Because I only write about what I know, and I did not retire early.
I retired at a relatively “conventional” age. Not early, unless you consider 69 early.
I stopped working a week before my 69th birthday. The idea of working when I was 69 didn’t seem like a good idea to me. To each his own, and that is just me.
What I Did Right
One fine day years ago I woke up and realized that I needed to save and invest. That is a story in and of itself, which I detail here and here. Little did I know how it would turn out many years later. But something inside told me I was on the right path. And now that I have retired, I find it was the right thing to do, and I am in a good stable position.
What I Did Right, Too
Eventually I paid off the mortgage before I retired. Over the years, despite refinancing a few times, I had always made additional payments on the principal of the mortgage. So it came to pass that I was done about a year before I stopped working. It made a large and significant difference in my financial life. First, for that last year, I had additional funds to save and invest. Secondly, it took a great burden off my mind to be free of the mortgage.
Some claim that most mortgage debt is “good debt” because payments have a relatively low interest rate. That may be true for some. But, for me, the elimination of my mortgage was liberating. No more debt! No debt is better than good debt.
What I Did Poorly
As mentioned in the previous posts, before realizing I needed to save and invest, I usually spent all my income. I didn’t take heed of my financial well-being. I would be in a much better place today had I started earlier. That is history, and I don’t dwell in regret of the past.
Coming eventually to the place of “Less Now, More Later” was an immense change of heart and mind that worked for the better.
And About That “Early Retirement” Thing
Reading about early retirement over the years, I never said to myself That’s for me! What I took from all those articles was how to manage my money, how to be frugal, how to not live only for the day. I too had the fear of potential financial insecurity that seems to hover over the early retirement chimera. I saw it as not really feasible for me. Was it true? Could I have? Maybe, I don’t really know. But I know myself. I am what I am today, and that’s enough for me.
The illustration of a comet is from 1587 by an unknown author in a hand-lettered book entitled Kometenbuch (Comet Book), subtitled (in translation) “Comets and their General and Particular Meanings, According to Ptolomeé, Albumasar, Haly, Aliquind and other Astrologers.” It is currently in Universitätsbibliothek Kassel (Kassel University Library, Kassel Germany). License: Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0).