Friday, October 31, 2008

For Richer or Poorer

I am surprised by the number of times people ask if I am independently wealthy. That’s what people ask when people hear from me that I have “retired.” Or if my parents are very well off, or if I have somehow ‘made it big’.

I simply laugh with the people who ask when I hear any of these. I worked in a technical department of a corporation for 12 years and had no other income. So I am not even remotely rich.

My main gripe about most of the retirement books is that they concentrate so much on finance and leave out all the other aspects of retirement. My wife and I did have some lofty “net-worth” goals when we started thinking of retirement. We started watching it month after month.

I started to get worried when my age was going up faster than our net-worth. Based on our expenses and my calculations, I started believing that these retirement books use ridiculously high numbers as the amount of dollars one needs in their ‘nest-egg’ to retire.

After a lot of discussions and internal debates, we quit knowing that we could probably get jobs again and earn what we needed. Time was what we really lacked.

This week, wandering around in Kauai, I was struck by Rule #8 in a fairly popular Red Dirt T-shirt that has 10 Hawaiian Rules. There are two ways to get rich. You can make more or you can require less.
Not having the aptitude or the desire for the former, I choose the latter.

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