60 Days ago, I retired.
After thinking about retirement for years, It’s Finally Happening. This is our new life, our new reality. I’ve long wondered what retirement would be like. Now, we’re living it, and I have the honor of sharing the experience with you, the reader, via the written word.
What’s Retirement Really Like?
7 Days into retirement, I wrote What The First Week Of Retirement Is Really Like. That article was popular, so I’ve decided to continue the theme of writing occasional posts on our retirement experience. I’ll be combining these posts in a new series titled: The Retirement Reality Series.
The Retirement Reality Series
- What The First Week of Retirement is Really Like
- The First 60 Days of Retirement (this post)
- 6 Lessons From The First 6 Months of Retirement
- The Biggest Lesson From my First Year of Retirement
- What I’ve Learned From 2 Years of Retirement
- Four Lessons From Four Years of Retirement
Thoughts From The First 60 Days Of Retirement
- Retirement is exactly like I thought it would be.
- Retirement is nothing like I thought it would be.
Yes, a contradiction, but it also happens to be true. There are elements of retirement that are playing out as I’d expected, and there are parts that are surprising. Today, I’ll share some thoughts on both, based on The First 60 Days of Retirement.
It’s really hard to explain what it feels like to be retired, but I feel I owe it to you, my reader, to attempt to explain the reality of retirement. If you, like me, have been wondering what it’s like to experience retirement, I trust this series will help shed some light on how life evolves throughout retirement.This is the story of my journey, told in The Present before it becomes The Past. Click To Tweet
I wrote the above sentence 3 1/2 years ago in my very first post, and it has become a guiding principle of this blog. For the past 3 years, I’ve shared the planning as we prepared for our early retirement. That Present has now become the Past, and each week of the journey is documented in Every Article Written on this blog. The theme continues with this Retirement Reality series, as I document our life in retirement.
The Present before it becomes The Past.
3 Things I Expected In Retirement
Let’s start with the things I expected in retirement. Here are the first 3 that came to mind as I let my fingers glide serendipitously (my favorite word) across the keyboard…
1. The Freedom Was Worth The Cost
For the past 33 years, we’ve been diligently saving, delaying gratification and working toward Financial Independence. The million dollar question: Was It Worth It?
The unequivocal answer: YES.
When I was 100 Days from retirement, I wrote 100 Days To Freedom. At the time, I was dreaming about what this Freedom would feel like. Now I know, and it’s exceeding my expectations. The realization of Freedom was best demonstrated on Day 38 of my retirement when I’d been awake for an hour before I realized it was a Monday. I just had to celebrate with a Tweet (I’d be honored if you’d join the 6,000 folks who follow me on Twitter):
Freedom. Yes, it was worth the cost.
2. Retirement Allows More Time For The Important Things
The Freedom of Retirement allows YOU to decide how you’ll spend your time, for the first time in your life. You’re finally Free to spend whatever time you choose, however you choose to spend it.
- Want to travel up to Michigan to visit your Dad? Done.
- Want to book a cross-country train trip? Done (trip scheduled for August, stay tuned for a post from the train!)
- Want to chill and read a book? Done.
- Want to go kayaking on the spur of the moment? Done.
- Want to explore that new mountain biking trail? Yup.
Time Affluence is a topic I’m planning for a future post. When folks think of Affluence, money is normally the thing that comes to mind. I’ve found, however, that true affluence comes not from material wealth, but rather from the Time Freedom that financial resources provide. Those resources provide the Freedom to do whatever you choose with your time. Time Affluence. (Stay tuned – that post is in the queue).
Yes, I expected the benefit of having Time For The Important Things in retirement, but it’s even better than I imagined.
3. We Don’t Think About Money
I had a head’s up on this one from some of my friends who retired before me, so I wasn’t surprised about how little I’ve thought about our financial situation since retirement. In my case, the majority of the time spent thinking about finances was in the time period 1-3 years prior to retirement. Figuring out When Can I Retire is a numbers game, and it’s not a coincidence that I wrote the 4-part series to help you answer that question 3 years before I retired. Based on feedback from others, it seems to be common that initial retirement planning focuses on the numbers, but they become less important as you approach, and enter, retirement.
From the time that we decided to work One More Year, we knew that we were going to be ok financially. We’re now reaping the true benefit of working that one additional year, as illustrated by how little we think about money now that we’ve retired.
