The thrill of the hunt. The climb. The grind. Whatever you want to call it, that is what I compare life’s “accumulation phase” to. We slave away earning precious dollars. We then invest or purchase assets that will eventually pave the way towards our ultimate freedom.
Unfortunately, I know myself all too well. I can foresee a problem on the horizon when the accumulation is supposed to come to an end……
Accumulation Is Fun!
As much as I dislike working for the man 40 hours per week, I do enjoy watching the net worth graph increase on my spreadsheet. In fact, I’ve grown quite accustomed to the steady climb as I’ve held a job with no lapses since I graduated college. The same goes for Mrs. DS as well.
The work ethic combined with living within our means has produced solid wealth accumulation.
So while I jealously read retirement blogs from people who have already amassed their wealth , I do find some measure of enjoyment from buying stocks, purchasing assets, and being on the climb. Watching the 401K accounts continue to grow as we contribute monthly pleases me in the most nerdy of ways possible.
It’s like a strategic video game. Start with nothing, build up your small community, find ways to generate wealth, create a huge army, and take over the world! Well not exactly the same but you get the picture.
I fear this accumulation phase won’t be so easy to quit.
Going From Ascending Wealth To Potentially Descending
Sometimes you have to be honest with yourself. And I can say without much of a doubt that “turning it off” is going to be a problem. The thought of drawing down cash or investments out of an account is kind of depressing to me. I’ve been programmed to keep it growing, not make it shrink.
Fortunately ( or unfortunately?) it is going to be awhile until we have to worry about full retirement. There is time to plan.
My family has a history of working at old ages. My dad is in his lower 70’s and still plugging away. I really wish he would hang it up but I’m not totally sure he’d know what to do with his time. I’ve never talked too deeply about his finances but if I had to guess, he’s probably like me and dreads the decline. I’m quite confident to say that it isn’t a lack of finances that is holding him back.
The family history stuff kind of gets ingrained in you whether you like it or not. On one hand it is quite admirable to work for many years, but on the other hand it is sad to think of one’s life being devoted almost entirely to it. As much as I respect the hell out of my dad, I’d rather be on the early retirement side than the alternative.
Ways To Fill The Accumulation Void
So how do I plan on filling this void if I do manage to retire at an earlier age?
1) Income producing side hustles– Just because you stop working for the man, doesn’t mean you can’t make money in other venues.
2) Dividend Income- I plan to keep building a cash flow machine spitting out dividends that will be able to replace much of the current monthly expenses and also fulfills my stock purchasing addiction.
Really my ultimate goal is to have several different streams of income. Ideally ones that I can create from scratch. I do also think about the possibility of real estate rentals but I’m not sure I’m cut out for that type of thing. It would be great for additional diversification however.
Since we are in our mid 30’s, we have time to craft out the ideal (for us) strategy. So much can change in the matter of a few years, especially with kids in the mix.
Here’s to hoping that my love for asset accumulation won’t keep me grinding until I’m 70. Or that I’m needing money because there is a child still in the house. Oof, I need a beverage just thinking about that.
Reader Question- Have you experienced any of these concerns regarding accumulation? What is your plan to overcome? Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!