More time is a goal worth chasing
“Happy Weekend!” this blog or friends or others will exclaim!
On that note, most of us (myself included, who are guilty of saying this) are always so happy to see the weekend arrive, or a given weekday dawn, depending upon your schedule or shift of course to enjoy some well-deserved time off from work.
Yet as I inch closer to fulfilling my semi-retirement dreams (our latest financial independence update you can find right here) I often wonder if every day is going to feel like a Saturday in the years to come.
I mean, part of me hopes so, when I think of time. Finding a much broader, balanced approach to work and fun…
Here are some of the perspectives I’ve been thinking recently when it comes to work, play, time, and to the point of this blog, what does money have to do with it.
If you really enjoy your job, does it feel like work?
While there never seems to be enough time for anything these days outside of work (blame your lost downtime on your social media time for starters!), I’ve often wondered about folks who really, really love their job – does it feel like work to them anymore?
Here are some signs of that:
- New tasks or assignments don’t annoy you or bother you, in fact, you might get your energy from them.
- You enjoy seeing the results of your craft frequently.
- You enjoy working with those around you or people you deliver products and services for.
- You are continually inspired by work.
I’m sure there are more…
There are definitely elements of the above that apply to my current role with my employer but as I get closer to realizing my financial independence, I must say I’m very much looking forward to the day whereby my most of my time (therefore not money whatsoever) is the ultimate management goal.
While time is money can be true in many corporate circumstances, the inverse is true after you realize financial independence – money has purchased some discretionary, finite time for you to use as you please. Financial independence makes work either far more fun or just simply optional.
Money does buy happiness to a point
Despite rising incomes, standards of living increasing around the world over time, people are also feeling increasingly pressed for time, anxious and stressed about well-being. With this rising income, happiness only increases to a point – surveys from various studies have shown that money only buys so much happiness.
Depending on the study you want to draw from, psychologists have found that modest life satisfaction comes from earning anywhere between $60,000 to $75,000 USD per year. Some families with children of course may need (and want) more, let alone individuals as well.
Now, certainly, if you make more money than this income per year could you be happier? I suppose that is quite possible and very likely for many of us. But my point is based on many studies, considerable orders of money beyond this income-level will not buy the equivalent amount of increased happiness. The relationships you have and the stable family environment you might enjoy, probably do. Your health is your ultimate form of wealth. That well-being will give you tremendous happiness too. In fact, with your health, it has been written and studied that volunteering, just as one example of giving, has been shown to minimize stress, reduce incidence of depression, and reduce long-term cognitive impairment – helping us live longer and more notably, a happier life.
So, while making good money is all well and good; while having a high net worth can absolutely signal to you and others “you’ve made it” happiness unlike money has a tipping point. Money is only part of what might make you truly happy.
A good reminder that any art of comparison to others can be the thief of joy.
Time is the ultimate currency
When it comes to investing, we’ve all heard that it’s time in the market that becomes your best friend (not trying to time the market itself).
That’s because the earlier you start investing, the more time your money has to work for you.
For investing, time is our collective ally. When it comes to life expectancy, time is always working against us. It’s the only currency we simply cannot buy or spend our way out of.
In fact, time gets arguably more valuable as we get older. Because there is less of it for us.
This means while possessions might make you feel good (or even great for a period of time), no new small trinket on earth will be more valuable than your time with the people you enjoy, with things or experiences that are valuable to you.
Time is therefore our collective rare currency. It’s more precious than metals and money and other modern-day jewels like bitcoin combined! The best part of time might be that it’s of equal value to every person regardless of their socio-economic class. Let that sink in for a bit.
Financial independence will help balance my time
I guess in closing I see great beauty in time: it’s both all we have right now and all we don’t know we have in our future.
While time can be spent on anything, it can also be spent on nothing.
So when it comes to my financial independence journey I’m trying to enjoy the ride there and I intend to enjoy the destination when I get there. That could mean still working for years after I reach financial independence.
Our semi-retirement days are getting closer and it’s comforting to know we’re getting there through a solid savings rate, generally wise investing decisions, and good spending habits that operate below our expenses. These are all things I write about on this blog, how I approach those habits and how you can get there too.
This makes acquiring a better balance of time a great goal of mine.
This makes the goal of financial independence worth chasing.