This article is one of a few Devil’s Advocate-style posts I’ve been inspired to write recently.

I don’t want to retire early. Of course, I’m only 24 and have only spent two-and-a-half years in the workforce, so my atittude could change after another 20-30 years. But right now, I can’t conceive of wanting to retire at 40 or even 50.

Yet in the personal finance blogosphere and beyond, there are people who are passionate (even extreme) about achieving early retirement. I understand how someone trapped in a job they dislike would want to be free early. I also understand the desire to retire in order to pursue some kind of volunteerism or a path which won’t earn you any money.

But early retirement is not for me.

Why? Well, I’ve been fortunate enough to find a career path doing what I love—working with books and information. There are ways to manage information as a self-employed person, but I prefer libraries. In fact, I’ve only met one library I didn’t like working in (very bad office politics). It’s certainly work, but on the whole it’s work I like.

Micah’s the same way. While he could be happy retiring if he were constantly writing papers and/or books that teach by proxy, he’s passionate about teaching and loves working with college students. Many of them like him as a teacher and his classes fill up quickly with the friends and younger siblings of his former students. Certainly, there are some days he comes home frustrated with a decision the administration made or a particular incident, but listening to him talk about his work and watching him teach, I know he’s exactly where he should be. He lights up.

What Would I Do if I Retired Early?

If someone forced me to retire right now (and given money), I’d probably turn it around into a second career. I’d become an Etsy seller, I’d expand my web consulting, I’d build websites, I’d cut grass—I’d create long-term projects to keep myself occupied and sane.

Some people retire early to travel. While I enjoy traveling now and then, it’s not important enough for me to make my goal retiring early in order to do it more.

Others retire early in order to have more free time. I understand the motivation, but when I have too much free time I find myself getting depressed and uncreative. I’m actually more creative (and happier) when I’ve been working 40 hours a week. This is one reason I was glad that I went back to full-time work after working part-time and freelancing. I did National Novel Writing Month without ever writing during working hours (I couldn’t have concentrated even if I tried).

Still others “retire” early in order to start another job or career or found a small business. While I don’t think this counts as retirement and would call it a mid-life career change instead, I can see how it requires the same savings cushion and how these two camps might fall in with each other for support. But often such career changes require more work than a day job. The difference is that it’s something the person is passionate about. If you’ve found that passion for your day job, why retire?

Retiring Early Isn’t for Everyone

Few things are for everyone. I think getting out of debt—or at the least out of everything but mortgage & car-payment debt is for everyone. And getting out of everything but the mortgage is for almost everyone. But starting your own business (no matter what Kiyosaki says) and retiring early just aren’t.

What is ideal for everyone is finding a work situation that provides you with interesting work, that fulfills some of your passions (and gives you the time to work on the others), that gives you the degree of freedom necessary to live sanely (vs. working 80 hours/week). What that means is different for every person.

Some need to start their own business, some are more interested in the work itself and would be miserable if they had to handle the rest. Some become location-independent “digital nomads.” Some feel called to do work for organizations that can’t afford to pay (or to pay very much). And some will never be able to find that ideal situation because their choices necessitate company health insurance, regular paychecks, etc. (Though sometimes these choices, such as supporting an elderly parent, were the only ones they could make as humane humans.) One can hope that they feel those choices are worth it at the end of the day—such as my FIL working at a job he could do but didn’t like to keep his family from falling below the poverty line.

Why Saving Up for Early Retirement is Still a Good Idea

Just because I don’t want to retire early doesn’t mean I won’t be actively saving for retirement. Being able to retire gives you a lot of power. It means that if the career you love turns sour or you’re stuck in a dead end job, you can leave. It means you can quit if something changes in your life. I appreciate my two retired aunts who have volunteered their time to help my mother as she recovers from a major surgery last week. My job limits my ability to help.

Also if your retirement fund loses value, you’ll still have more saved than if you were planning for a traditional retirement. You may not have to work longer than usual even if you can’t retire early on it.

So even though I don’t want to retire early, I’m still in favor of having that retirement safety net. Life may throw you a curve ball and being financially secure allows you to catch it.

