Monday, January 14, 2008


It is practically a given that people like me, at the peak of earning potential, should be stuffing money away for retirement. The common way of doing this is to prudently invest in stocks and bonds that gain rates of return over the long term that will amount to a decent source of income during the years that we can no longer work. Depending upon one’s preferred lifestyle investments may be more or less aggressive (risky), requiring more or less exponential growth in someone’s use of resources.

My wife and I got into retirement planning rather late in life (our late forties). That planning has been complicated by the fact that my employment is sporadic, relying as it does on contract jobs that are typically tied to short-term projects. It has also been affected by my growing awareness of the malignant affect of exponential consumption on the future of life on Earth. Any economic growth I finance must reduce non-renewable material consumption if I am to be able to live with myself – or rather justify my living later on related profits.

I am currently available for work, my last contract having ended last month. I’m hoping that my remaining working years can have a net positive effect on humanity’s future, rather than contributing to the sharp decline of population that will likely be the outcome of business-as-usual economic activity. If those years include a considerable amount of creative writing and research, I will be quite happy, whether I’m working for myself or someone else. If the proceeds of that work can be used to improve the lives of others, now and in many later years, then I will be ecstatic.

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