Too Old To Retire "Young"

Where are you and where are you going?
EdithKeeler
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Restaurant spending

Post by EdithKeeler » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:23 pm

So my goal for the year is to substantially reduce my restaurant spending. It's the end of the month, so decided to run a report on my credit card to see how I'm doing. Of course, I thought I was doing GREAT... pffpht. I managed to spend $421 on restaurants for the month of February. Geeze!! (My credit card number was stolen 2 weeks ago, so of course I thought there was a mistake, someone was running up restaurant tabs on my number. After careful scouring... nope. All mine).

For the month of January, though, it was only $253. So the average for 2 months is $337 a month, which is still a good bit less than the $535 I averaged last year, so I guess that's progress. But definitely need to nip it in March. I do have a double family birthday coming up--that won't be cheap. So definitely need to get in the groove of making lunches and breakfasts. When I plan, I do much better.

And--no lie--I ate 3 meals out today. Only one did I pay for. I'm really, really bad about eating out. It's my one thing. It's not really a blind spot, because I'm well aware I do it, but it's a combination of reasons why I do it. I consciously decided to eat out today, despite having a while internal monologue about why I shouldn't on the way home from work tonight. Tonight's reason for grabbing food? I didn't want to mess up my kitchen. (Yes, I could have heated soup in the microwave for minimal mess).

I've got at least 2 vacations coming up this year, and I count my eating out while on vacation. I definitely need to curtail it the rest of the time. I'm also going to start working from home more--that should curtail some of the lunch spending at work.

Gah. Shooting for under $250 next month.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:24 am

Lots of cooking today, in furtherance of my goal of less eating out. Corned beef and cabbage—yeah, I know a day late! Rice pudding to be served with sliced strawberries tonight for family dinner. Beef tips over noodles for family dinner, served with salad. Ham and cheese quiche for breakfasts this week.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:45 pm

I have these fantasies sometimes, of living out in the middle of nowhere, and living, if not a completely self-sustainable life, coming close, much like my grandparents did. Every so often I'll peruse the listings on United Country real estate. Recently I came across this one:
http://www.unitedcountry.com/search06/S ... &AU=N&FT=P

I wish the house was not a trailer but a more traditional farm house, but still--13 acres with a pond, a stream, a 6 stall barn, a chicken coop.... woods plus pasture land.... for less than $100K!! It really is pretty far from anything, and I suspect i'd enjoy it for about 6 months but then would start to feel really cut off from the world... but still.

Jason
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Jason » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:27 pm

"Very Private With No Close Neighbors "

I too realize I can't go full Unabomber or Old McDonald. Or Shining. I need a town with a deli, a convenience store, a church and a few non-Deliverance type yokels. Throw in a cherubic learning disabled girl who is obsessed with some stupid shit like daylight savings time for good measure. If I am widower, it will require a bar with at least one top heavy floozie. Maybe a college town that empties out in the summer.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:44 pm

I need a town with a deli, a convenience store, a church and a few non-Deliverance type yokels.
And a Chinese restaurant.

J_
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by J_ » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:46 pm

Ahh Jason (and Edith), how well you describe the human need for "reuring". I will visit that bar and hope that you are a regular.

Jason
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Jason » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:46 pm

@ J_

I'll be the drunk asshole who sings ABBA songs on Karaoke night and then gets driven home on the back of a motorcycle by a biker woman who may or may not have killed her last boyfriend in self-defense.

(@) Edith

Sweet and Sour chicken and steamed dumplings FTW.

George the original one
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by George the original one » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:31 pm

EdithKeeler wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:44 pm
Jason wrote: I need a town with a deli, a convenience store, a church and a few non-Deliverance type yokels.
And a Chinese restaurant.
If only I had a deli since the only one closed last year... I've got 6 Chinese restaurants within 35 minutes, but not one of them is of such a high-quality that they're worthwhile. If the most distant one would make things fresh rather than use a steam table, it would be first choice.

There's only one pastry shop making donuts & other pastries. I understand the surplus of Chinese restaurants and lack of deli (Oregon history), but having only one pastry shop seems weird for a vacation destination.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:50 pm

weet and Sour chicken and steamed dumplings FTW.
Dumplings and mu shu pork.

Now I’m hungry....

