Last week, I wrote about my plan C and D for retirement. I called them my “last resort” plans as they refer to the classic model of retirement; go to school, get a job, save for retirement, wait, get to 60 (or 65) and retire happy (or not). You know that drill, right? It’s a classic and an effective way to reach retirement.
Since it is a proven method, I’ve jumped on that train when I was younger and started saving. On top of having 3 children and making money mistakes (according to FIRE adept anyway), I still amassed around 200K for my retirement. That’s not bad considering I’m 36. Now that I’ve concluded I can easily live with one million at 59, I wanted to write about my plan B and A for retirement. Believe it or not, I consider myself retired already as I’m currently living my plan B. I retired a year ago, when I quit my job and traveled the world in my 25 foot RV. But before I tell you about my plans, let’s revisit the concept of retirement for a second.
What’s retirement anyway?
Just because I quit my job and started my business instead, people think I’m still working. They would not recognize I retire and I can understand why. After all, being self-employed or an entrepreneur is the same thing as working for the man. The only difference is that you don’t have a boss, right? Therefore, you can’t really mention the magic word “retirement” when you are saying you run your business. Here’s my question; what retirement means to you? Or what will you do once you retire? To know if you are retired or not, we have to get to the definition of retirement. The best way to describe this status is probably by describing the actions and activities you would once you get there, right? Here are a few possible answers and how my new lifestyle fares to them.
I would travel the world. After spending 12 months traveling between 2016 and 2017 I’m taking a small break in 2018. This year, I expect traveling during 4-5 weeks and will have 2 weeks “off” at home during the Holidays. In 2019, I already plan to leave for 2 months (maybe 3) in Vietnam and possibly Cambodia and Laos (if I have enough time!). Then, I will still take time off during summer and for the Holidays. Therefore, in 2019, I would expect to be 3 to 4 months “on vacation” as a regular worker would call it.
I would finally have enough time to read/play golf/meet with my friends/insert-your-favorite-activity-here. After all, retirement (as they sold us) is all about enjoying life and do what you love most right? Since I came back from my trip, I enjoy running 4-5 times as week, I play soccer, I have breakfast with my youngest kid each morning, I coach soccer and assist with all my children games and hip-hop dance shows. I spend all the time in the world with my 3 kids and my wife and I’m never tired. During summer time, I can go for a hike in the middle of the week and I could play golf… if my friends weren’t busy working!
I would finally have time to relax, not be stressed by work and all my responsibilities/chores over the weekend. Our weekends are empty most of the time and we fill them with unplanned activities that usually come our way last minute. I’m never stuck in traffic and I never have to do groceries on a weekend. We even had enough time to make new friends!
I would not have to work to live. I guess this is where it gets a bit tricky. The whole point of retirement is to stop working. If you agree with this statement, we will then both agree to disagree; the problem is that I don’t want to stop working. Honestly, I like being busy. I don’t dream for the day that I will finally sit on my chair and do nothing. When that day arrives, I’m sure I’ll be dying.
So here’s my plan B
My current retirement plan is quite simple; I work 365 days a year and I’m vacation 365 days a week. When I feel like working, I can put up 12 hours of work without barely stopping. When I feel like having fun, I can take a day off in the middle of the week and hike a mountain or do community work at school.
I’m not rich and my passive income isn’t enough for me to stop working. Living in North America with three kids and a wife at home highly reduce my ability to live frugally. I would hate it anyway, hahaha! However, I generate enough cash while I’m having fun to pay for my bills. I think that’s the important point.
Therefore, the plan B is to keep running DSR and my blogs and make a decent living while never feeling that I’m working or that “I must do something”. I spent my last Sunday afternoon working and I had a smile on my face.
Mike, if you are retired already, what’s the plan A?
I don’t want to brag, but I think I found the perfect balance in my life. I think retiring is a very personal concept. Some dream of the day they won’t have to put an alarm and wake up. If this ever happens to me, I will feel dead inside. I rather live today and retire once I’m dead. Believe it or not, the plan A is a lot more exciting!
I want to build a million-dollar business. As funny as it seems, this has nothing to do with the number. I want to build a million-dollar revenue business because it’s a challenge. It’s like running a half-marathon (‘cause I’m not interested in running longer than 2 hours!). Why running 21.1KM? What’s wrong with 20Km or 25Km? Because it is an established mark. I want to reach that level with my business because I believe the path to get there will be thrilling and fun. Once I reach this level, I’ll probably have more goals. In the meantime, I will be able to spend more than 2-3 months per year offshore once I reach my plan A. At one point, I would like to simply travel the world and work everywhere. But in order to reach that, I need more money. Therefore, the need to have a plan A.
What about you? Are you retired yet? What’s your Plan A?