Retire by forty

By SURABHI ROHILLA

For many generations now the world has mastered the art of hypnotizing men to keep running in the loop chasing one goal after another till there is no life left in them.

With the flag-off at school, we start chasing grades, run a marathon for fat paychecks to spend it on collecting “stuff” we do not need and finally do a sprint run for retirement savings and accumulate fat medical bills along the road to the finish line, so the post-retirement fun is only experienced with doctors and nurses in the drab hospitals.

I realized that was not the sort of life I wanted for myself.

How I fulfilled my dream to Retire By Forty

My husband and I entered the post-marriage life pretty much empty-handed.

My husband had just walked out on his father taking his mom out of an abusive marriage.

I had just suffered a huge loss in a Realty project losing all my savings and the funds borrowed from my father’s retirement fund.

So, we had no savings / no house / no financial support from home to fall back on.


My life’s biggest Set-Back

I had been saving up to buy a house to free myself from rental liabilities.

I did my research and put my savings in an under-construction housing project.

The cost of ownership for a house is lower in under-construction projects

I had perfectly planned all details of paying off for the project in full within 3 years with part loan and part personal savings and then taking early retirement to pursue my own passions.

My house was being built by one of the strongest players in Infrastructure development and Real Estate business (Jaypee Infratech) so in my mind, nothing could have gone wrong.

The news about Insolvency proceedings being petitioned against Jaypee Infratech surfaced two years after my marriage on Aug 8th, 2017.

By that time, I had poured all my savings from 10 years of hard work into that project and was planning to retire in the next 2 years at the age of 37.

Suddenly, from the point where I could almost touch the Finish Line, I was thrown back multiple years to the starting point of the race!

I gave myself two options to choose from –

1. Accept the circumstances and forget about early retirement

2. Forget about the circumstances and re-plan for early retirement

After giving myself a week, I gathered my thoughts and motivations to go with option 2!

Re-work on Retire By Forty Goal

While there were the basic things which I took care of such as

    • Medical Insurance Cover for my family
    • Life Insurance Cover
    • Paying off all my debt (Education & Housing)
    • Mutual Funds and Equity Investments

And I will delve into each of these in detail separately in my next posts.

What I want to share with you today are the often ignored and rarely spoken about but really crucial two steps.

    1. Simplify
    2. Sustain

 

“Simplify and declutter your life to happiness &
Sustain wealth creation to generate income even when you are not working”

1. Simplify – De-clutter your life

When I got down to pick up myself after the financial setback, I realized I would need another 10 odd years to earn and save enough to comfortably plan my retirement.

I would be 50 by the time I retire and that would be a very bad plan. I had to get there quickly, the only way to do that was by making significant changes to my lifestyle.

I sat down evaluating my past purchase decisions and the value those possessions brought to my life. I realized I had wasted so much of my hard-earned money on things that I did not need or had used once or twice and were now filling up my storeroom.

My husband and I talked about this and we worked tirelessly with an unwavering determination to cut down spending on “hoarding stuff” but slowly make space in our monthly budget for “experiences” that would enrich our lives.

This was the biggest life-changing step of our life and this alone helped me reach my goal in less than half of the time I had spared for myself initially.

 

2. Sustain – generate cash flow even while you sleep

When you plan to retire early, you are faced with two biggest challenges –

    • You have less time to save before you retire
    • You have more time to spend after you retire

So it becomes even more important for people who seriously consider taking early retirement to invest in a parallel source of income which can generate a stable stream of cash flow per month after they retire.

I had been searching for avenues to start the part-time business that I can invest my next two years into when I came across this article –

https://the-shooting-star.com/2018/06/16/digital-nomad-lifestyle/

And It made me think seriously about blogging and investing my time in setting up my online business footprint.

That was in June 2019 when I bought my own domain and began setting up this website. Though I got busy with my day job soon after and had to put my website on the back foot.

I got back to working on it again in December 2019 and financialfreedomist.com was born.

