Mike Jay: Doesn't work=money=things? How can you live without making money? Um, maybe by saving it so you can live off it while you're still healthy.
Completly agree Mike - a job can seem secure to buy stuff and waste money. I tried to have similar conversations about wasting money in work pointing out the exotic holidays, titanium alloy bikes (for getting fit - never understood that one), German cars, gardeners, cleaners and the like. They could not understand how my family was saving 50% of our salaries - often saying that it was not possible (so why bother) so didn't think for a second about it.
My observation, having been there, is that working for someone else means you get "paid" and they get the "benefit \ profits". Secondly a salary is an odd type of security as pay is typically related to living cost so will never be very high unless you land that dream job. Spend the excess and you are left with nothing at the end of the month.
A salary is one dimensional \ one income source. This makes it inherently fragile - one income source (poof its gone) and probably high living costs (how do I pay for that withot my paycheck). Unfortunately compounding this is modern work is usually highly specialised. This makes it difficult to move to a different job if the role is eliminated.
I worked for a large multinational and the rate of automation was amazing and is just moving faster and faster. Unfortunately without having transferable skills and multiple income streams the salaried employee looks like a riskier and riskier situation.
So coming back to point on to why rely on a single salary in your prime? Why give all your effort to a profession that may be eliminated without diversifying and saving for those rainy days? This may sound harsh but these are the best years of your life and health truly is wealth. Expecting a salary to pay the bills indefinately and a pension to be there, in hindsight seems fragile now. If a shock comes hopefully it works out ok and it is a blessing in surprise and a creer you always wanted. Unfortunately it has the possibility to impact health and vitality possibly through having to work longer / take a lower paying job.
Compare this to someone who has their own business. They will have lots of customers. They choose who they serve and how many customers they need to have or find. They expect their income to go up and down but the profts are theirs. They will naturally hedge their bets and spend below their income. For example the gardener can loose a client but still have many other jobs and just needs to fill a "gap in their schedule". A highly specialised production line worker looses a job has no other income and has to re-skill or find a similar job fast or drawdown savings fast.
Savings and personal businesses considered this way can give some breathing space. Space to say "I need a day off", "To enjoy life a little" or "Reduce my workload" - it is their choice. It is the reason we went for FIRE to have some space for our kids, not burn out, and enjoy our health while we can. Work=money=free time=freedom ? :)
We like permaculture as this alings with our ides of freedom for us growing our own food
1. We now where it comes from and what has gone into it
2. saves us a huge amount of money that otherwise would have to be purchased with after tax money (hours worked).
The same can be said for anything purchased money = time. I guess we are looking for the right balance between money and time.....