Author Topic: What to do in Early Retirement?  (Read 19547 times)

enpower

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What to do in Early Retirement?
« on: October 05, 2014, 02:31:15 PM »
Over the years I've been lead to believe that early retirement, not working and "living the life" was the key to financial success and happiness. However, now I'm not so sure.

My father recently stopped working after being at the same company for 41 years. A family friend who is also in his mid 50's recently resigned from his job as he had all the money he needed for retirement and was tired of waking up at 6am every day to go to work.

However, recent conversations with both of them have revealed that since stopping full time work, they have felt bored, not part of society or useful anymore, lack social interaction and are now both looking for part time work. Not because they need the money, but because they want something to look forward to, someone to talk to throughout the day and a purpose to getting out of bed in the morning.

So if early retirement is the goal, why have both of these people begun looking for work again?

Should we actually be aiming for early retirement? Or should we just find a career or form of paid employment that we actually enjoy? If this is the case, we could all find something we enjoy doing in our 20's and 30's as opposed to our 50's.

For those of you that have left full time employment, or have enough money to not work, what do you do with your time?

For those of you that are working full time and building towards early retirement, what have you actually thought of doing with your week when you don't have to work? Travelling the world aparently gets tiresome after a while as per an earlier post I wrote several weeks ago, sitting at home tinkering around the house doesn't take up 40-50+ hours per week either.

This has thrown a spanner in the works so to speak about what I actually want to have an early retirement for, if at all. My grandfather worked until he was 82 years old. He loved it!


Cassie

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2014, 03:00:30 PM »
I think the answer for everyone will be different. I retired at 58 & my hubby at 53. After 6 months we both were bored so started doing p.t. consulting work in our fields.  WE also do some volunteer work. The thing about volunteer work is most is grunt work & not mind challenging so there is a limit on how much time you want to spend doing this.  NOw my hubby is working f.t. on a  project that may last 2 years. My Mom filled her time easily with volunteer work, hobbies,      etc.   I did think about this before I retired & I wasn't surprised at the outcome.  However, I love not working f.t. & having control over my schedule & no boss but myself.  This is a question you will have to dig deep within yourself to answer.

Beardog

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2014, 03:38:32 PM »
I'm not retired yet but have thought alot about this topic.  My plans are to do alot of gardening (flowers and veggies both), volunteer (tutoring is high on my list), participate in community organizations, possibly volunteer with a local theater group, and lead walks (I've developed a couple of walks with historical themes, for example.  I've also led walks with outdoor groups.)  Play my recorder.  I would like to work part time for the social benefits and in order to contribute towards goals that are important to me, without having to be that concerned about money.  I do not anticipate a lack of things to do.

hdatontodo

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2014, 03:49:17 PM »
1000 miles in a day on a motorcycle - http://www.ironbutt.com/ridecerts/

About 10 years ago, I did 1,500 miles in a day, from MD to FL and back in 23.5 hours. I've always been a night owl.

My wife is going to keep doing ocean swims in the 1 to 4 mile range, and long bike rides.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 03:51:06 PM by hdatontodo »

Señora Savings

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2014, 05:03:35 PM »
I'm not retired yet, but I plan to spend time on various types of art (embroidery, painting, dress making, whatever new thing catches my fancy), read much more, learn another instrument, improve my French, make a couple of board games that are bouncing around in my head and maybe take on long term subbing gigs from time to time. 

I have summers off and I never find myself with too much time or nothing to do.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2014, 05:38:27 PM »
Seriously?

waltworks

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2014, 05:51:50 PM »
If your life before FIRE consisted of watching TV and playing golf in your spare time, yeah, you might not want to retire, because it'll just make you lame and dead before your time.

If, on the other hand, you have more hobbies than time and a zillion things you want to do and places you want to go, you'll be fine. Most people here are going to be fine, though we're all so goal-oriented that NOT having FIRE to work on (seriously!) is going to be a challenge for many people.

-W

chasesfish

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2014, 05:58:18 PM »
This gets debated time and time again.  I would suggest splitting FI and RE in your mind.  Getting to FI is critical


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wtjbatman

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2014, 06:02:52 PM »
Seriously?

