Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

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2tall4economy
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Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by 2tall4economy » Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:35 am

Contrary, or possibly corallary, to the other topic posted recently on this board, I've been thinking a lot about retirement lately, and it's depressing.

I grew up poor and found motivation in wanting sports cars and big fancy houses since I was about 14. Since then I've been 110% focused on building my career, investing, buying rental properties etc... I'm 38 now, and in 2014, I achieved 3 of my biggest goals all within a few months of each other:

1) paid off ~$1m in rental property, generating about $60k net of rental income (my annual living expense level for the family), increasing at CPI for the rest of my life
2) got promoted to a "Chief x Officer" position in a consolidated subsidiary, which is an entry-senior position (3rd tier pay grade out of 10 tiers - 1st tier is the overall CEO & direct staff, and promotion to 2nd tier out of 3rd tier has happened to 1 person out of 150 in the past 6 years - they always go outside the company) in one of the biggest companies in the world -- but not anywhere near a hedge fund / I-banker at my age ;)
3) achieved over $1M in investible assets

At first I was happy to have achieved my goals, but in parallel to building my career and saving, I have been working overseas on expat assignments and with each move, I've reduced my footprint and possessions, and I've got really interested in living "half way between 'my means' and 'below my means' " in a simpler life that doesn't require as much money. That pretty much flies in the face of the motivation I had to put in the time and effort all these years. The achievement of these goals, the semi-dead end (great dead end though) at work, and having enough money to actually retire, has completely sapped my motivation to work. I've always wanted a Ferrari and a big house and that desire is still there, but that'll take maybe 1-2 years to earn the money for, and then what...

If I retire, I don't know what I'd do with myself. I'm about as far away from being a nature lover as possible, I've extensively travelled the world while on expat assignments, and while I love my family I need a daily break from them, so the typical early retiree granola lifestyle isn't appealing to me. Other than throwing mid-brow and the occasional black tie parties (requiring more income most likely) my social interaction would fall off a cliff....

Conversley, I like feeling like I'm productive, and I'd be leaving a great job at a great company and I'll always wonder what might have been; maybe I could have been the CEO of a mid-size company or a large business unit. If I retire that all goes up in smoke...

The only thing I can think of doing with myself is being a professor or politician... or other blue blood type acitivites... none of which really excite me.

So anyway, I fear I'll fade away if I retire but until the fire of "not enough yet" gets back in my belly -- which is the opposite of my views of late --- then I'll probably get fired anyway or quit from lack of enthusism / work ethic.

Anyone else go through this? What were your thoughts? What snapped you out of it?
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by jackholloway » Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:51 pm

You are only 38, with another 25 years to go in your career. It is rather early to ask what you will be doing when it ends.

For now, make bank with your job as long as you are learning and growing, and note that at your level, growth of skill and influence is expected to stay at the same compensation. Your rewards come from getting more done, more than getting more cash.

When it is no longer interesting, or when you have enough money that you are ready to take a bigger risk, figure out either what yo want to do or who you want to do it for, and make a change. In my case, I went from salaried to contracting. After contracting for some years, I went to a megacorp, as I wanted to make an impact that a sub-billion dollar company would find difficult.

Eventually, your interests will likely move to things that nobody pays for, but that you believe need to be done. A dear friend is heavily focussed on bringing health care to people whose job does not provide it, and it involves a LOT of individual and community interaction.

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by leonard » Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:04 pm

No. Doing whatever you want (within reason) is pretty great. I am not retired, but have had a few periods of "time off". It's sooooo much better than working.

Seems like you need to work on not being defined by what you do.
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:26 pm

2tall4economy wrote:If I retire, I don't know what I'd do with myself. I'm about as far away from being a nature lover as possible, I've extensively travelled the world while on expat assignments, and while I love my family I need a daily break from them, so the typical early retiree granola lifestyle isn't appealing to me.
I would not have retired for a granola lifestyle either. I retired for a lifestyle that I could not possibly carry while working. My first major project is to walk el Camino de Santiago next spring. A year from now, I will try to hitch a ride to Antarctica from Ushuaia, Argentina. I also have some unconventional long-term plans.

Many Bogleheads are already living their dreams. Raybo is bicycling around the world and keeps excellent journals. Kramer has lived in several countries. Taylor participates in sailboat races and his team usually wins. Protagonist spends summers in Europe and winters windsurfing in the Caribbean. Fallible became a cartoonist. One recently retired poster is called a Renaissance man by his friends.

As you get familiar with this Forum, you will notice many people and activities well beyond granola.

