What is Retirement?

I just returned from my annual weekend trip to Oregon's Opal Creek Wilderness area. Every year, I join five other friends to hike into the forest, pitch our tents on the banks of the creek, and sit around the fire talking about life. We drank a lot of whiskey this year, and spent a lot of time at the swimming hole.

Paul and Tim at rest above the Opal Creek swimming hole
Paul and Tim at rest above the Opal Creek swimming hole

 

This year, we also talked a lot about where we're going in life. All six of us are about 40 years old, and we're all dealing with career transitions of some sort. We chatted about “talkers and doers” (a topic I hope to write about soon), about building social capital, and about retirement. I mentioned that my wife hopes to retire when she's 52, and that caused a lot of envy. It also prompted an interesting discussion on Sunday afternoon.

Paul, Tim, and Andrew chatting around the campfire
Paul, Tim, and Andrew chatting around the campfire

 

“How do you define retirement?” Paul asked as he and I climbed into his truck to start the long drive home. “And when do you plan to retire?”

I thought for a moment. “Are those rhetorical questions?” I asked. “Or are you really asking me when I plan to retire?”

“I'm asking you when you plan to retire,” Paul said. “Because in a lot of ways, you already seem retired. You do what you want when you want. You have time to travel and to pursue your hobbies and that sort of thing. Yet when I think of you, I don't think of you as retired — I think of you as working.”

I had to think about this some more. “I don't know,” I said at last. “I'm not sure I know what retirement is, and I don't know when I plan to retire.”

“The thing is,” I said, “none of my family ever retired. Well, that's not true — my mother's father retired, but I didn't know him well. On my dad's side of the family, the side I really know, nobody retired. Part of that was because so many of them died young. They never got a chance to retire. But I remember that when my grandpa — who worked as a janitor at the high school — when he ‘retired', he still worked. He didn't work for money, but he ran a working farm until he was 75 or 80 years old.”

Then I realized I could be clever. If I couldn't define retirement, if I couldn't say when I wanted to retire, maybe Paul could. So I asked him. “What does retirement mean to you?” I said.

“Well, to me retirement is not having to do something for money,” Paul said. “If I was working at one thing and wanted to do something else, I could do it and not have to worry.”

“That sounds like Financial Independence,” I said (though I couldn't capitalize the “F” and the “I” while speaking). “Actually, that's a good way to look at retirement. In many ways, Financial Independence and retirement are the same thing. They both mean that you have enough money that you can afford to do what you want, right?”

Paul nodded. “Sometimes I think that retirement isn't about the money,” he said. “The thing I wish I had is more time. I spend too much time doing things I don't want to do for money. I guess I could have time to do the stuff I want, but to do so would require more sacrifices than I'm willing to make. I'm frugal, but I have limits. If I could make money doing something I enjoy, I wouldn't have to retire. And that's what it seems like you do.”

Ahhh…” I said. Now I could see why Paul had asked the original question, why he wanted to know my definition of retirement and when I planned to retire. To him, I was already living the sort of life that he wants when he retires.

Paul continued: “I've been talking with Tiffany” — his girlfriend, and my wife's sister — “and I've been wondering: What if I got to a point where yes, I had to work, but I could choose any job I wanted, even if it paid minimum wage? Maybe I could work in a music store.”

“Right,” I said. “I know what you mean. And actually, you've sort of hit on something that's in one of my favorite books. It's called Work Less, Live More by Bob Clyatt. It's all about what he calls ‘semi-retirement'. Semi-retirement is like early retirement except that you'd continue to earn money from sort of work. I think it's much more realistic for most people than a traditional retirement.”

“I'll have to check it out,” Paul said.

“You know, I'm going to have to write about this conversation,” I said. “And when I do, I'll add a bit of detail about semi-retirement from the book.”

A bit of detailIn Work Less, Live More, Bob Clyatt explains the advantages of semi-retirement:

 

“With a modest income from part-time work, early semi-retirees may not have to face the dramatic downshifting in spending and lifestyle that so often confronts those who live only on savings or pensions. And semi-retirees learn that a reasonable amount of work, even unpaid work, keeps them energized, contributing, and sharp.”

 

Though semi-retirement is more realistic than early retirement for most people, it's still not for the faint of heart. You have to be dedicated and work hard to make it happen. Semi-retirement usually requires ample savings, frugal living, ongoing work, exploration, and a sense of purpose.

