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5 Dreams That Did Not Come True in Early Retirement

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5 Dreams That Did Not Come True in Early RetirementWow, it has been almost 5 years since I quit my engineering career to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger. Time really flies. If I hadn’t retired early, I’d still be stuck in a depressing gray cubicle feeling bitter about life. Instead, I’m enjoying life and playing an active role in our son’s life. The past five years hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but everything seems to be coming together now. I’m doing really well balancing working on my blog and taking care of our finances along with being a dad and a husband. Our son starting kindergarten at one of our public schools has been a huge game changer. Alas, there are a few things I haven’t been able to get right.

Early retirement seemed like the answer to all my woes when I was struggling through the last few years at my old job. If I didn’t have to work and commute for 50+ hours per week, I’d be able to do everything I want. However, that hasn’t really been the case. I’m still busy and I don’t have time to do everything I imagined. Actually, the problem is that I’m not prioritizing well. It’s not easy to balance everything you want to do and be even when you’re retired. Here are my 5 dreams that did not come true in early retirement.

1. Getting enough sleep

What is one of the first things that pop into your mind when you think about the benefit of retirement? It is being able to wake up without an alarm clock, right? I was woefully sleep deprived during my last 2 years at work and I thought I’d get more sleep once I retired. There wasn’t much time to sleep when I worked a full time job, blogged 3 times per week, and had a newborn baby at home. I’d get to bed around 1 am and be woken up by our baby soon after. It was exhausting and I felt like a zombie for months.

Cutting out full time work was great, but I didn’t get to bed any earlier. When I retired, our son was 18 months old and I was home full time. I couldn’t blog in the day time because he needed constant attention. Blogging had to done after he went to bed so I still didn’t get to bed until around 1 am. I probably got less sleep after I retired. When I was working full time, I was able to work a bit on the blog when things were slow at the office. I could check emails, catch up on other blogs, answer comments, and a few other minor tasks when I was in my cubicle. I couldn’t do any of that when our kid was home and everything got pushed off until after his bedtime.

It got a bit easier every year, though. He began preschool about a year after I retired and I was able to work a bit when he wasn’t home. He started with 2 days per week and increased a day every year. We’ve made a breakthrough this year. Yes! RB40Jr started kindergarten and I have a lot more time to work on Retire by 40 during the day. Now I usually go to bed just before midnight and sleep until 6:30 am. That’s 6-7 hours per night so it’s not bad. Occasionally, I’d be really tired and go to bed at 10 pm to catch a solid 8 hours of rest.

I’d love to get 8+ hours of sleep every night, but I think that will have to wait until RB40Jr goes off to college. I don’t regret starting a profitable blog, but it didn’t help my sleep at all. Someday, I will find a better balance.

2. Play music

Occasionally, I play the ukulele for fun. I tried to learn to play the guitar when I was in college, but I was never good at it. The ukulele is much easier because there are fewer strings and it requires less pressure to fret. That makes it a lot easier to learn.

  • Early Retirement Fantasy – I’d play my ukulele while my son listens attentively. He’d want to learn how to play and I could teach him a little at a time. Eventually, we’ll be able to play together and we’d entertain friends and family together.
  • Reality – I’d play my ukulele, and he’d be running around being very disruptive. RB40Jr’s attention span is very short so he is interested in music only for a few minutes. He doesn’t want to learn and he doesn’t follow direction when I try to teach him. It’s tough to play when he interrupts me every few minutes. I’m not good enough to deal with distractions while playing.

Consequently, since I retired, my ukuleles are getting dusty. I’m playing once per month at the most. Maybe I can try teaching him again because he’s a little older now. He seems to be able to follow direction better at his classes and lessons than with me at home.

3. Travel

Travel is another big thing people save for after retirement. Most of us get 2-3 weeks of vacation time per year and that’s just not enough. We used to travel internationally about once per year and I wanted to do at least that much after retirement. However, that’s just a dream because we didn’t want to travel with a little baby. It just doesn’t seem worth it to travel when they won’t remember anything.

This is also getting immensely better as our son gets older. We went to Hawaii for a week when he was 3. The year after that, we visited Costa Rica for 2 weeks. Then last year, we went to Thailand and Cambodia for 3 weeks. These trips were awesome and he still remembers a bit from each trip. We also took a lot of photos to remind us of the good times we had.

