Originally Posted by rb35
Hi Symbiotic, how has your first year of retirement been? I hope it was everything you thought it would be and more. Any words of wisdom for those of us looking to take the plunge?
What great questions, and also a wonderful impetus for getting back to this thread and updating it.
Quick summary: I can't believe it's been a year!
Shortly after I posted above, we took off on an eight-month extended road trip. We visited a lot of family and friends and camped the whole way. We planned our trip to have us home mid-fall, so our daughter could go back to the pre-K class that she loves for the winter months. We are returning for a mini version of our trip this summer, and then the kind of school you can go to jail for not sending your kid to starts in August.
The trip has had several positive effects with respect to ER. First, I think it created a nice, hard separation between work and not work. Most of my time in the last year has been spent making fires and navigating and hanging out with the family, not sitting around at home wondering what to do. There's been no shortage of things to do.
Second, it feels like a natural amount of time to take off if I wanted to back to w*rk. I might, and I've always felt that way. In some sense, it's kind of like an extended sabbatical.
Third, because we broke the trip up into two chunks, I've had a five-month stretch at home where I've been able to work on other things but have NOT really had the chance to consider doing anything "big", including things that look like w*rk. And because we recently moved to this house, we have a long list of significant remodeling projects that I've been able to spend a bunch of time on.
I have picked up a variation on an old hobby, and it looks like it will produce some SE income for 2016. But it is just a game.
I'm rambling, but I'll try to sum things up: emotionally, I feel great and totally at ease just being a slacker still.
Psychologically, I mostly feel great, but I do long for the camaraderie and intensity of business. I loved the kind of social pressure to perform that I had when I was working -- indeed, I think it was one of the things that made me successful, internally "competing" to exceed my peers' expectations. I don't have that at home with any of my solo projects at this point.
Physically, I'm in better shape and eating better. I have total flexibility to control diet now, and I like to cook, and I'm slowly doing better at both.
Financially, we seem to be in the doldrums. Basically nothing has changed, except I understand the ACA a lot better. We're still almost completely in stock, and our WR is about the same, and I basically look at it each day but never take any action. It is boring in a great way.
I'm about 90% sure I'll want to take up some longer-term avocation once we finish our giant road trip and settle into a fairly traditional small-city schoolkid life. I am still constantly pestered by recruiters and friends about other opportunities, which on the one hand is flattering but on the other may not be the way I want to go. I have decided, for the most part, to defer all serious thinking about this subject until later this year. But sleeping in 'til lunch and traipsing around the house in fuzzy slippers for the rest of the day is likely not something you'll find me doing in 2017.
There ya have it. Oh, and one of the very few things I've put on my calendar is a reminder to update this thread in six months' time!