Defining Semi-Retirement

I’m definitely not retired, although I have let the term, semi-retired, roll around in my head. It seems accurate, for now.


For the first time in nearly 30 years, I’m living the life of a semi-retired person.  I’m not entirely sure what that means, but it all began about six weeks ago.  That’s when I parted company with my employer after a little over fourteen years of service.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.  I think we were great for each other.  I learned a lot, contributed lots of value, helped many people advance in their careers, and enjoyed the fruits of success.

I often counsel people to remember that in any organization, large or small, every day could be your last.  Many probably think I’m being a bit dramatic with this advice.  While not speaking literally (well, maybe I am), the main message is to be prepared for a sudden exit, either by your choice, or the company’s.

My departure was my choice and the process took a few months.  Heeding my own advice, my wife and I were well prepared.  We’ve saved and invested (sometimes wisely) for our entire life, lived simply, and recently wrote our last tuition check (a big milestone in any parent’s life).

My friends congratulated me on my early retirement, but I was quick to push back.

I’m definitely not retired, although I have let the term, semi-retired, roll around in my head.  It seems accurate, for now.  “Semi” opens the door to a world of options, and sets a high bar for what I’ll choose to do in the future.

What’s next?  I’m not sure, and I kinda like it like that.

Author: Bob Dailey

Born and raised in Southern California. Graduated from (and met my future wife at) Cal Poly Pomona, in 1988. Married to Janet for almost 35 years. Father of two: Julianne and Jennifer. Grandfather of 7. Held many positions in small, medium, and large companies. Trail runner, competitive stair climber, backpacker, camper, off-roader, world traveler, sometimes writer.

3 thoughts on “Defining Semi-Retirement”

  1. Bobby,speaking as an officially retired guy ,you are never really retired !this is a time to reflect on a number of things , adventures you have not yet experienced ( but,from your posts you have done well there)
    Other business realms you might want to consider , small farm maybe,cooking and eating rate high,and working on social responsibility, mentoring, and a vast number of other things that will eat up your time if you let it.
    All of my Honda friends express the same view,they have never been so busy since they “retired” . I am not so sure that there really is semi-retired , just a step in the direction of retirement.
    Enjoy they ride, I know you will.

  2. Bob, Your blogs are always thought provoking. Since I ‘retired’ once already I decided to look up the word. “To withdraw, or go away or apart, to a place of privacy, shelter, or seculsion”. In my opinion and experience ‘retirement’ or even ‘semi-retirement’ is quite the opposite. It is a time of EXPANSION, EXPLORATION and LIVING. Carpe Diem!

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