A pharmacist who retired early at 38 after earning $150,000 a year had nightmares of being 'back at work arguing with morons'

Altitude Visual/Shutterstock.comEarly retirement can give you new perspective on your desk days. Jason Long is not pictured.
  • The New York Times profiled several people who managed to retire comfortably in their 30s.
  • One of the people interviewed by The Times, 38-year old former pharmacist Jason Long, retired last year after earning a salary around $US150,000 and saving up a $US1 million nest egg.
  • Long did not enjoy his work as a pharmacist, and wrote in his blog that he has nightmares about being “back at work arguing with morons.”

Many people dream of early retirement, and a big part of the allure can be escaping a job you hate.

Steven Kurutz at The New York Times profiled several people who managed to retire comfortably in their 30s. One of the early retirees Kurutz interviewed was Jason Long, a former pharmacist who retired last year at the age of 38.

Long has no regrets about leaving the world of retail pharmacy. In his blog, he wrote that he’s “still having nightmares about once per month that [he’s] back at work arguing with morons.”

After nearly 12 years of working as a pharmacist, he wrote on his blog, he had a final salary of $US150,000 at the time of his retirement, with an investment portfolio worth a little over $US1 million.

Long’s portfolio is split between 60% US stocks, 20% international stocks, and 20% municipal bonds. His spending plan targets withdrawing 3% of the annual starting balance each year, as long as the overall portfolio value remains above $US1 million.

He has no plans to return to the working world, as long as his investment and spending plans continue to work out.

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Since his retirement last year, Long has explored several hobbies and interests, including reading, marathon training, catching up on video games and movies, and volunteering at a local natural history museum.

In his blog, Long gave a simple rationale for retiring early. “It has been said that retirement is merely a decision to stop trading time for money. Since I no longer need more of the latter to sustain my standard of living, and since I do not enjoy and never have enjoyed the primary method at my disposal to acquire the latter, I have decided that the former is of more value to me going forward in life.”

That’s a common sentiment among early retirees. Grant Sabatier, who retired at the age of 30 and runs the blog Millennial Money, wrote about his inspiration for retiring early, “My goal was to make work optional as quickly as possible, so I could have more options with my time. If you view money as the goal, then you miss the point. Money is infinite, but time is not.”

Check out the full New York Times article here, and Long’s blog about post-early-retirement life here.

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