Friday, March 31, 2017

Retire Rich... Or Live Free?

Financial Samurai asked that question recently.

I think it all depends. 

What is your time worth? Even more important, what's your energy and enthusiasm level?

If you're loving what you're doing at work, your family is happy and cared-for, and home life is reasonably serene. Barring the occasional dog throwup and home-late-lets-order-a-pizza moments, I'd say...

Stay the course with what you're doing.

Pay bills, put some money away for the future, and help others, while you're at it.

BUT --

If your work environment is irritating at best, and maddening at worst...
    Your family spends their time arguing or snapping, or worse yet, just avoiding each other...
You spend your time at home trying to figure out what the heck to do next...

Maybe it's time to let go.

Or at the very least, take a long hard look at your finances. What can you save on now, to help gracefully extricate yourself in the hopefully near-future? 

The Brick has been retired now for 1 1/2 years. We didn't have the cool million that many investment advisors insist you must start with. But we did have a paid-off house, no debts, some savings, a pension...and the willingness to work part-time now and then, to help fill in the bare spots. We had decades of frugal living experience, due in great part to living on a bus-driver's salary for years. (Bus drivers don't make much, Gentle Readers.)

Would I trade cozily sleeping in, Charley the dog snuggled between us, the warm smell of perking coffee wafting through, for custom leather boots and a New York condo?

Would I have a better life, working until 8 or 9 p.m. (something the Brick often did, during his engineer days), getting home in time for the late show...then doing it again the next day? Would I put up with egos, jockeying and office politics, just so I could have a promotion, a few more dollars in the paycheck, and another day of vacation?

Or is this new way better? Suppertime, looking out across the valley at Rampart Range, red-streaked in the sunset...searching for the perfect vanity for the bathroom, then stopping for a milkshake...laughing at our silly animals' expressions and funny ways...reading a book, warm and well-fed, late at night, together... sweating it out to get boxes packed and items sorted (Okay, that's not so much fun.) Time to travel, be together, to think.

I know what I'd choose -- over and over again. 

1 comment:

Prudence Debtfree said...

Time over money any day! You chose well : )

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