The myth of having to work until retirement age.
I always thought I would have to work until at least 55 because that’s what most Americans do. In order to retire and collect all of my retirement benefits, I would have to wait even longer until the age of 62! No thanks!
What if you could change that? What if you could live below your means, cut your expenses, work a little more and sacrifice for a few years to enjoy an early retirement? Would you do it? My husband and I have been thinking about what we will do after we pay off our house next year and we figured it out. We are going to continue to live off 30% of our income, continue working full-time for another 6-7 years, then retire early.
How are we going to save enough money to retire? Become completely debt-free, invest in mutual funds and investment property. With two different sources of passive income we have calculated that we will have more then enough.
The interesting thing is that even after I officially retire at the age of 34, it changes the whole perspective on “work.” If you retired early, you would be working because you wanted to, not because you had to. You could do anything you wanted with all your free time. I think I would still work at least once a week because I like my job, and I would “choose” to be there because I wanted, not because paying the bills depended on it.
How would this work for society today? It depends how badly you want it. Think about the last time you wanted to go on a vacation and the sacrifices you made, the extra shifts you picked up, the things you sold on craigslist. Bottom line is you made it happen because you wanted it badly. I struggle with the thought that generally, our society lacks financial self-control and loves consumerism. We are a “now” society, where you need to have your fancy car, have your bling-bling, your extravagant house and all the trendiest clothes, a society that lives above and beyond their means. This is counterproductive when you have to tell yourself “no” to purchases. When was the last time you took a class in high school or college where they tell you that this is an option? That frugality is an excellent lifestyle choice?
Questions for you: Would early retirement be possible for you? Would you make the proper sacrifices for 6-10 years if you knew you could retire significantly early? I would love to hear your thoughts!