Learn to live well, or fairly make your will;
You've played, and loved, and ate, and drunk your fill:
Walk sober off; before a sprightlier age
Comes tittering on, and shoves you from the stage:
— Alexander Pope
Soon there may come a time when you won't want to work at your career anymore. You will have had enough of the pretending that happens in the typical workplace. Working at nebulous activities just for the money can go on only so long before you realize that you are in a state of mental inertia. You will start wondering why so many workers blindly accept confinement to rigid work hours, waiting until they are in their sixties or seventies to be put out to pasture — either by layoff or poor health.
After focusing on the negatives of the typical workplace long enough, you will start looking at alternatives. As is to be expected, the thought of early retirement will appear highly promising. It will be easy to fantasize about the wonderful things that you can do once you retire — go on three cruises a year, spend a lot of time with your grandchildren, spend a year in a monastery, or live in Costa Rica for a year. If you have recently been having similar fantasies, perhaps it's time to tell your boss, "I'm outta here."
Note: The above is excerpted from the book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.