Oh man, I am worn out. This summer has been hectic for the RB40 household. We traveled to Hawaii, camped at the beach, and took a road trip to Boise. We also kept getting sick for some reason. It seems like we’ve been sick for over a month now. We all had a cold and it went round and round. Mrs. RB40 just got diagnosed with shingles and won’t recover completely for another few weeks! And this morning, RB40 Jr.’s back broke out in itchy hives. Oh no! We dodged a bullet on that one, though. The hives disappeared about an hour after I changed his shirt so maybe it was just a reaction of some kind. He got chickenpox vaccine, but there is still a small chance he can get it.
We also sold our rental home and 4 plex, acquired a duplex and convinced the renters to stay. Mrs. RB40 is in a 6 months special training course at work, so she has been incredibly busy interviewing leaders everywhere. There are a ton of fun events around town that we’ve been trying to attend. The best one was the $2 day at OMSI to see the dinosaur exhibit. That was pretty awesome. Anyway, it’s been crazy busy around here lately.
Early Retirement Myths
It’s been over two years since I quit my engineering career and things are going very well in general. We are happier and healthier (despite what you read in the first paragraph). Even our finance has improved over the last 2 years. Of course, everything isn’t as I envisioned, so today I thought I’d share my misconception about “early retirement.”
Wake up leisurely
One great thing about retirement and self employment is the ability to wake up at your own pace. In theory, you don’t ever have to hear the alarm clock again. You can wake up slowly, mentally gather yourself, and prepare for the day. You can sit down and have a good breakfast because you don’t have to get out the door into the rush hour traffic. That sounds great, but unfortunately leisurely mornings aren’t in the cards for the RB40 household.
At 4 am this morning, we woke up to a cry of, “My shorts are wet!” Oh no! I made sure he went to the potty before going to bed, didn’t I? This is unusual because he rarely wets his bed. Anyway, it wasn’t a huge amount so only his shorts are wet and just a little was on the sheet. He probably went to the potty before going to bed, but just drank too much milk last night. So while I took care of the sheets, Mrs. RB40 changed him, took him back to bed, and then he wanted to read a book on dinosaurs.
Before 7 am, he’s up and chatting. Luckily, grandma is here and they hung out, so we could get a few extra minutes in bed. Then it’s time to get up and have some leisurely breakfast. If by leisurely, you mean nagging Jr. to eat his cereal and chew every 2 minutes, then I guess we had a leisurely breakfast. It took about half an hour for him to finish his little bowl of cereals and then we’re off to prepare for preschool…
Life in the slow lane
Life should slow down a bit when you don’t have a full time job, right? I was wrong about that, too. I thought I’d have time to do all the errands, write articles for my blog, read fun books, follow other blogs, and maybe even goof off a bit. The reality is that’s it impossible to do anything productive when Jr. is around. He just wants to play and he needs to interact with someone. Actually, he’s a lot better now and can play with his toys for about 10-15 minutes. When he was younger, he always wanted to play with another person.
He goes to preschool 2 days/week from 9 am to 1 pm so at least I have that time. Today, I’m calling his doctor (about the bumps), writing an article, catching up on emails and comments, meeting with the roofing company, and cramming a quick leftover lunch in there. Whew, where did the 3 hours go? Now I have 15 minutes to eat lunch before going to pick Jr. up from preschool.
The truth is when I was working, I used a lot of that time to run errands. I could catch up on the blogs whenever I had a few minutes of down time at work. I could drop by Home Depot on my way to work or during lunch. A lot of extra stuff got done during working hours. Now all those things need to be done with a tagalong.
A few more things
Passive income is not passive – passive income takes time and effort, too. Rental properties need attention. P2P lending doesn’t run very well on autopilot. Dividend stocks need to be checked on once in a while. Even cash isn’t really passive because I need to figure out how to invest the money. Passive income is awesome, but they’re not really passive.
More time for hobbies – I thought I’d be able to play my ukuleles more and perhaps take a photography class. Well, I do play more music than when I was working so that’s good. Junior is so disruptive, though. It’s hard to get in the flow when he’s running around swinging his toys.
Travel more – We traveled more this year and it was a lot of fun. However, I think we got really worn out from all the trips. It’s much easier to travel when you don’t have a rambunctious 3 year old around.
A lot of people pointed out that being a stay at home dad isn’t the same as being retired and I’ll have to agree now. Being a dad (mom) takes up a ton of time. Previously, work was the main time consumer in my life and I needed to work other things in. Now I spend most of my time being a dad and it’s difficult to find time to work. It’s like bizarro work…
I do enjoy spending time with my kid. It’s fun to run around the playground and take him to see various concerts around town. I just wish I had a little more time to work on the blog. I’m staying up past midnight every day and it’s wearing me down. Well, I’m sure once he learns how to read by himself, he’ll bury his nose in a book whenever we’re home. I’m really looking forward to that phase.
Anyway, early retirement is much busier than I imagined. It’s better to be busy than having a lot of idle time, though. It seems people get depressed with too much free time on their hands. I’m hoping life will calm down a bit as the kid gets older and I’ll have a little more time to be productive. Is that too much to hope for?
Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is increasing his investment in real estate with CrowdStreet. He can invest in projects across the U.S. and diversify his real estate portfolio. There are many interesting projects available so sign up and check them out.
Joe also 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 DIY investors analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.