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Dark Side of Early Retirement
Old 06-27-2011, 06:24 AM   #1
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Dark Side of Early Retirement

Not sure if I agree with everything but I am almost certain that most ER people find "Havenít found the right job" is the key for their decision?? Your thought



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Old 06-27-2011, 06:34 AM   #2
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From the comments:

"I’ve studied early retirement a lot. You’ve said some pretty darn smart things here, Sam."
- Rob Bennett (AKA hocu*)...

Well - if Rob says it's a good article, it must be ...
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:51 AM   #3
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The article is targeted to extreme ERers - 30s to mid 40s. I think you really do need to know yourself if you are going to ER while your peers are still getting started at careers and family. While there are more than a few here, they are still a small minority. Most of the ERers posting here work a full 30+ and pull the plug in their 50s and even 60s. The concerns about fulfillment, lack of productivity, desire to get back to work don't apply to many of them. Money is always an issue -- but that isn't news.
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:53 AM   #4
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Ooooh, my favorite:
EARLY RETIREMENT IS SELFISH
As I strive to fulfill my goal of retiring by 45, I’ve come to the realization there’s an unhealthy focus on self. “What do I need to amass to be comfortable?” should be replaced with “How much do I need to be comfortable while helping others?
It’s absolutely selfish for me to even consider working less than the number of years I went to school. I think back upon my childhood years and how much effort my parents put into raising me. My mother would spend hours a week sitting down with me after dinner to explain mathematical equations. My father would read all my essays and fix all the punctuations and grammatical mistakes. I would feel like a disgrace not to at least try and do great things.


Please! Maybe some of us are just a wee bit less ego driven.
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:10 AM   #5
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Looks like a devil's advocate article written specifically to generate traffic and the resulting ad revenue. Hard to take it seriously.

A lot of blogs make that jump at some point. It's too bad.
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:12 AM   #6
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Very unconvincing. It read very much like an argument that retirement is idleness and because idleness is bad you shouldn't do it. I'll defer to those with actual experience of retiring (unlike both myself and the author), but I would assume that retirement does not equate to letting yourself rot in front of the TV.

If retiring is selfish:

1. So what? It's my life and so long as I obey the law and can pay for it I can do what I want with it. I see no virtue in working when I no longer need the money

2. If retiring is selfish, then so is saving (by not spending you are placing your own interests ahead of the economy as a whole), working (depriving someone else of a job, not being home to raise the children etc) and most other forms of human activity.

Quite frankly, I disagree with just about all of it.
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:30 AM   #7
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Dumb article. The part I disliked the most was this from the list of items:

4) You may find it difficult to start your own family. Unless you have a tremendous amount of money, raising a child may be too expensive an endeavor to undertake as early retirees. If you never wanted to start a family, chances are you haven’t been saving for a family. Let’s say you’re a woman who turns 35 and suddenly realizes the safety window for having a baby is closing rapidly. It may be tough to even get pregnant, let alone support a new born without the right support network."

Implied in this (my underlined black text) is the common "What if you change your mind?" bingo insult directed to the childfree. Furthermore, someone who is childfree (like me) is more likely to be saving for an ER simply because a childfree person has more money to save for an ER.

After 16 years of full-time work and 7 more years of part-time work, I finally had enough of the commute and retired in 2008 at age 45. I miss nothing about working, NOTHING. My part-time years had split my life into two parts - the 2-3 lousy days of work and the 4-5 pleasant days of calm. I wanted a 0-7 split and got it. With my added free time I have been able to expand on my volunteer work, much of which is midday weekdays so it became easier to schedule with out the nuisance of work interfering all the time! Hardly selfish.
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:38 AM   #8
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1) Havenít found the right job. The number one reason why people want to retire early is because people havenít found a job that gives them enough fulfillment to do for the rest of their lives. Nobody quits a job they like. If there was a job paying $80,000 a year to hike in the mornings and get massages in the afternoon, Iíd do that forever
It seems that the author's idea of a fullfilling job is described in the last sentence.
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
Ooooh, my favorite:
EARLY RETIREMENT IS SELFISH
As I strive to fulfill my goal of retiring by 45, Iíve come to the realization thereís an unhealthy focus on self. ďWhat do I need to amass to be comfortable?Ē should be replaced with ďHow much do I need to be comfortable while helping others?Ē
Itís absolutely selfish for me to even consider working less than the number of years I went to school. I think back upon my childhood years and how much effort my parents put into raising me. My mother would spend hours a week sitting down with me after dinner to explain mathematical equations. My father would read all my essays and fix all the punctuations and grammatical mistakes. I would feel like a disgrace not to at least try and do great things.


Please! Maybe some of us are just a wee bit less ego driven.
Well put Sarah, but I would say you have accomplished great things if you are able to retire by age 45. Then, after you retire, you can continue to do great things by giving back to society in general. If that makes you feel more successful, your parents would certainly look happily at your accomplishments.
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:55 AM   #10
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Oh, just to clarify, Johnny, the bolded section was taken from the article.

My parents did none of those things but did demonstrate a lot of what not to do with money, which was as educational in its own way, as the cut/paste from the article.
And I'm okay with being selfish, as I've also been called that for my decision to be childfree.

