Retirement

12 years of early retirement

Wow, I can’t believe that was it 12 years Since I left my engineering career! Time flies when you don’t have a boss. I’m happy to report that I’m still strong, and life is better than ever. There is no doubt that early retirement was the right decision for me.

However, my early retirement did not happen exactly as I envisioned it. For many people, retirement is a sudden transition. One day you’re at your office, the next you’re relaxing at home. It’s a big adjustment, and it’s no surprise that many people find it difficult to adjust. After all, work is a huge part of our adult lives, shaping our identity and sense of self-worth. For most of us, retirement can be a surprisingly painful experience.

Fortunately, my retirement has been a gradual journey. Perhaps “gradual retirement” is more accurate than “early retirement” in my case.

Gradual retirement

Well, I made a chart. This is my motto. When in doubt, switch to Excel. Heh heh… This graph shows how I’ve spent my time over the past 14 years. Of course, it’s just an estimate. But I think the path is correct. Let me hit the highlights.

2010 -I started blogging in retirement at the age of 40.

2011 – Our son was born, and sleepless nights ensued.

2012 -I quit my job. Oh yes! It was one of the best days of my life. I was walking on cloud nine when I left that hell hole. Thinking about that day still brings a smile to my face. After that I became 90% SAHD and 10% blogger.

2015 – RB40Jr has started kindergarten and a new chapter has begun! I had time to work a little more, but I also gained some personal time. Over the next few years, our son became more independent and the demands of being a stay-at-home dad naturally lessened. Life just got easier…

2020 – Ugh! The big Covid lockdown. I studied the RB40Jr from home and spent more time with SAHD. Things gradually evolved into a new normal over the next few years.

2024 – Recently, the RB40Jr turned 13 years old. Wow, he’s a teenager! These days, he needs less supervision. I still drive him to his activities and sometimes help him with his schoolwork, but the SAHD’s load is lighter. I’m also cutting back on work. This year, I feel more comfortable than ever. I’m not ashamed to tell people that I’m mostly retired (60%).

The next few years – I expect life to be fairly stable over the next few years. The RB40Jr still needs to get to his appointments and various sports. Being with SAHD will take a similar amount of time and effort for a while. As for work, I will do my best to continue at this level. However, it became difficult to stay motivated. After the RB40Jr finishes high school, I’ll probably stop working altogether.

This is how I’ve facilitated early retirement over the past 12 years. Next, I will share my thoughts on some related topics.

Lack of motivation

Recently I encountered an unexpected problem. I’m losing the motivation to self-employment. After 14 amazing years of blogging, I’m starting to lose my steam. FIRE is still a great site, but it’s getting harder to write a new blog post. I will do my best to continue as long as possible.

Last year, she started driving for Doordash and Uber Eats. You provided a welcome distraction during a difficult time. Losing my mom last year was very difficult. It has led me to grapple with some big questions about life and mortality. Working on a side gig was an easy way to escape for a bit. It kept me busy and I earned a little income.

This year, I’m much less enthusiastic. I think this is due to the bull market. Why should I walk around making almost $20 an hour when our net worth increased by thousands of dollars from the stock market last month? This is illogical. Maybe I would be more motivated if the stock market wasn’t doing so well. These days, I only drive a few hours a week. I didn’t need the distraction anymore because I was done processing my grief. I still miss my mom, but I understand that life goes on.

Loneliness

I heard on the news that there is The loneliness epidemic in the United States. Most of us don’t socialize as much as we did 20 years ago. Unfortunately, Americans are more isolated than ever. Fortunately, I’m an introvert and I’m feeling fine at the moment. These days, I spend the bulk of my time with my wife and son. That’s a lot of social interaction.

I also communicate with my college classmates from time to time. We are going to California for spring break and hope to meet some of them. It would be nice if we lived closer, but that’s life. I also have superficial friendships with neighbors and some parents from school. I think this is normal. It seems almost impossible to form a new deep friendship at my age. Do you have this problem too?

The other missing piece is work camaraderie. I had a lot of superficial friends at my old job. But that’s just part of the retirement transition process. Most people don’t keep up with old coworkers as they move forward. I don’t think this part is a big deal.

Unfortunately, I think loneliness will become a bigger problem as I get older. Once the RB40Jr goes to college, I will lose a lot of my daily social interactions. I need to find new hobbies so I can expand my social circle.

12 years of early retirement

Do I regret leaving my career? never. Everything is going very well so far. Our financial resources are strong. Family life is perfect. Health is very good. I don’t see how working longer would have improved my life in any way. I’m so lucky and I’m so grateful.

In conclusion, easing into retirement is the right way to go. I kept busy after leaving my old career and didn’t have time to mourn my old identity. Being a SAHD took a lot of time for a few years. I highly recommend easing into retirement if you can.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Passive income It is the key to early retirement. These days, I invest in commercial real estate with… Crowd Street. They have many projects all over the United States. Go check them out!

Disclosure: We may receive a referral fee if you sign up for a service through the links on this page.

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Joe started Retire by 40 In 2010 to learn how to retire early. After 16 years of investing and saving, he achieved financial independence and retired at 38 years old.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have many projects all over the USA so check them out!

Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital to DIY investors. They have many useful tools that will help you reach financial independence.

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