I was reading a blog post yesterday that I could really relate to. One that involves a conversation I have had myself and overheard other people having many times over the years. The idea that one needs to work in order to avoid boredom. The idea that without employment, we are goldfish aimlessly swimming around a small glass bowl.

This shouldn’t be the case for anyone.

Over at Fifth Wheel Physical Therapist, Dr. Jared Casazza (I am always fearful of only stating the first name if there is a ‘Dr’ in front of it!) has had conversations with patients about retiring at 30. And it seems like a common response is ‘well, what would you do for the rest of your life?’. This doesn’t surprise me as I have heard many people responding in similar ways. Not that I have ever said I would or could retire at 30, it is two years away and retirement being an option is a million miles away. Instead, the conversation is often on the topic of gaining a huge amount of wealth in a very short space of time, winning the lottery for example. The responses have often been against the idea of too much wealth.

‘I wouldn’t want too much. A million will do. You know, enough to get by.’

What?! How long would a million last today anyway? It depends where you live I guess. I think here in Australia it wouldn’t last too long.

If I had the option, I wouldn’t settle for enough to simply get by. What is the reasoning for having a limited amount in the account? A fear that too much will change me as a person? A fear that too much would get me everything, the joy of saving up and really enjoying the idea of buying something would disappear after my first Ferrari and private jet purchase? I am confident that a large percentage of people that make the above statement would change their tune if they discovered an eight figure sum at the ATM. I would hope so anyway.

In my opinion, refraining from great wealth or an early retirement is to have no ambition outside of a job. If this job is one you enjoy doing, great. But for many of us, we aren’t in jobs that we want to be doing. The jobs we are in take 40-60 hours out of our week that we could be spending dong what we want to do. How many years is that accumulated over a lifetime? I wouldn’t want to know. Think of the time freed up from retirement. Think of the possibilities wealth could bring. All the books that could be written, all the countries that could be visited, all the instruments and languages that could be learned, the apps that could be designed, all the furniture that could be created from scratch. Whatever your personal interests are, they now have unlimited potential.


It could be argued that some of these could be considered work, however if it is something I enjoy doing I wouldn’t call it work. I blog about 40 hours a week now (not intensely, but I am present) and I do not consider it work. If I retired and continued blogging, I would be work free.

Jared (yep, I did it) has put together a list of things he would try to complete upon retirement. One that ends the question, ‘would you be bored?’.

The list is as follows:

  1. “Slow travel” internationally 1-3 months at a time in different countries
  2. Travel to all 50 states in the U.S.
  3. Spend more time with family
  4. Reach the summit of all the high points in the lower 48 (possibly 50, but we’ll see…)
  5. Learn Spanish
  6. Volunteer
  7. Learn to play the guitar
  8. Get back into playing chess competitively (a childhood hobby of mine)
  9. Learn to ballroom dance
  10. Hike the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail
  11. Compete in a power lifting competition and a physique competition
  12. Write on this blog to help educate and motivate others
  13. Learn to garden
  14. Experiment with diets and eating schedules to find what works best for me
  15. Find the sleep schedule that works best for me (I’ve never been a morning person, and despite years of fighting it, I think I will embrace it after retirement)
  16. Practice meditation and yoga
  17. Learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  18. Take a class on wood working
  19. Become more proficient with simple car repairs
  20. And finally, have kids and possibly home school them!

I am sure everyone has a list of ambitions. One that may contain five or fifty five bucket list items. What would yours include? Not forgetting of course that our potential wouldn’t be as limited as it is today. There would be so many more doors opened by this change that our boredom wouldn’t manifest as early as we think it would. Elon Musk could right now be riding around the streets in sports cars bored out of his mind if he didn’t have aims. But why would he choose boredom when he can help design a city on Mars? I am sure he doesn’t class this as work. The more we have, the less excuse we have to be bored.

There will be people that say no Sam. I want a simple life. If I was to have the option of retiring I wouldn’t. I enjoy my job as a bingo caller in the local community and this is what I would continue to do. Wealth wouldn’t change this, neither would the option of leaving the role.

I would say to this person congratulations. It seems you have one item on the list and it is one you have achieved. If it is a job you enjoy, I would probably say you have pretty much retired into a life you want with pay and that is all that matters. Now, it is down to the rest of us to follow suit.

Featured Image by marcus zymmer on Unsplash

71 thoughts

  1. This is so true… I personally thing I would get bored if I didn’t have the endless amount of money to follow my never-ending bucket list.. but if I did win that sum of money. I would pack up and get ticking away at the to-do list.

