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View Poll Results: Unemployment history prior to retiring:
I had an unbroken employment record - never went without a paycheck. 94 63.09%
I had some period(s) of unemployment - total of 6 months or less. 29 19.46%
My time of unemployment totaled between 6 months and a year. 10 6.71%
My total time of unemployment was more than a year. 16 10.74%
Voters: 149. You may not vote on this poll

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Poll: What was your employment track record?
Old 05-01-2014, 07:22 AM   #1
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Poll: What was your employment track record?

This comment by donheff on another thread...
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
... I was lucky to never be without a paycheck from when I started my first job out of college to when I retired 34 years later.
...has me curious.

For those of you who are at or very near (within a year or two) of retiring, did you encounter any periods of unemployment along the path?

Note that drawing unemployment compensation does not qualify as "no paycheck"...

Numbers is hard.

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension

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Old 05-01-2014, 07:28 AM   #2
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When I switched from a paycheck to consulting, I was out of pay for 10 weeks. A couple of other times between gigs but never as long.

For the fun of it...Keith
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:40 AM   #3
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I hit a dry spell in grad school when they pulled a TA job after the school year began. The US was in recession and I couldn't find work anywhere, it was the first and only time in my life I wanted to work but couldn't find a job. We were recently married and it led to me leaving school and moving to Venezuela, where I did find a good job.
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:50 AM   #4
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Started work at age 13 and worked continuously until last year at age 55.

Enough already!
Wherever you go, there you are.
(In other words, no whining!)
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:55 AM   #5
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Between me and my wife, neither of us have had periods of unemployment interrupting our working careers. From 15 or so till into our 30's, constant employment, except while law school classes were in session.

Unless you count my final job that ended with me being unemployed (and on the dole for the penurious 20 week max). I just called it "retirement" (after diligently pursuing employment opportunities pursuant to state unemployment law eligibility requirements of course).

"Retired" just sounds way better than jobless or unemployed for a gentleman of small but independent means like myself.
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (4, 10, and 11).
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:57 AM   #6
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I did take a leave of absence from my job for a year when my youngest was born. Actually, I worked 1 day per week in that year to keep my foot in the door.
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Old 05-01-2014, 07:57 AM   #7
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I was unemployed for less than 6 months in 1983 when I was building our first house
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:00 AM   #8
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As one of a startup's founders, I worked for free for about 2 years in an effort to keep it afloat, and junior employees' salary paid.

Couldn't answer the poll as none of the choices applied. I was (self)-employed, just not gainfully.

PS. It could have been as long as 3 years. That period of time is a blur in memory now. Too painful. Too long ago.
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leo Tolstoy
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:03 AM   #9
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My only unemployment was a few weeks here and there during college. Otherwise I had worked pretty much continuously from 15 until retirement at 43.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:07 AM   #10
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If I interpret grad school TA and RA positions and a year and a half of substitute teaching as work then I have an unbroken record since college graduation in 1981. SS records don't reflect the grad school years, however.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:10 AM   #11
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Worked from 12 until End of year 2013, when I was laid off -> into retirement @ 55. 43 years with all kind of jobs never unemployed. Maybe that is why I sometimes feel I need to be going to w@!k instead of enjoying life.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:32 AM   #12
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When my Father passed away I was unemployed for 3 months.
"Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Pogo Possum (Walt Kelly)
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:35 AM   #13
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I worked for forty years in nursing with the only downtime being six months each for the birth of my children.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:41 AM   #14
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Got laid off from my engineering job in the nuclear industry in 1993. Didn't find another job for 16 months. It can be hard to cross over from one industry to another (building engineering). Took an $18k pay cut, although since I was only getting unemployment maybe that was an infinite pay raise.

DW and I always budgeted so we could live on only one of our paychecks, so we didn't do without. That's what also makes FIRE an achievable goal. She RE'd a few years ago, and I plan to next year, hopefully.
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:59 AM   #15
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Paycheck? Between the Navy and a few different jobs I earned enough credits for social security and medicare - but just barely.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:36 AM   #16
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Worked without a break since I got my first busboy job way back when. Got laid off once on a Friday when a business closed, worked construction that weekend for cash (thinking that I'd need it), then got a call from the new owner on that Sunday and was back at work Monday morning. That one time I thought I would get a few days off turned out to be a false alarm...
“If you don't do it this year, you will be one year older when you do.” - Warren Miller
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:49 AM   #17
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I found this poll a little hard to answer because it seems that most are regarding 'period of unemployment' as losing a job, taking off for some extraordinary life event (e.g., birth or death), or not being able to find a job. I'm not sure if "voluntary unemployment" counts, but I have a lot of that -- many years in various graduate schooling where grants paid the way so I only worked summers, and a few different 1+ year periods where I voluntarily took time off/a sabbatical for complete fun international traveling. When I add it all up, I'm in fact a little embarrassed that there were so few paycheck years before my semi-ER last year (maybe 23-26 in total out of 40 years since I was 18, depending on how you count). And 4.5 of those were in Peace Corps and VISTA, with next to no salary to speak of!
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:57 AM   #18
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Had total of 8 jobs after engineering degrees. One unexpected period of unemployment for about 6 months. Most of my time was spent in two local government roles.

Maybe it's germane to this thread or not. I worked with a lot of engineers in local government who enjoyed long term civil service or similar type secure positions. It always seemed to me they could have benefited from a period of unemployment. My positions were at risk, theirs not really. It just seemed that my perspective was that they really failed to appreciate what they had. Good employees, most, just lacked that ability to roll with a punch and instead were quick with a complaint. YMMV, only my opinion.
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Old 05-01-2014, 09:57 AM   #19
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I stayed home with my daughter until she was a toddler, because we both felt that was important for our family. We couldn't really afford it, though! We were really really poor during those days. So, I did various things like computer work on our TRS-80 at home, or like caring for friends' babies at my home to earn a little bit but had no regular paycheck for a while. Honestly, I never worked harder in my life and we were STILL poor. It was such a relief to get back to work where I could relax.
"You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - - - C. Columbus
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:18 AM   #20
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After college I had two jobs. One last 10 yrs and the other lasted 31 yrs. Never been out of a job until I retired 5 yrs ago.

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