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.
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.