I’ve now been full time early retired for two years and it could be about to get a whole lot harder.
That sounds odd. You’d think that after two years I ought to have figured out how it works. Surely it should be getting easier, not harder.
Why the concern? It’s because my circumstances have changed, placing me in the middle of the very things that people worry about when considering early retirement.
So what are the change of circumstances, and what are the early retirement things that people worry about that I may be about to encounter?
The change in circumstances
We’ve downsized and moved to Morzine in the French Alps and, just to make things more interesting, Sally has stopped work as well.
Early retirement worries
Will I be bored?
Will I be lonely?
How will Sally and I get on being together 24/7/365?
Added to this, how will our significantly downsized accommodation work out? Our two bedroom apartment is 60 sq m (650 sq ft) - that's 20% of the house size we lived in four years ago, and less than half the size of the apartment we lived in last year.
I’m hoping the other big common concerns, do I have enough money, and will it last, won't be different in this new location. Fingers crossed!
Me, the case study
With all that change. I’m thinking it makes me a good case study. I’m going to experience:
Living in a new country, with some different cultures and where I don’t speak the language.
I don’t know a single person in my new location so:
How will we cope living in a much smaller space?
How will Sally and I survive being together 24/7/365?
Will I be bored and will I be lonely are common early retirement questions/worries. Your friends are mostly still at work, so who will you see? I did OK during my first 2 years of early retirement, but I’m now going to test this to an extreme by starting with no friends whatsoever.
Downsizing accommodation or relocating to a lower cost location can free up capital to aid early retirement. But it may also mean starting out with no social circle in a new location, language and cultural difficulties, or living in a much smaller space than you’ve been used to. I’m going to test all of these things out.
And spending so much more time with your partner, how will that work out? I imagine it's a dream come true for Sally but, the way she rolls her eyes, I can tell she’s somewhat skeptical🤣. We’ll put this to the test, particularly when coupled with our much smaller living accommodation.
So we have some interesting times ahead. I can't tell you the answers yet, because that's not real life, I've got to experience them first. But over the coming months, I’ll write about how I’m getting on, am I bored, am I lonely, are the apartment walls closing in, and have Sally and I driven each other crazy?
I figure this makes my next period of early retirement a good case study for these issues. By sharing my experience, perhaps it will help someone with their own thought processes or concerns.
On the plus side, I'm certain that the fact I’m thinking about these challenges gives a better chance of combatting them. While I don't think it's possible to plan everything, I do believe that having the right attitude coupled with a bit of planning will give us a better chance to make it work. Time will tell though, so we’ll find out over the coming months. Wish me luck!
I'm optimistic. More than a few people told me I'd be bored of early retirement, and back to work before I knew it. Well, the first two years have been quite eventful, and it seems the next period is going to be the same. I don't think it's going to be dull, but the question is whether it will be the type of eventful that I want and enjoy. I hope it will be.