I just love (not) the idea you owe the world or whoever for all the years you put into school. Maybe because I finished my undergrad very late (last year to be precise) I have no obligation to work x number of years just because.

And although I wish I had 45 as a goal, I'm probably more like 50, since I'm already 40.

But thanks!
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:59 AM   #11
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Early retirees sometimes like to pity those who have to work. Yet perhaps we should empathize with those who are lost and havenít found something they truly love to do (point #1). Itís impossible to all be great humanitarians working tirelessly until the age of 65. Itís easier just to give up and tell the world how fabulous your life is, and how youíve retired on your ďownĒ terms.
Oh I absolutely agree with him. I feel so humbled and worthless now. I implore all NOT to follow my poor example. I now really believe the best retirement age is 85. And I hope that the author IS a great humanitarian, and has a job that has him paying into SS.
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:41 AM   #12
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For me it was easy. I realized I was never going to be as rich as Bill Gates and so what was the point of amassing more money than I needed to live my life the way I wanted.

I think society should thank me as I freed up a job for someone else.

I'm confident that I'm more healthy, and have a better outlook on life, for having stopped working at 38. The process forced me to face/understand the realization that I was not defined by my job.
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:58 AM   #13
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I was not defined by my job.
That says it all, IMHO (me too) ...
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:10 AM   #14
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Posting this article here is a little like posting "We don't really want to beat Michigan" in the Ohio State locker room.

If any members here do happen to agree with this article, they are surely not going to say so.

Ha
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Old 06-27-2011, 11:33 AM   #15
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Looks like we rediscover this blog post every six months or so...
The "Dark Side" Of ER
The Dark Side Of Early Retirement

I've found plenty of jobs that I've enjoyed. Fulfilling & complex. The problem has been autonomy-- freedom to work without commutes, meetings, office attire, (too many) deadlines, and other dissatisfiers.

Quote:
Early retirees will croon about how great their lifestyles are. Iím sure, in some ways they are spot on. But notice how they seldom write about the hardships they face. They canít, because itís important they continue highlighting how awesome everything is, to justify their decision to no longer work.
I'm at a loss here. Can someone help me find a hardship that I've faced lately? I mean besides having to recover from a gnarly surfing wipeout or needing to weed the back yard or having to load up the blog with next week's posts before Sunday night.

I think that most of my "hardship time" has been helping other people grapple with their own hardships, and during those situations I'm sure glad I wasn't tied down to a 40-hour workweek.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:04 PM   #16
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I can see people who eat more than their fair share from the family buffet as selfish. Or people who cut in line. Or people who refuse to give credit to others who deserve it. Or people who are unwilling to ever let anyone borrow things they wouldn't even miss. Or people who continue to take and take and take more than they could ever use while others around them are scrambling for crumbs.

But I don't get this whole, "You're selfish for deciding to live your life according to your own wishes rather than according to what would benefit others the most." It's madness to expect otherwise of people.

And it's disingenuous anyway to suggest that people who work are being anymore self-less and charitable than people who don't. You really think 99% of wage-slaves are getting up when the alarm clock goes off five days a week, or checking their crackberries every two hours on the weekend, because they want to go out and help make someone else's life better? No, it's because they need the money, validation, or their need to feel busy fulfilled.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:14 PM   #17
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Sarah in SC, sorry I messed that up. Should have paid more attention to what I was reading and replying to. Thanks for correcting me.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:19 PM   #18
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Don't think there's anything selfish about wanting to RE. You worked hard and saved hard and achieved ER. Nothing wrong with that. Writer is probably intentionally to stirring up something.

However, I am working hard and trying to get to the next level for "selfish" reasons. I make pretty good money and just need to stay course to be able to FIRE. I work less than 40 hrs a week, almost no stress, decent commute, overall chill job. I'm willing to forego this and look for another jobs to eventually become a cfo somewhere. Even if it means working longer hours and more stress, I'm willing to put that in to achieve my goal. It's not really about money but it's the satisfaction from achieving the height of my profession and maybe this is a selfish reason instead.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:25 PM   #19
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Yet another article that suggests working for money is the default desire of all human beings. That if we've retired early we must either be dissatisfied with our jobs or can't find the right one and if we could, we'd eagerly go back to the rat race and work until some government actuary decides we are of the right age or we die.

I liked my job at times. I had a great time. The last few years things went south, but for about ten years prior I worked with great people, had a great boss and was really fired up about what I was doing. Even so, I would have retired in a second if I could have. I may have had a plush, comfy, enjoyable prison cell, but it was a prison cell none the less.

As for retiring early being selfish, nobody cares. You're not Atlas and your not holding up the world. Nobody will miss you and life will go on. I especially like the idea that planning for early retirement is just a device to motivate this guy to be more effective in his job because if he hasn't reached his potential, he'll keep working. He can have fun sacrificing his short life on the alter of guilt and altruism.

I'm going to selfishly go out, sit on my porch and smoke a cigar, maybe take a swim.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:38 PM   #20
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I think I retired early because I HAD found the perfect job. It was the one that kept me annoyed enough to keep my eye on the prize while allowing me to amass enough money to get out, as well as qualifying for guaranteed health care coverage. The perfect storm.
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