Not Early Retirement: Work Optional!

Early retirement. Financially independent (FI). Selfishly employed. Or Financial freedom. I don’t know what you call it. Around our home, we call it Work Optional.

Financial indepance

We are 33 and 38 respectively. And after a crap load of hard work, saving, investing, fixing up rentals, putting in some years with the military, we are work optional. I never really cared for the term retired. It just don’t seem to fit us. It implies to me, that a person is done working. Truth be told we really like work. All kinds of work. We like working in the garden, with our ducks, remodeling our rentals, volunteering, oh yeah and our herd of 5 kids. They are a bit of work too!

But working for money…. Well that’s optional. If we want to, on any given day. Maybe the work looks fun to us, challenging, meaningful or interesting. Maybe that is how we want to spend our time. Or maybe not. It’s optional now.

I know what we won’t be doing though. Jobs that suck. Ones that steal a bit of your soul in exchange for money to pay the bills. Our bills are paid. Abusive coworkers, nasty customers, unreasonable employers; yeah, we are over that crap.

Our days and lives are full of work. Great work. Work that fills us up, and work that makes a difference in the world. Maybe we earn some coin from it, maybe not. But the money is optional.

The best thing about work optional? It allows good things to flow into our lives. We aren’t trapped by bills, but instead free to choose the very best use of our time and energy. And that is freaking amazing. Want to hear more about how to get to this place? Follow along for the adventure, ideas and some inspiration while you get to your own work optional awesomeness.

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13 thoughts on “Not Early Retirement: Work Optional!

  1. In 2016 we are taking a year Sabbatical. And it has been awesome so far! We are exploring new projects (like this blog), resting, learning hobbies, traveling, reading, volunteering, hiking, skiing, playing at the lake, and visiting friends and family.

      • Thanks so much for stopping by Sarah! After all the budgeting, frugal choices and side hustle, being work optional is the best reward! I hated when we felt trapped by our jobs. We will most likely take some paid employment at some point, but we now have freedom to really choose work that is the best use of our skill and passion. I am so grateful for that!

    • Absolutely! I think there would be a lot more of us, but we get distracted. The snow is too perfect, the weather too nice for a hike, the lake so clear, the breweries too plentiful or ice cream too good. I’m actually amazed I find any time at all to write. Thankfully the coffee shops are nice too!

      • And what a wonderful distractions those are! I could not have said it any better myself. Excuse me while I brew another Cup of Joe and venture outside to enjoy the beautiful summer weather we’re having this year.

    • Absolutely! There is so much meaningful, fulfilling and interesting work in the world. Unfortunately the pay doesn’t often reflect that! Now, that isn’t our problem. =)

  2. I just read through a lot of your blog and absolutely am entranced by your spirit and attitude toward life. What a big heart and positive philosophy!

    And the term “work optional” is so great! I can’t wait to get there myself 🙂

    • Thanks so much! I just finished a 4 part series on the process of taking this year off and what will be next. I am excited to start adding some work I love back into the mix. It’s great to be able to choose the best options, even if the pay is low (or non-existent!)