What about you? Are you planning to retire early? Are you building a safety-net just in case?

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Mrs. Money January 6, 2010 at 7:27 am

I am conflicted. I think that if I was doing something I loved it would be very hard to retire because I have to keep busy. At this point though, I’d retire today if they’d pay me! πŸ˜‰
.-= Mrs. Money´s last blog ..I CanÒ€ℒt Bring Myself to Pay Extra on the Mortgage =-.

Indian Thoughts January 6, 2010 at 8:23 am

Yesterday I read a blog somewhere which said how to retire early. I thought about it and talked to me i don’t wanna retire. I love what I am doing, and I hate being free. I thought I’ll pen down my thoughts about it someday. And today i subscribed to your blog and this is the first blog of yours that i read after subscribing.

You are my favorite blogger πŸ™‚ beautifully and very well written. I am in your league as well.
.-= Indian Thoughts´s last blog ..Value of time =-.

traineeinvestor January 6, 2010 at 8:36 am

I am planning on retiring early (late 40s). I would retire now if finances permitted. It’s not because I dislike my job – it is actually quite interesting – bit because the long working hours make it difficult to do a lot of the other things I would like to do – like spend time with my children.
.-= traineeinvestor´s last blog ..2010 – Moving forward =-.

Bucksome January 6, 2010 at 8:52 am

At first I was going to say that I don’t plan to retire early, but if you count anything earlier than the SSN full benefit age as early, then I qualify.

Mr. Boomer is nearly a decade older than me and we want to be able to travel without vacation time limits.

I would also like to volunteer for all the organizations I support but can’t give much of my time now.
.-= Bucksome´s last blog ..An Offer I Could Refuse =-.

thriftygal January 6, 2010 at 10:46 am

I’ve been bitten by the travel bug ever since I was a little girl. My extended family is also spread across the world in 3 continents and I have friends in 4. So travel has always been very important to me. Therefore, my savings/income goals need to be balanced between building a retirement fund plus saftey net, and having the means and time to afford said travel.

As for my job, I don’t hate it. Would I keep my job if I won the lottery? Probably not, but it’s a pretty decent job and I have a pretty good boss who lets me do my thing. My only complaint is the limited vacation time (yes 3 weeks is limited when you have family in 3 continents) So early retirement isn’t necessarily a goal (I’d rather travel when I’m young) so much as having the freedom and time off to do what’s important to me.

George January 6, 2010 at 11:17 am

I’ve focused quite a bit of energy, savings, and planning on a goal of retiring by 50, give or take a few years. I’m 32 right now, so that’s 18 years from now – quite a long time. I have no idea whether I’ll actually want to retire at age 50, but I really like the fact that I’m creating the POSSIBILITY of retiring at 50.

I view early-retirement planning as a means to create extra choices later in life. If I choose to keep working and not retire early, it’ll just mean I’ll have more cash available for leisure pursuits, mini-retirements, sabbaticals, or just extended vacations. πŸ™‚

Evan January 6, 2010 at 11:52 am

I think the word retirement has different meanings for different people. I don’t think I’ll ever fully retire, because I would GO NUTS. But is ERE really retired? If he is making money through other means besides a 9 to 5.

Just managing your money if you have enough of it is a job in of itself.
.-= Evan´s last blog ..I Have No Idea about Credit Card Rewards =-.

Julia January 6, 2010 at 12:02 pm

This is a great post! I think about this from time to time and totally agree with you–I don’t want to retire early. I love my job and feel that I’m contributing something to society that I wouldn’t be able to do in retirement. I suppose my views might change if I have kids, but right now, I’m 30 and can’t really imagine retirement before 65.

Laura in Atlanta January 6, 2010 at 1:42 pm

This is a great post . . . and yes, you may feel differently as you get older. I too love my job and would love to do it for the rest of my life, but there are the daily dramas with co-workers that can really drain you. Bosses who have attitudes that can drain you. That early morning commute can drain you. So I think that often people look to escape that, and not necessarily the work they do.

