Who has (or had) a Fear of Retiring?

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GaryA505
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Who has (or had) a Fear of Retiring?

Post by GaryA505 »

Does anyone here have Fear of Retiring? What is the cure?

I mean, you work your whole life, struggling at times to just make it. After a while you make enough to live comfortably, and then eventually you find you have enough to retire but you're still not convinced. Some people call this the "scars of scarcity".
Last edited by GaryA505 on Thu Aug 17, 2023 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by TravelforFun »

GaryA505 wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 7:37 pm Does anyone here have Fear of Retiring? What is the cure?

I mean, you work your whole life, struggling at times to just make it. After a while you make enough to live comfortably, and then eventually you find you have enough to retire but you're still not convinced. Some people call this the "scars of scarcity".
One of the cures is transitioning to a part- time position first.

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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by jebmke »

I don't think there is any magic formula. Some people work through it, some don't. I've known a few who never retired (so far) and not because they couldn't financially.
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by placeholder »

When the time came I knew it and didn't hesitate.
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by rbslos36 »

You are where I was 4 years ago. The pandemic made it easier to begin envisioning retirement. I used three years to prepare. I listened to podcasts, took classes and sought out retirement programs with colleagues. I developed volunteer interests. When the time came this year, I was ready.
I spend my time volunteering, execising, planning and doing travel.
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by Wanderingwheelz »

In the same sentence you wrote you have enough to retire, but you’re not convinced you do.

I’m sure you’ll find plenty of help here if you want to post an “Am I able to retire” post using the proper format.
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by gavinsiu »

You can work out the numbers. I would divided up your expenses into inflexible expenses and flexible expenses. Work out if your ss + other streams of income + portfolio will cover it. If you are unsure, hire someone to get a second opinion or even post your portfolio on boglehead.

Sometimes it’s psychological. People are used to getting a paycheck and drawing your portfolio down is scary. There is no magical formula, if you have been working out the map you are at least doing your homework, so trust yourself.

One other factor is the change in the lifestyle. You may think that it would be great to golf all the time, but you may get tire of it and miss the camaraderie you used to get at work. It’s also something that you need to get used to.
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by ClaycordJCA »

This topic is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum. OP, to ensure this topic is personal and actionable, please confirm the issue is personal to you, a family member or a friend.
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. »

you don't have to retire. retirement is a modern concept. and in some places people can't afford to retire. even some people like Buffett and Munger are in their 90s and have no plans to retire. They love what they do, so if you want to keep working hopefully it's for the right reasons, not out of fear, though there is no need for fear. Some people don't retire because they have no hobbies and/or would be bored. Some retire and go back to work. There's more variation within groups than between groups. There's more than one road to Dublin. You do you. But if you want to retire and are just afraid if you have enough, you can see a professional who can hopefully reassure you through a running of the numbers.
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by dh »

Part of the fear of retiring is that you are giving things (using skills, your identity, etc) up. I think being able to articulate what you are retiring to is key? Hopefully the life you want to create in retirement is more exciting than what you did in your career.
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by GaryA505 »

Wanderingwheelz wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 9:00 pm In the same sentence you wrote you have enough to retire, but you’re not convinced you do.

I’m sure you’ll find plenty of help here if you want to post an “Am I able to retire” post using the proper format.
Yes, that seems like a contradiction doesn't it? Mathematically I have enough to retire.
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by GaryA505 »

gavinsiu wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 9:24 pm You can work out the numbers. I would divided up your expenses into inflexible expenses and flexible expenses. Work out if your ss + other streams of income + portfolio will cover it. If you are unsure, hire someone to get a second opinion or even post your portfolio on boglehead.

Sometimes it’s psychological. People are used to getting a paycheck and drawing your portfolio down is scary. There is no magical formula, if you have been working out the map you are at least doing your homework, so trust yourself.

One other factor is the change in the lifestyle. You may think that it would be great to golf all the time, but you may get tire of it and miss the camaraderie you used to get at work. It’s also something that you need to get used to.
Yes, it's psychological in my case. It probably is with a lot of people.
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by Watty »

GaryA505 wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 7:37 pm What is the cure?
One year in my 50s I went to three funerals of people that were more or less my age. I was not real close to any of them but when you see co-workers and neighbors dying that does get you thinking about how much time you actually might have left.

