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Subject:  What is your ER motivation? Date:  12/30/2002  9:33 PM
Author:  workwayless Number:  88251 of 888931

What drives us to retire at an early age?

Well for me, I have three key motivating factors. They are:

- To have more time to spend doing something else
- Escape from corporate America
- Want to maximize remaining years

I will acknowledge that there may be alternate solutions to address these factors individually, however RE seems the perfect solution for me to solve all three at the same time.

1.To have more time to spend doing something else
This applied to me even though I don't quite have it worked out the exact details of what that “something else” is. You see, I used to envy those people who had knew exactly what they would do after reaching FI. And I thought that I might as well keep working until I knew exactly what I wanted to do. One day I woke up and saw the problem in this approach. It's the same as attempting to reach a nest egg to support a super low SWR—by the time you figure it out, you may no longer be an early retiree.

That's because when you are stressed out from work, it's hard to find the time to set down and do this type of analysis. Most of your free time is spent recovering from work. So, I found a shortcut method in a book about retirement planning called Comfort Zones by Elwood Chapman. This book contains some tests to help one sort out ones interest in different categories of retirement activities. The test results highlighted some favorite activities and in addition showed ones I hadn't considered before.

2. Escape from corporate America
Probably no need to explain this factor. But if you need one, just select and read any thread on the “My job sucks” board.

3. Want to maximize remaining years
Due to some personal factors, actuary calculations predict that I'll live a much shorter life than will the average woman my age. While I fight like heck to beat those calculations, still I consider this prediction when I ask myself whether or not I am spending my life in a worthwhile manner. Galeno had a great post about the reverse "time-value" of life where each youthful today is worth more than each "old-age" day tomorrow. So even more valuable are those todays when there is likely fewer tomorrows.

Anyone else care to share...

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