We know we’re ok, so we’re enjoying our retirement life. Yes, we worked for it and we expected this benefit, and it’s a great feeling to be enjoying retirement without much time spent thinking about our financial situation.
Better to live “in the moment” while hiking in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge than to be worried about money, right?
3 Things I Didn’t Expect In Retirement
Now for the fun part. What have I experienced, in the first 60 days of retirement, that I hadn’t anticipated? I could go on for some time on this one, but I’ve chosen the top 3 surprises below:What are the top 3 things I didn't expect in retirement? Part II of The Retirement Reality Series spells them out. Click To Tweet
1. Going Against The World’s Flow Is A Great Thing
I never really thought about the reality that we live in a working world. The majority of folks work Monday through Friday and enjoy a brief respite of Freedom on the weekends. I’ve lived that life since I was in pre-school some 51 years ago, and I’ve lived it every day since.
Until 60 days ago.
Retirement changes all of that.
As I mentioned in Part I of this series, we now have 6 Saturdays in every week. The implications of that change are huge and unexpected. It seems obvious in hindsight, but it was simply a benefit I hadn’t taken time to think about prior to retirement, so it was unexpected.
Whether it’s been camping in a deserted campground on a weekday night, riding my mountain bike on empty trails which are notoriously crowded on the weekend, or swimming at my favorite mountain lake from an empty beach, the Freedom to go against the World’s Flow of “Weekend Freedom” has been a beautiful, and unexpected, benefit of retirement.
Experiencing life during the week makes many Good things Great. What’s sweeter is knowing that we’ll be enjoying this benefit for the remainder of our retirement years.
Going against the world’s flow is a great benefit of retirement.
2. The Transition Into Retirement Has Been Easy
I had a bit of apprehension as I approached my final working days. I wrote The Ten Commandments Of Retirement 3 months before my retirement, in large part to remind myself what I wanted my retirement to be in the event the transition proved to be a difficult one.
If we’re honest with ourselves, I suspect most folks share a similar concern as they face retirement. After 30+ years as a bit of a type-A “Corporate Type”, how would I do on adjusting to the retirement lifestyle?
I’ve spent a significant amount of time thinking about exactly that over the past year, and my writings have reflected that journey. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice that my mix between “Soft” (lifestyle) and “Hard” (financial) posts has shifted over the 3 1/2 years of writing the post:
- Retirement Minus 3 years: 80% Hard, 20% Soft
- Retirement Minus 2 Years: 50% Hard, 50% Soft
- Retirement +/- 1 Year: 20% Hard, 80% Soft
Way back in 2015, I identified 5 keys to a great retirement transition in Will Retirement Be Depressing, and my wife and I have been diligently applying them in the 3 years since. One of those keys was to “Intentionally accelerate your development of external interests in your final 3-5 years of work”. I’ve done that, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what I want our post-retirement life to be.
I wasn’t sure until I retired if the approach would work, but it’s exceeded my expectations. I couldn’t be happier with the results, and encourage anyone within 5 years of retirement to replicate the process in a way that works for you. Think about what you want your retirement life to be, and begin building “bridges” of things that will last after retirement while in your final working years.
My transition into retirement has been easy (thus far), and I’m convinced that a large part of that is due to the intentional approach I took in preparing for my post-retirement lifestyle.
“What About Your Wife?”, I hear you asking. Based on the discussions she and I have had on the topic, I think she shares my opinion. We haven’t driven each other crazy (yet), and our adjustment to full-time life together has been easier than either of us expected. Be Intentional, and plan your retirement life together in your final working years.
Side Note: this blog is a tangible example of the intentional approach. I started it 3+ years before my retirement as a trial, and it’s developed into a true passion project that has survived beyond my working years. Build some bridges, they’ll likely help in your eventual transition into retirement
3. Variety Is The Spice Of Life
For years, my life was pretty predictable. On Monday morning, I would drag myself to the office. I committed myself to the task at hand, and I’d carry a bit of it home in my head at the end of the day. Repeat the process on Tues, Wed, Thur, and Fri.Squeeze in a bit of fun on the weekends, and repeat week after week after month after year. It sucks the life out of you after 30+ years. Click To Tweet
Retirement is the exact opposite.
Nothing is predictable, and there is no need for a routine. We’re avoiding routine like the plague and we’re intentionally pursuing variety in our retirement lifestyle, to an extent which I hadn’t expected. I’ve shared a bit of the variety with you in the pictures in today’s post, but it doesn’t come close to communicating the significance of the value that variety brings to your life.
