What You Need to Retire Young

Now that you feel inspired and the idea of an early retirement starts making sense to you, you most certainly want to move to the next level, to the level of action. You want to know what it is you need to retire young so let’s take a look at it:

#1 Need to Retire Young – Positive Thinking

If you want to retire young, the first and the most important step to take is to start believing in yourself. You have to switch your thinking to “I can do it”. The “I can’t afford retiring young” thinking you were demonstrating as you were reading through previous chapters of my Early Retirement section must be put to rest. Keep in mind that whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t – either way you’re right (words of Henry Ford). Positive thinking is the key.

#2 Need to Retire Young – Get Rid of Self-Doubt

Second most important thing you need to retire young is to quit doubting yourself. How many times has it occurred to you as you were reading about my Early Retirement that it worked out for me, but you don’t think it will work for you? You are doubting your own ability to turn your life around and you are lazy to take action to make it happen. Door to your freedom will forever remain locked if you continue doubting yourself and remain lazy to take action. When I was on the cross roads of turning my life around, I had an option to go for it and pace my way to an exciting and fulfilling life, or let my self-doubt prevail and go back to work and continue working hard until I retire. Do you want your life to go forward or backwards?

Do you recall the pickup line from the Fight Club? “The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is you DO NOT talk about Fight Club.” It is the same with retiring young – the first rule of retiring young is that you can do it. The second rule of retiring young is that you CAN do it. Getting rid of self doubt is just a different way of saying that you need to think positively. They are two different things yet they are the same and whether you succeed or fail in your quest vastly depends on whether you see yourself as successful or as a failure. Think like a winner if you want to win and keep in mind that you can’t win unless you risk the loss.

#3 Need to Retire Young – Cashflow

Thirdly, to successfully retire young and sustain your retirement, you need cashflow. I see cashflow as the key to sustenance of your early retirement. You don’t have to be rich, you don’t need lots of money coming in on daily basis, but you need enough to meet the needs of your comfort level. Fact of a matter is, a person of fair standards can comfortably live with as little as $600 a month in many of world’s safe countries. You wouldn’t even score a half decent room for rent in exchange for this type of money in the USA or Canada, but it’ll get you by with medical insurance, all the food you need, rent, transport, entertainment and more in countries like Ecuador, The Philippines or Cambodia. Monthly cashflow of $1,000 is recommended as it will allow for better standard of living and it’s always nice to have some extra. Cashflow is an essential ingredient in the pot called early retirement.

I personally do not believe such things as “plan” are what you need to retire young. Life will continue being exciting and enjoyable when you don’t know where the adventure takes you tomorrow. Follow you bliss – let your heart guide you. Don’t sit over the map or on the internet to pick your “perfect” destination. Be adventurous and open minded. Afterall – happiness is a journey, not a destination. Plan is a destination, it is a possibility of the future. Quit worrying about the future and start living for the here and the now. Now is the best time of your life. Yesterday is long gone and tomorrow – nobody know what tomorrow brings. If you have the cashflow secured and are enthusiastic about the change, then in my mind, you have all it takes to retire young. That which seems as the end of the caterpillar is the beginning of the butterfly.

If You Always Do What You’ve Always Done…

I realize that grasping the concept of leaving work so one can travel (or otherwise engage in whatever your dream activity is) is not easy. There is always that little bit of doubt at the back of your head. That little bit of uncertainty that pokes you like a splinter underneath the skin. Work is this only thing that provides some hope for the future, right? One should be glad if they still have work to go to. Yet I’m preaching here about early retirement and quitting work to travel. How can this possibly work for an average person?

The very first and very important thing to realize is that I do not say one should quit work. Quitting work is simply what I did and the reasons behind my thinking are described in this journal/blog. One should live their life to the fullest and should do things they want to do. When your life is fulfilling, enjoyable and exciting, when you lay in bed at the end of the day and feel like saying: “What an awesome day it was today, I truly had hell of a time…” then you are likely doing it right. Remember, you only have limited time to spend on this Earth. Sooner or later, your time will be up and your journey on this planet will end. It is possible to have virtually unlimited supply of everything else, but never of time. You will not be here for unlimited length of time and you will not be able-bodied during all of your time here. It only makes sense that you use as much of it for things you enjoy as possible.

You know the ages old saying that “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you always got“. And you will always feel what you always felt. You yourself have to be the change you want to see in your own life. It starts with you, because it’s your life. Sometimes the change may seem intimidating, because it requires one to step away from the safety of their homes, or take a step to the side from well established path that goes straight ahead and everyone walks on it. Change bears risks with it, because it can go either way, but hey… If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you always got.

I applied the “If You Always Do What You’ve Always Done…” principle to myself. I had a good job that’s pretty hard to get and is a clear keeper. I was making enough money to get by and occasionally go for a few with my buddies. I was able to buy myself latest fashion, go see latest movies or indulge in a massage. It seemed like a fairly steady life yet deep inside I felt that there must be more to life than this. However, this feeling did not surface until I resumed traveling. I was faced with the ultimate challenge:

  • Continue going to work. I have a steady and secure job that pays all my bills and leaves me some extra. If there is better life than this, I will never experience it, because all I will have known is work. There will be no surprises in my life as I know exactly what tomorrow brings – yet another day at work. But at the same time I know I am taken care of and don’t have much to worry about.


  • Take the risk and quit work. I don’t know where this path leads, as it could go both up and down. My life will be one daring adventure and every day will be different. I don’t know the odds, but I will do what I believe in my heart I was meant to do.

I was content where I was at the moment, but I still believed that there was more to life and that I deserved it. I knew that in order to personally mature and feel better about my life as a whole, I’d need to change the way I do things, change the way I make decisions, change the way I live life. It’s pretty simple – If you keep your foot on first base, you will never steal second. And if you always do what you’ve always done, you will always have what you always got. What I got was just enough to get me by. I was a ship in safe harbor. But as John A. Shedd said – this is not what ships are for.

A risk of failure accompanies every change. But if you look at all the great achievers this world has known, you will notice similar pattern in their lives – they have all achieved great things by taking risks. By trying something different. By deviating from predetermined path followed my majority. You can either be safe and good, or you can take a chance and be great. It’s the way to knowing the world and knowing yourself. One does not discover new oceans without losing sight of the shore as one does not find out how far they can go unless they risk going too far.

Wayne Gretzky once said: “You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Yes, change requires risk-taking and risk-taking is ultimately prone to failure. If it wasn’t, they wouldn’t call it risk-taking, would they? However, even if you ultimately fail but you do it pursuing your dreams, you will have lived a much more fulfilling life than those who have put their dreams on a shelf for fear of failure.