It’s a Monday today…my second Monday since retiring from my corporate job.
The past 6 weeks since I gave my resignation letter to my boss, everyone who I got in contact with, all gave me the same puzzled look while saying:
“Huh, retiring? You’re so young?”
“What are you going to do?”
“Are you serious?”
Yes, I know people mean well and maybe they are just concerned about my well-being. How am I going to survive this world without a stable, comfortable job?
But, many just. don’t. get it.
I have been working tirelessly for almost 18 years and had successfully gone up the corporate ladder, just as society dictated.
But I felt incomplete.
Every Sunday for the past 18 years, I dreaded waking up the next Monday to force myself to work and pretend that I am enjoying my job. 18 long years, imagine that. And most people were like me, even working longer than I have — two to three decades of scampering in the Rat Race.
So, why did I take the leap? Why did I challenge the norm and retire at the early age of 40?
The answer started many years ago, in the year 2000, when I first read the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert T. Kiyosaki. Reading the book was a complete life changer for me.
A little back story. One of the perks of being a bank employee is that you get a free credit card. The actual, physical credit card was free. You keep it in your wallet and you don’t need to pay the annual fee. The bank pays it for you.
But as a young, 20-something, single guy, I thought everything else about the credit card was free — the “low” interest fee, the luxury items that I received using my free plastic card, the late payment fees, etc. Long story short, I got into huge debt and thanks to Robert Kiyosaki, I was able to turn my life around and learned about the concept of financial freedom, about how the rich make money work for them (and not vice versa).
Slowly but surely, I paid off my debt and in a few years, I was able to buy a rental property just as what was prescribed in the book.
Getting my first rental property was a huge win for me. It gave me the motivation and the hunger to duplicate or triplicate my success. So, I got obsessed with personal finance and business books, trying to figure out ways on how to escape the Rat Race and learn from the other money masters such as Robert Allen, David Bach, Donald Trump, and Warren Buffet.
I told myself that time, “I want to retire at 40”, then forgot about it.
Fast forward a decade and a half to today, I have two rental properties, a small community-based business, a small preschool business, and a thriving online business. Money-wise, I can’t say that I am rich (yet). Because, honestly, I don’t want to become filthy rich. Our family is earning more than enough to cover our simple day-to-day needs and wants. But I can say that I AM RICH in knowledge and experience, since I had been sharpening my entrepreneurial skills through books, podcasts, courses and networks for the past many years to become what I am right now.
Retiring at 40 was a hard decision. But it was an important one. And, again my idol, sums it up for me very well:
“If you’re the kind of person who has no guts, you just give up every time life pushes you. If you’re that kind of person, you’ll live all your life playing it safe, doing the right things, saving yourself for something that never happens. Then, you die a boring old man.” – Robert T. Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad
To the people who ask me why I retired so young, here’s my answer:
“I don’t want to die a boring old man.”
And I hope you don’t too.
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