Money Is Infinite. But Time Is Limited

I used to have a comfy and very well paying job until I decided to retire early in 2018. I can’t imagine why anyone would give up such a good job and ridiculously good benefits that I used to enjoy at work. But at some point in life, it is conceivable that one could slip into philosophy. That happened to me. Money has never been a primary motivation for me, but it did enjoy some importance in my life. After my philosophical journey, money seems so insignificant and unimportant. Don’t get me wrong. You need a handsome amount of savings to even consider early retirement. But having made enough, even more money did not make sense at all.

Before planning my early retirement, I was actually planning to do a start-up. Now I feel it was such a silly thought. Why trade my time for money and a lot of work? I rather have limited money and infinite time if that was even possible. Just imagine, if I had continued working, I could have made a very huge sum by 60. Only problem? I won’t have enough time to enjoy life and may not even be in good health by that time.

Time is limited

If I knew at 23 what I know now, I would have retired by 30 instead of 37. It is not like I made a lot of wrong choices in life, but just that it would have made my life so simple. I would have retired early even if it meant that I will have lower savings. I would have fewer things, much smaller house, and a lot more energy. Just image how much of a difference the 7 years would have made in my life. Seven less years of stress, 7 more years of enjoyment. You can’t put a price on that.

I have always considered time to be very valuable. It is one thing that always diminishes as you age. And you can’t buy more of it. So if you are a young reader of my blog, think about what time and money mean to you. If you are even slightly philosophically inclined, consider if you really are dependent on money for happiness. Would you rather have more time or more money. For most people, you can get only one at the expense of the other. Of course I don’t expect everyone to have this mindset. You are who you are. But this is one thing I wish I knew early in my life.

There is absolutely no point to this post. Just my random thoughts coming out as words. So no conclusion here. I was just looking back at my life and started writing. It is very humbling to recognize how insanely lucky I am to be where I am now.

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8 thoughts on “Money Is Infinite. But Time Is Limited”

  1. Very true and humbling. Why mankind’s focus shifted from well being to wealth building is a mystery to me. Your post is reassuring. Thank you.

  2. Hi,

    I am 37 with a well paying job (1.85 lakhs per month) and a passive income of 70k pm. I own some ancestral land that I have no clue what to do with. My savings add upto 40 lakhs as of today. I am responsible for a family of 3 (including a kid), currently living in a rented accomodation. I feel hollow, sick with no zest for life. Do you think I can retire? I am a simple person but, other’s expectations of me is what limits me and makes me scared of taking any step in a different direction. What do I do?

  3. Before I can give a suggestion, I need to know more about your situation. Early retirement is not for everyone [1]. You might have to understand why your life feels empty. Is it the dislike of work or is it something else.

    The one thing I can say for sure is to not care about what others expect from you [2] unless it is direct family. If that is the case, try to convince them and help them understand how things will be after retirement. Give them assurance of money and good life ahead if you have all the free time in the world.

    Coming to whether you can retire or not, I suggest you use my calculator [3]. Plug in your numbers in there and see if you have saved up enough. For example, if your expenses are 1 lakh per month, then in the calculator you will need to input Rs. 30,000 (1 lakhs – 70k passive income). Make sure the passive income can grow by 8-10% every year because you expenses will grow due to inflation. From what I can tell, if your expenses are Rs. 80K per month or less then you can retire.

    If you need more specific advice, do feel free to sign up and join the upcoming virtual meet-up [4].


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