how it was for us in the beginning of living life without a
we understood that we were retiring with the idea that we would not be returning
to work. If we had to, we would, but it was not part of the plan. We were not
taking a break from work, we were leaving the working world all together. It was a little
unnerving to be making such a clean break because we were out on our own with
little emotional support from family and friends. Our retirement at age 38
challenged the belief systems of everyone we knew.
After all this time, the most important thing we want our Readers
to know is: Donít let
anyone destroy your dream. Learn to be self-sufficient and self-motivating and
you can create the life you want to live. If you desire something strongly and
it makes you happy, donít look to others for approval. Move in the direction of
Additionally, we want to inform you of the value of tracking spending. Weíve
tracked our spending since our early years of owning a restaurant when we were
in our 20ís. This has given us a sense of control over our finances and that
brings self-confidence. If you track your spending you always know where you are
financially, and if you know your net worth you can calculate what percentage
you are spending. A rule of thumb is to keep your spending at 4% or below of
your invested capital. If the market changes or your life circumstances change,
knowing where you are with your money output is priceless.
What we wanted to achieve
else, we wanted our freedom.
been working 60-80 hour work weeks with very little personal time or time with
family and friends. While we consider ourselves to be productive people and we
loved our jobs, this amount of time focused on work began to feel like a grind.
I am sure many readers understand this feeling as we were not unique. We longed
for large stretches of time before us that were unstructured so we could do as
we wanted, when we wanted. So we traveled, read books, took classes, played
music, took photos, and met new people Ė all on our own time schedule.
pleased us greatly.
In the Highlands of Ecuador
greatest lessons we have learned
Itís a lifestyle, not a vacation
Live your newfound freedom as a lifestyle instead of in constant vacation mode
and that will give you stamina and your wallet longevity.
stress doesnít stop, it just changes form. Being retired doesnít mean you are
stress-free. There are family issues, bills to be paid, perhaps car or home
maintenance and the very important task of keeping yourself young and engaged
still needs to be taken out.
Keep things simple.
Life has a way of becoming complicated.
Wanting to cram years of fun and ideas into a few hours
can make for stress you donít really need. We encourage
you to keep things simple.
Retirement is a work in progress, and youíre in charge.
While you may have done your homework on the retirement front, thereís still the
chance that your dream lifestyle might need some tweaking. If you find that this
is the case, you are not a failure. You are the captain of your ship and can
decide what to change if something might fit better. Life is not static. Leave
room for some serendipity.
Donít take life so seriously, have fun with it!
Itís later than you think! This last point is so very important. No matter where
you are on the continuum of life, itís later than you think. We canít tell you
how many friends we have lost in the last few years Ė those who were only in
their 50s, some in their mid-60s. All this planning and focus on the future and
not a moment to enjoy the present is unfulfilling.
the day to smile. Find a way to laugh heartily. Try something new. Refresh
yourself. Have no regrets. Because itís truly later than you think.
Taking a break in Antigua, Guatemala
Would we have done anything differently?
of our manner of retirement, we probably would not have done anything
differently, as we are happy with our lifestyle. However, it would have been
wonderful to have known beforehand that we would have a successful retirement so
we could have relaxed about it a little bit more. We were so on the cutting edge
and with not a lot of people to look to as mentors so there was that thread of
underlying stress of ďcould we thrive in early retirement?Ē
where self-reliance, self-motivation, and self-confidence all comes in. We left
no room for failure.
Advice to those who read our site
readership spans those who are in their 30ís and just starting families and who
are looking ahead, people in their 40ís and 50ís who are wanting to retire in
the near future, and those who are in their 60ís who want a fresh look to their
message of freedom and self-reliance has broad appeal.
everyone, we say donít let anyone steal your dreams.
younger readers we always say to save as much as you can as early as you can.
Learn to live simply, donít go into debt and to track spending. Learn the
language of finance and donít depend on anyone else to make your dreams come
nearing retirement we help with organizing Ė Do you want to live abroad or move
to a lower cost of living location? How much is your annual budget? Could you
live car-free? How does one keep in touch with grandkids and family? What about
access to healthcare or assisted living?
suggest to these people not to let fear rule their future, to try new things and
to allow flexibility with how their retirement dream shows up.