Early retirement is in our mind from the moment we set foot in a job.
It’s normal to want to exit the rat-race as soon as possible and be able to sip a cocktail on an everlasting cruise. At least that’s how many people view early retirement.
In today’s society retirement is not the same as it was for the past generations and it’s not the same for each and every one, even if we are all millennials, baby-boomers, Generation X, or however they categorize people today.
For my grandparents retirement happened at about 50-55. They’d stay at home, beat a pathway to their doctor and pharmacy’s door, maybe get involved in raising grandchildren and watching TV all day long.
Some work as nannies or maids, since they still have a lot of energy to consume and don’t want to just sit all day, others travel and so on.
Ideally this ‘golden age’ should start sooner than later, otherwise you’d be too old and sick to enjoy any travel or adventures.
It’s understandable why most people think about early retirement, especially since in most countries the age for retirement has been increased to 60, 65 or even more.
Whether you will retire early or not, here are few early retirement myths to think about.
Early retirement means not working at all anymore
I usually joke that I’ve already retired about 10 years ago, when taking my web design business seriously.
My work day means 1-2 hours doing web design work and blogging, spending the remaining hours caring for my family, traveling and doing house work.
I’d never fully retire, since my brain doesn’t work this way. I can take 2-3 days completely off, but then I’m buzzing with ideas and enthusiasm for my website network, client work and online investments. There’s no way I could enjoy not working at least few minutes a day for my small biz.
Early retirement shouldn’t mean you are no longer active.
Of course, if it’s what you wish for, go ahead and enjoy. But, if you are like me, it would mean you have enough time for your family and relaxation, while also being able to do some meaningful work for yourself.
Early retirement is for the lazy
My friend Adi wrote a great article on Cosy Life, 6 Freelancing Myths that Stop You from Earning Real Money, about how many people see freelancers as the ‘hobos’ who cannot get a real job.
So you’re freelancing a while, ’till you get a job, right?
I heard this question a lot, when I started freelancing full time and chances are most of work-from-home people are familiar with it.
Freelancing IS a real job. Well, actually it’s a real business, but it’s something serious we do.
We don’t play on our computers or waste time, we provide a service for our clients who need it and are willing to pay for it.
Just like freelancing, early retirement doesn’t mean you cannot get a ‘real’ job anymore or you are lazy.
It just means you don’t work from 9-to-5 anymore, it’s just another type of spending your time.
You can retire early only if you are a millionaire
Well, I wished it was the case, but we’re no millionaires at all.
It’s true we are debt free and have a good lifestyle so far, but we’re not rich either. Our small businesses allow us to have enough time for ourselves and also do some highly lucrative work for our clients and earn a living.
If you are waiting to win millions and then early retire, good luck to you.
You can still retire earlier by saving diligently, having a good retirement plan in place and maybe earn a side income to supplement this.
Social security will take care of your financial needs during retirement
Yeas ago my folks retired and, indeed, social security took care of them. My grandmother worked for 35 years and spent about 30 in retirement.
It’s not the case anymore.
As our generation has fewer kids than the generations before, social security is no longer a certainty. I actually expect to receive almost no pension in my country and a small one in the US, since we’re immigrating at an ‘older’ age.
This is why you should invest in retirement funds early on and prepare to have something more than just your state pension.
These are just 4 early retirement myths to be aware of. What else would you add?