classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

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jennypenny
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by jennypenny »

Congrats! And it's cool your partner is so on board with this.

Jean
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jean »

Congratulations ! Paradox games are awesome if you likes strategy, and i'll be up for a game, if the weather locks you in.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

Wow! Thanks for all the well wishes. I really appreciate all the support this community has given me through the last few years!

The first few days I'm just trying to get shifted back to a normal schedule, I'd been working nights the last five weeks, it usually takes a few days to feel "normal" and alert during the day. The first evening I went for a long bike ride, which is what I normally do after a working a bunch of shifts in a row. I was pleased the the free garden was still producing tomatoes, broccoli, and zucchini, so I harvested a weeks worth. Then I went to the barcade I frequent and made my best attempt to beat an unknown nemesis whose initials are D.A.M.on Dig Dug... failed to get the high score, but took second from him/her. This has been a wind down routine for me lately, so nothing felt different. After I left the barcade the weather got crappy and it started raining. That's when it hit me. I could literally just leave town, tonight, at that moment, and go visit family in Santa Barbara or Texas for a week if I was sick of the weather. I can literally do anything I want! Of course I didn't, but for a fleeting few moments I felt like a little kid who knew he could go to disney world in the morning if so desired. Pretty cool feeling, true freedom. Last night I went out with the GF for the evening, we had a good time. I woke this morning with a lingering dream about having a bad shift at work.

MidsizeLebowski
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by MidsizeLebowski »

Congrats C_L! Looking forward to hearing hoe semi-ere treats you. On the off chance you do end up in Santa Barbara for a bit, I've got lentils on the stove if you're hungry! :lol:

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

@MidsizedLebowski
Becareful who you invite to dinner, someday they may just show up! :o

Update 9/25/2019: 2 Weeks post Semi-ERE
Life has been pretty great the last couple of weeks. I've developed a bit of a daily routine and have tried to build in some positive habits out of the gate, more one that below.

The first week was a bit weird with the GF, particularly the weekend. She was distant and seemed to lack energy. In fairness she was dealing with some work related contract issues for her next contract too. We had a conversation about what I was seeing and it turns out there was a bit of jealousy on her end, but more so concerns about how our daily life was changing. For one, she was worried about getting some alone time for herself now that I didn't disappear to work/sleep mode for days on end. I've tried to be very cognisant of this and make sure I'm out of the house for at least an hour everyday during periods she is not working. Also, I've been doing much more of the shared housework, like cooking, cleaning, errands. This, in concert with her contract issues being resolved, has really seemed to help. She's back to her positive upbeat self again.

As far as her energy level being low, she has always been the one to have more energy for getting away from home and participating in life. So it seemed weird to me that I was much more energetic than her. She brought it to my attention that it was not her who had changed, rather it was me who suddenly had much more vigor to pursue these activities. Point taken, and she's right. I have a ton more energy. Not a ton of social energy yet, as I've mostly been entertaining myself, but definitely more energy to get out of the house and enjoy life. I've been biking daily, gone on a couple of days hikes with friends, had my mom and step dad over for 3 days straight from out of town (very energy intensive :lol:). I've also had more energy for introverted activities, like to pursue deeper trains of thought. Things I used to think about in passing are now developing into deeper personal theories.

I've been sleeping AMAZING. I've always been one to need 8 hours of rest to feel "right", and now I'm getting it, sometimes 9 hours. I really think I've been living in a mostly sleep deprived state for the past 5-6 years since starting nursing. The hours, switching sleep schedule, trying to get things done in the day when I'm working nights, not enough time between shifts, work anxiety, it all adds up. Now I've reached my "normal" sleep times. I usually go to bed around 1-2 AM, wake up with GF at 5-6AM for a few minutes to half hour, then back to sleep until 10-11AM. I can not discount how much this alone has improve my life so far. It's night and day (pun intended)!

