Friday, January 08, 2016

Life Didn't Get Easier in Early Retirement

I always thought that life would get easier as I got older.   After all, I would have the benefit of more years of experience with the passing of time.  So retirement would be the easiest time in my model.

I was wrong.  Here of some of the reasons for us.
  • Finances -  Our early retirement if funded entirely by our savings since neither of us have a pension nor are old enough to collect Social Security yet.   The stock market volatility since 2007 has created greater uncertainty (and stress:-) on whether we have sufficient savings to fund a retirement for 30-40 years.  This has required changing the strategy of primarily depending on equity appreciation to a strategy using more equity dividends for income.  
  • Children -  We started late with having children, adopting just before and a few years into early retirement.   Raising children in today's world is a bit more complex than when my spouse and I were growing up.  When I was a child, there were less options, less distractions, less choices to make.  As a result, I was more focused on a few things and (I think) easier to raise as a child.
  • Maintenance - We have more stuff that requires periodic maintenance: house, cars, appliances, electronics.  Electronics seem to need replacement every 3-5 years  Also, many appliances shorter lives of 5-8 years, versus 15-20 years, and therefore requiring replacement several times during retirement.  Finally, many of the new items are more complex, and require more instruction effort to use.
  • Health - In the past three year, my health situation has changed, requiring significantly more effort on my part to maintain good health: new diet, more medication, and more intervention.   I expect the effort to continue to increase as I get older.
  • No complaints.   Just an observation from our 8 years of early retirement.  And  an acknowledgement of a change in one of my paradigms.

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

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

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