Like I said before, I've been thinking of retirement since I started working. It has always been something that is far in the future. It is still probably 5 –10 years off. But, as I get a bit closer and it becomes more “real” I begin to wonder...Quitting the security of a decent paying job just seems, I don't know, un-American! Aren't we supposed to toil and put off our own desires until we are too old to do anything else? Isn't that the way life is in our society? Who am I to presume that I should be able to just go sit on a beach or fish in a mountain stream just because I feel like it? What makes ME so special?As a child, I grew up with the message from my parents that you needed to produce something or you weren't really doing your duty to society. Professional sports players and entertainers were thought to be the worst of the non-producers. They got millions of dollars for producing nothing of value. An honorable career was to be a doctor, an engineer, a teacher, a plumber or a carpenter. Be someone who helps others or who creates or produces something, I was told.So, even though my happily retired father would tell me it's Ok to do whatever I want, I sometimes still struggle with that lesson I learned as a child.
So, even though my happily retired father would tell me it's Ok to do whatever I want, I sometimes still struggle with that lesson I learned as a child. The lessons we learned as children were intended to prepare us for the cold, cruel world of financial responsibility. Having satisfied the financial needs of your family and secured financial independence, you now can turn your attention to some of the other lessons you learned as a child, but have forgotten as an adult--how to enjoy life, without the focus of your universe being the attainment of income through employment. Since no purpose will be served by continuing to attain income through employement, you will be free to pursue whatever else might further your growth as a human being, as opposed to your growth as an income producing machine. It might take a little time to find peace of mind, but when you do, you will know that you have arrived in the promised land. It sounds like your dad already has arrived. My dad worked until the day he died, which is something I shall never forget, and which is why I decided to leave the rat race when it no longer served any useful purpose for me to remain in the maze.
"Quitting the security of a decent paying job"there is no security in any job in this day and age, look at the layoffs that were just done in Jan.My friends father was just laid off from 3M, he is 56years old and had worked for them for the last 15 years. Save hard and quit early!cheerswindhoven
Save hard and quit early!cheerswindhoven excellent advice, I couldn't have said it better myself.Nuke
dirkn: Who am I to presume that I should be able to just go sit on a beach or fish in a mountain stream just because I feel like it? What makes ME so special?If you achieve FI, then by all means do what makes you happy. No one is suggesting that you should sponge off others and ignore your responsibilities. If it makes you feel any better, when you are on that beach or by that stream there is a good possibility that there will be trash around you that needs to be picked up. That sure is productive. One morning a week we take our 3 and 6 year old to the beach and bring a few large trash bags with us. Now we live on an island so we have plenty of beaches to do this on, and the ocean is pretty unforgiving with trash and keeps on puking the refuse back up on the beach day after day, so we don't get bored with this. Primarily we do it to get our boys to understand that they have a responsibility to this commmunity and to this earth, that even at 3 they can make a difference. It is very empowering. Plus we collect great treasures at the same time, (sea glass and shells,) to make gifts with.As a child, I grew up with the message from my parents that you needed to produce something or you weren't really doing your duty to society. I never said I wasn't going to be productive in retirement! There are so many things I can do for the benefit of society in retirement. One of which will be for both my husband and myself to have more time to spend with our children, who hopefully will still be quite young when we retire. Then there is teaching the illiterate to read, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, growing great organic fruits and vegetables for our kids to eat. Productivity is not defined by a pay check. I know way too many people who receive great pay checks week to week, yet are the most unproductive people on this earth. Love yourself. Loving others comes easily after that.InParadise
For me it is not as much saving hard and quitting early as it is doing something you never want to quit. I don't picture myself ever "retired." My two cents...Gekko II
dirkn:Aren't we supposed to toil and put off our own desires until we are too old to do anything else? Isn't that the way life is in our society? Who am I to presume that I should be able to just go sit on a beach or fish in a mountain stream just because I feel like it? What makes ME so special?Our society is full of people who contribute without drawing a paycheck. There is no correlation between drawing a paycheck and productivity. There are also a great many people in out society who don't put off their desires until they are too old to do anything else. Those who do are society's unfortunate chumps.Even if all you are is an example of a good human being, you're doing better than all the examples of bad human beings. It might seem like sacrificing the quality of your life for such a dubious benefit to society is altruistic, but if society requires that of you, then there is something wrong with society. The purpose of society is to help individuals avoid having to live hand-to-mouth and in fear of the more powerful, so that those same individuals can be free to "pursue happiness".1HappyFool
Professional sports players and entertainers were thought to be the worst of the non-producers. They got millions of dollars for producing nothing of value. An honorable career was to be a doctor, an engineer, a teacher, a plumber or a carpenter. Be someone who helps others or who creates or produces something, I was told.My take on this -- doctors, engineers, etc. and entertainers, artists, etc. are both very valuable to society. Those in so-called honorable careers make a comfortable life for us possible, but the so-called "non-producers" are the ones who help make life worth living. I'd hate to imagine a life that is so focused on the utilitarian and the practical that there's no room left for *enjoying* our short time here on earth (believe me, I'm speaking from experience here). Whether you think they're valuable or not, "non-producers" bring happiness and enjoyment to *somebody*, judging by the money they make!If our main purpose in life is to toil away our entire lives, I'd hate to be the one to break that news to today's children. I would find that incredibly cruel.CK
I don't disagree with you ChocoKitty. I'm describing those whispering voices from the past, not my actual opinion.I have said exactly the same thing about atheletes and entertainers. Hey, someone is willing to pay those millions. They must be worth something!
Hey, believe me, those darn voices from my past (and my present) are whispering the same thing as your voices. I think they work for the same company...CK
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