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4 Years After Early Retirement Update


4 Years After Early RetirementIt’s been 4 years since I quit my engineering career and I have settled into early retirement quite nicely. I feel really good about my life. We are doing well financially. Our marriage is great and we just celebrated our 17th anniversary last week. RB40Jr is a happy and healthy kid. The blog, Retire by 40, is doing relatively well. Life is good and I hope it continues this way for many years to come. There are some challenges of course, but things are going very well overall. Okay, let’s go through a few topics in detail.

Early Retirement Finances

My biggest fear with early retirement is that I’d have to go back to work for a corporation again. What if we run out of money and can’t pay our bills? I don’t want to be a Walmart greeter when I’m 65. Going back to work for someone else would be the worst case scenario for me. I don’t think I can take being told what to do anymore. I don’t mind working part-time for myself, though. Self employment suits me much better than being an employee.

Things are going well so far, but retiring early means 50+ years of retirement and that is a long time. The early years of retirement are crucial because if you start off with a big loss, your retirement fund can take a hit that it won’t recover from. That’s why my goal is to keep increasing our net worth (or at least keep it stable) while we are still in our 40s and early 50s. Once we reach 55, I would then be more comfortable with drawing down our accounts.

We have been very lucky because the stock and housing market have been on a roll since I retired in 2012. Our net worth increased by 66% since I quit working full-time. That’s amazing! We have Mrs. RB40 to thank for this. Her income has been increasing and that has enabled us to save over $50,000 every year since 2012. I’m very happy with our finances and I’m confident we could weather an economic recession at this point.

Looking back now, I think I may have retired a bit prematurely. Our finances were good, but not great. If the stock market had crashed right after I retired, we might not have been able to handle it. Early retirement is working out because our investments did quite well over the last 4 years. Now, our finances are solid and I have high confidence that my early retirement can go the distance.

Here are the things I’ve done to keep our finances on track.

  •  Dry run – We saved all of the income from my old job for one year before I retired. This gave me the confidence I needed to retire early. It also acclimated us to living on a more moderate income.
  •  Part time self employment – I make some money from Retire by 40 and that income is very helpful. I highly recommend working part time on something you enjoy. It brings in some extra income and it keeps life interesting.
  •  Mrs. RB40 still works – Mrs. RB40 enjoys her job so that’s a great advantage for our family. Recently, she is starting to feel the urge and she is planning to retire by 2020.
  •  Keep track of our cash flow– I track our income and expenses in detail every month. I don’t want to start depleting our funds yet so our income needs be higher than our expenses on the average. Tracking your monthly cash flow is a very useful exercise for everyone. You can evaluate your expenses monthly and see if your purchases really increase your level of happiness.
  •  Monitor our retirement projection –I have been using Personal Capital’s Retirement Planner to monitor our retirement plan. It takes all our real expenses and investments into account, then calculates our chance of having a successful retirement. Things look great for now, but it can change if our expenses increase too much or if too many investments go belly up. This is a good way to look ahead so you can make adjustments as needed. You need to be flexible with early retirement.

I feel very fortunate that our finance is doing well, but it has only been 4 years. We need to be vigilant so our retirement fund can remain healthy over the next 50+ years.

Early Retirement Purpose

Actually, finance is probably the easiest part of early retirement once you have settled into a routine. For us, we just need to make sure our cash flow is positive and to keep investing regularly. We will continue to save and invest as long as Mrs. RB40 is working. Once she retires, then we will probably stop saving.

The tougher part of early retirement is to find a purpose after leaving your career. Last week, I met up with my old friends from work for lunch. One of them said he is looking forward to doing nothing after he retires. I guess doing nothing would work for some people, but most of us need more than that.  You need to have some projects to keep life interesting. Sitting at home all day is a quick ticket to Depressionville. Luckily, I have a couple of long term projects that keep me extremely busy.

Stay at home dad – Being a SAHD has been an eye opening experience. I never thought it would be so challenging. When I first quit my job, our kid was 18 months old and he was so easy to handle. I had to change diapers, wake up in the middle of the nights, and deal with baby food, but those were all routine tasks. It got more difficult when he turned 2 and started to assert himself. RB40Jr is a very active boy and he seems to get into trouble constantly. Long time readers would know that I love being a SAHD, but I had plenty of complaints, too. Now that he is 5 years old, it is starting to get easier again. He is getting better at listening and controlling himself. He hasn’t been in timeout for weeks now so he is getting into trouble a lot less. Also, he will start kindergarten in 2 months. I will have a lot more time to work on my other projects soon. I can’t wait!

