Hello, thanks for the admission.

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kolibri
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:01 pm

Hello, thanks for the admission.

Post by kolibri »

Hello, thanks for the admission. I chose the username kolibri being a fan of the series Deutschland 83.

I bought the Kindle version of Early Retirement Extreme in 2017. It was an immediate favorite. When recommending the book to someone else, I would say the title isn't /really/ what the book is about. The title should be something like ... now I forget what I would usually say. What should the title really be?

My two favorite ideas from ERE are "web of goals" and "appropriate response".

I sort of retired once, revised the experience into a sabbatical, learned some things, and went back to work as a "Salary Man" with a completely different perspective.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 2043
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: Hello, thanks for the admission.

Post by classical_Liberal »

Welcome!

I think this happens a lot. Early "retirement" turning into more a sabbatical, or series of sabbaticals, interspersed with meaningful work that ends up paying money in some fashion. I'd love to here your story about it.

kolibri
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:01 pm

Re: Hello, thanks for the admission.

Post by kolibri »

Ok, a little bit of my story: before all of this became a thing, I had a high savings rate and had paid off my mortgage. A friend said, hey take a look at MMM; I think you would like it. I read the blog over the course of a few weeks. Take-away: we often have more control over our expenses than our income. So I began collecting and trying tips to lower expenses. I came across ERE in an MMM blog post and went deeper. (I thank the Internet for accelerating certain practices into being a thing with it's own language. For ex, I had always kept a notebook and then Bullet journal became a thing and affected the way I think about a notebook.)

The initial effect of ERE on my perspective: I started carrying around in the back of my mind the image of that tall skinny Gaussian curve over areas of knowledge. The question: if you are only good at one thing and circumstances shift, what will you do? I was really receptive to this because part of my job is to think about robustness and redundancy. I started viewing my own salaried specialist situation negatively.

I moved out of the city to a rural area--my former home became a crash pad. I started a simulation of not being employed by sticking to a spending target that firecalc said would have a 95% chance of working out given my savings and expected rental income. After some time, when I was confident I would be OK, I gave my notice and quit my job. Reactions were somewhere between shocked and inspired that I was doing this.

And then the first week off there was an unexpected medical expense. I had signed up for a health sharing plan, and for reasons, the expense was a pre-existing condition. It wouldn't be covered. The cost/benefit landed in favor of keeping my existing insurance for a year via COBRA, so I cancelled the health share. I have an HSA and COBRA payments are an eligible withdrawal, so I kept records of the payments and paid out of pocket since the returns in the HSA will be tax free and I can withdraw the money from the HSA at a later time. The expense put some stress on the budget, but I carried on and was able to rent out my place in the city at the expected rate.

I learned additional skills from various projects. I learned that homesteading is extreme--extremely difficult to jump into. I learned that I don't actually understand flows and yields. A big thing I learned is how hard this change really is--I learned that changing paradigms is hard. Not only do I identify with my salaried lifestyle, most other people also identify me by where I work. That's always the first question, how's the job going? Not having a job, I had two voids, and I didn't know how to fill them. 1) Higher insurance costs meant less slack and I didn't truly believe the firecalc and felt super risk averse. I'm so conditioned on a salary that it was very stressful not to have it. 2) I had a lot of time for personal projects and following personal interests, but I didn't find satisfying answers to questions like, What are my roles? What am I accomplishing? How am I connecting with people? I volunteered some time on some projects, but I wasn't able to put myself in a position that answered those questions in a way I liked. There's a real question of, what game are you playing and who are you playing it with? After a year off, I wanted to go back to the game I knew: writing software, building systems. I started looking for work. I interviewed at a few different companies but ended up going back to my old job where I know I like the people and the things we're working on.

So that's part of the story so far. I recently had an aha moment RE yields and flows, so I'm excited to see where that leads.

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