How I was arrested by the Early Retirement Police
If work has become “optional” why would anyone do anything that remotely resembles work? You wisely ask. I have found that about 98% (maybe even 99%) of people I know who “retire” in their 30s/40s do some sort of paid work. Seriously. It is bananas. I know hundreds and can only think of 2 who do not have any sort of earned income side job. Well then that is not “retiring” then, you might wisely say. It is only retirement if you sit on the beach and sip Pina Coladas in a beach chair for the next 50 years. You are right. I will attempt to explain the phenomenon that I have pondered myself and how it is evolving for us.
This experiment is currently ongoing as we transition out of customary employment. This experiment began on January 13, 2019. To get occasional updates on how this is unfolding, you can subscribe here
Step 1. Yay! I dont have to work, I am so happy about this freedom and time with my girls and hubs and travel! I want to tell everyone how great this is when work becomes optional.
Step 2: Friends say “Wow, how did you do that?” or “I wish I could understand about money, finance, and retirement more.”
Step 3: I partially explain…. then get interrupted by a small child (either mine or theirs…usually mine), then try and return and they ask, well, “do you have a blog or something”, or “can you write a book?”, now I am interrupted another small child (either mine or theirs…usually mine). At this point someone is giving a strong side-eye.
Step 4: I say no, I do not have anything like that. I quickly recommend my favorite podcast or book of the moment.
Repeat Steps 2 and 3… 84 more times.
Step 5: I think “maybe I should put on my thoughts somewhere, then people can reference them and I can have a more fruitful reference instead of some partially completed conversations.”
Step 6: Hmmmm. Writing a book? Well, although I like to help and educate, I do not like to write…Hmm….perhaps a website?..again…I don’t really like to write…but I could post links and avoid writing unless I feel like it that day.
Step 7: Well, designing and creating a website would be a fun skill to learn.
Step 8: 1 week later: “This is not a fun skill.”
Step 9: This costs money, wait, why am I doing this?
Step 10: Oh yes, to help others and to put my thoughts in one location.
Step 11: Drink Prickly pineapple cider and abandon the idea for a few weeks.
Steps 2 and 3 continue….
Step 12: Husband says, “I think you can stop cleaning the closets, they are clean enough”….Husband sensing I could benefit from some mental challenge “What ever happened to the website idea?”
Step 13: Go on a trip to the ocean.
Step 14: Decide that I want to give free content then discover many want 1:1 coaching. My time is VERY valuable to me, but this sounds fun, so decide this is something that will require a fee to access me directly. Plus I have been wanting to buy a zip line from my house to the neighbor’s house which my husband says is “not really practical.”
Step 15: Launch website and the business side-arm. By this point, I feel relieved and also thrilled to essentially be launching a resource that is free and accessible to thousands also has a side-arm of a small business for those who do not want to read all the free finance links I am posting. Apparently, not everyone sees learning about IRAs as a fun Saturday night, but they would like to use my odd brain for ideas about their own situation.
Step 16: Get arrested by the “early retirement police” because I have said that I am retiring but now I am really doing some part time flexible work that that adds value and is also fun.
Step 17: Now that I am have been arrested by the early retirement police* and am in early retirement jail*, I have lots of time to read… and after reading an article on Why Everyone Should Have Their Own Business (and How to Guarantee Success) from Brandon, the Mad FIentist. Now I am beginning to believe many people could benefit from starting their own small business (early retiree or not) in the intersection of these 4 things:
1. What is a big interest/passion?
2. What topics do you want to learn?
3. Who do you want to meet?
4. What skills do you like using and want to improve upon?
For me the answer to this is became clear: designing a life where I am able to help others create the life they love by feeling empowered about their own finances.
*For those worried, I was not really arrested or in early retirement jail, please do not try and post bail. If you are curious to learn more, there is an interesting article by Mr. Money Mustache that details this concept of retirement police.
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