Just my two cents. πŸ˜‰

Early Retirement Extreme January 6, 2010 at 2:09 pm

I used to be just like you stating that even if I did not get paid I would still be doing what I was doing and that I was so lucky that I could do my research with a desktop computer; and that is what I would do for the rest of my life.

The way I see it though is that if you are driven by passion like that it is probably not the job per se but rather an inherent passionate quality in yourself. This passion can flip. Towards the end of my career I occasionally hated my job with equal passion as my career forced me into dealing with the political and promotional aspect of my job which I did not have to suffer through at the beginning.

It was very fortunate that I had previously been so passionate about my work that I never had to spend very much to keep myself happy and so I could use that money as a freedom fund. Hence, now I can be passionate about things without getting trapped in a specific career that I [used to] love.

Conversely, I think those who do not love their jobs but just do them because they are good at it are more (emotionally) fortunate. They will never have to compromise their integrity about the things they do love because they do not have to sell out.
.-= Early Retirement Extreme´s last blog ..Everything explained! =-.

Financial Samurai January 6, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Mrs. Micah – It really is because you are still young and have relatively little experience.

I will bet you lunch that after 5-years of working after you go to grad school, you will DEFINITELY think about retiring early.

I guess that age for you will be 30-31. I have no doubt in my mind as you grow older, you will want to do something else.
.-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..An Ambulance Screams By, Do You Feel Happy Or Sad? =-.

Thursday Bram January 6, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Good for you! My family tends not to retire Ò€” my grandad is in his 80s and still runs his own business. He’s happy and enjoys his work. He also has time to travel and do everything else that everyone seems to get so excited about for retirement. For him, it was just a matter of setting up his business to accommodate that fact.

Some people find it hard to understand that there are those of us who really do enjoy our work (and don’t do so well when we don’t have that kind of focus in our lives). I’m with you on not retiring, though: I’m pretty sure if I went with a traditional retirement (travel, golf, whatever), I’d be crazy within a month!
.-= Thursday Bram´s last blog ..Ask Me Anything: Keeping Email Under Control =-.

Grace January 6, 2010 at 4:00 pm

I started in my field at age 25 and have never wanted to do anything else since. I remember that I had to think long and hard before giving my first job a two year committment. It was 18 years before I left that position and took another one just like it in a larger city where I’ve been for 20 years. If you like what you do, you literally can do it forever, and there’s not much reason not to. My current plan is to retire at age 69. There’s always the chance health issues or job loss will come up, but I’m with you–when you find the work you love, you’re already living the dream. Retirement per se (as opposed to saving for retirement, which is something everyone should do) isn’t an issue.
.-= Grace´s last blog ..With A Little Help From My Friends =-.

Mrs. Micah January 6, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Lots of interesting comments. πŸ™‚ I love seeing people’s different interests and plans for the future. Makes life more interesting. I’m certainly not opposed to other people retiring early if it makes them happier.

@Bucksome – With an age difference like that, I can see why retiring “early” for you would make sense.

@Laura from Atlanta – Indeed, people can make or break a workplace no matter how awesome the job itself.

@ERE – You may be right about people with passions for their work having a harder time of it. I’ve seen that happen in some libraries, but not in areas that affected me. If it ever gets like that for me with libraries then I’ll probably switch to another form of information management which I’m less passionate about. It’s an advantage of the extracurricular work I’ve put in as well as what I plan to study in school.

@FS – You sound awfully sure. It’s fine if you don’t want to be a librarian and I’m leaving that possibility open for my future too. There are other things one can do with the same interests and skills. But saying that you’re sure I definitely won’t be interested in my career path (one I’ve been following for 8 years, albeit part-time for most of them), especially when you don’t know me from anything other than less than a year of reading the blog and the occasional tweet, is presumptuous. Just because you didn’t have it together during your 20s (based on your own about page) doesn’t mean people like Grace and others above don’t have an equally valid and opposite experience. Not everyone is like you, thank goodness, because that would be boring. Also, there would be no librarians. πŸ˜‰

@Grace & Thursday – I come from a similarly passionate family. Despite bouts of cancer which prevent her from teaching, my Mom has managed to continue teaching Latin because she loves it.