 

“I don't know when I want to retire,” I said. “But I don't think of myself as retired now, though I can see why it might look that way. To be honest, I don't want to retire. I have purpose now, and I like it. For so long, my life had no purpose, and I think that's why I struggled with depression. Having purpose has changed my life, has giving me a sense of meaning.”

Paul quickly noted my flawed logic. “Wait a minute,” he said. “That pre-supposes that retirement has no purpose.”

“Good point,” I said. “You're right. And actually, I think it's very important for everyone to find some sort of purpose, whether they're retired or not.”

Just then, we reached the Gingerbread House, our pit stop for lunch. We went inside and ordered our burgers and malted milkshakes (Paul ordered double malt), and as the rest of the group arrived our conversation turned from retirement to more mundane things. Plus, we all hunched over our iPhones, catching up on 48 hours of e-mail and text messages.

Later in the day, I thought more about our conversation. The more I think about it, the more it seems that the traditional notion of retirement is something like a mirage. It's not real. When I think about the people I know who have “retired”, I see that they've really just gently transitioned into some other phase of life, usually pursuing something they're passionate about.

Ultimately, deciding when and how to leave the workforce isn't about some number in a retirement account. It's important for each of us to think about our goals and what makes us happy. So, when will I retire? Maybe if I'm lucky, I never will. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing because it makes me happy and gives me a sense of purpose.

More about...Planning, Retirement

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Mike Piper
Mike Piper
9 years ago

I’m in a similar place. According to some people’s definition of retirement, I’m retired right now. According to other people’s definition, I have absolutely no plan to retire at any point. I’ve started to wonder whether retirement (at least, the traditional stop-working-completely version of it) is becoming obsolete. It’s only existed for a very short portion of human history. It’s becoming less and less necessary as fewer people do physical work that would require quitting in their 60s. At the same time, it’s becoming less and less possible as we live longer and longer and require larger nest eggs in… Read more »

JonasAberg
JonasAberg
9 years ago

“…I see that they’ve really just gently transitioned into some other phase of life…” As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that much in life isn’t about clear breaks, stops and then go’s like it used to be when you’re young. Back then you had school then a celebration and a summer break. Then another school year and eventually you celebrate because you graduate. Then you start working and “life” begins and there is no party, no celebration, just…life. When I was young I waited for life to begin, like it was supposed to be this awesome, long party. Life isn’t… Read more »

Dylan
Dylan
9 years ago

If you think about it, we don’t necessarily retire from working or earning. We actually retire from saving, whether or not we continue working in one form or another.

The point we transition from being from net savers to net spenders for the remainder of our lives, supplementing our living expenses from the nest eggs we’ve created, that’s when we are actually (technically) retired. It doesn’t really matter what we do or how active we are. We’re just not usually adding regularly to our nest egg any more in retirement.

D.J.
D.J.
9 years ago

To me, retirement is all about having the luxury of choice in how one spends the day. Doesn’t matter if it’s working for a paycheck, loafing, pursuing hobbies, etc. I want to do art. That takes long periods of sustained concentration, but by the time I get an idea going, it’s time to go back to work on Monday. The result is I never seem to reach the level of work I feel I could do, simply because of time constraints.

GE Miller
GE Miller
9 years ago

Whether you like it or not, J.D., you might just be ‘retired’ as most people see it. You gave up the job at the factory to pursue blogging full-time. And now that you have, you have a passion about it. You’re doing what you want to do. Question is: If the money stopped coming in tomorrow, would you still run this blog?

Everyday Tips
Everyday Tips
9 years ago

I have known people save and save for retirement, only to find themselves bored out of their minds when they didn’t have their day-to-day jobs. I think the definition of retirement may have evolved somewhat. Where I grew up, people put in their time at the automotive plant or wherever, and then retired. It was very clearly defined. Now, with the internet and such, people have more options. There aren’t as many ’30 and out’ jobs, where people clearly retire. Now, people might consult part time to keep their minds busy or whatever. To me, retirement is when you can… Read more »

Nicole
Nicole
9 years ago

What beautiful pictures. As to the question of what is retirement, you’d think economists would have this one down, eh? Actually, every single talk I go to about retirement starts with a question from the audience, “How are you defining retirement?” It’s an important question because there are a million different definitions. The line between retirement and unemployment blurs a lot after you reach age 50. The two most common definitions are: 1. Had been working, but now not working. 2. Self-defined retirement. #1 is no good because a lot of people aren’t actually retired, but involuntarily unemployed. #2 is… Read more »

Kristi
Kristi
9 years ago

My husband rented this book from the library after reading a recent article of yours. We read it together as we camped and had a whole weekend of discussing our dreams about this around camp. Thanks for the wonderful recommendation!

