One Month Into My Early Retirement Adventure!

Yesterday marked the one month anniversary of my early retirement.  Where did the time go?  Why didn’t I accomplish more?  It seems like just yesterday I was working, yet it also seems like an eternity ago.

I guess I’m a motivated person, and can’t turn the need to be productive off like a switch.  Immediately after retiring I made a quick action plan that I wanted to focus on during the first month of retiring.  The list is a mix of things that I want or need to do, but haven’t really had much time for while working full time.


Keeping Busy

Here was my list of goals for the first month:

  1. Ebay a bunch of stuff
  2. Learn a foreign language or 3
  3. Investigate starting a blog and/or a Youtube channel
  4. Get more exercise
  5. Cook even more than I already have been, and perfect some new dishes
  6. Hang out with more people more often
  7. Play more video games
  8. Read more books


How did I do?

  1. Ebayed a couple things, but not the 8-10 things I wanted to.
  2. Learn a foreign language – I’m diligently working on French language at, and trying to do one module per day at least.  The last week I have been pretty successful, but I need to focus more.
  3. Investigate starting a blog and/or a Youtube channel – You are reading this, so obviously the blog is up and going.  No progress on the youtube channel.  The blog is an incredible time suck and an addicting hobby.  I regret I never spent any time before on a project like this!  But I plan to back off the time investment a little bit in month #2.
  4. Get more exercise – Big check on this one!  I have managed to walk the kids to and from school (total 2+ miles per day) and walked to the grocery store, other shopping, library, and community center with our one year old in tow.  This is a great way to get exercise and spend time outdoors.  The weather has been very cooperative here in North Carolina, and hopefully I can keep this up as winter approaches.  Pork Carnitas
  5. Cook even more – Check!  Plenty of time to cook now that I’m retired. I have been working on some new recipes and techniques.  Tamales and french bread have been two recent successes, and today I made some awesome jambalaya and fondant (not for the same dish!).  Now that I have ample free time, I don’t feel guilty that it took me almost all day to make tamales (instead of knocking out other honey do list items).
  6. Hang out with more people Check!  I have set up many play dates with other kids and their parents, and we hosted our daughters’ first sleepover.  Ample lunches with old buddies and reconnecting.  So far I am getting good vibes from everyone on the retirement, and no “complainypants”.
  7. Play more video/computer games – I’m a little disappointed in myself, I thought I would do a better job.  I’ll leave this on the list for month #2 and subsequent months.
  8. Read more books – I have slacked off here as well.  This will be a higher priority next month.  I love to read, and I’m pretty sure the weather will be perfect for some porch sitting and book reading.

I also had the time to keep up with one particularly interesting and rewarding volunteering gig that led to a little bit of impromptu political activism and speech-giving.  Hobnobbing with politicians is more fun when you do it on your terms and for your own good purposes.

Of course, our three kids keep me running ragged.  I have so much quality time with our one year old everyday.  We have a recurring weekly play date with another little boy his age, and our little one loves these trips.  The very early childhoods of my two daughters passed by so quickly, I never had time to realize what I was missing.  Now I’m getting a chance to relive those early days of childhood through the experiences of our little one year old boy.

The thing that is keeping me busiest these days is Root of Good.  It is very rewarding to watch traffic grow each day, and see the visitors continue to rise.  The last few days have seen hundreds of visitors each day, and almost 1,000 page views per day.  The global nature of the internet amazes me, as I watch visitors trickle in from all over the globe (every continent except Antarctica).

As I reflect back on my first month in retirement, the biggest thing that I learned is that you have to intentionally make time for leisure activities that are important to you.  Even if you aren’t working, time can still mysteriously wander away, and it can still be hard to accomplish everything you want to do.  Let’s hope month #2 is more productive in a leisurely way!


Hello to all my new friends from around the US and rest of the world!  Drop me a line in the comments below to say “hi” (or hola or bonjour).  If you want to keep in touch, follow me at @rootofgoodblog or on Facebook.  



  • It seems you are doing what most retirees irrespective of their age do: being very, very busy. Just out of curiousity, why would you want to play more viseo/computer games (particularly given you failed it)?

    • Just because you fail at something doesn’t mean you should give up!

      I have always enjoyed computer games, and would like to continue playing them. I have simply been busy and haven’t had time. I’m coming around to the conclusion that if you want to do something, do it today, and make it happen. Otherwise you will put it off and it may never get done. I think it is important to “force” yourself to sit back and relax for a minute, and engage in some fun, recreational activities.

      • Agreed that you should find time to relax but like Maria said if you didn’t play games wasn’t it because you didn’t miss it? I always find time to do what is really important to me.

        • No way! I missed it. Work always got in the way. Or put a different way, I prioritized my non-working time on other pursuits that didn’t include many video games.

          Now that I have retired, I have plenty of free time to play computer games if I want. I still haven’t spent much time playing games, but that is a fall back if I ever get bored. Unlikely to happen, but possible!

  • Good stuff man! Can you point me to a post about how much you were able to accumulate and your income stream if you got a post? Im always fascinated with how people have built up their passive income streams and any new strategies to deploy.


    • Sam, I don’t have a detailed post yet that tells how much I have and that outlines the income stream from investments. Eventually I’ll get one up. As for investments, I have described those elsewhere as seven figures, but just barely. For now, I’m going to leave it a little vague publicly.

      For income, Mrs. RootofGood is still working for now, and we are still saving 40% of her income and living off the rest. We earn a little over $20,000 per year in dividend income, with about $9000 of that in our taxable brokerage accounts. I used to automatically reinvest that $9000 in dividends, but I’m switching it up now that I’m retired and using that $9k to live on. That will help me get comfortable with living off my investments and spending some of the proceeds from our hard earned money.

      The best summary of our overall financial journey is here: That’s an overview, and intentionally light on numbers and charts since it is a summary. More details will follow.

  • Great job on your first month!
    I gave up on video games a couple of years ago. It just takes way too much time.
    Maybe once the kid is out of the house and I’m fully retired, I’ll get back into video games. In 15 years or so…

    • Never give up! I’m sad to say I have essentially given up too. I’ll try to squeeze in a little computer game time here and there, but I don’t think I’m spending more than 1-2 hrs/wk on this very enjoyable activity. It does feel like a time waster!

      I guess it says something when the most played device in our house is our original 8 bit Nintendo:

      • Really? What games do you play? I never had an 8 bits Nintendo when I was growing up. 🙁

        • It’s mostly Mrs. RootofGood. Tetris. Check out the video ^. The kids love playing it too.

          In the last few years I have played Starcraft 2, Call of Duty (older ones), Kingdom Rush (a Flash game, also on ipad), Conquer Club ( online turn based strategy game). Right now, the only thing I’m actively playing is Conquer Club, and it is like 10 minutes 1 time per day.

  • Man, loving your content here! 🙂
    I’m sure I’ll read about it in future post as I smash through them but how have you gone with the language?
    Duolingo looks like they have a solid platform there

  • Hi!
    How did you get to a thousand daily visits in a month?

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