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?
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.