More than likely, your actual retirement will look quite different from the way you're imagining it. For one thing, the music playing on your stereo is more likely to be on your virtual reality headset because you'll probably retire a lot later than you think. If, that is, you retire early at all in the traditional sense of the word.
A recent survey released this year found that over 60 percent of Americans (ages 40 to 69) indicated that they'll include some form of work in their retirement. Another study by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank, had similar findings. As reported by CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes, "Nearly 80 percent [of the study's participants] say they'll work on a part-time basis well beyond [age 63]." And the massive University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study (which surveys 22,000+ Americans over 50 every two years) also found that most Americans would prefer a "gradual retirement" scaling back on their hours rather than quitting all together if they had the choice.
In our parents and grandparents world the kind of world that used to exist retirement didn't involve work. You were part of an extended family. When you grew old and wanted to retire early, you could do so. Your children would be running the family business. You would be included a majority of the time when important decisions needed to be made. Your wisdom would be respected. Your instincts revered. You would be surrounded by your loved ones, enjoying the fruits of your combined labor. Everything would be nirvana.
Rarely if ever , does that happen today. For one thing, you need money to retire early. A lot of money. So most baby boomers are going to have to delay their retirement because they simply will not be able to afford to retire early.
But even if you reach retirement age with substantial money in the bank, I'm going to argue that there's a more important reason for you to eliminate those dreams of an euphoric life of leisure.
To understand what I'm about to say, you have to understand this: Happiness in life comes not from idleness but from helping others. Not helping others at a job you dislike, but helping others to achieve their real inner peace.
Given that, the secret to a great early retirement is to figure out how to get paid for doing work you would gladly do for free and to be able to do that help others when and where you want to.
Maybe you have always wanted to be a dance instructor. Maybe your secret passion is cooking Middle Eastern cuisine. Maybe you've always wanted to rekindle your interest in astronomy, archeology or gardening.
Somewhere in your past is a buried profession something you've long ago given up on. What if you could make that dream a reality?
The Internet has opened up a world of possibilities for those wishing to retire early. I recently met a man who trades old issues of Time Magazine online. This happens to be something he always wanted to do and planned to do once he stopped working. But by taking advantage of eBay and other Internet auction sites, he is already making a tidy sum doing it just on weekends. Trading old magazines!
There are plenty of other examples. You can become an Internet mentor, an Internet travel agent, or even an Internet master. You can make money giving relationship advice on the Internet, or even selling underwear. You can use the Internet to make a living from your interest in dogs or other animals, or your up-until-now useless knowledge about 20th-century dolls.
For the best early retirement possible, give up on the idea of playing golf all day. Instead, enrich your life with pursuits that mean something to you and make money at the same time.
You can start your retire early planning right now by asking yourself the three Big Questions:
1. "Who would be the best person to do it with?"
2. "Where would I most want to do it?"
3. "What would I really enjoy doing?"
You may have found a partner and are ready to relocate right away, so start mastering the skills you're going to need for your early retirement right now."
Jim Roche of NJ makes excellent residual income by helping just 2 people follow a simple plan to be able to retire early (in as little as 12 weeks to 12 months). Learn the secret of true happiness by joining the Savings Highway and helping others to achieve their financial freedom.
Jim Roche, NJ
Skype Id: jim.roche3
Yahoo Id: jimrochenj
MSN Id: jimrochenj