The Reluctant Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:26 am

So it looks like the half time/job sharing will pan out after all.Who knew?

I had given up and accepted that I would have to retire fully in 2018...even though financially it would be insecure.

So typically when you let go of something that you want (without any anger or bitterness) it will pop right in.

I'm just going to keep gathering up as much cash as I can as an emergency/lump fund until it happens.So much for saving my 3,000 per month that I am now able to save ...this will reduce down to 800 maximum when job sharing.

But on the plus side I will only be working maximum 12 to 14 days a month with an income that will maintain my present quality of life ... basically I will have loads more time to take trips with enough money to do it.

The best of every world I think.

As I said I had resigned myself to working full-time for now and so immersed myself totally in a new fitness routine.
I am trying to do more kettle bell routines than aerobics and yoga this time.
I did the 5:2 fast diet for 2 weeks to rid myself of stomach fat that I had gained during the summer.
I only did it for 2 weeks as I don't want to get too skinny and scrawny...this always shows in the face especially in middle age.

So I will persist with the kettle bells to build up muscle and eat normally with no junk.

The caring for an elderly parent is continuing during weekends so time is precious...the life cycle of a typical female...being trapped with kids for fifteen years then the elderly parents kick in....really all these travel plans I have ... are they just pipe dreams...

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:50 am

@Hear you on the "life cycle of typical female." Seems like I am constantly juggling a mixed basket full of limiting factors to "just doing what I want to do", but I have to wonder if it is mostly me getting in the way of myself. For instance, how did I end up cooking blueberry pancakes for my BF this morning before he went off to work? How did I even end up with another BF? All I can see are 3 options:

1) Complete social isolation
2) Avoidance of domestic responsibilities through clear commitments to paid work or some deceit (For instance, "I am writing a novel.")
3) Acceptance that if you do not choose, or succeed at (1) or (2) "woman's work" will be dumped in your lap, so make it part of your "retirement" plan to make sure you at least get "paid" for it.

For the time being, I am choosing (3), but I have also recently added a large cache of books (memoirs and how-to)on the topic of women traveling solo to my active stack. Please let me know if you come up with a (4.)

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:51 pm

Mmmmmmmmm...the hundred million dollar question for most females, How to avoid spending most free time on domestic or caring duties?...especially if the amount of free time expands.

My strategy is/will be to keep on the move...

Remember the old saying,"A rolling stone gathers no moss",.... a person constantly on the move (from country to country or house to house) can never really be pinned down or counted on.

I want to be this person...travelling light with no baggage.

Constantly on the move with a large amount of deceit about plans,commitments etc could work.

It will be extremely tricky and take a lot of strategy (an INTJ strength) but I think it could work.

Naturally being FI will be a major part of the plan,enough money to do what you want without being answerable to anyone (including spouse).

Will it be lonely?...quite possibly but every gain (as in freedom) has a just have to figure out what is the thing you want most in life (and be willing to pay the cost) - life is so short ... and even us females should get to put our "wants" to the top of the list at some stage.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:06 pm

An update is probably overdue...
Nothing very exciting happening.

Work is dragging on...

Have finally started a meditation/mindfulness course.
Only 2 weeks in but can meditate for 45 mins now without needing to stop and get up.
I say meditation but really it's my mind drifting off in to such urgent crap and to do lists that when I bring it back to breathing I can't even remember "all of this urgent/must do stuff".
Imagine our mind is full of unimportant rubbish that's draining our energy and preventing clarity most of the time.
I know I'm only at the beginning of a very long journey but from the bit of relief and clarity that I've achieved so far I intend to keep at it.

Still waiting for my halftime work.I think it will begin in January.I am really looking forward to it as more time off will be amazing.

By the time I get all my exercise,meditation etc done every day it could take up to 3 hours,who has time to work?

Still keeping track of every penny that I spend which is always below what my job sharing pay will be with a pretty good quality of life.

No foreign trips due to parental health issues and weekend trips to do my share.

As I have very little annual leave left I really couldn't go anyway,roll on job sharing with loads of free time for travelling.

So nothing very exciting happening except my meditation course,just looking forward to more time off.

Patience,patience, and more patience ....

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by slowtraveler » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:05 am

Congrats on meditating. It is a great help to be present during times of stress.

