It’s a plague which is sweeping over the current generation like a contagious airborne disease, that being the dream of retiring early. Millennials seem to be harbouring a general desire to change things up completely, with this desire for change permeating virtually every aspect of life, including the way in which they view matters surrounding their careers.
The typical millennial simply can’t imagine themselves cooped-up in an cubicle in an office somewhere, especially not for the standard period of a professional working career which typically spans over 45 years or so. It’s not so much a matter of wanting to eat the dessert first, but rather just having the option of being able to eat the dessert first if they liked, or indeed eat a little bit of it every now and then instead of having to wait until 65-70 for retirement.
But is it possible though? Can one really retire early in the current economic climate?
One way of retiring early is going into somewhat of a semi-retirement, where you only work occasionally to perhaps fund those periods in your life when you want to slip right back into retirement mode. Travelling is a particularly favoured activity which millennials seemingly don’t want to put off until the traditional retirement age, and fortunately it is possible to travel on a budget these days, or to travel intermittently between those times when you’re back into full working mode and you’re making money to perhaps fund your next trip.
You might be surprised to find that lot of millennials are already living like this – living a life not unlike a semi-retirement. One of the driving forces behind their ability to do this is the evolving nature of the working world, where it’s firstly not really about credentials but more about skills and track-record, and secondly, a laptop and an internet connection is a simple yet powerful combination which allows professionals in the relevant fields to work remotely.
This leads me to the next point of discussion, by way of the possible options to pursue if you’re determined to retire early.
The technology landscape is so much more accessible in this day and age, something Bill Gates will tell you all about if you consider that back in his days as a boy and growing teenager, access to computers was limited mainly to institutions with deep pockets. Nowadays, you can learn how to code online by downloading tutorials, which opens you up to a world of opportunities that can put you well on your way to an early retirement. To use a very simple example, say you created an app which turns out to be very popular. Having it downloaded a few thousand times can have you sitting with a nice stockpile of cash which you can then use as a key to an early retirement, while you perhaps invest some of the money for passive returns.
Chasing that one mega payday can be very tiring and frustrating however, so it should probably not be an all-or-nothing type of thing, unless you’re completely sure of success. Youngsters also have the luxury of a bit more time on their hands, so you can probably still recover from a major setback in your life if you chase a big payday that could possibly set you up for life, earlier on in your life.
Katie is a finance specialist with one of the biggest firms in London. From savings to investments, there’s nothing she can’t advise on and she’s here to help spread the word and help you on your way to financial freedom.