Retirement used to be a word that had a very clear definition to me. Basically, it meant you stop working, eat dinner at 4:30 p.m., and spend your golden years sitting in a rocking chair.
When I was a young man this was my vision of retirement. You kick back enjoying the fruits of decades of labor. It seemed perfectly logical at the time. Didn’t everybody wake up at 6 a.m. and work 60-plus hours a week in a job they couldn’t stand for 40 or so years?
Over time my perception of retirement has changed dramatically. But no matter what my vision of retirement looks like, the path to get there is the same…ACHIEVE FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE.
Now I like to think of myself as a 45-year-old millennial. Yes, I know that sounds odd. But I do respect my younger counterparts’ idea of retirement. Who wouldn’t want a future that involves doing what you love and taking time to see the world?
Also, the idea that happy is the new rich — a life less focused on acquiring stuff and more about real experiences connecting with people — really appeals to me. This mindset helps when it comes to financial independence. You need less money if you have less stuff.
So if this is what the typical millennial believes in, I swipe right. Let’s take a moment and travel through how my retirement vision has changed:
1. My 20s Retirement Vision…
In my youth, I had a lot of young man wishes. I’m going to make millions of dollars, purchase a mega mansion with an eight-car garage for all my high-end sports cars, and travel the world on my yacht Lonely Island style.
Now, those ideas make me think…That is WAY too much house to clean! How much would tires cost for that car? And if I’m really being honest, I get seasick standing on a dock.
At some point, adulting does happen and perceptions can change. And no matter what you envision retirement to look like, a plan is a must (if you’re currently in your 20s and can set your plan now, you’re one of the lucky ones).