Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Early Retirement Personality

When I start talking about my early retirement goals and what I am doing to reach them I often get the same reaction...You'll be bored, Won't you miss the challenge of working? Won't you miss the people you work with? Why would you want to make such huge standard of living sacrifices now? How can you live on so little? I could never live without-cable TV, a house, eating out, the latest electronic gadget, expensive vacations, expensive clothes, my toys, a new car/truck/boat...etc.

I was beginning to think I was just weird until I found other like minded people on-line, people willing to challenge the typical notions of 'fun' and 'living well'.

I took a personality test last year when I tried out an on-line dating site. This was a temperament test. There are 4 temperament categories: Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholy, and Phlegmatic. People are usually a combination of 2 temperaments. You can read the descriptions here: Four Temperaments I am 65% Melancholic, 35% Phlegmatic.

That started me thinking about the other people that can relate to my goals and those that are on the same path. I ran across this article at The Retire Early Home Page. It talks about the MyersBriggs personality types:

(E)xtroverted or (I)ntroverted
(S)ensing or I(N)tuition
(T)hinking or (F)eeling
(J)udging or (P)erceiving

There are many on-line tests to find out your personality type but most if not all charge a fee. The cheapest way to take the test is to get a book that has the test from the library.

The survey asked which types are more likely to want to retire early, who are happy being retired, and who stay retired. The most common types from their survey were ISTJ, INTJ, and INTP. The article did acknowledge that this was an internet survey so the respondents were also the type of people who used the internet which probably skewed the results.

I love these results because I am an ISTJ and I feel like I finally belong in this group. Being an introvert I need less social interaction than the majority of people. Extrovert are the majority of the population. I want to be my own boss, I can't stand performance evaluations, group projects or scheduled hours. Actually, I really just have the wrong job for my personality type which is why my goal is to become financially secure as fast as possible (before I do anything stupid like walk in one day and quit) so that I have the freedom to find the path that is right for me.


Move To Portugal said...

I'm so with you on this last paragraph. My job is so far removed from my actual personality, although people at work would never know, I often wonder how I make it through the day. I stick it to achieve my goals.

Lizzie said...

Hi Daizy & Laura
My job suits me down to the ground and pays really well but I still want to retire early. My job is important to me and gives me job satisfaction but if they paid me the same to stay home then thats what I would do! However my pension will be fine to live on because I spend most of my money on my mortgage repayment (and extra if I can) so when thats paid I can retire. Yaay!

Daizy said...

Gosh lizzy, what kind of job do you have? Maybe Laura and I can get some ideas.

Double said...

According to your last paragraph I am an ISTJ also. I guess that is why at 46 I am planning to retire no later than 55 and the sooner the better

Early Retirement Extreme said...

I'm an INTJ. We discussed personality typing some time ago on my blog and I was accused of being an INTJ magnet ;P It turns out that the INTJ type is way overrepresented amongst pf bloggers (as many as 50%!) compared to the general population of around 2%.

Daizy said...

Hi double, 55 is admirable goal but still NINE years away! Too long! You must be better at tolerating you job than I am. You probably have other people depending on you for income or you live in a more expensive city. I couldn't make it 9 more years.

Daizy said...

Hi Jacob. When I took the test the first time I was an ISTJ but many questions could have gone either way. I took it again and was an INTJ. I went with ISTJ because the description in the book said it stood for (I) (S)eldom (T)ell (J)okes. It's funny 'cuz it's true. And it's easy for me to remember.

I think it's great that we minority personality types have found a way to unite. Now we can take over the world!

Lizzie said...

Hi Daizy
I am an accountant (yawn) but not very hands on. These days I run the team so its more about organisation & guidance than number crunching.

The bit that makes it interesting is that we work in social housing (including a charity). There is always some new initiative that we have to accomodate so the job doesn't have a chance to get dull plus it feels important in the grand scheme of things. If we dont perform well, my team especially as finance is the most regulated area, then we dont get government money which means we peovice less homes, so someone who needs a home isnt getting one. Also, because all the staff feel that what we do is worthwhile there is a really good atmosphere is the team. Getting everything done and done well is important to everyone. I am the only manager I know that has trouble stopping their staff from taking work home! Last week my account was off sick for 3 days so on Friday she emails me to say she is feeling better & will logon on from home and catch up over the weekend.
Okay, did I go on a bit too long then???
PS Dont think I am an INTJ, far from it, but still 46 and planning to retire at 55.

Retired At 40 said...

Looks like you have the right idea and attitude to retire early. I think your monthly budget is about right. I live on about the same amount.

As an early retiree candidate, you will not find many people who understand you as I'm sure you understand. Most people just don't understand the concept of not spending all of your money and think it is ridiculous to save or drop out of the workforce early.

I recently got canned from my job and decided to give early retirement a try since it is something I have long aspired to. My family and friends think I'm crazy, but it takes a different sort of person to do it.

I had the same attitude as you. I'm taking a year off from working and may never go back.

I'm two months into it and so far so good. Good luck to you. I'm sure you'll make it.

I'd recommend planning on $1,000 per month. That will allow you to meet expenses and cover any surprises as well as continue to save to insure you make it long term.

My goal was always to save $500,000 to live on because then you can pretty safely assume an annual income of $20,000-$25,000. But it can be done for less.

Daizy said...

Wow Lizzie, that is great that you and all of your people find the job meaningful and interesting. That is so important for whatever you are doing. The people I work with take work home and come in early and stay late. Sometimes I think I am a really bad employee because I don't take work home over the weekend but I need some alone time!

Daizy said...

Retired at 40, was your job in investing or is that just your hobby now that you income depends on it? $1,000/m was my original goal but I decided I couldn't wait that long so now I'm aiming for the basics covered ($600)and supplementing with a part time job. I intend to keep saving at every opportunity. Good luck to you too! Sounds like retirement suits you.

Marc said...

I will be retiring at 50 years old next April. I have already given my notice. I love my engineering job but there is so much more in life then evan a good 8-5 job. I figure my first financial goal is to make it to 60 where I can use my retirement accounts and get ss.

I will work part time, for myself on an off while I raise a couple of cow on a 8 acre farm I just put an offer on - hope my house sells.

I plan working on time flexible projects like rehabs and a new T shirt Co. I have always been very content - but now I'm so excited about the future!

Daizy said...

Hey Marc, your plan sounds great. I am a farm girl at heart (or maybe I just like to think I am). That is very generous of you to give your employer that much notice. I don't even want to think what my employer will do when I try to quit. Good luck and I hope you get the farm!

Retired At 40 said...

Yes, I was in the investment biz for 10 years. And it's my hobby along with my source of income.

Anonymous said...

@Retired at 40

How about a guest post about your investment strategy?!

Daizy said...

Well, retired @ 40, that is flattering. Do I have a strategy? I seem to be all over the map. Or is that what people call "diversified"?