Your job vs. your work: Retirement police, listen up!

21 thoughts on “Your job vs. your work: Retirement police, listen up!”

  1. You don’t like doing timesheets?!?!

    All so true. Some of this thinking is even prevalent in our community in the whole FI vs RE debate. It’s all the same! We for sure plan to work, but on our terms, as you said. Work that’s fun and creative with no BS fits the bill. Work with conference calls, not so much!

    1. Absolutely agreed, ONL! A no-BS work environment. I haven’t found that yet within the confines of having to “hold a job”. Shed that particularly disturbing part of working, and you’ve found a perfect way to keep yourself busy, spirits high and maybe even perpetually happy. 🙂

  2. Wow this is perfect. Completely sums up how I think of the two. I love work. I love working on the blog or getting my hands dirty. No better feeling than completing a complex task. But all that other crap that comes with a job is terrible.

    I’ve tried to limit the amount of terrible I allow at my job. My commute is a quick walk. I have positioned myself to work mostly with people that I get along with and have some resemblance of a work/life balance in my firm. But yeah there is no getting rid of time sheets or ridiculous deadlines. I look at FI as a time to work for myself, and do projects that interest me. Maybe if I’m sure they’ll earn my income, I’ll be able to quit the job before FI!

    1. Hey Fervent,

      “I’ve tried to limit the amount of terrible I allow at my job.” – Amen to that. I try my best to do that as well, but some days are definitely easier to deal with than others. For me, last week was particularly difficult to limit the terrible – mainly due to the client. But hey, it happens, and this is why I’m striving so aggressively towards early retirement.

      And you are as well. I’m almost certain you’ll be able to quit before FI, or at the very least, move your FI date up quite a bit!

  3. Steve, where is the new coversheet for the TPS reports in your work list? Do you need me to send the memo to you? 🙂

    I love this statement: “Your job …….the extra life-draining crap that surrounds the work you do before you reach the point of retirement because we have little other choice. This is the crap that we must deal with during our full time careers in order to do the real work.”

    I too have the same definition of retirement. It is the ability to pursue my own interests (within our budget of course) without the need to receive income for those pursuits. Bottom line, I think it will be a way for me to find my true calling in life. I no longer have the excuse of having the time or money to do things I have deferred. I suspect this pursuit of “my play/work” will manifest in ways I could not have imagined.

    Jumping forward a little over a year in your journey, you and the Mrs. are camping in your Airstream, and some form of moneymaking venture is uncovered. You take it on a challenge and an experiment to test your abilities. Who cares if you need to make money – your freaking retired and FI! 🙂

    1. Bryan – the ability to pursue our own interests independently of money worries or holding a traditional “job” is the ultimate benefit of freedom. I fully expect (and hope) that we’ll have plenty of opportunities to pull in a little cash post-retirement, just to add some padding to our stash. We actually want to do some international travel as well, so anything in addition to what we’ve planned for income might get earmarked for that.

      And all this…without holding a single job. Love it!

  4. This is certainly an excellent post. And we do need to redefine how we think about retirement. I started late on the FI/ER train. I have only been saving for about six years and only recently got serious about debt so it will be awhile for me. However, I have just come to accept/think that I will be at my career for a while. I love it. I love the writing, the teaching, and I even like meetings with students. My version of ER would be to continue “work” but to be teaching at universities across the country and the world. That would be fun and hopefully will come much sooner.

    1. Hey Jason,

      Six years is definitely a heck of a lot longer than most people in your position, I’m sure. Better late than never, and you’re also in the awesome position of loving what you do, so you might not be in any real hurry to retire anyway. You get to truly enjoy life now while saving, then enjoy like some more after you’re done and independently wealthy.

      You’ve got your balance right on queue! 😉

  5. I ignore the retirement police. Its my life anyways! I have about 10 part-time gigs I want to try out when I retire… some volunteer work, some likely minimum wage work – just stuff to do for fun! Photography, work in a bakery decorating cakes, open an Etsy shop for all the crap I like to make, maybe get into woodworking, volunteer in a library, lead nature hikes, teach high school kids about personal finance, maybe even teach at a college! Or get certified to teach yoga! Oh my! The retirement police are gonna hate me!

    1. Amen to that, Mrs. SSC. Retirement police definitely aren’t worth listening to, and in the end, it really doesn’t matter. I’ll let them decide what I’m “really” doing as I’m finding a perfect spot to park our Airstream somewhere in the mountains of Colorado after we finally retire. If I’m still “working” according to them, then it’s the best work I’ve never done! 🙂

      Looks like you’re planning on keeping yourself busy after you’re done with the job. Never anything wrong with days filled with productive and rewarding work, that’s for sure.

      Keep fighting the good fight.

  6. Great Post! I’m in that situation where I will be leaving my professional JOB of almost 10 years early next year. I don’t plan to “retire” but rather WORK on building my jewelry business. It is such a different way of thinking when you create something from scratch and you can call it your own. Luckily, I have Mrs. Budgets that is really pushing me to do this to allow us more free time, slower pace lifestyle and pursue something I love to do. I’m quite nervous to make the jump and Mrs. Budgets doesn’t help with updating the number of days till I quit on the white board!

    1. Good on you, Mr. Budgets. Keeping busy is a wonderful thing to strive for post-retirement. I can’t imagine just sitting there doing nothing for the next 30, 40 or 50 years of your life…depending on when your retirement age will be. Like you, we’re gearing up for retirement next year as well.

      It’s gonna be fuuuuun. 🙂

  7. Another awesome post, Steve. I just love the graph, so simple yet so accurate. If my Job was only the parts that I like, I’d be super happy to show up every morning!

  8. Darn jobs getting in the way of our work! For us, leaving the jobs mean being able to work in something that is fulfilling creatively and emotionally. If something that does that for us also turns a profit, double bonus! Otherwise, we have been fulfilled anyway, so no loss! This is a great description of how we imagine our retirement. All work. No jobs. And also some play. 🙂

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