There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don’t like because you think it will look good on your résumé. Isn’t that a little like saving up sex for your old age? – Warren Buffett
There is this concept that you earn and save up “X” amount of money and then you can retire from work. The problem is that this “X” amount of money is so huge that it will take you most of your productive life to earn and then you have all the money for the sunset years. What use is this concept? You have spent all your life working often in a job you do not like to earn money that you will spend in the sunset years.
Is this what we want? I am not advocating a spendthrift attitude towards money. What I am trying to say is that we should not think of retirement but fulfillment. If you can keep your expenses low and save a lot, then you can retire from working for money in a short period of time.
You can work to earn money for a period of time if you want but you should not do it all your life. This is because the past is a cancelled check you can do nothing about and the future is a promissory note filled with doubt and mystery. Your present life that you are living today is cash. Spend it wisely. If you do not enjoy your life, your career, your leisure time and every other aspect of your existence, you need to change. As they save, if you love your job you do not have to work a day in your life. There is no point in trading quiet desperation today for a fairytale existence somewhere in the vague future.
Yes, money is important but your life is also equally important. As Mark Twain says:
Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the one you did do.
So rather than thinking of a retirement plan, think of a fulfillment plan. Yes, financially comfortable future is an important part of that, but there are other things too: Living life in the present moment, doing what you really want to do, spending time with your family and so on. It is important not to measure everything as everything that is worthy cannot be measured. There is no need to hoard as well to be a spendthrift. There has to be balance and this balance is personal.
Ultimately it is about love. Love is what we are. We need to love ourselves, those around us and also what we do daily. Then it does not matter whether you are successful in a worldly sense, have endless possessions, success in work or have everything the world can give. Because with love, you are rich, you are wealthy. This is probably the essence of what The Tao Of Wealth is all about.