Money Smarts Blog
Money Smarts Blog
9 years ago

I’ll accept that there are different definitions and stages of retirement, but I don’t see how changing careers qualifies.

Chad
Chad
9 years ago

To me, retirement would mean having the time and financial situation to wake up every morning and do what I wanted to do, and not be a slave to the routine of a job or even family obligations. I wouldn’t consider myself retired until after my kids have moved away and started their own lives, and I am not required to work to keep the financials in order. My wife and I both love to travel and take pictures, and once we have our accounts in order where we don’t have to work, we want to buy a house near… Read more »

Canadian Dream
Canadian Dream
9 years ago

I know the trouble of semi-retirement since I could be there now. I am doing less of my day job and more ‘fun’ work like freelance writing.. The result is I am not sure when I will retire as I try to do less day job and more other work.

Meg
Meg
9 years ago

Money Smarts (#9) – I think changing a career is an important aspect of retirement. Maybe someone has the means to make volunteer work a career, or they can afford to take a low-paying job that interests them.

And I think Mike (#1) hit the nail on the head. There are a lot of people who thought they could retire at the age of 65, but now with the recession eating away at their savings, it’s becoming less and less likely they can do that.

Elaine Huckabay
Elaine Huckabay
9 years ago

JD (and other readers/commenters), I have a question for you about this post and I hope you will be able to personally answer. I also hope I’m able to make myself clear, but I’m a little confused about this topic myself. Let’s start with the assumption that I believe retirement=financial independence. Like Kris, I want to retire in mid-50’s. I am 24. It seems like money = freedom and liquid money is far better than locked-up assets (during “retirement). So, because of the penalties and requirements of having to be a certain age to withdrawal money from a 401(k) and/or… Read more »

Trina
Trina
9 years ago

If you plan to live a long, healthy, active life, then it’s important to enjoy each phase of work/retirement. My husband and I have chosen to work fewer hours (I stay home and he works 30 hrs/week) while our kids are young, so we can enjoy these years fully. Because he’s self-employed at home and takes all Fridays off, plus any vacation time he chooses, it looks to the world like he’s already semi-retired. However, he still is somewhat controlled by meetings and client needs. For us to be truly retired, my husband would have to stop working as an… Read more »

Edward - Entry Level Dilemma
Edward - Entry Level Dilemma
9 years ago

My grandfather has “retired” 5 times, although, if his doctor has his say, this last one will be the last. He started out in the NJ National Guard and working for the Guard – there is a difference. After he retired from the military in his early 50’s, he continued to work for the Guard as a civilian for another 10 years. After he retired, he promptly started working for the Guard again in another capacity until the project was completed. He then ran a gas station for a number of years and recently left the garage he worked for… Read more »

Janette
Janette
9 years ago

I am the “homemaker” as my mother and grandmother were before me – the difference is that I took 25 years out of that to go into the work force. Loving being home- reading, vacuuming and making great meals- while my husband does his wood working. It is definitely comfortable and renewing. I will be substitute teaching- my husband pulls a pension. To us retirement means that we can take off and do something at a moment’s notice. Otherwise we are caring for family or our small farm. To us there is a small window between 60 and 70 that… Read more »

Joel | Blog Of Impossible Things
Joel | Blog Of Impossible Things
9 years ago

I like the idea of a semi-retirement. I think I would drive myself crazy just sitting around all day. Work isn’t *that* bad when you’re doing work that’s meaningful and that you enjoy =)

Coley
Coley
9 years ago

Elaine, I believe you can take penalty-free withdrawals from your retirement accounts beginning at age 59.5. You wouldn’t have to wait until 65. And you’re right that you absolutely can’t neglect the tax benefits of those accounts. My amateur advice for now would be to first maximize your savings in those accounts. If all goes as planned, then when you’re in your early or mid-40’s you can start to re-evaluate your position and goals and still have plenty of time to fund your non-qualified accounts to get you through the early retirement years (52-59.5). But so much can change between… Read more »

