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Life's progression usually includes, for most Americans, school, career, marriage, home purchase, children and then life's extras if your lucky. Once the kids are raised and educated, the nest gets empty and a new chapter begins.Many of us choose to continue working. We acquire more toys, build our cash reserves and look forward to retirement one day. The question on my mind is when does that day come? When is enough enough? Do you need a million, two million or do you need time, life's simple enjoyments. Many work with that day in mind but never get out fast enough to enjoy their dream. Of-course it is an individual decision. Some never retire, others pass long before that day comes. I would like to hear from those retired, those contemplating retirement and those who will simply work to the end. If retired would you of done so earlier, would you of chosen to wait in retrospect. Consider health, no ones is guaranteed. Do you work part time enjoying more free time or did you take the leap completely? So many have been working so long they can't picture a life without a clock, computer or place to go! What is your plan, what advice would you give?
My observation and preference is to use up life as much before retirement as I can. I see people work their lives hoping to retire only to have a few good health years left. We shouldn't be looking toward retirement as the end...or it might just be that.
We decided to build our cabin early in life for that very reason. Now that we have it and reached that goal we reallized that wasn't the end goal (to have cabin). It is more about enjoying life there with kids, family and friends. When we are there we slow way down. So much so that spending even one weekend there feels like a week. I had the idea of retiring now and enjoying life until savings ran out then work the later years in life...but it is so far removed from the "standard" that I didn't entertain the thought long.
Of the friends and family that I have that are retired; the ones that are the most content are the ones that make family a priority and find purpose in engaging with family and traveling to see family. The unsuccessful live life on an island...they never make it long.
Work life without purpose is meaningless, but full. Retirement without purpose is just as meaningless, but empty.
IMHO- Either now or retired...fill your life completely with what means most to you. Don't wait to experience it. If work gets in the way that much look for a new occupation.
I have to agree in regards to enjoying life before retirement , unfortunately Corporate America has other plans for most of us. Working 16 plus hours 6 days a week has become a norm. Most do this out of obligation not need. So I dream of lake Living 24/7/365 no stress, no clocks and no pressures. Enjoying lifes daily miracles is my quest though many due to careers become blind to. I have friends who say they are busier in retirement than when they worked. One even says he doesn't know where he ever found the time to work before retirement. Others miss the daily routine, for me my love , my passion is Lake Living with family and friends. Fortunately the numbers allow retirement at this young age and I truly believe I am ready to the plunge. The one thing I keep in mind is that if unsatisfied work is always there to return to. As the government and society keeps advancing the acceptable age to retire, I choose to get out ASAP.
Thank you cabin1 for your thoughts, I hope others keep what you said in mind.
"Either now or retired...fill your life completely with what means most to you. Don't wait to experience it." Cabin1
I agree with the sentiments regarding enjoying life before retirement age. I'm 47, continue to hydrofoil (sit down water ski) aggressively while my wife wonders when the mid-life crisis will be over. I have 5 kids aged 10-17. I know I will be working for quite some time still. I hope to enjoy these years while I physically can.
Good post, good questions. Now go enjoy yourself!
Lifes true treasures are ones children, having the time to enjoy them is the top priority in life.
I hope they will excel at foiling as you do, so much for the midlife crisis. Keep playing those Beatles Tunes.
Great web site.
Reading Books With Information Like Below Planted A Seed Years Ago
5 tips for retiring before you're 50
1. Cut housing costs - the huge McMansion is a want not a need
2. Agree on your priorities- travelling the world after retirement is not a neccesity, but enjoying life's simple pleasures is obtainable
3. Live below your means - buying the latest and greatest is nice but not imperative, today a lifetime of an automobile during retirement could last 10 years
4. Stay in the game..The Stock Market can grow your nest egg, be diligent and watchful of market changes
5. Don't rule out temporary work - if you get bored or need some extra cash part time or temporary work is available
For me these things came naturally in large part due to living in one of the most affordable places in the United States. Though I have lived in Manhattan , San Francisco, Lake Tahoe and other places living here has allowed me to prioritize.
It may not be for everyone but if you are one of the few like me thinking outside the box, it is possible.
I love the phrase from "Your Cabin in the Woods" - wealth comes out of honest hard labor and effort of the individual "to earn a little and to spend a little less."
We have always paid our savings first every month. We paid off our house in 6 years and built our cabin by building slow and paying as we went...as to avoid debt and that extra burden. We knew our monthly fixed cost would go up having a second place. That is the hardest thing to stomach for me.
It is frustrating seeing people make all the wrong choices and getting bailed out, but I keep reminding us to focus on our path. You can only live one life...so it better be yours, right?
The problem I see with others so far in debt isn't that they won't be able to retire, but that they can't really enjoy life now. The constant burden, worry and effort going into keeping up a life that isn't theirs has no reward.
