Thanks for reading! I have felt the same way regarding similar paths. The biggest distinction being you realized early on it was just fine to live an unconventional lifestyle and not give a flying f**k about expectations of others/society. I've taken a much more meandering route to the same realization.
This may be true. You are very correct, I have a pretty damned good life. I think the biggest criticism of myself at this moment is not being able to appreciate it as much as I should. I believe I was relying on this nebulous future of having much more freedom/free-time as a solution for my relative discontentment. Now that it's quickly approaching, I'm realizing it's not going to be a cure-all, so I'm focusing more on the psychological issues (like the recent focus on social-life). There will be more to come on this in future entries.
I agree with almost everything here, except for the too conservative part . You are particularly spot on with the assessment in that I'm at a much higher risk of burning out on nursing than I am of running out of money. Also that its so easy to fund a great lifestyle.
I think the greatest issue I run into is the fear I'll enjoy doing nothing too much, burn through too much capital, and end up cash poor in older age when it's much harder to keep earning. The reality is that if I spend years doing nothing, a requirement to burn through all that capital, I'll likely end up isolated and depressed. Humans need purpose and need to be productive. So maybe if I address some of the issues causing my current discontentment as discussed above, I'll have less fear of falling into the "do nothing trap". At least that's my current theory.
In any event, you make a great point. It will be a huge (or Yuge) mentality shift moving from high SR to low or negative. I should probably find a way to prep myself for that as well. Any suggestions?
The spending is going well, I'm below that number now on 12-mo rolling. Since moving in with the GF, my core living expenses have dropped to about 1K/mo. I still thoroughly waste another 3-400/mo on food upgrades, convenience, and travel though. All my calculations for semi-ERE run a 20k annual spend rate, which is now almost 20% above rolling 12-mo average. I'm not going to mess with any projections until i have a full year of semi-ERE under my belt. Spending reduction seems to be on autopilot for the moment. In August I spent $300 on a pricey weekend getaway for the GF's Bday and still came in at around $1100. Not sure how it keeps going down, but the likelihood I'm overestimating my future expenses continues to rise.
Regarding the car (I know you hate them)... I only drive about 25-50 miles/mo when excluding the miles I have to drive traveling to a new city for work assignment or when I go on leisure related road trips. I really enjoy road trips and car camping, so the car is mainly an entertainment expense. I bought the vehicle 10 years used 3 years ago. I put some sweat equity into it, subsequently got rear-ended by a D-bag driving a huge Tahoe. The insurance payout was more than I had into the car and it's still perfectly drivable, so it's worth way more to me than I could get selling it.
Given my current mobile lifestyle I plan to drive this one into the ground (probably have 40-50K of relatively trouble free miles left), then reevaluate based on life style. If I'm stationary in a big city, I'll likely go car-free, but there is also the possibility that my next vehicle purchase will double as part-time housing as well.
I can virtually guarantee i'll be in NOLO again. I really liked it! Although I bet I wouldn't love the summer heat. When i'm in town I'll definitely hit you up, i'd love a tour by a local.
Curious given your description... are you a Surg Tech? That's what my GF does for a living.