Jason
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Jason » Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:09 pm

My Chinese restaurant is great except for the fact they scream at you like your ordering food in a burning building and you have five minutes to get out. I always have to remind myself to remain calm before I go in because it sounds like Chinese boot camp. I don’t know how it started but it’s like they’ve made it each other fucking deaf or they’re having a competition to make each other deaf. Either way t’s fuckin crazy.

A bakery/pastry shop would be nice as well.

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RFS
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Re: Optimist/Pessimist

Post by RFS » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:11 pm

EdithKeeler wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:18 pm
We talk a lot on these boards about being an introvert or extrovert, but I was thinking today that I think successful ERE probably has a lot to do with being an optimist. I suppose you could be a pessimist and still successfully retire early--I would think a pessimist doing ERE is the person who mostly socks away a BIG chunk of money because s/he thinks the worst is going to happen--and maybe lives in a bunker with 5 years of food stocked away as well. "The shit's inevitably gonna hit the fan, and I'm as ready as I can be," maybe. (though there's something optimistic about that, in and of itself....). But I think mostly pessimists are going fall into the "There's no way I'm gonna save enough to retire early, so I might as well eat, drink and be as merry as a pessimist like myself can be, and buy a new car every year, too, because I'm going to die in my office chair at age 97 in debt anyway."

Optimists are more likely to ERE, to me, because they seem to be the people who say "I can fix/do/be anything, and what I can't fix/do/be, I'll learn! Just give me a few YouTube videos and a stocked toolbox and I'm ready for anything. Plus, I don't need no stinkin' job to define me--I know who i am." They don't need a lot of money because they truly probably can fix/do/be or make a friend who can fix/do/be what they need. That's really how I see ERE-ers. Supremely confident people who are correspondingly very ABLE. I see this in Jacob, 7wannabe, cmonkey and others on these boards.

I was thinking today that I think I used to be more optimistic, but I'm turning a little bit into the pessimistic person who just shoves a lot of money in the bank because i don't think I can handle or weather the rigors of early retirement sufficiently. I think I'm still an optimist in general--I have blue/down moments, but generally I am optimistic about the future in most ways.
Your thoughts on optimism and ERE remind me of MMM's recent post on optimism/discipline and the bigger picture of FI. You should check it out, it's a great post.

Also, forgive me if I sound like a completely douchey, new-agey, perspective-lacking young person here, but it looks to me like there is an imbalance between past/future and daily focus.

Have you thought about implementing a daily practice to address each problem/NTL (negative thought loop)? I think it helps shrink your perspective to the present moment, and the emotional regulation system calibrates itself accordingly. Top athletes, businesspeople, artists, etc, seem to harp on this a lot. Minimizing your thoughts to your circle of control, you know?

This is just my own experience, but consistently doing something each day to address those NTLs seems to be directly proportional to the "I can do anything!" belief levels. Including the intimidating "I could sell a few more years for extra security, but I choose to compensate for that with skill" ERE.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:26 pm


Have you thought about implementing a daily practice to address each problem/NTL (negative thought loop)? I think it helps shrink your perspective to the present moment, and the emotional regulation system calibrates itself accordingly. Top athletes, businesspeople, artists, etc, seem to harp on this a lot. Minimizing your thoughts to your circle of control, you know?

This is just my own experience, but consistently doing something each day to address those NTLs seems to be directly proportional to the "I can do anything!" belief levels. Including the intimidating "I could sell a few more years for extra security, but I choose to compensate for that with skill" ERE.
Hmmm. Maybe you're right. I'm not sure it's so much a "negative thought loop" as it is the perspective of getting older. I saw a friend's kid yesterday and was thinking how BIG she's gotten--well, yeah, it's been 6 years and she's gone from a toddler to (very tall) young lady of 8! Life goes by pretty fast, and I know when I was younger, I didn't appreciate that as much as I do now. And I think, too, I have the perspective of watching my mom's swift decline and her physical as well as monetary limitations. Nothing she could have done about the physical, but money can be sandpaper to smooth out the rough spots that sometimes happen beyond your control. Sure, it's great to work to be self-sufficient, but if you live long enough, it's a good bet that at some point you won't be able to compensate with a new skill.

I guess, too, I'm seeing a lot of friends and acquaintances succumb to issues of aging, in some cases, poor lifestyle choices (yes, we have control over those) and some just SHITTY luck. A good friend's fiance died alone in his sleep in a hotel on a business trip a few weeks ago. Age 57 and no significant history of heart issues. My friend went from planning her wedding to planning his funeral. My BF's pal went to the doctor with a mysterious bruise on his arm--hairy cell leukemia. I know i sound like Debbie Downer here, but these anecdotes don't really make me feel negative or pessimistic--they just make me feel reflective that life speeds by, and that I need to think about how I want to spend the remaining years I will walk the earth.

