Looking back, I think I might have experienced a mild form of depression at one point in my life, I just didn't realize it. I had a fancy job that everybody envied, I had a nice cool apartment, I had the latest devices, I travelled regularly and I have friends and family who love me dearly. But secretly, I was wishing for early death.
I spent all my money on experiences, I wine & dine & coffee, quit my jobs whenever it got too hard to wake up in the morning, had a two-week campervan trip in NZ, bought a one-way ticket to Bali, visited museum after museum in Florence - I did it, I did it all. Life's just too short to be trapped doing things that didn't bring joy, YOLO~
I simply didn't know how to maintain a lavish life should I ever lose the ability to earn. "Je ne veux pas travailler", I wanted an early retirement, I am accustomed to a glamorous lifestyle. But with no savings, I feared that I will end up rotting in a run-down nursing home, while my nieces (cause obviously I will have no children) are obliged to pay me pity visits from time to time, while others use me as teaching material to their young ones, "Oh, don't be like your aunt Rachel, she lived a posh life but never planned for her future, look at her now." Oh Lord, just let me die young and beautiful, it's much easier that way.
When I finally checked the last item on my bucket list at the age of 32, lying on a beanbag after my skydive in sunny winter Franz Josef, I remembered vividly how hollow I felt on the inside. I realized that jumping down from 19,000 feet high didn't kill me. What do I do now? I still have a long way to go, I have to learn how to live or I'll end up failing just like the lotus-eater.
It was a decision I made that afternoon, I wanted a change in my life. I'm still working on it! Ever since then, things changed. I started working with a financial consultant, terminated my credit cards (read my article on Me and My Lion ), enrolled myself into financial courses, turning into a less-exciting responsible adult, an identity I reluctantly took on. I could barely recognize myself.
I guess what I am trying to say is that one day, we will wake up and realize that financial management or retirement planning is something that we all have to face eventually. No matter how distant it sounds, or how much we can't imagine associating ourselves with as a young adult, failing to plan is planning to fail. You might say that you don't see yourself retiring young, but having the option to, is always an advantage.
Talk to your Financial Therapist today if you resonate with the above. Give yourself that option to retire young!