m741's ERE Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
taemoo
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by taemoo » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:13 am

I'm also planning to quit next year and travel outside of the US. My plans for insurance is Cobra(450/mo) up to 10/1, then 3 months temp insurance until 1/1. When ACA open enrollment comes around in nov, I will get a silver plan. If premium subsidies are still in place, cost will be zero if my projected income is 100-150% fpl.

I will also get travel insurance for the countries I visit minus US. I think you save 50% if you don't include US.

I'm ill prepared on my exit since it's coming sooner than I planned. It's great reading your journal, gives me things to think about

5to9
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by 5to9 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:51 am

m741 wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:28 pm
* I've purchased a number of shirts and small travel gear that was on my list, as I found very good prices.
I may have missed this, but I'm always on the look out for better travel gear, what shirts did you go with?

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m741
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by m741 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:53 pm

@Chris/taemoo - thanks for the primer. I was looking at COBRA, and it's very expensive for me. Good to know that $400/month is a reasonable baseline for health insurance, though. Unfortunately, I will not be out of country for 330 days.

@5to9 - Here's my go-to stuff: I've found that ex officio underwear is most comfortable and dries quickly. It's not flattering but I don't mind that as much. Darn tough socks are high quality, lifetime warranty, comfortable and fit well. On the pricey side but worth it (and American-made). For pants, I've been very impressed with a pair of outlier shorts I ordered (again pricey, but seem durable, are stylish, dry quickly, etc). I don't have a pair of long pants I like. For shirts, I found that Woolly have a good cut for me (slightly broad average-sized dude) and are very comfortable. Also pricey, but I found some half-off on ebay. Unfortunately, I have some moths in my apartment that have taken a liking to them and they've developed holes. I'm also not sure how durable they are. Cedar doesn't seem to be helping, but I'm trying to store in plastic bags. This has been the only drawback to wool that I've seen.

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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by wolf » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:50 am

Hi m741. I have read your journal yesterday from the beginning up to now. It is very inspiring seeing the changes during those last 6-7 years and how you managed them. Thank you for sharing so many stories and details. I always wondered about your backbround, but now I understand it all a lot better.

Traveling is also one of my favoured goals when I am FI. But I am thinking more about keeping a homebase and do 4-6 weeks of travel. You on the other hand plan for a big trip. You don't keep your appartement, do you? How do you want to travel? By car, airplane or van, like C40?

On October 2nd you wrote "Large asset reallocation." What asset allocation do you have in mind? I think, I have read something about the PP.

Ok, not too many questions. :-) Wish you a good travel preparation phase!

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m741
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by m741 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:58 pm

@MDFIRE2024 - Well, I'm flattered! Glad you enjoyed the journal. Frequently it feels like I'm writing the same thing over and over - but right now I don't want to go back and read it all :).

As for travel - the long trip is something I wanted to do for a while now. As you probably read, I did a 3 month trip, 4 years ago. I enjoyed that, but it was purely in the US. Honestly, I'm not sure I'll enjoy it. I learned a lot during those 3 months and I know I'll have to make changes for a longer trip (to have some kind of projects so I don't feel like I'm wasting time). Plus it'll be me and my girlfriend.

I'd love to travel for 4-6 weeks at a time, but there are two problems: my girlfriend will likely return to some kind of job after this trip - she's gonna do some freelancing during some travel, and she might like it, but if not, she'll be unable to travelmore than ~2 weeks at a time. Second, many of my post-FI interests are those that require some level of maintenance: gardening, terrariums, houseplants, maybe aquaculture/permaculture. I haven't bought supplies for many of these things, but I have a cat. I'd also like to own chickens and maybe other productive animals eventually. While it's certainly still possible to travel with these limitations, it's also a lot tougher. These are reasons I didn't plan for annual or twice-yearly month-long trips.

