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Old 03-02-2011, 12:02 PM   #61
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I've always used the same equation for every hour I billed past 40 hours a week in private practice (law). Each extra billable hour per day was worth double to me, with those on the weekend worth triple. As such, I never understood the desire of many associates to hit 2,400+ hours to get the biggest bonus. The firm's costs and profits are covered once you hit around 1,800 (if not less than that), so every hour you bill above that only makes more profit for the firm, with your share of that profit shrinking for every additional hour you bill. Personally, I thought that having a life outside work was worth sacrificing the possibility of $15-20k more a year (it was only a possibility because if you were only a few hours short, the firm would screw you out of your bonus and keep ALL of the money).
Doesn't this pretty much seal off your chances of making partner and getting on the long end of that stick?

Ha
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:16 PM   #62
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Early Retirement & Financial Independence forum supposedly. I'm here for the FI part, not so much the RE part.
+1 - me too. I am going to retire this year to get away from Corp BS and some leadership responsibility, but after a break of a year or so, I hope to re-enter the workforce doing something I enjoy more. FI has made that possible...

Is there anything wrong with folks who choose to continue to work because:
  • they really enjoy their jobs,
  • just want/need the structure of a job in their lives,
  • want to amass the greatest nest egg they can for family, charity, whatever.
Nor is there anything wrong with those who just want to quit working altogether to pursue other interests, and have the means to do so.

So I wonder when I see posters who defend one choice as if there are no other legit options. Should be a non-starter, even here IMO.
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:34 PM   #63
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Is there anything wrong with folks who choose to continue to work because:
  • they really enjoy their jobs,
  • just want/need the structure of a job in their lives,
  • want to amass the greatest nest egg they can for family, charity, whatever.
Nor is there anything wrong with those who just want to quit working altogether to pursue other interests, and have the means to do so.

So I wonder when I see posters who defend one choice as if there are no other legit options. Should be a non-starter, even here IMO.
Of course there's nothing wrong with that. But my usual heartburn with articles like this is that they seem to start with the premise that early retirement is no longer a realistic option, so you might as well give up that dream and find ways to deal with w*rking longer.

Of course working for longer than you *have* to because you *want* to is a perfectly valid choice. I just don't like it when it feels like these authors are trying to convince them to settle for less than what they want, if what they *really* want is out.
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:46 PM   #64
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Doesn't this pretty much seal off your chances of making partner and getting on the long end of that stick?

Ha
Not the OP, but I am an attorney. And the answer is....it depends. In some firms becoming partner is almost entirely based upon how much business you bring in. As for other firms, it depends upon the criteria in that firm. Not every firm requires associates to bill 2400 hours to become a partner. There are plenty of firms where 1800 consistently, coupled with good work, is enough. And of course, there is a range in between.

But the point is that if you are meeting the criteria minimum billable hour criteria to be partner eligible, or if you don't want to be a partner (I was a shareholder before I joined my current firm and could have come in as a shareholder but chose not to do so) or if you are already a partner, then there is very little marginal benefit from working an extra few hundred hours every year.
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Old 03-02-2011, 01:35 PM   #65
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Not the OP, but I am an attorney. And the answer is....it depends. In some firms becoming partner is almost entirely based upon how much business you bring in. As for other firms, it depends upon the criteria in that firm. Not every firm requires associates to bill 2400 hours to become a partner. There are plenty of firms where 1800 consistently, coupled with good work, is enough. And of course, there is a range in between.

