Is early retirement (in 30's, 40's) for you?

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Highlights
Early retirement, as attractive as it may sound, has its drawbacks. While finance is one aspect, if you have nothing to do with your time it can drive you crazy. Here are some tips that may help you decide.
By Sofia Chand
 
It is if you want it.
 
As simple as that.
 
 
Having said that there are several things you need to consider before you take the leap. I will try my best to cover some of those for you here.
 
The first and foremost of course are your finances. There are ample amount of suggestions and recommendations out there which will give you all the possible ways in which you can meet that objective. So I am not going to touch upon that. But yes, please do make sure your savings are in place before you take the leap.
 
A steady income that helps you to supplement your livelihood is also a very good way of ensuring you do not burn up your savings too fast. Because trust me, contrary to popular belief you will not drastically reduce your expenses once you retire. What with meeting friends, going out during weekdays, buying new clothes that fit your new lifestyle, travel, and the kind of hobbies you have, it is going to sum up to a lot. Some ways in which you can supplement your income is investments in fixed deposits or mutual funds or SIPs, rent through any property you own, day trading, work on freelance projects that aren't too intense, like content writing, logo designing, or any designing for that matter, coding static websites, paid volunteering, etc. There are some other options that are a little tedious, not very rewarding, and not my favorites, but will work if you need some income. These are data entry work, subtitle creation, tuitions, etc. These will help you steady your boat for sure but may harm the fun of retirement.
 
With finance out of the way, I think the most important point that everyone misses out on is what will you do with your life when you retire. Relaxing and chilling out, doing nothing may seem to be the obvious answers, but they eventually don't remain to be.
 
There are plenty of things you can do though if you have decided to take the leap.
 
 
Travel is the most favorite one. Of course, this pandemic has put us all in shackles that are just refusing to come undone. But I am an optimist and I am sure we will get through this. So keep that on your radar. Of course, your financial plans must include this expense. If you have planned and are able to travel frequently then you will realize the bliss of being able to pack a bag and take off whenever you want.
 
Hobbies come up front and center with all the time you have at hand. These may include painting, arts and crafts, gardening, music, or even cooking. You will have plenty of time to experiment with all of your hobbies and eventually you will also get tired of them. But some will stick and may turn into learning that may eventually be something fruitful.
 
Then there is volunteer work. We all know the true problem in social service is not money, it is actually having people to do the work at the ground level. So why not contribute by giving some of your time at the local orphanage or the old age home. Bring a smile to someone's face and they will bless you forever. The satisfaction you will get by doing this will be the cherry on the cake.
 
Health is the next big thing you can work on. Meditation, yoga, weight training, running, there is some form to suit all types. Work out to show off some toned abs or just for the sake of being able to live a healthy life, it's your choice, But make sure to keep this in your regular routine, because after retirement if you live an inactive life it can be detrimental to really being able to enjoy the early break.
 
Spend time with loved ones. Your children are gonna grow up soon and will be off with their lives. So maximize the time you get with them. You could even work on teaching them life skills or help them with their studies. Also, your parents aren't getting any younger. Go for walks and spend some quality time with them.
 
Local exploration. Work never gives us a chance to actually get to know things in our vicinity. Life is just like a hamster wheel and it's the same cycle every day. The little time you have off, you tend to go for a short holiday somewhere. But now with time on hand, you can actually explore your local area. Go around to shorter distances and discover the wonderful things that your vicinity has to offer.
 
Follow your favorite sport. Sounds great, doesn't it? Football, Cricket, Golf, Tennis, these air at all odd times, and it's really difficult to keep up whilst juggling a 9 to 6. So here's your chance. You can go all out and follow every single game. It will be exhilarating.
 
Go organic Perfect time to set up that home garden! Watching those seedlings turn into juicy vegetables that you can devour for your meals. While you are at gardening don't forget to grow some flowers and plants too. You will be able to spend hours admiring the beauty of the garden you have built with your own hands. Besides plants like aloe vera can help you keep up with your beauty requirements too, in the most natural way.
 
Of course, if you have decided to do some things to supplement your income then those would take up some of your time too.
 
These are all just some examples, the list can be endless. You got to figure out your passion and build on things you could have never even dreamt of doing before.
 
But it may very well be noted that if these things aren't meant for you and the daily hum of an office, being able to chat up with colleagues at coffee and the excitement of achievements is what rocks your boat then early retirement is not for you.
 
 
The best way to find out is to first try out a break. It could be a shorter break or even a sabbatical. If this time doesn't seem like it's ending and you can't wait to be back on your desk (or in today's scenario that zoom call) then you have your answer. But if you long for more, then consider it. And still a shorter break is not gonna define your retirement, but you got to be honest with yourself and take a call.
 
So in a nutshell, if you are thinking of retiring and doing nothing then don't. Most people who have worked all their lives will barely last 2-3 months doing nothing. You got to create value for yourself while realizing that work is not the only thing that can create value.
 
 
A lot of hobbies can give you an immense amount of satisfaction. So retire to achieve all that you couldn't when you were working. Don't make it aimless. And mind you if you are someone for whom sitting back and relaxing, doing nothing, then that is your aim. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
 
Sofia Chand, signing off leaving you with some food for thought. Do let me know if any of these tips were helpful to any of you.  Would love to also hear you all out if you have any more suggestions. 
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