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January 23, 2010


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This is something that I've been thinking a lot about lately. As I (hopefully) approach my escape from the rat race I often think that once I've decompressed that I will get a part time fun job ala starbucks or as you say working with animals etc and yes like you I've even thought of working as an estate agent (how hard can it be, no desk and plenty of exericse and commission?).

DH often says to me that once we exit the rat race he doesnt care if he has to have a part time job to supplement our funds and he says he will do anything! But I dont really think that he has thought about that statement :)

Who knows, time will tell.


Bulls eye again Syd. I did a little freelance feature writing for a local newspaper when I first retired. Well, not first thing but several months into retirement. Little cash but it was interesting to get back to my early days of interviewing. After half a dozen months, however, my interest waned. My efforts became more sporadic and finally stopped. My getting-ready-for-retirement list had so many things I wanted to do. That is where my interest lies. Working on the list is a full-time endeavor that is filling my life with satisfaction, new experiences and strengthened relationships.


The universe of interesting things for which no one will pay you is far greater than the universe of interesting things for which someone will.

This is awesome, and so timely for me. I think because of my upbringing, I have a tendency to look at almost all of my activities in a slant of "How can this make me money?" Like I was in the Salvation Army yesterday, shopping for wooden boxes that I could fix up to store perfume samples (I'm, uh, a bit of a perfume-ophile), and I started thinking, "Hey, I could fix these up and decorate them and sell them for a profit!"

But my life is so, so full. I don't need to devote more of it to making a profit than I already do.


Another great post Syd! I keep getting former colleagues contacting me with various gigs in the technology field, and early on (I retired at 50 two years ago) I was tempted. But I haven't bit on anything, since I am enjoying each and every day, week and month so much, why do I want to put those work-based restrictions on my life again? I will never say never, but never for now ... ;-)

Retired Syd

How true, Dennis. One thing I have definitely learned in retirement is never say never. Isn't that really the best part? If you decide tomorrow you want to do something different than today, you're retired, so you get to do it!

Steve Skinner

Before retiring two years ago, I assumed that early into retirement the yearn to return to work would resurface. Since then, I have turned down the same temporary job offer twice. For the present time, I receive sufficient validation working as a volunteer at my four favorite organizations.

Retired Syd

Steve: Thanks for your comment. I am just starting to seriously investigate a volunteer commitment. Since you've already been retired for 2 years, I would love your advice on what sort of a time commitment worked for you as you balanced your retirement passions with a desire to contribute.


Fun is the keyword for retirement. Even if one feels a need to go back to work for economic reasons, I feel it should be in an area you really enjoy, if fact, have a passion for. Volunteering, retirement hobbies or working from home can all be rewarding if you love it.

Live your passion.

Steve Skinner

I am likely the wrong guy to give suggestions on what constitutes balance with regards to time spent at volunteer activities. One of my goals for retirement was to become established in one volunteer activity, currently I volunteer at four different organizations. Last year my total volunteer hours averaged about eight hours per week. Volunteering has become so important to me because it allows me to be with people on a regular basis. I worked over thirty years as a forester and frequently worked alone so volunteering has helped me to “rebalance” my social skills in a manner of speaking!


Hi Syd,

Not only do I recommend your blog to other people who retire, I LOVE going back to the older posts. Your posts are truly insightful and timelessly helpful. I am a fiber artist and am exploring the possibility of doing some flexible small business. It is not money driven, but I would love to contribute to the creative world. I already do charity knitting and volunteering so those bases are covered.

What is giving me pause is the administrative overhead of running a small business and the overcrowded creative market. The are pitfalls with litigiousness and idea theft. The war stories from Etsy sellers speak volumes. It is a poor way to make income and a great way to destroy the passion in a hobby. The last paragraph in your blog hits the nail on the head. If I don't come up with a great idea after thinking outside of the box, I am going to still with the fiber arts as an avocation. The option I am considering is teaching and charge for my time.

Retired Syd

MiriamR: Thank you so much for your encouraging email and good luck finding the perfect way to enjoy your art without squashing your passion. Teaching seems perfect!

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