Thursday, January 05, 2006

Resignation letter

I submitted a two line resignation letter to my Company today after speaking to my immediate boss and the HR Head. Considering that I have been planning this for over a year now, the actual act of signing and submitting 'the letter' evoked almost no emotion inside me. I have requested to be relieved w.e.f. 01 May 06, i.e., 30 Apr 06 should be my last day on the Company's payroll.

The only emotion right now, 30 minutes after submitting 'the letter', is a sense of relief and freedom. I look forward to a 'new life', but right now it is almost 4 months away.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Pros & cons of Early Retirement

Originally written on 05 Sep 05

Over the last couple of years I have been periodically gathering information on the internet about early retirement. One common advice is that one should ‘actually write down’ the pros and cons from one’s point of view. Let me make an attempt to do so today :

  1. Freedom from the shackles of employment and office routine.
  2. Freedom to indulge much more (and when I feel like) in my hobbies / interests like traveling, photography, reading, socializing, physical fitness, etc.
  3. Likelihood of doing better on my investments owing to better monitoring.
  4. Likelihood of starting my own financially rewarding activity or business.
  5. In the event of premature death a year or more after early retirement, I’d have the satisfaction of having enjoyed ‘total freedom’ for sometime.


  1. Loss of pay and perks over next 7.5 years – a substantial amount at the fag end of my service career.
  2. After indulging in everything that I ‘wanted to do all along but couldn’t because of office routine’ I might start getting bored after a year or two. Time may hang heavy.
  3. Comparison with contemporaries, in terms of status enjoyed by them in their respective jobs and their pay / perks may give rise to an inferiority complex.
  4. The quality of medical treatment (for self & family) is likely to be better as long as I’m employed.

Dreaming about Early Retirement

Originally written on 03 Sep 05

I have been dreaming about ‘early retirement’ for quite sometime. But over the last one year this dream is becoming more and more like a resolve. Mainly, the following factors are influencing my thinking along these lines :

Ø My investment decisions after leaving the Navy have resulted in my ‘nest egg’ growing to a decent (from my middle class / military officer standards) level. The stock market boom in India over the last few years has been a boon for me. With my small (but adequate) ancestral house in Jamshedpur, military pension and lifelong comprehensive medical cover thrown in, the financial comfort level appears even better.

Ø Both our daughters are more or less on their own. Jaya and I know how to keep our material needs in sync with what we can afford.

Ø I don’t find my present job sufficiently exciting / challenging. Switching to a new job and proving myself from scratch appears both daunting and unnecessary at this stage in my life.

Ø I feel I can ‘enjoy life’ much more once I have full control over how I spend my time.

So what is holding me back? Firstly, the opportunity cost of my pay and perks over the next seven and a half years (I’m almost 53 and the retirement age in my company is 60. Also, there is no ‘golden handshake’ scheme in force). Secondly, the fear of deviating from the beaten track (‘everybody’ retires at 60). Thirdly, and most importantly, the fear of regretting (for whatever reason) early retirement a year or two down the line.

Probably it all boils down to greed and fear. I’m readying myself to overcome these mental blocks sufficiently till I reach ‘escape velocity’. And I have set a deadline – mid 2006.

Whenever I discuss these thoughts with anyone, I’m invariably asked how I plan to spend my time after retirement or what precisely I mean by ‘enjoying life’. This maiden entry in my retirement blog won’t be complete without answering these questions. First of all, I must place on record that I’m pretty much enjoying life right now – one does not have to be ‘retired’ to enjoy life. But I believe that after freeing myself from the shackles of my job I’ll be able to enjoy life even more by devoting greater time to my hobbies like traveling, reading, photography, keeping in touch with friends and relatives, etc. And proactive control over my investments (mostly in the stock markets) will definitely be one of the mainstays of my retired life.