Why Do You Want To Retire Early?
One of the more common challenges that someone who’s openly pursuing financial independence and early retirement will hear from people who aren’t, is “why would you want to retire early?”
In fact, that and similar questions are why so many people don’t talk about their financial ambitions with friends and family – the oblique criticism isn’t worth it.
But today is a great example of why I want to retire early…
Today was a stupendously beautiful day. The sun shone down through a literally cloudless sky. Seriously, take a look at the output from my solar panels for today; barely any cloud cover, and sunshine bright enough to power my home from 5.30am until well into the evening…
My retired parents spent their respective days sunbathing, eating lunch outside of a lovely little café, reading, pottering about in the garden… And this evening, much to my gratitude and their delight, they’re looking after their grandson.
I’m envious of their lives.
I spent my day in an office. And I should count myself lucky, because my office was air conditioned. Mrs Yorkshire Finances was not in such luxurious surroundings as she toiled away in her office.
My son was shuttled from bed to childminder this morning, first thing, despite making an impassioned plea to stay at home and play with the garden hose. And then after spending only a couple of hours with his tired and overheated parents after they’d returned from work, he endured the car ride to his grandparent’s house on the promise that he’d be allowed to water their flowers.
Yorkshire Finances dog had to content himself with two very short walks (one before leaving for work, and one exhausted slog around the block after we got home).
Now, I’m the first to complain about hot weather – I have the genetics of someone who’d be more comfortable hugging a glacier than baking under the summer sun. So, on most days like this you’ll find me in the shade, seeking the coolest and quietest of spots to ride out the anger of the ball of fire in the sky…
But you know what would have made today infinitely better? Not having to be somewhere.
Freedom from the necessity of work or the pressure of having to return to it, could have seen today play out so differently.
On my ride home to the office I passed a narrowboat – the occupants looked like they were just setting up for breakfast – pastries and orange juice outside in the sunshine.
I passed the same boat 8 hours later, on my way home. They’d moved their folding chairs into a slightly shadier spot, and they were playing chess.
The comparison to my own frantically scheduled day, with its lack of genuinely free time, is a stark reminder of why I want to retire early.
I’m not saying that I want to spend the entire day sitting in the sun eating croissants and playing board games. I’m saying that I want the freedom to choose.
So, what about you? What drives you towards early retirement?