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Retirement? What's that?

Yeah, I "retired", meaning, I quit my last job at age 62 and took my pension. But I'm working as much as ever, trading for my own account. The boss is nicer, and the hours are more flexible. But if I don't put in my 20 a week, I won't get paid.

I could live comfortably on my pension alone if I chose to. But my investing efforts offer twice that, creating surplus capital that has to be put back to work. I could hire someone to do it. But why not do it myself? So, conventionally, it could be said that I've "retired". But a more accurate description would be that I've merely changed jobs.

This means I have no more, but no less, free-time than before, because I never averaged more than 25 hours/week over my 30-year industrial career of doing project work in which we were sometimes working 12's, seven days a week, and sometimes, between projects, we were off for months at a time. That meant, for example, that I had time to take my kids camping and be a part of their lives in ways that a regular 40-50 hour workweek and its brief weekends wouldn't have allowed.

One time-luxury I do allow myself in "retirement" is a daily afternoon walk or bike ride. But, in fact, it isn't a luxury or all. No matter how fun or satisfying they might be, those hours doing my daily miles are a necessity. As my doctor nagged me year after year at my annual physical, "If you don't want to walk like an old man when you get to be an old man, you'd better start walking now." Supposedly, even 30 minutes of exercise, 3 times a week, will make a significant difference. But I'm logging closer to 90 minutes of exercise every day, and it's time I'd be reluctant to forgo just for the chance to make more money.

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