What I’ve Learned From Two Years of Retirement

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Two years ago this week, I retired. 

When I was in my final few years of work I had an obsessive curiosity about what retirement was going to be like, and now I know.  I suspect many of you have a similar curiosity, and this post is for you.

  • For those of you who haven’t yet retired, you’re probably curious about what retirement is really like.
  • For those of you who have retired, you’re perhaps curious if your retirement is similar to that of others.

For the benefit of both camps, I’ve been capturing my thoughts at various stages in my retirement journey as a “reality series”, with the hope that you can benefit from my experience.

Today’s post continues The Retirement Reality Series and checks in on the journey at the “two years of retirement” milestone.

The Retirement Reality Series:

Two years ago this week, I retired. Today's update in The Retirement Reality Series shares what I've learned from two years of retirement. Click To Tweet

What I’ve Learned From Two Years of Retirement

Where do I start…

Staring at this blank screen, wondering where I go from here.  There are so many thoughts in my head.  What matters, and what doesn’t?  What do you care about?  What have I learned from two years of retirement?  I’m seeking that “flow” that I love when I get deeply into writing and am going to let my mind wander to see what develops.  With that, here we go…

First, Retirement is Fluid Unlike your working career where life is structured by a predictable routine, retirement is different.  Retirement changes as the days go by, and it’s best to embrace the fluidity.  Go with the flow, listen to your mind, and follow your instincts.  What you experience in the first 6 months is not what your retirement will be.  Those first 6 months are the honeymoon, and it’s a blast.  Go with that flow, but realize the river changes as it moves downstream

Retirement is like a river. The current changes as you move downstream. Embrace the fluidity, and learn to adjust to the flow. Click To Tweet

If the first 6 months are exciting rapids, expect some slower and calmer water ahead.  By the time you hit two years of retirement, the water runs a bit deeper, calmer. It’s a relaxing voyage, and whether I paddle or drift is entirely up to me.  Either way, I continue to move downstream.  Occasionally you may hit an eddy current, and feel a bit adrift.  Paddle through it, there’s better water ahead.

Kayaking on the Toccoa River near our retirement cabin

Retirement is Unstructured.  Similar, but different, to the first point, there’s a lot less structure in life once you reach retirement.  For some, that’s a struggle.  After years of having structure imposed on our lives, it takes some adjustment to live a life with less structure.  Personally, I love the freedom that comes with shedding externally imposed structure.  After two years of retirement, I’ve also found that a bit of self-imposed structure smooths the journey for me.  Adding some structure in the morning by taking classes at the gym makes me feel better about my day, so I do it.  Play around with how much structure “works” for you, and realize your schedule is something you now control.  If something isn’t working, stop doing it.  Change it up.  Add some structure, or take some away.  Freedom is liberating, use it to your advantage.

Change is Constant.  This is true throughout life, and don’t expect it to change when you retire.  COVID-19 is only one (big) example, but there are many things that continue to evolve.  The stock market will always gyrate.  Friends will get serious illnesses.  An offer to write a book may suddenly appear.  Your trip to Seattle to visit your daughter may get canceled when the airlines shut down.  Change continues, even at the two years of retirement mark.  It likely always will.

Don’t stress about change.  Embrace it. Exercise your freedom, and adapt to the changes without complaint.  Keep a positive attitude, which leads me to…

Attitude Is Everything.  A few months before I retired, I wrote the Ten Commandments of Retirement. I strongly encourage you to do the same.  I made Commandment #1 “Have An Attitude of Gratitude”, and it’s served me well in these first two years of retirement.  If I find myself getting negative about something, I nip it in the bud.  Our attitude dictates our experience in so many things, so be intentional in pursuing a positive attitude.  You’ve reached Financial Independence, so be grateful and look for the things that keep your glass half full.  Don’t focus on the negatives, but rather, practice the purge.  Like so many things in retirement, your mental outlook is entirely within your control.  Take advantage of that reality, and choose to be content and grateful.

Freeing dogs from life on a chain. That matters.

Things That Matter, Matter.  What you do with your time is now entirely up to you.  I’ve found that committing my time to things that matter brings a greater sense of satisfaction at days’ end. 

