Thursday, July 5, 2007

Will I be Bored in Early Retirement?

I read all of these articles about people who having worked all their lives don't know what to do in retirement. Many of them go back into the work force because they just don't know what to do with their lives. So much of who they are as a person and what they occupy themselves is about their work.

The person that they were (independent of work) has become irreperably damaged, and they have become their work selves. My dad is still working in his seventies; not because he has to, but because he wants to. I want to avoid this fate at all cost.

This will not be me. Work is a means to an end, never an end in itself. Once I achieve financial freedom, my ends will have been achieved, and work will serve no more purpose for me.

One difficulty I face: how to enjoy the work that I do, while still remembering that my work self is not me? This seems like it may be very difficult to accomplish, but possibly can be accomplished by:
  1. Developing my non-work life, making friends, developing hobbies and fun things to do to the extent that my non-work life outshines any enjoyment I derive from work.
  2. Not over-obsess about money, so that when I finally have enough, I will recognize that fact, and let go my obsession.
  3. Realize that I should do work that I enjoy, but that the most enjoyable thing is to not have to work at all.
  4. Have a family that I can love and spend time with.
It is an awful prison that shackles you, even after you have left its confines.

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