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Retiring at 40 - Now What?
Old 08-31-2007, 12:47 AM   #1
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Retiring at 40 - Now What?

I've read about people becoming disillusioned and disengaged by retiring too early and having no plan to fill the hours. Has anybody been through this kind of thing, and what would be your advice to someone about to retire at 40?

I made my retirement money by building a company and selling it. Now I don't feel like building anything, reading any email or answering any voice mails. All I want to do is work in my woodshop, take care of my kids, play piano, and skate in the 3 hockey leagues i play in.

I suspect those activities won't keep me "full time" busy though. I don't aspire to be a professional woodworker or pianist, and not sure I want to do either even a few hours every day. If I did play piano a couple hours and woodwork for a couple hours, do some reading, get some exercise, and spend time with the family it would consume a day I guess but... i don't see that happening for 45 years!

My current plan is to "take a year off" from expectations and see what bubbles up. Maybe in a year I'll feel motivated to do another company, or something new I haven't even thought of.

I'm interested in hearing what others perhaps in similar situation and mindset did or are doing, Thanks!
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:08 AM   #2
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Welcome to the board, Zundy.

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I've read about people becoming disillusioned and disengaged by retiring too early and having no plan to fill the hours. Has anybody been through this kind of thing, and what would be your advice to someone about to retire at 40?
I spend my time on early-retirement discussion boards answering the question "But whaddya DO all day?!?"

But seriously, after five years of ER I think the problem is limiting yourself-- not finding things to do. It's one of the most frequent fears of those about to ER, and after a few months of ER everyone wonders what the heck they were worrying about.
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:06 AM   #3
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It is something that you need to think about. Much of it depends on your personality... If you are a person with a lot of interests, you should find your way just fine.

IMHO - Finances are the greater concern. Once one has enough to meet basic needs... extra money makes many more opportunities to leisure pursuits.

Of course, I am still living in the fantasy that FIRE is like a perpetual vacation.
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:26 AM   #4
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When you are retired you slow down the pace so the hobbies that you crammed into your free time are done more leisurely and will fill up your days and if you get bored there are always new things to try .
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:46 AM   #5
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Wellll - think Ben Franklin - look at all the trouble/stuff he got into after he 'retired' from the printing business.

Forest Grump notwithstanding - just get out there and dink around - you might be surprised at what turns up.

heh heh heh -
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:20 AM   #6
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Last winter I started writing down on a legal pad all of the things that I could think of that I wanted to do after I retired. By the time I reached my FIRE date, I had several pages (single spaced) filled with stuff. I still continue to discover new things to add to that list all the time.

My only 'problem' in the last 5 months since retiring, is that I haven't had time to even look at the list! There may be 1 or 2 things on my list that I HAVE accomplished, but I've found so many other things to do that I just haven't found the time to do the things on the list!

But over the next 30 or 40 years I really am going to try to free up some time to do those other things! Really! I'm gonna try!
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
I suspect those activities won't keep me "full time" busy though.
You don't have to keep busy.

Take some time to just be.

I found myself pondering/remembering/meditating... , whatever one calls it.

I think some people keep busy to avoid the deep introspection.

It's somewhat disconcerting at first, but I learned to accept it and work with it.

(Conspiracy theory: 'They' want us to keep busy/entertained so we won't have the time to ponder.)
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:15 AM   #8
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Aren't we ever allowed to just do nothing .Just loaf around without a productive thought or idea ? I feel too many years over achieving and going at super speed and muti tasking has made us into a generation that can't slow down even in retirement .
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:59 AM   #9
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(Conspiracy theory: 'They' want us to keep busy/entertained so we won't have the time to ponder.)
Ironically, 'they' is us!
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:25 PM   #10
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while working i pretty much never went anywhere or saw anything. since quitting at 48 (50 now) i've enjoyed leaf peeping through the blue ridge mountains during absolute peak season, the smoky mountains in summer (my first time driving through a cloud--how cool was that!), hung out in tennessee, visited atlanta pretty much just to see the aquarium, went down to the keys, been to tampa bay area a bunch of times. next week i'm going to vist ny, phili, dc and charleston areas. and i've only just started to work on my roadtrips which i plan to continue with over the next 3 to 5 years. i've lived here 50 years and i've never even seen this country yet. it is quite beautiful.

i've taken time to find relatives i've never known before (meeting some of them next week for the first time in my life--very excited about that). i'm learning about finance & investing which i never knew much of. i'm learning about overseas travel (long term) which is much more complicated than i ever would have imagined and i'm planning a future adventurous vagabond life.

i'm getting back into my studies on buddhism and dreaming which a tragic few past years kept me from. i'm working daily on getting into the best physical shape of my life, for the rest of my life.

things to do? i got things to do. now what? now the rest of your life.
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:14 PM   #11
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Aren't we ever allowed to just do nothing .Just loaf around without a productive thought or idea ? I feel too many years over achieving and going at super speed and muti tasking has made us into a generation that can't slow down even in retirement .
Amen brother.
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Old 08-31-2007, 05:41 PM   #12
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You don't have to do anything (except die!) and hopefully you won't have to do that for a long time ... otherwise what's the point of retiring? More seriously, it sounds like you have a good list of things to keep you interested -- woodworking, family. We tend to advocate things we love, and thus I pitch you on book reading or web surfing (why not bone up on FIRE topics -- assuming you want to or have to manage your own money). Get some background info and (hopefully) good advice before making any irrevocable decisions that could cost you money -- including going to potentially expensive money managers with all their fees and commissions. Lots of ideas to fill up your retirement days. Heck, you can always go back to work even if you want/need to.
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Old 08-31-2007, 06:38 PM   #13
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My current plan is to "take a year off" from expectations and see what bubbles up. Maybe in a year I'll feel motivated to do another company, or something new I haven't even thought of.
Sounds like a good plan. After a year, you probably would not want to start another one. It's almost like a vacation. After being in vacation for an extended period of time, most people would most likely not wanting to return to w***k.
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