Category Archives: Happiness

Work to Live, Not Live to Work

Perhaps it is just me or have you noticed the vast majority of people have appeared to lost their minds around their jobs and their personal lives. We book every second of every day with things to do and people seem to forget how to sit down and relax.

Currently I’m out east and I was discussing some of my co-workers with one of local people in the office. I heard the story of the older gentleman with a nice office on the top floor. Basically he lives to work, he works on the weekend and late during the week. When he isn’t at the office he is constantly on his crackberry checking email. If you asked what he did outside of work he would give you a blank stare. My co-worker just commented how we would likely find the man dead at his desk one day. That is a sad life. Would anyone even mourn him longer than a second or two? Would his tombstone say, “Here lies X, he was a good worker”?

I prefer things a bit different. I don’t do overtime unless it is a make or break project that has to be done and then I only do the minimum required. I believe that being a dad is the greatest gift and challenge in my life and I won’t let anyone do that job for me. I believe the dishes can wait and the bed can be unmade if I get more time to play with my wife and kid. I believe the happiness moments in my life didn’t involve any money. I believe to truly make a difference in the worls I need to do more than write a cheque to a charity. I believe that people should stop talking and start listening to each other. I believe that people are more important that things. I believe that everyone should spend at least five minutes of each day in complete silence doing nothing. I believe in living over working.

What do you believe?

Long Weekend Plans

Today finally marks the start of the long weekend here in Canada. More importantly it marks the beginning of gardening season. So this weekend I’ll start planting the garden in hopes of getting lots of nearly free organic food starting in a month or so. Afterward I intend to sit down and do a lot of nothing for at least one day this long weekend (with the exception of turning on the BBQ and finding a cold beer).

So regardless of what you have planned I highly recommend you put down that calculator and make sure you get outside and enjoy yourself. After all we spend so much time here discussing money that at times I think we forget about making sure we have some fun too.

A quick reminder that I will not be posting on Monday due to the holiday. Have a great long weekend.

CD

Don’t Retire Early?

During my usual tour of blog posts last night I came across a post by Saving Journey entitled “Don’t retire early!” Of coarse the title got me so I had to read on. Here is a taste of the post:

Personally, I find that my work is enthralling and rewarding. I am very passionate about what I do and I keep very abreast in my industry. I participate in conferences, and I basically look forward to the work that I do nearly each and every day. I’ve always enjoyed my work for the 10 or so years that I’ve been doing it. So why the heck would I want to retire early? Consider this:

  • Early retirement is a risk to your future earnings – what if you retire at 45 then decide 5 years into your retirement hiatus that you want to work? Will you be happy with that Wal-Mart greeter job? 😉 You greatly risk your future earnings potential
  • Early retirement likely means a decrease in your disposable income both in retirement and today

Overall it is not a bad argument. If you love what you do why stop working. My counter argument is simple. Most people don’t love their jobs. If you want to find out if you love your job here is a simple test: If you were not paid to do you job, would you still go to work tomorrow? If you can truly answer yes, congratulations you do love your job and you are part of the 5% of the population that does love their job. For the rest of us, it’s a bit different.

Don’t get me wrong I do like my job. Some days I would even say I love it, but I find my life so limiting being stuck in that job for 40 hours a week. Also I don’t buy into the idea I will want to go back to ‘work’ after I retire, because who said anything about me not doing something that earns money in retirement. I just don’t have to be worried about working a set schedule and I do the jobs I want to rather than needing to.

So I do find happiness in most of my life, most of the time. I don’t expect early retirement to be a silver bullet, but rather the freedom to purse anything I want for as long as I want without being tied to the wage that goes with it. That is what I’m buying in my mind with that ‘decrease of disposable income.’