Steve Adcock knows a thing or two about early retirement. In 2016, after years of climbing the corporate ladder, living frugally and investing the excess cash he saved, Adcock retired at age 35 with about $900,000.
Soon, with the help of an upwardly trending stock market, he and his wife saw their net worth eclipse $1 million.
In the years since, Adcock started the Millionaire Habits newsletter as part of an effort to help others build wealth and reach financial independence and early retirement. Naturally, as is the case with anyone dispensing financial advice, Adcock has his detractors.
Since he retired, "I've heard some of the stupidest lies about early retirement from people who will never retire," Adcock wrote in a recent tweet.
The most common view he hears: "You're going to be bored, it's going to destroy your relationship and you're never going to work again," Adcock tells CNBC Make It.
Here's why he says each of those three notions are myths, as long as you're strategic about your early retirement plans.
"I'll be honest with you, with some people that's going to be true," says Adcock.
You don't have to look hard to find stories of people who left their nine-to-five only to find the days growing long and boring with no work to do. "I think a lot of people fall into the trap of, 'Once I retire, I'll figure it out,'" Adcock says.
To avoid this pitfall, Adcock advises you to start thinking about how you'll spend your days long before you leave your job. "You need to know what you're retiring to, not just what you're retiring from," he says. "If your job is your only hobby, then you have no business retiring early."
Adcock suggests taking some of your hobbies or ambitions for retirement out for a test drive before actually leaving your full-time gig. Think about if something you find enjoyable here and there can blossom into something you want to be doing for the next couple of decades.
"That's going to give you the best chance of success after you do eventually quit your job," Adcock says.
While your relationship is no one else's business, there is something to the idea that early retirement might force you to spend a lot more time with your partner. For some couples, that would be an enormous blessing. For others, it can be problematic.
"I've heard so many times, 'We'd drive ourselves crazy,'" Adcock says.
Maybe it's true that you and your partner would get on each other's nerves if one or both of you retired early. But that certainly doesn't have to be the case. "The important thing is that both of you have to have your separate things that you do. You can't just sit around the house all day or you probably will drive each other crazy," says Adcock.
That can mean dedicating time to a big project, such as writing a book or training for a marathon. Or maybe you start a business or pick up a side hustle you enjoy.
"You need something you can do apart so that when you have dinner together you can ask each other, 'So, how was your day?'" Adcock says.
Critics of early retirement contend that once you've left the workforce for several years, you won't to be able to get your old position back should you want to reenter the working world.
That may be true, but it's a moot point, says Adcock. After seven years of retirement, he's well aware that he likely wouldn't be able to go back to the same job with the same salary and responsibilities.
"But the other side of that coin is, I don't want that same job back," he says. "I spent 15 years of my life trying to escape that job. Why would I possibly want to go back to that?"
Critics may point out that, should you find yourself in a financially difficult position, you may need to one day start working again in order to avoid running out of retirement savings.
But just because you've been out of the workforce doesn't mean no one will have you. "If you were able to put yourself into the position to achieve financial independence and retire early, then you're going to have the skills to reenter the workforce, in some fashion, in probably a job or a career that you like better than what you had before," Adcock says.
And given that you thought you'd saved enough to live on for the rest of your life, you probably won't need a high-powered position to bridge the gap if your investments hit the skids for awhile.
"It's probably not going to be like, 'Oh crap, I'm out of money. I have to go back to earning six figures,'" says Adcock. "You're going to see the writing on the wall and maybe you get a part-time job you enjoy."
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