Friday, May 04, 2007

Don't Retire Early?

During my usual tour of blog posts last night I came across a post by Saving Journey entitled "Don't retire early!" Of coarse the title got me so I had to read on. Here is a taste of the post:

Personally, I find that my work is enthralling and rewarding. I am very passionate about what I do and I keep very abreast in my industry. I participate in conferences, and I basically look forward to the work that I do nearly each and every day. I've always enjoyed my work for the 10 or so years that I've been doing it. So why the heck would I want to retire early? Consider this:
  • Early retirement is a risk to your future earnings - what if you retire at 45 then decide 5 years into your retirement hiatus that you want to work? Will you be happy with that Wal-Mart greeter job? ;) You greatly risk your future earnings potential
  • Early retirement likely means a decrease in your disposable income both in retirement and today
Overall it is not a bad argument. If you love what you do why stop working. My counter argument is simple. Most people don't love their jobs. If you want to find out if you love your job here is a simple test: If you were not paid to do you job, would you still go to work tomorrow? If you can truly answer yes, congratulations you do love your job and you are part of the 5% of the population that does love their job. For the rest of us, it's a bit different.

Don't get me wrong I do like my job. Some days I would even say I love it, but I find my life so limiting being stuck in that job for 40 hours a week. Also I don't buy into the idea I will want to go back to 'work' after I retire, because who said anything about me not doing something that earns money in retirement. I just don't have to be worried about working a set schedule and I do the jobs I want to rather than needing to.

So I do find happiness in most of my life, most of the time. I don't expect early retirement to be a silver bullet, but rather the freedom to purse anything I want for as long as I want without being tied to the wage that goes with it. That is what I'm buying in my mind with that 'decrease of disposable income.'


SavingsJourney said...

Lol thought I'd get you to read that one ;) Thanks for the link.

You have good points. Perhaps some people are wired to never truly love anything they "do" when they "have to" do it. You may simply love what you're doing today more after retiring early because you'll be deciding when you do it to an extent.

I say to an extent because you'll still be obligating yourself to finishing tasks possibly for compensation and therefore still binding yourself to work contracts. That then opens up another can of worms - just what does it mean to be "retired early"? It would be interesting to hear first hand experiences from those that have retired early as their definitions and experiences will significantly vary.

I know this is all terribly philosophical stuff but the more thought out our early retirement plans are, and purpose of being / living, the better our end decisions will be and (hopefully) the happier our retirement lives!

Canadian Dream said...


Early retirement can be just about anything now a days. Perhaps the only thing that is common to all the options is the freedom to do what you want.


Shan Plourde said...
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