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Start here for early retirement

Early retirement start line

If you stumbled upon my blog, you might wonder what's behind it - why I do it, what's it about, who I am, what I'm doing?

The big picture is that I retired early in 2016 and figured that sharing my experience might help someone else already retired or thinking about early retirement. I also find the blogging kind of fun.

Another way to find out what I'm about is to read all my blog posts, and of course I'd love it if you did. But given that up to last week, there are 189 posts, I'm guessing that's not likely to happen!

So instead, a "start here" post/page seems the way to go.

There's already some info on the home and the about me pages which you can check out, but I'll try to give a 30 second elevator version here:

I retired early four years ago when I was 47. I'd fallen out of love with my job which turned out to be a blessing. It made me look at the alternatives and I realised there were other options besides working until 67.
But ditching the job was seriously scary. You see, I had these questions: What would I do? Would I be bored? How much would it cost? Would we run out of money? I struggled to find answers, so in the end I took a leap and just went for it. I'm glad I did, early retirement is suiting me just fine.
The idea of the blog came from thinking that someone else facing the same questions may find something in my experience useful...even if it's just one person!

We were living in Dubai when I retired early. My wife, Sally, still working and our son in school kept us there for another year. Once our son headed to university, Sally agreed to take a year away from work which let us pack our bags for a bit of travelling. A few years further down the line, we now plan to split our time between the French Alps, the UK and hopefully some more travelling. And not forgetting our daughter, she'd already left home before my early retirement.

Back to those pesky questions that were causing me angst four years ago. What would I do? Would I be bored? How much would it cost? Would we run out of money? These are the topics I tackle in my weekly blog posts, as well as some other things too.

For what would I do and would I be bored in early retirement?, the short answer is I keep myself plenty busy and no, I'm not bored. I was sad enough to keep a time sheet of what I do (twice!), which you can see in my What I do & am I bored? update post from April 2019 and my normal daily life from November 2017. Another thing that's kept me busy has been travelling, whether it's the dreaming, the planning or the actual travelling for our four months in Asia and Australia or our three months in California, Costa Rica and Colombia.

For how much would early retirement cost?, I track my expenses and publish them each month. We're not at the low cost end of early retirement, but we're not extravagant either. Somewhere in the middle sums it up. The monthly cost posts show how much we spend each month and can be found here, or you might prefer to look at the annual summaries for 2017, 2018 and 2019.

I tend not to write too much about our investments because there's a good chance that what we do probably won't be what you do. However, in broad terms, we have a portfolio of rental properties that provides the income that we live off and we also have low cost ETF's. As I said, I don't write much about the investment/income side of my early retirement, but a couple of examples are our net worth & investing journey and early retirement passive income - property rental

I don't want to make this into a long story, so I'll end now with two sets of top fives. Before I list them, please feel free to contact me via the post comments, it's always great to get feedback and questions and I make sure to respond to all of them. Now to those two sets of five: firstly the five most read posts and then five posts that I enjoyed writing.

Five most read posts:

Five posts that I enjoyed writing (I'll try to swap these for different posts now and again):

This is the last bit, I promise...I love hearing about other people's early retirement and a few have been kind enough to let me share their story (if you'd like to share you're story, please get in touch):

David's (not me, a different David) adventurous early retirement

Vince's view on FIRE


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From memory, I made my early retirement decision in early February 2016, gave my resignation notice at the end of March and had my last day on 30 June. I found it tough during those 4 months - I'd made my decision to retire early and once my mind was made up, I wanted to get on with the next phase of my life and not be at work. That might be an individual thing and you may well find it different. If I had some advice, it would be to use this time to make plans for the first months of your early retirement so that you can hit the ground running as it were and know you won't…


Sep 18, 2020

Hi David. I’m new to your blog but I have found it to be a fantastic resource. I’m really enjoying reading your previous posts. I’m working towards an early retirement date next year so this has been a godsend. My biggest fear isn’t finances but boredom. I just hope Covid is over/vaccine found by then as the uncertainty doesn’t help. Have you any tips for the countdown as I have mentally put 31 March 2021 down as the date to hand in my notice 😬

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