Have people who want early retirement actually BETA-TESTED it to see if you like it?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
jastevenson
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:32 am

Have people who want early retirement actually BETA-TESTED it to see if you like it?

Post by jastevenson » Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:22 am

I'm curious whether people who are saving their pennies for early retirement have actually tried it out to see if they REALLY want it?

Speaking personally, a few years ago I had a period of about 4 months between the end of my prior job and the start of my new job. At the beginning I really enjoyed it, but by the end of the 2nd month, I spent most of my day bumming around the house and wasting time on the internet.

Admittedly, I didn't want to spend much money since I was between jobs, so I didn't have the option of doing fun activities that I might have done if I had income during that time.

So, for those who want to retire early: have you actually TRIED it to see if you will really like it (a 2 week vacation doesn't count)? Sometimes, the idea of something is more fun than the reality.

(and for the record, I still probably want to retire early)

:sharebeer

The Wizard
Posts: 13356
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: Reading, MA

Re: Have people who want early retirement actually BETA-TESTED it to see if you like it?

Post by The Wizard » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:12 am

Interesting concept, but I'm not sure this is a solution to any known problem.
Sure, you need to find the right mix of activities to keep busy with in retirement, early or otherwise.
And it's also true that some people have jobs that fit them so well they keep at it till age 80...
Attempted new signature...

Xyz214
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:35 am

Re: Have people who want early retirement actually BETA-TESTED it to see if you like it?

Post by Xyz214 » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:39 am

I had a month break in between jobs 5 years ago. I travelled, read books, worked out and did whatever I liked. What I realized in my experience, it's not enjoyable if I have do all the fun things just myself. I know extreme ER is not for me. Right now, I'm aiming to retire around 55 and be FI ASAP.

Here's an interesting article about the minecraft founder.
http://www.businessinsider.com/minecraf ... ppy-2015-8

Independent
Posts: 551
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:09 pm

Re: Have people who want early retirement actually BETA-TESTED it to see if you like it?

Post by Independent » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:41 am

I'm not sure what "early" means. I retired at 59. My longest work breaks had been one week vacations.

At first, I had a list of things I wanted to work on - actually had a "to do" list just like I did at work. I eventually discovered that my blood pressure went down. It wasn't so important to "show measurable results" every day. Life happened. My wife had a serious health issue. My daughter had triplets. I did stuff I had not planned.

I'm not sure how I could have "beta tested" what really happened, how my attitude changed when I wasn't on the clock, unless the beta test lasted at least 2-3 years.

If I had retired ten years sooner, I'm sure I would have been concerned about how I would get back into the workforce if I decided I was just too bored in retirement. That would have been part of the retirement plan. Maybe that would be one definition of a beta test.

User avatar
vitaflo
Posts: 1202
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:02 pm

Re: Have people who want early retirement actually BETA-TESTED it to see if you like it?

Post by vitaflo » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:45 am

This is why many retirees on this forum say you should retire to something, not from something. This would go doubly so I would suspect for early retirees whose peers are still employed, reducing your social options.

Having done a couple stints like this and finding similar results (amazingly busy for a month followed by lazily flailing away in boredom) I've been starting to take a lot of time to find more hobbies I really enjoy that I can sink my teeth into. I'm also realizing a certain percentage of them should be social in nature.

Given I will most likely be an early retiree, I'm attempting to give myself goals to retire to, should that happen.

Topic Author
jastevenson
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:32 am

Re: Have people who want early retirement actually BETA-TESTED it to see if you like it?

Post by jastevenson » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:50 am

I agree about the social component.

The thing is that if you retire at, say, 40, all of your friends are still working 8-5 pm. So you're basically going to be doing activities by yourself (or at best, with your spouse).

For example, I love going to the lake and hanging out with friends. But when I wasn't working, I found that going to a mostly deserted lake alone on a Tuesday at 11 am wasn't that much fun.

User avatar
JDCarpenter
Posts: 1403
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:42 pm

Re: Have people who want early retirement actually BETA-TESTED it to see if you like it?

Post by JDCarpenter » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:57 am

Yes. Although it was only me, not DW.

