Retirement itch- when did you get it?

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beyou
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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by beyou » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:50 pm

truenorth418 wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:20 am
I saw a movie, "Lost in America", about a yuppie couple that "cashed out" to travel the country in an RV.

I remember thinking to myself at the time, "Hmm, that's an interesting concept, work really hard for 10 or 20 years, save as much money as possible, and then live off the interest, or whatever".
You do recall that they lost all their money in Las Vegas, don't you ?
Great movie but that did not inspire confidence to retire early !

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by mrspock » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:30 pm

retire2022 wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:59 pm
mrspock wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:26 am

$1.5M invested plus 65% wages in retirement? I’d have left yesterday. What are those 4 prime years of health and mobility worth to you?
mrsspock, paralyzed by indecision hence venting, will take your point into consideration.
If possible you might see if there’s a way to work part-time so you can ease into retirement. Perhaps it will be easier (mentally... financially I think you are golden) if it’s not so abrupt or such a binary decision.

Good luck with your decision! Looks like you’ve made some solid financial decisions during your career!

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by retire2022 » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:13 pm

mrspock wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:30 pm
retire2022 wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:59 pm
mrspock wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:26 am

$1.5M invested plus 65% wages in retirement? I’d have left yesterday. What are those 4 prime years of health and mobility worth to you?
mrsspock, paralyzed by indecision hence venting, will take your point into consideration.
If possible you might see if there’s a way to work part-time so you can ease into retirement. Perhaps it will be easier (mentally... financially I think you are golden) if it’s not so abrupt or such a binary decision.

Good luck with your decision! Looks like you’ve made some solid financial decisions during your career!
I'm an aggressive investor, with that in mind it is hard in my opinion to shift gear and rebalance my portfolio to moderate asset allocation, esp with dropping equity pricing. Will see in the next few months, a part time consulting job may or may not pop up.

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by catalina355 » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:33 pm

retire2022 wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:04 am
All, I'm 58 single, portfolio 1.5 million, net worth 2.1 million, thinking every day want to leave, state pension will have 65% final average salary, looking for an excuse, best to leave at 62 but it may not be a good idea, I keep changing my mind. I brought 89 acres upstate, but need to refill the taxable cash account as cash cushion. My car will be paid off in Jan 2019. Will take one day at a time.

I have lots of hobbies would like to do post employment, I'm in my 32nd year of employment and can leave. We are suppose to relocate our office in a few months, the commute may make me leave. My sick time will cover until Medicare, in seven years.

I don't love what I do, but it is not stressful, I'm scared of changes, but what can anyone tell me to make me leave? I could be an consultant, but not sure if I can make it out there.

A few colleagues, have passed on, one a few days ago, thinking it is not worth it, but I'm trapped in my cycle of reality. It is good hearing you all vent.
Your sick time covers 7 years?

Being scared of change is quite common. I know that from personal experience.

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:55 pm

retire2022 wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:04 am
...I have lots of hobbies would like to do post employment, I'm in my 32nd year of employment and can leave. We are suppose to relocate our office in a few months, the commute may make me leave. My sick time will cover until Medicare, in seven years.

I don't love what I do, but it is not stressful, I'm scared of changes, but what can anyone tell me to make me leave? I could be an consultant, but not sure if I can make it out there.

A few colleagues, have passed on, one a few days ago, thinking it is not worth it, but I'm trapped in my cycle of reality. It is good hearing you all vent.
A little bit of fear is fine. You get through it by realizing you're not the only person to encounter this situation. Take a look at all the other posts in this thread. They've all gone through this. What is "fear" now becomes "old hat" later. You'll do fine, that's how you grow.

Start planning to leave now. An important step is to document how you're going to do this. Writing things down will focus your mind. Having it "in writing" will remove a lot of stress because you now have a plan to follow. When the time comes, you simply act on the plan.

Wait until the office relocation is formally announced. At that time, you will probably be offered a choice to (1) move or (2) resign. There may also be an incentive to stay to the end. Choose to leave and follow your plan. You'll be much happier in the long run. Your hobbies await.
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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by Tayskiing » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:44 am

38
When my wife retired at 38, I started to feel the itch. I started counting down. I have 2 years, 5 months, 26 days until retirement. Will be retiring at 43. Moving to CO and plan on spending time raising the kids and enjoying doing all the outdoors activities like skiing, hiking, and fishing .