I have also seen relatives who were in relatively good health for their ages naturally slow down by the time they were in their mid-70s. People sometimes refer to the phases of retirement as the "go-go years", "slow go years", and the "no go years". It is highly variable but especially for a couple you may not have a lot of "go-go years" left since once one of the couple slows down that will also limit the other spouse.
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by Beensabu »

GaryA505 wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 7:37 pm What is the cure?
Realizing there's nothing to be afraid of.
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by Johm221122 »

GaryA505 wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 7:37 pm Does anyone here have Fear of Retiring? What is the cure?

I mean, you work your whole life, struggling at times to just make it. After a while you make enough to live comfortably, and then eventually you find you have enough to retire but you're still not convinced. Some people call this the "scars of scarcity".
No fear at all, just let me get enough to have 3% withdrawal rate and social security bridge. I'll retire with no fear.

My only question is do I wait for my dream number or my current lifestyle. I could be happy with either.
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by gavinsiu »

GaryA505 wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 10:27 pm Yes, it's psychological in my case. It probably is with a lot of people.
I think a lot of people forgert about the psychological factor. The question is what is what is your fear? Is it something to do with not having enough or that your life will change too much?

As an example, my neighbor when he was working talked about how he would look forward to retirement and complain about his hard job. However, now that he is retire, he seemed less happy. I don't entirely know the reason, but I suspect that work defined him but now that part of him is gone. My mom went through a similar phase where she continue to work while complaining that she hate everything about work, but continue to do it because she didn't know what else to do. However, she seem happier these days where she gets to do her daily routines. I think you just need to find a new purpose. I can't help in that regards. You can for example find purpose in volunteering or joining a larger group like a church, etc. Life is too short to be doing something you do not like.

If it's the psychological effect of not having enough, if you can separate out what is fixed and what is not fixed. You can then see if your SS and other fixed income stream like a pension covers those fixed expense, then the rest will be handled by your portfolio. Like I said, you can also get a second opinion.
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by JDCarpenter »

I never understood this issue fully. DW and I, beginning in our 20s, planned/hoped to retire early to travel. (Our jobs/professions paid well, but didn't play well together for long vacations)

When we had enough, we gave 2 years notice and after that started to travel six or more months of the year. We both quit cold turkey from well over 40 hour weeks. 6+ years later, we continue to love it.

Find what you are retiring to and go for it. Or, if you love your job more than any alternative, keep going with that. (We were law and medicine, so are well aware that many people may choose to work rather than retire.) Only you can determine which route is best.
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Yep, even with a plethora of information, I am and will be scared.
Hopefully it’s like that first day at a new school. Look back and think I never should have worried. Just natural when jumping off at the deep end…
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by 22twain »

Ah, now I see this is really about you. After reading just your first post, it wasn't clear to me. It would have helped if you had phrased it in terms of "I" rather than "you" (which makes it look like a general-discussion starter).
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by SurferLife »

I’m right there with you. I am at my planned early retirement date this month. The math all checks out but we did some house renovations that I want to pay off before I pull the plug. My solution is that I’m looking for a part time job, even though I technically don’t need it, but it’d help.

For me, I struggle with not wanting to drawdown our savings and I just want to live on our pension while leaving the kids a huge nest egg. We are also waiting on a 300k inheritance check which will really help smooth out the transition.

I really have no logical reason to delay the transition, but here I am delaying it
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by Wannaretireearly »

I think I’ll have to have a big month or two worth of trip to transition directly to. That should help my transition as I won’t be getting bored abroad
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by HanSolo »

GaryA505 wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 7:37 pm Does anyone here have Fear of Retiring? What is the cure?
Maybe it's to keep working until you naturally stop.

My dad "retired" and then kept working the same job as a contract worker. Seems he didn't want to stop working at that time. Some years later, he actually stopped working. My theory is that people's actions are the most accurate indicator of what they really want to do (within the circumstances and choices available).
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by LadyGeek »

GaryA505 wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 10:24 pm
Wanderingwheelz wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 9:00 pm In the same sentence you wrote you have enough to retire, but you’re not convinced you do.

I’m sure you’ll find plenty of help here if you want to post an “Am I able to retire” post using the proper format.
Yes, that seems like a contradiction doesn't it? Mathematically I have enough to retire.
I assume you are asking the question because this applies to your own situation (an actionable topic). I retitled the thread to "[ I have a] Fear of Retiring ".

