Guaranteed income is expensive any way we look at it. We most recently talked about it as a financial expense. Let's talk about it as an individual expense, as to what you have to give up personally, not financially.
If an employer says to me, "I'll give you guaranteed income in retirement as long as you stay 20 or 30 years." Then I've got to ask myself, "What does that mean to me?" Am I willing to buy-in to this employer's mission for 20 or 30 years? Is this mission so high up on my own personal values that I truly value what they're trying to accomplish? That I buy into that completely so that I can give 20 or 30 years of my life? If so, that's a good cost vocationally, and that's a good cost emotionally, because the mission fits with who I am already. It's not something I'm just buying into. It's something that I'm adapting as my own, and it's something I'm willing to give to get that reward because I buy into the mission. That mission is a part of who I am already, whether I work here or not.
The other cost of saying, "If you give us 20 years or 30 years and then you'll have guaranteed income in retirement," think about what type of years you're giving. Most of us are going to be at our healthiest times; our most mentally acute times; our highest endurance times where we're able to give and give and give, show up and show up and show up, and do an excellent job every time in that time frame. We're giving the best of ourselves.
We're not just giving calendar years, we're giving the essence of who we are. We're taking the essence of who we are, and we're putting it into our work. That work is appreciated and used by the employer to be able to accomplish something that you consider to be great for our society, great for our community, great as being able to identify with that for your career. That's a big cost too.
"We're not just giving calendar years, we're giving the essence of who we are. We're taking the essence of who we are, and we're putting it into our work."
So, I would really encourage you to think about why you chose this employer, why you're working for the federal government, and what you find their mission to truly be, day-in and day-out. Do you really buy into that? Is it worth it to you from a vocational standpoint? From an emotional standpoint? From a mental standpoint? From a physical standpoint? And really just from your soul, the energy of who you are. Is it worth it? Is it worth all that to you to be able to put it in to this career and get rewarded with some significant income at the end? How do you feel that weighs out in balance?