We spend an awful lot of time on My Money Design talking about not only how to successfully plan for retirement, but even some strategies for how to get there as early as possible. Why? Because I think that financial freedom and the ability for you to choose what you do with your time are some of the most gratifying things you can accomplish in your lifetime.
The big question then is: What is it that I want to do with all this time once I finally have it? – That’s a very good question, and not one to take lightly. Having some post retirement ideas and goals for what you’ll do with yourself is just as important as the planning it took to get you there.
It would be a tragedy to make it to the top of the mountain only to find out that there is no prize or special meaning once you get there. This is unfortunately a big reality for a lot of new retirees who experience boredom in retirement. They work and work for 30-40 years and uncomfortably shift into this place in life where they feel as though they are no longer needed.
For me, this is particularly dangerous since I plan to achieve an early retirement. That means I better have something good to do with my time for the next +50 years of my possible life.
So rather than being disappointed, don’t let yourself be! Start setting some goals for what you’ll do with yourself and make them a priority to achieve them.
My Post Retirement Ideas:
In no particular idea, here are my post retirement ideas for how I plan to spend my newly minted free-time:
- Spend more time with my family. Time with your family is precious. Depending on when I would actually retire, I’d find myself more available to go to sporting events, visit, help them out, babysit, entertain, etc. I don’t think you need to do anything big or extravagant – just simply be a positive figure in their lives.
- Travel. Get out and see the world! This one would depend largely on what kind of budget you have and how you plan to stretch your dollar. But spending a few extended months on a beach somewhere doesn’t sound too bad!
- Become a financial planner. Isn’t it obvious I like money? Why not work with others on how to get to where I got? And here’s a fun twist: What if I did it for free? Do you see how this whole financially free thing can really give you the ability to call your own shots …
- Keep working. Who says that just because you’ve achieved financial freedom that you can’t continue to do what you’re good at? I love my job and I’d like to think that after 20 years of practice I’d be regarded as somewhat of an expert in the field. Plus if I really am financially free, that means I’d simply be banking all that dough! Plus not really needing the money would give me more leverage to work flexible hours.
- Consulting. Why get paid per hour whatever I make now? If I really do make the most out of my career and can leverage my reputation across my network of contacts, then perhaps I could command a much higher rate of return. Plus it wouldn’t be too bad to only have to work part-time.
- Put more time into my blog. If I were to retire today, I’d probably pour all my extra time into my blog and really ramp it up as a business. That would mean enhancing it with some kind of eProducts like an eBook, classes, video course, etc. There’s a million different directions we could go with this one.
- Record an album. Music has always been a really fun thing for me to do. I learned how to sing and play the guitar as a teenager but I never had the time to really apply myself. If I no longer had to work I could spend all the time in the world perfecting my craft. Plus with technology today its easier than ever to record your music, post it, and make it available for the masses.
- Resume being an artist. At one time I was seriously considering going to art school and pursuing a career as an artist. I always thought to myself that one of my retirement ideas would be to return to my first love of drawing, painting, etc.
- Health. I could work out for hours on end if you let me. Not only could I use my new found time to really ramp up stretching, cardio, and weight training, but I could probably also teach a few classes on the subject.
- Teach. I really get a lot out of mentoring others at work and adding to their success. If I ever really wanted to do any of the above and needed something to make sure I stay committed to it, then teaching would be perfect.
- Volunteer. There are so many things I could do with this one. Sometimes we forget that volunteering doesn’t always have to be helping out at the soup line. I’m sure I could leverage some of career attributes towards this cause. Who wouldn’t want retired MBA to volunteer their time helping and organizing their business into a success?
Readers – What kind of post retirement ideas do you see for yourself?
- When Can I Retire – It All Depends On How Badly You Want To!
- Who is the Best IRA Provider When You Don’t Have Much Money to Open an Account?
- How to Retire on 500K with the Greatest Potential
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
John S @ Frugal Rules says
Great thoughts MMD!I think for us it’ll likely depend largely on where we’re able to take our business. Ideally, I’ll likely be either running that or doing consulting as well as a good bit of volunteering and of course some travel. 🙂
It would be interesting to see if the two of you could grow your business large enough to the point where you have employees doing all your main tasks, and the two of you could just make major decisions. That would give you residual income and plenty of time to do as you please!
Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says
Love your thoughts here! When we are financially free, our list would probably be similar: family at the top, and then doing all of those fun things we were never brave enough to do, b/c we have enough money so that if the world shuns us b/c we released a horrible CD, we wouldn’t care. 🙂
I’d probably drive my wife nuts with all the new “hobbies” I’d take up during retirement. Recording an album would be just the tip of the iceberg; though I hope its not too horrible …
Great list! I will probably spend the first month doing absolutely nothing. But after that I would like to volunteer and spend tons of time with my family.
I think that would be me also for about the first two to four weeks. There would be a lot of riding a raft around a pool and taking naps 🙂
Matt Becker says
Really great stuff here. I love the idea of doing financial planning for free. There are so many people who need it, but it’s hard to find affordable services that don’t involve commissioned salesmen trying to push terrible products. You could do a lot of good out there. For me, the biggest things would definitely be time with family and building something of value. I’m not exactly sure what that second piece is, but I’ve got some ideas that I’m working on.
The free financial planner thing has been something that has been rolling around in my head for quite some time, and I will likely make that my “give back” initiative when I get to that stage in my life. Sometimes I take for granted how much I know about money and making it work for me. I forget that some people struggle with it and could really use a little guidance. It would be really rewarding for me to help them to a better place.
[email protected] says
People seem to enjoy consulting when they don’t depend 100% on it. Great exposure to new situations, I think.
That seems to be my observation too, although I think that applies to a lot of different occupations as well. I would like the diversity in who you work with, environments, situations, etc.
I would spend tons of time with my family. I would do some kind of volunteer or charity works that revolved around kids and need and I would work on blogs and websites because I truly enjoy it
All of those are really good goals. Part of being financially free is to do what you enjoy and love to do.
I like your ideas! I’m very interested in traveling, and I would love to volunteer. I would probably still work part time somewhere I loved. Hoping to find that place someday! Besides that, I would spend more time with family and just doing things that matter the most to me that I never had time for before (like reading).
Thanks and welcome to the site. There’s nothing wrong with working part time still, as long as its for something you can enjoy and not because you necessarily need the money. Reading more (and possibly writing) would be a huge bonus with all my new found extra time!
[email protected] says
Yay! I love dreaming about what I’m going to do when I retire! I’ll have so much more time. What I’ve been trying to do is to do some of those things on a periodic basis right now so that I’m not living for retirement.
What an interesting way to look at it. What kinds of those things have you been doing periodically?
KC @ genxfinance says
family and travel is on my top list too. There are just a lot of things that one can do once he is retired. And It’s going to be better is by the time you are retired, you are financially free. That is real freedom. Nothing that holds you back, especially moeny.
Agreed. It’s our time to do whatever we want!
Budget and the Beach says
Honestly this list just about covers it. I could never not see myself doing something that makes more income…just one that requires little effort or stress. I would also hope I’m married by then for the love of all things holy. lol!
There’s always still time for marriage!
Agreed – Whatever I do then would have to be a lot less stressful than what I do now. That’s one of the privledges of financial freedom. You control what you do, not your job and need for cash (the way it is now).
I like the financial planning and volunteering one. I’ve often thought that it would be good to help others with managing their money in a simple effective way. Ive seen certain people who become financial coaches also. I think if you get to a position where you become financially set, you should do your share of volunteering as well.
I’ve thought about possibly writing a book of sorts detailing my own investment journey. I struggled to find something like that to use as a template when i started investing. I think that could be fairly useful for others.
I really think giving back to others and helping them get their finances in order is something that I would personally enjoy.
If you wrote a book, that would be great! You could start small by publishing a brief eBook. After you build up your blog readership and gain more popularity, you could expand it into something bigger.
Jeremy Norton says
It has been my dream to travel to different places when I retire. I work so hard these days because I want to visit different places and relax with the whole family.
Michael @ The Student Loan Sherpa says
I love these ideas! I think I will use my time to volunteer for causes I care about.
Thanks Michael! I think if you get a lot out of it, then you should do it.
Thanks for a thought-provoking post. Whether pinching pennies or working long hours, it’s always great to keep your reasons for early retirement in the back of your mind. I especially liked your idea of free financial planning advice. I find that I personally draw the greatest motivation when I aspire to help others, and this post was a helpful reminder of that. Thanks!
I’m glad we agree on this philosophy on so many levels; especially the helping others aspect. Without a good reason to do something with it, what’s the point of saving our money?