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What is life like after FIRE?
Old 11-19-2008, 08:46 AM   #1
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What is life like after FIRE?

For those of you who have retired early, what do you with your time?

I'm a long way from retirement, but it is hard to imagine what life would be like if everyday was a Saturday.

For instance, how much of a typical day/week is spent doing nothing (watching TV, surfing the Net, ect.)? Do you have hobbies or other activities that take up a substantial amount of your time? Do you find yourself being bored in retirement?
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:13 AM   #2
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Doing nothing is doing nothing! Watching TV is doing something. I have always looked curiously at folks on this board that look in disdain at those that choose to watch TV, yet going to a movie is doing something. Surfing the net is doing nothing i.e. this board is doing nothing, but interacting with friend is doing something.

I am always doing something. I seldom sit in my chair and stair. However, even then I am doing something as I am usually thinking. There always seems to be something constructive to do. Walk the dog, hobbies, maintenance on the home or yard, plan trips, visit kids, visit neighbor, shop, watch TV, write inane comments on this board, all the things that make up life, and NO, I have never been bored! Retirement is the freedom to do what ever YOU want to do when ever YOU want to do it. Just because you are doing something someone else would consider boring makes no difference.

By the way 100% of my day is spent watching TV and surfing the net, except for the time I am doing things constructive, like taking naps, eating and things DW makes me do.

Oh, the other thing we do is learn how to use the search function on this forum.
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:42 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response, Rustic23. I'm only trying to get a sense for how people spend their time in retirement, and certainly didn't intend to cast judgements about what you do with your time, so I should have chosen my words more carefully.

So how do others spend time now that you're retired?
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:53 AM   #4
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This might help....

(FAQ archive) But... what will I do all day?
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:13 AM   #5
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Yesterday I went to special show at a museum; it was delightfully uncrowded.

Today, I'm up at 5:00, on the forum, now filling the tub for a bath. Plan to head down to a ship park where admission is free before 11:00 a.m., will bring camera, as always. SO will be over for lunch and trip to the vet. We can't stop laughing that "Fluffy" is so clueless, she thinks her going-to-the-vet box is a special fort to hide in.
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:24 AM   #6
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http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...day-37868.html

A different kind of book report: philosophy
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:25 AM   #7
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I retired 2 years ago at 48 from a career (programming) that perfectly suited me. My jobs (4 in 27 years) held very little stress, paid well, had somewhat flexible hours, no dress code (shorts, tshirts, and flip-flops), no unpaid overtime, a bicycle commute, and for the most part allowed me to work by myself in a quiet office all day (losing the last item is what triggered my retirement).

However, now that I am retired, I cannot imagine going back to that life. Complete freedom to do whatever I want trumps locking up 50 or so hours / week away from my dogs, bike, etc. Boredom does not exist. Sometimes I do nothing, which is exactly what I want to do at that moment. Sometimes I have a glass of wine, or go riding, or orgainze my stuff, or go thru old photos / movies, or plan my next vacation, or hop on the train (with no planning) and go on vacation.
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Old 11-19-2008, 12:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattgg1 View Post
For those of you who have retired early, what do you with your time?
I'm a long way from retirement, but it is hard to imagine what life would be like if everyday was a Saturday.
For instance, how much of a typical day/week is spent doing nothing (watching TV, surfing the Net, ect.)? Do you have hobbies or other activities that take up a substantial amount of your time?
When I was working, I'd spend most of Saturday scrambling to catch up on things that were a lower priority than being at work. So I'm really happy now that every day is NOT Saturday. As another thread mentions, "Thank God it's Monday."

But let's cut to the chase-- you're asking what you would do all day and whether you'd feel bored. It's probably the #3 concern of Young Dreamers (right after inflation & healthcare) and yet the vast majority have gone on to be ERs and wondered what the heck they were worrying about.

One way to figure out your own answers is to read books like Ernie Zelinski's "How To Retire Happy, Wild, & Free" or the Kaderli's "Adventurer's Guide". Take a look at Zelinski's "Get-A-Life Tree" brainstorming diagram. I've had that on my desk for a few years but I've been too busy to get around to working on it...

Another excellent way to explore your ER lifestyle is to try it. Take a sabbatical or non-paid leave for at least three weeks-- six-eight would be even better. Don't travel to all 50 states or write the Great American Novel or renovate your house. Don't even clean out the garage. Instead get caught up on your sleep & exercise, take long walks, have long discussions with your significant other(s), spend time admiring the morning with a cup of coffee, and see what comes along. In a couple weeks you'll find yourself engaging in long-lost activities and pursuing new interests. When you eventually have to report back to work it'll be an unpleasant surprise.

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Originally Posted by mattgg1 View Post
Do you find yourself being bored in retirement?
No. If anything there are days when I've overscheduled and overworked myself to exhaustion. Unfortunately I have no one to blame but myself.

