This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
I have no aspirations of great things in my future. This statement may seem somewhat negative, as most people have been pushed from a young age to “shoot for the stars”. In North American culture, the ultimate goal appears to be to own a couple of cars, a house, have a kid (or a few), maybe a pet and a bunch of other “stuff”. Although I want a few of those things, this comes more out of necessity, rather than a distinctive desire to have this stuff.
I currently own about 60% of my home right now (a 5- year term mortgage that should be paid off in 5 years). I have a weird kind of relationship with my home. I don’t really take a lot of pride in it, and generally treat it as an asset, rather than a crowning achievement – for example, my wife and I have lived here for 3 years right now and didn’t have 1 thing up on the walls until 6 weeks ago. If I had a choice, I would prefer to not own a house (or pay rent for that matter). The reason why I’m rapidly paying off my mortgage is to simply get rid of this expense, both currently and in the future (essentially “prepaying” housing).
Much like my house, I don’t really want a car, but if I didn’t have one I wouldn’t be able to see my friends or family, which are situated all over the province.
My wife and I don’t want children, but I am of the opinion that kids can cost you as much or as little as you want them to.
So, what are my aspirations in the future? Generally what my goals boil down to are to just be left alone to my own devices. I don’t really have any plans to be a world traveler, a charitable hero, or anything that would differentiate me from “the crowd”.
This vague, sort of low-key goal is probably what allows me to strive for early retirement, especially since I don’t make huge amounts of money or have any real intent of attempting to make much more money than I’m currently making. With low economic needs, my wife and I may be able to live on around $20,000 per year (plus or minus a few thousand dollars) and still be reasonably happy, since we don’t need a lot of stuff.
I can’t really see a significant change to my current level of spending and could actually see it decreasing to a certain extent on retirement as some of my expenses are incurred for work purposes and will no longer have to be paid.
How do you see your retirement? Do you think you’ll spend more or less once you’ve stopped working?