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Old 03-24-2010, 10:41 AM   #41
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I have to disagree with the consensus here. IMO the sooner you gain full control of your life, the better. No one who needs a paycheck is ever in full control of his/her life. I only wish I had obsessed about FIRE when I was in my 20s.

This is not the same thing as obsessing about your career, which is an illusion manufactured to convince you that you are not spending the best years of your life prostituting yourself.

It's also not the same thing as obsessing about money, which is just silly.

Obsessing about FIRE is obsessing about the freedom of your precious, fleeting human sprit. IMO more people should obsess about it, and as early as possible.
Wow, most depressing post in about 6 months on here...........
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:47 AM   #42
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Wow, most depressing post in about 6 months on here...........
I don't think so - - I agree with Onward on that one! Working only because you want to work is so very different from working because you have to work. I think the main reason I am enjoying retirement so very, very much is the feeling that I have been freed, at last.

Just knowing that I don't have to show up at the office to sit there, with little or nothing to do, when I am half dead from a bad cold or flu (or else feel guilty about using sick leave) is a wonderful, wonderful feeling.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:02 AM   #43
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Agree more with Westernskies on this one. Work wasn't that bad for me. First 30 years or so was fantastic-loved my job and developed a successful career. Feel sorry for those of you (seems like quite a few)who didn't have this experience and view their jobs as prison sentences. Sure as I got into my 50's I got a little tired of it but on balance I was a very lucky guy. ER didn't even hit my screen until I was 50. Maybe a large part of my enjoying my career was knowing I was well paid for it?
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:04 AM   #44
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I don't think so - - I agree with Onward on that one! Working only because you want to work is so very different from working because you have to work. I think the main reason I am enjoying retirement so very, very much is the feeling that I have been freed, at last.
Sounds like you worked a long time in a job you didn't enjoy?
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:11 AM   #45
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I have to disagree with the consensus here. IMO the sooner you gain full control of your life, the better. No one who needs a paycheck is ever in full control of his/her life. I only wish I had obsessed about FIRE when I was in my 20s.

This is not the same thing as obsessing about your career, which is an illusion manufactured to convince you that you are not spending the best years of your life prostituting yourself.

It's also not the same thing as obsessing about money, which is just silly.

Obsessing about FIRE is obsessing about the freedom of your precious, fleeting human sprit. IMO more people should obsess about it, and as early as possible.
Well that's a "Your Money or Your Life" kind of view which I certainly can appreciate.

My personal view though, is that your work should complement you. If it doesn't then you are doing something wrong. Besides just money, work can bring much satisfaction.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:24 AM   #46
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Besides just money, work can bring much satisfaction.
Not to mention greatly expanded dating opportunities.

Ha
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Old 03-24-2010, 03:33 PM   #47
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IMHO, financial independence isn't the journey, its the destination. I liked my job and would have stayed much longer, told my wife they would have to drag me out of there. Then 1) my great manager left and 2) spent a night in the cardiac ward. So I decided to leave, fortunately my pension, savings, cheap life style and younger son going to a state college meant I could just walk away. While I haven't looked back, I could see still working at a great job for the satisfaction of the work.
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:00 PM   #48
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There is a program for people who want to obsess about their precious fleeting human spirit as early as possible, rather than work for the man. It's called welfare.
I've never been on welfare, and I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone who didn't have true hardship.

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Wow, most depressing post in about 6 months on here.
So, do I get some kind of award?

I guess in the end it comes down to your personality. People are different. I had a great job with great pay, by almost any measure. But it was still sapping my life. And life and health are so finite.
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:39 PM   #49
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And life and health are so finite.
...truer words were never spoken.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:00 PM   #50
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I guess in the end it comes down to your personality. People are different. I had a great job with great pay, by almost any measure. But it was still sapping my life. And life and health are so finite.
I guess I've been extremely lucky as I had the personality, the ability, and the support of a loving wife who was great counsel backed me up on all my work related moves (including long distance job moves). I've loved my job several times in my career and never voluntarily moved on from one I loved, even when asked to move up the management ladder. When I've had to change jobs and ended up in a position that was wearing me down I've been able to look around and find a different one that suited me.

