Author Topic: What to do in Early Retirement?  (Read 19313 times)

TreeTired

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #50 on: October 07, 2014, 07:31:07 PM »
I would like to address this question, because I was so busy I had to back off and stop doing a few things so now I am actually a little bored at times but I know what to do to fill up my schedule again, and for me it has mostly been volunteer activities.

Quote
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.
<==  This is very true and there are some things I do for exactly that reason.  Once per week I deliver meals with a local "meals on wheels" program.  Pretty mindless, but I get to briefly see some very nice people who are always glad to see me and appreciate what I am doing for them.  I also volunteer as a Guardian ad Litem,  which not only helps children who need help, but fills my need for "professional type work."    I prepare written reports that go to the judge and put on a coat and tie to attend court hearings. You don't have to be a lawyer. If you are at all interested in child welfare I would encourage you to check it out.  They are also called "CASA" (Court Appointed Special Advocate) in some states, but almost every state has a program. You are not a mentor and you are not the child's baby sitter.  You are the child's advocate and you have to independently investigate the child's medical care (talking to doctors, dentists), education (visiting schools and talking to teachers), and caretakers.  You have to develop credibility with the judge to the point that he (or she) values your input and takes your recommendations seriously.

My work as a Guardian Ad Litem got me interested in foster care, and through a different charity my wife and I hosted a child who was in America for medical treatment.  This turned into a 6 month stay, and the child's needs were great, so for that 6 months it was like a fulltime (24/7) job. 

So I have currently eased off a little on my volunteer commitments and trying to get back into golf a little bit.  I  have an application on my desk to volunteer at the local hospital, something I have always wanted to do.   The local police department also put out a request for volunteers and I am considering doing that just to get an inside look at the police department.

I exercise more regularly than I possibly could if I was working fulltime.  I play guitar and piano and read more than I could if I was working fulltime.   Haven't felt the need or desire to take classes, but I could see doing that too.   There is plenty to do!

firedup

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #51 on: October 07, 2014, 08:27:46 PM »
My plan is to sleep, relax, & do pretty much nothing for 6 months. There will be no panic during that time and then after that I can decide what I want to do. 35 years straight ahead and 50 hour weeks for the last 17 years I deserve some chill time. I agree with others, if one has to question this they may not be ready. If you envision it like it's a dream of a lifetime then you are ready. I planned for this at 18 and it took me 11 years longer as we lived a little bit of the life too and now we are ready. Hubby fired 4 years ago and my fire date is next spring. He has a pension & SS will be at 62 and that income alone will cover our normal very modest spending. It's all up to you to do what you want. I think most of us are so programmed we think we need direction. I have waited a long time to be free!

Dr. Doom

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #52 on: October 07, 2014, 08:47:52 PM »
And after a rough start, I'm increasingly not caring to even respond.
That sounds about right.

Thanks for sharing your experiences as a pretty newly minted RE'er btw.  It sounds like, yeah, there's an adjustment to be made, but it's a pretty awesome one, especially if you have the right mindset.

Your quotes from Burns and Dyer remind me of Tyler Durden in Fight Club, btw. You know, the whole speech:  "You are not your job.  You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive.. etc.."

We all know these things, but it's still hard to internalize the lessons especially after you've been at it (working) for a long time.

RapmasterD

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #53 on: October 07, 2014, 09:23:09 PM »
What is it like to have a young child at 52?  Do you find that with retirement it works well?

What? Who is this? What are we talking about here anyway? [cough cough zzzzzzzz.......]

Spartana

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #54 on: October 07, 2014, 09:40:22 PM »
My plan is to sleep, relax, & do pretty much nothing for 6 months. There will be no panic during that time and then after that I can decide what I want to do. 35 years straight ahead and 50 hour weeks for the last 17 years I deserve some chill time. I agree with others, if one has to question this they may not be ready. If you envision it like it's a dream of a lifetime then you are ready. I planned for this at 18 and it took me 11 years longer as we lived a little bit of the life too and now we are ready. Hubby fired 4 years ago and my fire date is next spring. He has a pension & SS will be at 62 and that income alone will cover our normal very modest spending. It's all up to you to do what you want. I think most of us are so programmed we think we need direction. I have waited a long time to be free!
I was pretty fired up (he he) when I first quit work and for the first few years was extremely active. Now I'm a bit more relaxed and have slowed down in comparison. Still an up at dawn, do lots of stuff until I collapse, come home and chill kind of life but I don't feel the need to do and experience everything ASAP because I felt that, even at 42, something might happen and I may not have enough time to do and experience everything I want before I die. Now years into ER I feel more fulfilled about my life then ever.

RapmasterD

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #55 on: October 08, 2014, 01:55:17 AM »
Thanks Dr. Doom. Love the Fight Club quote. This mindset is NOT common here in the SF Bay Area...at all.

