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What I’ve Learned In Early Retirement

No trades are likely this week.

music selection:  “I Know It’s You” — Crystal Method

weigh-in:  210.6 (1.0) – four consecutive weeks of progress.

Mondays are suddenly great.  It used to be Monday was about the worst thing ever.  Now, I look forward to the trading week starting back and being able to go places without crowds.  Walmart is a joy at 10:00 AM on a weekday.  No one blocking the progress of your cart through the aisle, shelves are not picked over, and checkout lines are speedy.

People still ask when I’m going back to work.  It is so far out of the ordinary that even after almost 5 years of early retirement, people still think its just a temporary phase.  Seriously, I don’t plan to ever go back to the old way of living.  I might take paid work again.  But it would be a low stress, part time, and fun job.  Like for example being an usher at a live music venue.  Minimum wage and free concerts?  Yes, please.

Health improves when you remove a major stressor and time suck from your life.   My weight and blood pressure are both down.  I sleep like the dead.  This is maybe TMI but even my bowel movements have improved.  Smoother and more vigorous.  I honestly think work stress releases hormones that are binding agents.

Casual clothes for the win!  Short pants or blue jeans all the time for me.  And more importantly, comfortable tennis type shoes.  I did an MBA and never once did I attend a lecture where the professor presented empirical evidence that comfortable clothing was a major driver of lost productivity in the office.  Work dress codes are a little absurd in that respect.

Family relationships improve when you have time to put into them.  Dad still drives me crazy.  But I cherish the time we spend together now.  We have lunch three or four times a week now and just chit chat about trivialities.  I help him cope with his smartphone and home PC.  He makes sure I keep two rolls of paper towels in every room.  I don’t understand that obsession but it is harmless, I guess.

I’ve become a morning person.  I used to need an alarm to get up and I resented the klaxon every time it went off.  My greatest joy was in rolling over for five minutes more.  Now I get up naturally with the sun.  I look forward to day (even Mondays!)  Sure, I still sleep in once every couple months or so just because I can.  But usually I spring right out of the bed and get the day started without even needing coffee.

Pandora has a monthly listening limit.  Somewhere upwards of 400 hours in a month and Pandora insists you pay to keep listening.  It is great to be able to consume as much music as my heart desires.  But Pandora should rethink their policy because it is acclimatizing me to Spotify during the last few days of the month.

Boredom is not a problem.  It was at first, but after about six months of breaking in to FIRE; you discover you enjoy having some void time.  It is meditative.  Most early retirees I’ve talked to are more busy than ever.  It never happened to me.  There is maybe a little Peter Gibbons in me.

Devour your prey raptors!

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Amber tree June 26, 2017, 4:20 pm

    Sounds like you have great fun in retirement. I like to read stories from people that live their ideal life, supported by options trading. It makes me dream!

  • Steveark June 26, 2017, 8:17 pm

    TMI, TMI, TMI! Great post though. I retired a couple of years ago and it is the coolest isn’t it? My wife and I love to fish and even though we live in rural flyover sparsely populated area the local lakes just fill up with anglers on the weekends but go fishing on a week day and they are just deserted! On days we don’t get up early to go for a run I never set an alarm, I still wake up fairly early but I never wake up with the thought, oh crap, got to go to work!

  • Dividend Growth Investor June 27, 2017, 3:04 pm

    That’s awesome FV. Maintaining, developing/nurturing relationships with people is important.

    Other than your trading/investing, what do you do in retirement? Travel?

    And how do you explain to your dates what you are doing/trying to accomplish (since you are unconventional)? I was dating 5 – 7 years ago, and any time I talked about investments/early retirement, I could see that I was losing the other person 😉

    • Dividend Growth Investor June 27, 2017, 3:04 pm

      We demand more TMI 😉

    • The Lizard King June 27, 2017, 5:13 pm

      I don’t have the travel bug. I sometimes do short trips to visit out of town friends. I haven’t hit on how to explain my situation to the fairer sex. I look every bit like an unemployed loser except I have money. Women are inscrutable.

  • financialfreedomsloth June 27, 2017, 6:15 pm

    I just got rid of the UVXY puts; 9.6% gain on 4months and 10 days, not bad…

    It looks like you are really enjoying your retirement!

  • Chris B June 27, 2017, 10:51 pm

    The funny thing is I never desired early retirement enough to do something serious about it until I figured out exactly what I wanted to do with my life. Until then, the allure of consumerism and the heed mentality of careerism seemed like it would eventually provide a sufficient level of stimulation.

  • Troy @ Bear Market June 28, 2017, 11:39 am

    I’ve always loved Mondays. The start of a new week in the markets – another opportunity to make some money! Weekends to me are all about preparing for the week ahead

    • The Lizard King June 28, 2017, 3:47 pm


      It is great you love what you do enough to not need retirement!

  • Physician on FIRE July 1, 2017, 11:33 pm

    Pandora’s got a monthly limit? Who knew? I mix in some Amazon Music and IHeartRadio to mix it up.

    I’m happy to hear early retirement continues to treat you well. Three months from today, I will be working part-time and I look forward to the free time.


  • DivHut July 7, 2017, 10:37 pm

    Awesome update. That’s what FI is all about. Having total control of your time to do as you wish. I love this line, “Minimum wage and free concerts? Yes, please.” Sure, why not? It’s not about the money it’s about the time and experience. Thanks for that detailed recap about your day, health and “movements.” Time with Dad, paper towels and all will always be cherished. Keep inspiring.

    • The Lizard King July 7, 2017, 10:42 pm

      I’ve never had so many people express interest in my colocteral health!

  • RocDoc July 9, 2017, 11:07 am

    That’s great that you’re spending so much time with your Dad. Your life sounds awesome and healthy. I think early retirement gives a person more patience to deal with parental units idiosyncrasies and embrace and enjoy them.

  • Dads Dollars Debts July 9, 2017, 1:34 pm

    Time with your dad sounds amazing to me. Mine annoys me too but I see him getting older and wish we had more time together. Part of the issue is distance (we live far apart) but FIRE would help in that I could visit for longer stretches (no more eating away my vacation) and really enjoy that time.

  • aGoodLifeMD July 9, 2017, 9:41 pm

    Sounds like you are truly living the dream. Congrats. It’s always reassuring to know there are many early retirees out there not going insane with boredom or guilt over the early retirement thing.

    Interesting name, financial velociraptor. I’m more of a financial triceratops. Slow and deliberate with plenty of protection who prefers large groups of like-minded dinosaurs.

    Happy hunting!

  • Mr. Tako July 10, 2017, 4:49 pm

    Wow, it’s been 5 years already? I didn’t think I’d been following along on your journey that long!

    I too love the speed with which I can get things done during the day. When I go anywhere on the weekends it just drives me crazy how long everything takes! FIRE ftw!

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