Cheers,
Victoria
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by tennisplyr » Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:34 pm

Life is what you make of it. It is your life to do with what you want, especially in the retirement phase. Make no mistake about it, you will have huge amounts of time available to you--that is your challenge and it could be good or bad. I know people like myself who love it while others hate it. Having a passion is very helpful. Most of all, be thankful for every day, for at some point it will not be there. Having physical stuff is fine but life is so much more. Good luck
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by livesoft » Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:35 pm

2tall4economy wrote:[…]
The only thing I can think of doing with myself is being a professor or politician... or other blue blood type acitivites... none of which really excite me.

So anyway, I fear I'll fade away if I retire but until the fire of "not enough yet" gets back in my belly -- which is the opposite of my views of late --- then I'll probably get fired anyway or quit from lack of enthusism / work ethic.

Anyone else go through this? What were your thoughts? What snapped you out of it?
Ha! Ha!

About a year or two younger than you, I left my job as a "professor" and went to work for a company at the "Chief X Officer level" with no desire to move any higher up the ladder. That lasted awhile and now I am unemployed. Maybe there is only politics left?
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by HomerJ » Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:40 pm

2tall4economy wrote:I've extensively travelled the world while on expat assignments, and while I love my family I need a daily break from them
How much time have you really spent with your family? I'm guessing you've worked very hard and a lot of hours with a lot of travel to achieve all your goals at 38.

What do you think THEY want? Maybe you could focus on them instead of you for a while. That doesn't mean you have to spend 24 hours/day with them.

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by selftalk » Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:45 pm

Experience different sports and hobbies to see what your abilities are and what you really like. You`ve got to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Find it.

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by The Wizard » Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:08 pm

Retirement shouldn't necessarily be the goal.
Financial Independence should be the goal.
Having achieved that, you should have at least some choices about what to do next.
That should be fun, actually...
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by WolfpackFan » Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:54 pm

different strokes for different folks i guess.. if it were me i'd plant my butt on the couch and add a netflix subscription to that 60k expenses! I'd also spend lots of time in the public library. If I got bored then volunteer work to give back to the community could go a long way for me too.

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TxAg
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by TxAg » Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:03 pm

Volunteer. Work for a non profit. Get a degree in something fun. Learn a new skill or language. Life has so much to offer...sounds like you need a break.

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by texasdiver » Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:31 pm

Don't know your profession from your post but you seem well positioned to go into business for yourself. With $2 million in assets you are already financially independent by most measures. What are the chances you can leverage your position and contacts into some sort of independent consulting type gig that would allow you to stay in your profession but much more on your own terms?

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by joe8d » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:08 pm

+1 on the subject statement.
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by bottlecap » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:29 pm

I admire your accomplishments and drive, but it's a bit depressing that you have no other purpose than work/material possessions and need frequent breaks from your family, especially given that you probably don't see them much in the first place.

It sounds like you don't have much of a social life, but could you seek out similarly situated perons in your field or related fields for their thoughts? I mean, eventually, your company will force you (and everyone else) out due to age. There have to be many like you that are thinking about the transition or have already made it.

Good luck,

JT

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by flyingaway » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:41 pm

You need to develop some interest outside of your work. You have that much rental property which should keep you busy after work. Do you have time left for something else?

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by freebeer » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:46 pm

Have you considered becoming an entrepreneur?

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by hq38sq43 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:25 pm

From 1971 (when our son was born) until 1991, when severe agency down-sizing resulted in my taking early retirement (at age 53) from a senior attorney job in a federal bank regulatory agency, I took great satisfaction in earning a comfortable living for my family.

Occasionally, I reflect on the negative effect of early retirement on my pension, but immediately consider that the stress of "hanging on" would probably have killed me. Of course, my wife's compensation as librarian for a major law firm and my income from seasonal tax preparation work cushioned the financial blow, but we would have done okay in any case, due to our life-long habit of living within our means.

"There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means." --Calvin Coolidge (quoted in Andrew Tobias's "The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need.")

Now, at age 76, with a modest pension, a very small and dwindling tax prep business, a wife of 52 years now happily retired with me in Florida, a son and daughter well launched in their careers, each with a daughter who is the apple of their eye and ours, I am content. My warm wishes that you might achieve similar contentment in due course.

Best wishes,
Harry at Bradenton

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by J295 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:38 pm

You may consider that your angst is a springboard for digging much deeper into your self for reflection and, perhaps, some action. This could be a great opportunity to learn more about the real you. If you pursue deep examination know that it is usually hard work. A trusted spouse or friend can be a great resource.

Appreciate your honest sharing, and wish you well.

