As many of you may remember, back in September 2016, we committed to a roughly six year time frame to reach Early Retirement.
We haven’t changed that date, despite many things changing here at Adventures with Poopsie. We aren’t going to change that date now, but I did want to talk about why and also what has changed.
Why No Date Change?
There are two reasons why I don’t want to change the date, which you can track in our countdown box down the right hand side of your screen.
First, because I want to know how long we have until we thought we could have retired, before we made any changes. This probably seems a little pointless, but I’m a person who is often interested in the road not taken. I don’t have the best memory, so often I forget things and then am not able to see what could have been. By keeping the date there, I have a constant reminder of what we chose not to pursue, and I’m interested to see how different our dates end up being.
The second reason for not changing the date is because we don’t have a new one. Yes, that’s right, currently we have absolutely no idea when we will retire early. We will explore why below, but without a solid date to work to, there seems no harm in keeping the old one. When we eventually do settle on a date (if ever), we will probably add an additional tracker but until that time, we are not committed to a new date.
Why Has Our Date Changed?
The simplest explanation to this is: changing priorities.
But in many ways, we are still trying to figure out what those changing priorities are.
Before we retire, we need to buy and pay off (personal preference, I know not everyone feels the same about paying down their mortgage) our retirement home. We know we want that home to be in Newcastle, but the specific location as well as the cost of that home could vary widely, depending on what we ultimately decide we want.
We have had periods of going back and forth and being unsure, but we always end up coming back to the same suburb. However, if we want to live in that suburb, then the amount we will pay for a home is very large. While we don’t believe it will stop us from retiring early (e.g. before 65), it will almost definitely change our date. At this stage, we both feel fairly happy to work longer in order to get a house in the location we want. The question remains: how much longer are we willing to work?
What is worth working longer for is different for all of us. There are certainly some trains of thought in the Early Retirement sphere that advocate doing whatever it takes in order to reach that retirement. Their advice to us would be “live somewhere cheaper”.
We don’t share that way of thinking. We both strongly believe there is no point in early retirement if you’re not retiring to something that will make you happy. We would not be happy living elsewhere now, so why would be happy living there in retirement? We want to live near our friends and our family (my brother and sister-in-law and two nephews will be moving to Newcastle around the same time as us). We also want to live somewhere where everything is walkable. Even going one suburb out means that we will be entrenched in suburbia and therefore not have the walkable lifestyle we want.
But achieving this lifestyle will come with trade-offs. While there may be a property correction, this area has always been and will always be highly desirable and therefore expensive. If we want to live there, then we will need to work longer. As I said, we are both happy to do that but struggle with trying to figure out how much longer we want to work for.
And despite knowing we definitely think buying a house in this area will be worth it to us, it’s hard not to be disappointed that we are no longer going to be able to achieve our dream of early retirement in six years. We have spent so much time planning for and working toward that goal, and a great deal of our relationships goal setting and dreams have been based on that date. Despite it being a choice of ours, we still feel disappointed and sometimes deflated that we aren’t going to be able to achieve that dream.
And so we continue to ponder, to plan and to try and figure out a way to have the house we want in the location we want and still retire in six years time (spoiler alert: it isn’t actually possible). We’re dealing with our own individual disappointment, as well as the disappointment we share as a couple. Our message to everyone is, sometimes you won’t reach your goal and, even if that’s because of a choice you made that you know is a worthwhile one for you, it will still come with disappointment. The key is to deal with that disappointment and try to move forward, targeting a new goal.
Have your early retirement plans changed? How have you dealt with any disappointment you felt? Share in the comments below!