The Biggest Problem with Early Retirement

The biggest problem with early retirement

Early Retirement – mmm…  I bet early retirement sounds really good to many of you who are reading this from a cubicle at work. I have been happily unemployed for over 9 years now and I love it. Early retirement is awesome, but I do miss the regular paychecks occasionally. Our household income dropped significantly when I retired, but we were prepared for it. Fortunately, we are doing quite well financially today due to the stock market. However, finance is just part of the equation for a happy early retirement. We need to prepare for other problems too. Today, I want to talk about what to do with your time after early retirement.

(Updated 2021) I originally wrote this post in 2013. I’m updating this to link to LAF’s early retirement epic fail. I wrote about this last time. Unfortunately, it seems retiring to a leisurely lifestyle is a recipe for disaster when you’re young. You really need some long-term projects to keep you occupied. They’ll give you some purpose.

The biggest problem after early retirement

IMO, the biggest problem after early retirement is the lack of long-term goals. Typically, we have many long-term structured goals from a young age. We are expected to go to school, attend college, and progress on a career ladder until retirement. Here is the typical progression of a middle-class white-collar worker.

  • Grade School
  • Junior High School
  • High School
  • College degree
  • Graduate degree
  • Entry level office job
  • Get raises and promotions
  • Get more education and training
  • Become a manager or senior level worker
  • Make more and spend more so everyone knows you’re successful
  • Retire at 65

Most people are happy with the structure. Everyone wants to fit in and be normal. I bought into the message for many years. When I was working, I tried hard to complete every project well so I can earn raises and promotions. This worked for a while, but I became stressed out and discontented. Eventually, I decided to retire from my engineering career early and go my own way. I jumped off the treadmill and my life became totally unstructured. I have a lot more autonomy now and I march to my own beat.

The transition to an unstructured lifestyle was abrupt. It can be difficult if you don’t prepare. Many retirees are unsatisfied with the leisurely lifestyle and actually become depressed. The lack of direction coupled with long empty hours wears many people down after a few years. This problem is magnified when you retire early. You’re young and have a lot of energy. You’re used to making progress every year. Living a leisurely life is stagnating. This is fine when you’re 65, but younger folks will be very unhappy with stagnation.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

One career developmental question that is frequently asked is, ‘Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?’ As much as I dislike this question, it gets you to consider your long-term goals and what you would like to accomplish. This question applies to early retirees just as much as anyone. You need to have some long-term goals to keep you busy. If your answer is sitting around watching TV or sipping umbrella drinks on the beach, then I think you’ll be bored out of your mind after two or three years. You need to make progress so you don’t feel bad about yourself.

Fortunately, I did my homework and knew about this problem early on. I lined up a couple of big projects before I quit my job. These projects are still keeping me busy and engaged after 9 years. Here they are.

  • Raising a kid – Being a happy stay at home dad is a full time job. My long term goal is to help Baby RB40 succeed in school and get into a good college. He is already a free thinker, so I want to channel his energy into being a good citizen and possibly being more entrepreneurial than I was. This is up to him, of course. This will keep me busy for the next 15 years. For the short term, I’m just trying to encourage him to read more. Once he starts grade school, I should have more time for more projects.
  • Blog – Blogging has basically grown into a half time job. Blogging is taking up a lot of time, but it is a lot of fun as well. The long term goal for Retire By 40 is to build an audience while also being helpful and relevant for early retirees. Many bloggers get burned out and I want to avoid that at all costs. Of course, a little more income wouldn’t hurt.

I was working on these things for a few years before I retired from my career and I urge everyone to do something similar. These current projects will eventually require less time and I will find other long-term projects to take on. Being financially independent is awesome, but you also need to figure out what to do with your time as well.

2021 update

  • SAHD – Life got much easier after RB40Jr started school. Now, being a SAHD is like an easy part-time job. He spends a lot of time in school and doesn’t need a lot of supervision when he’s at home. I am the assistant coach on his soccer team so that takes about 4-5 hours per week. This is recreational time, though. Anyway, we passed the halfway point for this project. He’ll go off to college in no time.
  • Blog – I started Retire by 40 in 2010. The first 7 years, I spent 20-30 hours per week on this project. Now, I spend about half of that time. Fortunately, I still enjoy blogging and I make some money online from this project. Hopefully, I can continue blogging until I’m ready for full retirement, probably around 60.
  • Side hustle – Over the last few years, I’ve been picking up some side gigs. Currently, I charge scooters to earn a little income. I spend anywhere from 10-20 hours per week on this side gig. The great thing about this side hustle is that I get to exercise too. I like making money because a little active income goes a long way in early retirement. Net worth is a great way to mark your progress in life. Even if you’re retired, growing your net worth makes you feel good. That is as long as the work isn’t too demanding.
  • Parents – My mom has dementia and my dad is taking care of her. He’s getting older too so it’s getting harder every day. Last year, I spent 6 weeks in Thailand to help out as much as I could. From now on, I plan to spend 3 months per year there to help out. This time commitment will probably keep growing.