"But at my back I always hear/Time's winged chariot hurrying near."

I dunno... right at the moment I'm just in the mood to find a cool bar someplace, maybe here, maybe New Orleans, maybe a beachy bar in Texas, with a good band and a good bartender and hang for a while.

Anyway... life ain't so bad right now. My boss has informed me that I am being promoted--mostly a change in job title to justify giving me some more money--but that's not bad. I'll find out more details next week. My company contributed a chunk of cash in the form of profit sharing to my 401K this week, and also contributed a big fat chunk of cash to my Cash Balance Pension Plan. Which has led me to play one of my favorite games: "If I quit right now...."

So, if I quit right now, my investments would give me about $1600 a month, plus another $350 a month pension money, plus $400 a month rental income. That ain't shabby--I'm not extreme enough to be a Jacob--and since I am old and gray, I've got plenty of quarters for my social security when I hit 67--if I quit right now and didn't take social security until 67, that would give me another $1800 a month. So I feel pretty good about that. If I quit right now, I also imagine my coworkers' disbelief.... that's kinda fun, too.

Knowing I could quit (right now...) if I wanted to makes it easier to stick it out, though. Which is good, because I need to, because of family obligations. And I'd like to have the rental paid off when I retire--still has a mortgage right now, though the rent is more than paying it. And bigger than money issues, one thing I really DON'T have in place, but need to get in place before I quit, is a better social network. That's something i don't have right now, which will be crucial when I do pull the plug. I'll probably become active with some volunteer causes and stuff, but I'd like to lay the foundation for that now. So that's something I have in the back of my mind.

And in my other quest to eat fewer meals out--I'm happy to report that this month (just a few days shy of the end of the month), I've only spent $117 on outside food. This is Y-U-U-G-E for me, since in February I spent over $400. So I'm giving myself a pat on the back. (It hasn't hurt that my "lunch buddy" and I work at home on opposite days, and we're both on diets as well... I've been cooking more, and even making my own coffee at home. I've been really bad about grabbing cups of coffee on the weekends from McD's. To be honest, I think the recent coverage of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has done more to curb my behavior than determination.... it's ghastly to think about what we're doing to our planet and the animals and ourselves.

Finally, I've resumed sporadic sales on eBay, which is fun. It's something I used to do from time to time. I enjoy going to estate sales and every once in a while I'll find something I'm pretty sure I can resell. At a sale several weeks ago I bought a basket of new-in-package cross stitch and needlepoint kits for $20 for the entire basket. So far I've sold $78 worth (oddly, all to people with seemingly Russian names, sent to a PO box in Delaware--kinda curious....), and still more to sell. And I'm thinning out my bookcases, stuff like that. Decluttering, mostly.

Anyway.... long and rambly entry. If you've read this far--thanks!!

J_
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by J_ » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:00 am

Seems all going in right direction Edith. And it seems working is for you also a pleasant social field to be in. And yes, at a certain age the vulnerability of humans becomes clearer than ever. The effort you have to spend to stay healthy and fit.

To me, once you have "matured" it seems so important to concentrate eating as described in "How not to die" by M. Greger. To avoid all these "modern" illnesses, so helpfully offered by our food industry and "social habits".

To stay fit I spend a lot of time outside and play to sweat at least an hour a day while I climb a mountainous path, or row or cycle some miles at speed, or ski- cross country uphill. Or swing the kettle bell, and do household chores.

I think that making the switch is not (only) stop working your job, but also start working on your health. I (and you?) can easily see that that is my new and pleasant "job". Wish you well.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:51 am

Just got home (last night) from vacation. Spent a week in the place where I intend to retire to, and it was great. Since I’ve been there several times now, we didn’t feel compelled to “do” all the touristy stuff; instead it was very laid back, with (surprisingly) healthful eating, walking and bike riding, and catching up on sleep. Very relaxing—exactly what a vacation should be—and it feels like it was over in about 5 minutes!!

And I’ve come back resolved to spend more time on things that are important to me (creative projects, fitness) and less on time-sucks (screen time, doing certain inefficient things at work, commuting—I have the option to work at home more and rarely do).

