If you’ve ever thought about retiring, it probably goes something like this:
“Retirement sounds wonderful, but what would I do with myself? Won’t I get bored sitting around all day?”
Well, I’m here to tell you that you will NOT get bored. Sure, you may find yourself getting into a comfortable routine, but everyday is unique. Your financial independence will provide you with a blank canvas to paint your life each and every day.
My wife, Allison, and I retired 2.5 years ago. I was 43 and she was a year older at 44. Since we left the workforce, we’ve spent our time mainly doing the following things:
It’s hard to be really dedicated to staying in shape when you’re working a full-time job and commuting. Now that we have the time, we work out almost everyday.
My workout schedule used to be whatever I could fit in on the weekends (usually 1 or 2 yoga classes). Here’s my schedule now:
- Mon/Weds/Fri: Lift weights & Walk 2 miles
- Tues/Thurs/Sat: Yoga, Swim & Walk 2 miles
- Sun: Yoga OR Swim & Walk 2 miles
Before retiring, we would take a vacation maybe once every 2 years. It was just always hard to find the right time for both of our busy work schedules.
In the 2.5 years since retiring, we’ve done 3 big trips and several smaller ones. The big trips were:
- The Panama Canal — Including visiting Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala & Mexico
- Europe — Visited Italy (Rome, Florence, Naples), Spain (Barcelona, Valencia), France (Nice), Monte Carlo, The Vatican, Sicily & Sardinia
- SE Asia — A 5-week adventure exploring Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand (Bangkok, Chiang Mai), Vietnam (all over). I even got Dengue Fever (which I don't recommend).
Writing & Teaching:
I didn’t realize I could be a writer, or even want to be a writer until I retired. The only writing I did when working was writing work emails — really boring stuff.
I’ve also created several online courses on Retire By 45 to teach young people what to do to successfully retire early.
Before retiring, Allison and I usually ate on the run. We’d grab a quick bite as we left for work, then usually eat out for lunch, and get take-out for dinner.
Now that we have the time, we focus much more on the quality and enjoyment of our meals. Allison loves to cook and experiment in the kitchen. We love getting healthy and inexpensive ingredients from our local Chinatown and farmer’s markets.
And of course we still treat ourselves to the occasional restaurant meal, but it’s usually something we really want to experience and not just getting a quick bite.
And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that we spend a lot of time enjoying leisure. Whether that’s enjoying time in nature, or being couch potatoes and watching our favorite TV shows and sporting events (with our two 18-year old Siamese cats).
When you’re retired, you can slow down and enjoy your time. You don’t have to worry about getting to sleep early for work the next day, or sweating that big work project. It’s all about quality of life.
Hopefully this gave you some incentive to make early retirement a reality for you, too!