My take on kids

  • Age 0 to 18 months – A ton of work because babies can’t do anything.
  • Age 18 months to 2 years old – The best time. Kids are super cute at this age and they are a lot less trouble than babies.
  • Age 2 to 5 years old – This time is tough because they are constantly pushing boundaries. They don’t listen to anything and constantly talk back.
  • Age 5 to 10 years old – Another really nice period. Kids are starting to gain some independence and bother you a lot less frequently.

Blogging – Another project that keeps me busy is this blog. I’m not a fast writer and it takes me at least 3-4 hours to write and post each article. I can’t get anything done when RB40Jr is around so I work when he’s at school and after he goes to bed. It is impossible to concentrate when he’s here. He is very disruptive, but that’s normal behavior for a 5-year-old. Kindergarten will good for both of us. Blogging is still fun, but it is starting to get really difficult to write 3 times per week. I am going to reduce the posting frequency to twice a week until school starts. It is summer after all and we should enjoy it while we can. Thank you everyone for following my early retirement journey and making this blog a success.

Retired life is busy for me and that’s a good thing. I think every retiree needs some long term projects to keep themselves busy. That’s why working part time on something you enjoy after retirement is such a great idea. You can learn something new, earn a little income to supplement your retirement, and keep life interesting. Sitting around and watching TV can wait until you’re 85 and need a walker.

Early Retirement Health and Fitness

Health is another big reason why I decided to leave my career. The job wasn’t right for me anymore. I was stressed out all the time and it was negatively affecting my health. You can read more about my health issues in this post – I handed in my 2 weeks notice. Anyway, I feel much more normal now.  I can think clearly and I don’t have panic attacks anymore. It’s inevitable for our health to decline as we age, but stress will accelerate that decline. I’m very lucky to be able to age in a less stressful environment. If your job is really stressful, you need to figure out how to decrease that stress. I think high stress is bearable for 2-3 years, but not much longer than that.

My friends from work were telling me that working at Intel is ten times worse now than when I left. Intel is purging older engineers and many of people I knew are gone. They strongly push senior engineers to move up the ladder and contribute more. If you’re not moving up, you’re on the way out. It doesn’t matter anymore if you are good at your job. The company wants new blood and they’ll get it at the expense of older workers. That’s a bad environment to be in if you’re over 40. This model is ridiculous and it is unsustainable. Intel stock is doing pretty well, though. It’s time to sell the few remaining shares I have left… I’m very glad I left when I did.

Fitness is another story. I used to work out most days during lunch and that’s one of the things I missed the most about the office. Nowadays, I’d be lucky to get to the gym twice a week. It’s just a lot harder than working out at lunch. Once school starts, I’m hoping to exercise every weekday. I’ll head to the gym right after RB40Jr gets on the school bus. Exercise will be easier because it will become routine.

Early Retirement Challenges

Life isn’t static and plans will change. Mrs. RB40 liked her job and she didn’t plan on early retirement when I quit in 2012. However, she has seen how much my quality of life has improved and she wants a more relaxed life too. She likes her job, but she wants more time to work on other projects outside of work. Currently, she doesn’t have time to do anything.

I think 2020 is a great goal for her. If she can hang on until 2020, our finance will improve a lot more. We’ll see how it goes. She probably could retire in less than 2 years if the stars line up. Early retirees need to be flexible and adapt to changes as they come. If your retirement projection takes a turn for the worse, then there are many things you can do to improve it. You can work part time, cut expenses, move to a more affordable area, or even reduce your kid’s inheritance. Don’t wait until things are desperate before taking appropriate actions.

Early Retirement is Fantastic

Early retirement has been fantastic so far. I’m really glad I left the pressure cooker in 2012 before it got really bad. Sure, I missed out on the separation package, but I’m okay with that. I don’t do well in a high pressure environment and I would gladly give up some potential monetary gain to avoid it.

