One More Year Syndrome (OMY) – Should You Keep Working?

One More Year Syndrome OMY

What is the One More Year Syndrome (OMY)?

The One More Year Syndrome (OMY) is defined as having a continued urge to work even though you have already met your planned financial goals. Of course working a little longer to pad the coffers has its merits, but is it worth it? And does the urge to keep working stem from fear or logic.

The answer likely lies somewhere in between.

After years of diligent savings and being extremely aware of and planning for all fathomable downside future risks, nearing the financial independence finish line can be both exciting and scary. It is a great position to be in and should be all rainbows and butterflies but there is always at least some level of anxiety. If we are still able to work, should we? Continuing to work will certainly minimize the risk of the future unknown further, right?

If you are experiencing this feeling, it might be worth exploring the topic of money dysmorphia.

Do we take the leap, make a clean break from our previous paycheck, and fully embrace all that we dreamed FI will bring? I mean, we planned for this day and all will be well, right?

This is choice causes pause for many in the FI community. This lesson will define the One More Year Syndrome and provide a variety of viewpoints to help you reflect on your own circumstances and move forward to a decision that works best for us and our future.

Understanding the One More Year Syndrome

The One More Year Syndrome is a common phenomenon that affects many individuals in the workforce. It refers to the mindset of continually postponing retirement, often driven by fears of financial insecurity or a desire to accumulate more wealth.

Unfortunately, this mentality can trap individuals in a perpetual cycle of deferring their dreams and sacrificing precious time that could be spent on personal growth, pursuing passions, or enjoying the fruits of their labor.

The Destructive Effects of OMY

Embracing the One More Year Syndrome can have profound negative consequences on various aspects of your life. Let’s explore some of the most detrimental effects:

1. Diminished Quality of Life

By succumbing to OMY, you prolong the period spent in a work-centric lifestyle, potentially sacrificing your physical and mental well-being. Stress, burnout, and health issues may arise as a result of the relentless pursuit of financial security at the expense of personal fulfillment.

2. Missed Opportunities

Time is a finite resource, and every year spent in the grips of OMY represents lost opportunities. Postponing retirement can hinder your ability to explore new passions, travel, or spend quality time with loved ones. Life’s most precious moments can pass you by while you’re still chained to the demands of a job.

3. Lack of Fulfillment and Purpose

Work should be more than just a means to an end. By continuously deferring retirement, you risk depriving yourself of the chance to engage in meaningful activities aligned with your passions and values. The resulting lack of fulfillment can leave you feeling unfulfilled and dissatisfied with your life.

Overcoming the One More Year Syndrome

To break free from the One More Year Syndrome, it’s essential to cultivate a mindset that prioritizes your well-being, purpose, and personal growth. Here are some strategies to help you reclaim control of your life:

1. Define Your Values and Priorities

Take the time to reflect on your core values and what truly matters to you. Identify the activities, experiences, and relationships that bring you the most joy and fulfillment. By aligning your priorities with your values, you can create a clear roadmap towards a more purposeful life.

2. Assess Your Financial Situation

Evaluate your current financial status to gain a realistic understanding of your resources. Determine how much is enough to support your desired lifestyle and achieve a sense of financial security. This assessment will empower you to make informed decisions regarding retirement planning and potential lifestyle adjustments.

3. Challenge Limiting Beliefs

Examine the underlying beliefs that fuel your desire to perpetually postpone retirement. Address any fears or misconceptions about financial stability, and explore alternative perspectives that prioritize a balanced and fulfilling life over the accumulation of wealth.

4. Plan for the Future

Develop a retirement plan that aligns with your values and goals. Consider factors such as your desired retirement age, financial obligations, healthcare needs, and desired lifestyle. Creating a well-thought-out plan will provide clarity and help alleviate the anxieties associated with retirement.

5. Seek Professional Guidance

Consult with financial advisors, retirement planners, or career coaches who can provide valuable insights and expertise. These professionals can help you navigate the complexities of financial planning, career transitions, and lifestyle adjustments, empowering you to make informed decisions.

6. Take Action and Embrace Change

Breaking free from the One More Year Syndrome requires taking proactive steps towards a more fulfilling life. This may involve reevaluating your career, exploring alternative income sources, or gradually transitioning into retirement. Embrace change with courage and determination, knowing that each step brings you closer to a life of freedom and fulfillment.

Breaking Free from the One More Year Syndrome: Embrace Life on Your Terms

The One More Year Syndrome can hold you captive in a never-ending cycle of deferring your dreams and sacrificing precious time. By understanding its effects and implementing the strategies outlined in this guide, you can break free from its grip and embrace a life that aligns with your values, passions, and purpose.

Embrace the journey towards a more fulfilling life, and reclaim control of your time, happiness, and financial security. Remember, life is too precious to spend just “one more year” waiting for the freedom you deserve.

Additional Resources:

Take Action:

  • No matter where we are on our FI journey, despite what logic and numbers support, we are likely to give great consideration to the decision to finally begin proving our concept of FI. With this information as a basis, continue to think about how you will interpret the many factors that make up the One More Year Syndrome.


“Even if you fall on your face, you are still moving forward.” – Victor Kiam

David Baughier

My passion for helping others led to the curation Fiology. Help me spread the message of Financial Independence by clicking a colorful link above and sharing this post on your favorite social platform. Thank you!


  1. LF Tommy on November 13, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    I had a one more year moment. My long planned for early retirement was set for the Fall of 2008. But the market tumbled and so did my portfolio. On top of that unemployment soared so opportunities to move on doing something I had real interest and passion to learn and do dried up. So I waited a year until it appeared the market had hit and then started to rise above it’s bottom. My one year delay did give me more confidence in my decision to finally leave when I did in Dec 2009. I was still burdened with some doubts, especially when everyone said I was crazy to do it. BTW- Thanks for “read” mention (announcing your early retirement) in your post .

    • Fiology on November 13, 2018 at 9:42 pm


      It really does affect us all. It’s good to hear from someone who experienced it in the trying time that you did. With the new generation of FI seekers, it will be interesting to learn from the stories as we maneuver through the next downturn. And I might just might be becoming a “Leisure Freak” as you define as: Someone who is obsessed with or unusually enthusiastic about employment liberation through financial independence.

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