This is a 2 part series. In this Part 1 of the series, I will discuss how to decide if early retirement is the right option for you. In Part 2, I will discuss what are the common pitfalls that you need to be aware of while planning for and after early retirement.
I read this guest post – The myth of “Early Retirement” – on JagoInvestor. The author’s main point of view seems to be that with changing circumstances, our desires and needs change. Since the needs constantly change we can never achieve our goal of early retirement. He also provides a few other example where people who retired either had to or wished they were back working.
From the post it looks like the author has either
- Not understood the concept of early retirement – based on his examples of other people
- Or was never serious about retiring early. His own example is more about home & children education, rather than what his ideal life would be
Looks like he wanted the reward, but was not ready to accept the pain (controlling desires) to get there.
Early retirement is for those who are working because they have to. Most of us who have retired or are focusing on FIRE would spend our time on something else if money was not a factor. But for the author, money seems to have been the only driving factor that influences his ideal life.
What do we learn from this?
As I had mentioned here & here, retirement is the 1st day of the rest of your life. It is not about money, though it is very important. It is about not letting money influence your decisions. Early retirement is about your lifestyle. Your passion. What do you care about? What motivates you?
“Early retirement is living life on your terms”
Ask yourself – What would you do for the rest of your life if you had unlimited amounts of money? What motivates you? What are you passionate about?
As you can see this journey begins with more questions that answers. It is about where you are now and where do you want to be in terms of lifestyle. There is no universal answer that fits everyone. Some might want to travel extensively, some might want to give back to the community and everyone will have their own personal projects.
Your Money or Your Life
For those of us caught in the consumer lifestyle, life is all about WorkBuySpendDie. In this lifestyle we end up deriving happiness from material items. Even time spent with family and friends is more about luxury than about quality. More luxury does not necessarily mean better quality.
Once you have a car that is safe, do you really need to upgrade to a BMW or an Audi? Is this the best way to improve the quality of your lifestyle? You can apply this logic to all parts of life. Cooking a new recipe together could be better quality time than eating out.
Decide today who owns your life – You or Money?