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November 17, 2011

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Brian

Or you could just reduce your spending and increase your savings to leave the rate race early.

The choice above is rarely considered.

Present and the previous generation (including my father) will work / have worked all their life to scrape enough for a small retirement … wasting most of their hard earned money buying: junk, cars, mega homes, etc (in the present) and delaying retirement to age 65 or beyond.

Regards,
Brian

P.S. I really enjoy your blog.

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

Thanks Brian. Yes, getting out of the rat race early by reducing spending (and, as you suggest, reducing material desires) is wise.

I will add that one may remove themselves from the rat race with the proper perspective or mind set--by choosing not to "race."

Getting to the proverbial block of cheese is nothing but living for the future, which removes one for the richness of the present.

For example, even heavy traffic for commutes to and from work can be enjoyable if there is no sense of competition or need to escape or be anywhere quickly. Slow down, enjoy music and watch the craziness pass you by.

Thanks for commenting, Brian, and for reading the blog.

Cheers...

Kent

Jerry Buchko

Nice piece, Kent. I think you make a good case for "retiring" on the job, or choosing not to "race" as you put it.

I especially agree with the perspective you expressed here:

"It also underscores the unhealthy conventional thinking that working in a job or succession of jobs you don't like (or even hate) for most of your life is a fact of life to be accepted, is a tragedy."

Looking at this from another standpoint, life expectancy in the US is somewhere between 77.5-80 yrs; and existentially speaking, no one of us is guaranteed to be allotted even that amount of time.

Marie

Since I won't have enough to retire at 65, I have been considering a lifestyle where I work until 80.

My only concern is that I will not have the health or the energy.

I see people in their 70s with health problems that take a significant amount of time to clear up or just don't have the energy and mental clarity. I am afraid I won't have the financial buffer for this.

Any Thoughts?

Andi Wrenn

I can say that I have hardly worked a day in my life. Whether my work is paid or volunteer I am blessed to do what I love through counseling, coaching, educating. I agree that many young people should find out what they enjoy in life and try to figure out how to make that a career so they too do not have to "work" their whole lifes. I think that if a young person does not know what they want to do, they should delay college for a year or two and live life while finding out what they really enjoy through working, military, etc. Kids are rushing off to college to get degrees for careers that will bring in a great salary (if they can get hired after college), but how happy can they be if it is just a "job". It would be great if everyone could do what they are great "at" instead of what brings in a bunch of money. Good post!

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

@Jerry: You bring up a good point. If many people are currently unhappy in their jobs and think they will finally fulfill their dreams of retirement at age 80, they may never make it. This is a true tragedy--not living now and dying before they ever get to live.

@Marie: I like your idea of working until 80 and your concern over maintaining health that long is justified. All you can do is your best (financially) but keep living life now. I believe if one acts authentically, everything happens as it should. This not a "good plan" but it is a healthy way of living. I prefer the latter...

@Andi: I agree. I won't push my kids to go to college. Higher education can be rewarding (I have an MBA and have no regrets doing it) but not if the motivation is to make more money. The greatest purpose of education is to learn how to align your given skills with a career that is satisfying. If the money comes, it will by only as a byproduct of living authentically.

Great comments everyone! I appreciate the added value and various perspectives...

Kent

Benjamin Skinner

I think finding a job that you really love no matter what the pay is probably going to be the only way to never need retirement. At least if we're defining retirement as escaping the mundane terror of our jobs.

jacksonville financial planners

I think discovering a job that you really really like regardless of what the pay is probably going to be the only way to never need pension. At least if we're interpreting pension as getting out of the ordinary fear of our tasks.

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