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by jlawrence01 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:46 pm

Eads, I read the subject line and I thought it was a 59 year old person who had been laid off recently with $50k in retirement savings.

Retirement at 38 sounded really as something that I would never want to do. At age 53, it looked very attractive.

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by rayson » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:54 pm

J295 wrote:You may consider that your angst is a springboard for digging much deeper into your self for reflection and, perhaps, some action. This could be a great opportunity to learn more about the real you. If you pursue deep examination know that it is usually hard work. A trusted spouse or friend can be a great resource.

Appreciate your honest sharing, and wish you well.
+10

Consider meditation or running and search for answers within. Good luck!

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by Yesterdaysnews » Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:29 pm

I also seek financial independence but not necessarily retirement as a goal. I want enough money/net worth to my name that I can still work, but on my own terms. Hanging it up completely just doesn't seem like the kinda thing I would do unless I became physically or mentally hindered.

I would rather work less but still continue to work to keep the mind and body active as I get older. Plus I like making money lol.

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by 2tall4economy » Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:49 am

jackholloway wrote:For now, make bank with your job as long as you are learning and growing, and note that at your level, growth of skill and influence is expected to stay at the same compensation. Your rewards come from getting more done, more than getting more cash.
I think part of the lost fire is that I'm in a lull where I don't feel like I'm learning/growing; I've been in the same job for 3 years now (I know that sounds like nothing to many but for the last 10 years I've moved to a new job and/or a new country every 9-18 months).

Not sure I quite understand what you mean by "note that at your level, growth of skill and influence is expected to stay at the same compensation". Can you elaborate?
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by travellight » Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:57 am

Why not go for 10 million?!

Just kidding, kinda.... I actually agree with what J295 said as well.
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by 2tall4economy » Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:09 am

tennisplyr wrote:Life is what you make of it. It is your life to do with what you want, especially in the retirement phase. Make no mistake about it, you will have huge amounts of time available to you--that is your challenge and it could be good or bad. I know people like myself who love it while others hate it. Having a passion is very helpful. Most of all, be thankful for every day, for at some point it will not be there. Having physical stuff is fine but life is so much more. Good luck
I think that' the root of my problem; my passion started as "stuff" but I've gotten almost completely away from that (with the exception of the Ferrari and the big house, since those are childhood dreams) and transitioned to experiences and building my career and savings. Since I've achieved both (at the same time - which is probably worse from a motivation standpoint) there is no passion anymore, and there is enough money to walk away.

I also think part of it is that I've reached the point where I'm starting to transition to seeing life as finite vs open ended, and I'll most likely never get to the yatch / personal jet wealth level, even if I devote all of my remaining time to it, so why bother accumulating more wealth.

Tony Robbins would probably tell me I need to set new goals; but for what? Bigger bank accounts? No need. More impact / seniority? Certainly appeals to me, but I can't go up from here within my current employer.

Maybe I just need to find a different employer...?
Last edited by 2tall4economy on Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by 2tall4economy » Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:28 am

VictoriaF wrote:
2tall4economy wrote:If I retire, I don't know what I'd do with myself. I'm about as far away from being a nature lover as possible, I've extensively travelled the world while on expat assignments, and while I love my family I need a daily break from them, so the typical early retiree granola lifestyle isn't appealing to me.
I would not have retired for a granola lifestyle either. I retired for a lifestyle that I could not possibly carry while working. My first major project is to walk el Camino de Santiago next spring. A year from now, I will try to hitch a ride to Antarctica from Ushuaia, Argentina. I also have some unconventional long-term plans.

Many Bogleheads are already living their dreams. Raybo is bicycling around the world and keeps excellent journals. Kramer has lived in several countries. Taylor participates in sailboat races and his team usually wins. Protagonist spends summers in Europe and winters windsurfing in the Caribbean. Fallible became a cartoonist. One recently retired poster is called a Renaissance man by his friends.

As you get familiar with this Forum, you will notice many people and activities well beyond granola.

Cheers,
Victoria
I don't want to be insulting because I know you have the best intentions when you shared, and were being honest with me, but to me practically all the things you list, to me (and who says I'm the authority), are within my definition of "granola lifestyle". I guess if I have to define it, I'd say it's travel and exploration in a "back to basics" sort of way (bikes/walking/sailing) and/or artsy endeavors (don't get me wrong, I like some art, but the *stereotypical* art person makes me want to barf).

