Unlike most people my goal for retirement isn’t to sail around the world, discover myself, read the classics, volunteer at a worthy charity or even travel (to tell you the truth - I like where I live and would be happy if I never ventured more than 50 miles from my home (ever), and instead spent all my time visiting friends, family, cooking/eating, camping, fishing, watching movies and of course following the market). My goal is to retire early and live a typical middle class lifestyle (without having to work anymore). Globe trotting and expensive toys/dinners are not for me.
Now some of you ambitious big spenders out there must be wondering “Why on earth would you want to aim for average?” Now I’ve been asked that before, so I have a good and simple answer: well… (drum roll) the reason is that I don’t have expensive needs or hobbies and absolutely love my lifestyle (except for the working thing). I don’t want a lavish retirement and personally don’t see the point of working until 65 saving a huge pile of money and retiring in “luxury”. Instead, I have chosen to aim to retire at 40 live more modestly than the 65 year olds that have built a huge nest egg, but because of my relatively simple needs I would get more benefit from an additional 25 years of retirement than I would from annual vacations from 65 to 75 year old (health permitting). In my opinion 25 extra years of freedom/time flexibility is worth more than an extra star in the review of the hotel I stay at between 65 and 75. Now here’s where I get the “jaded” or “pessimist” accusations…I know I know many of you are saying “why do you keep saying 65 to 75? Why not 65 to 95?” well before I’m labeled as a pessimist I’d just like to say that I do fully expect to live to 95 (partly from the reduced stress of being retired early) but from observation --- after 75 most people have given up (or reduced) most of their expensive hobbies/activities as they age from their mid seventies to their eighties (ie- the need for: globe trotting, world traveling, walking in/cleaning their huge house, driving new expensive cars seems to fade with age). Now I’m not saying that old people have less fun I’m just saying that for any number of reason (health or just don’t care about keeping up with the Jones anymore) as people reach their senior years their needs seem to become simpler and therefore less expensive. I can certainly relate to this and have already been told by friends that I am “the oldest young guy they have ever met”. (which of course I take as a complement)