When Are You Retiring?

by Derek

Have you put much thought into your retirement date? If you’re like most of the population, retirement is something in the distant future and you figure it’s not worth worrying about now. But, let me tell you, if you have this mind-set you might NEVER retire!

How much time do you spend planning that yearly vacation? A couple of hours? Maybe even a few weekends of sitting down and going through the travel arrangements? All in all, it may take you at least 10 hours of planning to ensure yourself a smooth, relaxing vacation. Why is it that we put so much more time and effort toward a one week vacation than we do for our own retirement!?

Quick, in the next 5 seconds, tell me what your plan is for retirement. What are you doing today that will ensure a healthy retirement in the future? If you can’t answer this question, your retirement will most likely be nothing like you imagine.

What Do You Want Retirement to Be Like

My wife and I are young, but we are starting to think about when we would like to retire. For us, retirement means doing what we love. We don’t necessarily have to be lying on the beach with an umbrella drink (as most would picture retirement), it’s more a matter of doing what we enjoy. So what is it that delights us, and how do we plan to accomplish it?

My wife loves to travel and would like to make a living with her camera (she loves to photograph weddings) and I would enjoy earning a large income through online ventures (blogs, niche sites, eBooks, and maybe even some speaking).

That is a very brief description of our “retirement”. Start thinking about yours! Would you like to sit back and do nothing for the rest of your life? Would you like to continue to work, but simply do what you love? Or, maybe it will be a combination of both! Whatever it is, make sure you know what you’re working toward (this makes like a little bit more fun too!).

So, What’s the Plan?

While having your desired retirement in mind is important, you must also have a plan to get there! For my wife and I, we are already working toward our ideal retirement.

With nearly all retirement plans, there must be somewhat of a large “pot of money”. This may be a 401(k), a CD, or perhaps some mutual funds of your own selection. My wife and I will not depend on this method for our retirement, but we do put 10% of my paycheck in my company 401(k) as a “just-in-case”. I have already begun my quest for retirement with my blog that provides others with useful tips for getting out of debt, saving money, and becoming wealthy. It’s a good start, and it earns quite a lot of money per month, but it’s certainly not going to allow us to “retire” from our day jobs.

In the course of the next few months, I plan to finish writing my eBook about college debt and will begin 2 new websites. Through these ventures, I will come close to replacing my “day-job” income.

Like me, my wife has already begun her quest for dream work as well. She owns a very nice camera, flash, and is developing her own studio within our house. She has photographed 3 or 4 weddings and has many referrals in the works. Soon, I suspect that her income will replace her “day-job” as well.

With the additional income and a paid-for house (all the extra income gets poured into the mortgage for the next few years), we’ll easily start living our dream life within 5 years. That gives us about 50 years of “retirement”! 🙂

This may seem like a pipe dream to you, but it really is possible and is already working! Figure out what it will take for you to retire and plan accordingly. It may not take 30 more years of work at a job you hate. Maybe it’s just a matter of starting something different, and it may even be something you love!

What’s your plan?

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

20's Finances September 28, 2011 at 6:06 am

Great plan! I love that you re-defined retirement to be doing what you love doing. I have a co-worker whose husband just retired (in the traditional sense) and he is bored out of his mind because retirement for him is the ability to do nothing. He is slowly learning that he needs to do SOMETHING with his time. Thanks for the inspiration. Now to work out the details of my plan…

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Derek September 28, 2011 at 6:26 am

I’m glad you enjoyed my definition of retirement! I’ve heard of so many people like your co-worker’s husband. They just get bored after they retire. I’d much rather have a passion for something!

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krantcents September 28, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Why wait to retire to do something you love? I try to incorporate as much of what I love into my work. I always say I love my job 95% of the time. This was not always true! Find something you love to do and you will be good at it and the money will follow.

My retirement date is June 30, 2017 (again). I expect to continue traveling, perhaps more often. I will be volunteering which I am starting next year. I expect I will continue blogging and expect there will be other things opening up because of it.

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Derek September 28, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Thanks for the comment krantcents! That’s actually what I was saying. Once you are able to do what you love, it’s just like being retired! That’s what I’m shooting for! 🙂

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Alex | Perfecting Dad September 28, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Sounds like a great plan. Similar to ours, we will retire in 3 years. I actually switched jobs too for a 30% increase in $ and 25% decrease in workload. It lets me have more time for my side businesses.

