The Revelation

To me, the revelation of early retirement being a reality came as a confluence of three things:

  • The concept that investments can produce income:
    • When I was a kid I had a savings account that received 0.05% interest. I would see my savings grow by less than a dollar every year. This sort of gave me the idea that investing cannot produce a reasonable income.
    • Older when I had a mortgage and saw that I was paying up to $1,000/month in interest, I thought in reverse about if this interest was being paid to me instead. Around this time I began investing and saw that I could indeed make real income by investing and not hourly work.
  • The idea that 9 to 5 work is not a requirement until age 65, and seeing others (besides lottery winners) make it happen:
    • I think most of us are ingrained with the idea that you must work until you’re 65, so you might as well make as much money as you can and spend as much money as you can. After all, this is what our parents and others before us did. Besides what would you do if you didn’t have to work?
    • See others not doing this and realizing that it’s not a requirement, but a society norm gives realization that it is possible not to follow this path.
  • Reasons not to be at work 40+ hrs/week:
    • If I wasn’t at work, what else would I do? Having other things to do with my time is another thing leading to this revelation. Those things are spending time with young children, work on house, exercising, and traveling.