[lee-zher, lezh-er] /frēk/
What is a Leisure Freak? A Leisure Freak is someone who is an enthusiast, fan, devotee, aficionado, a person obsessed with or unusually enthusiastic about early retirement and freedom from the demands of unfulfilling meaningless work or duty, when one can rest, enjoy hobbies, sports, or begin a long desired encore career or business venture where they retire from the American standard career-driven mindset to a passion-driven mindset and can practice the retire early and often lifestyle. Basically a person who challenges conformity with outside of the box thinking about retirement and is now financially independent enough through saving, investing, smart frugal living, and/or having a pension who can retire early and do whatever they want to do.
Hello, my name is Tommy, and I am a Leisure Freak. Regardless of what you might think about someone calling them-self a Leisure Freak, I am passionate and serious about early retirement and if I so desire to retire often. I didn’t retire early to a life of extreme frugality, I retired to the same life and budget (minus work related costs) I had when I was working at a career, living a smart-frugal and balanced life without feeling deprived. I took control of my future and was saving over a third of my salary and now my retirement savings covers my retirement lifestyle costs. Whenever I pursue a new passion-driven retirement opportunity I can save and invest all of that salary.
People should forget about the traditional retirement as it has been defined and concentrate on the goal of financial independence. I want to twist the definition of retirement on its gluteus-maximus to be simply: Retirement is having the financial independence to live life on your own terms and pursue your passions.
Once you reach financial independence you have choices and you really can live life on your terms which I consider as being leisure. You can choose to work for pay instead of have to work for pay and focus on rewarding passion-driven opportunities or you can follow your passions doing other non-paying pursuits. Financial independence allows people to retire while they are still young enough to enjoy it and if you want to it makes a career transition easier and possible. What LeisureFreak.com is all about is to help you reach your own early retirement goals and to have you look at your pension and/or retirement savings as more than just being able to live a life of travel, sleeping in, tropical shirts, and adult beverages, but instead 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 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 early retirement and how you can make 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. Regardless of how much money you make, there are two crucial basics for a Strategic Retire Early Plan to be given on this site that can 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.
Time to Take Control of Our Own Future.
I have always said that there are 2 certainties many people stick their head in the sand and ignore, Death and Retirement. Everyone at some time will experience Death. Most will experience Retirement whether on their own terms or not on their terms. The only exception to the certainty of retirement is for those who experience death first. 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 you are older based on when you can start receiving Social Security? Or would you want to retire earlier than most people? My answer to this question when I was 40 was I wanted to retire at age 50. I had saved in my 401K and paying off all debt but to meet my target early retirement age I got really motivated to ramp up my savings. Early Retirement success depends on how dedicated and passionate you are about starting your plan now. Now ask yourself these questions:
- Would you love to wake up every morning knowing that today is yours to do whatever you want to do, living a passion-driven life?
- Do you have hobbies now that you want to spend more time on or are there new hobbies you would love to pursue if you had all the time you wanted to spend on them?
- Would you love to have more time to spend with your friends and family, both near and distant?
- Would love to be able to travel without having to ask anyone’s permission for time off and more importantly having the time to do it?
- Would you like to have more time to practice a sport that you are passionate about to get better at it?
I could list a dozen more questions but if you answer yes to questions like these then why not focus on retiring early while you are young enough to enjoy the freedom, while you are healthy, active, energetic, and can take advantage of what an early retirement through financial independence can bring you.
There is an undisputed fact. Most people who want to retire early will fail due to a lack of money, motivation, and the financial discipline it takes to stick to their plan to spend less and gain the savings they need to make it happen. Take control of your future now and be part of the 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. I took home less and this figure 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. My point is a lot of people start their careers at higher salaries than I did. I see myself as middle class, not rich by any means. If you make more money and/or save more than I did you may be able to retire far sooner than I. If you have a company, military, or civil service pension coming your way then you have a very probable early retirement date to target and plan for.
If you make less money than I did or you can’t save as much as I could then it will take longer to retire than it took me. Having a lower-income or lower savings rate doesn’t have to be the end of your 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 35 or 45 year retirement. If you are going to work anyway and have enough saved to carry you while you pursue your passion-driven opportunity, whether it’s a new business idea you want to explore or changing careers, why delay your dreams and not do something now that you love. The point is you retire from your career-driven job that you no longer care to do and go to passion-driven work to either supplement your early retirement savings or change what you do now for your passion-driven work and continue saving for your final retirement goal. I do caution you though. If you work doing something you love you are actually what I call retired anyway. It’s a win-win.
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, you reach age 67 or older, or 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 10 years from now. What about just 5 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 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. But if anything I have done and wrote about here resonates within you then there is nothing better than the goal of early retirement and a passion-driven life for you to pursue.
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.