It is interesting to know that the options for work increase dramatically after you announce that you retired. I did not know this fact. Not just that but people generally tend to have a different outlook about you. I will share some interesting observations I made after my retirement.
Popularity goes up
My popularity went up after early retirement. I was never the popular kid. However, soon after my retirement there have been requests for my involvement in various things ranging from
- asking me to work on start-ups
- collaboration on writing research papers
- working on patents
- becoming an independent director
- several project ideas with hope of turning them to business etc
It is extremely good to know that I have options. The hardest part is to tell them that I am not interested in working anymore. Not because I did not like the ideas, I do like some of them. The reason I retired is to spend more time with family. If I became busy with start-ups or other projects whose timelines are not under my control, it does not make sense to retire early. Thankfully everyone (for the most part) understood my dilemma and graciously stopped their pursuit.
Another category of people generally want some help with their ideas, projects or financial situation. They don’t necessarily need me work on their projects but either want me to go over their ideas, finances or ask me how they can get started (technology, feasibility, financial planning etc) or need help when they get stuck. For these kind of requests I timebox myself to 7 hours for each person. I do whatever research I can for them within the time limit. On most projects I required much less time than the 7 hours per person to help them out.
While I don’t mind spending time on them, almost all project ideas I heard were either
- not feasible
- have competitors in the space
- idea already patented
- have privacy issues
- political or govt affiliation required
- need a lot of sales skills
- not fully thought through etc.
Only one project was interesting and had some legs. I spent more than 50 hours on code, electronics and going to places to visit people for sales etc. But in the end it did not work out for the fellow.
This category of people are the ones that I find most amusing. Some people will genuinely try to help you when you declare that you retired. They take notice of my worn out shabby clothes, the downgrade from 2 cars to 1, mixing the mud (organic gardening), sweeping and picking up the leaves (for composting), weeding the plants, among other things and wonder if I am doing ok.
Some tell me about open job positions in a friend’s company. May be they thought I got fired and hence staying at home. The concept of early retirement and not doing anything is quite novel if you ask me. So I can’t blame them. Another neighbor asked me in a concerned voice “I heard that you are staying at home? Hope all is good”. I told him that I intentionally retired early.
So those were some wide categories I have seen after retirement. Will let you know if I encounter more. All I can say is that I am grateful that people care for me and I understand their concern. But I am travelling off the beaten path. Don’t know what awaits on the other side. We shall find out together.