I had an interesting request a few weeks back from Mint.com looking to do an interview with me, which of course I agreed to since I don’t mind doing them. Well the article is finally up so if you want to have a read you can head over here. I have to say it contains a high degree of exact quotes from me so if you ever wonder why on earth I started this blog you can finally find out.
Enjoy and let me know if you have any other questions.
I was talking with a co-worker one day about my new position as Councillor on my local engineering association. After learning the job was entirely volunteer based he commented “Oh, but I suppose it will look good on your resume.” To be honest the fact it might never even occurred to me. In fact, the entire idea of doing things because how they might look good on your resume sort of disgusts me.
You see I have this crazy idea that I should do thing that I actually enjoy and/or are meaningful to me. So when I choose to help out with something, or try something new I’m doing for me not for what others will think of me. Perhaps I’m odd that way, or it may be the fact I have no intention of climbing the corporate ladder anymore.
Yet the odd thing is, my resume still looking impressive. Why? Because I can tell relevant stories from the things I have chosen to do. Regardless of what you do in life you tend to learn something by getting involved. So the group or activity might be done solely because you like it, but in the end you still can demonstrate learning something from it.
For example, if you have ever helped review a budget, that is a good skill to have as it amazes me the amount of people that can’t even read a budget. Or if you have ever helped organize an event that was successful, that is also a great skill to have as a large amount of work is about putting people and tools in the right spot to do the work.
So my advice to younger people is: screw resume building. Instead focus on those things that are meaning for you. You will likely be happier in life and oddly enough still have the option of writing down something useful that you have learned on a resume. Besides when you get to the actually interview the resume is useless, other than a reminder, you story telling ability will matter the most. So good luck and forget about building a resume, instead just build an interesting life.
One of the things that I enjoy when I write for Tim’s site is the feedback I get from readers on my financial plans. While I joke around, for the most part I’m a guy who kind of pretends to be a grown-up, who kind of has his stuff together enough to discuss my plans of early retirement. I enjoy the exchange of ideas that has happened between myself and everyone who takes the time to comment on some of the schemes I have put forth.
Leaving the workforce 20+ years before “normal” retirement age is something that not very many people have done in the past, or if they did, it wasn’t really written about widely. Not many people know if the plans they set out will work in the long-run, because the long-run takes so long to test for. I can run my average investment returns through prediction machines and compare the returns against all sorts of potential expenses. I can have a certain amount of assurance that the financial “plan” I have in place will work out okay in the long-term, but who knows? I may go broke and be scrambling for any type of job I can find 5 years after I quit work for the last time – this is the major risk of this kind of plan.
My wife and I both know the risks that may come from exiting the workforce early, and have discussed the possibility of insuring that we have enough money to make it through. One of the possibilities we’ve talked about is working at a subsistence level, in order to allow our investments to compound for another 5 to 10 years.
Given our low annual budget, it might be a good time to learn a new kind of trade – whether it’s an actual trade, or just something interesting to do. Given the fact that we won’t have debt or savings requirements, we could live a basic paycheque to paycheque lifestyle, while gaining a bunch of free time in a semi-retirement stage.
We just don’t know how any of our financial plans will turn out though. I have no idea how my current investment plan will work out over the next 10 years pre-retirement, or the 50 years after retirement. I can be pretty sure we’ll be okay with the goal we have, but a few extra years of compounding might be beneficial, for very little “pain” on our end, besides having to get to a job sometimes. The benefit from this type of arrangement is that we could spend with comparative “reckless abandon” compared to the savings rate we are employing these days.