I was having coffee with a work-friend of mine last week. He is in his fifties and spent the first thirty years of his career in business making a lot of dough. His motivation wasn't the superstar lifestyle or hob-nobbing with the wealthy. Nor was it to just to achieve a particular score on the board.
Rather he wanted what he terms `Fuck You Money'. Enough cash to be able to say and do what he wanted. Never to have to answer to anybody again in his life. To express himself and be himself. He set this goal fairly early on in the game. He tolerated colleagues and environments which weren't really `him'. But he knew what he wanted and that the sacrifice would be worth it.
Don't get me wrong, this guy isn't in any sense retired. He works hard, but does only the work he chooses. On top, he also studies, travels and takes an active interest in his kids.
While my path will be different a big part of me identified with him. I too would love to get to a point where I have the total freedom my friend enjoys. For many of us, only a late and lucky retirement brings these kinds of benefits. How wonderful to enjoy them with twenty odd good years left in you.
I guess this is what `Fuck You Money' is all about. I wonder if that is the real privilege of becoming wealthy. Not the toys it can buy you, but the liberty it can bring.