The Wealthy Accidental Retiree
A boot-strapped start-up CEO's letter from his 80-year-old self.
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Welcome to the 14th edition of The Wealth Letters, a collection of insights from all walks of life on the pursuit of wealth, wisdom, & meaning.
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Photo credit: Accidentally Retired
The following is an open letter that “AR” (Accidentally Retired) wrote to himself, as well as his readers of his blog, originally published at Accidentally Retired. It is a letter written from his future 80-year-old self. The format is similar to The Wealthy 24-Year-Old’s Wealth Letter, where Kolin wrote to his current self from his future self.
Here is a little bio of who AR is, and how he became retired...accidentally, from AR himself:
AR gives a little background as to why he thought it worthwhile to write himself a letter from his future…from his 80-year-old self:
Before reading or listening to AR’s letter, I challenge you to treat it as if it’s being spoken or written to you personally.
Be willing to be vulnerable and open your mind to ideas and suggestions that have proven worthwhile in another’s journey. Do not blindly accept any and all advice given, but rather take in the information and distill it down to if & how it can be applied to YOU and your unique self.
Michael Jordan said that he imitated Dr. J.
Kobe Bryant said he studied and imitated Jordan.
But, they mixed in their own uniqueness.
While not everything will relate directly to one’s current situation at the exact moment, there may be some gems that will be worthwhile in time.
A Letter From my 80-Year-Old Self
Today, I am turning 80.
I’ve now seen another 40+ years of life on this planet.
I am proud of you for taking the risk to leave your corporate CEO job and take your mini-retirement. Continue to enjoy it.
Don’t be afraid to take more risks.
Do things NOW that you won’t be able to do when you are my age. Take this RV trip around the country with the kids that you have been mulling over. Do it now, before you have constraints on yourself with the kid’s school, schedules, etc.
Make your marriage the best it can be. Surprise wifey with a weekend trip or something spontaneous every now and again. Be supportive in the way that she needs.
Put the time in to be the best father that you can. Engage with your kids. Be there for your kids. Build lasting memories and important relationships now.
Don’t take things too seriously. Life goes by quick. Remember the bigger picture. Our time on earth is short. Be present.
Live life to the fullest. Don’t have regrets. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from doing anything that you want to do. Keep adding to your failure resume.
Take good care of your body. Stay healthy. Workout. Walk. Play basketball. Play golf. Be active.
I want you to be able to look back, like I am, and know that you have done everything that you can to be the best person that you can be.
But also, don’t get caught in the weeds. Enjoy life. Cross off the things on your Bucket List, then create a new list.
Never stop learning. Always stay mentally sharp one way or the other.
Don’t be afraid to simplify your life. Get rid of the unessential. Constantly work on peeling back the junk.
Be a good person. Lead when you are called upon, and step back when you don’t have to.
Money doesn’t matter, except for the bare necessities. Even if by some unfortunate event you were to lose all of your money, don’t sweat it. You’ll find a way to be happy with nothing. You’ll make the most of it. You don’t need money, or accolades, or anything else if you have the hearts and minds of your family.
Give back to the world more than you take. Give often big and little. Make someone’s day with a $20 tip. Help us old folks at Costco. Donate to nonprofits that you believe in. Bottom line, leave the world a better place than you found it.
Love with all of your heart. Don’t half ass anything. Full ass everything.
Cheers and remember,
Hell Yeah! or No. (A framework to help make better decisions): If it’s not a hell yeah, then it’s a no.
Further Thoughts from AR:
I hope you enjoyed the letter.
I’d love for you to now go and write your own letter from yourself. Really go for it.
Give yourself all the advice that you need right now, and more.
Challenge yourself to become a better person.
Make sure you are on the road that puts you in the position you want to be when you are 80.
Listening to your 80 year old self
My letter also begs some action. If my 80 year old self wants me to be healthy and sharp, there are things I need to start today.
It’s not enough to say “stay healthy,” I actually have to plan for it now.
Same goes with going on an RV trip, keeping my marriage strong, and building great relationships with my kids.
I have to take action.
I can’t sit back and wait for life to happen.
What do I really want to be like when I am 80?
Lastly, I wanted to consider a bit more, what I really want to be like when I am 80? Here is what I have come up with so far:
I want to be a healthy, active 80 year old.
My wife and I will be happily married and traveling the world together.
We’ll still be pursuing our interests and spending plenty of time with our kids and hopefully our grandkids.
We’ll live part time at the ocean, and part time in the mountains.
I’ll keep busy with my 4-5 hobbies: golfing, reading, boating, astronomy and whatever else I am into at the time.
I want my mind to be sharp. I want to be continuously learning new things.
I’ll want to be doing something productive or meaningful such as working for a nonprofit, donating time, etc.
Now that I have a solid idea of what I’d like my life to be like when I am 80, I will start to ponder what else I need to be doing to be this person.
And if I ever start to drift off course, I now have this published letter and this list to live up to.
I hope that you too choose to go out there and write a letter from your 80 year old self!
Remember, we are playing the long-game. Your job is to craft the life that you want. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Connect with AR
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Thanks for sharing your letter from your future self AR!!!