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Author: tmeri Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 744762  
Subject: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 12:26 AM
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I did it. I quit my job and am blissfully unemployed.

I had wanted to work until age 55, at which time I would have had a very rosy financial picture. But my job had become so dreadful that I couldn't continue, and at the end, I could barely work an additional day. 55 is too many years away, and I looked around and found nothing else in the company I would have been willing to do for that long. I really longed to be layed off, but that never worked out, so I decided to FIRE myself.

Once the decision was made I started getting my ducks in a row. I had much to investigate in order to know what was coming and what decisions I'd be faced with. I had financial transactions to make. I re-financed my house. I spoke with an ex-employee from HR to find out whether my boss would be told if I began to make the necessary inquiries with HR about my post-career benefits.

Where I worked, it has sometimes been the case that an employee who quits is immediately escorted to the door. No one had quit in a very long time unless they were eligible to retire or had been layed off/fired. Everyone was hunkered down; most felt it was not a good time to jump ship in the current economic climate. So I didn't know what to expect.

Out of concern for being walked to the door immediately, I decided to clear my office of the last of my personal effects before telling my boss. I had to do this on a Sunday, as I didn't want to provoke any questions from co-workers. As I went through years of accumulation, I remember thinking that I ought to have more emotion about the task. But the only emotion I had was resentment at being at work once again on a SUNDAY! I had worked too many 7-day weeks, far too many times until 3AM, 4AM, and even later. I was completely burned out.

Was I sorry to be ending my career? Not in the least. I had absolutely no regret. I knew I would not miss it at all. The whole environment, in every way, had become so bad that there was very little good left to miss.

Except for some people.

A few days before telling my boss, I told my closest coworker, because I didn't want him to find out from anyone else. I knew it was going to be hard, and I had tried to perpare myself emotionally for it, but it was far more wrenching than I expected.

I said, "I know this is going to be very hard for you to hear. I'm sorry to have to tell you that I'm leaving the company."

"No, no, tmeri, no. I cannot accept this. No. Please don't leave me," he wailed. I told him I had to go. "Why? Why do you have to leave? I need you."

It would have hurt me less if he had ripped my heart out and stomped on it.

A few days later I informed management of my impending departure. It turned out that my boss did not walk me to the door when I told him, but I had every single personal item (keys, lunch bag, wallet, etc.) either with me or locked in the car the moment I told him. Though I didn't need to be, I was prepared never to return to my desk. Not knowing what would happen made the event far more stressful than it needed to be.

I dreaded telling the rest of my coworkers, because I knew many of them were counting on me to be there for certain projects. They did not know I had been making plans for years to leave, so it came as a surprise.

Without asking, they knew why I was leaving, because the job is intolerable to most of them, but they were concerned about my financial welfare.

One coworker inquired, "Are you taking another job?"

I responded, "Maybe when my savings run out."

He asked, "How long will your savings last?"

I said, "Another 30 or 40 years, I think."


Another friend sat with me a day or so later and asked me, "You won the lottery?"

And I thought about Seattle Pioneer, and how often he advises people to invest their dimes and nickels instead of buying lottery tickets. He says the odds of winning are much better. And that's exactly what I've been doing, and you know, in a way, I did win the lottery. Many people have been buying lottery tickets longer than I've been contributing to my portfolio, and most of them have never won. Yet I have a nice "jackpot" instead of worthless lottery tickets to show for it.

Some of you here have played a part in helping along the way, though you may not know it. My biggest thanks has to go to intercst. I found his website several years ago, and it was the first time I had found anyone that felt about work the way I do. For some years I had secretly felt no loyalty to the company, given that they had shown me no loyalty, and I had not been eager to work the long overtime hours pressed on us by management. Other employees did not (visibly) share my views, and to express them was unthinkable. I thought I was all alone, so intercst's website was a relief.

I had always been a saver, but until I found intercst's website, I didn't realize it was even possible to retire early. While many of my coworkers may have been as miserable as I was, they did not make a plan to get out. I did. intercst gave me the tools I needed to determine what was required to be financially independent, and how to stay retired. intercst, I owe you something for that.

