Gus' road to retirement

Where are you and where are you going?
Augustus
Posts: 903
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:25 am
Yeah, it's true. Before we moved to a LCOL area, my wife and I were perfectly happy in a rented 1 bedroom condo in a HCOL area. Moving to a LCOL area let us get a full detached house for roughly half the cost of the HCOL 1 bedroom condo. We lived in the LCOL area for 4 years or so and got used to having a detached house. Now we're doing that in reverse, which is much less fun :lol: Inertia I suppose.

I'm feeling pretty positive about going back to a condo, and even more positive about buying. I really dislike that I'm paying top dollar at what I think is market peak, but it'll give me a lot of peace of mind. Moving with kids is a pain in the ass because of the logistics involved, all the preschools here have 6 month waiting lists, and when my daughter gets in public school I want her to be with the same set of kids throughout, my parents moved me around a lot and it sucked because you're always starting at the bottom of the pecking order every time you move. The housing problem gets further compounded by the fact that there aren't very many rentals in the area I want to move to, for months there were none, right now there are two, but moving now would entail a 40 minute drive each way to the current preschool, due to the 6 month waiting list... yay family! We were also forced to move 2 times in the past when we rented because the owner sold the rental we were in, and factor in the kid logistics above, and that just sounds like a cluster. So buy it is I think, even at an overpriced valuation.

Anyways, I would really have liked to get a house, I think it has to do with the kid/family thing mostly, I want the best for them, you want to give your kid at least the level of what you grew up with and had previously (which we've had for the last 4 years). But right now I think best means stability, and the condo is stability and less stress in a good school system with good neighbors, and that sounds fantastic to me.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

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Augustus
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Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus »

This year has been a complete surprise for me. It started off with me thinking I understood the world and my place in it as I had for several years now, and it's ending with me questioning the purpose of my life. I had unexpected peaks of happiness where I felt more alive, and happier, than I had in years, and deep deep depressions that I am still trying to surface from.

Random thoughts connected to these themes:
- My daughter is super adorable right now, she puts on these puppet shows in her room, sets up a row of seating and makes me sit there and watch them along with a rapt audience of her dolls who are all dressed for the occasion, and I love every second of it, but it's also bittersweet to me now because every year that she gets older I feel like I'll be declining a little bit more, I wonder if my parents had the same thoughts while watching me grow?
- I watched Stranger Things season 3 and this speech at the end struck a chord:
But I know you're getting older, growing, changing. And I guess... if i'm being really honest, that's what scares me. I don't want things to change. So I think maybe that's why I came here, to try to maybe... stop that change. To turn back the clock. To make things go back to how they were.

But I know that's naive. It's just... not how life works. It's moving. Always moving whether you like it or not. And yeah, sometimes it's painful. Sometimes it's sad and sometimes it's surprising. Happy.

... and when life hurts you - because it will - remember the hurt. The hurt is good. ...
I'm not sure that I agree with the last sentence. Is the hurt good? Or does it just suck but you just have to deal with it. The speech resonates a lot with me right now though. I want to stop the clock and stop the change, and I've been feeling way too much hurt this year.
- Physical decline has been on my mind a lot. Am I just going to decline from here on out? I'm 34. I'm in near the best physical condition I've been in since my teenage years, and I exercise about 5 days a week, and I eat pretty healthy 90% of the time, but age is age and there's no stopping it. I went to the dentist and found out prior dentist botched a procedure, and now the guy says I'll probably only have one of my molars for a few more years until it needs to be extracted. It may not sound like a big deal, but it feels like a turning point to me. Does this mean that from here on out the name of the game is trying to decline as slowly as possible? But declining nonetheless.
- Is this my peak? By which I mean, have I discovered all I'm going to discover? Is the growth phase of my life over? Is life from here on out just doing the same things I'm already doing, and enjoying it as much as I can, until eventually death comes for me too? It feels like a lot of the mystery is gone from life now. It feels like the newness is gone. I went out and blazed a path through the world and it was fun, and now I know what is out there, the rest of my moments are going to be akin to listening to music I've heard a thousand times before.
- I don't subscribe to a religion, so all I have is irritation and angst about these ideas. I don't want to get old and die, and I don't want the clock to keep ticking but there's nothing I can do about it.

Anyways, just thoughts. I know that there are still lots of things to discover, and clearly I haven't discovered everything, or this year would not have been such a shock to me. But these are the thoughts I've been wrestling with.

A more positive quote I enjoyed recently was:
While our thinking colors all our experience, more often than not our thoughts tend to be less than completely accurate. Usually they are merely uninformed private opinions, reactions and prejudices based on limited knowledge and influenced primarily by our past conditioning. All the same, when not recognized as such and named, our thinking can prevent us from seeing clearly in the present moment.
That quote is 100% accurate I think, I'm reacting based on recent events, I have limited knowledge, and my brain is trying to puzzle it out. Still, even though you can abstractly realize you're not thinking accurately, it doesn't magic those thoughts away.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

If 99942 Apophis is Earthbound would helping to devise a nuclear deflection or some other species-saving effort be considered as something new in life?

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

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by classical_Liberal »

I think slow decline and eventual death, from an individual perspective, is a gift. Coming to the realization you speak of can be used for great things. Just think about it, you HAVE to take advantage of what you have TODAY.

