We are in
our 60s and have decades of living a financially
independent lifestyle. That is quite a feat!
From the beaches on
Nevis, West Indies, to the shores of
Phuket, Thailand we have traveled
extensively through these years, and what a ride it’s been! Young and strong
in those early days, we were willing and able to tackle just about anything.
Now we tend to be a bit more cautious but we’re not letting up. We still climb
into the backs of pickup trucks, ride the chicken buses and soak in volcanic hot
pools. The time has passed quickly from when we were the youngest, grayless
couple in a group of retirees, to now where we blend in with the retiree crowd.
Still, no one can take
away the dance we danced and we are filled with gratitude for all the miles and
What about you?
How do you want
to live the next five, ten, twenty years or more? Only you can decide what is
best on your path and how to get to your goal.
We were often told retiring early couldn’t be done successfully and that we
would fail. These self-supported decades have proven the naysayers wrong, and we believe that
since we have done it, you can too.
In our book and on our
website we share the tools we have used to get us here so that you, too, can
own successful retirement, early or not.
We maintain that one
their dreams alive. No one will do it for you and besides, it’s much
more fun to be led by one’s dreams instead of being pushed by one’s problems.
Time tested tools
No matter where you are
on your retirement path, here are some time tested tools we have used. Take
advantage of what we know.
This is basic and
oh-so-essential. When you
you are spending you know exactly where
your money is going and you are able to make decisions clearly and in real time about your
cash outlay. This one habit will change your financial life.
Manage cost per day
and annual net spending
Once you track your
spending, you are able to figure out the yearly amount of money you are devoting
to live the lifestyle you are currently enjoying. Divide your yearly amount by 365
days a year and you have your Cost per Day. Manage these figures assertively and
you will be in control of your money. We have been retired since January 14, 2015 and our annual spending for
this time has been
under $30k per year.
In any household, there
are four categories of major spending: housing, transportation, taxes and food/entertainment.
If you make adjustments here – and there are lots of ways to do so - you are on
your way to
financial independence. Open yourself up to options such as
sitting, moving to a
less costly area to live, paring down the
vehicles you own, and being aware of your entertainment outlay.
Positive attitude and
Some people think having
a positive and
flexible mental attitude is small stuff and inconsequential. But without a
sense of wonder, an open mind to new things and even to Change itself, making
the transition into a satisfying new life of retirement is more difficult. There
are so many opportunities and different ways to live, travel and experience
life! Why get in your own way? Embrace your retirement and get a mitt and get in the game!
So, with decades of
experience behind us, we encourage you to dust off that dream and create a clear vision.
Strengthen your will to move into your new life and put your solid financial
plan into action. If you do these simple things, you, too, can live the life of
Editors note: On
the date of our retirement, January 14, 1991, the S&P 500 was at 312.49. It
has averaged better than 8% yearly plus dividends over these decades. Our
average annual spending is well below $30k yearly.