QFT. I mean, if you have to ask or worry about what you'll do with your life when you don't have a job (*gasp*), then you're doing it wrong. And maybe forget about FIRE, and just keep working.

It's true that I've heard other people question the concept of RE, but I've never thought twice about it. What will I do? Why, whatever I want to do. There's a million things I want to do next week but won't because I have to work all week, and my schedule is swamped with meetings and visits from higher ups that I have to prep for. Exciting stuff.

Exflyboy

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2014, 06:34:44 PM »
Its a valid question.. Ar 52 I am FIRE'd for 7 months but 5 weeks ago went back to work to work full time on a little project.. that project is now winding down and the insane hours will drop to 2 or 3 per day.

My answer (as I feel I have some experience) is that you are over thinking this and as another poster pointed out, you need to separate FI and ER.

The reason you want to be FI is that the chronic fear that overtakes us when we have a buttload of debt and the next round of layoffs is coming, or even.. (like just happened to me) you make a small mistake and your pretty sure its going to be used to de-rank you, move you to the top of the layoff list etc etc.

You know that knot in the stomach right, so then you double down and make sure you never have another screw up.. Wait a minute, our employers are using this fear to pile on more stress and extract more effort from us.

When your FI, none of this (should) matters.. When my small error (which I fixed before it would have been a problem) was blown up to cataclysmic proportions I could have simply stood up.. picked up my jacket and gone home forever.. its completely irrelevant.

Does it mean I have to quit work?.. Not at all, it means you can ENJOY your job.. YOU then have the ability to make sure you don't work more than 20,30 or 40 hours per week... Or not at all.

It also means if the management try to get you to do something you hate or simply piss you off.. well you can simply say "no I don't think so".

Then quit or don't quit.. doesn't matter.. either way stress goes WAY down..:)

Frank

lizzzi

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2014, 07:14:46 PM »
I see Beardog is on this thread, too. Hello!  Now as to what to do in retirement…First of all I had some heavy family responsibilities for the last 21 months, but also tried to keep up with my music (playing the harp, mostly) and writing (mostly publishing book reviews these days). Now that I'm freed up for the most part from family caregiving, I  spend more time writing, doing music, getting back in shape, re-learning French, and plan to do some traveling to places that interest me. I like  the French and Indian War, also known as the Seven Years War , ( the first First World War, as Winston Churchill said),  so will be hitting the road to spend more time at historical sites pertaining to that period. I started writing a novel that starts off in the Mid-Hudson valley circa 1743, and am excited about getting back to it.

Jon_Snow

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2014, 07:32:56 PM »
I've seen a few threads started like this. They have the effect of making me shake my head sadly.

If one is serious about asking this question, KEEP WORKING. Look, if you are lucky enough to enjoy your work and it kind of defines your identity, no harm in keeping on punching the clock. I think this is probably best for the majority out there - to be blunt, very few are going to be able to save enough to ER anyway. But for those of us who didn't like our careers, and have been fortunate enough to have saved more than enough to leave it behind and, very importantly, have a litany of passions and goals lined up post career, ER is indeed a panacea.

During the course of my "ten year ER plan" I spent countless hours daydreaming about all the things I would do once I retired early (42). I wrote out detailed lists - I have about 30 "absolute must do's", and dozens of smaller things. I developed lots of hobbies, most of which I barely had time to properly enjoy, thanks to my career - but I was comforted knowing that if I stuck to my plan, I would be doing these things ANYTIME I WANTED TO. This was a powerful thought to me, kept me going...

I have been retired 3 weeks now have started to knock things off the list. Right now I'm starting with "GET FIT, REALLY FIT", where I am an hour and a half at the gym every day making good progress. Of course, getting fit doesn't only mean working out - it is learning about nutrition. This is a BIG subject, one I had barely scratched the surface of in my "other life". Another one on the go is "BECOME FLUENT IN SPANISH"... this one is going to take years, but I don't mind at all.

Come Spring it will be "BUILD CABIN", "BECOME A GARDENER". The list keeps going on and on. I wouldn't be able to scratch the surface in terms of getting to do all these things if I still worked. No way. Even had I enjoyed my job, I would still have retired early - too many great things to see and do in this world - a job, even a good one, cannot hope to compete.

