Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

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SethJane42
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by SethJane42 »

Motivation comes and goes, so therefore is not really important. What is important is the vision you're trying to create in your personal experience. Keep that in mind, and keep moving in action towards its manifestation. Doesn't mean one can't let go of a vision and conceive of another one. One doesn't have to be a prisoner to any vision. Still, it always come down to vision and creative action. As an artist and business-person, I can tell you that if I relied on motivation, I would have finished nothing. I would have stopped short of the experiences I wanted in life. I'd still be poor and living in a rooming house in Baltimore.
Dennisl
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by Dennisl »

I'm 40 and I feel that way. Every day is a drag and I'm completely exhausted at the end of every day. Dragging self out of bed most mornings. I take multiple mini vacations throughout the year and I can't fall asleep on the day before I go back because of the dread and anticipation. Probably midlife quiet desperation thing. I truly envy people who have found their calling/passion in life and love what they do. It is more of a blessing than wealth.
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TexasPE
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by TexasPE »

Vanguard Fan 1367 wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 3:17 pm I don't know what your work is. For me taking courses to become more proficient in my work helped me to enjoy it and overcome burnout.
+1

In my case it was closer to 10 years. :!: I was essentially self-directed at the time. I looked around and identified two unmet needs that would be useful to my employer and facility (~1000 employee manufacturing site). [Corporate was pushing the site to work these issues]. I identified and took the necessary training for two certifications. The knowledge and credibility gained in earning the certifications opened up fresh opportunities for me to become program manager for three interrelated multiyear projects which took me to retirement.

I also became company representative to a national manufacturer's organization. I made 20+ presentations and authored technical articles on these projects at national conferences across the US over my last 5 years of employment.

I was fortunate - my manager was supportive of my discovering and making my own opportunity. YMMV
At 20: I cared what everyone thought about me | At 40: I didn't give a damn what anyone thought of me | Now that I'm 60: I realize that no one was really thinking about me at all | Winston Churchill (?)
rural_dude
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by rural_dude »

greg24 wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 3:20 pm Don't look at it as 5 more years. Look at every day as One More Day. If you can survive tomorrow, do it again the day after.
That truly is awful. If you have to break it up into just 'one more day' every day, it may be time to re-evaluate your role and career.
fortunefavored
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by fortunefavored »

rural_dude wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 11:41 am
greg24 wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 3:20 pm Don't look at it as 5 more years. Look at every day as One More Day. If you can survive tomorrow, do it again the day after.
That truly is awful. If you have to break it up into just 'one more day' every day, it may be time to re-evaluate your role and career.
This is the horror of golden handcuffs. Unless you want to go from retiring comfortably at 55 (or whatever) to 70 or never. Once you're deep in a legacy career with long tenure it becomes a decision between 'suck it up for N years' or 'start over.'

Most people at that stage in their life are not going to choose plan B. I do agree with 'awful' though :)

This thread should be a caution to those in their high energy go-go years that things can change over time and to maximize hay making while the sun shines!
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JoeRetire
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by JoeRetire »

Thesaints wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 5:08 pm Any work is a lot more bearable for the person who does not need to work.
I found that to be true for myself.
Once I decided my end date, the time just flew by.
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by JoeRetire »

MrCheapo wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 6:44 pm As to why I continue to work? Because as an immigrant I have no family here so if god forbid I need extended care in my old age I'm going to have to pay for it. I don't want to be a burden on my children so I hope to make enough to write away that situation.
Seems to me like you could use that for motivation.
I know "I'm doing it for the family" was always a powerful motivator in my life.
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
Normchad
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by Normchad »

fortunefavored wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 12:25 pm
rural_dude wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 11:41 am
greg24 wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 3:20 pm Don't look at it as 5 more years. Look at every day as One More Day. If you can survive tomorrow, do it again the day after.
That truly is awful. If you have to break it up into just 'one more day' every day, it may be time to re-evaluate your role and career.
This is the horror of golden handcuffs. Unless you want to go from retiring comfortably at 55 (or whatever) to 70 or never. Once you're deep in a legacy career with long tenure it becomes a decision between 'suck it up for N years' or 'start over.'

Most people at that stage in their life are not going to choose plan B. I do agree with 'awful' though :)

This thread should be a caution to those in their high energy go-go years that things can change over time and to maximize hay making while the sun shines!
Yep. Absolutely this.

I smile in other threads where somebody is 35 and says they love their job and plan to work to 70. Just wait........

It is awful. I’m currently in the “suck it up for X years phase”, and it is truly awful. I could leave now, but I know that’s not in my own best interests.
BeerTooth
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by BeerTooth »

as someone about 10-15 years behind most in this thread, it reads as damning portrayal of corporate America

The number of people completely disengaged from their work, literally counting down the days to retirement, says a lot about how unsatisfying the world work has become. Or maybe it says more about the high expectations we grew up with, crashing headlong into reality.

After all, the people on the message board are largely the professional creative class of white collar America. The doctors, lawyers, engineers, finance wizards, tech developers, scientists, etc. The people whos parents told us "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life" - the people who went to all the right schools, networked and climbed the ladder, etc.

At the twilight of their career, when they should be sharing their earned wisdom with younger proteges, instead they're counting down the days of their prison sentence.

