Early retirement is the reason many of us give for the deprivations we impose on ourselves (and our loved ones) on a daily basis.
All those sacrifices made at the altar of early retirement.
Financial. Personal. Family.
Time we’ll never get back.
Not this little black duck!
I’m on the shady side of 50 and due to various ups and downs in my personal and financial life, I don’t have a million dollars stashed in a retirement fund.
What I do have is a choice.
I can choose to become a prisoner to my retirement fund, working in a soul destroying job and, living on bread and water to ensure I have sufficient saved in another 15 years to retire comfortably.
I can choose to create a life where I don’t feel the need to retire. Ever.
That means enjoying and getting deep personal satisfaction out of every single day. Plus, money in the bank.
Over the last few years, and culminating with the death of my ex-husband, I’ve increasingly felt that life is too short to spend the bulk of it doing stuff you don’t like and sacrificing all those things you do love just to get enough cash to retire… “some day”.
My ex-husband was 52 when he died. He had a big fat retirement fund. He never got to enjoy any of it.
Don’t get me wrong. Don’t think I’m saying you shouldn’t save for retirement, early or otherwise. You really should. Long-term savings and investments are always going to be of value.
What I am saying is that life is to be lived and the real holy grail of early retirement ought to be finding a way to incorporate making a living with living in a way that mimics retirement.
In other words, finding work you love that allows you to choose how and where you spend your days and still enables you to pay your bills, preferably with passive or semi-passive income.
Holy grail is about right, huh?!
I’ve spent my entire adult life in search of work that fulfils me.
It seems I’ve either got high expectations or a low tolerance for tedium. And, believe me, I’ve tried everything from Information Technology to horticulture.
Until recently, all I found was a sense of overwhelming disappointment.
That was until I discovered the bounds of making a living online went way beyond online retailing – although I still do that, too.
I discovered blogging
I discovered blogging full-time, as a job, is a real thing.
And better still, there are bloggers out there making incredible incomes each and every month while living, travelling and working wherever and whenever they want. Learn more about setting up your own blog here.
This blog has been around for about 5 years and during that time I’ve earned thousands of dollars in what I describe as semi-passive income.
It’s semi-passive because after a piece is written and published, the blog as whole still needs to be promoted and maintained.
The real joy in making money from blogging is that your income is accruing even if you’re tucked up in bed, dreaming happy dreams.
I admit it, I was blind to the opportunities of blogging for a very long time and my only regret since sliding down the rabbit hole and into the blogosphere is that I didn’t take the leap a long time ago.
The title of my blog ‘Smart Money, Simple Life’ was intended to capture the belief that if you’re smart with your money, and you live a simple life, you have all you need to create a life where early retirement isn’t even on your radar.
What I’ve learned along the way is that being smart with your money is about more than just living frugally, it’s also about being smart about how you earn your money. That’s why I’m becoming more focused on creating additional income streams and building a blog that’s no longer a hobby but a business.
How I’m making early retirement redundant
Apart from appreciating the joys every single day of being able to work from home, doing something I really enjoy and (hopefully) helping others in the process, these are the ways I’ll be making the idea of an early retirement redundant:
- Building this blog into a profitable business instead of a being a well-paying side hustle. I’ll be doing this by publishing more frequently, creating a monthly newsletter and building my email list.
- Building additional websites to scale up what I learn through this blog. Maybe a DIY blog, although I’ll need to work on my photography skills for that.
- Work on improving, just a little bit, every day. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are good habits. Discipline always outweighs motivation so each day I’ll be working on improving my disciple in all areas of life; health, work, money, etc.
These three things will be my primary focus for the next few months.
Choosing to shift the blog from side hustle to business is a little scary and probably a bit of a risk but without risk, there can be no reward.
And, life’s too short not to go after those things that are most important and most fulfilling otherwise, why else are we here?
How you can make early retirement redundant
You too can choose to make early retirement redundant so start exploring side hustles or other ways to create a life that doesn’t need retirement to make it worthwhile or bearable.
What’s your plan? Early retirement or a life where retirement is obsolete concept?