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Old 08-10-2007, 04:47 PM   #1
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Moolah

It seems that many posters to this blog view a six-figure income as a normal milepost on the road of life. Many here seem to have found that one gets one's degree, snags a lucrative j*b without undue effort, works hard for a number of years and does not even question the fact that at least a $100K+ salary will be the result.

Further, the general tenor seems to be that if that j*b is lost, a few weeks or possibly months will result in w*rk of comparable pay. Maybe even more.

I speak to you from an alternate existence.
One in which wage slaves who hold bachelors, if not graduate, degrees will never, no matter what they do, break $50K per annum. Some would look at hitting $40K as a bonanza!
I'm including folks with technical and scientific degrees too.

What's the disconnect? Where did you guys get your tickets for the gravy train? Where are the maps to Fat City being distributed. What sort of employers are willing to make with the big sponduliks?

I don't get it.
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Old 08-10-2007, 04:58 PM   #2
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It seems that many posters to this blog view a six-figure income as a normal milepost on the road of life. Many here seem to have found that one gets one's degree, snags a lucrative j*b without undue effort, works hard for a number of years and does not even question the fact that at least a $100K+ salary will be the result.

Further, the general tenor seems to be that if that j*b is lost, a few weeks or possibly months will result in w*rk of comparable pay. Maybe even more.

I speak to you from an alternate existence.
One in which wage slaves who hold bachelors, if not graduate, degrees will never, no matter what they do, break $50K per annum. Some would look at hitting $40K as a bonanza!
I'm including folks with technical and scientific degrees too.

What's the disconnect? Where did you guys get your tickets for the gravy train? Where are the maps to Fat City being distributed. What sort of employers are willing to make with the big sponduliks?

I don't get it.
Plenty of LBYMers here who didn't make 100k. And everyone here who has FIRE'd worked hard, earned it and the experience was by no means a gravy train. I am not anywhere close to 100k and just a little advice: don't compare yourself the posters here
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Old 08-10-2007, 04:59 PM   #3
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Me thinks you have not done much reading on these boards.
I have seen few if ANY posters with the attitude you suggest.
Most people here got to early retirement through LBYM and NOT spending money they didn't have. Not through 6 digit incomes.
Some did, sure, but many have not had that level of income.
I suggest you read up and get to know the people you are labling before you make a fool of yourself [again].
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:08 PM   #4
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Just keep working another 40 years. Inflation will see to it that you have a six-figure income by then.
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:17 PM   #5
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I do not know which fields of science have a $100K salary as a dream, but
in programming it is certainly an expected milestone :

PayScale - Sr. Software Engineer / Developer / Programmer Salary, Average Salaries

I was a bottom-level programmer for 27+ years, and when I retired last year
I was making well over $100k.
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:29 PM   #6
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Just keep working another 40 years. Inflation will see to it that you have a six-figure income by then.
I thought I read somewhere less than 1% of the population makes more than 100k/yr...
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:33 PM   #7
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What's the disconnect? Where did you guys get your tickets for the gravy train? Where are the maps to Fat City being distributed. What sort of employers are willing to make with the big sponduliks?
I think you've jumped to incorrect conclusions, and you sound a little resentful as a result.

Some here "lucked into" or inheritied their money, and I say more power to them, It's their nest egg to screw up and the fact that they're here paying attention is to their credit.

Some of us have advanced degrees, big salaries, and enough discipline not to blow it.

Others of us have decent and respectable jobs with adequate but not high incomes. Lots of teachers, nurses, military, business and other backgrounds. Pensions played a role for many though that's dwindling. Mostly, they lived frugally enough to start saving early and hang in there for decades.

Different paths, same endpoint. Disconnect? I think it's in your profile of this 3000+ member board. If you have the desire, feel free to outline your financial situation and goals. You may be surprised at how much you'll learn. You won't find too many silver spoons here.
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by barbarus View Post
It seems that many posters to this blog view a six-figure income as a normal milepost on the road of life. Many here seem to have found that one gets one's degree, snags a lucrative j*b without undue effort, works hard for a number of years and does not even question the fact that at least a $100K+ salary will be the result.
Further, the general tenor seems to be that if that j*b is lost, a few weeks or possibly months will result in w*rk of comparable pay. Maybe even more.
I speak to you from an alternate existence.
One in which wage slaves who hold bachelors, if not graduate, degrees will never, no matter what they do, break $50K per annum. Some would look at hitting $40K as a bonanza!
I'm including folks with technical and scientific degrees too.
What's the disconnect? Where did you guys get your tickets for the gravy train? Where are the maps to Fat City being distributed. What sort of employers are willing to make with the big sponduliks?
I don't get it.
Welcome to the board, Barbarus, I think.