Since retiring, I’ve camped with our new 5th wheel in 5 states, rode new mountain bike trails I’d never explored before, taken daily fitness classes at our local gym (Spin and Barre Above are my two favorites), been interviewed on 4 podcasts, read my first David Baldacci book, taught my brother-in-law how to fish for trout, and filled my days with things I didn’t have time to experience while I was working.
Our current lifestyle is evolving into a pattern of 1-2 weeks of traveling with our camper, followed by 2-3 weeks of enjoying our mountain cabin. We’ll see how things evolve in the future, and we’re keeping ourselves flexible in the approach.
Variety is, indeed, the Spice Of Life. I didn’t realize the extent of that statement until I retired.
60 Days in, the joy of retirement has exceeded my expectations. I realize I’m still in my retirement honeymoon period, and I’ll continue to keep you updated as things evolve via this Retirement Reality Series. To summarize the highlights from the first 60 days:
3 Things I Expected In Retirement
- Freedom Is Worth The Cost
- There’s More Time For The Important Things
- We Don’t Think About Money
3 Things I Didn’t Expect In Retirement
- Going Against The World’s Flow Is A Great Thing
- The Transition Into Retirement Has Been Easy
- Variety Is The Spice Of Life
What About You? If you’ve already retired, what surprised you most? Was your transition easy or hard, and why? What advice would you give others as they prepare for their transition to retirement? If you haven’t retired yet, what concerns you the most about your transition into retirement, and how are you preparing?
Let’s chat in the comments…
Great post, Fritz!
Since I “retired” a year ago – the biggest thing I’ve noticed is how much time I spend outside. It’s been great to be more active than when I was limited during the week due to my desk job. I had planned to get outside more, but it’s just become a normal unplanned part of my days. And I love it! My wife still works p/t a few hours a week, plus has picked up some other volunteer activities – we’re definitely together more and she hasn’t become too annoyed with me (on most days!!). And things can much more easily now “just happen” – a short trip, kayaking in one of the nearby lakes, a hike, etc.
Anyway – glad to hear retirement is starting out great for you! Have fun on the train trip!
Ironically, I just went out for an unplanned mountain biking ride yesterday afternoon! Nothing better than having the freedom for spontaneity, and I couldn’t agree more about loving to be outdoors!
I luuuuuuv retirement, but sometimes feel guilty….IKR. But I am glad I read your article, because the guilt is gone!! : )
Dangit, Fritz. I wish I’d known you were in the market for a 5th wheel. My parents had a sweet one they barely used, and when they wanted to sell it, it took them over two years to find a buyer. Alas!
Looks like you’re having fun now – and that’s very encouraging to folks like me. Granted, I’ll be “retired” while my wife works part time for another 10 years (or more) thanks to our age difference. I’m sure the list of house remodel tasks and blogging will keep me occupied…
NOW you tell me. Gees. And I thought we were friends…
(BTW, Ironically, we’ve been so busy doing “other things” that I haven’t hit a single item on our “house list” since I retired. THAT was unexpected, as well.)
Fritz now this is one thing that happened when I retired in 2016. We all have that to do list on the house. Well intentioned and really do have to be done stuff. Ha that never happened. For me we was a whole summer of playing golf. Learning to love to hate that wonderful game. LOL
Insightful post Fritz. Your comments on developing a pre-retirement External Interests Plan is right on the mark and my spouse and I are doing that in conjunction with the development of our Retirement Income Plan. Another item we are working on is our Social Network Plan. We plan to relocate part of the year and we think it is important to develop a social network for us both ‘together’ and ‘independently’. We really want to be part of our new community and expand our circle of friends into our new interest areas. Congratulations on your First 60. I think I speak for all of your readers that we ‘knew’ you would be happy! Best wishes on the next 60 and beyond.
OP, thanks for adding the importance of “Social”! Definitely an area that should also have intentional focus. Good luck on your “part year relocation plan”, sounds great!
So exciting! I hope you are enjoying every minute of it (and it sounds like you are!) I hope we’ll find some time in your busy retirement schedule to fit in a dinner with friends soon (hint, hint.) Miss you guys.
Consider it a date, Gwen! We’ll give you a call to set something up! We always enjoy our time with you. Looking forward to it!
Looks like I have some catching up to do on reading your posts. I am a newcomer to the word of financial blogs.