The OP can change the thread title further by editing the Subject: line in Post #1.
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Re: [I have a] Fear of Retiring

Post by Golf maniac »

Moving into retirement is a process. Some take years to get there, some take months. The great news is you have the FREEDOM to retire. There will always be some level of fear on doing something different. For me personally it took about 4 months to transition. I hated my job and knew I wanted a change. I started off believing I just needed to change jobs. Then I decided I would work part time. Finally I decided I just wanted to retire and find a new life. Everyone is different and when and how they retire will look different. I thought of it as a new adventure and I swear for the first 3 months I would wake up smiling. Best of luck on whatever you decide to do.
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Re: [I have a] Fear of Retiring

Post by Tom_T »

Eventually you will "retire" from everything. You decide how much control you want over the job aspect. I have no intention of working until I drop. I can guarantee that if I'm on my death bed and still have the ability to think, I am not going to think "I'm sure glad I kept working."

As others have said, remove the fear of the unknowns. Get a realistic idea of your expenses - it's easy to lose track of all the miscellaneous stuff. Then you'll be able to say "yes, I can retire and I'll be fine." Then start a new chapter. If not now, when?
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Re: [I have a] Fear of Retiring

Post by Mike Scott »

When you say you have the money but are afraid it sounds more like a mental/emotional barrier that you can address by therapy/coaching. You don't have to retire, but don't let it be driven by fear.
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Re: [I have a] Fear of Retiring

Post by rkhusky »

Figure out what you are going to do with your time. Home projects, gardening, reading, volunteering, exercising, traveling, part time job, etc.
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Re: [I have a] Fear of Retiring

Post by CaptainT »

You can afford to retire! Great!
Now what do you Want to do?
Do you want to keep working?
Do you want to work part time?
Have you always kinda wanted to work as a barista in a coffee shop?
Do you want to spend all day puttering in your garden? Or in the gym? Or some other hobby?
If you know as much what you want to do as opposed to what you are fearful of it will seem more like an active choice and less scary
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by Wanderingwheelz »

SurferLife wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 1:23 am I’m right there with you. I am at my planned early retirement date this month. The math all checks out but we did some house renovations that I want to pay off before I pull the plug. My solution is that I’m looking for a part time job, even though I technically don’t need it, but it’d help.

For me, I struggle with not wanting to drawdown our savings and I just want to live on our pension while leaving the kids a huge nest egg. We are also waiting on a 300k inheritance check which will really help smooth out the transition.

I really have no logical reason to delay the transition, but here I am delaying it
How much were the home renovations? You said you are looking at part time job listings due to worry that you’re cutting your retirement plan too close. (While still being employed full-time.)

The reason I ask is to continue to work full time then part time in order to preserve a huge nestegg so your adult children can spend it someday on fancy vacations and luxury cars after you’re gone, might be the wrong approach to launching a brand new retirement.
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Re: [I have a] Fear of Retiring

Post by tvubpwcisla »

If you want to quickly give up your fear of retiring, simply switch your thought process to the fear of dying.
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Re: [I have a] Fear of Retiring

Post by snic »

GaryA505 wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 7:37 pm Does anyone here have Fear of Retiring? What is the cure?

I mean, you work your whole life, struggling at times to just make it. After a while you make enough to live comfortably, and then eventually you find you have enough to retire but you're still not convinced. Some people call this the "scars of scarcity".
I think a big part of it is that "retirement" is not as well-defined as we might think it is. On the surface, it seems obvious: you're no longer working, so you're retired. But the big question this definition doesn't answer is, "so what are you doing, if you aren't working?" If you can answer that with a well-thought out plan that you look forward to doing much more than going to work, AND you can afford to engage in that plan, AND your significant other is on board with the plan, then you can overcome the "scars of scarcity" pretty easily and just do it.

Some people never reach that point. My father, for instance, kept working through his 70s until he became too ill to continue. He viewed his job as challenging and engaging, something he chose to do even though he didn't have to. The ironic thing is that, of all the really intelligent, self-motivated people I know, he is the one who would have been most able to occupy himself satisfyingly during retirement. He was an accomplished but little-published writer and he had many projects on the back burner that he didn't have time for because he worked full time. Personally I found these projects a lot more interesting than his work and I wish he had taken the last 10 years of his life to complete some of them, but he didn't see it that way. I never got the sense, towards the end, that he regretted his decision to work rather than retire when he could have.
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by GaryA505 »

22twain wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 1:23 am Ah, now I see this is really about you. After reading just your first post, it wasn't clear to me. It would have helped if you had phrased it in terms of "I" rather than "you" (which makes it look like a general-discussion starter).
It's both, really.
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Re: Who has (or had) a Fear of Retiring?

