Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-11-2007, 09:31 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 247
Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

I'm probably 2-3 years from FIRE, but was having a thought.

About 15 years ago I did a two year night school Master's degree program. While reasonably fun to do, it was also a lot of time and work. Two nights a week at school. Lots of extra reading. Many weekends with long projects, many team projects with other students. Rehearsing presentations.

I remember thinking "wow, I'll be glad when I finish my degree. I'll have all that free time back".

So you can guess, within a few months of finishing school I was as busy as ever. I don't know where the spare time went, I managed to fill it up and still feel I need more free time.

One of my big motivations for FIRE is to have all that extra time to do whatever I want--the things I don't have time for right now.

Yet based upon my Master's degree experience, I have this sort of fear that once I've retired for a while, I'll wonder how I ever fit in work. And maybe I'll still want more free time.... except that there won't be any major thing I do left to give up to get more time!

In your experiences, is that how it goes?
If so, I wonder if this says something about how enjoyment of life is finding pleasure in whatever time you have available, whether much or little...
__________________

__________________
Surfdaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-11-2007, 10:16 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Mesa
Posts: 3,588
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

There's never enough time to experience everything I would like.
__________________

__________________
sgeeeee is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-12-2007, 05:41 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 5,072
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

I did the same night school thing while working... to get a Masters. Did it also for part of my Bachelors. It is like working two jobs.


Here is how I look at it. I am a driven person on certain dimensions. I will and can throw myself into something of interest (or a challenge) and it seems fulfilling (even if it is work).

But if I go back in time to about 18 or 19 years old... I was much more carefree and less obsessed with certain achievements in life. I intend to balance it out. I will beam myself back to that 18 to 19 year old mentality... but in a more mature way... I will focus on things that yield great satisfaction to me personally.

I like to travel.
I like to play the guitar (compose music).
I like to learn new things. (read, take classes, try things)
I get satisfaction helping people (will probably volunteer some)
I like to drink beer
I like to drink beer
Did I mention I like to drink beer. (oops gotta watch that one... too much of a good thing can cause problems)

I am hoping that I do not have much spare time! I believe that there are many things that I can do to fill my time. And I want to fill it with things that are meaningful. I think the difference is going to be my goals will change. The urgency of trying to acquire FI will subside and work stress will subside. Now it is time to enjoy what DW and I have labored for over the last 30 years.
__________________
chinaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-12-2007, 08:05 AM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,455
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

It wasn't but a few months into retirement when I seriously started wondering how I had ever had any time to go to work!!!

Audrey
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-12-2007, 09:02 AM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
grumpy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,321
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

For me, retirement is not just about having free time, its about having time to do the things I choose to do, not what others choose for me to do. This does not result in any greater amount of idleness than when I was employed unless I choose for it to. I admit that I do choose to sometimes just sit on the patio with a cup of coffee and listen to the birds in the woods and enjoy the sun on my face. So in that sense I do have more free time. I choose to fill my time with the things I enjoy doing. Its wonderful!

Grumpy
__________________
...you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave...
grumpy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-12-2007, 09:55 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,196
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

One of my expressions (that I got from this forum): "I wake up with nothing to do, and at the end of the day, I have only gotten half of it done."

But seriously, sometimes I'm busy, but I usually feel like I've got plenty of free time. Typical day, breakfast, Internet, practice, surf or chop wood, lunch with beer, read book, take nap, futz around, dinner, TV or read. On alternate days, surf or chop wood is replaced with futz around.

So, for me the answer is: yes I still feel that I have lots of free time, and I like it that way. I still haven't gotten over the feeling that there's something I should be doing.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-12-2007, 10:04 AM   #7
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

I had more free time when I was at work.

But the engaged time was usually spent pursuing fairly ridiculous tasks accompanied by ridiculous people with ridiculous alternative objectives.

