On most weekends when I go to the gym or if I just like to take a drive I love listening to financial talk shows. It really doesn’t matter because they all provide inspiration. I will listen to Dave Ramsey, Ric Edelman, Jill Schlesinger or even those stupid Mortgage programs that promise to give you a great deal on a mortgage.
On Sunday while I was listening to one of those programs they announced a study finding about Generation X, which happens to be my generation. In that study they found that most GenXers have a different understanding of retirement and work. Most GenXers don’t think of retirement as sitting back, lounging about, and relaxing (I would have to agree). Moreover, most GenXers don’t believe they will stop working by 65. Most believe that they will have to work well beyond that. Some will work because they want too, but most feel they have to work to support their lifestyle.
That got me thinking about my own work life. I love my career. Of course there are things that I could do without like the bureaucracy of decision-making, meetings, etc, but generally there is something just heart warming that I get when I am in the classroom. In fact, summer, for me, is the worst time of year because I am not teaching as much, seeing my students, etc. I do hope that changes because I would like to have some enjoyment during summer. But I love the fall when colleges are back in session, football season starts, the cool crisp air of the season sets in, and the fall color of the leaves sets in. Now that is either here nor there.
But as I reflect on that study I do wonder how much longer I will need/want to work. Now I know I will probably working until I am 50. I have loans, a mortgage, and still need to build a portfolio to get to the point of Financial Independence. But when I get there I am not sure if I will stop working at my full-time job.
Mrs. ROB and I don’t have children, although we hope to someday. If we do that means I will be at least 60 by the time they leave for college, if not older. Do I continue working until then? Or do I just rely on the money I have saved?
Now, of course, all of this is dependent on me becoming debt free, saving enough money, etc. I know it is a bit of distance from now, but I like the thought experiment. I do not like the idea of working until I am 70 or even beyond 60 for that matter. I want to have the freedom to do other things, but because part of my identity is bound up in my job, I wonder if I almost will feel compelled to work.
Again, this is more of a thought experiment than anything, but to those that read this blog how long do you plan to work? In what capacity would you stop working and what would you do? Why?