At 4.15 pm on 7 January 2022, I posted my swipe card through the hospital library’s after hour slot and walked out the door into early retirement. I admit I was tempted to skip out the door, but felt that was slightly tasteless!
It has taken me close to seven years of planning and saving to get here, but even at this early stage of being willfully unemployed, I can categorically say it was absolutely the best thing for me to do.
I wake up each morning feeling more relaxed, happy, and energised than I did when I was working. I also feel fitter and slimmer (no scales, but my clothes are already looser) – this is hardly surprising as my last two roles have been sedentary, desk-bound jobs – a pretty unnatural way to live, right?
Although a mere eleven days into retirement, my days are shaking down into a sort of schedule with a mix of housework (yes, I don’t overdo it, but the house is still looking way more ship-shape), a bit of gardening, some stripping of wallpaper off the kitchen walls (its painted over, so think ‘nightmare’ here), and lots of reading, walking and swimming.
I am also back writing for a few hours each day – a book I started seven years ago is finally getting some long overdue attention. It would be nice if the book when finished gets picked up by a publisher, but even if it doesn’t, its writing gives me immense pleasure and that in many ways is enough!
Early retirement – there is a lot to be said for it.
My last pay is tomorrow.
From then on, our income will be the man’s state pension and a top up payment from his private superannuation fund Kiwisaver, which we added our early retirement savings to.
This will require us to follow the budget that we have written.
We think it is doable and that we have covered every contingency, but, regardless, of whether it does or doesn’t pan out as we have planned, we will let you know!