What if there were a different life path than the one we've all grown up believing in? What if you could completely change the way you view retirement? What if you could pretire by living one long pretirement instead? A life that includes Pretirement goals means you work hard and save as much as possible to get started. Live, travel, explore, and fulfill your bucket list with modesty and purpose. Trade for income from anywhere (or even work remotely). Fill your days with the things you want to be doing now instead of filling them with things you don't want to be doing in the hopes of an uncertain "someday".
We all know the traditional steps to retirement. Get a job at 22, put in 45 years with two weeks off for a trip to Cancun each year, and at 67 we'll have enough money to do the same thing (minus the job) until we die. Sounds amazing. To some. Ok to others. And horrible to many.
That's the thinking that the corporate world is based on. Truth be told, the corporate machine needs its workers to believe in that system.
These days, not everyone wants to work a traditional 9-5 job from age 20-67. Actually, hardly anybody does anymore it seems. I think it's safe to say that most of us can agree that somewhere in that 20-67 age range lie the best years of our lives—whatever years those are and whatever that means to each of us.
We strongly believe there is a path that can allow us to make the most of our lives, and it isn't a traditional one.
We call it Pretirement. Pretirement requires the act of working towards something. Not towards a distant goal that is forty years in the future. Pretirement goals are specific and attainable. Pretirement lets you live life to the fullest on your terms.
Most of us have a list of things we'd love to do in our lives. A handful of major accomplishments—a bucket list. My own looked like this: Sail around the world, drive around the world, spend my kids' first five years with them instead of working, travel the world with my kids, and build a home by hand. Along the way I've added quite a few other goals in there as well.
I've reached a number of my major life goals through pretirement, and I'm still over 20 years off from traditional retirement age. I worked and saved in my twenties, traveled the world and had kids in my thirties, and continue to sustain my world-wandering family lifestyle in my forties. I trade stocks online from anywhere, with an office consisting of nothing more than a laptop and an internet connection.
Whatever your goals are—and however you work to reach them—I've found that achieving those goals earlier accomplishes a number of other important things that make for a happier, more fulfilled life in the end.
The first is that achieving your goals earlier eliminates what we might call “time decay.” That's a trading term for something that loses value over time, with the loss accelerating towards the end of its time frame. For our purposes we'll use it to describe our health. Nobody knows how long they will live. Will you even make it to 67? If you do, how many of the following years will be healthy and happy? Hopefully many many more, of course, but there is no guarantee. I sailed around the world in my early thirties, and it was oftentimes physically grueling. The idea of doing the same at 70 seems particularly daunting. Not every dream becomes harder as you get older, but many are.
The second is that it allows you to live a simpler life, outside of the normal consumption, consumption, consumption box. When you aren't working towards something, the money that comes in from work tends to disappear into things that don't really matter that much to you in the end. A goal sharpens your focus. Everything goes towards achieving that goal, and because your pretirement is happening now, rather than being a vague end-of-life retirement goal, you'll find it easier to avoid straying from the path.
And lastly, with major goals accomplished earlier in life, you'll lower your expenses later in life—both because you've already spent the money necessary to achieve those goals, and because your simpler, less consumeristic lifestyle in your earlier years will almost certainly translate into a simpler, less consumeristic lifestyle in your older years.
If pretirement sounds exciting to you, great! Take the first step today. Write out your bucket list. What are those things that you've always dreamed of doing, but thought would have to wait for retirement? Take those goals and start researching them. Come up with a realistic cost of achieving that goal, and then start saving today. Cut out just one non-fulfilling expense today and put that money towards your goal.
At Wanderer Financial we're determined to see as many of you reach your goals as possible. Let's lay out a specific plan that you can implement to help you reach your pretirement. Hopefully we'll get an invite to your Pretirement party!