Are People Who Retire Early Selfish?

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Well, it’s official.  Today is my first day on the job at my new office.  Ideally, I wanted to take off a week between jobs.  But, my old boss said that she needed me until the very end, and my new boss said they having been chomping at the bit for me to get started.  While a week off to clear my head would have been ideal, it looks like that will have to wait until a later date.  

 

Bittersweet Change

retire early selfishI am very excited to begin this new position, but I am a little bit sad to leave my old office.  I made a ton of great friends and looked forward to going to work everyday because of them.  Although I can’t say that I loved the work, I definitely loved the people.

 

On my last day, they threw me a party and brought in my favorite BBQ and shared some kind words.  I don’t take compliments very well, but needless to say, I was touched and really felt appreciated.  

 

With that said, I’m really going to miss coaching some of my colleagues around their finances.  In every office that I’ve been in over the years, over time, my passion for personal finance eventually reveals itself.  Then, I inevitably hear the different strategies that people are employing within their own finances.  

 

Helping Others with Personal Finance

retire early selfishI love to hear the psychology around their strategies and what has shaped them to invest and save the way that they do.  That’s what I love about personal finance.  It’s called personal finance for a reason.  It’s part math and part psychology, and most importantly, there aren’t one-size-fits-all answers.  Often times, it comes down to what helps you sleep at night.

 

Most of the time, during my course in a job, multiple people will come to me saying that they don’t understand a certain aspect of personal finance.  It has ranged from buying a house, investing, and even what savings rate they should have.  Usually, we’ll have a good talk, and I’ll try to demystify and explain concepts as much as possible.  Then I typically push them towards a blogger that specializes in that area to really nail home a point.

 

It’s always amazing to watch lives transform during the course of a couple of years.  Once they implement a change, they inevitably become more passionate about their own finances.  It’s so exciting to see.

 

Office Relationships

In some ways, that’s the biggest impact that I bring to an office.  As a manager, I love to empower people and help them to realize that they can take charge of their finances.  I had one colleague tell me that I bring out the weird in everyone.  I asked if he thought I brought out the weird, or if people just felt comfortable enough to share who they truly were around me.  We had a good laugh about that.

 

retire early selfishAs an example, I received a frame pictured that everyone signed at my going away party.  Here are some messages that people from my office left me.  “You taste like Jelly, Love Dinosaur.”  “I hope you hate your new job and you come back in six months.”  “I will never work out with you, but I will watch.”  “Real Pit BBQ Pork Sandwich.”  “I hope you find rainbows and unicorns.”  I can’t say that I understood what all of it meant, but it made me smile.

 

Typically finances are private, but I’ve seen time and time again that people do want to talk about them, especially when they have unanswered questions. Other times, people just want to know more about my financial situation and plans for the future.  

 

A Selfish Decision?

retire early selfishDuring one of those conversations, it came up that my wife and I would be reaching FIRE in the next few years and that we were trying to decide whether or not I should retire early and do something a little bit different.  

 

A co-worker then shared that he thought I was being selfish by retiring from the workforce early.  He brought up all the people that have benefitted from my efforts with their finances and how if I left a traditional 9-5 job, that I wouldn’t be able to have the same impact.

 

He reasoned that while there are tons of people that think about seeking financial advice, often times it is only when they are in dire straights that they pursue it.  Some people only decide to care about their finances when it’s too late, and my friend argued that if I left the workforce, I would no longer be a financial guide for my peers.

 

Rethinking Things

retire early selfishI have to admit that that conversation took me aback.  I wasn’t quite sure what to say.  Retiring early never occurred to me as being selfish as much as my thoughts were, I did my time, and now I’m ready to do something else.

 

In my response, I was a little defensive.  I tried to reason that it would allow me to finish some other projects that I was more passionate about and how I could make a difference in other areas.  Plus on top of that, it would free me up to do more volunteer work around finances.

 

He seemed placated by that response, but it’s been nagging me ever sense I had the conversation.  I’m not sure if it’s because I feel guilty and undeserving about the position I’m in.  But it definitely has gotten me to think a lot about retirement over the past couple days.  

 

My Time

retire early selfishWhile I love helping my colleagues with their finances, I think about how I really want to spend my time.  A typical workday involves me being out of the house from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm, or roughly 10 hours a day.  Since I am not an elite sleeper, I usually sleep 9 hours and then spend another hour each day working out (plus another 30 minutes each way to the gym), which really leaves about 3 hours to my family and other pursuits each weekday.

 

So by retiring early, I’d have around 10 hours extra to pursue my passions.  Within those 10 hours, I’d potentially help out more people than only those that would cross my path at work.  But, I do think my coworker has a point.  Many newly minted graduates in the workforce are on the cusp and are easily impressionable to good financial habits.

 

While it probably won’t be a main factor when it comes to a decision, it will definitely be something that I think about as time moves forward.  I need to determine how to make the greatest impact I can with time being my limiting resource.

