Do Financial Independence and Retire Early blogs concentrate too much on the finance side of the equation? My instinct is that they do focus a lot on the finances, probably because that's what gets the most reads - I know that my non-financial posts get less reads than my posts about money. As to whether it's right to focus so much on the finance, I'm not convinced.
I get that the financials are a big deal - I remember spending hours Googling things like "how much do I need to retire?" and "how much does retirement cost?". After all, if we don't get the financial part of FIRE right, then the retiring early part won't happen.
But once early retired, the financials take just a handful of hours each month. My investments are set up and tick along quietly in the background, usually I just check the values at the end of the month. Keeping track of our spending takes a little more time and on a day to day basis is more important in my view.
I remember reading a comment saying most FIRE blogs start off OK but over time they drift into more lifestyle posts, the insinuation being that's a bad thing. I disagree: of my early retirement time I spend less than 5% on the financial part of FIRE, so around 95% of my time must be on the living part of FIRE. Based on this, the lifestyle posts should be the ones that get more attention.
Some of my posts describe aspects of my early retirement lifestyle. In April 2019, What I do and am I bored showed a timesheet of my daily early retired life (I did something similar in October 2017 too). I've also described some bigger events such as our four month travels in Australia and Asia in 2018, three months to Colombia, Costa Rica and California in 2019 as well as our Route des Grandes Alpes cycle ride from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean Sea.
This week there have been no travels, no timesheets and no trans Alpine bike rides, so what has early retirement lifestyle for a week in January looked like?
Remembering that I'm currently living in a ski town, I decided to treat myself to some ski lessons. The slopes are quiet after the Christmas and New Year high season and before the February school holidays, plus the ski school lessons are under-booked. It's a perfect time to get some tuition. Because my calendar is flexible, I was able to find a set of group lessons, Monday to Friday, designed for eight pupils but with just two signed up, akin to private tuition for the group tuition price...it seems that the financials always sneak in an appearance. So that's a big part of what I've done this week, skied on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. What a way to spend a week. What could have made it better?..taking the photos on Monday through Thursday when we had sun and blue sky instead on cloudy and snowy Friday!
And not forgetting my accidental London Marathon entry, I've been doing my training, fast intervals on Sunday, longer intervals on Tuesday and a longer 22km run on Thursday. Next week the long run is longer so I just need to keep at it, I might need you to make sure I do! One small challenge is that I want snow for skiing but no snow for running...Gee, life is complicated🤣
That's it, my little lifestyle post for this week. It's a small insight into what my normal retired life is like, although not every week is like this one. I guess the summary is that early retirement life continues to be good and I won't worry that this lifestyle post will get less reads than a money post.