Many people equate retirement with spending lavishly, traveling in style, or playing golf everyday (such as this NYT article I read the other day). While I do agree with the mathematics of the first 50% of the article (yes, of course try to increase your present value (PV) by investing in yourself and your own earning power), I disagree with the second 50% of the article. The second half of the basically makes it sound like retired people are pathetic / bored / not contributing to society. 

I plan to retire early. As I write this article, I come up on my 30th birthday. I am starting to build up my portfolio so that one day I will have enough passive income to either retire entirely, or do work on a part-time basis (perhaps some consulting in my professional, some teaching in the profession, etc). I am hoping to get out of the full-time work force well before 60. 
One part of the article talks about taking on side hustles - which isn't a bad idea... but at some point, we all need to enjoy life in the present. We could get hit by a bus. We may not continue earning money tomorrow and then, at the end of the day, did those extra few hours of work really matter? Don't get me wrong - I have side hustles - I just think we can't take a purely mathematical view on life. In fact, because of how aware I am of my personal mortality, I want to retire early so that I can enjoy my health while I still have it.

What do I want to do in my early retirement? 

Simply put: Volunteer. Think of all the amazing things that could happen in the world if there were more volunteers. I love capitalism and think its the best economic system ever developed by humanity, but it cannot accomplish all goals. Think of all the charities that need volunteers or could accomplish much more if they didn't have to pay everyone. Imagine all the causes you could support if you did not need to hold down a full time job.

What do I want to do when I'm not volunteering?

Imagine the places you could volunteer. From working in villages in Africa to refugee assistance in Lebanon to even large cities in Asia. Traveling / volunteering is something that many early retirees do. On a recent trip to Asia, I bumped into many retirees (some as young as 42). One case in particular stuck out: a single (never married) woman who worked until she was 40. She had earned some modest stock options, had paid off her mortgage, had saved up some money in mutual funds, and now she's living in a modest apartment (approximately $350 USD/month) in a modern city where she does not work and does volunteer work. 

Life can be so fulfilling; we just have to try to live it.




 


Comments

11/29/2016 12:07am

Mostly people are early retiring for your work because they are suffering from the different diseases. Good people are taking the interest of your goal and continue the effort. All the people are really impress to others.

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04/05/2017 12:20pm

Hmm, I guess that early retirement is actually a pretty good idea. I will consider that later.

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04/16/2017 2:58am

Have you done your portfolio? Is it good?

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06/16/2017 11:19am

thanks you

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06/16/2017 11:19am

thanks for the given great info

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06/16/2017 11:25am

You can't say is it good or bad. It might be a good idea in a certain situation.

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01/28/2018 6:34pm

There is nothing wrong about early retirement. In fact, many people today choose to retire as soon as they feel that they should rest and settle down with enough savings. However, having an early retirement would give a person so much time to thinking and doing nothing. I appreciate how this blog post suggests that those people who just retired from their job can go for a volunteer work. It is a great opportunity for you to travel and help other people. Volunteering is a good habit that should be practiced by many people. In this sense, you will definitely enjoy your early retirement as you mold your heart by giving time to other people. Thanks for sharing this insightful blog post.

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