Post by 22twain »

So, what aspects of retiring are you most afraid of? Lack of a daily routine? Lack of hobbies or interests to fill your new-found time? Lack of purpose in life? Etc.

Or are there still some financial fears lurking, even though you say you have enough to retire?
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by SurferLife »

Wanderingwheelz wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 7:19 am
SurferLife wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 1:23 am I’m right there with you. I am at my planned early retirement date this month. The math all checks out but we did some house renovations that I want to pay off before I pull the plug. My solution is that I’m looking for a part time job, even though I technically don’t need it, but it’d help.

For me, I struggle with not wanting to drawdown our savings and I just want to live on our pension while leaving the kids a huge nest egg. We are also waiting on a 300k inheritance check which will really help smooth out the transition.

I really have no logical reason to delay the transition, but here I am delaying it
How much were the home renovations? You said you are looking at part time job listings due to worry that you’re cutting your retirement plan too close. (While still being employed full-time.)

The reason I ask is to continue to work full time then part time in order to preserve a huge nestegg so your adult children can spend it someday on fancy vacations and luxury cars after you’re gone, might be the wrong approach to launching a brand new retirement.
It's more complicated than that (as it usually is). We are "retiring" to be farmers, and in a VHCOL location. I want to have the farm paid-off and ideally, build a second house on the property so that they can choose to stay here in the future if they want, because there is absolutely NO WAY they will be able to stay here otherwise. Both children are special needs but should be able to be "on their own", and I'd like them to have the option to be close to each other, thus the 2 houses. They both want to make farming a living, and there's little to no money in that endeavor, but it should sustain them IF their farm/home is paid off. So yeah, unique circumstances. I'm also the goose that lays the golden egg, so when I'm gone the income that comes in with pension and working drops significantly, though not to zero. So yes, earning more for the kids, but at the same time we have plenty right now to take care of ourselves, but if we want to set the kids up for success, then it's a bit iffy.
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Re: Who has (or had) a Fear of Retiring?

Post by bloom2708 »

Today, if people don't have problems, they make them up.

I have a bigger fear of dying sitting at my desk w*rking. Or I fear dying 1 year into retirement like so many I see.

Some people will never retire. Some people retire at 67 or 70. Some people desire to retire "early". "Early" means different things to different people. Early might be 64 or 62 or 69.

At least in the US, we have a "comfort crisis". We want it all and don't want to cut or sacrifice or go without anything. Interesting times.
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Re: Who has (or had) a Fear of Retiring?

Post by SurferLife »

bloom2708 wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 10:26 am Today, if people don't have problems, they make them up.

I have a bigger fear of dying sitting at my desk w*rking. Or I fear dying 1 year into retirement like so many I see.

Some people will never retire. Some people retire at 67 or 70. Some people desire to retire "early". "Early" means different things to different people. Early might be 64 or 62 or 69.

At least in the US, we have a "comfort crisis". We want it all and don't want to cut or sacrifice or go without anything. Interesting times.
We recently had an unexpected death in the family that has made me relook life. Granted, the individual was 84, but you can't help but do some soul-searching when something like that abruptly happens. The situation has made me want to retire even sooner, so I'm really working on putting things in place to do that transition as soon as possible.
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by GaryA505 »

SurferLife wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 1:23 am I’m right there with you. I am at my planned early retirement date this month. The math all checks out but we did some house renovations that I want to pay off before I pull the plug. My solution is that I’m looking for a part time job, even though I technically don’t need it, but it’d help.

For me, I struggle with not wanting to drawdown our savings and I just want to live on our pension while leaving the kids a huge nest egg. We are also waiting on a 300k inheritance check which will really help smooth out the transition.

I really have no logical reason to delay the transition, but here I am delaying it
Exactly!
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Re: Who has (or had) a Fear of Retiring?

Post by kd2008 »

Bogleheads like OP look for definitive answers for vexing questions. OP is not alone.

It helps to develop a different skill set where the answer is in seeking a perspective rather than a specific answer.

Technically there is no "fear" associated with retirement. Just uncertainty. May be OP fears the uncertainty. Maybe they need coping skills for that.

