life

When Is the Best Time to Enjoy Some Financial Freedom?

I was interested in the post Adam wrote last week about enjoying your financial freedom while you are young. It is a subject which I have been thinking about lately but I am not sure that I hold exactly the same opinion as Adam. Let’s check out a few of the different ways you could go about enjoying financial freedom at different points in your life, to see which approach we like best.

When You Are Young

This sounds like the most logical time to travel more, to experience the world and maybe even to put some savings away. However, this only really works if you think that it is something you need to do once and “get out your system”. If we take my case as an example; I decided to travel the world and do some voluntary work while I could do so. Clearly I had a great time but the problems began when it was time to get back to a normal life. When you are used to enjoying a lot of freedom and a relaxed lifestyle it can be tough to suddenly have it snatched away from you. Going from pottering about in the rainforest for months to having to think about a career and the property market is a big jump for anyone. Everyone should enjoy themselves when they are young but I don’t think that we should see it as being our one chance to enjoy some freedom before suddenly losing it forever.

When You Retire

I don’t want to go all maudlin here but I have good reason to think that waiting until you retire to enjoy the good life isn’t ideal either. These days we expect to live long and healthy retirements but do you really want to put the good stuff off until then? The father of my best friend worked in a dull job all his life, waiting for the chance to retire, do some travelling and enjoy himself at last. Sadly, he died a couple of months after retiring. In fact, this event was one of the main factors which gave me the impulse to give up my job and head off to explore the world. We all want to enjoy some financial good times when we retire but that doesn’t mean that we need to put our life on hold until then.

All the Time

It seems that people are increasingly choosing weird and wonderful ways to try and get more out of life all the time. I saw on TV the other day an interview with a couple who were cycling round the world with their 1 year old baby. This kind of approach clearly isn’t one which suits all of us but it does show us that there are different ways of living if we look for them hard enough. If we go back to my own situation for a while I can explain how I found a solution which suits me. I met my wife while I was travelling and we tried to settle down in various different countries. In the end we went back to her home city and I started working on the internet. This gives me the freedom to set my own timetables and to travel more. We usually travel once every couple of months, which feeds my travel habit but doesn’t cost us the Earth. It’s a balancing act between working enough hours and saving enough money but isn’t that what life is all about anyway?

Conclusion

It probably comes down to each one of us finding a way of living and enjoying some freedom in a manner which suits our personalities and circumstances. If you never try it then you will never know what works for you. Do it young, do it when you retire or try and do it all the time; it’s up to you.

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8 Responses to When Is the Best Time to Enjoy Some Financial Freedom?

  1. I’m more in the camp of “all the time.” I try not to ‘throw away’ any day in anticipation of a reaping benefits in the future. You can’t get that time back, period. I think a key is to find ways to take joy in everything we do, including paid employment, and not wait until a certain point in life to begin enjoying it! I believe it was John Lennon who said “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”

  2. I know of a person that traveled the world right after college and now 10 years later, is still doing so. He usually ends up in Colorado for the winter working at a ski resort and sleeping on couches and then moves around in the summers working at various parks. I haven’t seen him in a few years so I don’t know how he is doing. It sounds like fun, but for me, I think I would rather take trips each year than be a nomad 100% of the time.

    • Robert says:

      Sounds like an interesting way of living Jon but can you imagine living like a nomad for so long? I would get fed up of it after a while but that’s the great thing about life; we can each live it in the way we see fit.

  3. Mark Ross says:

    The best time to be financially-free is really all the time. Whether you’re young or not so young, having financial freedom is great no matter what.

  4. dojo says:

    You can enjoy life and still have a secure financial situation. I’m 35 now. Was NEVER a party girl, so I don’t go out like crazy, I don’t spend on clothing (unless it’s something I need), I don’t buy jewelry etc.

    My husband is the same as I am. This doesn’t mean we don’t travel (we’ve been to the US for 3 years in a row and stayed there for 6 months at our friends’, plus other smaller travels), it doesn’t mean we don’t live a comfortable life. We have a good car, nice clothes (even if not as many as others thing it’s important) and we do travel when we want.

    At the same time we’re both building up our business and save money. So it can be done, but you need to set priorities and not need all kinds of cheap frills to really ‘enjoy’ life ;)

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