So I originally planned to retire from office work at 40, with a view to entering Green politics. Based on my seemingly out of control and ever increasing (despite being meticulously tracked) spending so far, this is looking less and less likely. After less than 2 years of saving, the goal has been pushed out 3 to age 43 and even that requires some ambitious spending reduction assumptions. There are reasons why the spending has increased, but there will be reasons why it will increase in the future.
So far, so what – so I will only be able to retire at 43 or maybe 45 or even 50 – still far earlier than most and making me sound like a spoiled rich kid complaining about it. Well at this point I have to link it to the environment – we need to get off our unsustainable path fast if there is any hope to avoid a temperature rise of 2 degrees or, more likely, much more than that. But what people don’t grasp is that even if there was no global warming, we would still need to abandon the nonsensical dogma of exponential economic growth as the earth is finite, exponential growth is unsustainable on a finite planet – fact. You either agree or you simply don’t understand. Sadly, most people even Green party members fall into the latter camp as I have seen from attempting to sway online debates. Basically I’d like to devote my life to crusading against the current economic paradigm. No doubt this would make Don Quixote look effective, I can’t think of a single instance in my life where I managed to convince anyone of anything (people don’t like facts is my sad take on life, an argument over chopsticks confirmed this to me). But damn it when the global resource shortage becomes undeniable which I would expect to happen in my lifetime, I can’t say I did nothing. And if it doesn’t, see the attached image
So what am I gonna do about it then?
Well my current strategy is to save enough money until I’ll never have to do paid work again and therefore can focus on whatever I can do to try to help persuade people to get mankind to a sustainable society. However as per the above this is likely to take at least 10 years, barring some unexpected windfall. Perhaps I should have the guts to retire now and see how I get on, after all I have at least 1 year of spending’s worth of savings built up. I’ve actually told my colleagues in work I plan to retire early (surely a career-limiting move) but it doesn’t seem to bother anyone bar some teasing.
Of course I thought like this before, when I was aged 19 and 20 and required psychiatric help. It’s not up to me to save mankind from the path we’re on. But like I said before, I want to be able to say I tried. I also had an evening in my mid twenties when I decided I would quit work to do this, talked to my housemates about it (they weren’t on board) and thought my parents would support me. I said nothing the next day in work and surprise surprise my parents were not happy either. So I decided I needed to get my own house before I quit my job! That bit is accomplished but I need to think carefully about whether I quit my work. The hours aren’t bad, but I’m not someone with enormous reserves of energy, as can be seen from the rare posts on this blog – so if I could figure out a way that I don’t devote the best years of my life to a job I don’t really care about but still have enough money to get by I’d do it in a heartbeat.