You know the promise. Work hard, and anything you want can be yours. White picket fences, brand new cars, fine foods, and …. corporate slavery? What a dream.
Surely by now you’ve probably realized that the original American dream is complete crock.
While the American dream does promise success, the dirty bugger didn’t mention the 60 hour work week, the excruciating climb up the corporate ladder, and the sacrifice of all things that make a person happy.
And so a new American dream has been born out of disgust for the work-til-65-to-pay-for-crap-you-don’t-need original.
That dream? Early retirement.
Early retirement promises relief from the original American dream. It promises an extended sabbatical from the tireless job you’ve dedicated your life to. It’s an escape from the rat race, and a first class ticket on the plane to the rest of your beautiful life.
If you’re new to the concept, it looks just like it sounds. It means “retiring” before the traditional age of 65. It’s made possible through frugality, a decent paying job, and the ability to invest in appreciating assets. Some have been able to save between $500,000 and $1,000,000 in their thirties and call it quits in the corporate world. They hope that this nest egg will last 40-60 years, until death.
Upon retirement, early retirees are supposed to live the dream; work, stress, and obligation free. The equivalent of a permanent weekend on vacation.
But underneath those promises of relaxation and freedom lies the dark underbelly of early retirement that is full of dangers like depression, loss of purpose, and maybe even a midlife crisis.