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Retirement is good, but is it time to make some changes?



How to improve early retirement life
Can some changes make retirement life even better?

Even when early retirement is great, it still makes sense to pause for a moment and see if some tweaks could be useful.


That's the case for me now. I retired seven years ago, when I was forty-seven, and I love it. None of the concerns I had at the start, such as, would I be bored, would the finances work, would I be lonely, have come to pass. In fact, if the next seven years of my early retirement were to be the same as the first seven, I'd have little to complain about.


But just because something is good, doesn't mean it should always stay the same, and doesn't mean it can't benefit from some new thinking. Maybe good can become even better. When things aren't working, it's obvious to think of making a change, but when things are going well, our instinct isn't usually to consider doing things differently.


My wife, Sally, gets annoyed when I think like this. She prefers, "if it isn't broken, don't fix it". If I run a marathon and get a new personal best time, it frustrates her when I say, "I'm pleased, but maybe if I'd done this or that thing, perhaps I could have been a little faster." She rolls her eyes in exasperation. I, on the other hand, think that trying to make things better is a good attribute.


So, after seven good years of early retirement, are there any changes that might make it even better? Here are some of the areas I'm starting to think about:


Relaxing my fixation on routine and targets

I've often written about my routines and my target/goal setting, and still believe they are key tools that help make my early retirement a success. They give my life good structure and stop me being lazy, so I'm not about to ditch them. However, maybe I can be too fixated on them, doing something simply because it's on my list rather than because it's the best thing to do at that time. Could taking a more relaxed approach be better? This might sound simple, but it's quite a shift - routines and targets have been a cornerstone of the first seven years of my retirement, as well as the almost thirty years of my working life before that.


Should I continue with my blog?

I've loved doing my blog. It's something I've enjoyed, and an activity which takes more time than you might imagine. Through it, I've physically met up with people in the USA, Australia, Thailand, the UAE, and France, and corresponded with many more through the comments or by email. I never imagined the sense of community I'd find in it. Having a blog has encouraged me to think of new subjects, to think about things differently, and to delve more deeply into some topics. However, after seven years (this is post number 320), I'm not sure how much more I have to say about financial independence and retiring early. I want to continue to "think in ink", something I've found to be fun and rewarding, but I'm questioning whether I should continue this via my blog or through some other method.


Growing my community

My previous post was about how I could use the Blue Zones Power 9: Lifestyle Habits of the World's Healthiest, Longest-Lived People as a retirement model. One of the Blue Zones lifestyle habits that I want to think more about is community. I consider myself an introvert who puts a good amount of effort into trying to push through/disguise this. I'm not a loner, but I am comfortable in my own company, and I don't need a lot of friends. I could stick with the "if it's not broken, don't fix it" ethos, but the more I think about it, the more I believe that life could be even better if I can grow my community. This is an easy thing to say, but probably harder to do.


This is a work in progress for me, and I'm thinking of evolution rather than revolution. As I said, my retirement life is pretty great, and the easiest thing would be to keep things the same. However, that might mean missing out on something even better. I haven't yet figured out the answers, but I do believe that taking a pause to think about them is a good way to ensure I get the most out of my early retired life.

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Hi David. I've just stumbled upon this blog and it's just what I need! I retired in Oct 23 aged 53 and so far so good, but there are some buts! So I'm going to read your blog as I've already seen a few things that can I think guide me in the right direction.


I'd always had a target, perhaps a bit obsessively, that once the numbers worked out I'd quit work, so I did and the massive feeling of relief is wonderful. It was also good timing that the last couple of years was the limit for me and the work was no longer of interest. So there's absolutely no regrets in quitting work and I'm desperate not…


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Hi Tony, thanks for your comment, and your feedback, and also a big congratulations for getting yourself to a point where you have the choice of what you want to do.


