March 6, 2019

"Retiring early isn’t just about saving up enough money... It’s also a huge emotional and ideological transition."

"One big question I struggled with is, how can I be a feminist and believe we need more women leaders in the workplace, and then retire early and remove myself from my leadership role? But once I started planning to leave, I got much better at helping other women at work because I stopped competing with them.... People will say, 'You write a blog so you’re not retired,' but I’ve made zero dollars from it.... It’s funny — I’ve realized that I actually like working. I’m wired to want to work. I’m just not wired to live in our current work culture where I’m supposed to be excited to be connected at all times.... Another thing I didn’t expect about retirement was that Mark and I had some rocky periods in our relationship in the last year. There’s this idea that work is the villain keeping you from having a good marriage, so if you take work away then your marriage will be perfect. That’s not true. I know some people whose early retirement exposed unfixable problems in their marriage, and made them realize that they wanted to do different things with their lives... [W]e’d always said, 'Our dream is to be able to wake up in the morning and say, "What do we want to do today?"' And it turns out that we both had different interpretations of what that meant. For me, that was very literal — to wake up and say, 'Hey, is it snowing? Is it sunny? What should we do today?' But for Mark, he’s more like, 'What do we want to do this week?' He will fill up his calendar with mountain biking and community stuff, and I felt left out of that. We were each doing what we said we would do, but it turned out that wasn’t the same thing. We’ve been working through that...."

From "Retired at 38. Here’s What I Didn’t Expect" (New York Magazine).

64 comments:

Kevin said...

What do I want to do this week?

1. Throw artificial cheese product at baby
2. Rest
3. GoTo 1

Mike Sylwester said...

I like the format of her blog.

mockturtle said...

Oh, the monumental problems of today's elite.

Lucid-Ideas said...

"Another thing I didn’t expect about retirement was that Mark and I had some rocky periods in our relationship in the last year."

"But for Mark, he’s more like, 'What do we want to do this week?' He will fill up his calendar with mountain biking and community stuff, and I felt left out of that."

Honey...I have some news for you...your perspective is lacking.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

What do we want to do this week?' He will fill up his calendar with mountain biking and community stuff, and I felt left out of that."

Then you'd better "forking" find something to do with your life then. Find something that interests you. Mark has. If you want it to include you then you should try to make yourself interesting, or plan to be alone.

tcrosse said...

Learn to code.

zipity said...

*clearing throat*

WHAAAAAAAAAAA.....WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA....WAAAAAAAA

Jesus H. Talk about your First World Problem.

Grow the F up.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I like the format of her blog.

Her blog seems to be one big commercial for a book she is flogging. Is the book free or is she trying to make money from it?

Did she retire early or just change careers?

Bay Area Guy said...

I'm glad for anyone who can "retire" at age 38, but this woman is unimpressive. She's basically just writing a "stream of consciousness," piece which provides no insight or wisdom.

Great, you have a husband, no kids, and you bought a cheap house in Tahoe. BFD.

Here's her last graph:

I want to say I don’t get stressed out anymore, but there are always dumb little things to worry about, like our local postal service sucks and mis-delivers things all the time. It’s mundane, but I spend a lot of time chasing down mail, which is annoying. And I do worry about health care constantly. If something happened to the Affordable Care Act and a ton of our budget suddenly had to go to health care, then that’ll be a challenge.

Heh! Like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, it was all just a benign plug for Obamacare..

rehajm said...

I do not take for granted that they live in a country with an economic system that allows them to attempt such a feat. I would encourage both of them to carve out some time to tell their peers who want to wreck it to STFU.

rehajm said...

you should try to make yourself interesting, or plan to be alone

Heh. Cats don't care...

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Did she retire early or just change careers?

Yeah; blog, book, and a weekly podcast?! Calling it retirement is a bit of stretch.

MadisonMan said...

Retiring early when you are facing a degenerative genetic condition seems an odd choice to me, but it's this uninteresting woman's life, not mine.

Earnest Prole said...

No matter where you go, there you are.

Coconuss Network said...