On the chance that some other poster is wondering the same thing, I'll answer your question as if it's a serious query crafted after extensive reading of this board's other threads by someone who's motivated to work for ER-- and not just someone trolling for attention.

There are over 4000 members of this board, about 400 of whom post occasionally and perhaps 30 who post a lot. So the majority of the threads here are run by the vast minority of the board and you can't draw valid conclusions from such a small population.

My earnings spreadsheet shows that I didn't break $50K/year pay until I'd been in the submarine force for 10 years and picked up a graduate engineering degree, and I never broke $60K/year. Spouse and I earned full-time paychecks 1982-2001 and she still occasionally brings one home. We managed to put in enough hours to qualify for membership in the hard-work club.

But we also lived below our means, dollar-cost-averaged in low-cost equity funds, put a lot of sweat equity into our homes, read obsessively about financial management & investing, sought value in every purchase, and planned way ahead of our age group.

If you see yourself as a wage slave looking for the gravy train & Fat City while never making more than $50K/year, well, then that's all you'll ever be. But if you're willing to find a growing sector of the economy, make yourself useful to one of its employers (or start your own business in it), learn your trade, work well with others to improve the business, live below your means, and save/invest aggressively-- then you'll join the ER club one day too.

The information and the tools are right here on this board. All you have to do is learn how to use them.

Or you could gripe about how they don't work for you. Your choice.
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:59 PM   #9
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What's the disconnect? Where did you guys get your tickets for the gravy train? Where are the maps to Fat City being distributed. What sort of employers are willing to make with the big sponduliks?

I don't get it.
Nords gave you some good info.

The disconnect is:
A degree is and the knowledge are just tools - it is how you use them that makes you successful. Some will build a great home with them others will just keep hitting their thumbs. If you are feeling some pain look at your thumb.
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:17 PM   #10
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It seems that many posters to this blog view a six-figure income as a normal milepost on the road of life. Many here seem to have found that one gets one's degree, snags a lucrative j*b without undue effort, works hard for a number of years and does not even question the fact that at least a $100K+ salary will be the result.

Further, the general tenor seems to be that if that j*b is lost, a few weeks or possibly months will result in w*rk of comparable pay. Maybe even more.

I speak to you from an alternate existence.
One in which wage slaves who hold bachelors, if not graduate, degrees will never, no matter what they do, break $50K per annum. Some would look at hitting $40K as a bonanza!
I'm including folks with technical and scientific degrees too.

What's the disconnect? Where did you guys get your tickets for the gravy train? Where are the maps to Fat City being distributed. What sort of employers are willing to make with the big sponduliks?

I don't get it.
We'd tell you, but then we'd have to kill you.

Seriously, I didn't wander into a highly paid job. I went to grad school at night while holding down a full time job that included a lot of travel and tried to maintain a marriage. Then I pursued a hard-to-get and much sought after professional designation. I finished the first exam three weeks after grad school finals, and I finished the second one less than 24 hours before my wife went into labor with our first kid. Now I work very long hours with an ugly commute.

Count your blessings.
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:17 PM   #11
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barbarus - There are a number of people where both spouses work.


You are correct though, some employers will scr3w people and give them anemic raises/or not pay a competitive salary if they can get away with it. Sometimes one has to change employers/jobs to increase salary.
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:23 PM   #12
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I speak to you from an alternate existence.
One in which wage slaves who hold bachelors, if not graduate, degrees will never, no matter what they do, break $50K per annum. Some would look at hitting $40K as a bonanza!
I'm including folks with technical and scientific degrees too.
Try browsing through here: USAJOBS - The Federal Government's Official Jobs Site . Don't just look in your area of the country - - I think most people these days have to go where the job is. I know I did.

With a graduate degree and no experience, generally you can expect to start out as at least a GS-11 step one. Here is the pay table (and many parts of the U.S. have higher pay than this): Salary Table 2007-RUS

Once you get hired as a GS-11 step one, which at $52,912 or more is already over the $50K you'd like to break, you'll automatically go to a step two the second year, step 3 the third, and then after that it's two years a step and so on.

