From the day we are born, our thought patterns are shaped by the people around us.  In the early years it’s our parents.  As we grow it is life experiences and the people we meet.  No matter who or what has influenced us, society and its standards have influenced them.

Every day we are bombarded with opinions and expectations.  Positive affirmations are the usual reward for living up to societal standards.  Step out of the normal life progression that society has deemed right, and negative opinions are offered freely.

By default, then, going with the flow is the easiest path to follow.

While there are some people that do live by the “beat of their own drum”, most people fall into the trap of just going with the flow.  We fall in line and we don’t question it.  It tends to look something like this:

 

We graduate from high school and do one of three things:  We either go to college, go to the military or we go to work.

Along the way you’re going to meet that special someone and fall in love, get married, and have a family.

As the kids get older, at some point around age 45, you’re going to look up and say “Retirement is only 20 years away.  I can do this. I can make it.”

At age 65 hopefully you still have your health. You may have 10 good years of freedom left to do the things you always wanted to do.

By age 75, most people start slowing down drastically. They find that retirement isn’t the fun and active adventure working on the bucket list they had pictured, but a much slower paced lifestyle. They turn on the television or sit at home waiting for the next visit from their grandchildren, whenever that may be.

 

For some that path leads to a happy, fulfilling life.  The falling in love and having a family and experiencing your children growing up are certainly filled with excitement.  Then around 45 more of our focus turns towards retirement, the time and freedom to do what we want to do.  We assume that to be 65.  Our financial advisors, accountants, and our friends and family readily reinforce that assumption.

Too often we are limited in life because of assumptions.

For others, like myself, we want to find time and freedom sooner than the “assumed” age.

Listen, there are forces that push against you retiring early.

There will be naysayers around you that will have a hard time thinking outside of societal norms and will be quick to offer their pessimistic view.

Not to mention… the government doesn’t want you retiring earlier because they want you working so that you can pay taxes, keep contributing to social security, and be so busy at work that you’re not paying attention to what they are up to.  Financial institutions are not helping either.  I worked as a financial advisor for 24 years and not one time in my career did any firm or manager say to me “Let’s help people get retired earlier.”  Investment firms want you working until you’re 65 because the more you work, the more money you save.  The more you save, the more you have available for them to invest.  The more you have them invest, the more profits are generated by these firms for themselves.  That’s their business model.

So, if you’re not going to get any assistance on retiring early from the government, financial institutions, or society, it’s up to you to start thinking differently.

First of all, you have to start thinking independently and for yourself.  You’re going to fight an uphill battle in your brain.  For the last 40 to 50 years, we’ve been conditioned to think retirement is at 65 or 70 years old and beyond.  You’ve been told that you have to have a million dollars in order to retire.  It’s up to you to break this mindset and explore the possibilities of retiring early.

Secondly, you’ve lived your life taking the straight road.  Perhaps it’s time to start making some left and right turns.

You have one chance at life. This is it.

Listen, I grew up in a funeral home and death can happen at any age.  I know my time is running out and so is yours.  Start your adventure today.

Don’t let your life experiences and the opinions of others and your conditioned brain hold you back from getting your freedom earlier.  Break through and explore the possibilities of seizing your freedom.

I’m not saying that everyone can retire early today.  However, if you start exploring it now, and put together some strategy, there is a good chance you can at least shave off several years from what you have set in your mind as your planned retirement date.

Free your mind to seize your freedom.

It all starts in the six inches between your ears.

Live free my friends