One question people often wonder about retirement is – what would I do with all the extra time? Work takes up 50-70 hours per week, including the commute. That’s a significant chunk of time to repurpose. Some of us look forward to having more time to work on our hobbies, hang out with loved ones, travel, and more. But just as many have no idea how they would fill those empty hours. They think they’ll be bored so they put off retirement and continue to work. However, there is no need to be afraid. Research shows that you’ll be happier when you have more time to do what you want. This might be the main reason why retirees are generally happier than workers.
Have you heard of the term – time affluence? We all know what affluence means. It’s income and wealth. If you earn over $200,000 per year or your net worth exceeds $1,000,000, then you’re one of the affluent people in the US. Actually, I kinda stole that qualification from being an accredited investor. You need to be one to invest in private funds, such as Real Estate Crowdfunding. Affluent people have special privileges like that.
Anyway, time affluence means you have plenty of time to do what you want. That’s one thing retirees have a lot more of than workers. When I was working, I never had time to do anything. I was always rushing to put one fire out after another. In contrast, I’m a lot more relaxed these days. I can get things done at my own pace without someone hanging over my shoulder. Retirees don’t have to deal with work and they enjoy life more as a result.
Of course, you need to be healthy and financially secure as well. If you have a lot of time and no money, you probably won’t be able to do everything you want to. Same with health.
More time after FIRE
I retired from my engineering career in 2012. Not having to work freed up a ton of time. However, most of that time was taken up by our son, RB40Jr. He was just 18 months old when I retired. Being a SAHD was very time-consuming. However, I enjoyed being a SAHD much more than being an engineer, so it worked out well. I wanted to be a dad and help raise our son. At that point, I didn’t want to be an engineer anymore.
After a few years, RB40Jr grew up and went to school. That was a big turning point. Once he started kindergarten, I had a lot more time to do what I wanted. I could work on my blog and various other chores at my pace. These days, I am much happier than when I was an engineer. We can see that from my happiness log. Generally, I’m quite happy unless there is a big negative event in my life. Before FIRE, I was a miserable corporate drone. I never want to live that kind of existence again.
These days, I work on my blog, side hustle, fix up the house, look for a good project to invest in, read, watch TV, hike, and basically enjoy life. Also, I plan to live in Thailand 3 months/year from now on. My parents need help and I’m the only one available. All these are things I want to do.
More Time = More Happiness
I gave up a lot of income by retiring early. Most of us think we’ll be happier if we have more money, but that isn’t necessarily true. Time is much more valuable than money once you’re financially secure. Now, we have enough passive income to cover our cost of living so we don’t need to work so much. It’s wonderful to have more time.
In conclusion, don’t worry about having too much time after retirement. When you’re working, just focus on shoring up your finance and staying healthy. Once you’re retired, you’ll have plenty of time to figure out how to be happy.
What do you think? Do you have enough time to do everything you want? Are you time affluence?
Image credit: Jon Tyson
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.