Consider the options you have: does your job allow fewer hours? Can you request an arrangement that gives you flexibility? Would you like to trial and error different arrangements or quit cold turkey? What is the opportunity cost of continuing to work? What will they miss? What is the marginal utility of wealth for the extra days worked? Don't answer that - everyone and OP knows it is ZERO.

If OP understood they have finite number of days in good health before slow-go and no-go years kick in, would they continue to work or retire and make most of the remaining days?

Ultimately the goal of modern retirement is to maximize work-free days in good health. If OP doesn't share that aspiration, then continuing to work is a fine option.

Instead of focusing on retirement, maybe OP needs to focus on themselves first to address unanswered issues.

YMMV.
Last edited by kd2008 on Thu Aug 17, 2023 11:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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GaryA505
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by GaryA505 »

22twain wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 1:23 am Ah, now I see this is really about you. After reading just your first post, it wasn't clear to me. It would have helped if you had phrased it in terms of "I" rather than "you" (which makes it look like a general-discussion starter).
It IS a general discussion. I'm not unique. A little weird maybe, but not uniquely so. :wink:
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Re: Who has (or had) a Fear of Retiring?

Post by AlohaBill »

I was a teacher from 1973 to about 2007. I taught from nursery school to Esl in universities in various countries. I was always apprehensive teaching. I wanted my students to like me and dreaded criticism. It was a little irrational, but it was what it was. It put money in the bank. In the end a student complained to my boss at UC Davis. I apologized to her . I stayed teaching for a while, but I was done and my health was deteriorating. So I quit. Fortunately , my wife approved. I was so relieved not having to appear in front of people. Retirement for me was and is very joyful, like when I was up to age 22.
In my first few years in retirement I had anxious dreams where I was unprepared to teach my lessons, or I was late for class (I could never reach the class room). The thing about retirement for me is I know I am much closer to the end.
Fortunately, my teaching career was also exciting, educational and extremely varied. I have many fond memories of friends I made with students and other teachers in the Marshalls, Japan, Hawaii, Saudi Arabia and California. My wife and I started our family overseas! What an adventure!
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Re: Who has (or had) a Fear of Retiring?

Post by GaryA505 »

AlohaBill wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 11:29 am I was a teacher from 1973 to about 2007. I taught from nursery school to Esl in universities in various countries. I was always apprehensive teaching. I wanted my students to like me and dreaded criticism. It was a little irrational, but it was what it was. It put money in the bank. In the end a student complained to my boss at UC Davis. I apologized to her . I stayed teaching for a while, but I was done and my health was deteriorating. So I quit. Fortunately , my wife approved. I was so relieved not having to appear in front of people. Retirement for me was and is very joyful, like when I was up to age 22.
In my first few years in retirement I had anxious dreams where I was unprepared to teach my lessons, or I was late for class (I could never reach the class room). The thing about retirement for me is I know I am much closer to the end.
Fortunately, my teaching career was also exciting, educational and extremely varied. I have many fond memories of friends I made with students and other teachers in the Marshalls, Japan, Hawaii, Saudi Arabia and California. My wife and I started our family overseas! What an adventure!
I love these of stories. They make me feel ... normal!
Get most of it right and don't make any big mistakes. All else being equal, simpler is better. Simple is as simple does.
Badinvestor
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Re: Who has (or had) a Fear of Retiring?

Post by Badinvestor »

For me fear of retirement = fear of US dollar decline + fear of the US health care system. Being retired is fun, of course, but these fears are pretty overwhelming at this point for me, two years into retirement.

I have also had frequent nightmares about my old jobs like AlohaBill.
SurferLife
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Re: Who has (or had) a Fear of Retiring?

Post by SurferLife »

In my field, I can't really go back once I leave/retire. So, I have to REALLY be sure I'm done. Balance that with sequence of return risk, and.....it's a risk, even though FIRECalc says 100%!
Topic Author
GaryA505
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Location: New Mexico

Re: Who has (or had) a Fear of Retiring?

Post by GaryA505 »

SurferLife wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 12:19 pm In my field, I can't really go back once I leave/retire. So, I have to REALLY be sure I'm done. Balance that with sequence of return risk, and.....it's a risk, even though FIRECalc says 100%!
Same here.
Get most of it right and don't make any big mistakes. All else being equal, simpler is better. Simple is as simple does.
Wanderingwheelz
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by Wanderingwheelz »

SurferLife wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 10:26 am
Wanderingwheelz wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 7:19 am
SurferLife wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 1:23 am I’m right there with you. I am at my planned early retirement date this month. The math all checks out but we did some house renovations that I want to pay off before I pull the plug. My solution is that I’m looking for a part time job, even though I technically don’t need it, but it’d help.

