Retire early...I wish. 'I am not retired yet. I am 49 years old. If I was thinking in the typical manner about retiring, I would be planning on working until I am 70, or even more. I have gone through tremendous challenges both personally and financially. It would be easier for me to just forget about retirement and plan to keep working. But that is not what I really want'. (Hans Hallanger)
What I really want is to retire early,as soon as possible and have the free time I desire to live my life my way.
I have made huge changes in my life for the better in the last few years, and making some more to increase my happiness is what I am going to do.
I would like to share my last two days as a way of comparing the type of life a working person has versus a retired person has and see which lifestyle appeals to you the most. This little comparison provides the sharp distinction between my life as a working person and how I have very little free time, to how my life would look if I were retired.
I wake up tired and groggy at 4 am. I went to bed last night a little late at 9:30, so I am suffering. I try to get up this early every week day so I have a full 2 hours of time before I leave for work at 6:00 am. I have always hated getting up at the last minute and having to get ready at a breakneck speed. I like to ease into the day with my morning coffee and reading. I make coffee and turn on my computer to check my email, do some reading online and work on my internet business a little.
I start getting ready for work at 5:30 am and leave at 6 driving to work in the dark through a lot of traffic.
I start working at 6:30am. My computer is filled with emails. I had taken the day before off to visit my father in the hospital so I have all those messages from yesterday to deal with. I have so much work to do. I wonder how I am going to make any progress on any of this. I am a civil engineer working for a large government agency. I have plans and reports to review. I have emails to respond to. Oh well, it is better to be busy and not in danger of being laid off.
I attend a meeting with 3 other staff and 2 people from outside of the office at 10 am. I was not sure how this meeting would go. I was kind of nervous beforehand wondering if we would be in for a lot of contention. My fears did not materialize. The other people were in agreement with what we are proposing.
I went to lunch with a co-worker at 11:30. It is so nice to go out to eat when working. I really recommend a working person do this to break up the day. Leaving the office for lunch is one of the best parts of working. No emails, nobody stopping by during my lunch break with questions and no phone calls.
I attend a meeting with my boss and a co-worker at 12:30 to go over the transition because my co-worker is leaving. This meeting lasted a long time and there were tense moments as my boss questioned me pointedly about how I was going to handle things without any help. I have been prepping for this transition now for the last 2 weeks but know that my job is going to get 100% more difficult and even busier in one week when my co-worker leaves. I am not looking forward to this at all. My job is going to become much more difficult. I am not sure when we will get a replacement and if the person will be competent. At least my job is secure, I reason. Someone has to do it.
The meeting with my boss is finally over at 2:15 and I race out of the office, jump in my truck to drive another meeting at 3:00 pm way out in the country.
I barely arrive at the meeting right at 3:00 pm. The nature of the meeting was the person we were meeting was very upset at my agency and was demanding that we do something. He was threatening to take drastic action. We were there to tell him that we were not going to be able to help him at all, as nicely as we could. It was an intense hour of discussion.
That meeting mercifully ended at 4 pm. My work day is finished and I drive home but do stop at the grocery store for food for dinner. I finally get home at 5pm Unload groceries and collapse on the couch for a nap.
I wake up from my nap 3 hours later and make dinner. After dinner I do some reading on the computer although I am still so tired and spent that I get nothing out of it and finally go to bed at 10:30 pm
I wake up refreshed without an alarm at 6 am. I make coffee then sit down in my recliner to check emails, do some reading on the internet and do a little writing. I spend 2-1/2 hours reading, writing, drinking coffee and doing some deep thinking.
I make a one of my favorite breakfasts consisting of 2 eggs over easy and a toasted bagel with cream cheese. After breakfast I continue to work on my internet businesses, updating articles and creating/researching for new articles. I also do some light housework whenever I take breaks from the computer.
Around 11:00 am I take a long walk through the neighborhood. I do not see a soul out today. It is like a ghost town even though it is a beautiful fall day and the schools are not in session. This is nothing new to me because I rarely see anyone out when I am walking through beautiful neighborhoods with sidewalks, big yards, playground equipment, pools, hot tubs, patios and decks. People seem to be either holed up in front of the TV or at work. I sometimes feel like I am out of place here because of this. I love to walk and no one else where I live seem to spend much time outside.
I make a nice lunch about noon. After lunch I call my dad who is in the hospital. He is doing fine and should be released today. We have a nice chat about his condition.
After the call I get back to more internet work or what I call internet fun. I can spend hours on the internet and have done so for years.
I take a quick shower, get dressed and leave the house to run some errands about 2pm. My first stop is to drop off a package at UPS for shipping. From there I drive to a local State Park and climb the observation tower. The leaves turning are a magnificent view and I enjoy many minutes at the top gazing for miles in every direction. After I climb down I sit on a park bench and read a few chapters of a book I have brought along.
Next I drive to a nearby City where I stop for a beer at bar I used to go to. After a one cheap happy hour beer I move on to browse at a camping/outdoor store to get a few ideas for some travel gear. Then I go to Goodwill where I buy 2 more books and find a great fall jacket for $10. I gas up my truck and stop at the grocery store and for a few more groceries.
I get home about 5:00 pm to Unload groceries and purchases. My dinner is the chili that I put in slow cooker this morning along with the desert I just purchased.
I spend the early evening listening to an inspirational podcast, taking a short nap and a little more reading.
I watched 2 movies on Netflix and went to bed about 11:30pm
I think most of you will agree that my day off was so much better, so much more relaxing and so much more rewarding than my work day. Yes, my work day was productive and I did add value and I believe earned my pay. But I just loved my day off. I love to have as many days like this as possible.
I love getting up when I am done sleeping. I love making the meals I enjoy. I love handling my housework, chores and errands in a relaxed manner. I love having the time to exercise. I like to mix in some fun with my errands. And I really love making progress on my internet sites along with doing a lot of reading.
This kind of relaxed lifestyle is why I want to retire early. I don't see how a person could ever be bored in retirement. There is just so much to do as long as you have the time to do it.
This article was written by Hans Hallanger.
And if you would like an alternative viewpoint on retire early read Paul's story