Monday, May 11, 2009

Is it time to grow up?

I have never held a high paying job preferring living new experiences than making a lot of money. After finishing my PhD in physical chemistry and biomaterials, I spent a year doing minimum wage jobs in construction, in the bakery of a grocery store and in home health care. Then I did Peace Corps Africa. I am still in Peace Corps, still a volunteer, except now I am living in China.

I have never made money.

I have gained a lot of skills and experience in the past 10 years and I have learned that I don't want to work in a lab nor do I want to be a teacher unless I am living in an interesting place where I am not working 40 hours a week. My priorities are having time and living in a place I love. My priorities are not money or security.

However, it is expensive to die especially if you reach retirement age. Is it time to grow up? Up until now I have lived with the philosophy, "Work to meet one's basic necessities." Must I leave my philosophy to the wayside?

Should I adopt a new philosophy? "Work so I can pay for my death"

If I have to start working to make more than a volunteer's monthly allowance, what type of work should I do?


Lien said...

When you find an answer, will you let me know?

Although I'd like to make more money, I also discovered from my last job that I like time to live a bit more. However, since pensions and other things are linked to making money, what am I supposed to do?

danieltalsky said...

I don't see it exactly as "Work to pay for your death". I just see it as, "divide up the costs of your whole lifetime and work to meet the long term costs while you have the youth and energy".

The number you're making and living on now is an artificial number based on what it costs just to feed and shelter your young and healthy body.