Retiring early to a happy, stress-free and yes, FRUGAL lifestyle!

by Michelle

I am retiring from a job that I have never liked or felt comfortable with! Bad boss, poor working conditions, stress and nothing in common w/co-workers.

I have waited for years (20) to finally do what I love-play music professionally without the restrictions work has imposed.

I'm taking a penalty with my pension for early retirement. I also hear some criticism for this, but my decision has been made! I will have a pension and health insurance when I go. (I've done the math w/ my expenses)

I also have a part-time at home data entry job lined up. I will have to adjust to a more frugal lifestyle, but to me the TIME is worth more than the MONEY!

I have already traveled the world (on vacations) and my needs are simple. Play music with my two bands, sleep in, go camping once in awhile, finish remodeling my house with the supplies I've stock-piled over the years, tend my organic garden- (I'm vegan.) That's it!

I have a great social life outside of work that includes many musician friends in a tight-knit community. I have a great relationship. a wonderful son and granddaughter.

I get A LOT of flack for what I'm doing. I also have the support of those who know me and some who have done the same.

Would like to hear more POSITIVE things about living happily w/ a frugal lifestyle!

Comments for Retiring early to a happy, stress-free and yes, FRUGAL lifestyle!

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Update- early retirement
by: Michelle/Nevada

I am now 45 days away until my last day of work. I still have some anxiety, but I am channeling it towards getting ready for the big day and beyond!I do have a part-time data entry job that I do at home. It's been crazy working two jobs, plus playing music at night with my two bands!
(Okay...three jobs!)

I'm so busy, and I really NEED to let go of the day job now so I can put more energy into these other things. I think that for me staying super busy is helping with the stress of letting go. Everything seems to be falling into place and guiding me towards this new venture!

I have become ultra-frugal with money and time spent. I am saving like a bandit and already living on my post-retirement frugal budget. Things are just fine! Every day gets easier.

I am envisioning my new happy stress-free lifestyle (away from a toxic work environment.)I feel myself unwinding, like a spring that was coiled too tightly!

It's a very good feeling indeed...Thanks for all the encouragement! Love this site!

Wendy: Michelle -- Kudos to you for living on less BEFORE you retire. Many do quite the opposite -- they are making the most
they ever have, feeling well off, kids out of the home -- and they start to splurge... then they retire, and can't figure out WHY they can't make ends meet. Daaa, you were overspending prior to retiring.

Thanks for the encouragement!
by: Michelle/ Nevada

I am beside myself to hear all these positive comments!

Here I was thinking I'd meet MORE resistance! Ha! (It's plain CRAZY to retire early...right?)

You folks have given me great encouragement. Comes in handy when the jitters try to creep in! Bless every one of you! Let's enjoy this life, eh?

Thank you- beyond words...


Do what YOU want to do! Others are Jealous!
by: Ken San Diego

Congratulations on your FREEDOM! I semi-retired at age 55 (and very glad I did!)

Others were telling me "Oh no! wait till you're 65 etc. you get more money, and you can save more money etc.) I continued working part time at another company..knowing I could quit at any time etc. and still be financially secure!

You have talent (playing in a band) NOW is the time to savor it.. who knows what the future holds! (health sometimes is an issue, etc.)

I now am FULLY retired, and I look forward to continued travel (as I did when I semi-retired) I have a condo in Thailand and can just retire there completely... so KEEP UP with YOUR life and what YOU like (NOT! what others want you to do)

Tend your own Fire
by: Tracy/Wisconsin

If everything is working for you then why care about what others say about it?

You are a trend setter. You have figured out what makes YOU happy.

I think you did what 95% of people would LOVE to do but are too scared to do it.

Good for you.

Keep going and don't look back. Find new friends if you are getting judged for running your own life!

I retired young 55, after 38.5 years of service. I too had some good jobs and some bad ones. The ones at the end were not fulfilling at all.

I am glad I retired, love my time off and tell people I have no desire to work more. If something falls in my lap, sure I'll give it a go, but make no apologies and enjoy life.

Things could change so fast with the world especially now. I'd rather enjoy what time we may have left on this earth doing what I want than dying on the job.

Positive attitude
by: Elayne/Michigan

What a great positive attitude. When it comes down to it, how much money do you really need.

When I hear about couples who are still working at very demanding jobs while being financially stable, I consider them trading independence and time for dressing up and being involved. I can have as much as I need of all these things as a well planned retiree.

I love it and wish everyone could experience retirement in the waning years of their lives.

Live, laugh, love and RETIRE!!!

Leap of Faith
by: Janet

All the best to you as you enter this next phase of life. I think you are ahead of a lot of retirees who really haven't put much thought or research into this phase of life.

I took that leap of faith a couple of years ago and like you, decided that living on a frugal budget was better than putting any more time into a job that brought nothing more than a paycheck each week. It was scary at first, but things are working out for me and I have no regrets about the decision I made.

TIME is something you cannot get back so enjoy every bit of this time and keep the faith.

Have the active life
by: Anonymous

Have the social life active and keep contacts with friends. Have a good hobby and relations with friends.
Good hobby will you keep active, reading and painting will help you to remain close with friends.


Thanks for the encouragement!
by: Anonymous

Thanks Wendy and Patrick! I find your comments encouraging! I really had to muster some courage, as the jitters hit pretty hard at first.

BUT when I did the math and asked myself some hard questions about time vs money, I realized I could do this. I MUST do this!

My son said , "Mom, you can always make more money if you need to to, but you can't ever get back TIME!"

I wish you luck Patrick! I will keep posted here about my progress. Please do the same and we can support each other in this life-changing journey!


Sounds gReat
by: Patrick

Congratulations. Having a great social life in retirement makes up for a great deal and nothing wrong with a frugal life. Enjoy it as you never know when the problems of age raise their ugly head and force you to curtail your plans.

I will be joining you in a few months. Planned to work for another few years but a health scare has convinced us to take the early option and learn to live on a budget.

Good luck. It is your life and you only get one chance at it.

KUDOS to You!
by: Wendy

You sound very sound-minded... you've done the financial work to allow you to retire early. You've taken time to know your expenses and how you will make it. You stockpiled the necessities to work on your home. You've really thought this out -- something so many just simply don't do.

BEST OF ALL (in my mind) -- you know where you are headed. You'll live a simpler life that many of us desire. You've already got the WHAT worked out, what you'll fill your days (and nights in your occupation) with.

Many retirees LACK that social life, you've already got that too! That's a biggie in my book!

Just Do It... Don't look back, move forward to a simpler and yet more fulfilling life!

Best Wishes!

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