I grew up (happily at least) in extreme poverty in a very rural area, on a farm (the only asset we had was the farmland, and we even had to give that to the bank in my early teens), with nothing to do but immerse myself in free or low cost activities (nature/art/music/bicycling) 24/7 for nearly 20 years. Once I had a car, I found the bustle and noise of city life to be intoxicating. After graduating I transitioned from cities with 200k people to 20M people as I bounced around the world (Manhattan NYC and Puxi Shanghai being my far and away favorites) and never had any desire to go back to my old life.

Personally, I love being pampered in hotels, dressing in nice clothes, going to Broadway, trying new wine and 10 course menu restaurants, traveling in luxury cars, flying around the world, or sitting at home playing video games. I just don't want to (and can't afford to - maybe I really do need to save more!) spend 100% of my time doing those activities because while they give me surface fulfillment they don't give me deeper fulfillment like I used to get from doing my job and having an impact on people and business/economy.
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by 2tall4economy » Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:41 am

HomerJ wrote:
2tall4economy wrote:I've extensively travelled the world while on expat assignments, and while I love my family I need a daily break from them
How much time have you really spent with your family? I'm guessing you've worked very hard and a lot of hours with a lot of travel to achieve all your goals at 38.

What do you think THEY want? Maybe you could focus on them instead of you for a while. That doesn't mean you have to spend 24 hours/day with them.
Partially true; I worked really hard up until ~35. Then I had to choose between my family and my career and I picked family. I work a fairly comfortable ~45 hours per week now. My point is just that I won't find fulfillment doing nothing all day except playing with my son. I love it, but I don't find deeper / longer fulfillment from it (other than seeing him grow into a great man).
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by 2tall4economy » Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:12 am

texasdiver wrote:Don't know your profession from your post but you seem well positioned to go into business for yourself. With $2 million in assets you are already financially independent by most measures. What are the chances you can leverage your position and contacts into some sort of independent consulting type gig that would allow you to stay in your profession but much more on your own terms?
freebeer wrote:Have you considered becoming an entrepreneur?
I've debated this but I haven't been able to convince myself why yet; if the point of starting my own business is more money, then there's no reason because I give up job security for something I already have (just staying with my current job until 65 and saving at the same rate would put me around $20M - not that I actually want to work that long nor need that much money), if it's insane money ($100M+) then I'd be on board for that, but the sacrifices outweigh that a little for me. I still want to see my family every day vs working. If it's fulfillment, I don't know why I would get something different with a startup than I do at my current job (other than just the general change, which would be welcome); I affect the lives of hundreds of people directly every day (which I find fulfilling actually), if I started my own that would probably be a smaller number. Plus, as far as what my field of expertise (finance) / industry is, it's pretty specific and not something that transitions well to a start up enviornment , though it's been tried -- my 2nd employer was actually a firm started by 4 people (I was employee 7) backed by VC trying to break into the same industry with new technology. Worked out ok, but it was no silicon valley result.
bottlecap wrote:I admire your accomplishments and drive, but it's a bit depressing that you have no other purpose than work/material possessions and need frequent breaks from your family, especially given that you probably don't see them much in the first place.

It sounds like you don't have much of a social life, but could you seek out similarly situated perons in your field or related fields for their thoughts? I mean, eventually, your company will force you (and everyone else) out due to age. There have to be many like you that are thinking about the transition or have already made it.

Good luck,

JT
Yeah, I made it sound pretty bad when I wrote that. It's more that I want my family to be part of my life, not all of my life. I spend quite a bit of time with them and spending time with my son is one of my daily highlights.

Yesterdaysnews wrote:I also seek financial independence but not necessarily retirement as a goal. I want enough money/net worth to my name that I can still work, but on my own terms. Hanging it up completely just doesn't seem like the kinda thing I would do unless I became physically or mentally hindered.

I would rather work less but still continue to work to keep the mind and body active as I get older. Plus I like making money lol.
This is really hitting the mark and where my head is at. The problem is like another poster said, eventually you'll be too old for the big companies to keep you on the payroll, at which point you're faced with the same option I would have if I left now; do something on your own (but what), work for a small employer who doesn't care about age (but how to reconcile it against the "big job" you used to do), or truly retire and just spend/travel/explore hobbies but miss out on the fulfillment.
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by 2tall4economy » Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:14 am

Just wanted to say to everyone here, as a long time lurker and this being my first post, I'm glad to be part of the community. Talking about money offends lots of people and can result in damaging relationships (especially when others assume you're a 1%er, whether you are or not) and it's great to hear from others experiences with money and retirement without the thinly veiled resentment attached.

So glad I found this board!
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.

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Re: Thinking - it's depressing

Post by SGM » Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:39 am

Maybe you should read more Shakespeare? :wink:

Cassius: Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves.....

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by Chip Spoons » Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:23 am

2tall4economy wrote:I don't want to be insulting because I know you have the best intentions when you shared, and were being honest with me, but to me practically all the things you list, to me (and who says I'm the authority), are within my definition of "granola lifestyle". I guess if I have to define it, I'd say it's travel and exploration in a "back to basics" sort of way (bikes/walking/sailing) and/or artsy endeavors (don't get me wrong, I like some art, but the *stereotypical* art person makes me want to barf).

I grew up (happily at least) in extreme poverty in a very rural area, on a farm (the only asset we had was the farmland, and we even had to give that to the bank in my early teens), with nothing to do but immerse myself in free or low cost activities (nature/art/music/bicycling) 24/7 for nearly 20 years. Once I had a car, I found the bustle and noise of city life to be intoxicating. After graduating I transitioned from cities with 200k people to 20M people as I bounced around the world (Manhattan NYC and Puxi Shanghai being my far and away favorites) and never had any desire to go back to my old life.

Personally, I love being pampered in hotels, dressing in nice clothes, going to Broadway, trying new wine and 10 course menu restaurants, traveling in luxury cars, flying around the world, or sitting at home playing video games. I just don't want to (and can't afford to - maybe I really do need to save more!) spend 100% of my time doing those activities because while they give me surface fulfillment they don't give me deeper fulfillment like I used to get from doing my job and having an impact on people and business/economy.
2tall4economy wrote:Just wanted to say to everyone here, as a long time lurker and this being my first post, I'm glad to be part of the community. Talking about money offends lots of people and can result in damaging relationships (especially when others assume you're a 1%er, whether you are or not) and it's great to hear from others experiences with money and retirement without the thinly veiled resentment attached.
You're a low-post guy, and I'm a low-post guy. We're both parenthetical (I had another low-post handle but scrubbed it - rendered it useless with a random password - because my finances are fixed and the only information I have to offer is "off-topic" here).

I am pretty good at the internets, and I'll tell you what...I don't believe any of this (I don't want to be insulting, so I'll point out that according to the rules of the iNET, it's irrelevant whether I believe you or not).

If you're looking for something to do, why not try to be more compelling?

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by Robert T » Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:59 am

.
Fulfillment = certainty, uncertainty (variety), significance, connection, growth, giving - weighting each of these according to individual/personal needs (according to some http://www.ted.com/talks/tony_robbins_a ... what_we_do )

Best
Robert

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by lululu » Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:27 am

There's a test you can take that tells you (surprise, you may not have realized this) what actually appeals to you. It was given to my class in high school decades ago and came out right on the money for me, as it turned out later. Unfortunately the name of it has disappeared from my memory bank.

Wolkenspiel
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by Wolkenspiel » Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:29 am

2tall4economy wrote: Personally, I love being pampered in hotels, dressing in nice clothes, going to Broadway, trying new wine and 10 course menu restaurants, traveling in luxury cars, flying around the world, or sitting at home playing video games.
I thought your living expense level for the family was "$60k net of rental income (my annual living expense level for the family)". I now take it that's per month? In that case, I suggest you keep working.

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2tall4economy
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by 2tall4economy » Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:29 am

Chip Spoons wrote: You're a low-post guy, and I'm a low-post guy. We're both parenthetical (I had another low-post handle but scrubbed it - rendered it useless with a random password - because my finances are fixed and the only information I have to offer is "off-topic" here).

I am pretty good at the internets, and I'll tell you what...I don't believe any of this (I don't want to be insulting, so I'll point out that according to the rules of the iNET, it's irrelevant whether I believe you or not).

If you're looking for something to do, why not try to be more compelling?
Well, no way to change your mind without giving out information that can personally identify me, which I'm not going to do in a post that discusses quitting my employer, so will leave you to your point of view.

There has been quite a lot of good advice so far and if nothing else, typing out my thoughts is actually quite therapeutic, and the wisdom of people older than myself and their points of view are great too.

I talked with a couple of my coworkers in more general terms about it; they basically said they didn't ever want to stop working, and since they'd been at my level for many years longer than me, money was even less of an issue. I think they'll be miserable when they retire, if my thinking on the subject is any indication. I think they're just kicking the ugly issue down the road...
Last edited by 2tall4economy on Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.

