Tuesday, August 29, 2017

My recipe for early retirement (at age 46): part two

Hellebore in our garden

Welcome back!  As I wrote last week, one of my regular and lovely readers, D, asked for my ‘recipe for early retirement’.  I’m always happy to oblige, so I had a think about it and am sharing below the second part of what I’ve come up with.

You can find the first post in this series {My recipe for early retirement (at age 46): part one} here.

This week we are moving onto steps 3, 4 and 5 of my ‘early retirement’ plan.  You will note that I am not *actually* retired, merely (or not so merely) retiring from an external workplace to do what I love (writing) in a place that I love to be (at home) in my own time and on my own terms.

Which brings us nicely to step three:

Three. Ask yourself how you’d ideally like to earn a living

For me, it’s being a writer.  I’ve always loved reading and have wanted to write books for many years – decades in fact – before I actually did it.  I love words.  I love to read, I love to write, I love bookshops, I love libraries, I love browsing my Kindle seeing what I want to read next… everything about words.  For my husband, he wants to be involved in the wine industry and he’s pursuing that at the moment.

What is it that one thing for you?

Make a list of all the things you love doing and see if there is any way you can work in that field.  You could work part-time, in a different more enjoyable job or do what I’m doing and start something on the side doing what you love.

Before I started publishing my books on Amazon, I thought once we achieved our goal of becoming mortgage free and moving to the area where we are now, I could perhaps get a part-time job instead of a full-time one.

But thanks to my writing I have created my own part-time job and I am so grateful for that.  It means I can work here, at home with my cats and my own comforts instead of going to a job somewhere.  It truly is my dream come true.

I didn’t know if it could actually happen, but that thought didn’t stop me trying.  Don’t be scared to try something new, no matter your age or (self-perceived) limitations.  Instead of thinking ‘I couldn’t do that’, think ‘How could I do that?”

Four. Go against the grain and be proud of it

Everyone has their own opinion.  If you listen to others opinions too much you won’t hear your own.  Don’t listen to them.  It’s important to make your own plans, plans that you love.  If your dream life is not what others would choose, so what?  It’s your life not theirs.

I love that I am doing something different to most people.  It feels good to me.  Instead of watching the news and complaining about what I see on there (watching the news makes me too grumpy so I try not to do it), I’d rather create my own inspiration.

I don’t have my head in the sand; I keep up with what’s going on, but I don’t have to torture myself multiple times a day with stuff that feels bad when I can’t do anything about it.  I put my blinkers on like a horse and only take notice of stuff that makes me feel good.

Five. Don’t listen to negative people

Others might be scared on your behalf.  You’re leaving your job?  Why?  It’s a good job isn’t it?  Wouldn’t you be better to carry on with it?  Why do you want to move there?  Are there jobs available?  Isn’t it cold in the winter?

Actually we didn’t really get any negative feedback when people found out our plans to leave the big city and move to a provincial area.  In fact, quite a few people wished they could do the same thing but said they couldn’t move towns for family, job or schooling reasons.

And a few might even be scared of making a big change like this or exhausted just thinking of the magnitude of such a task.  I get that.  Inertia is a powerful force and has kept me stagnant in various situations in the past, and moving house is a big thing!

Once I got to a certain age though, I realised I was in the second half of my life.  Mortal living is not an open-ended thing so I thought I’d better start taking the time I had left seriously.  Why not move somewhere that I’d rather live and do what I’d love to do?

To counteract ‘helpful’ advice, don’t tell negative people your ideas and dreams in the first place.  There’s a great saying that pertains to both being a writer, as well as achieving what you want to in life: ‘show don’t tell’ – rather than tell them you’re going to do something, show them you’re doing it instead.

Rather than asking people what they think about your plans, work out what you really want first, then let them know what’s happening.


And that’s it really.  It’s not so revolutionary but it takes courage to step out of the crowd and follow your heart.

I hope you enjoyed my five-step ‘plan to early retirement from the workplace’ aka living your life the way you want to.  I hope it’s been inspirational to you and that reading these two posts has sparked off a seed of a plan inside you.

Please comment below and let me know what you’d love to do if you could do anything you want.  Forget about practicalities and just tell me what you’d do!


Create your dream life as a successful author

I had such a fantastic response to my announcement last week that I have started a new email list on creating your dream life as a successful author.  The first newsletter has already been sent out, but it’s not too late if you want to catch it.