VesperLynd (aka HoneyRyder) inspired me with her explanation that she realized she was "an independent contractor masquerading as an employee." I thought this was exactly the right way to look at my job, too. It helped me to break my psychological dependence upon the company for my welfare.
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=19031004

At a crucial point, SloanT gave this excellent advice on the FIRE Wannabees board: "Being conservative is a double-edged sword. I think it is smarter to be daring when you choose to retire (do it early!) and then be conservative with your money after you retire to make sure it lasts." It crystallized my thinking about departing. For years I had agonized over having "enough" and I finally realized I would never have "enough."
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=19432601

arrete, golfwaymore, catmeyoo, and others have held the beacon to FIRE aloft with their inspiring posts of the retired life.

Thank you all for your inspiration and for keeping my eyes fixed on the target.


Some of you will want to know how I got there. I've never won (or even played) a lottery. I've never inherited a dime. I've never owned my own business. All of my assets have come from money I've made or that has accrued as a result of investments.

Along the way, I've made mistakes. Some decisions have cost me tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of dollars. But in spite of those poor decisions, and even without the boost of a jackpot or an inheritance, I find myself retired at age 50 with a modest pension and a modest portfolio, having started at age 35 with next to nothing. My modest resources suit my modest lifestyle, and I am very happy with that.

My investments in real estate and in the stock market have been very profitable. But the biggest factor in being able to retire early, for me, is a frugal lifestyle. The second biggest factor was realizing that I didn't have to be a success in the eyes of the company to be happy. I cannot stress the importance of these two things. The world tells you to spend, spend, spend, and it also tells you that if you don't follow the corporate guide to success, you're a failure. This is all brainwashing.

My current expenses, after my pension, require that I withdraw about 2.7% of my portfolio each year. That sounds good, but there are a number of things that could go wrong, and I also have fall-back plans for problems. I may do a little work if for nothing else than to take advantage of some of the tax scams available to low income workers. ;-)

Since quitting my job I have been very busy, as a number of you have learned, taking care of things that were neglected while I was working. In addition to those things, I have any number of things I want to do for fun, most of which cost nothing or very little. I will never run out of things to do.

The best thing about being unemployed, for me, has been how very little anxiety I have now. It is shocking how stressful working is, especially in environments where you cannot control the work you do. I heartily recommend unemployment to you all!

Save your nickels and dimes, kids, and invest them carefully. Good luck to all of you still working towards FIRE. It is worth a few sacrifices.


For your inspiration:
http://www.unamerican.com/pdf/ifyouhateyourjob.pdf

- tmeri
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Author: AliFool Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145489 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 12:37 AM
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... a true inspiration!

--AF

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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145490 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 12:44 AM
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I thought the DRUDGE Report web site was shutting down. <grin>

Congratulations, tmeri. Welcome to the ER. (Early Retirement)

intercst

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Author: 1HappyFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145494 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 1:38 AM
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Welcome to the FIRE my friend. Pull up a chair and skewer a marshmallow. You don't have to eat it, just admire the flame.

1HappyFool


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Author: gurdison Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145497 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 2:27 AM
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<But the biggest factor in being able to retire early, for me, is a frugal lifestyle. The second biggest factor was realizing that I didn't have to be a success in the eyes of the company to be happy. I cannot stress the importance of these two things. The world tells you to spend, spend, spend, and it also tells you that if you don't follow the corporate guide to success, you're a failure. This is all brainwashing.>


Congrats on reaching both your financial and emotional milestone!

In reading this part of your post I was reminded of George Harrisons final album which was released posthumously a little over a year ago. Interestingly enough it was entitled Brainwashed. I think it was his best album since All Things Must Pass. He takes on a lot of the things you mention head on in that and other songs on the album.

While he certainly did not have to deal with the workaday world that most of us know, he lived a fairly quiet, private and spiritual life mostly out of the spotlight. I think that all of us need for that light bulb to go off that shows us there is in fact a better way. Your coworkers have yet to find the switch. Another great song on that album (I guess I kinda give my age away by calling it an album instead of a CD) is called Any Road. It has a great sound to it and George plays an instrument I was unfamiliar with: a banjulele. Jeff Lynne, George's son Dhani and his long time friend Jim Keltner also play on the song and most of the album. The main chorus line may be very apt for the colleagues you have left behind: "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there".