Yes, I'm only three weeks in so far, but my brain is literally exploding with happiness. I don't see this ending... ever.

But I would be the first to say, early retirement isn't for everyone. Even on this board, one heavily biased in favour of the concept of ER, there are quite a few instances of failed ER launches.... people need to be prepared for ER even more so than traditional retirement, in my opinion.

tracylayton

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2014, 07:34:37 PM »
This is a very valid question. There is a transition phase that occurs for a lot of people the first 6 months after retirement. I retired 10 months ago at age 49. By February, I had filled out 3 online job applications. By May, I was glad that they never called me about the applications. It just took me a little while to figure out what to do with the extra time. I volunteer, work out, read library books, play golf and nurture relationships with friend and family. My best friend and her husband (early 50's) also recently retired. She went back to school and works less than 20 hrs per week, but may give that up. He had a harder time finding his comfort zone. People who have their identity tied up in their career and have no outside interests or hobbies will definitely have a bigger adjustment.

mozar

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2014, 07:40:33 PM »
I wish I could find a job I enjoyed, and gave me a few months vacation every year. I would be more likely to keep working. But I doubt I will find that job.

VirginiaBob

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2014, 07:45:10 PM »
1000 miles in a day on a motorcycle - http://www.ironbutt.com/ridecerts/

About 10 years ago, I did 1,500 miles in a day, from MD to FL and back in 23.5 hours. I've always been a night owl.


Sounds fun - How about day #2?

In all seriousness though, just think about all the numerous things you meant to do, but never had time to do because of your work schedule.  If this list is large enough that you still won't be able to do it all, you are going to be fine in retirement.

bluecollarmusician

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2014, 07:54:15 PM »
I have had good advice in my life... the best was:

"Don't get a job.  Do something that you love so much you would do it for free.  Then learn to do it so well that people pay you anyway."

I think lots of people do jobs they hate- and dream of doing work that they love.  Retiring from conventional employment doesn't mean ceasing to be productive.  My grandfather retired after 30 years in the public schools...( his "job") and spent the next 50 years raising all kinds of livestock, crops, and acquiring land.  He loved the land, and making a living from the land more than anyone I have ever known. The year before he died (101!)  he was the contractor on a an old burnt out log cabin that he just wanted to see rebuilt- it is now a beautiful home.  I still fondly remember him in the hospital before he passed giving explicit interactions on how he wanted an overhang on a new barn built.

FI gives people the security to do what they love.  Don't ever "retire" until you "expire."
« Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 08:05:50 PM by Meoates1 »

catccc

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2014, 08:03:16 PM »
I think some people (esp. those that retire "on time" or late) get so wrapped up in their jobs that they don't know what to do with themselves without it. 

I believe it was Nords on some forum (here or early-retirement) that said you are "responsible for your own entertainment."

If you can't hack filling your own time, then go ahead and have a boss do it for you.

My personal plan?  I'm not quite sure yet.  I might get a "fun" job, something I've always wanted to do, but the pay sucks.  I always wanted 4 kids, but for various reasons, I have stopped at 2.  I'm good with 2, but I wonder if I might want to foster special needs kids in my early retirement.  Other things I will do include not being behind on housework, spending more time with kids, exercising a lot, and reading a lot.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 07:45:03 AM by catccc »

sol

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2014, 08:07:55 PM »
Seriously?

I am also concerned about what to do with all of my surplus money.

Oh wait, no I'm not.

MsRichLife

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2014, 10:54:16 PM »
A few months ago, I discovered MMM and set myself the goal of retiring at 40 (2.5 years from now).

I worked out that financially it was possible, but then started questioning what I'd do with all the extra time.

As a result, I started a 'Get A Life' list where I write down everything I've enjoyed now and in the past and all the new things that I want to try. I now have a list that would keep me busy for a couple of lifetimes and I plan to keep adding to it. You can see it here if you are interested: http://livingmyrichlife.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/get-a-life/

Now that I have my list, the thought of spending 40 hours a week on something that is not on my list just makes me sad. I think semi-retirement might just start next year instead.

davisgang90

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2014, 04:33:44 AM »
I never have enough time on the weekends to do all the things I want to do.  I figure extending the weekend by 5 days a week ought to provide me enough time for travel, hiking, photography, cooking, brewing beer, volunteering, exercising, soaking in the hot tub, astronomy, motorcycle riding, bicycling, reading, writing, blogging, hunting, fishing and exploring local cities.

