another weekend gone, another week begun. we’re both the type of people who were never eager to grow up, who always wished time would slow down. one of us remembers turning eleven, and saying aloud to the assembled celebrants, “okay, i’m good now. i don’t need to get any older.” so it’s especially weird for us, now, to love the feeling of time flying by. because every day that passes means we’re another day closer to our dream of early retirement. one thing is for sure: it makes the thought of mondays a lot less daunting, because it’s still another day closer to early retirement. (try reminding yourself of that when you’re having the sunday blues.)
this feeling of wanting time to hurry up and pass is one thing we definitely hope to lose when we quit working. but even though we hope that early retirement will be all sunshine and roses, there’s actually a lot that we’ll lose when we quit our jobs. of course, it’s still 100 percent worth it, and a trade-off we’d make any day of the week. but it’s worth noting the many ways we currently benefit from our jobs that will go bye bye when we earn our freedom.
here’s the rundown:
income — this one earns a big “duh.” of course we’ll miss the paycheck, though that’s why we’re socking away most of each paycheck now. will we also miss feeling like useful providers? only time will tell.
health insurance — we can buy new insurance on the exchange, but we’ll lose the generous coverage we’ve enjoyed for years through work.
swanky hotels — “swanky” is probably overstating it, but we stay in medium-nice hotels when we travel for work, which is virtually every week. when we travel on our dime, we stay in much more modest establishments, so quitting our jobs will mean saying goodbye to the marriott marquis and hello to the fairfield inn. (or loads more camping, which we’re completely okay with.)
elite airline status — right now, with weekly travel, we each have elite status with our chosen airline, and that means free access to seats with more legroom, occasional upgrades, early boarding, a shorter security line, a dedicated reservations line, better customer service at the airport if there’s some problem, better access to award seats, free checked bags (though we always carry on), and faster mileage accrual for the miles we fly. flying with status is, quite honestly, better than flying without it, and we’ll miss it once it’s gone.
dining out — following the pattern here, if we’re paying for our own meals, we’ll almost always eat at home, or if we go out, we’ll go somewhere super reasonable. but not so when traveling for work. work travel gives us the fully reimbursed ability to try new and trendy restaurants, to dine out in different cities, and to get that whole city experience despite living in a small mountain town. we even valet park at restaurants when it’s for work, without batting an eyelash. losing this could be tough for us — we love trying different foods, but once it’s on our dime, it’s a very different calculus.
take-out coffee — a related corollary to dining out is take-out coffee. we don’t buy it on our own. we almost always make our own coffee, but we’ll buy it out if we’re meeting someone and will drink the coffee at the coffee shop. when it’s reimburseable work travel, though? bring on the starbucks!
social connections — we already work at home, so our adjustment to retirement won’t be as pronounced as for someone who’s worked in an office for a long time. but we’ve each been in our job for more than 13 years. that’s a long time that we’ve been shooting the s&%t with the same colleagues, some of whom we count among our closest friends. even the ones we aren’t close to still count as social time, and we’ll miss that, especially because we know that social interaction is so important to avoid getting old too quickly.
fancy titles — just as there’s inflation in the price of goods and in clothing sizes, there’s clearly inflation in job titles. proof: we both have way too powerful sounding titles, relative to the responsibility of our jobs. but, man, nothing beats the feeling of whipping out a business card on a plane, and watching someone’s jaw drop as they read said inflated title. maybe we’ll make ourselves pretend business cards in the future with some equally highfalutin and made-up titles, just for fun. ;-)
free technology — right now we get our home internet paid for, laptops provided, printers provided, and cell phone plans covered. one of us even gets a new iphone every two years. for free. all in the name of work. that will all go ::poof:: the second we quit, which we will sorely miss. fingers crossed that we had the good sense to hang onto one of our old flip phones… (kidding.)
what will you lose when you quit your job? does any of it give you any twinges of regret? we admit it — we’re super bummed we won’t make it to million miler status on our chosen airline before we quit, because then we’d have gold status for life. but we aren’t willing to work a few more years to get there. life is too short!