Angkor Wat

These short trips are nice, but I’d like to travel more extensively. That’s impossible now because Mrs. RB40 still works and she only gets about 3 weeks of vacation per year. RB40Jr also goes to public school and they really don’t like kids to be gone for long. If a student is absent for 10+ consecutive school days, then the student will be withdrawn from the rolls. Luckily, there were a lot of days off in November so we didn’t have to do this. If we had been gone one more day, we’d have to pull him out of school and reenroll him when we got back.

Once Mrs. RB40 retires, we will be able to travel more during the summer break. However, I don’t like traveling in the summer. It is so beautiful in Portland and there are so many fun things to do. I’d rather stay here in the summer and travel when the weather is bad. Traveling is also a lot more expensive during summer break. I prefer to travel in the shoulder season, spring or fall.

Anyway, here is my most ambitious travel plan to date. I want to take a year off to travel around the world in 2021. Mrs. RB40 would be retired by then so she won’t have any constraints. We’ll “road school” our son for a year while traveling around the world. We’ll be back in time for him to start Junior High School. The logistics are pretty daunting, though. I want to sell our condo and put everything in storage. When we get back, we’ll move into our rental duplex. It sounds good in theory, but would it really work out? We also need to figure out how to get prescriptions and health care while we’re overseas. Lastly, blogging about personal finance would be tough when we’re on that kind of trip. I’m not sure if it’s going to work out, but I’ll try my best to get this trip together for 2021. That’s just 4 years away so stay tuned and see if we can get this show on the road. J

4. Exercise

Groan… Exercise is another common item on the list for post retirement. Everyone needs to get healthier and it’s tough to find time when you’re working so much. We’re all getting older and health deteriorates over time. I can’t behave like I’m 25 anymore.

Interestingly, exercise wasn’t difficult when I was working full-time. I used to go to the company’s fitness room almost every day at lunch time. I’d work out a bit, do yoga, or take some other fitness classes. It worked very well because it was part of my routine. I’d eat lunch at my desk when I get back from the fitness room.

I was hoping to stay active after I left my job, but it just didn’t work with a little kid at home. We’d go out to the playground and I could be active there. We played chase, hide and seek, and other kid games. It was fun, but I didn’t get the work out that I wanted. It also rains a lot here so we couldn’t go the playgrounds that often.

After 18 months, I joined a gym and aimed for 3 days per week. However, that didn’t work out, either. Something always came up and I usually made it to the gym only once or twice a week if I was lucky. It is finally looking up, though. Once RB40Jr started kindergarten, I planned to go work out every day that he is in school. I’ve been largely successful and going to the gym is part of my habit again. It took almost 5 years to get to this point and I hope I can keep it up. Now, I just need to get Mrs. RB40 on a fitness program. That might be impossible because she hates to sweat…

5. Stop saving for retirement

Alright, here is one that is working out in my favor! I planned to stop contributing to my retirement accounts after I quit working full time, but it didn’t work out that way. Here is what happened.

In 2012, I maxed out the contribution to my old 401k over the first 3 months of the year while I was still working full time. I wasn’t going to have much income after I retired so I thought I’d better get the last bit of retirement saving squared away. That year, my online income was about $15,000. I planned to use that income to help pay the bills after I quit my day job.

However, my online income improved in 2013 to $33,000. So I opened a new individual 401k account at Vanguard in November and contributed the max ($17,500) in one shot. I also added $6,000 as employer contribution. The great thing about the 401k plan is that the contribution is not taxed. That’s why I have been investing most of my online income since 2013.

Check it out.

i401k

More than half of my online income went into the i401k since 2013. It’s been a little over 3 years since I opened this account and the value is already $125,000. That’s pretty amazing. I also contributed the max to my Roth IRA. It’s pretty amazing that my retirement accounts are still growing after I quit working full time. Of course, this is all possible because Mrs. RB40 is still working. If she wasn’t working, then we’d need this money to pay the bills. Her income has increased considerably since 2012. That’s why I can invest most of my online income at this time. You read more about my online income here – 2016 Blog Income Wrap Up.

Early Retirement is Fantastic

What can I say? If these 5 things are all the only surprises, then early retirement must be pretty darn good. That last one doesn’t even count because it will help our retirement in the long run. Also, everything is getting better as our kid ages. It was a lot of work to take care of a baby, but now he is in school. That gives me a lot more time to focus on my agenda. Everything is getting a little better every year and someday all my dreams will come true. I’d get 8 hours of sleep per night, play music, and exercise a bit, while traveling the world. Sounds great to me!

