What’s life really like after 3 years of early retirement: A journey of FIRE (financial independence retire early), our observations, and our thoughts…
|Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
George Bernard Shaw: “You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.”
One of the most frequently asked questions my wife and I get from our friends and family these days is what’s life like after 3 years of early retirement. Each time we think about the question these days, we have a hard time believing we’ve already lived through 3+ years of retirement!
We still remember the days just before we jumped off the rat race, selling our home, selling most of our stuff, quitting our jobs, then heading out into the sunset in August 2020, during the peak of Covid-19 pandemic. We remember packing everything left over into our Chevy SUV until 8:45 a.m. the day we were supposed to leave our home of 14 years, getting ready to arrive at our home closing at 9:30 a.m.
We closed on our home that morning right outside (not inside the office as is usually the case) the settlement agency thanks to raging pandemic. We remembered our closing agent’s remark how our SUV was packed to the brim. It took roughly 20 minutes to sign off on the mountain high stack of paperwork before we were done with our past life.
Our 25+ years of working for a living, living with a mortgage, and getting stressed from our work were all a thing of the past starting that day. It was a strange feeling: for the first time in our lives together, my wife and I were homeless, and we were trying to figure out this early retirement thing together.
With mixed emotions (joy, freedom from work, uncertainty) flooding our minds, we headed off to North Carolina to our brother’s place near Raleigh, to start a new chapter in our lives. That day was memorable for so many reasons, kind of like buying your first home, getting married, or for me at least, traveling.
Starting from that jumping off point, we started that new chapter in our lives, getting ready to tackle early retirement journey head on. Since that August, we’ve been doing lots of traveling and spending time with our family. There have been some minor adjustments to how we’re traveling these days since our beloved Pomeranian Toby went to doggie heaven last March, but otherwise, we’ve been living about the same way since that August, meaning living like nomads, using AirBnB for the most part, while adding hotels bit by bit since we lost our dog.
These days, we’re focused on doing travel that is further away than we’re used to do when we had our dog. Last winter, we embarked on an epic cross country trip to Southern California from our home base in North Carolina, and this winter, we’re planning a road trip that covers Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and our home state of North Carolina.
The way we’re traveling may have changed, but the rest of the things we’ve enjoyed from day 1 of our early retirement still remain. Here are some of those things that haven’t changed after 3 years of our early retirement journey!
- Getting up without an alarm
- Not needing to work!!!
- Comfortably growing into our routine of traveling then spending time with family
- Having plenty of time for whatever…
- Finding a creative outlet
- Still traveling but with a twist