This is better.
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-12-2007, 01:44 PM   #8
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 6
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

What I'm most afraid of in ample free time situations, is the danger of living a lifestyle of laziness.

Before I get a few days off, I'm always making a list of the books I intend to read, the subjects I want to pursue, the quiet thinking time I want to have, etc. The end result is that I read half a book, two wikipedia articles and get 20 minutes of free time. The rest of the time is wasted on checking the same forums on the internet over and over again.

I really want to do all the stuff I planned to do. But in the actual moment, the allure of seeing what new stuff were posted on this board is stronger than the allure of a medieval history book.
__________________
Hanno is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-12-2007, 01:54 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,196
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

Yes, but that's OK.

I once worked on clam boats, and it was extremely hard work. The fifteen minute break from 10:00 to 10:15 felt so great. I'm not sure I've ever enjoyed life as much as during some of those 15 minutes [maybe I'm exaggerating here].

The point is, sometimes you enjoy yourself more when there's something else you will need to do, or should be doing. That is, you might enjoy checking posts more because you know you should be reading your book.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-12-2007, 01:57 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,072
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno
I really want to do all the stuff I planned to do. But in the actual moment, the allure of seeing what new stuff were posted on this board is stronger than the allure of a medieval history book.
The E-R.org forum is the equivalent of crack cocaine to many retiree wannabes...and to some of us who have already crossed over.

Resistance is futile. Get over it.

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-12-2007, 02:02 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Gone4Good's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,381
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy
For me, retirement is not just about having free time, its about having time to do the things I choose to do, not what others choose for me to do. This does not result in any greater amount of idleness than when I was employed unless I choose for it to.
This, to me, is the whole point.
__________________
Retired early, traveling perpetually.
Gone4Good is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-12-2007, 02:43 PM   #12
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 6
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
The E-R.org forum is the equivalent of crack cocaine to many retiree wannabes...and to some of us who have already crossed over.

Resistance is futile. Get over it.
I have nothing against the forum, but checking for and reading new posts three times a day is as effective as doing so thirty times a day. The same goes for all other forums. In my case it's really a pure laziness. I even know that the days in which I muster some self-control and get stuff done make me very satisfied and happy, and still that happiness is not as attractive as a mindless waste of time.

I'm working on it though.

I think I'll install a net-nanny program. Useful not only for kids.
__________________
Hanno is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-12-2007, 05:21 PM   #13
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

Maybe you just need something more exciting to read than medieval history books?
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-12-2007, 06:09 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Gone4Good's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,381
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno
In my case it's really a pure laziness. I even know that the days in which I muster some self-control and get stuff done make me very satisfied and happy, and still that happiness is not as attractive as a mindless waste of time.
It seems to me there is a real, and perhaps under appreciated, danger that one's free time may degrade into an unhealthy lethargy in retirement. I remember some reports that argued inactive retired folks suffer from a high rate of depression (probably just propaganda from "The Man" designed to keep the prols at the grindstone, though).

Nevertheless, when given a choice between wasting my own time and having someone else do it for me, I'll choose the former every single time.
__________________
Retired early, traveling perpetually.
Gone4Good is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-12-2007, 09:47 PM   #15
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 944
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

I went to a father/son boyscout camp out last night w/ approx. 15 other fathers w/ their son/s. I have never had to explain why I retired early and why it is good decision more....around a campfire -- I would try and change the subject and it always came back to my enviable unusual position. I must have gotten through to them because alot of discussion focused on savings and investments later on. The guys that did have 401Ks and IRAs had no clue what their fees, specific investments etc were....I know at least a few will check that out shortly. This started as a very uncomfortable discussion for me w/ the group and ended up being positive - A couple of younger guys really tried to "pick my brain" and were surprised w/ just how easy it is to get to FI w/ long term appropiate allocated savings.


I hope they follow through -
__________________
Freed at 49. You only live once - live it
Donzo is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-12-2007, 10:30 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Eagle43's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: DFW
Posts: 1,879
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

Well, It's not endless and it darn sure isn't free. I purchased this free time with 43 years of banalities effort.

