I cringe every time I hear someone say to me “Oh, you could never retire”. It is the most common response when hearing about my plans for early retirement through building passive income. The sentiment truly baffles me. What do you mean I could never retire? Why on earth do you think I would desire to spend unnecessary decades of the prime years of my life working a traditional (likely extremely stressful) job if I don’t have to? Do you really think sitting at a desk for 40-50 hours a week doing the same repetitive tasks is what gives my life intrinsic value, joy, and satisfaction? How many of you wake up every single day and think “Alright!!! I get to go work today!” If you do, then congratulations! Sincerely.
WHY DO YOU WORK?
For most people, their jobs simply provide the income needed to support their life. Providing enough for their needs and allow them to do some of the activities that do provide them joy. Things such as traveling, exploring the world, spending time with family and friends, volunteering, reading, working out, and any other assortment of hobbies. Imagine you had complete financial freedom and no longer needed a job to pay bills. Would you chose to continue a fifty-hour workweek at a traditional job? Or would you fill your days with the activities that provide you joy? Seems like a pretty obvious decision to me.
Another reason people that tell me I could “never retire” could be they think of retirement as moving to Florida to do nothing but collect seashells on a beach. And if that’s the case, then I agree – I could never retire! But financial freedom and retirement do not mean you cease to become a productive person. Retirement and achieving financial freedom means you have the freedom to work because you want to work.
It simply means you have the freedom to only work what you want to work on… not because you HAVE to.
It means you can spend your time reading, exercising, learning languages, volunteering, traveling, spending time with friends and family, cooking, hiking, biking, building furniture, or any other number of hobbies or activities that interest you. You would also have time to pursue passion projects, such as this blog for me. I want to help people achieve the same thing I have.
DREAMING CAN BE DANGEROUS
Perhaps the people that tell me I could “never retire” have not dared to imagine what lifestyle they would choose if they were financially free. Why? Dreaming is dangerous. If you allow yourself to dream big you could face disappointment. In this case, you may realize how far from financial freedom you are in your life. That’s a scary thought! Especially if you don’t see a way out of scraping by while working fifty-hour workweeks, and grinding away in the rat race… maybe saving little chunks here and there in a retirement account so that perhaps in forty years you can live your ideal lifestyle.
BUT DREAMING CAN ALSO BE VERY POWERFUL
Determining your ideal lifestyle can be a strong catalyst that you can use to fuel your motivation and journey toward living free as quickly as possible. If you decide you are going to do what it takes to reach that goal and retire early, be prepared to hear from your friends and family “Oh, you could never retire”. Do not listen to that nonsense. Do not let it bother you. Most of all, do not let it derail you. Just know exactly what you are striving for and why. Continue to work toward it, and help others recognize the same in their lives.