I'm tired already!

I've cultivated lots of hobbies and interests during my career, I won't have any trouble finding stuff to do when the career ends.

VirginiaBob

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #20 on: October 06, 2014, 06:07:55 AM »
The other thing to do is to focus on optimization.  While it is difficult (or not so convenient I should say) to optimize while working/raising kids, while retired, you will have more time in order to do this.  Instead of going to one grocery store each week and spending $100/week, go to several and spend only $80 a week, saving yourself $80/mo.  Start a low/no cost garden using rain barrels and gathered seeds, cutting your produce costs in half or even more (Say $40/mo savings) while enjoying gardening to boot.  Bike (or even forget biking - just walk, my retired 85 y/o neighbor walks everywhere - the original Mustachian) more often rather than drive (easily $100/mo savings).  Probably a million things you can do just from an optimization standpoint.

Jon_Snow

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #21 on: October 06, 2014, 07:36:01 AM »
From what I'm reading in the thread (apart form the first post) I am encouraged that people are approaching ER with the right mindset, and are not walking a into completely different kind of life unprepared. Awesome stuff.

Fellow Mustachians.... FIRE, especially the "RE" part, is amazing.

kiwi

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #22 on: October 06, 2014, 08:27:56 AM »
Very valid question, and don't let anyone tell you it isn't. I've also had the experience of seeing both relatives who retired at a normal age, and early-retired friends and colleagues, leading lives that seem isolated, and lacking in meaning.

I recently talked with a friend of mine who retired in his late 30's, and asked him what he does all day. He was pretty honest - he said that now that he's not working, the minutia of life seems to have taken over, and it feels like a whole day can go by where the only thing he got done is working with the cable company to settle a bill. He wants to work again. But the psychological barrier is high, because he doesn't HAVE to work ever again. So any potential job is compared mentally against a list of really fun activities (travel, hiking, making his own movie, etc) and comes up short. But do the really fun activities actually happen? Some do, like occasional travel. But the larger goals (make a movie, etc.) don't seem to.

Sure, some people make it work. It does seem a little odd to me, though, that most people I actually KNOW in real life who are retired don't seem happier and maybe even seem a little unhappier or less engaged than your average person.

How do my thoughts on this affect my personal life planning? I'm definitely going to continue to work at some level, part-time or freelance if I can. Working can make leisure much sweeter.  Also, I know that a good percentage of my leisure activities must include a social component. For instance, "leading regular Wednesday hikes with the local outdoor organization" instead of just "hiking". It's a lot harder to coordinate this, however.






Roland of Gilead

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #23 on: October 06, 2014, 08:38:09 AM »
Explore.   Just experiencing 20 places in each state of the USA would take you years if not decades.

sleepyguy

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2014, 08:48:22 AM »
Boggles my mind as well.

I don't know... mayve these people don't have much to look forward to after work (I've met lots like this) or don't have (harsh) much of a life outside of work.

Give me $1.5 million today and I'll quit tomorrow :)

Seriously?

QFT. I mean, if you have to ask or worry about what you'll do with your life when you don't have a job (*gasp*), then you're doing it wrong. And maybe forget about FIRE, and just keep working.

It's true that I've heard other people question the concept of RE, but I've never thought twice about it. What will I do? Why, whatever I want to do. There's a million things I want to do next week but won't because I have to work all week, and my schedule is swamped with meetings and visits from higher ups that I have to prep for. Exciting stuff.

Jon_Snow

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2014, 08:52:02 AM »
Kiwi, your post nicely reinforces the idea that ER is not for everybody.

If one lacks a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world, or is lacking imagination or unable to self-motivate, ER may be a bad move. Personally, I find this to be sad and so outside my ER experience that it's hard to wrap my head around this fact.

hdatontodo

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2014, 09:00:31 AM »
My dad (born 1913) retired at 62 since AAA had moved from DC to VA. He had worked there a long time (his ID # for Road Service was 152.)

