For some people, retirement is a slow, depressing slide towards death. That’s certainly one option. But for others, retirement is the second flowering of their life. For those in the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) community who can expect to spend 40-50 years in retirement, they spend it pursuing their own interests and becoming better at things they choose to do, instead of things they’re forced to do by the need for money.
Many people in the FIRE community still work part time—not because they need the money, but because they find passion projects to keep them young and fresh. Or because they find a cause they’re interested in volunteering their time to. Retirement is the best years of their lives, and they live happily pursuing hobbies, interests, exercising, cooking, socialising, travelling, and generally enjoying themselves.
So here’s a list of some of the amazing things you can do when you reach your financial goals and retire (or not) but when money doesn’t count any more.
- Create Art—Yeah! Have you ever wanted to learn to draw? Or paint? Or create sculptures? Why don’t you take a class? Or just grab some materials and practise. Retirement is the perfect time to get lost in creativity.
- Learn a musical instrument—Wouldn’t it be great to be able to play piano like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day? Enjoy your sensitive side, and the subtlety and mystery of good music. Even if it’s all squeeks and squwaks at first, you’ll improve over time, and eventually you’ll sound amazing.
- Learn a language—Want to be able to speak Pu Tong Hua to your Chinese neighbours? Want to go to South America on holidays for 6 months and be able to speak in Spanish or Portuguese to the people there? Want to be able to bargain in Hindi in an Indian market? The world of languages is your oyster. Go for it!
- Exercise—There’s no reason you can’t take up surfing or run a marathon if you want to. Or just go for a long walk every day, and lift a few weights once per week. Developing your fitness and increasing your body’s endurance and flexibility is a great goal for retirement.
- Cook—Good food is good at any stage of life, but when you’ve got time to savour and really take the slow path to food which tastes great and is healthy, life becomes amazing.
- Grow a garden—Have you always wanted to feel the earth in your hands, and cultivate new life in your home? Never had time? Guess what? Now’s your time!
- Travel—Want to live 6 months per year in Thailand? Or split your time between Australia and Europe? When you take the need to earn money off the table, this is entirely possible.
These are just a few ideas of what you can do when you retire. Put your own ideas in the comments below, and start yourself thinking about FIRE.
By reading this blog, you agree that you read it under your own risk, and Gill’s Practical Bookkeeping is in no way responsible for any harm or prejudice to yourself, your business, or any fictional examples above.
I am not a financial advisor. I do not have an AFSL. I am a chick who likes to read, think, write, and has access to google. You should treat this blog with the same seriousness that you would treat anyone whose main qualification is access to google. This blog is for entertainment purposes only. It’s a little like watching The Good Place for finance nerds.
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3 thoughts on “What am I going to do with myself when I retire?”
Your post is a dream me and co-workers often find ourselves wishing. I agree, retirement is FIRE, it is a second chance to do what we love at our own time, for as long as we want. It’s opportunity to travel and discover things we only read or see from other people’s experience. It’s also a chance to do more good in our community and the world. Thank you.
Thank you! I’m putting 25% of my monthly income into savings this month, so that I can FIRE. Are you doing anything to reach your goal?
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