The following is a guest post by Corey from Passive Income to Retire, where he keeps track of his progress to retire by the age of 27.
With the economy in the current state that it is, it isn’t too uncommon for family members to spend more time working in order to either make more money or keep from getting fired. While I don’t have any major statistics to prove it, it only makes sense that families are struggling in this current economic environment. For example, I know several families where one of the spouses was forced to take a job that is multiple hours away from their home. They either choose to take a long commute or live close to the new job (away from the family) during the week. The economic downturn actually coincides with my current shift in my career plans that resulted partially from a desire to spend more time with my wife.
My Old Career Track
I am currently in Graduate School (and working full-time to pay for school) pursuing a masters degree. Up until recently, my plan was to continue on to Ph.D. work and later get a job teaching at a university. If you are unfamiliar with the academic lifestyle, it is quite rigorous. It requires you to not only prepare for your classes that you are teaching (usually 2-3 hours of prep for each class, if not more), but there is also a pressure to publish scholarly work.
Between all of the meetings, grading, teaching, and prepping, it is not uncommon for a college professor to work 60+ hours each week. Many people see this as the ideal job. I know that I did. The most often mentioned perk is the annual summer break. Who wouldn’t want 10+ weeks of summer vacation each year? At first glance, it seems that it would be worth the long hours during the school year. Yet, when you add in the constant need to research and stay up-to-date with the most recent scholarly conversations, the summer is also not much of a vacation. It makes you wonder if it is really worth it.
Why I Changed Career Paths
If it is not already obvious, I changed my mind about wanting to follow the track to become a professor. When I realized how much more work it would require to even be eligible for these positions, I was forced to reconsider. In addition to this, there were two major factors that turned me away. First, the fact that I would be constantly busy until late at night throughout the school year did not sound appealing. I want to spend time with my wife and live life with her. I can’t imagine working my life away and missing out on all of the shared opportunities. Secondly, I realized that professorship positions in the Humanities field are few and far between. This means that in order to get a job, I would have to be willing to move anywhere and I am just not sure I am willing to do that.
My New Plan
After I became quite successful (financially) with my first blog in only a short period, I began to think of the possibilities that the internet gives me. After giving it some thought, I developed an early retirement plan. My plan is to expand my online efforts to the point that it replaces day job. Once this happens, I plan to work on creating truly passive income streams that can be managed in less than 3 days each week. I plan to incorporate real estate and dividend stocks to complement my online business. Since my wife plans to continue working, we won’t need my income. This will keep me from overworking and stay committed to my working 3 days each week regulation.
Not only will this provide an excellent alternative to my previous career track, but will give me much more time to spend with family and friends. I will no longer be forced to spend entire weekends working on school work, but instead have time to enjoy life now (instead of waiting for the traditional retirement age). Overall, I am excited about the change in career path. While some may think that I gave up my dreams for my wife, I see it as understanding what is truly valuable.
Have you had a similar experience of realizing what is most important?
[Kevin] Corey is aiming for a very ambitious yet awesome goal of being free of the rat race by age 27. I think I would disagree with the term “retirement” because it’s really about financial freedom and having the freedom to decide when to work and how much, and retirement makes me think of someone sipping pina coladas all day. I wish him the best of luck on his journey, and I can’t wait to hear more!
This was a guest post written by Corey from Passive Income to Retire, where he keeps track of his progress to retire by the age of 27.