FIRE Milestones – “What Are You Going To Do?”

mrfirestation-life-wheel-v2

I gave my formal notice for early retirement from MegaCorp to my boss last month.  Everything went great and I thank everyone for all your well wishes.  I will post next week about how it all happened – and how we celebrated that night.  In the meanwhile … I’ll answer the question everyone is asking …

When you announce your early retirement, EVERYBODY wants to know what you are going to DO?!  As I’ve written, I find it fun to simply say “My plans? … To do as much as I can, and as little as want.”   Of course, people know that I am just being flip (as I usually am) and want to know my real plans. Details. Specifics.

The fact is, despite 25+ years in marketing, I have a hard time communicating ALL of the things I really want to do into a tight 30 second commercial, because my life is not a ‘single-minded value proposition’ to communicate.  There are dozens and dozens of things I want to do and I have lots of lists I’ve created.  Life lists.  Bucket lists.  “Not Bored” lists of new vocations and activities.

In preparation for the “What are you going to DO?” question, I organized this list, using a graphic ‘Life Wheel’ that I put together – very similar to many life wheels you can find online – but all designed to articulate where you find your spark in life.

This wheel has 8 different dimensions.  I believe variety is the spice of life and the richest lives are those that reach their potential in multiple ways.  Within each segment, the challenge is to think of the activities that you would find enjoyable & fulfilling.  Things that will give you energy.  Here’s mine:

TRAVEL / PLAY

  • Finish all 50 states – just 2 to go!
  • Reach 50 countries – the next challenge (~28 now)
  • Learn about Asia – going to Japan this summer
  • Live in another country for a month 
  • Sports car club road rally / track day
  • Get a dog / little buddy
  • Spend summer days on the water – boat club!
  • Organize trips to Europe/Holy Land for Church

ARTS / CREATIVE

  • Learn to play electric guitar
  • MeetUp.org museum group
  • Start a community news website / social media feed
  • Win a State Fair ribbon in creative activities
  • Pick up photography again
  • Learn Photoshop / publishing
  • Build Lego “city of dreams”
  • Go to afternoon $5 movies every other week

FAMILY / FRIENDS

  • Spend more time with my parents, who live nearby
  • Expand on the family genealogy/history research I’ve already done
  • Organize more frequent dinners & time with friends
  • Meet up with friends at weekend local festivals & events
  • Meet old colleagues for lunch – listen to them bitch about their jobs
  • Scavenger / treasure hunts

WORK / MONEY

  • Corporate Board work – I’m on the board of a manufacturing company
  • Non-Profit Board work – local Zoo Foundation
  • University Exec Board – Stay involved with the MBA program
  • Angel investing
  • Set up a small “day trading” fund
  • Develop some real estate investments

HEALTH / SPORTS

  • Workout 4-5x a week (that’s +4-5x current)
  • Get back in 5K shape (been a while)
  • Play tennis/tennis league (summer)
  • Take a fencing class
  • Take golf lessons – improve game – golf more
  • Continue curling (fall/winter sport)
  • Learn scuba diving
  • Go skiing more often

LEARN / WRITE

  • Read 10 books/year – not business non-fiction!
  • Take classes at one of the local colleges
  • Improve this blog!
  • Write a book on Personal Finance or Corporate Innovation
  • Wikipedia Author – There are few entries I’d like to make on local history
  • Sit in coffee shop & read the newspaper
  • Study and write about local baseball / ballpark history
  • Expand a travel / walking tour website my son & I started
  • Go to local speakers series / author appearance

LOVE / ROMANCE

  • Not drive my dear wife crazy at home
  • See more theater & concerts as a couple
  • Valentine’s Day dinner out – the 14th of every month
  • Go shopping / lunch in small towns
  • Empty the dishwasher now & then 😉

GIVING / TEACHING / COMMUNITY

  • Start our own Family Foundation
  • Giveaway $$$ from One More Year Fund
  • Teach MBA / Marketing Classes
  • Teach people to get out of debt/be smart with their money
  • Teach other people how to retire in their 40s
  • Help bankroll local theater
  • Start a scholarship fund – screening applicants/best candidate

Image Credit: MrFireStation.com

45 thoughts on “FIRE Milestones – “What Are You Going To Do?”

    • Someone told me that a dog is a friend with exercise built-in. Friends have warned us that getting a dog would be like starting all over with a baby, so we’ll see. I could go either way. Maybe after a couple years of goofing off we’ll get one.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Now that’s a detailed list! I’m glad to hear that things went well giving your notice… even though it was in the plans, I’m sure it was probably still a little uneasy doing it.

    Congrats to you!!

    — Jim

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    • Thanks, Jim – Yes it was a bit of a surreal experience. You think about what it is going to be like for literally years, and then you do it. Very much an out-of-body experience even now – a two days later. Thanks for the comment!

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    • I don’t have any background in theater, but we love to go to plays. We went to a local playhouse this summer to see an original Sherlock Holmes production and noticed that for not a huge donation you could be on their Patron’s Board and get involved. Sounded cool. Have you done much family history?

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      • I’m working on my family history avidly before heading to Yorkshire this summer because one line is from there and I’d love to find some family records that aren’t available online while I’m there. I’m currently stuck in 1758. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • 1758 is very good! We have a few lines into the 1700s, but nothing earlier than that. I would love to take a trip to explore somethings … top choice would be Bavaria. Maybe your ancestors are at “Downton Abbey”/Highclere in Yorkshire!

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    • Thanks! The news went well – very positive, but a bit surreal for sure. I’m definitely a “list person” so this was a fun one to think about and put together over the last 12 months. What unique ideas are on your list?

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      • Our kids are still young so a lot will revolve around them. I would like to venture off on my own to create a little side business. Nothing we’d need to rely on for money, just for the challenge of making something from nothing.

        On Friday afternoon though, we found out we’d be moving to England in August so that changes everything up a bit!

        Liked by 1 person

    • I would also like to do a big cross-country roadtrip like you and your mate have planned. There’s something quintessentially all-American about hitting the open road in a minivan!

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  2. That is One Awesome List!!! Hubs and I have a list that we simply call, Our List. It is added to whenever either of us begins a sentence with, “I wanna…” Whatever that item may be goes on the list, and we will spend the rest of our lives trying to cross things off the list. We just crossed off a major one of mine – zip lining in a place that has parrots or monkeys! There’s a blog post to follow, I’m sure…

    Lynn

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    • Thanks for the well wishes. Love your site, Sam. Really great writing! Shared your sports car post with my wife and we will go shopping for an upgrade this spring!

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    • My wife and I are talking right now about what to do TODAY. It’s the first open weekend day we have had in a while!

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  4. A great list, lots of variety. Where will you start first? 🙂

    With at least 10 years to go before I consider pulling the trigger, I’ve not made my own list although I have some ideas.

    Getting a dog is on my list but that would mean getting all my travelling out of the way first!

    “Set up a small day trading’ fund” – this one is on the cards for me too – it’s either that or I’ll end up betting on horse-racing or something!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Horse racing or daytrading – probably not much difference there, huh?! 🙂

      Yesterday I came home from work early and went on the treadmill, started a new Netflix series, and later cracked open a new book. I guess that’s where I’m starting.

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  13. I like your list. I too was asked what I was going to do in retirement. I came up with a general theme of experiencing life. Try new experiences (or revisit old ones) and write them up in my blog. I have a goal of 937 experiences. Some big, some small, some silly, some fun. Thanks for your ideas.

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