As for asset allocation. I've withdrawn from the stock market a bit, moving more towards bonds. I have also moved into gold (though only a small % of savings) and hold a little more cash now. I've also moved decisively away from individual stocks, and am more interested in 5-6 funds, gold and cash. I will re-evaluate my positions during December to see if I can do any more tax harvesting as I sell off individual stocks.

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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by jennypenny » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:12 pm

Was your trip really 4 years ago?! Time flies ...

Maybe you should stop thinking of this trip as a 'trip' like your other one? It seems fundamentally different to me, more like a gap year of sorts. I know I tend to get hung up on language, but you might adjust better if you looked at it as simply 'traveling' or some other word not so tied to the concept of vacationing.

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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by m741 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:11 am

@jennypenny - Yeah! As I did the math I was shocked. That cross-country trip still feels so recent. And today I got an email that said it was my 4-year anniversary at my current job. It still feels like I just started, as though I spent 3x longer in finance and I'm just starting out here. I'm also approaching my 10-year anniversary of college graduation. Yikes!

I guess 'trip' is the wrong word for what I'm planning. I feel like this is halfway between gap year and a trip... which makes sense since I'm looking at 7 months of travel. On the other hand... it may not even be a 'gap' between two things if I decide not to return to work.

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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by m741 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:45 pm

4.5 months out

Retirement prep/mindset

I went through a super-busy 2 weeks, including travel to visit the gf and her family. Finally, no more travel or big events are scheduled, and I'm looking forward to a very quiet 1-2 months (with probably one trip during Christmas to visit my father).

I'm also taking Thanksgiving week off (I get 2 days holiday, taking 3 days vacation). I don't know if I've ever taken a week off to spend at home. I think I might have had a few days before I started the present job. I'm looking forward to it - like holiday vacations from school when I was a kid! I have a lot of big plans (making several trips to Goodwill and donating a bunch of stuff; studying Spanish and painting a little more rigorously), but I also want to sleep for days.

I guess my takeaway here is that the stressful parts of work, and the long hours, are something I should remember and "appreciate," such as it is, to try to maintain a contrast with hopefully more relaxing times in the future.

I also talked to my accountant, planning out the next year or two of transition. The big thing is that I can do a mega-backdoor Roth... and this is something DIFFERENT from a regular backdoor Roth. I just thought it was a marketing name for the same thing! There's not a lot of big changes. But maybe I'm planning on making notes somewhere public about things I'm aware of when switching jobs.

Stuff to do in the next 2 weeks

* Donate 4 bags of assorted stuff to Goodwill
* Try to hit spending goals for gf's credit card
* Finally determine asset allocation for first year of retirement and move in the right direction
* Figure out mechanics of Mega-Backdoor Roth and what needs to be done over the next 4 months
* Cancel 2-3 recurring expenses (Amazon, Children International)

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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by DutchGirl » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:55 am

Nice to read some updates, m741. I hope your Thanksgiving holiday has gone well? I've also had this week off (accidentily) and I've managed to do something, but not other things, on my to do-list... :-D

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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by m741 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:35 am

3.5 months out

Retirement prep/mindset

I missed the last month's update and it's been a pretty significant one, so I have a lot to talk about in this update.

I gave notice at my job - and will be leaving at the end of March. There were three significant events that determined my quitting timeline: getting bonus/compensation information at the end of 2017, receiving the bonus at the end of January, and a quarter of equity vesting at the end of March. The first event was the one I wanted to wait out before giving my notice, since I can totally understand a manager cutting the bonus for a departing employee. The latter two events determined when my last day would be.

Of course, it's possible that I could have been fired immediately or something, before my bonus was paid, but I had to make a judgment call. My manager and the company in general have always been conscientious and respected me, and I wanted to give my manager plenty of time to plan for my departure. I've been stressed the past month or two, knowing I'm leaving but hearing my manager start thinking about plans for 2018 and beyond. At least I successfully postponed my "career talk" with him until this meeting. :D

The reality is that right now I'm planning for a 1 year "mini-retirement," not a complete retirement. The sabbatical will include seven months of travel, a month of staying with family and going to weddings, and 2-3 months of relocating and settling in on the West Coast - if all goes according to plan. After which, I may return to work - or may not.