Trina
Trina
9 years ago

To Elaine (#12) – That is such a good question! Do you put tons of money into retirement vehicles at a young age, knowing you can’t have access to it for such a long time? We struggled with this question for many years, and have come to some conclusions. First, if you get a 401k match at work, absolutely max it out. No stock market gains will out perform a guaranteed match. Second, the Roth version of retirement savings does allow you to take out any contributions you’ve made without penalty. You just can’t take out the earnings. So contribute… Read more »

Mike Piper
Mike Piper
9 years ago

Elaine, you’ve asked a rather complicated question. 🙂

As Trina says above, money that you contribute to a Roth can come out free of tax and penalty at any time. It’s only earnings that require you to wait.

Also, you may want to look into what’s known as 72(t) distributions. (The name comes from the section of the Internal Revenue Code that allows for them.) They’re a way to start pulling money out of an IRA prior to age 59.5 without penalties.

Kevin M
Kevin M
9 years ago

I love to be productive, so I can’t see myself ever being retired the way most people view it – golfing or fishing, traveling, sitting around, etc. I can’t imagine working one day, then dropping off the map the next day – the way traditional retirement. I prefer a more gradual phasing down, similar to what my grandfather did. He owned a barber shop for his entire career. When he neared retirement age, he sold it but continued working there. I know they probably didn’t need the money, but he enjoyed it. He slowly transitioned to working less and less… Read more »

Sandy L
Sandy L
9 years ago

How about when you start collecting pensions?

There’s a guy at work who has 62 years of service. I think he’s collecting his work pension, social security and his regular paycheck.

At this point, could working be considered a hobby? He works his butt off even though he’s like 80 something. He gives away a lot of his money to family and buys lots of toys with it. I think he just likes not thinking about how much money he’s spending.

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
9 years ago

I think “retirement” for me will just be moving out of my current field, sort of how a professional athlete “retires” — they stop playing their sport, but that doesn’t imply they give up doing all productive or paid work. They may become a coach or otherwise involved in some other aspect surrounding their sport, or they may start a completely unrelated business. I’ll probably “retire” from software someday, but that doesn’t mean I wont be earning any money. For now, software is lucrative and challenging in a way I enjoy, so I see no reason to move out of… Read more »

Kevin
Kevin
9 years ago

My retirement philosophy has changed from save, save, save and take early retirement, to save responsibly and plan on working in some capacity beyond normal retirement (67 y.o.). I liked Dylan’s one liner about retirement being “the point we transition from being from net savers to net spenders for the remainder of our lives”.

I would rather enjoy life now while my wife and children are young, than to wait until I was 62 to start having fun. I also realize that my health might not allow me to work until/beyond 67, so I’d better plan accordingly.

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher
Kent @ The Financial Philosopher
9 years ago

I’ve been “retired” since the age of 37 but it had nothing to do with “financial independence.” My definition of retirement is “to do what I want, when I want, within reason.” When I started my own business, I considered myself retired because I started doing what I wanted. I work more than 50 hours per week but I don’t consider it “work” because I enjoy what I do and I choose my own hours (within reason). I also get to see my two young boys more than ever before. Retirement and work can share the same meaning, as long… Read more »

Rob
Rob
9 years ago

Wow J.D. this is some good stuff. I’ve read Work Less, Live More in the past but I think I need to revisit it. For me, retirement is not being forced to work for money, as some of the other commenters have said. I honestly cannot see myself never doing some type of work until I’m not physically able to (hopefully never). That is also a good point that some people see you as retired now since you have the freedom to do what you want when you want. I think that is one of the biggest arguments for owning… Read more »

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff
Budgeting in the Fun Stuff
9 years ago

Seems like a matter of semantics. Mr. BFS and I plan to “retire” at age 52. To us, that simply means having enough money saved and from his full pension to do whatever we want from age 52 on…so what you called financial independence is also my idea of retirement.

If I am doing something I love (like blogging), I won’t quit. But, I will leave the jobs I don’t enjoy in order to volunteer more (my dream job is volunteering full time…a great feeling of accomplishment and most people LOVE you, lol…). 🙂

Sam
Sam
9 years ago

My grandfather retired from his career job at 60 and they moved to their dream home in a resort area. They continued to work pretty darn hard at managing their real estate portfolio. They worked hard during the summer (real estate was located in the same summer resort area) and they traveled and relaxed during the other 9 mos. 10 years later, at about 70, they started downsizing their portfolio over the course of 5-10 years. By the time they were 80 they were fully retired. During this same time period, from 60-80, they both were involved in volunteer work… Read more »

Patrick J.
Patrick J.
9 years ago

And this is why I keep coming back to read your blog. Excellent post, thought provoking, and a great story all in one.
Thanks – this was a great way to start a Monday!

