“The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”
– Jack London (American author), 1916.
This quote was read by M at the end of the new James Bond movie, “No Time to Die.” I won’t spoil the ending of the movie for you (if you haven’t seen it), but take my word for it that it is one of the best Bond movies ever made. I’ve grown up a James Bond fan (starting with the movies and then the novels, by Ian Fleming) and this was a most fitting end to the Daniel Craig era, the Bond who most embodied Fleming’s original character.
When I first heard this quote, I immediately thought of my own life.
My (now) wife and I had delayed our wedding multiple times due to COVID and finally decided on a very small wedding at the end of December. Our honeymoon in Jamaica was planned for the end of January. And then the Omicron surge happened. We had both taken all the precautions possible, but should we delay the trip until after the surge? In that moment, M was speaking directly to me (fitting, as Ian Fleming wrote the novels from his home in his beloved Jamaica). We can delay and then delay again, or we can take a calculated risk (knowing we had done everything we could to protect ourselves). We decided to go to Jamaica.
I hope you don’t think I’m advising everyone to live each day like it’s their last (Ian Fleming lived that way and died at 58). But I do think there is a very important lesson here about time, and I think it especially applies to those considering retirement.
Retirement is a choice between trading more of your diminishing time, for more money that you may or may not need.
When we talk to prospective clients, we always ask one very simple question: When do you want to retire? Most answers involve some far-off time period, such as 5 or 10 years.
How will you know it’s the right time?
“I don’t know, some people tell me you’ll know it’s the right time. The right time might be when I ‘hit my number’.”
We completely understand their concerns, but also try and nudge them in the direction that they don’t need “more”, which is a goal that can never be satisfied. They simply need “enough.” Enough to do everything they want in retirement; and they may already have “enough” to retire.
Let me rework M’s quote to speak directly to those considering retirement, but stuck working a “few more years” to save more. Remember, every day you trade your time for money, is one less day you have to do something you love. I think it would go something like this:
“The proper function of money is to enjoy it, not to have as much of it as you possibly can. I shall not waste my days working to save more. I shall use my time.”
At Ogorek, we help people retire successfully.
What’s your “enough”? Let us show you. You may be closer than you think.