Grace January 6, 2010 at 7:21 pm

One more thing–for the longest time when I was a child, I told people I wanted to be a librarian. But then I found out you didn’t just get to sit around reading books. So much for that career path!
.-= Grace´s last blog ..With A Little Help From My Friends =-.

Mrs. Micah January 6, 2010 at 7:23 pm

@Grace – lol, that would be the best! πŸ˜€ But while I took my first library job in-part because it got me paid for getting to browse hundreds of books a day (and take them home at night), I found out I liked a lot of other stuff about it as well as the techy side.

Always happy to supply you with books.

Zella January 6, 2010 at 8:36 pm

I love what I do. My family doesn’t generally retire unless forced by health, and neither does my husband’s family. Still, I’ll probably “retire” to a non-profit or something consultant-ish at some point, so we’re financially preparing.

I can’t imagine a “classic” retirement of sitting around the house, playing golf and such. There’s so much more out there to do!

RC@Thinkyourwaytowealth January 6, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Great post MM! I think you bring up some very good points. Some people do enjoy what they do, and even do it part time after they retire, etc. You never know what will happen in the future, and as others have pointed out, it is not always the work, but the people and politics that can make a job bad- but that doesn’t mean you have to quit working – you just need to work somewhere else! I personally like my job, which I have been doing for about 12 years, very much, and I could see myself doing to for many years to come.

Financial Samurai January 6, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Mrs. Micah – You’re right not everybody has it together like you, and I readily admit I’ve made my share of mistakes in my 20’s.

So do we have a bet? πŸ™‚
.-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..An Ambulance Screams By, Do You Feel Happy Or Sad? =-.

Mike January 6, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Great post.

I agree with Jacob and Samurai about losing your passion. I used to love my job but that was 10 years ago. πŸ™‚

For me it’s all about options – the better off your financial situation is then the more options you have.

Don@Moneyreasons January 6, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Very thoughtful post.

It’s good to save up for retirement to cover the unknowns that Financial Samurai, Jacob and Mike mention. I’m in their camp too.

Having that money gives you the freedom to say, hmmm, it’s time for a career change. Not having the money, well… you’re basically trapped.
.-= Don@Moneyreasons´s last blog ..2010 Resolution #3, Maximizing Who I Am =-.

Mrs. Micah January 7, 2010 at 6:59 am

@FS – I never bet about anything so important. However f you know me in 8 years (which you won’t), feel free to say ‘I told you so.’

@Don & Mike – Exactly, options, which is why I included that last bit about saving anyway. Just like being in debt frees up our options, saving for retirement gives us the freedom to stay or go as we please, rather than to be pressured into it. Same with an emergency fund–hope not to need it, definitely got it. πŸ™‚

Mr. Micah January 7, 2010 at 8:39 am

A fine post, there, Mrs. M.

Might I add that there are two kinds of activity? There are activities that are means to an end. And there are activities that are ends in themselves.

The means-to-an-end activities are worth doing only because they get you something else that’s worth having.

The ends-in-themselves activities are worth doing whether they get you anything else that’s worth having or not.

People who want to retire early are treating their jobs as the first kind of activity. Their career is a means to an end, and perhaps nothing more.

People who don’t want to retire early are treating their jobs as the second kind of activity. Their career is an end in itself (in addition, perhaps, to also being a means to some other ends).

If, in fact, a person has realized that her or his job is a mere means to an end (e.g., the end of making money), then she or he should by all means do whatever it takes (within the bounds of legality and morality) to stop spending most of her or his waking hours on something that isn’t, in and of itself, worth doing. Let them retire early and move on to something that isn’t, in and of itself (ignoring the consequence of getting paid to do it) a waste of time.

It’s much better to spend your time doing something that’s intrinsically valuable, and if an early retirement allows a person to do that, then early retirement ftw!

Alternatively, if a person has realized that her or his job is an end in itself (in addition to being a handy means to the end of a paycheck), then she or he should by all means rejoice in not having to spend more than half of her or his waking hours getting to, working at, and returning from a job that would be a waste of time were it not for the money it gets her or him.