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by MandyT » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:38 pm

Ron wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:13 am
When my job BS bucket overflowed, at the age of 59.

That was over 11 years ago, and have yet to have any regret of my decision to do so even though my original plan was to go at age 66 (my SS FRA).

- Ron
I like the metaphor of the job BS bucket! For quite a while, my job as a tenured associate professor seemed pretty cushy and I expected to retire at 62 or later. As the job BS bucket started to fill, I aimed for 60, then 58.

During the 2015-16 school year, changes were announced that would affect eligibility for retiree medical insurance. Under existing rules, anyone eligible to retire would be eligible for retiree medical. Proposed rules effective 1-1-18 would require the retiree to be at least 60 years old with at least 20 years of service to be eligible for retiree medical. Based on my age, I either had to retire in 2017 (at 55) or I would not be eligible until 2022 (at 60).

The BS bucket was getting full enough that I didn't know if I could hold out for five additional years. When I ran some simulations, the numbers actually were more optimistic than I had expected. I thought about it for a few months and finally decided to retire summer 2017.

I'm frugal and practical about most things, so I can easily see myself having been prone to doing "one more year" for a longer time period than would have been optimal; I'm actually grateful to have had that option taken away, since it made my decision much easier. What's surprising, in retrospect, was how quickly I went from being fairly content to wondering how much more I could stand--perhaps two or three years.

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by rterickson » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:55 pm

catalina355 wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:33 pm

Your sick time covers 7 years?
Quite possibly.

My employer picks up the full cost of early retiree medical until Medicare eligibility, but we can "sell" sick time (8 hours buys 1 month) for dependent(s). I plan to cover my wife for 5-6 years when I retire.

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by Elsebet » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:30 pm

At age 22 I was pushed into putting 18% of my income into my 401k from a co-worker. In my late 20's I was at a job where a 55-ish year old co-worker told me her horror story of being laid off in her 50's, not being able to find a job for years, and almost losing her house. Those two things started my thinking of trying to become financially independent and live below my means, but not necessarily to retire early.

My personal desire to retire early started in earnest when I was in my mid 30's. I was working in a giant cube farm where I had to walk quite a bit to get to the parts of the building with windows to look outside. Every day I would make the dreary windowless walk to my cube and feel miserable and lonely. I felt like Peter Gibbons from the movie Office Space when he said "Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about about mission statements."

I have to admit that point was the worst I've ever felt about working so far. Every other building I've worked in so far has had windows and plenty of light so I honestly think not being able to see outside easily was severely affecting me.
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by retire2022 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:32 pm

catalina355 wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:33 pm
Your sick time covers 7 years?

Being scared of change is quite common. I know that from personal experience.
[/quote]

Yes, I believe it does, the reason is sick time is worth about 30K, but will need to look into it further before I pull the trigger.

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by cj2018 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:00 pm

Cleverusername wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:04 pm
It made me wonder, when did a notion about early retirement in your head become an itch, or even an urge?
As a classic millennial, I spent my early 20s exploring post-college lifestyle: flying around the country, party every weekend, drive expensive German toys, live in high-end apartments, get into student loan by attending graduate school etc.

For me, I caught the FIRE bug early this year after i turned 28 and got married. In my fairly short 5 yr professional career so far, I've worked at 3-5 different companies from tech startup to Fortune 5 companies and climbed the corporate ladder to sr. manager/director level at my current MegaCorp in the bay area. I've already seen how miserable people in my office in their late 30s/40s/50s who just simply clock in/clock out everyday to collect paychecks and hoping to survive the next round of layoffs - i don't want to be them when i reach that age and my BS bucket is filling up fast too as we speak!!! i don't know if it's a millennial thing or a silicon valley tech thing or what, but every young people i know who have high-paying 6 figure jobs here are all aiming to FIRE by their late 30s and get the hell out of bay area!

Anyhow, DW and I started saving and investing like there's no tomorrow in early 2018, and we are glad to have found a place like BH where we follow the investment principle and everything in our low 6-figure portfolio is in index funds and we are staying the course till our FI target which is set to be 12 yrs from now.

