What’s Your Early Retirement Plan?
Congratulations on reaching the final lesson! There’s something to be said about thinking beyond the pot of money at the end of the journey. It can be too easy to just focus on doing everything you can to hit your target fund amount, but there’s a big risk when only focusing on that and not taking the time to consider how you’ll spend something else that you’ll have plenty of: time.
Here are a few questions you can start with:
• What would you like to achieve/experience with your extra time?
• How will you stay social? Is much of your network at your paid job?
• Where will you get a sense of purpose?
• What other aspects of paid work will you need to account for?
• How will you continue to learn and grow your skills?
There are also considerations to make when it comes to your new lifestyle. Ultimately, financial independence means that you can draw income from your investments that support how you live without relying on paid work.
You don’t have to stop working. There’s a myth that retiring early means stopping work completely, but that’s based on a simplistic view of “work.” We may be in a position to stop working for a paycheck, but that doesn’t mean we can’t work in early retirement. Sure, there may be a period after you retire where you sleep longer in the mornings and travel the world instead of working for money, but doing projects will help you stay challenged mentally.
Certain early retirees take on social projects to help grow the skills they gained in their careers, and they have the choice about whether to charge for that work or not. Some early retirees enjoy having a continued source of income from a job that’s less intensive than the ones they had during their career.
Shape the next generation. Making the world a better place can give anybody a sense of purpose. There’s a good chance that you have a wealth of knowledge, advice, and skills that you accumulated through your paid work and through your life experiences that the next generation could find valuable. You don’t have to be a parent or grandparent to influence the next generation. You could get involved through a local youth group or community or become a formal mentor through a former employer or your social network.
Volunteering. You can also volunteer your time to other causes close to your heart, whether that’s young people, animals, or climate change. Volunteering helps you connect with others and counteract the effects of stress, anger and anxiety.
Medium-term thinking. This is not to say that you need to have a clear idea today of what you’ll do in early retirement. Things will come up along your journey will shape your thinking, and your values may shift. The authors of Beyond Performance, Scott Keller and Colin Price, argue that some of the best organizations use medium-term thinking (looking two to three years in the future) and fill in the details of the long-term vision along the way.
Congratulations on completing the final lesson on “How to Retire Early.” I wish you all the best on your journey, and don’t forget to say hello to the friendly, online community.
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