Why Are We Doing This?
Over the last two weeks, my husband and I have really been working on our retirement spreadsheets. The spreadsheet we have put together lists all of our retirement vehicles, anticipated growth year over year, anticipated expenses in retirement, and a list of assumptions we’re making to go along with our projections.
We’ve finally hit a point where we’re happy with how things are looking and where we should be if everything else goes according to plan. Now we need to give it a few years and see if our assumptions are correct and how our portfolios are growing. So…. we have to just sit and wait.
Which is hard.
(That’s what she said).
But ultimately, it’s brought up a few lingering questions. Such as – what is this all for? Why are we doing this? Why are we obsessing over how much money we may or may not have in 30 years?
Is it for peace of mind? Is it because I’m basically Monica Gellar reincarnated and I need to control everything? Is it because I read about all these people who are FIREing and thought, “Challenge Accepted”?
I think, for me, personally it’s mostly about peace of mind. But I also think it’s something deeper.
I want to know that the work I’m doing (40-60 hours a week, year after year) is leading somewhere.
Don’t get me wrong, I really do like my job which I know is pretty rare nowadays. But my job is a high stress position and sometimes when I’m on the edge of burnout just looking at my retirement sheets and saying “Well, look how much closer you are today than yesterday” is the push I need to keep going.
The idea that if I work hard and really bring in money for a little while (10, 20 years) that I will be able to stop and enjoy myself without the need to work is appealing.
Being able to stop and point to that day on the calendar when I get to throw my hands up and choose to walk away from the working world is exciting.
Just knowing that not only am I doing good work now and building a comfortable life with my husband but that at some point we will be able to choose to stop working is incredibly freeing.
Of course, there are always things that can go wrong. And Murphy’s Law would say that just as everything is looking up something WILL go wrong.
But at least I’ll be able to face Murphy with a good nest egg at my side.
To me, that’s what it’s all for.