September 25, 2023

Hey everybody. It’s time for my 11th annual early retirement replace! Wow, I can’t consider it has been that lengthy since I left my engineering profession. Early retirement has been nice. I’ve no regrets in any respect. This previous yr has been tougher than typical, however I nonetheless love early retirement. It will have been much more irritating if I used to be nonetheless working. That’s for positive. Okay, let’s do a fast recap then I’ll share what occurred.

Early Retirement Recap

Earlier than ER – I labored in laptop chip design for 16 years. At first, engineering was nice. I loved studying and dealing on technical points. Ultimately, I turned a senior engineer and wanted to tackle extra management roles. The profession was not a superb match for me and my well being suffered. Personally, I believe each engineer ought to plan for early retirement.

12 months 1 ER – I retired to change into a SAHD/blogger in 2012 when our son was 18 months outdated. That first yr was the hardest yr for me. Being a SAHD to a toddler was a ton of labor. At that age, they don’t pay attention in any respect and continually push boundaries.

12 months 2 to 4 ER – Life turned a bit simpler as soon as RB40Jr began preschool. I had extra time to work on my weblog and my well being. It was a superb steadiness. Life steadily improved as our son received older.

12 months 5 and 6 ER – RB40Jr began kindergarten and life turned superior. I had much more time to myself and he made a variety of associates. It was a giant turning level.

12 months 7 ER – We had extra challenges than typical and I used to be stressed. My mother was identified with dementia and relocated to Thailand. I couldn’t handle her and my son on the similar time. Ultimately, she would wish to go to a nursing residence. It’d be much more snug for her in Thailand.

12 months 8 ER – This was an odd yr. Life was nice till the coronavirus pandemic hit. Our governor shut down nonessential companies and closed all colleges. We didn’t do a lot.

12 months 9 ER – We stayed residence and life slowed right down to a crawl. We didn’t thoughts it as a result of we get pleasure from being residence. I went to see my mother in Thailand. Life was nearly regular there on the time. There have been just a few Covid instances so I had a pleasant break throughout the peak of the pandemic within the US. It was so good that I had a tough time adjusting to life again residence.

12 months 10 ER – The brand new regular arrived. Every little thing opened up and we spent extra time exterior our residence. I went to see my mother in Thailand and loved my time together with her. Sadly, she misplaced her capability to stroll that yr. My dad continued to take care of her, but it surely was getting too tough for him.

12 months 11 ER – Mrs. RB40 took a sabbatical. We traveled for 3 months. RB40Jr began center college. Mrs. RB40’s dad had a fall and was hospitalized. I went to spend 3 extra months with my mother. The weblog misplaced momentum. My mother handed away. It was a troublesome yr for me.

Household Life

Yikes. The eleventh yr was fairly hectic.

Initially, RB40Jr began center college. It was powerful for him as a result of he was so aware of his outdated elementary college and the workers. The brand new college was very completely different. The children had been means larger and he didn’t know any academics. Additionally, the center colleges had been within the information fairly typically this yr. Some children misbehaved and prompted every kind of havoc. He received via it, but it surely wasn’t a pleasing yr. His grades weren’t that nice both. He’ll want to enhance subsequent yr. We’ll pay nearer consideration to his homework.

Mrs. RB40 had a pleasant yr. She took a sabbatical and we traveled to California, Thailand, and the Maldives. We had a good time. I inspired her to retire early afterward, however she determined to return to work. She simply isn’t able to retire but. Work is fulfilling and she or he is an important member of her staff. They recognize her. If you’re doing effectively at work, then maintain at it. Don’t retire simply because you possibly can. She plans to work till our son graduates. Then we’ll transfer to California to be nearer to her dad and mom. Her dad is okay now, however he’ll want extra assist sooner or later.

As for me, I had a tough yr. Touring was a variety of enjoyable, however I additionally spent a variety of time away from my household. I went again to Thailand once more on the finish of 2022. My mother received pneumonia and was hospitalized. She by no means recovered totally. Her dementia continued to worsen as effectively. It was tough to see my mother in that situation, however I’m glad I frolicked together with her. She handed away a month after I got here residence. It was tough and I’m nonetheless processing it. Life is brief. It’s a must to get pleasure from it when you can.

Early Retirement remains to be superior

I had a troublesome yr, however it might have been extra irritating if I used to be working full-time. I didn’t have to fret about work once I was spending time with my mother. That’s precisely why I love early retirement. I’ve the autonomy to do no matter I need.

Early retirement remains to be superior, however the subsequent few years will likely be a transitional interval for me. Since I retired from my engineering profession, I spent most of my time running a blog and being a stay-at-home dad. Nevertheless, RB40Jr is rising up and the weblog is in decline. In 6 years, RB40Jr will go off to varsity. Running a blog in all probability will likely be useless by that time too. I have to reinvent myself earlier than then.  

Profitable Early Retirement?

All proper, let’s wrap it up with an analysis. There are 3 indicators of profitable retirement – well being, wealth, and happiness. Let’s see how I’m doing in all these areas.

More healthy?

Final yr wasn’t an awesome yr for well being. I walked lots in Thailand, however I’m a lot much less energetic at residence. My blood strain can also be greater. I have to train extra and eat more healthy.

All of the ups and downs additionally affected my psychological well being. I’ve been fascinated with dying, legacy, and all that stuff. Do I’ve solely 25 years left? That’s not a variety of time. It’s a bit miserable.


The previous yr has been surprisingly good for traders. The economic system stored rolling and the inventory market had large good points. Our web value is nearly again to its all-time excessive now. This can be a huge enchancment. I’m feeling good about our funds for the time being. Our passive revenue streams are doing positive as effectively.


Proper now, I’m a bit unstable emotionally. We had a variety of ups and downs this previous yr. I assume that’s life. However we had extra dangerous information than typical so it wasn’t the very best yr for me. The climate is nicer now, although. We’ve a number of upcoming street journeys this summer season. That ought to cheer me up. I’m getting again as much as my baseline happiness.

Hold at it

All in all, the final 11 years have been wonderful. Life is so significantly better than once I was working full-time. I don’t remorse retiring early in any respect. If I didn’t stop my engineering profession, I’d be much less wholesome and extra depressing. I may not even be wealthier. Whenever you’re sad, you spend cash to really feel higher. Who is aware of? I might need had a midlife disaster and gone off the deep finish if I used to be nonetheless caught within the outdated grey cubicle. That’s the true key to FIRE. You make it your purpose and go after it with all the pieces you bought. Life is brief. Don’t spend it doing one thing you dislike. Hold at it and good luck everybody!

Thanks once more for following my early retirement journey and good luck with yours! I recognize your help during the last 13 years. I’ll maintain running a blog so long as I can.

*Passive revenue is the important thing to early retirement. Today, I’m investing in multifamily properties with CrowdStreet. They’ve many initiatives throughout the US. Go verify them out!

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Joe began Retire by 40 in 2010 to determine the way to retire early. After 16 years of investing and saving, he achieved monetary independence and retired at 38.

Passive revenue is the important thing to early retirement. This yr, Joe is investing in business actual property with CrowdStreet. They’ve many initiatives throughout the USA so verify them out!

Joe additionally extremely recommends Private Capital for DIY traders. They’ve many helpful instruments that can make it easier to attain monetary independence.

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