Today, I spend less time on blogging and being a SAHD. But other things came in to fill up the extra time. I don’t have time to be bored and discontent. That’s the key to having a happy retirement.

The key to a successful early retirement

If you find yourself bored or depressed in retirement, then you probably need to find a few long-term projects to immerse yourself in. The good thing about retirement is that you will have plenty of time to figure it out.

You can

  • Pursue artistic interests like painting, pottery, or photography.
  • Help others by finding a cause that you care about and volunteer.
  • Get involved in your community or join a movement.
  • Get in touch with your spiritual side.
  • Try working for yourself to build the business that you always dreamed about.
  • Keep building wealth though investing and/or side hustling. Let’s face it. Money is an easy way to keep score.

Life is long. You’ll have plenty of time to relax by the pool when you’re 65. If you retire early, you really need to have a few long-term projects to keep you busy. That’s the key to a happy early retirement, IMO. Humans are happiest when we are making progress. Don’t take that away when you retire, early or not. 

What about you?  Do you have any long-term goals for after retirement? You really need to set some goals if you don’t.

*I invest in real estate across the United States with CrowdStreet to generate passive income. This is a great way to diversify your investment. There are many interesting commercial projects available so sign up for a free account and check them out!

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. After 16 years of investing and saving, he achieved financial independence and retired at 38.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have many projects across the USA so check them out!

Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. They have many useful tools that will help you reach financial independence.

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78 thoughts on “The Biggest Problem with Early Retirement”

  1. I haven’t posted in a while on your site but usually read through your posts in my email. I’ve been subscribed since your earliest days. My how time flies.
    What caught my attn. was that you were charging scooters. During this virus, riding performance kick style scooters has become quite a fun hobby for me. Especially since many other leisure activities have be unavailable or restrictive. I can throw my helmet on and zip around on or off road easily for 2-3 hours and have a blast. They are also practical for short errands, or even going through drive-through’s. I have even seen a guy do “door dash” deliveries on one. I have also seen a video of people collecting scooters through an app and doing that (charging) on YouTube as you mentioned here. Have you documented your costs and your income doing that? Do you have to return the scooters to a specific place after you charge them? Have you tried the scooters your charging. They are usually pretty basic entry level ones that are the rentals. But it seems to be a trend that is growing.

    Reply
  2. I’m having a bit of a midlife crisis and for the first time since college I’m like… what would I do? If work isn’t fulfilling, what would be? And I can’t really come up with much. (I think I have a post on this next Monday or the Monday after.) My DH reminded me that a lot of people think of their job as a job rather than a source of fulfillment. Until I find something I actually *want* to do that makes sense.

    And it is ridiculous because being a professor looks a lot like what people want their retirements to look like. Possibly the problem is that I’m overdue for a sabbatical.

    Reply
    • I look at this totally differently. Instead of wondering how I’m going to fill the 8-9 hours dedicated to work each day (or more these days because people don’t unplug), I just tell people I do more of what I already do when I’m not working, then add to it. Sort of an obvious thought no? There is no reason to justify what you do with your time to anyone, and there should be no guilt attached to your choices. It’s more like you are breaking a habit or reprogramming yourself, instead of replacing a time block of tasks with new tasks in order to feel fulfilled or valuable.

      Reply
  3. For me, the main reason I wanted to retire early was to spend more time with my daughter so that poetically fulfilled itself and life is good. But I also purposely started Route to Retire while I was working to have something to transition to as well. That’s also worked out well and is something I continue to enjoy over 6 years later.

    In sort of a twist, I kind of hoped to have some more downtime during retirement but I still haven’t seen much of that. There are still a ton of projects and hobbies on my list that I want to get to but haven’t had time to do yet. That’s because I’m spending so much time with family now, so it’s all good, but it was still a big surprise.

    You mentioned that you don’t get bored either. I would imagine that’s pretty common for early retirees, but mainly if they’ve planned well before pulling the trigger… which, I guess is the whole point of your post! ?