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by FIREchief » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:11 pm

I never considered early retirement until I got a really crappy boss/assignment at Megacorp when I was about 48. Suddenly, the FIRE path was exceedingly appealing!! 8-) :sharebeer
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by am » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:21 pm

As an MD, I think about early retirement (early-mid 50s) all the time. I worry that because it is all consuming and has been my life for years, that I’l feel empty or lack purpose if I just completely get out. But the stress, long hours, corporate bs, productivity quotas and liability will make leaving worth it in my mind. All the disease and death that I see too early makes one think hard.

I don’t see any of my colleagues retiring however. I see plenty of old crotchety silver haired doctors walking the halls. I always wonder if it’s because of bad financial decisions or because they like it or can’t imagine life without medicine. The national surveys on burnout and whether docs recommend the profession to kids tell a different story of many stuck MDs. Would love to hear other docs plans?

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by basspond » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:22 pm

When I was about 20, retired at 55, loving every minute!

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by desiderium » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:36 pm

am wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:21 pm
As an MD, I think about early retirement (early-mid 50s) all the time. I worry that because it is all consuming and has been my life for years, that I’l feel empty or lack purpose if I just completely get out. But the stress, long hours, corporate bs, productivity quotas and liability will make leaving worth it in my mind. All the disease and death that I see too early makes one think hard.

I don’t see any of my colleagues retiring however. I see plenty of old crotchety silver haired doctors walking the halls. I always wonder if it’s because of bad financial decisions or because they like it or can’t imagine life without medicine. The national surveys on burnout and whether docs recommend the profession to kids tell a different story of many stuck MDs. Would love to hear other docs plans?
Succinct statement of the zeitgeist among physicians. I think many physicians do lack imagination about alternatives. Perhaps the job is too all consuming to feel the reality of something else. I reached a point where I saw clearly that a combination of current savings, attention to spending, and part time work (e.g. locums a few months a year) could easily meet my financial needs. Thus freed, every day is entirely voluntary on my part and if I really were miserable I should do plan B. It has helped me to refuse things I don't want to take on and delay things that I decide are unimportant--"sorry my schedule is booked for the next 6 weeks, call my office for a slot when it opens up"; or "I have too many evening meetings booked this month, lets try for next". Paradoxically, gaining a reputation for candor and just saying no at times has vaulted the demand for my leadership role and made it easier for me to effect change in my organization. I still think about retiring but not ready yet.

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by Cycle » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:57 pm

I'm 35, been laser focused on high savings rate for the last several years, even downsizing and moving into a cheaper neighborhood. Negative lifestyle creep.

Probably got the retirement itch when a friend of ours retired in his late 30s. I think we'll retire in 10 years ish or whatever, but could retire today if we really wanted to.

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by brennok » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:31 pm

am wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:21 pm
As an MD, I think about early retirement (early-mid 50s) all the time. I worry that because it is all consuming and has been my life for years, that I’l feel empty or lack purpose if I just completely get out. But the stress, long hours, corporate bs, productivity quotas and liability will make leaving worth it in my mind. All the disease and death that I see too early makes one think hard.

I don’t see any of my colleagues retiring however. I see plenty of old crotchety silver haired doctors walking the halls. I always wonder if it’s because of bad financial decisions or because they like it or can’t imagine life without medicine. The national surveys on burnout and whether docs recommend the profession to kids tell a different story of many stuck MDs. Would love to hear other docs plans?
My father, primary care, worked until he died in his 70s. He was seeing less and less patients and focusing more on the business end. He ran his own practice among other things so didn’t have the corporate headaches more common place now as all the private practices get swallowed up. EMR had a lot to do with him no longer seeing patients. He hated the tech and hated going to other doctors watching then just staring at their tablets or laptops.

He also told me in the 80s and 90s not to go into medicine with the directions he saw things going with insurance.

His partner who took over the practice when he died has since sold to a megacorp and is eyeing early retirement. I think he got sick of the headaches and no longer found it fun dealing with the carriers.

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by Turbo29 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:53 am

My father told me not to go into medicine in the late 1960s when I was a little kid oh, I think he hated it.