Financial-Freedomist is my way to share the “How” & “What” part of my journey to reach financial independence so that others reading it may also benefit from it.

 

In Conclusion

Financial freedom means different things to different people, whatever your motivations might be, I wish that you will give yourself the time and patience to find your goals and explore your ways to get there.

While you explore your own path to reach your financial freedom, there is one thing you can start immediately from today –

Rationalize your expenses and save millions by bringing discipline in your lifestyle.

This is the one and only most important step that helped me reach my goal in less than half the time I had given to myself.

Have you been planning an early retirement? What is the biggest challenge you have faced while planning for it?
What are you doing to help you retire early?

I would love to hear your thoughts, do share your experiences with me in the comments section below.

This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. Mike Adam

    I felt this was a very honest and straight from the hear post.
    I have been doing some reading up online on this subject myself and found your perspective of it interesting.

  2. Juan Saladin

    If beginnings are hard, re-starting from scratch is much harder!

    We live as if we wouldn’t have a caducity time engraved in our DNA. Science makes improvements, technology advances as a contradictory situation we die younger or live with an incredibly decreased level of life quality.

    I love your approach, simple by definitions: 1) Simplicity and 2) Sustain. In my personal experience, I tend to over complicate things (over managing probable risks even before actually emerging and even getting frozen from time to time).

    While reading you, I can’t avid to perform an auto-analysis. Consumerism and programmed obsolescence are definitely killing at least  16% of my yearly income (Why did I change my 2018 Smartphone if it was still working at the time I bought its replacement? – Just to mention something!). 

    Thanks a lot for sharing your inner thoughts and great energy on this post.

    1. Venya

      Dear Juan

      Thank you so much for your kind words, you have really summed it up so well – “Science makes improvements, technology advances as a contradictory situation we die younger or live with an incredibly decreased level of life quality”.

      I am very happy to read that you found some value in my thoughts and experiences. 

      I can very relate to the personal experience you have shared, I was the same person until a few years back and realizing the uselessness of it helped me a lot. 

      I love how you are able to summarize my entire paragraph in two words “Consumerism and programmed obsolescence”. It shows you are someone who goes deep into the subject.

  3. Sylvia

    Your article is full-hearted and straightforward which I love and it further reminded me of myself just six years ago.

    I was without a job because I needed to take care of my elderly and ailing husband. Working “long” hours away from home was not an option anymore. After a while I realized this can’t go in that way and that I have to find some solution before I will lose my mind.

    This was the time where I became introduced to Wealthy Affiliate and since then I haven’t looked back. 🙂

    I created three websites in which two of them are still running successfully.

    Your article is inspiring and I am with you on every word you have said/written.

    I wish you all the best in your retirement plans and I know you will reach them.

    All the best

    Sylvia

    1. Venya

      Dear Sylvia,

      Thank you so much for your kind words of appreciation and encouragement, I am humbled.

      Also, it is amazing how sometimes you feel you have lived through someone’s experience in your own life. I felt like that just now reading about your experience. 

      I am living away from my husband and my mother right now because my full-time job requires me to. 

      Your words give me hope that this phase will also end soon and I will be reunited with my family 🙂 

  4. Henderson

    Hello Venya. It’s beautiful that you can share your story so people can learn from it. Most of the things you mentioned here about retirement, maany people do not know about it. I like how you were able to pick yourself last year and I’m sure this year is going to be successful for you. I own a website too myself. True that financial freedom means different things to people. For me, it means making money while you sleep.

    1. Venya

      Dear Henderson

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I am happy to hear that you feel people can benefit from my views and experiences.

      Your definition of financial freedom is indeed how it should be, I hope your website helps you reach your goal 🙂

  5. Carmen

    Nice from you that you shared your experiences with us. Everyone dreams of financial independence. By posting you make it look very easy. But enrolling in WA requires a lot of work, research and patience. But of course WA does not cheat you. It encourages you even sooner or later you will be successful. It is largely up to you.