I retired at 41. Work just ran out. I live vicariously through my husband and his career. I do my share of housekeeping, chef duties, and general well being coach, and I volunteer my time. It's been a lil painful though because everyone I know my age and older is working. They do resent me being home full time. Inbox is often at zero. Just some trusty souls who write to me. Some phone calling. But it's possible for us, for me to be retired, because our cost of living in Germany is a fraction that of America. Our insurance pays in full with our premiums which are normal, and so many support systems in our small town. Germans tend to be very punctual and precise. There is seldom mistakes or failure. You can trust one another. And we look out for each other. And there are many mammas who are home full time. Some though do work part-time. As per our relationship, I try to bring the mindset to our weekends together. Husband would love to retire, but as has proven true, he is restless if home too much. If work is right, he seems content. We all have our health issues, but kudos to her for finding a way to enjoy life before turning 50 and dying too young because of other effects that work can cause, not least of which her genetic issue. I fill my time with hobbies, that are hopefully useful one day. And maintaining healthy habits. We all have different gifts. We should be thankful for our existence and just make the best of our cards.

Anthony said...

I can't imagine retiring at any time. I'd be bored silly and feel useless if I wasn't producing something someone wants.

As it is, I've been underemployed for several years and I keep the same schedule as when I was working and keep myself as busy as possible.

What a first worlder.

traditionalguy said...

38.., that was her bust size, I suppose. Unless she retired to double dip her pension plus a salary doing the same thing somewhere else.

buwaya said...

What silly, busy people.
Me, I ache for a life of contemplation and philosophy.
Maybe also salsa dancing.

Expat(ish) said...

I wanted to semi-retire at my last big job change around 50, but my wife was (rightly) convinced I'd chew off three legs before escaping from the trap.

My plan was to teach something "hard" like math or physics or computer science at the high school level so that I could take the three month summer and learn to be retired a bit at a time.

She was right, I was not ready for that.

Maybe when I turn 60 I will be. I'm kind of convinced I can't just ... stop.

-XC

Jim at said...

Semi-retired since 37 (2001).
The first week or so was weird ... finding things to do.

Got over it pretty quickly.

Highly recommend. :)

BADuBois said...

Good Lord, talk about your First World problems...

The Vault Dweller said...

I enjoyed my job and did well at it. But the farther up the ladder I got, the worse my lifestyle became. I got a number of promotions and suddenly, in my early 30s, was like, “Wait. we used to take all of these cool camping trips in the mountains, and now I can’t go backpacking in areas where my cell phone won’t work because I have to be reachable at all times.” Isn’t the idea that you’re supposed to achieve more to get a better lifestyle, not a worse one? It was like my work advancement came at the expense of the rest of my life.

It amazes me how many young people don't realize this is almost always the trade-off one has to make to get the in the C-suite offices and a few steps below that as well. There is no 40 hour work week if you want to get into and maintain those jobs. And while feminists complain that there aren't enough women in those positions, that isn't because of some sort of invidious discrimination against women, it is because so few people are willing to make that trade-off and those that are almost all men. Now I know the author of the piece had some health problems, but even she was retiring in part because of the work-life balance and she wasn't even half-way through a normal life-long career. She still had at least a decade or more to go working at that pace or greater to get to the high stuff.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

So she "retired" to having her husband support her? Solid, Sister!

RK said...

I highly recommend "retiring" at that age. I did. When you go back to work in a year or two, you'll have a ton of energy. Your employer will appreciate it.

Angst said...

I'm retired. But I have failed at it.

I volunteer at the local High School
(physics & chemistry.)

It is a charter school - so unlike
public schools - there are NO discipline
or motivation problems.

I totally enjoy the work.

James K said...

“When you go back to work in a year or two, you'll have a ton of energy.”

Retirement is usually a one-way street. That as much as anything keeps me going. I could enjoy retirement, and can afford to, but things could change and I’d regret it.

The Vault Dweller said...

So she "retired" to having her husband support her? Solid, Sister!

I think her husband retired too. They don't have any kids so it is possible to do.

EDH said...

Evidently, getting a nose ring is pivotal.

Mark said...

Stopping work at 38 isn't retirement. It's called "being a bum."

MikeR said...

It doesn't sound like she retired at all. She changed careers. I've done that a couple of times. Of course no one wants to do nothing with the rest of their life.

tim maguire said...

What Mark and Mike said.

iowan2 said...

I could draw my pension at 60 (rule of 85). So I spent 5 years scouting out part time gigs. Found a couple to keep me out of trouble and started my "retirement" working 30 40 hours a week. Everyone said it didn't sound like retirement, but stress went to zero, no nites or weekends. Felt like vacation, 24/7, to a person that worked 50 hours in the off season and 70-80+ in planting and harvest, I am retired.

