As long time readers know, I quit my engineering career in July. Three months have flown by and I thought it would be a good time to report how I’m doing in my retirement. I guess it’s really a semi-retirement because I’ve been ridiculously busy. I’m getting less sleep than when I was working full time and that’s not a good thing.
What kept me busy the most is being a stay-at-home dad. I actually had 10 weeks off before I quit my job so I have been spending a lot of time with the little dude since May. He was a perfect little angel from 12 to 18 months old. Then in August, he turned 18 months and the terrible 2s hit us early like a ton of bricks. He has been asserting his independence and it is tough dealing with how headstrong he can be. Today he refused to nap and threw a big tantrum whenever we tried to get him to hit the hay. He finally got sleepy around 7:30pm, but still cried for 5 minutes before passing out in bed.
We have a bunch of low level conflicts throughout the day and being a stay-at-home dad is more difficult that I imagined. However, I am really glad he can spend this time with me rather than at the day care. I can help him figure out solutions to problems and encourage him to work through adversity. At the daycare, they usually depend on a pacifier or a snack to calm the little kids down. They’ve got their hands full so they can’t focus on one kid for long. While it’s not easy being a stay-at-home parent, I’m glad I can spend this time with him and help him grow. We are only having one kid so this is our only opportunity to raise a decent human being.
Online business venture
Blogging is going well for the most part. I can’t really do serious work until the little guy is asleep so I have been staying up late. Retire By 40 is doing well and our traffic is still growing. In September, we had a big stream of referral traffic from my article on Yahoo! Finance. This boosted our advertising income quite a bit and gave me a taste of what larger traffic can bring. It encouraged me to continue to put a lot of effort into this online venture. I’ll share more details later this week when I write about our October Cash Flow. All in all, I’m very happy with the blog and I don’t think I’ll burn out anytime soon.
One of the biggest reasons why I quit my job was because of my physical and mental health. The good news is that I am feeling so much better now. My headaches are gone. My eyes are feeling better since I don’t spend 10+ hours on the computer, despite all the blogging requirements. My lower back is mostly pain free. The only physical problem I have left is my shoulders. They are still aching all the time. I guess it will take a long time to recover from 16 years of hunching over a keyboard. The little guy also put a lot of strain on my shoulders so they might not improve much until I can stop carrying him. He is getting heavier.
I am also doing 100x better with my mental health. The last couple of years of being a corporate drone really grated on my psyche. I hated going into work and I kept a countdown in my head. (Only 6 months left…) I didn’t enjoy anything about work and the corporate environment at the end of my career. I’m really glad I left when I did. At this time in my life, I’m much more suited to be a stay-at-home dad/blogger and I don’t miss anything about working in a big corporation. Well, I guess I miss the free gym and yoga classes, but that’s it.
Physical fitness is the only thing that’s on the decline for me. I used to go to the gym during lunch break and work out. Now, I’m only getting a small work out when I take the kiddo out to the park. I do push ups, jumping jacks, squats, pull ups, steps, lunges, and whatever I can think of. I have to keep an eye on the overactive little rocket though and the work out is sporadic at best. I guess once he’s a bit older, we can go play ball or other games. For now, I’ll just do the best I can.
We are doing well so far on the finance side. Our monthly cash flow is pretty stable so far and we can pay the bills. I’m getting cheaper and avoid spending money for the most part. I guess that could become a problem if I take it to the extreme. We prepared for my retirement pretty well and kept track of our cash flow for 18 months before I pulled the trigger. If we can keep it up for a few more years, then I will be sure I can stay retired.
My daily schedule
|7 to 8am||Wake up and have breakfast. Mrs. RB40 usually leaves for work around this time.|
|8 to 10am||Some chores like vacuuming or laundry. Catch up on emails and blog while the little man watches Sesame Street, Lion King, and the Wiggles on YouTube.|
|10am to noon||Go out to the various parks to get out of the house.|
|1pm to 4pm||Play, maybe watch a little TV or YouTube, nap, go out to the park again, or maybe catch up on email during little guy’s nap time. Will have to adjust this if the little guy keeps refusing his naps.|
|4pm to 6pm||Hang out, play, prep, and cook.|
|7pm to 9pm||Watch Jeopardy, news, play, get ready for bed.|
|Bedtime||Put the little dude to bed. This involves reading books out loud until the little dude’s eyes close and he starts snoring.|
|10pm to 1am||Write a blog post, emails, social media, or other blog related activities.|
This is a pretty busy retirement, but that’s what I wanted. I can’t believe 3 months went by so quickly. Our kid changed so much over this short period that I would have hated to miss it. Also, my mom is here to bond with the grandson so I’ll have a couple of hours after lunch to work soon, and hopefully won’t have as many late nights. All in all, I don’t regret quitting my job one bit. The only thing keeping me there was the paycheck. Once we realized we could function without the additional money, it was time to go. Let me know if I can expand on anything.
How about you? Anyone biding their time in a job they don’t enjoy? Or if you quit your job, did you ever regret it?
For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.
Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.