Too Old To Retire "Young"

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EdithKeeler
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Getting Antsy...

Post by EdithKeeler » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:47 pm

I find myself just now feeling impatient, wishing I had more money socked away. My nut is growing, though more slowly than I'd like, and I've undertaken a couple of financial obligations for my elderly mother (ie, paying for her cleaning lady, a couple of other small things). Work is chugging along, but with a lot of recent changes that I find that I just have no patience for. I'm doing well there--some recent recognition for good work, etc.--but my heart is just not in it, and I'm dragging my butt to work every day. I've started working at home one day a week (other things permitting); the good thing is that my work load is such that the "work at home" day is more about getting housework and other projects done. The bad thing is, those days have been few and far between so far, and aren't doing much to alleviate my underlying... malaise with respect to work.

Thinking about other ways of earning some more money to speed things along a bit, but nothing immediately comes to mind. I write fiction, and I was thinking about putting together an ebook for my previously published short stories and putting on Amazon... but I'm pretty sure that will net me zero money. I may still do it for fun, though. I've thought about doing a non-fiction ebook, but the subjects that interest me seem to have been done to death. I've thought about buying another rental property, but I don't want to tie up that much money in a down payment right now. The businesses I'd be interested in doing are all things that would require me to quite my full time job, and I'm not ready to do that.

Anyway... things aren't going badly; every month the net worth increases, which is good. I'm writing more, which is good. Otherwise I feel bored and stuck. Which is bad.

Some of this may be driven by my best pal who recently retired. I'm just envious. He's doing it on the cheap-cheap; lives in a tiny town in Texas in a paid-for house, and while not super bare bones, his retirement is pretty lean. Of course, he's old enough for social security and will start getting Medicare soon; I know there's no way I can wait that long.

Clearly the only other alternative to speed things up is for me to find a rich sugar daddy...

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Sat Oct 24, 2015 8:19 pm

Updating this only because it's been a while. No, I have not found a rich sugar daddy. Yet.

I just did my monthly financial update and am happy to report that my net worth grew by about $20K this month. So barring some financial tragedy before the end of the month, that seems more than respectable. Wish I could do that every month... This despite having a boatload of expenses here recently, including two long out-of-town business trips where I had to board my dogs for more than a week each time--that was painful. (OK, especially because they have to have playtime, which costs extra, etc). One dog also had surgery and unfortunately had to be put to sleep; this was absolutely heartbreaking, because I lost my constant companion for the last 14 years. Even when you know it's coming it's horrible, and this was unexpected, which was that much worse.

I also ended up buying some new clothes for work--my stuff was starting to look a little shabby, so I did buy some new stuff that I can wear to court and mediations, and some more business casual stuff for the office. Guys have it easy in my office--chinos and company-logo polo shirts; it bugs me that that's the (unspoken) uniform for the guys but the women look "too dressed down" in that (not that I'd wear that anyway). So, it wasn't a fortune, and I look fabulous, but it had an effect on the budget.

I also indulged in some art purchases today at our annual art festival--but money spent on art is not wasted, in my opinion.

I also had a birthday, which is a good time to reflect on how everything's going, where my life is headed, etc. I realized that all things considered, I'm content. Job is actually going OK, and now that I've finally really made peace with the "death of my career," I'm good with it. I've actually stopped obsessing over my "I'm never going to get promoted," "I should be doing better," etc stuff. I'm pretty focused on early semi-retirement in 2019, all things go well and I guess that's become more of a "win" and a goal for me than a corner office in a crappy office park.

I'm also coming off a week "staycation." Because I've done so much business travel lately, I decided to just hang out at home for week and do as I pleased. I gotta say--I LOVED IT. I spent some time with my elderly mom, did a few things for her, cooked (lentil soup!), worked on some house projects and some art projects, read some, slept late, took the dogs to the park.... a small taste of early retirement, and it makes me want more. I don't see myself being bored in retirement, and that's a big shift for me. In my 20's and 30's I was really ready to get back to work at the end of a vacation week; at this moment, with Monday looming, I'm not exactly dreading it, but if you told me I could have another 2 weeks off, I'd take it in a heartbeat.

It's interesting to observe some things during this week off, too. I have occasional anxiety/depression issues--no hint of them this week. I also ate better--and less--and am happy to report that I lost 4 pounds without trying. I did not get as much exercise as I'd intended, but still got more than I usually do, so that's a win. I think when I'm occupied with things that interest me, I'm less likely to stress eat and/or boredom eat.