But the point is that if you are meeting the criteria minimum billable hour criteria to be partner eligible, or if you don't want to be a partner (I was a shareholder before I joined my current firm and could have come in as a shareholder but chose not to do so) or if you are already a partner, then there is very little marginal benefit from working an extra few hundred hours every year.
As a former employee of a NASA/DOE/DOD contractor the pressure on me as a salaried technical manager was never to bill more than 40 hours even if I worked 60 and came in on weekends. I'd put in cost and manpower estimates to have them slashed by senior management to meet some cost goal on a bid. If we won the contract I was left to deliver product with insufficient resources and would often put in extra hours doing assembly work as I just couldn't afford to pay the hourly staff overtime.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:07 PM   #66
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As a former employee of a NASA/DOE/DOD contractor the pressure on me as a salaried technical manager was never to bill more than 40 hours even if I worked 60 and came in on weekends. I'd put in cost and manpower estimates to have them slashed by senior management to meet some cost goal on a bid.
OMG, flashbacks. I can remember staff meetings where we were reminded that we had to complete compliance training on proper timekeeping and not mischarging, and the next item might be a reminder not to use a particular charge code because it was overbudget, and instead use a code that wasn't overbudget even though the overbudget code was the correct one.

Don't miss that.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:10 PM   #67
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This thread is disgusting. Such language!
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:30 PM   #68
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+1 - me too. I am going to retire this year to get away from Corp BS and some leadership responsibility, but after a break of a year or so, I hope to re-enter the workforce doing something I enjoy more. FI has made that possible...

Is there anything wrong with folks who choose to continue to work because:
  • they really enjoy their jobs,
  • just want/need the structure of a job in their lives,
  • want to amass the greatest nest egg they can for family, charity, whatever.
Nor is there anything wrong with those who just want to quit working altogether to pursue other interests, and have the means to do so.

So I wonder when I see posters who defend one choice as if there are no other legit options. Should be a non-starter, even here IMO.
I fully agree and this past 5 weeks I have been volunteering, working 10 hours a week preparing taxes as part of the AARP Taaxaide program. It has been challenging and very gratifying, but I'm already for it to be over for the year although I'm sure I'll repeat the experience next year.

Even though this has been a complete departure from my career, and I thought I could see myself re-entering the workforce after a year or 2, I am now pretty sure that for me retirement is more preferable than work of any kind. I guess this reflects the experience of folks who have posted saying that they were laid off or took a sabatical and found they loved it.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:42 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
OMG, flashbacks. I can remember staff meetings where we were reminded that we had to complete compliance training on proper timekeeping and not mischarging, and the next item might be a reminder not to use a particular charge code because it was overbudget, and instead use a code that wasn't overbudget even though the overbudget code was the correct one.

Don't miss that.
Reminds me of this Dilbert:

Dilbert.com - The Official Dilbert Website with Scott Adams' color strips, Dilbert animation, mashups and more!

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Old 03-02-2011, 03:49 PM   #70
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Do this, her calculations showed, and you'll end up with 70 percent more income in retirement than someone who saves like crazy for the rest of his or her career.
It seems like there's a lot of unlisted parameters with this article, and her advice.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:52 PM   #71
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Cancer Changes Minds

Having a heart attack and cancer in your 50's will take all the steam out of your nifty ideas of working 'till 70.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:07 PM   #72
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I fully agree and this past 5 weeks I have been volunteering, working 10 hours a week preparing taxes as part of the AARP Taaxaide program. It has been challenging and very gratifying, but I'm already for it to be over for the year although I'm sure I'll repeat the experience next year.

Even though this has been a complete departure from my career, ...
I've thought about volunteering like this. I'm a financial analyst but I've never done (individual) taxes. Did you have the background before you started or did you get training just for the volunteer work?
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:19 PM   #73
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I've thought about volunteering like this. I'm a financial analyst but I've never done (individual) taxes. Did you have the background before you started or did you get training just for the volunteer work?
I did not have the background. I was an engineer who used TT to do my own personal taxes.

They have a pretty good training program and you can attend a 4 day training class, which I did, or do all the learning from workbooks and/or online with the IRS link and learn site. You may want to try creating an account for yourself and have a look at what is involved.

Even though I took the classes I chose to do the IRS exams online, but you can also take the tests on paper. I've met a whole load of folks, and done returns with a whole range of situations. I've probably now done about 50 returns over 9 half-days working and everyone I have dealt with has been very nice and grateful for the help.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:20 PM   #74
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+1 - me too. I am going to retire this year to get away from Corp BS and some leadership responsibility, but after a break of a year or so, I hope to re-enter the workforce doing something I enjoy more. FI has made that possible...

