I am a fan of early retirement extreme, its idea of retiring early in 5 years by pump up saving rate to 80%, equips ourselves with various life skill and making the suitable life style choice sounds pretty solid and doable to me.
Retire in 5 years?
However, I do understand that what I am going to embarks sound foreign to maybe 99 or even 99.5% of the population in Singapore. My conversation with friends about this idea of retire early always came back with questions like “can it be done?” ”What are you going to do with all those free time if you succeed?” “Working is very important, retire early is just being lazy.”
Another common objection I received is the living cost is so high nowadays, you can forget about retire without a high paying job. I must say I agree to certain degree that living cost is high in a country like Singapore, but I do believe that are ways for us to reduce our living cost to the minimum without sacrifice the quality of life.
Learn Life Skills
It is helpful to learn things like cooking a simple meal, mend the pant or bag instead of buying a new one, cycling to get groceries instead of driving or making effective DIY cleaning product from low cost ingredient. As you growing your life skillset, you will realize you don’t need that much money as before because you don’t need to spend money to buy solution for every problem you encounter in life.
Another added side benefit might be the increased fitness level when you cycling or walking more than before. You are using your arm and your leg power now to transport your groceries instead of car, and lets admit that life is easier when you are stronger and healthy. You moved faster, complete work efficiently, and recover from sickness (if you still fall sick) earlier.
It is not easy to be retiring early. Depends on your situation, you might need to get ready for the changes coming your way if you decided this retirement deal sounds good to you. In my opinion, first thing came to mind when talking about retirement would be the finance resource. Where is the money going to come from? Personally I prefer index fund or big stable stock that give out dividend. The reason why I prefer those two investment vehicles is because they are truly passive and might have a higher chance that give me stable income source when I retire. Property in Singapore is crazy right now, and people with a middle class salary like me are priced out from that market. It is the playground for the rich.
Another thing you might want to prepare yourself would be the noise from people all around you and most probably the one closest to you. Because this early retirement extreme idea is still in its very early stage, not many people has heard of it and believed it can be done. So be prepared for doubts, excitement and enlightenments that coming your way. If you managed to convince one of them that this is an excellent idea, you can always refer them to this site for more information.
Find A Support Group
Of course, when you are just getting started on your journey to early retirement, it is important to get support from people who believed in what you believed and doing what you are going to do. There are many forums around the Internet that packed with people like you and me who either achieved early retirement or still on their way to it. One of the forum I frequent is ERE forum, I like communicate with people there, discussing about our progress, getting encouragement from people there when I cleared my debt, reduced my food cost or giving away my stuff.
Choose Things That Excite You
I am reading the four-hour workweek book from Timothy Ferriss now, and I like one of the ideas he mentioned in his book. If you are not getting ahead or having the success you think you should be getting, maybe you have been asking yourself the wrong question. Asking yourself “What do you want?” or “What are your goals?” and thinking hard for the answer obviously not working for you right now. Instead of using ambiguous questions to confuse yourself further, maybe you can ask yourself “What would excites you?” or “What would brings you the most joy?” Is it bringing up your children? Is it the project you are working on right now? Or is it a place you have been dreaming to spend your time there?
Everyone’s answer is different. For me, being able to spend my time reading my favorite history book, trying new recipe and baking cake certainly bring me joy. My current job also gives me many opportunities to learn new technology and the colleagues around are all very helpful and sometimes inspiring. However, for most of the people, their choice will be picking up more activities to fill up their free time when they are free from their job. But this does not means that you need to quit your job immediately when you achieve financial independence. If you really love your job and you think that is a good way for you to contribute to the society, keep up the good job at your job and continue to give your best to the company. I have met few people who really love their job, and they can talk about their job all day long, promoting their company as the greatest company in the world. To me, that is a blessing.