If I return to work, I think both companies I've worked for may be willing to re-hire me. I've remained close to 2 former coworkers from the first company, both of whom have moved up the ranks of management, and had an interesting conversation a week ago in which one seemed OK with me working remotely, from the other coast, and even on a part-time basis. I could stay detached from the political BS, work from home and part-time? And the pay is still likely to be good? I can live with that.

Alternately, when I brought up leaving with my current manager I left open the possibility of returning, and he also seemed OK with me working remotely, if circumstances warranted it. And I'd be OK with that as well - this job has been very stressful in the past, but this manager, who took over in April, has been excellent and really improved the situation.

Since I've already put in my notice, I'll go ahead and give some more details about the current job. It's at a large tech company, but the team I'm on does fundraising for nonprofits (as well as some work around volunteering and other charitable stuff). Moving into this space has been eye-opening: both rewarding and stressful. It also means that I felt none of the glee/malice that I've seen from some others who left their job, because I'm pretty sure this team is making the world a better place. Contrast that with my previous employment, where the area I was in was pretty toxic.

Increasingly over the past few months I've felt community- and charity-motivated. I think this is informed by the increasingly ominous political situation here in the US: my perception of thunderclouds on the horizon, and a growing understanding of my own past selfishness, has led me to disengage from wider politics and news, and to narrow my focus and try to select my actions in a way in which I can morally justify myself. And this may inform my decision to return to work: to allow me greater flexibility to support charities, and also to help those I care about in my own life. Not to mention possibly working on a team that does something good.

However, the reality is that putting in my notice has felt like changing gears, and I both immediately felt better about the situation, and it felt more real. 3 months isn't that long to wait anyway - I'm only working for something like 65 more business days.

I also bought a new laptop, which was the last major purchase I had planned before the trip, and the gf and I have been booking AirBnBs/flights for the beginning of the trip and for times when we think it may be difficult to find them cheap in the future (for example, a weekend passing through Venice in June). So it feels like I could pack my bag right now and be ready to walk out the door. That said, I'm going to have to do a lot of paperwork, but the most stressful thing right now is that I still have a ton of crap in the apartment which I *may* use in the next 3 months, so I can't get rid of yet, but which feels increasingly like clutter.

It's been a busy December and will remain so through Christmas, after which I have no travel plans and few other events on the agenda, and so can focus more on practicalities.

Stuff to do in the next 2 weeks
* Yet another round of selling stuff at work. We have three laptops between us to sell right now, and they need to be wiped first, which is never much fun.
* More goodwill donations.
* Apply for international driver's license.
* Finish setting up new laptop.
* Assorted holiday catch-up, travel, etc, which constrains my time.

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Chris
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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by Chris » Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:43 pm

m741 wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:35 am
I gave notice at my job - and will be leaving at the end of March.
Congratulations! You've been doing a lot of prep in the past year, but giving notice is a biggie.

Was your manager the first person outside your inner circle (including this forum :D ) that you told about your plan? What was the reaction like? At a big tech company, in this job market, they see turnover on a regular basis, but it's probably rare to have people leave without plans to go to a startup or competitor.

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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by m741 » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:52 am

@Chris - essentially all my friends and my gf's friends knew (not about retirement, but about travel plans, which aren't that far outside the norm in NYC - people seem a tiny bit jealous but have heard of others doing things like this as well).

The reaction from my boss was very supportive, as I expected. We'd had 4 people leave the team in the past 2 years. Two were internal transfers and two basically did what I've said I'm doing: long-term travel. One of those may even read the forums or MMM for all I know, the other was just traveling for some time. So it wasn't unexpected.

