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That's true, but it depends on the income rate, I guess. If I need to work a soul-sucking job for 15 years to be able to spend the rest of my life with mostly full autonomy, I think that trade-off isn't worth it. If it were working a soul-sucking job for 1 or 2 years to get enough to be autonomous for life, then it's probably worth it.

Yes, there is some preferred balance between the two for any one person. But for reference, 15 years to retirement means shaving 25 years of full-time work off the typical career. That seems...pretty appealing.

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