Financial independence has nothing to do with retirement. In fact, nobody should ever retire. According to Dr. David Eifrig, Jr., “too many people work and save all their lives only to retire and discover they are bored… literally to death. Many succumb to depression and disease (even terminal illness) because they are unprepared for the mental shift in retirement. In fact, a shocking study in 2005 (The Retirement Millionaire Manifesto), showed people who retire at age 55 die twice as fast as those who keep working.”
Colonel Harland David Sanders (1890-1980), at age 65, after his restaurant failed because of reduced customer traffic from the newly completed Interstate 75, took $105 from his first Social Security check and began visiting potential investors that may be interested in becoming franchisees. About nine years later he sold the Kentucky Fried Chicken corporation for $2-million to a partnership of Kentucky businessmen. This sale did not include his Canadian franchises. One year later he moved to Mississauga, Ontario to oversee his Canadian franchises; and, he continued to collect franchise and appearance fees in both Canada and in the United States. He also created several charitable trusts that to this day continue to donate money to various groups that specialize in women’s and children’s care. Colonel Sanders was 90 years old when he passed away.
The Colonel Sanders story illustrates several important lessons: It is never too late; learn from your mistakes, never give up, adapt and prosper. Also, this is an excellent example of turning a negative event, i.e., the failure of a business, into something much more beneficial. After all, there are no problems, only opportunities. Colonel Sanders took this negative event—the failure of his business— reevaluated his situation and made changes. The changes he made greatly improved his life and the lives of many others, who are continuing to this day to benefit from his success.
Therefore, your goal should be financial independence and not retirement. Financial independence allows a person to work less, participate in more leisure activities, change careers, start new businesses, organize and contribute to charitable causes, etc.. Furthermore, the quicker you become financially independent, the more freedom you have to do as you so please.