Leave your details here and you’ll receive the first newsletter straight away (you’ll have to confirm your email address first, but after that it will arrive instantly).

I’m excited to share with you my plans for this new project and how you can learn everything I have educated myself around writing and self-publishing.  Your successful author action step no. 1 is included in the first email so don’t hang around if you long to be an author: put your name and email address down here and get going!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

My recipe for early retirement (at age 46): part one

One of my regular and lovely readers, D, asked for my ‘recipe for early retirement’.  I’m always happy to share, so I had a think about it and here’s what I came up with.

I met my husband until I was 32 and he was 31.  Right from the start we lived a thrifty life together, and for me that is the key to being able to do whatever you want in life, including retiring early.  Firstly we were thrifty from necessity – when we started our business we didn’t pay ourselves much at all, but once we started earning more we saw that we could get a house deposit together if we continued on that way instead of having a more expensive lifestyle.  Once we’d bought a house, we realised we could pay it off early if we continued on our thrifty path, and so it went on.

We did everything to make the most of our income whilst we saved – cooked our own meals, hardly went out, enjoyed our own entertainment at home with carpet picnics, box-sets and making our home a comfortable place to be (being at home instead of going out all the time was not a hardship because we are both happy homebodies).  We wore our clothes out (as in ‘worn out’), made do and mended and basically lived an old-fashioned non-spending way of life.

It wasn’t sucky though; we loved it, because we had our eyes on the prize.  Firstly in buying a house, then in paying it off.  After that we wanted to live our dream lifestyle, and no debt or dumb spending is worth giving that up.

Basically we are thrifty, minimalist and happy with the simple things.  I used to love reading inspiration on all these topics through books and blogs to keep me motivated, but I don’t need that now.  Living the life is even better than reading about it.

My book Financially Chic goes into everything we did to get to the point where we are today – which is living our dream life in a beautiful home in the countryside with no financial stress.  I would not be here right now if we still had a big ‘normal’ mortgage to pay off.

So if there is a recipe for early retirement, it goes like this:

One. Work out what your dream life looks like

As yourself how you’d love to live if money was no object.  Where would you live?  What would your lifestyle look like?

To get your other half on board, be the dreamer for both of you – say to them ‘Imagine if…’.  Get them excited too, that you could both live your dream life.  Then, have conversations with them often about your shared vision.

For us, it started at the beginning of 2015.  Our shop lease was up for renewal at the end of the following year which was almost two years away at that time.  We started asking ourselves if we wanted to continue down the same path by renewing our lease.

We’d already had twelve years working together 7-days-a-week in retail and we decided we wanted to do something different.  We also wanted to live in a less populated, slower moving area.  From this we made the decision to sell our business and move to the provincial area where I grew up.

Two. Put your money towards your dream rather than frittering it on stuff

Really, save everything in any way you can and put that money all onto debt or in a savings account for a house deposit if you have paid off all your debt.  To reiterate, pay off debt as fast as you can – get rid of it!  It truly is your money or your life.

When you putter along buying whatever catches your eye, you are tying yourself to a job you don’t like, paying off debt for dumb purchases.  I know because I’ve done that.  If you are worried about keeping up with the Joneses, don’t be (they’re probably in more debt than anyone else).

We could still have moved where we are having a huge mortgage, but it wouldn’t have been as stress-free financially and we would have had to get jobs straight away.  Being debt-free allowed us the luxury of having some time off before and after we moved.

When you have no debt you have so many more choices in life, and you don’t have to stay in a job just to pay the bills.  You have other choices.

Plus it allows me the freedom to be a writer without having in the back of my mind that we have to pay a big mortgage.  Worry and stress is not good for creative thinking!

Part 2 coming up

Join me next week for part 2 of this post (it was way too long for just one post!)  And in the meantime, I want to let you in on an early secret.  I am putting together information on this very subject.  It’s an in-depth step-by-step training on how I have written and self-published my own books.

Many of you have written to and messaged me about what I’ve done and how you can do the same.  I know that writing a book is something that a lot of dream of doing, and I want to tell you that it can be done.  It’s not that hard but you need to get your mindset right, plus know the how-to.  I’ll share exactly how I have created my own successful home-based career.

I have set up a separate email newsletter list which will just be about writing your own books and being an author online.  Join it here and you won’t miss out on anything.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this post (or would like me to expand on a specific point) in the comments section below, and I’ll be happy to answer. 

Otherwise, I’ll see you next week for part 2!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...