It killed him because he dropped dead of a heart attack at 47 a few years later.

My mother had worked to help put him through medical school and she always wondered why I didn't want to be a doctor. I never told her what he had said.

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by tennisplyr » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:41 am

In my fifties, hated work, retired @61
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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by mancich » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:46 am

Turning 51 later this month and starting to get the itch. I'd like the option to be able to go at 55 (have a traditional pension waiting from Megacorp, accessible at 55), but even if I survive in Megacorp until then. I might not necessarily retire. Just want to be able to be in the position to do so. So we're saving like crazy.. Or maybe I'll retire at 55 and then go do something else. The grind gets to me sometimes but trying to keep a positive attitude.. :beer

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by trirod » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:56 pm

Must have been around age 40 (had to go check my retirement spreadsheets to see when I originally set those up). Just turned 51 and am semi-retiring December 31 (24 days and counting...). I will consult for my company for up to 400 hours next year and see how that goes before committing to anything beyond that. Kind of a weird situation with my employer - I had assumed we would negotiate an hourly rate for my work next year since I knew they wanted to keep me involved with some specific clients. However, the boss thought that was too open-ended for budget purposes and wanted to pay me a fixed salary in return for up to 400 hours work (with the understanding that this would be negotiated if that 400 hours estimate turned out to be too low). I think it should work out OK, but we'll see.

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by BobDaBlob » Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:25 pm

Been scratching the itch for a few years now, and had set a target for 55.
I'm turning 54 at the end of this month (DW turned 54 last month). No kids. DW works some limited part-time stuff due to disability and is on Medicare. I am health-covered under her former employer plan until I become Medicare-eligible.
I've been mainly doing IT contract/consulting work for the past 10 years, with intermittent stints as an FTE, but no pensions or anything like that available to me...I try to max my 401k every year plus we fully contribute to Roths.
We've managed to stash away about 30X income/40X expenses, split about evenly between taxable and tax-deferred/exempt, and the "numbers" say I can afford to go.
The job has become a PITA and the BS bucket is full. I've considered changing companies...again...but have mainly come to the conclusion that I find the work unsatisfying and uninspiring.
I've told my employer a month ago that I'd be leaving at the end of my current contract gig in March. Training my replacement and sort of keeping the door opened a crack just in case the fear of not working becomes too much, though I strongly hope it doesn't come to that!
Too much of everything is just enough...

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by whodidntante » Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:42 pm

LIke every other thinking, feeling, working class person, I occasionally have daydreams of not getting up early and then spending the best part of the day at the office. But during moments of unemotional lucidity, I do not think about retirement. What I want is freedom to whatever I want, within reason. This requires wealth a notch above financial independence.

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by Simple Simon » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:02 pm

I haven't got the itch yet. I'm 45 . 3 kids at school. They need to go to school every day so I figure I may as well go to work. What else am I going to do. I don't love my work but I don't hate it either and they pay me money, something noone else does.

I don't spend it and my plan is that when the kids are grown (age about 50) I can stop work if I choose

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by andypanda » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:13 pm

I think it was the first day of second grade. "Oh no, not another year of this nonsense. Can't I just read the books and take the tests without sitting here day after day?"

I really wanted to work with my grandfather in the apple orchard, but the business would only support the three brothers and their wives, etc.

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:44 pm

Cleverusername wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:04 pm
Early 50’s and I must say I am really surprised by feeling so strongly about retiring much sooner than planned, even a few years ago.

Not sure if I’m ready financially as I feel I could live for a few more decades, but between some work disillusionment and seeing mortality for what it really is, I am getting the bug.

It made me wonder, when did a notion about early retirement in your head become an itch, or even an urge?

For me, I haven’t hit a number, but I feel life is trying to tell me something.
i'm mid-thirties. already have the itch.

