Why am I in such a hurry… to retire

When I was in college my best friend and roommate used to say, “I can’t wait to be a grandmother.” I always thought that was the strangest comment to come out of the mouth of an eighteen year old. I remember laughing and saying, “what about the forty years in between now and then?” After all, why the big hurry to get to the end. Isn’t life supposed to be all about the journey?

But now only ten years later, I find myself reconsidering those sentiments. After all, if life is all about the journey than how come I’m rushing to save for an early retirement. Why do I scour financial articles, buy investment books, and try to pinch and scrimp my way to a larger bank account?

I want to find a more meaningful career. My best friends in college are now teachers and social workers. They feel fulfilled and satisfied in helping others. In comparison their paychecks are probably a 1/3 of mine, but they are happy going to work every day.

My uncle, a sixty year old professor, has no plans to retire. I think he teaches classes only 2 1/2 days a week. He teaches subjects he adores, to students eager to learn, who wouldn’t want to continue doing that?

It seems like life is all about being in a hurry. Women in particular seem to propel this notion. We’re are in a hurry to get married. We’re in a hurry to have children. And if we’re not in a hurry, we have other women telling us to hurry up, before time runs out.

After getting sick last year, I swore that I would take life a little slower. And I think for the most part I have been succeeding at this task. I’ve had a lot of time to think while laying in a hospital bed as the world moved on without me. I considered changing careers and switching jobs. I still consider it everyday.

But for now I keep telling myself that making a lot of money at my age will provide me with an abundance of freedom in the future. So instead of feeling like I’m racing to the end of the finish line, I feel like I’m running to the start of a new race.

When the new race begins I hope to create my own rules and call the race however I want to. Maybe instead of running everyone has to skip or hop their way to the end. Maybe. I guess I’ll have to wait and see, and in the mean time make the most of my journey outside of the 9 to 5 hours.

5 thoughts on “Why am I in such a hurry… to retire”

  1. This blog is incredible, congratulations.
    I just discovered it after reading FIRE blogs for over a decade.
    My favorite entries are your recent ones. Finally a FIRE blog that does talk about what to do when you have money. Your entries are wise and thought provoking. Should I stay home for my kids, and why should I? Wonderful questions that talk about the meaning of your life and your time. And questions that cannot be answered by money.
    I am just short of retirement. My wife and I a happily working as architects, but I want to stop and do what else there is to do, volunteer, read, enjoy children and future grand children, stop the worry about the next project at work.
    I have worked for 30 years and its worked out better than I could dream when I decided on my career. And now its time to move on. But how much money will we need and will my wife be happy when income goes down? And will our kids expect some of our income? Those are great questions even when not retiring early, or barely early.
    Thank you again for writing about your life, it is wonderfully inspiring.

    • Thank you for this comment. I’m glad you enjoyed my recent posts. As you can see I’ve been blogging since 2006, but those early entries are rough 😉 Back then a blog post was just a bunch of random thoughts typed into the Internet. Congratulations on finding a job you love and looking forward to a life without it. There are a lot of people striving for financial freedom, but not that many that write about it once they hit those magic numbers. I hope my blog inspires those who are trying to reach FI. I also hope it shows how money is one aspect of retirement and life after work. In the world of personal finance we can focus intensely on dollars and cents, but life is about so much more than that.

  2. I agree with Frugal Dad! I’ve found your posts to be honest, thought-provoking and relatable – things that I am really looking for in FIRE blogs. Not just the hows but the whys of early retirement. And I’ve found them to be very relatable as a woman and mom myself. Keep up the great work. You’re making a difference!


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