My wife and I clawed our way out of debt in two years after selling virtually everything we owned. With no debt (except the mortgage) we felt we could work any job we wanted. But neither of us wanted to quit our job, just cut down on hours so we’d have more time together, for family, and for other interests.
So we both contacted our employers and asked if we could work less hours. With no debt you can do this with the confidence that if you REALLY want to work less hours then you’ll move on if your employer won’t accommodate. We were both pleasantly surprised to find out that we could indeed change our working relationship with our employers and work less hours. Sure, this cost us money but now we had more TIME.
In my case, some of this extra time translated into writing a few rock and roll guitar tunes (my lifelong love). After making demo recordings of them (one called Spoiked and another called Tull), my wife encouraged me to write a whole album worth of songs and record them. Since we had no debt I now had both the time and money to make this happen. And I did. And some pretty good stuff came out of it! That was such a fun experience. But it would have been very difficult to do while still a total slave to my job and the banks.
You don’t need to wait until retirement to enjoy the fruits of financial planning and sacrifice. You’ll be able to pursue your lifelong interests NOW with the time and money to make them a reality! Come on, do it! It feels great. What are your dreams?