Why I’ll Never Retire

Why I’ll Never Retire

As my spring break progresses, I’m happy to host a post from my good friend Larry. 

I can say without question, I will never retire. I’ll stay working until the day I no longer have any mental and/or physical capacity.

I’m sure many are immediately thinking you aren’t going to retire because you won’t have enough money to do it. That’s not my reason, though. Far from it.

In the past ten years I’ve made it a priority to ensure my wife and I will have enough money to never work again. I am happy to say we are well along this path. I’ve set up goals along the way and I’m happy to say we’ve been exceeding our targets.

It wasn’t too long ago in society, you worked for one company your whole life. Then by age 60, you got a gold watch and a pension. Today is much more different.

I think the traditional idea of retirement is disappearing. In many cases it’s because many simply cannot afford to retire. For one the ones who can but don’t, I think it’s for another reason.

I’ve known a few people after many years of work who die soon after they retire. One I knew personally got lung cancer and died 6 months his after retirement. Had he not retired would he still gotten the cancer? Who knows. What I do know many lose their sense of purpose in life once they retire. Studies have shown having a higher purpose in life reduces death.

For me, personally, to retire means death. Death in the sense to lose a sense of purpose to live, and help others in society. Whether you realize it or not, by working you are contributing to society. In some cases, you contribute in a very big way.

That is why I never plan on retiring. I plan on always be active with my mind, but also active within my community.

One blogger recently retired from his profession, and from his recent posts, you can tell he is bored. I’ve heard on the grapevine he is considering going back to work. The issue is there’s only so much you can do while all of your other friends are working. More importantly, you lose your identity. What was obvious before and after this individual retired: He never really liked what he did. He did it primarily for the paycheck. In my opinion, doing something just for money is always the wrong reason. As silly as it sounds I believe this statement is true: Do what you love and the money will follow.

It’s actually pretty easy to determine how someone views their profession. Do they refer it to a job, career, or a life mission? If you refer to something as your job, it’s obvious you don’t love what you do. I’m sure it’s a dread to you and can’t wait for quitting time. It’s no wonder many heart attacks occur Monday morning. How can many live life like that every day? I know I sure can’t. If I don’t have my heart into something, I just can’t continue it anymore.

Ideally you should be doing what you really love as a profession, because life is short. In commencement speech Steve Jobs said:

You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

Realize what’s important isn’t retirement in the traditional sense, but your ability to achieve financial freedom. Financial freedom means you have enough savings, and annual income from passive sources that you never have to work again. In other terms you are truly wealthy. Once you reach this point you can define the time, terms and work that you’ll accept. It puts you in a place very few people achieve, even after they retire.

In my own case, I quit a highflying dotcom company just before they were going public. I lost a lot of money by quitting early, but I didn’t care. I wasn’t happy. I knew my destiny was owning my own business. While I was far from financially free then, it was the first day I decided to pursue my dreams and do what I truly love. Since then, I have grown in many ways. Not only in earning more money and developing better skills, but (as odd as this sounds) spiritually as well. My pursuit was no picnic and certainly times were not always easy. But in the words of Frank Sinatra, I did it my way.

Today my own personal problem isn’t I don’t love what I do. My biggest problem is I have so many interests, but only so long to live.

Having purpose in life is so important; traditionally, it’s more with males, who associate their career as a big part of their life. Right now, for me, helping others increase their financial education is one of my primary goals. I do this through the Investor Junkie web site. In the future, I might be doing something else, but whatever I am doing I’m always on a mission, and therefore will never retire.

Larry Ludwig owns the financial web site Investor Junkie. His site is about giving in-depth reviews of financial products, stock broker promotions, information on a solid financial education.

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5 Responses to Why I’ll Never Retire

  1. AverageJoe says:

    Great post, Larry! I felt the same way managing money for other people and left at the top of my career. Time is our most precious commodity and I’ll do anything to make sure that I’m using it in a way that helps me achieve all the different goals I want…not the career that everyone expected me to have.

  2. Michelle says:

    I could never fully retire. I have always been a person who likes to keep busy. I want purpose in life, not to just sit around!

  3. I’m in the same boat as you! I think I won’t stop working. It might be be a job in a traditional sense, even doing volunteering projects in the states or overseas. That is, assuming my health is in good condition!

  4. I can relate to getting bored blogging. Check out my post on whether I should go back to work now that the good times are back. If you could let me know who s/he is that you are referring to, I’d love to trade notes. Thanks!

    http://www.financialsamurai.com/2013/03/25/should-i-go-back-to-work-now-that-the-economy-is-strong/

  5. Very, very admirable, and great insight. Being active in any community is the key, I think, to staying happy and engaged.

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