So recently, I had a bit of a unexpected revelation… not everyone wants to retire early. Which just kind of blew my mind! I was talking to a work friend, who is just a few years older than me and also recently had a child. Its bonus time at our company, so despite the announcement of impending layoffs, everyone is still walking around with that bonus-high. Anyways – I was commenting on how I had forgotten how much of the bonus gets taken my taxes… I had honestly been hoping to invest a little bit more of the bonus after topping off my daughter’s 529 account, and so I was a little disappointed that Uncle Sam is taking roughly half the money.
OK, so, I was having a light hearted discussion about this with a work friend of mine, who often mentions that her goal is for her husband to get promoted two more pay grades so that she can retire. (Spouses of people at that paygrade get a stipend… yeah ridiculous!) With her occasional comments of early retirement, I thought that maybe she had one foot in the FIRE boat (despite the fact that her husband just traded in his Porsche for a Mercedes SUV). I mean I know that they don’t live frugally. They have a mansion, and every latest technology. But -we have even occasionally discussed ways of trying to lower bills, or baby gadgets… but now I am beginning to suspect that she brings these topics up with me just because she knows I am interested in living more frugally.
We are chatting, and I wish I could remember what I said, but it was harmless – just something along the lines of “Yeah, I had forgotten how much taxes take out, now I’m just hoping to have about $10,000 to invest for early retirement” To which she just snaps at me “Not everyone’s goal is to retire early!!!” And that just confused me. For two reasons:
- given the choice to work or go have fun, who would choose work? Even if you love your work, there are still like tons of meetings and paperwork and crap that go along with it. I would rather find a way to do my work without dealing with the corporate BS.
- She talks about early retirement when her husband gets promoted – like ALL THE TIME! I rarely mention my plans.
Anyways – It just confused me. Maybe she said it in spite, maybe in jealousy (She thinks I plan to retire in 12 years, not 3-4!), maybe she isnt sleeping much with a new baby around and is just cranky. In any case – it just made me think “Are there really people out there who don’t want to retire early????”
Mr. SSC side note:
I have also run into this. The person in mind had worked at the company for 36 years, and had a husband that was a pharmacist, who was already retired. They had no kids, drove modest cars, had a modest house, but she did not want to retire. When I asked her why, she said, “Well, I want to stick it out to 40 years and get an emerald pendant!” My response, “You realize you can afford a much better emerald than this company will ever get you. Hell, I’ll buy you a nice emerald if that’s all you’re waiting for.” She looked puzzled and said, “But I like working…” Her goal was to hit 40 years, and now that she’s on her 41st year, she’s decided to cut back to 3 days a week, but still doesn’t want to retire. On a family note, My Granddad didn’t want to retire. Not from a financial worry or love of work stand point, but as I’ve mentioned before, his relatives retired and died within the year. He was scared of “death by retirement” so he worked until he was 72. He lived to see 80, but “death by retirement” was his big fear.
Have you ever run into someone who wouldn’t retire early if they could? Did they have a reason for it?