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Old 12-22-2009, 09:43 AM   #81
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I jsut read it too. Not bad. But one complaint I have. Whenever I see a staement like this I think the journalist is trying to manipulate me. "But a look at longer-term trends is encouraging. An aging work force is living longer and is less disabled than previous generations. After all, average life expectancy in 1935, when Social Security became law, was 61 years. It's now 78." This difference is largely childhood mortality, plus some TB and farm and industrial accidents that happen to working age people.

The relevant statistic is life expectancy past age 65. This has also improved, but not nearly so dramatically.

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Old 12-22-2009, 01:02 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Bikerdude View Post
Great advice on how to make retirement more affordable.

Wait until your too old to do anything.
we are getting close to pulling the plug, DW next month, me, 0-2 years out.

I can usually end an argument where she is pushing me to do 2 more years by singing this...

wait for it to finish...its worth it
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Old 12-22-2009, 01:12 PM   #83
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For every 'happy healthy feisty' 80 year old employee; there is someone in their 50s or 60s with all sorts of hereditary crap. I am of the latter group.

Just glad I could retire at 54.

Oh: there is not not a lot of identity tied up with work with those of us who were just cube rats.
yes, part of the role of the cube rats is to support the ego in the corner office

I recently switched to a job where my direct supervisor is 3000 miles away, and though he is the most decent manager I have come across in my travels, I am surprised at how much more tolerable working is, when I can just produce, and not have to deal with the hierarchy and related BS.
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Old 12-22-2009, 01:28 PM   #84
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I believe the FI in "FIRE" is what it's all about. If you like working, by all means continue.

Two anecdotes:
When my dad went to tell his GF that my elder sister had been born, he found him cleaning out his barn. That's right, still an active farmer at 100. Don't know if and when he quit but he made it to 105.
My GM's brother practised law until his upper 90's. I think his reasons were:
1) No other interests. His DW had been dead for 50 years.
2) Family time. He had two GSs as partners.
3) Depression era thinking. You can't have enough when the next crash hits.
He didn't want to retire. He chose to because his secretary did. She had worked for him for 50 years and he didn't want to "break in a new one". He lasted 6 months, then died. I think if he hadn't retired, he'd still be alive, and aged about 130.

YMMV, but it's all about doing what you want to do, not what you have to do.
I think a big part of the equation is not so much working, but rather, having to deal with bosses, collegues and subordinates, not of your choosing.

I wonder how many megacorp vets would stay on if they were given a blank cheque regarding who they would report to and have to work with, allow them to "purchase" the type and location of office space and choose their own hours, or just be allowed to show up when you feel like it and be paid by the hour. As a general rule, the 30 years of experience guys are cheap for what they are paid.

I speculate that part of a healthy "retirement" should include some sort of small scale no risk entrepreneurial project or commission income sales license, just to include in the toolkit of pasttimes, possibly supplement income, acquire a new or transitional identity, but as well, to give the liesure time more meaning.

I am looking at things like commercial mortgage brokering, yacht brokering or marine lending, for example...but all under the assumption that any money made would be a bonus.

Lots of retired teachers out there who have done really well as real estate agents in their second careers, by way of example.

Driving mom to an appointment last evening, she reminded me that my paternal grandparents lived to a year or 2 shy of 100...which got me thinking

if I retire at 53 this spring, what the hell am I going to do with another 5 decades of life?
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Old 12-22-2009, 02:52 PM   #85
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I retired two years ago at 55 when my company offered a bunch of early outs. Of the ones I've kept in touch with, a few have gotten bored and found jobs or had money issues and gone back to work. We're all different, and it's definately not for everyone.

Health issues are about the same. I've taken up trail running, eat much healthier, and have lost 30 pounds. I've not had a cold or flu for two years. There is a know link between stress and health. Some people stress at work, some people stress at home and when they are bored. One fellow from my bunch has taken up drinking as a pasttime and another has taken up over eating.