    1. Yeah, I find it is much easier to be bored without the money! I agree. It is just about being focused on goals and bucket list items without being dragged in the wrong direction. I know for some money has been a problem that has led to addiction etc. That would be my main concern, not boredom 🙂

  2. At my age, wealth, or winning lotteries is not one of my interests. I wouldn’t want to be concerned about being used by ”friends” or family, being robbed, or dealing with financial advisors on investing, etc. Not my thing.

    1. I heard Ed Sheeran talk about this, the problem that comes with having money and finding some people around him expected him to pay the round. That may be a problem, I may never find out! Haha.

  3. So agree with this and I love your list Sam. Oh yeah, I wouldn’t say no to lots of money. Gives you freedom to do all those things on the list, travel where we want and make those dreams come true. Bring it on 🙂

    1. Thank you, although the list I provided was from the post I linked to. Many things on the list I would love to do also though!
      Bring it on, I would love to see that possibility come my way also 🙂

  4. Running a marathon is a great bucket list goal. I’m not a runner, so there was something very powerful in doing all the workouts over six months and then finishing the marathon. I knew it was something I couldn’t have done without training, so there was a great sense accomplishment to do it. Your list has some great goals already.

    1. I bet that gives you a great sense of accomplishment, the list was one I found in the post I linked to from Jared, although there are many things on the list I would like to do. Running a marathon is one I am skeptical about, I must admit haha, although I can imagine how good it feels once you reach the finish line.

  5. Interesting post, Sam. As an artist, I am never bored. I have more creative projects than I could finish in my lifetime. Retired or working my day job, I have plenty to do. And like your post “One Day,” I don’t wait. I seize the day. I use my time and resources the best that I can to live my life trying to be a decent human being and experiencing the moments I have to the fullest. Thanks for another thought provoking post. -Jill

    1. Thanks Jill for the lovely comments, it is great to see you are truly motivated in what you do. I wouldn’t want to be any other way, today is the day to get things done! As an artist, I am sure that it is in your nature to keep being creative 🙂

  6. Great post, interesting topic! First of all, I’m curious as to how someone could retire at 30?!! I’ve never heard of anyone doing that in real life. I’m just under 40 and still working (though currently on a long maternity leave). I’ve had several jobs I loved but they all had aspects to them that made it clear the lifestyle could not go on forever. Now, I have an office job and all office jobs make me claustrophobic! Some people are happy to come there each day, but if I had the chance to never return to my cubicle where I stare at grey-brown walls all day, I would seize it in a heartbeat!! 😂 I once took a little half year break from work life and hung out at home spending as little money as possible. I just needed a break. I realised that whenI was conpletely relaxed, well rested and left alone, my creativity sprung to life! I wrote, I drew, I made photos, I started my blog and I even learned to do origami, which was so zen! I did yoga at home each day and went for a walk in the daytime wheneveryone else was working. It was pure bliss. So I would definitely take the money and enjoy life. I know I wouldn’t get bored! There’s always volunteering if you get bored! I really don’t get people who feel that working is a necessary thing, but to each his own! 😄

    1. To each his own indeed! I think some people just enjoy having a guide in life and do not possess too much of a creative side, so going to work and having job aims is that guidance. I think I have always worked in hotels as I love to move about, I cannot sit still in an office job, I would also get claustrophobic.
      The comment above this one is from someone that retired at 33, maybe he could shed some more light on this!
      Thanks for the comments here 🙂

  7. Hi Sam. You are right about that million. If I gave you a million [pounds sterling] you may be able to get an investment income of about £50k a year to spend. Hardly a millionaire lifestyle. Take away the half million pound property you would want and a fancy £50k car and you are now attempting to live off around £18k a year. Whilst paying taxes and running bills on your half million pound property and nice car. Nowadays a million pounds is not enough if you are under 30 without other income streams. You need two.

    1. Well when you put it like that, it disappears faster than I thought! Haha. I would love a million, don’t get me wrong, however I wouldn’t settle for that.

  8. If I get a monthly fixed amount that fulfills all my needs, my children education, health, food, cloths, I will be travelling to the whole world with my wife. Every region spending at-least a weak at a single place. 🙂

  9. I haven’t worked for nearly a year. Serious work that is. Helping at the business don’t count .
    I’ve always gone back to work because I was bored.
    I’ve been too busy to be bored . Volunteering takes most of my days. I’ve recently enrolled in a course. It will take about 6 months to complete.

