Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Just a man in a car…

It’s Wednesday, a work day for me.

I was driving down Nepean Highway, shortly after 8 AM. Although the traffic is better than it was before COVID, it was still fairly busy and when the light ahead of us turned red, traffic on my side of the highway, (the one leading into the city) banked up.

A car was stopped on the other side of the road, waiting to turn into one of the side streets leading to parking beside the beach.

The driver was an older guy, with a kayak strapped to the roof of his car. He waited patiently for a break in the traffic.

I smiled as I realised. What a perfect portrait for retirement, early or otherwise!

Here were the lemmings all jammed together on their way to work, while the guy who has his freedom was choosing to spend this early, sparkling Spring morning out on the bay.

I’m typing this from a classroom while my year 7s are completing a very dull assessment task on a very worthy movie called ‘Whale Rider.’ I’ll have to read every word that they’re writing.

The sky from the window is a clear blue with a few faint strips of cloud. The leaves on the tree outside are barely moving.

It’s a perfect day to be outside.


Four and a half weeks to go…


  1. Budget Life List

    Well, apparently that man with a kayak does have it all figured out!

    I love kayaking, I learned it on the job as a Park Ranger. Who am I kidding, a Park Ranger isn’t a job it’s a lifestyle. ???

    • FrogdancerJones

      A school friend of mine ran off and married a park ranger.

  2. Maureen

    One of the many great discoveries of retirement was seeing the vast community of retirees playing out in the world on weekdays, and staying at home on weekends to avoid the crowds. My two retired friends and I just completed our version of a triathalon – kayaking, biking, and cocktails on a lovely fall weekday. It’s a whole new world you’ll soon be joining.

    • FrogdancerJones

      I read this comment out to my friend at school who’s longing to retire.
      She loved it.

  3. Jane in London

    Also, being able to do your shopping only at quiet times is a great boon of retirement. I won’t go near a crowded shop any more – I go when there are few people about, and no queues. The shop assistants have time to actually assist you!

    Well, I’m only shopping at the supermarket at the moment as we’re locked down in London, but you know what I mean 🙂

    Those remaining weeks will fly by like a dream…

    • FrogdancerJones

      When Nov 18 came, it meant that it was a month of work to go. Now the days feel like they’re melting away…

  4. Jordan @ FIRE Your Own Way

    What a great picture of retirement – going to the beach while everyone else works ?. What retirement date are you aiming for?
    I read the last sentence about 4 weeks to go and was hoping that was your quitting-work-forever day. Then I realised you must be talking about end of the school year? (Or are you?)

    • FrogdancerJones

      I’m a teacher, so the end of the school year (Dec 18) is also my last day of work.
      If I ever set foot in a school again, it’ll be because I’m picking up some CRT work to help fund my Antarctica trip. 🙂

  5. Shaun

    I can sense the Anticipation.

    Also, you seem to be seeing your day to day tasks through a (new) different lens given that the end (beginning) is in sight!

    As you say – Sigh ………

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