Most of us who are working to become financially free, spend a lot of our days daydreaming what it would actually be like to be financially free.
I think the initial dream for a lot of us is to just sit on the beach all day sipping piña coladas – mmm, that does sound good!
But, once the dream starts to become more real, it’s pretty likely that the piña coladas are only going to be a small part of the plan.
In all actuality, what we think will be a regular week in the life of financial independence, will likely be quite different. For instance, a lot of bloggers talk about how they anticipated slowing down and relaxing once they quit their jobs, but it just didn’t happen.
In fact, a lot of them work even more – the difference being that they’re doing what they want to do since money is no longer the centerpiece of it…
- Joe at Retire by 40 – in Early Retirement Myths Busted, Joe said, “Life should slow down a bit when you don’t have a full time job, right? I was wrong about that, too. I thought I’d have time to do all the errands, write articles for my blog, read fun books, follow other blogs, and maybe even goof off a bit.”
- Sam at Financial Samurai – in Early Retirement Five Years Later, Sam said, “If you were motivated enough to retire early, you will be motivated enough to keep busy doing the things that interest you most. Many early retirees I talk to are even busier than while they were working!”
- Darrow Kirkpatrick from Can I Retire Yet? wrote a guest post for the Mr. Money Mustache site called Why You’ll Become Busier After Retirement, which is all about the phenomenon that occurs. Darrow brings up a great point when he say, “All the projects, goals, and activities that were not possible when you were working, now become possible.”
- ESI at ESI Money wrote a post that made it to Business Insider called I retired at 52 with a $3 million net worth — here are 10 things that surprised me about early retirement and said “I expected things would calm down dramatically when I retired, but I now seem to have more to do than ever. The difference is that I went from doing things I HAD to do, though, to doing things I WANT to do.”
The point is that chances are, if you’re motivated enough to become financially independent and retire early, you’re probably not going to find yourself sipping on mixed drinks all day.
So maybe you were expecting this post to be all about maxing and relaxing, but instead, it’s going to focus on what my normal week will hopefully be like in my life of financial independence (FI). In other words, every week will be a fantasy week once you don’t need to work for money any longer.
With that, I thought I would have some fun and present to you…
My fantasy week once I’m financially free
My early retirement plan still has some uncertainties in them (don’t most?!). For us, the biggest fork in the road will be location.
Depending on how our Panama trip goes, we may or may not move there. That could make the specifics of what I do during FI completely different, but the gist of my plans will be pretty consistent.
Here’s what I’m hoping to do in my typical week…
Spend more time with my daughter
I’ve always had a desire to become financially free, but my biggest catalyst for actually making it happen was when my daughter was born. Maybe it sounds silly, but having to leave her every day while I went to work drove me nuts. She was always in good care with my parents or my wife’s parents, but I just always wanted to be there with her for those first few years.
That, my friends, is what got me off my duff to actually work to become financially free.
Now that she’s gotten a little older (she’ll be 7 next month) and in school, I wouldn’t be able to be with her during the day anyway (unless I home-schooled her!! 🙂 ). However, I hate that working takes up my day and then I have all the other $%^# to do after work that I couldn’t do during the day.
Yes, I still get to do fun stuff with her, but to me, it’s just not often enough. Call me greedy, but I want to be as much of a part of her life and she’ll let me (until she’s a teenager and hates me!).
Financial independence would give me an opportunity to get the stupid day-to-day crap out of the way during the day so I could spend time with my angel when she gets home from school.
With the track I’m on right now, I won’t be quitting my job for another 7 or 8 years. At that time, she’ll be at an age where she likely won’t want to hang out with me as much any longer, but I want to be there for her when she does.
As a side note, if we pull the trigger and move to Panama, I’ll be quitting my job sooner than later, which, of course, means I reach that goal much quicker.
Work on my garden
I planted mustard seeds once when I was a kid as part of a school project… um, that’s about the extent of my agricultural experience.
Not very impressive, but it’s become something that I really want to try my hand at and learn how to do.
As an added bonus, that’ll provide us with some fresh food, which I think is pretty cool.
Depending on where we live, what we can grow might change slightly, but here are some of my initial thoughts:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Jalapeno peppers
A number of those vegetables would also give me most of what I need to make fresh salsa, which could be my gardening niche… I love me some fresh salsa!