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2tall4economy
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by 2tall4economy » Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:31 am

lululu wrote:There's a test you can take that tells you (surprise, you may not have realized this) what actually appeals to you. It was given to my class in high school decades ago and came out right on the money for me, as it turned out later. Unfortunately the name of it has disappeared from my memory bank.
Aaaah right! I took that in business school once it ranked "enterprise control" (megalomania?) as my highest rank, followed by money. I should take it again - I'll have to use google a bit tonight!
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.

flyingaway
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by flyingaway » Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:45 am

hq38sq43 wrote:From 1971 (when our son was born) until 1991, when severe agency down-sizing resulted in my taking early retirement (at age 53) from a senior attorney job in a federal bank regulatory agency, I took great satisfaction in earning a comfortable living for my family.

Occasionally, I reflect on the negative effect of early retirement on my pension, but immediately consider that the stress of "hanging on" would probably have killed me. Of course, my wife's compensation as librarian for a major law firm and my income from seasonal tax preparation work cushioned the financial blow, but we would have done okay in any case, due to our life-long habit of living within our means.

"There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means." --Calvin Coolidge (quoted in Andrew Tobias's "The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need.")

Now, at age 76, with a modest pension, a very small and dwindling tax prep business, a wife of 52 years now happily retired with me in Florida, a son and daughter well launched in their careers, each with a daughter who is the apple of their eye and ours, I am content. My warm wishes that you might achieve similar contentment in due course.

Best wishes,
This is a life that I would like to have.

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laughlinlvr
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by laughlinlvr » Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:52 am

I want to pick up on the OP's title word: "depressing." To the OP: You may be facing a bout of depression. Classically, a depressive episode is often characterized by an inability to feel joy from things that formerly gave satisfaction.
The OP should be alert to the fact that a depressive episode may be underway. If so, all the other advice to do alternate things becomes moot. However, I would endorse the advice to turn outwards and become interested in others. The family and volunteer work have been mentioned. They're a good place to start.
Investing - The hardest way to make an easy living.

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2tall4economy
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by 2tall4economy » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:09 am

Wolkenspiel wrote:
2tall4economy wrote: Personally, I love being pampered in hotels, dressing in nice clothes, going to Broadway, trying new wine and 10 course menu restaurants, traveling in luxury cars, flying around the world, or sitting at home playing video games.
I thought your living expense level for the family was "$60k net of rental income (my annual living expense level for the family)". I now take it that's per month? In that case, I suggest you keep working.
Most of it's free because it's provided by work for business travel or because I'm an expat (I don't pay for a primary residence, car or schooling as an expat). When I retire, that'll mostly stay the same; there will be a 1 time cost for a car, my house at home would be paid off, and I wouldn't need to pay for school because it would be free. Medical insurance would be an added cost, but travel would decline (no need to travel back to the USA anually from overseas).

Just for kicks:
luxury hotels / flying around the world: company business (free), credit card points (free) is most of it, but also $20k of my 60k is spent in this category, mostly because I need to travel 12+ hours on an airplane home one or two times annually to see family and friends while on assignment, and, well, see my forum name...

luxury cars: company provides car (and sometimes driver depending on how bad the country is) as an expat

Broadway (or other shows): this is actually very reasonably priced, as long as you're already in the city living there vs having to pay for a flight and hotel.

wine and 10 course menus: yep, this isn't cheap and isn't covered by the company. The average American family of 2.7 pople spends $7k on food. My family of 2.1 spent about $22k last year on food & booze. It's what I choose to be lavish on.

So take out the food and vacations and I spend about $15k on everything else (which is all medication/health deductibles/copays, household goods/supplies/utilities, clothes, electronics, and entertainment).

But overall, that was my point saying I probably can't do it during retirement since I'll have to pay for it and I'll want more of it since I have the time on my hands.
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.

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2tall4economy
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by 2tall4economy » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:10 am

laughlinlvr wrote:Classically, a depressive episode is often characterized by an inability to feel joy from things that formerly gave satisfaction.
Nail on the head.

Here's to hoping its temporary in nature then...
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.

Chip Spoons
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by Chip Spoons » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:12 am

2tall4economy wrote:Well, no way to change your mind without giving out information that can personally identify me...
Untrue. I'd wager I could be convinced simply by how you'd flesh out this singular detail...
2tall4economy wrote:I grew up (happily at least) in extreme poverty...
On the off chance you are inclined, please don't bother on my account (It's not personal, I'm naturally skeptical of this "category" - the brand new poster coping with the difficulties that accompany great wealth - which sounds like a personal problem I should address)

Good luck in your endeavor.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:16 am

2tall4economy wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
2tall4economy wrote:If I retire, I don't know what I'd do with myself. I'm about as far away from being a nature lover as possible, I've extensively travelled the world while on expat assignments, and while I love my family I need a daily break from them, so the typical early retiree granola lifestyle isn't appealing to me.
I would not have retired for a granola lifestyle either. I retired for a lifestyle that I could not possibly carry while working. My first major project is to walk el Camino de Santiago next spring. A year from now, I will try to hitch a ride to Antarctica from Ushuaia, Argentina. I also have some unconventional long-term plans.

