Early retirement is the reason many of us give for the deprivations we impose on ourselves (and our loved ones) on a daily basis.
All those sacrifices made at the altar of early retirement. Financial. Personal. Family…
Time we’ll never get back.
Not this little black duck!
I’m on the shady side of 45 and due to various ups and downs in my personal and financial life, I don’t have a million dollars stashed in a retirement fund.
What I do have is a choice.
I can choose to become a prisoner to my retirement fund, working in a soul destroying job and, living on bread and water to ensure I have sufficient saved in another 15 years to retire comfortably.
I can choose to create a life where I don’t feel the need to retire. Ever.
That means enjoying and getting deep personal satisfaction out of every single day. Plus, money in the bank.
Over the last few years, and culminating this year with the death of my ex-husband, I’ve increasingly felt that life is too short to spend the bulk of it doing stuff you don’t like and sacrificing all those things you do love just to get enough cash to retire… some day.
My ex-husband was 52 when he died. He had a big fat retirement fund. He never got to enjoy any of it.
Don’t get me wrong. Don’t think I’m saying you shouldn’t save for retirement, early or otherwise. You really should. Long-term savings and investments are always going to be of value.
What I am saying is that life is to be lived and the real holy grail of early retirement ought to be finding a way to incorporate making a living with living in a way that mimics retirement.
In other words, finding work you love that allows you to choose how and where you spend your days and still enables you to pay your bills, preferably with passive or semi-passive income. Holy grail is about right, huh?!
I’ve spent my entire adult life in search of work that’s fulfilling. It seems I’ve either got very high expectations or a low tolerance for tedium. And, believe me, I’ve tried everything from Information Technology to horticulture.
Until recently, all I found was a sense of overwhelming disappointment.
That was until I discovered the boundaries of making a living online went way beyond online retailing.
I discovered blogging
I discovered that blogging full-time, as a job, is a real thing. And better still, there are bloggers out there making incredible incomes each and every month while living, travelling and working wherever and whenever they want. (If you’re ready to start your own, click here for all the detail you need to get started.)
My first blog is coming up on its second birthday and during that time I’ve earned thousands of dollars in what I describe as semi-passive income. It’s semi-passive rather than passive income because, after a piece is written and published, the blog as whole still needs to be promoted and maintained.
The real joy in making money from blogging is that your income is accruing even if you’re tucked up in bed, dreaming happy dreams.
I admit, I was blind to the opportunities of blogging for a very long time and my only regret since sliding down the rabbit hole and into the blogosphere is that I didn’t take the leap a long time ago.
My other blog is about frugal living. Through that blog I talk about how being smart with your money and living a simple life can help create the financial situation where early retirement is a reality.
What I’ve learned after writing about frugality for two years is that being smart with your money is about more than just living frugally, it’s also about being smart about how you earn your money.
For over 10 years my online retail business (now on Etsy) was my only side hustle. Now that is my work from home business, plus I have two blogs as side hustles. My side hustles are beginning to take up a fair chunk of my time, that’s why I’m becoming more focused on building a blog that’s no longer a hobby but a business.
Exit early retirement.
Enter… A fulfilling (and prosperous) lifestyle.What's your plan? Early retirement or a life where retirement is an obsolete concept?Click To Tweet
How I’m making early retirement redundant
Apart from appreciating the joys every single day of being able to work from home, doing something I really enjoy, plus sharing what I learn and (hopefully) helping others in the process, these are the ways I’ll be making the idea of an early retirement redundant:
- Building my blogs into profitable businesses instead of a being a well-paying side hustles. I’ll be doing this by publishing more frequently, creating email lists and publishing regular newsletters.
- Building additional websites to scale up what I learn through this blog. Maybe a food blog, although I’ll need to work on my photography skills for that. And maybe my presentation skills…
- Create information products so others can learn how to build the life they want. Whatever that might be.
- Focus on paying off my mortgage as quickly as possible. Getting out of debt is an important goal as the less you owe the more choices you have regarding the amount of income you need, and therefore, the amount of time you must delegate to earning it.
- Work on improving just a little bit every day. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are good habits. Discipline always outweighs motivation so each day I’ll be working on improving my self-disciple in all areas of life; health, work, money, etc.
These five things will be my primary focus for the next few months. Choosing to shift blogging from side hustle to business is a little scary and probably a bit of a risk but without risk, there can be no reward.
And, life’s too short not to go after those things that are most important and most fulfilling otherwise, why else are we here?
How you can make early retirement redundant?
You too can choose to make early retirement redundant so start exploring side hustles or other ways to create a life that doesn’t need retirement to make it worthwhile or bearable.
Here are some ideas to get you started in your search for a side hustle that you could develop into a business that not just meets your income needs but also makes regular (and hefty) deposits into your happiness and well-being account.
- How to Start a Blog
- 5 Quick Side Hustles to Make Money Immediately
- 11 Perfect (and Cheap) Business Ideas for Happy Introverts
- 10 Simple Steps to Making Extra Money on Etsy
- 21 Easy Ways to Make Extra Cash on the Side
You don’t need to sacrifice today for a tomorrow that might not come. Take back control of today and make it work for you.
Are you new to my blog? Your Side Hustle Success aims to help you find ways to make extra money through building a business in your spare time. Are you planning to build a blog or a website for your side hustle or business? Here are some of my favourite sites and products that may help you out:
- Start a blog. Blogging is a great way create additional income. I make semi-passive income each and every month from my blogs and you can, too. Use my guide to create your own blog and you can start your blog for as low as $3.95 per month. Plus, sign up through my link and you get a free domain.
- Pinterest. Pinterest is my favourite way to promote my blogs and boost traffic. You can make pinning even easier if you use BoardBooster to schedule your pins. Use this link to sign-up for their free trial. If you want a simple graphics program to create your pinnable images, I highly recommend PicMonkey. It’s easy to use – even for novice designers.
- You can find more recommended resources here: Blogging Resources.
What’s your plan? Early retirement or a life where retirement is obsolete concept?