Retirement seems appealing because of these: live simply, live without responsibilty and live without "the man" on your back.
You can really have that now. And there is no gaurantee you'll have it later.
Retirement is appealing because no one knows when their time is up !
Everyone looks forward to the weekend, the long holiday weekend, or vacation time. Unfortunately for most taking two consecutive weeks off for a vacation (holiday in Canada) is unacceptable. Corporate America frowns on time off. The saying "Work to Live" has become "Live to Work" while working for a Fortune100 and others. After serious consideration, I have made my choice. I no longer need to dread a Monday morning, work yet another Saturday or beg for time off. My weekends will last forever and my nights will end when I choose to end them. Living what I consider The Cabin Life 24 /7/ 365 is what appeals to me from this point on. Boating, nature, camp fires, stargazing, photography,friends and family is what life is about from this point on. I may not see you in Europe or drive a BMW but I will be on my deck, lake and boat enjoying life on my terms and loving every minute of every day from this point on.
great 2nd photo there.
I truly feel "We are rich beyond compare with what nature gives us for free year after year"
Ofcourse now I have all the time in the world to take photos like the ones you see. (lol) What is so shocking is that years ago you would have invested an arm and a leg in photo equipment to capture what you can do today with an inexpensive digital camera !! Not to mention the film, development cost and etc. I have to tell you I love digital photography.
So you are another lover of the out-of-doors who desires a
cabin or shelter in the woods! I salute you. I understand you.
I know your kind. You carry the spirit of our ancestors. The
spirit of the "Great Out Doors." The first letters of these
three words spell "G O D." There is an irresistible force in
the great outdoors—the very soul of America. This is as it
Conrad E. Meinecke
Great Great Book
Thank you Cabin 1 for bringing it back to memory
For those who are unfamiliar with Your Cabin-in-the-Woods
it is a free download via the net !!!
Worth the read time
You can also get it used for pennies at Amazon.com...just pay the shipping. It is out of print so bookstores won't have it.
The one thing we realized at the cabin this summer is that even if we spend part of two days and one night we feel like we have been gone a week. Having a retreat to slow way down is really amazing.
We have friends and family that also have places, but they fill their time up with things in the city. Every kid is in two or three activities and so they never seem to make it up north. For a few they only have a 1 hour drive. That is doable even for a day. So I caution everyone with a place or access to one to not take it for granted. Go!
You know how they say to visit a loved one now instead of spending that time and money to go to their funeral. The same applies here. Don't wait until things slow down...or you retire. Go spend life at your retreat. Go alone if you have to...just go. Make a habit of going and soon your relestness wears off and you begin to see clearly again.
Cabins of the past were places the family would ALWAYS go. It was tradition, it was a part of summer, it was a place with many rights of passage for youth. It was who our parents and grandparents were. It wasn't just some place. It was a part of rich heritage and personal identity.
Our identities now are related to work. Blah!
Would you rather be: "Oh he made a ton of money and worked up the corporate ladder. He seemed like a smart guy."
"He didn't have much, but he'd always take us up to the cabin. I remember this one time he..."
Fingers crossed, I will be retiring in about five years, when I turn 60. My husband needs to work for about seven or eight more years in order to receive his pension. When we retire, we plan to sell our house and move to our cabin in northern New Hampshire. We've been going there since 1997. Mentally I'm ready to retire and move now. Meanwhile we love going to the cabin as often as we can, all year long. We are anxiously awaiting snowmobiling season right now.
Cabin Girl, Congratulations for getting out of "The Rat Race" Five years will fly by, until then as you said you and your husband will have your cabin life with it's amazing moments. Unlike the generation before us I see our generation getting out sooner. Tired of "Micro-Management and the 24/7 work till you drop mentality. A friend of mine in Colorado retired recently after 30 years with the same company!!! Unheard of with the economy of today. He said he watched his company evolve from a happy, family orientated place in the early years evolve into an encampment for employees who became numbers and machines. During one of the routine morning meetings he simply stood up and walked out while saying goodbye. He had had enough. The unobtainable goals, the inconsiderate demands and the denial of human standards. He now fishes from his new year round cabin in the mountains of Colorado and answers to only one boss his wife (lol)
Though not everyone works under those conditions more of us than ever do. I hope your husband continues to enjoy his career and it allows him to enjoy life's simple pleasures on a daily basis. For those with Corporate jobs which mirror my friend or mine, I say Get Out !!! It is a personal decision usually based on quality of life. I keep saying my job afforded me many material objects but could never buy me time, health or happiness. I truly feel I made the right decision and have no regrets!!!
"Life Is What You Make It, Retirement Can Make It Better If You Choose "