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  4. I agree with you that it’s necessary to have activities to keep busy, occupied and perhaps to retain a feeling of being valued. One thing I’d add from my own experience is that these these activities don’t necessarily have to be grand ideas. Initially, I thought my time would need to be filled with big and exciting things, but I’ve since found that many of the activities that I value and that make the days fly by could quite possibly seem mundane to others, but that doesn’t matter so long as I enjoy them. Like you, I enjoy my blog, I also enjoy my running as well as some cycling, skiing and now a little tennis, I enjoy meeting up with my friends for the odd coffee, weirdly I enjoy dealing with life admin and our finances, and while I can’t claim to enjoy it as much as endure it, I spend time trying (and mostly failing) to learn French. They may not sound that grand or exciting, but they are projects that take my time and are a valuable part of my enjoyable early retirement.
    I think your examples are similar.

    Reply
    • Right, I don’t think they have to be grand projects either. If it’s a big project, then that’s good.
      Otherwise, a bunch of smaller projects are good too. I’m doing quite a few things and I feel pretty busy.

      Reply
  5. When you wrote in the beginning about having an unstructured life, I couldn’t help but think of my kids. I didn’t know you’d eventually get to that. Even if my side hustles are unstructured (or if I have no side hustles), I still have a structure to get the kids up and going to school and then the after-school activities.

    I don’t have much of a 5-year plan though and that scares me a bit.

    Reply
    • I think your side hustles are pretty structured. You have autonomy, but you still try to schedule them in.
      Also, you probably don’t need a 5-year plan. The kids and side hustles are keeping you very busy.
      Once the kids go off to college, then you’ll need to figure out what to do. But by then, you’ll probably be ready to relax and enjoy life.

      Reply
  6. As the kids grow up folks can return back to uni (Masters or PHd – Languages etc , do charity/church work, start their own bizness company (SpaceX ? 🙂 ) , more travel, writing/art 🙂 etc … Love these refreshes — after so many years as a blogger – revisits to old good topics is good … reflection on new books or current events adds good subject matter …

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  7. Yep, you’ve gotta keep busy! Whatever a person decides to do in retirement, if you get bored with life that’s not good!

    There’s a lot of talk these days about “having a purpose”, and it’s not wrong. If your purpose in life is “relaxing”, you’ll probably quickly grow tired of that. The human mind and body like a little challenge to keep us going!

    There’s such a thing as “too much stress” of course, so it’s a fine line. Based on my experience having something to do for 10-20 hours per week is just about right. Like a part time job. That leaves plenty of time for leisure, but still enough “work” to keep life interesting and busy.

    Reply
    • 10-20 hours per week is great. That’s not too much and not too little.
      Occasionally, I still feel like I don’t have enough time. It’ll be better once the winter sets in. My side gig will disappear and come back in the spring.

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  8. Hi all, 50 is just a few weeks away! Found this site very interesting, I work hands on technical job. Work is not physical or demanding on me, I hope to remain working till I drop. I fear stopping work , as I find winters very long (Scotland) and feel I would get depressed very easily. I feel the sense of structure work has, is becoming more important, long term goals ,like paying my mortgage off are now complete, the need for money is not the same, and I chose to leave my old job 18 months ago and do a job more for the pleasure and satisfaction. In a way I probably feel like I retired as I find it a pleasure to go to work now, stopping this job now I think would not be good. I work with a young workforce and also find a sense of passing on my knowledge / experience feels rewarding. It helps when my hobbies are motorsport related, as this also creates some interesting chat during tea breaks. I feel I would miss this by retiring. I appreciate all the previous comments on here, and I guess its made me think I am not afraid to admit , I don’t really want to retire. I am glad that the people who have are enjoying it, I guess that’s why we are all different. Thank you all for the interesting ,honest comments I enjoyed reading on here.

    Reply
    • Hey Gerry, Congratulation! It sounds like you found a sweet spot in life. I don’t really want to fully retire until I’m in my 70s as well. As long as part time work is enjoyable, I’ll keep doing it. Working in a job you like is the way to go.