Government jobs aren't exactly a gravy train. You get great benefits and reliable pay, though.
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:25 PM   #13
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barbarus - There are a number of people where both spouses work.


You are correct though, some employers will scr3w people and give them anemic raises/or not pay a competitive salary if they can get away with it. Sometimes one has to change employers/jobs to increase salary.
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:27 PM   #14
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does not even question the fact that at least a $100K+ salary will be the result.


I don't get it.
Yep, true for almost everyone here; and for the one who doesn't, well, you know who you are.
My wife (with the Masters) the school teacher never made that much and her retirement is all of $24k a year & she willn't get social security. All well heeled folks around here.
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:36 PM   #15
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Barbarus - I also think it has to do with where one lives - I live in northern CA and even with a close to 6 figure salary, I have to commute 45 miles one-way to get to my job where I would in no way be able to afford a house - to be honest, the house I bought I consider unaffordable right now for me on my salary due to the hosing cost increases and believe me, my house is a small box with the typical small CA yard. It's all relative - I think if one thinks of it in terms of percentages, it works better - save xx% of you salary, or look at x% of what you are spending on different areas of your life (gas, mortgage, food, taxes, leisrue, etc). You know what my largest expenditure is right now? Taxes - close to 40% of my income - so, even if one is making "six" figures, what one saves depends upon their geographical location and what the gubmint has to say about your salary.

Welcome, however, and do peruse the archives - there are some *great* and even arcane discussion threads - perhaps looking up the one about the best books to read to start you on this LYBM FIRE goal will help.
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:40 PM   #16
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One year I DID make $100K gross income. Of course that included a lot of rental income which requires many nights and weekends AFTER the 1.5 hour commute each way to a long-term consulting gig. Yep, it was a real gravy train all right. Didn't see much of the ol' family that year though. Stuffed away a lot for the FIRE plan though. Life is all about decisions and sacrifices. Can't wait to get up at 8am instead of before 5am each day like many of the people on this forum, who I admire greatly for THEIR planning and sacrifice. I hope to join them soon. Work on your plan Barbarus. You can do it too, with hard work and planning.
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:20 PM   #17
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Neither my DH nor I ever made $100,000 by ourself. We still do not have the million dollars in assets yet either. We have lived comfortably though.
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:23 PM   #18
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I worked the real gravy train "Nursing " .I did break $60,000 a couple of years .It just shows average people can do it . Just LBYM !
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:24 PM   #19
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Where did you guys get your tickets for the gravy train? Where are the maps to Fat City being distributed. What sort of employers are willing to make with the big sponduliks?

I don't get it.
You can look at the end of the rainbow, or go to Oz and visit the Wizard, if you're looking for those fantasy-land myths of a 'gravy train' or 'Fat City'. Or you can do what most likely everyone on here has done, and that is to roll up your sleeves, and work to achieve your goals. Nobody that I know of, is going to hand anyone the good life on a silver platter. You're going to have to go search for it and earn it, just like everyone else....'cept maybe Paris Hilton.

I never got past $48k per year, except this year but that is only because of a small "over payment" refund from my pension plan that went into a Rollover IRA. I found a j*b with reasonable pay and benefits and stayed there 30+ years, tried to LBMM most of the time, and saved and invested as best as I knew how.

The first 18 years I had to bust my butt as a subterranean engineer.....a.k.a. sewer worker. The last 12 years I was able to give my back a break, and put my gray-matter to use, first as a lab tech, then for about the last 9 years as lab manager and plant foreman.....less physical strain but a lot more stress.

Never have complained about it...never will! I chose my path and took whatever came with it. I think that my choices paid off pretty well, since I was able to FIRE @ 50, with a fairly high net worth.

Life is whatever you make it!!!
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:21 PM   #20
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Last week when I cleaned out my desk drawer at the salt mine I ran across an envelope with one of my first pay check stubs. September 1972, gross for the month was $485.
Also in the envelope a few old canceled checks, one for DW's wedding ring, $435.

Fast forward 35 years, my last paycheck this September will be a few cups of coffee short of $7200 plus a 4% contribution to the 401K.

Starting the first of November I'll get my first pension check, about $2900.

Not bad for two Associate degrees.
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