Also, my life is low key and I’m happy with that. Some bloggers are traveling across the globe and they are living extraordinary lives. I think that’s awesome and I get a little jealous sometime too. However, I’m very happy with my ordinary life for now. There will be more excitement when RB40Jr is a bit older. We plan to travel around the world for a year after Mrs. RB40 retires. I think we’ll take off after 4th grade so junior can come back to start middle school (6th grade). That will give us plenty of stories for the blog, right?

Anyway, the last 4 years flew by. Before we know it, I’d be retired for 10 years! Life is short and time flies. If you are stuck in a life you don’t like, then put all your effort into improving your situation. You don’t want to wake up at 60 and wonder where all the time has gone.

Thanks again for following our early retirement adventure and good luck on yours!

*See my guide – How to Start a Blog and Why You Should. Starting a blog changed my life. It provides some income after retirement and it’s a great way to build a community. Those are the two biggest problems after retirement. It’s a great way to use some of your free time.

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, he hated the corporate BS. He left his engineering career behind to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. At Retire by 40, Joe focuses on financial independence, early retirement, investing, saving, and passive income.

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.
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{ 65 comments… add one }
  • [email protected] Smarter Decisions July 18, 2016, 4:38 am

    Have a great time camping! Thanks for the update. As a teacher, traveling the world when your son is a 4th grader would be so incredible. He will be old enough to take in so much and you can do journaling and projects as you travel. Sounds like the perfect age as his interest will likely be incredibly high! I gave up the separation package from work too (as ours was built into our contract) – well worth the lower stress to me as well.

    • retirebyforty July 18, 2016, 7:23 am

      Yes, it will be a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to it. We would need to home school on the road, though. That will be challenging.

  • Apathy Ends July 18, 2016, 4:42 am

    Have a great time camping!

    Glad everything is working out. Sad to hear how older engineers are treated at companies like Intel

    • retirebyforty July 18, 2016, 7:24 am

      The company changed a lot since I left. It’s sad, but I’m glad I got out just in time.

    • Fiscally Free July 19, 2016, 2:55 pm

      It seems to me like lots companies are really starting to squeeze employees to try to save money.
      I don’t think it’s a good long term move, but it will help their numbers this quarter.

  • John C @ Action Economics July 18, 2016, 4:45 am

    Congratulations on such a successful early retirement. Being able to continue to save a good chunk of money each year is a big plus when taking the plunge so early. I will certainly try to model my early retirement strategy to incorporate that to some degree. Life gets so much easier once they start school, especially for the first several years before the school work gets hard. My oldest is only going into 7th grade and I occasionally have to look up what he’s doing in math for a refresher to be able to help him. Have fun on the camping trip!

    • retirebyforty July 18, 2016, 7:25 am

      Thank you! Being able to save is good, but I think not withdrawing is really the key. If we could keep putting off withdrawal for 10+ years, then we will be in great shape. School should be a lot of fun for him.

  • The Green Swan July 18, 2016, 4:59 am

    Thanks for the detailed update, Joe! It is great to hear how things are going after you’ve been retired for a while now. Congrats on the anniversary! Sounds like life is good and it is great to hear.

    I can relate to some of the challenges you faced. My wife and I have a two year old and we both agree it would be difficult being a stay at home parent. Right now, we are targeting early retirement in 5-10 years and so he’ll be in school full time by then.

    It is great that your retirement accounts have only improved in recent years and helps that you are working part time and your wife is still working. I think these are good tips to help the transition. Thanks for the update!

    • retirebyforty July 18, 2016, 7:27 am

      Thanks! 17 years is a long time. We are planning to have a big party on our 20th. We didn’t have a big wedding and this will make up for it. 🙂 It’s fun being a SAHD, but it was frustrating a lot of time too. It is a lot easier now that he listens more.

  • Nick @ TheMoneyMine July 18, 2016, 5:07 am

    I don’t think you should compare your ‘ordinary’ life to some other ‘facebook extraordinary’ lives. Being in Early Retirement is extraordinary!
    I like how you summed up your past few years in Early Retirement. Maybe the move was immature because the markets could have crashed, but they didn’t. And hindsight is always 20/20.
    Looking in from the outside, you’ve made a decision that makes you happier because you now have the freedom to spend more time with your kid. I envy you a little for that. 🙂
    Your advice on having an early retirement dry run is a good one. Getting used to that for an entire year is probably a very good way to validate that it’ll be sustainable.
    Enjoy the camping trip!

