Last time, we went over Adam and Jane’s early retirement situation. Both of them have been ready to quit their job for a while now and they are just hanging on to shore up their personal saving. If they can work 5 more years, then their pension will be fully vested and they will be able to retire without any financial concerns.
In a stressful situation like that, I fully believe you have to do something to lessen the pressure right away. It’s not healthy to hate your job because that’s how you spend at least 50% of your waking hours. I hated my corporate job before I quit and the bad vibe permeated all facets of life even when I wasn’t at the office. The stress will impair your physical and mental health, relationship, finance, and even sleep. You can probably endure a year or even two to meet a financial goal, but I think 5 years is way too long to suffer that kind of mental beat down.
Actually, I enjoyed my corporate job when I first started. Over the years, it became more stressful and I progressively liked it less and less. My last year was pretty much unbearable and I should have left long before having to endure that kind of mental anguish. When I quit my engineering career, life instantly became much better. I was able to spend a lot of time with RB40 Jr. and work on this blog. These days, I’m not stressed out all the time. I can sleep through the night and I have a good relationship with my wife and kid. Sure, I don’t make as much money, but I don’t need to spend a lot of money to relief the pressure either.
Don’t wait until 60 to be happy
I call this blog Retire by 40, but it really should be Enjoy Life by 40 or something like that. I retired from my corporate career 18 months ago, but I don’t plan to stop working anytime soon. I’m very busy everyday and I enjoy 99% of it. The 1% is when Jr. fights me about brushing teeth, eating lunch, and throwing toys. I found a way out of my stressful situation and I’m sure most Americans can do the same if they work at it.
The point I’m trying to make is that you don’t have to wait until you’re 60 to enjoy life. Holding down a stressful job that you hate is no way to live. It’s better to find an alternative and enjoy life now. Who knows what will happen in 10 or even 5 years. You might feel like you are stuck in your job, but you have a lot of choices. Here are just some ideas if you really hate your job.
- Find a more enjoyable company to work for. The job market is improving and you might be able to find a better work environment. Sometime changing job within the same company can improve your professional life too.
- Change career. You can go back to school, try applying to some different jobs, or even start a small business.
- Cut back to half time. I don’t think this option is available to many people, but check with your HR to see if it’s possible.
- Side hustle. Use your spare time to figure out how to make money with your hobby.
- Become Financial Independent. This is a long term project for most people, but I think it’s a lot more doable than you think. Most people with high income have high expense. If they can reduce it to the basic living expense, I bet many of them can quit their job in a few years especially if they have been saving for a long time.
Personally, I think it’s much more important to find a way to enjoy life now rather than to endure years of misery to enjoy it later. Once you can take care of the basic necessities, time is much more precious than money. You can always make money, but your time is irreplaceable.
What do you think? Is time more precious than money?
Photo credit: flickr Bethan