Early retirement is pretty huge in the personal finance community. All sorts of blogs have gone up proclaiming the glories of retiring early. I personally love the concept and think that it can work in certain situations. I covered how you can retire before 25. I’m always looking for a new interesting read on early retirement.

The other day my worlds collided.

I check out MMA sites once in a while to see what fights are coming up. I recently found an article about fighters retiring early.

I wanted to quote one of the case studies:

“Take Kingsbury, for instance. The 30-year-old came on the major MMA scene in 2008 as part of season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter. Almost five years later, Kingsbury is still on his original UFC contract. In his last fight, he made $12,000. To ease the financial burden, he’s had to work full-time jobs during each of his last two camps, but that’s taken away from his training as well as robbed him of valuable rest and recovery time.”

Is early retirement an excuse to leave the workforce?

We all have our own unique reasons for wanting to retire early. Reasons vary from:

  • Wanting to spend more time with family.
  • Your job sucks.
  • You want to pursue other passions.
  • You’ve worked hard for too long.
  • You’re ready for a change.
  • You don’t care for money.

Before you decide if you should retire early, you need to understand why it is that you’re doing so. Does your job suck? Do you have better opportunities out there? What’s you reasoning behind leaving the workforce so early?

In some cases, bloggers left because they could make more money on their own. Others have left their job because their job sucks. The reasons vary from person to person.

Is early retirement for you?

Mr. Money Moustache recently challenged the Internet Retirement Police and the post was an entertaining read. Early retirement isn’t for everyone. We all also have our own interpretation of what retirement is about.

For some retirement means that you don’t do anything and that you’re idle. For others it means you’re no longer confined to the same job every single day.

What does early retirement mean for you? Once you define what retirement is all about, you can begin planning for it. You have to be realistic with what you plan on doing in your retired life.

What should you be doing to retire early?

As you can imagine, it’s not easy to retire early or even to retire at a normal age. What should you be doing right now if your plan is to retire early:

  1. Make as much money as you can.
  2. Pay down your debts so that you’re free.
  3. Learn how to live on the cheap.
  4. Cut out all costs.
  5. Find sustainable ways to decrease your lifestyle spending.
  6. Look for passive income sources — rental properties, side business, etc.
  7. Define what retirement means to you.

What do you think about early retirement? Are you willing to put in the work now to be free in your older years?