If you’re one of those souls who get out of bed each day and can’t wait to get to work – good for you!
But even if you feel like you enjoy your work so much you can never imagine stopping – don’t for one second think that gives you a pass on responsibly planning your financial future.
Because there is a world of difference between “get to” and “got to.”
Right now you “get to” go to work. That’s as much a reflection of your attitude as it is of your circumstances.
Optimism about your future is admirable and even enviable. Arrogance about your future could prove to be self-destructive.
This is the way I feel about my work - as long as it keeps being fun and meaningful, I plan to show up for the party every day.
But there are a thousand things that could change that for you and for me: your health could decline, your attitude towards work could change, your family might undergo a crisis, you might have to relocate, your business climate could change or the economy could change…just to name a few.
Any of these changes could turn “I get to go to work” into “I got to go to work!”
So whether you ever decide to retire or not, why not focus on making work optional?
In the early days of your career, you were a huge bundle of human potential – your earning years stretched out before you and you were only limited by your imagination and your perspiration. I call this phase (simply enough) “man at work.”
If you estimate how much money you will earn over your working lifetime, you could easily come up with a number exceeding multi-millions. An economist would call that number your “economic human life value.”
Each day you work, you use up a day of potential and move one day closer to the last day you’ll ever work. Each day you use a day of work, your economic human life value decreases. Finally, five minutes before you walk out of the office for the last time, your economic human life value will be about zero.
A good financial plan is just a plan to move from “man at work” to “money at work.”
As your economic human life value is declining day by day, your assets need to be ascending. And you need to plan to protect both your economic human life value and your assets along the way.
So whether your goal is to retire one day, or simply make work optional, a financial plan is a “got to” you “get” to do.