Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Medieval fun with the students.

I’m sitting here at my desk in the staffroom on the students’ first day back after the summer holidays. Most of the staff are either in the year 8 meeting in the gym or they’re sitting with their year 9 form groups in the form rooms. Me? I was lucky enough not to get a form, so I have an extra 2 periods to prepare for the term ahead.

I’ve always wanted to teach history because, as anyone who has read any of my travel posts of the UK knows, I absolutely LOVE history. When I retired at the end of 2020, I thought that dream would never come true. Well, Fortunate Frogdancer tends to get what she wishes for… part of my teaching load is a year 8 and year 9 History.

The year 9 one is Australian history, with an emphasis on issues that are current today, sort of linking the two and seeing where they originated from. Year 8 History is going to be wonderful… Medieval. Oh yeah, babyyyy!

We’re going to have fun. Just look at the medieval pictures I’m using in this post!

The year 8s in English are doing creative writing this term, so again… totally my jam. I have 2 classes.

I’ve covered my desk with pictures of England and Ireland, so that when I get sad about my freedom being snatched away – which we all know is going to happen because I love the retired life so much – then I can dump my laptop and books on my desk, straighten up, gaze at where I’m going to be going in September ad say, “Oh yeah! THIS is why I’m doing this.”

I have to look after Future Frogdancer’s mental health. It’s only polite.

Seeing as this is a FI/RE blog, I’d better dive into what’s happening with money this year.

Last year when the stock market fell just as I was ready to harvest some profits, (dammit!) I was able to stave off tapping my cash bucket for a whole year by using a mixture of dividends and wages. I’m really pleased I did this, even though I dearly missed the freedom of a fully retired life. In effect, my cash bucket of roughly 3 years’ of expenses has now been stretched to 4.

This year though, I decided to tap it for the first time. I worked too many days last year and after all, that bucket of cash is there for a reason. I’ve pulled out a year’s expenses. and have topped up categories in my spreadsheet. My health insurance money for the year is full, as are my rates, insurances and my car rego/service.

I feel comfortable when I know that these big expenses are ready for the year.

When my dividends come in, I’ll be putting them to one side, probably to help pay for my Canada trip next year… unless of course another child decides to get married or buy a house. Plans change, after all. I’m fortunate that I have a career that enables me to get good money for casual work if I decide that I want some extra cash for something-or-other.

I’m putting every penny that I earn from this term’s work to pay for my 2023 trip. It’s astonishing what a difference it’s so far made in my attitude. Last year I was working to help the boys with wedding and house-buying stuff. Yes, it’s worthy but argh!

This term’s work is all about me. Windsor Castle is positioned directly above where my laptop screen is and I think it’ll be very helpful. Henry VIII is there. Waiting…

I’ve still avoided catching covid and you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be teaching in a mask. In fact, the only time I remove my mask when I’m at school is to eat lunch. Strange that eating a meal is the most dangerous thing I do each day! We have air purifiers in most of the rooms and they’re always turned on when I walk into the room. I’m hoping that I can avoid covid, especially long covid. I’m meeting more people who have it and it sounds awful.

It’s nearly morning recess and I teach after that – year 8 History – so I’ll sign off and read over my lesson plan. This trip in September had better be worth it!!!

Dad joke of the day:

My Dad suggested I register for an organ donor card – he’s a man after my own heart.


  1. Maureen

    Your FI/RE ways have once again inspired me – this time to figure out how to pay for a flight upgrade I REALLY want. I’m not willing to go back to work, but I “found” $450 in my credit card cash back points and I’m going to sell a few unwanted items, and I can also cut back on a few expenses, and voila, I’m flying Premium Select! Thanks once again for the motivation.
    Enjoy teaching for all the fun and laughs the kids can elicit. I do miss that about teaching -just a tiny bit.

    • Frogdancer Jones

      That’s excellent news! Where are you going?

      • Maureen

        Switzerland and France in June with two friends.

  2. sandyg61

    The term will disappear before you know it. Sounds like the perfect classes for you.

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