Urgency And Patience

A 21 year-old man has a 28% chance of dying before reaching the age of 65.

I keep that in mind when reading articles like this that argue you ought to wait until 70 to retire.

I feel a sense of urgency in reaching financial independence because I don’t take living into my 70′s, 80′s or 90′s for granted, as a lot of people seem to do. Too many people, particularly men, drop dead in their 40′s from heart attacks, despite their otherwise good health, for me not to think that their fate could possibly be my own. So when people, upon hearing my intentions to retire around 30 years old, advise me to instead be more ‘cautious’ and work 20 or 30 years in order to secure bigger savings, a pension, insurance or some other defined benefit plan, and enjoy an early retirement when I’m 50, I cringe. “You’re still young then,” they tell me. Sure, if you’re one of the lucky 3 out of 4.

I feel like I’m the cautious one, enjoying myself now instead of gambling that I am going to live into my 80′s and thinking I can afford to spend 10 years working in exchange for expensive toys or packaged “experiences” or more security.

But the same sense of urgency that pushes me to want to retire early must be tamed when it comes to making the best financial decisions, which often require patience and timing, rather than action and haste. It takes time to hunt for a proper real estate investment, and then still more time to properly repair it, and finally more time to secure a good, long-term tenant, and then, at the end of the investment cycle, to wait for a good price to sell the place. Urgency in any of those endeavors can lead to waste, inefficiency, and ultimately failure of the entire endeavor. Later, when I get back to investing in securities again, patience is all the more important.

So in order to reach my extraordinary goals put in place by my extreme sense of urgency, I have to practice above-average patience in carrying out the steps to get there. I can see why few people try retiring in their 30′s. It requires the possession and taming of two diametrically opposed traits that rarely go together; people who have one, seldom seem to have control of the other.

“…a 21 year-old man in the 1990′s had a 72% chance of living to age 65.”(See http://books.google.com/books?id=qj8GS77QAgwC&pg=PA364&lpg=PA364&dq=chance+of+living+to+65+years+old&source=bl&ots=oqPbmK9p5m&sig=edkeiV0QWSHF9QVjguwnwnj7KdU&hl=en&ei=PRhtTduVDMSBlAeGobWXBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CEQQ6AEwBzgU#v=onepage&q=chance%20of%20living%20to%2065%20years%20old&f=false)

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