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Old 02-19-2014, 12:20 AM   #41
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I would not have changed much. I was good in math, and was encouraged by my parents and several other influential adults to go into the computer field (before it "officially' evolved to Information Technology) when it was still relatively new in the late 70's. Being in that field is why I am FI and can consider RE. Perhaps I should have gone back to school to get an MBA and increased my marketability. But that was in the days of double digit raises and frequent bonuses from Megacorp, and I didn't want to miss out on that fun.

FIREd date: June 26, 2018 - wwwwwwhat a rush!
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:52 AM   #42
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Find a trade or craft you like doing. Become a master at it. Start your own business. Not everyone should necessarily follow the college blueprint for success.

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Old 02-19-2014, 05:10 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Socal Tom View Post
It depends on the kid. If he is motivated and ready for college, then send him. If he's not sure, then have him work or volunteer for the year, maybe through in some travel to 3rd world. As a Manager, I found many smart graduates that thought that after college, they should be promoted to CEO after they had been working for a year, so getting the understanding the call it work for a reason, and that manual labor can get old fast is something that might help keep him motivated for college.
This is the reason why we insist on our guys going to a school that does internships and coops well. Eldest got a real eyeful about what it was to work a 40 hour week this past summer, paying for gas, tolls, and insurance on the car he borrowed from MIL. Since he went in to college at a pretty young age, we have encouraged him to take as many paid quality internships as he can. This will set him up well for seed money when he graduates and needs that apartment, the car, as well as have a 18-24 months of real work experience that demonstrates his ability to function as an adult even at his young age. It will also confirm whether or not he likes the work or not, giving him the chance to change his major before it is too late.

Often, one of the companies you have worked for will offer a job after graduation. Even if you don't want that job, the confidence you have at other interviews, knowing that you have a fall back position, is huge. For us, coop/internship school is a must, and most schools do it to varying degrees. Some are much better than others at helping the kids get the position.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:09 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
So, for my money, if you're 18, you can't go far wrong serving our country.
We know a young lady, we consider her a niece although she's not directly related, who has had a very rough time growing up. Put herself through community college working in a pizza shop. I was just thrilled for her when she enlisted in the U.S. Navy. That will open a lot of doors for her.
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:20 AM   #45
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I'd do exactly what I did........turned a newspaper boy job into a job at the hard, get promoted selling advertising to small retailers.....saw which one made money that I would like to do .......started a business......worked hard made money......FI today. Today with an 18 year old? I'd ask them to think about the 3 jobs or businesses they would like best, choose the one that pays the most.....go for it and if I were the parents or grandparents I'd support them as best I can. Goal should be happy in career, not like the folks who feel the HAVE to retire because they hate their job.....even if you make a ton of money but you hate each day, I call that the golden handcuffs. Good luck to your grandson.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:00 AM   #46
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I would think, if someone had the aptitude, that a job in the medical profession might be a good way to go. I usually chat with the various technicians at the MD's office and most of them like their jobs. There seems to be decent-to-good money. But, the ones who seem to really do well are the x-ray technicians who advance to doing CAT scans and MRIs. They tell me the are very well paid and the job is not really that demanding (once they master the equipment). And, the docs (or the imaging center) will pay for any additional training that is needed.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:35 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Rustic23 View Post
However, looking at the need for airline pilots currently and in the next five to ten years, I would try to fly.
you got me curious.
As they bumped bumped requirements from 250 hours to 1500 hours you are advocating a pilot job?
It takes longer to get to a good salary as a pilot than MD finishing his degree, residency and fellowship.
I was under the impression we have a lot of pilots. Just not a lot of them want to be stuck for 10 years earning 20k per year.
They are really earning piddly squat when flying commercial or cargo, later getting a small salary bump when moving up to regionals and subsidiaries and finally emerging from pupa stage when joining a major airline.

with about 500 TT, who at one time was considering getting a commercial ticket and an IFR rating as one of his "plan B" (plan F maybe?)
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:20 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Marita40 View Post
Easy. I'd also choose a liberal arts degree at a small college--just what I did. I have not regretted my literature degree one bit; in fact, it has enormously enhanced my life. Of course I did go on to get a Ph.D. in it and have had a very satisfying career as a university professor.

I would tell young people (and I do tell young people) to follow the direction their heart is pointing. The hardest advising cases I have are young people with no real interests or drive. ..
+1 Though I attended large universities and stopped at the M.A.(My choice wasn't popular with peers who wanted to make more money, etc.; but the degree provided a "tool box" for grappling with so many of the $10,000 questions about life: "What does it mean to be human?" "If I should help humanity........why? And how will I do that?" "How can one help facilitate a moral compass in the next generation?")

I chose the field from my "gut," what I really wanted to learn about. Literary studies led to 34 years of helping young people question their own values and those to which they might aspire.

It was a great way to spend one's days.

