The how and when of early retirement

The how and when of early retirement

There is no definite age at which to retire, but ideally, the decision to quit the rat race should be planned. Istock image

In our youth, many of us prioritise our careers over other aspects of our life. At some point, one realises that there is more to life than your job.

Financial commitments apart, you need to explore life and come out of your comfort zone.

This has led many people, especially mid-level executives, to embark on the journey of entrepreneurship or ‘early retirement’.

Ideally, the decision to quit the rat race should be planned. It is important to consult your family and gain their confidence. You should also ensure that you have taken all the necessary steps to keep your finances secure for the future, whether it is medical treatment, funds for your children’s education, or even the odd holiday.

There is no definite rule about how much money you should have saved, but at the very least, you should have your own home and no serious financial obligations.

There is no definite age at which to ‘retire’. Some have opted out at 30 while others have quit after they turn 50.

A regular job brings the comfort of a regular salary — this is not the case when you are on your own. This demands a shift in mindset.

“I was used to seeing my salary getting credited into my bank account at the end of the month. This helped me plan all my finances. In the initial few months after I quit my job, I found it challenging to plan my cash flows. It required some financial discipline and change in lifestyle,” says Julian, a former techie who now pursues his passion of cooking and music.

Early retirement is also very subjective. 

To some people, it just means more free time to pursue their hobbies. Others see it as more flexibility to work as a freelancer, or consultant.

Also consider the pitfall of quitting a job. Today, job skills become outdated quickly. With lakhs of young people joining the workforce, companies are always under pressure to hire the right talent at a reasonable cost. So you might find it difficult to find a new job that matches your salary expectations.

Other aspects of your job, like professional networking, business travel, exposure to new trends, interaction with colleagues is not something that will happen when you opt for early retirement.

“I sometimes find it difficult about who to reach out to when I have some technical doubts. Earlier, I could reach out to my colleague sitting right next to me,” says Anil, a techie with over 20 years of experience. He now works as a freelancer cum technology advisor to startups. 

To avoid such scenarios, one must ensure to remain in touch with the industry trends by attending seminars, workshops or reading industry journals.

Early retirement or opting out of the race shouldn’t be a way to escape from the monotony of a regular job. You should truly believe it will make your life more meaningful and help you grow as an individual.


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