: 384
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:42 pm

Re: Tactic to Induce Myself to Keep Working

Post by k3vb0t » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:09 pm

somanyquestions wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:02 pm
Thank you so much for all the thoughtful responses. My question was not artfully stated: I had intended to ask the relatively narrow question of whether what I am proposing -- to put surplus from continued work into a special fund rather than the general pot -- is kosher from a financial perspective. But I'm glad most of you interpreted my question more broadly, and addressed the much more important issues surrounding my priorities. So much food for thought. I plan to check back with you all in a few months when I will need to finally decide whether to work another year. Thanks again for the time and care so many of you took in your responses.
What I find most interesting about Bogleheads is how many of the same types of questions get posted over the years (which is good, no problem with that) and how that leads the user base to uncovering the question behind the question. Treating the disease and not the symptom.

At the end of the day however you want to slice up the financial pie is more mental accounting than anything. Doesn’t matter in the long run. The deeper questions that others addressed above is what’s really important to sort out.

Post Reply