    • retirebyforty July 18, 2016, 7:49 am

      That’s why I don’t log on to Facebook very much. Some friends are just having way too much fun. 🙂
      Everything is working out really well. If that’s due to luck, I’ll take it.

  • Kate @ Cashville Skyline July 18, 2016, 5:25 am

    66% net worth increase since you retired? Amazing! It’s really interesting how you’ve outlined taking care of children. I’m fairly naive, but I guess I just assumed it was non-stop work until they finally we’re old enough for full-time school. Hahah. Also, your story about stress at work reminds me of my career change. I agree that a few years of chronic stress is the maximum most of us can handle! Congratulations on your anniversary, Joe! 🙂

    • retirebyforty July 18, 2016, 7:51 am

      66% is crazy. Our investments did very well over the last 4 years. The additional savings help, but it only account for about 20% gain. Thank you!

  • Jeff V July 18, 2016, 5:26 am

    Sounds great so far! I hope to figure it out myself someday.

    – Jeff V

    • retirebyforty July 18, 2016, 7:51 am

      Thanks and good luck to you.

  • Pia @ Mama Hustle July 18, 2016, 5:33 am

    Enjoy camping! Good for you for scaling back for the rest of the summer too; no need to stress yourself out when the whole point of ER is to NOT stress out! Haha.

    • retirebyforty July 18, 2016, 7:52 am

      Yes, I need to spend more time relaxing in the summer. 🙂 I can blog more when it rains all day, everyday.

  • Jim @ Route To Retire July 18, 2016, 5:42 am

    I love your honesty in these posts because it helps people like myself see that even a successful FIer have some unsuredness (I made that word up!) leading up to quitting the 9-5. I’ll probably try the dry run as I get closer like you did – that probably helped on some of the uneasiness.

    My job’s starting to really affect me now so I’m really getting antsy about making this happen. Not affecting my health yet, but I can see it going that way. I’m ready to be at home with my daughter and enjoying life a little more.

    Have fun camping – that’s where we’re heading at the end of this week as well!

    — Jim

    • retirebyforty July 18, 2016, 7:54 am

      Good luck with the transition. It’s funny how quickly work can go from good to bad. Yes, everyone has doubt. FIers need to be flexible and adapt to situations as they arose.

  • Mr. Enchumbao July 18, 2016, 5:49 am

    Congratulations on your anniversary. It must be a lot tougher when one retires and the other one continues to work as you still have to abide by the work vacation schedule limit. 2020 is around the corner so you two will be able to enjoy retirement to the fullest.

    • retirebyforty July 18, 2016, 7:55 am

      We will be limited by school even after Mrs. RB40 retires. We’re going to Thailand for 3 weeks in November. I think that’s okay for kindergarten, but I don’t think it would work when he’s older. The school wouldn’t like kids taking so much time off.

  • Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes July 18, 2016, 6:21 am

    Great update Joe and congrats on 4 successful years.

    I honestly hope I’ll be doing as well as you are when I hit the 4 year mark! Our situations are pretty similar, but you already have some pretty significant experience!

    Your finances seem really solid, and I agree that you’ll do OK when the next recession hits!

    • retirebyforty July 18, 2016, 7:57 am

      Thank you! I think your finance is very solid too. It seems you put off retirement just long enough to get all your ducks in a row. I left a bit too early because I couldn’t stand working there anymore.

  • Dividend Growth Investor July 18, 2016, 6:24 am

    Congratulations on the 4 year retirement anniversary Joe! Here’s to many more happy and productive retirement years for you!

    • retirebyforty July 18, 2016, 7:58 am

      Thank you! I’m looking forward to many more years as well.

  • Mr. PIE July 18, 2016, 6:40 am

    Loved the honesty, openness and transparency.

    I hear you loud and clear on work stresses, health impact (physical and mental). With two years to go before our plan is realized, it seems like an eternity. It seems at times like the closer it gets, the longer drag it becomes. I am impatient by nature, though.

    I fully agree with you on kids independence. Even though ours are 9 and 7, it is hard to get posts out more than once a week with two full time working parents and the shuttling of kids to various things like sports, parties, play dates etc. Still, there could be worse things happening to us and we are grateful for two fun loving, energetic and healthy kids.

