It's a myth that you don't work when you are retired.
True, I don't get paid for my work anymore, but I do work. I may not be sitting behind a desk working on tax returns, and I may not be getting a paycheck, but that doesn't mean I'm not working. Some days I'm a housekeeper, some days a gardener, and others, a housepainter. Most days Doug is a chef.
As a professional, I earned the luxury of paying someone to keep my house and garden looking spiffy. While I toiled at the office, someone else took care of the hard labor back at home. If we were too busy or tired to cook, we went out, brought in, or dialed delivery. We outsourced.
Now we handle these jobs in-house.
Do I enjoy housework? Not really. Gardening? Painting? Sometimes, although it certainly was nice to come home and just see the finished product of someone else's labor.
So why did I turn in the white collar for the blue one?
As I've written about before, to ditch the work world in your 40's, you need about 33 times your annual expenses in savings to safely get you through your golden years. We used to pay about $5,000 a year outsourcing the hard labor when I was still working for money. If I wanted to continue outsourcing these tasks, I would have needed another $165,000 in savings to keep those people on my payroll.
I certainly could have worked a few years longer to keep my own hands from scrubbing the toilet. But here's the thing. On a fixed income, each dollar spent on one thing is a dollar not spent on another thing. I know how much I can safely spend each year without running the risk of outliving my money. But within that overall budget, I still get to decide what to spend each dollar on.
And the truth is, if I had a bigger nest egg, I still wouldn't spend it on paying someone else to dust and vaccuum. I'd rather go out for a few more meals each month. I'd rather use it for a few more weeks traveling each year. Or a few more evenings drinking a martini in a jazz club overlooking the Manhattan skyline.
A dollar not spent paying the housecleaner is a dollar more for me to spend on something I enjoy. Yes, that means I have to do a little more work, but in this job, I get to make my own hours, I don't have to commute, there are no office politics, and I don't have to answer to anyone but myself.