Albert Einstein once said “Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.”
What is freedom?
Freedom can be a physical place, an activity or a mental mindset. For me, it’s flexibility to do what you want, when you want, how you want and from where you want.
Let me tell you a story:
I once had a client who was in the corporate world up until he was age 55. He retired and bought an ice cream shop. One of his happiest memories he had as a child was when his mom and dad would take him to the local drugstore to get an ice cream cone. That memory stayed with him and led to him purchasing the shop. He would tell everyone that he was retired because in his mind, he was free from the corporate world and was doing exactly what he wanted to do; scoping ice cream and putting smiles on children’s faces. In the winter months, he closes the shop and takes off for Arizona. He’s doing exactly what he wants to do, and, in his eyes, he is free.
For people who feel trapped in their daily grind, retiring early can be their doorway to freedom. Of course, it all depends on what your definition of freedom is.
In general, freedom is living the lifestyle you choose. My definition of freedom is going to be different than yours. There’s no right or wrong. We all have different interests. You might find relaxation and freedom from playing five rounds of golf each week. Whereas your neighbor finds her freedom by refinishing furniture. For some, but not many, they find a sense of freedom in their career. They’ve been able to carve out a position that gives them satisfaction, pleasure and flexibility. In a way, they have created their own freedom. For years I enjoyed my career. I was free to help my clients without corporate pressure to achieve targets and goals. When that changed, I felt trapped so I started my own firm seeking freedom. I quickly learned I personally did not enjoy running a business. So, I sought freedom in retiring early.
You are the one to define what your retiring early plans look like. You define what freedom means to you. Will retiring early bring the sense of freedom you defined? Remember to have all the components of your DIAL working together. Does your income cover your lifestyle? If not, does adjusting your lifestyle take away from the freedom you defined.
Freedom is what we’re all striving for and my friend, it’s within your reach. It’s up to you to plan properly, then reach out and take it.
Live free my friends