Let’s recap. I have luckily/fortunately exceeded my financial target that I created at the inception of this blog a little over two years back. I’ve been even more fortunate for being able to maintain and grow this level of wealth through this market volatility and the Covid Pandemic. I am still gainfully employed as a computer architect working on badass projects (mostly) and despite working full time I am finally financially free.
Without a doubt the most common question I get asked by people that are in the know is, “When are you going to quit work?”. This has been a supremely interesting question because one of the initial motivations for financial freedom was leaving work to pursue other things. An unexpected development during this whole journey is the reframing of the concept of work and my career. Financial insecurity is a major component that allows us to endure hardship at work. And as the number in my investing account and the target number that I had initially dreamed of converged, my financial insecurity evaporated.
Suddenly I find myself in a situation where I am working solely for constructive and positive reasons; namely wanting to put out the most badass architectures on this planet. Suddenly, due to the pandemic, remote work has become possible. Gone is being geographically restricted to the area surrounding my company’s campus. Gone is the workplace political maneuvering, Gone is the notion that I have to bite my tongue if I disagree with an idea for fear of negative repercussions. Gone is the feeling that I need to put my time and energy into tasks that do not interest me. The corporate ladder that we climb in order to get a raise? Inconsequential. Working has morphed into a completely different animal. So my answer to the question posed, “when are you going to quit work?” has been unequivocally “until I don’t feel like working anymore.” To add more color to this answer, it could be when I feel that the effort is not worth the prize of accomplishment. When I am simply too tired. When my mind needs a break. When I feel I can no longer contribute value. When I find another outlet for my mental energy. When workplace conditions change in a negative way. It can be any or all of these reasons and these reasons do not have to compete with the practical moorings of financial security.