Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Any blue collar workers here?
Old 09-02-2016, 05:06 AM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: warren
Posts: 163
Any blue collar workers here?

From reading the posts for a while now it seems (obviously) that most people are pretty well off and ex professionals who made some really good money back in the day.
Any blue collar workers here? I was a route driver for most of my life, never made over $45k a year, same for my wife. We managed to save a considerable amount for our income level, about $800k and wondering if there's others on this site like us.
We have no medical benefits in retirement so that has us cautious about early retirement.
__________________

__________________
garyt is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-02-2016, 05:18 AM   #2
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,440
I worked a variety of jobs over the years, including a stint as a warehouse manager.

My DH was a copier repair guy for decades before moving into IT, but still carrying a toolkit until quitting a few years ago. Now he's a sort-of part time handyman who does computer work sometimes.

He has an associates degree and I didn't get my bachelor's until I was 40. Our incomes bounced around a good bit, but certainly were never stratospheric.

I'd say that savings/spending habits contributed way more to our nest egg than high income ever did.
__________________

__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 06:27 AM   #3
Recycles dryer sheets
cooch96's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Lakewood
Posts: 413
There was a pizza delivery guy who hasn't posted since I first started lurking. Must've been 4+ years ago. Pretty rare company.
But come to think of it, there is no way DM would consider driving around in a car delivering junk food as "blue-color, salt of the earth, honest work," so maybe he doesn't count. Pretty rare company indeed.
__________________
Why be normal when you can be yourself?
cooch96 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 07:19 AM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,944
I worked nothing but blue collar until I quit full time work at age 31. Since then i've been self employed in a non office environment but not hard labor either. Not sure what you would classify me as now but i've never been white collar and never reached $50K in any year and never will. Average income from age 19-37 is around $30-35K/yr but average expenses are well under $20K/yr so it's all good.
__________________
aaronc879 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 07:34 AM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Nemo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Belleville, ONT
Posts: 4,170
Been there, done that.....worked as a laborer on a dam in NW Australia, drove truck in Melbourne, skinned kangaroos (only for half a day) for pet food outside Adelaide, loaded freight cars at night when I returned to school in Toronto, also, (while going to school), worked as a hotel detective.......to (mis)quote the Duke "A man's gotta do......"
__________________
"Exit, pursued by a bear."

The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare
Nemo2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 07:43 AM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 270
DH and I definitely blue collar, but LBYM has been our key for financial planning. We always put money into savings every pay day.
__________________
Give me a fish, I will eat for a day. Teach me to fish, I will eat for a lifetime.
pacergal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 07:55 AM   #7
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Superior
Posts: 1
I am!!! I have been following this forum for many months now. This is my first time posting. I am a 41 y/o server, chiropractic assistant, and landlord. My DH (also landlord)was a restaurant manager, followed by a sales rep/route driver, and finally became self employed when he got tired of making other people look good and stomping out fires. He started doing property maintenance and repair about 5 years ago and has a steady clientele of senior citizens, other landlords, and realtors. During the first couple years of growing his business, I was the main breadwinner. Supporting a family of five, working two serving jobs. We did have our rental properties that helped a little but we're only netting about $8000/yr from those. We bought our first 3 houses CFD from my grandparents about 20 years ago. Those three we paid off 5 years ago. Over the past 15 years we have purchased another four rental properties. We have very little turnover as we keep our rent a little under market, but we don't profit as much as we should. We earn about $70,000 total between the two of us and have a net worth of $631,000. $178,000 from IRA's the rest is real estate. I am trying to come up with an exit plan for my part time chiropractic assistant job. I only bring in $13 an hour and feel I am worth more than that. I need to figure out how I will replace the $1100 a month that I take home from that job. I don't want to go full time serving. I like that job and it pays well, but I don't think I would like it as much if I was there full time. My goal is to be FI in 9 years. Cutting down to one part time job in 6. (Another 3 houses will be paid off then). In any case, you are not the only blue collar following this forum!
__________________
GenXr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 09:50 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,533
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
I have three buddies that are not U grads. One was a "dialing for dollars" fund raiser for mining companies until he retired. Another fell into installing foam insulation in boats. A third developed an electrical company and eventually sold it for $41 million.

None of them participate here. They seem to share an aversion for using the internet. They all use email but sparingly.
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 09:54 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
38Chevy454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 1,531
Nothing wrong with pride of work and that work being blue collar type. Since graduating college as an engr I have been white collar, and have spent may years on the mfg shop floor. Wearing steel toe boots, eye and sometimes ear protection. Built many friendships with the shop workers in the production area or the facility repair/maintenance guys. In many ways I prefer being out in the production area than sitting behind a desk or worse, stuck in mtgs.

I worked my way through college, mostly in auto parts stores, I call it my J-O-B scholarship. Around 25 hours/week while going to school. Not the easiest way, but graduated without any real debt and then able to start on my way towards FIRE.

I have a lot of respect for those that are working blue collar type jobs and able to save and have a nice retirement waiting for them. Yes, it is harder to save with less income. But the principles of PBYM always apply.
__________________
After Monday & Tuesday even the calendar says, W-T-F...

Semi-Retired 7/1/16: working part-time (60%) for now [4/24/16 changed to 80%]
Retired Aug 2, 2017; age 53
38Chevy454 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 10:19 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,156
Amazing stories! My hat is off to all of you.
__________________
JOHNNIE36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 11:05 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
2017ish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,803
Quote:
Originally Posted by garyt View Post
...
Any blue collar workers here?...
We have no medical benefits in retirement so that has us cautious about early retirement.
My whole family is blue collar, but my working summers from 13-22 doesn't really count--nor does the construction work I did while raising kids, as it was all on our own houses. Do you have pensions from your jobs? (One of my cousins retired at 50 with a relatively well funded carpenters union pension and low expenses, and my brother-in-law is in a similar position soon.)

