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Credit Will Merydith.

In Work and Retirement Part 1 we began a conversation about work and retirement inspired from a conversation from my fellow writer John at Married with Debt.

Why are we even examining the topic of work? Simple: The way we view work, informs our opinions about retirement. In order to truly explore the topic of retirement, we have to first understand our bias and beliefs surrounding work.

The Goal of Work is…

My friend John has 10 Rules to Eliminate Debt and they are very helpful, heck I even subscribe and teach several of these rules to my clients.

I cannot agree with his final rule which states, “The goal of work is retirement.” In the context of his rules John pushes people to think about why they are working and fight against consumerism. I can applaud the sentiment, but can’t support the statement.

I believe work is much much more.

In the Beginning was Work

This is where my view of work diverges and takes on a much deeper meaning. In the beginning when God and Adam were hanging out in the garden (pre Eve) work existed. Yes, in this perfect world Adam had a task–a job–work to do.

He was not idly kicking back eating grapes and petting unicorns. There was work to be done. Adam’s main task was to cultivate and maintain the garden (Gen 2:15). Yes, even in paradise before the snake slithered and fruit had bite marks, work existed.

Man also had a special assignment. His special task was to give names to the animals. Adam used his time to create order, joining God in the creative process.

True, work became more difficult once Adam and Eve disturbed the created order; yet in the beginning was work and work was good.

My View of Work

In light of the above example, work is much more than punching a time clock, longing towards a retirement party and period of time where work doesn’t exist.

Work is…

1. Natural– Work is part of the created order of life and thus work is good and not a curse.

2. To be Embraced. Work is not something to be avoided, but rather embraced. As we work–we are at the core embracing our humanity.

3. Holy- God himself created and performed work. As we work, we are reflecting the image of God in us.

We are most alive when we embrace the God given tasks before us and join God in creating order and beauty.

The Goal of Work is:

  • To perform the tasks God has given us. There is work before us to be done on a daily basis. I doubt you’re a farmer, but there are still preverbal gardens to maintain and cultivate.
  • To join God in the creative process of creating order and beauty.

I believe it is time to have a proper view of work. In the beginning was work and work was good. In A Radical View of Retirement: Work and Retirement (Part 3) we will discover how a proper view of work informs our view of retirement.

What is your view of work? 

Steel Toe Boots

These boots were made for working–were you?
Credit  Code52.

Work is something we do each day, but what are the underlying beliefs about work and how does that inform our actions and view of life?

My friend John at Married with Debt (he’s debt free now) have been discussing work and retirement lately. You can read a recent article John wrote about work to get an idea.

John and I agree on many major issues, but we may have slight differing opinions about work and thus retirement. One thing I do know:

“The way we view work informs our opinions about retirement.”-Brent

Let’s go to Work

This thing we call “work” is used to describe many ideas. Work is both a noun, adjective and verb in which ascribes 32 definitions. Mostly these definitions involve the idea of toiling, exerting force, or employment.

A few phrases that involve work:

  • I love working in the garden.
  • I get off work at 5:00.
  • I’m been out of work for a year.
  • Do work son.
  • Work your passions.

“Work” pushes thoughts towards your own occupation or undesirable tasks you’ve done in the past. When the word “work” is mentioned it might carry a lot of baggage. When you hear the word “work” what do your thoughts drift towards?

My Experience with Work

I grew up learning how to exert force, to accomplish tasks, and to gain money and respect from doing so. My parents taught me well to work hard, though I didn’t appreciate it at the time.

The dreaded legal pad sat on the counter many an afternoon when I came home from school (one area where I didn’t work hard at till college).

The legal pad held the future of my afternoon: Chores. I grew up on the edge of the city in a pocket rural street in Alabama on a few acres of land, not the mention the acres we reclaimed from the forrest behind us. My chores could be to chop wood, move wood, burn wood, stack bricks, mow, fight back the forrest from encroaching on our land, kill fire ants, rake leaves, and the list goes on.

Needless to say these tasks involved exerting a considerable amount of energy, but it grew my character and confidence as a young lad.

Working for Pay

In turn I began working for money and I had a lot of jobs by the time I graduated college. [My First Jobs]

I began my short career as a teacher, but found it wasn’t a task I wasn’t giving nor desired to give my all to. I did enjoy coaching the cross country team and was sad to give that up.

I began realizing that the work I did needed to align more with my passions and beliefs. This lead to stint teaching English overseas and then pursing a masters degree. Eventually in 2008 I needed a “real job” again worked a job for several years which I thrived at, but found my soul dying.