Makes me more determined than ever to buy my financial freedom any way I can
whoshighpitch
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by whoshighpitch »

Gundy wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 3:10 pm 5 years is a VERY . . LONG . . TIME.

Quit now is best.

I retired too early. Best move I ever made.
Oh you're depressing me. I figure I have 15 years left and I'm out of motivation. Thinking of going out to live in slab city.
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

chazas wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 11:06 pm I can completely relate to this. I’m 60 and realistically those last few years will make things much more certain - no pension or retiree healthcare, just another $800k or even $1m in brute savings if I can stay disciplined. My ex and I were pretty set but divorce happened. So now it means the difference between an acceptable retirement and a really nice one. But my career has peaked, and I’m burned out. No idea how long I’ll actually be able to make it.
Sorry to hear. Was work stress and/or money stress a contributing factor to your divorce? Just curious to learn from others, don't answer if not comfortable. :sharebeer
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
chazas
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by chazas »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 1:40 pm
chazas wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 11:06 pm I can completely relate to this. I’m 60 and realistically those last few years will make things much more certain - no pension or retiree healthcare, just another $800k or even $1m in brute savings if I can stay disciplined. My ex and I were pretty set but divorce happened. So now it means the difference between an acceptable retirement and a really nice one. But my career has peaked, and I’m burned out. No idea how long I’ll actually be able to make it.
Sorry to hear. Was work stress and/or money stress a contributing factor to your divorce? Just curious to learn from others, don't answer if not comfortable. :sharebeer
Partly and indirectly. I took an ill-advised transfer that a former firm was very insistent on to a mid-US location and the firm went under almost immediately. Spouse was exceedingly unhappy about being moved in the first place and the losses we incurred because of the back and forth were not helpful. Also there was always tension at being the “provider” vs the “provided for” and what that meant. For the most part though it was a combination of other things not BH-related.
rich126
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by rich126 »

BeerTooth wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 1:32 pm as someone about 10-15 years behind most in this thread, it reads as damning portrayal of corporate America

The number of people completely disengaged from their work, literally counting down the days to retirement, says a lot about how unsatisfying the world work has become. Or maybe it says more about the high expectations we grew up with, crashing headlong into reality.

After all, the people on the message board are largely the professional creative class of white collar America. The doctors, lawyers, engineers, finance wizards, tech developers, scientists, etc. The people whos parents told us "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life" - the people who went to all the right schools, networked and climbed the ladder, etc.

At the twilight of their career, when they should be sharing their earned wisdom with younger proteges, instead they're counting down the days of their prison sentence.

Makes me more determined than ever to buy my financial freedom any way I can
A lot of this is due to corporate bean counters and bad managers. I work with someone who is more vocal than I am in this stuff but neither one of us will work beyond our hours and "donate" time to the company. My reasoning is that we don't get pensions, we don't get stock options, bonuses are largely gone, etc. other than a paycheck there is nothing that generates loyalty to a company.

Now smaller companies and certain tech companies and others may be different but many of the larger companies, especially defense related are a mess and largely fill with a lot of "drones" pushing papers around and completely uninterested in their work or the company. I only came back because one manager is actually good but I have a few job offers now and will likely quit rather than stick it out another ~24 months until retirement.

And yeah, you have to be careful since companies can get rid of you at any time although in my case I was asked again today if I wanted to move to another position. The manager is trying to convince me to stay. I cut my hours back to 27 a week (3 days) and it is nice but the work is dreadfully unchallenging.
helloeveryone
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by helloeveryone »

MrCheapo wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 3:14 pm @bawling, I hear you man. It is painful not just border.
Gundy wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 3:10 pm 5 years is a VERY . . LONG . . TIME.

Quit now is best.

I retired too early. Best move I ever made.
I'd like to but five years means 100% health insurance covered rather than 75%.
Five years means a $5000 a month pension instead of a $2500 a month pension.
Five years means I'll earn an additional $1M in salary (about $750K after taxes).

Not to mention I'm in the prime of my earning time and at 50 have ample time even if I retire at 55 (god willing of course).
is this prorated in any way such as 2.5 years gets you more health care and more pension or that's an absolute cutoff?

Or perhaps work 2.5 more years to earn another $500,000 in salary and that could offset the better pension and better healthcare?

Gosh and I'm feeling bad for feeling like you do and being 12 years away :oops:
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MrCheapo
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by MrCheapo »

So here's the conundrum. Retirement is an open ended consumer of money. I could retire comfortably now. Except God forbid my wife or I need 10+ years of assisted living then I'm screwed. So "financial freedom" is not well defined.
BeerTooth wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 1:32 pm as someone about 10-15 years behind most in this thread, it reads as damning portrayal of corporate America

The number of people completely disengaged from their work, literally counting down the days to retirement, says a lot about how unsatisfying the world work has become. Or maybe it says more about the high expectations we grew up with, crashing headlong into reality.

After all, the people on the message board are largely the professional creative class of white collar America. The doctors, lawyers, engineers, finance wizards, tech developers, scientists, etc. The people whos parents told us "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life" - the people who went to all the right schools, networked and climbed the ladder, etc.

