I’M not QUITTING MY JOB TODAY!
“I’M QUITTING MY JOB TODAY.” Wow, what a cool title for the first post of an early retirement blog that would be. I could describe walking into my boss’ office, giving him a piece of my mind, maybe pushing some things off his desk and then storming out just like you see in the movies. Many people would probably enjoy reading that because they have thought about it themselves. For many, I would be living out their fantasy. But that’s not my title and that’s not my story.
Most people want to quit their jobs for different reasons than mine. Many people hate their jobs because they don’t feel passionate about them, their jobs don’t fulfill or challenge them. Others hate their boss or coworkers. The list goes on and on. For me, I don’t hate my job. I mostly get bored with the mundane. I do hate the paperwork that eats large chunks of my time working in a healthcare profession. Also, I know that working in a service industry, that it is hard to leverage my time or even be flexible with it. I have to be on site providing service to clients when they want/need to be there to bill for my time and continue to make money. This greatly limits my freedom to use my time as I’d like to.
For me, quitting my job will be a very big day because it will mark the beginning of a new phase of my life. I will have achieved the financial freedom to do what I want, when I want without having to rely on someone else to provide me a paycheck. I have thought about that day and began working towards it almost from the day I began my career. Now I am getting close enough to begin seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve been reading other blogs on early retirement and hearing how great that lifestyle is. While these blogs are extremely inspiring as well as helpful in providing practical guidance for my own early retirement, they also have me thinking too much about the future instead of living in this moment which is not a good thing. I need to step back and remind myself about the positives that my job provides so that I continue to make good decisions and enter my early retirement on my terms, making good objective decisions instead of following emotions.
As things stand today, we do not have the financial resources to reasonably think that they would support us indefinitely without drastically changing our lifestyle, which is not something we want to do. Therefore our primary need is to continue to build assets. My job provides me an opportunity to earn a good salary. This allows me to earn much more than my current frugal spending needs, accelerating the path to financial independence. I also have paid holidays, vacation and sick time. As you read personal finance literature, everyone’s golden rule is to spend less than you earn and invest the difference wisely. While I have not yet reached financial independence, this year I will be using my 6 paid holidays, 4-5 weeks of vacation time (and hopefully not much sick time). Because of these benefits, every single day this year (even on days that I’m skiing, hiking and climbing with my wife and/or friends, hanging out with my little girl at home or the park, going to concerts, serving 20+ people Thanksgiving dinner in our home, opening Christmas gifts with my daughter, laying in bed with the flu, etc) I will be bringing in more income than it will cost me to do those activities. This will allow me to follow that golden rule every single day, which is a huge advantage when building wealth. Finally, my employer provides excellent health insurance benefits for myself, my wife and my daughter which again is a huge advantage to me as we need to continue to build our wealth. We believe our biggest financial challenge in early retirement will be covering the costs paying for 25+ years of health care premiums just to get us to Medicare eligibility. Finally, my job gives me an opportunity to help people on a daily basis and thus is very rewarding and most times enjoyable. Therefore, while I could afford to cut back today and work part time, the benefits of full time employment continue to outweigh the costs of cutting back because that path would still not give me much more freedom with my time that I desire and would drastically slow the pace of building our assets.
While most of these things are quite obvious when typed out and read off of a computer screen, I think it is important to stop and think about them from time to time. Whether you are also planning on early retirement or any other financial goal you will have to earn income until you get there. Most people don’t love their jobs, and many people may hate theirs. Unfortunately, that is part of the process. That is why they pay you to go to work. Sometimes, it helps to step back and think about what is good about your job to keep you motivated and prevent making decisions that are counterproductive to your goals.
If you are ahead of me in this process, you’ve thought about the pros and cons, and you’re sure you’re ready to quit your job today then go for it! Congratulations! As for me, I know I still have some work to do. I’M NOT QUITTING MY JOB TODAY!
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