Heading for Disappointment at Age 30?

We celebrated my friend’s birthday last night. So of course the topic of conversation turned to the big ‘3’-‘0’. One of my friends said she’d set her expectations to high for 30. At 30 she planned on retiring from her current job. She planned on making a living off her dream job. But as 30 is now less than a year away we all know that won’t be her destiny. So she said she planned on spending her birthday crying.

That got me thinking. Perhaps by aspiring to such lofty goals and dreams we are only setting ourselves up for disappointment. My husband reiterated this notion a few weeks ago. I said I wanted to retire when we reached a net worth of $2 million. He said to be careful. He said I might be setting myself up for disappointment. After all, what if we don’t reach $2 million anytime soon?

So what’s the moral… Not to dream? I think the problem with just dreaming is that you aren’t taking the steps necessary to actually achieve the dream. In order to actually achieve the goal you have to work hard, take risks (like changing your job), or settle down (if a family is your dream). It’s not just having the dream that’s important, it’s figuring out how to achieve it.

My goal is to be healthy. If possible to live pain free. To have both of my houses paid off and possibly retire by age 40. To have a child (God willing). To enjoy every moment… or at least most of them. To be grateful for what I have and to feel blessed for those around me.

I am attempting to meet all of my goals head on. I have been practicing yoga and meditation, eating better, visiting an acupuncturist and naturopath, putting extra money towards principal, squirreling away 15% of my salary, thinking twice before pulling out my credit cards, and spending more time with friends and family.

I might not meet all of my goals before 30, but I hope by living right and making the best decisions for my life, I won’t be crying on my birthday.

7 thoughts on “Heading for Disappointment at Age 30?”

  1. I’m 28. My biggest goal in life was to have a happy and healthy child, and my second goal in life is to be able to retire at age 50. I’ve met the first one, and I’ve got a demarcated plan for reaching the second (a goal for each year). Dreams are fine, but I’m convinced that if you want to reach them, you need a plan.

  2. Don’t forget that your life is NOW. It’s OK to dream, but your dream should include what you’re currently doing. What I mean is, there’s no point putting up with a unenjoyable job just so that you can “retire” at 40… You’d be better changing to a more enjoyable job, even if it means not “retiring” until, say, 50.

    I could probably retire early, but I won’t unless I suffer ill-health or can’t find a suitable job. I already do the things I’d like to do when I retire, and *mostly* enjoy my work.

    Whatever you want to do in “retirement” start doing a bit of it now – you may find that the idea of doing it 24/7 for 50 years in retirement loses its appeal.

    ps. $2m is OK to retire on at 60, but I think this would be an insufficient amount to retire on at 40, unless you plan on a VERY modest retirement lifestyle.


  3. Just to touch on Enough Wealth, I’m not sure that 2M is enough to retire on when you are 60. You’d be surprised what 30 years of inflation does to make things more expensive. I just did some math and with 4% inflation, in 30 years 2M would buy you what $616,637 would buy today. It’s possible, but I’m not sure it would give you a comfortable retirement.

    I like Trent’s idea with breaking up your goals for each year with maybe a really strong examination every 5 years to make sure that things are still on track.

  4. Even if 2M is not enough to retire on at 40, maybe in 10 years, you can work part-time and then use the rest of your time to pursue your real life.

    I also practice Yoga. It’s a great biz move. I think better.

    I enjoyed this post and the comments.

  5. I loved the comments this blog entry inspired. $2 million probably won’t be enough to retire on by age 40. Both my husband and I are in agreement about that fact. Although with our mortgages paid off and rental income helping to pay the bills it’s certainly not a shabby goal to aim for. Retirement to me is all about the options. If we reach the $2 million mark I could begin considering alternate careers or as one reader mentioned working part time.

    Although we’re frugal in a million different ways, we recently purchased a vacation home and currently pay two hefty mortgages. I love ‘enough wealth’s’ comment about finding a job I love right NOW, but with our current mortgage debt I couldn’t afford the cut in salary.

  6. I think $2M is the perfect goal to shoot for, but I am a little biased.

    $2M invested should bring in $100k+/yr – not rich, but enough for a modest middle class lifestyle.

  7. 2 million is at good goal to set.

    But in order to reach it lay out a good plan.

    If you want to make it to 2mil, you may want to increase your retirement contributions from 15% to more like 25%


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