As far as "sense of purpose", I figure that most of what I did at work was for the benefit of "the man". Any sense of purpose was basically an illusion as it was directed to something in our industrial economy that had did very little benefit for me.

Before retirement I went to an interesting coaching seminar. The presenter said that in retirement there will be a strong tendancy to do more of what you already do in your free time. If you have hobbies, read garden, enjoy the outdoors, travel, enjoy the drink and rich food, smoke, spend money mindlessly, or whatever, that you have a good likelihood of doing more of that. He said where some of the failures occur are people who, say, have never played and instrument and say they would like to learn. Or people who never have travelled and think that is what they will do. Or leaning a new language. Another arguement that could go either way for retiring early.

Money issues are a little more black and white, but when it comes to personal issues, it really isn't work or retire that is right. It just depends. If a person wants to get to the point of saying, ahhh, this is the good life, it takes some effort to get there whether one is working or not. Retirement isn't a free ride, or if it is you might not be enjoying it.
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:06 PM   #86
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seems to me that a basic and obvious reform would be for persons thinking of retiring to take a lengthy leave of absence to test the waters, if technically possible.

I am planning a 3 month LOA next winter to maintain my path of retreat to the cubical, then 6 months the following winter...unless the application for leave is refused, which may lead to a letter of retirement

read a quote once, I think in Forbes Thoughts on the Business of Life,..."upon earning release, the old inmate leaves his cell reluctantly"
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:23 PM   #87
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I think being FI is my goal. Then I could actually find a job I liked and work part time or something. Maybe at a Harley dealership or something. Something with no strings attached, so you could say KMA anytime and walk.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:36 PM   #88
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At the risk of being flamed, I call it rehirement...as I will still want to work. However, compared to my job today as a Finance Director working 50-55 hours/week and dealing with lots of deadlines and people who do everything they can to screw up your best efforts, I'll be working at a job where the money is either irrelevant or at the very least much less important.

I throw out ideas all the time at my wife of j*bs I'd like to have in rehirement, such as:
  1. Zamboni driver
  2. Bartender - I like talking to people
  3. Automobile salesman - I am a car enthusiast
  4. High-end woodworking in new houses - I am a hobbyist woodworker (I would keep this to just a very few jobs a year)
  5. Clerk in a hardware store - again, getting to help people fix things
  6. Paraplanner
Overall the w*rk goals would be
  1. Pay is a minor factor...minimum wage is ok
  2. Hours no more than 20/week
  3. No holiday work
  4. Minimum 6 weeks vacation/year (unpaid is ok) for travel
  5. Prefer working more in winter, less in summar when the weather is good
  6. If I get a boss that's an a**hole...I'm outta there
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:08 PM   #89
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Overall the w*rk goals would be
  1. Pay is a minor factor...minimum wage is ok
  2. Hours no more than 20/week
  3. No holiday work
  4. Minimum 6 weeks vacation/year (unpaid is ok) for travel
  5. Prefer working more in winter, less in summar when the weather is good
  6. If I get a boss that's an a**hole...I'm outta there
No flame, just an observation - the easiest way to meet all 6 of your requirements is called 'nohirement'.
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:36 PM   #90
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I throw out ideas all the time at my wife of j*bs I'd like to have in rehirement, such as:
  1. Automobile salesman - I am a car enthusiast
While walking aound the auto mall one day, I ran accross a salesman who had been a longhaul (overseas flight) 747 Captain. He retired with a fat pension at 55. He said he sat home for a few months and drove himself (and the wife) nutty.

So there he was selling cars. He claimed that he just wanted something to do and he didn't care if I bought a car or not.

regarding getting an A-hole boss, the car industry has many so that may or may not be your chosen path. However if you enjoy hanging out and talking to people a salesman job would do the trick.