The biggest challenge for some ERs, especially married ERs, is being responsible for your own entertainment.

Another possibility is that you'll spend all day answering polls on E-R.org:
"But what will I DO all day?"
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Old 11-19-2008, 12:39 PM   #9
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What is life like after FIRE? Good!
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Old 11-19-2008, 01:48 PM   #10
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I'm only semi-FIRED and have to say I struggle to have enough time in the day to do all the things I want to do. In the 4 months since I made the move to being semi-FIRED I have never had a day where I thought to myself what can I do today. It's more of a case I wish I had time to get all the things done that I want to. TV is rarely switched on during the day, only if I am doing the ironing and very little time is spent hanging out at the mall. I have to say I am a happier, healthier person since I made the switch. If anything I am peeved at the state of the financial markets as I will like do some temp work in 2009 and I was hoping to fully RE.
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Old 11-19-2008, 01:54 PM   #11
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Maybe it isn’t the same for everyone, but for me one of the most significant aspects is the absolute freedom from a job. It’s entirely different than an endless string of Saturdays because the specter of Monday morning’s return to work is entirely absent. When you are away from your job for a day, week, six weeks or an eight month sabbatical the dark clouds are always over the horizon. The feeling of total glee that washes over me each time I realize that I never have to go to the office or call on another client is wonderful.
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Old 11-19-2008, 02:15 PM   #12
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Maybe it isnít the same for everyone, but for me one of the most significant aspects is the absolute freedom from a job. Itís entirely different than an endless string of Saturdays because the specter of Monday morningís return to work is entirely absent. When you are away from your job for a day, week, six weeks or an eight month sabbatical the dark clouds are always over the horizon. The feeling of total glee that washes over me each time I realize that I never have to go to the office or call on another client is wonderful.
What he said.

I'd rather sell a kidney than go back to work.
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Old 11-19-2008, 02:31 PM   #13
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I asked myself the same question when I FIRED over two years ago. Guess what, the days get filled. I am rarely bored. In fact I have started to volunteer with the Red Cross (doing my first Blood Drive on Friday. Wish me luck.)

It is a matter of filling your days with all of the "want to do if you had the time" stuff we all daydream about while we should be doing our job. I always felt that I should do volunteer work and now I have the time.
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Old 11-19-2008, 02:51 PM   #14
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I would caution prospective ER's to plan on taking notes:

The first 15 years of doing nothing in particular gets pretty active and then you start forgetting - of course some repeats in the next 15 yr stretch is not necessarily a bad thing.

heh heh heh - as for the Saint's - wait til next year you'll see. .
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Old 11-19-2008, 02:56 PM   #15
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some days are diamonds - full goof off
some days are stone - too many volunteer activities and errands fall together on same day

when i first FIREd, i was a rocket ship, go go go.
now i'm perfecting my lazy as heck mode.

I don't want to and I don't have to. - Retirees motto
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Old 11-19-2008, 07:10 PM   #16
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Well, while doing some of the things I want to do (reading, listening to my extensive music collection, doing things at the ranch, exercising, communing with my goats, ranch projects, farmers markets, thinking, posting here, etc etc) Sometimes I stop and ask myself: how in the world was I ever able to fit work into my life?
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Old 11-19-2008, 07:28 PM   #17
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I am busy all the time . I was bored three months into retirement but I took care of the problem . I needed a little social outlet so I joined a gym and met a lot of fun women . I also ramped up my ebay selling and started remodeling my house . Who has time for work ? The best part of retirement is the freedom . It's intoxicating !
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Old 11-19-2008, 08:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
What is life like after FIRE?
Here.....I'll just repost something that I wrote in another thread......
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I've had friends who've asked me, "So what's retirement like?" My answer to them is, "Remember when you were a little kid.....before the big people sent you to kindergarten? Remember those seemingly endless days of play? Those days when you got up and ate breakfast, then went out to play? Then you'd come in for lunch and a nap, and then go back out to play until supper time? Then after supper you'd go out to play until dark or until bedtime....whichever you could get away with? Then you'd start all over the next day? Well, that's what retirement is like!!!"
That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!!!
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Old 11-19-2008, 08:17 PM   #19
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...for at least three weeks-- six-eight would be even better. Don't travel to all 50 states or write the Great American Novel or renovate your house. Don't even clean out the garage. Instead get caught up on your sleep & exercise, take long walks, have long discussions with your significant other(s), spend time admiring the morning with a cup of coffee, and see what comes along....
How did you know?

Another thing that pops into my head is this: Are you ever bored at work? If so, what do you do about it? Is boredom a habit for you?
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Old 11-19-2008, 08:24 PM   #20
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Goonie,
We have disagreed before here, but on this we are in complete agreement! It is the best I have seen and I have used it with a friend.
Thanks
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