BRG


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Author: peplow Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145506 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 8:03 AM
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I did it. I quit my job and am blissfully unemployed. .................




I am SO jealous :)





Way to go :)











Pete



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Author: LuckyDog2002 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145507 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 8:14 AM
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tmeri,

Thanks for posting your thoughts and feelings about retiring early. I'm sure they will be an inspiration to others. As an early retiree, I find it to explain to others why I retired so early from my career and also to not work at all. We are definitely in the minority.

Thanks again for articulating so well why some people choose to retire early.

LuckyDog

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Author: 2828 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145512 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 9:18 AM
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I can't believe you left the dignity of work for the accumulation of wealth. How could you leave something "dignified" for "accumulation". Snow accumulates and we know that isn't fun to shovel. We may have to tax your investments until you see the error of your ways and go back to the dignity.

Tom Daschle









2828

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Author: GusSmed Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145514 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 9:34 AM
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At a crucial point, SloanT gave this excellent advice on the FIRE Wannabees board: "Being conservative is a double-edged sword. I think it is smarter to be daring when you choose to retire (do it early!) and then be conservative with your money after you retire to make sure it lasts." It crystallized my thinking about departing. For years I had agonized over having "enough" and I finally realized I would never have "enough."

[snip]

My current expenses, after my pension, require that I withdraw about 2.7% of my portfolio each year.

Yes, I'd say that SloanT was correct. You were being too conservative. When reading that you were retiring 5 years earlier than you intended to, not because you had reached a FIRE dollar target early, but because you couldn't stand work any more, I kept expecting to see an aggressive withdrawal rate as a punchline. Instead, it sounds to me as if you should have done this earlier.

I suppose we all have our own personal comfort thresholds. It's not ideal to trade a job you don't like for sleepless nights worrying whether 4% is safe - but personally, I think that's a worthwhile trade, drawbacks and all.

- Gus

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Author: VesperLynd Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145520 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 10:11 AM
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Bravo!

Attagirl!!!

Hopefully you can still come 'round these parts and let us know how life goes on the other side :)


Sooo happy for you and now I have printed your post and will keep it as my very own inspiration for the remaining years I have left to follow in your footsteps!


Vesper

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Author: familyceo Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145521 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 10:14 AM
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Wonderful, absolutely wonderful!! Enjoy the "good life".

So...whatcha going to do in retirement?? Inquiring minds want to know.

ceo
who is headin out the door to the library and then coffee with a friend

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Author: catmeyoo Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145526 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 10:37 AM
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Hi tmeri!

Great to check in on REHP and find your outstanding post. Am very happy for you.

Its just criminal & stupid how these days these workplaces just suck it right out of us and leave us altogether drained when they start to double and triple our workload and steal into what little personal time we have. And the more you have to offer the more they ask—leeches, that's what they are. Am glad you untied yourself from that place and now have 30 or 40 years ahead to call your own.

I hope this means you will be posting again, I've wondered where you were and missed you. Welcome to the civilized life.

catmeyoo

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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145540 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 11:20 AM
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GusSmed writes,

<<tmeri: My current expenses, after my pension, require that I withdraw about 2.7% of my portfolio each year.>>

Yes, I'd say that SloanT was correct. You were being too conservative. When reading that you were retiring 5 years earlier than you intended to, not because you had reached a FIRE dollar target early, but because you couldn't stand work any more, I kept expecting to see an aggressive withdrawal rate as a punchline. Instead, it sounds to me as if you should have done this earlier.

I suppose we all have our own personal comfort thresholds. It's not ideal to trade a job you don't like for sleepless nights worrying whether 4% is safe - but personally, I think that's a worthwhile trade, drawbacks and all.


Good point!

I wonder how many "extra" years tmeri had to work to accumulate the additional capital required to drop her SWR from 4.0% to 2.7%?

intercst



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Author: tmeri Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145573 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 1:24 PM
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Thank you all for the very kind thoughts and good wishes. As for what I am doing, it seems that home maintenance and financial education and transactions have been consuming large amounts of my time. I have a young relative coming for a visit, and I expect that will also be time-intensive.

intercst inquires:

I wonder how many "extra" years tmeri had to work to accumulate the additional capital required to drop her SWR from 4.0% to 2.7%?