    We aim to face the headwinds of sequence of returns risk by having a lower withdrawal rate than many forums discuss. We are looking at 2.9% initially, going down to 1.5% with an additional income stream four years after FIRE. Yeah, we are conservative but that makes us sleep easy.

    • retirebyforty July 18, 2016, 7:59 am

      Thank you! My last year at work was agonizing. I kept counting down the days. It was the longest year of my life. 🙂 Dealing with two kids is a lot harder than one. Kids have so much energy, it’s ridiculous. 3% is really good and your retirement fund should last a long time.

  • Mike Drak July 18, 2016, 6:54 am

    Joe you are a great role model. for the cause! I left the corporate world because of health reasons also. I didn’t agree with the actions that the company was taking, they seemed indifferent to the welfare of their employees and I just couldn’t support the cause anymore. It took me about two years before I finally recovered and my head began to clear and things are very good right now but it was difficult at first. My only concern right now is my long term health and I need to put a consistent workout program in place.
    One question when did you achieve FI and was FI your tipping point when you decided to leave your job? Do you think people should be FI before they take ER?

    • retirebyforty July 18, 2016, 9:55 am

      Our net worth exceeded 25x expense in 2012. If work wasn’t so bad, I would have tried for 30x for a little more cushion. I don’t think you need to be FI before you take ER. If you plan to work part time, then I think close to FI is good enough. It really depends on the job situation. Good luck with your workout program. You should try to do it 5x per week. It really is easier once it becomes routine.

  • Josh July 18, 2016, 6:56 am

    Thanks for detailing the challenges of having kids under 5 while you navigate early retirement. As I said in another comment on your blog, it’s super helpful to get these real life examples. I laughed when you said “kindergarten is going to be good for both of us”!

  • [email protected] Turtle July 18, 2016, 6:56 am

    Wow! Your finances have done great since early retirement!
    Was your blog making money when you retired, or did you only try to monetize it after you quit your day job?

    • retirebyforty July 18, 2016, 9:57 am

      The blog was making money, but not that much. My business income was only $13,000 in 2012. It was just enough to help pay the bills.

  • Stockbeard July 18, 2016, 11:45 am

    Inspiring update, Joe! I relate a lot to your situation and can only hope I’ll have a similar experience to yours when I pull the plug. It doesn’t sound boring to me at all 🙂

    Also, you said about Intel:
    “If you’re not moving up, you’re on the way out” –> Can 100% relate to this in my own company. A colleague and dear friend is now “on the way out” because he was not pushing enough to try and move up, despite being a brilliant worker at his level. The company will be losing a good element because they constantly try to force people “up”

    • retirebyforty July 18, 2016, 3:35 pm

      I’m looking forward to your retirement too. We’ll have someone to visit in Japan. 🙂
      Work is really crazy now. I guess it’s good for the stock price, but it is too heartless. Working for a corporation is terrible.

  • John July 18, 2016, 12:32 pm

    Is there a post where you lay out your annual expenses post retirement and especially after your partner retires. I assume your current insurance needs are taken care of by her employer but I am curious what you have budgeted post 2020.

    • retirebyforty July 18, 2016, 3:41 pm

      I haven’t done much annual recap. I just do monthly.
      Our annual expenses after Mrs. RB40 retires will be pretty similar to now. The only big change is health insurance. I haven’t budget for it yet because the cost is changing so much. It looks like we will be okay with $1,000 per month with the ACA subsidy. We’ll have to wait and see.

  • Sam @ Financial Samurai July 18, 2016, 2:51 pm

    I’m very impressed you’ve got the Mrs still working hard after 4 years of early retirement! I think that is the biggest feat out of this article.

    After about a year of early retirement, I made a deal to help my Mrs. engineer her layoff to enjoy the good life as well. There is NO WAY I would last for four years riding solo! lol


    • retirebyforty July 18, 2016, 3:42 pm

      I still think you don’t need to retire if you like working. Some people has non stressful jobs that they enjoy. Why quit when you don’t have to. Nice job with your missus. Kid anytime soon? 🙂

      • Sam July 18, 2016, 5:44 pm

        Maybe one day within the next several years. Who knows the future!

  • FIRECracker July 18, 2016, 2:57 pm

    Congrats on 4 years of retirement!

    We’ve had 1 year in retirement so far and it’s AMAZING! Got to travel the world in our 30s and we’re heading to Japan in August.

