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April 10, 2012


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I would spend the majority of my semi-retirement with our 1 year old. We'll have a ton of fun going out and about the town. Summer is coming up and I don't want to be stuck in a cubicle anymore. Other than that, I probably spend more time in the community garden and work on making a bit of money on the side. :)

Not surprisingly, it sounds good. The question is, can I afford it? Since I'll have kids in college, unfortunately the answer is "no".

I'd definitely hit up all of these with the exception of #5. Part of me wants another advanced degree, but with 8 years of college/grad school I think I gave enough time to the education system. But I'd try and combine family, travel and volunteering for some sweet family experiences and sprinkle in a book or two. I have a lot to say... Anyone want to listen?

I started my full retirement fairly early at age 58 and soon started getting very interested in the technical side of investment analysis. Before I knew it I found it so interesting and challenging that it wasn't long before I had subscribed to a proprietary database of mutual funds and market indexes (updated daily) and in the process came into contact with a rapidly growing base of investors ranging from beginners like myself to some that were very experienced indeed. Pretty soon I found myself developing a comprehensive analytical software program that used the database and working longer hours than at any time in my life. Not at all what I thought my retirement would be.

In retrospect it turned out to be a totally unexpected lucky break. I recruited about half a dozen of the most knowledgable investors to become my unpaid "beta" testers and as my modular program started to grow I e-mailed free copies to all of the other investors that showed interest. To protect my interests each copy required the user's unique database ID number and also had an expiration date encoded within. Over time I kept adding new modules until I reached version 20 which had 36 modules at which time I decided that it was time for the free ride to stop and earn some money for all my work. There was an enthusiastic response for the software that kept my wife and I busy generating CDs, having manuals printed and making daily trips to the Post Office.
The maket was doing very well back then and as users spread the word about my software to their friends I was forced to putting in far more hours than I wanted.

While this was going on I started on a second program which more than doubled the capabilities up to 76 modules. By this time I found myself working very long hours seven days/week and my wife 'gently' encouraged me to call it quits and get on with our retirement before taking a hammer to my computer.

The financial rewards were very nice but I found that when you are self employed and working from home, as I was back then, it's pretty easy to let things get out of control and find yourself working far too hard.

There's an old English proverb that reads, "All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy" - and it was true for at least two solid years.

I'm quite a long way from that stage of life, but at this point can see spending time with family and traveling. What's more important than those close to you? Of course, we don't want to get bored either, and people I know who are retired that do have the ability to travel seem happy.

Semi-retirement is a beautiful thing to think about and we're taking one step closer to it every day!

It will be a long journey for us but I hope to be able to retire or semi-retire by 40!

Of course that all depends on our ability to product large amounts of income now and limit the lifestyle inflation!

@Retireby40 - I have to agree with you, having the time to spend with my (now 22 month old) young daughter these past 10 months has been priceless.

@MC - Well college only lasts 4 years :)

@Nick - If it's purely for enjoyments sake then getting an advanced degree would be a wonderful way to spend part of your early retirement. I would definitely read your book Nick.

@Old Limey - It sounds to me as if those 2 years may have financed quite a nice lifestyle in retirement. I wonder if there would have been a way to outsource some of that work and take the burden off your own shoulders? Sounds like one heck of an awesome experience though!

@TTMN - Traveling can fill up a large amount of time and it's a great way to keep from getting stale or bored. The world is a BIG place.

@WSL - If you make it to semi retirement by 40 you'll be ahead of 99+% of others and will be the envy of all your friends :)

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