I was recently interviewed about my life all the way back to when I was born. The goal was to find out anything that could have influenced my success as an independent financial advisor (IFA) helping thousands over the last forty odd years to aim for well-funded “want for nothing” retirements, early or otherwise.
When you come from a small industrial town where most folks just scrape by – and where your granny single-handedly brought up a family of seven in a house of two rooms lit only by gas mantles and with an outside toilet shared by neighbours – I reckon there was ample early motivation within me to “get on” in life. To be much better off. And to help others achieve as well.
Maybe that’s why I read avidly at an early age about setting goals and visualising results. I remember it being said that to turn goals into reality you also need to turn bad habits into good ones – and keep these good habits constantly refreshed. Not easy! But that’s probably why I got stuck in at my lessons at school, went to university and started my own business at the age of 28. And from then I committed to invest a quarter of my income in case the eggs in my business basket didn’t hatch as expected.
My main initial goal was to be able to afford to retire early, perhaps at 55. I watched my dad work seven days a week in all weather as a bricklayer until well into his sixties: enough motivation to make me stick to my plan. It worked. I could have retired at 55 but didn’t. But it’s having the freedom to choose that surely matters. Ask those who have no choice….