    I completely understand when you say work was stressing you out. I’m an engineer too, and my hubby used to work for a company that got bought out by Intel. Our line of work definitely pays well but man do you have to trade off your health and time for it. I’m so much happier now and am no longer spending all my time in physio and popping anxiety pills. Thank goodness we stumbled into FI (we almost bought an overpriced house instead!) and learned how to invest. YAY for early retirement!

    • retirebyforty July 18, 2016, 3:48 pm

      Congratulation to you as well. You’re way ahead at 31. 🙂
      Intel is getting worse and worse. It’s sad.

    • John July 18, 2016, 9:34 pm

      Fellow engineer, but from a different industry. I’m just curious what the hours were like in the tech industry assuming that’s where you were working.

  • Mr Crazy Kicks July 18, 2016, 5:17 pm

    Wow 4 years! I am glad to see it is working out for you. I hope I have the same luck, I just retired a few weeks ago. It’s really interesting to see how you have settled in, and sounds like you left at a good time and are happier and healthier for it!

    • retirebyforty July 19, 2016, 8:54 am

      Good luck with your ER! Your travel hacking trip was great. I’m not very good at travel hacking either and haven’t been able to maximize it. Health is a big piece of it for sure. You can’t enjoy life if you’re not healthy.

      • Mr Crazy Kicks July 21, 2016, 11:33 am

        Thanks! I was slow to get going with the travel hacking, but the success on that trip has me hooked now.

  • Dividend Diplomats July 18, 2016, 6:35 pm


    Knew this one would be a hit! Amazing, 4 years and you’re still kicking more butt than ever. It’s funny, I once thought I was in a great routine with my investments and started really diving into more of the strategy for tax purposes this last month or so. I’m making quite a few changes, changes that will be intense throughout the rest of the year, but starting January should be fairly relaxed and in that real “routine”. Nice job and great inspiration, as always!


    • retirebyforty July 19, 2016, 8:58 am

      Sounds like a lot of work. The Roth IRA conversion is the way to go for early retirees. We have a lot of years with low earnings. Hopefully, the congress doesn’t change this rule anytime soon. Good luck.

  • John July 18, 2016, 9:27 pm


    It’s amazing to hear the perspective from the other side. Most of us are still on the journey to get to being where you’re at. I know the hardest part will be pulling the plug and giving up the income because it’s a great safety net.

    I think you hit it on the head when you were talking about timing. It might’ve been a very different story if the market went the other direction the past few years. Honestly, it’s gotten truly ridiculous with the amount of debt that’s propping up the world markets. I’m curious to hear if you ever worry about the next recession or if your plan is to just ride out the storm.

    • retirebyforty July 19, 2016, 8:59 am

      Our finance is very solid now so I’m not worried about the next recession. We could cut back for a few years and ride it through. Our income would probably drop, but we should be able to get through it. Hopefully, the next recession will hit before Mrs. RB40 quits her job.

  • Marc @ Rusty Savings July 19, 2016, 5:20 am

    Congrats on hitting 4 years!

    I love your blog because it just seems honest. I really enjoy you talking about raising your son as a SAHD. On the days I’m home full time with my kids sometimes I just want to go back to work so that I can take a break! Kids make going out to do anything harder, so you find yourself staying home more and more often.

    I think it’s a good thing though. I don’t know if I’m falling into a grass is greener trap but I feel like as a kid I appreciated everything more and was in general just happier. Also, I didn’t spend money! My kids are re-teaching me that life lesson and I couldn’t be more grateful.

    • retirebyforty July 19, 2016, 9:01 am

      Thank you! Being a SAHD is fun, but we have a lot of frustrating moments too. Preschool is a great break for both of us. My kid definitely has more fun than me when I was a kid. He is so mischievous. Everything is fun and games to him.
      Have fun with the kids while you can!

  • Stefanie OConnell July 19, 2016, 6:34 am

    It takes me a full day to write a blog post too and I don’t have ANY children. I have serious hesitations about becoming a parent when I read about peoples’ experiences. I really love my midday naps 🙂

    • retirebyforty July 19, 2016, 9:02 am

      Kids aren’t for everyone. 🙂

  • Michael @ Financially Alert July 20, 2016, 12:50 am

    Congrats on the wedding anniversary, Joe! I’m coming up on my 11th next month.

