Thinking about retirement: Why I think I may not want to fully retire

I spent about a year in 2011 faking what my retirement might be like, and I traveled quite a bit.

To recap, for about 8 months I went to the following cities around the world:

  • Beijing
  • Shanghai
  • Hong Kong
  • Macau
  • Singapore
  • Lisbon
  • Evora
  • Madrid
  • Salamanca
  • London
  • Paris
  • Stockholm
  • Brussels
  • Austria

During those actual days of traveling, I spent about $20,000.

I really enjoyed the whole experience, knowing fully how lucky I am to have had the resources (time & money) and the opportunity to do so…. but now I’m re-thinking my retirement.

You know how everyone always says they’d love to retire and travel the world? I don’t think I want to do that.

Traveling the way that we do on such a budget, is for the young

My parents who are nearing retirement, can’t handle the amount of walking and exhausting days of touring we did.

My aunt who is older than my parents, traveled to Paris for 2 weeks and spent $20,000. Obviously, some of the money was spent on clothing, but I’m fairly sure her hotel was a 4 or 5 star hotel (we stay in 2-3 stars), and they must have eaten in restaurants every single day.

Even if we had to money to travel like that, I am not sure I’d want to. It’s pretty tiring. I might want to go back to cities I enjoy like Hong Kong or New York, but not to do adventure traveling and discovering new places.

Traveling all the time gets boring

I know. First world problems… but it really gets to you, not being able to really relax, have a comfortable routine and to always be in tourist mode and on-the-go.

I missed my clothes and I missed the essentials of what makes a home for me, namely a kitchen!!!

After a while, all that traveling feels like a blur and I started feeling jaded.

I’d suggest traveling for 2-3 weeks at a time annually, rather than traveling the way we did.

You will enjoy it more, feel less stressed and really appreciate it. It’s a nice break from work, but not as a full-time endeavour.

I am dying to get back to work

I am by no means a workaholic, but I like being challenged mentally.

Traveling does challenge you mentally, but in a different way.

Even when I have kids, being challenged by them (both mentally and physically), still isn’t the same as working at my job.

When I work, I am able to use my experience and skills to figure out and solve problems, and that kind of challenge is what I miss the most, when I don’t work.

It just isn’t the same.

I am now considering a part-time retirement

I don’t even know how this will work, but if I could work part-time in my industry, or do something where it isn’t 40 hours a week, I’d probably do that when I retire.

Perhaps I will have less energy when I am older, and my mind might change… but at this point in my life, I feel like I have too much down time.

I need to be busier than this, but I don’t want to be so busy that I’m stressed.

So what are my options?

At this point, I have no idea. I know that I will not be traveling 100% on vacation when I retire, and I know I will miss being challenged and using my skills when I don’t work at my job.

I know I will have kids, which will help fill that void of busy-ness immensely, but I really don’t think I have the personality nor the will to be a full-time stay-at-home parent.

Maybe I could start a business on the side… but that’s like working, isn’t it? Arg.

So .. what ARE my options?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.