So despite this being a blog about early retirement you might be interested to know I’ve recently realized ‘retirement’ is a lousy damn word for what I’m trying to do. Even financial independence doesn’t cover the entire concept all that well. Freedom as a word is close, but almost too vague. Yet yesterday I had an idea on what it could be called: Life Version 2.0.
I’m interested in creating a new life; reboot the old version into something else. In the beginning I wasn’t even sure exactly what I wanted, but it wasn’t what I had. Now after some years of trying things out I’m well on my to shifting over what I do with my time and how I earn my money. Yet what is interesting about Life 2.0 is you can’t just upgrade instantly from version 1.0. You have to do it in small steps so it is rather like being the ‘beta tester’ for your new life and you upgrading in steps like version 1.1, then 1.2, 1.3 and so on until you hit 2.0.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to do this in little steps that add up over time. We often have vague ideas of what life 2.0 should look like, but when testing things in real life we find what doesn’t work for us or perhaps something that does work. For example, I would have never guessed how much I like being a school board trustee. Had a tried to jump from version 1.0 right to 1.5 I would have missed out in finding this out about myself. Or you might discover something you thought you would like is actually a quite a bit different to do full time. Getting there is all about trying things out in baby steps and altering your plan as you go based on what you learn.
I’ve never really realized until recently how utter great it is to work on something you love to do. You can literally do it almost all the time and not really get sick of it. You only really stop because you know you need to balance off the rest of your life (for example the wife gives you that look and you know your latest project will have to wait another day or week). For years I didn’t know that was really possible to do. I at most ‘liked’ my jobs but I’ve never loved them. Now that I’ve had a taste of that I really do get these people that go on and on about it isn’t work if you love it.
So where am I in my journey to life version 2.0? I would guess I’m around version 1.5. The versions so far go something like this:
- 1.0: Realize your life isn’t what you want.
- 1.1: Start cutting excess stuff and spending to free up savings cash flow.
- 1.2: Brainstorm dreams to try out and work on the free list of dreams like writing more.
- 1.3: Commit some cash to working on a dream or trying something new. Like running in an election or starting a small business.
- 1.4: Drop off some of your previous life that you didn’t like. Either activities or work related.
- 1.5: Start to envision life version 2.0 in more detail and lay the ground work for larger scale changes by paying off your mortgage.
I’m not really sure exactly what the rest of the life versions are going to look like since I have yet to pass through them but it should still be an interesting ride. You might notice those versions don’t have a lot to do with amounts of money. That is because the amount of money will change entirely on what you are trying to do. For some folks life 2.0 will have a million dollar price tag. For others they might be able to do it with just $200,000. It all depends on the life you are trying to build and where you are now.
So how about you? Are you after retirement or life version 2.0? What steps have you taken to get where you are?