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 your passions and leave behind all the demands of unfulfilling meaningless work and instead live the dream-life you planned for.
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. I lived a smart-frugal and balanced life to get to this place so 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.
I took control of my future and was saving over half of my salary and now my retirement savings covers my retirement lifestyle costs. Anyone who doesn’t waste their money on stuff that doesn’t really add real happiness to their life and then increases their savings rate is money-wise and sets their own personal frugal threshold. You will never see your lifestyle as extreme anything except maybe extreme financial freedom.
When I envisioned the early retirement lifestyle 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 here 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 financial independence by way of saving, investing, smart frugal living, and for the 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.
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 it is the absence of needing to work defines retirement, not the absence of working.
Once you reach financial independence you have choices and you really can live life on your terms which I consider as 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 non-paying pursuits. Choices, choices, choices. 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 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 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. 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 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. 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.
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 do you want to retire earlier than most people? When I was 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 ramp up my savings. 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, 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. 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 begin on my early retirement quest until I was 40 years old. 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 may 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 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.
If you can envision your retirement dream as more than just sitting on your keister and you can accept living a free life where you are open to pursuing opportunities that interest you or those opportunities that you are passionate about doing then it may take less money than you think to retire early from your career-driven mindset job.
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 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.
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.