Frugal Living: What does it mean to retire?

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Hello everyone! I wanted to touch on what it means to retire. When I mention to my parents that I want to retire at age 46 or earlier, they automatically mention the inability to pull from retirement accounts before the age of 59 and a half. Then, immediately after that, they say something along the lines of “you want to completely stop working and not do anything that early?”

As many of you already know, there are multiple ways to get around the “inability” to withdraw money from retirement accounts such as a 401k or Roth IRA. Therefore, I won’t touch on that in this particular post. So if you ask google to provide you with the definition of retirement it literally says, “the action or fact of leaving one’s job and ceasing to work.” Personally, I think there are many ways to retire that don’t necessarily fit into the more traditional definition.

Don’t get me wrong, deciding that you’re going to stop working altogether once you retire is definitely a reasonable thing to do. However, with the younger crowd that decide they want to be financially independent early, they often have other ideas what was retirement will look like for them. For example, you may feel that once you become financially independent that you want to pursue a passion career or hobby instead of stopping work altogether. Or you may want to take your retirement in the form of travelling around the world since you’d have a new found freedom! Or maybe you just want to just work part-time at a disposable job a couple days a week. The point is this is all perfectly ok to do! The only thing that matters is how you define your retirement and whether you’re happy with your decisions!

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How do I define retirement?
Personally, I’m not sure what my definition of retirement is. I know that I definitely want to leave my job once I reach my financial independence number but I’m not sure I want to leave the workforce forever. I have ambitions of teaching English abroad as an excuse to stay long-term in some locations without drawing down my savings. I also have ambitions of just being a nomad and wanderer. Another thing I think I’d like to pursue is a finance degree since that is something I’m very interested in and would love to help people realize they could achieve financial independence so much earlier than expected. I’d also sort of like to pursue a nursing degree as well but I’m on the fence about that one.

Realistically, there are numerous things I’d like to accomplish in retirement and I haven’t decided what retirement means to me as of yet. Honestly, it changes almost on a daily basis. What I wanted to accomplish with this post was to get the point across that retirement can mean anything you want it to mean and it doesn’t matter what other people think of your version of it. All that matters is that you’re happy!

One comment

  1. You touched on exactly why I don’t like the term ‘early retirement’ for myself. I’ve definitely got the dictionary definition in my mind and it feels like a lot of pressure. I find the term ‘financial independence’ much easier to wrap my brain around.

    Liked by 1 person

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