Should you retire early if you only have five years to live?

Every week I receive a handful of questions from Root of Good readers and I try to answer them all, even if it’s a brief response. Last week was no different.  The inquiry I received from “Eric” caught my eye immediately as I scanned through my emails.  Subject: “Scared”.  One word, vague, non-specific.  Hmmm – might be spam?

As it turns out it wasn’t spam at all.  I clicked to open and read further and was intrigued by the brevity of the question with what appeared to be a clear-cut easy answer on the surface but has a lot of layers that need to be peeled back to flesh out a complete response.

Here’s what Eric wrote:

“You’ll probably think I’m crazy but I’m 48 and have incurable cancer and even though I qualify for long term benefits income protection of 6 figures a year I am scared of retiring. I’m scared I’d decline and get depressed with no purpose.”

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Why Your Two Cents Matter….Literally!

Mrs. Root of Good decided to pick up the keyboard and pen a few thoughts on work and the decision to finally pull the plug and join me in early retirement. Here’s what she has to say:

What will it take for me to leave the corporate world and pass the day with Mr. RoG on the back deck laying on the hammock sipping margaritas? Overall, my job is pretty easy and the pay is good. I have very good benefits, flexible hours and my managers pretty much let me do what I want as long as the job gets done. And I’m due to take my three month sabbatical any time now. So what will it take for me to leave my job? I do want to spend more time with our kids and travel more. I get jealous when I come home exhausted and Mr. RoG has spent hours outdoor reading. It’s a tough decision. If I work for just another year, my salary is enough to pay for our yearly travel expenses for many years! But there are times when I wonder if it is worth the headaches to stay at work. There are times when I feel what I’m doing is just silly and a waste of my time!

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Case Study: High Earning Attorneys Shun High Spending Lifestyle

After graduating from law school ten years ago, Jane has practiced as an attorney and ended up in Washington, DC married to another attorney. Most 30-something attorneys working at big law firms in big cities are making a ton of money and spending most of it living the high life.

Jane and her husband made the conscious decision to split from the herd of her high-spending colleagues and do the bizarre. They paid down huge law school debts, saved boatloads of money, tactically bought a home at fire sale prices, and carefully managed their expenses and investments to bring about a certain level of financial independence in their mid-30’s. Though they won’t be retiring early immediately, their money savvy behavior will allow them to execute a “coup de career” very soon so they can get back to living life on their own terms.

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Team Dixie Chickens!

High Adventure Early Retirement – Part 1

Hesitating in the doorway of my mother’s hospital room, I’m distracted by the usual thoughts in such situations, like hoping she’s getting over the pneumonia (she is, and is discharged the following day) and wishing that hospitals didn’t smell so weird, so I was unprepared for the white-coated person standing idly in the room chatting with Mom. Ever proud of our travels, Mom immediately announces to the Physician’s Assistant that this is her daughter who is traveling around the world in a school bus.

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