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I liked money when I was a kid and was a better saver than most kids. I figured I would save enough so I wouldn’t have to work for the rest of my life (this was before I learned that savers use Other People’s Money the best way that they could.)
Regardless, I’ve always been interested in figuring out money… and more importantly, figuring out how to become financially free and retire early.
I always thought that was the dream, because it definitely was for me.
When I turned 30, I guess I had an early mid-life crisis and all that seemed to weigh on my mind was the “time to make the donuts” attitude. I couldn’t fathom that life was just about going to work day in and day out until you’re too old to enjoy life. It’s too mechanical.
Then, as I’ve mentioned before, I came across the Rich Dad Poor Dad books and that changed everything for me. I finally figured out the route I needed to take to retire. I finally had a way to make the dream come true.
I was so excited – I needed to tell people. Everyone will definitely want to figure it how to get out of the rat race!
But guess that? Not many people seemed to really care. I was a little surprised, but then I thought I’ll tell my brother.. he loves making money!!
So there I was, explaining the “game plan” to my brother and how I “figured it out.” In my case, I’m going to leverage real estate to make this happen… everything’s so straightforward. I filled him in on all the details and told him to how to get started. This is going to be great!!!
That’s when it happened.
He went on to explain to me how he actually enjoys working and proceeded to tell me that he doesn’t want to quit working anytime soon… WHAT?!!!
He truly wasn’t interested. I was in utter disbelief. I couldn’t believe that some (and I’m guessing most) people don’t consider early retirement to be, not only the dream, but also an attainable feat. It never even crossed my mind that this was possible… but it is.
That’s when i learned that I can’t push what I’ve found out onto everyone. In fact, most people don’t even want to hear about it. Most of the friends I know don’t even want to discuss money.
So, if you enjoy reading my posts, know that you and I probably share a similar dream. But be aware that most people just go to work every day and run through the motions without giving retirement or financial freedom a second thought.
What do you think?
8 thoughts on “The Dream Isn’t for Everyone…”
I’m actually in that same boat! I’m a grad student who wants to be a professor. I’ve enjoyed my teaching and TAing duties, and I plan to teach until I’m no longer able to teach! So, even though I’m frugal and take care of my money, I want to enjoy my job so much that I don’t want to quit, just like your brother!
That’s great to hear, Froogal Stoodent!! Like I said, a few years ago, I would have been shocked by that, but I’m glad you’re doing what you love! I still love what I do as well, but I hate the 9-5 of it all. I would love to make mine more of a hobby or just some part time freelance when I felt like it.
Good luck to you!!
If he likes it, you love it! Everyone has there own motivations and passions in life and if he enjoys working everyday then he seems to have found something that makes him happy!
I personally want to achieve financial independence so that I can work on the things I am truly interested in rather than having to squeeze them into my free time.
Good luck on your dream!
I’m with you, Josh – money can’t necessarily buy happiness, but it can buy independence and that’s what I’m after as well.
Good luck to you!
There definitely are some people who love what they do enough to carry on, regardless of wealth. If you were lucky enough to stumble into a job like that then you are one of the lucky ones.
I’m always surprised when local lotto winners declare they’re still going to keep going to work despite winning 22 million dollars pffffffft. In all the follow up stories I’ve read this idea only lasted a few months (if that!)…… I think this claim by people that they don’t want to be financially independent, save hard, or invest, comes about because they don’t actually believe its possible. Or they believe its possible but that they could never achieve it. Striving for FI is risky, what if the markets collapse, we’ve seen it before, housing bubbles! Why strive so hard to save when you could lose it all. The comfort of spending your money now is easy and gratifying. Saving is hard painful and it all might disappear anyway.
In all my day dream fantasy scenarios where I get paid my current wage every week but I get to choose what I do with my time I never choose my current job. I never choose waking up a 6am every day. I never choose sitting in traffic, or being exposed to mildly hazardous chemicals and biological risk all day. Nope, its not for me. Also I like to ask myself if I would do my job for free….the answer is no. …well maybe I would do 8 hours a week free if the world was desperate for someone with my skills.
My identity is not tied to my job, sometimes I feel like my job has masked who I really am and how I want to be. Maybe some people are afraid of who they are outside of a job, outside of a productive task that lets them be part of the great machine of the economy. If we are not working what is our worth? There is distaste for the “idle rich”. Not that many of the FI’er’s I know are striving for idleness.
Dismissing the idea of FI because you are happy working is also not the greatest argument. The world is changing and maybe in 10-15 years your job is now being done by a robot. You love what you do so you carry on offering the human touch but you cost ten times as much as a robot! You still get some business from the odd person afraid of new tech but its barely enough to live on. You are forced to retrain and a robot maintenance tech, a job you now hate. But you had to do it because you still have 5 years of payments on your mortgage. However if you were FI it wouldn’t matter. You could keep offering your human services even at cost. You are financially independent and can do whatever you want with your time.
Because FI is not only freedom from work its freedom to work.
I think your last sentence says it all. I used to hear that money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy independence. Once you have that, it gives you the opportunity to really find yourself and not just be another cog in the machine.
As I have been contemplating my early retirement at 40, I have thought about this a lot lately. My conclusion is, most want to be free of their day jobs, but don’t know how or don’t think it’s possible. This is mostly due to materialism and lifestyle inflation.
Of people I have informally inquired of at work, only one person wants to work until he dies, and he’s a VP. His dad is still a doctor and working, and his grandfather worked until 90. Everyone else said ya, they would retire IF they could. Not one of them thinks retiring in your 40’s is possible, ,at least for them.
So yes, I am going to have to dissent. We all share the same dream, we are just the ones making it happen instead of accepting the status quo.
I think you’re definitely right on that a lot of people just have their blinders on and just assume they need to put in a good 40 years of work before they are able to retire. And yes, materialism definitely doesn’t help the situation. And those that hear about FIRE don’t usually believe it’s possible.
Congrats to you on getting close to pulling the trigger at such a young age! I wish you the best!