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 of early retirement. Someone who is obsessed with or unusually enthusiastic about financial independence.
It’s really all about reaching a level of financial independence to have the freedom to follow my interests and passions. Leave behind all the demands of unfulfilling meaningless work and instead live the freedom lifestyle I planned for. All it took was some Frugal Living to get things started.
My Leisure Freak Story
How I Retired Early
I retired early at the age of 51 from a work progression that started when I was 20. Along the way a job turned into a career. I lived the traditionally defined life where I married, had three kids, and a mortgage. I climbed the career ladder from Customer Service Representative to Lead Engineer and saved what most recommended as the standard retirement savings rate. A savings rate ensuring that I would have to work until I was around 65 years old. But then something clicked in my head. At the age of 40 I decided I wanted to live a different way. I started a financial independence plan 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.
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. I saved over half of my take-home salary in the final few years of my career. Now my retirement savings covers my early retirement lifestyle costs.
I did it by applying a two-pronged approach.
- First don’t waste my money on stuff that doesn’t add real happiness to my or my family’s life.
- Then pay off all personal debt and substantially increase my savings rate
It’s what I call a money-wise way of living. It was done by setting my own personal frugal living threshold. I pushed against it but not where we felt we lived a deprived life. I never saw our 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.
I envisioned the early retirement lifestyle that I wanted to create. At no time thinking for a minute that my drive, curiosity or goal oriented mentality would just disappear. My belief is that anyone who successfully makes it to early retirement will still be driven and ambitious once their numbers and goals are met. It’s just the focus changes toward what we want to do, not have to do.
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.
The secret to financial independence is it’s won by way of debt free frugal living, saving, investing, and for the fortunate few they’re having a pension benefit.
My early retirement freedom lifestyle 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 and that is exactly what I have done.
Enough about me. Below is what I really want to talk about.
Forget About Traditional Definitions of Retirement
When it comes to retirement, people should forget about the traditional retirement as it has been defined. Instead concentrate on the goal of financial independence. Open your mind to accept the definition of retirement as simply this.
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 “absence of NEEDING to work”.
Once we reach financial independence we have choices. We really can have a freedom lifestyle and live our life on our terms of which I consider as leisure. Allowing us the ability to choose to work for pay instead of have to work for pay. We can focus on rewarding passion-driven opportunities. We can also follow our passions doing non-paying pursuits.
Financial independence allows people to retire while they are still young enough to enjoy it. If we want to, it makes a career transition or starting a new business easier and possible.
The Purpose of this Website
What this Leisure Freak site is about is sharing how I retired early with less than a 6 figure salary during my career. I hope that by sharing what I have done that it will help others reach their own early retirement and freedom lifestyle goals. This site details all the things I researched before my first retirement and display it here on this website.
I also try to have you look at your pension and/or retirement savings differently. To see retirement as being more than just living a life of travel, sleeping-in, tropical shirts, and adult beverages. Instead look at financial independence as your ticket to have a freedom lifestyle to follow your valued and passion-driven pursuits. And yes, for me my freedom lifestyle also includes the above retirement thoughts along with flip-flops, shorts, and adventures.
Surveys always show that people would like to retire young in their 50s. For many people 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’s possible but not easy and won’t happen by itself. It will take frugal living, effective strategies and enough net-worth to pull it off.
This site covers how I retired early to my definition of a retire early lifestyle. It’s a freedom lifestyle where I successfully began an encore career and am now in my second early retirement. I want to share with you reasons why you should consider the worthy goal of financial independence and making your own early retirement dream become reality. The rest will be up to you.
Thanks for Stopping by Leisure Freak.
Check out the Leisure Freak website. This 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. I’m 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.