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  9. I too retired at 41. Over the past three years I have found it to be quite a challenge. The first 18 months were spent renovating a house but that became very expensive. The last 18 months have been spent traveling the world. Until recently, I did not have long term goals but I too started a blog. I can only hope for it to be as nice as yours in the future. Slowly but surely I am working towards making it look professional vs the mess of raw data it is today. Please take a look and let me know what you think. Any advice is welcomed. http://imup2.com

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  10. I’ve been retired for about 20 years. It’s been an amazing journey. The first ten years was spent building a dream house and living off the land from our three acres overlooking the Willamette Valley in Oregon. It was great! But the house was a money pit requiring too much of our retirement funding. Sold it ten years later and decided to start over again at age 65 by going back to school to get another master’s to teach ESL overseas, which we did for five years in the Middle East and loved it.

    On reentry back to the USA we bought a motorhome and have been exploring the National Parks and National Monuments. Five years later I am preparing to start another career in travel photography at 76. So…the point is, as long as we have our health, there is no end to the possibilities of retirement. Just…1) Live beneath your means, 2) Don’t lose money on your investments, 3) Remain healthy and active. Oh yeah! Don’t read the newspapers or watch the news on TV.

    Reply
    • Wow, what an adventure. I wouldn’t mind teaching ESL overseas at all.
      I plan to have an active retirement too. It’s a lot more fun to have some goals.
      Good luck with your new career.

      Reply
  11. For me early retirement is really just retirement from the cubicle. I’d still want to work and do something, maybe start a non profit, but I wan’t it to be what I want to do and not what my boss wants me to do.

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  12. I would love to have an early retirement and focus more on my family, especially guiding my kids. It will make me more satisfied with life.

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  13. Hi, I know you think you are retired, but my wife is a stay at home mom and she would never call herself retired. It is cute that you are a stay at home dad, but as long as your wife has to work to support you, neither of you is retired or financially independent. Why not just call this a daddy blog? I do joke around that my wife is “retired” when people ask me where she works but we both know that we are dependent on each other until the short term money is high enough for us both to early retire.

    Reply
    • It’s really just your state of mind. Is your wife planning to go back to work at some point? I’m never going back to work for someone else and that’s good enough for me to call myself retired. Oh well, you can have your opinion. My online income and passive income contribute 50% to our household income. Why should my wife quit her job if she likes working? 🙂 Cheers.

      Reply
  14. I like your emphasis on setting goals after your retirement to “keep your sanity”. I think most people are happier and more productive when they have goals in their lives. The problem may be that before retirement, the goals are pretty straight forward, as you describe – the so-called natural progression.

    It is after retirement that you need some creative thinking and soul searching to keep you going! I’m still not close to my retirement, so no clear goals have been set, but definitely food for thought!

    Reply
  15. Pingback: Personal Finance Round Up #55 — Money Life and More
  16. I haven’t retired yet, but I recently started writing all my goals and plans down. In fact I wrote a blog on my goal to purchase 100 rental properties in the next ten years. That should give me close to 1 million in yearly cash flow without accounting for inflation.

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  17. Travel is a big one for me. I want the flexibility to go to different countries and live there for a few months. I also want the time to write more and study topics that are interesting to me. And lazy days at the coffee shop…

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  18. Great post Joe! Funny we are all trained to follow the schedule you outlined, many are lost without it. Nice list of suggestions. I would add use the time to conquer anything you fear, visit places around your town you never been, and take on things you always wanted to try, but didn’t.

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  19. I just retired at 42 and am looking for ways to occupy my time. I have had a structured job for 20 years and have been looking forward to my retirement. Now that I am finally here I’m not sure what’s next. Reading these comments I have realized I should try to do things that I am passionate about. Thank you all for helping me to decide to try blogging and even start a garden.

    Reply
    • Congratulation! Take your time and find something you can be passionate about. You might have to try a few things, but I’m sure it will be a lot of fun.

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  20. I’m no where near retiring early, but I like my very structured, goal oriented life. I can see that if I go into retirement, no matter what age, without a plan, I might be very bored. Things on my retirement to-do will probably include gardening, volunteering, and continuing to blog. Perhaps I’ll get back into photography as well. I’ll figure out a more formal plan in 20 or so years. 😉

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  21. I plan to retire in 5 years on my 42nd birthday. However I see this as the start of a new life not the end…I have som many projects I want to get going and there is so much to learn. I have no previous experience with building but would like to learn, I would like to develop my writing skills and I want to read a whole lot more. I would like to take up small scale farming to be self sufficient on vegetabels in summer and would also spend significant amount of time out in nature. Some of these projects will cost money, some will save money and some will even make money. However being retired or financially independent I can work on the things I love and any financial impact comes as a side effect rather than as the driver for the activity. Forgot to say also that I have 2 small kids with a third one on the way….so there will always be plenty to do:-)

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  22. I think of early retirement when I hear songs like Tim McGraw’s “Live like you were dying”. While it’s not a song with that direction in mind, it is certainly a couple of things someone might want to add to their bucket list. 🙂

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  23. My biggest thing in this self-employment journey is doing the discipline to grow the income and diversifying. But I try to keep myself busy at all costs! Perhaps you could do what I did for myself: set a goal that you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it (Ex. Goal 1: $1800+ a month, write 3+ posts weekly and have 10+ comments made on blogs forums daily).

