Money is a drug. People will believe anything to get it.
The documentary “The Lost Leonardo” is a great example. A random painting found in America is bought for around $1000.
A restorer does some further research and wildly claims it’s a lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci. The price is now in the millions. Then a famous art gallery gets 5 art critics to say whether it’s a Leonardo.
They agree it is.
So the gallery slaps the label “By Leonardo da Vinci” on the painting. The artwork is then sold again not long after for $127.5M. More hype builds about the painting and the owner decides to sell it.
Sotheby’s auction the painting and get a record-breaking $400M for it.
It’s highly unlikely this painting is by Leonardo. And even if it is, most of the current picture doesn’t resemble the original drawing. Restorers have butchered it.
To make enough money to retire early you have to understand the incentives of the world. You have to understand everyone is selling something and has a convenient story to do so.
Once you stop getting fooled by hidden incentives you’ll get taken advantage of less.
This will make retirement ten times easier. And not doing these other 6 things will be a massive help too.
Stop seeing retirement as an age
We’re programmed by society like lab rats to see retirement as a specific age — typically 65. To retire early you have to blow up this definition.
Retiring early is a lifestyle.
That lifestyle isn’t funded by an employer or some generous government created by a utopian equality fantasy that doesn’t exist. No.
Assets pay for retirement.
There are two types:
- Financial assets — stocks, bonds, crypto, real estate, gold/silver, etc.
- Digital assets — books, courses, Youtube channels, evergreen social media content, etc.
If you don’t have assets then retirement will be at 65 (at best). More likely, full retirement will be never thanks to taxes, currency devaluation, and inflation. “You’re welcome,” says the grandpa world leaders 🙂
Stop working towards the wrong retirement goal
Most people’s retirement goal is to reach 65 and then retire.
It’s an odd idea with you deconstruct it. So you work like a dog during your young years and then chillax in your older years when your body is screwed and your energy is 80% lower? It makes no sense.
Plus, working is fun if you’ve chosen the right profession.
Going to work to shoot the sh*t with your workmates is an absolute dream. Why’d you want to put a bullet in that joy?
The correct retirement goal is to retire as early as possible from work you hate so you can transition to work you enjoy. It’s to do work and not have to worry about how much it pays. How?
Well, when assets make up the majority of your income, the need to get paid by the hour for work or to charge everyone you meet a fee so you can pay for rent and food becomes unnecessary. Stupid, really.
Retirement isn’t an age. It’s a choice of what work to do that isn’t based on pay.
Stop thinking two weeks of a vacation a year is enough
(It’s 4 weeks in Australia.)
It’s not enough man.
We need time to chill and reset our minds, otherwise the quality of our work falls off a cliff and causes inner Karen to get unleashed.
No wonder we have a burnout epidemic.
People are working their little asses off for long stints that feel like groundhog day over and over.
Until you get angry about 2 weeks of holidays a year until age 65, you won’t have the motivation or mindset to solve the money problem that causes it.
Stop saying “I can’t afford it”
How you frame questions determines your future.
“How do I do it when I can’t afford it?”
“How can I afford it?”
The answer to money problems is to make more money, not cut back on expenses and try to save pennies in the dollar.
Inflation and taxes guarantee you’ll never get ahead if you stay stuck in the doom loop of trying to save money rather than make money.
Fixed Income = Fixed Mindset
“Stop sacrificing today for an imaginary tomorrow”
That’s the problem with retirement.
It eats away at your youth for some future fantasy you may never reach. What if cancer eats your brain, takes your life, and gives you a Youtube funeral like my friend that died in 2020 at age 33?
My wife once famously said “what’s your plan?” To set the context, we were in a row boat in the middle of a narrow river in Australia. This river is famous for speed boats that travel up the river all day at 150mph.
The boat rental company dropped our boat in the river and pushed us into the middle.
As speed boats sped past us and nearly crushed our little row boat, my wife refused to row and kept saying “what’s your plan?” I rowed as fast as I could to get our boat to the other side of the river before a speed boat crushed us like bugs. We survived. Just.
Stop living for tomorrow. Focus on right now.
What pisses me off is society has carefully constructed the idea of retirement in a way that forces the average person to delay their dreams. The incentives at work perfectly match this nightmare.
But you shouldn’t delay your dreams.
You should live them right now. Every damn day.
Stop thinking “you have to be privileged to retire early”
My job is to bring hard truths — not sugar-coat facts and pretend like life is easy if only some government would implement universal basic income.
To earn the sort of money that lets you retire from donkey work, you’ve got to stop outsourcing responsibility to magical 3rd parties.
It’s called personal responsibility.
Whatever your disadvantages, that’s okay. We all got ’em. The question is what are you going to do about them?
You have the power to change. And the power to create whatever you want. Once you live this reality it’s hard not to figure out how to retire early.
Reminder: nobody is coming to save you.
What Harvard research bizarrely shows about retirement
– No meetings
– No commute
– The ability to pursue a hobby
These are all traits of remote work. That means you don’t need to retire to get the benefits of what retirees say is the best part. You can get a decent remote job with a reasonable boss and feel like you’re already retired.
A practical strategy you can use to retire early in the next 5 years
Let’s finish with the climax of what you can actually do to retire early.
So the old way to retire was to go to school, get good grades, get into 6-figures of debt to buy a (mostly) useless degree, work a job you hate, retire at 65, and start living.
One more practical strategy that doesn’t involve going to hell and back is to build a new skill stack, use it to start an online business, then make enough money to quit doing donkey work and work from wherever, whenever.
The world’s best inflation hedge is having a highly sought-after skill that gives you leverage — Jack Raines
There are hundreds of other ways to retire early but this option requires the least amount of experience or brainpower.
It’s not whether you choose to make money online or become an investor in financial assets. It’s whether you believe the current retirement model is screwed up and needs reinventing.
Once that shift happens in your sexy brain the rest is a foregone conclusion. You won’t wait until 65 and have 10 years before you die. No. You’ll find ways to live right now without being in financial struggle town.
Early retirement is a mindset. It’s a psychology. Adopt it to become free.
This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered financial, tax or legal advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.