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by goodenyou » Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:11 pm

I started to think about it as I paid off all my debts and began to de-lever. It started in my early 40s. My epiphany came when I realized that being free of debt and amassing assets would give me the freedom to have choices. It became addicting, especially after joining this forum 9 years ago. I spent most of my life studying and paying (borrowing) for education. I didn't realize at the time that I put myself on a treadmill with no ability to decrease the speed or make it stop. I was obsessed with learning about achieving financial freedom, so I could pull the trigger at any time. I am self-employed and now have the freedom to set my own hours and have no pressure to accumulate retirement savings at the same rate. Thankfully, I can earn enough to make it worth my time and effort. I have achieved work-life balance and essentially flex retirement. Currently, I am in high cash-burn phase with 3 young adult children with college and "young adult children" expenses. Having earned income at this time gives me peace of mind that I can spend more freely. I am just a few more onerous regulations and changes in my profession away from calling it quits in my mid 50s. Having that ability is liberating.
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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by retire2022 » Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:13 pm

For those who are not aware, folks should look at this report PBS news hour Paul Soloman report on Money Moustache, life of parsimony Goodenyou, and I agree one should embrace frugality.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/how-t ... -their-30s

9 minute video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyF40JydVNU&t=4s

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/02/ ... blog-post/

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-t ... 2014-01-17

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by truenorth418 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:44 pm

beyou wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:50 pm
truenorth418 wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:20 am
I saw a movie, "Lost in America", about a yuppie couple that "cashed out" to travel the country in an RV.

I remember thinking to myself at the time, "Hmm, that's an interesting concept, work really hard for 10 or 20 years, save as much money as possible, and then live off the interest, or whatever".
You do recall that they lost all their money in Las Vegas, don't you ?
Great movie but that did not inspire confidence to retire early !
Sure I remember they lost all their money in Vegas. More specifically, the WIFE lost it all. And the guy forgave her! So yeah the money wasn't very realistic.

Even the investing and personal finance aspects were ridiculous, though I was too young and ignorant to know the difference. The "nest egg" consisted of proceeds from a primary home sale and the liquidation of her father's bonds. There was no mention of capital gains taxes or anything like that. They had a little more then $100,000 to retire on in their 30s! Yeah it was the 1980s, but still.

And instead of investing all these proceeds in stocks or bonds or an annuity or anything remotely resembling an investment that would last them more than a few years...they used all their nest egg money to buy.. wait for it... travelers checks!

So yeah "Lost in America" was very silly and unrealistic, but it was a funny movie, still one of my favorites, and it inspired me to aim for early retirement from the time that I was 21 years old, many years ago.

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by nisiprius » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:47 pm

After experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by blahblahsunshine » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:45 pm

I have memories of thinking about retirment as a kid. Back then thinking 38K a year was enough to get me free of work by my early 30's. Went though a lot of schooling and surfaced in the work world in my late 20's and did a tour in cloud valley. In earnest I got the itch 3-4 years ago when the math started looking favorable. This was followed a couple years ago by a poignant seies of events where a close co-worker was rifed and younger sibling got cancer in the same week. That in conjection with a GF/DW who is more than half a decade my senior put things in high gear. net net will probably be punching out in 14 months at about 35X with 50 years in the rearview mirror.

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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by cockersx3 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:44 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:47 pm
After experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency.
This. I got the itch after having major medical issues following a botched "minor surgery" that led to me being out of work (on short term disability) for several months. During my recovery, the people that I had spent the least time with and generally de-prioritized (ie my extended family and childhood friends) came out of the woodwork to help my wife, kids, and I through what was a very difficult time. Heard from people that I had not spoken to in months, with many offering (and eventually acting on their offers) to come up and help out - not just idle expressions of support.

On the other hand, the people that I prioritized the highest and spent the most time with (ie work colleagues) were nowhere to be found. I had several high-priority activities going on when I got sick, and (despite my attempts) nobody was willing to pick up these activities in my absence which led to major plant issues later. In fact, during my absence the company had begun planning for a reorganization that ultimately resulted in dismemberment of my team. They had also hired a new engineering leader that was focused on reducing departmental costs, which - not coincidentally - led to the departure of many of the site's senior staff. This eventually included me.

My illness and its aftermath made me seriously question my priorities in life. I was considered to be a superstar performer at work before all of this happened, which I had (incorrectly) assumed would be a consideration during reorganization - but no dice. I also remember all of those "high priority" items that I had to work on that never actually got done, and yet - while it led to some plant problems - they were corrected and life went on. Ultimately nobody remembered much about it. This made me question why the heck I was spending so much time on this that apparently didn't matter very much, which ignoring / deprioritizing the people in my life that were truly important.