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  24. I’m a long way from retirement, so that’s not a question for which I have a well thought out answer and plan. That being said, when that time comes, I’m sure I’ll have spent the few years prior to coming up with some meaningful goals – since I’m oriented that way.

    I think that it’s often a matter of understanding our sense of purpose, which might change a bit as we go through different life stages. My goals in retirement will likely flow through from that bigger purpose.

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  25. I agree with this one “problem” of ER. I’ve rolled up my passion for photography and adventure into my site with personal pictures. Everything seems to fit with my site and my interests. How about just write more?

    I’m spending a lot more time researching investment ideas, which is fun. And that resulted in a China Stocks post and some more posts on my IRA. But, to get away from blogging I went to Hawaii for two weeks in April and went on some awesome adventures.

    I’m really getting used to early retirement and I think it’s really wonderful!

    S

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    • I’m glad to hear you are enjoying it. It’s great that you can share your research. I’m kind of nervous with China though.

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  26. Boredom and lack of proper direction are two most important factors to me. I never seriously think about early retirement because of these. I have enough saving to retire now and go back to India, but I’ll suck in that life. Till there’s constant challenge and lot of faces to encounter every day, I am happy.

    Even if my job suck in future I’ll try to change not quit because I like corporate environment…nothing against your decision, but that’s the way I am.

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  27. I always plan to work part-time so I’m always on the lookout for job ideas that I can do part-time – teaching, nonprofit, income properties, etc. I like to be around people and working part time is perfect. I’ve closely watched my parents who retired too early and had a really difficult transition. Also, we notice that many people who retire early suddenly start to have more/focus more on health problems.

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    • Working part time is a great compromise. If I wasn’t so busy, I would probably do that too. Part time is just enough to keep busy, but not too much to stress you out (hopefully.)

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  28. Why not focus on shorter goals? That keeps me pretty engaged. Like save $X into Y account or invest Z into ABC company?

    As far me if I am retired, truly retired, my goal is only to live life to the fullest.

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  29. I will never retire in the traditional sense. I always want goals, projects and interesting things to get me up in the morning. I want things that will keep me engaged in life. I outlined a lot of this in an article called I Will Never Retire!

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  30. I am not there yet, but some of my goals for retirement, in addition to what has been said by others, and provided I’ll be in reasonably good health, are:
    1. Energy independence – build and use solar and other alternative energies.
    This is a great hobby, will certainly keep me occupied, and in the long run save some money too.
    2. Partial food independence. I distrust quality of all the processed foods and would argue with anyone that they are unhealthy too. Similarly, I distrust quality of restaurant foods, at least those I can afford. My Mom always said: I rather cook for myself, at least I know what I put in there. She is currently 89.
    Food independence is not easy and may not be even possible. However, with a little backyard, you can e.g. grow some vegetables and supplement your diet. Depending on a location, you can consider a greenhouse in winter. This all is quite a bit of physical work, which is healthy, and will keep you busy. And you will need to do some planing for future seasons and years. You can also design automated watering systems, use soil heating cables etc, so you will not have to work so much in later years.
    Then if you add cooking from scratch for yourself and your family, this not only can be a great fun, but as mentioned above, you’ll know what you eat.
    3. Consider inventions if you are so inclined. There are many things that can be improved. And there are many patent lawyers who would consider your invention for free, provided they will benefit from it later if successful.
    4. Consider writing about your experiences or perhaps write fiction stories, if you are good story teller.
    5. Consolidate finances to become more financially secure and independent. That may take some serious planning, especially long term planning – getting rid off useless junk, moving to a smaller, more energy efficient house, getting a car with better gas-mileage etc.

    Reply
    • I love “invent something”! I always wanted to be an inventor when I was a kid, but that got squished by the real world. Now, I watch Shark Tank and it’s quite entertaining. I’ll add this to the post. Writing is good too.

