After 25 years in an office in front of a computer or sitting in meetings, I had the first health scare of my adult life. It caused me to think about what I was doing and where I was heading….and to acknowledge that life goes by fast. Fortunately my wife and I have been long time followers of Financial Independence. I remember reading “Your Money or Your Life” in my car during my 30 minute breaks from my teller job at a grocery store bank in my early twenties. We then continued to follow these principals of lower than average spending and high percentage savings as the pursuit of Financial Independence blossomed and became the energetic movement that it is today.
But this blog is not about achieving Financial Independence. I have spent my career counting money in one form or another and honestly don’t think there is a whole lot I can add…..there are already great resources to tell you how to create a rewarding lifestyle that will help you reach your financial goals (great places to start: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com, Your Money or Your Life).
This blog is about what happens after Financial Independence….or for that matter what the opportunities are for anyone who wants to try something new. I have always been fascinated with learning and trying new things. And as I looked around for a place to find out what the next me would be doing I didn’t find all that much….so my plan is to do the following.
While retired, use paid and volunteer work to:
Learn About Cool Stuff (Technology, Alternative Energy, Startup Life),
Gain Life Skills (Cooking, Construction, Transportation, Health and Meditation)
Have Fun (Get Outside, Try Unusual Things)
I envision this blog as a way for people to start thinking about what they would do if they had a chance to try something new. This is not a blog about retiring to the beach, or even travel, since we have decided for our children’s sake to stay more or less in one place. Personally I will always work at something. It makes me feel productive, it allows me to learn things and I get to interact with new and interesting people. So if you choose to follow along, this blog will focus on three things:
1) Interesting work experiences: For example, what is it like to work on a farm, what do you learn and how do you get that job?
2) Interesting people: Short interviews with people who have made significant changes in how they live and work in order to do things they find compelling.
3) General resource: A resource for jobs and opportunities doing anything from being a bike tour guide to working at a national park to working for an interesting startup to becoming a cook.
In a perfect world this site will become a resource for folks who decide to take a year or the rest of their lives to reinvent themselves, to leave their comfort zone and grow. I plan to spend the next year trying some of those new things and recording the outcome for anyone who is interested. And to be clear I have no idea what the hell I am doing, which at least should make for interesting reading. Then I may go back to a traditional job, or retire to the beach or continue to try new things…I don’t know. But it will be fun to see what happens.
I think it is natural to want to try new things. What kid hasn’t played at being a fire fighter or nurse or cowboy or construction worker or astronaut…the list is endless. My own son is a master of creative occupations , a recent “guy” has been the soccer player cowboy and my personal favorite the knight businessman (sword, shield, helmet, suit jacket). It is a rare child that comes out of their rooms every single day as the middle manager guy. So I have created a list of things that sound fun and interesting (see below) The list is certainly not exhaustive, and I sure as heck will not get to them all. But it will be fun trying and I would like to hear any of your suggestions. And you may say….work for a company that is changing the world? I thought you were retired? I have only made the decision not to work on things that don’t interest me, where there is very little new to learn. If I ever get the opportunity to work for one of the companies that is bringing significant, frequent and positive changes to our world, yes, I will jump at the chance!
To read about my very first attempt at new and interesting work click here: