Held hostage by my future

Judging by the confessions I read here, my life is far from bad. I am still employed, healthy, reasonably financially comfortable. But I don't find my career rewarding anymore and I feel my life is on hold waiting for when I can stop working. Everything I earn is going into savings for my retirement. Can I hold out until I have a secure future? Will I still be young enough to enjoy my retirement? Will the world be there for me to enjoy? Why am I wasting good days now for an uncertain future?


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The person

Nov 21, 2020 at 6:09pm

saving away who smugly thinks they’re ahead and then - BAM! The world ends and all they did was work and save the whole time.....

Without thinking too hard about it...

Nov 21, 2020 at 6:17pm

Name a job that would make you happy.

What steps could you take to get from point A to point B?


Nov 21, 2020 at 7:50pm

Basic Income. Everyone can start doing what they want now instead of waiting until someday.

26 9Rating: +17

Live life

Nov 22, 2020 at 12:04am

All through history, we've seen that anything can happen either way, good and bad. Make the most of what you have versus spending too much time worrying about "what if" to the point that it robs you of enjoying the good around you now.

10 6Rating: +4

A lot of people get to that point

Nov 22, 2020 at 1:46am

I know I did. When I was younger, and still enjoying my job, I couldn't understand why some older workers were so miserable, just grimly hanging in for retirement. Then I hit my fifties and I got it. I've managed to achieve what you're describing - I saved every penny and was able to get out early, with a pension I can just about scrape by on. I've still got some energy left and my brain is still ok. I'm already working on a new career, doing some volunteer work, and planning a move to a cheaper city. I feel free and have never been happier. Hope this helps. If you're younger than 50 though, you might want to consider a change now, because those last 10 years did take a toll on my physical and mental health...

18 8Rating: +10


Nov 22, 2020 at 9:43am

Can you explain where the money is supposed to come from to pay for all that?

7 6Rating: +1

@Without thinking

Nov 22, 2020 at 10:29am

O if only it were so easy! Most people can probably tell you what they enjoy doing and many would be able to tell you what they are passionate about. But it's a long way from passion to stable career that pays the bills. Firstly, your passion needs to be something someone else is prepared to pay someone to do. And specifically your specific passion not stuff tangentially related or that includes a minority of your passion. If you love skiing, being part of a ski patrol may not cut it because that is basically babysitting while wearing skis and not actually skiing. If you love photography, being a camera gear reviewer may not be for you because the quality of your ability to review and communicate is key so you will fail if you can't write.
Secondly, the going pay has to be a living wage otherwise it's still only a hobby and you will have to work some shitty job you hate just to pay the bills (or live an unsustainably low quality of life). How many ski patrollers in Whistler do you think don't also work as a line cook and don't live with 6 other people in a three bedroom condo?
Thirdly, how high (out of reach) is the bar to becoming a pro in your chosen field? How good a dancer do you think you have to be in order to be a professional dancer? Is that level of skill within the grasp of the average dancer? Probably not - you also need to be lucky enough to have The Gift.
And finally, there has to be a sufficiently large industry that there are a decent number of jobs in the field. How many professional hikers (who do nothing else other than hike) do you think there are in Canada? Hell, how about the world? A dozen maybe?
That trite do-what-you-love advice is probably applicable to 1% of the population. The rest of us want to have some quality of life, have obligations outside ourselves, and enjoy what makes us passionate but aren't world-class (and becoming world-class is too expensive, time-consuming, soul-destroying, and unrealistic).
As an aside: advice not born of direct experience of the advisee's situation and the efficacy of said advice is worthless.

18 7Rating: +11

I know...

Nov 22, 2020 at 11:26am

So many people who could have written this OP.

I know many that could, in theory, be financially stable 55+ Imagine someone who has worked and saved their whole life and in June they retired. Great. The world will not be the same even after a vaccine.

They have missed a lot of things that the world no longer offers since 1985.

They also are now a type of person that's lived a 9-5 life. That is a conditioning, when you stop that, then what? Is the 55+ person all of a sudden going to become adventurous and do all the things they wanted to? It's doubtful. Also, what about diseases and cancers, or caring for sick loved ones and joints that no longer work. With all these things to consider, it would be great to have a nice comfortable pension to fall back on, but the cost of that, it's your life. It's your best 35 years you have on this earth.

15 6Rating: +9

Without thinking @@Without thinking

Nov 22, 2020 at 1:51pm

Not intended to be advice or a “do what you love and the money will follow” platitude.

Simply a question to spark ideation about the practical steps required to transition from one point to another (e.g. take a weekend class, etc.).

I made a slow, gradual career transition that started with a deep dive and an ideas phase, so that’s where I’m coming from.

18 3Rating: +15

Keep your foot on the gas

Nov 22, 2020 at 11:35pm

Corny, but one of my favourite sayings. Keep applying gentle pressure towards what you want, one day at a time.

What’s gonna help you move towards something that feels meaningful and of value, prior to retirement? Start heading towards it. So long as you keep taking steps forward instead of being still, you’ll eventually get to a place where things feel a bit better.

14 5Rating: +9

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