I suppose everyone's situation is different. When I decided about a year ago that it was time to quit, my actual withdrawal rate (not the same as my SWR) from my portfolio would have been nearly 4%. My pension is a fixed annuity. Depending upon how you value that, my theoretical withdrawal rate would have been well above 4%, and my SWR was well under 4%.

The market was extremely good to me last year. Since deciding to quit, I have been working on lowering my expenses and restructuring my portfolio to improve both my actual withdrawal rate and my SWR. These efforts are on-going.

There is plenty of risk in my plan. I have a fixed-to-variable interest rate loan on my home. If I do not sell the house before the rate begins to vary, my actual withdrawal rate could go up significantly. There is also the health care wildcard to worry about.

On the bright side, in the first 21 days of this year my portfolio has increased by more than my annual withdrawal. If it remains flat for the rest of the year, I will still be in good shape. Additionally, once I sell my house, I could use the equity to buy outright a really nice home, dropping my actual withdrawal rate to a little over 1%.

- tmeri

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Author: Evelynk Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145579 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 1:41 PM
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Thank you for a wonderful post! I, too, am going to print it and carry it in my purse.

Congratulations!

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Author: gurdison Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145604 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 3:08 PM
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<On the bright side, in the first 21 days of this year my portfolio has increased by more than my annual withdrawal. If it remains flat for the rest of the year, I will still be in good shape. Additionally, once I sell my house, I could use the equity to buy outright a really nice home, dropping my actual withdrawal rate to a little over 1%.>


Just curious. Were you too swamped from living in the trenches that you never were able to take the time to fully work out the math? One of the topics that is often discussed around here is the downsizing your home concept. You say you were not quite there yet with your original plan a year ago. Did you ever rework the numbers using a smaller paid off house vs your current larger home with a mortgage? If doing the sale would really reduce your WR by as much as you say, then Intercst is right to question just how many extra years you put in to reach your perceived comfort level.

I know that all of this is after the fact, but I believe that a really important reason for the boards existance is to continually shed new light on the process of pulling the plug. Some may do it too soon. But as we have heard on quite a few occasions, many others spend a lot of extra years trying to wrestle that monster called certainty to the ground. The result of that wrestling match is that you often take a quite a few more body blows than you would if you had just used your common sense and ignored him.

BTW, I enjoyed reading about how some of your coworkers reacted. Could you elaborate on that? Did management try to convince you to change your mind with the promise of better working conditions? You probably confused the hell out of both management and your coworkers. The lottery question you were asked was funny, but not at all surprising. Those in similar situations as yours cannot fathom how someone can do what you did. They have to find another reason. They typically would assume either a lottery or an inheritance. If they fully grasp that it was as simple as LBYM and keeping your eye on the prize, that wonder can easily turn to anger and resentment. From managements POV you are equally dangerous. There is a universal, though generally unstated level of intimidation in most workplaces. When they know you need the job because you are up to your eyeballs in overhead, they use that to squeeze hard as needed. If someone shows that they are totally oblivious to it, they can quickly become a genuine threat. It can really mess with their heads. Anyway, best of luck on your hard won freedom.

BRG

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Author: tmeri Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145652 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 7:05 PM
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BRG inquires:

Just curious. Were you too swamped from living in the trenches that you never were able to take the time to fully work out the math?

I'm not sure I can fully articulate an accurate answer, it is complicated; but I shall try.

I did run the numbers, often. I've known for some time that I was close to financial independence according to the studies and under the conditions you outlined. But I had some reasons for not acting on it immediately:

1. In spite of the studies showing 4% is a SWR for a proper portfolio, I am worried that the cost of health care is going to nullify that result. The CPI does take health care into account, I believe, but when you have something growing at double-digit rates in an index that is growing in the low single digits, the double-digit component will soon swamp all other components. A little numerical analysis will show you that, but hey, I'm retired. ;-)

2. There were enormous financial incentives to stay until 55. Enormous. So as long as the job was not terribly onerous, I thought I might stay. Once it became intolerable, I began to make a plan to leave. I had not gotten my ducks in a row previously, and given my heavy workload, it took quite a bit of calendar time to get them there. In the meantime, my portfolio grew by roughly a third. That significantly lowered my actual withdrawal rate, even though I was not needing for that to happen.