For me, I struggle with not wanting to drawdown our savings and I just want to live on our pension while leaving the kids a huge nest egg. We are also waiting on a 300k inheritance check which will really help smooth out the transition.

I really have no logical reason to delay the transition, but here I am delaying it
How much were the home renovations? You said you are looking at part time job listings due to worry that you’re cutting your retirement plan too close. (While still being employed full-time.)

The reason I ask is to continue to work full time then part time in order to preserve a huge nestegg so your adult children can spend it someday on fancy vacations and luxury cars after you’re gone, might be the wrong approach to launching a brand new retirement.
It's more complicated than that (as it usually is). We are "retiring" to be farmers, and in a VHCOL location. I want to have the farm paid-off and ideally, build a second house on the property so that they can choose to stay here in the future if they want, because there is absolutely NO WAY they will be able to stay here otherwise. Both children are special needs but should be able to be "on their own", and I'd like them to have the option to be close to each other, thus the 2 houses. They both want to make farming a living, and there's little to no money in that endeavor, but it should sustain them IF their farm/home is paid off. So yeah, unique circumstances. I'm also the goose that lays the golden egg, so when I'm gone the income that comes in with pension and working drops significantly, though not to zero. So yes, earning more for the kids, but at the same time we have plenty right now to take care of ourselves, but if we want to set the kids up for success, then it's a bit iffy.
It sounds like you have a logical reason to keep earning an income. You didn’t mention your age or your children's ages, but if your ideal goal is to set your kids up for success, and it’s iffy it would be hard to argue you’re doing the wrong thing by continuing to work in your current capacity.

I am curious about how you’d go from being a full-time farmer of your own land to another type of work part-time. Or, how you’d become a part-time worker on your own farm, if that’s your plan.
Being wrong compounds forever.
SurferLife
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Re: Fear of Retiring

Post by SurferLife »

Wanderingwheelz wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 12:54 pm
SurferLife wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 10:26 am
Wanderingwheelz wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 7:19 am
SurferLife wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 1:23 am I’m right there with you. I am at my planned early retirement date this month. The math all checks out but we did some house renovations that I want to pay off before I pull the plug. My solution is that I’m looking for a part time job, even though I technically don’t need it, but it’d help.

For me, I struggle with not wanting to drawdown our savings and I just want to live on our pension while leaving the kids a huge nest egg. We are also waiting on a 300k inheritance check which will really help smooth out the transition.

I really have no logical reason to delay the transition, but here I am delaying it
How much were the home renovations? You said you are looking at part time job listings due to worry that you’re cutting your retirement plan too close. (While still being employed full-time.)

The reason I ask is to continue to work full time then part time in order to preserve a huge nestegg so your adult children can spend it someday on fancy vacations and luxury cars after you’re gone, might be the wrong approach to launching a brand new retirement.
It's more complicated than that (as it usually is). We are "retiring" to be farmers, and in a VHCOL location. I want to have the farm paid-off and ideally, build a second house on the property so that they can choose to stay here in the future if they want, because there is absolutely NO WAY they will be able to stay here otherwise. Both children are special needs but should be able to be "on their own", and I'd like them to have the option to be close to each other, thus the 2 houses. They both want to make farming a living, and there's little to no money in that endeavor, but it should sustain them IF their farm/home is paid off. So yeah, unique circumstances. I'm also the goose that lays the golden egg, so when I'm gone the income that comes in with pension and working drops significantly, though not to zero. So yes, earning more for the kids, but at the same time we have plenty right now to take care of ourselves, but if we want to set the kids up for success, then it's a bit iffy.
It sounds like you have a logical reason to keep earning an income. You didn’t mention your age or your children's ages, but if your ideal goal is to set your kids up for success, and it’s iffy it would be hard to argue you’re doing the wrong thing by continuing to work in your current capacity.

I am curious about how you’d go from being a full-time farmer of your own land to another type of work part-time. Or, how you’d become a part-time worker on your own farm, if that’s your plan.
Working full-time in an office now and will be transitioning to farming for "retirement".
jaqenhghar
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Re: Who has (or had) a Fear of Retiring?

Post by jaqenhghar »

kd2008 wrote: Thu Aug 17, 2023 11:16 am Bogleheads like OP look for definitive answers for vexing questions. OP is not alone.

