Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail.
Well that works for most things. I know that if I don’t plan out my day, as a perfectionist control freak that means the day will not go great. If I don’t plan my lunches at work everyday, I end up eating crap from the local pub, a disappointing supermarket sandwich (usually floppy), or don’t eat at all because I’m too busy to sort it out. And so on.
Its easy to see how this philosophy can be attached to pretty much everything we do.
Well the same goes for Early Retirement. And there’s a case to say, it goes DOUBLE for Early Retirement!
Planning your retirement is exactly what this community is all about. You all know the drill, or at least I hope you do! Basically earn more, spend less, save significantly, and don’t waste opportunities that can help maximise your ability to be awesome! Pretty easy huh?
Well, there’s another thing that you should also plan for.
Sometimes plans don’t work.
Now I’m not talking about a calamity, but they do happen. Im not saying that maybe the market will crash, because it most definitely will. But I am saying, sometimes shit gets in the way. And I’m saying that as a guy who hits the roof when the slightest thing mucks up my ‘plan’.
Sometimes your plans are too ‘enthusiastic’. I remember discovering the concept of FI and thought, “that’s a bit of me. I’ll knock out this plan in, errrr, about 8 years”. Rubbish. It was never going to happen. I was too old, too set in my ways, too wet being the ears, and foolish to think it would all fall into place.
BUT! Here’s the silver lining.
What I did next may not have resulted in me getting to my target in 8 years. But through saving and hustling, and (slightly) curbing my obsession for Nike hi-tops, I got myself a hell of a way closer to the end goal.
And look. Realistically 8 years was never going to happen. The cost of living where I live is crazy, the mortgage is too high, essential bills like council tax are massive, and I still have a silly car (oops). But that doesn’t matter. Because I started working towards it.
My plans was flawed, but it WAS a plan. Which is fuckload better than having no plan at all.
You can’t plan for everything. Trust me, I’ve tried. But plan for something. You too can change
I’d encourage anyone, and everyone to get a plan. It can be small, big, or just plain crazy. But without it you’re not aiming for anything.
I won’t be Financially Independent in 8 years. I won’t be able to retire in 8 years. But I’ll be a hell of a lot closer than most people, and significantly closer than I would have been if I hadn’t had that first plan.
And that, my friends, is the only way I can make peace with a plan not working.
Disclaimer: I’m not saying that we need to plan every aspect of our lives. That’s for the lunatics like me. I’m pretty jealous of those care-free hippies (just joking, friends) that can just breeze through life. Good luck to them! 🙂