Maybe Retirement is the Wrong Term

Retirement is such a loaded word.  When I hear it, and most people hear it, they think of those stupid commercials with the geriatrics sitting on the beach, hobbling after their grand kids.

Is this really retirement?

I don’t know that retirement is the word I want to use for what our goal is.  Maybe financial independence?  That’s a good way to put it.  It lends itself to being able to do what you want to do, when you want to do it.

FU money is another great way to put it.  The money that just gives you freedom.  It allows you to be open to options and opportunities, to take life as it comes.  And when someone wants you to do something you don’t want, there’s that “F-U” part that makes the perfect response.

Regardless which word you use, it’s the same principle.  The ability to live your life your way.  Doing what you want to do, when you want to do it.

Hit With Unemployment

I was working at a company that had about 100 employees, decent benefits (minus the previous 401k).  Then I got a call from an old boss, they were starting a new thing and he wanted me to be a part of it.  So, I took the risk (that’s part of the beauty of having the safety net of FIRE behind you).  I went to work with them, took a bit of a pay cut, but my quality of life sky rocketed.  I was engaged at work again. Unfortunately, the start-up didn’t quite have the right product-market fit to be sustainable.  These things happen.  So, we wound it down and now I’m hunting around for my next full time gig, hit me up if you have any ideas.

Working Sure Takes Up A Lot of Time

During this time, while I’m searching around, interviewing, taking calls, etc., I’ve realized that I just don’t have the time for a full time job.  There are so many other things that I would be doing with my time, and working a full-time job just isn’t one of them.  So, this has given me a little preview of what life after FIRE would be like.

They say, “You need to run toward something, not away from something.”  So, understanding that, let’s talk about what my days have been full of while I’m looking to rejoin the rat race.

Stuff I’m Doing Now:

  1. Brewing Beer – This is something that I have wanted to do for quite some time.  We’ve actually started doing this, and have brewed one batch.  It was pretty good (by good I mean drinkable, but not something I would order in a bar), and we’re anxiously awaiting brewing the next batch.  Just gotta find the time where it fits in the schedule to make it happen.  I also need to build myself a wort chiller, so we don’t run into the same issue as last time: it was a little hazy, shouldn’t be next time.

    MMMM… Home-Made Beer!!

  2. Curing Bacon – This is also something that we are going to attempt probably here shortly.  It’s a bit more involved than the beer, with the finding pork belly, curing it, smoking it, etc.  I’m not quite at the point where I want to give this a go.  I’m interested in it, and really want to try it, but there are a few things that would need to be in place before I can, mainly the smoker.  The plan is iterating through until we find a recipe that we love.  Mrs. Wow mentioned something about Cholula flavored bacon.  I like mine with maple syrup.  Hmmm… that sounds intriguing and full of porky goodness.
  3. Learning to Code and Building Software – This is something that I’ve toyed with in the past.  I’ve built some things before, never really anything spectacular, but little things here and there that help with day to day jobs at work and around the house.  But, with the Mrs.’ company taking off, there are some things that I can help her with.  I built some simple process management stuff based in Google Apps that works reasonably well.  But now, I’m in the process of building her an entire work-flow management system.  It’s a lot of fun.  It’s taking longer than I want because I’m still figuring out a bunch of stuff as I go (Anyone willing to help with Server-to-Server OAuth2 with the Google API?? Or building out user permissions and log-ins?).  But it’s custom built for her, and it will help her out.   Happy wife, happy life, right? It might even be something useful for others that are in the same line of work.  Side hustle in the making, who knows?

    Kind of Fun… If you’re a weirdo!