Focus on doing more things for others, and fewer things for self.  Click To Tweet

Retirement is a time to give back, and finding Purpose by doing things that benefit others will likely be the most rewarding use of your time.  Find ways to get involved, and choose to connect with people who have a generous attitude.  Never stop learning, and challenge yourself to continually learn new things.  At the two years of retirement milestone, I find myself accelerating my efforts to help others.  I hope that trend continues.

Slowing Down Is Good.  Recently, my wife and I were out picking up a donated dog house for her charity, Freedom For Fido. We saw a sign for an estate sale while en route, and decided to stop for a look.  We didn’t buy anything but ended up having a wonderful and relaxed chat with the homeowner.  Unexpected conversations with strangers make life better.  Life shouldn’t be lived in a hurry, and retirement affords us the chance to slow down.  It doesn’t happen automatically, sometimes you have to be intentional and take the long way home.

RV across the USA
11,000 Feet in The Rockies on The Million Dollar Highway near Telluride, CO.

A Bucket List is Worthwhile.  Having some goals for exciting things in life is important in retirement.  After years of being chained to your desk, the chain is broken.  You’re free to go.  So…Go!

In my first few months of retirement, we took a 7,000-mile cross-country train trip.  It had been a dream for years, so we made it a reality.  We booked it before I retired and it gave us something “big” to look forward to in our first few months of retirement. The following summer, we took three months to travel 10,000 miles around the country in our RV.  The invisible enemy has made this year a bit more challenging, so we’re planning on a one month trip to visit family in Michigan.  We’re shooting for August to escape the Georiga heat.

Don’t limit your bucket list to travel.  As I wrote in What’s In Your Bucket, it’s best to expand your list.  We’ve developed ideas for all of the “spokes in our wheel”, including personal development, spirituality, charity work, and relationships. 

Have goals for your life in retirement.  Life is better that way.

A Life of Fitness is a Life Well Lived.  Do you want to know the secret to the fountain of youth?  Get involved with the Younger Next Year crowd! Fitness matters and retirement is the ideal time to make it happen.  We’ve only got a certain number of years left, so it’s in our best interest to make those years last.  Keeping fit enables you to enjoy the activities you want to enjoy well into your 70’s (80’s?), so why not invest some energy in this fountain of youth?  You’ve got the time, and the benefits far outweigh the cost.  Get involved in your local gym, join a hiking club, get on your bike and ride.  You’ll make some new friends, feel great about yourself, and add years of healthy living to your retirement.

Bear Creek Mountain Biking Trail – the best trail in Georgia!

Life Is Best Lived Outside.  After spending 3 decades locked away in cubicle hell, it’s time to break down those walls.  I’ve spent more time outside in my first two years of retirement than in my past 30 years of work, and it’s made my life better.  I get outside every day, starting with a 1.5-mile hike with our 4 dogs on the trail behind our cabin.  I finish my days the same way.  3 miles, every day.  And that’s just for starters.  From mountain biking to hiking to fishing to camping to running to kayaking to doing landscaping projects, life is best when it’s lived out of doors. 

Get off the couch.  It’s time to Live!

Like father, like son.

Family Matters.  Too often in our working years, we’re forced to miss important family events.  In retirement, it’s time to make family a priority.  I’m fortunate that my Dad is still living, but I realize that won’t last forever.  Now that I have the time, I make it a priority to drive the 12 hours up to Michigan as often as possible to visit.   Sure, it’s a bit of a drive.  But, I have the time and my Dad is worth it.  The same goes for our daughter’s family in the Seattle area.  Come on, it’s not that big of a deal to jump on a plane, rent an AirBnB for a few weeks, and cherish the special moments with our granddaughter.  Family matters and retirement is the time to make those special moments with your family happen. 

Live a life of no regrets.

It’s Time To Try New Things.  Have you ever flown in an ultralight aircraft?  Neither had I, until last November (that’s me, up above, in the “back” seat).  Cool, right?  I’ve gotta say, THAT was an experience I’ll remember forever.  Especially the part where we swooped down close over that lake in the woods.  Dang, that guy could FLY!

What are you curious about trying?  What’s holding you back?  Retirement is the time to try new things, and the only limit is your imagination (and, perhaps, your risk tolerance).  Go ahead, push that envelope.  You’re free from that working grind, so put on some training wheels and take a spin in any area that interests you. 

