Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Early Retirement – Illusion or Reality

Early Retirement Illusion or Reality

Early retirement has been a recurring theme resonating through the PF blogosphere. Based on the feedback received on such posts – one can only speculate that many are interested in this topic. It makes me wonder – Is this a universal phenomenon? Is this truly a destination to seek? Is retirement really all it’s made out to be? Some thoughts

Living Smart – Everyday
Incorporating good financial discipline in your life is a first step. All the financial advice available out there is useless if it is not applied consistently and persistently. Saving, investing, frugality, simplicity and debt management are not buzz words. These are lifestyle attributes. When these concepts are part of your lifestyle – you are not deliberating financial decisions by reaching out for today’s hot tip – you know what is right and finally the smart thing to do. In essence you are living smart – every day, every moment of your life.

Financial Planning
If you don’t know where you are going, any road will do. It’s a question of financial goals in life - goals that are attainable, quantifiable and measurable. Articulating your goals and strategies to achieve your goals translates into a financial plan. Progress on your financial plans takes you closer to financial freedom. A financial plan provides the structure where you see financial components of your life – objectives, timelines, strategies, progress and revisions. Since you can measure your progress objectively with a plan – you can see where you are and what you need to do to attain your goals.

Pursuing Your Dreams – Today
Retirement elicits romanticized visions of a leisurely lifestyle – golfing, traveling, relaxing, charity … And we tend to draw a strong demarcation between today’s life and a retired lifestyle. The reality is that we can start to blend retirement like activities in our lives today. The thinking needs to shift from - active lifestyle stops and retirement starts to - a blended lifestyle. Blending implies doing what makes you happy now. Obviously there are constraints but everything that we want to pursue as a full-time activity in retirement can be pursued as a part-time activity today. Play some golf, take some vacations, participate in some charity, invest in a dream job/profession on the side, enroll for a class, learn a new craft … the list goes on. Bottomline – don’t postpone your dreams for an illusionary retirement milestone – start living your dreams today.

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Adam said...

If I had a million bucks I would have the lifestyle, the mindset and the goodies I want.

"No work and all play" that would be retirement for me.

Nishant said...

Good post that makes one wonder what really are we running after. I day dream about that vacation or time off but when I take a week off - it is really not as enjoyable as I dreamt it would be.