 

What do you readers think?  Does reaching FIRE and dropping out of the workforce make you selfish?  Is this something that you’ve ever thought about?  Share your thoughts below.

 

Mustard Seed Money

Welcome to the website. A mustard seed is a very small seed but astonishingly grows very large over time. My hope is that through your financial journey that your small investment in time, money and faith will grow beyond anything that you could ever imagine.

118 Comments

  1. I don’t think retiring early is selfish, any more than it’s selfish to change jobs to better your career/financial prospects but deprive your current co-workers of your knowledge and expertise. No one is as invested in your financial situation, or your career, as you are. You can productively contribute to society even while not holding down a 9-5 job. I would think with this blog alone, you’re impacting more people than you do at work.
    Liz@ChiefMomOfficer recently posted…The More of Less – Joshua BeckerMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Liz!!! I like the analogy to bettering your career. It definitely seemed a little off but thought it was an interesting topic needless to say 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by Rich Growth Tips!!! I definitely make some deeper relationships with people by working with them. Although hopefully I can do that on the outside one day as well 🙂

  2. Everybody is selfish. And as long as you pursue your own interests without hurting other people that is perfectly fine! It is one of the great strengths of a free market and capitalist society that enables most people to fulfill their own ambitions AND at the same time push society as a whole forward. Steve Jobs, especially in the early years, did what he did out of pure selfish reasons. But it brought us the modern day smart phone which is changing and improving the world in countless ways. Following your passions, you will impact people in a positive way. That may be a lot of people or only a few people (depending on your talents and ambition) but the impact will be positive. Just by having your own finances in order you are inspiring other people to do the same! Those people then will inspire other people, who will inspire even more people … We each have our own path to follow. A friend of mine moved to Thailand for 100% selfish reasons. He is a DJ there now. Parties too much, does way too much drugs and really should stop fucking around (he is a very handsome man and a DJ, so all very consensual). But he is a good person, on his own path and saved a drunk girl from drowning just last week. Good people do good things, regardless of FIRE plans, regardless of their selfish motives…
    financialfreedomsloth recently posted…Monthly expense report : februaryMy Profile

    • Thanks for the awesome response FinancialFreedomSloth!!! You are absolutely right about Steve Jobs. He made a huge impact and we are reaping the rewards of his selfishness. Great insight!!! Thanks for stopping by!!!

  3. That is so awesome that you have had an impact on your co-workers! I had honestly never thought about whether it is selfish or not to retire early. I think I agree with the other commenters that if you have more free time, you might actually be able to help more people -they just won’t be co-workers 😉
    Katy recently posted…What I spent and What we AteMy Profile

    • Thanks Katy for stopping by!!! I am definitely lucky that I was able to have influence in the office and really make some great connections. I am definitely going to miss the people and friends that I made. Hopefully the new office I can have a similar impact until I reach FIRE 🙂

  4. Yes it’s selfish. And I DON’T CARE! hah.
    Seriously though, I do think it’s selfish. And so what? Why are we expected to live our lives for other people? -Aaron

    • That’s a great point Aaron!!! As much as I want to help out others at the end of the day I need to make sure I am happy along with my family. Thanks for sharing!!!

  5. Way to go taking the leap! It’s great to see that you made a difference where you were. Funny thing is, many of them wouldn’t have mentioned anything for years if you had stayed.

    FIRE really shouldn’t be considered retirement. All the bloggers with the chance to retire early that I follow have no plans to sit around the house and do yard work. It sounds like you will be contributing to society in a different way.

    With the shortage of good jobs out there, I would look at it as opening up a spot for someone else who needs the job more than you do!!

    Mrs Dr-In-Debt and I have often discussed changing jobs and cities to a lower cost of living area but the inertia of uprooting the household is just too much right now.
    Doctor in Debt recently posted…5 Reasons Millennial Physicians Should NOT Buy a Home Right Out Of ResidencyMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Doctor in Debt!!! I didn’t think about the ability to open up a spot for someone that may need the job more than me. So you’re saying that retiring early is a noble endeavor 🙂

  6. I think retiring early is definitely not selfish. It’s just that we value our time much more than how it’s spent at the office. Also, we can be productive to society in many ways, from volunteering our time at animal shelters to donating some of our gains to charity.
    Smart Provisions recently posted…The Power of 50,000 MilesMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Smart Provisions!!! I definitely agree that it’s valuing our time differently. I would love to spend my time doing more volunteer work and especially having fun on my blog 🙂

  7. Unfortunately, the lack of flexibility in the corporate world is what makes people want to retire. I’d love to see organizations embrace more part time work, sabbaticals, results only work environments, where you can saunter in at noon and leave at 3pm, and no one should care as long as you meet your duties and produce quality work on time.

