I read about job burnout today on About.com:
"Regardless of how much you like your job there will come a time when you just don't feel like doing it anymore. If you could choose between being sick enough to stay home (and not just lying about being sick) and going to work, you would actually chose to be sick."
Tonight, I realize that in my desire to retire, I'm not just running toward something (freedom, fun, "being the boss of me!") but also running from something, my job.
As this article points out, there are several ways to fix job burn out, the most obvious being quitting your job. At some point, the job I loved became unfulfilling to me. I know, at that point, most people would just get a new job, something that fulfills them. But when I got to this point, I reached the conclusion that if I was going to have to have a job anyway, it might as well be this one, nice people, pleasant environment, and very financially rewarding.
So the real question became, did I have enough saved to take the option of not doing any job? Well, working more years and amassing more wealth certainly would make that decision more comfortable down the road. Or would it? I have a tendency, as more money comes in to expand my lifestyle along with that. Would it just be a never-ending cycle, make more, spend more, make more, spend more? I realized, that no matter when I cut that off, it would always involve a sacrifice of some sort.
Working, I have more money than time, being retired, I will have more time than money. Living on what I have right now means I'll have to turn some of that time into money (not paying someone to clean my house, take care of my yard, or paint the walls of my house). That may sound distasteful to some people, but I want the freedom more than I want out of cleaning my own toilet. I want to wake up without an alarm more than I want to keep my vacation home. And I want to spend more time traveling more than I want to stay in super fancy hotels during the limited time I am currently allotted for vacations.
It's true "The Start of Personal Finance Isn't About Money", it's really about choices, what you think is more important and what is less important. It all boils down to a choice about what I want to escape, and what I'm willing to give up for that.