Winter, especially the current winter that Southern Ontario has experienced has made for a pretty crappy time. I don’t necessarily get depressed, I just get bummed out by the cold, miserable weather. I would prefer to be out and about – golfing, or walking or sitting on a patio somewhere, rather than hiding inside, trying to keep my fingers and toes attached.
In order to combat the winter lows, I make a fairly big deal about Super Bowl. For me, it’s a day that I can celebrate all things that I am very interested in – food, drink and gambling. I take the day after the game off, creating my own holiday weekend and really enjoy myself. This year, I slow-smoked a couple of racks of ribs, along with a bunch of sausages and had more snacks than I really needed. I had made two different kinds of homebrew to try for the first time for the game – I have basically turned what is just a boring day in February into something I look forward to every year.
Early Retirement planning is like my Superbowl long weekend, but for my working life. Planning for, and hopefully executing my plan will lead to more leisure time and allow me to take part in more of the activities that I want to – more time to read, learn and take part in hobbies that I currently do in my time away from work.
For the most part, I don’t dislike the work that I do – I would prefer to not have to do it though. Having a strategic exit plan gives me a “hard out” number – once my investments are (hopefully) creating enough cashflow to match my budgeted expenses I can leave. For me, having this plan in mind is much like having a made-up Superbowl party – it gives me something to look forward to in the relative short term.
Even if my plan doesn’t work and I have to work well past age 45, at least I’ve been working towards something – to finish my Superbowl party analogy – there have been years where I regrettably overindulged in the festivities and really don’t remember the game I had planned on watching.
For me, I like the process – the “game” of paying off my house as fast as possible – of creating the retirement cash flow as soon as I can in order to win. I like having something to look forward to – even if it is a bit of a lame party in the middle of winter.
Is your retirement plan a game? How do you incentivize a long-term savings plan that may not work?