Mrs. r2e and I are FI, however, we are choosing to continue to work. We have set a date – September 1, 2023.
Now we are in that phase you note where we are preparing ourselves – mentally mostly. After 28 “corporate job” years, I changed careers and now work at a non-profit for disadvantaged youth. Giving back in a small way.
Sounds like you are doing well 60 days in. Appreciate you sharing your experiences so we can learn.
Welcome to The Retirement Manifesto team, R2e! Congrats on discovering financial blogs, and congrats on setting a date! You may enjoy my Ultimate Pre-Retirement Checklist, which starts 5 years out from retirement. Good timing, right? Congrats on your non-profit work, sounds like a great chance to give back!
Fritz, sounds great!
(btw, are you missing a wheel in that pic with your dad?)
Ha, that’s really funny, pd. I had to go back and look at the pic to see what you meant. Guess I’d better have a mechanic take a look at that. Haha.
Hi Fritz. Thanks for continuing your posts now that you are in retirement. I pulled the plug on my 5 hour a day commute and retired last Wednesday. It hasn’t been a week yet and I am finding the transition a little bumpy. I think part of it is because I loved my job but hated my commute. I’m learning to enjoy the quiet of the early morning as I still wake up before 6 (have to work at sleeping better) while my husband sleeps a bit later. I’m taking it easy for now and getting ready for our first retirement trip to London next week. Afterwards I have a long list of things I want to do, some fun and some long delayed home projects. Tomorrow is my first Wednesday retired and it will be waffles. The thought of creating a new routine was appealing to me. I also loved the picture in your post of the Easy button. I had one on my desk for years, not for myself but for all the people I helped at work. I opted to leave it behind so people could still use it when they needed it. I hope they find someone new to help them the way I did. Anyway, loving my freedom even if I feel a bit like a fish out of water at the moment. Looking forward to reading your posts out on my deck in the middle of the week.
5 Days In! WOW! Congrats, Pat. Enjoy those Waffles On Wednesday, you’ve earned them! The trip to London sounds great, as well. Savor your Freedom, the adjustment is one of the biggest you’ll make in your life, but you’re making a great move by reading as much as you can find on the subject. Keep me posted on your progress, I’m sincerely interested.
I love the term “time affluence”. I am starting to come to the conclusion that I need to decide at what point do I become more focused on having enough time to do what I want and less on having enough money to do what I want. Obviously there are tradeoffs, you don’t want to have enough time to do the things you like but only enough money to golf once per week and eat out 2x/ month. I don’t expect to take an ocean cruise on the Queen Mary and only ever fly first class, so I think i can be a bit more conservative in my financial goals in the hope of getting out soon enough that I can still enjoy my future grandchildren when they are small enough to want to spend time with old folks, and do the things we like without being limited by common elderly ailments.
Money vs. Time, one of the greatest tradeoffs we all face. It’s a decision that each of us must make for ourselves, and you’re doing well to THINK about situation, and gradually make the decision that makes the most sense for you. Hard to believe we’ve known each other since the early ’80’s at Wittenberg, I sincerely appreciate having you as a reader of my blog!
and I forward it to my children, the oldest of whom is now starting to make enough money that he can start really saving and investing. Do they listen? I think so, but either way I feel better for having given and passing along advice.
Interesting and enlightening. I’m on the cusp and so these are things I think about all the time. Thanks for blazing the trail!
Happy to clear the rocks ahead of you, Oldster. Keep thinking and your path will become clear!
I agree that the need for a planned glide path to retirement is not just an economic exercise but also a fulfillment objective. Of course, different people will have different needs of fulfillment, but as we all live longer (hopefully) we can significantly impact the world around us. I think in retirement (however someone defines it) we can make our most lasting legacy of service to those who we care for the most. To do that effectively doesn’t require great wealth but intentional outreach on a consistent basis. The most definitive thing that we can not replicate is time. This time, when mixed with financial independence, can make our retirement years the greatest years of our life and for those around us that lasting legacy we all seek.
Paul, great point on “a fulfillment objective”. I strongly believe that focusing on what will bring you fulfillment is the most important part of retirement planning. Best of luck as you seek to create your lasting legacy!
Fritz: Wonderful, well thought out blog post. Thank you! I look forward to following “The Adventures of Fritz” over the next many months and years.
I think it is especially helpful for you to continue to share the surprises, bad and good, that you encounter.
Thank you for sharing!
