For the past few years, at least twice a week I’ve heard people tell me “You’re Crazy”. I don’t think they mean literally, bat-shit, bite peoples arms off kind of crazy, but the kind that is just UNORTHODOX.
When I talk spending 2012 abroad, or backpacking Thailand, or not working an entry level 9-5, people think it is out of the norm, which it is.
Business has slowed down a lot since the summer ended in August, so I haven’t been working much. To my surprise though, I have done more self-development and learned more in the past few months that I have ever. Although your wallet may get smaller (for the time being), more time for yourself and LESS WORK allows dreams to grow bigger, which will heighten your bottom line in the end.
One of my “CRAZIEST” theories, is my theory regarding Retirement.
I’m going to let you in on my family for a little bit to allow you to understand fully where my comparisons are coming from. My fathers side of the family is very spiritual, psychic even. My mothers side of the family is very Catholic and Western as far as way of life and mindset. My travels and work life make so little sense to them. This is my example: I am setting a goal to travel abroad again, this time for 1 year without working. Imagine explaining that to both sides of my family – complete opposite opinions and outlooks.My mothers side thinks I’m this so called “crazy”. They say “Save all your money for retirement”. The other half says “GO, live!”.
This topic of Retirement is a funny one. There are some people that invest all of their life to one day stop working. There are some people that stop working periodically in their lives instead. I am like the latter group of people. I have decided that instead of saving and then retiring at 60, I am going to have sections of my life in which I retire. In 2012, I was retired – I worked only 30%, traveled and LIVED for the other 70%. 2013 I am back to the grind. Maybe even for 2014. 2015, I am going to retire again, this time living for 90% of my time, working for 10%. Are you getting this picture? People like me, “Doers” wont want to stop working at 60. We will be SO bored. The only thing left to do at that point would be to worry too much, bother your children and grandchildren too much. There’s only so many times I can get a set of rollers in and my nails done. I will be itching to do SOMETHING all my life. And at the age of 60, you can’t backpack Asia or climb Mount Everest, ride a scooter across Vietnam, or do jump cliffs. If you can, impressive! – but most of us will be limited by then.
I’m writing this post to give insight to all of the people who call me crazy. To give reasons and hard examples of why I take years off to travel, or cut my work schedule down in the winter, etc. Since learning to retire throughout my life, I am the happiest I have ever been. Working gives me a means to an end WAY sooner than I expect. I get to live, enjoy, relish ALL THE TIME rather than just from 60-80 years old.
I can picture the amount of anxiety and the questions that arise in your minds as I am writing this. MONEY will be the number one concern. HOW? Will be the next big question.
When it comes to Money, although I am advocating not investing all of your money in retirement, I am still a realist – you always need a cushion. You need the “rainy day fund” or the emergency money. You do need comfort. Stability. All I am saying is that you need a balance. Working 40 hours a week for 30 years just to finally have time for yourself at 60 is no way to live. Working for that big house you have is all for nothing if you are working so much you cant enjoy that big house. Money is just energy – filling energy for your next adventure as far as I’m concerned.
The second big question. HOW? … Like Nike says, JUST DO IT. Literally. JUST DO IT. I am already making a list for my next year abroad. Find a storage unit for all of your “stuff”. Budget enough money to just pay for one year in full – Done. Let go of all of your “stuff”, you wont remember what is in there a year from now anyway. Do a bit of research. Pack ONE backpack with essentials. Get your map ready. Book your flight, and GO. Retiring for a year (or two, or three) in the middle of your chaotic work life will be the best thing you ever did. You will come back with bigger and better ideas, a broader perspective.