I'm curious,why do you think deceit and constant moving is essential to feel free? Constant moving (more than monthly) is stressful, even with just 1 carry on. Deceit brings its own baggage as you have to keep track of all lies and lose social capital when caught.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:17 pm

I hate routine and love constant movement/ is only when losing your energy to work that energy levels are too depleted to put into the organization and execution of travel.

I have worked hard to have no "social capital" as you put it. Zero expectations from others is a great way to live. It sounds sad but is quite an achievement for middle aged female to achieve.

I use deceit because I feel guilty about the free pleasurable life I lead. Pretty dumb I know as I have worked by butt of for it BUT it allows me to escape scrutiny or people wanting to tag along.

Maybe some day I'll be brave enough to live my life openly but I think it's easier to live under the covers non conspicuously.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:43 am

An update is well overdue.

So still working full-time and kind of glad as my spending has gone up a lot due to a number of factors.

Naturally as soon as the reduced hours to half time come I will grab it...have no choice about it now as I am all signed up... which is a good thing as there can be no backing out.

My DH is just about retired on a full pension at a very young age ... interesting times for all !!!

Looking back through my life I have always prioritised my marriage above everything else and then when my kids came a long then included them in this priority ... I am so glad I did as this makes me the happiest that I can be (as far as I know as I have never been without them).

This has often been a tough journey but always worth the sacrifices or "give and take" to make a marriage work,(in my opinion).

I see a lot of couples going through separation in their fifties after years of marriage and it's not a pretty sight...loneliness and financial messiness being the two big ones that stick out at me.There's also usually a lot of drinking and partying involved to get over the pain which is a disaster health wise at this age.

Now as a couple we have a new challenge that I rarely see any information on these forums about... how to balance life when one partner is retired (full of energy and go),while the other person is in middle age and energy depleted from full-time work.
Add to that if the full-time working person is an INTJ and a lot of time on there own is a necessity ...

Makes for an interesting mix !
Naturally I am wise enough to know that this is just a transition period and things will settle down... the saying "Be careful what you wish for " rings in my ear ... but I feel wiped out and crowded all the time.

My spending has also gone way up as we now have a very active social life of bars and concerts etc.

It could never work long-term as I just physically could not keep up, so roll on the reduced hours which will be my life saver.

A few older women that I worked with hinted that it can be majorly traumatic when men retire at a young age but I did not think this would effect us as we both knew how to fill in all of our spare time and wanted out of working life so badly ... but it seems the lack of social interaction from the work place is a big gap that needs to be filled with other socialization ... which is taking up all of my energy and some of my "savings" right now.

My DH is really very brave as most people at his work place wouldn't even dream of retiring at a young age even though they could be entitled to their full pension.
The amazing thing to me is that not one of his work peers said that they envied him being able to retire ... imagine not one of them would want to retire on a full pension????

Anyway life goes on... still at the meditation course a thing my DH initiated ...still doing it but know I'm not at the deep meditation stage yet...will probably have to do a number of full day retreats to really get there with it. Hopefully never giving this habit up as it is definitely life enhancing.

No foreign trips as would feel too selfish to go on my own now...I know the rot has set in...does this mean I will only travel as a couple now ...

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by saving-10-years » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:59 am


Congrats to your husband on being able to retire. What I found when I did this at 57 (not on full pension but about 0.5 to 0.66 what others could have got) many colleagues also wanted to be able to retire but were not permitting themselves to think it was possible. Several felt they could not retire even when they hit state retirement age in their mid/late-60s. Commonly they had mortgages (sometimes more than one and some were paying into mortgages of their children). They had extreme expenses and sometimes debts. After all this time becoming specialists they also did not want to step back and lose traction (and the nice things that come with recognition as an expert). This is more of a fear if you know you need to still make an income and expect to do this in the same sector as 'brain for hire'. I have been very happy to step completely back away from it all and as DH stopped working 2 years before me I found his increasing happiness and contentment a real spur to leave work when the opportunity came up. Its hard to go off to work when your partner has a day planned* that you wish you could be part of. The option for me came up because older colleagues would not retire. So I have benefitted there.

But good news (for you) is that you will be part-time. Half the time you won't be going off to work.

