Impossible, or Just a Challenge?

Have you ever told anyone that you plan to retire early? And then explained that you don’t mean at age 60 or age 55, but rather age 45? I can guess what most people’s reaction is: disbelief. That’s impossible, they might say, so why even try? I wonder how they know it’s impossible. I guess they have decided to not try and so for them it’s impossible.

I’m not suggesting that it’s possible for everyone to retire at age 45. I know not everyone would even want to. But for those who really want it, I believe that they can come up with approaches to try and resolve each challenge they face.

At this point, I want to share an inspiring video of a group of young boys in Thailand who loved soccer. They lived in a fishing village built on the water, so they had no space, no coach and no uniforms. But when they decided they wanted to start a soccer team, they put their hearts into it.

Panyee FC: (5:15)

What makes it difficult for you to retire early? How are you going to face that challenge, so that you can move forward?

5 thoughts on “Impossible, or Just a Challenge?”

  1. I did not expect to retire in 2008 at age 45. I thought I would have to work until age 50 or 55. But when I saw things falling into place much more quickly that I expected them to, retiring at age 45 became doable.

    It did not surprise those close to me because they knew I was wealthy enough to pull it off and had been talking about retiring early for several years.

    Acquaintances and others who did not know me too well were surprised but because I had been working part-time for the seven years preceding my full retirement, that lessened the surprise.

  2. My wife is the only one who knows I’m determined to pull of ER at or before 45. When I mention it in passing to family or friends I usually get amused smirks. When I reach my “number” and I walk away from the working world I look forward to reactions of these same doubters.

    If markets continue to tumble and I can time a “bottom”, then invest a significant portion of my savings in some low cost index funds and then catch a market rebound on the way up… Yeah, some big “ifs” to hope for but if this were to play out I might be able to ER by 42. One can dream…

  3. Jon, it’s not really hard to recognize a market bottom (unless it just takes a break before continuing down, like in 2001 and 2002). And you may get more than one chance, because not every sector starts its recovery at the same time. What’s really difficult is going against the grain at the point of maximum pessimism. Are you sure you want to buy American stocks when their economy is weak, their finances are a mess, they’re entangled in various wars and their politics are challenged? That might be the best time to invest, but your friends and family will likely laugh at you, and you’ll get no sympathy if it goes wrong.

    Based on my reading of the economy (just an opinion, not advice), sometime in September or possibly October could present the best buying opportunity of this year. I don’t think the market is likely to crash in the near future, the way it did in 2008-2009. In another three years, however, it wouldn’t surprise me to see another market crash. I hope it works out for you!

  4. I think – and I mean this with absolutely no offense – tht you may be overestimating how much people care. I have said to a number of people (family members, colleagues) that I have no intention of working til 65 and would like to be retired at 50 and so forth and been met with a resounding “MEH”. And that’s probably how I’d respond if they said something similar! As deegee alludes to, action rather than talking about it is probably more interesting to people. Anyone can talk πŸ™‚

  5. Love the soccer video! Interesting thing, I talked to a friend of mine about retiring before 40. She said that she and her husband can’t, their lifestyle is too expensive (he’s a successful entrepreneur). I asked her what her husband loved doing, and it turns out he loves his work. In my book, they’re retired already. They’re doing exactly what they would be doing anyway. Totally free. They go on plenty of trips, do lots of bike races, see the world. His work is his hobby and just happens to make lots of money too.

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