Retired4Life was first conceptualized when I met 2 persons who fundamentally changed my world view towards work and retirement. Before getting to know them, my wife and I had a belief that like everyone else, we would have to work (have a job) till we reach retirement age and hopefully have enough in savings, endowments, investments and insurance to have a reasonably carefree lifestyle and be free from work!
These 2 individuals got to experience some form of FIRE – financial independence, retire early without being fully aware of such a movement.
A combination of frugal living and smart investing allowed one of them to retire after working for 8 years and he continues to give piano lessons as a income generating activity, but is generally living a simple life through returns on real estate and other investments.
The other espouses a frugal lifestyle with her spouse, and both of whom treat personal finance very seriously. She taught my wife and I that a marriage is like any business, and financial planning and budgeting is a key aspect of running a business, and the same rigor should be similarly applied in life! Every expense and capital budget is jointly discussed and agreed upon in their family, and they conduct regularly meetings to go through the household financial performance. That notion of managing my life as a business sounds logical and is really common sense but it blew my mind! Never had I thought about this perspective even though I am from a finance and accounting background and spent a large part of my career in buy-side investments. Duh!
Hence the aim of Retired4Life is about marrying the concept of retirement with being alive (part of life) and bringing that dream or idea of retirement forward, front and center in our current lives and day-to-day experiences.
The way to do this is to feel like there is hope. A pathway to sustainable financial freedom. It is about both saving and investing. Most important of all, this lifestyle requires a balance of work, saving, investing, learning (financial education) and practice.
I am (based on plan) 8 years away from a 4% return on investment which theoretically provides a sustainable (does not deplete the portfolio value) lifestyle. Although that is still far out, and the model is loaded with assumptions, just having a path to freedom empowers me to feel hopeful, be enthusiastic towards my job (irony isn’t it), and live like there is a deeper purpose.
I have also been afforded the luxury of choice. Choice to take a break from the plan and have a mini-retirement, or explore opportunities that excite me even though it means less income temporarily because I have confidence that my lifestyle can be adjusted according to my income or that I have some funds in place to allow me space to relax and unwind from a stressful job.
This sense of empowerment and being in control of destiny is also what draws me to start Retired4Life.
The learning and practice of financial education in daily living can also be a lonely journey as many of my peers are quite caught up in the rat race and in what I call, survival mode. Hence this website allows me to both be accountable to my lifestyle by talking publicly about my actions, sharing my learning with others and practicing what I “preach”. At the same time, I hope to be connected to a larger community of like-minded persons who are keen to take over their lives and not let the pay check run (ruin) our lives.
Money is a basic need. It is a means to our survival necessities and in some ways, it gives us identity and status. I also believe money is energy. It can uplift, motivate, be used creatively, for good etc. and it can enslave, cause distress and result in greed, fears and societal issues as well.
What I am saying is this is my expression of freeing up negative emotions and energy associated with money, and using money for a more life giving purpose and to help me achieve my life purpose and mission.
Retired4Life is very much an expression of a part of me (the financial aspects of my life) and is meant only as a sharing of ideas and not meant as financial advice. For such matters, do seek a professional or form your own plans through thorough research.