3. I should go calculate the SWR for my portfolio, even though I am in the process of changing it. I'm not sure it would be worth the effort, but suffice it to say that my SWR is something less than 4%. By restructuring my portfolio, I should be able to get the SWR up to near 4%, if not higher.

4. Given how much my pension was increasing, given that I was entitled to 4 weeks of vacation a year, given that I was being well-paid for what I did, given that I was vested in all of the company benefits, there was no way I was going to FIRE myself too soon and end up having to go back to work. I could not now find a job equivalent in all of those benefits, and working for less is unthinkable. In my mind, quitting was an irrevocable choice.


I know that all of this is after the fact, but I believe that a really important reason for the boards existance is to continually shed new light on the process of pulling the plug.

Absolutely. Your question is not at all inappropriate, the answer is just such that it is difficult to give enough context so that my actions make sense.


But as we have heard on quite a few occasions, many others spend a lot of extra years trying to wrestle that monster called certainty to the ground.

That is so. I do think I tend to be overly cautious, but I am more at peace than I would have been had I quit the instant I was on the cusp of financial independence.


I enjoyed reading about how some of your coworkers reacted. Could you elaborate on that?

Many of them were distressed that I was leaving. I think it was a combination of knowing that they were losing a valuable resource, and a general worry they all had that I was committing financial suicide. I think they felt I was perhaps being rash, that I'd just snapped and one day issued my resignation out of sheer frustration. Because I did not discuss it, none of them knew I had been making changes in my life for months before I quit to enable me to do so, and therefore, there was nothing rash or snap about it. It only appeared that way because they did not have the whole picture.

Interestingly, my supervisor's boss summoned me for a meeting the day after I told my boss I was quitting. Her first question was, "You've had 24 hours to think about it. Have you changed your mind?" I had to suppress a snicker. I'd had waaaaaaay more than 24 hours to think about it. ;-)


Did management try to convince you to change your mind with the promise of better working conditions?

No. My immediate supervisor was a jerk who never made serious efforts to improve working conditions. I did not ask him to make conditions better. It's interesting to think about what he would have done with an ultimatum. I didn't consider giving him one because I was in no position to bluff. I was going to quit regardless of any promise he might have made.


You probably confused the hell out of both management and your coworkers.

Yes. Both my supervisor and his boss were nervous and anxious when talking to me about it. It was not something they could have ever anticipated. It is probably something with which they have little, if any, experience. I am sure they would never have expected, in their worst case scenario, that I would resign.


The lottery question you were asked was funny, but not at all surprising. Those in similar situations as yours cannot fathom how someone can do what you did. They have to find another reason.

Yes. I had talked to some fellow coworkers about saving for retirement without much success. Once I quit, several were curious to know how I did it, and I told them what was required. Without exception, they all immediately explained why that couldn't work for them. The actual reason varied, but in the end, it was always about tchotchkes. "My kids need Ivy League undergraduate degrees, as well as a few Ivy League graduate degrees, we have to make expensive trips to visit relatives, my kids have to be in private school in one of the best public school districts in the state, I enjoy shopping too much, we don't want to give up this expensive house, and so forth."

In one case, a coworker had been burned in the stock market and felt they may as well spend the money because saving it resulted in nothing, whereas spending it at least gets you the tchotchkes.


From managements POV you are equally dangerous. ... It can really mess with their heads.

Heh, heh. I imagine it was disconcerting to them because it was not expected. But the truth is, now that I'm gone, they don't have to really worry about that too much because it is unlikely that others have the ability to resign under such circumstances. Jobs are hard to get right now. Once the job market opens up, many people will consider jumping ship. I've heard them say as much, that they were just waiting for the economy to improve and then they would look for a new job. So the fact that I quit when I did was undoubtedly a bolt out of the blue for management. It is my own small victory, I suppose.


Anyway, best of luck on your hard won freedom.

Thank you.