The best comment here today is the observation that Only in American capitalist greatness could a 38 year old retire.

Rabel said...

She just changed from selling one kind of bullshit to selling another kind.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I retired from my financial planning/investment practice about 10 years ago. I'm so happy that I chucked all that stress.

But. I didn't really "retire" since that was when my husband bought another company and doubled his business. SO....I am his bookkeeper, billing department, collections, accountant, marketing departments. I am plenty busy with that.

I volunteer at a couple of local non-profit enterprises...one of which is our small town Library. I spent some time as an elected official the the Board of Directors for a public utility.

The fun stuff: Cooking, gardening, crafting, weaving, quilting, painting among other things, also keeps me busy. I would love to have the space to set up my own pottery studio. I can also take some time, that I didn't have when I was tied to my own office, to travel and visit with family and friends who live far away.

Retiring doesn't have to mean being without direction. Without goals. Without purpose. It is up to her if she wants to wake up each day with no idea of what she should be doing.

People ask my husband when he is planning to retire. He likes his work so, probably sometime in the next 10 years. BUT....we know he is one of those people who just can not stop doing. If he isn't working he needs to have something else to do. What that may be....we shall see. I know one thing for sure, he will NOT be idle.

Unknown said...

1st world 1%er problems.

I can't wait to retire and do nothing. I would have pulled the trigger this April, but my company made me an offer in a place I wanted to retire to anyway, so I'll stick it out for as long as I can stand it. And no, I'm not wealthy, I just feel that I can learn to live on a more meager income than I have for the last 30 years.

--Rt1Rebel

gg6 said...

Oh, Honee, retiring at 38?! What a "huge emotional and ideological" burden that must be! I truly feel your pain. Take Saturday off, why don't you, and then return to looking out your window at the weather.

wild chicken said...

If something happened to the Affordable Care Act and a ton of our budget suddenly had to go to health care, then that’ll be a challenge"

Haha, the truth comes out. That's who was driving that bus. The writers, artistes and "entrepreneurs" who needed to protect those assets! Like, the HOUSE!!

Lol.

Unknown said...

> If something happened to the Affordable Care Act and a ton of our budget suddenly had to go to health care,

where does the money come from they would consume?


1. dr and hospitals work for less than market rate
2. pyramid scheme - each us us gets to deficit spend on the backs of the currently healthy, then "their turn"
3. deficit spend - AOC says "print more money!"

Unknown said...

> If something happened to the Affordable Care Act

ObamaCare

We had insurance before 2010, and it was cheaper then (adjusted for inflation)

It actually was insurance, because pre-existing conditions were considered.

But there were high risk pools for those with pec.

Paco Wové said...

I hate this woman.

Jessica said...

A friend of mine retired early about four years ago. He was 36. He had worked at an investment bank. His wife is/was a stay at home mom to their three kids, but now they're both home all day. Retirement has been more difficult than he thought. He hates telling people he doesn't work. He stays in his house most of the time and doesn't have much time with friends (who are working). Also his marriage has suffered quite a bit. His wife loves him, but it's too much time together. She begs him to get out of the house more. I'm sure I'm far too much of a gender essentialist for many people, but I just think "a man needs to work." It needn't be for money, but work is good for most people: to tire themselves out (a good thing to keep the demons at bay), to keep their self respect (it's rewarding to be productive), and maintain the balance of their families (most people don't like too much time together, even with someone they love). It's made me rethink what I want in retirement....

Henry said...

My wife's cousin retired early and gardens a lot.

cubanbob said...

"If something happened to the Affordable Care Act and a ton of our budget suddenly had to go to health care, then that’ll be a challenge"

Ok. She's taking a bit of welfare. Anyone can retire early if they don't have a train to pull and are willing to live modestly and don't mind milking the system.

Henry said...

I really don't think the Affordable Care Act has a whole lot to do anything in this case. She's just throwing out birdseed.

The ACA could affect her and her spouse in one of two ways. First, if they're poor enough, they might get a subsidy. I really really have doubts on that score. Second, the legal cloud around the ACA ensures that they pay a community rating rate. If they live in New York this is meaningless. Community rating was already the law there.

If I were to take seriously her claim about the ACA, I would say that this is a good example of how insurance should be decoupled from employment, blah blah blah.

Henry said...

