You Need Something To Retire To (Infographic!)

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I’ve got a friend who retired 6 months ago, and learned the importance of having something to retire to.

Today, that friend writes about it, in an exclusive Guest Post for The Retirement Manifesto.  He writes over at  ESI Money, a blog about achieving financial independence through Earning, Saving, and Investing (ESI). “ESI” is an early 50’s retiree who achieved financial independence, and shares what’s worked for him (here’s his background). In addition, he shares details to help others implement those tactics in their own lives. You can check out more about ESI Money here.  If you like The Retirement Manifesto, you’ll enjoy his work as well. 

Also, I’m excited to let you know that my friend is offering my readers a gift today; a Free copy of a book he’s written titled “Three Steps to Financial Independence” – if you’re interested (Why not? It’s free!), simply click here.

With that….here’s my friend ESI:


Something To Retire To

I’ve heard it said that if you retire “to” something; you’ll retire happy and fulfilled. If you don’t have something to retire to you’ll be miserable due to boredom and perpetually focused on the pains that crop up from just getting older. This post will offer some suggestions for activities everyone should at least consider retiring to.

So, what would you do if you had money to live, health and time? This is the big question you need to ask yourself.

Here are some suggestions worth considering:

  • Physical activity — It’s likely that when you were working, your physical activity was limited because you were tired and lacked time. Now you have all the time in the world and won’t be tired from work. You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete, but get out there and move. And getting healthy will also benefit your bottom line by reducing a wide range of healthcare costs.
  • Hobbies — You probably have things you’re interested in but haven’t had time to pursue. Now you do. You also likely have a list of things you would have liked to try if you had time. Now you do. Check out MeetUp.com for groups that enjoy the same proclivities as you do. I’ve combined this tip with the previous one and now regularly hike the many trails near my home. It’s a great way to get some exercise as well as enjoy a new activity of being in nature.
  • Learn — Brain health becomes an ever-more-important issue as we age. So, what better way to take care of your brain and have fun than to learn something new? Broaden your horizons by reading, taking classes, using apps (to learn a language, for example), listen to audiobooks and podcasts, or whatever. Use your brain. If left unused, brains slow down. No one wants that. By the way, what’s good for your heart is good for your brain, yet one more reason to step up your physical activity.
  • Part-time job — Many people retire because they dislike their job. Now’s the chance to find a job you actually enjoy! A great place to begin are non-profits. They are oftentimes limited by budgets and don’t get enough good candidates – a better chance for gainful employment for you. They also have a greater need for part-timers. To make up for that, the atmosphere and camaraderie are usually above average. A part-time job at a non-profit can give you focus for a cause you believe in, keep you active and provide some fun money.
  • Start a Fun Business — What about having fun and making money? Animal lovers can try a pet sitting business, crafters can open an Etsy store, and experts can try blogging. It will be fun, keep you mentally engaged, and maybe bring in a few extra dollars.
  • Volunteer — Many people desire to give back to their communities but work somehow gets in the way. Now it doesn’t and you can use your time to help others. You have lots of wisdom and experience from years of work — put it to work to help others. I enjoy being on the board for an organization helping homeless mothers get off the streets. It keeps me “in the game” mentally and is so rewarding personally because of the impact the organization has.
  • Travel — This is probably what most people think of when they consider post-retirement plans and for good reason — it’s lots of fun. Consider all sorts of trips — long ones to exotic places, driving trips around your region or state, and mini-trips within your city to see things you never got the chance to experience. In the six months since I retired I’ve been to see my parents twice, attended a college reunion, and seen a local theater production I’d been meaning to enjoy. In the near future we have trips to St. Thomas, Seattle, and Dallas. It’s a blast to take these times and travel with family and friends.
  • Teach — You’ve probably learned something in your life and are an “expert” at something. Why not teach that to others? Schools need after-school tutors, Rotary clubs need interesting speakers, museums need docents, and the Internet blogging sphere is ready when you are. There are many ways to share what you’ve learned over the past 60 years of life. Pass it on. And who knows, you could earn a bit of fun money along the way.
  • Connect with family — Your family may have had to take a back-burner to your job at times. Now you can correct that and make up for lost time. Since retirement I’ve seen my wife, kids, and parents more than I would have in a couple years during my career. Bonus tip: get exercise and connect with your spouse by taking a daily walk. My wife and I walk together and it’s an awesome part of my day.
  • Home projects — If you’re even slightly handy, you now have time to tackle those pesky repairs you’ve been meaning to get to as well as an upgrade or two you’ve always wanted.
  • Relax — Take some time and just de-tox. After all, you’ve likely been stressed for 30 or more years. Let the stress melt away. Enjoy going to the movies, move your body, read fiction books, take naps, and the like. It took me a few months to completely de-stress, so give yourself time to decompress soon after you quit working.

Don’t like any of these? Here’s a whole host of possibilities. Surely there are many suggestions on this list for anyone interested in post-retirement activities.

As a parting suggestion, let me offer this: Try things, lots of things. The spark will get you and off you go. Find what gets you excited and the rest will take care of itself. You will have discovered something to retire to, which will make your retirement years truly golden.