Early retirement is fantastic this year. I finally feel like I’ve arrived at an ideal (relatively) lifestyle. Well, I’d like to do some meditation, yoga, or Tai Chi. These activities would help calm my mind and slow down a bit. There is always room for improvement.

If you’re retired, what turned out differently than you thought? If you’re not retired yet, what changes do you want to make after you retire?

image credit: Kyle Bianchi

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{ 56 comments… add one }
  • The Tepid Tamale April 6, 2017, 4:58 am

    Joe:

    As always, thanks for laying this out! I love hearing the reality of your situation, everything is not perfect and polished. However, it’s also very good, which gives me something to strive for. Thanks again!

    What changes do I want to make when I retire? I would like to get more sleep. I would like to write a children’s book with my daughter. I would like to design a board game with another daughter. I would love to get out in nature more. I would love to slow down.

    • retirebyforty April 6, 2017, 9:36 am

      Seems like more sleep is on everyone’s list. Life is way too busy these days. Good luck!

  • Matt @ Optimize Your Life April 6, 2017, 5:14 am

    “I’d play my ukulele while my son listens attentively. He’d want to learn how to play and I could teach him a little at a time. Eventually, we’ll be able to play together and we’d entertain friends and family together.”

    Gotta say…I’ve had the same exact thought. Recently we were hosting my 2 and half year old niece and I played the ukulele for her. After about 20 seconds she wanted to play. Great! But then she got frustrated because no sounds came out when her hand was muting all of the strings and she wanted me to fix it. We handed the ukulele back and forth for a little while until she got bored and gave up.

    Eventually she did take a liking to my melodica. Although it was less playing music and more honking away on one note while walking around the apartment.

    • retirebyforty April 6, 2017, 9:37 am

      You remind me that he likes the harmonica. He was having a great time with it for a while. It was so noisy, though.

  • The Grounded Engineer April 6, 2017, 5:28 am

    The biggest motivation for me to retire early is to spend more time with my wife and daughter. Unfortunately for me, I don’t think retirement before my daughter starts school in a few years is a reality. However, once I do achieve early retirement, traveling the world to expose my family (neither have been outside the U.S. – excluding the Caribbean) to the different cultures is at the top of my list. I’ve been to a few spots in SE Asia and I really enjoyed spending time there.

    • retirebyforty April 6, 2017, 9:38 am

      School made life so much easier for me. That’s a good time to retire. Being a dad for half day is really great. The full day is a bit too much.
      I’m sure you’ll have a lot more family time once you retire. That shouldn’t be a problem at all. Keep at it!

  • Mr Crazy Kicks April 6, 2017, 5:32 am

    Contributing more to your retirement accounts doesn’t sound like much of a problem 🙂

    I finally picked up my guitar – only 7 months after leaving my job. There just was so much to catch up on, and I don’t even have a little one to watch after. It’s a different change of pace now actually having a little time to practice.

    I’ve always thought a ukulele would be cool, it should make for a great travel instrument 🙂

    • retirebyforty April 6, 2017, 9:40 am

      The ukulele is a great travel instrument. I took it on my trip to Australia and New Zealand. It was fun and I didn’t have to worry about breaking it.
      Enjoy your guitar!

  • Ms. Montana April 6, 2017, 5:33 am

    Even though Mr Mt and I both left our jobs, there still isn’t enough time! Because we aren’t working we get offered a lot more cool options. Just in the last 2 weeks he was offered a board position at a great social service company. And I was offered to do financial coaching for families whose kids have just been diagnosed with serious medical conditions. Both are amazing, but our plate is full so that means cutting something else. Mr Mt has been great about working out, but I still struggle to fit it in. It’s fun, but I could use another 40 hours a week magically deposited in our accounts. 🙂

    • retirebyforty April 6, 2017, 9:42 am

      That’s great! It’s amazing how much more opportunities appear after retirement. 🙂

  • The Magic Bean Counter April 6, 2017, 5:39 am

    Great post! I love your idea of traveling around the world. My family has been considering the same thing. We have 2 kids, so It would be challenging, but I think we could pull it off. The hardest part would be school for the kids, but there are great/free online schools available these days. I think you guys should go for it!

    • retirebyforty April 6, 2017, 9:43 am

      We have 4 years to plan it so we should be able to pull it off. I’m not looking forward to selling the condo and moving stuff into storage, though.

  • The Green Swan April 6, 2017, 5:57 am

    Glad things have continued to get progressively better for you in retirement. You are still so active as a SAHD that I’m not surprised at all you have trouble finding time for the gym or more sleep but that day will come. 2021 sounds like a nice year for you folks… Here’s to hopefully making it happen!

