Obviously, one of the first things people do, when they ‘retire’ is to take a vacation.
I just returned from a wonderful trip to Massachusetts to visit my family. We surprised my aunt and uncle with a surprise party. The best part was seeing all of my extended family and childhood friends.
Upon returning, I noticed that my bird feeder was empty!!! I immediately dreaded the site of seeing dead birds strewn all over my yard from a lack of food.
Fortunately, there were none. Phew!
This episode reminded me of the amazing knack us humans have for living within a variable of our means. Extreme cases aside, feast or famine, most of us will tend to curb or expand our spending to accommodate fluctuations in our income.
When times are good, we tend to spend and when times are bad, we pull in the reigns….but all in all, we seem to still live paycheck to paycheck. This is true at almost any income level. I’ve had all kinds of friends tell me that they would never be able to retire early. It’s been about an equal split between high-income friends and low-income friends. The high income friends just have shinier things as they tell me that they could never retire early.
When I started my journey, my total debt far exceeded my annual income, I was one of those folks who had spent a bit beyond my means. (…and that didn’t even include my mortgage)
However, since learning how to budget, save, and invest, I can now live a much more predictable lifestyle. (…and predictable does not equal boring)
The birds in my neighborhood may have had to find another source of food, and it may have sucked for a bit of time, but they apparently survived. Who knows, there may have been a smart little cardinal who stashed away some seeds knowing that I occasionally slack on my bird feeding duty.