I've obviously been spending too much time hanging out at Early Retirement. Either that or the level of satisfaction my wife is getting from becoming a SAHM is rubbing off on me. Or it might be another mid-life crisis. Whatever the cause, I am really looking forward to retiring at the end of 2013 (TBC).
Having had a few days off to actually do some thinking over Chinese New Year, gave me some time to think about the reasons for wanting to retire. I was quite pleased to realise that it is mostly about the things I want to do. Escaping from the things I do not like about working seems much less of a driving factor (in spite of not being particularly happy at being treated as if on call 24x7).
But I still have about two years to go until the numbers work and an additional two years to give myself a safety margin that I am comfortable with. Three years, ten months and thirteen days is a long time to wait. It is a ridiculously long time in which to put my real life on hold while I go about the business of earning a living.
So, I have this list of things I want to do when I retire. I also have a shorter list of things I need to do before I make the transition. I have started on some of the latter items (life insurance, medical insurance) but there is a lot more to get done.
The question I have been asking myself is - why wait? Why can't I start doing the post-retirement things now? Time and energy are the obvious answers. Working hours and the tiredness than goes with working very long hours are limiting factors. But there is still room to start doing things - and the flexibility to drop some of the in-office activities will increase as I get nearer to retirement and have to worry less about preserving my position.
So, I am going to dust off my retirement list and make a start on some of the items, beginning with:
#1 - a holiday in New York. I have to go to New York for business next month. I'm adding a few days so I can spend some time in an unfamiliar city. Since we didn't have a holiday together last year, Mrs traineeinvestor will be coming with me;
#2 - writing the novel. I started writing a novel during the Asian crisis - more than ten years ago. I still have soft versions of what I wrote. Career advancement, marriage and children put that project on hold. While my chances of ever getting published are (like most wannabe authors) remote, writing a novel is something I very much want to do. I'm going to dust it off and have another go. Given the limits on time, it will probably take at least 2-3 years to finish but there is no reason not to get on with it.
What else? Lots. But one or two small action points at a time is better than a huge list.