I don't know the life you've lived to this point, but even if you've managed to experience everything the world has to offer (which I obviously highly doubt), even repeating the same things, at a different phases of life, makes it an entirely new experience. On my last road trip we stayed a night at the Great Sand Dunes National Park. It wasn't my first time. I went on a hike alone and relived going to this park as a young child with my parents, old, faint memories. Then again in my Early 20's when I finally felt like an independent adult. Then again with a GF in my early 30's, just after I quit banking and decided suburban, middle-class, family life wasn't for me. Now, again, right after semi-ERE. Strange, I never planned this as some kind of ritual, yet it seems like for some reason I alway end up there at a change point in my life. After that hike I felt like I was cleansed, ready for the next phase. It's different each time.

Augustus
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Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:12 pm
That's a good perspective on it @C_L. I haven't been this angsty and down since I was a teenager. It's irritating to me to have these thoughts at all, as my default state has been overly optimistic and happy for so long. Things are changing though, had another death happen with someone I grew up with. You become what you think about, and even though it's callous, I think I have to stop even thinking about this stuff, and focus more on how to squeeze the most out of life instead.

Augustus
Posts: 903
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus »

What a year! I learned that the maslow hierarchy of needs is real.
Image
After sitting comfortably on self actualization level of the pyramid for a while, the fates placed some dynamite at the safety and security and love and belonging levels of my pyramid in 2019, and it all came crumbling down.

I think I'm finally out of the depression, feeling pretty good and not anxious for the past few weeks. It's like my old self came back to life. It really came down to focus. Whatever you focus on is how you're going to feel, IOTW you become what you think about. Best friend dying, my parents are aging and going to die, recognizing my own decay and mortality, etc all suck. But there's plenty of good stuff going on too, I love my family, I have a great life, it's really beautiful in SoCal, palm trees are still blowing outside my window. The cure to my depression was simply to shift focus, stop thinking about the bad stuff. You can learn from depressing things, but it's the same old story of diminishing returns. After a while you're not learning anything new anymore, you're just opting to be miserable, which is stupid. Simple solution, difficult to implement, hard to break habits of thought.

We decided to buy a house in SoCal, breaking all of the commandments of FIRE. We are heathens. But I'm happy because I think it's going to give my kid the kind of life I want for her. I'll also be able to get my hot tub and fancy soaking bathtub. The rub is I'll need to work about 6 months a year for the next 10 years to pay it off in 10 years. From a financial perspective it's insane, from a family perspective it makes perfect sense, wife is happy, kid will go into a good school in a good neighborhood in September. I'm still trying to decide if I work more and save up for the third rental property. The planner in me says I'll need the extra 1000/mo in my old age. The part of me that realizes that life is short says screw that, you might not be alive in a year. I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

Which brings me to another idea I stumbled upon, planning for more than a year is kind of stupid. It's worth doing, but you should be aware that it's inherently inaccurate, wildly inaccurate, so don't pin too much of your self worth on it. I'm making sure my long term situation is solid according to the plan, but I've realized I need to enjoy life TODAY, and that things will change and there's nothing I can do about it.

Net worth is doing great due to the bull market that wont die. Last I calculated I'm somewhere in the 750k NW range. Yay me! But "happy wife happy life" means I can't retire for at least another decade. Working 50% of the time is good enough for me. Every so often I mention to my wife that we could retire TODAY if we just picked a LCOL to live. Oh well.

I signed up for a sailing class, always wanted to do that, and gives me a chance to form new friendships. It's funny because I now judge potential friends on their health, always wondering, are they going to die on me too?! The planner in me says I need to distribute my risks among a few different friends and they all need to be healthy :lol:

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

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by classical_Liberal »

A bit morbid on the friend selection angle, but otherwise a great update. :D

I'm glad you made the decision to get out of your funk and buy the house. It seems like that's really what you wanted to do. I like your attitude about trying to plan too far, I think @BSOG had come to the same conclusion last year. I tend to feel the same way, but my actions don't always reflect it. It seems I oscillate between analysis paralysis and then overcommitment. It takes me forever to make a big commitment because I don't wanna F-up for future me, yet when I finally make a decision I overwork towards it, even if it's not panning out right. I refuse to take the outs when they are available. It's weird, but you seem to have a similar mentality. Learning that most decisions tend to have a nonpermance to them is important. Afterall, if you change your mind in a few years and wanna LCOL retire, it's not like you can't.

Happy 2020!

fingeek
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Location: South Wales

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by fingeek »

Augustus wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:56 pm
I think I'm finally out of the depression, feeling pretty good and not anxious for the past few weeks. It's like my old self came back to life. It really came down to focus. Whatever you focus on is how you're going to feel, IOTW you become what you think about. Best friend dying, my parents are aging and going to die, recognizing my own decay and mortality, etc all suck. But there's plenty of good stuff going on too, I love my family, I have a great life, it's really beautiful in SoCal, palm trees are still blowing outside my window. The cure to my depression was simply to shift focus, stop thinking about the bad stuff. You can learn from depressing things, but it's the same old story of diminishing returns. After a while you're not learning anything new anymore, you're just opting to be miserable, which is stupid. Simple solution, difficult to implement, hard to break habits of thought.
Glad to hear. And thanks for sharing this too, it resonates well and is pretty helpful indeed to take on this viewpoint. One thing that does, however, really help me is my daily journal in which I record at least one person I'm grateful for.

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