By Josh  January 5, 2018

I feel like this question is central to the Financial Independence and Retire Early movement: Why you do work?


Do you work just to pay your bills, to put a roof over your family’s heads and keep them fed? What if you had already earned enough to cover all of your expenses? Then what?

Would you continue to work or would you find new ways to spend your time?

Do you feel obligated to “make a contribution to society”? Do you feel obligated to “live up to your potential”?

Do you want to spend more time with your family? Do you want to travel and see this beautiful planet that we are blessed to call home?

Do you feel there are causes in your community that are worthwhile for you to spend your efforts, even if you don’t receive a paycheck? Do you want to do something more personal and share your thoughts with the world through a blog or a book?

Maybe you want to pass on your wisdom through teaching or consulting part-time?

Do you have a goal of playing golf every day? (That’s one of Jover’s goals) Or are there other physical pursuits you’d like to try? Hiking, running a marathon, a triathlon, etc?

Or maybe you find fulfillment in your work life right now? Maybe you wouldn’t change much at all?

Maybe you would start working for yourself? If you love your work but hate your boss, maybe that would be an enjoyable alternative?

Reaching Financial Independence gives you the ability to answer these questions and so many more. I long for the day when I can make any decision I want to make for any of these questions, because FI will give me the Freedom to do as I choose with my life.


  1. No golf for me! It’s too much work to hit that little thing 😉 I work for purpose. I’m incredibly lucky and unlucky that some (a lot?) of my identity is tied to my work. I find teaching very fulfilling. It has been difficult to navigate all the changes that are coming to education lately, though. I don’t see FIRE or FI as running away from work, so much as really giving me the chance to choose it.

    1. I love golf 🙂 It’s a great way to distract myself from the fact that I’m walking 4-6 miles, depending on the course!
      You’re very lucky that teaching is such a rewarding experience for you. I don’t think anyone ever grows up hoping to be a government employee or a floodplain manager, and I’m both! It’s just not something that is fulfilling in the traditional “I LOVE MY JOB and I find great meaning in my work” the way some professions provide. Doctors/nurses, firefighters, and teachers can point to tangible things they do to improve people’s lives… I certainly save some from their own stupidity, but local and state government employees are looked at as being “in the way” more than we are helpful. *shrugs*

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