And I agree completely with Audrey1 about wondering how I had the time to work. I used to hear that from retirees and thought they were blowing smoke. It seems they weren't. Today, I hate appointments, meetings, and pretty much mandatory anything.
__________________
Resist much. Obey Little. . . . Ed Abbey

Disclaimer: My Posts are for my amusement only.
Eagle43 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-13-2007, 12:01 AM   #17
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfdaddy
I'm probably 2-3 years from FIRE, but was having a thought.
One of my big motivations for FIRE is to have all that extra time to do whatever I want--the things I don't have time for right now.
Yet based upon my Master's degree experience, I have this sort of fear that once I've retired for a while, I'll wonder how I ever fit in work. And maybe I'll still want more free time.... except that there won't be any major thing I do left to give up to get more time!
In your experiences, is that how it goes?
If so, I wonder if this says something about how enjoyment of life is finding pleasure in whatever time you have available, whether much or little...
You can stop worrying, SD-- that's exactly what's going to happen. I can remember that I had plenty more free time at work, but I was expected to have an attentive expression on my face as I enjoyed that free time during department-head meetings, command training, mandatory workouts, inspections, tours...

Of course if you have kids then you'll never have to worry about how you'll be spending your free time. You just won't have any.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno
What I'm most afraid of in ample free time situations, is the danger of living a lifestyle of laziness.
I'm gonna have to think about that and get back to you, as soon as I get some free time and enough energy to devote to it. I'm on it, I'm all over it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno
I have nothing against the forum, but checking for and reading new posts three times a day is as effective as doing so thirty times a day. The same goes for all other forums. In my case it's really a pure laziness. I even know that the days in which I muster some self-control and get stuff done make me very satisfied and happy, and still that happiness is not as attractive as a mindless waste of time.
Part of it is having a regular exercise program that's fun-- surfing, walking, frequent sex (perhaps even with your spouse), whatever is anticipated & easy to do while boosting your energy level.

A small part of it is taking naps. I can stay up 16 hours straight but I'm much more productive if I break that up with a 30-minute nap. Otherwise the back half is slogging and the final two hours is a waste of everyone's time.

Another part of it is running around for a while enjoying being wild & free. Paul Terhorst wrote that you should attempt to change nothing for two years while you got used to being ER'd and decided how you wanted to spend your time. I used to post to over a dozen different discussion boards but for one reason or another (lack of moderation, overwhelming spam/trolls, stale topics) I've cut it back to just a few.

Warren Buffett says that he's at a point in his life where he can choose what he wants to do and where he doesn't have to spend time with people he doesn't care for. But in order to enjoy a life like that, we all have to be responsible for our own entertainment!

I keep making a list and crossing things off when they're done. Many times the monthlies become quarterlies, the quarterlies become annuals, and the annuals become "until it breaks". So maybe like the Navy's "Preventive Maintenance System", we just filled our days with things that seemed to need doing but were actually unecessary?

But tomorrow I'm really going to weedwhack that grass and fix the screens. Yep. I'm all over it...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-13-2007, 11:34 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Goonie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North-Central Illinois
Posts: 3,198
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

Endless free time is great! I get to decide what I want to do (or not do), when I want to do it (or not do it), and how fast or slow I want to go!

I, too, wonder sometimes how I had time for life AND w*rk! I keep quite busy, but it's almost all stuff that I want to do and that I like to do! There are a lot of times I'll be doing something, step back for a second, and think "Hey! I need a cup of coffee!" So I'll jump in the car (leaving my 'project' in limbo) and head off for the coffee shop. When I get back, I get back! Then (most times) I'll pick up where I left off.

