Two things I hear coming up time and again when the early retirement discussion is on the table:
- are you sure you’ll not run out of money?
- what will you do with yourself?
Behind those thoughts are really the individual fears of so many of us, those of “I’m afraid I won’t have enough money” and “I’m afraid I’ll be bored having to plan and run my own life”.
It’s not that they aren’t valid concerns. They definitely are. But I get the sense that they come from a place of fear rather than a place of logic and knowing.
First thing I ask is “Have you done the calculations?” The answer is always “No”. So, if you haven’t done the sums, then it’s pure fear of the unknown right? By not doing the sums, the thinking, the serious work of planning, you will always be trapped in the fear.
I’m not saying that I have no fear. I most definitely do. No matter how detailed the plan, life always throws a curve-ball from the places we least expect. But, that’s no reason to give up on a dream. By planning, doing the sums, reading case studies, you validate the goal and analyse the risk. You put backup plans in place, like knowing and wanting to still work [just not the same way you do today in the corporate]. You analyse the burn rate, minimal, desired and flush, you do your homework.
All of this doesn’t guarantee you zero risk, but what it does do is help you realise that big dreams are definitely achievable. All you have to do is compromise a little today [without giving up any quality of life I believe] to make the dream of tomorrow happen…..
Roll on 2017/2018 !!
One thing that has hit home hard of late is the fragile shortness of life. Ill relatives and friends, deaths in the family, life is short and when you hit your mid-forties, wow, it really starts to hit home. No longer having the fitness, strength and stamina of the eighteen-year-old who still inhabits your mind is challenging, thought provoking, scary.
Another five years is still a long time, another ten almost unfathomable! Too long to be unhappy. Too long to not stay healthy.
My sailing heros are almost always simple-living minimalists. While I love them for their sailing and cruising lifestyles, a deeper chord underpins the hero-worship. They are masters of compromise, of simple living, not for the sake of living simply, but for the sake of achieving what matters most to them. Shining lights in the “anything is possible” dream.
It’s difficult to saty focussed on the dream when it’s so far in the future [5 years seems to be that to me at this stage of life]