Dr. Doom

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #56 on: October 08, 2014, 06:54:31 AM »
Thanks Dr. Doom. Love the Fight Club quote. This mindset is NOT common here in the SF Bay Area...at all.
Yeah, I know - I lived there from 1999 - 2004, some time in SF, some time in San Jose.  Tech boom and bust cycle, startup city and all of the smart high earning tekkies that are a part of it, etc.

hdatontodo

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #57 on: October 08, 2014, 08:59:08 AM »
What is it like to have a young child at 52?  Do you find that with retirement it works well?

I had one at 47 and will also get child payments from Soc Sec at 62 since he'll be in high school. He's only in 1st grade now. Oy.

Also, we had enough income to prepay his 529 college plan and pay for daycare, preschool, etc.

It's nice being at home during the day so I can be at home when the school bus comes.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2014, 10:24:05 AM by hdatontodo »

crazyworld

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #58 on: October 08, 2014, 09:36:51 AM »
Still following this...and I understand that folks who have retired a few months, 1-2 years have no regrets.  I am pretty sure I wouldn't either.  That is barely any time at all.  I am concerned about the several decades of life we are talking about here.  There will be no going back to my very nice job once I leave it.  I guess it is a leap of faith - you hope that something will appear.  Or nothing will appear, but you would be fine with that.  I swing between wanting to quit one day and holding on the next.  Honestly some days work is a respite from the chaos of life.  One wishes for a horrible job - then the alternative would be so much clearer =)  Maybe I will try going part time for a bit and see how it goes.

RapmasterD

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #59 on: October 08, 2014, 01:11:58 PM »
Still following this...and I understand that folks who have retired a few months, 1-2 years have no regrets.  I am pretty sure I wouldn't either.  That is barely any time at all.  I am concerned about the several decades of life we are talking about here.  There will be no going back to my very nice job once I leave it.  I guess it is a leap of faith - you hope that something will appear.  Or nothing will appear, but you would be fine with that.  I swing between wanting to quit one day and holding on the next.  Honestly some days work is a respite from the chaos of life.  One wishes for a horrible job - then the alternative would be so much clearer =)  Maybe I will try going part time for a bit and see how it goes.

You've got a mindset thing going on here ("pretty sure...barely any time at all...concerned about...").

From my perspective, what's the difference between one to two years...and a few decades, particularly if you are clear on your PURPOSE and are comfortable with that. For example, I believe I'm here to learn, to grow, to contribute, to help people see the lighter side of life and make them laugh, and to be a provider -- not necessarily a financial provider moving forward cuz I've already done puh-lenty of that -- for my family.

I think if you've got your purpose locked down and have the financial means, the 'work thing' can be a detail. It's all up to you and what your mindset is.

RapmasterD

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #60 on: October 08, 2014, 01:16:36 PM »
What is it like to have a young child at 52?  Do you find that with retirement it works well?

I had one at 47 and will also get child payments from Soc Sec at 62 since he'll be in high school. He's only in 1st grade now. Oy.

Also, we had enough income to prepay his 529 college plan and pay for daycare, preschool, etc.

It's nice being at home during the day so I can be at home when the school bus comes.

Now I'll answer the question seriously. We started trying late, and my wife had five miscarriages strung out over four years. It's nothing less than a miracle that we have a healthy child. I have no control over my age so I don't give this topic much of any thought.

totoro

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #61 on: October 08, 2014, 04:09:29 PM »
What is it like to have a young child at 52?  Do you find that with retirement it works well?

I had one at 47 and will also get child payments from Soc Sec at 62 since he'll be in high school. He's only in 1st grade now. Oy.

Also, we had enough income to prepay his 529 college plan and pay for daycare, preschool, etc.

It's nice being at home during the day so I can be at home when the school bus comes.

Now I'll answer the question seriously. We started trying late, and my wife had five miscarriages strung out over four years. It's nothing less than a miracle that we have a healthy child. I have no control over my age so I don't give this topic much of any thought.

I'm asking because it would be my top way to spend the next twenty years of retirement, but I'm trying to decide if it is fair to the kids, or if there are other drawbacks.  So far, I the big ones are having a parent die earlier or get sick.  We have enough of everything, including life experience and time, to give a child a great quality of life.

Exhale

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #62 on: October 08, 2014, 05:57:02 PM »
- Above all, separate FI and RE
- What do you love doing? - Do more of that
- What makes you happy? - Do more of that
"RE" can be in whatever format you wish.
---
I'll keep working in the same field I'm in now. However, it'll be part-time and/or seasonal and without concern regarding salary which will allow greater flexibility in doing the work I really want to do.