Interestingly, when I first retired, I was surprised that there were others around to interact with. Not loads, but enough. I found people who worked shifts, a pro athlete who had different routines, a pilot who was away for perhaps 5 days, then home for the next 5 - I did spend quite some time on my own, but I found this a good start.


The other thing I'd say is that I put a fair amount of thought and effort into making my early retirement a success. My…


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ゲスト
2023年12月06日

Hi David, I'm a long time "quiet" reader of your blog and have enjoyed reading your posts over the years for which I thank you. Yours has been one of the few interesting blogs I found with someone posting about their retirement experience rather than just the journey to get there. I will join the voice of others here and encourage you to keep going with the occasional post if you are able to!


I have been retired nearly 3 years now but rather late at 57. I tried part time for a while but my employer cured my one more year syndrome by making me redundant during the pandemic, a blessing in disguise really! In contrast to yourself I…


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David @iRetiredYoung
David @iRetiredYoung
2023年12月10日
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Hi Bill, apologies for my tardy reply, I only saw your comment today. By the way, I wouldn't class retiring at 57 as rather late, it's a huge chunk of extra time to live the life you want, and particularly accessing it at an age where we are mostly likely more active.


I also like to plan new things and, in fact, it's a feature of my early retired life that I have done more new/different things in the last seven years than in the previous thirty. Some of them have been exciting (at least by my standards) and some have seemingly been more low key but still rewarding and valued. I think in some ways, this planning new things…

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tony.oz
tony.oz
2023年12月03日

Hi David, you've got another person in the "keep going" camp. As with your other readers I have similar feelings. Even though I only retired in the last month we both retired the same age, and seem to have similar interests / thoughts in our post-fi life. There's plenty of pre-fi blogs out there but not that many post-fi ones. Like others, I seek your wisdom and musings to keep me inspired, and thinking constantly, in my post-fi journey. Thanks for the blog thus far and totally understand if you decide to stop.

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David @iRetiredYoung
David @iRetiredYoung
2023年12月04日
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Hi Tony, thanks for the feedback - I chuckled when I read "wisdom and musings", I will accept musings but I'm certain wisdom is a hugely charitable description🤣. However, I think you have hit on a good point on what blogs/posts are out there. When I was trawling the internet for help with my own early retirement decision, I found a good proportion of the articles were by people who weren't actually living the life, whereas I was looking for feedback from normal people actually in early retirement. I guess that's what I set out to do (my original thought was that if I could help one person with their thought process, then that would be a good thing), and…

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ゲスト
2023年12月01日

Hi David. I have enjoyed reading your blog since my early retirement 3 years ago. As a retired accountant I like your thought processes around target setting and measuring your performance as well as your financial monitoring as it is similar to what I do. So please keep the blog up if you feel able to as it is appreciated.

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David @iRetiredYoung
David @iRetiredYoung
2023年12月02日
返信先

Dickie, who commented just before you, is also an accountant - I wonder if there are a disporportionate number of beancounters who have retired early compared to other careers? As to the blog, I haven't made a final call, with my feeling being that I'll leave the blog site live, with an idea of posting once a month, a kind of update/wrap up/general thoughts type of post, and add to that additional posts if a topic particularly appeals. I have got a lot of value and enjoyment from doing my blog, so I don't want to lose that, but it has become more difficult to think of new topics to write about.

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Hi David, another great blog and very thoughtful, I've really enjoyed your musings over the years, to continue to read your thoughts, even if on a less frequent basis, would be great. All the best as you navigate through the next steps of the journey. PS hope the snow is falling and you get some decent touring in this year :-)

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David @iRetiredYoung
David @iRetiredYoung
2023年12月01日
返信先

Good news...it's snowing as I type this, and our sister ski resort, Avoriaz, is opening early for this weekend. As you may have seen from my replies to some of the other comments, my inclination is to keep the blog open, try to commit to a post per month, and then I can add an extra post if a topic pops into my mind. To my mind, the posts started feeling a little forced this year, although maybe that didn't come across (I'm glad if that was the case).

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