Instead of calling it quits in another year or two and never working again, I could just keep on chugging along. – Constantly reinvesting my growing rental incomes and paychecks. A little quick spreadsheet work shows I could be in the $2M/assets + $400k+/yearly income range within about 6 years at the rate I’m going.
This recurred to me last night when I was looking at projections to figure out when I’ll have enough income so that I’ll feel comfortable quitting working again. What if I just kept going, racing past my goal on into the future? What if I kept up this pace for 5+ years? Where would I be? There are lots of opportunities for failure along a path that long, but I’m confident, if I made it my goal, I could be a multi-millionaire by the time I’m 40, and likely a deca-millionaire before I’m 50. – If I made it my goal.
I could certainly take that route. – Being a hard-working businessman through my 30′s, and a high-rolling investor throughout my 40′s, 50′s and 60′s. – Helping to launch businesses, or rescue them. – Creating jobs and wealth along the way. – Taking on lofty goals like revitalizing a city neighborhood, creating scholarships, or helping fund the search for a cure for some awful affliction.
Then there’s the opportunity for a little decadent consumerism like yachts and pent house suites.
Once or twice a year these types of thoughts will cross my mind. And I entertain them for an hour or so, imagining what such a life would be like. But I always return to my old conclusions. No doubt, such a life would be fun, but I always seem to fall back to the idea that I would have more fun settling for a modest income and filling my time with days at the beach, or on mountain tops and having parties with my friends rather than days on construction sites, or at an office desk working my way through a never ending to-do list of mundane business.
The work-a-holics would likely state just the opposite though, wouldn’t they? That they’d much rather spend the day productively solving problems with like-minded colleagues and helping to build wealth for themselves and others, rather than sitting around yet another camp fire on the beach trading silly anecdotes, half of which they’ve already heard.
I don’t think either approach is intrinsically better than another. It’s just a matter of personal appetites.
Some dime-store psychologists peg me as having a fear of failure. That’s not it though, I’m quite comfortable with failure. I’m just easily happy. And if I can facilitate that happiness with only $20k-$30k/year, why spend decades of my life doing something I don’t enjoy just in order to have $200k-$300k/year? Is that small increase in enjoyment from that much larger amount of money worth sacrificing a decade or more of my life? I don’t think so. Though I concede that for another, the word sacrifice would hardly seem apt, since they could get a great thrill from accumulating wealth and building businesses. While I acknowledge that kind of stuff can be enjoyable, for me it always seems to wear thin after a short while and I always end up wishing I just had more leisure time.
I remember in high school my economics teacher told me that economic demand is limitless. Yet, then in my English class Thoreau told me that, “The community has no bribe that can tempt a wise man.” Somehow I figured out a way to cap that limitless-demand, at least so far as my personal economy goes. I’m not clear whether that’s thanks to wisdom, or the good fortune of not being born with such appetites, or, likely, a little mix of both.
I imagine that titan entrepreneurs and hard-driving business people, people who could afford to choose to never work another day in their lives if they wished, face the opposite temptation. – The temptation to call it quits. I imagine, just like me, they mull it over for an hour or so a couple of times a year, imagining what life would be like with all that free time. Much like I imagine what life would be like with all that productivity around me. And they conclude, much as I do, that they couldn’t possibly be happy doing anything else.