How a 4-day weekend affected my views on FIRE

In the United States, we celebrate our independence day on July 4th, with parades, bands, fireworks, etc. Its typically a pretty big celebration, especially in my part of the US (I live close to Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was written and signed). Most folks have off (some stores and food places stay open) and we have barbeques and family/friends get together.

This year, July 4th fell on a Thursday, so my company (and many others) also had Friday off , for a 4-day weekend! We had friends over to barbecue on Thursday the 4th, went to a movie on Friday the 5th, and worked around the house and did some house maintenance on Saturday the 5th. However, by day four (Sunday) we were starting to be at a loss for what to do. We ended up just “bumming” around the house, and then finished up with our Sunday evening “get ready for the workweek” tasks.

It was that evening that it hit me. This would be what retirement would be like if we didn’t focus on what we wanted to do once we hit FI and stepped away from regular work. I’ve written numerous times on the need to have hobbies, and to find ways to keep yourself occupied once you decide to retire. This just drove that point home!

So I thought through my hobbies and plans for retirement, and did some additional brainstorming, and here is where I am at right now, as far as plans once we retire:

  • Hobby: woodworking (may turn this into a minor $ generator)
  • Hobby: backpacking/complete the Appalachian Trail
  • Travel:  1-2 big trips a year, plus minor ones
  • Work: Temp/seasonal work, to keep my mind in use and to have some interaction
  • Volunteer: Build homes with Habitat for Humanity
  • Volunteer: Continue to work with my professional society and outdoor club
  • Volunteer: Looking for ways to take my professional and financial skills and help people with them
  • Teach: Either my hobbies or my professional skills

It could keep me busy, but I’m still concerned. It will be something that I will be keeping a close eye on in the years ahead.

So what are your plans for once you “retire?”

Mr. 39 Months

4 thoughts on “How a 4-day weekend affected my views on FIRE”

  1. Good post 🙂
    It’s amazing feeling when you get longer weekends and have a sense of ”freedom”.
    Travelling, reading, working out, writing and learning new skills are my hobbies that I do in my spare time. But when in 9-5 job, there is not much to do these activities..


    1. Yes. The freedom is something that I am looking forward to. Right now, I get 3 weeks vacation, so we have to figure out how to spend that. Makes it difficult to do everything that we’d like


  2. Great reminder that you want to have ideas lined up for your free time (not just free time b/c of retirement). Otherwise, you might fritter it away on indecision, or low-value activities. I keep a list of books that I hear about that I want to read, places I want to visit, sites and activities near where I live…FIRE (or just long weekends) is great b/c you don’t feel like you have to squeeze in everything, and you can enjoy at a relaxed pace. It’s why my husband and I are looking forward to slow travel — going to a place for weeks or months at a time. We’re currently spending 12 days in France — not as slow as we’d like (we’re still on the school calendar till our youngest starts college in the fall) but still not as rushed as when we had corporate jobs.

    1. The list of books is a great idea! We just spent a week’s vacation at the New Jersey shore, and I plowed through 4 of the books on my list

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