I never seriously considered a FIRE age until I was 40, and by that time I was fortunate that, apart from a small mortgage, I was debt free, and had taken up the options to pay into pension plans when offered.

That is really all I recommended that my kids do for now - LBYM, and save 10% of everything they make in 401(k)'s and Roth's (neither work for a company with a pension plan and both are in their 20's).
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:54 AM   #51
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It's not so easy to move on from a job you don't like. My company was bought out and the new company has a much different culture. The pension is backloaded so if you leave you get very little for the time you have worked. Pretty much forced to stay until the pension is ripe.

I would rather remain a while than have to work the rest of my life.
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:22 PM   #52
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It's not so easy to move on from a job you don't like. My company was bought out and the new company has a much different culture. The pension is backloaded so if you leave you get very little for the time you have worked. Pretty much forced to stay until the pension is ripe.

I would rather remain a while than have to work the rest of my life.
Always mitigating circumstances in any decision. I guess it depends on whether the pension is worth the mental health issue in the interim. Glad I never had to worry about that (no pension plan, just a 401K with minimal company match.)
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:56 PM   #53
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It's not so easy to move on from a job you don't like. My company was bought out and the new company has a much different culture. The pension is backloaded so if you leave you get very little for the time you have worked. Pretty much forced to stay until the pension is ripe.

I would rather remain a while than have to work the rest of my life.
I agree. As I said, I was very fortunate to be able to move. At the end I moved to another location in another state but after 4 years when it got really tough again through mergers I was again lucky to be able to do another interstate move to work out the last 2 years before being eligible for the pension and retiree health insurance. If I had been unable to move for those last 2 years I'm sure I would have stuck it out. The pension was like a set of golden handcuffs.
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Old 03-25-2010, 02:22 PM   #54
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So what I have learned is that in some cases, the pension is a "trap", that forces you to do work that's not rewarding, so you can get the carrot.........

Maybe its not that great having a pension, unless you get the cheap or free healthcare that goes along with it..........
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:43 PM   #55
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So what I have learned is that in some cases, the pension is a "trap", that forces you to do work that's not rewarding, so you can get the carrot.........

Maybe its not that great having a pension, unless you get the cheap or free healthcare that goes along with it..........
This is my personal experience in what happens to most educators. Most of the work is draining. Working with difficult people, be they children or young adults can be especially hard since you don't have set raw materials and you have to produce a high quality product with less than the high quality raw materials. And most educators are really gungho for a good 20-25 years. But somewhere between 25 and 35 they reach a point where its just not fun anymore and it just become drudgery. But they cannot leave because to do that would throw away a pension that they have worked very hard to get.

I know a number right now who should retire, but cannot do so for another 3-5 years.

And the pressures on all districts by No Child Left Behind make it much worse. I'm sorry to say, but 60 years of educational research cannot be abolished by legislative fiat. 100% of children everywhere will not be able to score proficient on reading and math tests. Its a fairly hard but doable goal to get 84-90 of children to score proficient but 100% is not attainable except by unusual circumstances. I recently heard of a school district in PA that was given state permission to abolish their art and music and physed curriculums to make the kids have more classes in reading and math to make higher scores on the tests. How many of you owuld have like to got to school where you had no music, art or physed and just spent your whole day on reading and math?

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Old 03-26-2010, 06:54 PM   #56
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How many of you owuld have like to got to school where you had no music, art or physed and just spent your whole day on reading and math?
I wouldn't have cared in the least if my schools had dumped PE, art and music. What is worse about NCLB is that it causes schools to concentrate very hard on the lowest performing students while average and above students are neglected. "Sorry, no time to teach literature, we're busy making sure the last three kids can write a paragraph using complete sentences."
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:28 AM   #57
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Wowza, what a thread. If you hate your job but you choose to stick it out due to pension, health care, lack of better options or whatever, how can you complain? Ultimately no one CAN stop you from changing your circumstances but yourself.

Only a small percentage of people love their work, most are on the continuum between 'it's not so bad' to 'I hate it.' If I was in the latter camp, I would move or at least not complain to anyone else about it. 'It's not so bad' is as good as it gets for most people, and it's a choice we all make for ourselves.

And then comes the decision between 'enough FI' and 'it's not so bad, isn't good enough anymore' - which is why most of us are here.

