For many people, the dream of an early retirement seems far fetched. Worries about how you will live, what will you do, and what others will think can obscure the reality that is right in front of you. But early retirement may be more viable than you think. Take, for example, the story of Brenton Hayden who made himself a goal to retire by age 27 and succeeded. By strategically building a business that could run itself when he was ready to walk away, he did the seemingly impossible and now lives a life of complete freedom.
So we have compiled 10 signs you could be capable of the same.
Being able to identify the 10 signs that you can retire early can be the first and most important step to setting your own course. As you read the list, you may be pleasantly surprised at how many of these elements apply to you right now.
1. You Believe That Opportunities Exist Everywhere
Hayden’s belief that he could find the positive in any situation and turn it to his benefit is what allowed him to become self-sufficient and able to meet his goal of retiring at 27. Opportunities can be all around us, we just have to look to see them.
2. You Feel That Your Daily Life Is No Longer Fulfilling
Sometimes being productive or successful in a position still leaves a spiritual and emotional void. When you reach this point, the best cure is often to walk away and follow that “road less traveled” to reawaken that desire to build something new – perhaps even in a new location.
3. You Want To Share The Skills You’ve Learned
When you’ve mastered a skill or trade, the greatest satisfaction is often gained by sharing that knowledge with others. Not only is this a great way to “pay it forward,” but it also empowers those around you and enables them to carry on with what you’ve taught them, freeing you up to focus on the things that will help you achieve your early retirement goal.
4. You Aren’t Afraid Of Risk
The old saying, “no risk, no reward” is particularly important in knowing if you are ready to retire. Walking away from the relative security of a known existence (i.e. job, daily routine, etc.) to step into an uncertain future is a profound choice. Yet if you feel that the only thing worse is to remain stagnant, then the time may be right to make that move.
5. You Want to Control Your Destiny
Recognizing that being able to dictate how and where you spend your time is truly life affirming and can be a major step in the retirement process. If you find yourself wanting to take control of your own future and live life according to your own terms, then you may just have what it takes. The key is having the courage to take the first step.
6. You Don’t Believe In The Traditional Definition Of Retirement
Retirement no longer means just sitting around the house, playing golf or tennis, and watching the time go by. Believing that retirement today can mean working (or not) when you want, traveling when you want, and not being held to someone’s else’s agenda is a major indicator that you are ready to retire on your terms.
7. You Believe That Retirement Isn’t The End, But Instead A New Beginning
Being freed from the yoke of job deadlines, a daily routine and demands on your time marks that start of a whole new existence. You can now work hard (or not) and play hard. It is up to you how to take this next chapter in your life and make it your own.
8. You Accept That Money Is Not The End-All And Be-All
Monetary status is like the weather; it can change without warning. By embracing the fact that you can live cheaply for now – if need be – in order to achieve your goal of early retirement, you are already prepared to handle the ebb and flow that retirement and investing while retired, can bring.
9. You Don’t Measure Your Life Against Others
One of the most profound benefits of retiring on your own terms is that you no longer have to measure your life achievements against what others have (or have not) gained. Success and failure are both just chapters. Some of which fall short of a goal and may ultimately lead you to end up reaping more rewards than if your original plan had succeeded. Life is funny that way.
10. You Know That Age Is Just A Number
Nowhere is it written that you have to reach a certain age in order to be “ready” for retirement. True, some financial situations, such as pensions, 401k’s or Social Security have a mandated legal age, but the idea of retiring and beginning a new life is not bound by those same numbers. That is why people like Hayden could choose to retire at 27, while others continue to work through their 70’s and 80’s. Knowing that age is just a number means that you are not bound by the societal barriers that dictate what the “right” age for retirement should be. That choice is uniquely your own.
So What Questions Should You Be Asking?
Every journey starts with the question: What do I want to discover? No matter what your age or status, it is never too early to start asking yourself some serious questions about retiring. As you look within, these 10 signs will stand out as beacons showing you that the only obstacle to meeting that dream is yourself. Dare to take that first step today.
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