In order to objectively decide to pursue an early retirement, I must consider all arguments for and against it. The greatest fear of mine for early retirement is that while I’m on this journey, essentially life will pass me by.
My biggest fear in this pursuit is that by the time I’ve reached early retirement:
- My kids will be at an age when they are not interested in spending time with me, and the chance to spend time with them when they did has passed.
- The stress and time of working has taken its toll on my health.
- Friends and family that I would like to spend time with have aged or grown apart from lack of time together.
The image that comes to mind is myself in my mid-forties, reaching early retirement only to find out that I have a terminal illness with only months to live. Would it have still been worth it? Should I have lived each moment like it was my last, and spent every penny I earned? It’s tough to say, only time will tell.
I’m envious of those that “see the light” and begin their way towards early retirement in their early twenties, find success and retire in time to enjoy raising a family without the burden of having to work.
I found my Revelation a little later in life. I’m not sure of the exact moment, I think I began looking at investing in my late twenties and had this revelation around the age of 30, a little while after my son was born. My best estimate is that my kids will be at least 10 years old by the time I’ll be able to retire. I’m actually not finding deprivation in saving money (or not spending), so I can’t say that my life is any worse off. To me the biggest thorn in my side is being away from my family more than I see them. In addition, I don’t feel like the same person after a long day of work, and the toll that takes on others.
I’ve toyed with the idea of having a mini retirement, or sabbatical, and when the kids are in school with summers off this may make more sense. This idea seems like it would be a momentum killer though.
Until I find a better means to retire early, I plan to stay the course and live a fairly frugal, but not deprived life, with a goal of retiring early.