An early retirement is an aspirational goal for many professionals especially among us millennials. Like every major decision it has its pros and cons—and tradeoffs resulting as a result of that.
Let us examine them one by one.
What Works in an Early Retirement Plan
1. A lot of me-time: Many professionals are busy building their career and not able to devote time to themselves. An early retirement offers a lot of me-time, which is essential to develop one’s creativity and maybe a calling in life.
2. Fulfil your passions: Someone I know learns music. It helps him stay charged up and look forward to each day. Many of us have the feeling of being drained out on account of hectic schedules which we experience on a day-to-day basis.
One could look at the book Passions Test byJanet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood. It helped me learn about my passions better.
3. Develop more meaningful relationships
In the rat race, even if we win we remain a rat. When one thinks beyond the rat race, one lays the foundation for inner growth. An early retirement offers the opportunity to develop more meaningful connections with ex-colleagues and a more interesting way of looking at life.
What is Not in Favour
1. Your funds could run out earlier than anticipated: This is a very real possibility. Why? Because savings of 20-25 years are not sufficient generally to take care of the next 40-45 years. If one is retiring at 40 or 45 at least 30-40 years span is a bare minimum life on account of the advances in medical sciences and technologies.
2. Meaningful work may or may not be exciting: The level at which one has retired decides the next role. One of our clients took to social work post retirement. It is partly fulfilling, however he misses the bonhomie and authority which he used to have when he was with a corporate. If you are a person who enjoys being a centre of attention, it may not be a great idea.
3. You could regret making a lesser impact than your ultimate potential: The journey between X and 10X in terms of impact is very small. For example, if you retire early, your ability to make a larger impact can potentially reduce. If only you postpone retirement for a couple of years, the enriching journey would take care for the next phase of life.
Also the ability to make a higher impact is there within an established system which many professionals don’t factor in. One is only as good as one’s organisation over the longer term.
To put in perspective, early retirement depends on how you plan for it, however, one needs to take a deeper view to understand how one wants to develop oneself or enjoy oneself.
Take an informed dive.