Something To Retire To:  An Infographic

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31 comments

  1. Hey ESI. I couldn’t agree more. With a little thought, it shouldn’t take long to find the raison d’etre of your retirement. Blogging, walking, and learning Spanish form our core retirement activities. Add travel, home improvement, reading, and busying ourselves with family and friends and there’s no time to be bored. Retirement is good. Excellent advice, ESI. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I like that list!

      The one I’m most excited about now is travel. We moved our week-long visit to St. Thomas this May to a month-long visit next winter. I can’t wait!!!!! 🙂

  2. I’m looking forward to retirement to have time for many of the things you listed. The hard part will be finding the time for all the stuff I want to do! No room for boredom. And I love the infographic!

    1. I’m with you, Swan, looking forward to it as well! I really appreciate ESI creating that Infographic for The Retirement Manifesto, great content for a guest post (and, very helpful, given I’ve had a very heavy travel schedule for 2 straight weeks!).

  3. Another fun infographic…is your future part-time retire too job going to be making infographics or finding other bloggers to make infographics!

    Retiring to something is important. For me it is going to be learning, traveling, and connecting with family!

  4. Indeed. Effective retirement planning involves more than simply saving as much money as possible; it also requires a plan to stay busy each day, a reason to climb out of bed … other than to watch daytime soaps and eat potato chips!

  5. Great post, ESI! 🙂 I know we won’t have time to do all the things we want to do when we retire. Boredom is not part of our vocabulary. We LOVE hiking so it will be a priority, for sure, along with volunteering, traveling, and learning.

  6. So often I read about the unending quest for financial independence. It’s like this is the end game–It’s not.

    I’d love to see more people talk about what brings them meaning and be more introspective. The math is pretty simple. Bravo ESI for raising the bar and addressing the real point of FI!

  7. Love this ESI because I haven’t spent time thinking about what I’m going to do in retirement (and it’s coming soon!) We have a basic plan that includes a lot of travel, but there is a lot more I want to do too. If all goes well, we’ll be traveling out west next fall – and then we’ll head south in the winter. We have plans to fix up our condo in Florida too. I have ideas for books, another website – and I want to volunteer more too. “Try things, lots of things” – this is important too. I need to push my boundaries!

  8. The thing I want to retire to is the ability to go with the flow. If I want to learn to play guitar then great. If I want to take a month a binge on Netflix and Doritos then that’s what I’ll do. ‘Winging it’ will suite my personality quite well and I can’t wait to retire to that.

    1. Yes, that is a nice thing to think about.

      A friend told me he had a friend who retired at 50. When people ask him what he does all day the friend says, “Whatever I want to.”

      Sounds like that is what you’re looking forward to as well.

      1. I like your friend’s friend, friend! That’s also the standard answer I give to my coworkers ask when they what what I’m going to do with all of my time if I retire early: “Whatever the *@!% I want.”

  9. Great post and I love the infographic! I wrote a post about this about a year go asking myself the same question! As a result, I’ve been attempting to create the lifestyle I think I want to have in my retirement during my working years. For example, I have always pictured myself having relaxed mornings in retirement, complete with a nice breakfast. So instead of waiting until retirement, I changed my morning routine from a 20-30 minute sprint to a 1-1.5 hour casual event that includes a brief workout, stretching, meditation, and a nice hearty breakfast. In general, it is often the small things that can a huge difference in how we feel about each day. And practicing our retirement before we reach is a great way to find out what is really meaningful vs. what sounds appealing when we feel trapped by our day job.

    1. Hey “US”, nice to see you on my site! I love your idea of creating a “slow morning” while still working (I’ve been doing the 20-30 min spring for 31 years, it’s getting old!). Curious, are you getting up an hour earlier, or getting to work an hour later?

      I’m thinking of doing the same. I may split the difference, and get up 30 mins earlier, and get into office 30 minutes later. Thinking about it….

  10. This infographic actually perfectly captures why I say I’m pursuing FI but not RE – I haven’t figured out yet what I would want to RE to. I have plenty of hobbies, but I’ve also always been someone who works like a crazy person. Hence why I’m up at 4:30 AM to get in some blogging and commenting before work! I would go crazy without something productive to fill my days, and I haven’t yet figured out what that is. The way I see it, if I work to reaching FI, then once I figure out what I want to retire to, then I’ll be ready for it.

    1. For me, blogging fills up a lot of my time with things I enjoy doing, so it’s a win-win (I have something to look forward to and it could one day bring in some “fun money” for my planned month-long trip to St Thomas.)

      I also work out five times a week and do so in the morning. I’ve never been to the gym at 4:30 am (though I have been a couple times at 5 am), but my guess would be you’d have most of the place to yourself. 😉

    2. “Hence why I’m up at 4:30 AM to get in some blogging and commenting before work!”

      NOW I know why you’re always one of the first commenters on so many blog sites!! 4:30, that’s crazy (tho I did it yesterday, when I woke at 4:00 and couldn’t fall back asleep. Ironically, I, too, spent the early morning commenting on blogs!).

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