It pleases me beyond words to know that my writing is helping folks on their journey, Crush. I’ll plan on continuing to share, as long as my brain can develop things which I think will be of interest to you, the reader!
Fritz, what a great report of your first sixty days of retirement. You are two months ahead of my husband, who retired just two days ago.
I read most of today’s article aloud to him! He has already been out for tennis, and last night he played ping pong at a Chinese Baptist Church. (Those guys can play!). And this morning, he is meeting friends for golf. Tomorrow, he goes to visit his mother and sister for a couple of days. We are off to a strong start. He hasn’t stopped smiling. Freedom!
Congrats on your husband’s retirement TWO days ago! Wow, lots of recent retirees out here today, happy to be able to share my experience for the benefit of others. Glad to hear your husband has as big a smile on his face, as I have on mine. Thx for stopping by (and for reading my article to your husband!)
Fritz, I started reading you blog about a year ago and now I am 69 days before I retire. It is very tough to get up each day especially since I let my boss know that I was leaving. I work for the Feds and can’t wait until my last day. We are relocating to San Antonio once my wife and I finish up. How did you make it through the last 60 days?
TR (cool nic, btw, I also love running the trails!), congrats on your pending retirement. No doubt about it, those last 100 days are tough. I had a countdown calendar on my phone, and I was watching it daily as I held my breath. Trust me, those last 2 months will soon be behind you, and you’ll be loving your new life in San Antonio! Hang in there, and thanks for being a reader!
Great post Fritz! I’m on an 8 year plan to retirement, at 61. Love your blog. I remeber taking a week of staycation once and loved the idea of swimming against the grain. Glad to see you are having a great time and enjoying the fruits of your labor/planning.
John, good luck on your 8 year plan. Happy you find my words helpful on your journey!
Yes, enjoy the euphoria phase while you can. 🙂 Hopefully, this phase will last years. You planned well so I think you’ll love it for many years.
The surprising thing for me is that I enjoy a more structured schedule. A wide open schedule open is great at first, but having some structure is easier. Having a mix is really good too. My schedule is wide open now because our kid is out of school. Once school starts, it’ll be more structured again.
– get kid ready for school.
– work on blog
– kid come back from school
– make dinner
Life is easier with a schedule.
Joe, I really enjoy reading about your journey on your excellent blog. We’re walking similar, but dissimilar, paths. I’m happy that you’re able to be home for your son, he’s a lucky boy to have you as his Dad.
We are getting to the point of a bit of structure to our days, at least during the time that we’re home. We’re taking classes at our gym 5 days a week, which adds structure to our mornings. The afternoons are more free flowing. It’s a nice mix and works well for us during our “Euphoria Phase”. (BTW, I hope it lasts for years, too. Best time of my life thus far, hope it continues for years to come!)
This is awesome and really motivating, Fritz! I’m always intrigued to hear about how expectations play out. I like to hear that the transition into retirement has been easy – that’s been one I’ve wondered about. It seems like venturing into “the unknown” has been treating you well.
Now it’s time to quit goofing off and come hang out in Cleveland with me again! 😉
Hey Jim! My transition is far less dramatic than yours (I enjoyed your post today about the reality of the move to Panama). With all of the thinking that you’ve put into your plan, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the same benefit that I have when you make that transition in December. I enjoyed our dinner together in Cleveland, unfortunately the next Board meeting is scheduled at a plant, so I won’t be getting up your way in the next few months. 🙁
I love your attitude and the new relaxed (more relaxed) vibe. That photo of you and your dad is priceless!
Living against the world’s flow is wonderful. We just returned from an ATWF experience at Lowe’s on this Tuesday morning. Walked right up to an empty customer service counter!
Great talking with you and Jackie last week!
I love that pic with my Dad, just two retired guys hanging out together. The relaxed vibe is wonderful, especially since it allows more time to talk with friends (we enjoyed the chat, as well!).
Sounds perfect and congrats. That is quite the RV. Hope to meet you in person some time in the next year brother
Yep, we thought ~3 years about that RV before making the plunge. No regrets, it’s perfect for our retirement lifestyle. I’d enjoy meeting you as well, fingers crossed that it will happen!
So exciting Fritz!
I can’t wait until I am there and enjoying the FI/RE world with you.
hi fritz. i’m glad the change is suiting you well. we’ll be taking a trial run at retirement with 2 weeks off in a wilderness cabin in early september. nothing will be scheduled. we’ll hike when we feel like it, paddle a kayak or not. montreal is an hour from there but we don’t “have to” go for a day. i hope to learn something while we’re there. i think i will write on the blog for all 12 readers. rock on!