I think this particular team, doing nonprofit work, attracted people who weren't interested in normal corporate things, and as such there's been a tendency to leave for reasons besides a better job.

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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by m741 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:23 pm

3 months out

Retirement prep/mindset

I haven't been too busy since the last update - lots of travel and holiday stuff, and my focus has been on starting my 2018 resolutions off strong. But, I really feel like my mindset has changed. I'm very much in the final stretch. I think it's been a combination of giving notice, which I mentioned before, the turn of the year which puts it at less than 3 calendar months, and making it through the holidays. It's now under 60 working days, and just 12 weekends, before I quit. And a week after that, travel starts. I had been accumulating red bull cans on my desk at work (drinking a red bull each morning rather than a coffee), and had accumulated 70 of the things. Christmas week was deserted in the office, so it was a chance to count and organize them. They're physical markers of the time until I quit... I'm recycling one each day until I leave.

It's still a little bit of a dead zone here, I'm not panicking just yet, and can't make some of the big moves I'll have to, such as selling furniture, so there's a strange mix of urgency and feeling like there's not a lot to do. But... there is. My to do list is long, it just isn't *urgent.* The gf and I are spending more time with friends, all of whom know we're leaving for travel, and we're finishing up rounds of travel planning and so forth. It's exciting to actually talk about the travel stuff, it comes up in conversation when we meet up with friends, or with friends-of-friends.

The gf hasn't given notice at her job yet - she has some travel to do towards the end of January. I think that week is when I'm gonna do an aggressive purge of things I hadn't been able to get rid of earlier. Stuff like small appliances that I'm simply unlikely to use in the next three months can go.

Financially, things are going well. I feel like I'm buying a lot in preparation for the trip (laptop and camera are the two big things). I don't like that at the same time as downsizing, but I'm finishing up electronic purchases and then all that will be left are a few clothing items. At the same time, I'm saving a ton of money, and will see numbers jump once more when bonus payments and other stuff come in this month or early next month.

There's not a lot else to say. I expect that beginning in February I'll have moved into a new phase that's more action-oriented, but until then I'm just quietly knocking off to-do list items and starting my 2018 resolutions.

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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by DutchGirl » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:30 pm

Good luck with your to-do-list. You're now down to 50 work days or so? Pretty cool prospect!

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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by m741 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:25 pm

2.5 months out

I'm leaving really soon! Less than 50 working days at this point. I'm actually in a pretty good mood, in spite of impending work.

In the past 2-3 months I've really started to take advantage of some of the perks at work (there's an onsite gym with fitness classes during the day) and developed a good rhythm. I wish I'd done this years ago - the classes help take care of the midday slump and I'm very unlikely to skip them; I also meditate during the day with a notepad in front of me, and anytime something that I have to do surfaces I write it down. I'm at that point in my cycle of moods where I'm pretty optimistic and productive. I do want to leave this job on a high note, not slacking off for a few months (so I can look back proudly, and so that if I do want to return the doors are wide open). So I have some relatively clear goals and I'm still working hard to accomplish them. ~3 weeks back I was in a sort of holiday funk.

I also have a lot of stuff to do in order to prep for the trip, leaving the company, and then my plan to move after returning from the trip. That's still very much surmountable right now, and I'm trying to be diligent to avoid a time crunch in a few months. One interesting stat is that I have 300 tracked items that I've sold or donated (books, movies, electronics, etc). Some of those "items" are entire bags of clothes. And there's probably 200 books that I didn't even track when donating. And yet, the apartment still feels pretty full of stuff!

I guess the other good thing is that I'm seeing more of friends. I've generally been more on the "let other people schedule things" side of the fence when it comes to friends, but the gf and I have been scheduling more get-togethers and it's nice to see people a bit more frequently than before.

I'm also spending a bit more time on hobbies, particularly those that I want to have a running start on when I start traveling. Right now, that's drawing and painting (simple watercolor stuff), which I'd like to do as a way of commemorating the trip.

