Go to college, get a job, work for 42 years, retire, live for 13 years. That’s the path that has been laid out for us. That is the norm. But these are just numbers, not rules, but have unfortunately become the only path that people consider.
A goal of early retirement is not a New Years resolution or a quick fad. It’s a commitment; a long-term commitment to yourself and your family. The path is not easy or luxurious. In fact, it’s the direct opposite. However, the spoils outweigh the cost of the battle.
Imagine waking up every morning and being able to do whatever you want to do that day. No pressure from a boss and no worries about money. In the words of Forrest Gump when he found out he didn’t have to worry about money anymore, “Good, one less thing.” He then mowed grass for free and spent time with his family. He lived the dream.
The purpose of early retirement is not to be a sloth, but to reach for things you’d never had to ability or time to conquer. Maybe you’ve always wanted to take a college course in art history, a topic that was never part of your career path, but a passion or you want to plan a month-long hike of the John Muir Trail. Anything is possible because your schedule is completely open. You can drop your kids off at school in the mornings, pick them up in the afternoon, and go surfing or hit the slopes in between.
It’s not hard to sell the idea of early retirement. It’s the dream for many. A dream that many never achieve.
Why not break the path? Forget settling for the typical trajectory, shorten it. There’s no reason that anyone must wait until 65. The ability to start retirement early is in your hands. This path begins with taking control of finances, saving smart and spending smarter.
This article is the first in my series on early retirement. I hope that by the end of the series you are not only excited about early retirement, but you have the knowledge to implement a plan to make it happen.
Image: Forrest Gump youtube movie clips