Retirement is the time to enjoy yourself and live your dream. You worked hard for many years and you earned it. For me, it was better to retire early than keep working in a career that wasn’t the right fit anymore. I retired from my engineering career 8 years ago to become a stay at home dad/blogger when I was 38. That’s a lot younger than usual. My main goal at the time was to reduce stress and spend more time with our son.
Fortunately, it worked out really well. I don’t miss work at all and being a stay-at-home dad kept me busy and fulfilled. The SAHD part has gotten easier over the years as our son grew. RB40Jr took 90% of my time at first, but now he takes just about 20% of my time. That was before COVID-19 hit, though. Now, being a SAHD is at the forefront again. This situation is only temporary, so it’s not so bad. I’m sure things will go back to normal at some point.
Life was great over the last 8 years. However, this isn’t my dream retirement either. We’re only 50% done with raising our son. Also, Mrs. RB40 is still working full-time. At this point, we’re still tied down to Portland. I’d give it 8 out 10 on the retirement happiness scale. Once my wife retires and our son moves out, then I’ll be able to do more of what I want. Today, I’ll share what my dream retirement looks like and ask you to do the same in the comment section. Check it out!
*Originally written in 2015 and updated in 2020.
My Dream Retirement
Let’s daydream a little and think about what the perfect retirement would be. I’ll be around 55 years old by the time RB40jr goes to college. That’s still young enough to do many adventurous things. Once we’re 70, I’d probably shoot for a more relaxing retirement.
Here is a list of what I enjoy. I don’t think this list will change much as I get older.
- Socialize with friends and family, occasionally
- Music – both making music and listening to
- Take some fun classes – photography, music, etc…
- Yoga, Tai Chi, and possibly other kind of meditation
- Playing games – board games, video games, etc…
I love international travel and I never get to spend enough time in a location to really experience life there. In 2003, Mrs. RB40 and I went backpacking around Europe for 6 weeks, but we were always on the move. All our other international trips were only 2-3 weeks long. That’s barely enough time to see the sights. I want a more immersive experience so I can get to know the real culture. That’s why I want to live overseas for a while.
To start with, I want to live in Thailand for a few years. We can rent a place near the beach in the south and enjoy a relaxing lifestyle for 6 months. When the monsoon season hits (May to November), we’d move up north to Chiang Mai. My parents live there so I can help out as needed.
Also, we can use Thailand as a jump-off point to explore various Asian locations. We want to spend a lot more time in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, The Philippines, Myanmar, and China. All these locations are within an easy flight from Thailand. Actually, a few years might not be enough to experience all these places. We might need to stretch it out longer than that. The great thing about SE Asia is the cost of living is lower than in the US. We could live more comfortably for less.
Internet access is available almost everywhere in Thailand now. As long as we can get the internet, we can stay in touch and get our entertainment. We took our Kindle Fire tablet on our trip last time and it was great. I was able to borrow ebooks from the library, chat with friends, watch YouTube, read the news, and catch up on various blogs without any problem. (The new Kindle Fire HD 8 just came out. It’s a great deal at $89.99.) There are also many classes and courses you can take online now. Internet access makes international living a lot easier.
The only thing I might cut down is blogging. When I first wrote this post in 2015, I was posting 3 times per week. Now (2020), I’m posting 2 times per week. Blogging is still fun, but I’m pretty sure I’ll blog way less once we go live in Thailand. There will be too many things to experience. How about this? I’ll blog 2x per month when I’m 55. Check back in about 10 years to see if I can do it.
Once we’re tired of Asia, we’ll explore South America for a few years. Actually, that’s a bit too far off so we’ll have to evaluate the situation when the time comes. At some point, we’d be tired of traveling and we’ll be ready to settle down for a relaxed retirement on the Big Island of Hawaii. As long as I’m dreaming, I might as well throw in Hawaii, right? I’ll build the RB40 Villa so it’ll be a gathering point for extended families.
The only problem I see right now is Mrs. RB40 likes having a home base. If it was up to me, I’d sell our home and live a nomadic lifestyle. Mrs. RB40 likes having a home to come back to. I guess we’ll see how it goes. Maybe we’ll be wealthy enough to keep a home here in the US while we’re traveling overseas extensively. Oh yeah, there is a better alternative now. We could rent our home out on Airbnb while we’re gone. That might work.
So that’s my dream retirement. We’ll travel extensively and experience various cultures in a more meaningful way. Internet access will enable us to enjoy other things we like so we don’t have to sacrifice much. Of course, the reality of living overseas might not be as much fun as I imagined. We won’t know until we try, right?
Lastly, it’s good to have a dream, but you need to enjoy the journey too. Who knows what’ll happen next? I might not enjoy retirement as much after my son is out of the house. This Covid-19 crisis will limit travel for the next 1-2 years. We never know what will happen in 10 years. So you need to find a way to enjoy the present too.
What about you? What’s your dream retirement? Will you move or stay where you are?
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Source: Retire By 40
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