"Everything becomes more itself." --C.S. Lewis
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:10 AM   #49
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This is tough. I've been pretty happy how my life has turned out with the exception of always having found it difficult to make friends and develop a social life. So I could see myself telling the 18 year me "Go out and make friends" but since I still don't really have the ability to tell the 18 year old me HOW to do that, I don't think that it would do much good.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:39 AM   #50
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My view hasn't changed since the last time I was asked that question Advice you'd give your 25 year old self

Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
My one piece of advice to my younger self (or my children) would be - Don't forget to keep balance in life.
Most of us are here because we had lots of good fortune and made some decent choices. It's too easy to look back, knowing where the paths lead, and choose again. My younger self already had lots of people giving advice and telling him what to do. The only other thing I would tell him would be to continue to believe in himself.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:52 AM   #51
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I would have majored in Computer Science instead of Industrial Engineering and be writing apps or Video games instead of dealing with the corporate BS that I have to now for another 4 months. If I was 18 in clue. Just the same as most 18 year olds. As someone said previously: Follow your passion. If you have not found it yet, find a career that will support your lifestyle be it working hours or the big paycheck. #1 - Get a brokerage account and put at least 10% away now for retirement our of each paycheck
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:03 PM   #52
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What would I tell my 18 year old self (that would be in 1985)?

1. From a life enjoyment perspective...I'd tell myself NOT to live at home during college. My Dad died a couple years before that, and my Mom wasn't ready to live on her own. She made me a deal that she'd pay for my college if I went to the local university in town and lived at home to help her out.

In retrospect, I totally missed out on the college experience. Looking back, I'd tell myself to tell her I'd agree to go to the local university and be in town close to her to help her out, but I would NOT live at home. Even if it meant holding down a second part-time job, or sharing an apartment with a couple other people. I believe college is a time to get away from the parents and start your own life, and I missed out on that. I feel so strongly about that, that if I had kids, I would forbid them from living at home during college, or even going to school in the same town. I'd want them to go off and start their own life and start experiencing things on their own. I would even encourage them to go to school in another country in order to broaden their horizons beyond just the US.

2. From a career perspective...I'd tell myself to work a 9-to-5 job, in a cube, in an office, working for somebody else, for no more than three years or so. See how the "real world" works, and how you're working for other people making them money. You're "earning" money but not "creating" wealth. After those three years, get the hell out and form your own business with a couple partners you trust. It could be consulting, contracting, real estate, whatever. But find something you can do yourself or with a couple others (I work better as part of a small team with others to bounce ideas around with), own your own business, be the best at it, and grow it. Don't sit in a cube for 25 years working for other people (a lesson I learned too late in life).

3. From a financial perspective...invest a few thousand dollars in Apple stock each year and let it ride.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:24 PM   #53
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I would have advised my 18-year-old self to apply to my university's (NYU) business school instead of the arts and science school. While I eventually transferred to the business school in my second year, I would have saved myself a lot of grief in my freshman year. And I would have told my 18-year-old self to major in Economics while taking courses in Computer Science instead of vice versa, saving me some more grief. I did not like the direction the comp sci major took so I switched to Econ in my junior year.

I would tell my 18-year-old self to not take that awful summer job in a kitchen but would tell him to make sure to take those day camp counselor jobs because they helped steer me in the childfree direction, a key step toward my ERing at 45.
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:35 PM   #54
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I have not kept up with the current trends/salary. However, I really don't think there is that much difference in salaries now and when I retired from the AF. 1987. If you were a new bean with a brand new commercial license and minimum time, you could get on with a regional and the pay was about $12,000 a year. However, you only had to have a HS degree, and in about two to three years you would have the time to transition up the latter.

Between instructing and flying for a regional carrier, I don't think 1,500 hours would take you eight years, 4 years of college, plus med school etc to move up the chain. So yes. I recommend it. You will have to pay the piper in the early stage, but once you arrive, average salary $120,000 and you only fly about 80 hours a month.

Note: FAA limits pilots to 1,000 hrs per 365 day period or about 83 hours a month. There are situations they could fly more per month but they may not exceed the 1,000 per year number. This is for commercial airline pilots. source: Duty Limitations of an FAA Pilot |
If it is after 5:00 when I post I reserve the right to disavow anything I posted.
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Old 02-19-2014, 03:06 PM   #55
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I always wanted to be a home builder. I could have taken that in highschool. New homes are being built where I live, and I'm there daily watching them build.

Then after 10 more years, somewhat mature, a Lib Arts degree as a few here stated. Along with travelling the world during semester breaks.

In real life I learned appliance repair, and years later I got a degree in Political Science. What excited me about PolySci was that it was the same as fixing a washer, just more cerebral.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:00 PM   #56
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It's nice to see so many people happy with the choices they made!

Education-wise, I wouldn't change a thing. CPAs can pretty much always find a self-supporting job, and while the work isn't what I dreamed about doing when I was younger, I'm able to live a great life, sock enough away to retire early, and still have time for hobbies and interests.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:09 PM   #57
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I would become a lawyer and get a business degree. I would then become a white collar criminal on Wall St.

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