What if you could wake
up and have nothing pressing on your schedule for the entire day? And you could
spend that day doing anything you wanted?
How about the idea of
getting up at 6:00 AM and going for a run or to the gym and not feel rushed to
get cleaned up for work? Would you like taking two hours for lunch with your
spouse or best friend and then relax in the afternoon or take a nap?
Or maybe you’d like to
sink your teeth into an art or gardening project, join a theater group, sail
throughout the Caribbean Islands or go on a month-long motorcycle trip - Just
because… you can.
We broke free of the shackles of a work-oriented life 26
years ago and continue to enjoy the new adventures each
day brings. We get up in the morning with nothing to do,
and at the end of the day we only have half of it done.
Our days fill up with things we want to do, not
things we have to do. We love this creative
You too can live this
life or one that is tailored to suit your particular style.
First things first
The first thing you have
to know is where you are on this road less traveled. Are you just starting out,
paying down debt and opening up a brokerage account? Or have you saved a lot,
invested wisely and are about to make the leap into the retirement realm? Either
way, you need to have a handle on your spending and income.
Tracking your spending
is a habit we have encouraged for years and we continue to do this ourselves on
a daily basis. How else can you judge the financial health of your family? If
you track your spending you will never, ever, “suddenly” run out of money. This
is probably the simplest step on your road to financial independence, yet many
continue to avoid this easy task. They are the ones that do not have the
slightest indication as to where their monthly income goes and at the end of the
month they are starving to receive their next check. If you are reading this, I
doubt that you fit that description.
Next, you should create
a purpose in your life other than work. Most men, and now many women these
days, identify themselves by their careers and have a difficult time letting go
of the prestige, status and structure it brings. They give notice to their employer and the
first few weeks or months after quitting work is like a long-deserved vacation.
Then it hits them. Now
Lost like a fish out of
water, they no longer know what their self-definition is, how to feel productive
or even what to do to fill up their days. Some go looking for a second career or
decide to do some consulting to keep busy.
Are you your job?
Even today, after
running around the planet and traveling for 26 years, we continue to get asked
who we were before we retired. That was decades ago! After you have left your
career, you can reinvent yourself into a new description and go wherever your
passion drives you. And why limit yourself to just one invention? This is your
life and you only have one shot at it. Why not reinvent yourself numerous
times, just because you can.
During our retirement time, one or both of us has been
an English teacher, a basketball coach, a tennis pro, an
author of books and newsletters, international house
sitters, and tour guides to name a few. All of these
things challenged and satisfied us until we moved on to
Financial freedom has
allowed these lifestyle changes without the career pressure and all the while
our net worth increased.
We think the key is to
enjoy your life of retirement and live it like no one is watching.