    • retirebyforty April 6, 2017, 9:44 am

      I love the kindergarten. It made life so much easier. 🙂 More sleep would be great. I’m sure you’re not getting much sleep with new born twins at home. 🙂

  • Freedom 40 Plan April 6, 2017, 6:09 am

    Thanks for sharing this. As someone looking forward to early retirement, it is helpful to hear some real life perspectives and lessons learned. As is often the case, the grass is not always greener on th other side. That said – it still seems pretty darn nice! Glad you’re hitting your stride now that your several years in.

    • retirebyforty April 6, 2017, 9:45 am

      The grass is greener on the other side. I love early retirement! 🙂
      Hopefully, Mrs. RB40 can join me soon. Her job is getting more stressful lately.

  • Dividend Growth Investor April 6, 2017, 6:39 am

    That is so awesome Joe. I remember when I first started reading you 5 – 6 years ago, you were very depressed about your work situation. And now you are feeling much better. Plus, even in retirement, you are still productive, and able to contribute to retirement accounts and not really dipping into your nest egg.

    It is not surprise that you are busier in retirement than before. When I called it quits in 2009, I had a lot on my plate to do.

    • retirebyforty April 6, 2017, 9:46 am

      Thanks! Life is getting better everyday. I’m really grateful for this. It’s amazing that I’ve been able to add to my i401k. I didn’t expect that at all so it’s a very nice bonus.

      • Dividend Growth Investor April 6, 2017, 11:12 am

        What I meant by “this is awesome” is that you are no longer unhappy. While those 5 dreams haven’t materialized fully, you are much better off than you were 5 -6 years ago. I just wanted to clarify after reading my comment.

  • Justin April 6, 2017, 6:41 am

    Ha ha, I can relate 🙂

    I knew going into early retirement that the first several years would be “daddy daycare” being stay at home parents. The littlest one is entering kindergarten in the fall so we’ll see how our daily schedule morphs at that point. It’s soooo much easier to hop in the car (or on our feet!) and go somewhere without needing to think about the needs of a 4 year old and pack snacks, water, etc for him. Will I work out more? Will I go hiking/swimming/etc more? Will I spend more time on productive efforts?

    All I know is that the early retired life is way better than working. I’m loving these lazy mornings and afternoons. And evenings and weekends. 🙂

    • retirebyforty April 6, 2017, 9:50 am

      Being a full time stay-at-home dad was nice for a while. There were some really frustrating moments, though. Kindergarten made a huge difference for me. It’ll be great for you guys as well. You can enjoy more alone time with Mrs. ROG.
      I agree about early retired life. It is a ton better than going to work for the man. 🙂 I need more lazy mornings and afternoons, though. I’m still a bit too busy.

  • Physician on FIRE April 6, 2017, 6:52 am

    I think you’re due for a four-week trip this year. Your wife needs to negotiate that extra week into her schedule. 🙂 In a few years, you’ll both be free. Then, it’s just the school schedule that you’ll be tied to (if you choose to be — there are options, of course).

    I keep thinking I’ll work out more when retired, but the fact is I don’t love working out. If I’m not prioritizing it now, what are the odds I’ll prioritize it then? Hard to say, but I look forward to being able to write a post like this eventually.

    Cheers!
    -PoF

    • retirebyforty April 6, 2017, 9:52 am

      This year, we’re just taking more short trips. My wife’s work isn’t flexible so I doubt she can get 4 weeks.
      Yes, exercise more now. It’s really hard to prioritize exercise if you don’t love it.

  • Apathy Ends April 6, 2017, 7:03 am

    I can see how retiring with a young child wouldn’t really feel like early retirement. It’s a full time job to take care of them.

    Early retirement for me is more days at the lake, sleep, exercise and just generally doing whatever the hell I want!

    • retirebyforty April 6, 2017, 9:52 am

      Your early retirement sounds great! 🙂 You may not get everything you dream of, though. Good luck!

  • Roseanne April 6, 2017, 7:03 am

    Well Joe, if those are the worst of your woes you are a lucky man. That rocks about your retirement account – fabulous returns. I can’t say I’m surprised about the lack of sleep – that comes with having a small child in the house, don’t you think? Your year of travel sounds great and what a fabulous experience for a fifth grade student. I know you will figure out a way to keep all of us in the loop while you are on that adventure, and I look forward to hearing about it as you plan it all out!