Additionally, if I have enough land, I’d like to grow some fruit as well:
Considering I’ve never gardened before, I don’t know if I’ll love it or hate it, but it’s definitely something I want to try my hand at.
Walk through trails with my wife
If you don’t have kids, I’ll tell you that they tend to take over your life and become the center of everything. This is wonderful, but at the same time, it seems to have a habit of taking away time with your spouse. Even though you’re still physically together, the attention and energy tend to be focused on the kids.
My daughter is my world and I love her more than anything, but I want to get some time to reconnect with Mrs. R2R. Once we’re financially free, I want to carve out part of my days to just take a step away together. The perfect solution, in my opinion, is to go on walks together.
Whether we stay where we’re at or move to Panama, there are tons of trails nearby. I would love to just spend a couple hours of most days just walking and talking with the Mrs. while our daughter is in school.
Might sound a little cheesy, but I think it would be a great way to just get to know my wife again. Plus, spending some time enjoying nature and getting some exercise wouldn’t hurt either!
Practice martial arts
I took Tae-Kwon-Do with my brother for a short time when we were younger. I also took a semester of Isshin-Ryu karate while I was in college… gotta love the mandatory electives!
That said, I would bet my 6-year-old daughter could probably kick my butt if she really tried. 🙂
But, I loved it. I enjoyed learning different forms of self-defense and the exercise and flexibility training were good as well (good, not great!).
So why didn’t I continue on after college with this?
Just like anything else, you have a finite amount of time so you have to choose your priorities. Once I’m financially free and quit my job, though, I suddenly gain a solid 40-50 hours a week. So, as part of my new priorities, I’m going to get back to practicing martial arts.
Two to three times a week, I’m going to focus on some type of self-defense. I’m going to start with training videos at home, but if that doesn’t cut it and I’m loving it, I’ll dig into some more formal training.
Write a children’s book
Every once in a while, I have a great topic that I feel like I have extensive knowledge on and share it with the world. The funny thing is that once I get started, I realize just how involved the whole process really is.
I’ve written two non-fiction books focusing on information technology, but I think I’m over that. I’ve recently just gotten started writing a book for the personal finance sector, but I’m going to take my time in writing this one.
But the real dream is to write a children’s book. Although I’m guessing that the writing will be easier than the technical books, the more labor-intensive process is going to be the illustrations.
I’ve thought about bringing in an illustrator when I do it, but hey, I’m a former art major and I want this to be something I do from start to finish.
There’s no way I can work making this whole project in now, but once I’m financially free, game on!!
“Re-learn” to play the piano/keyboard
I took keyboard lessons for a year or two near the end of junior high. I was what you might refer to as “tolerable.” Sure I had a simple song or two I crank out with a nice, barely mediocre performance (any fans of Van Halen’s “Jump”?), but that was about the extent of it.
My parents got me a Roland D5 keyboard during that time period, which was a pretty expensive keyboard that even local performers I knew used. I still have it today… though it sits next to its amplifier partner mostly collecting dust.
It’s something that I should have kept up with. Whenever I get in front of a piano, I’m compelled to try to remember some of those early tunes. I regret that I let it go and should have tried to become better than just so-so on it.
Well, guess what? I’m making that a saddle to get back on once the 9-5 is out of the way. I don’t need to become perfect, but I would love to get better than I was. I would love to be good at it instead of slightly better than bad! 🙂
Work on this blog
You didn’t think I would let this site fall to $%^#, did you? 🙂
Not only did I start this blog to document my journey along the way to becoming financially free, but I wanted to start early enough to have a nice following by the time I quit my job. I hope to make this an outlet for some supplemental income, as large or small as it may be.
Right now, I consistently post once a week, but I want to ramp that up to two or three times every week. If you’re not already a blogger, know that this is a time-consuming process. It’s just not happening right now unless I compromise too much time with my family and I’m not willing to do that.
Once that traditional job is out of the way though, yeah, baby!! Let the good times roll!!
So there you have it – although we’ll still have some good times traveling and spending time at the beach sipping on piña coladas, the reality is, I’m going to be pretty busy with some new hobbies and interests.
And you know what? I’m super excited about it!!
If you’re not financially free yet, have you dreamed about your typical week? If you are FI, what’s your average week like?
Thanks for reading!!