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Author: arrete Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 740113  
Subject: FIRE: Fulfillment or Sloth? Date: 11/1/2002 1:16 PM
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I thought I'd put my usual $0.02 in on this subject (don't you miss the cent key they had on typewriters?).

I think I can understand how people who are busy, busy, busy at work might wonder how a retired person can fill up their day with meaningful activity. The first (and perhaps most important) thing is that they slow down. This is not laziness. This is stress-reduction. It is rediscovering the natural rhythms of life. It's going with the flow. When you slow down, you don't need as many activities to keep you pleasantly occupied. You have time to smell the roses. In fact, it may be the first chance you've had to see the roses. I can't help but believe that slowing down reduces the possibility of stress-related illnesses such as heart attacks.

A meaningful retirement is a continuously growing phenomenon. I think Golfwaymore is going about it exactly right for an early (as in he retired in the last year or so) retiree. Try a little of this and a little of that. Don't do to many different things at once or you may become overwhelmed. Though if this fishing thing keeps up we'll have to call him Fishwaymore. You don't replace you work life with a suddenly completely different life. If you're smart and think ahead (as most folks on this board do), you've picked up hobbies and interests along the way that are there waiting for expansion during retirement.

You can participate in activities that were impossible when you are working. My plan to care for baby wild birds next spring is an example, because they have to be fed every 2 hours. It took me 4 years to get to this point, though, because I didn't want to do something that would be too much for me or my family. Though it still may be – we'll see <grin>.

I imagine most retirees start off with some travel and increasing time on activities that they have done all along. As time goes by, more interesting activities may come up. It doesn't take long to have most every day to consist of enjoyable activities. Some of those activities may look selfish, such as naps (activity?), lone pursuits (reading), and any other activity that isn't “giving back”. But so what? If someone has saved enough to retire and he/she is happily engaged with life, it seems presumptuous for someone else to declare that life as unrewarding or useless. We all have different tastes. We all took different routes to FIRE. What counts is if we are content with our decision and living satisfying life.

caveat I personally think having a full schedule of “things to do” or complete sloth is fine once you've reached financial independence. If you're happy, that's what really counts.

arrete
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