At the very beginning of my journey, I sat down and wrote down my perfect lifestyle. I gave a lot of thought into it, and wanted to share it with you.
"I spend as much time with my family as I want. My greatest efforts and talents go toward improving my relationship with my family. I work on projects that excite me. I am not nearly as concerned with the traditional definition of 'success' as I am concerned with how much I enjoy working on my projects. I seek knowledge from them, and look for ways to apply the knowledge I gain in other future projects. These projects motivate me, excite me, drive me, and fulfill me. They help others, and make life a little better. I have the freedom to choose what I work on, when I work on it, and how long I work on any project.
"My family and I live frugally, but comfortably. We live off earnings from sound investments and rental properties. We do not need, nor want, the latest and greatest things in life. We are happy with what we have, and don't depend on material gratification. We take care of the things we have, fix the things that break, and seek gratification from relationships and experiences. We live well within our means.
"We spend quality time with our children each day. We help them with schoolwork, teach them Gospel principles, and they know they are children of a Heavenly Father who loves them. We all make mistakes, but don't let those mistakes ruin our day. We improve, and keep moving forward. We laugh, play, explore, are creative, learn, and teach with each other. We go on family outings, pray together every morning, and spend at least one family meeting a week. There is no contention in our home.
"Each child has a project that they work on regularly; something that interests them. Each member helps the other members of the family with their project. TV plays a minimal part in our lives. Memories are created every day.
"My wife and I spend time with each other each and every day; just the two of us. We have our own projects that we work on together. We love each other with all our hearts, and can devote as much time to each other as we desire. We enjoy each other's company and are in no rush to move on to the next project.
"We are happy because we are together."
I have come to realize that the main reason people seek after financial security is to increase their happiness. My main goal is to free up time spent at the office, and have my needs and wants met. I understand not all wants can be met.
If you search Google for a definition of need and wants, you will find a general definition: Needs are what we need to stay alive, while wants are everything else.
I disagree to an extent. Now, I am no psychiatrist, but it seems your needs are dependent upon you goal. If my goal is to simply survive, then my only needs are shelter, food and water, healthcare, and clothing. But my goal isn't simply to survive. My goal is to live a full and happy life. And to achieve that goal, I will need a few more things.*
For starters, I need to be around the people I love. Without them, life would be empty. I need to be fulfilled, or make a difference; make my difference. I have unique talents and abilities that I can use to help others, and to make the world better in some capacity. I also need my wife to be happy. She isn't happy all the time (no one is...) but I have a deep need to make her happy.
Those are just a few of the things I need to live a full and happy life. Each person is going to need different things to live a full and happy. These things are not material. Very few material things actually increase happiness.
Call to action: Goals should be set with a specific result in mind. The end result for my 10 Year Retirement is having freedom over my time, and quoted above. What is your ideal lifestyle? There is no wrong answer here, because it is YOUR life. I would love to hear your goals and how they help you achieve your ideal everyday life.
*Note: I understand you will always need food, water, shelter, healthcare, clothing, etc. to live a happy and full life. These are basic needs on Maslow's hierarchy of needs, and you need these basic needs fulfilled in order to start worrying about higher level needs. But when the goal is 10 year retirement, I assume all basic needs are met.