Age 65: gold watch, couch, The Price Is Right on tv. Ahhhhh….

Not for us.

For the entrepreneur, retirement means cash flow without your presence. It means choice: Do I go into the office today, or not? Do I work from Florida, or Nebraska? Do I need to be anywhere…or can I choose to write instead?

And that can happen at age.

Kaleda Connell is 29 and retired. Her story is on TwoBrain Radio here.

Let me be clear here: Kaleda doesn’t have to work anymore. Unless she wants to (she does.)

Last summer, while sitting on a deck at a waterfront restaurant, I told my wife: “I think I’m going to retire in two more years.”

She said, “Retire from what?”

She was referring to my lifestyle: I wake up when I want, write for a few hours, read books, ride my bike, and play with my kids. I coach their teams. I wear jeans and cargo shorts and t-shirts. I look like a retiree, except for the physical part. I look 40 and feel 30.

This is a dramatic change from me when I was actually 30: I was burned out, broke, and exhausted. I had no clear path forward. I was aging fast: I looked 30, acted 40, and felt like I was 50. I found a mentor that I couldn’t really afford. On my first visit, he asked me, “What scares you most right now?”

I said, “I’ll never be able to retire.”

He said, “You’re not going to retire anyway. You LOVE to work. So stop worrying about it.”

See, I knew “retirement” meant “enough money to stop worrying”, but I thought it also meant old age and a pension of some kind. I didn’t know that I could CONTROL money, build cash flow assets, and actually be the one to decide when to stop working.

A few years later, I listened to “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” on audiobook. I loved the idea of buying and holding. And it made me wonder, “Could this be done with a business? Could I really make my business something that pays me–even when I’m not there?”

The quest began. And I’m here to tell you: your business CAN. So can you.

This is functional retirement: the choice to work–or not–without sacrificing your income.

You can take “mini-retirements” of several months throughout your life, instead of just dropping off a cliff at the end.

You can make a near-passive income while you’re young enough to travel.

You can coach your kids in the middle of the day without calling in a replacement or shipping your product late.

You can go watch the Tour de France while you’re young enough to ride it. I’ll probably go next year…but I don’t have to decide right now, because I can just decide at the last minute.

I might decide to start another company instead (it’s a bit of a habit.) Or go somewhere else, or start writing another book. You can too, if you build your business to get you there.

Functional retirement doesn’t mean living your best with the time you have left. It means creating a life that doesn’t feel like work.

It’s too late for me to be functionally retired at 29. Maybe it’s too late for you to be functionally retired at 42. But is it too late for freedom at 50? Maybe not. Book a free call to talk about it here. I might even be on the call with you (but maybe not.)