I remember speaking with my surgeon about how I was feeling mentally about everything, and he indicated that this was not uncommon among his patients that had been through major healthcare issues. So I'm not alone...

I eventually received a malpractice settlement from the issue that triggered all of this, and it was during my research into how to manage the money that I discovered this site and Mr Money Mustache. That's when I realized that the settlement - along with our prior LBYM behavior and our consistent savings in index funds over the years (before I even knew what BH was!) - made early retirement a real possibility. And so the planning began....

Right now, the new job is going relatively well - compensation is more than fair given what I do, and the boss is good and my hours are reasonable. That said, I've set very firm boundaries around work vs family time, and I also know that - if push comes to shove - I can leave my job anytime and financially be fine . Still not quite at "my number," but definitely not worried about where my next meal will come from or anything. My plan is to retire before I am 50 (currently mid 40's) and spend more time with family and hobbies, provided the market cooperates and my job continues to go well. If the job takes a turn for the worse, I'll either go into independent contracting or just adjust my discretionary spend to fit whatever I have saved at that point and call it retirement...

Van
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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by Van » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:07 pm

45. Retired at 51. I'm a very, very fortunate guy!

Golf maniac
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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by Golf maniac » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:28 pm

Got the itch at 55. I really expected to work until 59 or 60, but ran the numbers and decided I could go at 56. Thought about part time work for a few years, but why? I didn’t need to work. Best decision I ever made and the past 3 years have been great. To many new things and places to explore, really want to enjoy the time while I am healthy and have a sound mind.

Katie
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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by Katie » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:08 am

Originally I thought about it when I was in my mid-30s. I had a very consuming job that I didn't think would last much longer. I was trying to get a new job, but it was taking time. At that point I kept wondering if I'd have enough to survive if I lost my job. Eventually I got another job that I liked and it changed my attitude. In my early 50's I aimed for 55. At 55 I probably could have done it, but not with the level of emotional comfort that I wanted.

I see people I know who die, and I wonder why I'm at work. Then I see a Go Fund Me for someone I know to help cover living and medical expenses related to a health issue and I think how I don't ever want to end up in that situation. My goal now is either 60 or 62, or when work situation changes and the work environment becomes overwhelming.

nguy44
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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by nguy44 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:13 am

There were 3 events.

The first was in my early 40s, when Megacorp reduced their retirement benefits. That woke me up to realize that, despite their words, they would never have my financial interests at heart. I began to take more ownership of my retirement plan.

The second was Megacorp beginning regular layoffs just before my retirement eligibility age, 51. I decided that my job was only safe for 6 months at a time, and finding another job that paid anything close to what I was making would be difficult. I continued to save/invest to increase the odds of not having to work, either if I chose to retire or if Megacorp chose to lay me off.

The third was really a series of events. As much as I liked my job, having co-workers die, or having to retire due to illness and die shortly after, affected me. I wanted a life beyond my job, with more control of my time. I also wanted to be healthy enough to enjoy that time as much as possible.

The result was being confident to retire at 56 if Megacorp made the choice for me. They did not, so I continued to work until 60, when I made the choice.

pennywise
Posts: 594
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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by pennywise » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:05 am

cockersx3 wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:44 pm

This. I got the itch after having major medical issues following a botched "minor surgery" that led to me being out of work (on short term disability) for several months. During my recovery, the people that I had spent the least time with and generally de-prioritized (ie my extended family and childhood friends) came out of the woodwork to help my wife, kids, and I through what was a very difficult time. Heard from people that I had not spoken to in months, with many offering (and eventually acting on their offers) to come up and help out - not just idle expressions of support.

On the other hand, the people that I prioritized the highest and spent the most time with (ie work colleagues) were nowhere to be found. I had several high-priority activities going on when I got sick, and (despite my attempts) nobody was willing to pick up these activities in my absence which led to major plant issues later.

