Posted by Tim Stobbs on June 17, 2009
Planning for an early retirement does pose certain threats to those that undertake a serious plan to pull it off. One of the major issues I’ve noticed with myself now and again is an obsessive focus on early retirement issues at the expense of my time in the present. Are you living your life now or just killing time until you retire?
The attitude of killing time is a bit of a problem as it can often distract you from living your life the fullest now. I don’t mind not spending money on things I don’t care about, but I should never stop spending money on things I do enjoy. That’s one of my early warning calls when I notice a build of my spending cash for more than a month. For one month it might be I just didn’t need much, but if it occurs for two in a row something is up. In a 60 day cycle I should usually find a couple of things to spend some money on.
Your own sign of killing time will be different, so I won’t try to point them all out. Instead I’ll offer a few hints of how to get over killing time and get back to living life.
- Get Back to a Hobby. I find I tend to ignore a few of my hobbies for periods of time. For example, I make wine and paint, but usually not that often. So it is fun to get back into a hobby after a break.
- Try Something New. Take a class, seminar or read a different kind of book then you are used to. Getting out of your established tastes can often result in interesting new finds.
- Be Spontaneous. Browse a store you would normal never set foot in. Take off a day of work and spoil yourself for just one day doing some of your favorite things. Cook something you can’t even say the title of properly aloud.
- Meet Someone New. Be extra friendly for a day or two and see who you end up meeting. New people can often bring out different ideas and force you to think outside your box and usual friends.
- Live a Dream. Pick out a dream you have always had and then work at making it happen. It does not have to huge, but it can be if you like. Save and start planning for a trip. Learn new skills if you need to.
Ironically killing time attitude is also toxic to your early retirement. If you spend all your time planning for just one event, what the hell are you going to do with yourself after that event has occurred? You could turn into one of those poor people who dislike their retirement because they don’t have a life without work. So always keep an eye out for when you start to just kill time and make sure you get back to living life. The future can be nice, but we have to live in the present.