Deb
Deb
9 years ago

I like the fact that retirement is so hard to define, it’s different strokes for different folks. My mother retired from the corporate world and now pet sits small dogs in her home. She’s always been an animal lover and loves her new business. My husband’s father retired from the corporate world, and now at age 74 likes to work occasionally on ranches and farms doing fence mending and other odd jobs. He’s fit and active and very happy. As for myself – I’ve been working full time since I was 17 (I joined the military for educational $$). I… Read more »

momcents
momcents
9 years ago

My grandmother and father-in-law are both retired and it definitely seems more like a “next phase” than just sitting back doing nothing. My grandmother does quite a bit of volunteer work for soup kitchens and a local orphanage. And my father-in-law is helping his son get a house painting business off the ground. I think the best part of retirement for each of them is that they get to choose just how much they want to do. If they start burning out or find something else to do, they have the luxury of just walking away. I think it’s this… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 years ago

If you look into the history, retirement is actually a relatively new concept. Unless a person was rich, retirement was not an option because wages were never high enough to allow the average person to save enough to stop working. The Social Security program changes that but that, again, is a relatively new concept. For the average working Joe or Jane, life was divided into three rather straight forward phases – childhood (birth until one was able to work – typically about 6 yrs old), work (something that continued until one was no longer able because of either sickness or… Read more »

Jack Nimble
Jack Nimble
9 years ago

We are 2 months into what I call semi-retirement. I think if you asked this question 30 years ago, it would have been an easy answer. Save, then spend it. Now, after watching patients life savings reduced 60% that’s not possible for many now. Plus, the advent of the internet has changed the game. The question we wrestle with for the first time is how does a society leave industrial revolution thinking. This is the first generation to challenge the norm we grew up with. I’m your age and are at the fringe of old and new thinking. Normally I… Read more »

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
9 years ago

One more comment I think is worth making: So many are talking about doing “what they want, when they want” as if this is some sort of attainable goal. We all have things we don’t really want to do, but we have to do: We wash dishes. We stand in line at the DMV to renew our car registrations. We attend boring family functions for the benefit of distant relatives. We mail checks to electric companies. We call our ISPs tech support line and get routed through India to someone who can’t fix our problem. We take off our shoes… Read more »

Barb
Barb
9 years ago

One thing I’m not seeing in this nor the comments is the incredible impact of health care costs. I’m 45 and very close to being able to live off of my savings and investments. Truly one the main reasons I’ll keep working is for the health care coverage. The cost of health care/major illness can wipe out retirement savings quickly. Given my family history and my current health, I’ll probably live till my 90s. Without an illness I’ll do fine with my current savings; but with an illness that (could) wipe out too much of the savings and leave me… Read more »

Project Management Tools That Work (Bruce)
Project Management Tools That Work (Bruce)
9 years ago

I used the word “retirement” for years before I realized it confused a lot of people (“you are too young to retire!”). I now tell people my goal is financial independence with the additional goal of living to be 100 (a whole different subject – but it is about making good choices now so I can actively live that long – similar to saving now so one can “retire” later …). I’m trying to imbue my kids with the notion that a good goal is to start working early on financial independence so they have the freedom to pursue what… Read more »

Erin
Erin
9 years ago

Interesting topic! I think the meaning it used to have is different today, that’s for sure. I want to semi-retire by 55. For me that means I’m in a position to live off whatever money I’m bringing in, doing something I completely enjoy. My house will be paid off, no bills, so essentially I need enough coming in to cover my basics, like food and utilties. So, if I want to work 3 days a week at a little shop I enjoy, making minimum wage, as long it covers those expenses, and I don’t have to dip into any savings… Read more »

Jim
Jim
9 years ago

you should find some sort of happiness when you retire. whether you are looking to wind down, travel, or work part-time. either way the way i look at it whatever you want to do is up to you but one way to ensure some sort of happiness is having enough money saved up so you can do what you want and live stress free in doing so.

