Early retirement is not for everyone and I have written an article a long time ago about it. It is completely normal if you don’t want to retire early or even ever. Some enjoy working for many reasons, which I may not understand, just the way some don’t understand why anyone should retire early. And then there are some who are in between. Again there are many reasons for them to not be able to jump ship and join the early retirement bandwagon. Some reasons are very legit like not having big enough salary or having too many dependents and thus expenses, or family not in agreement etc. Then there is a minority who in spite of having enough are unable to retire early.
One such group are people who think they don’t yet have enough. But if you just count all their assets, it far exceeds what they would ever need. There is another group who worry about “what if” and this I discovered recently while reading an interesting article on Morningstar. I met them, but I never could group them like that. When some one asks me how I took the bold decision of retiring early or home schooling my kid, I usually reply with “it is a mindset thing”. Little did I know that mindset plays such an important role in how we behave.
I suggest you read that article but here are some points that I found interesting. It seems that a third of the people interviewed 20 years after retirement mentioned that they plan to preserve or grow their assets in retirement. That is very interesting because you expect one to enjoy spending their savings after retirement. That is not the case, which is fine. But some people who have met or exceeded their financial goal are struggling to retire because of the “what if” mindset. Like “what if there is a recession”, “what if there is a war”, “what if there is triple digit inflation” etc. If you belong to this kind of mindset, the article offers helpful advice to convert “what if” to “so what?”
They gave a similar advice to what I have given in my article to counter an unfortunate situation in retirement. Basically they suggest you should cut spending, perhaps rely on family, or look for work. I guess it is pretty much the same advice anyone would give.
The other kind of mindset the article talks about is “can’t spend” mindset. This too I observed in some people I met. So they retire but are unable to make the transition from saving to spending the savings. I understand and agree that it feels different when you are getting money from some one and you are spending. But taking out your own savings to spend on things in retirement might be at odds. For these kind of people too, there are some useful suggestions that you can read about if you are interested.
When I retired I never for a minute thought about “what if”. It was more along the lines of “if I have X amount by this date, I will hang my boots”. As simple as that. I never worried what would happen if there is a recession in retirement. Or what if I run out of money may be because I did not plan correctly. Now when I meet all these people I realize that it was the mindset that allowed me retire. Not just having enough money, because what really is enough differs from person to person.
I had a simple formula (the 4% rule) for enough and I had the mindset. Did not over analyze anything nor did I want a big corpus. May be I was being naive or over confident only time will tell. The tagline for my blog “coffee in one hand, confidence in the other” should tell you something. Lets see if I can maintain that confidence when I run out of luck which is bound to happen sooner or later.