How to Retire From the Grind and Not Get Bored

I have a friend who is only 37 and is ready to retire. He and his wife have had good jobs for 15 years and have been able to save a substantial amount of money. They aren't rich by any means, but are getting pretty comfortable with the money they've saved. Enough to live simply and also pay for their children's higher education. He did it by living below his means. Like Get Rich Slowly always tells us, "spend less than you make and invest in historically proven investments" and you'll be retiring earlier than you thought too.

My friend's goal is to retire in three years (age 40), and go into a new career. I would never have guessed his new career choice, but it does make sense. He wants to be a park ranger, taking care of his state's preserved land. He doesn't need to make a lot of money, just enough to pay a few bills and his investments will cover the rest.

When I heard this I was a little shocked. He could really set himself up for the rest of his life, retiring in style if he continued until 67, but I think he would rather be a hobo than continue to work at his present job.

Hard Look at Myself

My friend made me look at my own life and where I want it to go. I want to retire in the next five years (age 37). By "retirement," I mean retiring from the daily grind and doing what I love to do instead: helping people work happier. This site is the seed that was planted in February 2008. I'm done messing around with my career. It's time to pick my direction and run as if I'm being chased by a tiger.

Don't get me wrong, I'm open to new ideas, but this is the direction in which I'm heading because it gets me excited. Believe me, I'm flexible if an opportunity comes along. It just better be in my arena of expertise. If the project keeps me excited and every day is creative then I'm all for it. As long as I can help people enjoy their work or find a career that will help them become even more successful and happy then I'm living my dream.

What About Your 3rd Career

Just because you've put your time in doesn't mean you should stop working. I believe that we all still need to give back to society. Have you thought about what you want your middle age to look like? Or if you are middle age what you want your retirement to look like? Do you want to work where you are until 67 or do you want a midlife career change? Most of us are living way into our 80's and 90's. You should be thinking of these things so you can plan out the best way to be happy.

Just a seed for your thoughts. What is that one thing you love? What if you started a website/blog now and posted one article, picture, drawing, report, or video a week for the next 20 years? Do you think people would view you as an expert? Do you think that you might parlay it into a third career?

Let's discuss this in the comment section. I look forward to seeing you there.

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Image courtesy of Ted.Sali