@Angst -- When my uncle retired as an engineer he volunteered as a science tutor at a local high school. He always got a kick out of the fact that none of the kids he tutored believed he was doing it for free. They were all convinced he was on the make.

buwaya said...

"Retirement has been more difficult than he thought. He hates telling people he doesn't work."

He can turn himself into a country gentleman. Be the chairman of charities, run for office (it was usually gentlemen that were the civic leaders), sponsor sports, festivals, dances.

buwaya said...

Independent scholarship is another option. What I am tending to.

mockturtle said...

If something happened to the Affordable Care Act and a ton of our budget suddenly had to go to health care, then that’ll be a challenge.

Seriously? Everyone I know who is not yet on Medicare and who is middle/upper-middle class pays ridiculous premiums with outrageous deductibles. In fact, I don't know anyone who is better off after Obamacare.

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traditionalguy said...

Quoting work when you have young children, results in the father feeling terrible having to tell his children he does nothing . So they will try to own or manage a business so they can tell the kids Daddy is an investor. Lawyers meet them because they need legal help with the real world contracts and the unexpected snafus of a business they have no experience doing.

CWJ said...

And here I thought retiring at 55 was early!

wild chicken said...

"Be the chairman of charities, run for office"

Yup. Local politics here is rife with early retirees casting about for something fun to do that feels important. Fedgov retirees especially.

TomHynes said...

My wife and I retired a little early, 60 or so. We became foster parents so we could relive the best years of our lives - raising small children. This video makes it sound like we are saints, but it is really a reward for us. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vexKWF7HxUA

walter said...

I feel their pain

grimson said...

If something happened to the Affordable Care Act and a ton of our budget suddenly had to go to health care, then that’ll be a challenge.

Even with the ACA, her premiums will more than double between age 40 and 64, plus any inflation. I doubt most early retirees realize this, because reporting seldom mentions the plight of middle aged, middle income people in the individual market. KFF did recently, though.

https://www.kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/how-affordable-are-2019-aca-premiums-for-middle-income-people/

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

If something happened to the Affordable Care Act and a ton of our budget suddenly had to go to health care, then that’ll be a challenge.


Seriously? Everyone I know who is not yet on Medicare and who is middle/upper-middle class pays ridiculous premiums with outrageous deductibles. In fact, I don't know anyone who is better off after Obamacare.

RAises hand. There isn't a single person I know, even the leftists, who are better off.

Bob Smith said...

The big health care problem being somebody has to pay for it. And wait until the folks who are bitching about Obamacare premiums find out how much Medicare for All costs.

BJM said...

@Buwaya..have I got the place for you!

Amadeus 48 said...

"My career was in political consulting."

I bet she isn't a Republican. Great, another Dem jerk moves to Nevada. I bet she wonders why the cost of living is so different across that state line.

DavidUW97 said...

First thing I checked. Kids? Of course not

If she would have had 1-4 kids she’dnot be wondering how to spend the days.

Danno said...

If something happened to the Affordable Care Act and a ton of our budget suddenly had to go to health care, then that’ll be a challenge.

If she hasn't looked ahead, she will find she will be paying $800-900 per month for a plan with a $6,000+ deductible for just herself when she is 60-64, if the health care insurance prices under Obamacare were to stay flat until then. Good luck with that!

Wilbur said...

Of course the Democrat party members will insist that the Republicans have sabotaged Obamacare, so that's why it's such a train wreck now.

I'm retiring at the end of this month at age 65. Been working since I was 14, and am looking forward to doing what I'm best at - loafing. Despite starting over after two divorces cleaned me out, I should be comfortable on my state pension and So-called Social Security, at least until the Federales start crazy-printing money to cover up their decades of profligacy.

Unlike Ms. Hester, I am totally unconcerned how my retirement will affect the Men's Rights movement in the work place. Wow. What a self-absorbed jerk she is.

Humperdink said...

I semi-retired last year. Still work the two businesses my spouse and I own. I stop in, check the numbers, resolve open issues and go home. I remain physically active. Yesterday was log truck day. Skidding logs with my tractor to the truck for loading. It was 14 degrees. It's amazing how easy logs slide over frozen ground.

Life has never been better.

Professional lady said...

When I retire, I will go back to being an adult literacy tutor. Right now, helping my elderly parents (93 and 96) takes up a lot of my free time. I am happy to still have them around and am making the most of it.