Well this can be a daunting question at any age and one that we all have to deal with at some point in our lives. However, for most people it is a question that gets asked much earlier in life when they are just starting out in college or in a new career.
For me growing up, the answer to this question "What should I do with my life or what would I want to become when I grow up?" has been quite easy to answer.
I have known since I was a teenager while tinkering with computers that I wanted to become an engineer and work on computers. I was good in math and science and even knew how to write code when I was in middle school. Working with computers came naturally to me even at the time when personal computers were not that common.
Having pursued my dream of becoming a computer engineer and a long 20-year career working for companies like Intel gave me the opportunity to fulfill my childhood dream . And I have done quite well both professionally and personally with regards to meeting this dream. I have accomplished all my goals and satisfied all my curiosities related to electronics and computers. In short, I have seen and done everything that I wanted to do as a computer engineer.
So, now I am faced with the hard question that I thought I would never have to deal with - what should I do with my life now that my professional dreams have already come true?
Here are some of the things I want to do in my early retirement to stay busy and happy:
Investing - Continue to grow our investment portfolio and the income it generates so that my wife can also retire early in few years. This is essentially my new job and where I spend most of my time now. This is also something that I have to continue to do as these investments would be our main source of passive income when both of us are retired.
Blogging - I am quite interested in blogging mainly because it would allow me to connect with other people with similar interests and goals. I also want to share my own unique experiences about personal finance and early retirement as I continue my new journey into financial independence.
I have already taken the first few steps in starting this blog and now I am ready to share my thoughts and ideas with the world. I am not doing this to make money; at least not at this point. My main purpose for this blog is to allow me to write about my early retirement experiences and things that I am passionate about while collaborating with other people who have similar goals and aspirations.
Volunteering - This is an area that I want to get into . I have done some small amount of volunteering through my previous job and through my wife's school. However, I want to get a bit more involved in volunteering as it would give more meaning to my life and also would keep me happy and connected with people. I have also had this strong desire to give back to community and volunteering would be an excellent way to achieve that goal.
Staying physically fit - Staying physically fit and healthy is really important to me as well as my wife. Since now I stay home most of the day, I have to put an extra effort to stay active and go out for regular walks or get on the elliptical to burn some calories. I am also trying to do my blogging and investment related work while standing rather than sitting. I recently bought a standing workstation setup that allows me to turn my computer desk into a standing/sitting station. This allows me to work on my computer while standing. I am also interested in doing some Yoga and might start beginner lessons.
Playing with the dog - We have been wanting to get a dog for a long time and since we both worked full-time, we thought we would wait untill one of us is retired and can stay home during the day. So now, I have retired and we have started to look for a small dog. I think we want something in between, not too big and not too small. I just want to be able to play with the dog and go for walks. We are still researching on various breeds and talking to friends who already have dogs to get an idea of what type of dog would be a good match for us. Hopefully, we will figure this out soon and will add a new member into our small family.
Reading interesting new books - Since I was a kid, reading story books was my favorite thing to do instead of going out and playing outdoors. I used to save every penny I would get and use it to buy the latest update of my favorite detective novel. Now I read a wide variety of non-fiction books. I recently finished a book titled "Mindset" by Carol Dweck (a psychologist). It is a very interesting and good book to read if you want to learn about different mindsets that people have. It talks about how to think with a growth mindset and to be more receptive to learning from failures. It also covers why people fail to achieve their goals or give up too soon when trying new and challenging things. I found this book to be quite interesting and useful and I will be applying some of the ideas from the book into my personal life. As I have more time now, I will be expanding my book collection. I still like to buy real paper books instead of ebooks.
Tinkering with Commodore 64 - I am also a collector of my childhood Commodore 64 computers. This is the computer that got me started into the world of programming and computers. I like to collect old C64 computers and fix them up. I also have a nice collection of C64 games which I play at times. I have a Nintendo Wii; however, I don't remember the last time I played a game on it. Most of the video games nowadays look too real and some of them can be quite violent or scary to play even for an adult. I like the old 80s and early 90s video games. I also have an Atari 2600 that I play sometimes. We do have a local Commodore 64 user's club in our town; I may start going there and get involved.
Well these are pretty much all the things that I will be doing in my early retirement, at least for now and hopefully they will keep me busy.
Would love to hear if you have any ideas or suggestions on hobbies and activities that you like.