When a person is approaching standard retirement, or is contemplating the possibility of financial independence and early retirement, there are two main questions that come to mind. One: do I really have enough money and will that money last? Two: what in blue blazes am I going to do with my time? This is so common and recognized that it has been written about numerous times. But it somehow seems different and special when it is you who are asking the questions and looking for answers.
I have been going through that uncertainty too. The money question I answered and stopped worrying about some time ago*. But the other question has been nagging me for the year I have been retired. Until now. Here is what I have learned in that year and the answer(s) I have come up with.
It is not enough just to stay busy. And, boy, have I been busy this past year. I sold two pieces of surplus real estate. I went around and around with the State of Virginia to finally get a fair settlement on another piece of property that the state's Department of Transportation partially eminent domained for a highway improvement project. I moved into a new house. I worked -- and am still working -- on getting the previous house ready for the market. And I spend some time every day managing my stock portfolio**. But it all feels like bits and pieces to me. Have-to-do's but not want-to-do's. Busyness that will settle down and not last. Not fun. Not satisfying. And you have to have something that really motivates you to keep wanting to get up in the morning when you no longer have to get up to go to work.
Hobbies and such are fine but they are not enough. I have my hiking***, my computer games****, my history reading***** and my movies. (Oh, and this blog!) But all these activities have been in the nature of pastimes. That word says it all. I am passing the time. Which is another way of saying that time is passing me by. I am having fun, yes, but I need more.
That is the allure of the second career or the startup business. Expert after expert tells us to have something to retire to. Take up that latent interest in painting, or photography, or writing, or whatever and pursue it as an encore career. Take your love for cooking, or baking or quilting or whatever and turn it into a retirement business. Whatever it is, the key is this: you do not need to do it for the money. You do it because you love it and it fills you up. If money comes from it great; but if not it does not matter. It is the doing that matters. Lots of retirees are finding that to be their answer. And -- I think -- that is my answer too.
So I am starting a part-time business based on hiking. Its core will be a monetized blog. Its business model will be membership benefits based. It will give focus and purpose to my hiking, my photography, and my writing. It will bring to bear all the business building skills I developed during my working career. It will overcome my resistance to spend my money****** by making its spending on equipment and on travel investments necessary for the operation of the business. It will push me to do even more hiking and more hiking trips. It will crank me up!
* My Six Lines of Financial Defense:
** How I Stay On Top Of My Stocks:
*** My Love Affair With Hiking:
**** My Strategy Games Rainy Day Passion:
***** Time Traveling With History Books:
****** Making Sure I Spend That Money!:
May 2nd, 2014 at 01:41 pm 1399038083
May 6th, 2014 at 01:13 pm 1399382035
May 7th, 2014 at 06:14 pm 1399486447
Yesterday, I nailed down a business and domain name for my hiking-based business:
Trailwalkers Club (trailwalkersclub.com). I also got the pre-work set up for the trailwalkers blog using WordPress.
May 7th, 2014 at 06:15 pm 1399486536
"I totally agree. I had a brief experience with retirement, and I learned that you have to have a sense of purpose. If you don't, you're just killing time."
Superwell said, CB!
May 7th, 2014 at 06:17 pm 1399486625
"Nice plan for a new business!"
Let's hope I keep it fun, creditcardfree.