things I miss about work retirement retirees

I don’t miss the cubicle environment at all.

Things I miss about work? This is a tough one for me to write. First of all, life is fantastic right now after 2 years without a full time job. Family life is better, I’m not stressed out, and even our finance is doing pretty well. I can’t complain at all. Second, I hate dwelling on regrets. It’s a downer and I’d rather focus on the present and figure out how to improve the future. Maybe that’s why my memory is so bad… It’s also difficult for me to admit missing anything about the job that I willingly walked away from. I don’t want to doubt my decision. So as you can see, it’s not going to be the typical cheerful post today.

However, I thought it’d be good for me to examine how I feel about work on a deeper level. It has been 2 years and it’s the right time to reflect a bit. Time gave me some distance so I can take an objective look at my feeling. Will I miss work enough to go back? Let’s see.

Technical challenges

I think the biggest thing I miss about work is the gratification from solving difficult technical problems. Most engineers enjoy solving problems and it can be a lot of fun especially when I got into the flow. Sometime I spent the whole day in lab debugging an elusive bug and it’d be 7 pm before I knew it. Those days were increasingly rare as I gain seniority, though.

Now, the most difficult challenge for me is to figure out my son’s playdate schedule. It’s not quite as challenging, but life is also a lot less stressful. It’s a tradeoff. Maybe once my son goes to school fulltime, I can take on some technical challenges again. I would like to learn how to develop an app, for example.

Comradely

According to a study by the Center for a Secure Retirement, 65% of retirees said they missed interacting with co-workers and friends the most. That’s pretty obvious. Most of us spend at least 50% of our waking hours working and interacting with our co-workers. Work is a huge part of our lives and the human interaction is probably the best part of it.

Sure, I miss having a wider group of casual friends to talk to. Life is a bit slower in semi-retirement and my circle shrunk quite a bit. I made a few friends through our kid, but everyone is just so busy with their lives. It’s not like the office where you can just drop by your friend’s cubicle and complain about the boss. I guess coworkers are somewhat of a captive audience. :) Next year, I’ll be more involved with the co-opt preschool so I think the casual friendship situation should improve.

Fringe benefit

I used to go to the gym at work almost every weekday and I miss it. It was really easy for me to go to that fitness room for some reason. I guess it was better than actually working and it was a great stress relieve valve. It was also very conveniently located.

I joined 24 hour Fitness this year and it’s a much nicer gym, but it’s more difficult to actually go. I have to get the kid ready, drive to the gym, find parking, etc… It’s not very convenient so I’m not consistent about it.

So what do you do?

I miss having an easy answer for this question and I’m still trying to figure out how to respond to this conversation starter. I tried “I’m retired” a few times, but it didn’t go over very well. People seem to just ignore that for some reason. Another option is – blogging, but I’m a bit embarrassed about telling new friends that I’m a blogger. I just don’t want to elaborate too much. My staple answer now is “I’m a stay at home dad.” That works pretty well for now.

Money

Actually, our lifestyle hasn’t changed that much since I left my job 2 years ago. We always lived below our means so we didn’t have to make any big adjustments. The paychecks would have been nice because we could have invested them. The last 2 years were great for the stock market and I’m sure we’d increase our net worth even more if we had more money to invest.

Anyway, having less income didn’t impact our day to day life so it’s not a huge deal. Our investments are doing pretty well so I can’t complain too much.

I love self employment

That wasn’t as a bad as I thought. I miss a few things about work, but they could all be remedied with some creativity. They are minor issues anyway. I could write a much bigger list of what I don’t miss about the corporate job. For me the positive aspects of not working for a corporation outweigh the negatives so I don’t think I’ll get a job anytime soon. I love being self employed.

What about you? What do you miss about work? Or if you’re still working, what do you think you’ll miss?

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Towards Remarkability – A Weekend at the World Domination Summit 2014

07.28.2014
Towards Remarkability - A Weekend at the World Domination Summit 2014

Today, we have a guest post from Mrs. RB40! She attended the World Domination Summit 2014 in Portland and had a great time. The price is a bit steep at around $500, but it’s local so she didn’t have to pay for travel and lodging. The WDS is a great event for anyone who’s thinking about changing their lives. The speakers and the attendees are all very inspirational. Here is Mrs. RB40. Mrs. RB40′s World Domination Summit Experience The trouble with the way I do things is that I often want everything to be perfect.  So perfect that I end up […]

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How’s Life 2 Years After Early Retirement?

07.24.2014
How's Life 2 Years After Early Retirement?

It’s been 2 years since I left my corporate job and I’m still retired. Yes! I still remember the elation I felt as I drove away from the office for the last time with Van Halen’s Right Now blasting in the car. Time flies when you’re having fun and these past 2 years flashed by in a blink. I am living life on my own terms without someone (besides my son and wife) dictating how I spend my time. That freedom alone made quitting the corporate job worth it. Let’s see how we’re doing after 2 years without a full […]

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Careers and Redefining Success

07.21.2014

The following article is from Melanie, our staff writer. Melanie is in the beginning phase of her journey to Financial Freedom and she’ll bring a refreshing point of view for us. I’m on a short trip to Boise this week so there will be 2 articles instead of the usual 3.  For earlier generations, the definition of a successful career typically meant working in a single profession at perhaps one or two companies throughout their careers. Perhaps along the way there were salary increases and promotions but for the most part they worked at the same job and often the same company year […]

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