Do you Think I’m Nuts?

This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.

Are you like one of my friends I was talking to this weekend who has no interest in retiring early?  Do you think it’s crazy to be using 3/4 of your take-home pay to save for retirement  and pay off a mortgage?  I’m sure that an early retirement plan isn’t for everyone – my family just kind of rolls their eyes at me and I get responses like “but what would you do with all your time?” or “what if you run out of money?” among other responses when the topic of money comes up (which rarely happens as I am not all that forthright with my plan).

If I found a job that I loved and couldn’t stop doing, my plan would change a little bit I would still do the following:

I would still get out of debt. To me, debt is something that forces you to have to go to work.  Whether you like your job or not, debt – especially consumer debt, seems like a bad idea to me.  If I can’t afford something, I just don’t buy it.  Getting debt free would allow me, even if I’m going to have cash coming in for an extra 20 years to have more money to spend on fun things, which leads to my next change…

I would spend more money. The major trade-off in retiring early is that you’re giving up present income to live off of later.  If I knew I had an extra 20 years of income coming in, I would spend more money.  I would pay for more experiences rather than “stuff”: more visits with friends that live all over the country, shows, dinners out at unique restaurants – things that I do now, but limit to fit into my budget.

I would plan on working part-time after age 55 or so. Maybe you love your job and can’t see yourself not doing it, but 20 years from now what if you just don’t want to do it full time.  Working part-time would allow the feeling of fulfillment you get from the work you do and allow you to not “burn out” at the end of the day.  I’m assuming that my energy levels at 55 may not be the same as they are at age 35.  In order to still enjoy my job, I would plan on cutting back a bit.

Those would be my main changes to the “standard” early retirement plan which a lot of people think is more than a little nuts.  An early retirement plan isn’t for everyone, but with a few small changes, a more moderate plan would still allow the same level of financial freedom, while living what could be seen as a more normal lifestyle.

Things I found interesting/scary this week:

This may not be all that reasonable to live in during a Canadian winter, but it looks like a good use of scrap wood.

I read a lot of science fiction, and this is the type of story that usually starts off some sort of epic zombie apocalypse at best, or a kill-off of a good chunk of the world’s population (maybe we don’t need to limit the number of people in the world?)

3 thoughts on “Do you Think I’m Nuts?”

  1. You’ve given yourself permission to create a future that works for you, so don’t take your eyes off the ball. And what other people think of you is none of your business 🙂

  2. Dave, I get similar reactions to yours and thus I’m very careful about what I let slip out regarding my early retirement goals. Recently I gave out a few tidbits about my plans, and they were met quite soundly with disbelief and scorn. So be it… my wife and I will continue on our current path of saving/investing and one day we will shock em’ all.

    Just doing some calculations, it seems we are saving about 65% of our take home pay… if we choose to pay our mortgage off in April, we will hit a 75% savings rate. We can really feel the financial momentum ramping up… it’s exciting.

  3. Dave
    You have a dream, follow it through. When it comes to money, it is tabo to talk about it. Most people want material things now,others have a plan( which you do)and YOU will be successful with. Just go for it.

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