      1. I used to love the work . Now not so much. It was getting more stressful and with me not getting any financial gain from it I gave it away. By working brings me into a higher tax bracket which meant what I earned the tax man took away. So I was working for free and stressed.

      2. Damn tax man. Work and stress is a recipe for disaster. I have started to prioritize my well being over anything. If I am getting stressed, I take time out. No job is worth affecting my well being for.

  10. Very interesting to think about! I just made the jump to start school again to pursue a career I’ve always dreamed about, but was too scared to pursue!
    If I was to retire, I would travel, travel, and travel. But I would also volunteer as much as I could. I’d probably still be just as busy as I am now, but it wouldn’t be work! 🙂

    1. Good busy is better than being busy with something you don’t really want to do, that’s for sure! Congrats for making that jump and pursuing that career you wanted to, if it is something that makes you scared, it is something that will be very worthwhile when you get there I am sure 🙂

  11. I would argue that boredom is necessary to do anything important. Sometimes, we need to slow life down and wonder how we could make any stressful situation better for ourselves and those around us.
    As far as bucket lists go, at 29 I have done my entire bucket list (minus go to New Zealand) and still find myself horribly bored from time to time. Hell, as of tomorrow I will release my first work of fiction.
    Some would argue that, obviously, my bucket list was far from fantastic seeing as I have done most of it in the first quarter-century of my life. I would argue that my bucket list was full of things that I had to do. Maybe I missed the point of a bucket list. Maybe I am just easily amused. Maybe, I just have low standards. Maybe, just maybe, retirement is just a time you designate for things you have always wanted and it becomes an excuse to do what you have always put off for other things.
    I say: screw retirement. I do not plan on ever stopping doing what I want when I want.

    1. My aim is to do things now and not wait for a retirement that may never come. I wouldn’t wand to wait until retirement, although if I am able to do so and free up my time to do what I want to do, then I most definitely will.
      Regarding completing your bucket list, maybe as you age your tastes might change and more items will be added to the list… do you think that is something that may happen to you? It is interesting to think.

    1. Boring people, and people that haven’t explored their ability to step out of the bubble they may have lived in. That is what I like to think, that some people simply don’t realise the opportunities they have for whatever reason. But yes I agree. Don’t be boring!

  12. I think in a lot of cases, boredom breeds creativity. Maybe it’s truer of the arts, a lot of artists have churned out some of their best works when bored (I’m thinking of Green Day and their ‘94 breakthrough album Dookie).
    Of course, beyond a point, it becomes as unnecessary as the myth of the tortured genius. Boredom isn’t a factor anymore. If someone’s really determined to do something, they’re going to do it, whether they’re bored, unemployed, in a 9-5 job or working a 12-hour shift.
    With respect to retirement (having never been hired before, there’s not much I can say XD but,) I think these days, with the millions of opportunities that advancement has come to provide us with in life, it might not really be a case of people being stuck in a job they dislike (I say might), but having to choose between something they like and something they love. It becomes tricky to make a choice: you want to do what you love, but you don’t want to leave your current field because you like it a lot too! That’s what I see around me, anyway, but we’re all in the pre-job stage, so the thought process might change in four years.

    1. Maybe it isn’t so much boredom, but a lack of desire. Like you said, ‘ If someone’s really determined to do something, they’re going to do it’, however there are lots of people out there that don’t have that determination. They also want to play it safe and if they are in a job that provides financial security, why risk it?

      1. And they don’t realise what they’re missing until it’s too late… Or what they think is too late. I guess it never really is too late to get started!

  13. Thanks for the interesting post. Sometimes it’s work it’s just working differently. Go for the kids and the homeschooling and the traveling! Such a good life. I also think the more our dreams include lifting the burdens of others, doors will open for joy that we hadn’t considered before.

    1. I have dreams of lifting the burdens of others, even if it is by writing a book or blogging, as I do feel this will provide joy like you said. You put it very nicely, thanks for your input on my post 🙂

  14. Nice post! I think most of the people asked themselves similar questions, at some point. Of course that “one needs to work in order to avoid boredom”, question is what kind of “work”? They say that only about 13% of the people worldwide enjoy their job. I guess the rest of them will do a bucket list🙂

    1. That is a lot of people that don’t like their job! I guess that is why bucket lists became so popular. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  15. Some people figure out how to earn money while doing things they love to do.
    That would be my definition of “success” in this game.
    As far as I’m concerned, the main problem with not working is not boredom, but the loss of a way to exchange your talents with the world around you, which is what work does for us at a more spiritual level.
    If you can’t beat that somehow, and it starts to eat at you when you stop working, then the problem will become that you feel less and less able to do anything productive, paid or otherwise.
    For the vast majority of us, activities only aimed at satisfying our own curiosities or personal dreams are not enough in this world. If we don’t feel involved in the bigger game, we get despondent. That could, in fact, be a major reason that people die.
    So before you use those lottery winnings to buy “freedom,” take a long healthy look at what you could be walking away from. Work is more than just working. It’s involvement; it’s exchange. And at a higher level, that’s what people value about it, even if it only consists of picking up other people’s trash.

