Makin' Money

The "real" mistake with early retirement

Chris Farrell Feb 11, 2011

We get many emails from people pouring money into their mortgage and savings as much as they can. Their goal is to retire early. It’s financial freedom. It’s sounds good, laudable.

Free at last.

Perhaps not. I was checking out a favorite website Dshort earlier today. It has some of the best stock market charts anywhere. Anyway, there was a link to an article by Todd Tresidder of Financial Mentor, Are You Making This Early Retirement Mistake?

Tresidder is skeptical of early retirement and not for the usual reason that it’s financially impractical. He’s advising a couple–Bill and Jane. They’re in their thirties and saving like mad. His take:

The goal is not to retire. It’s a lie. Bill and Janet have no intention of “retiring” in the true sense of the word.
Their real goal is to have sufficient financial security so they can give themselves permission to do what they really want with their lives. They are in a rush to retire because they want to end their current careers and get a new life. They have entrepreneurial dreams and goals they are ready to pursue.
Unfortunately, they labor under the myth that they need financial freedom to do it, and that myth will cost them dearly.

He offers a different approach to dreams and ambitions:

Rather than retire early from a career you don’t like, why not build an incredibly satisfying life that includes work you never want to retire from instead?
There is no need to put a formidable obstacle like achieving financial freedom between you and your life goals. If you have other dreams that conflict with your current career path then just live them now and skip the whole retirement thing.

It’s a thoughtful piece for working through the trade-offs we all make between money and dreams.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.