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March 26, 2012


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Thanks for sharing your experiences with semi retirement Steve. I've noticed a lot of these pros and cons when I work on my side business full time. I guess that gives me a good taste for what future semi retirement may be like. I think it would at least be a good transition into full retirement. It seems that once people completely retire many have a tough time adjusting to the changes.

I'm all for it if you can afford it! But I'm not sure I'd call it "semi-retirement".

Purposely switching to work at a less intense, work-from-home, or part time job long before old age (eg at age 44) for the purpose of less stress & spending more time with family, is called "down-shifting", "changing careers", "taking the mommy track", "dropping out" or "eat, pray, love-ing" (after the movie by that name).

A lot of women do this when they have kids. Guess I'll have to start calling these women "semi-retired" instead?

@MC When my mom talks about retiring in a few years when my dad does, I tell her that she's been retired since she quit working to raise my sibling and I. I definitely see being a SAHP as semi-retiring.

When my father retired 20 odd years ago his problem was the mental attitude of growing up in the depression era. You value of a human being and self worth was a measure of whether you were working or not.

When I retire it will be a whole different ball game then my fathers. I will try to prepare for it.

I know people who retire on there own terms and others because of health or terms beyond there control.

I am hoping to retire on my terms and not someone elses.

@ModestMoney - I agree it provides a nice transition into full retirement. Also, at 40 or 50 years old many of us aren't really ready to just putter in the garden and relax in the rocking chair.

@MC - I suppose you can call it whatever you like, but it amounts to the same thing in the end :) Please don't say that I've "Taken the mommy track" though, it feels a bit emasculating haha. In past years it was mostly women doing this, but more men are coming to realize that getting out of the corporate pressure cooker has benefits so for them I would like to call it semi-retirement.

@Leigh - I agree that once the kids are school age being a SAHP is a form of semi-retirement. It is definitely only semi though as running a household properly does take quite a bit of energy and organization.

@Matt - I think that retiring on your own terms is the best. Part of the reason for using a semi retirement as a transition is to avoid the feelings of worthlessness and aimlessness once you leave your full time job. Many people still equate their jobs with their sense of self worth, making any type of retirement a scary proposition.

I retired 7 years ago at the age of 56. I had spent a year exploring options, I did not want to be a couch potato - that's a killer! I retired and began volunteer work in two different places, spending 4 days a week. Since that time, I have reduced my volunteer time and added other activities. I'm working my way into retirement from unpaid semi-retirement. It is going great.

I love the idea of early semi-retirement. I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to completely shut down but I also don't want to be "working for the man" until it's time to hang up the keyboard... although full-stop retirement with volunteering could be great, too.

Now where did I put those millions....

Drifting seems to be the biggest problem I'd expect. What would you do to fill up all of that free time?

This is a most excellent post. I live in Japan and will be 55 in a few months. I decided to quit a job, that pays six figures, as of 31 March 2012. I am going to stay in Japan, and devote myself to learning the language I have ignored for the past 14 years, and hit the gym intensely and regularly. Being retired military, I have access to the American military bases near by. And I plan to spend time managing my portfolio, and kicking myself in the butt for selling my Apple stock at $528.00. Thanks for a great post. Any advice, I am all eyes and ears.

Early semi retirement is one of my dreams. My Idea to retirement is to slowly move to doing things what I love. for example - I like the flexible hours in blogging and would love to grow it over years to come. May to 10 years later I would be able to completely move to it :)

@AZJoe - Sounds like you had a great plan and it's working out very well for you. Congratulations on taking control of your destiny!

@Nick - I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to shut down completely either, but not having to punch that clock sure is a great feeling.

@Miiockm - There are lots of things to do...volunteer, start a business, part time work, consulting...the list goes on. The question is "What do YOU want to do?"

@Mark - Wow that's just 4 days away, congratulations! I think retired military in Japan is a pretty good life, there are a fair number of you there so you'll have plenty of social interaction (if you want it) and you have the Japanese culture to keep you involved as well. And I assume you will be traveling as well? Stop by Bangkok sometime and say hi!

@Karunesh - It took me 5 years to move to it full time so I think if you keep working at it your dream will come true.

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