Advice is that even when you think you know what you will do in retirement (and I had lots of plans) the shape of your life changes and I hear from many retired people that they found themselves doing something entirely different to what was planned. Its taken me 3.5 years to really get into the rhythm - in part because I had over-planned my first 18 months out so had commitments which I am only now starting to lose. I am sure you will enjoy it when it comes.

* Plans here tend to be around DIY projects or other activities which are free or very low cost. Friends we make now (away from work) assume that as we are retired and not yet getting a pension (i.e. state pension) that we are likely to be underfunded and choosing to perfect bean soup for that reason rather than choosing to be frugal. The bean soup and cooking in general has got much better because its a skill and we have time and energy.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:37 am

@ saving,well done you for making the leap at 0.5/0.66 of what you could have got if you waited longer. It really is a big decision and I'm glad you feel you made the correct one.

I would be gone in the morning if my reduced pension covered the cost of the life that I want to lead,(or should I say have reached a compromise as to the cost of the life we "need" to lead to keep everyone happy).

My DH is lucky having a full pension and a side income from his hobby/business.

So it will be reduced hours for me when it clicks in ... with hopefully enough time and energy to keep up with my DH.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:12 am


I have been in relationships with men who were more or less retired, and more or less introverted/extroverted than me. My suggestion would be to encourage your husband to go solo to most outings that are not couple-oriented. I found it rather awkward and oddly confining to have to attend couple or family events (even his family!) on my own or just with kids in tow when I was married to an extreme introvert, but I also found it exhausting and odd when I was in a relationship with a man who was so extroverted that he would be on the phone making plans to meet people for brunch within 20 seconds after rolling off of me on a Sunday morning.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:25 pm

@ 7Wannabe,

As I take my jaw back up from the floor ...

You certainly have a way with words and can paint a very explicit picture ...

Moving swiftly along... advice received...

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by CS » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:01 pm


They really drag things out for the job sharing, don't they? That is pure torture.

Sorry to hear that you are being pulled in so many directions. Perhaps you could think of one trip for yourself as 'putting on your own mask before assisting others.' No sense bankrupting yourself energy-wise.

It seems like if your husband wants more of your time, and you are getting drained at work, perhaps he could shoulder some more of the finances so you could leave? Just a thought.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:45 am

All logical points CS.

As I stated earlier my priority in life has always bee my relationship with my DH and kids.

This simplifies everything for me.

If I had made my priority FI or early retirement I could have been there years ago but I would probably be on my own now. In my experience extremes don't work well in relationships,they need give and take ,creating balance where everyone feels comfortable.

One of the best decisions that I have made in my life is to separate my finances from my DHs.

There is never any arguments or resentments over money.

He loves buying clothes and loses/breaks expensive purchases frequently...would drive me nuts if we had combined I just smile and say "easy come easy go"...oh, the retention of peace,tranquillity and energy...

Think how much energy this saves in any relationship...believe me there are enough other things we could choose to fight about if we wanted...a complete waste of time and energy in my opinion.

My other priority in life is freedom and independence so in my opinion if I take a hand out from anyone then they get a "say" (however small) in my decisions...I'm of the view there are no free lunches...

Right now things are in a transitional period,and have actually settled down a little bit already.
My DH has taken a huge brave step that most others at his work place wouldn't even dream of at his "young" age...I like to think that my beliefs and principles have helped him my ability to earn and pay my half for all our "family" expenses.

Right now I will support this transitional period in whatever way that I can while,always keeping an eye out that I'm not allowing a huge dependence build up on us as a couple for his social interaction needs...see 7Wanbe5's "very descriptive" advice above.

I will resume my solo travelling in the future and haven't forgotten about this either...I should have so much more freedom if I get the job sharing...if don't I can retire completely at the end of next year anyway...I am focusing more and more on this right now in case I don't get the job sharing. Financially the job sharing suits me better but I should be set up for either.

Of course even though I'm a very logical INTJ about all this I'll still moan now and again...that's mainly what I use this journal for as I just can't be bothered maintaining friendships...too much time and energy required.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:45 pm

Work day trip abroad to new city.

Unbelievable how anxious I was before it...nervous about getting around the city in the timeline I had to get my flight home.Any way all went well...easy really,I wonder does this anxiety come with age or was it that I hadn't travelled somewhere new solo for a long time.