Along these lines I also ran into a corporate VP of finance selling appliances at Best Buy. He was from a major megacorp and was relieved (like you are) to cut back to anything less than the 80 plus hour stress filled weeks. His story was similar to the 747 captains story in that he didn't want to sit home.
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:48 PM   #91
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While walking aound the auto mall one day, I ran accross a salesman who had been a longhaul (overseas flight) 747 Captain. He retired with a fat pension at 55. He said he sat home for a few months and drove himself (and the wife) nutty.

So there he was selling cars. He claimed that he just wanted something to do and he didn't care if I bought a car or not.
I wonder how well he takes the monthly insults from the sales manager in the plaid sport jacket. Me, probably not so well .
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:02 PM   #92
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I throw out ideas all the time at my wife of j*bs I'd like to have....
  1. Automobile salesman - I am a car enthusiast
73ss454 will be along shortly to burst your bubble...
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:03 PM   #93
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yes, part of the role of the cube rats is to support the ego in the corner office

I recently switched to a job where my direct supervisor is 3000 miles away, and though he is the most decent manager I have come across in my travels, I am surprised at how much more tolerable working is, when I can just produce, and not have to deal with the hierarchy and related BS.
This is why I find working at home or working at a remote office infinitely more tolerable. They see the results and not the ass kissing. Mind you that the stress is no less real when something is not working, but once I'm done solving the emergencies and taking care of potential emergencies down the road, I don't have to think about if I am kissing up enough to the boss at lunch. That's not to say I don't play any kind politics. At the conclusion of a successful project, I always send out a thank you letter to everyone involved detailing how they contributed, and I always include their peers and managers to make sure that their contribution is noted. Of course, I'm not entirely selfless because I get the credit as the guy who pulled it all together. However, I still find writing an Oscar acceptance speech equivalent less tiring than working with a direct boss whose perception of your work you have to tirelessly and constantly manage.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:39 PM   #94
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yes, part of the role of the cube rats is to support the ego in the corner office
From a corner office inhabitant, interesting generalization. I am sorry for your experience, makes work life less pleasant. Most of the people I work with are great, and I hope they would tell you that I have done right by them more often than not. However, about 15% I would categorize as "very negative" although they are miserable 24/7 for reasons that have nothing to do with work, we just get the blame while they are with us. And that 15% undoubtedly see me, or any Manager, as the "ego in the corner office."

Bottom line: I'd suggest that there are almost as many egos in cubes as there are in corner offices. We just don't complain about "cube rats" in the open, or more often we don't waste time complaining. I may learn something about the population on this forum.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:09 AM   #95
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From a corner office inhabitant, interesting generalization. I am sorry for your experience, makes work life less pleasant. Most of the people I work with are great, and I hope they would tell you that I have done right by them more often than not. However, about 15% I would categorize as "very negative" although they are miserable 24/7 for reasons that have nothing to do with work, we just get the blame while they are with us. And that 15% undoubtedly see me, or any Manager, as the "ego in the corner office."

Bottom line: I'd suggest that there are almost as many egos in cubes as there are in corner offices. We just don't complain about "cube rats" in the open, or more often we don't waste time complaining. I may learn something about the population on this forum.
This sounds very familiar. As moved to more senior positions, I found that some of the people below me generated far more stress than the people above me ever did. Sometimes its just a very negative attitude. Sometimes it is other issues - an over inflated and misplaced sense of their competence, contribution etc etc can turn an employee into a real PITA.
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:45 AM   #96
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Part of the issue is that in government or a cost-plus regulated sector, there is no effective bottom line to impose reality on senior management, so human nature takes over, and organizations move inevitably toward Dilbertesque hells and become refuges for educated idiots who master the one required skill, which is flattery and obediance up the line and not asking awkward questions.

For myself, if I could overcome the various affirmative action programs which place a higher value on a language that is never used in the workplace, skin colour, sex, aboriginal status, or disability, all explicit institutional sexisms and racisms, than education or experience or technical performance, I would get to take on the hassles of managing in a union environment for a very small increase in net pay that might cover my house electric bill.

