Last month I wrote that we were almost ready to retire. In the next week I plan to formally announce my retirement to my employer. I have started to tell a few close people at work. The reactions are consistent. Let’s just say there won’t be a retirement party.
Yesterday my boss wanted to have a conversation around development and career path. I told her that my next step is part time at the most. I just want something entry level to cover our mortgage. She kept shifting it back to wanting to know what lateral moves or promotions I could work towards. I do not want a lateral move, nor a promotion. All I want is my time. I do not want to be paid more for my time. We only have so much time left. The countdown is continually ticking down. More money doesn’t put more sand in the hourglass.
I led a meeting a month back and asked the group if they could retire early what would they do with their time. We had breakouts even. I work in Financial Services and the people couldn’t process the question. These are Financial Services people. Some gave generic “I would travel” answers and others said they would work. They just didn’t understand the question. I gave my answer. “if I were to retire early, I would smile”. I would spend time with my kids and my wife.
Freedom to own your time
I want to get away from the politics at work. Escape the forced fun and the constant critiques that never matter. Retiring means no longer being told what to do and who to be (by people who need to pay you to even be around them). Retiring means no more meetings all day to talk about things instead of doing things. It means owning your life and your time.
Retiring early is un-relatable
Others can’t relate to the realness of how possible it is to retire early. We are all anchored to working into our 60s. What is especially sad to me is people who work in Financial Services can’t even figure it out.
Don’t expect a party. People either can’t relate, or are jealous.
Parties for retiring are celebrations of endurance. They are for people who hung in there for 40+ years. Do not expect a retirement party for retiring early. There won’t be a celebration. There is just envy or confusion. The pats on the back will be few and far between.
People just aren’t happy for people that retire early. I have a few friends that retired early. Their message is the same. It’s hard. No one can relate to you. Most end up going back to work because they are bored. All of their friends work and their kids are in school or away at college. No one wants to hear their story about what they did all day when they were retiring. They feel like islands. Some drink heavier. It’s hard not to fit in.
That makes sense. We live in a society where if people understood how to retire early, they would more often.
But I’m ready for it. I want my time with my kids and my wife. I do not expect to be bored. I’ll likely find a part time job to cover my mortgage and add some to savings. (Which technically makes this a semi-retirement). I am comfortable without having an early retirement party. In a way it’s much better that other’s don’t know. I am excited!