At the twilight of their career, when they should be sharing their earned wisdom with younger proteges, instead they're counting down the days of their prison sentence.

Makes me more determined than ever to buy my financial freedom any way I can
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MrCheapo
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by MrCheapo »

It is kind of pro-rated. So if I retire at 52.5 I get $3500 in pension and 85% of health insurance costs.
helloeveryone wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 2:32 pm
MrCheapo wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 3:14 pm @bawling, I hear you man. It is painful not just border.
Gundy wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 3:10 pm 5 years is a VERY . . LONG . . TIME.

Quit now is best.

I retired too early. Best move I ever made.
I'd like to but five years means 100% health insurance covered rather than 75%.
Five years means a $5000 a month pension instead of a $2500 a month pension.
Five years means I'll earn an additional $1M in salary (about $750K after taxes).

Not to mention I'm in the prime of my earning time and at 50 have ample time even if I retire at 55 (god willing of course).
is this prorated in any way such as 2.5 years gets you more health care and more pension or that's an absolute cutoff?

Or perhaps work 2.5 more years to earn another $500,000 in salary and that could offset the better pension and better healthcare?

Gosh and I'm feeling bad for feeling like you do and being 12 years away :oops:
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greg24
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by greg24 »

rural_dude wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 11:41 am
greg24 wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 3:20 pm Don't look at it as 5 more years. Look at every day as One More Day. If you can survive tomorrow, do it again the day after.
That truly is awful. If you have to break it up into just 'one more day' every day, it may be time to re-evaluate your role and career.
Then the OP should retire today. He has enough to be simply rich. He wants to hang on and be more rich.
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MrCheapo
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by MrCheapo »

Not quite. I have no family here so need to make sure I need to absolutely certain I can fund my retirement no matter what happens. I could burden my children but I would feel just awful if they had to turn down career advancement etc to look after an ailing parent. So its not because I'm greedy, I just want to remove all risks.

greg24 wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 2:46 pm
rural_dude wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 11:41 am
greg24 wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 3:20 pm Don't look at it as 5 more years. Look at every day as One More Day. If you can survive tomorrow, do it again the day after.
That truly is awful. If you have to break it up into just 'one more day' every day, it may be time to re-evaluate your role and career.
Then the OP should retire today. He has enough to be simply rich. He wants to hang on and be more rich.
Escapevelocity
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by Escapevelocity »

BeerTooth wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 1:32 pm as someone about 10-15 years behind most in this thread, it reads as damning portrayal of corporate America

The number of people completely disengaged from their work, literally counting down the days to retirement, says a lot about how unsatisfying the world work has become. Or maybe it says more about the high expectations we grew up with, crashing headlong into reality.

After all, the people on the message board are largely the professional creative class of white collar America. The doctors, lawyers, engineers, finance wizards, tech developers, scientists, etc. The people whos parents told us "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life" - the people who went to all the right schools, networked and climbed the ladder, etc.

At the twilight of their career, when they should be sharing their earned wisdom with younger proteges, instead they're counting down the days of their prison sentence.

Makes me more determined than ever to buy my financial freedom any way I can
You're very good at encapsulating the situation. Is it the Peter Principle that says people advance to just beyond the level of their competence? I think that is the issue for most of us clock watchers. We have managers above us who are often times less knowledgeable and thoughtful than their direct reports, but you still have to tow the line and it eats you up slowly over the years. Or worse, we get promoted to a position where we become the problem ourselves It gets to the point that it's not worth the effort to fight the good fight.
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alpenglow
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by alpenglow »

Mathew675 wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 4:26 pm I think you are looking at it wrong, how much do you need to spend in retirement? Can you cover that expense now at a safe withdrawal rate given your current pension vested and savings? Yeah more is better but enough is enough.
I'm pretty far from full retirement benefits (13 years). At times, I seriously consider early retirement. As a teacher, COVID fatigue is probably part of it. Yes, I would be leaving a lot of money on the table, but who cares if I don't need it? Like you said, enough is enough. The only think stopping me is being sure enough of having enough. Having young kids is a big part of that for me.
supalong52
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by supalong52 »

Why not stay forever then? You'll never run out of money that way, pension or not.
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

chazas wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 1:51 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 1:40 pm
chazas wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 11:06 pm I can completely relate to this. I’m 60 and realistically those last few years will make things much more certain - no pension or retiree healthcare, just another $800k or even $1m in brute savings if I can stay disciplined. My ex and I were pretty set but divorce happened. So now it means the difference between an acceptable retirement and a really nice one. But my career has peaked, and I’m burned out. No idea how long I’ll actually be able to make it.
Sorry to hear. Was work stress and/or money stress a contributing factor to your divorce? Just curious to learn from others, don't answer if not comfortable. :sharebeer
Partly and indirectly. I took an ill-advised transfer that a former firm was very insistent on to a mid-US location and the firm went under almost immediately. Spouse was exceedingly unhappy about being moved in the first place and the losses we incurred because of the back and forth were not helpful. Also there was always tension at being the “provider” vs the “provided for” and what that meant. For the most part though it was a combination of other things not BH-related.
Thanks for sharing. Good luck to you - you're in good financial shape if able to choose between acceptable & really nice retirement. :beer
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
Olemiss540
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by Olemiss540 »

Start applying for new jobs that look motivating? Could get the benefits you have earned to date and also keep an income stream coming in (even if greatly reduced) for something more motivating.

