Lets be honest, deciding to retire is hard and just a tad scary, but if you think back on your life to where you are now, you had to do alot of scary things, leaving school, finding new jobs, getting married, having kids so generally you have done this 100 times before.
If we all had it all over again we probably would never have decided to have a family, because back in the 80's 90's there wasn't family bonus's, there wasn't maternity leave we just lived on one wage - so think about it- would you really have had kids if you really knew what it would cost? Would you ever give that wonderful moment, days, years up - probably not. So whats changed other than your own need to have more.
So retiring is really not all that different - its just that life has changed once again, we enter into the great unknown. I bet there are 100's of things that have changed over your lifetime - great unknowns, things that you could never had imaged would be but are, and we continue to evolve, but to some extent I believe we are all conned into believing we have to have millions to enjoy life after work - that's financial advisers life blood - don't retire you will die, don't retire you need $200,000 a year to live - who lives off that now working??????
Today I start the journey we have been on for some 3 years and yes sometimes you have to plan in advance but are we the most wealthiest retirees - NO! But we started the journey 3 years ago. The dream, the saving, the paying down of debt so we could be in a place when the time was right for us to say - had enough, need to have a break, need to recharge the batteries, need to learn and grow in other areas and try new things. Does it mean we will never work again - No, we will need to eventually - but sometimes you need change to help you understand what you want to do for the last part of your life.
This is our story and I hope others will begin to tell theirs and share these journeys so everyone knows it can be done, you can explore new things, feel somewhat out of your comfort zone and begin living!
Does being scared scare me - well yes it does and no it doesn't - it is what it is. I know I have to be honest to myself and I know I need a break. I know that in the greater theme of things we have everything, and for so many people working 90 hour weeks we have to think about it in the greater theme of things. Some people no matter how hard they work will never have what we have, and live, survive and enjoy life, and for others they may never image life without spending 100,000's a year, but for most standard 50'60's kids we have good equity in our homes, we have worked hard, and some decent super.
The question is how much better off are you now than you ever thought you would be???? There in lies the mighty question - yes we have gotten greedier over the years, we must have this, we must have that - but sit down, take a deep breath and ask yourself 20-30 years ago, what did you think you would own, how much of that mortgage did you think you have paid off - times have changed, in the majority of peoples cases we are all asset rich and cash poor, why because as a generation we cannot help ourselves, we have a need to pay off the mortgage and yet it is so small as compared to what generation X and Y seem as acceptable. We have a need to continue to work long hard hours and accumulate cash and or assets and of course both the kids and the parents expect us to look after them, we are the sandwich generation - we are expected to look after everyone - well let me tell you - let them look after themselves, just like we had to and ENJOY the fruits of your labor;
These are the cold harsh realities you have to come to terms with, think about, and go - bugger it all even if I can only get 6 months to a year living without working and have to go back again and do it under my terms am I not better off?????
We think the answer is YES and we are here to share that journey, after all as the old saying goes, life is a journey not a destination!
I hope you enjoy our journey in life!
JAC and Derek!