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Early Retiree - scratching my head
Old 03-22-2017, 02:31 PM   #1
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Early Retiree - scratching my head

For a long time my life goal was pretty straight forward Ė put enough money in the bank to retire by 40. Somehow, I actually accomplished that. I was an entrepreneur that started several businesses. That activity in itself is full of risk. I did some smart things and caught a few breaks when I needed it and I crossed the finish line. I retired early. That was 4 years ago.

I donít want to go back to starting a company because of the risk involved. Itís not worth it to me financially to go down that road with my own capital. Iíve thought about raising money to go do something else, but that would risk my own capital as well because equity partners wonít get involved if I have no skin in the game and Iíd probably have to give up control.

I have tried volunteering. Iíve tried side/seasonal work. Some of the work I have done is rewarding but not so much on the financial level. The volunteering is interesting, but not necessarily fulfilling. Most people my age are working full time, so some days can be pretty boring. In addition, those that are close to me donít understand why I wouldnít just start another company or just get a job. Itís hard to explain to someone who hasnít put their neck on the table.

I find myself in an interesting conundrum. The largest goal I had, I have accomplished. I now need to find a fulfilling way to spend my time without risking my nest egg. Itís been 4 years and I still havenít found my groove. Iím certainly not complaining about my situation, but it is a bit tough for me to figure out.

Have any of you experienced something similar? If so, what did you do about it?

Thanks in advance for any response.
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:57 PM   #2
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I found a fulfilling p.t. job.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:07 PM   #3
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Posting to follow.

I don't have any good answers for you, except maybe some suggestions:

1. Depending on how long it took you to get to that FI goal, you might need some more down time to recover. 4 years seems like a long time, but you've been doing stuff in the meantime.

2. Eventually the answer I keep coming back to is to find another goal that's interesting to me. Doesn't matter if it's financially rewarding or impresses other people, or what. Just as long as it's engaging to me. Right now I'm considering climbing Mount Elbert this summer, and taking a trip someplace warm this winter as two goals that might fit that description for me.

Good luck...
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:55 PM   #4
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I have a friend who started a company after working in the investment business and retired about 40-45 years old. You have been a successful entrepreneur, you could give back by volunteering at your local SCORE chapter. Teach at a community college is another idea. Good Luck.
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:07 PM   #5
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How about mentoring new entrepreneurs?
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:02 PM   #6
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These are some good ideas. Thank you.
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Old 03-22-2017, 07:01 PM   #7
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Maybe you should consider running for political office. It could be interesting, and you could also help other people at the same time.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:08 PM   #8
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Are there any colleges nearby? Would you be interested in an adjunct teaching position? You could even consider mentoring the students in some business case competition. I bet if you talked with some of the professors at the school, they could think of ways you could use your real life experiences to help students interested in a business career.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:28 PM   #9
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Read 'How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free' by Ernie J. Zelinski. That should do it!
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:33 PM   #10
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It sounds like you are bored. That's not meant to be disparaging. There is plenty of precedent for high-stamina entrepreneurial folks like yourself to find time weighing heavily on their hands once they exit the rat race.

It also sounds like you feel the need to be challenged by being in business again. Just about everybody on this board will tell you that it's okay, even if they don't share the same need.

The only obstacle is that you don't want to risk the egg you worked so hard for. That's also understandable. Maybe your frustration stems from your successful startups being capital-intensive. So perhaps you should widen your criteria for an acceptable business to some venture that does not require a lot of start-up capital.

Maybe your new business never turns into the next APL or GOOGL, but so what? Maybe it never turns a profit at all... again, so what? If the enterprise keeps you interested and involved, then as long as it doesn't hemorrhage unlimited wads of money it has done its job. Define your own criteria for success and enjoy! Good luck.
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Old 03-22-2017, 09:21 PM   #11
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I would think someone with your talent would have a lot of consulting opportunities to help others start or grow their businesses. You can choose how many hours you want to work and what length of engagement you are looking for.