Work is boring, retirement is the time to add some excitement to your life.

Celebrate The “Wins”

The “wins” in retirement are different than the “wins” you celebrated while working.  Those days of seeking a promotion are behind you, and you’ll never again make that killer presentation to the CEO.  Life moves on, and that’s a good thing.  Retirement is the time to find new ways to motivate yourself, to seek achievements that matter to you.  You’re the boss now, you set the agenda.  You determine how you celebrate when you get the “win”.  Have some fun with it.

You’ve earned that right.

If you love writing, celebrate the win when your book hits #1 on Amazon!  In my case, I bought an old military jeep as my way of celebrating that one.  Surprise!  I hadn’t told you about that one, had I?  Well, the cat’s out of the bag now, so here you go:

The Jeep I bought the day my book hit #1 on Amazon

If you’ve read my book, you’ll relate to the Jeep.  It fits with what I wrote on page 104 about choosing what vehicle you’d like to be when you “re-tire”.  In fact, I even mentioned that I’d go with a Jeep, “the best option to roam the mountains around our retirement cabin.”  Somehow, buying that old Jeep just seemed to be the right way to celebrate the milestone of publishing my first book.  Besides, I’ve dreamed about owning an old Jeep for years. Foreshadowing? Perhaps.

Celebrating a win?  Absolutely.

Savor the wins. 


Two years of retirement.  Dang, that went fast.

I didn’t know where I was going to go when I started writing this post.  That’s fairly common for me, actually, and it’s one of the reasons I enjoy writing.  In addition to the learnings cited above, I’ll close by saying that the first two years of retirement have taught me that I love to write.  There’s something stimulating about sitting down at this keyboard and setting my mind free.

I am a writer.

I thank you for continuing to read my words.

Your Turn:  If you’ve retired, what have you learned?  If you’re still working, what excites you most about retirement?  Let’s chat…


  1. A Life of Fitness is a Life Well Lived, and Life Is Best Lived Outside – a man after my heart. I should actually make these the taglines for my blog.

    And that Jeep, wow! So friggin cool!

    1. I am one year away from my Retirement – bought the book and am intentional about needing to let go of the past 40 years of professional life. Thank you for your words of wisdom and for taking the time to continue to share your experiences.

  2. Wow !! Love the Jeep..military vehicle has been our bucket list for a long time. Congratulations on your retirement journey !! Keep livin’ the dream !!



    1. Thanks for the words of encouragement for a 63 old that is about 2-3 years away from retirement.
      Keep writing and posting.
      Love your book.
      Thanks Bob P

  4. What ? You didn’t look around and say “I really miss going to work every day.” Thanks for the update, looks like you are on track for a great retirement.

  5. Wow, great dose of reality and much appreciated Fritz! I especially loved the “attitude of gratitude” and suggestion to “embrace the fluidity”. As an independent contractor and business owner for many years, me and my wife have been blessed to experience some degree of independence and ‘fluidity’, but alas, at the end of the day responsibilities call and we end up back in the grind, ‘chained to the desk’. I think I understand how that really changes with retirement. But I sense that, at least for us, the adjustment to the ‘broken chain’ won’t be so drastic. Enjoy the “river”. We’re still about eight years away, but we’ll see.

  6. Hello Fritz, great post and spot on relevant to me as I approach 2 years of retirement myself. The most important aspect you clearly articulated is that your plans must be flexible, but do not waiver on the patience and happiness. We have all been thrown a curve ball with Covid-19, moreover, for me, my ailing parents have derailed my plans a bit but I am blessed to spend more time with them in their time of need. I love the Jeep. Reminds me of the one during my Army days, particularly 1983 when I was a young, behind the ears green lieutenant and my West Pointer battery commander had me use only a topographical terrain featured map to navigate along the DMZ of Korea. He constantly reminded not to veer into North Korea since they would not be kind to us if captured. LOL

  7. Thanks for the update. I have been following and living vicariously through your retirement as I approach mine. My biggest issue is my wife will retire later than me due to her following me around during my services years. Working on retiring for the second time from the GA system now.

