How to retire early

You’ve heard and read all the hype about retiring.

Most of us have been educated (or mislead) into thinking that we must have a million dollars in the bank before we can consider slowing down and enjoying life, but with the rapid rising cost of living, for most of us the dream of having a few dollars in the bank is purely a pipe dream.
For most of us will work until we 65 years old or maybe even 75 before you make the decision to retire, but what if there was a better way that you could escape the rat race and get off the treadmill early.
We’ve been doing a little bit of research and we’ve come across some great websites that have calculations on what it would really cost to live in a city overseas.
It got us thinking could we do this? Can we actually live overseas at a fraction of the cost of what it costs us to live in Australia.
We believe that you can. After researching (a lot) we believe that we can take the plunge and take that final step that leads us to a life of traveling full time.

So what makes you want to retire early?
There are many factors that give you reason to retire. It could be the simple fact that you despise your job, it could be that physically you’re no longer able to perform the tasks set out by your job. We’re all different and we all have triggers that motivate us to do certain things in life.
I recon that the media has a lot of influence in making our life decisions for us. From what we watch on TV to what we search on line and read we are convinced that we need to stay at work.
I don’t want you to think that we’re lazy and we just don’t want to work, nor are we running away from our problems. We have just discovered that you don’t have to work until your twilight years to actually live.
Imagine waking up and not having to race off to work ever. Now, take that thought and imaging waking up in the morning and deciding that it’s time to pack up and move to another city or country…. Today!
This is the freedom of living in another country, this is the choice we make.
So, how do you get to this point in your life? First you need to have a life adjustment.
You need to let go of the things that are ultimately stopping you from this path.
  1. Downsize your life.
  2. Sell what you don’t need
  3. Set a predefined date
  4. Keep to the plan
  5. Reassess your goal every day

Downsizing
We’ve talked about this before and for some it’s harder to do that it was for us. Remember our goals are different to yours. It took us over 10 years to finally be able to travel full time and we’re still 3 years from setting off, but the difference is we know how we’re going to achieve our goal.

Sell What you don’t need.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts about digitising your life, well, after many years all my documents, photos and media are all digitised. Every TV show I like is now saved on hard drives, every picture of family is now stored on-line and backed up on a hard drive. and I’m comfortable in throwing away the original pictures.  Emotionally it’s always going to be the hard decision, letting go  of things that you’ve had for years. Selling belonging that you’re emotionally attached to can be daunting, but I discovered a neat mind game you can play with yourself when the time comes to start sorting through the stuff stored in wardrobes and the shed. Each piece of stuff you’re selling has a figure, everything has a price. So imagine that piece of furniture is worth $100, each day on the road for us is budgeted at $100. So think of that buyer as shouting you out for the day. Imagine getting up and having breakfast in an exotic place. Now paying for that breakfast is your friend the buyer of that piece of furniture. Now that same buyer is buying you lunch, dinner, the scooter hire and the room your staying in today…. Hey thanks Furniture buyer dude… you’re frekin awesome!

Set a preferred date.
There’s only one way you can make the goal of retiring early happen, and that is to set a date. Here’s what I did to Elena. We we’re in a bohemian beach shop in Coloundra (Sunshine Coast Australia) when we spotted a stand of travel inspirational cards set in a stand beside the counter. Thumbing thought he cards Elena saw one photo card taken of a beach while the photographer was lazing in a hammock. The caption said “Hurry up your life is waiting’
I said “buy it”, Elena’s response was why?
I want you (when you’re ready) to put a date of when you’ll finish work on the back, then put it in a frame and put it on your work desk. Each tome your boss or work in general is getting you down I want you to look at that picture. Only you know the date, only you know the power of what “Hurry up your life is waiting” really means.
On the day you have decided to retire I want you to ask your boss to remove the picture and read the date.
Now, that’s how you get through the bad days….

Keep to the plan.
We all have dreams and we wonder “What if I cold to this…” Well put your dreams into perspective. Your exit strategy from your daily grind of 9-5 workdays is a goal. Which means you’ll need to stay on top of your game and curb your spending habits. It’s all to easy to race off for that coffee break and spend your hard earned cash on the fancy cappuccino. I’m so glad that Elena’s not a coffee drinker. She sits there at her office and watches as others will buy a couple of cups a day. I’m not going into the whole mathematical equations of a coffee costing $5. You can work that out yourself. It’s these small sacrifices that have allowed us to travel through more that 30 countries so far.
I understand that plans change, but you have to adjust your plan each time life takes over. You have to have a monitor on your expenses. For us it’s been incredibly difficult to keep to our plan, with houses bought and sold and selling cars in the name of downsizing. But we know our endgame is just around the corner.

Reassess your goal daily.
You need focus, you need vision, you need a picture up on the back of the toilet door, on the fridge or where ever it is that you’ll take the time to notice it. I even have a countdown to next holiday on my laptop screensaver. But with all this you’ll still become complacent, so change the picture every couple of weeks. Get a whiteboard and write down what you’d do today if you were already retired and traveling full time. Now look at what you just wrote… if that isn’t motivation you may as well stay at work.
All I know is that on a certain day in 2020, we will finish work….
What day? Well thats on the back of a postcard.
My question to you is, where is your postcard?
“Hurry up, your life is waiting for you”

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