Early Retirement. No doubt, you’ve seen the pictures with people doing leisurely activities, kicking back their alcoholic beverage of choice,
a gorgeous view of a Caribbean beach,
or even more simplistic, a person looking like they don’t have a care in the world.
Ahh retirement, I want that now!
Why yes, I’m tired of trading my time for money!
Of course! I do want to spend more time with my loved ones!
Less stress and more time to nurture myself? Sign me up!
You might be delving into this world on the internet. Everyone is talking about this, it even has a catchy acronym! FIRE! After a quick search, you find endless blogs. So many people are doing this. I can too. I just have to put my nose to the grindstone for a few years, and it can happen.
Related: What is Your Financial Mindset? Are you FIREd up?
The Reality of Working to Retire Early.
But what does that look like? Everything has cons. If it were easy everyone would be retired right? Is everyone not doing this just because they do not have the information?
Not to mention that if you are motivated enough to bust hump to retire early, it is unlikely all your days will be spent relaxing sipping pina coladas post retirement. Likely you will just work on a different passion project.
It can be a marriage/relationship ruiner:
So you talk to your significant other about early retirement, they could be instantly wanting to know more, or they might just think you’re crazy.
Let’s spend close to nothing, get rid of everything we do not need, invest over 50% of our income for a few years so we can have freedom then.
Who wouldn’t be on board?
In fact, plenty of people do not want the intensity of early retirement.
They might have no desire to scrimp and save.
Their desire for consumer goods may just be greater than their desire for freedom.
Or perhaps, they just like their job and have no problems with working that to 65 or beyond. They worked for a long time to get their position and have no desire to give it up.
Money is the biggest area of discord in relationships. At the same time, working towards early retirement can be one of the most drastic monetary changes you can make in your life. Those two things can spell trouble.
How much it changes your life depends on what your mindset and situation were like before starting on the path.
Even in the better outcomes, when you are both on the same page, it can be stressful on your relationship. You tend to work a great deal more to achieve these things, doing side hustles, overtime at work, and financial research. This means less time for your partner, and if you do not take care of your relationship, it can fall apart.
See: Six Rules for a Successful Relationship
You can end up living for TOMORROW instead of today.
You know the old saying “Take time to smell the roses!” people who are working on early retirement sometimes have a hard time achieving this.
Things you want to spend time doing will fall by the wayside to be filled with all things money, figuring out how to save more, make more, and get the best return on investment. Side hustles can become huge time-consuming endeavors.
This is all time you will not be spending on other things. Many people while striving for early retirement decide to put their health or other things on the backburner because they plan to focus on it fully as soon as they are free and without a job.
When you have this big goal line ahead of you, sometimes you can put all our focus into getting there. With early retirement, there is this shiny opulent goal of doing whatever I want. If I just forgo eating out today or going on a trip this weekend it will get me closer to where I want to be.
Getting to Retirement can take a lot longer than you expect.
Unfortunately, the path to financial freedom can be a longer path than some blogs are advertising. I have seen some boasting it only took them 3 years or headlines on how to have enough income to quit your job in a year. Which can be done if you already are in a great starting place or you take some huge risks.
If you already have a great deal of debt that is not solvable by selling an asset, or if you are starting off with a low income earning potential. It could take a lot longer.
For me, this is the 6th year of stressing myself out for the cause. While we have taken some time to smell the roses, it has been to far and few between. These years have taken a toll on us, and we go through periods of being utterly wiped out. I just recently had a three-month turtle shell regrouping. We are however close to that finish line.
See: I never have to pay into my retirement again!
Are you working on early retirement? What have you had the hardest time with?