I was lucky enough on Wednesday to be featured in an article on the Daily Mirror website about our savings and early retirement goals. However, it came to my attention that people don’t believe it can be done, nor that the numbers will add up once we get to that day. I have talked about the numbers before and how our simple, frugal lifestyle will benefit needing a lower number, and although our overall number has changed slightly, it’s the bit about retiring early that gets me.
I believe that everyone should be aiming for early retirement.
It isn’t necessarily about leaving your job – I love my job – but it’s about time and freedom to pursue other interests. We only get a finite about of time on this planet (gosh, that sounds deep!) and that’s it. Money cannot buy you more time and you never know just when your time here is going to end. Retiring early from whatever career you have chosen gives you the option of spending your limited time however you want.
You want to go travelling? You can. You want to help others? You can. You want to start a new business? You can (though this probably isn’t retiring in the traditional sense ;)). You want to take up a new hobby? You can. You want to sit around all day and do nothing? You can! The possibilities for all that time are endless and you can do whatever you like. Why wouldn’t more people want this?
Also, it means that there are more jobs available for the next generation to step into; the more people retire early then the more vacancies for jobs are there for the next set of employees to step into. That would mean that the unemployed rate would decrease, rather than increasing as it is at the moment.
It also would mean that your health would improve, both physically and mentally. You have more time to prepare healthy meals, though still on a budget, no more rushing around in a morning and being woken up unnaturally by an alarm. The strain of work can take its toll mentally too, so retiring early means that you no longer have that staring, and can take part in more relaxing activities. The decrease in physical and mental fatigue can only be a positive thing.
You also get more time to spend with friends and family if you retire early. One of the main motivators for us to retire early is so that we can spend more time with our friends and family, and be there to help with our parents as they get older. I want to be free to support and help them if necessary, which may not be possible if I’m still at work. The joys of spending time with your loved ones is priceless.
You could volunteer and help others if you take early retirement. Just because you finish your paid employment does not mean that you cannot start something new or teach others and share your knowledge. How about volunteering at a homeless centre or food bank? What about an animal rescue centre (what I hope to do!) or offer support in your local school? This means giving some of your (free) time so you need to decide whether that’s what you want to do, but it’s definitely something to consider.
Most of all, you have your freedom. That’s a very powerful thing to be able to say; you are totally free to pursue whatever you want to do. Whether that’s sitting at home and watching daytime tv, to pottering around in the garden and growing fruit and veg, to starting your own company or helping others, the choice is yours. And in the end, who doesn’t want that? That’s why I think everyone should be aiming for early retirement.
Do you agree? Are you aiming to retire early? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!