    I think FIRE is just a way to get that flexibility. The great thing is that once FIRE’d, someone can then seek out the flexible work, on their terms.
    Primal Prosperity recently posted…From Cubicle to CoffinMy Profile

    • I would love to move to a project based work. Where I can complete the project in 1 hour or 10 hours. It’s up to me when I work as long as I meet the deliverable date. Unfortunately I haven’t seen too many jobs in the corporate world like that. Or at least not yet 🙂

  8. It’s not selfish. You don’t owe your time to anyone or anything (company). There isn’t a life rule to show up for a job.

    I’ve had the same thoughts when thinking about quitting or moving to a different job. Guess what, unless you are good friends with the people at work, no one will actually care that you are gone…

    Thanks for sharing, have a good day 🙂
    Erik @ The Mastermind Within recently posted…The Mastermind Within Goals Check-in – February 2017My Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing Erik!!! That is one thing that I think about from time to time. When someone moves on they inevitably say good things and how irreplaceable you are and then six months later everyone is moving along like they did before. Shows you how quickly people can adapt.

  9. I have asked this same question over the years, especially because I spent 10 years getting my PhD (and used to feel guilty about not putting that to “good use”). However, I’ve decided that even if I do eventually stop working in a conventional job I still plan to do meaningful work. I’m like you where there are so many things I want to do with my life yet my free time is limited by the work day. I’m fortunate that my employer offers flex time and also reduced base hours (without impacting my benefits to a point). Yet I have many skills that don’t get utilized in my current job so I look forward to the point where I no longer have to work. Then ideally I feel I will have a chance to pursue work that is both valuable (to society) and also meaningful (to me) – hopefully using more of my skills (including creativity and more physical labor!).

    Overall, I think this is a good question to ask. Yet even if retiring early is selfish (which I don’t agree with), you’re clearly a motivated person and will likely go on to do other work that may be even more valuable than your current job.

    • Thanks for sharing Unconventional Sustainability!!! I can’t even imagine the social pressure on having a PhD and “letting” people down. Although I feel like it would be a short term let down because most of the people I know that are motivated to reach FIRE, like you said, are motivated to do more with their life. So I think it’s a win/win if you can free up someone’s time to pursue their true passions.

  10. It’s selfish but ultimately everything is selfish. Even giving to charity brings happiness so it is selfish in a way. If you buy yourself a nice dinner instead of donating your cash and living off ramen at some basic level you are selfish. The point is your retiring to live off what you earned. Your entitled to do with what you earn how you choose. In that respect buying a new car over giving to charity is no different a situation.
    FullTimeFinance recently posted…Getting Others to Change their Mind through Active ListeningMy Profile

    • Great analogy Full Time Finance!!! Every decision that we make where we choose ourselves over someone else (and whatever ulterior motives that we have) is a selfish decision. I guess it goes back to the saying you can’t please everyone 🙂

  11. By that coworkers reasoning I am selfish for working in the biopharm industry instead of teaching. I double majored biology and education. I have a knack, talent for teaching, and I can’t help myself. But I wanted to go into the corporate world and earn a good wage and gain experience I could bring to teaching later in life. I wanted to work in biopharm to help save lives, and a drug I worked on at a previous company is bringing cancer to non-detectable levels. I am targeting FI with an eye towards maybe being a park ranger or work at a winery so I can continue to share knowledge. In the end, most people wouldn’t say my choices are selfish, but everyone will have a personal bias if I could do more good working on a medicine that saves a kid who goes on to do something amazing, vs having taught that child.
    You have this blog. I think time spent with your family wins over commuting and the office. If you want to help college grads, volunteer and give talks like Mr. & Mrs. 1500 did. See if you could consult on new hire days to help a company explain corporate benefits. I knew more about 401ks & the HSA option than my new hire HR person.
    There is the saying that you can’t pour from an empty cup. If our needs are fulfilled and we aren’t drained by commuting and all the office politic stuff, how much more we have to give, which isn’t selfish. You’ve got this MSM!

    • Thanks for sharing Jacq!!! You sound like an incredibly talented person. If I could do anyone of those things well I would be happy let alone all of those things. Sounds like you have a passion for sharing your knowledge and you will be able to impact a ton of lives along the way. Thanks for stopping by!!!

  12. I think labeling something selfish is probably a simplistic way of looking at it and unknowable — a person’s true motives are deep waters. If it’s selfish to take time from your co-workers and give it to your family, isn’t it selfish to work all day with co-workers and take that time from your family? And as you said, your goal isn’t to withdraw from society and sit around counting money.

    I’m not going for FIRE so I certainly wouldn’t judge. It’s an incredible goal to achieve. That said, I think it’s absolutely appropriate for a thoughtful person to reflect on the value of work. Some FIRE blogs (not this one) paint work, or career, in the service of a big organization as a prison. That’s not always the case. Many careers are incredibly satisfying, and even low paying manual labor can be good for the soul. I love showing my kids the value of a hard day’s work.