  8. Congrats on the two year anniversary and on your book reaching number one! You definitely paint an awesome picture of retirement and now I cringe with the two hour zoom meeting I have at 10 am today. Love the Jeep and nice ride for the area you live in. Your posts inspire me to keep investing and pay off the mortgage early.

  9. Hi again young man!

    First, congrats on celebrating your win by buying the Jeep. It appears in pristine condition! What year is it? Did you personally know the seller? He/she took great care of it.

    Secondly, congrats on no. 1 in Amazon with your first book! Great accomplishment Fritz! By the way, my Dad’s first name is Francis and always went by Fritz. 🙂

    Reflecting on my retirement of almost 5 years, upon reading this…I realize I am very bad at celebrating wins. 🙁 Don’t really feel guilt about spending our assets down, more like I have saved for over 40 years and it is difficult to change. Shocked that we bought our Silverado diesel and our trailer with cash many moons ago. Carol and I both feel better about giving to others than spending on ourselves. Plan on giving more to charity this year with so many that are struggling. We pray we can take baby steps to improve in this area.

    Time is our friend now. We cherish our financial freedom and anticipate no hiccups in our plan. Have more in assets than 5 years ago. Way to go stock market! 🙂

    God blessed you with much time with your Dad. Mine passed away 17+ years ago. I know you will cherish your remaining time with him!

    God speed to you and your family, Steve

    1. Cool story behind the Jeep – there’s a local guy here who imports old Jeeps from Japan (Mitsubishi got the licensing rights to produce Willy’s for the Asian market, made them until the early 90’s!). So…it’s a 1983, imported and restored by Paladin. I’ve been watching their inventory for several years, finally pulled the trigger.

      You’re not alone in having difficulty moving from “saver” to “spender” in retirement, it certainly doesn’t come naturally. I’m getting better at it, and increasing our charitable giving as well (supported a lot of local efforts during COVID). Baby steps, indeed. Sorry to hear “Fritz” is no longer with us, I do cherish my relationship with my Dad.

  10. Congratulations on hitting your 2-year retirement milestone. Your posts continue to educate and inspire. Keep them coming. P.S. I really enjoyed your book.

  11. Every lesson in this post is applicable prior to retirement too. Goals, Meaning, Attitude, Fitness, Family, We just had less time for it. I love the more relaxed pace of retirement. Thanks again, Fritz for your writings.

  12. Fritz,
    Another great post. I was about six months ahead of you in retirement so don’ hesitate to ask if you want to know what’s around the corner. 🙂
    In your section on the importance of having a bucket list and setting goals, you mention having goals for personal development. I think this is so important, especially for high achievers. Keeping the flames of ambition lit will go a long way towards having a successful retirement. It’s not so much the things that you want to do as what you want to become and accomplish.

  13. Just shy of four years into retirement and I agree with my husband’s often spoken statement, “retirement is the best job I’ve ever had!” So much more time to focus on fitness and as an accomplished home cook, on clean eating. I was never heavy but I’ve lost 22 lbs since my retirement date – a morning walk is essential to my peace of mind and I’m grateful that I have a very walkable neighborhood and a town center close enough to wander about. I’m grateful for what has proven to be sound financial advice on this blog and as a result we’re having fun spending without worrying about today’s market. On the bucket list were five major home renovations and we’re finished three of them, one a year, with the fourth one scheduled for fall. Biggest take away from your post is “Attitude Is Everything” – I intellectually knew that but daily work stress and commitments often kept me from practicing positivism. I now have it in the bag!

  14. Congratulations on 2 years Fritz. The first couple paragraphs about fluidity and retirement being like a river that ebbs and flows is perfect timing. I’m on day 3 of retirement and was beginning to chastise myself already for not planning something each day. I’m a planner by nature so I’ll need to have structure but it’s good to be reminded to take the opportunity to be spontaneous. I spent the last 2 months of my working career working from home and never would have thought this would be how retirement would start. But I’m flexible. 😉 My first retirement act was to adopt a cat from a no-kill shelter. So glad for retirement!!

