Retired Extremely Early
Retired Extremely Early - Freedom At Last - No Longer Depressed
I suffered from mild depression from my teen years till the age of 50. It coincided with my working years.
At age 50 I retired from teaching. In my early 30's I started preparing for the R-day by paying off all debts, staying out of future debt and saving half of what I earned. So far it has been pretty good. I did not anticipate a utopian existance once I retired and I knew I would face some challenges.
Retiring at such a young age isolates me somewhat from people my age. My acquaintances are more in the 60 to 75 year old range. I am the youngest among my day time pickup hockey group. The next youngest is 54 and 59. I feel fortunate to be able to retire at such an early age and in perfect health. Many of my new friends are experiencing health problems usually as the approach 65.
I still maintain connections to people my age who are still working; however, my retirement sets me apart from them in many regards because I don't suffer from the day to day struggles of teaching. We don't have that in common anymore.
I am into my second year of retirement now and am getting more used to going out around town during regular working hours. I am the kind of person that prefers to blend in and not working for a living draws attention to myself. I am getting better at it and others are getting used to it as well.
"What are you doing now to keep busy?", is the question that irritated me the most, as if being busy all the time was the ultimate state of existence. I realize now that it's just a cliche question thrown out with little consideration much like, "Are you ready for Christmas?"
Another irritating statement is when people tell me that they could never retire and that they would need to do something to pass the time. Sounds too much like sour grapes and envy to me. Nonetheless, I am getting used to it and I realize that people don't put a lot of thought into what they are saying.
I can't say I miss much about work. I do miss the interaction with students but I see many former students at local activities and functions so that continues to a lesser degree.
I left my employment because I did not enjoy it anymore and I had reached the point where I could live with the reduced pension and what I had accumulated. I liked the kids but I could not stand most of my coworkers and the diminishing creativity of the teaching profession.
When I started teaching it was more of an art and towards the end of my career it had become more of a science. The new teachers are more like robots and deliverers of prescribed lessons. That's what is expected of them and that's what they deliver. It wasn't for me anymore and besides I had enough loafs of bread.
Now I exercise, cook, play hockey, ski, bike, golf, kayak, travel, sleep, read, watch movies, take care of my loved ones and my things and I do it whenever I feel like it and as often as I like. Life is good right now.
I will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to retire early and to have been able to have the freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted and to be free from the tyrany of work that most of us are subjected to for most of our lives.
Freedom at last.