Early Retirement – “Miss” & “Won’t Miss” Lists

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I’ve got more than 4 months to go, but I thought I would share the two lists I’ve started about the things I will and won’t miss about working.  So far, I have more on the “won’t miss” list, but I think you will see that they things on the “will miss” list are pretty rich and meaningful:

WON’T MISS:

  • Monthly budget meetings / sales forecasts / profit estimates
  • Writing performance reviews / leading development plan discussions
  • Getting annual performance reviews / development plan discussions
  • Meetings where people cover the same info covered in another meeting
  • Conference/video meeting where technology that doesn’t work
  • Travel freezes when you are in the middle of a project
  • Not being able to backfill roles on your team when people leave
  • MegaCorp culture where everyone feels they need permission to do anything
  • Headcount / corporate layoff planning – (just finished a round of that)
  • Early morning or late at night conferences with international subsidiaries
  • Catching emails & calls during vacations, days off, or family time
  • Drinking more caffeine than I need – to stay away in afternoon

WILL MISS:

  • Going out to lunch with team mates – we do this a lot
  • Catching up with people about their weekend / travel plans
  • Working with young people joining the company
  • Giving presentations to groups that make me feel “important”
  • Meeting people with different backgrounds; from around the world
  • Tacking vacation days onto International business trips

In some ways, I view the work equation as trying to find a balance between two things that seem to be at odds with each other: [ MONEY + STATUS ] versus [ TIME + INDEPENDENCE ]

Some people find the TIME + INDEPENDENCE in their work – self-employed, working on a true passion, or able to work remotely instead of going to the office everyday.  At MegaCorp, my role has none of these right now.

But since we’ve earned a good deal of MONEY and achieved financial independence, I feel like I only have the STATUS aspect of my job to replace.  It is a real benefit.  I’ve done well in my career and people are often interested in what I do.  I enjoy talking about big business, global trips, and marketing razz-ma-tazz.  I have a good-sized team that (I think) respects my leadership and that makes me feel important.  So that would be a loss.

At the same time, I will continue to be involved in corporate & non-profit board work, where I have “part time” STATUS advising & giving input to the strategic plans of significant organizations.  I enjoy that work a great deal because I am retained for my expertise and regularly see the inside of board rooms.  Additionally, I also believe I will have achieved a degree of status by saying officially retired while still in my forties (by a few weeks).  Isn’t having complete TIME + INDEPENDENCE truly the ultimate luxury, anyway?      

The friendships you make at work are the thing that you cannot easily fit into the equation of leaving the workplace.  I will need to be better about keeping up with people than I have in the past, or find new social structures to get involved in where I can meet new friends.  Money, time, independence and status are all pretty worthless without anyone to share them with.  It’s a challenge all of us will face when we make the “leap”  – regardless of age when we do it.

What’s on your “Miss” and “Won’t Miss” lists?

Image Credit: Pixabay

5 thoughts on “Early Retirement – “Miss” & “Won’t Miss” Lists

  1. Those are great lists that are pretty close to what we’d say. We’ll miss the travel perks, too — nicer hotels than we’d pay for on our own dime, fancy elite airline status, that kind of thing. We’ll miss plenty of our colleagues and those friendships, and I won’t lie — I’ll miss feeling important and valued and smart! Still figuring out how to replace that feeling!

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      • Let us know what you learn, please! I know United lets you buy priority access, too, but that’s so insulting after all these years of 1K/diamond. 🙂 Hoping I can make it to million miler before pulling the plug (not likely, though), so get gold status for life. We’ll see!

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  2. I was surprised at how much I missed the people. I got a lot of personal validation from daily conversations as well as great idea builds, devil’s advocate challenges, a lot of mental stimulation, and even just sometimes a “shoulder to cry on”. Finding ways to replace a lot of that has been an ongoing challenge, especially being an introvert. In fact, my next blog captures this exact element of my life plan – serendipity?

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    • Yes – I write about introverts & extroverts in retirement once. It’s supposed to be easier as an introvert, but we all have a need to be heard. I’m hoping not to be that guy who chats up the coffee shop barista daily.

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