GREAT plan, Freddy. We also took a “trial run” at retirement, and it was very helpful in thinking about our post-retirement lifestyle dreams. Enjoy the wilderness cabin, sounds wonderful! (I enjoy Quebec, and have fond memories of fly fishing for salmon on a river which feeds into the Saguenay fjord. Beautiful country up there!). Haha about your 12 readers, seems like I was there only yesterday.
Hello Fritz! I just came across your timely post. Now, at 59 and 1/2, it’s been a whole 3 weeks in for me… absolutely LOVE the Freedom, still wake up early and enjoy the traffic report for a change 🙂 Looking forward to (mostly) M-F adventures and pretty much staying home on weekends. We also have a travel trailer and a beach house to enjoy. My old boss offered to let me come back, on my terms, and I told him I’d think about it after 3 months – so we’ll see. Depends on whether I’m “bored enough” but so far I doubt that’ll be the case. Looking forward to your future writings!!!
3 Weeks! Wow, yet ANOTHER new retiree weighing in on today’s post. Seems I’ve hit a common topic with my readers! Congrats on your early retirement, enjoy those traffic reports! Think long and hard before saying “yes” to that boss, you likely have MUCH more leverage than you realize. Take advantage of it, the ball’s in your court, and your opponent is flat footed.
I retired a year and half ago. I didn’t actually have a plan of how to spend my freedom, but I know myself enough to know that I will discover things to do that interest me. It’s almost like I need that empty time for the idea for my next project to develop. I do not put pressure on myself to be productive each day.
Advice for future retirees: if you catch yourself thinking, “I would love to do that, if I just had more time”, write those things down, so when you retire, you’ll have that list of things to pursue.
“I do not put pressure on myself…” Great comment, and great suggestion for all retirees.
I also like your point about capturing ideas before you retire. We did the same, and it’s paying big benefits now that we’ve retired.
Thanks for the post, I retired a couple of months ago and it took me a while to relax. I had been in Corporate America for almost 40 years and it took me a while to decompress as I needed to recalibrate and give myself a break from trying to be productive. I love your post as recently I have started to embrace and enjoy the freedoms of Going against the flow. One of my goals has been to get into better shape and it has been quite a treat to mountain bike with some other semi-retirees riding empty trails when everyone else is at work.
40 Years!! No wonder it’s taking you a while to decompress. Glad my post was useful in your adjustment, it’s one of the biggest we’ll ever make in life! Glad to hear about your mountain biking, it’s become a bit of a passion in my retirement – I just went out this past Monday on a deserted trail. One of the true joys of retirement!
“Time affluence”–what an absolutely perfect and totally accurate phrase! I love it!
You know you’re REALLY into retirement when you don’t know (or even care) what day of the month it is!
My husband and I often laugh when we watch those dramatic medical shows, where the doctor stands at the patient’s bedside and asks “Mr. Jones, can you tell me what day it is?” We often thought our response would be “Why the heck should I care? I’m RETIRED!”
So happy you and your wife are enjoying the results of all your planning and hard work!
Glad the “Time Affluence” theme strikes a chord with you, Ann. I respect your comments, and it’s helpful to know that it’s an interesting theme. I may have to move that draft up in my queue! (There are ~50 drafts in my queue, it’s where I capture all of my ideas for future posts).
LOL about the medical show line. I’ll have to remember that if I ever get asked that question!
Wonderful post. I hope you enjoy every second of it. You earned it. Early retirement is only going to get batter as you settle in. Keep sharing and providing motivation for those of us who are many years away.
You can count on it, Dave. I enjoy sharing our experience with all of the wonderful readers of this blog (like you!).
Love your new website. I was fortunate to retire at 56 (am now 63) and have thoroughly enjoyed not having a boss! I was a corporate executive with the same company and garnered a pension, stock options and a great 401K match so when I was “pushed out” at 55 I had many options! Today, however, your column encouraged me to email you and your readers how important it is to keep the “mind” active. I am very active in satisfying leadership roles with 2 non-profits. I consider this “enjoyment work” as I enjoy “giving back.” My commitment to these two non-profits totals 10-15 hours per week leaving PLENTY of time for golf, bicycle riding, skiing, reading, and doing whatever. I do not think I would be happy in retirement if I wasn’t doing the “giving back” part. It generates alot of happiness!!!
