This is such a catchy headline and completely contradictory to my saying ‘if you do not know what you are going to do with your leisure, do not retire’!

Frankly the word ‘Retirement’ means ‘doing what you enjoy rather than doing what you must’. So a retired doctor could still be in practice – but without worrying about EMIs, a retired sales manager could be teaching selling skills, etc.

But what really helps you retire early? DOWNSIZING….

if you Downsize your :

a) house b) car c) lifestyle – retirement becomes easier.

Most people who have gone from a small house to a b——i—-g house cannot even think of shifting to a smaller house! But just look around the house and see the clutter you have created. Do all these things really give you happiness (should I do a post on comfort vs happiness?).

How many of these things are for the ‘world’ to see? If you were to be out of the rat race – with your own brother, friends, classmates, colleagues, neighbors, etc. would you need these things? After all these are ‘things’…right? And these things are kept in the ‘home’ ! So if you can downsize the house – preceded by down sizing things, it could help.

Shift to public transport – well at least for not very difficult commutes. No, I do not think many people reading this blog can do this, but the differential cost of a subsidised public transport vs. having your own vehicle for EVERYTHING you do is astronomical. If you cannot do this look at a diesel vehicle and a small vehicle for shorter, smaller trips. Run errands on foot (get a bicycle!).

Downsize lifestyle: when you are tempted by a new product, remind yourself about the unused Golf kit, unused GPS location finder, etc…or the extra suits, pants, dresses, etc. which you wistfully see and wish you could fit into….

remember the assets that you leave when you die are all representing YOUR EFFORT to BUY things YOU did not use. Your money did of course go waste – even worse it was your SLOGGING that went waste…!!

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  1. Excellent articles on Retirement and Planning Subraji. It’s dawning on me about the difficulties and planning required on retirement. Stressing the lifestyle after retirement is such a masterpiece. All your blogs come out like rants (sorry if that hurts you) but they carry excellent message, I guess truth is bitter.

  2. Subra,

    Not related to this, but just to point out the article warren buffett wrote recently which articulates your core thesis that stocks are best inflation beaters (http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2012/02/09/warren-buffett-berkshire-shareholder-letter/).

    The best part there is the definition of investing he gives… “More succinctly, investing is forgoing consumption now in order to have the ability to consume more at a later date.” Very much in lines with what you have been writing in this space.

    Thanks,
    —- Nir

  3. When I used to work at a job, the best part of my waking hours was when I came home at night…to my family. Now I stay with them 24×7 while also taking care of them financially. And I’ll thank my savings and investments that have played a big role in my changed life.

    Research has found that regularly being with your friends and family can provide a huge boost to your happiness. And money can help you in this regard. If you don’t need to work or you only work part time, it helps you spend more time with your family and friends, go on regular vacations with them, and spend other quality time in their company.

    Anyways, as Jonathan Clements, the respected Wall Street Journal columnist says, you don’t usually need millions of rupees in your bank account to spend time with friends and family or pursue your passions.

    But you still need to save so that you can retire early to enjoy these ‘great things’ that life provides.

  4. Nir Dhar,

    it shows Buffet and I do steal from the same sources…LOL!! Actually life, investing, health are all simple. Some colleagues in my profession have made it easy to make money by complicating things. Please do not cheat them off their profession..

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