Leisure Freak, Retire Early and Often Through Frugal Living
Hello my name is Tommy and I am a Leisure Freak. You might be asking yourself what the @#!! is that? I would define a Leisure Freak as someone who is an enthusiast, fan, devotee, and aficionado who is obsessed with or unusually enthusiastic about financial independence and early retirement.
It’s really all about reaching a level of financial independence to have the freedom to follow our passions and leave behind all the demands of unfulfilling meaningless work and instead live the dream-life we planned for. All it takes is some Frugal Living to get things started.
My Leisure Freak Story
I retired early at the age of 51 from a work progression that started when I was 20 and it had turned into a career. Marriage, three kids, and a mortgage living the traditionally defined life. At the age of 40 I decided I wanted to live a different way and 11 years later I retired early.
Before you think I am one of those who retired to live cheaply in a Van down by the river let me say that I didn’t retire early to a life of extreme frugality. Frugal Living is about a smart frugal and balanced life to get to this place. Meaning I retired to that same life and budget (minus work related costs) I had when I was working at a career. All the time living life without feeling deprived.
You see, I created a happy sustainable lifestyle through frugal living that meets all of my needs and more.
Through Frugal Living I took control of my future. After years of debt payoff I incrementally increased my savings rate to over half of my take-home salary in the final few years of my career. Now my retirement savings covers my retirement lifestyle costs.
Anyone who doesn’t waste their money on stuff that doesn’t add real happiness to their life and then increases their savings rate is money-wise and sets their own personal frugal living threshold. You will never see your lifestyle as extreme anything except maybe extreme financial freedom.
My only regret, I WISH I HAD PULLED MY HEAD OUT AND STARTED MY FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE QUEST EARLIER.
When I envisioned the early retirement freedom lifestyle that I wanted to create I didn’t think for a minute that my drive, curiosity or goal oriented mentality would just disappear. Anyone who successfully makes it to early retirement will still be driven and ambitious once their numbers and goals are met.
That drive that gets us to financial independence doesn’t just go up in smoke. We don’t stop being us. I retired early intentionally planning on living with a passion-driven and retire early and often mindset. It’s all possible through reaching financial independence by way of frugal living, saving, investing, and for the fortunate few they’re having a pension benefit. It doesn’t mean I have to run out and find a paying opportunity. It means I am open to pursuing any opportunity that I have an interest in learning and experiencing.
The Bonus to all of this – Whenever I pursue a new passion-driven retirement opportunity I can save and invest all of that salary.
Enough about me, below is what I really want to talk about.
Look, when it comes to retirement people should forget about the traditional retirement as it has been defined and instead concentrate on the goal of financial independence. For just a minute open your mind to accept the definition of retirement as simply: Retirement is having the financial independence to live life on your terms and pursue your passions and interest.
Another way to look at retirement is the absence of needing to work defines retirement, not the absence of working. The key words here are “needing to work”.
Once we reach financial independence we have choices and we really can live life on our terms of which I consider as leisure. We can choose to work for pay instead of have to work for pay. We can focus on rewarding passion-driven opportunities or we can follow our passions doing non-paying pursuits.
Choices, choices, choices. Financial independence allows people to retire while they are still young enough to enjoy it and if we want to it makes a career transition or starting a new business easier and possible.
What this Leisure Freak site is all about is to help you reach your own early retirement goals by detailing all the things I was researching before my first retirement and displaying it all on one site. It also tries to have you look at your pension and/or retirement savings differently, as being more than just living a life of travel, sleeping in, tropical shirts, and adult beverages like your grandparent’s retirement. Instead look at financial independence as your ticket to have the freedom to follow the passion-driven pursuits that you really value.
Surveys always show that people would like to retire young in their 50s, even as young as their 30s and 40s. But is it really possible or just a pipe dream? I can tell you that it is absolutely possible.
There are people at young ages doing it now and you can retire young too. It won’t happen by itself and will take frugal living, effective strategies and enough net-worth to pull it off. This site will cover how I retired early (I am now in my second early retirement) and give you reasons why you should consider the worthy goal of financial independence making your own early retirement dream become reality. The rest will be up to you.
