What does retirement mean to you? Does it bring up lots of questions and uncertainty? When did your parents or grandparents "retire?" Talking about the topic of retirement today is difficult because everyone has a different idea of retirement. I used to think I knew what it meant to retire, but my understanding is changing even as I type this.
The Traditional Retirement Plan
When I say "traditional" understanding of retirement, I mean what I grew up knowing. As far back as I remember, both sets of grandparents have been retired. They all worked for 30-40 years before getting some sort of SIPP pension scheme or retirement plan from their work. This is how it worked back then. You worked at your job (most likely the same job) for your career and then when you reached a certain age or physically couldn't work anymore, you retired with some sort of pension.
Retirement meant not having to go to work. That summed it up for me. It meant the freedom to watch TV, mow the yard, play golf, etc. If you could achieve this status earlier, you had it made. This is what I understood retirement as growing up. If I had to guess, I would say that many of you have had this similar idea of retirement.
The Problem with Traditional "Retirement"
The problem with this view is that it makes you live a life waiting for your life to start, only when you are physically unable to do many things. You are burdened with the goal of achieving this goal as quickly as possible and by any means possible. There is no possibility to do something that you really want to do because you are stuck paying the bills. In other words, this idea of retirement leads you to just get through the work day instead of looking forward to it. Instead of finding happiness in your day job, you anxiously await the weekend.
An Early Retirement Plan
Instead of waiting to live your life in 30-40 years, what would you say if I told you can live your life today. You can follow your dreams and find the time to do what you want really early in life? I bet you are thinking something along the lines of "yeah… right!" or even that, "if it sounds too good to be true, it must be". This isn't the case! I'm not saying it is an easy thing to do, because it takes hard work and some time. But, the very premise of Passive Income to Retire is to track my goals towards this early "retirement." In other words, instead of trying to work for the same company for 30-40 years in return for a pension, OR even saving up enough money that I won't run out of money before I die, I want to approach it differently. Instead, I want to build up passive (or even semi-passive) income streams that will help fund my retirement.
I don't know how much I will need to fund my "retirement," but the idea is that if I can have a steady income from managing the various income streams, I will quit my day job and continue trying to make more money from these sources. I hope to document my attempts to do so, letting you know where I fail and where I succeed. I want to provide you with the information that is required to repeat the process. I want to give you your life back. Don't fall victim to this traditional view of retirement. Help me redefine retirement by making the impossible possible. It will not be easy, but I think it will be worth it in the long run.
Shawn Manaher is a former financial advisor, has founded 5 online businesses, and is a coach, speaker, podcast host, and author. He's been featured on Forbes, The Consults Corner on TAE Radio, The Writing Biz, What's Your Story, and more.