Many Bogleheads are already living their dreams. Raybo is bicycling around the world and keeps excellent journals. Kramer has lived in several countries. Taylor participates in sailboat races and his team usually wins. Protagonist spends summers in Europe and winters windsurfing in the Caribbean. Fallible became a cartoonist. One recently retired poster is called a Renaissance man by his friends.

As you get familiar with this Forum, you will notice many people and activities well beyond granola.

Cheers,
Victoria
I don't want to be insulting because I know you have the best intentions when you shared, and were being honest with me, but to me practically all the things you list, to me (and who says I'm the authority), are within my definition of "granola lifestyle". I guess if I have to define it, I'd say it's travel and exploration in a "back to basics" sort of way (bikes/walking/sailing) and/or artsy endeavors (don't get me wrong, I like some art, but the *stereotypical* art person makes me want to barf).

I grew up (happily at least) in extreme poverty in a very rural area, on a farm (the only asset we had was the farmland, and we even had to give that to the bank in my early teens), with nothing to do but immerse myself in free or low cost activities (nature/art/music/bicycling) 24/7 for nearly 20 years. Once I had a car, I found the bustle and noise of city life to be intoxicating. After graduating I transitioned from cities with 200k people to 20M people as I bounced around the world (Manhattan NYC and Puxi Shanghai being my far and away favorites) and never had any desire to go back to my old life.
I grew up in a large city in another country, was frustrated living in American suburbs, and now happily live in a metropolitan area. Manhattan is great. I have never been in Shanghai. But D.C. offers numerous attractions not available elsewhere, such as the Smithsonian museums and educational programs; thinktanks with lectures on social, economic and political issues; ability to attend the American Legislative and Judicial Branch hearings; and embassy events.

You can put the "granola" tag on these activities. But that leaves a question of what's not granola in your definition.
2tall4economy wrote:Personally, I love being pampered in hotels, dressing in nice clothes, going to Broadway, trying new wine and 10 course menu restaurants, traveling in luxury cars, flying around the world, or sitting at home playing video games. I just don't want to (and can't afford to - maybe I really do need to save more!) spend 100% of my time doing those activities because while they give me surface fulfillment they don't give me deeper fulfillment like I used to get from doing my job and having an impact on people and business/economy.
It appears that you are not depressed about retirement but about your inability to afford a luxurious lifestyle.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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2tall4economy
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by 2tall4economy » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:22 am

2tall4economy wrote:
lululu wrote:There's a test you can take that tells you (surprise, you may not have realized this) what actually appeals to you. It was given to my class in high school decades ago and came out right on the money for me, as it turned out later. Unfortunately the name of it has disappeared from my memory bank.
Aaaah right! I took that in business school once it ranked "enterprise control" (megalomania?) as my highest rank, followed by money. I should take it again - I'll have to use google a bit tonight!
Ha! I dug through my old files and there is was from 12 years ago. My memory wasn't quite as good as I thought but pretty close:

Personal Interests:
Scale Value Scale Name
64 Very High Theory Development and Conceptual Thinking
61 Very High Quantitative Analysis
61 Very High Enterprise Control
59 High Application of Technology
52 Average Influence Through Language and Ideas
44 Low Creative Production
43 Low Managing People and Relationships
42 Low Counseling and Mentoring

Relative value of career rewards:
Relative Strength Scale Name
11 Financial Gain
10 Positioning
9 Security
8 Power and Influence
8 Variety
7 Recognition
5 Affiliation
5 Lifestyle
5 Managing People
4 Autonomy
4 Prestige
2 Intellectual Challenge
0 Altruism

Plus ca change, plus le meme chose

Thank you for reminding me of that :)
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.

KlangFool
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by KlangFool » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:34 am

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Principles ... al_Utility

TS,

Law of Diminishing Returns..

You have ENOUGH money to satisfy your needs and wants. Hence, money is no longer the top of your list. You had accomplish ENOUGH. Hence, career goal may no longer give you more happiness....

Time to look lower at your list...

KlangFool

TheEternalVortex
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by TheEternalVortex » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:38 am

I can take some of your extra money if you don't need it. Then you won't have to retire for longer. Win/win!

flyingbison
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by flyingbison » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:42 am

2tall4economy wrote: The only thing I can think of doing with myself is being a professor or politician... or other blue blood type acitivites... none of which really excite me.
You think of being a professor as some type of "blue blood activity?" I'd have to assume you know very little about the higher education industry.