    Good luck in the new job! –R
    Rich @ pennyandrich.com recently posted…Monthly Money Check: How Rich Spends $2,000 On Food — February 2017My Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Rich!!! I have had some really amazing experiences where I work and I know that I may just be a cog in the wheel but they are making a huge difference in lives so I definitely don’t have the prison experience that some other FIRE bloggers talk about 🙂

  13. Congrats on the new job and for breaking down the wall and getting people to talk about finance. I prepare taxes as a side hustle, and one of my favorite things about it is that it is a situation in which it is entirely acceptable (and even expected) to talk about money and income and finances. Like you, I enjoy hearing others’ perspectives and getting at the psychology of different situations.

    I think you’re right in your reasoning for early retirement not being selfish. Your coworker made an interesting point that is different from most of the “early retirement is selfish” arguments, in that he is identifying a specific skill that you have that would be lacking in your replacement, but at the same time, it is not the thrust of what you spend your day doing (I would imagine). From those 10 hours lost per day, or 50 hours per week, how much is directly helping your colleagues with finances? Especially where you plan to use that newly found time to benefit your family and to work on projects that could help others, I think you are completely in the clear.
    Matt @ Optimize Your Life recently posted…Want to Get More Done? Go Back to Sleep.My Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Matt!!!

      I’m not sure if they were trying to guilt me into staying but it definitely got me thinking.

      BTW…I think it’s awesome that you are preparing taxes on the side. That’s an awesome side hustle and I’m sure has really opened up some avenues to talk money with people. Sounds like a fun gig 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing Kathryn!!! I think if I sat watching TV all day that I would go stir crazy. So I would definitely be retiring to something instead of from something 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by Mr. FOB!!! Having more time to help others and maximizing my potential impact is definitely I think about. Although I’m not sure I would be able to go as deep with others as I do now. It’s definitely a trade off 🙂

  14. Wow that was an odd thing to say. Hey if it’s selfish and someone thinks so, so be it! I’ll take it!! What is wrong with wanting each moment to being exactly what you want to do (wherever possible). Maybe you’ll get MORE into financial education with more time, to help MORE people! I think a lot of people make comments like that because they feel they somehow can’t do it themselves, which of course we know is not true!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Keep Money Simple StupidMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Tonya!!! I definitely don’t completely understand where the comment was coming from. But I here weird things from time to time 🙂

  15. I don’t think it is selfish at all. You have the right to live your life however you see fit. Plus, you could always mentor people on the side for free or even start a coaching service to raise some income after quitting the day job. Many different ways to continue your passion and to help others. I hope you have a good first day on the new job!
    Mr Defined Sight recently posted…Are Shopping Malls a Thing of the Past?My Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by Mr. Defined Sight!!! I had a great day at the new job and think I’m really going to enjoy it. Over and over again I heard how great the people were. So I’m really looking forward to learning as much as I can 🙂

  16. Your family achieving FIRE is by no means selfish. I think your co-worker was little insensitive with that remark.
    How can crafting a better life for you and your family be selfish?
    How can starting a blog that helps others be selfish?
    How can hosting FPU and mentoring co-workers be selfish?
    How can using FIRE to reach more people be selfish?
    Did the apostles stay in their own town when preaching the Word of God?
    No, they left, they met others, they spread themselves out and they did what they could to have the most impact. I’m sure they would have used the Internet if they had it back then.
    The point is they didn’t share this amazing gift just to their small circles of influence. Rather, they expanded their circles of influence.
    Your impact, Rob, isn’t meant to only involve your co-workers at any given moment.
    God bless,
    Dave

    • Thanks for the awesome feedback Dave!!! Sounds like I need to get my lamp and share it with everyone instead of my close circle that I have 🙂 Great reminder!!! Thanks as always for stopping by!!!

      • No problem, my friend. You know, thinking about it further … you were called to be steward as we all are. You’re a steward at work, sure, but more importantly, you’re a steward of your children and wife. That’s the most crucial. That’s what you will answer to God for one day.

  17. Hmmm, interesting points. If anything I think early retirement is selfless. You’re still paying taxes and contributing to society, just not in a traditional way. You’re happier and spreading said happiness. And many folks who are financially independent make it a point to give back. That sounds awfully un-selfish to me.

    I know people like saying FIRE is selfish, but those people are just jealous. 😉

    And congratulations on your new job! I am so happy for you! 🙂
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…What A Frugal Weekend!My Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by Mrs. Picky Pincher!!! You bring up some awesome points. Being able to make an impact in a non-traditional way would definitely be awesome. We’ll see what the future holds 🙂

  18. A person who is generous and helpful will continue to be generous and helpful during their working days and after he / she retires. That is a core value of that person. A person who lacks this trait will be selfish and stingy during their working days and after / she retires.

