Beyond Labor Day

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Beyond Labor Day 350

Hey Everyone, I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend. It’s fantastic to have an extra day off, but we should reflect on what this holiday is all about. Labor Day was created to celebrate workers and their socioeconomic achievements. Workers came a long way since the Industrial Revolution. In those early years, workers toiled for 12 hours every day to eke out a living. We made a lot of progress over the years and life is much easier now. A family can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle by working just 40 hours per week.

Wait a minute, is this really true? 40 hours/week would fund a comfortable lifestyle 30 years ago, but workers have been losing ground for a while now. The median personal income for all workers in 2019 is $35,977, according to the US Census. Wow, that is lower than I expected. Most families can’t live a comfortable lifestyle with that income. However, that’s just one worker. A bigger family can contribute 2 or more workers to increase their household income. Also, highly educated workers usually earn much more than the median income. But even then, many of us work way more than 40 hours per week these days. In the internet age, white-collar workers are expected to be on call 24/7. How many of us really work just 40 hours/week? That model has come and gone. These days, we’re all working longer hours just to get by.


Work has undergone tremendous changes since 2020. Many employees are working from home due to the pandemic. This has improved the quality of life for a lot of people. Some people even moved away from their offices since work is no longer location-dependent. Nobody knows what the future of work will be like. Some companies want to go back to the old office model and some likes the work from home model. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Oh, most essential workers can’t work from home so they’re stuck with going to their workplace. Although, they also gained a lot of power. Small businesses are having a very difficult time hiring workers. As a result, employers are raising the pay rate and adding signon bonuses for many positions. Workers gained some power these last two years. But I doubt it will last.

Transcend Labor Day

Working is righteous, but it isn’t good enough anymore. It doesn’t matter how much money you make. At some point, you won’t be able to work.

Some workers think they can depend on Social Security to pick up the slacks when that happens, but I wouldn’t be so sure. The OASI fund is projected to run out of money in 2033. That is very soon. If Congress doesn’t fix the problem, all workers will receive much less Social Security benefits than projected. 2033 is coming up very soon. How many people think Congress will be able to come together to fix this? I have no confidence in our representatives. This is a difficult issue and nobody wants to deal with it. Anyway, I wouldn’t depend too much on Social Security if you’re young. Instead, you need to become an investor and fund your own retirement.

Become an investor

All of us need to figure out how to move beyond labor. Labor is all you have when you’re young, but it gets harder as you age. We need to save and invest so we can join the investor class. It will take a long time for investment income to surpass earned income, but you will get there. At some point, your earned income will drop to zero so it’s inevitable.

Here are my tips.

  • Learn about FIRE (financial independence, retire early).
  • Save 50% of your income and invest. This is very difficult when you’re young, but it will become easier as your personal income increases.
  • Save and invest in your tax-advantaged accounts. Max out your 401k contribution as soon as you can.
  • Invest in the stock market.
  • Invest in a business so other people can work for you.
  • Rent out part of your home or invest in a rental property.
  • Invest in commercial properties through real estate crowdfunding.

These are just a few ways to join the investor class. Keep investing and eventually, your investment income will grow beyond your earned income. That’s Financial Independence. After that, you will have a lot more power. You can keep working on what you enjoy, retire, or figure out the best combination for your family. Life is so much better when you have the freedom to choose.

Are you an investor? When will your investment income surpass your earned income?

Blogging is a great way to build your brand and establish a presence on the internet. Here is my guide – How to start a blog and why you should. Check it out!

Image credit: Hobi Industri

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. After 16 years of investing and saving, he achieved financial independence and retired at 38.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have many projects across the USA so check them out!

Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. They have many useful tools that will help you reach financial independence.

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