Lately, we've been home “shopping” online a lot.
It's almost become an addiction.
Okay, who am I kidding? It is an addiction. Luckily, shopping for homes online is a free hobby of mine.
My favorite websites right now are Zillow and Realtor and I look at each a few times each week. We don't plan on moving for around two years from now, but it's still something we plan on putting a lot of thought into.
Before you think both me and Wes are crazy planners, I do want to say that it's mainly just me who is crazy. If Wes had his way, we would have moved yesterday.
We want to move to a new state (Colorado is winning right now), and the next home we buy will probably be our “forever” home. We plan on living in it for a long time and possibly retiring in it.
The whole thing sounds a little crazy, even to me, especially since we are only 25.
What is a happy life?
Colorado is exactly how I imagine a great life (and retirement) would be. Whenever we visit the state, we are always amazed by how beautiful it is and we even love the air (it's not humid like in St. Louis where you are constantly walking in a sea of mist).
With our future move to wherever we end up deciding on moving to, we have been thinking a lot about what a happy life is.
Every time we talk about possibly moving to Colorado, it always leads to us saying something similar to “this is how I imagine retirement would be. This is a happy life.”
Some think we are crazy, but why do so many people think you can't enjoy your life until you reach retirement? Why do we have to wait to like where we live until we reach retirement age?
There are plenty of ways to save for retirement, while also enjoying the life you live right now.
My dad passed away in his 50s, before he was even able to retire. Well, technically, he “retired” when the doctors told him he only had a few months left to live. So, he spent his “retirement” in a horrible way. He worked extremely hard his whole life and saved for retirement religiously, and it's something I've always admired. However, I don't want my whole life to be all about working.
I want to be able to enjoy life now, instead of waiting decades down the line to possibly (sorry if that sounds morbid) enjoy myself.
Anyway, what does retirement mean to me?
Since we plan on moving somewhere enjoyable soon, does retirement mean anything to me? That is a question someone asked me recently. They said I would have nothing to look forward to in the future.
Retirement to me means financial independence. I want to have freedom when it comes to my career and also when it comes to how I enjoy my life.
I don't see myself ever not working, unless I was prevented in some way (such as medical reasons). I like the motivation that work brings, and I like what I do. However, I understand that my feelings about everything may change in the future, and that is why financial independence is something I want to strive for.
How do I plan on reaching retirement?
I'm definitely not one of those people who plans on cutting everything in their lives in order to reach retirement. I still want to enjoy life, take vacations, spend time with friends and family, and more. However, I think doing all of that, reaching retirement, and living a fun life is all possible at the same time.
I plan on reaching retirement through a mixture of cutting expenses, growing my income, and hopefully adding some passive income to the mix. Thanks to several different personal finance bloggers (mainly Paula at Afford Anything), I have been more and more interested in getting into real estate and renting out places both long-term and short-term (such as through AirBnb or VRBO). That is a passive income area I would like to get into.
Even though I am no where near retirement, I do want to live an enjoyable life right now though.
How do you see yourself in retirement? Living in another country? Working still?
What does a happy and successful life look like to you?
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