Don’t blow the early retirement
I always remind myself: don’t blow the early retirement, as it didn’t come easy.
Last month, Tom of Dividends Diversify wrote a great article “The One Early Retirement Book to Read Now!”. Tom talked about the book “Work Less, Live More: The way to semi-retirement” by Bob Clyatt.
I read the book this month, and really like it. One of the chapters is called “Don’t blow it”. Tom and I had some brief discussions about it. My thoughts started from there. Thank you, Tom, for mentioning about the book.
I’m still restless:
I have retired for 3.5 years, and left the engineering career 5.5 years ago. The “Over the Moon” feeling was long gone, and finally I settled down back to earth. Life is still very good for sure.
But, as an early retiree, once a while, I feel restless.
I’m still happily exploring the early retirement life: what do I want to do the rest of my life? Do I want to do more? Or should I do more?
I’m totally happy if my life stays this way for the next 30 years. The question is: do I want to? If the answer is yes, would I miss something big and more exciting things? Is there really a dream job for me? I’m not that sure.
I’m a day dreamer. After retirement, I got more time to dream about my future. Come on, I’m only 52 years young. Life starts at 50. I still have a bright future, and tons of possibilities to adventure, right?
Let me share with you what I have been exploring lately.
An inspiring teacher:
Yeah, I was thinking about becoming a teacher like Mr. Ric Klass, as I talked about in the post “Inner city education in US”.
In the last couple of years, off and on, I have been doing research about the pros and cons of being a teacher. It includes: how to get a teaching license, or even a substitute license in Ohio; how to be a volunteer tutor. The steps are tedious, but are doable.
What subjects would I like to teach? When I was in the middle and high schools in China, my favorite subjects were math and physics.
It would be cool to pull the fun stuff again, and play those numbers, formulas, and Newton’s Laws of motion. Or I can teach Chinese, my native language.
Why teaching? I wanted to make a difference in some young kids’ lives. What a noble cause, just like my teachers in China who changed my life for better forever.
Last month, I even attended one orientation training for substitute teachers. Substitute? It always reminds me of that sarcastic and hilarious Dorothy in The Golden Girls.
The training instructor said: don’t be alone with one student, and don’t ever touch or push a kid. Always protect yourself (from the baseless accusations).
Suddenly I was asking myself: “What am I doing here?” “Why am I even considering this profession, considering the potential risks?”
I also applied for some volunteer position to tutor math in an elementary school (not a great neighborhood).
At the end, I’m still not sure if I want to teach.
I don’t have the patience to lead a group of young kids. If I need the money desperately, probably I could do it, if no other option is available. But at this moment, that’s not the case.
I also talked to a friend. She has been teaching the language Chinese for many years in a good high school in the New England area. She came from China as well. I was asking how she feels about being a teacher.
Her experience is not that rosy: it’s very tough to be a teacher in US. The nonsense paperwork is so overwhelming; the administrators are more obstacles than helpers to teachers; the demanding parents; low pay; long hours; and some of the unruly kids.
The ridiculous thing is that, the people who have no clue about teaching dictate the rules for teachers to follow.
Her advice: just don’t do it, if you don’t have to. Advice well received.
Mr. Ric Klass’ book “Man Overboard” echoed my friend’s view.
PhD on Behavioral Economics:
Would it be cool to get a PhD on Behavioral Economics? I really want to have the title Dr. on my future tombstone (just kidding).
It should be very interesting to do some research regarding why some people are living paycheck by paycheck all their life, no matter of their incomes. I would like to study human behaviors on money, and help people to get better with money.
I even browsed the Ohio State University web site, and found out which professors are in the fields of Behavioral Economics, and the admission requirements for the PhD candidates.
Whoops, I have to take the GRE test. The last time I took it was 24 years ago. GRE is a pain, and I don’t want to do it again. Plus, they require 3 recommendation letters from the academic fields. Wait a moment. I got my 2nd master degree in US 20 years ago. Do my professors still remember me, that slopping student? I doubt about that.
I also read some Behavioral Economics books written by some Nobel Prize winners. You know what? The books are so boring, and hard to follow. I wonder if the subject is really that interesting.
The PhD would take me 5 years in full time to complete. Plus, do I really want to sit down in the classrooms with the kids who are even younger than my kid? I’m not sure. That pretty much killed my PhD fantasy.
Work as a banker/teller or in a library:
Helen, are you crazy? You retired from the banker/teller position 3.5 years ago. Why do you want to go back again? Life is about moving forward, not going in circles, right?
I don’t know what I’m thinking. Last month I applied for some positions of banker/teller, and some in a library. Right after clicking the Send button, I was questioning my job-hunting sincerity, though I signed my name after “Yours Sincerely”.
Do I really want to go back to work? The answer is no. I don’t want to be woken up by the alarm clock, and be bossed around anymore. Luckily, none of the applications worked out so far.
Then, why am I keeping applying for jobs? This is a psychological question. Deep down in my mind, it is probably my financial worries.
A full-time job would eliminate my health insurance concern. And a little bit money flowing in is still enticing. Oh, how much money is really enough? That’s a good thesis for a PhD candidate.
Don’t blow it:
Here comes to the point. It had been a long journey before I was able to retire early. I have to tell myself: don’t blow it. No matter it is financial worries, some guilt, bruised ego, or boredom, the challenges are there.
After all, retirement is a new beginning of a different life.
I have to be the captain of my own retirement ship. While it’s all right exploring the possibilities, I got to make sure I’m heading to the right direction before making any commitment.
Dear readers, do you think a dream job exists for everyone? What is your dream job?