I enjoyed your comments about George Harrison's songs. I like lyrics a lot, sometimes more than the melody. Having been trained as a classical musician, I find myself oddly in the position of now liking low-brow music. So if I may, I leave you with these lyrics from a song sung by Jerry Jeff Walker, which seem to suit me these days:

Gettin' by on gettin' by's my stock in trade.
Livin' it, day to day.
Pickin' up the pieces wherever they fall.
Just lettin' it roll, lettin' the high times carry the low.
Just livin' my life, easy come, easy go.


- tmeri

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Author: gurdison Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145656 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 7:38 PM
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<Once I quit, several were curious to know how I did it, and I told them what was required. Without exception, they all immediately explained why that couldn't work for them. The actual reason varied, but in the end, it was always about tchotchkes.>


Thanks for taking the time to fill in some of the blanks for us. Your coworkers have a good dose of what I like to call the "yeah, buts". I ran into it almost every time when I would try to encourage people to stop leaving money on the table and get into the 401k plan. I also ran into it within my circle of friends. I probably had the look of a true believer when I would talk about LBYM and the concept of compounding over time. My conversion ratio was pretty close to zero.

It seems that everyone starts out totally interested in what you have to say when they think there must be some magic bullet that they can apply to their lives. When they hear that the reality is much more mundane, the yeah, buts start to fly. As in "yeah, but you don't have a spouse that spends like mine does"; or "yeah, but you never went through a divorce"; or "yeah, but you don't have four kids to support"; or "yeah, but you don't have the mortgage that I have"; or "yeah, but you don't have the car payments I have"; or "yeah, but you don't have the CC bills that I do". It is always easier to find an excuse than it is to admit the truth to oneself.


BRG

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Author: JEDIKNIGHT Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145680 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 10:08 PM
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This was the story of an American.

God Bless and great work.

Jedi

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Author: skybluewater Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145682 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 10:52 PM
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I can't believe you left the dignity of work for the accumulation of wealth. How could you leave something "dignified" for "accumulation". Snow accumulates and we know that isn't fun to shovel. We may have to tax your investments until you see the error of your ways and go back to the dignity.

Tom Daschle


Better yet, we'll put that off and instead tax your great-grandkids ten times more that we would tax you.

Spending like there's no tomorrow,

George Bush

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Author: JustWhoIAm Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145683 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/22/2004 10:57 PM
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I like that plan. Can I have 2 servings?

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Author: bosslady52 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145703 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/23/2004 8:04 AM
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I am proud to be the #110 rec of this post. Well said and congratulations tmeri..enjoy your life!

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Author: DorothyM Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145708 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/23/2004 8:33 AM
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A number of Fools have told you that your post is "inspirational" -- but that's applause from the choir (not that there's anything wrong with choirs).

But I passed along to one of my co-workers a print-out of your post. My co-worker is in her early 40s, hates her job, buys lottery tickets twice a week and believes her only "out" is to win the lottery.

Let me hasten to add that she makes "very good" money, is paying for a house (I know none of the details of purchsae price, mortgage rate, etc.), last year bought a new car, funds an IRA, but doesn't fully fund her 401K. The folks on LBYM would have fits about the number of shoes she buys and the amount of money spent at Victoria's Secret, as well as the "store-bought" coffee. We have, in addition to the 401K, a defined pension plan, fully vested after 5 years, paid for by the firm, which is (if my math is almost correct) generous.

I tell you that only as a lead-in to telling you of her reaction to your post -- She too called it "inspirational" and intends to put it on her refrigerator door. You've given her, in addition to inspiration, hope.

I expect your post will have major ripples in many lives. Thanks.

P.S. I have 2 more years...



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Author: arrete Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145711 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/23/2004 9:12 AM
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tmeri-

I have been meaning to respond to your wonderful post, but I've been too busy being FIREd.

As catmeyoo points out, it is really sad that the reason many of us have FIREd was incompetent and uncaring management. The dignity of work definitely wasn't there.

I hope that your inspirational story nudges others towards the freedom of retirement, but as you point out, most people have a long list of reasons that they can't. Even though they may get paid more. It's usually a matter of frittering away money rather than not having enough to save for retirement, and it is sad and sometimes irritating to listen to these people bemoan their fate when they've had the keys to freedom all along.

Well, we expect occasional posts on how things are going. And include the scary times as well as the good stuff. The more FIRE wannabees know, the more likely they will get the guts to pull the cord.

