Why Go Back to Work After Early Retirement?

Did I lose everything in the market?  Did my passive income magically vanish?  Am I hurting for cash?

No to all of the above, everything is stronger than ever.  I did underestimate a few things in working towards and hitting early retirement.


50 hours is a lot of time to fill in your week.  40 hours of work, plus morning routines and commute time to work is a lot of time in your week to fill with other activities.  Yes, I did more biking, hiking, travelling, exercise, sleep, and generally things I enjoyed.  It was super awesome at first.  But when those activities become your new routine, it’s not as much fun.  Too much of a good thing maybe.

Meeting People:

Since work takes up so much of your time in a week, it’s naturally the easiest place to meet people.  Being in a new city, at my age, and not in school anymore, it’s really hard to meet new people.  Unfortunately for me, activities I like, such as biking, tends to take place in the morning.  I’m not a morning person, so doing that as a group activity is out of the question.  Going out during the weekday, during normal business hours, you only tend to run into retirees.  You know, the old people ones.  People I have met on trips are obviously going to live in a different part of the country.  Not having your crew to go to happy hour sucks, and road trips by yourself begin to get boring.


Dating is super easy these days with all the dating apps out there.  It’s actually the easiest way to meet someone, when you live in an area where you don’t know anyone.  And a ton of people use these apps.  Whether it’s worth the time, is debatable.

Now, this is really a first world problem.  Meeting someone over dinner, you know the inevitable conversation will lead to “so what do you do for a living?”  I struggled real hard with this one.  The very first girl I met a year ago, didn’t seem to have an issue with the whole “I busted my butt, invested, and got to a point where I didn’t have to work anymore.  So I retired.”  I even shared my site with her, just to be completely open.  Things went fine for a while, until the unexpected “slow fade” came out of nowhere.  I’ve dated a ton since, but never revealed the true profession.  I’d say I’m a consultant for oddball retirement situations (which is technically correct), but it wasn’t until I went back to work that I felt comfortable saying what I did.  None of it really mattered though.  I’ve probably gone on about 15 first dinner dates, 2 dates with the same girl (mainly because she was super attractive-but boring and lacking any chemistry, but I had to double check), and most recently someone I’m genuinely interested in seeing again.

All that to say dating as an early retiree bachelor sucks.  You don’t really want to divulge your secret, because you never know someone’s motive is, so you have to be careful.

So What Now…

Initially, I looked for a part time job.  Being an adjunct professor didn’t look like it was going to happen.  Trying to get a dream part time job working at a state or national park turned up nothing.  I thought what about a part time job in a hiking shop or computer store.  Honestly, I couldn’t bring myself to wake up and go to a job for those pay rates.  So I went to looking at full time work, but nothing over 40 hours.  I applied to a few banks.  Got interviews with all the major banks, and within a week accepted an offer to be a banker.  Turns out when you don’t need to work, you’re apparently really good at job interviews.  There is no pressure to land the job.  So I spent 6 months in banking.  Turns out, I really don’t care for banking (I knew I wouldn’t), so I quite.  More on my time as a banker in another post.  Well, the craziest things happen when you don’t need to work.  About 4 months ago, I was contacted by a company to go back to retirement plan stuff.  I ignored it initially, but held on to the contact info.  When I pretty much knew I was done with working for a bank, I contacted the other company.  You know what…got that job in a week too.  It’s crazy really.

Where Am I Heading:

Is this a run at a second career?  No, far from it.  It’s just a means to an end.  I’ll get to work with about 50 other people.  Hopefully meet some cool people, go to happy hour, continue dating around and have an answer to the “what do you do for a living?” question.  I’ve signed on for one year.  We’ll see what happens after that year.  If I don’t enjoy it… peace out.  If I like it, I may still a little longer, try to push for a part time gig, things like that.

What Surprised Me in Going Back to Work:

The bank absolutely loved me.  When I gave my notice, they actually wanted to make accommodations to have me stay.  My mind was blown.  It got me thinking for a second, just for a second.  I really liked the people I worked with, but ultimately I had no passion for the products.  It also made me realize, that my previous employer before early retirement really treated me like shit and that I shouldn’t have put up with working there for 13.5 years.  They were lucky to have me as an employee and treated me badly.  I should have used some of that time to job hop around.

