A huge counter argument I hear about my idea of retiring early is that I will get “bored”.
It’s a subject that comes up often on mainstream sites about making money or early retirement. That last thread on MMM’s forum actually has a quote that I love: “only boring people get bored”.
Retiring early opens doors, it does not close any
The whole point about early retirement is not that you end up staying all day long on your sofa, watching TV! Early retirement surely gives you that kind of possibility, but for many people, it also means it gives you the power to work in a field that you enjoy, without worrying about how long you’ll do the work, or how much you get paid for it. For me, this means I’ll be able to turn my side gig into my “main gig”, and hopefully grow it into something significant.
Does it mean I won’t be really retired? Well, I’ll be spending all my time on my favorite hobby, and getting paid for it. So, you tell me. Is someone who gets to spend all their time doing whatever they want considered retired by your standards? For me, it is. “I retired early” doesn’t mean that all of a sudden you turn into a vegetable, doing nothing all day.
You see, the mindset of people who strive to retire early, also seems to align with the mindset of entrepreneurs. Their goals might slightly differ (become super rich and successful, vs become rich enough to retire), but the paths seem to be roughly the same: work hard, make more, spend less, and invest wisely.
Because people who can afford to retire early have lots of the qualities mentioned above, many of them are overachievers. I wasn’t surprised recently to see that a large amount of MMM’s forums have a side business in addition to their daily job. People like that don’t just do “nothing” when they retire. It has nothing to do with how early they retire!
In other words, early retirees are people who have a mindset close to entrepreneurs. As such, independently of when they retire, they will keep an activity. What matters however, is that they can decide to change that activity, or stop it altogether, whenever they want to.
There’s no way people like this will ever be “bored”. What will happen to me once I become financially independent is that I will finally have the time I need to focus as much as possible on my side business. My struggle to retire early is not so that I can end up doing nothing, but so that I can finally get the time to do the things I enjoy.
If you think retiring early could become boring, you’re probably not “ER” material.