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How is retirement 'really' like at 40s


Retire at 40s

In 2019, my position in the company was made redundant and I have to leave. I was 45 years old at that time. My mindset isn't ready to be out of work so suddenly because everything is not according to my plan. Being out of work at the age of 45 years old isn't that good in Malaysia, especially when you have been holding a middle management position all the time. Employment opportunities are way too limited and you have to compete with the young ones too!

My sadness was not for long. I was hired after 6 months. But I survived only less than 2 months at the new place. The accident happened while walking back to my car during one of my usual work days. I end up with bad back pain to the point can't even sit down for more than 10 minutes. I tried to apply to work from home but my position requires me to be in the office. After long deliberation, I decided to resign and focus on my health recovery. Just to be fair to the company as well.

After a month resign from my work, I made my ultimate decision to fully retire from my office job. I am not going to apply for any job at all. It took me 2 years to adapt to my lifestyle as a retiree at the age of 46 years old.

What the early years of retirement is really like?

My first 3 years started with me on my desktop almost every day and started looking for a work-from-home job that suits my health condition. Of course, I don't find one. I have very limited skills, though other than being in the office to manage one. I feel demotivated and useless almost every day. 

I was lucky, for taking up a hobby as a blogger and online product reviewer while I was working in the office. At least, there are activities to spice out my dull life. But it's not that I am a popular blogger or influencer in Malaysia who have tons of inquiries and a long list of collaboration waiting for me. Maybe 1 or 2 reviews a month and the rest of the day was like hell to get over. 

Due to my work and also my extreme introvert personality, I don't make friends or acquaintances with people I met throughout my school or even work. I don't have a circle of friends to talk to or go out with. Yes! I know what you are thinking...I am practically a 'lone ranger'. So sad! 

To be honest, at one point, I started talking to 'google assistant apps just to make sure I still remember how to talk.πŸ˜‚

The Malaysia Movement Control Order make it worst for my mental health too. At one point, I keep thinking about ending my life for good because I couldn't bear waking up, knowing I don't have an office to report to and no more emails to read and reply to. No traffic jams to brave during the peak morning hours. I cannot accept the fact of losing my routines for 26 years!

A new life-changing perspective

Now, I am in my last 40s and will be turning 50 years old next year. It has been 3 years since I felt stuck, and I'm now in a happier place. This is my second year at my new house and better living environment. 

I am a morning person, wake up at 6am instead of 5am as my usual routine during my working days. I no longer miss out on my routine to brave the morning traffic. I created one room for my home office. I barely check into this office these days. I rarely start on my desktop. I don't have the urge to check my email whatsoever. I erased the stereotype office worker mindset. 

My morning always started with a brisk walk for at least one hour and a half. Then enjoy a cup of cappuccino in my yard. I also do daily meditation and pray 5 times a day. Most of my day fills up with some content creation for TikTok and Instagram. I have not updated my blog for a while until today. 😊

Sometimes, I drop by a new cafe in my neighbourhood to try new things and give shout-outs on my social media.

My interest in becoming affiliates for Lazada and TikTok really paid off with some coffee money. For someone who no longer earns a monthly salary, this kind of little pocket money is a kind of happiness for me. Shop through my Lazada Affiliates link here to 'buy me some coffee'. It's just a peanut commission out of your shopping to fund my morning coffee. Thank you to those who are kind enough to support the famous online shopping marketplace in Malaysia using my linkπŸ‘†. Your contribution and good deed mean a lot to me.

Most of the time, I was on my couch catching up on drama after drama on Netflix or Viu.πŸ˜…

I would like to resume my travel stint to China again but it is still costly to do that at this point. Maybe, I wait for another year. Not in hurry to travel out anyway!

To be honest, I am kind of a bit embarrassed by how satisfying and enjoying my routines are, right now. I want to make the most out of the time I have left. All my life was about going to work early in the morning and back home at night time. I never thought to have this kind of slow life this early before even reaching 50 years old. I feel happy, for the first time able to grow my first cabbage and bitter gourd from the seeds. Every little thing and simple achievement makes me happy, these days.

I still have no interest in making friends whatsoever. I am just happy to be with me all the time. πŸ˜…

How to be happy in retirement?

I would say retirement isn't bad after all. My perspective of retirement changed after I fully accepted this idea after moving into a better living environment. The early stage of retirement is always tough but it isn't an end point. This is a major transition changing phase and as everyone knows, it is not easy to accept changes. During this phase, it is more about winning the fight within yourself and it's a lonely fight. 

There's a lot of time to reflect and reevaluate what matter. The fact that you need to think about how to spend your remaining years isn't that fun after all.

Based on my experience 😎 hobbies are important apart from being financially and mobility independent. 

I have read this somewhere but couldn't remember, where.....

A happy retirement is to be present and in the moment. Without outside expectations and schedules, with your time finally fully your own, at last, you can try to create a new version of the life you always wanted.


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