I was considered to be a superstar performer at work before all of this happened, which I had (incorrectly) assumed would be a consideration during reorganization - but no dice. I also remember all of those "high priority" items that I had to work on that never actually got done, and yet - while it led to some plant problems - they were corrected and life went on. Ultimately nobody remembered much about it. This made me question why the heck I was spending so much time on this that apparently didn't matter very much, which ignoring / deprioritizing the people in my life that were truly important.
Yes! Especially the highlighted comment because when all is said and done, jobs exist to, well, get the job done. So it's the rest of your life that truly matters, and the relationships you nurture that will make your life full and complete.

Thank you for sharing this story, it truly resonates with what I've come to realize about work and relationships with colleagues.

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AtlasShrugged?
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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by AtlasShrugged? » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:27 am

Great thread.

I just started seriously getting the 'itch' at 52. The soonest I could possibly retire (barring hitting the lottery) is age 62, so I am at least 10 years out.

Looking back, I think the itch got started from two things: A serious health event (2010), and a free financial evaluation from Edelman Financial (2015). The health thing makes me appreciate my finite time here a lot more. And the free financial evaluation was a total game-changer for me. I had been bumbling along, and not doing much in retirement saving. After that evaluation, I got serious - very serious.

1) Read dozens of books (Swedroe, Bernstein, Larimore, Bogle, Armstrong, etc) to educate myself
2) Found the Bogleheads by accident :happy
3) Created my IPS...Financial people who have seen it seem to like it. No glaring holes.
4) Took a second P/T job at GiantCorp to max out my Roth. I have now maxed out my Roth for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and have 4K in for 2019.
5) FINALLY got to a point where I can max out my 401K at BigCorp - 2018 was the first year I maxed out my 401K

My big fears are job loss or health disability before I am ready to retire. At age 52, I have a target on my back. That is the workplace reality. So I have decided to keep my head down, work hard, and go for as long as I can. We'll see what happens.
“If you don't know, the thing to do is not to get scared, but to learn.”

Barkingsparrow
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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by Barkingsparrow » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:35 am

Atlas- your post hit a nerve. I'm 60, and have that itch. I have a Plan A, retire at 65, and a Plan B, retire at 62. I also feel like I have a target on my back due to my age, and my immediate goal is just to make it to 62. I still enjoy the job and my co-workers, that keeps me going. I made mistakes in my asset allocations earlier in life, but with the help of this forum, I'm now in a decent place, at least much better than the majority of the population; but not quite there yet.

I also worry about health issues. I've seen far too many people hit a wall before they get to retirement, including a friend dying of a heart attack at age 50, a relative becoming paralyzed for life at 49, a co-worker having to retire due to cancer and eventually losing her battle, and so on.

It's a balance though. While I have maxed out my 401K for years, and max out both my wife and my Roth IRAs; I also spend on the experiences that I enjoy. I like travel, and take multiple vacations each year, I am a foodie, I have a high grocery bill due to buying high quality food; and we spend a bit on our once-a-week dining out. Still, I make sure I save up the cash before taking a trip, I have no outstanding debt other than a small mortgage, and I don't spend on material things such as cars or TVs. I live in a LCOL area, and have a modest house.

I've seen too many people live frugally, save, save, save; focus on paying off the house, saying they will travel when they retire; and never make it to retirement, or make it with health issues that prevent them from accomplishing bucket list items, or in general, compromise their ability to enjoy their retirement.

kacang
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Location: CA

Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by kacang » Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:53 am

The itch started the last few years when my elderly loved ones had serious health issues and I was not able to be there for them. I proposed a temporary remote work arrangement but that didn't get approved. Work stress was also affecting my health and family life.

That made me question my work-life balance. I started to examine our finances more carefully and see what alternatives are available. While doing that, I discovered this forum and learned about investing. I also learned that I could stop working. So I am planning to, this April. The recent uncertainty in the stock market did make me hesitate for a second. But only just a second.

scrabbler1
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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by scrabbler1 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:10 pm

Lots of retirement itches, at different times to different degrees.

The first time I heard about Financial Independence (FI) was when I was 23, in a joking way, with a friend of mine when we talked about being able to live solely off investment income.

It wasn't until I was 35 when I thought about FI and RE together. I had just paid off my mortgage and I saw my expenses drop a lot.

I moved halfway to an early retirement 3 years later, at 38, when I was able to reduce my weekly hours worked from 37.5 to 20. Reducing my take-home pay by 40% didn't hamper my ability to cover my low expenses. I began planning for an eventual ER by age 50.