Or are you saying you are lazy and unmotivated to do ANY job? No judgement here, just curious if this is a job issue or a personal one.

Life isnt about maximizing retiree benefits believe it or not.
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by ScoobyDoo »

BeerTooth wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 1:32 pm as someone about 10-15 years behind most in this thread, it reads as damning portrayal of corporate America

The number of people completely disengaged from their work, literally counting down the days to retirement, says a lot about how unsatisfying the world work has become. Or maybe it says more about the high expectations we grew up with, crashing headlong into reality.

After all, the people on the message board are largely the professional creative class of white collar America. The doctors, lawyers, engineers, finance wizards, tech developers, scientists, etc. The people whos parents told us "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life" - the people who went to all the right schools, networked and climbed the ladder, etc.

At the twilight of their career, when they should be sharing their earned wisdom with younger proteges, instead they're counting down the days of their prison sentence.

Makes me more determined than ever to buy my financial freedom any way I can
This response resonates with me so much....
ScoobyDoo!
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

To the OP, a few things that have helped me:

Financial:
- being on track & having a rough timeline to FIRE. 8 years and counting...
- finally seeing the end of high fixed costs per month. Mortgage will finish soon, Private school fees likely to go away soon. Moving towards, I'm working cos i 'kinda' like it.

Social:
- I try to enjoy every interaction with the people i work with. If i don't do this, it would get really sucky.
- Try to keep some element of humor/fun involved with work. Related to above, easier said than done with remote/zoom, but not impossible.

Psychological/Attitude:
- 'one thing you control every morning is your attitude' - Someone smart said this & resonates with me.
- day to day attitude helps me: I get thru the day, hopefully with a good attitude, avoid politics/conflict stuff which is poisonous.
- Work concept is kinda interesting when you step back, most jobs don't involve life or death scenarios. So, having a 'carefree' attitude helps. I'll try my best, but won't let $3!t get to me much. Have a thick skin. For most of us, we turn up, do something productive (or not), and get paid pretty good *each* day.
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
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tooluser
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by tooluser »

whoshighpitch wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 1:35 pm Thinking of going out to live in slab city.
It's a bit rough at times, but there are some nice people out there. One time a total stranger emerged from a dilapidated trailer and gave me the peace sign as I left East Jesus. I think it was really sincere, and I gave the peace sign back. (And no offense meant, that's actually the name of the community.)
Minderbinder
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by Minderbinder »

Man, I'm glad I found this thread.

Early 40s at this point and feeling the exact same way. Whoever defined it as a death march nailed it.

Mentally I'm paycheck to paycheck at this point just trying to hang on.
frugalecon
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by frugalecon »

Totally can relate...I have 200 weeks to go, and just trying to take it one day at a time. Thanks to all who posted the helpful takes/suggestions.

ETA: Incidentally, David Swensen’s untimely death at 67 has definitely made me think that TIME becomes way more valuable than MONEY at some point.
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The Man with the Axe
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by The Man with the Axe »

This is yet another excellent discussion. Thanks to the OP for starting it.

Here is another suggestion for the OP and many of those who have added to the thread: Go talk to a therapist. It probably will help. Might help a lot.

The financial angle, since this is a Bogleheads discussion: Check your employer's benefits handbook. The sessions are probably covered by your workplace health insurance plan. So use the benefits you have so obviously earned and let the company pay for it!
Exchme
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by Exchme »

Modern problems! It was only a couple generations ago that the social problem was that old people were going hungry once they couldn't work any more. Now we we really do feel the pain of someone knocking down $250K/yr, earning a pension and lifetime health benefits that will have to wait all the way to 55 to retire in formerly unimaginable ease and comfort!

On a serious note, I did two years, three months and 10 days of slogging through a job I had lost all passion to do (not that I was counting!). That really was tough to do mentally. I suggest that OP do a couple more years and see where his finances are. Set little goals - finish this step in the project, get through to the next bonus, make it to the family vacation, etc.

I'll bet after a couple years, the extra money he could get from working more years will cease to mean too much. At that point, he may reduce his sentence from 5 years of hard labor to time served.
Amanda999
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by Amanda999 »

DH just finished a long long slog to vest health insurance in retirement (for him, spouse and dependents - we have a severely disabled adult child so this is huge, to not rely solely on Medicaid and Medicare.)

If you are FI now, then consider what you HAVE, not what you will 'lose' if you stick it out another 5 years. If its just you and your spouse, and you are FI (i.e., you don't have others who rely on you financially, as DH and I do), I'd say life is short and you could get cancer/die anytime so why hate life for the next 5 years?

But I'm so risk adverse what I'd do before quitting is see if your company has any (unpaid) sabbatical options. Or if you can negotiate one. Does your spouse have a disability of any sort? Your employer might have family leave options (beyond ones required by law, some have unpaid many months leave options - DH's does.)

Or perhaps you could negotiate a part time job where you agree to volunteer at a charity (using your skills)? Will part-time work for the next 5 years also get you the increased benefits?