Maybe when I've more time off work and do more travelling I will be calmer...last night did not sleep a wink and had to force myself just to go through with it...not good for a person that wants to travel a lot in the future.

So had a pension agent come in to our work place to give a presentation on pensions and retirement...all she really wanted to do was sell her company's financial products and scare the hell out of everyone about the "gap" in our finances that would be there when we retire...But the good news for the "younger" lucky ones amongst us who joined the workplace much later than the rest of us is that they would be able/allowed to stay working until they are 70 years whilst the rest of us unlucky sods would have to leave at 65 years.

Honestly I jest not...we even gave a cheer when one of us would be allowed to stay till 70 years.

I had to bite hard on my tongue not to release my usual sarcastic comments as I didn't want to draw any attention to myself.I think it really hit me for the first time that there are obviously parallel universes out there with people wanting to prolong their work lives just as much as I want to terminate mine.

There wasn't many people signing up to allow the calculation of this mysterious "gap" after the talk.As I work with mostly young females who's biggest concerns right now are acquiring mortgages,childcare costs and the latest fashion trends in clothes, footwear and make-up...retirement doesn't even register...even though they were threatened with working until 70 years!

Any way it was a complete waste of my time and did nothing except frustrate me because I couldn't question any of the abhorrent assumptions that she was making about the cost of a "quality life" in retirement.

Really is it any wonder that people just suck up this tripe and resign themselves to a life of paid employment even if they hate their fact as I said I think after this talk people would feel more secure if they could work on till age 70 as really there is no alternative due to this ominous "financial gap" that is inevitable when they are forced to retire????

It's kind of sad that sometimes I feel lucky to be the age I am when I see how hard things are for the younger generations...But I suppose the generation before us felt the same about us when we hit the workplace.

Work sucks like sign of the job sharing and I'm running out of annual leave days to numb the pain of it ...really I often wonder where this will all end and secretly hope that I'll just be forced to pack it all in at the end of 2018 if I can last till then.

It kind of frightens me to think that sometimes drastic things happen to release people from circumstances that they hate because they haven't consciously got the balls to release themselves...the sub conscious mind can be a powerful thing and often a lot stronger than the bullshit that we feed ourselves to stay trapped.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:07 am

Update overdue...have kept up reading ERE but haven't updated.

DH has been retired 6 months...not easy...lost without his work social a job he supposedly hated...I'm at a loss about it all.He's finances are great...has a side hobby/business that keeps him busy on top of full pension...but it's a solitary hobby.

Some people should beware of early careful what you wish for...

My plans are still much the same...waiting for half time work to kick in...should happen in a few months.Really need extra free time as care of elderly parents has increased due to drop out of main family carer due to burn out...naturally responsible me picked up slack...

Seem not to have enough time to give anyone at the moment...nobody happy with my time juggling...but just keeping all the balls in the air for the moment as best I can...most unsatisfactory...

Financials are chugging a long a lot slower as with DH retired we do a lot more spending on entertainment...this is fine by me as there is a lot of things I want to see/do....I will be financially fine when I do half time work on almost half the pay that I am getting now...I just won't be able to save hardly anything.This is fine with my overall plan as I had intended retiring in October anyway...this is now delayed until I try out half time work for at least 6 months.

So all well really...doing Paleo for last 2 months so weight just stays perfect...and have started hill trekking,so fairly fit as well.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by EdithKeeler » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:50 pm

I just want to say that I enjoy your journal. We struggle with some of the same issues, I think.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by Earlybath » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:33 am

Nearly 2 years to organise a jobshare ? That really is glacial, hope it works out and is worth the wait.

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:15 pm

So the half-time work job sharing is not happening anytime soon...the latest news being that there is no staff replacements available.

The plan was always to keep permanent until I hit age 50 years and then take early retirement...but realistically with my expenses the way they are now with my DH's retirement and one of kids starting college soon I can not afford to fully retire right now.

If I could live the way that I want (expenses-wise) I could retire but really I have no control if I want to keep a marriage and kids happy.

So I'll just keep on keeping on like a lot of people on this forum with family commitments ... I would imagine it's so easy achieve ERE if their are no kids involved...

It's going on so long now that my institutionalization has made me often ask-what do I really want anyway?