He pretty much just stayed around the house. He had a high-maintenance 1/4 acre yard with many trees and bushes, and worked outside most of the time. He didn't like driving and didn't go many places. He took daily walks through MS-13-land (Langley Park, MD) to the shopping center. He sat in the kitchen and did the crossword puzzle and played solitaire until the pictures on the cards were worn off. But, basically, he was home for about 30 years until he passed at age 91.

I'd come over and visit him weekly and mow the lawn or shovel snow for him. For Monday night football, I'd bring over my Dalmatian to interact with him.

Having a 6 year old, I don't do too much fun myself right now. The Mrs takes him swimming and biking. I take him for walks. When they're out though, I spend 1/3 of the time doing some chore for myself (laundry etc), 1/3 of the time doing something for the house (mowing) and 1/3 of the time going out for a ride on my scooter or getting some pizza.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 09:09:54 AM by hdatontodo »

Freestater

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2014, 09:26:49 AM »
Oh man, this question is so depressing.

LET YOUR INNER CHILD OUT

retired?

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2014, 09:30:03 AM »
Two points:

1) As one other poster wrote, think of FI and RE separately.  Everyone should want FI.  That's a no brainer.  If you have a job you love, then definitely do not quit.  For most people, and I'd say most people that build the means to FI, their jobs are not overly rewarding (they've often traded financial security for an uninteresting office job).

2) RE to me, means not working that type job that got me to the FI stage.  I think for those two people you mentioned that looking for part-time work is very natural.  It in no way indicates they made the wrong decision.

start planning for the transition.

Dr. Doom

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2014, 11:09:19 AM »
My father struggles in R as well.

By my analysis, this is because he didn't carefully cultivate hobbies and outside interests during his working career.  This had the effect of stunting his imagination, creativity, and drive to do anything outside of work.  His identity is work.  He can no longer see himself, say, picking up the banjo.  That's artsy fartsy crap that only other people do.  Or write.  He feels this way despite wanting to originally wanting to be an English teacher and instead becoming a mechanical draftsman to support his family.  "That ship has sailed," he said to me a year ago when I asked him if he was going to pursue his old dream of writing a novel.  The interest is gone.

He had a prolonged period of life -- indeed, the majority of it, in terms of years -- which was defined by doing things he "had" to do.  He had to go to work, perform his function, think about work at night, manage his family, take care of endless errands and chores, and so on.  Weekends were booked with family activities because that is what was expected.  His formerly vibrant inner world collapsed in on itself at some point during four and a half decades of employment, and his own 'wants' are basically gone -- or seem unattainable.

His major hobby is physical activity, which he's kept up, post-work.  But that only takes an hour or two a day, and then he's left without much else to do.  He can also watch sports, but there's only so much yelling at the TV that his wife (my stepmom) is willing to tolerate every week.

Lesson learned: Don't wait for retirement to engage in your hobbies.  Draw, read, paint, play a sport, learn to cook, volunteer, camp out somewhere, build furniture, get more involved in your church or community, take classes -- whatever the heck it is that you feel you want to do in retirement, start doing it now, even if it's only on a limited basis, so that these things become part of your identity and it feels natural to expand the amount of time you're investing in these areas after work.  Make sure you have something to retire to instead of merely something to retire from.

As others have already mentioned, I think if you are a creative, curious person and you cultivate these personality traits while working, you'll be fine in RE.  Don't let work define you and then quit -- everything I've experienced and read seems to point to that particular path leading to a big fat happiness fail.


lifejoy

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2014, 11:34:54 AM »
I'm struggling with free time right now. I have a lot of admiration for people that get beyond that.

perigee

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #31 on: October 06, 2014, 01:02:44 PM »
Haven't had a 'real job' in several years now, I work from home part time and I find that there isn't enough hours in the day, BUT in a very good way, as in, I have plenty of things to do, though if or when they get accomplished isn't a high priority.

For me, I'm spending a lot of time educating myself, first it was on building a house (hopefully in the next couple of years), now I'm also learning about all things Wall Street, and am using that information in another field that has required me to learn about cold emailing campaigns and website building. 