    • retirebyforty April 6, 2017, 9:54 am

      Yes, I feel extremely lucky. I’m very grateful for the life I’m living.
      I am getting a little more sleep these days so it is getting better.

  • Jim @ Route To Retire April 6, 2017, 7:14 am

    Wait, you don’t get to sleep more in early retirement?! I’m out.

    I love to read these kinds of posts that paint a more realistic picture of what to expect after retiring early. I’d be excited to hear how a year of travel around the world goes, including how “road school” works for you guys.

    — Jim

    PS That’s pretty cool that you play the ukulele – I play the keyboard (somewhat!). Maybe we can get some others together to form a horrible personal finance band! 🙂

    • retirebyforty April 6, 2017, 9:55 am

      You’ll probably get more sleep because you don’t have a little kid. 🙂 It’ll be great once he can take care of himself more. I’ll miss having a little guy around, though.

  • Helen April 6, 2017, 8:31 am

    Joe,
    Congratulations on your 5-year freedom! As you mentioned, your retirement life is not that typically slow as other retirees, just because your kid is young. I retired 2 years ago, and can sleep as much as I want to, and do whatever I like and can afford to. On the other hand, I miss the time when my kid was young. Now he is an adult, has his own life, and I’m still adjusting to this new role of mom (i.e. staying away from his way, haha). Enjoy and have fun.

    • retirebyforty April 6, 2017, 9:56 am

      Life is much better now that our kid is in school. I’m not looking forward to having a teenager, though. He’ll cause even more trouble than he is now. 🙂

  • Financial Coach Brad April 6, 2017, 8:33 am

    I actually have been good about consistent exercise since retiring. What I’ve found to be a challenge on the other hand is the travel. I have the time – our daughter is in college – but when my wife and I start planning out trips that we want to take, we find that it is a lot more expensive than we hoped. We have enough to retire at our comfortable living budget (which includes $10k/year of travel) but to travel full-time — *at the comfort level we like* — really starts to add up. So for now we’ll do shorter term travel. But we’re discussing the idea of full-time (RV) for a couple of years, then scaling back to shorter trips again. It’s all up in the air really. :))

    • retirebyforty April 6, 2017, 9:58 am

      That’s great about exercise. This year is a lot better for me, but I’m not sure what we’ll do for the summer. He’ll be out of school and I won’t have as much time for myself.
      Getting an RV sounds like the key for you. I think long term travel is too expensive because we keep the house. That’s too much expense. If you get rid of the house, the cost of travel wouldn’t be that bad.

  • Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes April 6, 2017, 9:23 am

    Great list Joe — I would have to agree with the vast majority of it. Retiring with young kids is kind of tough at first….but it’s nice to see that it gets better as they get older.

    I’ve still got a couple years to go before we hit kindergarten. Wish me luck!

    • retirebyforty April 7, 2017, 9:37 am

      It’s pretty much perfect right now. I just hope the teenage years will be as trouble free.. Good luck to you as well.

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher April 6, 2017, 9:43 am

    I mean, FIRE will look different, especially if you choose to be a stay at home parent. Your time tends to be less structured during FIRE, so it’s all about re-balancing that structure again. It’s definitely better than a 9-to-5 you hate. 🙂

    • retirebyforty April 7, 2017, 9:38 am

      You’re right. Most people like a little structure in their lives. It’s tough when everything is wide open. I find that it is easier to keep a schedule for going to the gym, work on the blog, etc…

  • Financial Panther April 6, 2017, 9:54 am

    Dang! I thought for sure you’d be able to sleep 12 hours a day once you hit that early retirement button.

  • Mr. All Things Money April 6, 2017, 10:07 am

    I think you have done great in early retirement. BTW, those grey cubes are now even more depressing and smaller beige cubes 🙂
    I’m still trying to get a hang of early retirement, summers are great but winters is when things get a bit depressing, especially if one doesn’t have a job to go to. Though, I try to keep myself busy. It’s been only 8 months for me, will see how things go.

    • retirebyforty April 7, 2017, 9:36 am

      How much smaller can they get? That’s terrible.
      Winter is tough in the Pacific NW if you don’t keep busy. Maybe you can volunteer or something in the winter. Fortunately, the weather is finally getting better. I love the summer here.

  • Amy @ Life Zemplified April 6, 2017, 11:25 am

    Thanks for sharing your reality as I keep dreaming. 🙂 Hoping to travel more and catch up on sleep as well. I’ve always wanted to learn to play piano, so perhaps I’ll make that a reality. Best of luck over the next 5 years and beyond!

