FIRE Station Fun – Passing Time


I have had a couple of friends in the last week try to explain to me how ‘exciting’ their jobs are and how they ‘wouldn’t ever think of retiring’.  Their explanations often come with an amazing picture of some far-flung location that they traveled to.

Beyond the travel, they work hard to explain how the projects they are leading new breakthrough in their company or industry.  They may involve interesting travel, but easily forgotten is the hours they spent in budget meetings, writing performance reviews, or dealing with MegaCorp bureaucracy.  Predictably, a few months after an exciting initiative is kicked off, it has been deprioritized or they have been shifted to a new role.

I often associate the ‘I wouldn’t ever think of retiring’ comment as mild phenomenon akin to Stockholm Syndrome – that is, a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity.  People feel stuck in their jobs and do their best to convince themselves of a silver lining.  They’ve developed a rationalization against their ability to live free.

These are often people that ask me odd questions about my own life choice to retire before I turned 50 years old.  I wrote this popular post some time ago about chatting with friends that ask me odd questions about early retirement – and the snappy remarks I would sometimes like to respond with!

Image Credit: Pixabay




































14 thoughts on “FIRE Station Fun – Passing Time

  1. Doesn’t that sound a bit depressing… That life has become so devoted to work? I guess if that’s all you know…i agree it sounds like Stockholm Syndrome. Have an imagination, think what life could be without work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are a lot more interesting things to do in life that don’t come with a paycheck than there are that do. Seems obvious to me, but if you’ve only ever seen one side of it …


    1. I saw this article recently with observations written by a nurse that focused on the regrets she saw dying parents have with their lives. Putting too much emphasis on work was one of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m actually one of those people who has no plans to retire at this time. That’s not the same as not planning to be financially independent or to be able to go without work should I choose. I enjoy the accomplishment of the work like your friends. If I could do my job three days a week I’d probably do it until I couldn’t. As it is FI means if I change my mind or my employer changes it for me (an all to common occurrence the same people you reference forget to plan for) then so be it. Not everyone hates work, but everyone needs to plan for life without it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can certainly conceive of jobs so exciting that there would be no reason to quit – Tony Bennett comes to mind. That said, like you, most everyone I know would dial it back from full time if they could. I don’t think even Tony works everyday!


  3. For some, everything may be great now but you have to be prepared for when they arent. Things usually will change over time – especially at Megacorps. A new manager or directives from the regional VP wanting to shake things up. “You are going to start doing this now” The great deal you have now may not always be. And over many years you may change also. All the running around and playing the corporate game can get old. The long commute and long weeks. I know I dont have the same tolerance for BS that I used to. You at least want to give yourself the option of a way out. Would be pretty crappy to be stuck in a bad situation and working until you’re 60.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree – I used to say that about every two years is a ‘business generation’ in a MegaCorp. Every two years you find yourself typically working in a different part of the company or with almost completely different people. Not all of those changes feel good!


  4. I respect those who can and do retire early, and those who chose to work past the typical retirement date. But as you, and your readers, say above — financial (and emotional) preparation for retirement is essential just in case.
    PS – Loved your comment in your linked post – “What part of retirement do you not understand?” — I hear myself saying that (in my head) many, many times!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Overall, I think people don’t know what they are missing. That said, I see no reason for Tony Bennett to hang it up for retirement if he doesn’t want to! 😉


  5. I stopped working last year before I turned fifty and I don’t think of it as early retirement as it sounds so old 🙂 I tell friends I’m taking an extended break, although I and they know I probably won’t work again, but who really knows ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does sound ‘old’ to say you retired, but I do love seeing the surprise in their eyes when they try to wrap their heads around it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I had a discussion w a guy last week who couldn’t BELIEVE I was planning to FIRE. He loves to work, and simply couldn’t understand any of my arguments of using $$ for freedom instead of “stuff”. He’s wealthy, and doesn’t need to work, so I don’t think he’s a “Stockholm Syndrome” guy. He just can’t imagine life without work.

    Kinda sad. But, we each live the life we choose. He’s choosing his path, and I’m choosing mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a friend who says “I could never retire” too. He owns his own business and thinks of his employees as his family. He’s the benevolent leader type. That said, he has a long-standing company president to do most of the day to day work.


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