Also keep in mind that health insurance for retirees is a huge cost for employers, and many (even huge very old companies like DH's) are cutting back on that significantly. DH's company has in the past 10 years changed the retiree health insurance premium from 0% (employee premium share portion) to about 50% for some retirees.
jerryk68
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by jerryk68 »

I was in a similar situation. It went from a job I loved to a job I hated. I had 76 months of work left before retirement to get over $100k in health benefits when my boss was changed and the new boss made my life miserable. I wanted to leave immediately but my wife talked me into staying one more year. Ten months later the company changed their health benefits policy which made me eligible for the health benefits with less than 6 months to go. It worked out for me basically thanks to my wife wanting me to stay for another year. My advice is to stay, you never know what can happen.
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MrCheapo
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by MrCheapo »

Olemiss540 wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 5:17 pm Start applying for new jobs that look motivating? Could get the benefits you have earned to date and also keep an income stream coming in (even if greatly reduced) for something more motivating.

Or are you saying you are lazy and unmotivated to do ANY job? No judgement here, just curious if this is a job issue or a personal one.

Life isnt about maximizing retiree benefits believe it or not.
It's not that simple. When you get higher up in organizations lateral changes are very hard. Sure I could start a new career but then I'd be tied down for 10+ years.

"Life isnt about maximizing retiree benefits believe it or not." It's not the only thing of course, but it is an important factor.
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by Olemiss540 »

MrCheapo wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 12:22 pm
Olemiss540 wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 5:17 pm Start applying for new jobs that look motivating? Could get the benefits you have earned to date and also keep an income stream coming in (even if greatly reduced) for something more motivating.

Or are you saying you are lazy and unmotivated to do ANY job? No judgement here, just curious if this is a job issue or a personal one.

Life isnt about maximizing retiree benefits believe it or not.
It's not that simple. When you get higher up in organizations lateral changes are very hard. Sure I could start a new career but then I'd be tied down for 10+ years.

"Life isnt about maximizing retiree benefits believe it or not." It's not the only thing of course, but it is an important factor.
Being financially independent means you are not tied down to any job for any amount of time. You could easily transition to any countless number of roles that may be more fulfilling with any company looking to hire. Change of the things bogging you down to maybe reinvigorate your motivation would buy you more (paid) time floating towards retirement regardless of if it is a lateral or a step down. Just another option.
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.
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The Man with the Axe
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by The Man with the Axe »

Here is another possible strategy that you can add to your arsenal:

Accept that this is your workplace for the foreseeable future. Stop fighting it. Let it go. Focus your energy on something else.

Resolve to make yourself a force for good around the office. Find a person who looks like they need a lift and go out of your way to ask how they are doing. Issue sincere compliments at random to deserving co-workers. Make a point of saying "thank you," "great idea," "well done," etc. Do this frequently. Smile often. Choose someone junior and share your wisdom -- mentor them.

If you need to, consider it a game. Resolve to play this game every day as you enter the workplace. You are the protagonist in a subtle behind-the-scenes drama in which you have secretly decided to gradually raise the level of morale of everyone around you. Make this your mission in life, for the next few years. Your little at-work side hustle.

If nothing else, it's a pleasant, harmless distraction to keep you entertained while you finish the job.

See what happens.
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by brennok »

I wish I was in OP’s shoes, because I think for me at least the goals would help.

In my mid 40s and lost all motivation for work. I do the work, but when problems pop up I am now at the point I feel like let someone else deal with it I am over it. This definitely is not how I used to be.

My megacorp offers no retirement incentives and even a 2% SWR exceeds my salary at this point, but the number is still low enough that I look at it as if I can make it to 50 I would be more secure. This would also potentially get me to my somewhat random goalpost of this number sounds nice. Not really having set goal posts like the OP makes it difficult since it feels more like I am working just to work not because I want or need to.
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by qwertyjazz »

You set up do this upthread when you talk about your kids and your wife and the money
Make it explicit - what is your motivation for continuing? Money is not a goal. What it buys is.
Family - safety etc etc
Once you know your reasons - what you value - use that to motivate you fit your last coupe of years
Maybe keep pictures of your family and look at them whenever something stupid at work comes up
Start with your why you do this - that is where motivation comes from. 5 years minus vacation is not that long.
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by nura »

MrCheapo wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 2:59 pm 5 more years gets me from 75% company health insurance premium coverage to 100%.
5 more years gets me a $5K pension not a $2.5K pension
5 more years get me another $750K in income.
Unless you are in rapidly declining health or need to spend more time with collage bound children or aging parents, stay put for 60 more months; the incremental benefits are motivation enough to continue.
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by softwaregeek »

Was feeling pretty burned out recently, younger than this but mentally in a bad place. A week camping did wonders, even though I am not an outdoorsman. For gods sake, take a vacation, drive or fly someplace and chill. You will feel better.
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by Jaymover »

Interesting reading all these posts.

I though things were cutthroat out there and if you were over 50 in a well paid job with lack of interest written all over your face then they would show you the door and get someone younger in.

That is the situation at least in Australia. Unless it is because in some places senior managers are older and they feel less threatened with lots of unmotivated older people around.