It helps to develop a different skill set where the answer is in seeking a perspective rather than a specific answer.

Technically there is no "fear" associated with retirement. Just uncertainty. May be OP fears the uncertainty. Maybe they need coping skills for that.

Consider the options you have: does your job allow fewer hours? Can you request an arrangement that gives you flexibility? Would you like to trial and error different arrangements or quit cold turkey? What is the opportunity cost of continuing to work? What will they miss? What is the marginal utility of wealth for the extra days worked? Don't answer that - everyone and OP knows it is ZERO.

If OP understood they have finite number of days in good health before slow-go and no-go years kick in, would they continue to work or retire and make most of the remaining days?

Ultimately the goal of modern retirement is to maximize work-free days in good health. If OP doesn't share that aspiration, then continuing to work is a fine option.

Instead of focusing on retirement, maybe OP needs to focus on themselves first to address unanswered issues.

YMMV.
This is an excellent post, particularly the focus on looking at the question through a framework rather than seeking a specific answer. Saving for the future.
desiderium
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Re: Who has (or had) a Fear of Retiring?

Post by desiderium »

GaryA505 wrote: Wed Aug 16, 2023 7:37 pm Does anyone here have Fear of Retiring? What is the cure?

I mean, you work your whole life, struggling at times to just make it. After a while you make enough to live comfortably, and then eventually you find you have enough to retire but you're still not convinced. Some people call this the "scars of scarcity".
Ambivalence is common, and perhaps there isn't so much a cure as a recognition of change. I retired a year ago as a physician, then responded to tales of woe and have covered some weekends and other days intermittently over the last year. I liked helping and the money was nice though doesn't change the long-term picture materially. Along the way I've explored a number of interesting things, spent time visiting adult children and have improved both my physical and mental health. I suppose some people find avocations that are engaging and substitute for working. I haven't found anything so compelling yet, but I've been happy and settled. Meanwhile my profession continues to be way understaffed and short term opportunities are increasingly lucrative and can be tailored to my whims. I still identify as retired, but maybe not ready to let go of my working self altogether just yet.
Campcoffee
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Re: Who has (or had) a Fear of Retiring?

Post by Campcoffee »

I definitely had a fear of retiring. As far as the financial side, I was pretty sure we would be okay with investments and SS so that wasn’t a concern (although it was for my wife). I had worked 44 years in a career that I loved, and I didn’t know if I’d ever find anything to do that would be as interesting or challenging as my job. My initial plan was to retire at 66 but wasn’t ready to pull the trigger. When COVID struck and everyone went to remote working, I did that for about 16 months. I found out during that time that it worked out okay for me to be at home, and I also deliberately got active in planning for and starting hobbies. So far so good – I’m retired now for 18 months, and it is fantastic. I think you do have to prepare yourself by planning what you will do with your time. For some that will be easy -- for me I had to work at it. As you go along, don’t get hung up if any of the things don’t pan out, just switch to something else. Going back to your question about a cure for fear, I think the fear is about the unknown and if you are making a mistake. I think if you get good advice from qualified people about your finances and plan out what you will do to keep busy, you can have the confidence to retire. Some of the other commentors suggested that you consider the fear of deteriorating health or death to help you get over the fear of retiring. This helped me somewhat to keep things in perspective. Good luck to you in your decision.
unwitting_gulag
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Re: Who has (or had) a Fear of Retiring?

Post by unwitting_gulag »

One supposes that this isn’t a financial question. It’s a psychological question. Consider the vaunted 4% rule. We argue over whether 4% is too much, and what asset-allocation is best for sustaining maximum safe withdrawal rate. Suppose that somebody runs one of those calculators and learns that his or her annual expenses would result in a 0.4% rule… that’s zero point four percent, given this person’s current portfolio. Is that enough to retire? Financially, of course. Psychologically, maybe not.

Suppose that a Depression-era kid, or a refugee from an impoverished country, really strikes it big. I mean, billionaire big… a literal billionaire in US dollars, in 2023. Is that enough to retire? Is that a silly question? Maybe not. Hunger is hard to forget. No subsequent exposure to all-you-can-eat buffets may be enough to ameliorate nasty memories of hunger pangs. Such a person might continue working in definitely, and saving indefinitely… not because working is fun, or retirement is boring, but because those memories of going hungry, never fade. Can we fault him?
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