When we retire at 65, we have, according to statistical averages, about 17 years to spend doing whatever we had planned to do in retirement. 17 years is my son’s age and those 17 years went by in a blur of time. So does it seem a little surprising, that we might work at a job that we potentially dislike for 45 years, to earn only 17 short years of doing what we prefer to do!
Life is short. Go do it. This is my mantra for retirement. I would like to have 27 years of retirement, so I could have a whole other lifetime to fill with all the things I wanted to do but have not done and seen yet. And then if I do not win the genetic lottery for health, I will still have seen and done enough.
So at 55, I take the leap into retirement, slightly underfunded to do all the things I might wish to do and see during my freedom rush. That is where the ‘semi’ part comes in. I will continue to work at a job part-time, that either gives me immense satisfaction, or one that teaches me new and intriguing skills, or one that lets me work on a flexible schedule that would allow me to pursue my own interests.
Five years ago, I began documenting this plan to semi retire by the time I was fifty-five. My previous blog was to be both a record of my progress and a series of reflections on life as I went along. I started posting intermittently and then very seldom and then not at all. For a long time I felt that, although I was dabbling in multiple ideas for incremental income, I really had very little to show for it. I have a pension and some savings but I still needed some income to sustain the lifestyle to which I had become accustomed after a lifetime of high earnings and lifestyle.
“I have created multiple sources of potential income but do any of them actually generate income?” That was a journal entry on one of my many days of doubt! There was nothing else that day, just that thought.
Then I eventually ceased recording my progress or lack thereof on that blog because seriously, I had nothing to say and a lot of explaining to do. But I feel, especially in the last few months, that things might be coming together. Interestingly, I am not sure how that came about.
I had this feeling of trying out so many things as part of my ‘Try New Things’ mantra. This mantra was to encourage me to explore new options and possibilities that could generate income and also feed my exhausted, overworked, overtime soul. I actually felt a little scattered putting my attention in so many directions that nothing seemed to really get the attention it needed to become something. But as part of my blog commitment, I was trying something new every day…some big, some small and some that were quite possibly old things dressed up in a new disguise.
So now I have narrowed this scattered list to three possible things, all of which I could do simultaneously. All three of these things feed my soul and do, or will, generate a level of income that, when summed, create a reasonably fun lifestyle. So I made the big move now towards a permanent state of semi-retirement.
The semi part means that I will continue to work on my own terms, at jobs that stimulate my mind and body and make my heart sing. And I think I might like to do this forever. How’s that for a projected timeline!
The combination of working on my own terms and creating adventures the rest of the time is the perfect exit from the hectic working world. It keeps me stimulated and integrated but does not drag at my soul like a full-time job, which includes doing things that I might prefer not to do.
“As our culture increasingly questions the wisdom of using a career-driven template for adulthood, more people will look for alternatives. Ever greater numbers will realize that by traveling lightly, they can reclaim the option to quit an unpleasant job, or spend less time working for money. These trends will likely open new opportunities for people to enjoy a more healthy balance between making a living and having a life.” (www.whywork.org)
That says it all so succinctly that I dared not even try to express the thought in my own words. It pinpoints exactly where I am. I am so excited to create it now. My semi retirement. I feel like I am in motion and like it is all coming together now. I am not sure what it looks like but it is a nice place to be.
Image: Imelenchon on Morguefile