My Definition of Financial Freedom and Early Retirement…

After I posted about my ability (or lack thereof) to retire early, I got to talking with a coworker about financial freedom and what you would do if you have enough money right now so you didn’t have to work… (He doesn’t know about my blog… but we were just chatting in the lunch room…)

My coworker told me that he would probably still work… (we both find our jobs quite interesting and rewarding) but would be able to choose which days he had to come in to the office, and which days he could work from home.  (Our work currently doesn’t really approve of the work from home thing…)

I decided that I liked his version of financial freedom… and might adopt it for myself… but it got me wondering… if right now, money wasn’t an issue and I could “retire”, what would I want to do?  Where would I want to live?  What would my life look like?  I decided to brainstorm on this, as maybe it would give me the added motivation to get my living costs down and work on getting my savings rate up… and speed up that retirement date…

Where would I want to live?

I don’t want to move… I love my house and would like to stay there… maybe forever… If we have kids, I want to raise them in the house we are in now.  We have plans to renovate the house and make it exactly how we want it… hopefully soon… but that will take a bunch of money… which would of course decrease the ability to retire early… But I think I can safely say that I have found my “forever home”.  Now, if I were to be “financially independent”, I think I’d like it if we didn’t have a mortgage… So I’ll add mortgage-free to my definition of financial freedom.

What would I want to do?

Daydreaming about what I would do if I could do anything is quite fun… It would be like a nice relaxing weekend day, every day!  Wouldn’t it be awesome if I could wake up in the morning, go for a run, or a walk… drink some tea on my back deck while catching up on some reading… then spend the day at home… working on various projects… like planning someone’s wedding or anniversary party (I’ve always wanted to be an event planner… it’s just such a hard market to break in to…) then I don’t know… do some crafting… then go for a bike ride or work in the garden…

Would I want to keep working?

I really do like my current job… it’s challenging and I like the adventure of traveling to all the different site locations that I get to go to, but it doesn’t really lend itself well to being a mum… and, though we haven’t decided completely yet, and ultimately the decision comes from mother nature, we are thinking of having kids, so eventually I’ll have to change my focus at work anyway… so I started wondering what else I could do… What sort of things do I enjoy doing that could potentially allow for me to make some money while doing the stuff I like to do?

My current hobbies include:

  • soccer, fieldhockey & running… probably not going to make money on those…
  • blog writing… meh, I enjoy it, but I don’t know that I will ever make money off of it… I’m not a writer per se… and I would definitely need some training…
  • crafting… scrapbooking, painting, drawing… but I am definitely not good enough to make money off this stuff…
  • I love to plan and host parties and events… as I already mentioned, I’ve always wanted to be an event planner or coordinator… anyone know someone who would hire me to plan an event for them?  I’m actually really quite good at it… though you may not get that from my own wedding planning…
  • cooking… I love to try new recipes and experiment in the kitchen… I would love to be able to make money off that… maybe blogging about food, making a cookbook, or being a home test cook?
  • gardening… my new hobby… that I am really enjoying… maybe I could get good enough that I could sell flowers or something…
Garden
I may actually be almost successful at this vegetable garden thing this year…

So there are some potential ideas there… but I think that if I was able to be financial independent prior to starting up any sort of project… I could have the freedom of a project that would only have to just make-ends-meet and not provide any additional income to me.

Travel… Lots of Travel…

In my daydreaming of early retirement and financial freedom, travel is definitely in there.  I love going places, seeing new things, meeting new people… So, whatever it looks like, there will be room for travel in there…

Obviously, my daydreams will change as my life changes… but that’s what I have currently.  So I don’t think my dreams are extremely expensive or out there.  I don’t need to be able to afford the biggest house, or the fanciest car… I just want to have the freedom to enjoy my current situation without the restrictions of going to work every day.  My definition of financial freedom is pretty much just being mortgage free and be able to work when I want on projects that I want to do, and travel.

Do you daydream about what your early retirement would look like?  What is your definition of financially independent?

P.S. As I promised last week, I have talked to my RRSP guy, and we have increased my automatic payment amount from $200 to $400.  This might not come in to effect this month, but will definitely be in effect next month.

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15 thoughts on “My Definition of Financial Freedom and Early Retirement…

  1. The other day my husband and I talked about it too. We have always been looking for ways to make sure we can retire later (hopefully early!) but never gave a thought about what we would do:) Just recently I found the Go Curry Cracker blog, they retired early, decided to travel, and ended up living in different places around the world. I think it’s great, because when you retire, there is no fixed number of days you can spend in one place any more. Instead of just passing by, you can settle down and experience the local life.

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    • I have also stumbled across the Go Curry Cracker blog in my internet travels, and though I don’t follow it, I do like their idea of traveling by living in different places for an extended time. It really does allow you to get to know a place much better. My aunt did a house swap for 6 months once… that seems like a fun way to see a place and get to know a location too.

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  2. We feel the same way you do about financial freedom – no mortgage or student loans! As teachers we get a taste of “retirement” every summer. We are always ready to return to work at the end of summer break.

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  3. Great post! We are also looking to retire early. We invest every penny we earn and hope to be mortgage free before we are in our 50’s. Our goal is to travel and see the world!

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    • That is amazing! I hope to one day be mortgage free, but I’m still very early in my journey, so I haven’t buckled down to the point where I can predict when I’ll be mortgage free yet… at this point it is a long long ways away. 🙂

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  4. We weren’t able to do anything during our 20s due to health problems keeping money tight. I was on disability when I met my husband. He got fired after a year and a half of increasingly spotty attendance and went on disability. All while paying off student/medical debt. Whee.

    I found a job, and we’re making good money now. But early retirement just isn’t in the cards for us. If I suddenly came into money — which would only happen if my mom dies so… no thanks — I’d just find ways to pump up our meager retirement funds, pay off the mortgage and maybe plump up my husband’s dream car fund.

    I don’t know how well I’d handle not working at all. I did a lot of that while I was on disability. Reading 3 books a week still leaves a LOT of time. And there’s only so much TV to watch. This was before Netflix and YouTube, mind you, but still…

    I think I’d rather go down to part-time and spend the free time traveling, relaxing, building my blog, etc. BTW, if you ever want to work on your writing, my mom (who used to work for MSN Money and has been a journalist for three decades) put out a course called Write a Blog People Will Read. It’s got great lessons, and I’d say that even if I weren’t biased.

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    • Sounds like you are doing the best you can based on your history. The definition of early retirement can differ for everyone. If your definition is working part time, then that can be your early retirement, and maybe that will make it accessible to you sooner. That is part of why I feel it is important to know what your own personal definition of early retirement is so that you can have that as your goal. No point working towards someone else’s goal, you won’t be motivated!

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  5. Your definition sounds great. We definitely don’t want to have to work, want to be able to travel slowly, and want time for creative pursuits. But we also want time to figure out what we want to do when we “grow up.” 😉

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  6. I daydream about it a whole lot of time 😀 As much as I love my current job, I don’t want to keep doing that for the rest of my life. Everything else that interest me and would be a possibility to do are things where you have to be either pretty darn good at it or pretty darn lucky to get into it (…or both!!!), so I keep my ears and heart open and hope for a possibility to do something else some day while daydreaming 😉

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