So, it's all good here in the 'hood. Still rolling along, but I really, really miss my dog Angel. I missed her so much this week I had off; she would have loved that I was home all week with her. Rest in peace, sweet girl. You were--are--much loved.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Oct 25, 2015 10:58 am

Sorry to hear about the loss of your dog. I wouldn't recommend the Sugar Daddy solution unless you can tolerate hearing something like "Hey, baby-doll, would you organize this pile of my insurance paperwork for me?" on a regular basis without eventually having thoughts of performing sudden violent acts upon the speaker. OTOH, the fringe-benefits, not too shabby.

jennypenny
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by jennypenny » Sun Oct 25, 2015 3:00 pm

Happy Birthday!

I'm so sorry about your dog. I have an old one, and my heart clenches every time I think about how little time she has left. She's my constant companion--she follows me around as I clean, sits in the kitchen while I cook, and sleeps under my desk while I work. I'll be so lonely when she's gone.

IlliniDave
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by IlliniDave » Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:01 pm

I put my oldest dog down last summer. I didn't even like him all that much but there is still a bit of emptiness in the house without him around. Time makes it easier. congrats on the otherwise good month. I don't tally monthly anymore, but after a summer of treading water, I think I probably did okay in October too. Getting over the angst about competing/"succeeding" in the office is a big step.

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Carlos
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Carlos » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:10 am

Sorry about losing your dog but I'm glad to hear otherwise you are doing well.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:38 pm

Checking in--it's been a while.

Life in general is chugging along--no great changes, tragedies, etc. I just got back from a short vacation with Mr. On-Again-Off-Again. It was REALLY NICE to go on vacation. I truly relaxed. I realized that I haven't had a REAL vacation in about 5 years--all the time off I've taken has been a few days at home for a Staycation, or time off to go to doctors appointment with my mom or do errands for myself, or a couple of extra days tacked on to a business trip or a few days off here and there for visitors here (which required a lot of prep).

This time I met Mr. O-A-O-A in New Orleans, and we stayed in the French Quarter, ate and drank, saw the sites, experienced the run up to Mardi Gras, and just generally had a very nice time. Two friends commented when I got home that I looked "really relaxed," and you know, I was/am. It was very nice to have time away and not have a single demand or worry. It made me realize that I need to take more vacations--I've really been shorting myself. Not necessarily to far-flung places or anything, but just getting away from the everyday stuff of my job, my house, my pets, my elderly, needy mother, my brother's problems...

I'm also evaluating my relationship with Mr. O-A-O-A. Love him dearly--much more than he loves me--but he's THERE, and I'm HERE, and we seldom see each other. Mostly I'm OK with the long-distance thing, but sometimes I wonder what the point is. We are the very best of friends, and we do love each other, but differently. He's talked about buying a beach house together, but probably not the smartest thing to do... Anyway, I enjoyed the time together so MUCH, it made me realize that I want more of it, and I'm probably not going to get it, and while I don't want to get married or necessarily even live together full time, I think I want more time than I have. Will ever have. With him.

Ok, so that's a lot of stupid relationship drama... On the ERE front, of course my investments are taking a hit, just like everyone else's probably are, but I'm looking at this as a buying opportunity. I've actually been investing more lately in an S&P Index fund, so I'm hoping it will pay off in the long run. Happily my house in Texas is appreciating nicely--apparently my city is pretty "hot" right now, and the values are just going up and up.

Work is still work. Actually sort of languid. Dull, but pays well and I'm trying to remember that it's a means to an end. I have a sneaking suspicion that some significant reorganization may be on the horizon, but I'm not TOO worried about my job. And, if it ends, it ends. I have my Plan B to get me thru to full retirement. I'm feeling more confident that I can make a go of it, if I need to. I'm feeling much more detached from "career" stuff these days, looking at job as a way to get what I want and no more. It's not my life. This is a big change for me.

On the health front: I've lost 20 pounds. I feel REALLY good about this, and I'm making some changes in my life to become healthier and more fit. This is long overdue. I feel like I have some good momentum going.

Finally, today I'm engaging in some decluttering. I just attacked a huge box that's been sitting in my closet since I moved into this house in July 2012. There were three paper boxes in there. All three were boxes that I never unpacked after my PRIOR move, in 2006. I opened them up, and kept about 8 items--all the rest went to Goodwill. I feel lighter. It's a good thing. I feel like I'm making room in my life for new and different things, better things. I hope I'm right.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:35 am

Love him dearly--much more than he loves me
Probably you should stop doing that. IOW, you should stop engaging in any behavior correlated with this sentiment. For instance, if you are always the one to initiate communication and you take that as evidence that you love more then you should stop initiating communication. You don't have to dump the dude outright. Just see where things go if you follow this advice. Raise your standards and lower your expectations and you will be happier.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:35 pm

Probably you should stop doing that. IOW, you should stop engaging in any behavior correlated with this sentiment. For instance, if you are always the one to initiate communication and you take that as evidence that you love more then you should stop initiating communication. You don't have to dump the dude outright. Just see where things go if you follow this advice. Raise your standards and lower your expectations and you will be happier.
I know. That's what I meant by "evaluating the relationship." I'm not really be fair to myself here, and as I said, I'm to the point where I don't see the point. Thinking about new things, doing things differently.

