Don’t Retire! Separate Your Money From Work

The goal isn’t to retire, the goal is to separate your money from your work.

What does that mean? Let me explain.

It means amassing enough wealth that the work you do does not have to pay your bills. Sounds a lot like retirement, I know….so, let’s get into the nuance.

As humans, we’re wired to build, create, and contribute—it’s ingrained in our nature. We have an intrinsic drive to be productive. Therefore, we will likely be working as long as we’re alive.

So, why do we need to save and build up wealth if we’re going to work all our lives anyway?

Several reasons: So you can pick your work, survive when you can’t – and possibly save the world!

Pick Your Work

Last year, I “retired early” at 45 from a corporate job I mostly hated. It didn’t particularly fit my talents or inspire me. But it paid well, allowing me to save and invest money, until I could say goodbye to it.

After decompressing from the 30 some years of working, as the internet had warned me, I started to get a little bored. Having plenty of time to think, I realized some things:

I love to work hard, feel useful, and collaborate with people to solve problems.

My corporate job paid well, but I rarely hit even one out of the three things on my list of “likes” in a given week.

So, I went back to work. But this time, not for money.

Today, I work harder than maybe ever in my life – and I make less than ever. But, I work on what I want, with who I want, and when I want.

Taking money out of the equation, it was clear what work I would choose to do! That’s when I realized that I hadn’t actually retired, I had just separated money from work.

Essentially, I freed my work from its master – money. Or, as I like to think, I became a Free Worker! (Not just because I work for free a lot of the time, I call it that because I have total freedom to choose my work . :))

Working For Money May Not Always Be An Option

So why not just do what you love, and do it forever? Don’t need to save a lot of money in this scenario, right?!

The fact is, you may love what you do, are compensated well for it, and never want to stop – but the world doesn’t always cooperate with that plan. There are lots of circumstances out of your control.

Your perfect job today could quickly become a nightmare, because of a new boss. Things like a pandemic could close down your entire industry. An AI revolution could obliterate your career.

And the worst case scenario, something truly catastrophic like an illness or disability could befall you.

The sooner your financial stability is outside of your job, the more you will be able to face the circumstances that life will throw at you.

“Free Workers” Can Save the World

Last reason I believe everyone should strive to free their work from money – I believe it makes the world a better place.

Freeing people to work at what they are actually best at, instead of what they need to do for money, unleashes a ton of potential that otherwise goes wasted.

People don’t always do their best work when its just for money. We all know extraordinary people with gifts to offer the world, that can’t share them because money is holding them back. Then there’s people that are bad at their jobs, but stay in the position because it pays well.

And how about the conflicts that arise when you’re financially beholden to a job for money? People take abuse, turn a blind eye to bad behavior. They are sometimes afraid to speak up even to add positively to a work place, out of fear of losing their job.

“Free workers” can be more creative, choose work more in line with their skills, talents and values. In my experience, most people I’ve come across in this situation choose to do things that are beneficial to others.

They often work to solve hard problems that might not be the most incentivized by societal pay structures.

And guess what – a lot of people end up making money with their “free” work, after they’ve separated it from money. That’s allowed.

That’s a great outcome, actually!

Learn From My Mistakes

Had I realized sooner that my goal was not retirement, but rather was freeing my work from money, I would have done things differently.

Had I known, I would have been focusing more on developing what I wanted to do for work, after the “separation.” I could have been working on the skills I wanted to be using, experimenting to find what truly motivates and brings me meaning.

I give myself a little grace, though. Its hard to have perspective while you’re in the middle of doing the “work for money” type of work. It wasn’t until I bought myself some freedom of time, that the problem presented itself – and I had the bandwidth to address it.

Better late than never!

Hopefully, my story will inspire you to start investing so that you will have full freedom to pick your work, someday. Maybe you will even be able to live a little of that post-freedom life along the way!

I’m sure there are people smarter and better at multi-tasking than me, who can do it. If you’re one of those, who is able to see your path to financial independence and can simultaneously craft your ideal work – go show us how its done!

What do you think, do you see this as a valid goal? How would you employ your “free work” if you had it? Knowing that’s the real goal, what decision will you make going forward?

Master Your Money, Live a Truly Prosperous Life!

Want to live a truly prosperous life? Don’t waste time. I can help!

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Filled with inspirational quotes, thought provoking questions, and a habit tracker – it’s a great companion on your way to a truly prosperous life.

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