Thinking about retirement in your early 30s is NOT normal. Reading finance books for fun is NOT normal. Getting excited to pay off debts is NOT normal. I’m quite certain people in our everyday life think we are total weirdos. When I told friends and family about our master plan of financial independence by age 40 so we can travel the world, I got a LOT of blank stares. Or people that thought I was joking. Or blank stares followed by people laughing at me. Not exactly the reaction I was hoping for.
I was truly surprised by the number of people who have NEVER thought about retiring early. Why do people just assume that the only option is to work until age 65 (or 70 or even 80) and then retire when it’s too late to fully enjoy your days? Not a very appealing future if you ask me.
I want the freedom to decide what I do when I wake up every morning. Maybe I want to take off on a random Tuesday and go to the beach. Or stay home cuddling with the puppies on a rainy Wednesday. Or drive to the mountains for a romantic getaway on a Thursday. All I want is freedom, is that too much to ask for? I don’t think so!
I will say that I don’t really hate my job; I just hate the lack of flexibility that comes with traditional work. I hate that I have to go in to the office every day. I hate that I am stuck sitting at a computer for 10 hours a day. I hate the stress. I hate that I only have two weeks’ vacation per year.
Many people are working hard to move up the corporate ladder so they can earn more money. The more money they make, the more money they spend on extravagant things such as bigger houses, bigger cars, and inflated lifestyles.
Mr. Bug and I drive 10 year old vehicles, take our breakfast and lunch to work most days, and are working to furnish our house with the help of great Craigslist finds.
Instead of getting a pay raise and buying new things, why don’t people ever think to save that extra money so they can leave the rat race? It seriously blows my mind. I’m not saying that Mr. Bug and I don’t occasionally splurge on nice things (we do love our vacations and a fabulous meal out every now and then). But there has to be a balance. It doesn’t work if you spend every penny you make and invest nothing for the future.
Do I think everyone should deprive themselves and only save every hard earned penny? Nope. But what I do think is that people should work their asses off now in order to get the raises and bonuses and SAVE that extra money so they can be financially independent. Being financially independent gives so many opportunities such as quitting a job you hate in order to take a new job that you love. Or volunteer. Or stay home with the kids. Or, like us, travel the world.
Mr. Bug and I will happily continue to be weirdos working our way towards early retirement and financial independence. I will continue to tell anyone who cares to listen that getting a brand new car is a horrible idea. And that not contributing to your company’s 401K is a really horrible idea (who doesn’t accept free money?!). And that living above your means is idiotic. And I will continue to tell anyone and everyone about our goal to retire early from traditional work by age 40. Wish us luck!