EdithKeeler
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Two Steps Back, on Purpose

Post by EdithKeeler » Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:46 pm

So... I bought a house today. Not a tiny house, but an 1800 SF house. Well, made an offer, which was accepted. I close next month.

I have been trying to do the small(er) house thing. I moved into my cheap little foreclosure house 4 years ago, and I've been trying to make it work. But I just feel like i've not quite moved in. Maybe I'm more of a "stuff" person than I thought--I got rid of a ton of furniture and stuff when I moved out of my old 1700 SF house. I miss it! I'm also tired of barking my shins on the chest in my bedroom, because my 1950's house was not made for a queen bed and every time I walk around the bed, I whack myself.

The new house needs some work, but it was pretty inexpensive. Three bedrooms, two baths. It's actually in very good shape, but it's got the whole original 1970's thing going on. It's also got a partially finished upstairs, with a bedroom and a bath drywalled and piped, with ductwork for the HVAC ready to go. There's also a whole big other space that could be a 5th bedroom or an extra TV room or playroom, but that will be more extensive and likely far in the future, if ever.

Crime's getting worse in my current area, though I am planning to keep this house as rental property. My net rental income from my 2 rentals will technically pay the mortgage on the new place, so that's a plus, though I will have some initial investment in updates, etc.

The location is good relative to my job and to my mother's (I do a lot of stuff for her due to her medical issues, including driving her around) so the locaiton of the new place removes a side of a giant triangle I drive almost every day between her place, my office, and my home. I suspect that she may move in with me in the near future, so that's another reason to have a bigger place.

OK--all that is just me talking myself into thinking I made the right decision! I guess time will tell; I just hope it's as solid a house I think it is and doesn't end up being a money pit. As it is, this house will have SOME impact on my ability to retire early, but I don't think too significant, and really, I'm not planning to stay there forever. (I'm one of those people if I don't move every 5 years or so, I get panicky...). So, it's an asset I can live in for WAY less than I'd pay in rent, and if I get lucky it will appreciate a little.

Another reason to do this, I guess, is psychological. I've had one foot in Texas and with that old relationship since I moved here. This is a more permanent commitment, maybe. Maybe this will move me along a bit. We shall see!

K60
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by K60 » Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:36 am

Congrats! You've been making good decisions all along, so I'm guessing that this will work out for you....

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Sun Jun 12, 2016 10:35 pm

I just realized that I hadn't updated this in a while.... Ended up not buying the house. Too many problems, and the sellers were ASSHOLES about doing repairs or re-negotiating the price. Their loss--the house is still on the market. After I pulled out, my realtor told me they had a back up offer. That fell through, too, and I even went back and made another offer. Sellers wouldn't budge on the price, which is so weird, because it doesn't have a mortgage and is an estate deal--the owner is dead, and the house has been sitting empty now for more than a year. You'd think they'd want to dump it. Anyway, wasn't meant to be. I'm staying in my cheap little house for now and saving my money.

On the health front, I've now lost 40 pounds. I'm doing a really good job--for me--of watching my diet and getting more exercise.

Investments-wise---no complaints. Work has been very hectic lately, and two work friends have announced retirements--early by corporate standards--late 50's. I'm jealous because I would like to do the same, though not quite ready. Oddly, I was nominated for a "best of" department award this year. Three finalists in the whole company, and I'm one. Shocked and surprised, though pleasantly so. A win is accompanied by a significant check, so hoping, but not counting on it.

Relationship-wise--all is well. Long stories there, but no complaints, and some of my misgivings expressed earlier have dissipated.

On the creative front, I've recently completed 4 short stories. That's a crazy burst of inspiration for me, and with some polishing, I'll try to find them a home someplace. But I felt really good when I was reorganizing my office and found several more pieces that I'd like to send off and see if I can get published.

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Dragline
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Dragline » Sun Jun 12, 2016 10:42 pm

That all sounds very good, especially on the health front. Congrats on the short stories.

jennypenny
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by jennypenny » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:17 pm

I'm glad things are going so well. And losing 40 lbs is fantastic, especially while you're still working. Work was deadly for my diet. Everyone was always bringing in junk food or celebrating something. I found it hard to resist.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:26 pm

Isn't it interesting how success in one realm can often lead to further success in other realms? Good on you : )

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:18 pm

Isn't it interesting how success in one realm can often lead to further success in other realms? Good on you
Thanks, all, for your good wishes. Yeah, that's very true--success in one area breeds success in others. Also the root of everything, I think, is getting healthier. Losing weight, eating better food, I'm more alert and energetic, etc. That bleeds over into other areas as well.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by EdithKeeler » Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:07 pm

Pondering careerism this weekend. Just reread Jacob's old blog entries on the subject. http://earlyretirementextreme.com/are-y ... erism.html and http://earlyretirementextreme.com/a-cur ... erism.html

I wrote elsewhere about an award I was up for at work--"the best of--" my job. viewtopic.php?f=24&t=7824&p=119766#p119766 It's a VERY big deal where I work and well... I won. Got a very substantial bonus check, will go on a couple of sweet trips over the next couple of years, a fancy jacket, a trophy, new business cards, a new name plate for my jail cell--I mean cubicle.... It was actually very nice. There was a big banquet, a small celebration when I got home, and then...

