A few weeks ago, a friend and I got together for lunch at a venerable, but soon to close, local ‘Dive Bar’ to catch up. At her retirement party last fall, I told her I’d treat for lunch if she made me a list of 10 observations on what it is like to adapt to a FIRE lifestyle. I’m sharing them here as a bit of inspiration / dose of reality for readers wondering ‘what is it really like?’.
Here are some highlights from her experience …
1. The first couple of weeks it was easy to be tired. Work is busy and it was nice to be able to catch up from the craziness with some time off.
2. At first, people aren’t sure if they should offer ‘congrats’ or ‘condolences’ when they hear you are early retired. With MegaCorp companies frequently forcing people out, they tiptoe around the news a bit.
3. The opportunity to get things done when everyone else is working is fantastic. Makes even mundane shopping & errands so much easier.
4. It’s a bit odd to be not working when your friends still are. Especially in the first few weeks, you’re still thinking about what’s happening back in the office.
5. Not at all bored! This seems to be everyone’s biggest worry and after six months, she’s learned that this likely won’t be an issue.
6. Has not had any urges to go back to work, although she was happy to apply some of her career expertise / know-how at her church.
7. Discovered that she hates winter even more than when she was working. Travel has been nice over the last few months with a few nice getaways from the cold & snow, but maybe sometime would like to get away for more.
8. When it comes to projects / chores around the house, she’s not surprised to report that the things she didn’t like to do in the past, she still doesn’t like to do – even though she has more time to do them. Who would?! 🙂
9. Having more time has rekindled her passion for cooking. Easy now to put some extra time & focus each week into to planning, shopping, and preparing some great meals.
10. She feels like her sleep patterns are more natural now. Much nicer than when dictated by a work schedule that forced certain bed times and early wake-ups to accommodate what was needed in the office.
11. Sunday nights are now a favorite with no more ‘Sunday Night Blues’. Monday mornings are very relaxed with a cup of coffee and the NYT crossword puzzle.
I can relate very well to her experiences even after being retired three years now. I still love the relaxed, stress-free lifestyle and being able to manage my time in ways that put the focus on how I want to live and my interests.
What aspects of early retirement are you most enjoying / looking forward to?
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