Most people think that retirement is about sitting at home and no longer need to be productive. Some people also think that retirement is equal to financial freedom. The earlier you achieve that, the sooner you can retire. There are also some people who think retirement is mandatory only when you reach the retirement age.
But in this article, I am trying to convince you that you don’t need to wait 30 years to retire. Change your mindset. You can in fact retire now if you want to.
It is not the usual and believed way to save a lot, wait a long time, and then spend on the nest egg carefully. You don’t really need to have a very big nest egg to retire. Imagine what you can do differently if you are going to retire now? Right now.
Foresee what you will be doing when retired
You can actually plan to retire much earlier if you can foresee what you will be doing during retirement. I believe that at one point in your life, you must have heard about the story about a fisherman.
A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.
“Not very long,” answered the Mexican.
“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the American.
The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.
The American asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs…I have a full life.”
The American interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you!
“You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.
“Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge enterprise.”
“How long would that take?” asked the Mexican.
“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the American.
“And after that?”
“Afterwards? That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the American, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!”
“Millions? Really? And after that?”
“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta, and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends!”
Picture what you would be doing when you no longer worry about money. Why not start doing that now? You don’t need to have a million dollar in the bank to start fishing.
Have an annual sabbatical or mini retirement
The story of the fisherman is quite an extreme example. Most of you would like to have a comfort life – at least a decent car, house and some pocket money for all fine dining. So here is another route you can take.
If you break down your retirement goal into yearly goal, the big goal becomes much more achievable. Let’s say your original plan is to work hard for 30 years, then retire for another 30 years. Is it possible to break the retirement period into years or months?
Can you work for 10 months a year and then have a mini-retirement for two months? Some say their current job doesn’t allow that. Then why not find a job that enables that to happen?
If you can have a few months off every year, in order to do what you love and enjoy, that’s call retirement in my dictionary.
The world is such a wonderful place. You can move to a place you like, stay there for a month, and complete a project before you come back. You can mix things around. Work is travel. Project completion is experience earned. You just do it all at once – work, travel, retire, enjoy life, making money etc.
That is definitely possible. Just think about it, really deep.