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31 Oct 2011

Early Retirement or Semi Retirement

Early Retirement Extreme
Depending on my mood or on the asker, I say I am on early retirement or semi retirement. Its quite scary to be outside of the formal employment, for some strange reason. But I find the new definitions of retirement (financial independence) less overwhelming. In 2013, when my loooong holiday is over, I have to take a decision whether I go back to work or make my retirement permanent. Whilst having those amazing options is great, its equally scary. "What if real estate investment world goes sour? What if the stocks we have are hard hit?" That should be normal right?

Personal finance blogs like Jacob, the author of the book "Early Retirement Extreme" have been my biggest motivation. Now I know its very possible. I have to admit though, I spent most of my life making extra income from my properties, and CONSUMING it at frightening rates. Whats with extravagant houses, embraced consumerism and 2 hour commuting days, just to go to work and back home. Lots of my money has polluted the air and caused some harm in the environment. Looking back makes me stronger though, so no regrets. Aren't I lucky that even at my rate of consumerism I failed to go into debt.

Now that I have my priorities straight, I am grateful to PF bloggers and random people I meet with amazing stories like the guy we met at my son's school fundraising event. He is an engineer the hubby once took me with to go see at his work. He tells us that he has walked away from his job because he doesn't want to be defined and limited by a box. I supposed that's a cubicle or corner office he is referring to. "So, what are you now doing?" I asked with my ears wide open (thanks to a noisy music background). "I am taking 2 months to myself, just to think of what I want to do with my life". Hubby was impressed by the 2 months, maybe a teeny weeny jealousy too. We never stopped talking about this guy for another day. The truth is that, most people cant go a week without their jobs. Yet this guy looked more alive than when I met him in his office, past his personal assistant. How liberating being at home with your loved ones is, as opposed to being in an office with a PA and people doing whatever you require of them. That's what I will choose in 2013. I will choose my kids, my family, my home again and again.

I will go back to work for 3 - 6 months in 2013 to tie loose ends or rather to loosen tight ends. So am I in Early Retirement or Semi Retirement? I don't care to define it, I am just enjoying myself, my family and my life. I love preparing a healthy breakfast and lunch snack for my son. I enjoy being there with a warm hug to welcome him when he comes back from school. I enjoy working with my daughter's noise in the background. My investments give me a cash flow which is 50% of my previous salary, but I am happier spending 50% less. I choose that. I am saving myself and the planet and that puts the smile on my face.

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