First Person: Our Early Retirement

Living on the Mediterranean Sea

Yahoo Contributor Network

When I turned forty, our sons were in middle school and our daughter was just starting kindergarten. Out of financial necessity I settled on completing my teaching credentials, although I had dreamed of becoming a professional writer. I'd delayed working full time until our youngest started school and at that point began working a five day week in the public school system. The new job provided full benefits as well as retirement savings and I was assigned to special day classes in the local elementary school.

Deciding to Retire Early

The next twelve years were spent teaching in the same school district where our daughter attended classes. It was a good job though demanding, so when I turned 52 my husband and I were ready to take an early retirement. My husband was self-employed and had spent 30 years shoeing horses. Our first thought was to set up a mini-ranch. There were several obstacles however, and it was at this point that we considered moving overseas.

A year later we found ourselves living very happily with our teenaged daughter in a Mediterranean country, on the sea. We'd pulled out the retirement that I had acquired over a decade of teaching. With that and my husband's woodworking tools, we travelled almost halfway across the world. Shipping a few basic household items abroad, we began our new life with our retirement savings and the skills we'd acquired over the years.

Enjoying an Early Retirement

Since taking an early retirement, I have written a romance novel and am working on two others. I also write content for several sites, and am writing a book for teachers and parents who have children with special needs. Many people might say that we are only semi-retired, though we consider ourselves to be fully 'retired' and successful in achieving our goal. My husband spends time with his woodworking, taking only the jobs that suit his schedule.

He adds to our retirement by enjoying his hobby, and I have realized my vision of working as a professional writer. I spend my time writing, overlooking the sea, and sipping coffee. We live on about a tenth of what we lived on in the United States, yet we have everything we need plus some. We are now living the life that just four short years ago we only dreamed of!

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