We’re all here for one reason. We’re all working towards financial independence. Well, that, and the pictures of hot chicks every Saturday. Sorry about missing last week, I was busy with family stuff.
Some people though, take financial independence a little too far. I call these guys the early retirement nuts.
There are all sorts of these guys around the personal finance blog-o-net, usually with a certain age in their blog title. Some want to bugger off by 40. Some want to be free by 45. The slackers in the group intend on working until the ripe old age of 50. I think if you intend until working until 55 you’re not invited in the group.
I really feel sorry for these people, with their singular focus on retirement.
Before I crap on their dreams, I fully support their efforts to amass wealth and achieve financial independence. They’re aggressively investing, living frugally and accumulating a significant net worth at an early age. These are good things. These people have their financial houses in order. Everybody should be trying to accumulate wealth. Luckily for those of us who do, most people are pretty bad at it, giving the rest of us ample opportunity to do so.
I definitely agree with the retire early nuts when it comes to accumulating wealth and passive income. What I don’t agree with is the retire early mantra.
First of all, what’s so bad about work? I like my job. I get paid very fairly, considering I sell potato chips for a living. I get paid to move around and to talk to people who are generally quite pleasant. Sure, there are negative aspects to my job, just like any job. The positives outweigh the negatives. When the ratio flips I’ll quit. This is pretty simple stuff.
I ascribe to the Ayn Rand philosophy that work is valuable. I’m exchanging my best attributes to build something of value. It’s not surprising that I lose interest in a job when I no longer get passionate about my role in running the business. I could never be one of those stay at home dads. Remember that, ladies who want to have my babies. Yeah, I’m talking to you, Taylor Swift.
P.S. Call me.
So I think work is valuable. And yet there’s a group of people who want to quit as soon as possible and live on the proceeds of their hard work. There are all sorts of reasons they cite for their early retirement dreams, with the most common being freedom. They want to be free to do some project that may not be the most financially rewarding. Or maybe they want to be free to sit around and mine for treasures up their nose. Whatever floats your boat.
So you’re one of these early retirement guys. You work until, say, 40, and then you quit forever. So you accumulate a net worth of some impressive number- and here’s the kicker- slowly deplete it for the rest of your life. Uh, yay?
Call me greedy (you’re greedy!) but I don’t plan at stopping accumulating money. As I wrote about last week, I view accumulating wealth as a game with many possible successful strategies. Part of that strategy is investing my money, while another part of it is working so I have more money to invest. The circle repeats itself for years, hopefully with the result being that I retire wealthy- at around 60.
If you’re the kind of person who works really hard to get ahead and retire early, you’re probably not the kind of person who should be retiring early. Keep working. Take some of that excess capital and put it to work by starting your own business. That way you can work and have the freedom to do whatever you want.
Whenever I go on vacation, I’m bored by the end of it. I’m actually excited about going back to work. Because of this, I know that having large amounts of free time is something that doesn’t appeal to me. Even when I do actually retire, I hope that managing my investments is close enough to a full time job that it keeps me from going insane.
Anyway, I don’t get the whole retiring early thing. Accumulating wealth I get, setting a deadline to retire I don’t. If any of you retire early guys want to disagree with me, I cede the floor to you.