Beardog

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #63 on: October 09, 2014, 06:53:23 AM »
Quote
Once per week I deliver meals with a local "meals on wheels" program.  Pretty mindless, but I get to briefly see some very nice people who are always glad to see me and appreciate what I am doing for them.  I also volunteer as a Guardian ad Litem,  which not only helps children who need help, but fills my need for "professional type work."    I prepare written reports that go to the judge and put on a coat and tie to attend court hearings. You don't have to be a lawyer. If you are at all interested in child welfare I would encourage you to check it out.  They are also called "CASA" (Court Appointed Special Advocate) in some states, but almost every state has a program. You are not a mentor and you are not the child's baby sitter.  You are the child's advocate and you have to independently investigate the child's medical care (talking to doctors, dentists), education (visiting schools and talking to teachers), and caretakers.  You have to develop credibility with the judge to the point that he (or she) values your input and takes your recommendations seriously.

My work as a Guardian Ad Litem got me interested in foster care, and through a different charity my wife and I hosted a child who was in America for medical treatment.  This turned into a 6 month stay, and the child's needs were great, so for that 6 months it was like a fulltime (24/7) job.

So I have currently eased off a little on my volunteer commitments and trying to get back into golf a little bit.  I  have an application on my desk to volunteer at the local hospital, something I have always wanted to do.   The local police department also put out a request for volunteers and I am considering doing that just to get an inside look at the police department.

I exercise more regularly than I possibly could if I was working fulltime.  I play guitar and piano and read more than I could if I was working fulltime.   Haven't felt the need or desire to take classes, but I could see doing that too.   There is plenty to do!

Thank you, TreeTired, for your extremely interesting response.  The range of activities you describe have a kind of balance to them which really appeals to me.  Your work as a Guardian Ad Litem sounds especially rewarding.  I had never heard of this type of opportunity and appreciate you sharing.

RapmasterD

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #64 on: October 09, 2014, 12:10:49 PM »
What is it like to have a young child at 52?  Do you find that with retirement it works well?

I had one at 47 and will also get child payments from Soc Sec at 62 since he'll be in high school. He's only in 1st grade now. Oy.

Also, we had enough income to prepay his 529 college plan and pay for daycare, preschool, etc.

It's nice being at home during the day so I can be at home when the school bus comes.

Now I'll answer the question seriously. We started trying late, and my wife had five miscarriages strung out over four years. It's nothing less than a miracle that we have a healthy child. I have no control over my age so I don't give this topic much of any thought.

I'm asking because it would be my top way to spend the next twenty years of retirement, but I'm trying to decide if it is fair to the kids, or if there are other drawbacks.  So far, I the big ones are having a parent die earlier or get sick.  We have enough of everything, including life experience and time, to give a child a great quality of life.

I just don't think there is any general way to answer your question.

You can be young and verbally abuse a child consistently for many many years, putting a damper on their prospects for a happy and stable adulthood.

You can be 52 and be loving and supporting to your child, even if you're only on the planet for 10-15 more years, making a huge long term impact.

You can be 52 and be in relatively good physical condition. You're not cross fitting, but you do some light exercise, some moderate body weight lifting routines, and stay relatively trim.

You can be 52, be 50 pounds overweight, have crazy high blood pressure, be diabetic, and have fatty liver disease because you suck down 30 alcoholic beverages per week.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 12:13:19 PM by RapmasterD »

enpower

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #65 on: November 01, 2014, 06:32:46 PM »
Haven't had time to check over the past few weeks.

Thanks for all the great ideas. Seems to me in summary:

- Seperate financial independence (FI) and early retirement (RE) as two seperate things. Achieving FI gives you the opportunity to do what ever you want. RE can be one of these things but it doesn't have to be.
- Create hobbies and interests whilst still working in a career. Then once you retire or reduce working hours, it allows you more time to pursue these interests as you will be able to devote more of your time to them.
- Quitting work all together removes social interaction, purpose and an incentive for a large proportion of people. Try to find interests that can fill these voids.
- Part time work, volunteer work or full time work in a position you love rather than a high paying job you don't enjoy can be an option for you before or after FI.

Come to think of it, my father had no forged hobbies/interests whilst working and he doesn't have a large social network. Perhaps why he isn't enjoying early retirement.

I intend to further pursue new interests (yoga, journal writing, sports coaching) and build upon my current ones (triathlon, hiking, reading, dinners/meet ups with friends and family).

Once again, thanks for all the useful information.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2014, 06:36:12 PM by enpower »

hdatontodo

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Re: What to do in Early Retirement?
« Reply #66 on: November 01, 2014, 07:19:08 PM »
I do computer work from home. I wait with my kid at 9am for his bus out front, and go out again at 4pm.

Except for a few phone calls per week, I only communicate for work via email and Instant Messenger. I eat cereal for lunch and usually don't go out.

I don't think I would have a hard transition, from a social perspective.

When I have a weekend day to myself, I spend 1/3 of the time doing house stuff, 1/3 if the time doing my own honey-do's, and a 1/3 if the time doing something like riding my scooter or hiking.