Travel and Leisure has a piece about a software developer who retired early– then went back to work
Tony said the biggest thing he missed was human connection…. Even on days he felt like being social, he added, all his friends were busy working their nine to five jobs….
Early retirement also lacked the fulfillment his work had brought him.
Apparently there are people who study the downsides of early retirement, and “loss of income and reduced social security, mental and physical decline, loss of social interaction and identity, boredom, and lack of challenge or purpose” are all things that people complain about.
But this should come as no surprise: as much as people may complain about their jobs, work does play a critical role in providing us with social interaction, a sense of purpose (even if you’re “living your passion” or whatever), etc. This, I think, is one of the reasons that we should welcome experiments in shortening the workweek: by making work more sustainable, shorter hours serve to extend people’s ability to work, which at its best is quite a good thing.