It was just about 5 years ago and my co-worker announced she was retiring. All I could feel was envy. I’ve been LITERALLY thinking about retiring since I graduated from college. I have been saving as much as possible for as long as possible. Not in a living in a tent kind of way but in a saving over 20% since I graduated way.
Later that day we met for a coffee and I told her how jealous I was. I bet you can guess what she told me… “Don’t wish your life away”. I think about that response all of the time, but depending on the day it means slightly different things to me.
At the time, and most of the time since, I take it to simply mean that she, to some extent, envied my youth and that I shouldn’t wish to jump ahead to retirement age. Of course I wouldn’t want to loose the next 30 years to fast forward to retirement. But I do want to retire.
As much as I want to save now, and quickly, so that we can retire younger, is it good idea to make today more miserable for the benefit of tomorrow. Of course not (miserable) but we’re always balancing today’s happiness for tomorrows. One reason I often consider weighting today is health. None of us are getting any younger, including our parents and our daughter. She is only young once and they will not be as active forever. For some things like traveling while we’re able to take very active trips, the time may be now. Time to plan for Ireland 2018.
On the other hand though, today I found out about a coworker that died over the weekend. One that I had spoken to only a week earlier. He was not the first that week either, another died suddenly as well a few days earlier. Not long before that a former co-worker was diagnosed with cancer. All this brought yet a new meaning to the response from Phyllis 5 years earlier. I’m not sure she meant it exactly this way, but why can’t it simply mean to enjoy every moment to the fullest.
Too often these days I find myself doing the opposite of all of this. I dwell on our net worth. I stare at the market’s movements. I dream about how we can push down our magic number and retire any earlier. And most of all lately, I worry about how we will deal with healthcare now that the ACA (Obamacare) is on its way to be replaced by the ACHA (Trumpcare) or at very least will crumble under the weight of uncertainty and needed updates.
Healthcare combined with all financial assets (Stocks, Bonds, Real Estate, Bitcoin, and even Art) reaching new unstainable highs… I’m very worried about how we can retire in the near term.
So where does that leave us? Well, needing a vacation from worrying about it. We have a couple years until we seriously consider retiring, we still have good jobs with included healthcare, and we’re headed to Barcelona in less than a month. Seriously unplugging and enjoying traveling with my wife (sans kid), could life be better?