When I tell people that I want to retire early I get all sorts of weird looks.
Some are telling me that it’s not a good idea, that I will live poor, that I could lose all my capital and have to go back to work at an advanced age, that I could get bored… What else?
It’s unbelievable how many reasons people can find not to stop working. We are really programmed by society to work.
I’m already bored by my job, the traffic, the bus… could it really be worse than that if I were retired?
What would be my downsides?
When I think about quitting my day job I think about all the upsides and downsides I could face.
Since I invest in the stock market, I will take an example from the market to illustrate my purpose.
Lets say you buy for 10000$ worth of stock A. What is the worst downside that could affect you? The company could file bankruptcy and you could lose 10000$. You can’t lose more than that.
Now, what’s the upside? The price of the stock could increase until the company owns 100% of the market shares. Then it could explore another market or product and try to get market shares there too. It could pay growing dividends and turn your 10000$ investments into 100,000$ or even more with time. Who knows?
Your upside potential is mostly unlimited.
The same thing happens with retiring young. What could be my downsides?
I could lose all my money if all the companies I invest in (McDonald’s, Exxon, Mattel…) go bankrupt. Okay… It could happen. A major total war or major world market crash could happen. Its part of the possibilities but then you would probably lose your job too so we would be in the same position.
Now what’s my upside?
I will have all the time in the world to do whatever I want. I could go back to school to make my doctorate or study in another field. I could start a business and become even wealthier. I could totally dedicate myself to my family and hobbies. I could take my backpack and visit the world or spend my days learning and reading…
The worst thing that could happen is that I could have to go back to work at a late age because I lost money or miscalculated the impact of inflation.
So, I’m trading a “maybe I’ll have to go back to work” with a “work until you’re almost dead – 65-70 years old”.
That’s the worst thing that could happen to me. Having to go back to work… Maybe not in the same field. Maybe I’ll make a low salary but I’m sure I would find a way to make a living.
Anyway, I don’t plan to retire only to sleep, watch TV and fool around in parks and shopping malls. I want to retire because I’m a creative person who needs to learn new things and make new things all the time. I’m sure I can transform one of my hobbies into a cash machine if I need to supplement my income.
I could also keep a part-time job if necessary.
Trading some security for time worth it. I truly believe we tend to underestimate the true value of our time and that we sell this commodity for a lot less than what it’s worth.
I want my time back because I think I can find a better use of it than my employer. For me, life should not just be about making my boss make more money!
The next time someone tells you that it’s a bad idea to retire early make him or her read my post and it will be a pleasure to argue with him or her.
By the way, I like my job. But, I love my family, my hobbies and my rest time even more.
What about you? What do you value more and at what age would you want to retire?
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