That said, I'm looking down the barrel of in my 60s and fending of whippersnappers before I can retire which is only 9 plus years off.
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by BeerTooth »

Olemiss540 wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 1:34 pm
Being financially independent means you are not tied down to any job for any amount of time. You could easily transition to any countless number of roles that may be more fulfilling with any company looking to hire. Change of the things bogging you down to maybe reinvigorate your motivation would buy you more (paid) time floating towards retirement regardless of if it is a lateral or a step down. Just another option.
unfortunately that's not the way hiring managers think in the real world. It's deceptively hard to switch careers, even for a pay cut. Anyone older than 40 is assumed to be qualified only for the skills shown on their resume, and "too expensive" compared to a younger hire. The HR algorithms filter on a keyword match and any cross-discipline skills aren't even considered
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by TimeTheMarket »

MrCheapo wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 3:14 pm @bawling, I hear you man. It is painful not just border.
Gundy wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 3:10 pm 5 years is a VERY . . LONG . . TIME.

Quit now is best.

I retired too early. Best move I ever made.
I'd like to but five years means 100% health insurance covered rather than 75%.
Five years means a $5000 a month pension instead of a $2500 a month pension.
Five years means I'll earn an additional $1M in salary (about $750K after taxes).

Not to mention I'm in the prime of my earning time and at 50 have ample time even if I retire at 55 (god willing of course).
Yep.

And five years beyond the 55 means another $1M earned, etc.

Your question comes up constantly on the reddit financialindependence forum. When the end is in sight people just find work almost insufferable quite often. A common recommendation is to try and cut back to part time. Others say to take a sabbatical but personally if I could retire and took a month off I'd have to be dragged back in kicking and screaming.
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TimeTheMarket
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by TimeTheMarket »

BeerTooth wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 1:32 pm as someone about 10-15 years behind most in this thread, it reads as damning portrayal of corporate America

The number of people completely disengaged from their work, literally counting down the days to retirement, says a lot about how unsatisfying the world work has become. Or maybe it says more about the high expectations we grew up with, crashing headlong into reality.

After all, the people on the message board are largely the professional creative class of white collar America. The doctors, lawyers, engineers, finance wizards, tech developers, scientists, etc. The people whos parents told us "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life" - the people who went to all the right schools, networked and climbed the ladder, etc.

At the twilight of their career, when they should be sharing their earned wisdom with younger proteges, instead they're counting down the days of their prison sentence.

Makes me more determined than ever to buy my financial freedom any way I can
I basically hate my job, even though:
  • Well compensated
  • Good coworkers
  • Good boss
  • Insane work flexibility (currently WFH but have always had lots of flexibility
  • Very secure
It's everything a person wants in a job. Except it's missing one thing: it's not fun. It's not interesting.

I started as a developer and I do less and less of that over time. When I am developing (and I'm not a great one anymore, to be honest) I remember how much I liked it. But most of my job is endless meetings, far too much make-work garbage (I have outstanding training which is well overdue and it includes--I mean this--a policy on dress code. I'm a grown ass man. I don't need to read about not showing to work in a tank top).

I am so profoundly unsatisfied intellectually that even now it's 9 am and I have not done any work today because I have such a damn hard time getting to it. I push off so many tasks because they do not satisfy me as a person and, frankly, nor do they matter at all to the company.

And yes this is also why each year I am more and more aggressive with my retirement savings. I am aiming for 55. The reality of raising kids has made anything earlier than that unrealistic. I am currently at "coastFI" status, but I need to keep plugging away on this crap for a while longer. I'm not a lazy person, and I'm quite smart. I just find most of what I do so utterly mind-numbing, so I have a job title that is quite frankly below my real potential. I'm actually scared to write how many hours/week I typically work because some people would find it shocking. yet I still, for years on end, get good performance appraisals. Amazing? No. But decent. I've frankly used an agreeable demeanor and a good intellect to let me essentially cruise through my career so far, rarely passionate about what I do. The work I do create is important to me and it's important to me it's quality stuff, and my reputation is good, but I could be doing so much more if I found it interesting and rewarding.
Username is not serious :)
bwalling
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by bwalling »

TimeTheMarket wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 8:03 amI am so profoundly unsatisfied intellectually that even now it's 9 am and I have not done any work today because I have such a damn hard time getting to it. I push off so many tasks because they do not satisfy me as a person and, frankly, nor do they matter at all to the company.
A shockingly high portion of work output is not of value to the company. In many cases, the work output isn't even used at all, even though it's perceived by the company and the department performing it as essential.

I've made a career out of process design and improvement, and made a number of companies substantially more profitable. The shock has never worn off when I start with a new client and see all the useless stuff they're paying people to do.
BeerTooth
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by BeerTooth »

TimeTheMarket wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 8:03 am
BeerTooth wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 1:32 pm as someone about 10-15 years behind most in this thread, it reads as damning portrayal of corporate America

The number of people completely disengaged from their work, literally counting down the days to retirement, says a lot about how unsatisfying the world work has become. Or maybe it says more about the high expectations we grew up with, crashing headlong into reality.

After all, the people on the message board are largely the professional creative class of white collar America. The doctors, lawyers, engineers, finance wizards, tech developers, scientists, etc. The people whos parents told us "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life" - the people who went to all the right schools, networked and climbed the ladder, etc.