In 2010 I began writing and coaching others and found my heart beating once again. 2011 found me giving my two week notice and embracing the entrepreneur life.

My journey of working for pay has evolved and I’m sure will continue to meld closer to the center of my beliefs and passions with time.

I don’t believe work is bad. I don’t believe work is the central focus of life. I don’t believe work defines me.

This conversation about work and retirement continues In the Beginning: Work and Retirement (Part 2)

What has been your experience with work? Do you have any baggage that informs your opinons about work? 


Photo Credit mag3737 (CC)

Before you can budget money, you actually need some. Personal finance is mostly about how to be frugal with your money, getting out of debt, budgeting those dollars, and investing it for the future.

Simple fact, you need an income larger than your outgo for this to work. Financial experts first assume (wrongly) that you have some money to do all these things with. If you don’t it can be super frustrating.

We need ways to make money.

Zillions of Ways to Make Money

Let’s make some money! I’ve found zillions of ways to make money whether it is your primary income, side job, or a side hustle–extra income helps to get out of debt and save up for  financial goals.

Check out this list of awesome ways to make money:

Inspired? Are you ready to go make some money? If you didn’t find any ideas, read those lists again until something clicks and you’re ready to work.

Do you make money in interesting ways? Do you have a side hustle that brings in the cash? Please share in the comments.


Do you want a raise? A new study by Vasilios Kosteas of Cleveland State University shows that by exercising 3x a week can earn you 9% more than your non exercising coworkers.

Yes, working out pays! This study didn’t account for how people looked as a result of the study, but only for time spent exercising. To qualify for the study the participants had to exercise for a minimum of 3x a week for 1 hour.

Want a 9% Raise? Hit the Gym

More Health and Financial Benefits of Exercise

  • Lower healthcare costs due to increased health.
  • Decrease of stress and anxiety.
  • Increased energy and productivity.
  • Increased focus.
  • Better educated and informed by all the books, podcasts, and magazines you can read/listen to while exercising.
  • More time for idea generation when exercising.
  • Mingle and network with other higher wage earners.
  • Increased discipline.

Do you exercise regularly? What do you think about the correlation between exercise and higher pay? 

Photo Credit  Gudlyf

I almost joined the ranks of suits.

Recently I interviewed for a position as a financial advisor with a major company. I’ve thought about becoming a financial advisor, but in the end the position wasn’t a good fit for me.

Reasons Why It Would be Cool to be a Financial Advisor (C.F.P)

  • Training– I would get to learn a ton about investments, financial planning, get to take classes and tests (I’m a nerd so this is cool to me.), and have hands on training.
  • Unlimited Income-  There are no income limits, so I could earn 6 figues in 5-10 years with a little….er..loads of work.
  • Prestige and Credibility- It is a profession and respected by many due to the training and certifications required. When a CFP speaks, people usually listen.

Why I Don’t Want to Be a Financial Advisor

There are a number of reasons why it’s not a good fit for now (or perhaps not the right company).

1. I was told that I’d have to basically shut down my blog, stop tweeting, Facebook, and other social media. Everything must go through compliance and they don’t allow much to get through. LinkIn profiles even have be approved. Why? FINRA social media guidelines (<–read if you want see how laughable and out of touch the rules are), fear of lawsuits, and misunderstanding in how the new generation uses technology. Seriously if you don’t have a personal web presence, I’m not going to hire you for anything. Example:

“Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn usually have static and interactive content. Static content like a profile, background or wall information is usually considered an “advertisement.” … As with all advertisements and sales literature as defined, a registered principal for the firm must approve, prior to use, all static content.”-

Read about Jeff Rose, a financial advisor and blogger who gave up $36,000 a year with his old firm to start his own practice to relieve the pressure from FINRA.

2. The hiring manager explained that I would need to make about 200 phone calls (cold/warm) a week. I don’t mind work (my 1st jobs list), but I am an introvert and that many phone calls a week for a sustained time period would make me go insane and ineffective at some point.

3. I want to help people with their money and not have to focus 150% on sales for 5 years until I have a referral base. This doesn’t seem like a good fit for the lifestyle I’m trying to build at the point in life. I want to be an advisor, not a salesperson.

These was my experience interviewing for a financial advisor postion. Maybe I would enjoy a paraplanning  position that allowed me to focus on the work and not about selling, as long as I can still write.

If  you are you a Financial Advisor or Financial Planner: 1) How did you become one and 2) How do you handle the social media restrictions? 

Photo Credit (Voxphoto)