So, what is semi retirement, exactly? Forgive me if this sounds like a rant. And maybe it is just a matter of semantics. Or, perhaps I’m just jealous of those who consider themselves “semi retired” – whatever that means. You’re either retired, or you’re not. Otherwise, you’re simply still semi working…
Living the nomadic life for the past 15+ years, some might consider us semi retired. Believe me, that is not at all the case. In some ways, Rene and I are working harder than we ever have. Okay, in many ways. Sure, we have plenty of projects on our plates right now consuming us in more ways than were ever expected. But that comes with self employment.
Making a living on the road as we do, however, gives us certain liberties uncommon to the typical working stiff. For starters, we get to set our own hours. But that is a blessing and a curse. It takes some serious discipline. In addition, we can change our office view whenever we like. Again a curse, when not much gets done on long driving days.
The ability to work from anywhere may sound great, and it is. But the work part is the key there. To enjoy all the beautiful locations and attractions we visit, we have to put in the hours. As a result, by working so hard we’ll never enjoy it as much as someone truly retired. They have no other obligations and responsibilities preventing them from ultimate enjoyment of the entire experience. So what is semi retirement if you’re still semi working?
What Is Semi Retirement If Not Retired?
I’ve never really cared for the term retirement. Sure, I love the concept. But for me, being “retired” has always sounded like being put out to pasture. I could sure handle some free range grazing, but I bet that patch o’ grass is gonna get old quick. Also, I know that Rene and I will always be doing something. She still hasn’t quite learned how to relax, really. She’d surely immerse herself in more jewelry making. I’d probably write more. I may possibly pick up my more creative habits where I left them many years ago. And, we both are so passionate about our work at Tripawds, that I don’t see us ever stop fulfilling our purpose there.
All of these endeavors in turn create more work. But these these alone won’t pay the bills. And work hasn’t really felt so much like work since we stopped working for other people. Our first good dose of freedom came when we stopped working for the man. That’s when we first fled corporate culture and started working for ourselves. However, running our own full-service marketing business for 10+ years only meant we were then working for someone else.
We moved to a remote small town, and the client base was always changing. So was the project mix. We could kinda create our own schedule, so we would take off for long weekend hikes with Jerry whenever we wanted. Well not quite whenever…was that being semi retired? Not exactly. But, what is semi retirement?
Semi Retired or Semi Working
Semi retirement is nothing more than semi working. You’re either retired, or you’re not. Subsequently, you either have “enough” to feel comfortable doing the things you want without constant financial worry. Otherwise, you’re still working to make it all possible.
This Yahoo Finance article answers the question, What is Semi Retirement?
Semi-retirement is a period of time during which a person stops working full-time in their previous career and begins working fewer hours or, perhaps, putting regular workweeks at some money-earning pursuit that they find more enjoyable and rewarding.
Could Semi-Retirement Be Right For Me?
Note that part about putting in time “at some money-earning pursuit” and the “more enjoyable and rewarding” bit. That, one might argue, is what semi retirement is all about. I would argue that has everything to do with having a fulfilling work life in the first place. As a result, one will never feel the need to semi retire. This definition of “what is semi retirement” also suggests it has nothing to do with being retired. It simply defines it as finding more fulfillment in your work. In that sense alone, we may have been semi retired all along. Personally, I like the idea of figuring out FIRE more than wondering what is semi retirement.
Therefore, there is no “semi retirement” in my mind. You’re either retired or you’re not. Or, we’ve been semi retired for quite some time now. And, it certainly doesn’t feel like we’ve been semi working at all.