Work Hard, Play Hard, Retire well.

24 02 2015

“What we do during our working hours determines what we have; what we do in our leisure hours determines what we are.” ~George Eastman

Hey, I know that caveman on the right!  He’s my buddy Tommy, who has basically jumped from job to job, showing up when he feels like it, and working as long as he can, until it “don’t mess with his groove” (name the movie).  Then, he’ll quit and goof off for a few weeks, playing guitar, smoking funny stuff (he’s from Colorado), and otherwise slacking.  He says he loves his life, because he can do whatever he wants… until I invite him Salmon fishing, want to go out for a nice dinner, or ask if he wants to meet me in California to hang out with mutual friends, then he’s always “a little tight”.  He’s always had roommates, and Tommy is closer to 50 than 40.  He’s often got a girlfriend, but I’ve never met the same one twice.  He’s happy, and feels like he chooses to live this way, and he’s always got a smile, so maybe that’s what his life is about.

I know a lot more folks who are in the “work hard, play hard” school of thought.  They do work hard, and they show up even when they may have had a rough weekend.  They give 100% at work, and are often rewarded with more responsibility, more accountability, and eventually… more money.  These folks are the ones who embrace responsibility and deliver an excellent product/service consistently.  They’re mostly happily married, own their own house (or 2), and have boats, RV’s, and other toys OR they choose to travel a lot.  They’re often inviting us to the beach where they’ve rented a house for the week, or meeting us at cool campgrounds for fun weekends.

I can see good things in both philosophies (and many in between), although you can probably tell that I lean towards the second paragraph.  The point is that you, and only you, can choose how hard you want to work, as well as how you want to spend your leisure time. You can spend your dollars as soon as you earn them, or you can exercise some restraint, and build that wealth for more long term, quality leisure hours (and eventually retirement – smart people take advantage of those matching retirement funds, with their 100% return on investment on day 1).

Speaking of Leisure…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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