Recently I lost a friend at the age of 61. It set me off thinking in terms of life. (all deaths do, but if somebody is 5 years your senior you wonder if it could have been you!).

Honestly when he retired at age 48 I had told him that he did not have enough money for a longish retirement – say age 90! He laughed it off saying “i will find a way I am sure”. Well, he surely did. He had quit his well paying job in Mumbai and moved to a smaller city – he had lost his parents recently (15 years ago) and his son was in engineering when he decided to quit.

He had some travel plans and I know he implemented some of them. Not sure how many more trips he had planned, but at least some of those trips had happened.

What would have happened if he had continued to work in the bank that he was? I am sure he would have died earlier -maybe at 55 instead of 61. He had good regular habits, was particular about his diet, exercise, gym, – and yes he did die of cardiac arrest. He would have spent more time travelling, going to various cities for his work, working long hours – its a given in a bank, working to deadlines, attending parties which he did not like.

Instead he decided to walk into the sunset, spend time with his friends, extended family, travel to meet his friends, spend time with his spouse (son was too busy of course!). At least he stole 12 years (about 25% of a meaningful life) where he did what he did.

How many 48 year old people have the guts to walk out on their corporate jobs? And at his funeral how many 48 year old people think “life is futile” but did not have the guts to come out of the EMI traps? How many of them have assets far beyond their needs, but did nothing to right size their assets. (Right size means reduce the size of the house, number of cars, and increase the financial assets)

Does that sound like you? are you a 55 year old doctor working 12 hours a day or a businessman who has just borrowed X amount to buy a new factory, think hard again. You need to get a life. You need to reduce the stress.

Go create some fun groups. Get into your school / college alumni groups. Attend their meetings, go for fun trips with them. Organize/ attend parties – or whatever gives you fun. If work is fun for you, then it cannot be adding to your stress.

There are only 2 performance indicators in life – do you have adequate money for the rest of your life and do you have a thin waist line!!



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  1. Isn’t that the challenge all of us face, to strike the right balance. I continue working because I wonder what would I do if I lived to be 90+, while I wonder what a waste if I dies at 60. What’s the sweet spot. What do other readers think?

  2. Sudha

    that is one thing that God does not let us know in advance. Believe me man is so arrogant even without this he thinks he runs the world. So will you die like Sanjiv Kumar or Madhubala or Meena Kumari or like AK Hangal….well the script writer does not tell you.

  3. Recently came across 40+ age guys (3 men) in known circle passed away due to cardiac arrest. If anyone looked Sridevi/Boney couple, no one would have thought that Sri would die first.

    I know one family who planned out everything and doing quite well are facing the adversity.

    I started to think these days that Fate, Luck and Karma would play a bigger role than individual planning or preparedness. In one stroke of disaster, everything might ruin.

  4. u miss him so much subra …ur post clearly says about it …

    This post is really heart touching …one has to plan accordingly , otherwise its of no use …

  5. A lot of times, people continue to work beyond attaining their financial freedom, is largely because they enjoy it. I can’t imagine a doctor hanging up at 55… they need continue not for the money but because they are needed.. I think in a not-so-obvious way, it applies to a lot of business guys (even a small business supports 5-10 people’s employment) and even other professionals too…

    But yes, working for greed beyond need is unpardonable.

  6. subra, please publish article for middle age people like 35+ because in the current trent even people who are 35+ plus get heart attack and dies especially in the IT field. How they should plan and the career field is short for people in the IT especially in the current market trend due to automation and Trump effect etc. How the people should move to other field and how they should plan the personal finance from the age of 25 itself. and how they should take care of health instead of eating regularly outside.

  7. What’s the right balance, how much is enough ? 25 times of Annual expense, 40 times ?
    9 out of 10 in corporates don’t enjoy work..
    Most savings in Real estates, have EMIs…no alternative sources…it’s a trap

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