My goal is to retire at 40.
Retiring means different things to different people. To most, it means finally qualifying for medicare and collecting social security. Spending all day playing golf in a retirement community in Florida, road tripping in a shiny new RV across the country, or buying a beachfront timeshare in Mexico are all retirement dreams.
Here, retiring simply means:
Retirement: Not having to work, if you don’t want to.
Most folks who retire have already spent 20 years in school and 40 years working. By 62/66, most will want to chill and spend the years they have left finally being able to do whatever they want. Usually, that means not working. These are the lucky ones.
The type of retirement I’m thinking of is tied to financial independence. No AARP membership required. Rather, you don’t have to work because there is already enough money in the bank to live for the rest of your life.
Retirement also doesn’t mean being unproductive. I do not wish to spend my retirement at home, waking up at noon and binging Netflix all day.
So how am I going to achieve this incredibly ridiculous and somewhat impossible goal?
That’s what this blog is going to document.
But first, let’s talk about the motivation behind this goal.
Honestly, I’m really motivated by things I don’t have to do:
- Don’t have to sit in bumper to bumper traffic twice a day and get unreasonably angry at that stupid person who just cut me off
- Don’t have to report to a 9-5 and sit in endless and unproductive meetings, wanting to cry from frustration and/or boredom
- Don’t have to be riddled with anxiety and stress about meeting an arbitrary deadline
- Don’t have to worry about missing a friend’s wedding three months out because I don’t have enough time off
But if I take a step back, what I really want is complete control of my limited time on this earth. And complete control of who I spend that time with. And math tells me that the sooner I retire, the more time I’ll get.
Excuse me for being morbid. Our time on earth is so short. 80, 90, even 100 years is not long in the grand scheme of things. The earth is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old. Even if we’re lucky to live a long, healthy life, our time here is but a teeny, tiny, insignificant microscopic speck.
But our time here is not insignificant. It’s what we get to make our mark on the world and leave it a better place. The time we get to experience all of its wonders and find meaning and happiness, whatever that means for you. You get one shot. And do you really want to spend the bulk of it doing something you don’t care to do? And with people you don’t care to be around? And be anxious, stressed, angry over something that is in actuality, doesn’t matter?
I don’t think so!
Because I assure you, you can have this goal too. Your number doesn’t have to be the same as mine. It could be 45, 50 or 60 (still before the official retirement age!). OR, if you want to be really ambitious, 35 or even 30. It’s possible! There are people out there who’ve retired with less than a decade behind a desk- and they didn’t win the lottery, inherit a million dollars, or found a startup that IPO’d.
Think about it. You can get extra decades to do whatever you want! Spend time with your kids, slow travel the world, work on a passion project, go to Costco on a weekday morning and still have love for humankind…
It’s time to live the dream. What’s your goal?