Is there anything wrong with folks who choose to continue to work because:
  • they really enjoy their jobs,
  • just want/need the structure of a job in their lives,
  • want to amass the greatest nest egg they can for family, charity, whatever.
Nor is there anything wrong with those who just want to quit working altogether to pursue other interests, and have the means to do so.

So I wonder when I see posters who defend one choice as if there are no other legit options. Should be a non-starter, even here IMO.
I agree to a point. I briefly go through the obits every day in the paper. A lot of obits of people in their 50's, 60's. I may enjoy my job, but I enjoy my personal time more. As personal time seems more limited, the job seems more like it has to go.
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:23 PM   #75
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I did not have the background. I was an engineer who used TT to do my own personal taxes.

They have a pretty good training program and you can attend a 4 day training class, which I did, or do all the learning from workbooks and/or online with the IRS link and learn site. You may want to try creating an account for yourself and have a look at what is involved.

Even though I took the classes I chose to do the IRS exams online, but you can also take the tests on paper. I've met a whole load of folks, and done returns with a whole range of situations. I've probably now done about 50 returns over 9 half-days working and everyone I have dealt with has been very nice and grateful for the help.
Here is a better link.
Link & Learn Taxes, linking volunteers to quality e-learning
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Old 03-02-2011, 04:44 PM   #76
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I did not have the background. I was an engineer who used TT to do my own personal taxes.

They have a pretty good training program and you can attend a 4 day training class, which I did, or do all the learning from workbooks and/or online with the IRS link and learn site. You may want to try creating an account for yourself and have a look at what is involved.

Even though I took the classes I chose to do the IRS exams online, but you can also take the tests on paper. I've met a whole load of folks, and done returns with a whole range of situations. I've probably now done about 50 returns over 9 half-days working and everyone I have dealt with has been very nice and grateful for the help.
Thanks, I'll look into this.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:24 PM   #77
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I agree to a point. I briefly go through the obits every day in the paper. A lot of obits of people in their 50's, 60's. I may enjoy my job, but I enjoy my personal time more. As personal time seems more limited, the job seems more like it has to go.
We've all heard this one before, but it's what I call making decisions based on exceptions, after combating it at work hundreds of times.

People dying in their 50's and 60's are the exception. If your natural life expectancy is below average for some reason, you probably know and can adjust accordingly. As for unnatural life expectancy, any of us could be run over by a bus tomorrow, but that's an outlier and shouldn't be a factor in retirement planning. On the latter basis, you will be wrong way more often than not.

We also unfortunately see/hear of people passing away in their 40's, 30's, 20's and younger, doesn't mean we should plan on it. Stop reading the obits...
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:54 PM   #78
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How to balance present and future consumption? For me, I do not want my living standard to decline in retirement, so I am willing to work until the combination of after tax pension income plus a 4% portfolio withdrawal rate meets or exceeds our current cash income (ex savings). I realize I could reach that point sooner by saving more and accepting a lower standard of living both now and in the future, but I don't want to do that. I like my life just the way it is.

(It helps, of course, that I don't hate my job. But I would like more free time to do other stuff.)
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:59 PM   #79
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How to balance present and future consumption? For me, I do not want my living standard to decline in retirement....
This is how I feel, and it also applies after retirement, as one always has a present vs. future tension. I think the psychologically best life course is a gentle upward path, so methods or strategies that rely on luck or on needing or wanting less as you age do not appeal to me.

Ha
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:49 PM   #80
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It is indeed. You start to realize this when you hit your mid-to-late-30s. Physical capabilities start to deteriorate (unless you work hard to maintain them in the gym, and even then it's easy to get injured).

As the article points out, "Save like you'll be on your own tomorrow. Live each day like it could be your last."

DW and I quit work when we were young and traveled around the country for 9 months. It was one of the best things I ever did. When we were on the road, we observed many retires trying to enjoy the time off but very limited by health issues.
This brings me to the applicable quote:
"It is later than you think"

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