My daily routine is basically wake up at 10-11 and have a couple cups of coffee while I read market news, check on here, etc. I began strength training again for the first time in years. So the next step is 15 minutes or so of 2-3 exercises, with 2-3 reps. I'm starting slow to develop the habit of getting this done before I leave the house. After this I generally take a few minutes to clean up the home. Then I'm out the door biking to do some hiking, running errands, hanging out with a friend, library, park, barcade, city garden, whatever. Usually I get home between 6-7, which gives the GF some alone time. Then we hang out, make dinner, occasionally go out to do something together. Once she's asleep I get another 2-4 hours of "me" time to hang out reading, playing video games, thinkin, writing, whatever.

I still have anxiety, but it's mostly from previously feeling like I don't have enough time. I need to realize that I have plenty of time to get things done. Just because I vacuum the living room carpet doesn't mean I need to clean the bathroom. I can do that tomorrow. Just because I'm going to renew my drivers license, doesn't mean I have to do my passport too, I can do that next week. Things like that, get out of the run-run-run mentality. I'm also concerned that so much of my day is being taken with outdoor activities. The weather will soon turn here in Fargo and I haven't thought about what I'll do then. I was also concerned that all this free time will cause me to spend more money on hobbies/entertainment. However, the opposite has been true, at least so far. I've not had that urge, I'm just enjoying free/low cost stuff, spending less on entertainment than I normal would in a similar period.

Boredom, I've had a couple of episodes. Both times, I planned a short road trip for the next few days, got really excited about being free and being able to do it... Then... I wake up the next day and decide not to go. :lol: We do have a big road trip planned from Oct 5- 20th and that seems like enough for now.

Thanks for reading!

2Birds1Stone
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

This post was super interesting, especially since I'll have an almost identical situation of SO who works while I am pulling the plug. Winter also scares me, darkness by 4:30-5 PM can such, especially for those of us with SAD. It's great that you are able to entertain yourself on the cheap, and probably helps that you have friends who are also free during weekdays/daytime to do activities with. I've been trying to convince people to play hooky from work and do shit during the week, but mostly met with strong resistance. Keep us updated on the relationship dynamics of this thing.

Cheepnis
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Cheepnis »

Sleep is so important. I'm lucky that my job meshes nicely with natural sleep cycle because if it didn't I don't know if I could do it. Prioritizing my sleep has been one of the few things I think that's kept me sane throughout some of the tougher times. Good for you for attaining the ability to sleep as your body needs.

And getting out of the run-run-run mentality is something I struggle with. I'm envious of your current position! Sometimes my self selected goals, such as "read a book a week", is just a means to make sure I allocate my time not working around something productive or inline with some preconceived notion of "worthwhile". A goal such as that would be easy and happen naturally if there wasn't 9 hours every weekday that inhibited the activity. I constantly have to remind myself that sometimes just stopping and smelling the roses is a perfectly acceptable form of spending my time, even if I "should" be reading my book. I even stop and smell the roses literally on my bike rides home from work every now and then. This past week in particular has been an instance of a nice and tranquil home life. Workin' on making these stretches longer and longer and the gaps between them shorter and shorter.

Jin+Guice
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jin+Guice »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:13 pm
The first week was a bit weird with the GF, particularly the weekend. She was distant and seemed to lack energy. In fairness she was dealing with some work related contract issues for her next contract too. We had a conversation about what I was seeing and it turns out there was a bit of jealousy on her end, but more so concerns about how our daily life was changing. For one, she was worried about getting some alone time for herself now that I didn't disappear to work/sleep mode for days on end.
This is huge and cannot be overstated.
classical_Liberal wrote:
Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:13 pm
She brought it to my attention that it was not her who had changed, rather it was me who suddenly had much more vigor to pursue these activities.
I'm telling you full-time work is not a way to live! Especially in the medical 12+ hour shift 60+ hour work week medical world. Before I found ERE I was always a bit embarrassed not to be working unless I as "doing something really awesome." Once you allow yourself not to work, you realize how terrible working actually is.



