Early Retirement: Is it all it is cracked up to be?
When people ask what he does, he smiles and say:
I just retired.
My only job now is to take care of our son.
People are usually shocked at how young he is to retire although he isn’t as young as I am, he is still well under the 65 age mark.
They also give him props for taking care of our son and are always swooning over him — (HUGE EYE ROLL HERE FOR ALL THE MOTHERS OUT THERE who do this daily and get ZERO oohs and aahs for doing it).
It’s not that I don’t love that he now has time to basically handle everything in Little Bun’s school life (he will be in charge of ALL the papers, newsletters, school purchases and the like), it is more that when a man does it, he is elevated to superhero status but a woman gets penalized for it.
I know that retiring early is a privilege only the top 10% can afford, and I have only recently come to terms that we are in fact not middle class as I have always firmly thought I was, but in the top 1% or at least, top 5%.
So, is it all it is cracked up to be?
Well we are in the early stages of it, and he said it took about a month before he really accepted that he would no longer work in this field, and “wound his brain down”.
He now has no schedule to adhere to.
He is far more relaxed with everything and our son, and is very flexible on waking up, sleeping and so on.
He has loosened up in general. Less stress about waking up, dressing to go to work to face these people for money…
His whole demeanour has changed.
The spending still hasn’t changed — he has cut back a bit in general in spending and is a little more careful than before with money, but our lifestyle has not changed.
Just check out the fancy $5 lemon tarts we have been scarfing down. We have been getting ONE EACH, which means a $15 treat each time.
This is partly due to a few factors:
1. He knows he can always pick up part-time contract work if he truly needs to
2. He knows I am still working so I can help in a pinch but I’d make him go back to work sooner than I would pick up the money slack — I made this very very clear
3. He is starting his second career which will likely pay 6-figures as well in a few years.
So, spending stress? Out the window.
I wouldn’t call what he is doing ‘early retirement’, mostly because he is just changing careers, but it makes him very VERY happy to verbalize that he has officially retired, and he has reached his personal goal to do so by the age he wanted.
FIRE? No thank you
I personally am not a fan of this FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement setting all these PF bloggers ablaze (PUN INTENDED!), because my partner is the perfect example of what happens — they work (in many cases like mad) until the end, and then they “retire”, and end up either going back to work or picking up another career (like my partner).
That’s not retirement!
Retirement is not working. Period.
No active income, and you just draw on your savings.
This is why I think I won’t really retire, in the truest sense of the word. I can’t imagine what I would do if I just spent money and didn’t work.
Even blogging, would be active income, so I guess I’ll never retire.
Also, I am not really sure if these folks have a plan in place when they do retire. I think I am going to probably want to quit working around 50, maybe 55?
The workplace seems to penalize older workers
Who knows if I will or not, but maybe that decision has nothing to do with my desire to stop working, but that the workplace no longer wants me any more past the age of 50, 55, max.
Maybe the workplace, makes the decision for me and doesn’t really want to hire me any more because I am not young, relevant and fresh at 50 – 55 (horse #%(# but … I know how it goes.)
It is like past the age of 50 – 55, perhaps they think your brain “goes” and you can’t work as hard or have the memory of someone younger. (Again, horse #%#(*%)…