The problem comes when people assume that a job is and must always be a mere means to an end. The problem comes when people assume that a career is, always has been, and can only ever be a way to get a paycheck.

If that were true, then early retirement would necessarily be for everyone. But since it isn’t — since it is a basic ontological fact of the universe that some activities are ends in themselves and will get you a paycheck — early retirement can’t be for everyone.

Jenn @ Frugal Upstate January 7, 2010 at 9:44 am

I think for me the lure of an early retirement is about being able to work when I want, and having the freedom and flexibility to also pursue other projects & passions while I still have the energy & enthusiasm to do so.
.-= Jenn @ Frugal Upstate´s last blog ..Recipe: Crockpot Chicken/Turkey Tetrazzini =-.

Don@MoneyReasons January 7, 2010 at 11:22 am

Hmmm, I think you are right, about travelling in retirement. When I was younger I thought that’s what I would do if I was rich. But now, I’m not so sure. I would still do a little travelling, but only in moderation.

Afterall, too much of a good thing, too often, would ruin it. (I didn’t realize this when I was younger…) πŸ™‚
.-= Don@MoneyReasons´s last blog ..Reasons To Save Money =-.

Craig January 7, 2010 at 11:55 am

I don’t think I would either but it would be nice to have the choice. Maybe retire early and financially be set but work part time and enhance my hobbies.
.-= Craig´s last blog ..Weekly Personal Finance Twitter Chat: Unemployment =-.

Jennifer January 7, 2010 at 1:49 pm

I think it is about freedom. Having plenty of money set aside for the future will allow you to do anything you want, which is never a bad thing. It can also provide insurance against illness or disability.

Abigail January 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm

As Jennifer pointed out, it’s good to “plan” on retiring early to forestall unforeseen disasters. I know this all too well, having been hit (at age 19) with something that keeps me from working more than 20 hours a week. (In a good week.)

You never know what will happen. My MIL had a decent career as a supervisor at a factory. Then the years of walking on concrete exacerbated some existing problem. She ended up with knee replacements. She got some money for it, but she was in her 40s and couldn’t work full-time anymore.

That said, I can pretty confidently say that Tim and I cannot, ever, retire early. I’m sure we’ll try like hell to save as much as possible (while still enjoying life a little). But with my limited earning potential, mainly having to work from home, it’d be hard. In addition, Tim’s dream job is in a relatively low-paying sector. Even assuming he gets some tuition assistance, he’d be over 35 before he got his BA. To get any considerable salary, he’d need an MA. So maybe at age 40(ish) he can start making more than $35,000 a year. Frankly, I think $35,000 is being optimistic.

But it doesn’t matter. Well, scratch that. It matters. But it’s not as important as seeing my husband do something he loves and finds rewarding. We’ll never have it easy, I’m willing to bet, but we’ll make do with a little caution and a good mix of my overly anxious finances and his reminding me to enjoy the moment a little.

It’s exhausting enough to get out of debt with these kinds of finances, I don’t want to spend my 30s living for my 40s-50s. Planning for them, sure. Living for them, no.
.-= Abigail´s last blog ..Sanity Savers III: Loyalty programs =-.

Mrs. Accountability January 10, 2010 at 12:55 pm

I would LOVE to retire early. But when I say “retire” I’m only talking about my regular job. If I was able to “retire” from that job, I would still have my blogs and managing/bookkeeping for my husband’s business. I do love the work I do for his business, although it sometimes seems like more stress, I love it.
.-= Mrs. Accountability´s last blog ..Make Your Own Knitting Needles =-.

The Monk January 10, 2010 at 4:18 pm

I agree with others who say it’s mainly because you are young.

At 24-25 years old, I’m sorry, but you haven’t been exposed to enough of the world yet. In 5 years, your job could be obsolete, and you have the attitude of a typical Gen Y person who thinks the world is their oyster, and anybody who doesn’t agree with them are idiots.

Learn to respect and learn from your elders. Of course early retirement is not for you, you just recently graduated from college! If you spend 4 years in High school, and another 4 years in college, you better not think about retiring early.

The Monk

Nacy January 10, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Well said The Monk!

