It’s been a couple weeks since I am back home from my trip and I should tell you it is a great feeling! I finally got to read the news, browse online forums and listen to pod-casts - things I was for the most part deprived off while traveling.
I have been lately thinking a lot about what I want to do in life and I gradually come to a conclusion that working for an employer is not mine. There are really several reasons. One is that I am a very opinionated person and if I feel something is right or wrong it takes a good effort for anyone to convince me otherwise. I have been known for starting arguments in email groups and keeping the flame up long after everyone has lost interest. This makes it hard to survive in a team with another strong personality - my boss. Secondly, I feel that working as an employee I give the best of me to the company and what I get in return is the paycheck, a temporary monetary reward which (after the basic needs are satisfied) is very easy to waste on stuff I don’t really need. It takes huge self discipline to put aside some of it for retirement but the main problem is, there are really not many options as far as choosing where to invest.
Now the key word here is to “invest”. We work for a man to get paid so that then we can turn around and invest into somebody else’s business. Why not start a business for yourself, or become a real investor, and I mean investor in the true meaning of this word. Buying stocks, let alone mutual funds, is not really investing. With so many layers between you and the company, it looks more like gambling. So, instead of “gambling away” your savings and “selling your life” to your employer, why not think of how you can put your efforts into building a real long term investment? One that would make you feel accomplished and would keep on giving long after you are gone…
I recently read a book about retirement. Didn’t mean to but it came as a freebie when I opened some bank account. So, in that book the author says that the typical problem with people who retire is that they think they can get all the money they saved, buy a ranch or a winery (if this is something they dreamed of) and live happily the rest of their life breeding horses or selling wine. The problem is that it takes time to figure out what you like to do in life and expecting you will know it at the first try in unrealistic. Very often reality is far from what the expectation is.
What I am coming to is, it makes sense to figure out early on what you like to do in life and start working towards it. For example, if a winery is your dream, why not buy land and slowly start improving it? Granted land needs attention and buying land when you live in a city is not practical, however it doesn’t mean everything is lost. You can move, or you can hire a helper. All you need is to have the goal in mind. If there is a will there is a way.
Things are a bit easier if your goal is to start a business online and turn it into your retirement investment. You can do it from anywhere, in your spare time, by nights or weekends. If you are really lucky you will be able to negotiate flexible hours at work. And if you “hit the jack pot” you will get laid off and will have a lot more time at your hand to spend on your investment (at least until you find another job).
So what I am thinking is that we are too often get caught up in the routine and forget to look at the big picture. Ask yourself, whatever you are doing right now, is it what you want to keep doing for the rest of your life? If not, what is it that you really want to do and what did you do so far to get to your goal?