In terms of finances, it's pretty smooth sailing right now. I'm maxing out 401k, etc, so that I can get the full company match in the 3 months of the year that I'm there. When I have a little more time I'll detail how I went about calculating that out, and what the implications are.

I'm not gonna list my TODOs over the next two weeks here, they're pretty mundane. But I've found that the Todoist app is a great tool (I'm sure there are plenty like it). I can easily schedule TODOs and see a summary of what I have scheduled for a given day. That's keeping me sane as I work through all the paperwork right now.

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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by taemoo » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:58 am

Less than 50 days! That's exciting, congratulations! I'm about 10 months out but feels really long.

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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by m741 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:07 pm

2 months out

Now it's 38 working days until I leave, and 50-odd days total.

That feels really close, and now I'm starting to panic (just a little). It's time to address things that I've put off which will take indeterminate time (taxes, getting International Driver's Permit, etc).

To top it off, I've been enjoying work. To some extent, the fact that everyone knows I'm leaving has taken some of the pressure off: I have an excuse not to work needlessly late. My coworkers are almost all reasonable people and I don't think anyone would really fault me for slacking off. But I'm actually in a pretty productive spike.

I've figured out a very good long- and short-term goal tracking system for my personal life, over the past year: one that's made me notably more productive. And I started to apply that at work. There's two things I want to make sure of at work: that I don't go out feeling like I didn't actually try, and that I make the most of this opportunity. And over the past week especially I've felt that way. One of my managers has a very difficult family situation, and I was chatting with her the other day and she said "How lucky that work feels like a vacation to me." I really took that to heart. This is a very good corporate gig, all things told. I also put in my time, was diligent, but at the same time I never really pushed myself or tried to extract what I could from it. It was, after all, an opportunity to learn and practice things for 8 hours a day.

I've come to realize that setting such extensive, long-term plans before leaving was a very bad idea. And maybe I'd caution other people who have 5+ years left before hitting FI, to avoid planning in too much depth. For at least a year, maybe more, I really didn't seize opportunities that I could have.

I'm also thinking more seriously of returning to the same company, on the west coast, after my trip. Two levels of management are very supportive, and although I've only been in the corporate world for 10 years I know that the company, team, and people that I've begun to connect with present a rare opportunity. We'll see if I have the same mindset after my trip. Maybe I'll have a revelation in southern Spain or on top of a mountain in New Zealand. :)

Anyway, I also developed a very comfortable, productive work routine. Leaving aside the todo and goal stuff: I stopped snacking, and eat just one meal, a salad, on most days. Almost every day I go to the gym at work, where I take a boxing or plyometrics class. I also meditate for 20 minutes every day, keeping a notepad in front of me in case any tasks or ideas (personal or professional) surface. I drink more water and in addition to the meditation I've set aside 10 minutes before heading home to reflect on work at the end of every day: what excites me, what could I do better, what did I learn, or what do I want to learn?

I guess I've been thinking a bit more longer term. And I still feel untethered, not incredibly passionate about something. But in retirement, I'd like to either (A) be a truly effective participant at some nonprofit, or (B) run my own company. And I've not really squeezed all the juice out of the fruit at my current job.

And that's pretty much it. I'll focus more on the travel plans at some point soon... maybe after the trip starts :)

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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by wolf » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:02 am

m741 wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:07 pm
I've come to realize that setting such extensive, long-term plans before leaving was a very bad idea. And maybe I'd caution other people who have 5+ years left before hitting FI, to avoid planning in too much depth. For at least a year, maybe more, I really didn't seize opportunities that I could have.
What do you mean by that exactly? I am such a guy who has 5+ years left. With long-term plans, do you mean your long-term TRAVEL plans? I am interested in understanding your thoughts because I guess there are maybe some valuable lessons to share. Do you recommend not to do any (fixed) long-term plans? Maybe keeping the flexibility longer would be better. Unexpected opportunities arise, that cannot be seized if there is a fixed plan. Was that the case for you? If yes, can you give an example?
Right now I have already thought about some possible plans after hitting FI but haven't decided yet. Maybe it is better to make the decision shortly (a few months) before FI. If you can share your thoughts and describe it a bit more, I'd really appreciate it.