At the twilight of their career, when they should be sharing their earned wisdom with younger proteges, instead they're counting down the days of their prison sentence.

Makes me more determined than ever to buy my financial freedom any way I can
I basically hate my job, even though:
  • Well compensated
  • Good coworkers
  • Good boss
  • Insane work flexibility (currently WFH but have always had lots of flexibility
  • Very secure
It's everything a person wants in a job. Except it's missing one thing: it's not fun. It's not interesting.

I started as a developer and I do less and less of that over time. When I am developing (and I'm not a great one anymore, to be honest) I remember how much I liked it. But most of my job is endless meetings, far too much make-work garbage (I have outstanding training which is well overdue and it includes--I mean this--a policy on dress code. I'm a grown ass man. I don't need to read about not showing to work in a tank top).

I am so profoundly unsatisfied intellectually that even now it's 9 am and I have not done any work today because I have such a damn hard time getting to it. I push off so many tasks because they do not satisfy me as a person and, frankly, nor do they matter at all to the company.

And yes this is also why each year I am more and more aggressive with my retirement savings. I am aiming for 55. The reality of raising kids has made anything earlier than that unrealistic. I am currently at "coastFI" status, but I need to keep plugging away on this crap for a while longer. I'm not a lazy person, and I'm quite smart. I just find most of what I do so utterly mind-numbing, so I have a job title that is quite frankly below my real potential. I'm actually scared to write how many hours/week I typically work because some people would find it shocking. yet I still, for years on end, get good performance appraisals. Amazing? No. But decent.
we may as well be online twins

I'm an engineer (defense/aerospace) - very secure job, good boss, nice enough coworkers. I've just completely lost interest in the work and the industry. Which is a shame because outside of work, I am still a voracious learner of new skills and hobbies. But no way to monetize that passion.

When I fill out performance goals every year, I stare at a blank screen for a long time - there is nothing else I want to do here. I don't yearn for anyone else's job. I was offered a chief engineer role and said "no thanks". I waste a lot of time procrastinating and surfing the internet to kill time. This is not sustainable for another 10-15 years. I am trapped.
IngognitoUSA
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by IngognitoUSA »

Same boat as OP, not much motivation at work, especially my NW is in FI territory. The dread of another day of work, another morning emails that are FUBAR can be de-motivating. No amount of vacations, visualizations, work adjustments were helping me. One thing that helped me tremendously is pursuit of collecting paintings, following artists, auctions, details on transactions and generally a very good distraction from daily life. A portion of current income goes in pursuit of that hobby and keeps me motivated and employed.
TimeTheMarket
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by TimeTheMarket »

bwalling wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 8:13 am
TimeTheMarket wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 8:03 amI am so profoundly unsatisfied intellectually that even now it's 9 am and I have not done any work today because I have such a damn hard time getting to it. I push off so many tasks because they do not satisfy me as a person and, frankly, nor do they matter at all to the company.
A shockingly high portion of work output is not of value to the company. In many cases, the work output isn't even used at all, even though it's perceived by the company and the department performing it as essential.

I've made a career out of process design and improvement, and made a number of companies substantially more profitable. The shock has never worn off when I start with a new client and see all the useless stuff they're paying people to do.
I actually like automation and automating tasks/reducing work. I can see so much of this. Do you know I have to put a time card in each week? But my time isn't tracked (as I'm not a contractor). So each Friday afternoon I spend about 2 minutes loading up our time card software, I put in the same hours as the week prior (have for a couple years in a row) and hit submit. If I forget to do this somebody on Monday emails everybody who forgot because they want 95% submission. The tasks in my card--which clearly nobody reads--are for 2019 projects. It says right in the task. So clearly nobody cares. But if I don't do it I get an email.

Do you know we launched a project last year hosted by a third party and as part of this process we had to have legal vet the contract. But legal was taking too long, so we agreed we'd launch with this vendor anyway. That was last summer. Do you want to know when the contract was finally agreed to by both parties? Still not. Legal is still talking about this. Every week or two somebody sends back this word document which has been marked up to kingdom come. As I pointed out even to our vendor (who doesn't understand, rightfully, why we're discussing a contract if we're already using their service) if we all forgot about this contract and simply pretended we had never started modifying it nobody would ever be the worse for wear. Meanwhile these lawyers on staff have surely cost thousands with this silliness.
Username is not serious :)
TimeTheMarket
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by TimeTheMarket »

BeerTooth wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 8:16 am Which is a shame because outside of work, I am still a voracious learner of new skills and hobbies. But no way to monetize that passion.
I am, too. I pick up new interest and topics all the time and work on them until I am pretty knowledgeable in them. I do still enjoy learning and I really enjoy building. I just don't do enough of it now.
When I fill out performance goals every year, I stare at a blank screen for a long time - there is nothing else I want to do here. I don't yearn for anyone else's job. I was offered a chief engineer role and said "no thanks". I waste a lot of time procrastinating and surfing the internet to kill time. This is not sustainable for another 10-15 years. I am trapped.
Same. A couple years ago I thought I wanted to get into management. I interviewed but a coworker got the job. And, no sour grapes truly, thank God. I saw the work he was doing (way more than 40 hours/week for a trivial pay raise) and feel I dodged a bullet. But now what do I put in my career goals? I've had the same title for a while and if I am 2/3 through my career now it's starting to look like I can keep this another decade then bail.
Username is not serious :)
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by fatcoffeedrinker »

TimeTheMarket wrote: Thu May 13, 2021 8:03 am
BeerTooth wrote: Tue May 11, 2021 1:32 pm as someone about 10-15 years behind most in this thread, it reads as damning portrayal of corporate America

The number of people completely disengaged from their work, literally counting down the days to retirement, says a lot about how unsatisfying the world work has become. Or maybe it says more about the high expectations we grew up with, crashing headlong into reality.

