What Andrew Hallam and his wife really wanted to do was to travel. They now spend most of their time travelling, exploring new places, and meeting new people.
“When we look at happiness studies – and we look at materialism versus actual experiences, learned experiences – happiness does come from, not from the acquisition of material things, but it comes from establishments or developments of relationships and the experiences that we have, often novel experiences. And so, the travelling has really, I think, augmented my personal level of contentment and happiness because my wife and I have connected with so many different people, so many different cultures. We’ve made friends with people in areas we never imagined we would”.
Idyllic though his lifestyle sounds, Andrew says there are downsides with early retirement, too. He says it’s vital that you have a plan for what you’re going to do.
“It’s when people stop learning. That’s when the brain atrophies, so it’s much like a physical body, it’s much like the heart. If you don’t use it, you lose it – regardless of what that is. And so, people who do retire early, they have to be careful; they have to make sure they keep physically ﬁt, but they have to make sure they keep their minds physically ﬁt as well”.
When planning for life after work, it pays to have a ﬁnancial planner. Someone to help you live the life you really want to lead. Of course, you need to ensure you can afford it, but deciding how you’re going to spend your time is just as important.