Recently, a nurse in a terminal palliative care unit started polling her patients in the last days of their lives.
The poll was designed to uncover the top regrets from their lives. The top five regrets she found through these patient polls were...
1. “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
2. “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”
3. “I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.”
4. “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”
5. “I wish that I had let myself be happier.”
These were the top five regrets of the dying and they’re actually suggestions for us to consider with our own lives. These people have shared mistakes they’ve made in their lives and we have the opportunity to learn from what they’ve shared.
The second top regret was, “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.” This regret makes a lot of sense when we stop and think about it. We don’t get any special award at the end of our lives for working more. Wouldn’t it make sense to work less?
After thinking seriously about these regrets, I decided to study different ways to retire early. I realized that working too much actually caused two of the other regrets and by reducing our hours worked; we have the opportunity to possibly lead a “regret-free” life. If you quit working for money, you would be a lot happier and you would have a lot more time for friends and family.
My studies of early retirees brought me to three different people who retired early. These people didn’t just retire a few years early. They retired decades early:
#1.Could you imagine what life would be like retiring at the age of 31?
Well, you can dive in to Joe Dominquez’s story and financial plan in his fantastic book titled, “Your Money Or Your Life – Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence.”
“In 1969, at the age of thirty-one, Joe retired from his career on Wall Street – never again to accept money for any of his work. In his ten years as a technical analyst and institutional investment adviser, he had been pursuing a secret agenda: to learn enough about money to develop a program that would allow him to retire with an income adequate to maintain his chosen life-style for the rest of his life – all from a modest salary, without speculation or big “killings.”
Notice the words “maintain his chosen life-style for the rest of his life.” These words are an important part of Joe’s financial plan. He realized he didn’t need to spend a lot of money to be happy and that the best things in life are typically free.
Joe retired in 1969 with $100,000 in retirement savings. He invested this $100,000 in bonds providing $7,000 of annual income. Joe lived off of this level of income and never worked for money again. (Joe’s numbers adjusted for inflation today would be around $627,000 in retirement savings providing $38,000 of annual income.)
2: Paul Terhorst Who Retired at 35
In 1988, Paul Terhorst published a book titled, “Cashing in on the American Dream – How to Retire At 35.” Paul was a partner at a large public accounting firm and decided to retire at the age of 35. When he retired, he only had a net worth of around $500,000. Paul is still retired today and has been retired over 28 years. He has traveled the world with his wife and is living an amazing life.
#3: Robert Kiyosaki who retired at 47 .You’ve probably heard of Robert Kiyosaki, as he has authored several best selling books. His best book is titled, “The Cashflow Quadrant – Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom”, is one of his best.
Robert didn’t retire in his 30’s like our first two early retirees; however, he is worth studying because his philosophy on financial freedom differs and is worth considering.
Imagine what it would be like to retire 20 years early? You would definitely minimize a few of these top regrets, wouldn’t you?
Well, if you would like to see how these three people retired early, you might be interested in my new report titled, “How to Retire 20 Years Early” where I highlight the three different plans these early retirees used. You’ll also see the commonalities in the three “retire early” plans and will be able to use their plans for yourself.
The best part is you may be able to retire early without having a large retirement fund! There is a lot to learn and here is a summary of key points:
1. Each early retiree thought seriously about how they wanted to live their lives. They didn’t just blindly copy everyone else. They questioned the typical path to retirement of working for forty plus years hoping to finally retire in their sixties. They decided to walk a different path and used their existing retirement savings to create income to live off of so they could retire early.
2. Each early retiree valued their time over money. They all understood that trading time for money was a bad deal in the long run, as our time is severely limited. They flipped this plan around and used their money to buy time.
3. Each early retiree created a financial plan around unearned income. This unearned income came from income producing investments. The level of investment income was designed to help them live their ideal life. Each early retiree used different income producing assets, but accomplished the same goal.
4. Depending on how you invest your retirement savings, you may not need 7 figures to retire early. Our first two early retirees retired in their 30s with only $500,000 to $600,000 in today’s dollars. You may actually be able to retire with less saved, as Robert Kiyosaki appears to have done with rental real estate.
5. Be active in retirement. I'll leave that up to you but living life is like a muscle, use it or lose it!
You can download this report in PDF format below