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  31. I agree, although I like to say you should have some current obsessions, rather than goals. I hate that word goals–I don’t really know why. I’m with Preretired Nick on this one, I have way more that I want to do than I have time for. But the bottom line is what you are touching on, you have to have something you are really passionate about in retirement. After all, most activities are elective in retirement, so you’re going to need activities that really engage you.

    I have been spending 2-3 hours a day playing the piano the last couple of months since I started lessons. I love it. It’s one of the few things I’m involved in where my mind doesn’t wander to something else. It’s totally engaging me. You could sort of say it’s a goal of mine to get better, which I assume if I stick with it, I will. But mostly I do it for the way it engages me here in the present.

    Reply
    • I can go with obsessions. 🙂 I am so busy too. It’s different than what I imagined, but in a good way. I have been spending a lot of time reading, but that’s not good because now I’m not getting enough sleep…

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  32. I’m about 11 months since I left my “real” job. Like you, I’m spending the bulk of my time raising the kiddo and blogging (partially to keep my mind sharp). Plus I consult a few hours per week. My problem is my eyes were bigger than my stomach. I have WAY more that I want to do than I have time to do. I’ve been much busier now than I was when I had a full-time job, which sounds weird to say, but is true.

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    • I know what you mean. The kid takes up so much time, it’s a wonder we have anytime left to do anything. I feel just as busy as when I had a job and much more productive.

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  33. The best example of someone who retired early is of my boss in high school. He retired as a colonel in the army, chief of staff of one of the biggest army hospitals in the US. He then went and started his own photography business, ran it, and closed it, and he has been running a non-profit for the past two decades. He is always running around.
    Early retirement meant he could do whatever he wanted. No one telling him what to do.
    I want to have financial flexibility. I don’t want to be tied to my job because I “need it.” to pay all my bills and debt. This is a trap most people fall into.

    Reply
    • That’s great! I love it. That’s my goal too and I want to keep busy until I can’t work anymore even if I don’t need the money.
      Thanks for sharing.

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  34. I think you hit the nail on the head in regards to lacking long term goals. We have a family member who retired about 10 years ago and they do absolutely nothing all day. I’d think it would get boring awfully quickly but it looks like it has not. Seeing that has really opened my eyes to what we want when we retire and it definitely includes more activity than not.

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    • Doing nothing all day long would get old real fast. That’s a quick ticket to depression. I’d probably find a part time job if the alternative is to just sit around.

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  35. “Do you have any long term goals for after retirement?” Yes–to stare out the window and think a lot. 🙂

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  36. I’m curious why you say that you want your child to be more entrepreneurial than you, but you also want to make sure he goes to a good college.

    Did you learn anything in college that helped you become more entrepreneurial? I sure didn’t. In fact, when I start having kids soon I will let them choose their path but to me I think skipping college seems like the best option for a young entrepreneur. Of course if the kid wants to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer then they will need college. But if my kid doesn’t want one of those professions, I’ll recommend skipping the expense of college.

    Reply
    • I met friends that helped me become more entrepreneurial. I think he should go to college, but if it doesn’t work out, that’s fine. It’s a great place to make life long connections.

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  37. I agree that if you do not set goals you will be adrift mentally. The good thing about my situation is that if I ever reach retirement sooner than later, I have kids that give my full attention too just like you Joe, I also have a blog, and I love to volunteer to non-profit organizations. I assume these three things will take up most of my time.

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    • They will keep you super busy. Sometime I wonder how I ever got anything done at work. Oh yeah, we had daycare. 🙂

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  38. I think my ultimate long term goal/retirement goal is to travel. So that includes building up passive income and working in some way that gives me lots of flexibility. That also means I am going to need quite a bit of money to travel the way I want.

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    • Traveling is fun, but I think it might not be a lot of fun if you do it long term. I want to travel too.

      Reply
  39. Unless I had a lot of money coming from passive income, I might get bored in retirement. Which kind of rules out early retirement. It’s not that I can’t really think of things to do, but rather that most of what I want to do costs money. I’d love to take art and music classes and travel a lot. I think it would be fun to go to cooking classes as well.

    Reply
    • You should take some music and cooking classes now. Maybe just one at a time. It will help you develop those interests.

      Reply
  40. I went through the goal-less period, it was a bit weird at first, but I imagine it is even worse when you are 60 and have gone to work every single day then have no agenda. Then I found a few things I was interested about, and now could not even fit a full time job with all the stuff I get to do daily!

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing. I think it would be difficult at any age. When you’re young, you still have a lot of energy and want to contribute. I guess when you’re older, you’re just set in your way and it would be difficult to change.

      Reply

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