Early Retirement 24

After I finish writing this blog post I will hand my notice in to leave my job. I then plan to spend up to the next two years doing something very important:

living my life

Which means that all of my time will be my own and not spent ‘working for the man’. Before I continue let me momentarily digress and say that I do not want to slip into a mode of socialist entitlement. ‘Working for the man’ is in fact more correctly known as ‘earning a living’ and I am grateful that ‘the man’ exists: comfortable, knowledge-based jobs in highly developed (still reasonably) capitalist economies. For sure I resent having to get up and work at something I have no interest in but I certainly am grateful that I can do so and earn my crust. I am no Virginia Woolf: I don’t expect myself to be magically maintained in idleness by the unnamed provider. I will provide for myself. Instead what I have done is through the last fourteen months of work saved up enough money to live for two very frugal years without needing to have a conventional job to support myself.

I don’t like my career job. It doesn’t interest me. Doing it in perpetuity would actually be all right if I only had to do it five days a week for four or five hours a day, including commute. Sadly even though this is probably the amount of productive work I or any of my colleagues actually do anyway my and most other employers insist on us sitting in the office for the remaining hours and wasting time.

I’m sick of wasting my time. I’m sick of the endless cycle of sleep deprivation and caffeine. I’m frustrated that I have the desire to workout two hours a day but don’t have the time to do it or the sleep to recover from it. I’m frightened by how much of my mental energy my job requires and how little is left over for the things I have a passion for. I’m disgusted with having to associate with the code of conduct of the foul gammas and betas that throng my workplace and the fact that I (a proud and majestic bear-king/warrior) have to associate with them.

What I’m doing, unplugging, actually takes some balls. Sitting here, about to email my manager still gives me butterflies in my stomach. It takes a lot of nerve to tread the track less taken. Most middle class people are conditioned to expect a lifetime of quiet servitude. It’s normal to just work in your office career job non-stop until you reach your fifties and then unless you’re either very senior, very lucky or in a ‘protected’ industry (e.g. public sector) then start to have periods of miserable unemployment and crappier and crappier jobs before your pension kicks in. Life is based around this model.

The Little Death

Most people have an initial allergic reaction to this pattern. Finishing university age 21 and having never worked full time they freak out in the first few years as they suddenly have to come to terms with how little time they actually have to do the things they enjoy anymore. Then the fog settles on them. Slowly they adjust: one by one hobbies and passions are quietly shelved. Circles of friends narrow and so do expectations of life. An ego identity shift occurs and men start to think in terms of providing and women in terms of attaining. Time off becomes the two days at the weekend and the three weeks a year of escapism. Their spirit and their dreams have now died.

I never quite managed to kill my own spirit. It always rebelled against the endless drudge of The Career. I still raged against it. I still fought and struggled to understand why my life, the only one I had, had to be filled with doing unpleasant things and not things I liked. Due to family circumstances I took a few years off in my mid thirties and it only got worse. I felt broken for work afterwards. I went back and realized I hated the concept more than ever but an important change had occured:

I finally no longer felt guilty for not wanting to work.

This is quite an accomplishment. Flipping the default script for men of Providing (and Overproducing) takes a lot of work and a lot of long dark nights of the soul. I’ve done it and now I feel little guilt. Why should I? Work sucks unless you’re doing something which gives you emotional supply and doesn’t take up too much of your time, and how many people manage that? One thing’s for sure: keep grinding away in the office job and you will be so tired and run down and drained of life you’ll never get in a place where you can find yourself doing something you like.

An understanding of Red Pill economics and Socialism helps alleviate the guilt as well. My real rate of taxation is well over 50%, probably more like 70%. In a free market I would be a man of permanently independent means by now. I could retire for good. I could live off an hours work a day. Frankly I’m tired of having to work for six months of the year for other people. It enrages me that fully four hours of every day’s work is for the benefit of others, not myself, and that without this theft I would have the work life balance I crave. I’ve had enough! I unplug! My life is my own and I will enjoy it and I will disconnect the parasites hanging off my belly. What I do not earn they cannot take.

It’s still hard though. It’s frightening to actually unplug and cease earning money and start spending it. It goes against a lifetime of conditioning. I still get butterflies in my stomach thinking about what I’m about to do. I’m going to spend nearly all the money that I’ve just accumulated. I’m going to spend money that could be saved towards a deposit on a house….which will probably half in value over the next ten years. It could go into a pension fund….the first £100,000 of which I will never see the value of as they will pound for pound pay for the state pension which I will not receive.

There’s no easy way round doing this. There’s no magic bullet. It’s like approaching: it ultimately boils down to just putting your balls on the line. Hardly anybody does what I’m doing and that’s why nearly everyone is miserable.

The Escape Clause
And if it goes wrong? What have I lost. A year? £12,000? Luckily for me I am smart and cunning and have engineered myself an opt-out clause. I have no debts. I have no obligations. I have no mortgage, loans or repayments. I have no car. Importantly; I work in a highly technical, commoditized career niche with high demand for employees and I know that more than most careers I can at any point, for the sake of a month or so of hitting the books, just plug right back in where I left off.

So what will I do with all this time? Well watch this space. I intend to take my retirment now, while I’m still young enough to enjoy it. The next two years will see me Rooshing it: travelling and living in Europe and Asia, hopefully sleeping with lots of attractive women and pursuing my hobbies and interests. I’m done convincing myself! Time to send that email…