    You have a great heart for people and I think you will do much more in helping people after FIRE that what you are doing now.
    Michael recently posted…Kickfurther ReviewMy Profile

    • Thanks for the kind words Michael!!! I definitely would love to continue helping out as many people as I can whether I am working or not. We’ll see what the future holds 🙂

  19. Since we left the 9-5, I know we have a lot more time to help people. Plus I feel like I can reach a bigger and more targeted audience. I’m speaking this month about pf to low income families. Today I did a drawing from my email subscriber list for a free 90 minute money consultation. I am finding ways to leverage my knowledge so that I can help a wider audience, while helping just one person at a time with my money mentoring program. I think “early retirement” is whatever you want to make it.
    Ms. Montana recently posted…February Expenses 2017My Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Ms. Montana!!! That’s awesome that you are really making a difference. Great idea about the free consultation from your subscriber list!!! I’m sure that will be a huge blessing to whoever is chosen. Awesome job!!!

  20. I never thought of it that way. I’ve heard people say early retirees are selfish in that they’re leaving the workforce and not being “productive” to society. Don’t agree that that is true. While you’ve benefited a lot of co-workers with your knowledge, I’m sure that was not your main function at work and that your ability to spread your financial knowledge during FIRE may even surpass that of when you were working…who knows. Just read what David Domzalski commented. Loved the comment…especially…”Your impact, Rob, isn’t meant to only involve your co-workers at any given moment”

    • Thanks for sharing Andrew!!! You are absolutely right that talking to others about their finances was not my main role. Although there were days that I often wish it was 🙂

  21. Good luck on your new position.

    I do t think it’s selfish at all. Just last we in my office the talk of winning the lottery came up. I said of course I would leave my job. This is a great job and I would t need it anymore. Someone else would need it more than me. So I would leave.
    So no, if you are financially independent, it is not selfish to leave the work force. I’m sure you will still contribute positively to the world.

    • Thanks for stopping by ReachingTheCrest!!! I definitely think opening up the position for someone else is something that I hadn’t previously thought about. Thanks for sharing!!!

  22. Nope, not selfish at all. You are free to peruse whatever you’d like. I think in early retirement you actually might be able to help more people. You will certainly have more time to do so. Your story will be the hook too, when people find out that you’ve retired early I’m sure they next questions is be “how did you do it?”

    Good luck at the new job!
    Brian recently posted…Net Worth Update: February 2017My Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Brian!!! Having that story definitely would be a huge selling point and I think would definitely have an impact on others. Hopefully it happens sooner rather than later 🙂

  23. If you know absolutely anything about investing or personal finance, it’s inevitable that people will start seeking you out for advice, given the lack of education around these topics in their lives.

    I usually find that after talking to me, they increase their 401k % much higher than they otherwise would have. Or, they sign up for the company 401k, or as in the case last week, I walked a colleague through investing his Roth IRA money. Although I advise against putting money into Roth’s, if he’s going to ask me for help, I am going to give it to him. For the record, he used his $5500 at Fidelity to buy ITOT.
    FinancePatriot recently posted…Five Things I’ll Miss About Work When I Retire EarlyMy Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by Finance Patriot!!! Sounds like you are making a huge impact in our workplace as well. I’ve had a similar experience that if you have a little bit of financial acumen that people come out of the woodwork to talk to you. I have to admit it’s one of my favorite things about work 🙂

  24. I don’t think I ever had the perception of early retirement as being selfish. While I think it’s important to look out for yourself and your needs primarily it’s only because by taking care of yourself can you help and/or take care of others. It’s nice to see you had such a positive impact on your office staff/co-workers. Clearly you were a pleasant person to be around.
    DivHut recently posted…Dividend Income Update February 2017My Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by DivHut!!! I really enjoyed my last office and definitely am going to miss it. Hopefully I can have a similar impact in the next office.

  25. First of all I wish you all the bests for your new job!
    I don’t think at all that it’s selfish. First of all you should prioritize the happiness of yourself and your loved ones. Also sounds like you already did your fair share in spreading the message about financial awareness, and via this blog you keep on doing that. For me the other guy sounds like more selfish for wanting you for stick around (probably expecting some extra fee advices whenever he needs… 🙂 )
    Roadrunner recently posted…Battle of Dividend Stocks 2017 – UpdateMy Profile

  26. Without counting I’m 100% sure nobody here said you were selfish. Because you are not. Enjoy life how you want too. And I think you’ll make a larger impact online, reaching 1000s of people and doing projects that you love, than you will staying at your day job.
    Btw, how is the new job going?

    • Thanks for the positive words Make Wealth Simple!!! First day on the job went well. At times it feels like I am drinking from a firehose but it’s what I expected. Things I’m sure we’ll slow down over time 🙂

  27. You have to take care of you first. It’s like putting on your own oxygen mask first . . . that’s not selfish, that’s as practical as it gets.

    • That’s so true. Sometimes charity starts at home and making sure that you can take care of yourself before you try to take on more to take care of others!!!