I am in awe that you have yourself in a position to have 800K put aside for E.R. with your income history. Even if 90K combined income was every year (unlikely as all get out!), you had to be diligent LBYM/Saver throughout.

As for medical insurance, join the club. I think that is the biggest concern for all of us who lack employer-provided benefits, but you don't have as much wiggle room as some of us. Depending upon how your 800K is allocated between tax deferred and not, you could well benefit from ACA subsidies (I'm assuming US citizen/resident)--but the out-of-pockets are daunting, and it is a black hole for forecasting. [A thought--how does your current health coverage compare with ACA exchange policies?]
__________________
OMY * 3 2ish Done 7.28.17
2017ish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 11:09 AM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Historic Florida
Posts: 1,504
Up until I got my masters I was, like most folk start. I did still wear Blue Collars after that though, except for funerals and weddings.
__________________
"Arguing with an Engineer is like rolling in the mud with a pig. Just remember that the pig likes it."
ShokWaveRider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 11:12 AM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
gauss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,667
One of the main tenants of the "Millionaire Next Door" series of books by the late Thomas J. Stanley is that it is relatively easier to achieve FI by living a "blue collar lifestyle" as opposed to buying into the high consumption lifestyle I am referring to such things as neighborhood you live in, friends you associate with, etc. etc. Too much social/peer pressure to spend $ in the high consumption neighborhoods.

One of the reasons that I purchased my house in my current neighborhood (also in SE Michigan) is that it is a very nice area built in the 1950s that was originally blue collar. Many electricians, technicians, warehouse people etc. I was able to learn many things from these folks.

Welcome

-gauss

p.s. I believe the book in the series that really drills down into this concept is "Stop Acting Rich.. And Start Living Like a Real Millionaire"
__________________
gauss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 12:48 PM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
Milkman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Longmont, CO
Posts: 66
Interesting thread. My father who was a product of the depression, spent his whole career as a cash register mechanic. When he retired in 1978, he had never made more than $21,000 a year. Within a year of purchase, every house he bought he owned them free and clear. He also paid cash for every car he owned and kept them for 7 to 8 years. His initial stake in investing came by winning $500 in a dice game on the troopship returning from Europe in WWII. He considered that he was lucky to make it off the ship alive with that much money hidden in his socks. After retirement he and my step mom lived off of a small pension and Social Security, probably $1,600 per month. I think the depression made him obsessively frugal. When he died in 2004 his portfolio was over $800,000.

I was extremely blessed to have him as a role model!

Milkman
__________________
Milkman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 03:11 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,913
Light blue collar in my "career".
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 03:43 PM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,425
Enjoyed college a year or so, went floating on boats with free lodging and food for almost 4 years, worked for a rental company and then Mountain Bell a few years, then spent 4 years in a very fine liberal arts college. Worked for a mushroom farm as a grower, mis-spent a year or so in law school, then diddled around as a foreign car mechanic for a while. According to the SSA website I reached my peak earned income in 1988, pulling down $14,479. Somewhere in there I hooked up with a girl who believed in loyalty and hard work for its own sake, not for wages.

We both liked real estate and started buying the dumps we could afford, adding plenty of work and any bucks we could spare. The SSA says I haven't had any earned income since 1991. Took social security at 62, $313.20 lands in my bank account every month and $243.60 goes to Medicare part B. I am tickled to be getting anything from social security, but at this point it is a tiny tiny tiny portion of our monthly income - Medicare is great though! Rental real estate and its unearned income has been very very good to us.
__________________
calmloki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 04:05 PM   #17
Moderator
Ronstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Somewhere between Chicago and Phoenix
Posts: 8,998
I worked outside as a land surveyor and as a draftsman for several years, finished college while working, bought a partnership in the company and then helped run the business for 20+ years.


Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” — Matsuo Basho
Ronstar is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 04:20 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by garyt View Post
From reading the posts for a while now it seems (obviously) that most people are pretty well off and ex professionals who made some really good money back in the day.

It may seem that way, but as you can see there are quite a few who did it the hard way. Being "pretty well off" in retirement doesn't necessarily mean you made a lot while working. It just means you planned well and executed your plan properly.


Sent from my iPad using Early Retirement Forum
__________________
Pas de lieu Rhône que nous.
braumeister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 04:20 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,372
My first 10 year career was the lumber industry. We learned from the ground up. Bought, cut and delivered logs while building our own ~1930 model sawmill. Finally got it running used it to saw the lumber for the elevated floor of the mill! Tough life and we didn't make any money. Moved to work in a real mill as a NHLA inspector. I woke up at 26 went to night school and got an entry-level programming job. Twenty nine years later I retired. Never really attended a college.

I learned a lot in my blue collar life. Met some interesting people too! Few of those guys I still know today.
__________________
MRG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2016, 04:27 PM   #20
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,196
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooch96 View Post
There was a pizza delivery guy who hasn't posted since I first started lurking. Must've been 4+ years ago. Pretty rare company.
We haven't seen him for quite a while but here's the thread on the pizza delivery guy. Very impressive self-discipline! No doubt in my mind that absent serious injury or illness he'll be just fine.

Pizza delivery driver aiming at FIRE in a few more years
__________________

__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Mulligan Health and Early Retirement 4 07-06-2012 05:03 AM
Retire in Michigan... Blue Cross and Blue Shield TallCotton Health and Early Retirement 5 02-10-2007 07:33 AM
Protect your Nestegg with a 'Retirement Collar' intercst FIRE and Money 8 08-21-2005 10:19 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:51 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.