But interesting development in just the week that I was gone... a couple years ago I was nominated—and won—an important prize at work. I was very, very surprised. They’ve revamped the program, and it’s not as exclusive as it used to be (used to be a handful of nominees and a single winner—and single big check! Now many nominees and more winners and much smaller checks....) but I find myself nominated again. Very, very surprised.

And it’s made me think a lot about my relationship with work. Seven years ago I could not have been more miserable in my job. I was working ridiculous hours, because I had ridiculous expectations put on me (and that I put on myself...), I had a boss that I absolutely HATED, I had a lot of family stress, a lot of money stress, and I’ll admit some mostly untreated depression that exacerbated everything.

I took a step back from my job (though stayed at the same company), left the boss (who shortly after got fired!), and got my mental shit together, and my personal shit mostly together (diet, exercise, and time-sucks remain ongoing battles). And life is pretty good—I’m doing well at work, I don’t dread going in every day like I used to (at my absolute lowest point I used to drive to and from work and contemplate driving my car into a certain concrete wall. Not to die necessarily, just to be able to be off work for a few weeks. How sad is that, not only that I thought it, but that I couldn’t recognize what a deep, dark hole I was in). And I’m being considered for promotions and awards for things I couldn’t have imagined back then, too.

I’m not saying that everything is totally hunky-dory—I REALLY needed this recent vacation—but life and work-life balance is mostly pretty good right now. And while I’m still planning my early-ish retirement, it doesn’t feel quite as NECESSARY as it did a while back. Which is good, since I still have my family situation to deal with before I can retire anyway.

Anyway... just feeling good, and relaxed and happy, and not even dreading going back to work tomorrow. Weird!! 😁

IlliniDave
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by IlliniDave » Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:37 am

That all sounds great. One thing that has always sort of set me apart from most of the FIRE crowd is that I've never had other than momentary negative experiences or feelings about work. I've also never self-identified strongly with my profession, employer, etc. I leave work at 500 and rarely think about it again until I walk through the door on my next workday. I've always felt bad when I hear people using terms like "wage slavery" and relating miserable experiences with work. I always describe my yearn for ER as moving towards something rather than moving away from something. I still feel a sense or urgency, but it's easy for me to envision a less urgent scenario if some circumstances (mostly relating to family) were a little different.

Congrats on the recognition from work, and try to hold onto the positive mindset even when things arise that would tend to challenge it.

jennypenny
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by jennypenny » Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:59 pm

I'm glad you had a nice vacation. You sound happy.

I read once that there's an uptick in heart attacks on the Monday people go back to work after a vacation. I guess that feeling of dreading going back to work is more serious than people realize. It's good you've held onto your vacation glow. :)

EdithKeeler
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Post by EdithKeeler » Wed May 16, 2018 10:21 pm

.

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FBeyer
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by FBeyer » Thu May 17, 2018 1:35 am

EdithKeeler wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:51 am
...(at my absolute lowest point I used to drive to and from work and contemplate driving my car into a certain concrete wall. Not to die necessarily, just to be able to be off work for a few weeks. How sad is that, not only that I thought it, but that I couldn’t recognize what a deep, dark hole I was in)...
A friend of mine was trying to figure out how to break his feet with his dumbbells to escape work for a few weeks. I planned something much worse. The way that being overloaded sneaks up on you truly is insidious. Some of the most compelling advice I've heard concerning stress is to work at 70% capacity. Try to figure out how much work you could potentially get done in a week and shoot for 70% of that. That way you'll not only be defensive about your time and obligations, but when shit really, truly, hits the fan, you actually have a reserve for the short while where you are truly needed to expend all your energy.

If you're professional, courteous (and quiet about the 70%) about how you manage your time, your co-workers and bosses might actually respect you more once they know you're planning to produce good work, and to always keep your deadlines. That's someone you can depend on. And when SHTF, you can step in too.

Stahlmann
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Stahlmann » Thu May 17, 2018 8:36 am

IlliniDave wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:37 am
...
I leave work at 500 and rarely think about it again until I walk through the door on my next workday.
...

HOW?!??!?!?!
This can be case for me only on weekends if I don't enter "how shitty decisions I've made in my life"-mode.

IlliniDave
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by IlliniDave » Thu May 17, 2018 12:01 pm

Mostly because what I do at work is not interesting enough to me to compete for time in my thoughts with things that do interest me. I don't let myself take things that happen at work personally, which helps.

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