Last week a commenter told me, “It's just not normal to retire in your 40s. More like lazy.” And furthermore, “The reason people retire is because they physically can't work. You should do something with your life.”
So there’s a vote for lazy.
But then I read the comments over at this post at Canadian Dream, about a couple of retired teachers that have decided to continue working part-time in their retirement. They have a pension as well as substantial retirement assets. They don’t seem to be working because they need to, but because they want to. A commenter over there thinks this is selfish of them. Since they have more than enough to retire, he (or she) thinks this couple should move aside and let someone else have those jobs.
Since I’m retired with enough money to be retired, and I recently accepted a part-time consulting gig, I guess that would make me selfish for taking that job away from someone that really needs it. Then again, I’m in my 40’s so maybe there’s an exception to the selfish rule, because if you’re not working in your 40’s you’re lazy.
It looks like this isn’t an argument I going to win either way.
The shortest job I ever had was in college. I worked for a week at a title company. I took the job because it paid more than the legal secretarial work I was qualified to do, but it was basically a filing and copying job. On my second day I re-organized the entire file room. On my third day I noticed a bunch of documents I was photocopying weren’t signed. My boss was really impressed that I was actually looking at the copies, that wasn’t really part of my job description. On my fourth day I quit. It didn’t matter that they paid me a bunch of money and I could fit the job into my class schedule, I was overqualified and bored out of my mind.
So I went and took a part-time legal secretarial job that paid less but gave me a chance to use specialized skills I had learned in my previous jobs. I felt like I was contributing and being challenged. That was worth more than the extra money.
So where’s the line? Is it the attainment of a specific age or bank account balance that dictates that it’s not ok to work purely for challenge or fun? Is there a minimum age that must be attained before a person can ditch the requirement to be productive, even if they are financially prepared to be as lazy as they want?
Frankly, I think laziness is underrated.
This is a post from Retirement: A Full-Time Job