...the call I was sort of afraid of / expecting, offering me a move and a promotion to a bigger local office, etc.

I had thought about this before "the win" happened--some planets aligned at just the right time and someone left, freeing up the opening, and I still own my house there, and my tenant's lease is up in August. Seriously, I could just slide right back in with minimal effort.

BUT. I still have my mom and her health problems to deal with--they're not getting any better. My brother has some issues. I sat down and talked with them on Friday, and I realized that I Just. Can't. Do. It. I thought I could convince my mom to move back with me, but she put the brakes on that, and my brother has a bothersome job history, but is now currently in a job that he likes, can do, and they like him there--very important for him.

I could still move. I'm 51 years old, I can make my own choices. But I know I'd worry about them, my mom especially, constantly. I'd worry every time I came to visit it would be the last time I saw her. I'd worry about what crazy crap my brother was up to, and I'd get a million calls from my mom about the weird stuff that he was doing. I know all this would happen, because it happened 4 years ago when I lived away.

I get bored with it, but I'm good at my current job, and I won't lie, it was fun getting the recognition for my good work (and did I mention the big honking check??). It was REALLY nice to get that call, because it sort of vindicates/undoes all the crap that happened 4 years ago to make me leave (office politics--all the old players are gone, and there's a kinder, gentler, new regime).

But I'm not going. Maybe something may come along that I can do differently that I can do from here that won't require a move. But if not, I'll continue as I am. (I could walk away from work tomorrow--I have enough socked away to live a very lean early retirement... but it's leaner than I'd like, and I'd end up being my mom's caregiver a lot more than I am, and I'm simply NOT READY for that). In my current role I have the luxury of a pretty good boss who likes me, a reasonable work load, though not challenging, OK office mates, the ability to work from home sometimes, etc. More than that, I have a decent amount of free time to pursue non-work-related things--lately I've taken up watercolor painting. I suck, but it's fun. I'm thinking about signing up for guitar lessons.

So... I'll continue to float along.

But I'll admit, that "careerism" feels very built in to me. I thought I was over it, but this little episode has made me realize that I'm not. I'm not saying I'm defined by my job... but I will say that I have spent the better part of my life pursuing career ideals: the next bigger better job, the bigger paycheck, thinking a little bit about what I'd do in a corner office (never got there though), and like any habit, it's hard to break. I also blame coming of age in the 80's, the decade of the Yuppie. I still think my natural inclination is more Hippie than Yuppie, but I think I became a careerist because that's what We're Supposed To Do. I know when I finally do quit, I'm going to struggle with that question "What do you do?" and feel a vague sense of embarassment for a while, I suspect, when I say "I'm a writer," or "I'm retired," or "I'm a beachcomber" or "I'm a shitty watercolor painter and an even worse guitarist," but I also think I'll get over it. I hope I do, anyway.

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Ego
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Ego » Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:20 pm

Hey, that's great. Congratulations!

IlliniDave
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by IlliniDave » Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:17 am

I certainly can sympathize with the difficulty when it comes to the pull of family "duty". In my case it is one of the main drivers in my quest to cut my professional career short, being away from family now and wanting to get back closer (for at least part of the year). I don't think I ever felt the career drive quite as deeply (e.g., always avoided a path towards the corner office) but have struggled with the implicit rule/expectation of working hard and having some degree of "success", including financially.

Congrats too on the award/recognition at work. Thursday I found out without warning that I was being moved into a somewhat larger office. It gave me an opportunity to unpack my little collection of work-related souvenirs. In that process I'd noticed it has been about 6 years since I received any sort of recognition, and 8 years since receiving any that was meaningful. I had a slightly melancholy moment as it was a reminder that from a career perspective I'm over the hill and most of the way down the far side.

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Dragline
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Re: Too Old To Retire "Young"

Post by Dragline » Sun Jun 26, 2016 6:01 am

+1 on the award.

Also +1 on the realization that the "more career" path would probably only lead to regret. Maybe there is such a thing as work/life balance . . .

But I am wondering if there are parts of the proposed promotion you could take on (i.e., the ones you might like) without having to move. Maybe there is a counter-proposal to be made. It could easily be sold given your family situation.

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