  15. I’m in my 5th year and share most of your sentiments. The only structure in my life is our morning 5:30am run group, church and the volunteer boards I’m on. The rest is tennis, pickle ball, hiking, fishing, off roading(Polaris Rzr, not jeep), travel, guys trips and I work a few hours a week at consulting. My wife shares all the same hobbies, well she takes gal trips instead of guy trips fortunately! Life is very good, your idea of it being fluid, that’s appropriate. I hope your next three years are as good as mine have been!

      1. Ironically the $35K we spent on the fishing boat and the RZR represented more than we paid for the house we still live in that we bought 40 years ago! But we had just inherited seven figures so spending $35K didn’t seem like much of a stretch since we were already FI before the inheritance. It really feels like luxury to have a boat motor that always starts and an ATV that doesn’t break down constantly! I took it as a good sign that the very first fish I caught out of the new boat was an eight pound bass!

  16. I like the jeep – and pretty much any mode of transportation that does not put a roof over my head.

    I retired 5 years ago. I also spent good deal of effort getting ready but had no real plans for any major trips or other celebrations. I just wanted to get into the new routine of not going to work. I knew that I needed a reason to get up each day and I was concerned about not staying busy. That is one of the things that I wish I’d have been more cautious about. In my haste to do so many things that I didn’t think I had time for while working, now I am too busy and need to simplify my life. If someone asked me for advice it’d be to take it easy doing everything. Don’t underestimate the time element of things that you are involved in. Make sure you have plenty of time to do the things you really want to do.

    Also, none of us can wish our way to good health, and even those who do virtually everything right don’t have a guarantee of good health. I had been exercising for many years and running about 12 miles, 4 times a week for a number of years. I had a good diet, regular physicals, but did have some stress primarily in my work life. I had no health issues, no weight concerns, no family history on either my mom or dad’s side, and I had open heart surgery at age 62. Fortunately I noticed a discomfort when I was running and got it checked out, identified, and repaired before any damage, but it could easily have been a bad outcome. So my second bit of advice would be to take good care of and pay attention to the rocket ship that the good Lord gave you to ride around earth on. “Enjoy the ride” getting to retirement. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is applicable here too. You may regret not taking time to enjoy life during the work years just so you can enjoy retirement more.

    1. “…now I am too busy and need to simplify my life.”

      Wise words, funny how that happens in retirement, and one of the reasons I made Commandment #IV “Make No Obligations”, a meager attempt at forcing myself to slow down in retirement (one of the commandments I’ve NOT been able to respect). Tough challenge. Glad you caught the heart issue before it got more serious, a good reminder that we can only do so much, and there’s certainly an element of Russian Roulette in the health arena. Enjoy the ride, indeed.

  17. Congratulations on your two year anniversary. I have enjoyed your book and was thrilled to hear it went to number one. Out of curiosity is there a particular software package you used to write your book?

  18. First, Congrats on 2 years of retirement. I’m only a matter on months behind you and love this series of yours. As in this one, you are totally spot-on with your observations, thus obviating the need for me to do similar type of posts.

    Here’s to another year of retirement and now I’m going to put flying an ultralight on my bucket list – always wanted to do that.

  19. Fritz, well said. We just got the two-year retirement mark, so your piece resonates. Fortunately we had our “lifetime” two-week journey last fall to Alaska and it couldn’t have been more wonderful. And just as we were about to join the Y, along comes lockdown, but we’re rolling with the punches, walking as much as we can, my wife resurrecting her geneology passion and me learning to play the sax. Life is good. Keep on keeping on.

  20. Just coming off a 6 week “trial retirement” thanks to Covid-19 and I have to say that your remarks ring true with me. I loved slowing down and taking time to be unstructured. I accomplished so many projects at home that were long neglected and needed my attention and time. I had time to read books with my granddaughters, run through the sprinklers with them and built a cardboard rocket ship in celebration of the Space-X astronaut flight. I mountain biked most every day, played tennis with my wife and kids and made sure our parents were doing well and had their needs met. And after all of that, I still had time to shop for and help my elderly neighbors, serve in my church and connect with dear friends. I honestly enjoyed the whole experience immensely, and in selfish ways wish it could continue for a while longer; thanks Covid-19! I am thankful that the virus has not spread as fast as it might have and that for the most part it has been much less devastating than it could have been.