    Sounds like you’re doing really well with your early retirement and keeping nice and busy. I just passed my third year of early retirement and life couldn’t be better.

    As your fellow SAHD, it’s a lot easier now that my kids are growing up. No more bottles or routine changing schedules to follow! 😉

    • retirebyforty July 21, 2016, 6:12 pm

      Thanks and congrats to you as well. Our kid got much easier when he hits 5. From now on, he’ll need less and less of our time. Kids grow up very fast.

  • Dividend Meter July 20, 2016, 5:01 am

    Congratulations on both anniversaries, 4 years post-pressure cooker and of course, 17 years of marriage. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog over the years, thanks.

    • retirebyforty July 21, 2016, 6:12 pm

      Thank you for the encouragement!

  • Joan J. Carrigan July 21, 2016, 2:11 am

    I’ve heard this sort of thing from so many people when I talk with them about early retirement (“I’d be so bored”, “I’d need something to do”). I can’t identify with it at all. If anything, I feel like my current job is keeping me away from the rest of my life. Hopefully within 5-10 years I’ll be able to leave those happily employed working stiffs behind and start living my dream.

  • Dividends Down Under July 21, 2016, 4:43 am

    Hey Joe,

    Congrats on your 4th year, sounds like it’s getting better and better for you 🙂 You have a great family life and it’s inspiring to see how much awesome your life has in it. It’s great reading your personal story, here’s to your next year of freedom 🙂


  • Finance Solver July 21, 2016, 7:36 pm

    Congratulations on the 4 years of retirement. It looks like it’s treating you very well with bettering your health and having a better piece of mind. Taking care of the little RB40 must also be challenging yet rewarding!

  • TheHappyPhilosopher July 21, 2016, 7:45 pm

    Nice work Joe. Congrats on 4 years!

  • iFreebies July 22, 2016, 6:30 am

    Great post. So nice to hear some candid feedback from somebody who is living early retirement. I give you a ton of credit. Great job hitting your goal and being able to spend time with your child. I missed that part when they were little and I’ll never get it back. I agree that having some side projects seems to make all of the difference. The people I know who are retired and happy have side projects and seem pretty busy. The unhappy ones watch way too much TV and live a sedentary lifestyle. Thanks again for the update and keep us posted.

  • Girish August 15, 2016, 10:52 am

    Just stumbled onto your blog while surfing. I could relate to your post a lot as I am in same situation. I was tech employee for 23 years. Got stressed and burnt out. My health was being deteriorated. That was surprising considering the fact that I also used to run half marathons! Finally encouraged by my wife to quit and do what I love doing which is stock investing. I have been investing for 20 years as a serious hobby and side business. When I realized that I was making more money in the market than in tech industry I decided to quit. It’s been 17 months now. I am enjoying the freedom. Pursuing my CFA, am now part of successful investor’s network in India, managing and growing my proprietary account, buying and reading books, running marathons, afternoon naps…list goes on. I don’t call myself as retired because although I do not work for any one I have specific plans for my personal business. I will perhaps be active stock investor till the end of my life. For me it is not work. I am 47 and seeing that many tech engineers in India above 40 are frustrated at their jobs and dream of starting something on their own. I feel blessed and grateful that I am doing what I love to do and that too on my own terms.

    • retirebyforty August 15, 2016, 12:04 pm

      Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you’re doing very well. Good luck with your CFA. Life is great when you can do what you want.

  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life March 24, 2017, 1:17 pm

    Happy anniversary to you both!

    “I think high stress is bearable for 2-3 years, but not much longer than that.”
    STRONGLY agree. I spent several years steeped in that level of stress. The week I spent off after quitting the worst job, before starting a new much less stressful one. I had virtually no pain. That was the best I had felt in 20 years!

    I love the speed that you’re living your retired life. It’s much more in tune with how we want to live than some other FIRE bloggers I enjoy reading. I love reading about the world travel but it’s not for me. Enjoying every day, with the occasional awesome big trip, sounds so much better for us, especially with a kid and a dog.

    Also – in hindsight, YES, 18-24 months was the best. Maybe even 14-24 months because JuggerBaby was so much fun even when teething (and therefore angry) and learning to walk and becoming independent.

    Age 2 hit us like a hammer to the face with the talking back, and extra stubbornness, and all of that 🙂

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