February 3, 2010, 7:47 am

The New Meaning of Retirement

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Assets and Net Worth,Financial Planning
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Being a financial planner, I create retirement plans for my clients every week. I speak with them to know about their goals, their dreams and their fears about retirement. We look at where they are right now and how they can achieve their financial goals for the next 10, 20, 30 years.

Having money to realize your dream is a prerequisite. Money doesn’t buy happiness? Well let me tell you that if you have some, you will surely be able to buy a few happiness coupons here and there ;-).

All these discussions got me thinking about my own retirement. Having started working 4 days a week at the age of 28, I now make the joke that I will be retiring at 35… This is actually the foundation of our online company: becoming millionaires by age 35. While this is a huge challenge (huge is actually a small word 😉 ), I think it is important to have dreams if you want to achieve something in life!

Do I really want to retire at 35?

If retiring means not working, going down south and drinking Strawberry Daiquiris all day, I will not retire at 35. However, I have discovered through discussions with my clients that retiring doesn’t necessarily mean to stop working. It means the end of being forced to do something.

Most of my clients are wealthy and they intend to work until they are 65 or even older. While several of them could afford to retire at the age of 55 (yup, freedom 55 still exists!), they want to work. The only difference is that they will do what they really want most. Many of them have side projects or new careers in mind. This is what brings me to my definition of retirement.

To me, retirement means…

–         Not having a boss looking over my shoulder. Being  financially independent and be able to make my own decisions.

–         Working but not all day, everyday, week in, week out. If I can work 20-30 hours a week, I’ll consider myself as retired.

–         Doing what I want. I don’t mind working on my stuff since it doesn’t feel like working. It’s like being paid to do a hobby. While I would love to be paid to golf or to play with my kids, I still have to find something that will actually bring home the bacon ;-).

–         Definitely quitting the 9 to 5 job. I am already not doing the 9 to 5 every day, so I just don’t want to do it anymore ;-).

–         Spending more time with my wife and children. Life is too short to not spend quality time with the ones you love!

–         Be able to work around the world. My online company provides me this option, I can work anywhere in the world as long as I have a functional laptop and a reliable internet connection.

I don’t really see retirement as not working at all, waking up at 9 or 10 am every day and wandering around all day… this must be quite depressing!

In the end, I guess that I am not looking too much toward retiring young but more towards financial independence!

Your Take: What do You Expect from Retirement?

I would like to know if you aspire to Freedom 55? Or if you think that you will never retire? Do you have any projects for your retirement?

image source: kevin dooley

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Comments

Being 26, I have a goal to retire at 40.
I refer retirement as being financially free and doing the stuff that really matters to me most – definetely some part-time hobby driven project with income, spend a decent amount with wife and children, travel a lot, etc…

by: The Financial Blogger | February 3rd, 2010 (10:21 am)

Hey Vaidas,

I would be curious to know how you will achieve your plan?

Great post TFB!!

My thoughts about retirement? My goal is to retire at the age of 55-60.
– Volunteering in nonprofit sector, that’s for sure. Maybe for a foundation or a school, community, …
– Traveling all around the world (at least one trip per year)
– Spending time with the ones I love and cherish!
– Still playing sports, Maybe continuing education, etc.
– Still reading a lot… I mean still reading your blog!!!!

With all these projects, I will have to start saving more bacon hehehe

Interesting post. Take my uncle. He’s 70 and says that if he retires he’ll be bored out of his mind! I can see that he’s not that young anymore and not that energetic than before. But that’s his decision, right?

I can understand there are challenges to being retired. Some of the reasons I know the meaning of retirement is the feeling of not being needed anymore, getting bored, stress and depression, and the feeling of meaningless life!

Yes for some people, their work is their life. A balanced life is really important so that when you get out of the market, you are still able to manage your time to stay busy, but differently!

by: The Financial Blogger | February 3rd, 2010 (12:11 pm)

This is interesting, I think I would love to do volunteering work as well… this would be amazing!

