First few months after reaching early retirement (FIRE-financial independence retire early): My thoughts and observations...

Sunset at the beach, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina 

I have been retired since August of 2020, at age 48.  In this post, I’d like to share with you my personal experiences after my last day at my job.

August 17th would be Day One of my early retirement.  I had dropped off my company equipment and signed my papers, then had come home after saying goodbye to my supervisor / mentor (with a box of Sam Adams in my hand, courtesy of my mentor!)

That day and subsequent few days until closing of our home (August 24) would be spent not on enjoying our early retirement, but rather on preparing for our home sale and on downsizing.  *Click here to read about selling our home during the pandemic here.

Our typical day would include dropping off donations, throwing out/recycling stuff, shredding old documents (why in the world did we have documents from high school!?!), painting, and cleaning each room.  

August 24th came.  We loaded up remainder of our belongings (we were loading our belongings into our SUV until 8:45 am; our closing was at 9:30 am!), then headed to our home closing.  After signing the closing documents, we headed to North Carolina, where our family resides.  Incidentally this is our ‘official’ domicile.  We changed our driver’s license once we got there and established residency for tax purposes.

There were plenty of things to take care of.  Driver’s license was one, vehicle registration was another.  We also had to update the new address everywhere (bank, credit card companies, car lease company, etc.).

The above task took us good few days to take care of as pandemic didn’t help our cause.  We had to figure out how to make an appointment before going to the NC DMV to get our drivers’ license.  Vehicle registration was even worse due to the fact that our car was leased.  For those of you interested in reading about getting an out of state North Carolina driver’s license/registration, please click here.

We finally got to enjoy our early retirement after wrapping up the driver’s license and updating our new address.  We started to explore areas around Wake Forest, by going to Falls Lake Dam recreation area.  We took walks on the Upper Neuse Greenway while we were there.


Falls Lake Dam recreation area

In early September, we headed up north to see our parents in New York City.  ***We got tested for COVID-19 prior to our visit, so we wouldn’t endanger our parents.  Since both our parents live in relatively close proximity (13 miles or so) to each other, we took turns spending time with them.  We would spend 2 weeks with my parents, then we would spend about a week with my wife’s parent.  During this time, we took our parents to casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  We spent some quality time with both parents, eating together, talking, and laughing.

We can tell they were happy to see us and to spend the time together.  

What little trepidation my parents had when we told them of our plan to retire early, seemed to have been gone by the time we were spending time together.  Of course they were worried and skeptical initially!  For my parents’ generation, the thought of retiring early at our age just didn’t make sense.  They were used to working until 62 or so...

We explained how early retirement would work for us by using the FIRE (financial independence retire early) method.  It took some convincing, but they came around...What I found surprising was that my wife’s mom actually understood why we wanted to retire early.  She was the first person in our family who supported our decision.  She wanted us to enjoy life, and not be stressed out, because life is too short...I was grateful for that...

Our time in NYC in September had come to an end.  We made some good memories with our family that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to if we were working...This was one of the main reasons for us retiring early.

On October 1st, we set out to Ocean City, Maryland.  *Click here to read about our travels there.

We went back to NYC on November 1st to see our family again.  Month of November would be spent on more trips to the casino, a trip to Bushkill, Pennsylvania, and to smaller parks near our parents’ home.  Again we made more memories together!

On December 1st, we set out to Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.  *Click here to read about our travels there.

These are some of my observations since our early retirement:

  • I didn’t get to enjoy early retirement the first few weeks, until we got our paperwork all squared away.  It was literally a blur until then.  I was concentrating on tasks ahead of us, rather than enjoying retirement.
  • Retirement got progressively better after that.  After seeing the Falls Lake Dam recreation area and walking the trails there, it started to feel like retirement.  I was no longer rushed to do things.  No more hurrying to get home as we had to go to work the next day!
  • At that time, it started to sink in that I’m actually doing this.  I still kept to my daily routine of waking up around the same time (7 am or so), eating at around the same time, and putting in little bit of exercising.  I also went to bed around 10 pm, which is my normal bed time.  I felt it was very important to not deviate from my usual routine.  Most retirement experts would agree having a routine is important.
  • I got lazy when I stayed with my parents though!  It’s because of my mom!  She would, like most moms, keep feeding me all day.  I couldn’t say no to mom’s food...I think I gained like 5 pounds in September!  Feeling bloated but also feeling good that my mom was happy feeding me.
  • When we started to travel on our own in October and in December, it REALLY felt like early retirement.  We would enjoy walking the beach at various times of the day feeling awesome.  We would say again and again that we were so blessed to be able to do this!  
  • Spending time with our Pomeranian has also been great.  I can tell when he’s happy or sad.  Like me, he’s truly happy when he’s exploring new places with his pack (mom & dad).  When he’s happy, he has a huge smile on his face and he’s prancing!  Be sure to check out our YouTube channel (see bottom of this page) for our Pomeranian videos.
  • After doing this early retirement thing for the past 6 months, I can truly say that I’m blessed to be able to spend quality family time together and to travel to different places.  I’m also grateful that I get to do the things I’ve put off like blogging, YouTubing, reading more books, vegging out, playing with our dog, and cooking! (I still can’t believe I’m cooking.  I was never into it, blaming lack of time/energy/laziness.  With time on my hands, I can proudly say I can at least prepare a pasta!)
  • I’m hoping to keep this going in the foreseeable future.  If it doesn’t work out, I will look to adapt, to try something else that works.  For now though, this feels right and I wouldn’t change anything...
Today I wanted to share my first few months of my early retirement.  I certainly hope someone out there can be inspired to retire early.

Thank you all for reading!

Jake

Wandering Money Pig 


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Please check out our YouTube channel ‘Wandering Money Pig’ showcasing our travels and our Pomeranian dog! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3kl9f4W9sfNG5h1l-x6nHw



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