Life After FIRE – One Month In

Well it’s been a month now of me not being at work and I have to say I’m starting to settle down a bit more.  The first few weeks really did feel a bit like a dream that I expected to wake up from but now I’ve gotten a bit more comfortable with my new life after retiring early.  So here are a few items that are positives and a few negatives as well.

On the plus side, overall the one thing that really stands out for me about early retirement is this: you are no longer rushed.  I know that might sound odd but think about this.  I found during my working life I always had this low level feeling of being rushed.  During the week I would have to get certain errands done and then on the weekends you had to get your chores done and still squeeze in some socialization with friends and somewhere find a bit of time to relax with a book.  It felt like I was almost always battling the clock to get it all done and feeling guilty when things fell to the side. Now I almost never feel that way.  If something doesn’t get done today, I do it the next day.  No big deal.

Also I should point out I’m not good at doing nothing.  I like to relax with a book for a while but I can’t just do that for a day.  I like to get other things done as well.  So I’ve slowly been getting done a backlog of errands, repairs and chores done around the house.  So that tap in the downstairs bathroom that I have been ignoring got replaced, I got the oil change done on the car,  we renewed the family passports and the fish tank got a good cleaning.

Also I got to do things that I want was well.  I signed up to help out at our local school library once a week.  I have been doing research for my next novel and I have read about 12 books, finished two tv show seasons on Netflix and still managed to easily have time to host my family in town for Thanksgiving. So I have this weird thing where I feel relaxed and productive all at the same time.

Yet there is still certain basic limitations in life, you still have some negative things to your days.  Those don’t go away when you retire.  For example, I still only have 24 hours a day just like you and I don’t always get everything that I want to get done in a day.  Having more time during the week I find just means I can get more easily distracted from what I want to focus on.  After all I can just tell myself I will get to what I should be working on later on.  Until I realize I have been pushing something back for two week already and my wife is giving me that look again.

Or another example is bad luck still happens.  Case in point, our dog had a small growth on her back leg and we took her into the vet to get it checked out.  Well there we find a few other growths that have to be removed.  Oh look there was $500 I wasn’t planning on spending that week.  Then our dog has a complication from the first surgery (no ones fault, just bad luck) and she needs to have most of her tail removed in a second surgery the week after.  Our total vet bill for is at $1100 for the month, but the good news is our dog is doing well now.

Yet overall I have to say even with the negatives I like this lifestyle. The only thing I feel that is missing is I haven’t been working that much on anything big lately.  Just a series of smaller items, so  I so I plan to write a draft of a novel this November as a bigger project.

Any questions?

10 thoughts on “Life After FIRE – One Month In”

  1. I’m almost two years in and seem to alternate between too much to do and sometimes not enough but I haven’t really had a single day when I was just totally bored. I keep two pretty active but easy paying side gigs going and several volunteer ones that are a lot of work but they feel like I’m doing something good so I don’t mind too much. The travel involved in both the paid and unpaid gigs plus fun travel sometimes has my schedule looking as crowded as it did when I was a full time corporate suit. But in short it is a great life and really really fun! I think you’ll find that as well as you groove in.

  2. It sounds like you are settling in just fine. You are and continue to be an inspiration – It is interesting that you are already getting your volunteering and whatnot already going. I don’t think that anyone would fault you if you were just to take a few months off; but I know that would be very difficult for me. I look forward to watching as time goes by; please keep posting.

  3. All the best with your new routine! I’m sort of in a ‘hybrid’ situation where I can’t fully retire, but instead I do more enjoyable handyman work for a lot less $. Your story was one of the sources of inspiration for me to quit my higher pressure office job, and I have zero regrets. I’m much healthier and sleep a lot better than years ago. I’ve got no doubt that your new groove will give you the same satisfaction. I know you’ve worked hard to get here, so, enjoy!!

  4. Thank you very much for updating us. I have been stalking ? your blog everyday hoping for an update.

    Wow, you sound so busy and have accomplished so much in such a short time. The Mrs must be very ?.

    If you don’t mind what is the novel going to be about?

  5. The nice thing about FIRE, is no alarm clock; and not having to deal with people who you dislike. I’m on year 13, Enjoy:)

  6. Unfortunately unexpected things happen in life. Glad your dog is doing alright.

    I’m also planning to have some an early retirement, I am currently 32 and would like to do so by the time I’m 45. Financially I have a plan in place but I am more wondering about the psychological effects of it. Before FI, you goal is achieving it. Now that you are retired, what are your long term goals that keep you motivated for the future? Or does your mind just not work in that sense anymore?


  7. While you were unlucky with your dog having some medical issues, it is comforting to know that by being retired, you can devote much more time to getting her all better. When I had some health issues 2 years ago and was in the hospital for 12 days, I was able to devote as much time and effort as I needed to getting myself, retired for the last 9 years, better. That included being able to make many doctor appointments in the weeks which followed my hospital discharge.

  8. @Steveark – Thanks for sharing. I can also see myself never getting bored.

    @james@marcopolomoney – Actually I didn’t seek out the volunteer thing, it sort of fell into my lap. Since it was one of my ‘fun’ jobs to work at a library I thought it would be a good way to give it a test run and help out the school.

    @Ms99to1percent – The novel’s working title is: The Darkness of Oz. The story is about a 16 year boy going back to Oz and finding out that things have gone downhill for the last 100 years. A drug lord is in control and the desert is slowly consuming Oz and the magic is mostly gone. So can another prairie kid help Oz fix its problems?

    @Jim and Rick – Yes, no alarm clock is nice, but of course my wife still has her alarm, so I still often wake up to one but not mine.

    @Matt – Ah, very good questions. I really think anyone who does actually get to FIRE doesn’t just do nothing. You don’t stop being a motivated and goal oriented person once you get there. So yes, you need other goals but you really get to pick the ones that matter most to you. For me, I really want to give my writing a serious try and see what happens with that.

    Thanks everyone!

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