    Well, I am now back to work, optimistic about the future, more determined than ever to get all my preparations right, but with a new appreciation of things to come as I continue to prepare for a great retirement in 2022. Thank you for your well thought out retirement/life preparation advice you have written and gleaned from others, it has been a great source of confirmation and inspiration for the road my wife and I are traveling!

    1. Running through the sprinklers! Wow, there was some good that came out of COVID. Sounds like a blast, sorry you had to return to work after your play time. 2022 will be here soon enough, then your rocket ship can truly blast off. Glad to know my words are helpful on your journey.

  21. Thank you Fritz for this article and the links to the earlier posts. I just retired May 1 so I’m barely 30 days into my retirement (my choice at age 60 after working for 3 years on my “Pre-tirement” planning project).

    Let’s just say my retirement has not gone as I expected!!

    Shortly after I announced my decision internally at the end of February, COVID-19 reared its ugly head and canceled a trip to Budapest, Prague & Vienna that we planned 6 months ago and the company at which I worked filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy to reorganize their debts and assets. Also, our country now faces rising racial tensions.

    I wanted to change the pace of life after 40 years in the same industry and to open up some creative mind space to convert my personal blog into a book, get more golf and bike riding in, and help my adult kids grow their businesses. The good news is those are still progressing, despite all that has gone on the world.

    We’re feeling blessed to have put in the work ahead of time!

    Oh, by the way, I did by a convertible last year as my retirement car! It’s not a jeep but works really well for the summers here in Chicago.

    Thanks again for your wisdom!

    1. Congrats on crossing The Starting Line, Rich. Glad you’re keeping flexible, sure comes in handy this year. Crazy year, right. Can’t wait until the Yellowstone caldera explodes next month….(maybe we should have roofs on our retirement vehicles…)

  22. Congrats on the anniversary. I always enjoy your ideas for fun! Our time is getting close but I find myself doing the just one more year. At 65 I need to pull the trigger soon…. Also we walk at least 3 miles daily. It helps clear the mind in addition to exercise. Stay healthy!

  23. Good morning Fritz, I always enjoy your posts and look forward to reading each one. The Jeep is awesome! There is nothing like driving around in your dream vehicle, I think it is one of the best experiences of enjoying the slow pace of retirement. It took me a few years after I retired to realize that anything I was going to do today could be done tomorrow. That’s when I began to slow down and really enjoy every sunrise and every sunset, an extraordinary event that occurs every day, it’s truly a miracle to experience. Your post today reminded me that this month is my 7th year anniversary in retirement, and the good news I can share with you is that only gets better. As you said, life keeps changing, but at our age change is part of what helps keep you young. Congratulations on the success of your book, l know I have really enjoyed reading it several times and apparently I’m not alone. This is a wonderful phase of life when you finally have the time to focus on the truly important things in life, enjoy every minute of it, your time is your most valuable asset by far.

    1. “It took me a few years after I retired to realize that anything I was going to do today could be done tomorrow.”

      Exactly the advice I received on my first interview of the One Retirement Question Project. Sound advice. Glad to hear this wonderful thing called retirement just keeps getting better. I almost find that hard to believe, but looking forward to it every day. A wonderful phase of life, indeed.

  24. Another great post Fritz!

    So many insightful points…one of the lessons I’ve learned is “living with no regrets”. Being the best we can and realizing we get but one kick at the can. For example, my parents talked about and one day dreamed of seeing Alaska. Unfortunately the years slipped by and my father passed in 1995.

    I regret we never had the opportunity to make that trip as a family. Several years after, I decided to take my mother on an Alaskan cruise. It was an amazing experience and may have been the most meaningful gift I could have shared with her. And it wasn’t even about seeing Alaska (which was wonderful), it was the time we were able to share together. So for me, living without regret has become a guiding light.

  25. Your comment about structure sure hit home with me. That was the first surprise I got during my brief 9.5 months of retirement. It made me feel quite adrift. I was so burned out and tired from years of overwork and 2 months of taking care of my sick mom right after I retired, that initially I just did a whole lot of nothing. Seemed like I needed a nap on the couch every day. But eventually I started making plans with friends for fun things.

    Your nuggets of advice are great. I definitely need to adopt that fitness one. It’s been heavy on my mind lately.

