The First Rule of Retiring Early
THE first rule of retiring early is: You don’t talk about retiring early. The second rule of retiring early is: You Do Not Talk About Retiring Early.
I’m of course paraphrasing the famous quote from Fight Club but that film definitely had the right idea when it came to a simple easy-to-follow guideline for members. Even if they did want to destroy our capitalist society.
Don’t tell your co-workers, or worse your boss, about your mission to gain financial freedom and quit work early. That would be monumentally stupid.
Nothing good can come of it
People are naturally jealous creatures. If they discover what you are up to, chances are they will consciously or unconsciously try to derail your plans.
Co-workers gossip. They can’t help themselves. Tell one and suddenly everyone will know what you’re up to. Even your workplace enemies.
Once they discover you are taking the simple steps to early retirement it is going to be a lot harder to achieve your goals and cross the finishing line.
Why? Well here’s a quick example.
Imagine you hear around the water cooler that one of your colleagues (someone who earns the same as you but you don’t know very well) is almost a millionaire. Do you think your co-workers will be saying to each other: “That’s amazing, I’m so happy for them. I must offer my hearty congratulations and ask them how they managed that. Maybe I can learn from them and do the same.”
Or is it more likely their attitude will be: “How the hell did that person do that? It’s so unfair. They must have inherited the money/won the lottery/done something dishonest. Hopefully soon they’ll blow all the money and be poorer than me.”
That’s right, unfortunately, it’s the second one.
Your peers are probably going to view your early retirement target with suspicion, disbelief and good old-fashioned envy.
At best in the beginning they will think you have your head in the clouds. At worst, once you start to make progress, they could sabotage you. In their eyes they’re poor and you are not allowed to be rich.
The most cynical of co-workers will begrudge the fact that every month you’ll be closer to escaping while they’ll have to toil on until they’re old and grey. That’s why they’ll run off to your boss and drip poison into their ear.
You’ll never beat the final boss
Once your manager finds out your plans, it’s pretty much game over. Put it this way, they won’t be delighted to hear that you want to quit working for them. Even if you were a valued employee, in their minds your early retirement plan means you no longer care about your job.
Might as well get a name tag that reads: Not A Team Player.
As for a wage rise? Forget it. They’ll think you don’t need the money. Besides, why should they help you now? You’ll only use the extra cash to escape work sooner. And that’s bad for business.
The same goes for promotions. They’ll give them to someone who wants to be there, who will slave away hour after hour for the extra cash. Someone they can control.
Congratulations, you’ve just torpedoed your career. Plus, your chances of increasing your earning power through wage rises and promotions have been utterly destroyed.
The chilling effect of all this means you’ll have to work for years longer before you’ll finally be able to retire.
If only you hadn’t taken that risk and had kept your mouth shut.
If only you had followed the first rule of Early Retirement Club…
Have you told your co-workers about your plans to retire early or are you keeping it a secret? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. If you found this article helpful, please share it using the Twitter icon. Thanks for reading.