This post is in response to a search term I saw that brought someone to this blog. Specifically, someone searched for “what is it like being retired?” Nice how they used my blog title, heh? Anyway, it got me to thinking. What is it like being retired? Someone out there is obviously wondering. I figured I could kind of run through a typical day, just for fun.
Now, I realize that everyone’s retirement is different but from discussing these things with others, a lot of us share some things in common, if only in general. The beauty of retirement is you get to make it whatever you want. Keep in mind that I have kids at home, so I am not free to do whatever I want, but still my day probably looks a lot like many other retirees.
I start my day at around 7:30 am. I wake up before that many days, but when school is in the boys steal all the hot water and the hot water heater doesn’t catch up until about then. I usually get up, shower, cut my hair (shaved head), and then go workout (that’s the plan anyway). Yeah, I’m weird. I’m useless without a shower, even to work out. Tried it, don’t like it.
Then I usually will turn on my laptop and let it boot up while I go make breakfast and coffee. Once settled, I turn on a favorite radio show that streams on the net and catch up on the news. Most days, I then write for a few hours, either working on a book or blog posts. By then it’s the noon hour, give or take. At some point, we take a 2 mile walk with my wife, Jen. In the winter it might be mid afternoon, in the summer prior to breakfast to beat the heat. During the rest of the year, it’s usually before lunch. I often eat lunch while I watch Fox News or catch up on stuff on the internet.
It’s usually after lunch that my day is no longer typical. It just depends on the season, my mood, etc. In the summer I might swim in the Wal-Mart pool we set up every year. Other days I’m on the porch with Jen, smoking a cigar, talking. When the weather is either too hot or cold, I might watch some TV, read, surf the web or continue writing. My afternoons are of my time.
I have taken on the chore of cooking dinner and in the late afternoon I begin preparing the meal. We eat around 5:00 or 6:00 pm. Then more random stuff. Some evenings I watch TV with the family, especially if we’re into a particular show like Deadliest Catch. Other nights I just surf the web, maybe prepare for a night of stargazing, get ready for a fishing trip, or on weekends we watch movies with the boys. Again, depends on my mood and the season.
I usually hit the sack around 11:00 pm, often earlier, occasionally later. Some of you might think this sounds like heaven, others may think it seems boring. Like I said, it’s a typical day. About once every week or so I go fishing for the day. Jen and I try to get out of the house and do something, see a movie, get lunch, take a hike, etc., once a week. She works from home part-time, but takes weekends and one other day off every week.
Once a month I do the bulk of the food shopping. Sometimes I go into town just for the heck of it. Sometimes I work on my Jeep or another project or hobby. During basketball and baseball season, we are at the boys games a few times a week. Football season, its Friday nights or Saturday afternoons. Some days I just lounge around because I can. It just depends. That’s my retirement, as of now. When the boys are out of the house, it will surely be different, probably a little less mundane.
The best thing is I get to do what I want. Well, I do what I want while raising two teenagers anyway. I like my retirement, though Jen and I both long for the day we can chuck it all and start traveling around. We enjoy raising the boys, but real retirement is calling. Soon enough, I guess. We try to remember that life is short and if we don’t enjoy what we have now we might come to regret it.
Your retirement is wide open, limited only by your willingness to seek adventure and your imagination. Maybe money to an extent, but you’d be surprised what people can accomplish on very little money. I harp on my readers about planning their retirement beyond the financial side. Find a hobby, plan some travel, get involved in activities, whatever.
I do what I thought I would more or less, writing being the biggest new addition. I am planning other things, even now. Some may work out, some may not. Who cares? That’s part of the fun. Trying new things, being adventurous and finding things that interest you. Without these kinds of plans, retirement can get old. I’ve had periods of boredom, so I figure out something new to do and do it. My Jeep is a great example.
So, what would a day in your retirement look like? If you can’t answer that, you’d better start thinking about it. Life happens whether you want it to or not, but it’s much better when you plan it. It doesn’t have to be wildly exciting, exceedingly busy or highly productive. All it needs to be is whatever makes you happy.