Author Topic: Retirement will leave me at a cross roads  (Read 3698 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
Retirement will leave me at a cross roads
« on: July 16, 2017, 06:05:09 PM »
For some time now, I've dreamt of early retirement. Dreams of having my expenses covered by investment income, sleeping in and not having a boss or colleagues to report to, no commute in rush hour.

Living the dream right?

Well the past two weeks, I've had a staycation. Essentially having annual leave off work for 16 days in a row.

I'm now back at work on Monday morning and can say the first few days of my staycation were great, but then something happened. I got bored and lonely. Really bored to the point where I would waste the entire day just Googling articles to read, staying in my pyjamas and not leaving the house.

Is this the early retirement I'd dreamed of? It felt like such a waste.

I truely felt like I should be working full or part time and doing something productive and socialising with others.

I'm unsure if I want early retirement now. My wife and I are naturally frugal and the option of early retirement is definitely within our reach by 40 if we choose to, but not sure if I want it now.

Anyone in the same boat?


  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 415
Re: Retirement will leave me at a cross roads
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2017, 07:32:03 PM »
I've had the same feeling after a staycation not involving a lot of planned activities so this is normal. However, to retire early, you have to have a plan for spending your time. I have over the years developed a number of passions and friendships that keep me busy. Trying to fit them all in while working is very difficult because they take up quite a lot of my time. Explore different things; check out meetups in your area and find that passion before you actually retire.


  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4541
  • Age: 51
  • Location: SoCal
    • Our Sea Story
Re: Retirement will leave me at a cross roads
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2017, 08:06:53 PM »
You need something to retire to.

I found this forum because we need to firm up our transition plans so that we can go cruising. 

What are your hobbies? Would you like to teach paragliding? Hike the Appalachian trail? Become a master wood crafter? Design a video game?


  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 834
  • Location: Montreal
Re: Retirement will leave me at a cross roads
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 09:42:48 AM »
Posting to follow.


  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1920
  • Age: 53
  • Location: Ohio
Re: Retirement will leave me at a cross roads
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 09:55:14 AM »
Not retired yet and still what seem like forever away as we will just be happy if we have our goal of $1-1.2MM at a fairly normal retirement age (already 47). but I'd agree with the other posters.  You need something else to fill your day other than work or frittering away the time.  Finding people or a hobby you want to invest your time in goes a long way to that.  I tend to see that the things I enjoy but never have enough time for now, like reading, volunteering at church or other places and things like that are very enjoyable when I take some time off to burn vacation I have and then just do them.  I could see my retirement being more of the hobbies I love now but can't get to.  You just need to find that.


  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2150
Re: Retirement will leave me at a cross roads
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 10:30:55 AM »
First of all, give yourself a break and realize that there will be some transition time. You're going to need to de-compress. So you sit around for a while, so what? I would take some time to think about what you really enjoy--how you would really like to spend your days--don't think that it is necessarily what you are "supposed" to do. In a perfect day, what time would you really like to get up? Go to bed? Eat for breakfast, lunch, etc.? What really makes your heart sing? Maybe you don't really care about travel, golf, and all that stuff that people are supposed to love. Maybe you're not much of a volunteer, but there are things you like to do that just kind of segue into some volunteering. I rejoined my church choir, only because it's a great choir and I like to sing. Then I was feeling kind of guilty about not volunteering for anything (have friends who deliver Meals on Wheels and such)...then came the Eureka moment when I realized that singing in the church choir is actually volunteering--participating in the Music Ministry...oh right, duh. I was just doing it because I liked it.  After some more trial and error I realized that I have a book problem-- I am a book-a-holic...really just need to say no. But anyway, on a normal day when nothing else is going on, I lie on the couch with the dog and read for two hours or so every afternoon. Right now I'm making my way through the 10 Adam Dalgleish novels by P.D. James. Everybody always told me I wasn't "good" at art, so I draw a picture in my sketch pad once a week or so...bwaa-ha-ha...just because I want to . I've given up all aspirations to be "good" on my harp and piano--just play what I like--only practice if the song feeds my agenda but my own. Went out with friends in canoes for the first time in years. Felt like I was back home again in that little boat, and it brought back to me why I used to love canoeing so much. That will undoubtedly be my next thing. So relax, don't obsess, try some different things--the future will appear gradually out of the mists--the future designed for yourself by you.


  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6585
  • Location: A poor and backward Southern state known as minimum wage country
Re: Retirement will leave me at a cross roads
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2017, 10:35:57 PM »
Your experience indicates that your career has robbed you of a sense of yourself. What are you on this planet to accomplish? Who are your heroes? If you were 20 again, and FI, what would you do? What do you anticipate regretting at age 80? The solution to these questions is not more career, it's finding yourself.

These questions should not be hard to answer. Life is supposed to involve self-direction.

The flip side of consumerism is workerism - thinking of oneself as a worker bee. I used to think the purpose of working was to buy stuff, luxuriate, and entertain myself until I discovered exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life (nonprofit organizing and writing, in my case). I now think of myself in terms of what I will be when I FIRE. It's strange to still be working when I already know I am this future person. But it feels great to be pulling myself from the past/present into a future that is more meaningful. The anticipation of meaning is inspiring.

The tough part is when your life's goals cannot really get started until post-FIRE. The folks who just want to travel the world have it easy in that regard; their goals can be divided into parts and accomplished on vacation time. If you end up like me, and want to start a comprehensive sustained mission, business, or new lifestyle, it's hard to work in that direction during a few vacation days. I generally waste my sanity days too.

Also, once you have a vision for your future life, you will know more about how much you need to save for retirement, when you can quit, the lifestyle, etc.


  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3446
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Retirement will leave me at a cross roads
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2017, 06:36:04 AM »
Yes, I totally get this.  My whole life has been predicated on the assumption that I would need to work to support myself; "success" was defined in terms of career achievements.  And then my stepdad died and I realized how meaningless that all is, and I also realized I could retire if I wanted to.  But that left a vacant maw of terrifying emptiness -- who am I if I *don't* need to work any more?  I mean, I was always the "smart" one, which translated into "my purpose is to find some challenging career that fully uses those smarts and justifies my existence"; retiring to play golf or putter in the yard feels like giving up a big part of who I am, and that's not what I am looking for.

Since that time, I have realized that being able to figure out who I want to be and what I want to do without a job is a tremendous privilege -- a luxury I have earned by working hard and saving for many years.  But since it is such a new question, I need to take my time to wrap my head around it (because I tend toward sloth and lethargy without external deadlines, and I am old enough to know that does not make me happy in the long run).  So my goal for the next few years, while I continue to work, is to take some time to figure that out, so that I am retiring *to* something instead of just running away from stuff I am sick of.