Thanks for the kind words, Fred. Great point about the importance of keeping the mind active, it’s clearly one of the major points in my One Retirement Question series.
Kudos for your non-profit work, I agree it’s a great way to give back in retirement!
30 days in and loving it. Starting to check out all the breweries in CT and central MA. which are a lot less crowded on week days then weekends.
Wow, that could be quite the challenge! Congrats on achieving retirement (hard to believe how many comments this post has generate from folks who have retired this summer!).
Great post. So far in my semi-retirement I like the non-predictable aspect. It’s nice that I can vary those days off greatly and they really spice things up. And going mountain biking on a Wednesday in mid-day is just bliss!
Another mountain biker!! Man, I love the community that has developed around this blog! Congrats on your semi-retirement, a great way to go for many, glad it’s working out well for you.
I’m 60 days into this as well and agree with most of what you have written. I had the one more year syndrome three times and I’m still tracking the finances like I did during the planning. I’m still struggling at times going from a savings mode to a spending mode. This helps keep things in balance so we don’t make stupid purchases like a 2019 Bullitt Mustang that I’ve been eyeing since January. The monies instead will go to travel. I’m also taking longer to decompress and detox from my forced exit which happened 200 days before I planned. No retirement parties for me. Perhaps if I had one, the retirement launch would have a different perspective. (I’m starting to suspect my that my blog going public during my employment had something to do with this accelerated exit).
Either way, glad to be off the hamster wheel and enjoying the freedom and the affluence of time.
Hey Mr. Bach (love your blog name, btw!). The one positive of having the One More Year syndrome 3 times is that at least you were more prepared for your forced retirement than most folks are (glass half full, right!?).
Man, that Bullitt Mustang is an awesome car. I can appreciate your lust. 🙂
Fritz, enjoy reading your blog and hope you are enjoying the Blue Ridge Mountains. My wife and I were there last October and stayed at a wonderful B&B in downtown Blue Ridge near the shops and train depot. My old college roots were at the University of Georgia in the mid-80’s, playing baseball for the Dawgs so we also worked our way back to Athens for a Dawg’s football game which turned out to be a great year! Go Dawgs! We reside in the Midwest, where my wife and I met in high school. I am 16 months from retiring from the corporate world, which will put me at 34 years and we are looking forward to taking the RV plunge and visiting our National Parks. As Francis mentioned in the comments, the move from savings to spend mode is where I anticipate that I will struggle in this transition. Looking forward to affluence of time!
Small world! Glad to hear you enjoyed Blue Ridge, it’s certainly a charming mountain town and we’re enjoying it immensely in retirement! Cool that you played baseball for UG, it’s our favorite sport and my wife and I spend quite a bit of time watching Braves baseball!
Congrats on your upcoming retirement. On the “Saving to Spending” issue, you may be interested in my post “It’s Time To Live Like No One Else“, where I address that exact issue. It’s definitely an area you want to think about before your retirement. Hope to see you in a National Park sometime down the road…
Welcome to my world! After 7 years, I’m still loving it. I just love my Monday mornings now. No more 4:30am starts to fly to x, y or z….
Time Affluence is a lovely phrase!
Erith!! Nice to see you here, hope all is well in Scotland!! Your retirement is a model, if I can love mine half as much as it appears you’re loving yours, I’ll consider it a true success! Stay tuned for the Time Affluence post…
Wow, that all sounds incredible! I don’t see the retirement light yet, as I have at least a decade to go, but just knowing it’s there has already made such a difference in my general outlook.
My father-in-law retired a couple of years ago at the ripe old age of 60, and his wife retired about a year later. They have never been happier, and they don’t miss a single aspect of the working life!
Thanks for the great post!
Have Faith, Captain. Seems like only yesterday that I was 10 years away. Begin your planning now, it’ll be here before you know it!
Glad to hear the freedom was worth the cost! I was speaking with my uncle yesterday (who retired early) and this topic came up. He made an interesting point, in which he said America is filled with 2 kinds of people (in regards to their finances):
1. Those who simply don’t save enough for retirement and can never retire
2. Those who save a lot, but then don’t know how to stop saving and actually enjoy the money
It makes me glad to hear that you were able to find your freedom/happy place in retirement so quickly:)
Keep enjoying life!
