I am retired (ish)

freedom-from-chainsToday was my last day at my current former employer. Wow does it feel good to write those words. It feels even better to write the following: if everything goes to plan, I will never have to take another wage-slaved job ever again. I am now retired(ish).

Why the ‘ish’? We’re not FI, not by a long shot. The Alchemist will be working still, probably for about a decade more. But we’ve made so much progress in our budget that the extra money I earn working outside of the home – instead of the negabucks I generate at home – is not worth the cost in time apart as a couple and as a complete family. For nine-and-a-half years we’ve had complete days together only on holidays and vacations. That’s a ridiculously long time, folks. Every couple I’ve talked to that’s had a similar arrangement of weekday SAHP+weekend PT work is amazed we did it for that long. One of my best long-distance friends has been doing it for a couple years and is already tearing his hair out. Selling your life-energy to another creates all kinds of stress, but this particular combination seems to have some of the most unique stress, and my family is so happy it’s over.

May it never return.

What now? I’ll be busier than ever, but our schedule can flex much more now. If a project comes up during the week that cuts into schooling time, I can do a few lessons on the weekend to compensate. More importantly, the Alchemist and I have two whole days together every week for leisure time and project time. There are a lot of projects around the house that are very hard to do without either (a) two adult sets of hands or (b) one adult to run interference on the kids so the other adult can work. Our budget will be tighter than before, but with judicious stewardship I think we will make progress even faster despite the loss in raw dollars earned.

Like many folks doing actual early retirement, I’m less retiring from something, and more retiring to something. Homeschooling has been great for our goblins, and homesteading has been great for the whole family’s mental, spiritual, and physical health. Freeing up time for those pursuits by breaking the chains of employment is a huge win.

My last day of work was mostly enjoyable. I got to say goodbye to co-workers, many of whom I’ve known for almost a decade. At the same time, I can’t deny that it was a bit surreal seeing the various idiosyncrasies of my employer and saying (finally) ‘I can’t be bothered by this, because I’m free!’


12 Comments on “I am retired (ish)”

  1. kellie says:

    Congratulations! I know this has been a long time coming and in the works.

  2. Huge congratulations. What a wonderful new journey for you and your family! I can’t imagine how you did it for 9.5 years–that’s serious dedication. I very much like your characterization of retiring “to” something as opposed to “from.” That’s how Mr. FW and I feel as well. It’s as much about pursuing a dream as it is about escaping our 9-5’s. I’m so happy for you and excited to hear what all this next chapter holds. Hooray!

    • David says:

      Thanks! I will feel a lot more excited once the weather warms up and we can resume gardening, hiking, and biking with ease.

      We’ve also already set up a trip to survey the family farm we’re potentially taking over around Labor Day this year.

  3. livafi says:

    I like the lead image, great visual. Big time congratulations in consistently working toward this dream, and executing it when the time came. I’m absolutely sure that it’s going to result in a satisfaction bump for you — No more retail!! Yes!

    • David says:

      Now we just need to get the Achemist free, but that’s a much longer timescale. I think 5 years would be the absolute earliest, and that’s only if a lot of things shake our way. I’ll know a lot more this time next year.

  4. Lisa says:

    Way to go! My ex and I did the “never a day off together” thing for three years and I think it was a significant contributor to our break up. I remember saying to him when he came up with the plan, “I hope we never look back on this as the beginning of the end.” Good for you for choosing family. 🙂

    Congratulations and when I RE later this year I will remember your words: “I will never have to take another wage-slaved job ever again.”

  5. Mom says:

    Congratulations on “retiring”! I bet you feel great knowing that you’ll be providing for your family in much more than just monetary terms!

  6. Gero1369 says:

    Great job!
    My wife and I have been on the rarely seeing each other treadmill for about ten years (maybe a bit more). I know that the kids aren’t better for it. We have very different parenting styles so the weekends and weekdays are vastly different from a parenting perspective for them. The change can’t come soon enough, but it’s not going to be an easy transition.

    It’s good to see that you are doing it and things are going to be as good and better going forward!

    • David says:

      I gathered from when we met last year that there was a lot of friction. Has that improved for you at all? Any timeline for having a less crazy schedule and less “pass off” parenting, for lack of a better term?

      Good luck! Hope you’re able to make the meetup. Seems like it’s going to be our smallest yet, unless every single maybe actually shows. I guess I’m too scary 😉

  7. […] was the month I retired(ish), which has and will be a great development for our family. That said, my emotions are a mixed […]

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