I'm really excited to see how this period unfolds for you.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

@2B1S
All is going really well with GF at this point. The first week seems like a hiccup that we addressed right away. Knock on wood. Just realize that once you quit (if you really do this time :roll: ) you may have to rely on yourself to stay busy. If your fiancee is still working she may not have the energy to partake in all the activities you want to do. I've found it's best to do things the GF otherwise wouldn't be super interested in, but things I really like. I've been trying to save the activities we like to do together for times when she has the time and energy to do them. So she doesn't feel left out. This works well for me since she had more energy than me to begin with, so I kind-of leveled the playing field. Also because I have many interests she has zero to little interest in, so I have plenty of "my own things" to do. This may or may not work for your relationship, just specifics of what is working in my case.

@Cheepnis
Over a year ago 7WB5 commented in my journal about how many of my problems may have been associated with bad sleep. I pondered her commnet and gave some credence to it, but never in million years did I think good sleep would make this much of a difference in my life. I think Brute used to make a similar argument as well. As far as run-run-run, I have to consciously say "no" and it causes anxiety, even a bit of feeling like a loser. Like when my GF asks what i did that day... ummm i'm a loser. Or when I get it in my craw I need to get something done, all of it, NOW. No, I don't!! Chill out c_L! you can wait until you're in the mood to do this type of thing, but the anxiety of procrastination hangs around for awhile. It's a work in progress.

@J+G
What can I say? At this point I'm really wishing I had followed your advice a while ago. At least I'm here now and I have some extra money to boot, so onward.

Jean
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jean »

Try to start some mean of artistically expressing yourself. I suggest B A S S cause you can S L A P it.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Funny suggestion Jean, I just picked up an acoustic guitar last night for the first time in nearly two decades! It's one of my ERE goals to become proficient.

Jean
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jean »

It could be painting or bronze casting, but music is easier to store or move around

horsewoman
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by horsewoman »

Jean wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:48 pm
Try to start some mean of artistically expressing yourself. I suggest B A S S cause you can S L A P it.
this sounds like someone is a davie504 fan ;) If so - OMG!

sorry c_l for the totally unrelated comment that won't make sense to anybody but the fans of a certain youtuber :) Just ignore it! I couldn't resist.

suomalainen
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by suomalainen »

Very impressed with how quickly you and the gf saw the issue, identified the issue, owned your respective emotions, took responsibility for your own contributions and were able to address the issue, in what appears to be a very efficient and mature-like manner. So not at all what happens in my neck of the woods. You should apparently run some couples-therapy workshops in your newly-found spare time.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

Update 10/28/2019
7 Weeks post Semi-ERE

Hello friends, readers, and voyeurs. Since my last update I spent about 3 weeks on a road trip from upper Midwest down through the Eastern slope in Wyoming and Colorado to Albuquerque NM for the balloon fiesta. From there we went west and spent a couple days in Las Vegas, then up the Western slope through Utah. It was a good trip, although we drove too much. I think going forward I’d prefer to spend more time in a single area and see everything around that area vs covering so much distance. We missed the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and Zion due to time constraints (GF had to be back for work). Also a few places in New Mexico I’ve visited before, but she wanted to see. Oh well, live and learn. I’m definitely a slow traveler (no trademark infringement on the forum user intended) at heart when time allows me to be. Here are a few pictures:

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Before leaving on the road trip I had almost a month of “home” time with very few obligations. I managed to get into a very good routine, mentioned in my previous post. Since being back the weather up here has sucked and I’ve not had nearly as much time as I like outdoors, biking etc. NoDak actually got snow while we were gone… Don’t worry, it all melted, but it’s still cold. I’m having a hard time with all this free time and being stuck mostly indoors. I did start playing a couple of video games, which has been nice. I finished one nonfiction and two fiction books. I still have a couple of hours of continuing nursing education to finish up to renew my license and also need to renew my Advanced Cardiac Life support (ACLS) cert to stay current for the, eventual, job. Together though, these are maybe one full day of tasks. Don’t worry! I’ll break them up, I don’t want to overdo it! :lol:

