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pjf (2464)

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I run Perl Training Australia [].

I help with Melbourne Perl Mongers.

I spend an awful lot of time talking about Perl, and have had my picture in the Australian newspapers with a camel. That's rather scary.

Journal of pjf (2464)

Sunday November 05, 2006
06:50 PM

Retirement by thirty

[ #31522 ]

Life after thirty
About a month ago I turned thirty. Thirty is considered a significant number due to our obsession with the decimal counting system. However I had also expressed a number of times that I'd like to be retired by thirty... So, you may be wondering how I've gone.

Most of my plans involving retirement didn't actually involve the complete cessation of all work. I've known for some time that being able to stop work for ever would still take a few more years. Instead my goal for thirty was seeking to work as little as possible, preferably less than ten hours a week.

The good news is that income from our investments and hobbies does actually cover our yearly expenses, which is much more than I had hoped or expected. That in itself is pretty incredible.

The bad news is that they cover it only barely, and with no real safeguards against inflation. So while we could stop all work tomorrow, we'd be struggling to remain asset-neutral, especially as these income streams can be quite variable in nature. While it's nice to know that I could stop working for a decade or two, that's not my goal. Discovering that I need to return to work at fifty is certainly not appealing.

Regardless of this, I've certainly reached my goal of working as little as possible. I'm doing no more consulting (which was a huge time sink), and instead we're just running courses every few months. I got to more-or-less take October off, I'll be doing the same with December and January, and many more months next year. I'm not calling conference presenting work, since it doesn't really pay, and I do enjoy it.

Overall, I'm calling this a win.

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  • I guess I should ask: why have the goal to retire at 30? Is it that you can't find anything sufficiently fun that pays sufficiently well? Or is there something inherent to doing things for pay that you dislike? I'm mostly curious as somebody who's at the head end of entering the workforce.
    • In a word: freedom.

      I'm pretty much doing exactly what I want in terms of work. I run my own business, the pay is great, and the work is interesting. I get to travel and meet new people. When the weather is nice my office moves to under the apricot tree in the back yard. It's pretty hard for me to complain, and it sure beats the pants off a 9-5 grind.

      However that doesn't mean that I want to be doing it forever, and by its very nature the work itself is constraining. There's always a constant back