This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
I am around three months away from completing Certified General Accountant studies, once that’s done I should be done with formal education for the foreseeable future. As long as I pass the last two courses, I will be gaining somewhere between 10 and 20 hours per week from time that I am currently studying or writing reports for the courses I have taken over the past five years. This gain in free time is almost like becoming semi-retired, giving me more free time to do different things.
In the end, I think giving up my free time will be worth it – I should be much more employable if there are problems with my current job, and in general the topics reviewed were interesting and will help me over the rest of my working career as well as in my personal life.
So, what will I do with my free time? Similar to when I gain an extra 40 hours per week there are things I would like to do over the summer and beyond:
1.) Read: I have a list of books that I would like to read or listen to in my free time. Right now, I can barely get through a book every 2 or 3 weeks – if all I did was read, I could fill in the majority of my free time after work.
2.) Home improvements: There are several projects that I have put on hold over the past couple of years because I just didn’t have the time, for example I would like to build a deck in my back yard. Because I am not all that handy, I’m assuming this project will take me a couple of weekends to complete, which I haven’t had time for over the past few years.
3.) Get in excellent shape: I signed up for the Tough Mudder run in August, and will need to be in excellent shape in order to complete this run (11 miles with 29 different obstacles). While doing school, I really don’t have that much time to get into this kind of shape, but adding an extra hour or two of exercise per week will not hurt me.
4.) Learn something new: I have been entirely focused on learning all about accounting over the past few years and would like to focus on something different. I would like to learn a new language (I have been reading about Pimsleur language lessons), and something “artsy” like learning how to draw or to play an instrument (like guitar or piano).
I am really looking forward to the extra time I will gain, once I graduate from this program. I have been doing courses the entire time my wife and I have been together, so hopefully she won’t mind me being available to do things together more as well.
What would you do if you gained 20 hours of free time per week?