Excellent comment from your Uncle. That one may be worth a blog on your site! (BTW, it makes me happy as well that I’m enjoying the freedom!).
We plan to retire in the spring of 2021 when I am 61. I could probably do it in 2020 but I want a cushion to handle unexpected stuff. We have figured out how to keep our ACA MAGI around $60k so we can get a large ACA subsidy to handle healthcare. We both have pensions so when we are fully retired our SS and pensions will fund a better lifestyle than we are living now. So our savings will be used to cover early retirement and leave a buffer for emergencies or unexpected expenses.
We love to travel and also have 5th wheel camper, a 38′ toy hauler for our Gold Wing motorcycle. You can checkout my website for my RV blogs of tweaks and problems over the years.
I still enjoy my work but am getting tired of the commute. A lot of what you write resonates with me. The greatest thing I am looking forward to in retirement is traveling with no return date. I will return home when I get tired of traveling. Every time I have traveled in 37 years I have always had a “return to work date”. So there was always a point in any trip where I had to turn around and head for home.
I can’t wait until the day when I return home because I want to and not because I have to.
I also plan to continue my blogging during my retirement years.
I enjoy your blog.
Bobby, congrats on only being 2-3 years away, and for both having pensions (!!). Like you, we also chose to work “One More Year”, and we have no regrets (the “cushion” is worth it!). I’d caution you about planning for the subsidy, I expect health care legislation will change before you’re in the market (I hope so anyway, since it’s a huge exposure in our retirement plan).
Your toy hauler and Gold Wing sound ready made for retirement. Nose to the grindstone to endure those commutes for a few more years, and happy to hear my words resonate with you! Thanks for your kind words.
I thought my website would appear in the title of my comment. For anyone that cares it is http://www.bobbystuff.com
“Going against the flow is a good thing,” and it truly is. So when is the best time to shop for groceries? I went to the grocery store this morning, and Senior Retirees were out in force! And they stop in the middle of the aisle and stare as though they have forgotten why they came. They are slow and in no hurry (some folks seem to have more than their share of time affluence!)
😉 I’m sort of joking! All best wishes
This is another great read and continues to fuel my optimism with my own early retirement (as you know I’m a little behind you but not too far). I can identify quite a lot with what you say here, so that’s good to know.
A few friends have said I appear far more relaxed. Have you found the same?
Retirement allows people the freedom to be spontaneous and self directed. I love it! Thanks for sharing your observations.
Interesting post. I’ll be continuing to watch this series as I too just retired no more than ten days ago! At 40 years of age, I’d say I’m solidly in the Early retirement crowd. I’ve been writing down several of my own observations, and it’ll be interesting to see how they compare with yours.
I love this post and can’t wait to catch up on the previous ones! I have 3 “worries,” one of them being that I’ll putter around the house and just waste entire days without really accomplishing anything (even fun or spontaneous stuff.) Second, I’m afraid I’ll be “lonely” because my job has SO much people interaction. And third, I worry that my hubby will want to do nothing but sit in a chair and watch cowboy movies all day…that’s just not my style. :D. Thoughts?
I think it IS easy to putter the days away but I find it helps to make daily lists of things I both need and want to do, (these can be two separate columns) and then prioritize each item. If a particular store is on my route I try to maximize my trip with any other stops along the way (library? Goodwill drop off?). I also like to include fun things like going out to lunch, walking, hobbies, etc. — and it’s flexible, so I don’t panic if I don’t get everything done on a particular day… Be intentional on following up/completing listed items. I LOVE drawing that horizontal line through it once it’s done! If you don’t like lists, well, figure out your own way; I’m just sharing what works for me 🙂
Hopefully you and your hubby will find lots of things you enjoy doing, both together and separately. Relax and enjoy this very special time!!!
Hang in there – Paula
Terrific post! I’m 30 days into retirement and so far I have had no problem with letting go of the work routine. It was nice to see that you and your wife worked on what to do in retirement in the years leading up to it. I did too and it’s worked out so well that I’m pretty well booked for the next three months! Money isn’t a problem if we don’t get crazy with it. In fact, downsizing is going to be a gradual theme for us over the next five or so years. But we’ve been talking about taking a road trip next year if my husband is well enough, a splurge, but we haven’t had a go-away vacation in over 30 years together so we’re due. Loving the flexible lifestyle and though I’m not spontaneous, I popped over with a friend to visit a craft barn and have plans to go back next month. So wonderful to be able to do these things finally.
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