  4. Biking – This is something I’ve been itching to get back into.  After my accident, I waited and waited and waited to replace my bike.  I finally pulled the trigger and got myself a new (used) one.  I’ve taken this one out twice now, for about 15 miles a shot.  It’s taking a little while to get back in shape for it, but I love it. I didn’t realize how much I missed it.  It’s so nice to be out in the air and riding alone with your thoughts.  An hour or two a day really adds up though, so I’ll have to keep at it while I can.
  5. Blogging – I now know why it was taking me so much longer to get posts up on our site and why they were published with no regular frequency.  It takes a good amount of time to get these things written and out there.  So, yeah, while I’m fun-employed I’ve been writing more blogs and I like the weekly cadence.
  6. Gardening – When we moved into our house, it had a dirt yard.  There wasn’t much to it.  We put in a vegetable garden, but it was eaten by gophers.  But, we talked to our landlord and got our rent reduced, if we took care of the yard work.  Our neighbor was getting rid of a weed wacker and a lawn mower, so I scooped those up for free, of course.  We’ve put down grass seed and planted wild flowers all over.  Mostly drought tolerant stuff seeing as we live in a desert.  But, it takes time to manage and it’s really pleasant to do.  We’ve hopefully eliminated the gophers (knock on wood). We even have pineapples and strawberries!

    Pineapples and Flowers and Grass, Oh MY!

  7. Coordinating Behind the Scenes for Mrs Wow – Since Mrs. Wow runs her own company, she’s packed trying to get everything done in a day.  She has to see appointments, write documentation, manage interns and that’s above and beyond all the other finance and accounting stuff that goes on.  There’s also a bunch of leg work to get ready for our first employees in the fall (Shout out to Mrs. Need2Save for the help!).  I’m making phone calls for quotes with insurance providers, 401k providers, attorneys, you name it.  See also #3.
  8. Cooking and Cleaning – While this got done when we were both working full time, it’s nice to be able to spend more time cooking and not eating at around 9pm.  Last night we had people over for dinner, and I made home made pasta and sauce, from scratch.  I’m also taking care of most of the cleaning up around the house now.  I’m doing most of the laundry, as she won’t let me touch some of her clothes for fear of my ruining them.

    Home Made Pasta!

There’s Really No Time For A Job

After a couple weeks, I’m starting to realize how much time working takes up.  It is making me get the itch even sooner.  I don’t know how all these things are going to get done when I start working again?  How does life ever get lived when working full time?

Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!!


  • Friendly Russian July 10, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Wow (not WoW but Wow) this is a great post. I always tell that retirement isn’t the right word. As you might notice, English isn’t my first language and I don’t have this bad aftertaste for this word as I have for it in Russian.
    When I hear a Russian term for retirement I feel brokenness, hopeless and no future. But for me retirement or whatever term we want to use is doing what you WANT, when you WANT and how you WANT.

    It’s FREEDOM
    Friendly Russian recently posted…It is the time for ESPP

    • Mr WoW July 10, 2017 at 8:01 am

      I don’t know what I am going to do once I am fully employed again. There’s too many other things that I enjoy doing and spending time on.

      Retirement does have this negative connotation to it. But, it doesn’t have to. Freedom definitely has a nicer ring to it!

      Russia is definitely on my bucket list of travel places. I hope to make it there sometime in the near future!!

  • Dads Dollars Debts July 10, 2017 at 7:19 am

    Agreed. There really is no time for a job. When people ask if I would be bored in retirement, I answer with a resounding NO. I, much like you, would find plenty to feel in the day with. Seems like you are having a great day. Keep enjoying and making that pasta (oh and send me some bacon!).

    • Mr WoW July 10, 2017 at 8:03 am

      I will say that it’s nice to wake up when I want and fill my day with what I want, until I don’t want to do that any more. Then I find something else to do. The bacon is definitely something that I want to start. I’ll have to see if I can use my existing grill to get started with the first batch and see how it goes. I feel like it might be a long process, like beer, to get right. But once we do… You are more than welcome to some. Maybe if I can figure it out before FinCon.

  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach July 10, 2017 at 7:32 am

    ha ha I know I would seriously NEVER bet bored in “retirement!” I’m jealous you have all that time for that stuff right now. I would so be doing more with my blog if my damn job didn’t get in the way. lol! Enjoy your “time off.”
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Expectations and a Happy Life

    • Mr WoW July 10, 2017 at 8:06 am

      It’s funny actually. I was out interviewing on Friday all day. And then got home right before the Mrs. She was like, did you get this and this and this done? And I just kind of looked at her, and was like, I was out all day interviewing, just got home. I think she’s getting used to it too.

