Well as I enter the last year of my full time working career (I hope), I’m starting to notice a new emotion in other well meaning people around me: fear.
After all I have already told some of my family members a bit of what I’m planning on doing. It’s not like I blog under another name so they could always find out the details anyway, so I’ve open to my family with my plans at least in general terms. I usually don’t bother getting into too much detail in the more extended family.
Yet now when I’m mentioning I could be done before the end of this year, it suddenly becomes real for those around me and I get the usual well meaning concerns like:
- Are you sure you have enough saved?
- What happens if you don’t get a part time job?
- What will you do with unexpected expenses?
- Maybe you should work just one more year?
Of course I short of do an internal giggle at these questions as I have already asked myself those exact questions. After all this whole leaving you job thing to live off your investments is a bit like jumping off a cliff. You can’t stop it once it’s started so you need to be very sure on what you are doing before leaping off.
Depending on the person I will try to answer those questions, but of course I realize that with some people I can give all the answers they want, but I can’t stop another person’s fear. By the way the answers are:
- Are you sure you have enough saved? I’m mostly sure. I can’t be completely positive because of the number of variables involved, but that is okay since I already have a number of backup plans in case things don’t turn out.
- What happens if you don’t get a part time job? Short term this isn’t a problem as I’m saving our expenses for the first six months. Longer term I have lots of options for bringing in some extra money and keep in mind I don’t need this money for anything immediate like groceries. It’s for vacations. Worst case, if things go very badly I can go back to full time job for a few more years to build up more money.
- What will you do with unexpected expenses? The same thing I do now. Pay them from the emergency fund or put them on a line of credit to spread out the impact. Also depending on what happens, like something breaking in the house I will have a lot of time to fix some things myself.
- Maybe you should work just one more year? I’ve considered that and I may do it if for example the stock market does another 2008 crash or other horrible event occurs. I’m willing to be flexible if things happen and adjust my plans accordingly. After all I’m not locked into this plan until I provide official notice of my retirement at my job.
I like to hope the fact I’m very calm when discussing these things helps put people at ease, but ultimately they have to find the source of their own fear and face it. I can’t do that for another person. I can merely help them discuss the issues in their heads and put them a bit more at ease.
Perhaps the one thing that gets people is I’m aware of the flaws in my plan. I fully admit I may not have enough saved to head into semi-retirement. But I don’t want to live a life based on fear of the unknown. I’m willing to try out something new and see what happens. Yes things can go wrong, but they can also go right as well. In the end, I live in a world of hope rather than fear. Time will tell if that is a smart point of view or not.