Studying my way to retirement

6 min read

In a recent discussion about retirement and the motivation behind the pursuit of career goals, I found myself trapped in introspection. Retirement, often illustrated as a finish line, sparked a cascade of questions about my own trajectory in the software industry

On a similar note, I also wonder if I will ever get to a place and say “Look Mom I made it!”. I personally believe that there's always going to be something to look forward to.

I'm not going to ignore that in terms of retirement, money, and life circumstances are important factors that determine the possibility of early retirement. Still, I want to focus on willingness rather than the possibility.

So rather than focusing solely on the financial aspects, I started to explore the idea of lifelong curiosity and its role in shaping my career.

For me, retirement isn't just about financial stability and having enough money saved; it's about the willingness to keep learning and growing. As I entered my 30s, I began thinking more about long-term investments and pension plans, but honestly, I see myself staying here for a while.

This is not a race

Not sure when this all started, if with the buzzword of being an entrepreneur or what, but I felt like early retirement became like an obsession of a race that needed to be completed as early as possible.

I have seen people investing the best part of their lives, making a huge commitment to have an early retirement. Still, they couldn't but realize they were sacrificing valuable time with their families in pursuit of early retirement.

Finding the balance between professional commitment and personal fulfillment is a privilege I don't take for granted.

I'm not planning to advocate against early retirement, analyzing the consequences this can have, which is what the story of the businessman and the fisherman says. It is a parable that ultimately highlights the importance of prioritizing happiness, fulfillment, and a balanced life over the persistent pursuit of material wealth, society constructions, and success.

What keeps me going

I have been in the industry for over 12 years, and although I have been burned out from it on different occasions, I have learned to take care of my mental health and manage my expectations so I can still enjoy the ride.

Not only because I still like to be challenged but because spending time doing nothing doesn't fulfill me in any way. Doing a job keeps me busy and pushes me to stay up to date, continue challenging myself, keeping my brain active.

You can argue that I could move towards other areas of interest such as music and sports, but I still prefer to keep them under the category of hobbies.

Does this mean that I am in love with the 9 to 5 routine? No! personally, some structure brings some safety, but it means that if I were to pick my next gig putting money aside I would still find the motivation to keep on contributing to something I care for.

While I may not be aiming for the top of the corporate ladder, I'm content knowing that my curiosity will continue to guide me on this lifelong journey, staying up to date, and moving horizontally is enough. I have made peace with it, and I don't feel the pressure to adapt to social demands.


During a recent interview on a podcast, one of the co-founders of Globant said something interesting about the subject.

He believes that retirement should be removed from the dictionary. In similar words he states that there's no purpose in doing nothing, he puts it in a way that we should evolve and reinvent ourselves according to our age. There's gonna be activities that you enjoy and are capable of doing as a young motivated person but not might be worth it as you get older.

So it's a matter of finding your spot.

Unfortunately, the talk is in Spanish but you can add autogenerated subtitles if needed.

This is the part where the student part kicks in for me. They appear in the shape of learning new things, from playing an instrument to understanding more about artificial intelligence gives me joy and the feeling that I am still here in this world and keep living.

On the road of always reinventing ourselves, I will never consider my career path as done. In the sense that I am always looking for something else that I can learn or get trapped with. Which I believe is a benefit of working with technology.

Regardless of the motivation we use to keep the wheel spinning, being open to new things is one of my main drivers. From this is crucial to develop a skill to get wats with your ego. But let's not go deeper in there, as I think it deserves a complete post.

In regards to how this relates to our ego, there's a reflection from a book called “Ego is the Enemy” that I like, that goes as follows:

A true student Is like a sponge, absorbing what goes around us, filtering it, latching at what we can hold. A student is self-critical and self-motivated, trying to improve so we can move to the next challenge. A real student is also his teacher and his critic. There’s no room for ego.


In the same track, I keep the word curiosity at the top of my list when I get the question about what is my main quality as an engineer or professional in general terms.

Curiosity is the main tool and ability that also keeps me entertained and motivated in an ever-evolving work environment. Could be to improve an existing skill or to bring up something new to the table.

This same curiosity was the one that got me interested in living abroad, starting a blog, discovering the world of product management, and pretty much the same that encouraged me to co-found a startup with friends. Which in a way taught me the importance of having a more holistic look at things, rather than focusing on one aspect and mastering that ability.

Even though I have specialized and focused on Javascript frontend technologies that open mind helped me to be able to collaborate and understand other areas in a better way, that closely collaborate with me. So understanding the basics of the roles connected to engineers helped to find a common ground and close the gaps we normally have between different mindsets.

Why am I mentioning this here? Curiosity will probably be the top resource to keep me entertained and prevent me from getting bored.

Something worth mentioning is that as I grew up in Argentina, I am used to dynamic contexts and need to quickly adapt to different circumstances. Those scenarios were the ones that indirectly forced me the have a wider spectrum of opportunities.


Embrace changes, fuel your curiosity, and get away from society's scripts. Don't underestimate financial stability, but when possible don't let it be the main driver.

Early retirement is not inherently superior to other life paths and each person's journey is unique, we all have our own priorities.

Nothing comes for free, and here is the point in which I try to be careful not to aim for too much. Although I always try to be involved in different topics as much as I can, I always remind myself to set boundaries.

Regarding the limits and being a jack of all trades, this is a decision I made long ago, and I am fully aware that the expertise and proficiency that I would make as a developer with this mindset, would not be the same as someone who is aiming to become an architect.

So here's to retirement, not as an end but as a new beginning—a chance to explore, learn, and grow, curiosity leading the way.

Thanks for reading ❤️

Written by Manu

I am a product-driven JavaScript developer, passionate about sharing experiences in the IT world, from a human-centric perspective.

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