Posted by Tim Stobbs on August 17, 2011
This is a guest post by Martin, who is preparing for retirement within the next 5 years; no later than his 40th birthday. He is married, has 2 young children and lives and works in rural Alberta as a regional finance manager for a large energy company. (As a reminder here was his last post)
Like most similar-minded readers of this blog, unconventional early retirement is possible for me because I respect money. I work as hard and smart as I can to earn it and am diligent in making sure that I add real value to my life when I spend it. Being an accountant only compounds the analysis and dissection that I place on my finances. This obsessive, objective approach has revealed a point of concern in executing my retirement plan.
My financial mind is having a hard time dealing with the thought of leaving money on the table.
When I philosophize about it, it is clear to me that I do not want to work a day longer than I have to. However, when I get into the details of determining how much do I need to retire, I keep reasoning that if I work an extra couple of years beyond what I need, I’ll add enough money to (a) provide a larger inheritance to my children, (b) not have to be so diligent about spending in the future and be able to afford the odd frivolous expenditure *gasp*, (c) buy a little cottage on a lake up north, or (d) <insert any of the reasons/excuses I’ve come up with add just a little more to my nest egg before retiring>.
I think my hang-up is derived from the notion that I haven’t yet been paid back in my career for the sacrifice it took to get where I am today. For those with experience in the corporate world, I’m just starting to bump up against the threshold where employees go from from being underpaid to overpaid commensurate to their qualifications and experience. The objective financial quadrant of my mind is urging me to hang on for a few more years to correctly compensate me for the years spent being underpaid.
Has anyone else gone through this idea that you owe it to yourself to hang on a few more years to validate the effort it took to get there? Any ideas on how to shake this idea and just walk away when the numbers are right?