When reading as many books and websites as I have over the years on the topic of early retirement, a common theme starts to emerge. You have to take a good, hard look at what is really important to you in life and chuck all those things that don't give back what you put into them. If leaving the rat race early is really that important to you, the true test is to see what you are willing to forgo to get there. If eating out less often now means that you can whittle a couple of years off of your work life, will you do it? Would you even consider renting out your house and moving into a less expensive rental apartment if it meant that you could free up enough cash each month to pay some of your monthly expenses and edge you closer to financial freedom? Many people would answer "no," and there is nothing wrong with that. However, there are a few freedom seekers who go to what some would consider extreme measures to give them the opportunity to exit the work world at an early age.
David Downie's book called Radical Immediate Retirement
lays out the path to retiring sooner rather than later by taking stock of what you already have (and not just financial assets) and determining what you need to do to leave it all behind. From the extreme example of the Australian bank teller who quit his job and started off walking with little more than the clothes on his back to the overweight car dealer who moved to Thailand and took up kickboxing, the author emphasizes that the most important skill is creativity. Where there is a will, there is a way.
The author points out that advances in technology have given us access to luxuries that were unheard of only ten years ago at a very low cost, yet many people feel that what they currently have is never enough. The journey to early retirement begins with the question, "How much do you really need to be happy?" A close examination may lead you to believe that it is much less than what you expected.
Downie points out that most of us are already wealthier than we realize. Those who are years away from traditional retirement have a source of wealth that even Bill Gates would likely give his fortune to have....youth. The secret is to channel our skills, talents, hobbies, and time in a way that will sustain us after we have left the 9-5 work world. Developing a plan to use our unrecognized wealth to break free only requires some determination and ingenuity. Radical Immediate Retirement
is filled with examples of people who have done just that and can point the way for others who hope to follow a similar path.
Radical Immediate Retirement
is a quick read, but the ideas and real life examples will set your mind racing with thoughts of how you can apply it to your life. I read it with a notebook in hand. It may be just the springboard you need to help you create your own path to a life of financial freedom.