I've been doing this for the past four years after retiring from full time work and have found it very satisfying.
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Old 03-23-2017, 01:50 AM   #12
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Is is possible that you didn't need to retire, just needed some time to decompress?
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:03 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
How about mentoring new entrepreneurs?
+1 Look into your local Small Business Association. - ERD50
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Look into your local Small Business Association. - ERD50
+1
In my short time as an entrepreneur, I spent my off hours working in the Jr. Chamber of Commerce, and after retiring, worked with the SBA in our area, giving lectures and helping new businesses with their long term business plans. It was very rewarding, and gave me a sense of accomplishment.

Other satisfying activities along the retirement way, were continuing my 27 years in Scouts, and advising and leading local church youth groups on week long canoe trips to the Boundary Waters.

Just a matter of finding satisfaction in whatever interests you, whether it's stamp collecting or sky diving.

In the autumn of my years, interests become more internal, as spending too much time on the computer. The social part is more limited to my kids, but I am now getting involved with some of the activities at my CCRC, helping other seniors with their computer stuff. Looking forward to what may be my last year at our campground on the lake 25 miles from here. Will open that up as soon as the freeze threat is over. Cabin fever is awful. Just a few more weeks...
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjim6954 View Post
I find myself in an interesting conundrum. The largest goal I had, I have accomplished. I now need to find a fulfilling way to spend my time without risking my nest egg. Itís been 4 years and I still havenít found my groove. Iím certainly not complaining about my situation, but it is a bit tough for me to figure out.

Have any of you experienced something similar? If so, what did you do about it?
I'm in a somewhat similar situation and, quite honestly, still haven't quite figured out what to do with all my free time. I left the full-time gig in my mid-40s and now, several years later, spend too much time surfing the web, posting to various message boards, puttering around the house, and telling myself "You really need to come up with some interesting long-term hobbies or projects to keep yourself enthused and excited about getting up out of bed every morning."

I've thought about maybe doing some part-time teaching at a local community college, and I've also given some thought to taking some classes myself. I do have some minor hobbies, but they aren't substantial enough to provide the kind of year-round, daily, immersive level of activity (both mental and physical) that I'm really looking for. There are a number of things I'd like to learn more about and get good at... things like woodworking, tennis, golf, flower gardening, cooking, playing piano and/or guitar. That probably sounds like a lot, and it would be if I could motivate myself to actually get started on any of them in a "structured" way. For some reason, I seem to lack sufficient motivation at this point in my life, but I'm certainly hoping and expecting that to change. There's only so much web surfing and forum posting one can do, right?

As someone mentioned above, I definitely recommend reading How To Retire Happy, Wild, and Free. While this didn't completely solve any of my ER issues, it did give me a lot to think about and helped me to start "thinking outside the box" a little more than I had been.

Good luck trying to navigate your way through this. For those of us in our 40s it can definitely be challenging, but I'm figuring it out little by little, day by day.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:47 PM   #16
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I've spent the last several months in France learning the language as I plan to spend much of my time with NGOs in francophone Africa upon my retirement. I'm an ER doc, early 40's, and I like you have spent much of the past 15 years focused on trying to build my pile to the point that I could exit the frustrations/risk of work, in my case US medicine. I've cut down to part time the past few years and spent much of my time with hobbies I've always figured I'd be quite content with upon retirement. The realities of being less productive I've learned can be hard so I decided to 'semi-retire' into global/third world medicine. I've had several medical trips abroad now and find them satisfying. During these past few months at the French language school I've met several people that are in a situation similar to yours. Successful entrepreneurs who retired, but became bored. Some are finding their way helping to create self sustaining businesses in third world countries particularly Africa. They articulate enjoying the hurdles involved, the relatively small amount of money needed to be put up, and the challenges of navigating a new set of rules/corruption for the greater good.
Obviously, this is not my field, but the folks I've met are very content with their involvement. They really have no interest in making a profit themselves of course, but simply to create self sustaining businesses and along the way teach people to fish I guess.
Below is a link to an example article. Good luck to you!!
http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/11/...nesses-africa/
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Old 03-23-2017, 01:12 PM   #17
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You could find the other 40 yr old retiree in town and pair up for a quick back 9?
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