I also realized that EVERY company has tons of red tape you have to cut through.  Every company has so many inefficiencies it’s not even funny.  If only the execs really knew how much money they could be saving.

Will I work another 10 years.  Most likely not. 1 year, probably.  After that, who knows, maybe I take another year off, before going back to another job.

It’s been a crazy year and a half.


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Readers Comments (8)

  1. I’ve been “retired” for 17 months and I find myself looking at job posts once in a while. Sometimes I think I would be better at work since I wouldn’t care as much (counter intuitive, I know) like you were better at the interviews because you didn’t try as hard. I didn’t know what I as doing while working, now I don’t know what I am not doing.

    • Yep, it’s kind of weird, but you have a whole different perspective when interviewing for a job when you don’t need or care if you get it. It’s still hard to put up with the bureaucratic bs, but as long as the people you work with are cool everything is good. Ideally I’d be adjunct teaching at the college or something cool part time, but that type of work is hard to come by. What’s funny, when I was at the bank and going through the training program, the trainer was saying how it was a pleasure to have me working there and he couldn’t figure out if I’m always that way or it was just a front. If only he knew the reason I wake up in a good mood every day 🙂

      If you’re thinking about going back to work, give it a shot. If you’ve hit FIRE already, worse case scenario you don’t like the job and can just walk away. Hell, I had another opportunity open up at the same time.

  2. I like what you said here about retiring early. Your description went along with an article I read recently about people who retire in their 30s. Ultimately most of them end up with some sort of part time gig or another career after playing around for while. Although the freedom to do whatever the flip you want must be pretty awesome.
    I’m not there yet but I’m on my way. I’m in my late 30s and have a net worth of 350K. Using future value of money I figure to make it to 1 million around age 50 or a little after. My question to you is this… I see that you are not a fan of mutual funds which every financial “expert” says to use to build wealth. Do you personally only invest in dividend paying stocks? What about growth stocks like Amazon and the like? Do you share a list of the stocks you are invested in? If you shared this in another post you can simply point me to the link and I’ll check it out. Thanks.

    • Hi Jeff,
      You might find it interesting to look under the “Finances” tab. But here is a link http://bamfmoney.com/2016/07/my-life-summarized-in-spreadsheets/ The DIV Worksheet Tab has my holdings from about a year ago, so some the info is out of date, but you get the idea.

      Not a fan of mutual funds. The fees are too high, most likely they will underperform long run (because of the fees), and I worked for a mutual fund company in the past. The fees cut into your returns and never go away. I only do individual stocks. Mainly dividend/dividend growth stocks, some non dividend stocks. Search Amazon on my site, you’ll find out about my most regretted trade ever involving Amazon at $10. This http://bamfmoney.com/2015/09/yield-on-cost/ will give you a little insight on why I like dividend growth, but also any of my “dividend increase” articles with the spreadsheets showing the slow and steady growing passive dividend income shows growing income and capital appreciation. I’ll have something coming up soon that shows all of my holdings graphed out and compared to the S&P500 for the last 10 years.

      Most of my site traffic comes from something called 72(t) or SEPP, something you might be interested in learning more about if you are considering early retirement. Just search either or those terms in the search function.

      Congrats on your Net. That’s more than most will achieve in their lifetime. Keep it up and it grows faster than you might think.

      Let me know if there are any other questions.

  3. Heh, I saved up for a year off, but got bored a couple months in. I just might become an auto insurance agent. We shall see. How does your decision to go back to work affect the 72t which you started?

    • It has no impact. I will just continue the 72(t) taking out the annual amount like normal, and basically turn around and invest those funds in my brokerage account. It’s such a small amount it won’t really hurt tax wise. We’ll see how the new job goes. I signed on for 1 year, so after that who knows. I may just become a substitute teacher next year.

      I worked in banking for 6 months and left. Banking sucks and they want to work you to death. Now I’m working pretty close to home in retirement plans.
      Good luck with the auto insurance. Not something I think I could do.

  4. This is so interesting. Thanks for the new perspective and best of luck with the gig!

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