'I was crying my eyes out': Ex-Google employee retired at age 40 on a Friday but regretted it by Monday. Why an early retirement might not be for you


'I was crying my eyes out': Ex-Google employee retired at age 40 on a Friday but regretted it by Monday. Why an early retirement might not be for you

‘I was crying my eyes out’: Ex-Google employee retired at age 40 on a Friday but regretted it by Monday. Why an early retirement might not be for you

Nupur Dave decided to retire at age 40 on a Friday after a decade of working for Google and other startups.

She had it all planned out, too — Dave wanted to spend her free time writing her third book, meeting up with old coworkers and networking with founders and artists.

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But the reality of achieving financial independence and retiring early (FIRE) wasn’t exactly what she expected.

“By Monday evening, I was just bawling,” Dave admitted to Business Insider. “I was crying my eyes out because I realized that I need to be with people.”

Achieving FIRE in India

Mapping an early retirement isn’t exactly easy in America — where the cost of living can be incredibly tight, thanks to high interest rates and inflation.

However, Dave worked in the U.S. for 11 years and managed to build some solid savings, earning about $100,000 a year in San Francisco before she quit her job. She also got help from a financial adviser to ensure her nest egg, sales from her previous books and income from her consultancy work would be enough to cover her expenses in retirement.

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Dave planned to retire in Bengaluru, India, where the cost of living is much lower than San Francisco.

“The whole idea of FIREing was possible because I’m in India,” Dave said. “There’s no way I could have FIREd in the U.S.”

Dousing her dreams

Dave’s early retirement lasted about four months before she re-entered the workforce in India.

“The loneliness of the coworking space actually hit me when I physically went in there and sat down — it was completely empty,” Dave recounted to Business Insider about her first day as a retiree.

And while she spent the following weeks trying to visit various coworking spaces, she found the ones that weren’t sold out saw barely any traffic at all, since they were used by companies that were mainly remote, which made it difficult to make new friends.

Today, Dave works as the head of special projects at Intellicar, an electric-vehicle infrastructure firm, in Bengaluru.

She’s not the first FIRE follower who changed their minds. Some folks choose to return to work because their savings don’t end up being enough to cover their expenses in retirement. There may be others, like Dave, who simply miss the comforting regularity and purpose that a 9-to-5 job brings them.

“Even though people say, ‘I like that I’m on my own terms,’ sometimes being completely untethered is scary,” Dave said. “It felt like doing a space walk.”

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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.



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