Retired, now what?

You can’t define your life by the absence of your job. Anyone who worked hard enough to break into the tech industry is going to have the desire to continue to do something with their lives. Here I list the archetypes of some things I’ve seen people do after a Big Tech career.

Decompressing / travelling
It would be weird if you didn’t need some time to decompress, Netflix and chill at home, or travel to a place on your bucket list. This one is easy. You’re a person. You have one life. Enjoy it.
Family Time
Some folks I’ve observed take significant time off to be a stay-at-home dad or mom. That’s not for everyone, but it’s not a bad use of time either. Your kids’ time with you is actually quite limited to about 18 years until they’re gone.
Working at a smaller company
Big Tech optimizes for high income with low risk. But the tradeoff can be higher stress and low autonomy. For people who are ready to retire, they may instead go to work at a smaller company optimizing for different things. Some people are mission-driven, others are driven by the lack of bureaucracy.
Indie developer / entreprenuer
Some folks want to strike out on their own, within or outside the software field. Particularly if they value their independence and are not as worried about immediate income anymore, this is the way.
I haven’t seen this much actually. You can do this though.
Teaching / Other Career Change
Some folks pursue a total career change outside of engineering. That’s great. In particular, many of the best teachers I’ve had were industry folks who’ve retired from the industry.
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