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  • Writer's pictureZachP

#35. Don't Let A Curveball Disrupt Your Retirement Timeline

I have teased in prior posts about starting a second job, but I have kept the actual job title a secret. This second job becomes official next Monday, February 20, 2023. I plan to share it with everyone once it does.

Until then, I have had to deal with an internal battle between figuring out what I should do versus what I want to do.

As you may remember from my second post, I started this journey by trying to find my current "why" in life. I eventually determined that my why was NOT to gain financial independence, but instead it was to obtain the time to do all the things on my Top 13 List whenever I wanted. I saw financial independence as a way to achieve my why, but I have always remained open that it is not the only avenue to do so.

Fast forward to today. Just two and a half months into this Seven-Year Journey, and this unexpected opportunity appeared right in front of me. I wanted to purposefully do more of the things on my Top 13 List, but certain items listed were not suppose to happen so quickly.

Over this past month, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about the following question: if I pass up on this opportunity now, will I get a second chance closer to the seven year mark in my journey?

Dealing with this internal strife, I realized the following five things.

One. If you do not have the time to pursue your "why" in life, re-examine your priorities.

You must be open to the possibility that your priorities will change with time. That is called life. A top priority in life may be generating extra income through your business, but that will not always be the case. Allow yourself to examine and shift your priorities around as time passes or big changes occur.

Two. Your 30s live up to the title of the "messy middle".

I first heard someone call life in your 30s the messy middle on The Money Guy Show on YouTube. What they determined through their research is that up until 30 years old, your responsibilities and time you have available increase at the same pace.

However, something crazy seems to happen once you turn 30 (or within the first year or two of turning thirty). Your responsibilities continue to increase, but the spare time you have to fulfill your increased responsibilities decrease. And a balance does not generally happen again until you get closer to 50 years old.

Just recognizing that others are going through the messy middle with me (I am 33 years old) brings me comfort.

Three. The people who care about you will support you.

At the end of the day, the people who should be in your life will support you. This does not mean they will not voice their opinions early on in the decision making process. But as the dust settles, once a decision has been made, they will have your back.

Four. Immediate family comes first.

You do not pick your parents, grandparents, brothers, or sisters, but you do choose your life partner. Your partner must come above anyone else in your life, even your children. If I had to rank my priorities, it would go like this: 1a - Wife. 1b - Son. This is NOT a free pass to neglect your children. Children should be your 1b (almost tied with your 1a).

Five. One today is worth two tomorrows.

Benjamin Franklin famously said, "One today is worth two tomorrows." This simple thought is so easy to forget.

Today, or more specifically this exact moment of your life, is guaranteed, but tomorrow is not. I dislike being morbid or pessimistic, but the reality of things is that tomorrow may never come.

Realizing this should not cause you to do anything stupid or unhealthy, but it should allow you to appreciate each moment that much more.

So, how do you prevent your retirement plans from derailing when life throws you a curveball?

Have the right people around you, consistently make an effort to enjoy the moment, and re-examine your priorities (you may be surprised to see that they have changed).

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