April 2, 2014 at 10:06 pm #27318
About a week ago my hubby brought up the topic of retirement. He told me his goal was to retire by 40.
Now, I know that sounds crazy to most people on the surface. But we have to consider a couple of things:
1. He and I both run our own businesses which free us from some of the constraints affecting normal retirement.
2. In this case, his definition of “retirement” probably isn’t what most 9-5ers would consider retirement.
What he really meant was that, by 40, he wanted to be finished working for other people. No more full-time job in addition to his business. And no more work for clients. He wants all income to come from his own products, which he can work on on his own schedule. (He’s a very good senior software developer with a large corporation right now, but his background and his business specialize in e-commerce software — so there is a lot of opportunity for his own software projects.)
He wants his schedule to be completely open, and he wants to be in a position where he can outsource any task he doesn’t feel like doing on his own (figure things like basic maintenance, support, management, finances, etc.). I know my hubby. If he really wants that by 40, he’ll make it happen. He’ll be 32 this month, so he has more than enough time. Plus, he has a nagging marketing whiz on his side, and she helps him out for free ’cause he’s cute.
This falls very well in line with my own plans, although I’m not sure I ever thought about it as retirement.
As writers, we have a lot of that same potential. It’s something I’m already working towards as I scale back the freelance side of my business — having more income come from books, e-books, blogs, and other Web properties. Without client schedules to worry about, that leaves me more flexibility, and that’s important to me. If we have children as planned, as soon as the kids are old enough to appreciate it, we plan to spend several months to several years overseas with them. I’m a dual-citizen, as will be any children we have, so it’s very important to me that we teach our kids to embrace global ties. With hubby’s current job and demanding client schedule, plus my client schedule, that would be tough. So I suppose I do look at that as a retirement of sorts — an opportunity to increase our freedom and hand over the reigns on certain parts of our businesses so we can travel and pursue only the things we’re most passionate about.
I don’t think I would ever stop writing, “retired” or not. I might scale back or outsource more of the management and maintenance side of things. But what would be the point of retiring if I couldn’t do what I loved most? The key, as I see it, is simply getting to the point where I don’t have to.
What about you? Will you ever retire, based on the traditional definition? Would you be happy with a working retirement where you still write whether you need the income or not? Would you still think of writing as a job or business at that point, or would you enjoy it more as a hobby? Tell me about your retirements plans, or lack thereof, as a writer.
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