I cannot believe that it is already six years since I retired early. I retired exactly on this day in 2018. In these 6 years I have seen several interesting things, met a variety of people, changed our lifestyle and health in more ways than one. It was a good ride. Of course it might not have been any different even if I was working but things would not have felt so leisurely and I certainly wouldn’t have time to write about it. The finances are going as per plan. Physical health is fine. Coming to things I wanted to do after retirement, or as I like to call as hobby projects have been going amazingly well. Even better than I originally planned and I still have a lot more to look forward to. But best of all, I am thoroughly enjoying the time I get to spend with my daughter. I also have more time for family and friends too.

We started off on our biggest project that we wanted to do right after retirement, which was sustainable living. After unschooling, minimalism and early retirement, we wanted to try out sustainable living. First order of business was to start an organic garden. A couple of months after I retired, we started planning, designing and implementing our terrace garden. While that work was going, we wanted to include other aspects of sustainable living like rain water harvesting. So we planned, designed and implemented a rain water harvesting system. Then we moved on to setting up a solar panel to become even more sustainable. Continuing on our sustainable living journey, we eventually decided to purchase a farm and make it a place where we will go fully sustainable. That project is now ongoing and it will take another few years.

I was working on several other auxillary projects such as setting up a drip irrigation for our organic garden and then automating it. Use technology when you can to save time basically :). Then I worked on a project that improves the efficiency of our solar panel setup. Meanwhile, a couple of sad lightening events took place and wiped out my 5.1 AVR system (among other things). So I had to build a DIY 5.1 amp. Built a couple of projects to improve my efficiency in investments and in keeping in touch with friends. And who can forget this blog, which I have been routinely updating with new posts every week. But hobby projects are not everything in life after retirement.

The biggest event that I faced and never anticipated even in the slightest was COVID-19. It happened pretty soon after I retired and remained in the news and minds for another 2 years. Never seen that kind of an event in my life. Even if I was working I would have been in the same situation as I was during that time, although it would have been a lot more stressful. Many people called to tell me that they were experiencing a slice of what I must be experiencing staying at home all day long stuck with family. That is all true, with one major difference – I was not working and our daughter is not doing online school. It was all a pretty chill time in terms of stress due to work or school. We still had the anxiety of COVID-19 though.

Thankfully though, the whole family was able to keep their health during the toughest times. We had some other health issues, but none of them were life threatening. I am still working out which started out as a way to spend some fun time with colleagues at the gym back when I was in the US, which later became an obsession. I started in 2008 and have continued non-stop till date which totals 16 years. While I am not as strong or flexible as when I was at the time I started, I am fitter than ever. To spice up things I joined Karate a year before I retired and I am still continuing 7 years later! Being a fitness freak, eating habits have remained clean since 2008 too.

Coming to financial health, it is doing okay. Nothing to complain and nothing to get excited about either. My corpus is doing fine and remains with in the bounds I projected at time I retired. As long as I am in the band between red and green lines (see chart below), I will be fine. The corpus is growing at around 10% since retirement as anticipated.

That corpus had been through some bad times like the COVID-19 stock market crash, the Franklin debacle and all the unnecessary taxes I had to pay etc. Meanwhile, the expenses have always been in control and have never been a cause for concern even as we purchased a new car and a bunch of electronics like TVs, laptops, phones etc.

Coming to spending time with my daughter, it is going exceptionally well. She being unschooled and me being retired, we spend way too much time together having fun and going nuts, much to the detriment of her mother who has to cleanup after us :). I know teenage is not too far away for my daughter and I dread it. I am trying to spend as much time as possible before she enters teens when she may prefer a life with friends than me. I also have to prepare myself for that eventuality too. I am also getting so much time to spend with my better half, watching movies, cricket, going on evening walks or helping with organic gardening. It is just pure fun and good bonding. After spending all that time in investments, projects and daughter, I still have more time left over to spend time with family and friends.

It has been good six years in early retirement, but it is so short compared to how much time I have already spent and how much time is still left to be lived. Hope the future is as adventurous and exciting as the past six years have been!