I recognise that this is a sign that my imagination and desire for freedom has dulled down and could possibly be quenched completely if I continue working full-time But there really isn't much I can do about it right now.

So I will continue to wait for the half-time work squirreling away as much as I can because I'm not brave enough to take the leap and retire and live of a small pension supplemented by drawing from my pension lump sum.

Maybe if I hated my job more I'd jump but it's really fine and cushy compared to others ... and where would I be going anyway with a home-based DH that has no interest in travelling...

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:45 pm

So I have been recording everything that I spend now for 67 weeks.

Bottom line is on average I need 600 per week to live the lifestyle I have now.

If I retire now I will get pension of 1000 per month with lumpsum of 100 thousand.25 of this would have to go to college payments of kids.So 1000 per month plus 75,000 savings...not enough!

I would have to sell a property to subsidize my living expenses if I retired now.I do not want to do this until I have a few years of freedom to enjoy moving from one to the other as I please to get the best season of the year in each.

What the hell was the point of carrying them all on my back for years unless I get the chance to enjoy dream!

If I do half-time/jobshare I will get approximately 600 per week just working 2 days a week...loads of time to travel and enjoy different properties keeping my lifestyle as is.

This is why I think it is worth the wait to get my jobshare...even though sometimes I think it will kill me if it doesn't come soon.

I have been trying out the reduced working hours this Summer taking 2 annual leave days a week while working 3.I must say I really do like this work life balance.

But if the job share does not come soon I don't know what I will do...

I have to keep the dream...picture of the goal in my mind as it is the only one I have consistently had for years.

I just want to move from house to house to experience the best climate and all the activities that go with that during the different seasons of the year.

This summer we have invested a lot of time and energy into pushing/gently nudging our little fledglings out of the nest...driving them to and for to their first Summer jobs at all irregular hours...and buying all the attire that goes with that.DD couldn't get a job because of her age so I am proud to say she started a mini house cleaning business...and got so many request that she had to refuse most.

I really want to get them off our backs financially as soon as I can...whatever hope I have of reducing that 600 I need right now per week.

So it's just a waiting game right now...a thing I am not very good at...

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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:40 am

I have been doing a lot of hassling,aggravating and manoeuvring trying to find out where the job sharing is at.

Bottom line is there is now a person permanently in our job (myself and partner job sharer) but we can't start until that person that got the promotion to our job is goes on and on...

So after all my hassling the "missing forms", (2nd time they have gone missing) have been resent.Then the CEO will have to sign them off- will not happen fast.They then are sent to recruitment which are also back logged and will take 6 to 8 weeks to offer the job to someone.

Then the person will have 6 to 8 weeks to accept...all in all another 6 months provided things don't get lost again.

So it could be March '19 before our job-sharing kicks in.

I am going to cancel my tax free pension payments and start saving the money I was putting towards this.It will be the first money that I will be "leaving on the table" so to speak from the plan of reducing my working hours.I will save this money and have it for college payments instead of locked up in a future pension.My goal was to have 50,000 in a private lump sum pension and this is what I have.

I know it will all be worth the wait and I will have a great work life balance...

My DH is getting impatient as my annual leave is so small that it is restricting the things we can do...he tells me to just retire and we will combine our pensions and we will be fine...his pension would be twice mine...I don't think so...there are no free lunches in this world ...he who pays the piper picks the tune and I've waited so long for my freedom that I want to dance to my own music in retirement.

At some level it's tempting and a quick fix...but I'm old and wise enough to know I need my own money to have equal bargaining power...maybe this is because I am married to such an "alpha" male or maybe it's because of my INTJ super independent streak...but having to make sacrifices at this age of my life on my life dreams,(because they are so different from his) would kill me.

Retiring with not enough money to live the life that I have dreamed of for so long would be like having pushed a huge boulder up a steep hill for years,and instead of just pushing the tiny last bit over the top of the hill,letting go and seeing it roll way back down to the bottom.

What a wasted life that would have been...

So I'm just going to hang in there,be patient and save knowing that I will eventually have loads of free time with sufficient money to enjoy the life that I want to live.
To be honest I think that I'm nearly completely institutionalized now and have lost a lot of the passion that I had before about doing nothing much except travelling...I know it lies buried inside me and won't really ignite until I have a lot more time to plan and do more interesting things.

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