I’m commonly asked what I’ll do after retiring extremely early. I’ll be 35 years old, won’t I get bored? The short answer is – “Are you kidding me?!?” But that would make a boring and poorly informed blog post, so I’ll give you the long answer.
The truth is, whether you retire at 35 or 65, you will have to cross that line of letting go of your identity with your job. The sooner you realize that, the better. And if boredom is meant to strike in retirement, it seems more likely that it would occur to a frail old 70 year old than a young, adventurous 35 year old. But let’s talk specifics, what am I planning to do?
- First, I’m going to rest. After 3.5 years of busting my ass in college and 11 more years of working hard in the engineering world, I’m exhausted. I’ve worked more hours than anyone I know, and I’ve completely entrenched myself in my work. It’s paid huge dividends, but it’s also worn me down. I expect my rest period to last between 3-6 months, and I’m dedicated to doing nothing during that time. I’m just going to exercise and read and relax. I probably won’t even spend much time at home because my kids are young (and chaotic) – I’ll just clear my mind. This will be a short unwinding period.
- I will get more involved with my kid’s education. I’ve considered homeschooling, but at this point I have no direct plans. I think I’ll send them to school, but supplement the schooling with a more interesting schooling at home. I believe in teaching what the kid wants to learn rather than what’s on a standard curriculum. There are schools that do this flexible education, but they are generally expensive and not in my area. I’m not comfortable in outsourcing my kid’s education. This might be my biggest incentive to retire early.
- I’m going to get back into fighting shape. I was a competitive wrestler in high school, and recently a competitive runner. I ran ultramarathons and even won a few local ultras. I don’t think I’ll return to that sport due to the time commitment, but I plan to set some goals on 5K and 10K races. I also want to get into cross-fit. I think that’s a well-rounded approach to fitness. I just want to make cross-fit cheaper (maybe I’ll blog about it here )
- I want to become an expert investor. Since I’ll be a professional capitalist/investor, I’ll take it seriously and perfect it. I’ve begun reading textbooks on it, and believe I can achieve the equivalent of an MBA by reading these books. In fact, it will be better than an MBA because I won’t just be memorizing for a test. My incentive is much higher, I’m not looking for an “A”, I’m looking to increase my wealth and feed my family.
- I plan to volunteer in the pediatric unit of the local hospital. 2 months ago, my 1-year old daughter was in the pediatric ICU on a breathing tube and I was unsure if she would live (actually, I thought she wouldn’t). She was eventually stabilized and is now 100% healthy thanks to the hospital saving her life. I’ve paid a lot of money for their services, but I still feel I owe them more – they saved my daughter’s life! This will be a very fulfilling experience.
- I will write more on this blog. It’s a creative outlet for an introvert, and it’s also a forcing function for me to consider my philosophy. Unlike many Personal Finance blogs, I don’t do this for any monetary gain. I simply want the outlet for thinking.
- I currently run 2 ecommerce businesses. My time investment is extremely low, ranging from 0 to 4 hours per month. Yet, I make pretty good money, several hundred dollars of gain each month. I’d like to increase this amount to 100% of my monthly expenses as an income diversification once I retire. There are parts of the business I do not enjoy (SEO) and there are parts I greatly enjoy (market research, web design, and programming). I’ll focus on the areas I enjoy. Since I won’t “need” the money, I can afford to do that.
- I may start a website dedicated to evolving modern education or getting involved in current education. Much of our younger generation is behind the curve with regard to the rest of the world, and teaching salary cuts doesn’t exactly make for a brighter future. The truth is our current system is archaic and broken, and I’d love to be a part of fixing it. This could be my gift to the world.
- Did I mention I’m going to relax and do nothing for awhile?
Many of us could could retire early, we just don’t realize it. I want to make other people realize it’s possible for everyone and it’s worth it. If I could change one person’s perspective and convince them to leave the rat race and retire extremely early, my job would be done. So that’s the final thing I have on my plate, early retirement evangelizing.
How about you, what are your plans?