Well, it’s been 30 days since I retired (it happened a couple weeks before I posted on it) and I thought I’d let you know what I’ve been up to.
FYI, I’ll do a specific update every so often but I’ll be talking about retirement and the new lifestyle throughout other posts as well (of course).
But for now, here’s what’s happened the past 30 days:
- I’m still getting up early and getting a lot accomplished. I usually get up before 6 am, drink water and a protein drink, check this site, do some reading and head for the gym. I don’t have a solid/standard morning routine yet but I’m working on developing one.
- I work out regularly in the morning. I am at the gym five of seven days doing weights, cardio, or both. The other two days I go for a long walk in the morning. The gym is just clearing out at 7:15 am or so from the crazies who work out at 5 am and the 9 am crowd is still two hours away, so there are very few people there. I LOVE it!!! FYI, I do still use my trainer, but we’re down to once a month at this point.
- As I’m walking to the gym or on my walking days I notice how much of a rush everyone is in. They are rushing kids to school and rushing to work. I see the guys heading out of the gym in their suits and I just smile. Better them than me. 🙂 I’m relaxed and just having a fun time taking my time (something that’s not naturally in my character but is becoming a favorite hobby of mine.)
- My family has taken full advantage of my time off. Here are a few activities we’ve done together: Visited Water World in Denver, have a movie day almost every Tuesday (tickets are only $5.75 on Tuesday and we have the theater to ourselves), we’ve seen several “tourist” sites around town (for free — I’ll tell you how in a later post), we’ve watched several movies from the library, and we visited 25 homes on the Parade of Homes. Someone told me I’d be busier in retirement than I was when I worked and it’s close to being true!
- I’m very relaxed. Probably the most relaxed I’ve been in my life. I can feel the absence of stress which was often my companion while I worked. I can even notice it when in bed — I’m sleeping much better.
- I received a job offer already. A couple days after I retired I got a note via LinkedIn from a friend who said she was introducing me to a colleague. That turned into a lunch and that turned into a job offer. I declined. I did offer to do some consulting work for them and they are considering that possibility.
- I have been walking a lot. My wife and I get out a couple times a day for a long walk. Our daughter usually joins us at least once as well. I track my steps on an app on my phone and am averaging about 15,000 a day since I retired.
- Monday is now the best day of the week for me. Why? Because everyone else goes back to work! The gym is quiet, the restaurants are quiet, the theaters are quiet, everything is quieter. Every weekday is like that and I love it. Conversely, the weekend is relatively not as good (though it’s still way better than any day at work.) 🙂
- I’ve had several lunches with people from work. I average about one a week and it’s nice to stay in touch. They use me as a sounding board, complaining about the crazy boss they have (and I used to have). I empathize with them.
- We’ve had one visitor already and more on the way. My Uncle came for a couple days and my sister-in-law will be coming later this month. There are tentative plans for others as well. It’s good to have visitors and spend time with people we don’t get to see often. That’s a big advantage of living in a town people want to visit — they come and see you!
- I’ve been helping my kids find jobs. I spent time teaching my son the skills of great job hunters (resumes, interviews, etc.) — and he found a job! My daughter has a job but wants a better one, so I’m helping her in a similar fashion.
Those are the “normal”, post-retirement life events worth noting. Here are a few financial things I’ve done since retiring.
- Deposited my severance check. 🙂
- Rolled my 401k into my Vanguard IRA.
- Finalized my August 2016 through December 2017 budget. I also compared August actual spending versus budget spending. I’ll be tracking those two and will give you an update at the end of the year.
- Had a conference call with my real estate manager in Michigan. Expenses have been starting to creep up and I wanted to be sure he knew I was watching them. He knows.
- Working like crazy on this site. I have so many ideas for posts that I think I could write between now and next spring without coming up with a new idea.
So, that’s my retirement life so far. Any thoughts or questions about it?
Mike H says
I think you are living a great live over there in CO, and while you are still in the initial “honeymoon” phase, you have planned it out so well that I am sure that you will sustain a great level of satisfaction.
It is enjoying to hear about the journey over to the other side.
Jon @ Be Net Worthy says
Wow, that sounds fantastic! I think waking up early and hitting the gym is something you should definitely continue to keep in your routine as you move forward – it seems to be working for you. It reminds me a lot of when I was laid for a few months at the end of 2014. Get up early, hit the gym, go for long walks, spend time with the kids – it was great!
I hope the “honeymoon” phase lasts, I suspect that you will continue to find things to keep yourself not only busy but engaged, which is the most important. Congrats again!
Congratulations. I will look forward to your posts. I am 9 months into retirement. I a curious as to why you rolled over your 401K. I’ve been trying to reach a decision on rolling over my TSP, but will like to use it to invest in real estate, an annuity, and for growth. I would appreciate if you addressed your rational for the roll over.
Well, you have three choices with your 401k when you change companies:
1. Leave it in your old employer’s 401k
2. Take a distribution to yourself
3. Move it to another retirement account like an IRA
I always do #3, but let’s get to why I did this time first:
1. The plan I had at my former job was “ok”, but the fees were simply too high — both administrative and for the funds they offered. They also didn’t offer my top choices in funds.