  • Al April 6, 2017, 11:31 am

    Very good observations and list. We got exactly the same list and results with exception of the last one.

    It is apparently clear that planning does not include our personal behaviors or thought process. We are human after all.

    Transition to FI or retirement is a much difficult thing than anticipated. Lack of focus and preservation of goals are prevelent.

  • Finances with Purpose April 6, 2017, 1:02 pm

    I would like to completely change what I’ve been doing to this point and do some consulting-type activities because I truly enjoy helping others. I’ll probably also continue with some speaking, trainings, and things, but with the flexibility and ability to say “no” to just about anything without impacting my family. *That’ll* be the great part! And we’ll travel a little more, too, I’m certain.

  • FinancePatriot April 6, 2017, 1:56 pm

    I am not early retired yet, but I plan to join my wife soon as a joint stay at home parent. I think number 3 will improve with age. Our kids are nearly 6 and 8, and we are taking them to Puerto Rico, using a combination of travel hacking, points and cash, which I recently wrote an article about on my blog.

    Thanks for sharing, and as a 40 year old, I’d be happy to sit and attentively listen to you play the Ukelele.

    • retirebyforty April 7, 2017, 9:39 am

      Puerto Rico sounds great! We’re going to Mexico this year and it should be very cheap. We can use all our points finally!

  • ChooseBetterLife April 6, 2017, 2:18 pm

    “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.”
    It is true that tasks take as much time as we have to complete them, so we might as well fill our schedules with things we enjoy and leave less time for the mundane tasks.
    Congrats on 5 years!

  • Mark April 6, 2017, 2:39 pm

    Gosh, how do you do to get so much online income? I have a blog but I only get cents…
    How many visitors do you have daily and monthly btw?

  • Susan Tull April 6, 2017, 2:56 pm

    Please tell me how you’re getting 10.5% on your 401k? my money is in Fidelity through work. Its climbing but not at that rate.

    • retirebyforty April 7, 2017, 9:43 am

      I just keep investing in the Total stock market index. The 10.5% actually is not big. VTSMX went up over 25% since I started my i401k account in Nov. 2013. Just pick the fund with low cost and keep investing.

  • Angela April 7, 2017, 11:35 am

    My hubby and I are working out a early retirement abroad plan We are 33 and 32 right now. Both in engineering. Both maxing out 401k and Roth IRA’s, and saving in after tax accounts as well. Love reading about your path.

    Funny to hear that being a stay at home dad was not at all as easy as you imagined it to be.

    • retirebyforty April 8, 2017, 8:23 am

      Good luck! Where will you retire? I want to retire abroad too, but Mrs. RB40 likes it here in the US. We’ll probably live half time abroad when we’re both fully retired.

  • gfaseed April 7, 2017, 12:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing this!
    I agree with the suggestion above: invest in one or two ETF and then rebalance.

  • Stockbeard April 10, 2017, 12:18 pm

    Thanks Joe! This echoes a lot of what I wrote about recently, in my 6 weeks stunt as a stay at home dad. I think I’m reading you experience everything I experienced, but your take on it is much more positive than mine. Same experience, different attitude, I have a lot to learn from you 🙂

    I’m extremely worried about the idea of being constantly at home: in my experience, just like you described, it means even less time to spend on one’s blog or online side gig, which is counter intuitive but very accurate.

    The big difference in my situation is that my wife is a stay at home mom (and has been for 5 years), so hopefully we’ll be able to reach a compromise given that my blog brings some income: it won’t be a full time job anymore, but hopefully we’ll agree that I get to spend some time in my “office” while she handles the kid, at least on a part-time basis.

    • Stockbeard April 10, 2017, 12:21 pm

      kids*, not kid. We have 3 of them. Otherwise I’d be less concerned 😛

  • Jay April 11, 2017, 4:42 am

    Interesting post! Thanks for sharing these retirement lessons. I for one expected that you’d be getting more sleep, so thanks for resetting my expectations! Your travel ambitions are also exciting and would be fun to travel for a full 12 months. Good luck! 🙂

  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life April 14, 2017, 12:34 pm

    I think the sleep thing was farfetched since we have kids – we’re not likely to sleep for many years to come, I’m guessing!

    I’m trying to set better habits on both the sleep and exercise fronts now, well before we get to the point of retirement, in hopes that we’ll be healthy enough to enjoy that retirement and also won’t struggle as much to make those fit into our new routine, whenever that happens.

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