  28. Oh, by the way, I noticed your description of your gym workout that consumes 2 hours of your day including travel. That’s a high cost (in time and money)! If you want to optimize your time ROI, consider an at-home workout and get 1.5 hours back. Just recently wrote all about it if you want to check it out.
    FirstHabit recently posted…A Silver Bullet for Getting FitMy Profile

  29. I don’t think it’s selfish when viewed from a professional/workplace standpoint. Like you pointed out, you’ll have more time to help others so at the very least things balance out. I have often considered the question from a more personal standpoint though. Is it selfish to retire early when you have children, or aging parents, or struggling family? That would probably keep me up at night more so than unhappy workers.
    Max Your Freedom recently posted…Day of HappinessMy Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing Max Your Freedom!!! Those are interesting questions that you pose. It would probably be a depends answer for me. If I thought it might make a difference than I might continue working to help out but if I had knew that it hadn’t worked out, and I’m guessing I would have tried to help out before I retired, then I would probably retire with no qualms.

    • Thanks Go Finance Yourself!!! The new job is going well so far and everybody keeps talking about how great the people are. So hopefully that continues 🙂

  30. We’re all selfish in some ways. We just have to find a balance between caring for ourselves and serving others. No, retiring early isn’t inherently selfish. People can be selfish whether working or retired, married or single, parent or non-parent, etc. And as many mentioned, you will likely continue to help and coach others financially (hello, look at this blog!). It’s an interesting question but I think it’s too generalized to say everyone is selfish who retires early.
    Mrs. COD recently posted…Frugality Report: FebruaryMy Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing Mrs. COD!!! I definitely would love to continue to help others and really make an impact in others lives if possible 🙂

  31. Congrats on the new job! Hopefully you have some interesting work to look forward to.

    I did a quick check on the definition of ‘selfish’ on the Merriam-Webster dictionary… nope, you aren’t selfish! No disregard for others in a decision to retire from the corporate world early.

    Perhaps you could setup your own personal finances consulting company after retiring. Providing seminars and other workshops to companies across the country could provide a huge impact.
    Mr. Need2Save recently posted…Lowering Your BillsMy Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by Mr. Need2Save!!! I would love to reach out to others and make an impact in the way Dave Ramsey has or Suze Orman!!! We’ll see what the future holds 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing Daniel!!! I feel like I am doing some really great things at work but I’m not sure that is the purpose why I am here on earth but I could be wrong 🙂

  32. It is definitely not selfish to retire early. said co worker is just jealous their financial life isn’t in order like yours. Honestly though, you put your time in and you saved enough to afford your financial freedom. Own it and embrace it. Enjoy your time away from your job and don’t worry about the rest of us unfortunate enough to be trapped in the work force. I understand that you are an amazing resource at work but that is what the internet is also for. If these people truly cared enough they would seek the information they were looking for online. Throw those deuces in the air truly own your time now.

    • Thanks for stopping by DiligentDividend!!! I definitely hope that I can build rapport and be a huge resource in the next office and hopefully beyond after I hit FIRE!!! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  33. Late to the party!

    First, congrats on the new job!! I’m sure it was hard to leave the old office behind but growth is what this life is all about. Plus this will give you the opportunity to inspire more people in need of personal finance help. Which brings me to my next point…

    YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT BEING SELFISH. Should I write it again or did you hear me loud and clear? Good. This colleague of yours was just expressing his feelings on seeing you go and he also may be a bit jealous that he isn’t heading towards FI the way you are. Either way, “deserve” is a word I try not to use in simple conversation but in this case it is exactly fitting. You worked hard to afford the life and lifestyle you are gearing up for. Do not let anyone steal your thunder. You do deserve it because you put time and energy into this outcome. It is a simple equation that results in your being able to choose the life that you want – kudos to you!! This is something to celebrate and not feel guilty about. The truth is, you will have more time to help more people. You also don’t have to leave the people you have already been helping behind. You write a blog…If they don’t know about it, they can soon. There is so much opportunity in this realm to help and inspire others. Just because you aren’t face to face with them does not mean you don’t have an impact. I am so excited for you both and where this path is taking you. Enjoy your new job/office and start cracking away at your new colleagues. 🙂
    Miss Mazuma recently posted…Shift Your Perspective & Create New HabitsMy Profile

    • Thanks for the encouragement Miss Mazuma!!! That is exactly the pick me up I need!!!

      I always feel a little timid when I go into a new office. Normally I am trying to get the lay of the land and understand the office dynamics.

      But when I do, I can’t wait to start talking about financial planning and everything personal finance related.

      Thanks as always for stopping by!!!

  34. Congrats on the new job first and foremost! Instead of selfish I think it’s more about understanding your priorities. People always say I love my job I love my job and I’m sure some do. But if you stop receiving a paycheck a lot of that love will probably go away. A lot of us work to survive and when we have enough to survive, perhaps it’s only natural to stop working and pursue other interests/passions/hobbies.
    SMM recently posted…It “Pays” To Be RightMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing SMM!!! I definitely wonder what would happen if the gov’t provided a paycheck and said you have to work do anything that you want. I’d love to see what people would choose to do…I think it would be fascinating to see.

