What Happens to people Who RETIRE EARLY?

I ask this because we have had an excellent run-up in the stock market, and there are still many “DOT-COM” millionaires out there. Recently, I heard that quite a number of young people (people in their early 30’s) are deciding to retire. My question (of course i am envious, having the bleak prospect of working till age 70!). My question is-does anybody know someone who has gone this route? Does retiring early screw you up? Or is it a blast (as I suspect it would).
Damn: why didn’t I buy Microsoft at $12.00/share!

A lot of them go on to second careers where they don’t have to worry about low pay – teaching, social work, volunteerism, etc. Some of them keep their hand in with consulting. But yes, there are a few who join what used to be called “the idle rich.”

I’m planning on retiring when I hit the ripe old age of 32, so I hope it doesn’t ruin me. I don’t have gazillions of dollars sitting out there, but depending on the #!#@@#! NASDAQ, I have enough to give up the high-paying stressful job and either get a “fun” job or maybe even not work at all.

Back when the NASDAQ was nice and high, I had fantasies about not working at all. I decided that ultimately, that would be boring. Once I quit this job (have to stay until the ol’ stock options are fully vested), I’m moving somewhere with a low cost of living, and if I decide to work, it’ll either be something along the lines of consulting work done over the internet, or finding a job that I truly enjoy doing. The only way I wouldn’t work is if I decide to have kids, which is a job in itself.

My dad’s done it twice, and appears to be going for number three. (He’s fifty-four.) Became a consultant the first time, became a much-higher-paid consultant with lots of time off for traveling the second time, and is now flirting with the idea of becoming a full-time political activist.

He seems like he’s having a blast.

You might want to check out the Retire Early Home Page board on the Motley Fool: http://boards.fool.com/messages.asp?mid=14303056&bid=112992

Intercst, the guy who founded that board, retired several years ago at the age of 38. He’s happy with his decision and now helps others to retire early by publishing his research on the Web.

It’s pretty boring. After you buy every toy you could possible have & sit around with nothing more to do, it gets old fast.

Many start another business even after they get rich.

I’m like Athena. Got the stock options for a NASDAQ-listed company, hoping to hold on to them until I am fully vested, in three years. But I have some problems:

I hate my job. The term “Golden Handcuffs” has never been so sadly apt.

They keep throwing bonuses at me. Those, too, vest over four years. And the bonuses are more lucrative than my original options (I started work 2 weeks before last March’s NASDAQ tanq).

I have no idea what I would want to do with my life if I retired at 35. Probably just sit around and drink beer. Play with my dog. Watch “Springer”.

Airblairxxx, we’re very much in the same boat. When I first got these options, I remember thinking “Oh yeah, great, stock options. If I’m lucky they’ll be worth $100 someday.” That was in '98, then came a buyout by a large company, then the NASDAQ bang. When I took this job in '97, the plan was to stay for 2 years and bolt since I knew I wasn’t going to like it much. Now here I am, hating it but I can’t afford to leave. Oh well, there’s always the straight dope.

That’s the most likely reason I’d get fired: Because I spend all my time on the 'Dope message boards.

Interesting question…

I retired at 35 (actually 34 1/2) after a successful 13 years trading commodities. Toward the end, the stress was eating me alive and it seemed my job was causing me to age three years for every one I kept working. With no need to work anymore, I bailed and mulled my options: sail around the south Pacific, live permanently at St. Lucia, take up painting or something. Didn’t do any of it. Just fiddled around.

Three years later, the boredom, the expensive toys, the general B.S. is eating me alive and I need something meaninful to do. (And, in a weird way, the boredom is stressful.) My whole life has been so fixated on money, money, money that I wonder what’s left for me? Can’t see charity work–no money there. (haha)

Seriously, for me it’s a grass is greener situation. I’d love to have the values to do something to help humanity in some small way, but 13 years of trading, back-knifing, and working 80 hour weekly combat has pretty much cast me in stone. Hence my newfound interest in SDMB.

Gotta get a hobby…