Friday, April 20, 2007

Retirement In My Forties - What Would I Do?

Last month, I wrote an article on how I could retire in my forties. Earlier I wrote an article Retire From Your Job, Not Life. Here are some initial thoughts of what I would do and not do if I retired in my forties.

Things I Will Do

More time with family. While working, I have spent most of my time with the "outer circle" of contacts and less time with the "inner circle" closest to me, my family and close friends. I admit that I have worked 12 to 16 hour days, including weekends, for long stretches. I have traveled for extended periods, up to a month. I have worked at home. I have worked on vacations.

I have already taken back the weekends for family activities. It has been great and I look forward to doing more in retirement.

More time with my daughter. I will be there as she grows up. I am enjoying the time now immensely since she still is enthusiastic to have Daddy around her. I know someday I will be uncool and asked to be unseen:-) Until then, I will enjoy being with her as she grows up.

Do whatever I like. Stay up late, sleep in, stay in my pajamas and read. Invest in stocks, post more to my blog, and check out yard sales. Play recreational sports. Eat healthy, exercise and smell the roses. And, of course, more planned activities with my wife and daughter.

Get paid for what I love to do. A common career recommendation is to do what one loves. For me, doing what I loved never seemed to pay very much or enough :-) However, in retirement, the amount won't matter as much if I love to do it. And when I stop loving it (either the work, environment, or company) , I can quit and go to the next paying activity I love to do.

Things I Will Not Do

Volunteer work. To me, volunteer work is still WORK but for no wages. When I was younger, I did volunteer work to gain additional experience for my career. I have already done a significant amount of volunteer work in my younger days. I've led, as president, various organizations: a community social group; my alumni association; and a non-profit charity. I've also run for public office. I have little interest to do additional volunteering in retirement :-)

Consulting. Based on what I have observed, there would be too little control of my life, which I would want back in retirement. It seems that great consultants have less control rather than more control of their lives. I would rightfully be serving the needs and desires of clients, whatever they may be. Otherwise, I would not be doing a great job.

Part time work related to my current career. A previous boss once said, "If I wanted to continue to do what I am doing today, I would not have retired." I agree with that perspective.

For more on Reaping the Rewards , check back every Friday for a new segment.

Photo Credit:, Scott M. Liddell

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2007 Achievement Catalyst, LLC


Dimes said...

I agree with you about consulting but volunteering? No volunteering? Would you go along on the daughter's high school field trips as a cool dad chaperone?

Meh, I guess I'm still at the point where I'm doing it to avoid resume gaps and get experience. Once you've retired those things aren't too much a concern anymore. :-)

Super Saver said...


Good question. I guess I see going on my daughter's field trip as a "being with my daughter" activity and not "work." For me, volunteer work would be joining the parent's committee to raise funds for all field trips or to build a new school wing. At this time, I am thinking these would be a "pass" for me in retirement. Who knows, I may miss the stress of work and change my mind :-)

Dimes said...

Oh come on, if she joins the Girl Scouts, you know you'll be the Cookie Dad. :-) You might not help out at the school book fair or go to PTA meetings, but Cookie Dad? Who can resist?

When my baby sister's high school band took their field trip, BOTH of my parents went along as chaperones. By representing both genders, they were shoe-ins compared to the PTA moms. They did have to help with fundraising somewhat, but they got a free trip to NYC out of the deal.

Super Saver said...


You got me:-) I'll be a pushover for any volunteer activity may daughter will want me to do with her.

Financial Independence said...

Hi there,

Can I ask you a rather philosophical question?

You family is like you for what you are. So what is the point of retiring early?

As seems to me - you invested a lot of time up front, and then do not wish to maintain momentum : -)