I don’t want to retire at 55, not in the «classical meaning of retirement».

I think I would prefer working less, but honestly I like what I do most of the time, so… I am more oriented on taking some sabbatical months… or years (why not?) through my carreer. And theses months off would be well planned of course 😉 maybe vonlunteering in others countries with my kids if they can come… that would be nice.

But I would like to be more independant, having more projects that I AM the boss. Maybe teach again (right now I do really miss teaching).

But I hope I will be able to work less time per week, but on a longer period of time… I do see myself as a mentor for young workers when I grow old 🙂 I had the chance to have 2 mentors, so this last point is very important to me.

Great post, very interesting!

Retirement is to provide your life with choices. The notion of Freedom 55 is to be able to be free financially and a way to retire (forget the 55 number hehehe). It’s also a time to fly and fulfill your dreams.

I just want to make a parallel on the excellent movie “Bucket List”. Do like you only have a few days to live and don’t wait until you’re dying!!

To me retirement means WORKING while no need to work. It’s like going to school, without the pressure of getting straight A’s. I love business school, and that’s why I know I will love “retirement”!

by: The Financial Blogger | February 3rd, 2010 (3:16 pm)

@ Mama Zen,
One of my friend is leaving for 3 sabbatical months this spring… I envy him so much!!

@ Financial Samurai,
great thought!

it is funny that you mention this as I have my best marks ever during my MBA while it was the first time I register for a program only to learn more and not because “I had too”.

I see myself teaching at University one day… when I will have more time… if it ever happens!

Most people would agree with this post that they still want to work, just at their own pace and hours. My wife and I were able to take 3 months off between jobs at age 34 to travel the world and it has helped our personal and professional lives ever since.

My idea about retirement is almost the same doing what you want to do with my life. 60-65 years old is ideal age of retirement. most of us by that old age simply want to enjoy the company of our grandchildren. Look at our grandfather/grandmother how they love their grandchildren. It’s a cycle and were on the same track.

@ financial planner

I am just curious to know if your 3 months trip was planned a long time before? Did you traveled many countries as tourists, or did you do some volunteering projects through your trip?

I want to reiterate what the Samurai said. Having options and being able to choose to work and not have to have to work is the goal 😉
If the boss makes you work 12 hours/day, 6 days/week you could choose to leave unless you really love what you are doing. Of course if you already love what you are doing and getting paid for it, then why do you need retirement in the first place?
You can only watch so many soap operas per day anyways 😉

[…] The New Meaning of Retirement. Take a look at these ideas to learn a new mindset about what retirement can be. […]

According to your definition, my husband and I are “retired” at 39–I closed my business at 36 (after 12 years) with the idea that I would be moving on to something else, and almost 3 years later I am still trying to figure out what that ‘something else’ is!
My husband works about 25 hours/ week at a company we own (talented/well paid staff=freedom) and the business provides us with more than sufficient income to sustain us.(We do not lead an extravagant lifestyle.) So what’s the problem? Although we would have both told you that we pursued our businesses for reasons other than the income, without the NEED to go out and earn money to keep a roof over our heads we find we are not terribly motivated to move on! (and yes, we do plenty of volunteer work in our communities.) Is it possible we are actually slackers?!

by: Financial Cents | February 13th, 2010 (10:22 am)

Great post!
I would love to retire in another 15 years….36 now.

I agree, retirement to me means:
1) Not having a boss looking over my shoulder
2) Being financially independent
3) Being able to afford life’s necessities and some “extras” without working; through passive income
4) Working when I want, where I want, how I want; on my own terms!

Those are some very realistic and achieveable goals. For being under age 35 (if I read your post correctly) you have a goood head on your shoulders and will probbably realize those goals. I let 35 come and go. However, 45 is the new 35, and I still have 5 years to go. 🙂

I agree with most of the other comments. Retirement to me means spending your time as you see fit – out of the demands of the rat race. In my case, that would be spending a portion of my time volunteering in some capacity. I personally like my job and do not consider it “work” for the most part.