It seems as if the Gen Y generation has little respect for their elders and takes everything personally.

They need to constantly seek reinforcement and praise from others to feel good about themselves, otherwise they get depressed and can’t function.

It’s been very hard to hire some good Gen Yers for my company, because so many are so into themselves. Not to say you are so into yourself Mrs. Micah, just wondering if you realize how you sound, and the previous posts you have always highlighting how great your achievements are.

Maybe it’s a blogging phenom, where bloggers have either a bigger head than others, or are insecure and need others to keep telling them how great they are?

Mrs. Micah January 10, 2010 at 6:34 pm

I think automatically respecting people who are (or claim to be) one’s elders isn’t a wise course at all. One should take things with a grain of salt based on what one knows of their life and life choices. Therefore I do respect my bosses, parents, and many of my older friends. But I take with caution the advice and predictions of people who only know me online or who suddenly appear on the internet (or who are clearly miserable with the life choices they’ve made).

I say this because “The Monk” has left several critical comments on several posts I’ve recently written, but under different pseudonyms. I attempted to contact “The Monk” privately to ask that one pseudonym be used to comment on my posts even if s/he continues to use a variety around the blogosphere, but hey–fake e-mails too. I was unable to determine if “Nacy” is also “The Monk” but while her IP address isn’t identical like the others were, it is in the same city (WP Spam Free plugin, in case other bloggers are wondering). I could not contact her through e-mail either.

I decided to comment about it because think it’s an important lesson to take everything on the internet with a grain of salt.

Dad January 10, 2010 at 6:46 pm

I most agree with your last statement to take everything on the internet with a grain of salt. I’ve learned that this is even more justified with comment / opinion locations such as blogs and comments on articles.

But respecting one’s elders has a different meaning to me than for many. Respect is an attitude. You can disagree and refuse to take the advice of an elder but do it with a respectful attitude. For you own sake, you need to ask if this elder being around longer may have a better perspective on the matter. But you may still end up not agreeing with them.

Mrs. Micah January 10, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Very true, Dad. You know I don’t always agree with you, but I don’t yell and slam doors about it when we disagree over something, and I listen to your side of it. (at least since I got out of my teens πŸ˜‰ )

Too often I see “respect” thrown at people to tell them not to disagree, or openly disagree, or explain their reasons for disagreeing, with elders who want them to share their opinions. It’s fine if my elders do have opinions and share them, but since these opinions are so diverse–like you and Mom who’ve known me 24 years and think I’m right in my decision to go to library school and other “elders” who think it’s a bad idea–I clearly can’t “respect” all my elders if they mean it as “don’t disagree with us.” Fortunately, I do have plenty of elders in my life whose opinions I do respect (and in this case agree with), like yours. πŸ™‚

Revanche January 11, 2010 at 2:30 am

I think it’s interesting that GenYers dismissed as nasty, big-headed disrespectful children because you’re younger and had the audacity to disagree with basically anonymous commenters judging your character.

What are you learning from elders, one and all, if the message is that your own thoughts are invalid simply because of your age?

My goodness. Sounds like the very same complaints of elders my grandparents related to me from their day: the same generations-old claim that disagreement is disrespect.

My dear old Grandma had a great point about that: disagreement in and of itself doesn’t connote disrespect or dismissal of the points made, attitude and manner of response does. They’re quite different.

As for early retirement? Maybe, maybe not. I’ve got passions that will never die but they may or may not prove to be sustainable jobs ten, fifteen or thirty years from now. I’ll always find some way to earn money and some way to pursue my passions. May they always intersect!

FB @ January 11, 2010 at 7:23 am

On respect:
I most agree with Dad, Mrs. Micah and Revanche.

Nearing the end of my 20’s, I too am getting highly annoyed with the term “respect” being used as a weapon when it comes to arguments one side feels they cannot win.

I respect my elders, namely my parents, uncles, aunts, (no grandmothers or grandfathers, they’ve all passed on), and generally speaking, anyone older than me who has demonstrated good sense in their personal life and in their career to be a solid mentor for me.

But just because Mrs. Micah doesn’t agree with someone who is older, doesn’t mean she isn’t disrespectful.

