I define retirement not as a period when I just lying on the bed all day long and do nothing. I believe with enough financial resource to support our daily expense, we can perform even better in our daily job and other activities that interest us.
However, there are some common mistakes I believed we all made before that delay our retirement:
1. Never Take The Time To Plan Your Retirement
Modern people are busy people. We all have our own commitment that need our attention everyday. It could be childcare, house work, project at work or a whole day meeting and conference call. By the time we reach home, we are exhausted and financial planning (thinking) is the last thing on mind. We just want to lie down in the sofa and continue the show from last night. TV is not all evil if we know how to enjoy it, but if we start to spend few hours a day on it and ignore the more important but not urgent matter like planning for future, it does not sounds like a good deal to me.
2. Never Seek Help
As the society and industry getting more and more complicated, it is not practical if we try to do everything by ourselves. It is important for us to learn more life skill to reduce expense but sometime advice from experienced people can be priceless. Seeking advice from people who has done what you are planning to do is a shortcut to achieve what you want.
3. Never Take It Seriously
I must say this is the single most important success factor in whatever we want to do in life. There is no need to strictly restrict every pleasure in your life when you are on your way to retirement but you have to take it seriously after you decided your plan. Every effort should be made to cut down on your expense, learn how to increase your income, find a free hobby or even communicate your thinking to your spouse.
I believed there are people managed to retire early even when they made all these mistakes above but they should be considered as exception rather than rules. For the rest of us, the room for mistake would be much smaller and a thought through plan is definitely helpful here.