Post-Financial Independence Career Options

When most people think of retiring, they envision putting the finishing touch on their illustrious career before riding off into the sunset. For most, retirement signals the “end of the road”, the completion of a journey that has just reached its final destination.

Standard Retirement

What does the future hold? Usually, by this stage of life, most retirees are entering their more advanced years of life, so they are burnt out, and no longer possess the requisite drive and vigor to pursue more rigorous ambitions. For most, retirement will consist of many mellow, “take it easy” activities: lots of rest and relaxation, golf, fishing, precious moments with the spouse and grandchildren, and finally, enough time to read that Great American novel.

Now, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the above activities. In fact, these are many of the hobbies I would love to be able to pursue myself someday, when I reach the traditional retirement age of 65.

Awesome Retirement

But this just doesn’t seem like the type of lifestyle that would be suitable for an early retiree! For those lucky enough to retire by 35, or 40, or even 50, what are the options? Obviously, by checking out of the rat race early, there will still be a lot left in the tank! There may even be enough time to pursue another career(s).

Here are some career options I may consider after reaching early-FI:

  • Carpenter (I would love to be able to learn the ins and outs of home repair. Becoming a carpenter would allow me the opportunity to learn how to build things with my hands. This will come in handy since I’ll also be able to apply the knowledge gained to fix up and repair my own rental properties. By doing all the work myself, it will help me save money to boot. This career path will also be most helpful should I ever decide to start flipping properties, since I will have the ability to lead/contribute to the renovations.)
  • Real Estate Agent (Being a realtor would tie in nicely with the carpentry gig. I may try doing home repairs for a few years and then opt to switch over to being a full-time agent, whenever I get weary of the physical labor. Being an agent seems like a great post-FI career path. You get to be your own boss! You can also work as hard or as little as you want.)
  • Gigging Musician (I love music! By reaching early FI, I will have loads of free time available to study up on music theory, and practice on my guitar. Some of the best days of my life were the days when I used to play in a band. The passion never died, but unfortunately work got in the way, so the music went on pause. It would be awesome to have the time to commit to this activity fully. I would definitely not be pursuing this option for the money, but purely for the love of playing.)
  • Tour Guide (Becoming a tour guide would provide a great gateway to travel and see the world. I first pondered this idea during an Alaskan cruise in 2009. I signed up for a whale watching excursion, where I met and briefly chatted with some of the tour guides. They seemed to really enjoy their work, and I really admired their laid back approach to living life. Life just seemed to slow down for these people, and they always seemed to have a smile on their faces. I returned from the cruise thinking, “why can’t I live a simple, but fulling life as well?”)
  • Community College Professor (Becoming a teacher would be my way of giving back to the community. It would also allow me the opportunity to pursue a craft that I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed – being able to help/inspire people. At my last job, I got to work with and train a lot of new hires/interns, and I found that to be especially gratifying. There are few things that bring me more joy than to be able to work with someone and witness the moment when the light bulb finally turns on. It’s also in my nature to be patient with others, so I think teaching would be a natural fit for me. Though I’m sure the job would be somewhat stressful, as I would have to learn how to run a classroom. With college students, the hope is that they’ll be a little bit more motivated and mature. My friend Keichi is a high-school teacher, so maybe he can chime in on the pros/cons to teaching. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget something called SUMMER VACATION every year!)
  • Nutritionist/Personal Trainer (I’ve been living the sedentary lifestyle for far too long. However, prior to my working career, I was actually a pretty fit person. I used to love playing sports and lifting weights. Because I’ve been inactive for so long, I have a pressing desire to do anything, and everything physical. This is a big reason why doing home repair work is appealing to me. Becoming a personal trainer would definitely allow me to escape the mental grind, and help me refocus on building back up my health. If I find the demand of training too exhausting, I could choose to study sports medicine/nutrition instead. This way, I’ll have more incentive to eat right, and take care of my health [since proper nutrition will be constantly on my mind], but not have to worry about burning myself out physically along the way.)


What are your post-FI career goals? Would you even consider another career? What would be your perfect job?

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The Keichi One
7 years ago

I’m right there with you on carpentry! I think it would be great to become skilled at finishing off a room. You would have no lack of friends who would pay you in beer and pizza for a hard days work. As a teacher myself I can tell you one of the best part of the job is seeing a student who is really into what your teaching. Sometimes they are few and far between but they really motivate you to do your best as a teacher. Highly gratifying! All in all you can’t lose with any of those career… Read more »

Dividend Growth Machine

That’s a great list of retirement career options. One that I have thought about for myself is writing. I like to read short stories (mainly mystery/suspense) and I think if I were to take a class or two on creative writing, then I could write a few decent stories that might be publishable in magazines. If I felt even more adventurous, I could even take a shot at writing a novel and perhaps try to e-publish it. Of course, my occasional articles at Seeking Alpha also suggest more freelance writing about investing is possible. Thus, I think writing could be… Read more »

Dividend Growth Machine
Reply to  FI Fighter

FI Fighter: Thanks for your response. I do plan on writing more Seeking Alpha articles, but given how busy I will be during the next few weeks, followed by going away to visit family during the Christmas holidays, I probably won’t have time to write anything until the new year. Regarding income from SA, it is tied to page views ($10 for 1,000 page views for “Premium” articles), and the site average per article is around $49. Thus, someone who writes two “average” articles per month could get $100/month. Some folks there churn out an article nearly everyday and get… Read more »

Dividend Mantra
7 years ago

That’s a pretty ambitious list!

I’ve thought about this on a few occasions myself, but I’ve always come up with stuff like beach resort attendant and jobs like that. Something that would be super laid back..something that just sounds cool.

Realistically, I’ll probably write more than I do now. I quite enjoy blogging, and inspiring/touching others is really meaningful and rewarding.

Best wishes!

Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin

Maybe for kicks you could start your own personal training business. You would definitely have the time and ability to do so. It doesn’t have to be anything vast, but training a couple clients a week would break up the daily monotony.

7 years ago

I like to teach, so maybe some volunteer work along those lines. So far I am fixing up a house that may become a guest house and way to busy to do anything else! I thought about tour guide / diving instructor but it gets quite repetitive, unless you are prepared to change destination every season.

Dividend Growth Investor

That sounds like a great list. Honestly, if you are spending so much life energy accumulating assets to retire, and obviously you are passionate about it then you should do something related to FI. You can either blog as a part time job or try to maybe help others manage their money.

I guess thats my strategy 😉