How to create a life you desire without having to wait until you retire.
What would you do if you could buy your time back, or even a portion of it?
Would you take off work for a year? Spend time traveling or lying around the house (nothing wrong with either)?
Would you go back to school to pursue your dream career?
Or stay home and raise your family?
What if you had this time, even if only temporarily?
Many of us get caught up in work, work, work. Saying “I need to work to live”, which we very much do. But what if we could buy ourselves the luxury of getting our time back, even if for a short period.
Many of you have heard of the FIRE lifestyle (financial independence retire early). We hear the word retire and think of it with finality, as in I don’t have to or want to work anymore. We should refocus our thinking from expecting to retire in our 60s and 70s, waiting to do the things we want, such as travel. Why not plan and prepare to do the things you desire in your 30s, 40s, or 50s. This goal is possible. Instead of planning for retirement at an older age, we can plan and prepare now, to live the life we desire. Retiring does not only happen when you are of older age and don’t intend to work anymore. Retiring can also mean not having to work just to receive a paycheck. It can also create the option to pursue your dream career or take a lower paying job with less stress. It can allow for new opportunities if we plan accordingly and have the financial means to do so.
Planning and preparing your financial independence even for a short period of time can allow you to live and experience your dreams when you are younger rather than having to wait until a much later age.
Think about it:
For new or seasoned parents, instead of sending your kid(s) to daycare or cutting the bonding experience short with your newborn, if planned accordingly, you would not have to return to work immediately. With the FIRE lifestyle or proper planning, you can create the option to be a stay at home parent for as long as your means allow.
You are a working professional with a career and a great income but you are tired of your current career path and want to pursue something entirely different. In doing so it means giving up your cushy income and starting over at the bottom.
You have wanderlust and you want to spend 2 years traveling and exploring. You don’t intend for that to be your lifestyle forever, but the ability to explore without your time being hindered by work would be ideal.
You want a job that’s less stressful but only makes half of your current income.
With all of these dreams, you are buying the luxury to make these decisions and live life on your terms.
All things can be achieved with proper planning. The process starts here:
- Determining your current bills and expenses
- Eliminating as much debt as possible
- Planning to reduce unnecessary expenses for the period you are out of work. Start living as if you are already retired, so that when the time comes, you have adjusted to the lifestyle.
- Once you have determined your bills and expenses, use the total number and multiply that by how many months you plan to be out of work. Also, please factor in the time it would take to obtain another job.
- If you are doing reduced work, such as taking a lower paying job or working part time, plan for the shortfall that is missing from your budget due to having a lower income.
- Ex. If you plan to be out of work (or reduced work) for 36 months and your living expenses are $4,000/mo you need to save $144,000. Now, this will sound like a lot and for many, it will be. It will take a lot of work to reach this number. This may cause you to reevaluate the length of your adventure. But just think about how important this goal is to you and whether are you willing to take any of the steps necessary to achieve it.
Everyone’s financial goals and reasoning are different. Today, the numbers may seem incomprehensible, but planning and being disciplined will, in the short term, bring you immense joy in the long run.