Also, trying to write a couple of books, so if I spend an afternoon on the hammock swinging and imagining and growing those plot lines and stories, or just letting my mind wonder, it's time well spent.

Toss in the maintenance that goes with having a large property (blackberries are the devil incarnate!!!), exercising, and time with friends and family, I wonder how I use to do all that while working full time and commuting?!?!
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 03:13:51 PM by perigee »

Spartana

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #32 on: October 06, 2014, 02:34:08 PM »
I ER'd when I was 42 (over 10 years ago) and it was something that I longed for - free time to do whatever I wanted - even though I loved my job and felt it was purposeful. I haven't been disappointed at all by ER and I have never been bored or dissatisfied in any way, shape or form. I have many activities and interests in my life that are much more exciting and challenging then my average work was (and I had a pretty exciting, interesting and challenging job with lots of adventure, excitement and really wild things!). So while ER might not be for everyone, and it doesn't have to even be a goal, I don't think the OP should just base his/her opinion on it by the experiences of a couple of people they know. For me, I can't imagine NOT being ER now after so long, and am so happy that I choose to retire 25 years before a "normal" retirement age since being younger allows me to do more physical things for a longer period of time then I could if I retired older. I'm actually finding I have little enough time to do all the things that I want even retired, so am selling my house so I don't have to spend any more time doing all those endless time consuming house-related chores. Don't have the time and, even if I did, that is not how I want to spend it.

Iron Mike Sharpe

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2014, 03:10:40 PM »
With an endless list of things to try out there, places to see, people to meet, etc...how is this even a question?

I'm just disappointed I won't be able to retire until around 55 because I could spend 10 lifetimes discovering new things and still have plenty more I'd want to do.

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #34 on: October 06, 2014, 03:49:09 PM »
Spartana, I have paid special attention to your posts over time. You see, I am also a fellow 42 year old early retiree (newly so). Following your example, my next ten years are going to be so crammed with goodness that I have severe doubts if I will get all my "stuff" done. Going to try and do the stuff that requires a young(ish) body first...

Let the worker drones moan on about "what I am I going to do in ER?" - you and me and others like us will be livin' the dream.

bacchi

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #35 on: October 06, 2014, 04:11:30 PM »
He had a prolonged period of life -- indeed, the majority of it, in terms of years -- which was defined by doing things he "had" to do.  He had to go to work, perform his function, think about work at night, manage his family, take care of endless errands and chores, and so on.  Weekends were booked with family activities because that is what was expected.  His formerly vibrant inner world collapsed in on itself at some point during four and a half decades of employment, and his own 'wants' are basically gone -- or seem unattainable.

My dad is the same. He gardens, jogs, and that's it. During our childhood, he had no hobbies that I can recall. Sad.

Prairie Stash

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #36 on: October 06, 2014, 04:20:35 PM »
So if early retirement is the goal, why have both of these people begun looking for work again?


If early retirement is the problem then regular retirement will be disappointing too. At that point you may as well resign yourself to die on the job. It sounds depressing to me.

Happy Little Chipmunk

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #37 on: October 06, 2014, 04:31:41 PM »
In a way, this question of how to be self-directed in retirement is very similar to the challenge that I (and a few friends) faced when we became SAHMs.

Sure, the mom gig is work. But there's fewer externally placed deadlines and no "boss" telling you what to do. (Unless your kid is a baby or a toddler. That's a boss, for sure.) There's a ton that COULD and maybe SHOULD do, but no one but yourself or maybe your partner to tell you what the priority is.

I had to learn to provide my own structure. And that took a very long time. Much longer than it should have. But now that I can do that, I'm not "afraid" of retirement anymore. ;-)

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #38 on: October 06, 2014, 04:49:49 PM »
Spartana, I have paid special attention to your posts over time. You see, I am also a fellow 42 year old early retiree (newly so). Following your example, my next ten years are going to be so crammed with goodness that I have severe doubts if I will get all my "stuff" done. Going to try and do the stuff that requires a young(ish) body first...

