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What do very young retirees do?
Old 03-21-2007, 12:08 AM   #1
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What do very young retirees do?

Long time lurker, first time poster.

I'm 35, from Ontario. DW (also 35) and I figure that with conservative ROI, we can either completely retire at 45, or work part-time (10-15 hours each) between 40 and 55. That includes money set aside for kids' education.

Our concern is that we know for sure our friends will be 10-25 years behind us, we're not world travelers (young kids) and we're not ready to be sedentary. Anybody here went through the same situation? What do we do all day? We hate our (high-paying) jobs and both can't wait to move on.

We do have hobbies (camping, RV'ing, traveling, etc.), but we're worried boredom will still set in. With all due respect to older people on this board, we don't necessary find much in common with people 20 years older than us, and don't really want to create a new social group made up of senior friends. What will a 40-year-old or 45-year-old couple do when all their friends are still stuck in the rat-race?

Anyone found themselves in a similar situation?
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Re: What do very young retirees do?
Old 03-21-2007, 12:31 AM   #2
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Re: What do very young retirees do?

Volunteering in schools and human service, Habitat for Humanity, mentor in business, find serious hobbies that you take classes for, become a trial sitter, write poetry.

First assess your intrests and skills then look around and see where you can contribute. For some it is healthy recreational activity (gardening, woodworking) for others it may be community service. Once you have time M-F you may find there are many more FIRE folks than you thought! Even if they are not from your current social circle.
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Re: What do very young retirees do?
Old 03-21-2007, 12:36 AM   #3
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Re: What do very young retirees do?

Wife and I retired at 33 and 40. Kid is 4.

Boredom simply never comes up. I'm not sure how one would become bored when the world is their playground. And our young kid is a constant source of entertainment.

The kids are also your catalyst for meeting similarly-aged stay-at-home parents. Many of our local friends share educational philosophies, which serves up plenty of volunteer opportunities, topics of conversation, etc.

All of the wealthy slackers early-retiree types in our area are fully engaged. Some of them try to reinvent themselves as real estate developers or some other hobby/business, but most of them are happy with simpler forms of entertainment.
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Re: What do very young retirees do?
Old 03-21-2007, 09:36 AM   #4
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Re: What do very young retirees do?

Welcome to the board, 5YC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5yearsandcounting
Our concern is that we know for sure our friends will be 10-25 years behind us, we're not world travelers (young kids) and we're not ready to be sedentary. Anybody here went through the same situation? What do we do all day? We hate our (high-paying) jobs and both can't wait to move on.
As parents of young kids, you may not know what you're going to do all day but I can confidently predict that (1) it'll involve parenting and (2) you'll be exhausted. As they get older the challenges are perhaps less physical and more mental but (2) doesn't change.

ER tends to distinguish your real friends from your co-workers & family. Your real friends are the ones who still want to hang out with you even when everyone's busy with work & family. That won't change, and you'll still have a social circle that may even include a coworker or neighbor once in a while.

We haven't had any trouble socializing, either. Kids sure make it easy to meet people. The schools will sure be eager to exploit chat with someone who has volunteer time on their hands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5yearsandcounting
We do have hobbies (camping, RV'ing, traveling, etc.), but we're worried boredom will still set in. With all due respect to older people on this board, we don't necessary find much in common with people 20 years older than us, and don't really want to create a new social group made up of senior friends. What will a 40-year-old or 45-year-old couple do when all their friends are still stuck in the rat-race?
Uhm, no time for boredom. See the part about kids again.

You probably have your own interests, or things that you're at least curious about. Your kids can adapt to your travels and will benefit from it even if you're not the Traveling Thornberrys. You'll be exploring and learning, just like your kids, and the time passes quickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5yearsandcounting
Anyone found themselves in a similar situation?
Spouse & I are 46/45 and ER'd at 41/40 (although she still drills in the Navy Reserve). We still have shipmates drop by, we meet people for activities & meals, and in general we have a lot more time to spend on the things we enjoy doing. It helps a lot when you can actually stop to have a conversation with a neighbor instead of just waving on your way to work. It's surprising who you can meet when you strike up a conversation while waiting in a checkout line, sitting on a park bench, watching the kids at an activity, or just going about your daily business.

My first post on this board was similar to yours. At that point I'd been ER'd for a couple years and I was wondering what I was missing-- this was too easy. I've now been ER'd for five years and it really is this easy, although we can make it extraordinarily difficult on ourselves. It still feels like I ER'd last month, and the guys who've been ER'd for even longer say pretty much the same things.
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Re: What do very young retirees do?
Old 03-21-2007, 10:00 AM   #5
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Re: What do very young retirees do?

Hello 5yac -

I think my situation is similar to yours....

The wife and I just ER'ed about 2 years ago. I'm 45. We keep fairly busy with our hobbies and interests. Some times we'll just enjoy taking the dog out for a walk in the park.

I've found that it's nice to leave room to try new activites too. I'm now playing golf, and taking a few classes at the local college. I found that I really enjoy reading novels - I never had time to read anything but trade journals when working. I'm also volunteering (a couple hours/week) at the recycling center to save old PC's from landing in the landfills.

During the summers, we spend some time visiting family and close friends

Honestly.... sometimes it seems there are not enough hours in the day. When we have down time..... it's welcome
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Re: What do very young retirees do?
Old 03-21-2007, 10:16 AM   #6
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Re: What do very young retirees do?

No rule say you have to stop working just cause you can. But there's a big difference when you reach FIRE in working at a job you enjoy instead of one you dislike.

You might be a perfect fit for ESRBob's recipe: semiretirement rather than cold-turkey full time FIRE. That's my plan.

