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Hello, thanks for the admission.

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:39 pm
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.

Re: Hello, thanks for the admission.

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:29 am
by classical_Liberal

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.

Re: Hello, thanks for the admission.

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:01 pm
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.

Re: Hello, thanks for the admission.

Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:00 am
by sidra1968
Hello! I just joined yesterday..looking forward to the exchange of ideas.

Re: Hello, thanks for the admission.

Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:40 pm
by classical_Liberal
kolibri wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:01 pm
There's a real question of, what game are you playing and who are you playing it with?
Ah ha! There's more to the game than just reaching that 95% Firecalc success rate?! :D

Thanks for responding. It's an interesting story, I hope you decide to start a journal. I think this forum can always use more people who understand that life isn't automagically wonderful when an arbitrary FI goal is reached. Once money and time are no longer huge constraints, the real stuff of life can be addressed with more clarity. It's best to realize this as early as possible in the process.