BTW congratulations to your FI-phase and thank you for writing your journal about it. I follow it with great interest! Take care m741.

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Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by m741 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:46 pm

@wolf - To address your specific concerns: I am not talking about travel or post-FI plans, exactly, but rather the impact of setting an end date, the unreliability of that end date, and using its existence to justify nor pushing yourself or changing living situations.

Here's some more detail and a recap of my situation:

I found out about ERE about 8 or 9 years ago. It immediately clicked with me. I started keeping records, cutting expenses, and so on. I saved up maybe 1/4 or 1/3 of my (cautious) ERE number. Then my mother passed away and I roughly doubled my savings from the inheritance; it made me re-examine my life and I also decided that I wanted a more meaningful job. About 4 and a half years ago I switched companies, knowing that FI would be coming soon.

Now I was at a new company: a very good, highly respected company. I'd always been diligent in work, continued to work hard. Within a year after starting I *could* have retired at my current expenses. But I wanted a more comfortable, less risky, retirement.

Here's where things went a little off the rails for me. Although the company was great, I wasn't that happy on my team. About 3 years ago, I switched teams, to one that had awesome goals but which was very poorly run. I didn't know that beforehand, because I didn't do as much research as I should have. I wasn't too concerned, because I knew I'd retire "soon". I got stuck in a trap: I didn't want to leave the team (because I believed in the mission, and it would be shitty to leave within a year). I didn't have much opportunity for advancement (constant hierarchy-shuffling, small team). Despite that, I would likely get a promotion due to seniority (but no additional responsibility). Most of all, I figured I'd be leaving soon. The last thing I wanted was to switch teams, waste people's time, and then leave. This was in late 2015. I set plans with the gf to quit and at least travel, in mid-2017.

So I sort of coasted. Still worked hard where necessary, but stopped learning or innovating. Got the seniority promotion but didn't take advantage of many opportunities. Networking wouldn't matter (I wouldn't be working to take advantage of it...). Picking up new software development skills would be a waste. After all, I'd be leaving the company and many technologies in a large company do not transfer out. Or maybe after traveling I'd leave the field entirely, or actually retire! Most of all I think I didn't want to waste people's time - guilt has always been a big driver of my behavior. For someone else it might be laziness.

Then in late 2016 the gf found out she had more student debt than expected (due to a complicated family situation I won't get into). We were planning on traveling within 8-9 months. I wanted to help out, and had the resources to if I went back to work for a bit, but I thought it would be super weird to just buy out the debt or something. And I think she would have felt weird as well. We postponed the travel plans until sometime in 2018 so she could get the situation under control. Now I had been 'coasting' for a year and had another ~18+ months to go.

18 months is a while. But I also didn't have the energy or desire to switch teams for just 18 months (or even less). It was basically a reset. I promised it wouldn't happen again. But still the situation felt the same as the end of 2015: why learn, why network, etc? I basically rode it out since then.

----

That's the summary.

