“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!
2 responses on I’M not QUITTING MY JOB TODAY!
To me, having a “job” is generally just working to create some type of income to get by. I would guess that many people today are in this situation and may find little to no satisfaction in going to work everyday. On the other hand, having a “career” is something that takes careful consideration to get involved in, and unfortunately has great cost in the form of over inflated college tuition. I think that for most people who chose to get into a career they somewhere have a deep passion to either create, serve, or change something. For some people they may just feel it is something that they should do because their parents want them to go to school and have some form of profession to earn a decent income. These folks may also find their career as being just a job. Lets face it no matter what job, profession, or career you are in there is always something that will discourage us from wanting to go into work in the morning such as paperwork or impossible clients. For me, I wanted to have more control of my career. To do this I became a business owner, which has been a very challenging road, but rewarding at the same time. Yes I want my cake and eat it too. I want to make money and I want to have more time for myself and family. The old saying “time is money” is a phrase that I never agreed with. You can always buy material things but you cannot buy back time. Keeping my business small has allowed me some of the freedom to have more time while still making money. As early retirement may be not working at all for some people, for me it is about still being involved in my career even as I get older. I think I enjoy the cognitive stimulation and satisfaction of helping others in my career. That said I want to still work, but at my leisure. Hours not dictated by how much money I need to make, but more of what is just enough to keep me stimulated without getting burned out. I want to still have extra money in addition to what I am saving in the form of retirement to have to spend on the present. I like wasting $173 on a plastic Disney Frozen Ice Palace and action figures for my daughter just to see her expression when she sees it sitting in our living room for the first time. I, like you, am simplistic as far as living. I don’t care about fancy cars or homes, but I want to also live freely in the present. As long as I am without debt and contributing generously to our retirement, and putting money away for my daughter’s college, I will continue to spend a little now to have fun in the present. I guess I hope to keep my feet in the working world even as I get older to keep stimulated and to also be able to buy those extras that I really don’t need. As long as I am working at my pace and by my rules I am good with that.
First off, thanks for taking the time to be the first person to comment on our blog.
I think that we basically have the same ideas, I just may not have laid things out very clearly in this post. For us, retirement doesn’t mean sitting on the couch or hanging out at the golf course all day and letting your body and mind waste. It is strictly about gaining freedom to use your time as you choose. We will both most likely continue to work in some capacity in “retirement”, but will be able to do it on our own terms, which is the whole point.
One point to think about is the idea of being able to buy STUFF to bring happiness to others. When you do this, there is a price bigger than the price tag you see on the item. First off to “waste” money on a $175 toy, you have to spend the time to earn this money. If you earn $100/hour, you would have to work for 2+ hours when you figure the taxes you pay before you see $175. If you are a more average worker earning say $20/hour that is more like 10 hours spent just to buy this toy. Imagine the joy you could bring to your child if you just spent this time with them (tax free!) Also, every dollar you spend comes with opportunity costs. That $175 today could be worth several hundred or even thousands over time if saved and invested properly, meaning even more free time in the future. Done once, this type of purchase probably will make little difference in your life, but when these decisions are made repeatedly it makes all the difference between financial freedom and a life spent working to stay on this hamster wheel. Also, all too often we associate getting more stuff with happiness. While this purchase was obviously made with the best of intentions, is that setting the pattern early in your child’s life to make this association? Finally, I think the key point here is that you received joy from giving the gift, which probably will be more lasting than any joy the child will get from receiving it. We all should try to be more generous with our time and money and that is where true happiness will be found.
Thanks again for your comments. I hope you come back and get value from the blog.