Would you work 60+ hour weeks for two years if it meant immediate retire?

Published August 9, 2017   Posted in In Retirement

Last weekend in Idaho, I got curious about how bad folks want early retirement. Would you sacrifice your lifestyle (and possibly your health) for a period of time to guarantee early retirement?

The question, which I asked on Twitter as well as the Rockstar Forums, was simple:

Would you work 60+ hour weeks for two years if it meant immediate retirement?

On Twitter, some folks basically (and literally) said hell yes. In the greater scheme of life, two years isn’t that long.

Others weren’t so on-board:

And others still said they already do this, minus the retirement part!

Over on the Rockstar forums, folks were pretty open to the idea. Overall, I was surprised at how many people already work these hours!

Amy from LifeZemplified.com

My immediate answer – If it meant a financially secure retirement you betcha!

Then I started wondering when the two years started? – Straight out of school or wherever you are at currently in life?

Straight out of school or early in career? Yes
Right now? Probably not

Brad from MaximizeYourMoney.com

Absolutely. I worked at least that many hours running my own business for 18 years.

Brian from DebtDiscipline.com

Yup. Short term sacrifice for the long term goal. Count me in.

Doc Dads, Dollars, Debts is already there

Being a doc I work 60 plus hours many weeks….many many weeks….

Then, I switched things up a bit and revised the question. A lot of folks work 60 / hour weeks, but they also get vacations and holidays. What if those perks were off the table?

Revised question: Work 60+ / week EVERY week. No vacation. No Christmas holiday. You literally work 52 weeks a year.

The Financial Journeyman said he’s still game:

I would still say yes even if it included no holidays off or vacations.

Amy from LifeZemplified.com was still onboard:

No change for me. When I had my restaurant business (about 10 years ago) for just over two years, I worked 90-100 hours per week every week.

Financial Muse already puts in these hours:

I already do. Part of working in the finance industry.

Would you work 60+ hour weeks for two years if it meant immediate retirement? How about 80+ weeks? Or, if you already work an insane number of hours, what would be your maximum threshold? Would you work 12 hours a day, 365 days a year for two years to retire?

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9 responses to “Would you work 60+ hour weeks for two years if it meant immediate retire?”

  1. Bryce says:

    When looking at how long my retirement will be, the trade-off is worth it: http://imgur.com/Lz2rQpA

  2. islandfi01 says:

    For me this is an easy choice. Two years is going to go by no matter if I work or not so making a sacrifice for two years for a longer term benefit I definitely would.

  3. I think it’s a pretty easy choice to work the 60+ hours for 2 years. 80+ hour weeks would be pushing it, especially with no weekends. I’ve worked many days in a row with no days off and I’ve had a side hustle for most of my working career. Overall, it’s short term sacrifice for long term game, I’m all for it.

  4. TSR –

    Already doing this… CPA… busy season that seems to never end…


  5. Emily Jividen says:

    I did do it (60+ hour weeks with limited vacation/holiday time from 1999-2005 for part ownership in a retail business that I’ve since sold.) 30-something and single, it was no big deal, especially since the work was fun and rewarding. At 49 with a kid? Glad I took care of it then and no longer have to live that life.

    That said, even before the kid came along and before I sold my business interest, I was looking at ways to shift to a more reasonable schedule and a less variable one. I also had enough variety in my day that it wasn’t 60+ customer-focused hours (i’m pretty introverted.) The more control you have over your work, the easier that sort of work commitment is to carry off.

  6. Bunnyfreak says:

    What is it about the finance industry? I am in a similar situation to Financial Muse. Last year I work 100+ hours a week with the expectation of working on holidays except Christmas. Working that many hours gave me computer elbow aka tendonitis. This year I am striving for a work load that doesn’t wreck my health or keep me from enjoying my family. I still work long hours but make sure I have at least one down day a week. It helps that my boss was just as burned out last year and is supportive.

    • Eileen says:

      You’ve worked 14+ hours per day 7 days a week for prolonged periods? Why would anyone do that if they had any other reasonable option?

      That’s starting work at 7am, working until at least 9pm. So with commuting and personal hygiene you are literally going to bed after you get home and back up by 6am. Every single day? This means there is quite literally nothing else in your life other than working. No personal time, no hobbies, no TV watching, no volunteering, no entertainment.

  7. Eileen says:

    I wonder if people are really, really considering 60+ hours. That’s 12+ hour days if you work 5 days per week, or 8+ hours a day for 7 days. I work in IT and I have put in some very long days/weeks/months. I’ve slept on the floor of my cube during big conversion weekends. I’ve had too many over night install/validation to count.

    But to work 12 hour work days (not counting commuting) for 2 years, or working full 8.5 hour days 7 days a week…that’s difficult. If you have children it would be difficult/impossible if you wanted to be a present parent (or see soccer games or recitals or parent-teacher conferences or their classroom) and it would stink for any relationship.

    If you could retire in 2 years with that kind of schedule, I think you could probably retire in 5 years with a much less ridiculous schedule.

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