Posted by Tim Stobbs on June 14, 2013
For not being in a supervising position I have take a substantial amount of training regarding leadership skills. Why? I’m interested in the theory and practice of leading teams or groups and I’ve been lucky to have bosses that are willing to cut me some slack on taking training that isn’t directly related to my current job.
Yet during a recent training session I came to an important conclusion: I don’t want to be a supervisor…ever. I want to be a leader instead. Huh?!? What’s the difference?
Well that got cemented in my mind when I did a group exercise on what is leadership and what is a supervisor. The list of the supervisor items where: paperwork, reporting, managing people issues, performance management…you get the idea. Meanwhile the leadership list included: inspiring others, developing others, driving change, and realizing a vision.
At that point I realized I like leadership, but I have no interest in the actual day to day work of a supervisor. I’ve watched way too many people that those jobs and question if it was a good idea or not. Also I’m blessed to be in a company where you don’t need the title to lead something. People are mostly assigned work on ability and workload in my particular work group. So I’ve already lead things without a title and I’m completely ok to continue that.
Perhaps the hardest part of the realization for me was letting go of my ego. In my head I had always thought I would likely work up to the first step of the management structure, but now that won’t be happening (by my own choice). I’ve been told by several people that thought I would make a good supervisor, so letting go of the dream has required some work on my part.
Yet in the end, I think this will be best. I really do think I would be unhappy in a supervisor position, so after six months of thinking about this dream: I’m letting go.
So what was the last thing you thought you wanted, but found out in fact you didn’t want it? How did you move on?
Posted by Tim Stobbs on June 13, 2013
“Oh, I couldn’t do what your doing. It would be too much of a sacrifice.”
Of all the objections to early retirement, this one confuses me the most. Why? Well in my mind, early retirement has no sacrifice to it at all. Zip, zero, or none.
Perhaps I’m being a little literal here, but for review what does “sacrifice” mean according to Google: An act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God or to a divine or supernatural figure.
I suppose I could use my new sword purchase to sacrifice a goat or something, but I’m sure the ER gods would just bring down their wrath on me for not knowing the only thing they care about is saving. In my mind that definition implies you value what your sacrificing. I don’t value: pointless meetings, commuting, corner offices, high stress levels, useless work (when your project gets cancelled), office politics or working evenings and weekends. So none of that would be a sacrifice.
The reality is in early retirement there is no sacrifice, it is rather an opportunity cost. Again for review that is defined as: The loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen. So in basic English: it’s a trade off. You can use a dollar to save for tomorrow or buy something today. It’s all about choice. There isn’t a wrong or right answer, but instead a question to yourself. What option do you personally value more?
In my mind people focus WAY to much on what they would be giving up rather than the much more interesting what you stand to gain. As a few examples, here is what I’m gaining:
- Never Worry When Something Breaks – We always have the savings to replace the item.
- Never Lose Sleep – Again with a high savings rate we can handle unexpected expenses easily.
- Utterly Fearless About Losing My Job – I have enough saved I could be unemployed for a decade with out government benefits.
- Speak My Mind – I’m more open to provide my ideas because I don’t fear it impacting my job.
- Feel No Guilt About Putting My Family First – I’m not on the long term career path so I don’t feel the need to suck up and miss family events for meetings.
- I Ignore My Job Description – Instead I do what actually interests me and I think needs to be dealt with beyond my have to do items.
- I Take More Risks – Since I have lots of savings, I fear losing bits of the savings less. I’m ok with more risk.
- I Can Do What I Want – I don’t have to ask permission as long as I don’t break any laws or harm anyone. I do what I want with my life.
So yes, I’m giving up a few things like my peak earning years, but in comparison I still think I’m getting the better end of this deal. So what are you gaining from your retirement plan?
Posted by Dave on June 11, 2013
This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
Last week I read a “prepping” (think zombie apocalypse) blog, where one of the writers wrote about ways to get your spouse more involved with bunker building and food hoarding. The same could be said of people who are much more militant with their finances than is socially accepted. I’m not sure how organic a change in thinking it would be to go from a conventional retirement date of 65-70 that someone would normally expect to leaving the workforce 20 years early.
For my wife and I, our retirement goal changed after I had done a significant amount of reading and decided that I didn’t really want to work until my late 60’s – I would prefer to retire as early as possible. My wife and I talked about this subject for a long time. My preference was to retire as early as possible, she didn’t really care, she just didn’t want to have to “feel poor” (by not being able to buy clothes when she wanted to, or go on vacations, or have other stuff).
Working out the numbers, we felt that 45 was a good number to use as a goal for retirement. Age 45 would allow “fixed” expenses, plus a bunch of (mostly unnecessary) fun expenses, which would make both parties involved happy. I can retire early enough that I will hopefully be able to do the things I want to do, while still spending close enough to a “normal” person to not drive my wife crazy.
In some ways, early retirement would be easier to do as a single guy with as low of living standards as I have. I could live in a room in a house and save a much higher percentage than I currently am. I wouldn’t have a house to pay off, and could probably have exited the workforce at 35 or so instead of 45. The problem with this strategy is, I like women, and there would be very few of them (in my admittedly small sample size) who would accept this lifestyle as normal and see me as a dating prospect.
I really don’t see any way that I could have “talked” my wife into accepting a lifestyle where we don’t spend the majority of money that we make. If she was a huge consumerist, this plan wouldn’t work. I also don’t see a situation (with my spouse) where we would completely split our expenses, with me saving a huge portion of my money and her living paycheque to paycheque. There would be some animosity between the two of us at some point, which I think would sour our relationship quite a bit.
The compromise we came up with works for us. We don’t want to fight about money, and our plan has allowed us to worry very little about it over the course of our relationship. We have a decent amount of money saved, and know that most major expenses we have covered. We don’t have stress at the end of the month when bills come in, we know that we should have a pretty good nest-egg for retirement, and we have enough money to do some “fun” stuff.
Would you go it alone if your spouse wasn’t on board with an Early Retirement plan?