Work Less, Spend Smart

Financial freedom is a practical desire, but for many people in the 24-34 age group, it’s just a fantasy.  In the Bay Area, costs of living are simply too high for young people to consider their financial choices. ‘Saving for the future’ never really caught on, especially since many Millennials have been burdened with college loan debts for all of our adult lives.   A lifetime of debt is a reality that most of us have come to accept as normal.
So of course, Millennials fantasize about being financially stable.

I read a Time.com article this week, about an emerging group of Millennials that are passionate about the idea of early retirement:  ‘A Growing Cult of Millennials is Obsessed with Early Retirement. This 72-Year- Old is Their Unlikely Inspiration’.  What surprised me about it, was that in the past 5 months, I had also become very interested in planning for my own retirement.
The inspirational woman from the article, recommended smarter spending habits and not relying on employment to keep afloat [finding sources of income that aren’t contingent on working the 40-hr/week].

Retirement isn’t what it used to be.  No one stays at the same company for 30-yrs anymore; no one plans long-term, contributing to a 401k with predictable future returns. And young retirees don’t necessarily have to amass enough money to last the rest of their lives, but just enough so that they don’t need to depend on a 40-hr job to cover their main expenses.  Invest wisely [in ETFs or real-estate], then be frugal; have a relationship with your money, find out how much you actually need, and buy less stuff.
Assuming a person has a skill set or resources, there are things they could do to economize their living expenses, spend their income better, and find more time for the things they desire. Retirement is long, and young retirees are going to need some activities to occupy all that time.
SO at the end of the day, if the charm of early retirement is in Not working a 40-hr/week job, then there’s already a solution; work less.
Once the living expenses are under control, you’ll be able to do some type of part-time work, the key is looking for jobs that don’t soak up a lot of time; renting out space, consulting, tutoring, transporting, independent contract work, child or elder care, online reselling, helper jobs, ect.

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Stuck in the Waiting Line

I know a dozen people [aged 25-30] that can’t seem to think long-term enough to get past the ‘wishful thinking’ phase.   They have desires for a fine future, but seem powerless to start working toward that future. Even simple things like having a hobby, learning a new skill, keeping a tidy home.         I realize that the Millennial generation may never reach the traditional milestones  of past generations, because we’re struggling to accept our own adult responsibilities, like: basic home/car maintenance, healthy diets, financial responsibility. It’s like we’re stuck in the waiting line, unable to truly  get started on our real-life adult endeavors.

I read an article several years ago, about how the popularity of fantasy and science fiction in current movies/hobbies/games is a symptom of a depressed generation which prefers to experience their leisure activities in fiction because their reality isn’t enjoyable. And several years later, it’s still true.

Of every acquaintance I have in real life, only 2 are married, both are careless, only 1 owns property, and neither have children. Despite the mounting social pressure to get married and start families, no one in this age group seems truly capable of successfully achieving it to the standards that past generations expect.
We aren’t well-rounded, we’re a generation of dreamers, burdened by our social-political-economical situations, twiddling our days away because there’s no end in sight.     Consider IF people living during the 1930s Great Depression knew that it would eventually end, or if every single person  worried everyday about  their friends and neighbors who were going to die in poverty because things were never going to get better.