    1. Listen to that inner voice, she knows what she’s talking about…

      And, you’re certainly not the first to suffer from that loss of structure. Odd how so few people talk about the struggles of adjusting to retirement. Glad my words are “hitting home”.

  26. The freedom is the biggest thing for my wife and I. We operate a farm and cut hay several times a year. Now I can do it when it fits me and the weather cooperates without having to cram it in around my work s schedule. We also can take off and travel when we want. I’ve been retired 18 months and there is no downside. Do not sooner than later if you can.

  27. After listening to you on ChooseFi, I bought your book. I finished it in two days and hope I can convince my husband to read it. We are attorneys who are deeply entrenched in the litigation (criminal) world. For the past 25+ years, we have been prosecutors, defense attorneys, business owners, and now an elected Prosecutor and a court administrator. He has never had a plan to retire; and I have been preparing (and praying!) for it for over a decade. None of my prompting questions seemed to inspire him to consider retiring.

    Now, after working primarily from home for three months, he has seen the light, reviewed our financial situation with me, and agreed that we can both be done in 4 years! While I think I’ve been immersed in the retirement mindset for so long that I will adjust easily, I think he will need to do some serious thinking.
    Thanks for the inspiration and the tangible ‘study guide’ I can give him.

    1. Kris, thanks for taking the next step after hearing me on ChooseFI (I love those guys!). Visions of two attorneys debating over my book come flooding to my mind…I hope you win that debate. I suspect your husband is not alone in having the COVID lockdown trigger a rethink about retirement planning, and I hope my book provides value for both of you on your final 4-year march to The Starting Line.

  28. WHAT!!!! Two years already! Keep the good times rolling. We’ve just moved to a retirement type community and have even more free time now. Once this virus thing dissipates we’ll be spending more time visiting relatives and more exercise. One day we may even visit some friends in Blue Ridge. lol Keep on writing, it motivates and encourages us all regardless of retirement status.

    1. David, glad to hear about the move to a retirement community. A popular path for many, hope it works out well for you and Mary. Give her a hug from us, hope to see you soon when you’re visiting those friends in Blue Ridge. Wink.

  29. Congratulations on your two year mark and this enjoyable reading. I’ve been reading here for about a year now, anticipating my retirement in a few years, having just turned 64 in March. But in my annual performance review meeting last January, I was told I was retiring. At my company, and level of experience, when they tell you that you are retiring, well you are retiring, and then you try to get the best severance package you can get. So I retired officially in March, and they will pay me for a while to do nothing. Ironically, March 13 was my last day in the office, and also the last day my department was in the office, because of the virus, and everyone started working from home the next week. Also my first week of retirement was the week of the market crash. So my first few months of retirement have been interesting to say the least. But I’m getting a handle on it now. While at first I missed the structure of work, I definitely don’t miss the work. No one from work has called, so I’ve really felt like I was put out to pasture. I’ve also learned quickly the sentiment expressed above not to worry about what you don’t get done today, since you can always do it tomorrow, or the next day, or whenever. I’ve commented that my biggest challenge lately is remembering which day it is! Keep up the good work, and I look forward to continuing to read and learn here.

    1. “I was told I was retiring.”

      I’ve known many others who have received that message, Guy. Glad to hear you were able to negotiate a decent severance package. It’s sad how quickly they can “write off” folks who have committed decades of their lives to an organzation. Far to common. Pleased to know you’re “reading and learning” from my work. Much appreciated.

  30. Good post. I am just starting my third year of retirement. I loved my job and worked to age 75, last few semi retired. Thanks to our family we have had a great two years doing our bucket list. Bahamas, Alaska with cruise, Australia and next after the virus possibly Africa. Daily exercise is a must. Keep up the great work and enjoy life.


  31. Enjoyed the post, retirement can be planned or thrown at you. In my case health dictated my retirement at age 60. Was I ready for retirement, no in many ways. Financially I could of used another 5 years of high income but as my wife still works and will for another 3 years @65. I received a disability pension which helped the blow of retirement at 60 but these don’t pay a lot. Myself and my Wife have always lived well within our means so we will be okay. Last June was my last day of work, I am starting to relax more about it and finding people like yourself on twitter to I guess you could say mingle with takes up part of my day. I do my own investments so that is another part of my day. I have a blog as well http://www.brainrattle.ca which I write about anything and anything that makes me happy and the things that make me angry some days. I definetely enjoy no longer having to show up to work, my days are my own, as I worked as a Carpenter (25 Years) and an IT guy (25 years) I do some repairs at home and know my way around a computer or tablet (iPad) which I play with photo’s etc. Looking forward to following your adventures.


