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.
“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 –
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.
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.