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Never bored! (Thoughts on preparing for early retirement.)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


She is one scary lady!
It would be nice to be strong!
Recently, when I met a few friends for dim sum, one of them asked me if I was bored in (early) retirement? 

It is a question I get asked a few times before, online and offline. So, it was no longer a surprise.

I have a list of stuff I want to do. Some people call it a "bucket list" (i.e. a list of things to do before we die or kick the bucket). 

In retirement, my bucket list doesn't get shorter. It gets longer! 

I am discovering more things that I want to do in retirement.

Let me share a bit about my childhood. 

I always liked the arcade as a boy but didn't have the luxury of visiting regularly. 

I always envied friends for having game consoles as a boy but didn't have the luxury of having one. 

Something happened many, many years later:

I bought a Nintendo Game Cube for myself more than 10 years ago as a birthday present but as I still had a busy working life, I didn't have much time to play. 

Now, I have plenty of time and I am living one of my boyhood dreams. Bored? Impossible!


Reader says:

We have seen many old retirees becoming aimless in their life and it’s becoming a waiting game.

I can understand for many, they have little money after retired and for some, they are rich enough but their life evolve around having dinner with a few friends and family members, travelling around as long as they are healthy enough.

Nothing meaningful and to fill their time, some even continue working….it’s sometime reminded us what is soon becoming to us but maybe we can do it differently.

I would ready like to know if you can share with us your personal experience when one retired early ?

How do you prepare yourself ?

How do you manage retirement mentality and physically when you retired early ?

What do you do daily ?

Do you plan ahead for 10 years and more ? If you start all over again, what would you have done differently ?

Any advice is much appreciated ?

Thanks !

AK says:

I don't know about doing it differently but here are my thoughts.

I am a worrier and I plan almost everything in my life. 

Of course, I am aware that I cannot always get it exactly right but being approximately right is enough to make me happy.

I think it is important not to be married to our jobs and I have seen many people who do not have a life outside their working life. 

The danger for these people is having a feeling of emptiness if they no longer have their jobs.

I can understand that sometimes we really have to work very hard to make more money. I have been in that situation before. 

So, I know the feeling. 

For a few years, I was monetising all my free time to make more money because I wanted to retire early.

However, at some point, if we have free time, we should find something else to do. 

Hobbies we enjoy. Spending time with people we love. There must be quite a few things to do that is not work related.

I won't tell you what I do in my free time because each of us will have different likes and dislikes. 

To put it crudely, have a "bucket list". :)

Retirement is not about being unemployed and having nothing to do. 

It is about having the time to do things we enjoy and not having to work for money.

Related posts:
To retire by age 45, plan...
2. Retiring before 60 is not a dream.
3. Work not because you have to.
4. AK answers questions on early retirement.
(Added 1 Jan 17 from FB wall.)


AK71 said...

"Anyone who chooses to semi retire at 30s or 40s is not ambitious in the conventional sense. Am talking about what drives you daily and keeps you happy and not bored. Portfolio is obviously one, but what else?"

See this:
Life is about many things and my time is in short supply.

And, maybe, this:
Financially free AK should be ashamed of himself!

AK71 said...

The question my wife and I have recently after 3 years of retirement is that is that all to life? Are we then waiting to die?

Sometimes compared to someone who still needs to prove a point or who still is selling financial freedom, perhaps they are the luckier one? The problem with seeking financial freedom is that when we get it in spades, what next?

You are a strong internal scorecard personality. How do you feel about this?

TFP said...

Hello AK71, may i ask your age?

AK71 said...


I let you do some work.

I was born in 1971. ;)

AK71 said...

csky said...
Congratulations AK on your freedom!

Maybe you can consider finding something interesting that you can volunteer for or get a part-time job (maybe 3-4 days for 3-4hrs each). Just nice to get some interaction but not too long hours such that it feels like a job :)

AK said...
I don't think I have the time to do part time work now.

Too busy with all my hobbies. ;p

WTK said...

Hi AK,

Well documented write-up on the supposedly enjoyable retirement plan. I believe that one will have to figure the details of the hobbies and activities which appeals to him/her on a long term. There are many instances in which one does not know that happiness is already here. This is due to the excessive pursuit of the seemingly desires for the appropriate hobbies to fill up the retirement life activities.

I quote myself as an example. Frankly speaking, I no longer look for the activities and am in fact enjoying the moment of time doing the things which come along naturally. I might do nothing at one time and it's alright. I deem it as a time of relaxation and this is the reward for being working hard for the 18 years plus. I know that there is no strict timeline as compared to the full-time employment. I do note the possibility of potential (immediate) departure from this world as life is unpredictable. I no longer delay the things which I like to do and execute it immediately. The things (which I desire to do) are mostly free and hence you can sense that I have a minimalist lifestyle which suits my desires.

To each of our own.


AK71 said...

Hi Ben,

Sounds like you have it all thought out.

Gong xi gong xi! :D

This reminds me of a blog post where I shared an exchange with a reader named "Ben".

Don't know if that was you. ;p

Why did AK want an early retirement?

WTK said...

Hi AK,

Yes. This reader is me.

Wow. It was almost sometimes in August 2017 since we last had such conversation. I exited full-time employment 21 months later after much consideration on various factors. I have learnt from such circumstance in which one cannot cover all aspects before making the final decision. One such circumstance is the luxury of having the active income from full-time employment which came at the price of numerous hours of unpaid OTs in order to complete all the assigned tasks. I deem it as not worthwhile as it was likely to deprive me of the health as well as the family time.

It took me several months to recover from the ordeal of fatigue after my exit from the full-time employment. I am glad to have made such decision which I deem to be the best decision made in my lifetime so far. I consider that the generated dividend from the investment portfolio to be sufficient to cover the annual expense and it's content enough as per my context. No doubt. a reduction in the generated dividend (which is entirely possible) may result in not covering the annual expenses in full for a certain number of years. I still have the time and flexibility to adjust the annual expense down to accomandate the reduction in the generated dividend, given that I live a minimalist lifestyle due to my preference. If this is not enough, I can consider driving a pte-hire car (i.e I have an existing taxi driver) to cover the shortfall between the generated dividend and expense. These are the options which I have at my disposal. I am glad to have such option. The gist is to live a fulfilling life to the best of my ability.

My two cents worth of views.


AK71 said...

Hi Ben,

Sounds like you are living the life now. ;)

Welcome to the F.I.R.E. club. :D

WTK said...

Hi AK,

A life of a simple peasant with low profile suits me. I do not like the glamour and am contented with the peaceful and humble lifestyle.

Occasional blogging and posting my view on various blogs will be part of my pastime at the present moment of time.


AK71 said...

Hi Ben,

For sure, we are all wired differently.

It is very good that you have found your niche. :)

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