After all, the people on the message board are largely the professional creative class of white collar America. The doctors, lawyers, engineers, finance wizards, tech developers, scientists, etc. The people whos parents told us "do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life" - the people who went to all the right schools, networked and climbed the ladder, etc.

At the twilight of their career, when they should be sharing their earned wisdom with younger proteges, instead they're counting down the days of their prison sentence.

Makes me more determined than ever to buy my financial freedom any way I can
I basically hate my job, even though:
  • Well compensated
  • Good coworkers
  • Good boss
  • Insane work flexibility (currently WFH but have always had lots of flexibility
  • Very secure
It's everything a person wants in a job. Except it's missing one thing: it's not fun. It's not interesting.

I started as a developer and I do less and less of that over time. When I am developing (and I'm not a great one anymore, to be honest) I remember how much I liked it. But most of my job is endless meetings, far too much make-work garbage (I have outstanding training which is well overdue and it includes--I mean this--a policy on dress code. I'm a grown ass man. I don't need to read about not showing to work in a tank top).

I am so profoundly unsatisfied intellectually that even now it's 9 am and I have not done any work today because I have such a damn hard time getting to it. I push off so many tasks because they do not satisfy me as a person and, frankly, nor do they matter at all to the company.

And yes this is also why each year I am more and more aggressive with my retirement savings. I am aiming for 55. The reality of raising kids has made anything earlier than that unrealistic. I am currently at "coastFI" status, but I need to keep plugging away on this crap for a while longer. I'm not a lazy person, and I'm quite smart. I just find most of what I do so utterly mind-numbing, so I have a job title that is quite frankly below my real potential. I'm actually scared to write how many hours/week I typically work because some people would find it shocking. yet I still, for years on end, get good performance appraisals. Amazing? No. But decent. I've frankly used an agreeable demeanor and a good intellect to let me essentially cruise through my career so far, rarely passionate about what I do. The work I do create is important to me and it's important to me it's quality stuff, and my reputation is good, but I could be doing so much more if I found it interesting and rewarding.
You described my situation pefectly. I'm a biglaw partner and I just don't find the deals interesting any longer. Close one, start on the next. Day in and day out. Good partners and associates to work with, and usually good clients to work for. Great comp. But just mind-numbing. Fortunately, time is near, as I should be done by end of next year, maybe a little earlier. But still counting down the days. I try to focus on the upcoming vacations and weekends to break up the drudgery.
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CyclingDuo
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Re: Losing Motivation in Work - 5 Years To Go - Suggestions?

Post by CyclingDuo »

MrCheapo wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 2:59 pm I could retire now at 50 but I want to work on until 55 as the health care benefits improve dramatically and the pension I receive quite a bit as well. Those 5 years mean the difference between a great retirement and a very good retirement.

5 more years gets me from 75% company health insurance premium coverage to 100%.
5 more years gets me a $5K pension not a $2.5K pension
5 more years get me another $750K in income.

So the benefits of staying on are huge.

I have a very flexible job where I essentially define my own directions, but quite frankly, I've lost all motivation. Maybe its COVID but I suspect its just the feeling that the end is in sight.

Any suggestions on how to make the next five years enjoyable and not just getting up and counting down the days?
Hmmmm....you did not mention anything about what you do during the hours you spend not working.

What do you do on weekends? Evenings? Vacations? Hobbies? Recreation? Even if you sleep 8 hours every night, you have the remaining 16 hours to fill. Obviously, work fills at least 8-9 hours of that during your 5 days a week (assume that's your base case schedule). You've got 32 hours each weekend to have some fun. Most likely a few hours every evening to have some fun. Holidays and vacations to have some fun.

In spite of your work, don't let your current life pass you by. Golf. Ski. Bike. Hike. Walk your dogs. Cook some fun meals. Love. See some movies. Read books. Grow a garden. Jog. Volunteer. Sing. Worship. Play an instrument. Fish. Camp. Play soccer, or basketball, or softball, or some group sport. Invite friends over for dinner. Coach. Laugh. Cry. Build something. Repair something. See an opera. See a play. See a ballet. Visit museums. Stare at the stars. Sit and talk with your spouse for hours. Call family and friends and visit.

In other words. Recharge your batteries every day and every weekend. :beer

Plenty of things for you to do right now to put some spring in your step while you enjoy your current life one day at a time that is all done during the hours you are not at work to take pressure off of what you are feeling as the mundane where you think you have lost your motivation.

CyclingDuo
"Save like a pessimist, invest like an optimist." - Morgan Housel
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