I’ve crunched the numbers over and over and am thinking long and hard about this early retirement business. How many days a year do we really work? First, I had to calculate how many days we don’t work (Mr. Moe and I have the same benefits package).
- 26 days of alternative schedule (receive off for working one extra hour a day)
- Disclaimer: Mr. Moe currently doesn’t have this benefit, but could easily get it if he transferred. But, he loves what he does for now and is not interested.
- 25 days of vacation time (this is very generous for the U.S.)
- 10 holidays
- 4 sick days (we accumulate more than this, but we take about 3 days off a year for appointments, etc.). We are allotted 2 weeks a year that rolls over indefinitely. We have the ability to hold on to these for any emergency that may require prolonged leave.
Total week days off = 65
Total weeks off = 13
Total months off = almost 3
Unlike a teacher, we can mostly take these days whenever we want. When travel and experiences are cheap, yet we receive almost the same amount of time as a teacher – and they can only take time off when the kids are off and travel prices surge (sorry teachers, you clearly don’t earn enough for everything you do). I never thought of it this way, and it’s rather eye opening for me. How many actual days do I work?
- Of the 52.14 weeks in a year, we work 39.14 of them
- Plus, we receive a weekend off every single week, that’s 103 extra days (28.5% of the year) that we can spend however we wish!
So, what is the actual amount of days that we spend at work every year? Turns out that number is about 195.7 days (or about 54% of the year). Additionally, Mr. Moe and I are nearly always home by dinner (leaving a good few hours to spend with my family every evening), have jobs we enjoy, and flexible telework schedules when required. Our jobs respect us, have generous benefits packages, and are public transportation accessible.
So, all together we have 170 (46%) days off a year off of work. Is that enough time to pursue those things we love (and not worry about earning money at them – arts, writing, hiking, traveling, etc.)? After doing a bit of the math on this, I think this is something we should consider more. We enjoy what we do for a living, and our jobs offer us a lot of opportunity to have the experiences we want and frankly, afford a lifestyle that we thoroughly enjoy. If we do the long haul (which is a max 58 years old) we’ll be coasting and not need to scrimp and save throughout our journey (plus have a lifetime of health benefits). If we exit stage left sooner, will we be ready to worry about money? Or, find more creative ways to finance our experiences? Or, worse yet, try to leverage our hobbies (i.e. writing) to earn money? I’m not sure I’m ready for all that. We need to carefully take stock in all the great things in our life before we look to move to greener pastures.