4 things we wish we would have done before we retired early

There are times when we think we’ve done a really great job of setting ourselves up for early retirement.  And, there are other times when we fully acknowledge there are soooooo many things we wish we would have done much earlier in life.  We realize hindsight is 20/20, and here are 4 things we wish we would have done years ago:

1Stop keeping up with the Jones

We don’t think anyone would ever accuse us of being over the top when it comes to our lifestyle.  But, we fully admit to:

  • Buying a big ass house instead of a tiny home (tiny is relative when you live with Carter!)
  • Buying one (or ten!) too many designer bags
  • Signing up for vacations just because everyone else was going
  • Buying water toys because we wanted to be cool (literally and figuratively)
  • Ordering “fancy drinks” when a well drink is pretty darn good
  • Upgrading vehicles when the originals drove just fine

Yes, you gotta live and have fun along the way.  But, we sure wish we’d saved and invested a lot of that money vs. spending it on stuff we ended up selling or not enjoying as much as we thought we would.  

2Pick up a hobby

Everybody needs a hobby or two or three!  It doesn’t matter whether it’s collecting something, creating something, fixing something, volunteering for something, selling/buying something, or doing something physical.

We’ve both been active our entire lives, but playing football, boxing, and mountain biking aren’t the best sports to continue as we age. ☹  We recently started hiking more and we’re learning to play tennis and pickleball.  Yes, we get plenty of active minutes playing tennis and pickleball, but the best part is the social interaction and putting our minds to work getting better at the strategies of the games.

As we’ve been on the road, it’s been fun to find local tennis or pickle ball leagues and join in their fun. It’s pretty much a built-in community with similar interests.

We’re also trying new things like writing a novel, digging in to ancestry, and woodworking.  Who knows how long these will interest us, but we want to give them a try so we can keep our minds and hands busy.

3Create a will

Creating a will is one of those things we kept putting on our calendars and then moving it the to next month and then the next year.  If you’ve been following us for a while, you know we had multiple deaths in our family last year.  We watched as family members were confused, hurt, and overwhelmed when there wasn’t a will to explain everything.  We realized we needed a will that provides plenty of detail and isn’t based on today’s emotion.

We’re using www.legacywriter.com to create our will and then we’ll have it notarized and filed with our financial advisor.  Honestly, we can’t wait to cross this one off our list.  And, we hope it will help our family understand why we did what we did.

4Instill the value of money in our son

We sure wish we would have instilled the value of money in our son at a much younger age.  It seems like learning the value of money is something that should just come naturally.  But, it doesn’t.  As most others from our generation do, Carter and his ex used credit cards for everything. So, our son never really saw actual money exchange hands.  Since our son graduated from college, we’ve been working with him on budgeting, and managing his credit. 

But, gosh we wish we would have started all of this so much earlier.  It feels like our son got a crash course on the value of money at the age of 24 vs learning along the way.  And, now that we’re retired, we don’t have a ton of money sitting around ready to support our son if he makes mistakes, needs a loan, or needs more than a little help.

There are so many things we wish we would have done earlier in life.  Sometimes we get mad at ourselves, but then we realize it’s really never too late to start.    

10 thoughts on “4 things we wish we would have done before we retired early

  1. Great job, I am forwarding this article to our sons 37 and 40yrs old. Big cars big houses. They are building equity in there rental homes and planning on creating a income stream for retirement with them. Basically following in my footsteps. I hope it works for them.


    • Hi Dale! That’s awesome to hear your sons are building their equity and setting up a “passive” income stream. Have to admit we love getting “paid” and not having to work!


  2. Read your latest blog. I always knew you were both very intelligent, but when the heck did you get so wise?😀 Good on you for all the lessons you’ve learned and are still learning. Holly, send my love and hugs to your Mon. 😘


    • Hi Gail! Thanks for following us! We’ll be seeing mom in a couple weeks. She’s joining us in Maine for 10 days or so, and then we start our journey back to Arizona.


  3. All four items you mentioned are great. Looking forward to seeing you guys soon. Safe travels. Glenn, Wendy, and Angus.

    Sent by Glenn from my iPhone



    • Lessons learned, right!?!? We’ll be back at VP in mid-October. Hope to see you shortly after that. Tell Wendy and Angus we said hello.


  4. Thanks for including me on your mailing list. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your exploits. You have done a marvelous job. Keep those posts coming!


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