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Can I Retire by age 55?

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My Nine-year Plan

I’ve decided to re-evaluate, and re-focus my journey to retirement.  My goals and path were somewhat wishy-washy.  As I was writing my midyear review, I had the realization that goals and journeys can be modified or changed.  Because of this, I wanted to re-write my goal to build a new focus on my retirement AGE versus my retirement NUMBER.  Many often asked the question what is your “FI Number?”  I wanted to create a different focus on asking what is my “FI AGE?” in other words, “What is the age that I want to be able to retire?” Then, I shift to asking what do I change, or modify to track my progress to reach my optional retirement age of 55? Typically this is how many people who are following the traditional “I’ll have to work forever” path to retirement is calculated. They look at a target date. Many financial institutions or brokerages will often have Target Date Funds. These are also known as lifecycle or age-based funds. These are meant to be an easy investment solution through a portfolio whose asset allocation mix becomes more conservative as your retirement date (Target Date) comes near. I’ve decided to determine the age of which I want to retire and then work backward.

Retirement is Optional

Yes. I said, optional.  This has always been a key goal as I progress to retirement.  It’s an option to retire TO my next season, or stage of life.   There are many aspects and things I like about my current “day job”  So, it’s not like I’m yearning to be done, and leave the corporate workforce.  This is a piece that is up in the air. Maybe I retire at 55, or maybe I continue to have fun and make a difference in my current job.

Finding the “Why”

This is always the first place I start.  Simon Sinek has a great book entitled “start with why” Why are you doing the thing.  His mantra of People is people don’t by what you do, they buy why you do it. I use this as a question to myself. What is my Why?  I’d want to focus more time on the newly formed non-profit organization, The Luger Foundation, to help provide financial support and resources to the families that have incurred substantial medical debt due to premature birth, extended stays within the neonatal intensive care unit or complications during pregnancy.  This is my way of helping pay it forward. If you’d like to learn a bit more about my story you can check out the page here. By then my kids may have children of their own. I’ll be a grandpa would want to have the energy and health to spend time with my grandkids, and be an active part of their life. My father was such a great-granddad, and I couldn’t imagine him not being part of my kids lives growing up.  I’d like to devote a bit more time on bigger picture projects, like this blog!  Work on gaining readers, writing more, and marketing the blog.  I’m also about 12 episodes in on distributing a music podcast, The Thrash Report. This is where my friend and I discuss music, concert events, and news about all things metal and heavy music! It’s super fun. I’d like to spend more time on this effort as well. 

Some things to figure out

Where and what to live in?  As I mentioned here, I’ve been able to add some equity to my primary home. So looking to sell my home and move to a smaller house, in an area with a lower cost of living is something I need to determine.  My children are now over 18, and 20.  They have already begun the process of looking into college options, living options, and what the next step is in their journey to adulthood.  I’ve communicated to all my kids, that they can continue to live with me for free until the age of 21. After this time, they’ll be responsible for some rent. This is the same rule my dad gave me when I was their age. This is when, and way, I moved out on my own at the age of 21. 

Purging the “Stuff”

I’ve told my kids, that within, approximately, the next two years I’ll be moving.  I think this is a decent goal. I have time to enjoy the updates I’ve made to my home and give me time to tidy and toss much of my stuff.  This must be a family thing, my grandpa, my dad, and now I have a hard time letting things go.  We’ll keep that part “in stock” in case we need it.  I’ll fix, or repair something and I have a couple of pieces left over. I’ll keep them in the garage in case we need it.  This has saved me trips to the home improvement store. I need an o-ring or a plumbing connector, I had one in stock. My igniter went out on my furnace, I had one in stock.   I’ve recently finished two books, The art of tidying up, and Spark Joy, By Marie Kondo.  This has helped me begin the process of weeding out 30 years of stuff that has accumulated. It’s amazing how much stuff we have.  George Carlin said it best!  I like this. So funny, and true

With that being said, I have slowly started the process of freeing myself from all the stuff, and stress of stuff. When the time comes to moving and downsizing, I’m planning to have this process as simple as possible.  Things are organized, logically, in bins, and labeled. I’d like to make it simple to pick up and go.  I know this is an oversimplification of what will actually happen, but my ambition nonetheless. 

I’m excited to share my nine-year plan, and hopefully the progress I make. Thank you everyone! 

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