Congrats.

arrete

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Author: SloanT Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 145932 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/24/2004 12:39 PM
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Tmeri:I did it. I quit my job and am blissfully unemployed.

Congratulations!!! I am very proud to think that I may have had some positive impact in your decision making!

That was an outstanding post and what a terrific story to tell. Enjoy your retirement, you deserve it!!!

st,
Only 14.5 years behind you! ;)

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Author: mazske Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 146017 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/24/2004 10:42 PM
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st,
Only 14.5 years behind you! ;)


I'm right there with you, buddy. Actually, about 14 years and 3 months for me.


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Author: tutone Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 146018 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/25/2004 12:03 AM
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st,
Only 14.5 years behind you! ;)

I'm right there with you, buddy. Actually, about 14 years and 3 months for me.

==============

I've actually given up on the calculator. The daily and weekly fluctuations seem to add and take away years from the eventual FIRE date. I get too stressed out. About once a year I go back and run the numbers, but I certainly don't put much faith in the answer. At this point I figure I'll get there when I get there.

tutone


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Author: CompositeUtility Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 146033 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/25/2004 4:27 AM
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Only 14.5 years behind you! ;)

I'm right there with you, buddy. Actually, about 14 years and 3 months for me.


If I had my old computer up (the one with the RE thermometer), I'd be able to quote it to the day. I believe it's just slightly less than 8 years, 5 months for me.

I picked a specific date to retire within my first month of working. Not sure if I'll be ready by then, but it's as good a date as any to have fixed in my mind. It's certainly possible and probably a plausible day.

My only concern is that I might get depressed if I have to work past it, since it'll have been a target for me for 12 years.

Cross that bridge when I'm closer to it, I suppose.

Kevin :)

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Author: Thurst Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 146035 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/25/2004 4:45 AM
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My only concern is that I might get depressed if I have to work past it...

That can be a serious problem!

I was set to buy additional ten years on my pension (and did anyway in early 2002) but 9-11 put a big dent in my 401k/457 funds that were adequate for the purchase the day before. Other saving allowed me to make it up.

What really put me in high anxiety was the fear that retirements for state highway designers would be frozen if truck bombs were being deployed against briges and tunnels.

They did consider disallowing vacations scheduled for the Y2K situation.

I am so glad to no longer be bound to that job and the personalities associated with it.

Design some redundancy into your plan, if you can, so you can adjust to the unexpected.

I found spreadsheets a great way to pass the days, as did some of my coworkers. And they paid off big time on tax planning, maximizing benefits under new tax laws, etc.

Good luck to all!


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Author: grue22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 146038 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 1/25/2004 5:35 AM
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My only concern is that I might get depressed if I have to work past it, since it'll have been a target for me for 12 years.

Cross that bridge when I'm closer to it, I suppose.



I'd planned on being retired by now, but it looks like I'll work for about six more years. If I retire now, we can get by, but a few more years of work will allow us to live very comfortably.

Grue

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Author: JediGALT Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 690460 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 7/29/2013 10:40 PM
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Inspiring and rich post.

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Author: ascenzm Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 690471 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 7/30/2013 7:36 AM
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Inspiring and rich post.


Jedi


Good stuff. It was neat seeing names from the past on that old thread. A lot of things have changed in almost ten years since early 2004. I don't think a 4% SWR is realistic now with the Fed's ZIRP.

I am following Dr. William Bernstein's advice for aspiring early retirees. I am paraphrasing "Outsave the majority of your age cohort".

Hopefully I am no more than 18 months away from joining the RE ranks. I am pension eligible and really am waiting to qualify for my employer's retiree health care. Of course the PPACA could change this so the next several months will be interesting.

There has been a major road project that has been affecting my morning commute for two years which is scheduled to complete right before my desired RE date. The commute will improve but I'd rather be retired.

Mike

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Author: JediGALT Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 690498 of 744762
Subject: Re: A Drudge No More Date: 7/30/2013 11:16 AM
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All the best Mike.

Hope you hit it.

IMO work and productivity have become less rewarding for the person doing the work and production.

It's not as "worth it" as it used to be. Just speaking for myself.

JediG

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