Let the worker drones moan on about "what I am I going to do in ER?" - you and me and others like us will be livin' the dream.
Ah...another one joins me on the Darkside :-)! Retiring early has been great for me. Wish I had done it earlier. I'm so glad I retired younger then at a traditional age of 65.  I have had the opportunity to do many physical things I might not have been able to if I waited. The fact that I have been able to do some extreme physical things - as well as just plain have fun - for the past 10 ish years (with hopefully another  40 ish plus to follow) is just so mind bogglingly awesome to me. Once I am a more traditional retirement age or in my 70's and upwards, then I think I'll look back and say "great life", glad I did it this way. Will never understand the mentality of "what will I do if I don't work?" but to each his/her own.

Now young Skywalker, go forth and conquer - you are now free from The (work) Force!
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 09:02:16 PM by Spartana »

CestMoi

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #39 on: October 06, 2014, 08:51:18 PM »
I'm an artist and my bf is a writer, so when retired, we plan to devote more time to our real work.

totoro

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #40 on: October 06, 2014, 09:08:37 PM »
I'm considering a couple more kids, whether biological or adopted.  I think that would be a fabulous retirement if we decide to stop working.

deborah

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #41 on: October 07, 2014, 04:33:49 AM »
He had a prolonged period of life -- indeed, the majority of it, in terms of years -- which was defined by doing things he "had" to do.  He had to go to work, perform his function, think about work at night, manage his family, take care of endless errands and chores, and so on.  Weekends were booked with family activities because that is what was expected.  His formerly vibrant inner world collapsed in on itself at some point during four and a half decades of employment, and his own 'wants' are basically gone -- or seem unattainable.

My dad is the same. He gardens, jogs, and that's it. During our childhood, he had no hobbies that I can recall. Sad.
Have you asked them whether they are happy doing these things? One of the things I have always enjoyed is pottering around the garden, and any ER that didn't include a reasonable amount of that would be less enjoyable!

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #42 on: October 07, 2014, 05:48:06 AM »
Have you asked them whether they are happy doing these things? One of the things I have always enjoyed is pottering around the garden, and any ER that didn't include a reasonable amount of that would be less enjoyable!
Not to get too depressing, but my dad has said he'd rather be working again than having nothing to do.  I give him suggestions and he waves everything off.  Only exception is hiking (probably because it's physical and he's interested in exercise) -- I was able to drag him out last year during a visit for a couple of hours on a trail and he enjoyed the experience. 


retired?

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #43 on: October 07, 2014, 07:27:56 AM »
Well, add a bad back to that and you have a dad that cannot even be active.  My dad did not retire early, but worked for one firm for 27 (layoffs) years and then another for 10 years (firm closed).  Never cultivated hobbies.  He grew up fairly poor, first to go to college and he was very frugal.  My mom, no so much.  But, he was also cheap, hesitating to spend any money for entertainment.....last movie in theaters was the original Jaws.

Anyway, now approaching 70, his day is spent essentially of reading the complete newspaper by the pool, puttering around the house, monitoring the AC ; ) and running minor errands.  He seems content, however, I think it is a life that most would think is somewhat sad.  BUT, if he is content (I doubt it), then it doesn't really matter how others view it.

The main point for me is to stay healthy so you can enjoy the full length of ER.

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #44 on: October 07, 2014, 08:22:29 AM »
With an endless list of things to try out there, places to see, people to meet, etc...how is this even a question?

I'm just disappointed I won't be able to retire until around 55 because I could spend 10 lifetimes discovering new things and still have plenty more I'd want to do.
I feel the same way.  Sure, I'm only 33, and I probably won't be able to retire before I hit 51.  Right now, though, my mind is bursting with hundreds of things I want to do, build, invent, experiment with.  I want to build an airplane, make a radio-controlled lawnmower, tend an orchard, get a pilot's license, build furniture, restore an old car, finish my basement, build the perfect house, learn to play the accordion....the list goes on forever.  I can't do that now, between a full-time job and 6 kids, due both to finances and time constraints.

