Do we miss working at all? The obvious answer is HECK NO. And, that answer would be 95% accurate. But, we’ll be honest, there are a few aspects of work that we really do miss.
What we DON’T miss:
Meetings and never-ending conference calls. When we were working it felt like most of our meetings were to discuss the previous meeting’s results and schedule another meeting to discuss the next meeting. Ugh. Of course we don’t miss that!
Performance reviews. Who really enjoys performance reviews? No one. Well, in retirement, no one is giving us a performance review. So, we don’t have the stress of performance ratings, being told about our “areas of improvement”, or giving feedback to others.
Weekly status reports. We both hope that for the rest of our lives we never have to do another status report. What a huge waste of time and money. That’s thousands of hours of our lives that we’ll never get back! 😊
Consulting lingo. When we were using consulting speak we didn’t even realize it. But, when we talk with our consulting friends now, we’re reminded of how the lingo is just a little over the top. We can’t even count how often we used terms like swim lane, stakeholdering, touch base, deliverable, overarching, proposal, 24/7, mind meld, seamless, and action items. Get the idea? We don’t use any of these terms now…at all.
Constantly having to deal with “urgent” client problems. Neither one of us misses being the so-called expert with a bill rate of almost $700/hour and an annual sales target in the millions. Talk about stress! We’re both simple people from small towns in rural America. Standing in front of CEOs, CFOs, and CIOs did not come naturally. We don’t miss the anxiety and hours of prep work that went into client meetings and presentations.
What we DO miss:
Daily coffee breaks. Carter seriously misses his daily runs to Starbucks, which were just an excuse to socialize with co-workers. Now, he sits on the sofa and takes 1 ½ hours to drink 1 cup of home-brewed coffee each morning.
Being challenged. No, we don’t miss the constant grind of work, but we do miss being challenged. I think we’d probably both like part-time jobs working 5-10 hours per week just so we can keep challenging our minds and learning. But, we haven’t gotten to the point where we’ve actually looked for work prospects. For now, we’re challenging ourselves in different ways with unpaid opportunities.
Getting a paycheck and vacation time. It’s still kinda odd knowing we don’t get paychecks and we don’t have to plan or ask for time off. Honestly, we’re still trying to figure out what a “vacation” is since we don’t work.
Planning what to do with our annual bonuses. Man, those annual bonuses were pretty awesome. We used to each buy ourselves something smallish (think new tennis shoes or an iPad), pay off something big, and invest the rest.
Getting paid for doing non work-related stuff. I wonder how much time we spent looking for travel deals, checking out the weather forecast, or just chatting with co-workers. When you’re actually doing that, you don’t think, “wow, I just got paid for doing nothing!” But, when you’re retired, no one is paying you for surfing the internet or talking.
Travelling around the world. This might seem a little crazy, but we miss work travel the most. We miss traveling to cities like Manila, London, New York, Chicago, and Orlando. We generally flew business class, ate at top restaurants, slept in the best hotels, and collected thousands of points/miles. Who wouldn’t miss that???
Do you see a theme here? We don’t really miss work at all. We miss the money, perks, and people that come along with the work. I’m guessing that’s normal for most retirees. We just happen to be 47 and 52 years old and in our second year of retirement. Stay tuned. Maybe we’ll find ourselves part-time jobs and actually enjoy the work along with all of the side benefits.