As a 40 year old developer, I like Gary’s example of where I could be in 15 years. I’ve resisted management jobs for years so I can keep doing what I love: developing and continuously learning.
Once you get into management the money gets better, the perks get better, but job satisfaction gets worse and worse.
Do you like being in the zone? Then keep on doing what gets you in there!
It just does not have to be while doing it for someone else’s business!