Do you have the confidence to retire early?

Do you have the confidence to retire early?

Do you have the confidence to retire early?

I have a lot of problems, but confidence isn't one of them. I wake up every morning and know that our ultimate goal is right around the corner.

Do you have the confidence to retire early?
    I have a lot of problems, but confidence isn't one of them. I wake up every morning and know that our ultimate goal is right around the corner. There's nothing that can stop us from throwing in the towel at the end of the year, finished with corporate America.
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    We're barreling full speed ahead toward quitting full-time work and exploring our beautiful nation in our Airstream. Things are working out perfectly. Our savings is on autopilot. Our homes are sold. We already live in our Airstream.

    The only thing left is for the clock to strike "retire".

    In this blog post, I'm doing something different. Instead of the traditional narrative, I'm interviewing myself from the standpoint of a skeptic. His (or her) questions are in bold.

    Let's start this thing off with a bang, shall we?

    The "Mr. Skeptic" interview

    You're an asshole for being so confident.

    Come on, Mr. Skeptic - no need to name call. I'm confident because I know that whatever happens, we'll be okay. I know that we'll be okay because we roll with the punches and don't mind stepping outside of our comfort zones. We compromise. We pick and choose our battles. Nobody wins by expecting perfection and settling for nothing less.

    I am confident in everything I do, not because I'm arrogant and believe that I'm perfect, but because our mindset is more than half the battle. If we believe that things will go right, they usually will.

    What makes you think nothing will go wrong?

    Hold the phone, professor. I never said that nothing will go wrong. I recognize the fact that things don't always go to plan. We could screw this whole thing up. We could wind up crawling back into corporate America with our tails between our legs, begging for...

    Then why take the chance when you have such an awesome job?

    Because life is short. I don't want an awesome job. I want no job. We are playing the odds with this one. Sure, everything could go straight to hell with this plan, but more than likely, it won't.

    But you said that anything can happen; why won't your plan go to hell?

    Failure is a moving target that we aren't aimed at. We adjust as we go. To us, failure means rejoining corporate America because we need the paycheck. If we find that our money isn't lasting us as long as we had anticipated, we adjust. We take on temporary or seasonal work here and there. Or, we spend less. We do whatever we have to do to make things work.

    Oh, so you plan to work. That isn't retirement.

    You can call it whatever you want; I refuse to argue the true definition of retirement. Ideally, we only work when we want to. Interesting work. Maybe we don't work for a couple of years, then tackle a project or two down the line. Maybe we take on seasonal jobs over the holidays to rake in some dough. I'm not concerned with how YOU define retirement. I'm concerned with one thing and one thing only - our happiness.

    What happens if you hate living in your 200 square foot shack?

    Charlie, our Airstream, is a wonderful home and provides all the space that we need to live comfortably. But if it turns out that we no longer enjoy it, we move on. We do what anybody else would do in that situation - we try something different. We pick out a nice spot on the beach, or settle into a cottage in the mountains, or go where ever we feel the most comfortable. Even overseas!

    It sounds a lot like you're changing the meaning of "success" so you never fail.

    Like I said, we fail if we need to crawl back into corporate America. Whether or not things happen exactly as we expect them to today isn't how we define success. Life happens. Things change. If we expect to go through life and have everything magically work out exactly how we expect, we're going to be extremely frustrated people. We are realists, and so we adjust.

    Our goal is freedom.

    I think your confidence borders on arrogance.

    I'm okay with that. My wife and I have a plan and we're seeing it through. It has taken several years to get to this point, and we're damn proud of what we have accomplished as well as what we plan to do in the future. This isn't luck, nor is it right for everyone. It is right for us, and we're going for it. If you aren't confident enough to see it through, then you probably shouldn't quit your job.

    I have no plans to quit my job; I like money.

    So do I, which is why I choose to keep mine rather than spend it. Dough is nothing more than a means to an end. That end is happiness. Like Mr. 1500 said recently, money is just a facilitator.

    That Mr. 1500 is a pretty cool dude, isn't he?

    Yeah, he's like the shiznit of personal finance.

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    Steve Adcock

    774 posts

    Steves a 38-year-old early retiree who writes about the intersection of happiness and financial independence.