It has been more than a month now since I early retired from MegaCorp and adopted my new life of leisure. It feels like I am still “skipping school” and am expected to go back to work at some point. The good news is that I’m not going back to anything and enjoying my time immensely. It is wonderful to have all of the time to do whatever you want, yet not be required to do anything at all.
When I was getting ready to leave MegaCorp I drew up a list of things I was hoping to do in early retirement organized around my “Life Wheel” concept. Since the question I get most often now is “what are you doing with your time?” – I thought I’d provide a quick update now that I have reached the 50 Day Milestone:
TRAVEL / PLAY
- We’re planning for our big trip to Japan in July. It will be tricky place to visit because of the language & cultural differences. I’ve been spending a lot of time reading guide books and getting advice from people.
- Our boat club just opened this two weeks ago for the summer. The weather has moved from the 60s to the 80s F and we’ve already enjoyed one beautiful ‘summer night’ on the the water with good friends.
- I’m signed up for a couple of sports car / road rally events. One was this past weekend and one is next month. The one next month is a charity fundraiser with a timed rally circuit that I’m going to drive with a friend from high school.
- I’m getting a new convertible this week and trading in the one I’ve had for the last six summers. Cars are definitely my grown-up guilty pleasure and don’t make any practical or economic sense. The new car is actually a 2013, but has only 4.4K miles!
ARTS / CREATIVE
- I’ve done very little in this category other than go to a few movies. I’m loving the $5 Tuesday showings at the cinema near our house that has the big, leather recliners.
FAMILY / FRIENDS
- I’ve met quite a few people for lunch / happy hour over the past 6 weeks. Some are work colleagues, some are friends from other parts of my life. I’ve probably gone to lunch 15 times over the time I’ve been off work.
- My wife put on a 50th Birthday party for me in April and we saw a lot of friends. My son is finishing high school and their has also been a lot of school events / banquets – including his prom grand march.
- I’ve been doing some new genealogy research on my wife’s family. I found out quite a lot of new information on her maternal great grandfather and we might make a trip later this year to Austin MN (home of Spam!) to look some things up.
WORK / MONEY
- I spent a couple days in Michigan for a quarterly board meeting at a company that I am an outside director for. It was funny to get up to work on a Monday morning, but it is a good group to get together with and fun to sit in a conference room and talk business again.
- I did a couple of over-the-phone 1 hour consulting calls through a online organization I have worked with for a few years. They don’t require very much preparation on my part and pay well. Good bonus money.
- I got in involved with due diligence of an investment we are planning to make through our Angel Fund. It’s a medical device compay that will revolutionize a certain kind of surgery. It’s our first go at Angel investing.
HEALTH / SPORTS
- I’ve increased my daily activity level by a whopping 90% and cut calories by 30%+ at the same time. I have dropped 4 pounds off my weight and don’t feel too hungry. I also started running outside again and am getting back up to 5K pace.
- My brother and I scheduled weekly tennis again (we did it last summer/fall, too) and I am golfing with my other brother & Dad and joined a church league. I also played tennis with a retired friend from MegaCorp and next time we’re going to hit a brew pub after playing.
- I love to go to sports events and I went to a couple games with friends: a Twins game on a beautiful afternoon and a Minnesota Wild Stanley Cup playoff game. I’m planning to line up some more games when we get back from summer vacation.
LEARN / WRITE
- I’ve been pretty good about keeping up this blog, but I did miss a few Wednesday posts. Hard to believe at times I’ve been busier than when I was working, but it is the truth. My goal is to publish a “retired life post” each Monday and a “personal finance” post each Wednesday. I do a quick quote or “Friday Fun” to end the week.
- I have been unsuccessful at cracking a single book so far. I picked up Shogun – which a friend suggested since we are going to Japan – but didn’t get further than the first few pages. Books are hard to start, but I hope to get going soon.
LOVE / ROMANCE
- The good news is I haven’t driven MrsFireStation crazy yet. She wrote her own post about how things were going recently and I got a thumbs up.
- We went to see Paul McCartney in concert two weeks ago, which was amazing. The show last almost 3 hours and 36 songs. He did a tribute to Prince, who is on a lot of people’s minds lately here in the Twin Cities/Minneapolis.
- We got dressed up for our own “spring prom” – a black tie event fundraiser at the Minnesota Zoo called the “Beastly Ball”. We’ve been to it many times, but it was the first time I wasn’t hosting a corporate table for MegaCorp.
GIVING / TEACHING / COMMUNITY
- Speaking of the Zoo, we had a series of board meetings in April and that filled up a few afternoons. We have a new Zoo Director, so it has been good to get to know him. He doesn’t quite know what to make of my early retiree status, I can tell.
- I taught a class on New Product Development / Innovation Strategy at one of the local universities in early May. A friend is an adjunct professor there and asks me to come in for a 90 minute lecture once a semester.
- I was also asked to come to 2 companies in the next 90 days to lead innovation workshops. They are paid gigs, but I haven’t decided to do them or not yet. I probably should – if only to feel better about buying my convertible!
One more update … I introduced a lot of MrFireStation.com readers with FIREcalc in my post about using Monte Carlo analysis to assess the longevity of your nest egg. I posted that I would give $2 for every reader who tried it and commented on it the week it was posted. That was 17 readers, so I donated $35 to FIREcalc (a nonprofit/wiki site) via PayPal last week.
So – that’s the update after my first 50 days of financial freedom & early retirement. It has been a pretty busy time and I have had no problem keeping myself entertained. I miss the people from work, but not the work at all. I was in the airport on Wednesday and saw a MegaCorp executive running through the concourse (in a suit & tie) trying to get to a gate on time. It reminded me how lucky I am to be a free man!
Image Credit: MrFireStation.com Life Wheel