This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.
I really like countdown dates. Right now on my phone, I have a countdown app that is keeping track of 4 different topics, anything from the date that a book I’m looking forward to is coming out, to how many days until my cell phone expires, and the longest-running countdown – days to my 45th birthday, and (for now) my proposed retirement date.
For me, these kind of countdowns put a lot of my goals or interests into perspective. Last month a book I’d been waiting for was published (A Memory of Light, the 14th book in a Wheel of Time). The process was sort of like waiting for Christmas when I was younger – I could look at my phone and know that I only had to wait this many days until I could (after a decade) find out how a story ended. My cell phone countdown I employ just so I know for how long Bell owns my soul – those contracts always seem like such a good idea when you’re signing them.
When it comes to retirement, it’s not really so much the days left, it’s more the days I have available to earn enough money to meet the goal I set around 4 or 5 years ago. I can sit in front of a spreadsheet, working out various impacts of changes to income or increases and decreases in interest rates for a while, but when I can see that there’s 4,307 days left (as of today), it does give me some incentive to achieve the goal I’ve set out to do and gives me a tangible number to look at.
On days that I really don’t feel like going to work, my countdown to retirement is somewhat comforting. Thankfully, these days are few and far between, because I find the work I do rewarding and challenging. The days that I don’t feel like going to work are the days that I know I’m going to get frustrated over something out of my control.
Philosophically, the ability to count the days until a book comes out so that I can buy it, or a vacation somewhere with my wife, or any number of inane things I keep track of is more than a little weird. I like it though, I don’t really dwell on it – I just like to know this kind of information.
Am I alone in this kind of behaviour, or are there other people that like to count down to milestones in their lives or events that are coming up? Do you have a countdown on the go to retirement?