The Retirement Myth

It is interesting that the bane of our successful working class isn't laziness, on the contrary it may be too much work

Many folks including myself would speak of their early retirements at the start of their careers. All blue eyed, hopeful, optimistic and full of energy, it all seems like a steep rise to top in the next 10 years or so, giving you enough money and constant income to have you retire in peace. Few people got it right and I only read it few years back and it all makes so much sense. Tim Ferris got it right in his 4 hour workweek and the Peter Cohan inthis article

We are not looking for a life of zero work, I don’t think most of us will survive that kind of life, more so after a life where you could make enough money in ten years to last your life time. Unless you are truly lucky to win a lottery, any such achievement would come after many 100+ hour weeks and you would be incapable of dealing with the emptiness of no work. So, essentially, what we look for isn’t really zero work, but freedom from constraints, a control over your life, your time.

If you could spend your days the way you want without having to worry about putting food on table or saving up for your kids’ college, marriage and what not, you would have the life you want. This all makes a lot of sense, and begs the question - is it really worth waiting 20 or 30 years and have a retired life where you are not worried about all the things mentioned above. Would you even have the energy to do what you want with your free time then?
Instead of planning for a deferred retired, peaceful life, figure out what you would like to do. You may come to realize that all that you are looking for doesn’t need you to retire fully, all it might need for all you know is a little bit extra time in your life and may be slightly better financial planning? Like the ad below from IDBI federal Life Insurance trying to free you up from worrying about some part of your financial needs.





Anyway, this may be true for some, not for others, but what makes sense for everyone would be to have a list of things they would like to do if they could get a chance to live worry-free. Here is mine

Read

I have been too fond of reading all my life. I spent first 18 years of my life without reading any English novel, but devouring every piece of reading material I could get my hands on at my home. We never had a reading culture at home (more so English) and I never realized how much I loved it. Come college, I see a Hostel library and I got hooked. I read more than 55 books that year ( I was keeping count), of course, the grades nosedived, but that’s how I started and my constant regret is, so many books, not enough time!

Play/Exercise
Again something I did as much as I could, but wasn’t into it formally ever. But started playing table tennis a little more seriously in college, and then later on got into running, yoga, gym-ming, swimming. I may not look super-athletic, but I enjoy it !

Movies/Music
With web 2.0, there is only more to do here and I would like to lap it up all

Write
Writing for fun, un-constrained, un-supervised

Learn
Something, anything

Make Money/Grow an enterprise/Solve Problems:
This is the bit where I would like to fit my job or is a proxy for a job. However, a job that lets me enjoy the other things without putting pressure to choose from them, or ignore them. Of course, there are rarely those jobs, and even if there are, there will be peer pressure, a constant sense of competition with your immediate peers forcing you to push just a bit harder. This is a bane for all of us, in big scheme of things, all of us have lost the race in one way or the other if we really think we are in a race, but we always change our scope to make it interesting/horrible for us. And we stick to our own treadmills forever.

Write your own list, figure out what it is really, and make a move!