crazyworld

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #45 on: October 07, 2014, 08:32:11 AM »
I have been following this thread and others in a similar vein. And yes, I am one of the lame people that elicits a "seriously?" response from many folks here.  I congratulate you all for having endless activities that you have lined up to do when you RE, for decades. Great. However, I am not quite feeling convinced yet that these are enough (for me).  Gardening/outdoor sports/home improvements/write a book/paint etc.  I would be up for more exercise, reading, traveling, dancing and learning a new language. Maybe learn to play an instrument. I am pretty convinced I have no creative talent and am not a leader, so there will be no painting/book writing/blogging/starting a business/changing the world. 
This causes 2 problems - one is not having enough to do which we are all talking about.  Two, more important, I would have no "separate stream" of possible income should markets take a dive for an extended period. I think that is probably my greater worry.  I have a pretty awesome work situation - well paying/flexible/great place to work.  It would be next to impossible to replicate the situation if I got tired of being retired after a few years.  I am in my 40's. There is probably half a life left to go.  I am fairly certain that I would not get tired of traveling.  But that is expensive.

MsRichLife

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #46 on: October 07, 2014, 04:19:04 PM »
I often joke that I'd like to work 24/7. 24 hours a week for 7 months of the year.

This might just be the best of both worlds for me if I continue to enjoy my work. I'd still be bringing in good money to fund more adventures during the 5 months I have off.

deborah

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #47 on: October 07, 2014, 05:49:59 PM »
I have been following this thread and others in a similar vein. And yes, I am one of the lame people that elicits a "seriously?" response from many folks here.  I congratulate you all for having endless activities that you have lined up to do when you RE, for decades. Great. However, I am not quite feeling convinced yet that these are enough (for me).  Gardening/outdoor sports/home improvements/write a book/paint etc.  I would be up for more exercise, reading, traveling, dancing and learning a new language. Maybe learn to play an instrument. I am pretty convinced I have no creative talent and am not a leader, so there will be no painting/book writing/blogging/starting a business/changing the world. 
This causes 2 problems - one is not having enough to do which we are all talking about.  Two, more important, I would have no "separate stream" of possible income should markets take a dive for an extended period. I think that is probably my greater worry.  I have a pretty awesome work situation - well paying/flexible/great place to work.  It would be next to impossible to replicate the situation if I got tired of being retired after a few years.  I am in my 40's. There is probably half a life left to go.  I am fairly certain that I would not get tired of traveling.  But that is expensive.
I was convinced I was not creative, but I have been shown over the years that I am. However, it doesn't matter - there are many clubs around, learning opportunities (both online and face to face), and travel opportunities where you can go to countries and help. All these experiences can be free or very cheap.

RapmasterD

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #48 on: October 07, 2014, 06:24:36 PM »
enpower - You cite the stories of two human beings, hardly what I'd call statistically significant.

So what's my story? I'm five-plus weeks in to ER, at age 52. I'm an absolute anomaly compared to anyone my wife and I know. Everybody works. Everybody asks, "Dude, seriously, what the fuck do you DO during the day?" And after a rough start, I'm increasingly not caring to even respond.

Because for right now, I'm doing as little as possible. Seriously. Working out for a few hours, followed by walking my very young child to pre-school, followed by making a long breakfast, followed by walking our dog, followed by reading, followed by meditating, followed by preparing and cooking dinner, followed by cleaning up. I forgot to mention lunch, or the fact that I'm doing a Whole30 right now, or the fact I'm taking a pause from alcohol consumption.

Most importantly, I'm actually getting to know my daughter...just a little bit.

I've gone out for a few lunches and coffees with colleagues. I've volunteered at GLIDE up in SF for a few food prep shifts.

Wayne Dyer repeats to the point of nausea that "we are human beings, not human doings." It's starting to make sense.

David Burns writes that "your work is not your worth." Very few people, myself included (I'm working on it), seem to get this.

I may go back and 'do' something. But for right now...and quite likely right through the beginning of 2015, this world is fine. Oh, I AM interviewing at one unnamed company you've probably heard of, but the chances of that bearing fruit are murky. And that's just fine.

Moral of long story: ER is a great opportunity for some very healthy detachment and life 'rebooting.' It's certainly not right for everyone. BUT...it doesn't have to be permanent.

Here is my personal hell: I know many a person, including my father-in-law, who wants to drop dead working...literally. That is anathema to me.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2014, 06:30:17 PM by RapmasterD »

totoro

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #49 on: October 07, 2014, 06:41:44 PM »
What is it like to have a young child at 52?  Do you find that with retirement it works well?