It seems almost surreal to say so to some people “you could retire now”, but I really do wonder if people who would love to semi retire or finish working entirely have really thought carefully enough about the process or just leave it as an unfathomable dream?
My son has a friend whose father I have known for some time and I’ve always thought of him as a very comfortably off chap. He, like so many of us works really hard and deserves all he has achieved, but hearing I was retired (if only semi-retired) commented to my son that “I don’t know how she’s done it, I’ve been trying to retire for ages”. The comment relayed back to me just struck a cord because I really don’t think people look into the issue of retiring hard enough, or plan to do so with enough conviction. I say this because there is no doubt in my mind that if you really want to, you can bring forward significantly the day you retire.
How? Well the first thing to grasp is that you can no doubt manage on less! And that a lot of day-to-day expense can often be incurred by working! Yes you read that correctly, often you need to earn a certain level of income to enable you to work.
My partner and I went through this analysis and allow me to give a few examples of what we established:
We ran two cars because we worked at different times and we looked very carefully at how we might travel together saving the cost of one car. In fact we managed to do so with a little help from an employer being a bit flexible and saved a great deal.
Furthermore we found that as we worked long hours we would often go out for supper or have takeaways. Not as one would wish as a nice experience, but because we were too tired to cook. All of those regular expenses could be saved and already our personal budget was beginning to look better.
The next thing we looked at was the money we spent on clothes and we had to accept (if we were to change) that a lot of the nice clothes we bought were just to top up our already bulging wardrobes and if we weren’t working we really didn’t need any new clothes!
We also realized that if we had more time to cook better, with fresh food at home, not only would we eat more healthily, we actually saved money whilst enjoying the time spent cooking together .
There are many ways you can save money and manage a comfortable lifestyle on a reduced income. As an example, we had a large 5 bed roomed house, the kids had moved out and most of our time was spent in just a few rooms. We now live in smaller dwelling which we have grown to love,with reduced running and utility costs, less cleaning and maintenance and really do not miss our old home. This also enabled us to have a buy-to let which supplements our income.
The first thing to accept is that you CAN do it and the second is to spend time looking at how and developing a plan to make sure it becomes a reality.