A Man Who Stopped Working At 34 Discovers An Uncomfortable Truth

• Brandon retired last summer at age 34.

• Up until that point, he’d spent his whole life being motivated by money.

• Now that he’s financially independent, money doesn’t mean what it used to, and he’s struggling with finding something else to motivate him.

At the age of 34, Brandon realized he had been motivated by money his entire life.

And now, he no longer is.

The software developer and blogger behind the Mad Fientist — who doesn’t use his last name online for privacy reasons — had been planning and saving for years to retire early.

Living frugally and working in rural Vermont, he managed to save and invest about 70% of his after-tax income, and saved enough to leave his job in spring 2014. However, when his employer offered to make his position remote, he stayed on for a few years more than planned, intermittently traveling with his wife Jill until they relocated full-time to Scotland in May 2015. There, he continued working, blogging, and saving until he retired last summer.

In a post on the Mad Fientist, Brandon reflected on his first full year of being retired — or, more accurately, financially independent, not reliant on a job to pay his bills and therefore able to pursue only the projects and activities he’d like.

He wrote that the “biggest mindset shift that occurred after reaching [financial independence]” was “the realization that money is no longer motivating.”

Read more at Business Insider.