No. of Recommendations: 128
Oh, sure, there was this phase where I was all into the stock market and interest rates and after-tax-before-tax-avoid-the-tax saving. I had it all figured out with the charts and calculations how I needed 3 million to retire and to get there I had to sock away or make in interest or the market or something about two or three grand per month. There were all these rules and advices and plans to make sure I achieved my goals or whatever it was someone said I needed all that money for.

I went through the endless mental conflicts over being frugal so that later I'd benefit versus living for the day because there very well might not be any tomorrow. I tried to work out some balance between providing for myself in the future and providing for myself now. Every little decision was this big war between today and tomorrow. Nothing was simple. Everything had to be charted and spreadsheeted and amortized. Why? So I could retire early, of course.

And then, quite suddenly, I reached enlightenment: I can retire any time I darn well please.

I can walk right out of work this second (gotta finish this post first) and go nap on the warm green spring grass. And when They start calling, I will (if I'm at home, which I probably won't be) just inform them, smugly, that I'm RETIRED. Oh yea, the paycheck will stop. The bills will soon go unpaid. All that "bad" financial stuff that scares folks will surely happen. Mysterious bogeymen with tentacles will slide out of the dark and grab me and strange men in dark suits will chase me. Or will they...?

I think not. Money is for those who want to buy something. I'm not buying. I was living a late-night infomercial, full of people shouting at me that I ABSOLUTELY HAD TO HAVE this or that to be fulfilled. No more. The TV goes off.

I'll walk somewhere South, sleep on the street or in the bushes somewhere. I'm happy enough to eat 3 day old buns from a dumpster (I eat 3 week old buns from my cupboard). No one seems to finish their McDonald's fries. Dirty? It's not like I never dropped something and then ate it anyway, or kissed a stranger. And that's just city livin'. I can if I please stroll up into the mountains and eat pine pollen cones and berries until I get the runs. But who cares? I can just squat naked all day if I need to. It's not like I'm going to miss work or anything.

Maybe I'll start a religion. I've got some thoughts about things. I can stand on the corner and shout out my 'news' for all to hear. That's something you don't find time to do with a day job -- change people's lives like that.

Maybe I'll write that book I've been thinking about -- work it all out and then (I don't need the money from some leech publisher) scrawl it all out in chalk along 40 city blocks of sidewalk, so the clockwork soapy workers ruching back from lunch can read it as they go.

Remember when you were 6 years old and all you ever wanted to do was go barefoot and sleep in a sleeping bag all the time and never take a bath? Tomorrow I become 6 years old again.

You want financial advice? Here's some: ask yourself what you really want, and whether money can buy it.

Then invest in THAT.

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When Life Gives You Lemons
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