1. If you are a high-income earner, or become one (as I was), you are going to approach FI rapidly. It will be difficult to adjust when you hit that crossover point. You can add substantial buffer as a high-income earner by working another year or two, or three or four. Read bloggers or listen to podcasters, this is "one more year syndrome." This applies even if you don't grow, get promoted again, etc, because your income is already high.
2. Think carefully about your mindset currently, and in the future. At what point do you think it makes less sense to invest in your career and career skills, to move for a new job or to transfer teams/companies? It's probably different for everyone. 1-2 years made sense for me. That's reasonable... but now what happens if you're delayed (family event, illness, accident, layoff, lawsuit, etc)? Those 1-2 years may turn into 3-4. Maybe your number was 3-4 to begin with, or you're delayed for longer... and now you've been in a holding pattern for a painful amount of time. So for you, wolf, at 5 years: What if I told you now that something will happen and you'll work for 8? Would you change things?
3. You may hate your current job, think you'll get sick of it, etc. It's probably one reason why you want to retire/hit FI. But you're going to be doing it for ~5 years or more, right? If you have strictish plans in that time range, yes: you're not gonna switch careers, even though it might make sense to do so and push your schedule back a couple years! You may also find yourself in the opposite situation: growing to like the job more, or aspects of it, and seeing opportunities open up in your "retirement" to work more on your own terms (part time, remotely, for a nonprofit, etc). But if you only see those opportunities 3 months or 6 months or even a year out, you may have wasted 2-4 years that you could have pushed yourself.

I'll also point out that although this sounds sad or gloomy, I generally made the right decisions in hindsight! The new company was definitely the right move. The new team, though initially crappy, finally righted itself (with some help from me, and a lot of luck). I ended up working longer due to the gf situation, but that meant I got to see the team go on the right track, as well as meet some new co-workers who are both good connections and who believe in me (oh yeah, and add even more buffer to savings).

What I wonder now was where I'd be if I applied myself and basically set my sights and built my career as though I was gonna be working for 20 years rather than 2... and then just bailed after 2 years.

wolf
Posts: 721
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: m741's ERE Journal

Post by wolf » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:20 am

First of all, thank you m741 for this detailed answer and really insightful explanation of your thoughts. I had to read it twice in order to understand the full depth and meaning of it. And I will definitely re-read it in a couple of months and years in order to remind me of it.

I think, that your experience is indeed a valuable lesson for workers / salary men / business men, who are aspiring specifically FI and RE and have that kind of mindset. So it is a good valuable lesson for me as well, because I try to transition my mindset from FIRE in the future to ERE-principles, -strategy and -lifestyle in the presence. Somehow I feel like your experiences should be shared with other FIRE-seeking people on this forum. Maybe there is another thread, where it is possible to link a reference to it. Only if you like to, of course.

I don't want to comment everything what you wrote, because it shouldn't be about my opinion or judgement. But I will answer toward the one question you addressed at me directly.
m741 wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:46 pm
So for you, wolf, at 5 years: What if I told you now that something will happen and you'll work for 8? Would you change things?
That is indeed a good question! It challenges me to think about my current situation with work and my future plans with it. Regarding my ex-username (MDFIRE2024) I started this journey with the specific goal to be FI and RE in 2024. And that lead me to think only about that specific time frame till 2024, for the next 7 seven years (starting 20117). That focused my thoughts only on those years. To be honest, I lost the context of my life a bit. But now I am trying to change. These days I try to change my lifestyle more into a sustainable kind of way, which can lasts (hopefully) decades. (as I pointed out in my journal posts). Luckily I have done many things in order to improve my satisfaction with my current work ("Job Crafting"). Therefore I'm satisfied with my work situation. So, I question myself: "If I would have to work for more than 10 years within my current work place/situation/area..., will I be ok with that? Or would I change something? Is my work situation sustainable, or not?" Currently I have clear answers to those questions. Yes, I will be ok if I had to work for more than 10 years in that specific job role at that company. Yes, my work situation is sustainable. Maybe I would change slightly some things, but overall I am ok with it. Those are also the answers onto your questions. But your questions definitely made me think about it again. And that is something, others should do also, if they have +5 years left until FI/RE. About similiar things I have also written about in my last journal post. Link Funny, that this happend coincidentally almost at the same time. Again, thank you for writing about it in that level of detail! I really apreciate it.

And I am also glad for you, that everything at work developed great and that you feel and believe that you made the right decisions in hindsight.

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