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Derek September 28, 2011 at 7:44 pm

That’s awesome! Nice work picking up that good paying job. And, congrats on the early retirement. I can’t wait to be retired either. Once I’m able to start a couple other websites and finish my eBook, I should have a substantial income and will be able to retire.

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shanendoah@Baking the Budget September 28, 2011 at 7:01 pm

I actually enjoy my job and intend to work in my field for the next 30 or so years. However, the hubby and I have a retirement goal of running our own dog rescue. We do know what we need to get there and are slowly building the resources.

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Derek September 28, 2011 at 7:45 pm

You are wayyy ahead of most of the population just by knowing what you’re working toward! Congrats for that and good luck with the dog rescue! There’s definitely a need for that.

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Jason@LiveRealNow September 29, 2011 at 6:35 am

My plan is to be debt free by 35(2.5 years) and supplying my own income by that time. Retirement? Blech. Why retire if you’re doing what you love?

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Derek September 29, 2011 at 6:44 am

Retiring IS doing what you love! For me, it’s not sitting on the beach sipping on cocktails. I’d rather be in the trenches of something I’m passionate about.

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Jackie September 30, 2011 at 5:59 am

My definition of retiring is having enough passive income coming in that I don’t need to work. So I guess technically I am retired now, by that definition. But I also want to be able to travel around and do the work I enjoy from anywhere, and that part has a bit to go. Once we get the house paid off (soon!) we’ll be in good shape for that.

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Derek September 30, 2011 at 7:13 am

Sounds kind of like our plan! Once we have our house paid off and we have an online income, we can travel anywhere! It’ll be fun hearing about your adventures as we prepare for ours. 🙂

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Kevin@RothIRA September 30, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Derek I think you’re introducing a critical element to retirement planning by highlighting the question of when. A retirement plan without definate parameters is far less of a plan and more of an intention. The difference between the two is probably the difference between a comfortable, secure retirement and something much less (you know where they say good intentions lead!).

A date makes retirement planning real and also creates an urgency. I’m not so sure that urgency is so great for people in their 20s, but it does kick in nicely by the time you hit 40.

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Derek September 30, 2011 at 8:32 pm

The urgency increases with each passing year, especially if there’s nothing saved for that retirement! I’m sure it’s a terrible feeling.

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WorkingBoomer October 1, 2011 at 6:06 am

Great blog! We all need to plan. Times have changed and will continue to change. If we want a happy retirement we most certainly need a plan and a back up plan too as the world is today.
Thanks for sharing.

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Derek October 2, 2011 at 6:56 am

You’re right, we all DO need a plan. Unfortunately, there are many people in this world without one. They’ll no doubt be left with difficult financial decisions down the road.

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Little House October 1, 2011 at 11:27 am

You’re very smart, Derek, to begin planning at such a young age. When I was in my 20’s I never thought much about retirement. Now, I’m hustling to make a plan that’s reasonable.

Thankfully, I like working and I don’t see myself “doing nothing” during retirement. I can’t sit still for very long. So my plan is to work to at least 60 (probably 67) and continue pursuing side hobbies, like blogging. I might even get around to writing a children’s book one day (I started one but it’s on hold for now.)

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Derek October 1, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I’m glad that we’re starting now. It kind of takes the pressure off. Good luck with your planning!

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Cherleen @ The College Investor October 2, 2011 at 6:24 pm

A few more years before I retire and when I do, I would like to travel and write about the places and experience with the people and the place itself, and turn it into a book or blog about it.

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Derek October 2, 2011 at 7:37 pm

That sounds awesome! We would like to travel and write about our experiences too! Can’t wait to see your blog about it. I’m sure it will be inspiring for us. 🙂

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Shelly October 3, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Thank you for your definition of retirement. My husband and I plan to retire early (around 55) and plan to travel in our RV and work-camp at national parks. Our expenses will be very small and we will get to travel and meet lots of new people as well. This is doing what we already love – traveling in our RV.

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Derek October 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm

That’s awesome! Being able to do what you love, and for cheap too! I hope I’m one of the random people that you meet, because it sounds like we’d really hit it off, plus you’d probably have a ton of great stories to tell about your travels. 🙂

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