    Deschideți în Google Traducere

    1. Venya

      Dear Carmen

      Thank you for your comment. I agree with you completely, anyone making promises of easy money is “a scam” I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts of getting that sense out of my words, I will revisit my thoughts and try to make corrections. 

      Internet is filled with those kinds of promises and in my search for ways to reach my financial freedom, I admit having bumped and thankfully avoided a few of those myself.

  6. Kozakiv

    Thank you for sharing your life experience with us. It was not easy in your life because life did not pamper you and you were able to get back on your feet as a cat again. a sign that anything can be accomplished if a man has the will and mb to make you like he has a plan for his success in his head.

    1. Venya

      Dear Kozakiv

      Thank you so much for your kind words. 

      I think sometimes life takes us through some difficult phases to help us grow into someone stronger and wiser. 

      I have no regrets about my past experiences, they all gave me some valuable lessons which indirectly contributed to my success 🙂

  7. Katja

    Thank you for writing this post. I find your advice valuable and can say that I am actively working on it already – I try to live as simple as possible and am doing my best to earn passive income. I like how you stated that financial freedom means different to different people – it’s crucial to first know what you actually want in order to get it!

    1. Venya

      Dear Katja

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

      It makes me really happy to hear that you found some value after reading my post. 

      “it’s crucial to first know what you actually want in order to get it!” – You have really read my heart out here with this!

      I wish you the very best and hope that you will realize your dreams in this new year 🙂

  8. Daniella

    Hi Venya,

    Your story sincerely touched me, I think you are very courageous, and there are a lot of things to learn from you!

    As the Buddhists say, life is not meant to be easy, and we need to embrace the challenges. I am glad you made it and got back on your feet. I do have a website too, and it does take a lot of time and work, but it’s really worth it!

    Thank you for sharing this useful post!

    Looking forward to reading more in the future. 

    1. Venya

      Dear Daniella

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

      Indeed there is a lot of hard work and time that we need to dedicate to building a successful website, but the experience does not feel like a burden rather something very enriching because it allows us to connect with like-minded people from around the globe. 

      I wish you lots of success with your website 🙂

  9. Devara Garrison

    Wow, this is such an encouraging post!!!
    I generally skim through articles such as this but I read this one from start to finish.
    I hate to hear about your setbacks but glad to know you came back stronger than before and were still able to meet your goals.
    Discipline where my finances are concerned is definitely something I need to work on!
    Early retirement sounds great although I’m already 48 years old.
    I guess I’m still young enough to work on early retirement maybe 55 years old can be my goal.
    I love blogging and sharing with others so the idea of having my own website intrigues me.
    I will definitely check out your link for starting my own website for “FREE” and I look forward to making new goals towards an early retirement per your suggestions.
    Thanks so much for sharing!
    Best wishes,
    Devara

  10. Parveen

    Hey Venya, Thank you for writing on Retire by Forty – 2 Secrets Finance Gurus Hide From You.  I learn how to generate cash flow even while you sleep via your awesome guide. I will also bought my own domain name to build my business online. Financial freedom means different things to different people like me. Now I will save millions by bringing discipline in our lifestyle. Keep the grate work up

  11. Maggie

    Thank you Venya for writting this article. Yes, financial freedom means different things to different people but at the end of the day the common goal is to have enough funds to sustain our standard of living after retirement. I like the idea of simplicity. Even great people like Leonardo da Vinci once said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. I also feel that it saves us the unnessary stresses which result in us becoming sick thus impacting our savings which we try so hard to build or create, leaving us moving in circles and struggling to reach our goals.

  12. James

    I really enjoyed reading your story, there’s a lot to learn from it. The fact that this article is able to convey such important messages to people and break it down into simple steps way is something that I think is really great!

    Particularly, something that many people don’t learn until later on is that budgeting (being wise with money) can be used in so many ways to improve the quality and value one gets out of life, such as by focusing on the long term and bringing more rewarding experiences such as those that you mentioned.

    Thank you for sharing this, it could help a lot of people.

    I wish you all the success in your online endeavors!
    James

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