While we were on our road trip the GF got a call from an old contact and was able to upgrade her next assignment, increasing pay about 30% and improving her hours. This is exciting news for her and makes me happy as well, she had a bad “gut” feeling about the gig we thought she was going to have to take upon our return. The relationship is still doing pretty well after the initial rough patch. She remains appreciative about the extra house work and such, it makes her day-today a bit easier as well. The extra time with her and the ability focus a bit more energy into our relationship has me noticing a few things about her, I hadn’t previously. She really needs time with other people, specifically her girlfriends, to be the most happy and energetic. This intern makes life better in the time we spend together. Although I don’t want to interfere in her life and choices, I do want be conscious of making sure she has the ability, time, locations, etc to hang out with her friends. So, maybe a bit of growth in understanding on my part.

Despite increased activity I have not been able to shed any of this extra 20-30lbs of fat that I’ve allowed to build up over the past 4-5 years. I’ve kind-of decided to take a pareto optimized approach to this. I’ve been 10% body fat & six pack before, that takes a great deal of effort in monitoring food intake and specific exercise requirements to maintain. I’d rather just lose the spare tire and maintain relative health, because I’ve been able to maintain that in the past with minimal effort, just doing and eating things I enjoy. Since activity has been up, obviously my problem is eating (although I may have underestimated the cal burn of nursing activities), despite intermittent fasting with one daily meal. I decided to just fast an entire day at a time (48 hours), skipping the meal to try and get rid of the extra weight. I’m doing it in a “lifestyle” manner. Meaning, I fast on days I’m not overly hungry and when it will not interfere socially. The goal is 2-3 fast days per week until I drop 20lbs. Also, I’m not doing them consecutively, don’t want to impact my metabolism with extended fasting. This makes it more challenging than a single, extended fast, since the 24-48 hour range seems to be the most difficult from a hunger standpoint. I guess I’ll just see how it goes. If I can reach my goal, I think this type of behavior is also a great way to keep extra weight off as I age. If I had simply fasted 1-2 days a month over the past 4 years, I probably would never have gained this weight.

Generally, I’m feeling content, not ecstatically happy. I really have no idea when I will touch base with my boss to set up a return to work. Although a bit of boredom (boredom’s not quite the right word, but I’m not sure what to call it, I’m doing things, just not concretely accomplishing anything) is creeping in, anytime I think about a return to FT work I get anxious. I'm certainly not ready. This is where I think a very part time gig, maybe one day a week, when desired, would balance things out a bit. Just to feel like I've accomplished something every week, with all my other misc activities. I have a weeklong trip to visit the GF’s family, and then mine, over Thanksgiving week. I’ve already peripherally researched another short solo trip before that to get into better weather, but I’m not sure if I’m motivated enough for more travel at the moment. I’m still sleeping fantastic, which is awesome.

Unlike others who have shut off the income flow for periods of semi-ERE, still no real concerns about money on my end. My transition fund will last through the end of the year as planned, despite a rather unhealthily high spend rate in October due to vacation and several annual, semi-annual, and nursing maintenance related bills. If I don’t pick up any work, I anticipate having to actually begin withdrawals in January. Since the semi-ERE money has just been sitting there without withdrawals, I actually have quite a bit more money than when I stopped contributing about four months ago.

