Early Retirement Journal

This early retirement journal contains diaries of our early retirement planning and some of the things we learned after we retired. Below you can also find out how we spend our time in retirement.

See the full list of detailed diary entries at the bottom of this page.

A Typical Day as a New Retiree

We are only in our second month of early retirement, but we can describe a fairly typical day so far.

Even though it is winter and it has been cold in January, we haven't felt bored, left out, or worried, so that's a pretty good start.

There have been quite a few non-typical days, such as over the holidays and when we babysit for our daughter.

The typical days are those that we spend at home doing whatever we choose.

We get up sometime between 7 and 8:30, depending on how we feel.

Usually it is on the later side. Since I have chronic pain from arthritis, sleep is sometimes difficult.

When that happens I lose a few hours to pain and then catch up with a nap around 6am.

Although I hate to lose those morning hours to sleep after 7am, I feel better getting the extra rest.

First thing we do when we get up is have coffee together, check email, and talk. Around 10 or so we start on whatever we decided to do that day. It might be planning a “vacation” trip, doing hobbies, shopping, or some kind of task such as cleaning out a long-neglected closet or doing the taxes.

Travel After Fitness, Hobbies

retirement hobby music

Most recently we've been tossing around the idea of a trip to the Mississippi and Louisiana coastal area.

Since one of our goals is to improve our health by losing weight and exercising, we probably won't make any trips until we see some progress.

We both need to improve our blood pressure, too.

I’ve been spending some time in my pottery studio where I have a potter’s wheel and kiln.

I’m currently focusing on throwing bowls as practice for making a large fruit bowl and set of soup mugs for my kitchen.

If we haven't been doing something physically demanding, we try to fit in a walk or other exercise. We need to do better at this, so I hope we can put more focus on getting more activity into our days. Winter weather is a big obstacle. In warmer seasons we will spend time on nearby lakes with our rowboat, or go mountain biking.

Now and then one of us may go out for lunch with friends, most of whom are still working.

We don't take naps or watch TV very much during the day, but sometimes we do things on computers, like playing games or just reading about random things that we've been discussing.

It's great to feel busy, but not feel stressed out like when we were working.

Around 5pm we start to think about dinner plans. Most days we cook at home unless we’ve been out for most of the day. After dinner we watch a few our favorite shows or work on hobbies.

My husband's favorite hobby is learning new music and playing guitar. Sunday evenings the musicians gather at our house to play together. There are guitar players, bass players, drummers, steel guitarists, and occasionally a fiddle or mandolin player. Those who sing take turns and introduce new songs to the group.

My hobby interests (besides making pottery on my wheel and kiln) include maintaining this website and reading. Currently I'm working on improving my throwing skills by making increasingly larger bowls.

Occasionally we watch TV or videos from Netflix, usually in the evenings after dinner. We try to keep to a regular schedule and head for bed between 10 and midnight.

It sounds a little boring right now, but in springtime things should be much more interesting.

Perhaps we can have a vegetable garden this year.

More on that later...

I hope this early retirement journal is helpful to you.

If you haven't seen the detailed early retirement journal for 2011 or 2012, use these links to do so.

Early Retirement Journal Entries

Early Retirement Diary 2011: Preparing for, and starting early retirement

Jan, Feb, March 2012: First full year of early retirement

April 2012 Diary Entry: 401k Savings Update

June & July 2012: Life Insurance for Retirement

2014 Updates - Retirement Realities

May 2014 - Retirement Health Alert

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