What happens when you FIRE… but your family doesn’t?

By Slow Dad - December 28, 2016

Retire early, and your family does not, then “YOU ARE STILL ON THEIR SCHEDULE”. Beware becoming the chauffeur/concierge/housekeeper/nanny/tutor.

We all dream about the day we no longer startled awake by a shrieking alarm clock or an overly cheery morning radio DJ exalting the fact it is now stupid o’clock in the morning.

Those of us working towards Early Retirement will get there sooner than most.

A Rockstar Finance forum member named Diz observed if you retire early, and your family does not, then “YOU ARE STILL ON THEIR SCHEDULE”.

How so?

Those troublesome children again

If your children are school aged then the school’s academic term constrains your travel schedule. You are locked into travelling in the same price gouging peak travel periods as all the other long suffering parents, no matter what your travel hacking points balance or passive income may actually be.

School schedule locks in travelling in peak periods

Pro tip: For cheaper flights travel a couple of days prior to the end of term.

The working spouse

What if your spouse is unable (or unwilling) to jump aboard the early retirement band wagon?

They still rise when the alarm sounds, battle the teeming hordes on the daily commute, and devote most daylight hours earning a living rather than having early retirement adventures with you. [Sigh].

If you FIRE, and your family doesn't, you are still on their schedule.

Travel plans are restricted by their annual leave allocations, and the political constraints associated with using them. A great many employees are too scared to ask for an extended holiday. They worry that their employer will realise they are actually replaceable, and that the world won’t actually end if they aren’t physically present to prevent the sky from falling. Everyone needs a hero, right?

Fly solo, but beware the re-entry

You always have the option to travel solo. This can be both liberating and a rewarding experience… though be mindful that you still need to return home at some point! There is potentially a high price to be paid for being seen to have had too much fun while the rest of your family remained caught up in the rat race. Your mileage may vary, but if my experience is anything to go by you’ll need to be wearing a helmet and carrying some truly amazing presents upon your return if you don’t want to feature prominently on the shit list for quite some time after your return.

What happens if you escape the daily grind, but are either too wise or too scared to go adventuring on your own?

Top of the world to personal slave?

Suddenly everyone perceives that you have nothing but “free time”.

What is your reward for working hard, investing smart, living frugally, and making it to the finish line ahead of the pack?

You run the risk of becoming the nanny, the concierge, the chauffeur, the tutor, the housekeeper, the gardener, and the handyman. They are all important jobs, necessary to maintain a happily functional household. Yet all of them mysteriously were performed while you too were working for a living.

What did you expect? You’ve got nothing better to do with your time, right?

So what?

It’s enough to make a freshly minted early retiree reconsider bailing out of the work force. Be careful what you wish for!

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