Jin+Guice
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jin+Guice »

Ah, yes. Welcome to the dark side.
classical_Liberal wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:58 pm
I’m having a hard time with all this free time and being stuck mostly indoors.
This part sucks. The summer is the worst time here and it just ended about a week ago. I'm hoping to have some location independence in my future life, although this is hard with work/ band obligations. Getting so screwed by the weather made me feel weirdly more in-tune with nature. Like I always new the summer sucked, but actually owning my time and having it suck is different than just not being able to go outside on weekends. Let me know if you find a solution to what to do in the awful 6 months of the year.

classical_Liberal wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:58 pm
The extra time with her and the ability focus a bit more energy into our relationship has me noticing a few things about her, I hadn’t previously. She really needs time with other people, specifically her girlfriends, to be the most happy and energetic. This intern makes life better in the time we spend together.
Wow man, you are good at this, like probably only for a dude, but still, wow. I only recently realized that people could be different than me and that I should pay attention to it. I also only recently realized that this was a skill I could work to improve. The best thing I picked up from my recent reading of Scott Adams' book (read kind of at your recommendation) was paying attention to my "energy" levels throughout the day. I thought anything with "energy" in it was hippie bullshit before this, but paying attention to energy levels has helped a lot, especially with all of the free time.

classical_Liberal wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:58 pm
Despite increased activity I have not been able to shed any of this extra 20-30lbs of fat that I’ve allowed to build up over the past 4-5 years
I initially had trouble with this too. My only success has been switching to intermittent fasting and the ability to actually do my exercise routine more with more time off... so not much help from me.

I've been reading C40s journal recently and man, those fucking INTJs! They always know what they want, never seem to waste time and they all seem to control their body weight like they're just turning a knob. OTOH, I really think I'd get bored/ not have enough social interaction without working a little bit, which doesn't seem to be a problem for them. This is an advantage for semi-ERE though.


Re: Money

Do you need to save more money at some point to cover 1) basics and 2) your pre-FIRE spending? If you didn't save another dime, how many years of full-retirement would you have before SS kicks in (I'm assuming with 50% SS you are good at old age)? It seems like it'd be easy to earn just your yearly expenses if you didn't have to save. Although, I do think another advantage of semi-ERE is the ability to start making withdrawals before you totally retire (it seems like most people freak out a little bit when they switch from saving to withdrawing).

Colibri
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Colibri »

Thanks for sharing your experiences classical_Liberal. I really appreciate reading your semi-ERE journal.

I have been semi-ERE for 2 years now with ups and downs. Boredom, lack of motivation and feeling like I am waisting my life have all been on my mind but I also did some very cool stuff that I would never have imagined doing. Sleeping as much as my body feels like is the biggest plus for me, beyond everything else. I can't imagine going back to work full-time, working about 5-10 hours a week is what makes me happy right now. I can see myself fully ERE within 5 years but not sure if this is what I really want.
Keep sharing please, give me the sense that I am not the only weird animal.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:31 pm
Let me know if you find a solution to what to do in the awful 6 months of the year.
It's called snow birding. All the well-to-do retiree's from the midwest do it. It's created an entire market in AZ! I'd just have to do it a bit differently to avoid the rush and cost. I've often thought about spending Nov-April in a lower cost southern area, like the gulf coast, and the rest of the year in MN or eastern Dakota's. Six month lease on each end, coupled with minimalism, makes it completely possible, even reasonably budget friendly. If you stay in the same places each year, it's even possible to build up a good social network in both places. Currently, I lack the will, not the vision :D . It would require a bit of a lifestyle design "buy in" though, and as I consistently state, I have problems making decisions that seem to have a state of permanence attached to them. Even migratory permanence. Your comment does remind me I should go back to considering this. The weather was much less of a hassle when I spent 50 hours each week working.
Jin+Guice wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:31 pm
those fucking INTJs!
I know, right!!

Wrt money. Cfiresim seems to think I have enough for the basics, about $1100/mo, when including half of SS, for the rest of my life. I'll update seriously/specifically on that before I start withdrawing next year. Although I still spend more than that, I know that's more than enough, if that's my goal. Which was not something I believed two years ago, so some progress :roll:. Earning, on average, what I spend for the next 20 years of my life is really the goal of my semi-ERE. Mainly because that leaves me with a lot more lifestyle options open... and I hate permanence... have I mentioned that? I'm just not sure how any of it will go down at this point.