2. If you take out the money to yourself there are tons of tax consequences and you end up paying a boatload of money back to the government.
3. I rolled the money over to my Vanguard IRA. I can manage it there with my other retirement money, get the funds I want, and pay very low fees. So it was a no-brainer for me.
The next question is where will I invest the money. I have different objectives (more income now than just growth) than I’ve had in the past, and I may write a post on my thinking and let ESI Money readers help me decide what to do with it. 🙂
The only thing that I have read for a good reason to keep it in an employers 401k is that it can not be taken in the case of a lawsuit judgement while IRA and Roth IRA can.
Still being properly insured is a key in minmizing or elimating this and Vangurd is hard to beat when it comes fees or selection.
Yes, that is my understanding as well; that a 401k provides better asset protection because it is judgment proof under ERISA; whereas, a IRA is subject to state laws, and there is usually a ceiling of protection at about $1m, and anything beyond that can be cracked to satisfy a judgment. I’m not sure how much this matters if one is properly insured, and I’m not sure how to weigh it against lower fees and better choices in a IRA, but I do think for some people it should be weighted carefully in a decision to rollover.
Donna Sako says
Slowing down in retirement is the hardest part. But having time for family and finally sleeping like you did as child is great!
This must feel fantastic, it really comes through in the writing. The ‘stress’ issue is very much a frog-in-the-pot type of thing. The absence of that stress will add years to your life, and so happy to hear the quality of your sleep has improved.
Congratulations! I’m envious but hope to be joining you within the next few years. We’re a similar age, so I feel as though I’m behind schedule already. :^) Like you I hope to find a way to stay engaged in those things that are most important to me, such as family, health and relationships.
I’ll just say that I’m jealous and your last 30 days sound amazing to me. I cannot wait to be there one day. Kudos!
Very happy to hear the transition is going well and that you’re enjoying your long planned for retirement so far! I think you may eventually accept some part-time consulting work in your field that you enjoy, something allows you to work on a per-project basis on your own terms. I’m sure many possibilities will turn up for your consideration. I’m a long-time reader from your other blog and I’ve also been striving for financial independence for many years–I feel we’ve been on the journey together. At 57 I feel confident that I’ll finally be ready for my own early retirement by the end of this year. Your blog has been a huge inspiration for me! Congratulations to you and best wishes for continued happiness, peace, and fulfillment!
Thanks and congrats to you!
I’d love to hear your early retirement story when you get there if you’re willing to share.
Charles Dale says
I am retired now for years and it is as good now as when my retirement just started. I love doing things on my own schedule and feel so good when I see everyone else running around like a chicken without it’s head while I can take my time, relax and enjoy. Keeping physically fit is important as well as keeping your mind sharp. You should do just great in retirement and you will get a morning afternoon, evening routine just by you doing what you want and soon you will see that you do certain things at certain times but it will be all of your making. You will have your routines. We should all be able to retire early enough to still have good health and enjoy it. I truly feel bad for people who want to retire but can’t because of finances. To work when you really don’t want to or because your health makes it difficult is not the way anyone should live. Pensions becoming less and less is no good in my opinion because people do not save the way they should and at least with pensions, you were going to get that along with Social Security. Now for the people who also have good savings by then, they are the smart and lucky ones for sure. I sure hope the young generation knows the importance of saving.
I was in Starbucks at 7 am this morning to meet a friend from my last job. You wouldn’t believe the number of people “running around like a chicken without it’s head” that passed right by us as we enjoyed our coffee. It was amazing/sad/captivating to watch.
This blog is part of “keeping my mind sharp”. In addition I got a “great chess games” DVD from the library where a grand master plays through great chess games of the past. He explains the moves and discusses options for the next move. It’s very fascinating, but something I would have never had time for previously.
Sounds like some good progress in slipping into the retirement gig.
My father would agree in that the first years of his retirement he was quite busy stating I am not sure where I found the time to work.
It will be interesting in opening up to your readers options in what to invest or potentially look at to see what suits your method of investing.
I have one that I can suggest when the time comes that has done very well for me.
Dannielle @ Odd Cents says
You are living the life! It sounds as though you are enjoying it to the max. I hope you realise that you have a retirement schedule now, but it’s centered around family and doing the things that you love. Lovely!
This is simply amazing, you are having great days of your life to enjoy now. Keep going, love to read your future posts.
Financial Samurai says
“I work out regularly in the morning. I am at the gym five of seven days doing weights, cardio, or both. The other two days I go for a long walk in the morning. The gym is just clearing out at 7:15 am or so from the crazies who work out at 5 am and the 9 am crowd is still two hours away, so there are very few people there. I LOVE it!!! FYI, I do still use my trainer, but we’re down to once a month at this point.”
Man, I’m IMPRESSED! Are you kidding me? 5 days a week is awesome. I thought I’d go 3X a week, but I workout like once a month, maybe. I do play tennis 2-3X a week, but that’s just tennis. I’m not losing any weight or getting ripped. Getting soft here. Need motivation!
Congrats on rejecting a job prospect. That was the hardest thing the first 6 months b/c in the back of my mind I always wondered a little bit whether I made the right move.
Keep the milestone updates coming. I’ll be interested in seeing if you ever hit the “boredom” one.