It’s a fair point. Freeing up 10 hours a day (including commuting time) is a significant lifestyle change that is not to be underestimated. It’s all too easy whilst in work to be seduced by the dream of being able to sleep in for another hour or two during the week (if you don’t have kids of course!), not be forced to do your shopping with everyone else during the busy weekends, travel quickly and cheaply during off-peak times, have a leisurely read of the newspapers, keep on top of the housework, get a dog, enjoy some hobbies, get some exercise, plan some holidays, get stuck into some household projects, etc… Bliss!
But if you’re serious about retiring very early, it deserves serious thought. Let’s remember that, apart from the first couple of points, most of us are able to cram the other stuff into our working lives during our evenings and weekends already. Can we really scale them up to fill an extra 50 hours per week?
Although for most of people reading this with their hearts set on early retirement, I am sure that finding enough things to do will not pose a significant challenge and indeed is a lovely challenge to have! The point I am making is that it is worth planning your LIFESTYLE in retirement as well as your finances. If you find yourself bored and get stuck in a rut, this could have serious physical and emotional health implications so please make sure you have a plan to identify whether it’s happening, and to ACT if it does
For me though I can still justify my early retirement plan with a couple of reasons:
1- Financial Freedom equals Choice. Having plans to retire early doesn’t mean you must retire early – you can always use the money and income you’ve built to enhance your lifestyle, work part time, or help others around you enhance theirs by donating or working for good causes
2- Choice equals Happiness. Everyone’s different but for me these are intertwined – I’d personally be happier if I was bored and doing nothing, than if I was doing something I actively don’t enjoy doing because someone I don’t care for has demanded that I do it. I will have more choice over saying “yes” and “no”, my fate is in my own hands
Now we’ve satisfied ourselves that we’ve addressed the boredom challenge, please excuse me whilst I indulge in personal fantasy and highlight some of the things I would do with my retirement (some I already do today, some are things I’ve never done. Not quite a bucket list, but you get the idea)
- Firstly I actually believe I would be able to genuinely enjoy the mundane stuff (school runs, decorating, exercise, housekeeping, dog walking, etc) if I could plan and do them on my own terms and without having to fit them in around a demanding job
- Catch up with family during the week, visit working friends and get out and about across the UK at the weekends. Host dinner parties most Fridays with family, friends and neighbours
- I’d love to spend more time on Cars – building, modifying, restoring, maintaining and track driving. And to rebuild an engine
- Improve my drumming skills, play more gigs, teach others how to play the drums (I have really enjoyed doing a little teaching before for free, but will look into whether I can monetise this and scale it up as a very part time side income. I hope to write about my experiences here in a future post – I’m a good drummer but I know loads of better drummers, therefore am I qualified to teach? And to what level?)
- Learn to fly a helicopter
- Take a photography course. If I’m any good, perhaps build a portfolio of stock photos to help pay for the course
- Take a metalwork course
- And if there’s time left: blogging, browsing, gaming, sports, voluntary work. And I might watch TV from time to time too, and when Mrs FFUK and the kids are around I won’t have the luxury of boredom even if I want it!!
It would be great to hear what you’d get up to with your extra 10 hours per day! Or to hear about any contingency strategies you might have for identifying and removing any threats of boredom – it’s too big a health risk to ignore, even when we have big dreams and big plans…
Keep motivated, keep saving 🙂