  35. Tough luck about not taking time off between jobs. I’ve run into that same situation so many times, and every graceful attempted has failed, that I’ve just started lying.

    Once the offer is in the works, I give the former employer 2 weeks notice and tell the new employer I’m giving 3 weeks to ensure a smooth transition. I consider it a white lie that serves everyone’s best interests – you get some breathing room, your new employer gets you fresh and ready to go, and your ex employer gets a standard, hopefully smooth, transition.

    Win-win-win
    Jack @ Enwealthen recently posted…Interesting Reads for the Financially Inclined #4My Profile

    • That’s a great plan Jack!!! If I am ever in that situation again I am definitely going to do that. While I am glad that I’m at the job it definitely would have been fun to clear my head and catch up on some things I want to.

  36. Hmm good post and congrats on your new job. Hope the transition goes great for you. I used to be the guy who always tried to set stuff up to do with our friends. Most of the time I would be dissapointed because people wouldn’t respond or would make up some excuse or show up to the waterpark super late etc etc. I’m one of the only ones with a kid, I should be the one late. It drove me crazy. So I don’t try as much. I’m happier now life’s great! I think everyone should be a little selfish. I prefer now to do stuff with my wife and son vs trying to setup stuff with a bunch of people to avoid dissapointment. To me that sounds selfish, but life seems better because of it. I think if your not seriously hurting anyone it’s ok to be selfish sometimes. If you retire I’m sure you will be doing good for someone. Ie hanging out with your kid more.
    Passivecanadianincome recently posted…Fellow BloggersMy Profile

    • I would definitely spend a ton more time with my son. He’s getting older now and starting communicate more and more which is super fun. I’d love to be as involved as he’ll let me and really enjoy this time with him. I am definitely ok being selfish to spend time with him 🙂

  37. Merriam Webster defines selfishness as concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself. I don’t think retiring early fits the definition as it’s really a personal choice. Anyone who’d try to guilt you into feeling selfish over that is a bit selfish himself!

    We can each have an impact in our own way and if you’re fortunate to retire at an age where you still have a lot of energy left to concentrate on meaningful activities, you’re going to make a helluva larger impact than you would in a job.

    Good luck with the new position.
    Mrs. Groovy recently posted…A Groovy Book Review: High School Money HacksMy Profile

    • Thanks Mrs. Groovy!!! I didn’t even think to see what Webster’s said. Based on that definition I am definitely doing ok then 🙂 And I definitely planned to be super active in retirement especially if I’m young to make the maximum impact that I can in people’s lives. Thanks as always for stopping by and providing perspective!!!

  38. I would argue a resounding no on you being selfish. Honestly it’s your time and you get to choose what to do with it. Yes you have touched coworkers and changed life paths in the office, but what’s to say you can’t do that without the office environment? You could volunteer at you church to do it, advertise on Craigslist to teach people about it, and you’re already doing it with you blog. We only get one chance here so it’s great if you have the ability to pursue your passions. Those passions may also make the world a better place!

    • Thanks for stopping by Duncan!!! You are absolutely correct that there are various ways that I can make an impact outside of a traditional working environment. It will definitely be awesome to explore the possibilities in the future 🙂

  39. Wait, wait, wait. Back the fun bus the F up. I can’t believe how many comments there are on this post and not one has called out the most important thing by far:

    “You taste like Jelly, Love Dinosaur.””

    What. The. F. What does that mean? Do you taste like jelly? What flavour? Why does Dinosaur know what you taste like? Why are there dinosaurs in your office? Does Mr. 1500 know about this dinosaur friendly office?

    Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I will offer my 2 cents of wisdom:

    Since the future is unknowable, there is no way of knowing whether or not retiring early will be a selfish move or not. If you end up being a couch potato who watches T.V. all day, the answer may be yes. If you end up creating something new, building something meaningful, finding new ways to help people, the answer will be no. Like so many things in this life, I think the answer is “It depends.”
    Mrs. BITA recently posted…What is in your Happiness Portfolio?My Profile

    • Hahhahahaha…the guy in my office was definitely a character. He’s from the Midwest and definitely had a great sense of humor. Although I honestly have no idea what it means. He use to sign it on all the birthday cards in the office. As a joke I found a picture of Dinosaurs playing guitars and I left it for him as a going away present. For all I know he’s related to Mr. 1500 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing Kindoflost!!! I am definitely not close to curing cancer. I’m not sure that you would see much of an impact outside of opening up another job for someone else 🙂

  40. I don’t think you are selfish at all. I actually put up post last week about the #1 rule of personal finance being pay yourself first and I got push back from 2 colleagues who called it a selfish capitalist approach. And arguing I was doing nothing but promoting a certain kind of privilege. I don’t know why it bothered me, but I am actually planning a response to that on how no one is coming to save you.

