I think someone should tell the absolute truth about early retirement.
And I think that someone is going to be me.
Don’t get me wrong- I am not bout to tell you I regret taking the step and retiring at 50. au contraire mes amis–
I truly believe I made one of the best decisions I have ever made in my whole life.
There is a but.
And I think that people searching for information on early retirement, striving and saving every penny towards early retirement, deserve to hear everything I can share from my experience.
Maybe what I am experiencing will never happen to you.
Maybe it will happen to you- but you wouldn’t even notice.
And maybe- this is something of a common and mutual experience that might happen to you too, and when it does, and you start getting all worked up about it- you will remember having read this post, smile to yourselves – and think- well, glad I have that angle covered.
I believe the most dominant feature of early retirement, is time.
Time =freedom to do whatever you desire.
That is absolutely true.
but there are 3 things you need to understand about all that free time you suddenly have:
#1: More time= more time to contemplate your life.
Now, this can be a good thing. you can eventually reach far better conclusions than you ever did when having no time to fully think about your life- and yourself.
But sometimes- this process of reaching those conclusions- can be a very difficult and long process.
Now if you are -and always have been- a very self-aware and self-connected person, and every major decision/situation in your life has always been a result of deep thinking and contemplation- well then my friend- if you exist at all congratulation! no need to read the sad posts of usual humans like moi. go save the world. or something.
But if you are anything like me, then your whole life you were trying to figure out right from wrong, good from evil, and trying to keep up with work (you want to step up the ladder? fine- work harder-more responsibilities- less time for your kids and your house- your spouse- yourself- more stress- you get nervous and unhappy- you become mean and nasty- you regret your behavior- but can’t help it- you are so stressed-this is just an example- right??).
And now suddenly you have so much time.
You start thinking.
And you realize that so much has gone wrong.
you understand that living in regret isn’t going to help anyone, but you have no idea what now?
I understand there are some people that retire and start traveling around the world with their spouses, all the while holding hands and experiencing fireworks where fireworks should explode. (trying to keep it clean here-excuse my beating around the bush so to speak).
Because I wish you all the best- I hope that if this is your dream, then may you accomplish it and write posts from Bali and Mozambique to show pictures of you two.
If that is not your dream- and you would rather travel alone or with a friend- hope you achieve that dream.
The point is that suddenly you have not only the opportunity but the obligation -to think what it is you really want to do with your life.
Where are you going?
Who do you want to go with?
maybe no one- which is great. maybe someone who is with you already and is on the same path as you are- and every moment with him/her makes you smile-great. maybe this is someone who is far away or left -what now? maybe you haven’t met that someone yet and you are seeking for a way to find him/her?
I think you get the point.
Don’t wait until you retire to find ways to address your relationships with the people that you love and care deeply about or you might get to early retirement and realize you made a wreck of your life, and now you have the time to acknowledge every moment of it…
#2: “When I have more time: the misconception: I don’t have time to exercise now- I will start exercising/exercise more when I retire early”.
Again- this is my own opinion and mind you I am no health instructor or wellbeing guru or anything of the sort.
I am a 50-year old that has been exercising most of her adult life, and never delaying any exercise to “when I have the time”.
I believe that health and a serious exercising routine go hand in hand, and continuity is crucial-especially at a “mature” (yes I just wrote that funny thing) age.
Though not being any sort of health expert I know for certain that my body isn’t getting younger -and that is an understatement- and the time it takes to recover from each exercise- is time to be respected and acknowledged, and definitely not something you can depend on the goddess of sports (Diana?) to fix for you- when after years of minimal /no exercising- when retiring early you suddenly start exercising full time.
This can cause injuries, and therefore can cause you to stop exercising in fear of more /worse injuries, and this can be the sad and short encounter you have with exercise when actually this is the best natural upper existing. (haven’t tried anything illegal and stopped drinking alcohol so don’t start giving strange examples here people -you understand what I mean).
#3: the same goes for eating healthy.
Please don’t tell yourselves that you have no time to prepare nutritious healthy food for yourselves and your loved ones.
I don’t like to sound like a bitch (you know what- I don’t really mind this is an important subject) but if you have the time for Facebook/Instagram/ Netflix -then you have the time to prepare a healthy meal, preferably vegan.(yes I preached here, yes I did).
There are plenty of easy quick healthy meals you can prepare ahead, I am linking a few posts just to get you started.
You cannot expect to rectify the damage of decades of unhealthy eating when you finally retire, and if you plan on that Bali trip holding hands with yourself- then get up and get cooking.