When I first got my part time job and had to work all nights and weekends, I remember talking to someone who had been with the company for more than a decade and saying how it would be nice to have weekends off like them.
Their response was that they had “done their time”, in essence they had worked long enough to no longer be required to work the shifts no one wanted to.
In a way the same mindset is with finances.
People think that you can’t retire early because you haven’t “done your time”, you haven’t worked 30 plus years to be able to retire.
Is that really required to retire? Is retiring really no longer working? Should I continue working until I’m 65 just to “do my time”.
Typical person works how long?
Lets say you start your career at 22 and you retire at 62 (the US average) that means that you will have worked for 40 years.
Let’s say you work 40 hours a week with 4 weeks of vacation a year and another week for holidays throughout the year.
That means that every year you are working 1,880 or 32% (assuming 8 hours of sleep a night).
One third or your life every year for 40 years will be dedicated to working and making money, more if you work overtime or more than one job.
How long are people retired for?
When you reach retirement age of 62 (and now people are retireing later and later) how long do you get to enjoy it?
The average retirement is 18 years (source), that’s all you get. For giving up a third of your life for 40 years or more you get 18 years to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
All so that you can “do your time”
A Different Option
It’s because of this, and many other reasons, that so many now are deciding to retire early.
For some this seems like a dream, a mear fantasy, but it can be a reality if you want it to be.
How early is too early to retire?
Is there such a thing as “too early”? There are many things to consider when picking your retirement age. Sam over at Financial Samurai talks in detail about it here.
The basics are this, do it for the right reasons, and make sure you really do have enough saved to do it.
How Long Till I’ve Done “My Time”
With the concept of retiring early it really gets rid of the thought of doing your time.
You have to make sacrifices, but if you are willing to make them early than you can have what none of the others do.
You can retire early, and enjoy life well they are still working hard.
You also may never actually stop working. Some who have retired still work on side projects, or start side projects. For those who have the ability to retire early odds are that you also can create something useful in the world.
Even once I reach financial independence I probably won’t retire in the traditional sense. It will be more of a work when I want on what I want instead of now taking whatever work I can find.
So are you set to “do your time” or are you working hard now to make sure that your time really is your time.
That you get to enjoy the health of being young, the time you would spend working but instead have time to yourself.
If you choose to work till 65 it should be just that a choice, not something you have to do.
What do you think, do you have to do “your time”? Or, should you be able to set when you will retire?
Image courtesy of Graphics Mouse at FreeDigitalPhotos.net