She IS respectful in at least taking the time to read the comment and to reply back in a civil, calm and logical manner, instead of saying: “What do you know!?”

Where would we all be if we listened to someone like Bernard Madoff, let’s say? MUCH older than a lot of us at the age of 72 this year (2010), I’d daresay.

Or if we had listened to his “investors” who poured their millions into his little Ponzi scheme?

No matter someone’s age or gender, they should always take anything they read or hear with a grain of salt.

Just because someone is your elder, doesn’t mean they ALWAYS know best.

On retiring early:
It’s nice to hear that you love your job so much, you could see yourself doing it past retirement.

As for myself, I think I’d like to retire early. It’d be nice to enjoy my golden years relaxing and doing what I want.

However, with that being said, I had a taste of that this year, and I can’t say I’m totally into the idea now.

But then again, I don’t have any children to pester or grandchildren to dote on, so perhaps I will feel differently as I get older.

I still think that even if I retire, I’d continue with my hobbies part-time, and travel more, health willing.

We’ll see. πŸ™‚
.-= FB @´s last blog ..Living at home with your parents: The scoop =-.

SS4BC January 12, 2010 at 1:06 pm

I love this article!

I’ve always believed that I won’t end up retiring, but instead die in the lab at 80 years old with a pipette in one had and a test tube in the other. At least, that’s my vision of how it will go down. =)

That said, I’m still saving for retirement, because some 40 years from now I may end up with my mind changed and could imagine nothing I want more than to go teach Chemistry to kids in Kenya for the rest of my adult life. Or maybe garden and take care of my grandkids. Who knows what I’ll want 40 years from now!

And if my vision of dying in the lab comes to pass, well, there is a nice sweet bonus for my offspring on the other side of my life. =)
.-= SS4BC´s last blog ..I had this really long postÒ€¦ =-.

frugalscholar January 13, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Very wise post! I agree and I’m 55. Luckily, DH and I are teachers, so we don’t have to retire to travel.

I have a friend who works for the federal gov, and when I asked him about retirement, he said “We don’t do that in my family.” Love it!

Roger January 15, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Interesting post, as always. I think that, like you, I am not fit for early retirement, at least as retirement is traditionally defined. Saving and investing with the possibility of leaving my job for something I’d prefer doing, that’s more of what I’m hoping to do. Of course, being between jobs, perhaps my opinion will change when I get another, different (much less desirable) position.
.-= Roger´s last blog ..Fifteen Things to Tell A Younger Me =-.

Heather May 12, 2010 at 4:31 pm

The way the economy is,I don’t think we have a choice of retirement.However,if I did,I wouldn’t.I like working,period.If I don’t like where I work and I could leave it for another job,then I definitely would do so,and that’s not retiring;it’s just moving from one job to the next.JMHO.

Dad May 13, 2010 at 12:41 am

This time on the idea of retiring early. For me the dot com bust and the big crash in the last couple of years means that I will probably need to continue working for a while now, health permitting. In most ways I don’t see that as a bad thing. The worst part of it is depending on it. Then when the words reorg, outsourcing, downsizing, offshoring send waves of fear through many of us. That is a matter of depending on it. Even if I had the means to retire at the level of life I would prefer (sort of like it is now), I would probably keep some type of work going unless I saw a way to be regularly active in a way I enjoy. Sometimes a job provides an organized activity by its nature. However, the option to take more time off or taking a job that involves fewer hours would give that time for other things I would like to do. My father had a very productive retirement until his health failed him around the age of 80. That was pretty good. The last years were sad because of that but he had a good 80 years of life. I’m not the self starter he was so a job may be my best answer. But a job without the pressure of I NEED THIS JOB. If I had decent retirement money then I could also choose a lesser paying job but which I would enjoy. Well, we will have to see where this goes.

deborah debbie September 7, 2012 at 10:59 pm

why would someone want too retire me early by bodily harm

Dad September 8, 2012 at 3:11 am

Deborah Debbie. Your post leaves me puzzled. Where did bodily harm enter the discussion? Or are you telling us something you’re experiencing. I hope it is not that!

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