    / rob

    1. Rob, thanks for jumping in with a comment. I also appreciate our Twitter connection. Congrats on your one year retireversary next month, I can relate to the “starting to relax more” comment. The transition definitely takes some time, glad to hear yours is going well in spite of not being ready for the earlier than planned retirement (btw, you’ll like next week’s post on exactly that topic).

  32. Inspirational, Fritz. You’re a man after my own heart. Outdoors, fitness, adventures — it’s a big world to be grateful for!

  33. I am finally leaving a workplace that turned into a high stress, terrible place. What surprises me is don’t feel a sense of freedom. Rather, I feel lost, confused and on the verge of crying. I feel terrible. Why ? I think it’s that I concentrated on financial preparations for retirement too much. I am, thankfully, prepared financially. But, the other elements of retirement (like how will you maintain social interaction, what’s your purpose and how will you spend all the free time) I am unprepared for. If I had to give advice, do not ignore the non-financial element of retirement. I’m going to try and give it time. Actually today was a good day for me. Cut grass, planted flowers, went hiking at a new preserve, rested a little, surfed the net some. Not a bad day at all. Hopefully more to come.


    1. Francis, I’m so happy for you. This site and these 2 books helped me tremendously with the social, purpose side of living. “You can retire sooner than you think ” by Wes Moss and “How to retire happy, wild and free” by Ernie Zelinski. I still refer to both now that I’m retired. You no longer have to feel stressed. Enjoy!

      1. Deb, thanks for your well wishes. If I read one of your previous posts correctly, are you retired only three days? If so, how did you adjust so quickly? Isn’t the amount of free time overwhelming until you adjust? I take it day by day or even you hour by hour. I have been making some headway in building structure. Such as I will be golfing with my friends twice a week and doing outside things, like hiking, once a week with another friend. Even thinking about taking a trip visiting very good friends. So, I guess I’m making progress but it’s going to be a huge transition after working for 36 years. Best wishes on your retirement Deb.


        Note – apparently there are two people posting under the name Francis. I didn’t write the post that began with, Dang that went fast.

        1. Hi Francis, you read correctly I had only been retired 3 days when I wrote the last post, tomorrow will be one week. I too had worked 36 years, 32 at the same company. The last 2 months of work were from home which I think helped with the transition. I also just moved full time into my previous seasonal residence so I’ve been doing a lot of organizing. The snowbirds are coming back to the lake so now I have friends to do more activities with and Michigan is beginning to lift stay home restrictions so I can get more involved with community. I have been really looking forward for to a slower pace. I am going to schedule 1 or 2 things a day but I’ve committed to no specific commitments for 1 year. (ie golf league, bowling league, member of township, etc) I want to take my time and feel things out before I jump into any year long plus commitment. I’m focused on smelling the roses (I did plant tomatoes and cucumbers) and playing with my adopted cat. Take care

    2. Francis, you’re certainly not alone in struggling with the transition. I’m glad we were able to have that email exchange, and hope my words help as you adjust to your new terrain. BTW, I suspect you’ll get some value out of next week’s post, it’s aimed at folks who are having a hard time making the adjustment. Hang in there, it IS a huge adjustment and it’s very common for it to take some time. Thanks for stopping by.

  34. “Dang, that went fast”. Two years went ever so quickly, and time keeps accelerating.
    Happy to see you can reward your successes with the occasional four-wheel splurge. It’s something fun to tinker with for a while. Buckle up, the next two years will go even quicker.
    Stay healthy, stay fit.

    1. Francis, gotta enjoy what we’ve worked so hard to achieve, right!? I’m taking our Dutch Shephard out in the Jeep today for her first “ride with Dad”. Going to take her to the lake and let her swim, hope she enjoys riding in the Jeep as much as I do!

  35. High hood Jeep . Wonderful choice. cj3b I think. It will be nice to cruise the back roads with that!

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