How to Retire From the Grind and Not Get Bored

I have a friend who is only 37 and is ready to retire. He and his wife have had good jobs for 15 years and have been able to save a substantial amount of money. They aren’t rich by any means, but are getting pretty comfortable with the money they’ve saved. Enough to live simply and also pay for their children’s higher education. He did it by living below his means. Like Get Rich Slowly always tells us, “spend less than you make and invest in historically proven investments” and you’ll be retiring earlier than you thought too.

My friend’s goal is to retire in three years (age 40), and go into a new career. I would never have guessed his new career choice, but it does make sense. He wants to be a park ranger, taking care of his state’s preserved land. He doesn’t need to make a lot of money, just enough to pay a few bills and his investments will cover the rest.

When I heard this I was a little shocked. He could really set himself up for the rest of his life, retiring in style if he continued until 67, but I think he would rather be a hobo than continue to work at his present job.

Hard Look at Myself

My friend made me look at my own life and where I want it to go. I want to retire in the next five years (age 37). By “retirement,” I mean retiring from the daily grind and doing what I love to do instead: helping people work happier. This site is the seed that was planted in February 2008. I’m done messing around with my career. It’s time to pick my direction and run as if I’m being chased by a tiger.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m open to new ideas, but this is the direction in which I’m heading because it gets me excited. Believe me, I’m flexible if an opportunity comes along. It just better be in my arena of expertise. If the project keeps me excited and every day is creative then I’m all for it. As long as I can help people enjoy their work or find a career that will help them become even more successful and happy then I’m living my dream.

What About Your 3rd Career

Just because you’ve put your time in doesn’t mean you should stop working. I believe that we all still need to give back to society. Have you thought about what you want your middle age to look like? Or if you are middle age what you want your retirement to look like? Do you want to work where you are until 67 or do you want a midlife career change? Most of us are living way into our 80’s and 90’s. You should be thinking of these things so you can plan out the best way to be happy.

Just a seed for your thoughts. What is that one thing you love? What if you started a website/blog now and posted one article, picture, drawing, report, or video a week for the next 20 years? Do you think people would view you as an expert? Do you think that you might parlay it into a third career?

Let’s discuss this in the comment section. I look forward to seeing you there.

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Image courtesy of Ted.Sali

6 thoughts on “How to Retire From the Grind and Not Get Bored”

  1. Hi Karl, great article. I share many of the same feelings regarding that burning desire to retire (read no more daily grind) young and am battling the choice of waiting for that (I have over tens years to go) or to take time (months to a year) off now, love it and then go back to work for a bit longer to make up the difference.

    I guess I generally advice people to change based on how they enjoy their work and what they feel they contribute and gain by that work. If there work is not important to them, I don’t encourage them to stay. If you can change your work to be more meaningful and be happier, then that is a no brainer. Do it now!

    Mike King’s last blog post..Being Your Best in the Worst of Times

  2. Hi Karl: I think your friend is very inspirational. With careful planning he was able to both secure his financial life and go after his dreams. It sounds like you’re also moving in that same direction.

    Marelisa’s last blog post..Be Happy Now – Set Goals Without Postponing Joy

  3. Hi Karl,

    Hmmm, it’s quite impressive that your friend saved enough to become a park ranger at age 37. That said, I have a problem with the word “retire” — I don’t work or live for retirement, and I don’t believe you’re really talking about retirement, either. What you’re talking about is coming up with means to transition into a career of your dreams, where the working itself is the joy and the reward.


    Ari Koinuma’s last blog post..Book Review: Steve Pavlina’s Personal Development for Smart People

  4. Hi Mike, I agree with doing something more meaningful,. If someone has a chance to do a job that will make them happier I say do it now too.

    Hi Ari, you are right. I was talking about finding a way to move into a career that will bring more joy. Sometimes it takes a little time, but we just have to keep plugging away and never give up.

    Hi Marelisa, I’m not in my friends position, but my far reaching goal is to get there sooner than later. It will take hard work, but I’m looking forward to it.

    Hi Sara, I understand that you are torn. I’m torn too. It just depends on what is most important to you. I think it’s the same problem as saving every penny or having fun now. We miss out in some way or another.

  5. Hi Karl, this remained me 5 years from now when I got unemployed with 2 kids an I decide to work at home and right know at 40 years I am a happy retire that works in my stuff I do like the must, but if I do not work my financial freedom is solve.

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