    1. Thank you for your in depth comment on the post.

      This could well be true for some people. But I have to go back to the point that if I enjoy what I do, I don’t consider it work, and if this involves me remaining creative then I could easily remain engaged for a very long time. But I enjoy thinking of ways that I could be productive and give to the community, like write a book or blog. If I did something that was only benefiting me, then I agree that would eventually become a problem and I would lose motivation and a purpose fast.

      I appreciate your time to provide your opinions on this, very interesting to read.

  16. Work for me is when I have to do something to earn money and get no personal satisfaction out of it.

    I have to work as what I love doing (i.e. what I don’t consider work) is not paying my bills at the moment. I’m hoping it will at some point.

    Lottery win? I’d need to play it first to win anything, but if I had a million or two extra, I’d set up a social enterprise of sorts to support children from deprived social backgrounds or the homeless.

    1. There is so much we can do with money, I don’t believe for a second that it would lead to a personal downfall and greed, as long as our head is in the right place!

  17. Hey Sam

    For me, life would be very boring if I retired early. Because first of all, most people have to go work till they reach 65 years (or worse even longer?) and I am one of the lucky few person that I don’t have to work, assuming that I had the money. Also, people are social creatures. I would prefer to go out in a group of people than myself alone. I also don’t have much interest in life so working part time as a way to beat boredom would be ideal for me. I also don’t want people to know that I had the money to retire during conversations like what are you doing now? How come you are not working? etc.

    I understand that for many people, work is not an ideal place to self-actualize. So naturally, they prefer to retire early. But once they reach that stage, they find that retirement is not all bed and roses. For example, you would had too much free time to kill. You could feel bored and lonely. And if you are exceptionally wealthy (and hence could retire early with style), you could find yourselves being exploited by other people who are poorer (like they think they are entitled to handouts from you) and gold diggers and the like.

    I would say there are pros and cons to early retirement. My personal plan is to work part time and enjoy the free time I had so that I wouldn’t be so bored. I am a simple person and my needs are basic so I don’t need too much luxurious pampering in order to enjoy myself.

    Once again, thank you for sharing this post on your blog.

    1. Thanks for your comments.

      ‘But once they reach that stage, they find that retirement is not all bed and roses. For example, you would had too much free time to kill. You could feel bored and lonely.’

      My point here is that there is so much we can do, boredom doesn’t have to be a factor! Anything you could do can be done, provided you want to develop and remain creative after retiring. I couldn’t be bored, I would consider apps, or book writing, travel, music making… However some people would like to just relax. We are all different.
      Also, when you say you don’t have much interest in life, what exactly do you mean? Is it depression, or simply less enthusiasm to do things?

      1. “When you say you don’t have much interest in life, what exactly do you mean?”

        I don’t know, is just that during my off days from work, I struggle to find meaningful interests or hobbies to occupy my time. It’s not just finding things to do, but things that get you fulfilled. I mean I can say that playing video games can occupy my time, but may not be very fulfilling as my definition of fulfillment is spending time with friends and people. And the sad part is that most of them are working during the weekdays, so if I had the money to retire and spend free time during the weekdays, I would be alone by myself. I won’t say that I am depressed though I used to be during my schooling days. But thanks for your concern.

        Keep on blogging pal. (:

      2. Well at least you have something you find fulfilling, hanging out with friends and family. As time goes on, if you’re sociable I am sure you will make more friends, which would help at the times when your friends are working. I have found that I have made friends the quickest when going out and doing things alone, even just going on walks!

  18. I retired just over 3 years ago at age 61, after working for 43+ years. I do not have a million $ and depending on what you want to do and buy when you retire, you do not need a million $. You do need to be debt free, though. Two sayings I have about retirement “It is the best promotion I have ever worked for!” and ” I don’t know how I ever found time to work.” I never have trouble filling my days and I do not miss the job. I do miss the people and we still keep in touch. Since retirement, I have walked more, travelled more, completed more home projects, seen kids and family more, read more books, laughed more and slept more. Not a biad trade off for lower income. And, oh yeah, the commute is short.

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