    By retiring early you are being less selfish because you are allowing other people to potentially obtain your position, which helps out the economy and you are not necessarily using benefits/other items that could benefit others. The reality is that you are helping more people by FIRE than hurting.

    • Thanks for sharing Jason!!! Sounds like you have run into some people that see things a little differently than you and I. I can’t wait to read your post on your response. Sounds like it’ll be very interesting 🙂

  41. The thought of retiring early is selfish had never crossed my mind as I believed it’s a personal choice and it’s an accomplishment. Let’s face it, how often do you hear that people are really disciplined at saving money and have the financial freedom to retire early versus people who are a couple of years from retirement and have no savings? I think I read more of the latter scenario a lot more than I have ever read about people who retire early.
    Leo T. Ly @ isaved5k.com recently posted…How Far Can You Stretch Your Dollar?My Profile

    • Thanks for sharing Leo!!! It’s definitely refreshing hearing from the PF community and their thoughts around this 🙂

      If anything you would think it’s unselfish because you’re opening up jobs for those that may need it.

  42. I think it depends on you: it doesn’t sound like you’re doing it for selfish reasons; you’d like the flexibility for family. For family, there’s nobody who can replace you.
    Sure, you have great opportunities to share at work and you’re making the most of it. I do that, too. And you’re finding ways to add value at an organization – which you can do whether your time is your own again or not.
    But imagine, once you’re free, you could go teach classes on personal finances (Dave Ramsey’s or some other), mentor those around you, and put yourself in places where there are also impressionable young people who need mentoring about finances. You could volunteer for all kinds of organizations and fulfill this role; you could even pitch yourself as a self-made (and self-evident) expert on it.
    Like you, I mentor many in the workplace and make the most of those opportunities; they’re some of my best memories. Also like you, it seems that people often do want to speak about personal finances and open up once you talk about it.
    So no, while it depends on you, it doesn’t sound like you’re taking the selfish route. You’re doing the most with what you have in this season. I look forward to the days where I will at least have the option of doing even more with my time in those ways.
    Finances with Purpose recently posted…How we saved almost $1,000 per year on insurance…while remaining well-insuredMy Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by Finance With Purpose!!! I definitely think it would open up the ability to make a difference in a passion of mine 🙂 I’m definitely looking forward to that day!!!

  43. I think it all depends what you retire TO. If I retired to sit on my couch and watch reruns of Big Brother, I’d definitely be a selfish git. and probably miserable.

    But retiring to writing, to wine-making, to parenting, to volunteer work. Those aren’t selfish at all. Mr 1500 wrote a great one not long ago about retiring TO something, rather than retiring FROM something. It’s the post I stole ‘Running to a big pile of money’ from 🙂 As long as your retirement isn’t running to money Scrooge mcDuck style, then it’s probably not a selfish choice.
    LadyFIRE recently posted…Ratesetter: Peer-to-Peer LendingMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing LadyFIRE!!! I definitely would love to retire to something. Although at times I struggle with exactly what the “to” would be. Hopefully I’ll have a better idea in a couple of years.

      • I’m still not sure what I want to retire to. I have so many disjointed dreams about travelling, writing, living on a homestead with cows, backpacking, starting up a rock climbing gym, learning wood work…. While I’m at work though I just don’t have the time or energy for any of it. I’m really hoping towards the end of the FIRE journey I’ll have a year or two of half-speed work where I can try these things out and see how I feel about them.

        I have no idea how people work for their entire lives, and raise kids, and have hobbies, and volunteer… where do they find the time and energy!
        LadyFIRE recently posted…Ratesetter: Peer-to-Peer LendingMy Profile

  44. Is brushing your teeth selfish? Is working out selfish? If you skipped these (or any other personal care activity), you could spend more time helping others. But, we’re responsible for taking care of ourselves, whether it’s showering or ensuring a bright financial future. Without this personal care, YOU will be the one needing help. And FI can take you in the completely opposite direction, if you choose. Without devoting 10 hours a day to a job, you’ll have virtually unlimited time to help others, through things like educating via this blog!

  45. “Never love a job, it’ll never love you back.”

    It’s not selfish to leave an employer / change modes of employment. Anyone who judges you as being “selfish” for doing so is (ironically) being selfish themselves – they’re projecting their own issues upon you!

    As others have said already – you are having far greater impact via this blog than you ever could be interacting with a fixed set of coworkers at an office. They can follow your blog and continue to be helped by you.

    Besides – there’s nothing inherently wrong with being “selfish” if it’s about you wanting to take a new step towards the goals you’ve set for yourself and your loved ones. You can be selfish without hurting others, and without causing harm. The word “selfish” has really gotten a bad rap over the years! 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by Sensei!!! I love the line “Never love a job, it’ll never love you back.” That is the truth.

      I definitely would love for the blog to be a great forum to make as big of an impact as possible 🙂

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