Monday, October 21, 2019

Do You have to Quit when You are Financially Free?

Last week, I read an article which shares a 32-year-old young retiree goes back to work two years after his retirement. He says the reasons for him to return to work are:

  1. Lack of people interaction during retirement which make him felt bored
  2. No more happiness from work achievement
  3. He was under great pressure on money when losing stable income even though he was financially free
There is no right or wrong answer on this. Here, I would like to share my thought. 

To me, this 32-year-old young retiree did not plan his retirement life well. I am not talking in term of monetary term but how to get around with his retirement life. People tend to think easy and would like to enjoy life if he/she could retire early. The key is how to "ENJOY". To "ENJOY" doesn't mean sit there and do nothing as you'll feel bored two days later, I guarantee.

That is the reason why you have plan how to "ENJOY" your retirement as well but not on only monetary term. You should realize what you would like to do the most. What hobbies do you have? What activities do you like? When you have time, how would you allocate your time on your hobbies and activities?

Take myself as an example. I am financial free at the age of 40. Yes, I could have quit my full-time job if I want to but I did not. Why? Well, there were a few reasons. The top of the list was that I was not sure how to utilize my ample free time. I kept searching and exploring what I would like to do when I retired early. It took me more than 4 years to gradually sketch out my retirement life. But I did not quit soon after but to test whether it was really the life I want. How? I ran an experiment of retirement life during long festive holidays such as Chinese New Year. The feeling was great but I was still not ready. In the subsequent 3 years, I kept studying how to have enriched my retirement life. Meanwhile, I saw some of my friends were either caught in serious sickness or passed away. These had make me to think seriously how to live happily and do what I like to do before it was too late.

As a matter of fact, even though I was mentally ready for retirement, I did not quit just like that. Reason being I liked my full time job. I had been working with the company for more than 20 years. However, I rather reluctant to quit as a result of losing of working harmony. This happened due to retirement of first generation management while second generation management did not carry the value as the first generation. Furthermore, the new management just simply added on works to those who willing to work but without any remuneration. I raised my requests but they just acted blur. That was the reason why I first tendered my resignation when I was 43. They admitted their mistake and promised to treat me fairly. Actually they did not until I tendered my resignation second time when I was 46. They make blank promise again and, finally, I tendered again at the age of 47. High work pressure without any reasonable compensation had make me felt that this company is not worth for me to contribute. Furthermore, to me, my health is more important than the salary. On the other hand, should the company was still the same as before, I believe I'll be still working by now since I feel happy on working.

Do you have to quit when you are financially ready? The answer is very subjective. My advise is don't quit if you like and enjoy your job. I quit because my situation is on the other way round. While enjoying your full time job, do start to plan your retirement life as soon as possible since, one day, you will be sure retired and you just can't leave yourself do nothing at all time by then. Do plan ahead.


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