Retirement vs. Work-optional lifestyle

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by: Cory Carlton

Things have changed a lot over these last several years. Sure, they are more back to normal than not but it does cause us to take a moment and really examine what it is we want in life. 

With what we do we help people think about the future. People come to us and ask us to help ensure they will not run out of money in retirement. Or they need help finding a way to have the kind of retirement they desire and need to find a way to get their retirement income to a suitable amount.

There are many ways we help people but when we ask people what they want in retirement most people have vague answers.

Things like, "We want to travel." Or they want time for hobbies, visiting grandkids, seeing the sights, or relaxing. But what does that really look like for you? 

If you want to travel think about these questions...

Where do you want to go? Are your toes in the sand?  What color is the sand? Whose hand are you holding? Who else is with you? What are you going to do when you get there? 

Get a clear picture as to what you want.

The traditional train of thought is that you work for so many years and then you retire. You stop working completely. Is that what you want? Is that what you need? Will that give you the kind of options you want?

Many people have dreams of "retiring early" but the fact is they can't because they don't have enough saved to stop working entirely. Think about it. If you want to retire when you are 55 that means you have worked for thirty years, maybe, and will spend the same amount of time, if not more, not working. You have really got to be on the ball when it comes to saving if that is going to be your plan.

That's where we get the new work-optional mindset. A work-optional lifestyle is one in which a person has enough financial resources to live comfortably without being dependent on traditional employment. This can happen at any age but is achieved through a combination of financial planning and investment strategies. 

People who have a work-optional lifestyle still work, it just looks different and they do it on their own terms because they want to pursue their passion, start their own business, travel, or simply enjoy more time with family.

Here are some common characteristics of a work-optional lifestyle:

1. Financial Independence - people who live a work-optional lifestyle have accumulated enough to have options.

2. Minimal & Covered Expenses - people who have the funds to cover their expenses and keep the extra expenses to a minimum.

3. Flexibility - without the need to generate a traditional income, because they have options, they have the freedom to structure their day as they wish.

4. Pursuit of Passion - people with financial independence may choose to pursue their passions, hobbies, or interests without the pressure of needing to generate a large income.

5. Travel - work-optional lifestyles allow people to travel, spend more time away, and work from anywhere.

You can get to retirement age and choose to work. It will keep you busy and engaged. Or, if you like the idea of a work-optional lifestyle at a younger age there are things you can be doing now to make that a reality.

What if there was a way to achieve this for you in 15 years? Would you want to know about it? We can help.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cory Carlton is the CEO & Co-Founder of Both Hands Financial Group. Cory specializes in helping people develop strategic financial plans that allow them options in life.