Like cutting grass. When I was still employed, I had to cut it on one of the 2 days I had off each week. If I had other plans for Saturday, I had to cut it Sunday. If I had other plans for Sunday, I had to cut it on Saturday. If it rained....man was I screwed! So when I went out to cut it, I had to get going and get it done as quick as possible so I could still have some free time to enjoy.

Now, I can cut it anytime I darn well please.....and it's seldom on a Saturday OR a Sunday! I like to spend weekends visiting with friends (who still have to w*rk during the week), and going to farmer's markets and flea markets, and other stuff that only happens on those weekends.

I really like cutting grass too. It's relaxing, I'm out in the sunshine, and I get my exercise. When I was w*rking, cutting grass was a chore that had to get done. Now I'll cut for a while, take a break, cut for a while, take a break....eventually I get it done. Sometimes I start today and finish tomorrow!

I have as much...or as little...free time as I want!

It's like the accelerator pedal in your car, or the thermostat in your house.....YOU are in control!!! Adjust things to YOUR liking!
__________________
Goonie is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-13-2007, 11:36 AM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
happy2bretired's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 1,339
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno
What I'm most afraid of in ample free time situations, is the danger of living a lifestyle of laziness.

Before I get a few days off, I'm always making a list of the books I intend to read, the subjects I want to pursue, the quiet thinking time I want to have, etc. The end result is that I read half a book, two wikipedia articles and get 20 minutes of free time. The rest of the time is wasted on checking the same forums on the internet over and over again.

I really want to do all the stuff I planned to do. But in the actual moment, the allure of seeing what new stuff were posted on this board is stronger than the allure of a medieval history book.
Hanno, I have the same problem. I made lists of things I wanted to do also...but I must have lost my list after retirement. I call what I do every day as "tinkering around the house". I know I am getting much more lazy, but it's being lazy MY WAY.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle43

And I agree completely with Audrey1 about wondering how I had the time to work. I used to hear that from retirees and thought they were blowing smoke. It seems they weren't. Today, I hate appointments, meetings, and pretty much mandatory anything.
Me too! I look back when my daughter was younger and my having a full time job...I have no idea how I did all of that. Now, when I HAVE to do something, appointments, etc...it's like...do I HAVE TO?? When I was working I felt like I needed an assistant AT HOME to help with the household things. Now, in retirement, I feel like I need a MOMMY, to tell me that I HAVE to do certain things that I don't want to. MAKE YOUR BED, CLEAN UP YOUR ROOM, etc.
__________________
happy2bretired is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?
Old 05-14-2007, 11:08 AM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,015
Re: Did you find that the endless free time wasn't really that way?

I recently realized that when I was working, I spent most of my days on autopilot -- moving through many tasks without even noticing the time/energy/results and looking ahead to the next item on the "list". Looking back, I see now that I rarely took any time to reflect on what I did -- I was too busy.

Now, I find myself more "in the moment." Where I used to drive 80 mph on the expressway, juggling the Blackberry and trying to eat the fast food lunch that I grabbed at the drive-thru, I now purposely take the surface roads and stop to enjoy a sit down lunch (maybe at 2 in the afternoon). I enjoy lingering over a cup of coffee, listening to the birds or the breeze through the trees. I still read the Wall Street Journal and other business publications -- but now for my own investment education rather than for the "biz-speak".

And, I am happily re-discovering hobbies that I shelved for years while I climbed the corporate ladder. Overall, I think I've become a more interesting person by widening my horizons...I know that I am happier than I've been in years.
__________________

__________________
Achiever51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
part time or occassional work Martha Life after FIRE 58 04-24-2007 07:38 PM
Part time to no time Martha Life after FIRE 54 12-08-2006 11:29 PM
Got some free time? Help me build a budget for Sam FIRE and Money 71 08-28-2006 10:20 AM
James Garfield on Leisure Time..... Cut-Throat Other topics 1 04-12-2005 06:22 PM
Almost free tax software, etc. cute fuzzy bunny Other topics 3 01-11-2005 09:07 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:09 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.