Posted by Tim Stobbs on September 3, 2010
Once upon a time there was a man who thought having to work for a living sounded too limiting for his dreams. So he decided to continue to live a frugal life and work towards early retirement. That way his work would be only for fun and extra cash rather than paying bills. So he began to save a lot of his income and pay down his mortgage aggressively. He had many challenges like the great children who consume all cookies in their path or the seductive call of the electronics stores but he kept to his path (yet still got off once in a while to smell the roses) and hoped that things would work out to get to freedom 45.
That story is a little over a 10o words. Simple, short and neat. So why tell it? Just to point out perhaps that things don’t need to be complicated even if it is your life story.
In our desire to get to early retirement some people get sucked into all sorts of odd things like borrowing money to invest, researching investment strategies and questioning their own plan at least four times a week if not more. We often in a desire to get to our goal will try anything to either save money, make money or invest more money. Which in the beginning is fine as you often have areas where you can find some significant savings fairly easily (eg: increase your insurance deductible, find lower fee investments, and control your reoccurring spending).
The ironic thing is this: after you have all the big things done the rest will have a minor impact on your plans. It really doesn’t matter all the much to take out a zero interest credit card balance and invest it in a high interest account for six months. It’s just extra noise and complication that doesn’t need to exist. I would suggest that the extra complication is actually a hindrance to your life since your spending your time looking for dimes when you should be on the look out for dollars.
Controlling your early retirement passion is critical to actually getting to early retirement otherwise you might find yourself adrift in a sea of options because you won’t focus on what really matters the most to your plan. If you spend too much time on investing you might end up with too much risk, or if you spend too much time on thinking about the future you will forget to live for today and be unhappy.
Perhaps more than anything, it’s finding a way to use that passion we have for early retirement into other ventures. Passion is a strange thing the drives us to do odd things, but if you control its focus you can accomplish some fairly amazing items like starting a small business or getting very good at your hobby. It won’t be easy, but you might just make more dollars than you would have ever saved in dimes.
Find a balance to your life and keeping things simple will help to keep you sane as you work to your goal. After all we all want to get to they lived happily ever after in our story.
So did you find yourself getting distracted on your way? How do you keep things simple?