Many of us have a bad habit of talking about and thinking about risk in entirely the wrong way. There’s no perfectly safe way to go through life, and that’s true with our money and true with everything else, too. There’s rarely a safe option and a risky option, but instead different options with different risks. This is the story of something terrible that drove that point home for me and Mark this year.
For years, I labored under the cozy illusion that there were “safe” choices in life and “risky” choices. And of course I was drawn to the ones that felt safer. Until I saw with my own eyes, in my own finances and my own life, that sometimes the safest choice of all is actually the most risky. And that realization changed everything.
Lately I’ve been making it sound like we both want to retire as soon as humanly possible, but that’s not true. I’m the one who wants out ASAP, while Mr. ONL is playing the role of the financially prudent one and trying to keep us working for one more year, as we’d always planned. But that’s not where we started — he used to be the one who wanted to quit ASAP, while I wanted to be sure we were prepared times ten. Today: the story of our retirement timing role reversal.