One more thing: you may find that you enjoy those "older" retirees more once you're retired. Perhaps you didn't have that much in common with them while you were working and they weren't. As for us, when we meet people in their 70s and 80s while RVing for example, it is often one of the most enjoyable parts of our stay. They have LOTs of stories and a sense of acceptance we really appreciate.
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Re: What do very young retirees do?
Old 03-21-2007, 12:33 PM   #7
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Re: What do very young retirees do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5yearsandcounting
Anyone found themselves in a similar situation?
At 55 (left at 48), I certainly do, but have largely conquered the boredom fear, though (as one poster put it, being that the world is a playground) I'm always looking for new people and adventures. Being single doesn't necessarily make it easier, though I can see having young children would provide challenges as well. Many of my friends are still slogging away at jobs they dislike - not necessarily because they need to, but either fear retirement or are too lazy (or stupid) to figure out how much they really need.

Hiking with groups - google your area for one (e.g. Bruce Trail) - can be physically, socially and emotionally satisfying. Join clubs in your area involved with your interests.

Having calculated my allowable expenses to die broke (hopefully slightly better), world travel isn't often in the cards, but can still manage a couple of good vacations most years.

Seldom bored, but I like to have a bit of down time between things.

BTW also from Ont.

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Re: What do very young retirees do?
Old 03-21-2007, 08:31 PM   #8
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Re: What do very young retirees do?

As a 54 year old I take no offense. Those of us left in the office after many retirements find ourselves muttering "Everybody is sooo young." In fact I was telling my 33 year old boss that the last time I went to lunch with the office gang I found myself saying I'm having lunch with a bunch of babies! Seriously I'm eligible to join my parents Senoir Citizen group and I refuse! They are too old!
I can understand your concern but I think you haven't really looked at the choices that you will have. You can give your kids a great education while you travel the world. They will have experiences that a lot of us didn't have. Think about it. The list is endless. Start looking around. What you are considering I never thought about, early retirement. I did take a year off and travel. It was only then that I saw that the rest of the world values personal time, travel, and experience rather than accumulation of stuff! Then I started saving in earnest but that was in my early 40s. You are way ahead of where I was. The mindset in the States is to work work work so you can buy buy buy. :
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Re: What do very young retirees do?
Old 03-24-2007, 09:36 AM   #9
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Re: What do very young retirees do?

Thank you to everyone. To be honest, most of the arguments made are ones that I thought about, but somewhat needed to have confirmed.

Let me clarify a few things though. We currently have young kids (9 & 11), but they'll be teenagers if/when we pre-retire at 40, and young adults if/when we retire at 45. So being involved in what they do and use them for social networking will become difficult.

Also on the age difference, many of you said I'd benefits from being around older people. I don't disagree and most friends we have are about 10 years older than us because:

- we hang around with them because they have kids of similar age. The difference is we had our kids in our early 20s, and they had theirs in their 30s; and
- we hang around people we work with, and both my wife and I have been fortunate to progress quickly through our careers. So our colleagues are in their 40s.

So we look at our average friends who are 45, what we perceive about their financial situation, how they spend and save their money, and we know that they'll still be in the rat race when they are 50 or 55.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy connie
Once you have time M-F you may find there are many more FIRE folks than you thought! Even if they are not from your current social circle.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
ER tends to distinguish your real friends from your co-workers & family. Your real friends are the ones who still want to hang out with you even when everyone's busy with work & family.
I think that's the key here. I don't doubt that we'll be able to make friends. I just have a feeling that our social circle will gradually change. I know we'll continue to have Saturday get-togethers with our friends. I know we'll find lots of hobbies to keep us busy during the week, we'll just have to find new friends to share these hobbies with.

It sounds silly, but early-retirement or pre-retirement bring some fears out of me which are not even financial in nature. Your posts were extremely useful. In any case, I know that the option is always to go back to work at doing something else that pays less but that we enjoy if boredom sets in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
You might be a perfect fit for ESRBob's recipe: semiretirement rather than cold-turkey full time FIRE. That's my plan.
That's exactly what I mean by part-time work at 40. We're in a situation where we feel (based on very conservative ROI of 6.5% or 7%) retire at 45 with a SWR. We're also thinking that if we stop saving at 40, we can use up our dividends from taxable accounts and work part-time while the nest-egg grows slowly to a full-retirement next egg at 55. So worst case, we're thinking of slowing down, working part-time and/or doing something we like between 40 and 55 to pay the bills. For the wife, it's relatively easy as she freelances in accounting and she'd just scale back to 10-15 hours per week.

As per myself, I'd want out of my industry and into something totally new. I'm a handy and versatile person not liking the senior management life I'm in right now. You have no idea how exciting the prospect of even just working as a Walmart greeter sounds to me. What keeps me going is the thought of being relatively FI in 5 years, or FIRE'd in 10 years. I just don't think it's worth waiting 10 years. I just need to prepare my pre-retirement career over the next 5 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalguy
Having calculated my allowable expenses to die broke (hopefully slightly better), world travel isn't often in the cards, but can still manage a couple of good vacations most years.
Same thing here. When I say FIRE at 45, I mean at my current expense level. I figure that what I save from work expenses will pay for the new hobbies. I can see 1 or 2 international trips per year in affordable areas, but no trip around the world. I know there are cheap ways to travel, and we'll likely have more time to figure this out when we're FIREd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mountaintosea
It was only then that I saw that the rest of the world values personal time, travel, and experience rather than accumulation of stuff! Then I started saving in earnest but that was in my early 40s. You are way ahead of where I was. The mindset in the States is to work work work so you can buy buy buy. :
I've seen that too. It's very obvious when you travel to the Caribbean's. Some of us laugh and talk about the "maņana culture". I look at them and think, what a worry-less way to live ;-)
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