Money is important, for sure. It keeps us fed, clothed and safe… And also buys us nice things.
It does cost us time though.
The pursuit of money costs us time and effort but in the end, you can not take anything with you to the grave.
This is why the Financial Independence and Retire Eary (F.I.R.E) movement caught my attention.
It was a quizzical stage in my life.
Mid-life crisis?, I don’t think so.
But then. Who knows.
I was, though, just beginning to question things with a little bit more thought, rather than just joining the ranks of the moaners and complainers.
I was questioning what life was all about as I spent most of my time either working, preparing to work or sleeping because of work.
It didn’t make sense to me.
Truth be told, it probably doesn’t make sense to you – even now.
One thing to emerge from the chaos of the pandemic is that people are questioning why they work and are demanding more ‘time’ back to help their balance.
This is a good thing and companies need to meet that demand. People want more personal or family time and frankly, I don’t see why that’s not good for the economy. If you throw in a living wage as a minimum, then I see nothing but positives.
We do also need to think longer-term though.
A longer time frame.
Government Pensions are shrinking and people are being encouraged to spend, not save… I mean negative interest rates, WTF!
Away in the future we should not expect the government to be there, supporting us that much in the later years.
We should plan for that scenario now.
Time, in this context, is of the essence.
The gap is how the world around us is not encouraging people to put money away into savings and investments as part of their routine money habits.
We are discouraged.
Spend, spend, spend is what makes the economy go around… Apparently.
People MUST be engaged to save & Invest So that they can retire at a reasonable age and enjoy even more of that family time that they so demand.
When being engaged, we should sell the idea of retiring at an age where the quality of life is still great.
The idea of retiring early had already been a focus of mine, but the age that I was looking at retiring was closer to the official age, but minus 5 years or so.
With a new knowledge from learning of the movement and with a FIRE in my mind’s eye, I had a new impetus to save with passion.
I wanted more time.
I wanted to buy back time by saving more money.
Time had turned into a much more important commodity for me.
Time has more value.
The new perspective on retiring was that I would front-load the savings & pensions plans and go big on the compound interest.
Then I would look into what else I could do in the ‘early retired stage’ to keep myself busy and to earn a little bit of extra cash.
This remains the plan to this day and it will continue to be the plan until the last day.
I do have responsibilities like any other person and it is always wise to calculate them into all the planning in service of retiring early.
You should do the same.
Mitigate your circumstances.
But do that plan.
Do it today and understand the beauty and splendour of how time and money work so generously together.
In the end, I want to leave very little behind and give away as much as I can to my children on the way to that final resting place.
However, between now and that final moment in time…
I have to give thought and attention to what I do with the ‘free time’ that retiring early will give.
‘I will always have time to help others.’
With that thought, I will continue to use some of that time to champion for the education of retiring early and work to inspire the younger generation to ‘just get-it!’
Just get the idea that you can retire young…
But, then, I think that in itself will take time.