It was a couple of years ago. I had switched jobs to a competitor that forced my previous employer to let me go. Because I had to give four weeks’ notice, I had four weeks of time off between then and when I started my new job.
After those four weeks passed, I had a revelation: I wanted to retire.
Ok, I’m not exactly the first person to have that eureka moment at some point in their career. But those four weeks cleared my head in ways I never expected. Suddenly, I had complete control in what I could do. There was no authority figure to answer to. I could wake up whenever I wanted. And when I did wake up, I could set the agenda of what I wanted to do – not what my boss wanted me to do. I was suddenly unburdened by the constraints of work. That rat race had suddenly come to a screeching halt. The peace of mind that came with that was exhilarating but more importantly, it felt powerful.
Sure, I’ve have had times before in my career where I took a couple of weeks off so why didn’t I ever feel this way before? Well it simply came down to that I was not working for anyone at that moment. When I took time off before, there was always that pall hanging over my head reminding me that my financial fate was still in the hands of my employer. As a result, I never felt fully free. I was more like an escaped fugitive living on borrowed time (a little dramatic but you get my point).
Of course, after those four weeks ended, I returned to the work force. And while I like my job, my revelation has taught me that to achieve true peace of mind in my life, I can’t let my financial livelihood be at the mercy of a company for too much longer. Therefore, after much careful thought, I have set my goals to achieve financial independence by 45 and then fully retire by 50 (I’m currently 35). I’m hoping I can get there sooner but I believe these goals will afford me to live a modest lifestyle centered around a 45-50% savings rate.
In future posts, I plan to post more details on how I will achieve such a feat. I’ll try to be as transparent as I can be so I’ll be providing the raw numbers in regards to how much I’m saving and investing. But with this being my debut post, I figured to start slow and simply set the tone of my state of mind and, consequently, of this site.
Hope you have a great day!