I Retired Young
What I do, and what it costs
I retired young, and so far it's been great.
I was 47 years old, had fallen out of love with my job, so I quit. That was a scary decision - I didn't know how much it would cost to live or what I would do with my extra free time.
Because I struggled to find answers to these questions, I decided to blog about my journey to financial freedom and my early retirement experience. I hope it may help others in a similar situation.
My posts set out my monthly costs, the decisions and choices that helped me achieve financial freedom and early retirement, and some of what my retired early life looks like - what I do during my old working hours. There's probably some other nonsense thrown in as well, so apologies for that!
At the end of the day, I'm just a pretty average guy. That's good news, because I figure that if I can do it, then probably you can too, if that's your dream.
More about me
I think I'm a normal kind of guy, although I've perhaps had a slightly non-typical life in some respects. I'm from the UK, married to Sally and we have two children, Rebecca and Sam. Rebecca is now working and Sam is at university. Sally's a teacher and I'm an accountant, or at least I used to be.
I decided to retire early, and stopped working at the end of 2016, when I was 47. I'd been unhappy with my job for a while, reached a tipping point and decided it wasn't smart to keep on doing something I didn't enjoy. I figured that life is for living and, if it turned out that quitting my job was a mistake, I could always fix that later.
Although I latterly stopped enjoying my job, that wasn't always the case, and my work opened up some fantastic opportunities for us. I started at the bottom, didn't go to university and got my first job as an accounts clerk. My professional accounting qualifications were done on day release and evening courses. Aged 24, I took a transfer to a job in Jamaica, where we stayed for four years. Since then, we've lived and worked in the UK, Hong Kong, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, where I was finance director for a construction company. I'm a big believer that you make your own luck - although we were fortunate to get the first opportunity in Jamaica, it was up to us to decide to accept it (when many others wouldn't) and to then work hard to make a success of it. Working away from familiar surroundings, family and friends isn't always easy, but it opened up a some wonderful experiences and new friendships for us.
The idea for this blog came from my research to find out what "not working" meant. What would I do? Would I be bored? How much would it cost? Would we run out of money? I couldn't find the answers, and thought that there may be other people searching for the same information. Although our circumstances won't exactly match, this blog will give my real life answers to these questions so that they can help you in your thoughts about early retirement. I post an analysis of what I spend each month, my cost to retire, and some of the things that I do. I hope that it is interesting and useful and would love to hear your feedback, suggestions and questions.