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2tall4economy
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by 2tall4economy » Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:41 am

flyingbison wrote:
2tall4economy wrote: The only thing I can think of doing with myself is being a professor or politician... or other blue blood type acitivites... none of which really excite me.
You think of being a professor as some type of "blue blood activity?" I'd have to assume you know very little about the higher education industry.
leadership in public service, education, charity, the military, and the arts

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_class
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.

an_asker
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by an_asker » Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:56 am

I find it strange that through this thread, though you have mentioned "family" and "son" not once have you mentioned "wife". Is she on board with your thoughts?

flyingbison
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by flyingbison » Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:56 am

2tall4economy wrote:
flyingbison wrote:
2tall4economy wrote: The only thing I can think of doing with myself is being a professor or politician... or other blue blood type acitivites... none of which really excite me.
You think of being a professor as some type of "blue blood activity?" I'd have to assume you know very little about the higher education industry.
leadership in public service, education, charity, the military, and the arts

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_class
Even if I accept the definition offered by your wikipedia citation, you lifted a single phrase that does not all capture the meaning of what you were quoting.

"The upper class in modern societies is the social class composed of the wealthiest members of society, who also wield the greatest political power. According to this view, the upper class is generally contained within the wealthiest 1-2% of the population, and is distinguished by immense wealth (in the form of estates) which is passed on from generation to generation.[1][unreliable source?] This popular definition is at odds, however, with how the upper class views itself: as members of families that have been long distinguished not merely by wealth or fame which are ostensibly available to all in a democratic society but rather by generations of leadership in public service, education, charity, the military, and the arts."

Additionally, most professors are not "leaders" in the organization or industry.

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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by SGM » Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:08 am

Intellectual challenge and altruism are high on my list of interests. That is how I was able to work so many years without burnout. It is easy enough to burn out if you do not take some time to enjoy things along the way to making your fortune. But intellectual challenge is a key to happiness at work in my experience.

I would cut out the derogatory comments about "granola." I remember my former chemistry professor's somewhat snide comment about my DWs art history PhD, "Oh that's nice." Obviously he considered it inferior to a PhD in the hard sciences. We laughed. Not so, it opened up many doors to her including the absolute adoration from her pupils and colleagues. His statement said more about the chemistry professor than DW.

An octogenarian former granola colleague and friend still wears his beard and gets 6 figures for a painting and has had retrospectives at SF MOMA and the Corcoran and paintings on the wall of the art museum at Yale and owns homes and studios in SF, NYC, Maine, and a certain town on the N California coast where the hippies steal the sign to keep out the tourists. :sharebeer
"Let us endeavor, so to live, that when we die, even the undertaker will be sorry." Mark Twain

lululu
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Re: Thinking about retirement - it's depressing

Post by lululu » Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:12 am

2tall4economy wrote:
2tall4economy wrote:
lululu wrote:There's a test you can take that tells you (surprise, you may not have realized this) what actually appeals to you. It was given to my class in high school decades ago and came out right on the money for me, as it turned out later. Unfortunately the name of it has disappeared from my memory bank.
Aaaah right! I took that in business school once it ranked "enterprise control" (megalomania?) as my highest rank, followed by money. I should take it again - I'll have to use google a bit tonight!
Ha! I dug through my old files and there is was from 12 years ago. My memory wasn't quite as good as I thought but pretty close:

Personal Interests:
Scale Value Scale Name
64 Very High Theory Development and Conceptual Thinking
61 Very High Quantitative Analysis
61 Very High Enterprise Control
59 High Application of Technology
52 Average Influence Through Language and Ideas
44 Low Creative Production
43 Low Managing People and Relationships
42 Low Counseling and Mentoring

Relative value of career rewards:
Relative Strength Scale Name
11 Financial Gain
10 Positioning
9 Security
8 Power and Influence
8 Variety
7 Recognition
5 Affiliation
5 Lifestyle
5 Managing People
4 Autonomy
4 Prestige
2 Intellectual Challenge
0 Altruism

Plus ca change, plus le meme chose

Thank you for reminding me of that :)
I think we're probably talking about different tests. The categories in yours do make me think it is oriented towards business school types.

The one I remember was for high school students. It had two sections. One was skills (mathematics, spacial relations, verbal, etc.) and the other was interests. For example in the interests section I came out high in forestry/farming/etc. and about as low as possible in business.
Last edited by lululu on Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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