I quit law at age 32 to raise our kids, cook, shop, rehab our house(s), etc. Although I took a part-time academic job for more than a decade, I had no problems with continuing in that much more laid back role until our youngest got drivers license. Came back in a few years ago to pay for colleges and bolster retirement funds so the two of us can quit together in one or two more years (DW is looking for her replacement now from among the crop of residents).

Granted, I wasn't completely off, but I enjoyed the slower, more self-driven pace. I have no doubt that when we pull the trigger, we will enjoy doing it together. So many places in the world that we couldn't get to in a week (or very occasional) two-week vacation. And if we want to do something on a regular schedule, we can always volunteer, do some consulting, or even come back in on a task-oriented basis.

E.T.A.: Should note that we won't be "Early" early retirement. Just mid-50s.
Edit Signature

TheEternalVortex
Posts: 2558
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:17 pm
Location: San Jose, CA

Re: Have people who want early retirement actually BETA-TESTED it to see if you like it?

Post by TheEternalVortex » Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:15 am

A while ago, I thought I wanted to leave my job and take at least a few years off. Then I took 1 month of vacation. After 3 weeks I was extremely bored and wanted to go back to work (my job is similar to what I would want to do for fun, but with the benefit of helping others). Sooo... I am still there now ;).

User avatar
White Coat Investor
Posts: 14326
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Greatest Snow On Earth

Re: Have people who want early retirement actually BETA-TESTED it to see if you like it?

Post by White Coat Investor » Sat Nov 07, 2015 12:17 pm

jastevenson wrote:I agree about the social component.

The thing is that if you retire at, say, 40, all of your friends are still working 8-5 pm. So you're basically going to be doing activities by yourself (or at best, with your spouse).

For example, I love going to the lake and hanging out with friends. But when I wasn't working, I found that going to a mostly deserted lake alone on a Tuesday at 11 am wasn't that much fun.
Hey...that sounds like my career. Evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

DVMResident
Posts: 1404
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:15 pm

Re: Have people who want early retirement actually BETA-TESTED it to see if you like it?

Post by DVMResident » Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:39 pm

An interesting blog on the first 6-months of ER: Done Detoxing

I think it'd take at least a year to orientate yourself to a retired state. Habits and behaviors take a long time to change.

User avatar
Epsilon Delta
Posts: 8090
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:00 pm

Re: Have people who want early retirement actually BETA-TESTED it to see if you like it?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:47 pm

That's not a BETA test. It's probably not even an ALPHA test. Most of life is simply a SMOKE test.

User avatar
alpenglow
Posts: 862
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 12:02 pm

Re: Have people who want early retirement actually BETA-TESTED it to see if you like it?

Post by alpenglow » Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:56 pm

I'm a teacher, so I get to test the retired lifestyle every summer! :beer

User avatar
TheTimeLord
Posts: 6371
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 2:05 pm

Re: Have people who want early retirement actually BETA-TESTED it to see if you like it?

Post by TheTimeLord » Sat Nov 07, 2015 2:03 pm

Took a package from Megacorp. Took10 months off. If was fun for about 6 weeks then it got sort of lonely and isolated with all my friends working. I would take 45 minutes for a 15 minute trip to the supermarket. I was a Costco zombie wandering aimless from sample to sample as I inventoried the entire store. Lost track of what day it was, was definitely losing my mental edge. Each day had a gray sameness to it. I was awful at it. Back at work now in a good, challenging job working very hard with people I like and accepting that this fits me better than my life long dream of early retirement. Will still retire early, just not as early as I originally intended.
IMHO, Investing should be about living the life you want, not avoiding the life you fear. | Run, You Clever Boy! [9085]

moneyman11
Posts: 543
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:09 am

Re: Have people who want early retirement actually BETA-TESTED it to see if you like it?

Post by moneyman11 » Sat Nov 07, 2015 2:06 pm

I think satisfaction with retirement - whenever I take it - will be measured by my ability to find satisfaction in a life where I don't spend a significant part of my day providing goods and/or services for others (employers and/or customers).

If I can't find way to do that, then I'd consider it a problem with the way I'm living my life, not a problem with retirement.

That said, I'm not worried.

Post Reply