PS: Referring to all work as "prostituting yourself" is absurd.
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:52 AM   #58
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Only a small percentage of people love their work, most are on the continuum between 'it's not so bad' to 'I hate it.' If I was in the latter camp, I would move or at least not complain to anyone else about it. 'It's not so bad' is as good as it gets for most people.....
I think for most teachers, they start out loving their work. In fact I don't know any teacher who has less than 20 years in who doesn't loved their work. Its just that working with older children "CAN" become a drag after about 25 years. I've never seen that situation with anyone (in almost 40 years in the field) who works with kids under the age of 8. This group is just truly youth rendering for adults and no matter what their issue, they add life to your life.

However, with NCLB's truly impossible targets, and the school districts eating everything that is joyful out of the curriculum(such as removing art, music, phys.ed.---subjects that many kids live for in the curriculum) in an attempt to reach these targets, I've seen lots of younger teachers dragging who would never have been dragging at their age. Additionally, many districts have implemented a kind of research based lesson developement called "Learning Focus" . This is actually a wonderful way to implement research based strategies to implementing more effective learning. The problem is that most management doesn't know when to stop. Since management doesn't actually have to make the lesson plans using Learning Focus, they don't know how incredibly labor intensive it is: for every 45 minutes of actual lesson, it takes about 90 minutes of actual planning using this method. And many districts have mandated it for every lesson, and evaluated staff on the manifestation of every tiny detail in the LF process, something that the original developers NEVER ENVISIONED, AND NEVER WANTED TO HAPPEN. Teachers can be docked for not having one tiny element of the process, which might not even be appropriate for the lesson given. Many places have taken a wonderful thing and turned it into a nightmare.

You may wonder why in our age of law suits that the school districts don't sue against the NCLB laws. They can. But its written into the law that any district that starts litigation against it will, until the litigation is resolved, lose all federal funds. No district can survive without federal funds because of the NCLB targets and because of the laws regarding special education. So there are no law suits against the law anywhere.

It becomes a horrible damned if you do, and damned if you don't.

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Old 03-27-2010, 08:59 AM   #59
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Not to discount your description of what it's like to be a teacher, but you do realize that pretty much every line of work has new challenges over the course of a career? I could provide a litany of issues I've dealt with in my line of work, but I wouldn't want to hear it myself.

Most people are confronted with lots of layoffs, less money to work with, foreign competition/cheap labor, more uncertainty, lower pay and/or more hours, less benefits (relatively unlike teachers?), entitlement minded workers (sort of like kids) and I could go on and on. It's tough on most everyone, not just teachers.

You mention dealing with kids can become a drag - I assume teachers enter into the profession knowing they will deal with kids for the length of their careers. If any of us don't like our lot in life, no one CAN stop us from changing our own lives but ourselves.
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:06 AM   #60
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Not to discount your description of what it's like to be a teacher, but you do realize that pretty much every line of work has new challenges over the course of a career? I could provide a litany of issues I've dealt with in my line of work, but I wouldn't want to hear it myself.

Most people are confronted with lots of layoffs, less money to work with, foreign competition/cheap labor, more uncertainty, lower pay and/or more hours, less benefits (relatively unlike teachers?), entitlement minded workers (sort of like kids) and I could go on and on. It's tough on most everyone, not just teachers. If any of us don't like our lot in life, no one CAN stop us from changing our own lives but ourselves.

Oh..... most certainly. I wasn't describing the stresses of teaching as being anything special to just them. I do believe that teaching until recently was one of the exceptions in regards to NOT seeing the job as a joy for most of the participants. I think that a much higher percentage of the people who were or are teachers loved to go to work every day. And I think that that percentage in recent years due mostly to NCLB, has dropped down to be more in line with the general work population. And for those with at least 15 years in, the teacher is less likely to leave to find more fulfilling work because of the pension, and because of the belief that if something so wonderful as teaching could "sour" like this, how could anything else be any better.

However, I was describing a set of circumstances produced by federal laws which has for many eliminated the concept of teaching as a "calling", that many in the general public have as a view of teaching.

I would certainly like to know other occupations which because of developments in laws or other circumstances have in recent years gone from pretty much joy to pretty much drudgery.
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