There is no escaping the rules of the universe:
The more money that you can make above your lifestyle costs the easier it is to retire early. That is why Frugal Living is so important. Regardless of how much money you make there are two crucial basics for a Strategic Retire Early Plan to be given on this site. The crucial basics that give you the guidance to increase your savings, invest, and spend less.
You have to take control and focus on your own future now so that you can enjoy the freedom that comes with financial independence.
Your savings rate, investment strategy, and spending are the crucial basics you can control for yourself and the earlier you start the better.
The question becomes, when would you like to retire?
When I was age 40 my answer to this question was I wanted to retire at age 50. I had saved in my 401K and had paid off all debt but to meet my target early retirement age I got really motivated to embrace frugal living and ramp up my savings rate.
Early Retirement success depends on how dedicated and passionate you are about starting your plan now. Why not focus on retiring early while you are young enough to enjoy the freedom? Retiring while you are healthy, active, energetic, and can take advantage of what an early retirement through financial independence can bring you. Take control of your future now and be part of the working minority who succeed with early retirement.
You have to be Rich to Retire Early. FALSE!
This Leisure Freak site is to encourage and motivate people by showing how early retirement is obtainable and attainable. I wasn’t rich when I retired my first time at the age of 51. The money needed to retire early depends on the cost of the lifestyle you want to live. Over my 31 year telecommunications career my salary averages out to $53,242 per year before taxes. This figure even includes 13 years where I worked a second job. Of course earlier years were lower pay and my last few years as I worked my way to a Lead Engineer were higher.
What I am trying to point out is a lot of people start their careers at higher salaries than I did and I didn’t even seriously begin on my early retirement quest until I was 40 years old. Having a lower-income or lower savings rate doesn’t have to be the end of your financial independence and early retirement dreams.
You might want to consider the “retire early and often” lifestyle that I live. Optimally you could afford to fund your full retirement and live a passion-driven life where you can pursue paying opportunities and save even more while doing what you love. When your interests or passions change you retire again.
However the “retire early and often” lifestyle can be your choice-lifestyle when you might not be able to save enough for what might be a 30 to 45 year retirement. The impact of adding even a small amount of salary through employment or self-employment to your numbers is amazing.
If you can envision your retirement dream as more than just sitting on your keister and you can accept living a free life open to pursuing opportunities that interest you or that you are passionate about doing, then it may take less money than you think to retire early from your career-driven mindset job. Especially once you embrace basic frugal living as your lifestyle.
Decide to Give Your Future-Self the Option of Early Retirement.
- Do nothing and you have no choices to make but keep slogging it out in your current career-driven mindset job until you can’t do it anymore, you get laid off, or you reach age 67 or older. Maybe if you get to stay miserably working at that job you will be allowed to work until your ticket to leave the planet gets punched.
- Or you do something, start planning for and executing your Strategic Retire Early Plan now so you have the option. Even if you really like what you are doing today, you can’t know how you will feel about it 5 or 10 years from now. Your passion and enthusiasm for your career can change and layoffs are now a business norm. Why not plan for and prepare for financial independence and early retirement now so that if you decide to retire early to a passion-driven mindset and the “retire early and often” lifestyle you will have the option to do it.
So it’s all on the table. You don’t know me, a self-proclaimed Leisure Freak who successfully pulled off early retirement in 2009 at the age of 51 and has loved every minute of this freedom and lifestyle. However if anything I have done and wrote about here resonates within you then there is nothing better than the goal of financial independence and early retirement living a passion-driven life for you to pursue. It simply starts with some frugal living and saving money.
Thanks for Stopping by Leisure Freak.
Check out the Leisure Freak web site. The site has static pages that can be your guide to early retirement and I will be creating current content on the Retire Early Blog. I hope you will keep checking back as I am actively adding new discoveries, ideas, pit-falls to avoid, tools, rants, raves, and encouragement. I also look forward to any of your ideas that you are willing to share with me on this site.