Daiku
Daiku
9 years ago

Don’t count on your health being there when you “retire”. I worked 60+ hours a week for 20 years, had to have spinal surgery, thought I would be back in 4 weeks and never went back. I take care of my 5 yr old and my wife works. Make time to enjoy your favorite activities,k particularly those requiring physical exertion. You never know what capacities you will still have at 65 that you take for granted at 30 or 40. Aging is life’s difficult secret we don’t think about till it happens to us

leslie
leslie
9 years ago

Why do so many people seem to assume that retirement is sitting around your house doing nothing?

schmei
schmei
9 years ago

The blanket assumption about retirement does seem to be, like leslie (39) mentioned, sitting around the house, doing nothing. My husband’s grandfather has been retired from his corporate job for over 20 years and is in his mid-80s. He volunteers 20-30 hours a week at a thrift store, does all the grocery shopping, volunteers for church events, works out 4-5 days a week at the gym, takes his wife to all her doctor’s appointments, helps care for his great-grandchildren… the list continues. He’s up at 7am or earlier most days and is active all day long. He and his wife… Read more »

chacha1
chacha1
9 years ago

@ Leslie #40, I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ve got a few object lessons on “doing nothing” staring me in the face. My parents-in-law. My paternal grandfather. My maternal grandmother. My paternal uncle and aunts. A whole lot of old people whose lives revolve/d around TV, bridge, eating out, and the occasional game of golf. (Which to me is, at anything but the professional level, the sports equivalent of doing nothing.) I imagine most of us have one set of family & friends who leave the working life for a life of active travel, volunteering, sports, whatever –… Read more »

ami | 40daystochange
ami | 40daystochange
9 years ago

I oppose retirement. The very word suggests the end of productivity, the end of usefulness and value. Who wants that? I derive joy from being useful to others (whether I get paid or not – tho’ I suppose paid is better). Financial independence is one good alternative. But I think I particularly like the idea of freedom. Freedom to work (which may require cultural shifts in a country where older folks are supposed to be ‘retired’), freedom to play (which may require confidence in readily available healthcare), freedom to travel, to speak, to take risks – or to simply relax… Read more »

Chris at yardsalequeen.com
Chris at yardsalequeen.com
9 years ago

#17 – that reminds me of the saying: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life – Confucius

Janette
Janette
9 years ago

Tyler,
I see the things you listed as choices as well:>) I choose to spend time with my husband in the hospital. I choose to spend time with my mother. I choose to pay the electric bill (rather than putting up solar panels). You may see them as responsibilities- but I see it all as a choice. I choose to retire and make my own choices on both time and money:>)

TosaJen
TosaJen
9 years ago

Retirement = working according to interest, values, and goals, not just for money

By that measurement, DH and I are semi-retired now — DH and I can afford to be choosy about our current work situations.

I agree with Barb about health insurance being an issue. I’m not sure I’d be looking at taking a full-time careerish job right now if we didn’t need the affordable medical coverage.

AC
AC
9 years ago

to retire and retirement are two completely different concepts and that is where the confusion/controversy lies.

To retire from someplace is to simply withdraw from a group and do something else or start drawing a pension. Either way, it’s an event.

Retirement is a state of being. I know plenty of folks who only spend a few months in this before they find more work to retire from.

Diane
Diane
9 years ago

Wow, I can’t wait to just be at home reading a book, watching TV, chatting with friends, out back gardening with absolutely no concern of when I have to get up and go in to the office.

I love my work, but I do it so I can get to that point where I don’t have to. I support myself, so it is up to me, I save and save so I can retire and stay at home.

Brenton
Brenton
9 years ago

Id issue a word of caution for the semi-retired. My father was semi-retired, having owned his own business that basically ran itself while he managed it part-time. When the economy crashed, his business crashed as well and suddenly he went from comfortably “semi-retired” to realizing he would have to go back to working full time for another ~15 years. So remember JD, your writing days could conceivably dissapear just as fast should something happen, and you could be staring at extreme early retirement or 15 years of full time box salesman again.

Money Reasons
Money Reasons
9 years ago

At work we sometimes talk about what we would do if we were financially independent.

I would like to pursue a path that you or Paul would follow. I don’t think being retired sitting on a porch swinging is for me!

It would be much better to be as mentally as sharp as you can, for as long as you can. And add value to society in the process!

Thanks for a great story, someday soon, I too would like to go on such a hiking trip! Sounds incredible!

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