I do know, no matter how much money I have, it will never feel like enough. For me, accumulating money is addictive as fuck, it's like crack when I focus on it. I'm not sure how any legit drawdown will feel, the idea is troublesome. However, so was the idea of not accumulating more before I made the decision to stop.
Colibri wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:26 pm
Keep sharing please, give me the sense that I am not the only weird animal.
We are living the life! It's only weird to those who haven't tried it.

I think your situation with work is ideal in the sense it makes you feel like you're accomplishing something. At the moment I feel adrift (better word than "boredom" used above). Like I'm sailing in the middle of the ocean, working hard to keep the ship going in the right direction, but there are no visible changes on the horizon. Yet internally I know I'm making serious progress.

How's the weather up in the great night north this time of year? How do you deal with it?

2Birds1Stone
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Awesome update, c_L.

It's been fun reading your journal, as you're just a bit ahead of me in the whole "ripping the band-aid off" process. I see a lot of my own concerns being echo'd here, primarily around weather/winter and having so much free time. I've yet to hit a day where I'm bored and have nothing to do, but as the days get shorter, and colder, it's bound to happen.

I'm sure the weight will come off with time. Going from all of the NEAT of nursing to being more sedentary + some exercise like biking probably equaled out. I also noticed myself snacking more because food is only 10' away in my tiny apartment, and I tend to eat out of boredom. Curious how the fasting goes for you, please do keep us posted on that!

Financially I think you're set. Is that $1,100/month figure your highest initial spend with 100% success rate, using 50% of PIA? I should figure that one out too, but pretty sure I'm around $1,300, which is crazy to think about. We never really have to work career jobs again to bridge the gap. I hope you realize how awesome it is that you can go back to work for a short stint and earn some serious coin. I've been scratching my hear trying to figure out what I could do for 20-30 hours a month that would pay even $20+ an hour after taxes. That would be the dream. I could use that to fund the discretionary portion of my spending and use a <3% withdrawal rate for the necessities. Time will tell.

Jin+Guice
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jin+Guice »

The weather shit is serious, I'm surprised they're aren't more people talking about this on here. I give up all hope by the end of September. The gulf coast is what's up in the winter. It still gets cold occasionally but it's kind of fun, especially if you don't have to worry about getting to work. It's not uncommon for 2-3 days around 40 (this is cold af due to the humidity) to be followed by a few days in the mid-70s.

@c_L: Snowbirding is one of the down sides of wanting to be somewhat established somewhere and still have work. It's definitely in my web of goals though.


What I was trying to ask is, at your current spend rate (IIRC, ~18,000/ year?), how many solid years could you take off, assuming 50% SS? This is kind of a tricky question since it will depend on how you estimate investment returns. Interesting to think about, though maybe not if you're prone to over-worrying (I'm prone to coercing the numbers to tell me I should quit earlier).


@2b1s: I spend a lot of time on this problem too. Especially for someone in you or c_L's position, I think it makes more sense to focus on what you might what to do rather than a certain dollar amount. If you need $10k a year and you can do your dream job from home, but it only pays $2/ hour, then you're back to where you started. OTOH, setting the floor at $20/ hour is pretty limiting. In my experience the world of low-impact but kind of o.k. jobs exist largely in the $10-$20/ hour range. Y'all have bought the time to do this very slowly. Take a year or 2 off of work to dick around and travel and decompress, then another year or two to figure out what you like and then another year or two to figure out how to do it. I bet the real challenge will be lasting 6 years without making any money.

FWIW, I've found the cutoff in lifestyle between working around your job and just having work be an annoying errand you do is around 20 hr/ week. I also don't like working less than 8. If I was going for ideal I'd say somewhere around 15 with some weeks having 0 or little and some weeks having almost 30. Sometimes it's nice to take a break from the ennui and just go somewhere and do something immediately gratifying.

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