I see another report about a young couple that have surmounted the work trap and managed to retire by the age of forty. Well, actually, I didn’t read the article, but that is what I surmise from the headline. From the number of such headlines I would assume that it is an aspiration in the peculiar zeitgeist that passes as the modern world.
Why would anyone want to retire early? Work is not only what sates our need for cash flow; it is our raison d’etre. It is the sign of our value to the society to which, ideally, we are a part. Lounging around with no real purpose is not living; it is mere existence.
What are they going to do? Play bowls or golf? Go on time-passing meanderings in a campervan around Australia? Plant the garden? Sit around sucking on a bong? Maybe they are going to diligently learn all the new pronouns. There is a reason that suicides and depression are highest amongst the unemployed. They are denied the status, relevance and morale of gainful employment; whether in their own business or someone else’s is irrelevant. To some degree or other, they are abandoning (or abandoned by) their own society and becoming outcasts. No wonder they’re depressed.
Accumulating capital so that one is not dependent upon the system is of great value, but being outside the system is not. The system, whilst not ideal, is still what binds us, one to the other.
Pick a career that you love and do it for as long as you possibly can. Be useful, not only to others, but in your own eyes. Humans are complex creatures. We are (most of us) determinedly individual, yet gain our greatest joy from contributing to the happiness of others – i.e. society. Work is an important part of the ties that bind.
Anyway, early retirement won’t last long. When the stock markets, banks and pension funds collapse, then so will their ‘wealth’. By that time, there will be no jobs for them to go back to.