      It’s kind of like summer break. It’s pretty nice. I’m definitely not in a rush to get back into it, that’s for certain.

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher July 10, 2017 at 7:34 am

    Grah, sorry about your job! But it looks like you’re really making the most of your newfound time. 🙂 I switched jobs in May but gave myself a week off in-between. Holy crap, I was so busy, but I got so much done. I really like that you’re learning about code/software. That’s a skill that will expand your employment horizons significantly, so good on you!
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…What A Frugal Weekend! July 9

    • Mr WoW July 10, 2017 at 8:07 am

      I really think I’ve been busier over the course of the last few weeks, more than ever before. And it’s all stuff that I enjoy, so I spend a lot of time on them. As for the coding, I know enough to be dangerous. But it’s good to learn new things, and try them out.

  • Jeff D July 10, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    If you like Good Eats with Alton Brown he has an episode where he makes bacon. If I remember the episode correctly, he used a cardboard box for his cold smoker. I’ve long said that when I “retire” that I’ll make all of my bacon and all of my sausages. MMMM bacon, yes please. Enjoy your funemployment for as long as Mrs. WoW lets you

    • Mr WoW July 10, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      I’m going to be enjoying it as much as I can. I’ll have to look, I’m sure there’s a way that we can use our current grill as a smoker, maybe just offset the bacon and the heat source? Don’t know. Thanks for the tip. I’ll have to look into that.

  • My Sons Father July 10, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Totally agree. I think Retirement is so full of preconcienved notions that it doesn’t due justice to what this moevement is all about. I’m working on a post in the same ballpart taking on the FIRE acronym. Great stuff as usual!

    • Mr WoW July 10, 2017 at 6:32 pm

      Thanks. Looking forward to reading your stuff. It’s pretty crazy, but yeah. There are tons of things I can fill my day with. It’s kind of amazing. And if we had kids, I’m sure there would be a million more to fill our days with. Hell, part of what sent us down this road was that I had some time off while our niece was visiting and got to take her to the park and play with her all day. It really convinced me that is how I want to be with our kids, so we started moving in that direction.

  • Mr. Need2save July 10, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    My copy of ‘How to Brew’ is staring at me on the bookshelf right now. It wants to know why it’s been on the shelf for 5 years and I haven’t brewed anything yet.

    Sorry (I think) to hear about the startup going under. At least you took a chance.

    As you point out, I think I’m going to be even busier when we are ‘retired’. The beauty is I get to focus on all the things that are important to us. And thanks for giving props to Mrs. Need2Save 🙂
    Mr. Need2save recently posted…2017 Mid-Year Report // More About Our Gap Years Goal

    • Mr WoW July 10, 2017 at 6:29 pm

      We’d been talking about home brewing for a while, then we were at one of our favorite breweries and decided to order a mini kit and just try it out. It was a lot of fun. Hopefully next time will be better, but gotta start somewhere.

      It is a shame that the start-up went under. It was a good gig while it lasted, and it wasn’t really a surprise. We knew going in that it was really risky.

      There’s a ton to do now. I hardly have time, but it’s all for us. So it’s enjoyable. And of course, thanks for all the help!

  • Gwen @ Fiery Millennials July 11, 2017 at 8:16 am

    I really want to learn how to make mead! Only issue with that is it requires a constant temperature and I don’t have access to that kinda space right now. Some day! I say enjoy your time off and wait for the perfect opportunity to come along!
    Gwen @ Fiery Millennials recently posted…Bugs, Thugs, and Hugs

    • Mr WoW July 11, 2017 at 8:24 am

      Hmmm… Mead sounds interesting. Maybe you can get a batch for Fincon? Or Ecuador? I’m enjoying it. I’m busier than I’ve been in a while, but it’s all good since it’s stuff that I want to work on.

      Just a matter of finding what I’m looking for, but the question is, what is that? This unemployment stuff isn’t all that bad 🙂


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