Want to Retire Early? Really?

There are many times when people get an urge to retire. Actually what they want is just a 2 week holiday, not early retirement!

So assuming you are a man who is around 50 years of age and is toying with the idea of retirement answer these questions HONESTLY:

  1. Is your wife on the same page as you as far as retirement is concerned? – is she going to feel bad that she is married to a ‘retired budda’ and push you to get another job? I have known many such people whose wives egged them on to a job. So if your wife does not want you to hang around at home…be careful.
  2. Do you have a social life OTHER than your job, and relatives? If no, life is going to be tough – because you do not know what to do with yourself!
  3. Do you have a hobby?
  4. Can you make yourself useful around the house? If not you have a problem
  5. If yours is a joint family – with your mother, brothers, etc. have they accepted or are you indifferent to them?
  6. Does your wife that this time it is permanent and you will be home 24 by 7?
  7. Will you have to scale down on eating out, expensive vacations, etc.? are you ready for that OR have you provided enough?
  8. What is your fall back option in case of financial emergencies ?
  9. Who is your back up if something goes wrong?
  10. Do you have sensible and good health care? Have you got it whetted by a sensible person in the field?
  11. What are your plans to be socially, physically, and mentally active?
  12. Are you completely debt free, have a sensible asset allocation, and a sensible standard of living?
  13. Draw out a typical day and see if you like it.

baker’s dozen!!

Do You want wealth? Really?


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3 Responses to “Want to Retire Early? Really?”

  1. I believe that we should all retire as early as possible. Retirement does not mean sitting at home. Retirement in the sense that we can pursue what we want in life without the burden of putting up with dull and backbreaking work. To get rid of a manipulative boss/ rude co-workers/ life sucking long commutes/ multitasking between office work and home chores. I like to teach, i want to learn new languages, i want to be fit and take care of my health, i want to be with my children and not miss their childhood. If only I could make enough to get away from it all and live life the way I want.

  2. subra sir, these days the working life of people in the private sector middle management especially in the IT industry is back-breaking like daniel says. I’m in my thirties. I leave home at 8:00AM dropping off the kids at school and return home close to midnight every day. I see my kids only in the early morning and on Sundays. Wife is understanding so far but this is the new normal. My boss in his late forties has it even worse. I don’t think he even has Sundays free from calls. He might be the “around 50 year old” you refer to. Two weeks of holidays is not going to help me recover my sense of purpose and sanity in life. That’s why I want to retire as early as I can to get away from this mad corporate life and avoid becoming like my boss.
    Any thoughts on this early retirement guide published in jagoinvestor? Is it possible to retire by my mid-forties if I increase my SIPs as much as possible in my thirties?

  3. Sir, if you have a cushy government job, then all is okay till 60, but in private sector, you haven’t the slightest idea what is going to happen tomorrow. I was so casual about expenses till about three years ago, when an LR in my company scared the living day lights out of me. I was counting my last penny so as to avoid a potential rendezvous with collection agents if I defaulted on my EMIs. At that time I was two years into my second home loan. I then managed to close it two years down the line, last year. I sold my first house and put the proceeds in debt funds of staggered durations. I now invest more than half of my salary in top rated ultra aggressive equity funds and these are my growth calls – Hopefully I do not have to withdraw them in my lifetime. I keep a hawks eye on the performance of these funds. Whatever surplus I am left with after two-three months and the also the bi-annual bonus, I again invest them in debt funds. I am purposefully debt heavy now because I need to retire yesterday, and my accumulated EPF corpus helps here. Because I have to live off the debt dividend/interest that is at least half of my current salary without touching the principal. Of course I could live off quarter of my current salary but I plan an invest-able surplus to be half of my income even without a job. Once I reach this magic figure for debt, I plan to allocate all my monthly salary surplus to equity funds or good stock picks since EFP contribution will take care of furthering the debt part. I bought a high value term life insurance and topped my family’s medical insurance four folds (of course separate from the employer’s cover) with a reasonable critical care payout thrown in for good measure. As of this day I save every last penny into my retirement corpus – My family and myself don’t do pretty much anything more than eat three times a day home coked food with the grocery being bargain hunted from three different online portals (Amazon, Bigbasket, Grofers). For vacations, twice a year, I reach out to my in-laws place which is fortunately a village farmhouse. The only substantial expense even in this case are the air tickets – food and stay are free, as you can guess. Personally I haven’t bought any new clothes for the last four years. I am doing with shirts gifted on occasions and old pants. If somebody is wondering about “having to scale down on eating out”, they haven’t understood about the paradigm shift needed in preparing for early retirement. If people are not branding you “insane”, you are not cut out for the job of early retirement.

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