But a few years later, the pieces of my budding ER plan were falling into place more quickly than I had anticipated. The key to this was the rapidly exploding value of the company stock I owned even though I was working only part-time.

By 2007, when I was 44, I knew I was getting close to my magic number. Also, I was becoming more and more worn out from the commute, even only 3 days of a week. I reduced my weekly hours worked from 20 to 12, knowing that I was likely to retire by the end of 2008, at age 45.

By the middle of 2008, I reached my magic number and the rest of my ER plan had fallen into place. I retired at the end of October, at age 45.

That was 10 years ago, and I have enjoyed being retired for the last 10 years.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:23 pm

No retirement itche here but the commute and the early hours of getting up to take the van pool was getting to me. I felt like a zombie. Plus my husband is older, so it’s another factor, he wanted to retire not too late. His dad retired at 62 and he didn’t want to wait too long either. We both wanted to retire together so we can travel together. I know some couples don’t, as some in my bridge club was telling me.
But had I had a job with reasonably commute time, I’ll probably still working. Maybe I come from a long line of workaholic. All of my brothers and sister are still working, they are older than I’m. Im the youngest sibling.

BC_Doc
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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by BC_Doc » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:56 pm

52 yo Canadian MD— still working full-time by choice.
Hit my retirement number two years ago.
Have three kids in university— university cost in Canada is quite low compared to US and kids live frugally so educational expenses aren’t a big burden.
Fourth child still in grade school so can’t do any trips of a lifetime/trekking until he’s in university.
Will likely retire/cut-back shifts (I’m an ER Doc) significantly once youngest hits college.
I make it a point to have a life outside of work— my profession does not define me (family, running, yoga, and cooking are my passions).
While I wait for my youngest to launch, I don’t mind my work and the paycheque that comes with it. I work in a smaller community and every so often I’ll have patients approach me and thank me for the care they’ve received. Bumping into the occasional patient whose life I’ve helped saved helps remind me of why I chose my career path.
Short answer— I do think of retirement (especially when working night shift or Christmas or dealing with jerks at work) but I’m not ready yet.

nyclon
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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by nyclon » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:02 pm

Right after we had our first child. Soon thereafter we realized how quickly the body ages - this happened because both sets of grandparents hit their late 70s.

Time doesn't stop and memories are made with friends and family - not at work.

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beyou
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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by beyou » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:09 pm

When I saw younger less accomplished people promoted ahead of me, and the company announced reloacation. Decided I will take their money now but not relocating, not jumping through hoops for a promotion that is long overdue. In other words, I do my job and collect a check, no career planning for the future as of late. To me this is like deciding to retire without a specific date in mind. Will stay while tolerable and well paid. Doing things for show to get promoted is not tolerable. Moving with this firm to the new location selected is not tolerable. If I find a new job that is tolerable (location, pay, hours) I may continue to work, but clearly I have one foot in the career grave ;-)

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aj76er
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Re: Retirement itch- when did you get it?

Post by aj76er » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:38 pm

Got the itch at 38.

A horrible boss and a long commute we're the catalysts. I'm 42 now and have vowed to be done by 45 with whatever I have saved.

My first attempt at FIRE was dumping my savings into real estate and trying to live within the rental income. Being a landlord was quite stressful and I definitely got some additional gray hairs from that experience!

I heard of the MMM blog from my realtor. I devoured every article and from there somehow stumbled across bogleheads. I realized that my investment strategy prior to the real estate adventure (ie broad-based index funds) was actually a much better fit for me. In fact, VTSAX was already my primary holding from when I started working in my twenties. Anyway, I cashed out most of the real estate and essentially re-established my index fund portfolio (buying VTI and VXUS). I radically reduced my living expenses and moved into the last rental property that I owned ( a small downtown condo). My total living expenses for 2018 clocked in at just under 20K.

Family and friends used to scoff when I brought up FIRE, so I've since stopped discussing my plans or any financial matters with most people. So, this threat has been a great place to share :).
"Buy-and-hold, long-term, all-market-index strategies, implemented at rock-bottom cost, are the surest of all routes to the accumulation of wealth" - John C. Bogle

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