Early retirement. Financially independent (FI). Selfishly employed. Or Financial freedom. I don’t know what you call it. Around our home, we call it Work Optional.

We are 33 and 38 respectively. And after a crapload of hard work, saving, investing, fixing up rentals, putting in some years with the military, we are work optional. I never really cared for the term retired. It just doesn’t seem to fit us. It implies to me that a person is done working. Truth be told, we really like work. All kinds of work. We like working in the garden, with our ducks, remodeling our rentals, volunteering, oh yeah, and our herd of 5 kids. They are a bit of work too!

But working for money…. Well that’s optional. If we want to, on any given day. Maybe the work looks fun to us, challenging, meaningful or interesting. Maybe that is how we want to spend our time. Or maybe not. It’s optional now.

I know what we won’t be doing, though. Jobs that suck. Ones that steal a bit of your soul in exchange for money to pay the bills. Our bills are paid. Abusive coworkers, nasty customers, unreasonable employers; yeah, we are over that crap.

Our days and lives are full of work. Great work. Work that fills us up, and work that makes a difference in the world. Maybe we earn some coin from it, maybe not. But the money is optional.

The best thing about work optional? It allows good things to flow into our lives. We aren’t trapped by bills, but instead free to choose the very best use of our time and energy. And that is freaking amazing. Want to hear more about how to get to this place? Follow along for the adventure, ideas, and some inspiration while you get to your own work optional awesomeness.