Part travel story, part advice, about the delightful benefits that come from slowing down and enjoying the present, even if you’re still working and saving for early retirement — maybe especially then! Don’t just stop and smell the roses, stop and spot the space invaders.
Building on the recent post on simple living, we’re working on going to the next level and living more slowly, which is as much a mindset as anything that anyone could see. The only problem? We don’t actually know how to live slowly, because we’ve never done it! But we’re not afraid to put in the effort to learn how. After all, we’ve never been retired before, so it’s bonkers to think we’d be great at every aspect of it right off the bat.
“Simple living” is a term that I resisted for a long time because it felt so prescriptive and unachievable. Maybe it’s all Instagram’s fault, but it felt like there was a way living simply was supposed to look, and that wasn’t for us. But I finally saw that it’s up to each of us to define what simple living feels like, and that there’s tremendous value in doing so. (Plus, enter to win Mrs. Frugalwoods’ new book!)
We’ve talked a lot about health care lately, given the political climate, but not health itself. And health is super important to us. Why bother planning for a long retirement if we aren’t going to stay healthy enough to enjoy it? Here’s everything we’re doing and thinking about to increase our chances of reaching a ripe old age in good health.
This Labor Day, we’re reflecting on the ever-speeding progress of labor and productivity in the developed world, and looking at our own longing to slow things way, way down. Can you relate? We bet you can! (Bonus: lots of geek-worthy charts and graphs!)
Lately I’ve been trying this experiment where I treat weekends like mini early retirements, instead of like days to get a bunch of stuff done. I decided to take this one step farther to test the theory that we crave unstructured time in retirement. Come see what we learned!
It’s easy to think of early retirement as all about the escape. But then what? We don’t want any part of our life to be defined solely by absence, by its lack of something, in our case the lack of work. We want our lives to be defined by presence, to be lived in the affirmative, the ultimate opt-in to what fires us up and makes us launch out of bed in the morning. That’s why we’re busy crafting a life that keeps the stoke high.
We love the small mountain town where we live, but the reality is that we’re not actually here all that much because of work travel. What happens when we stop getting our fill of city time, courtesy of work? Are we cut out for small town living for the long haul?
we’ve had that mythical first year of freedom on our minds in a big way lately. like any aspiring early retirees worth our salt, we spend lots of time thinking about everything we want to do when we have more time on our hands, but we’ve been getting more specific, and thinking about the things we’ll do as we adjust to our post-work era, and some of the big life goals that we want to tackle right away.
we talk a lot here about redefining ourselves in early retirement, especially making sure that we consider before we actually leave our jobs how we’ll obtain self worth and fulfillment post-career. but we recently realized that redefining isn’t really the right word to use at all. in thinking about the life that we truly want to live, and how we will thrive within that, there’s truly no re. the right word is simply “define.”
so many of us have had the experience, before we got smart about our finances, of not knowing where our money went. as i was reading another blogger’s post about that last week, i had the thought: “where did the day go?” where did the money go? where did the time go? these are not such different questions. here’s how we’re changing our mindset around time, to see it as our most precious asset.
we’ve mentioned many times that we live in a small town, and very deliberately moved here as a part of our early retirement plans. while we for sure could have still saved for retirement in the expensive city we came from, it would have taken longer, and we wouldn’t have had the lifestyle we wanted. and we’re happy living in our small mountain town, though it’s not all sunshine and roses. here’s our breakdown of the pros and cons.
we know we’re not the only ones who have thoughts like: after we retire, things will be so much easier. things will be less stressful. things will be simpler. and most likely things will be simpler. but the idea that we aren’t in control of our lives now, […]
we’ll wake up on our own, with no alarm, when we feel rested. we’ll take our time sipping morning coffee, engaging with each other instead of staring at screens. we’ll happily get outside.
sometimes it feels like we are missing out on life in our town and the surrounding outdoors. we daydream about the adventures we imagine for ourselves in just a few years, when we can retire early.
planning for early retirement forces you to do a lot of thinking about what you can and can’t live without. we’re willing to forgo most consumer culture in order to buy our free time.
we are never lacking for things to do, and that’s why we want more time to do things that are priorities to us, and less time (or no time) to do things that are priorities to our employers. here’s our list.
our next life is when we can decide how we want to spend our days, our weeks, our life energy. when we decide where we want to sleep each night. when we decide to get outdoors, away from screen after screen after screen.