This is a rather strange query that I received: “does early retirement work?”. Is the reader asking whether is it possible to retire early? If so, then my answer will of course be a resounding yes!
Time to design your lifestyle for early retirement
Steve jobs famously mentioned that design is not about aesthetics alone. It is about how things work. When we design things, we are thinking about the flows and the processes that create a certain outcome. Using this perspective, our lives can be designed.
Most of us have designed out lives to revolve around serving the corporations or civil services. To reach the goal of sustainability and retirement, we pigeon holed ourselves into a job so that income flows to our bank accounts. However, we need to remember that there are many paths to rome. Our current lifestyle is a reflection of our past education, upcoming and social environment. As a result, this narrows down what we can really achieved if we start to redesign the way we live.
Steps to redesign our lifestyle
If we want to achieve early retirement, we need to redesign our life processes. Below are my humble suggestions of design tweaks that makes early retirement a possibility.
- Design rule #1: Determine what is your point of early retirement. It is the point where your monthly income streams from outside of work is sufficient to cover your living expenses.
- Design rule #2: Set aside some time each day or each week to work on your passive income streams. The sooner you start, the faster you can reach the early retirement thereshold. You might be requried to learn new skills but the process should be fun and enriching. Just remember this: everyday you choose NOT to do anything to build these income streams, you are making a choice between your current and your desired lifestyle. Compound your decisions by thousands of days and it will result in a destination where you wish you did not arrive at.
- Design rule #3: Leave consumerism behind and create activities that really make you happy. Get out of bad spending habits and intelligently mange your money. This will reduce your monthly spending and inch you close to early retirement.
- Design rule #4: Open up your perspective by increasing your information consumption. Avoid pure money making blogs. Instead read more on how to generate online traffic, the new waves of innovative businesses and consumer behavior changes. In between these readings, you will discover a whole new world of opportunities that you can build your passive income on.
In a nutshell, early retirement does work. It is real because we can redesign our life processes to achieve the outcome we want. If you think it is impossible, it is because you are not committed to the redesign process.