Not complaining. As an economist I get to watch all this unfold and am overpaid for doing so.

My wife is a middle manager in a national Arts institution. The daily events that unfold there are beyond belief. It takes me an hour every evening to wind her down.

Milton Friedman was right...the only public institution should be the federal reserve and the military...everything else is flushing money down the toilet, or worse.

That being said, I know good management when I see it. I made a move last year to a division which has englightened management. Makes such a difference.

It all comes down to managing with your right as well as your left hemisphere.
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:07 AM   #97
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I'm very, very happy that I'm retired. But just to add to this thread, here is another article on the case against retirement:

10-reasons-you-shouldnt-retire: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:17 AM   #98
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I'm very, very happy that I'm retired. But just to add to this thread, here is another article on the case against retirement:

10-reasons-you-shouldnt-retire: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance
I believe the author has also drunk the Kool-Aid ....
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:26 AM   #99
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I think each situation really depends on the individual and their particular situation, balancing the risks and benefits.

DW is right on the fence and each evening is a discussion and debate of the issues, pros and cons, risks, paths of retreat, mitigation measures, how to fill the time, impact of relocation or snowbirding on family dynamics.

there was a move to privitize her team, which would have removed from her the responsibilty of deciding, with a buy out thrown in for good measure, but out of loyalty to her team, she fought it off successfully, just last week.
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Old 12-24-2009, 10:59 AM   #100
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I'm very, very happy that I'm retired. But just to add to this thread, here is another article on the case against retirement:

10-reasons-you-shouldnt-retire: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance
A list of of the reasons and my commentary:

1. Your health. Even if it's true that staying mentally and physically "engaged" is good for your health -- and I believe it is -- that doesn't mean it has to be paid employment that stresses you out. You may want to immerse yourself in some volunteer work with great personal meaning, for example -- something that's hard to do with a "career" getting in the way.

2. Your marriage. Sort of depends on the marriage, doesn't it? And why is the assumption that if you are retired, you're constantly home around the spouse 24/7? See above -- this is another stereotype of "retirement" meaning sitting around the house doing nothing.

3. Delay taxes. Say what? I'd say you may wind up with a lower income at an earlier age if you retire instead of w*rk... and you may tap IRAs earlier which will reduce the size of RMDs and keep more money in lower tax brackets. Delaying taxes isn't always the best thing if it results in kicking you into higher brackets when you do pay them. There's also reason to suspect that a higher income in retirement will "means test" you out of a lot of goodies in the future, too.

4. Higher Social Security checks. True, but if you don't need the money, at least at present, you have the do-over option available. And I'd also suspect that ANY SS reform in the future that makes it a worse deal will exempt those already taking it. These factors have convinced me that I'll start taking SS at 62, assuming that (and the do-over) are still options when I get there in 2027.

5. Work adds meaning to your life. Excuse me while I barf. See the response to #1. You can just as easily find it through volunteer work and/or hobbies, and some people may not feel the need for "meaning" at all.

6. Your social life. See also #1 and #5 -- "work" isn't the only way to maintain a social life. A lot more of our social life comes through our church than through our w*rk. And I also think the FIRE gene tends to come with the introvert gene anyway; in that sense I suspect the "social life" aspect here is overrated for many of those who are "wired to FIRE."

7. Health benefits. Yes, for most of us who aren't fortunate enough to have early retiree health insurance, this is THE reason to keep working. And even for many who do have it, there is no promise it will continue to exist all the way until Medicare kicks in. This one can't really be disputed unless you have rock-solid retiree health insurance or are so wealthy that paying for your own isn't a showstopper.

8. Society needs your skills.
Society needs our skills so much that we have 10% "official" unemployment and probably close to 16% "real" unemployment. If I have enough to retire on, I'd sooner give the j*b to someone who needs it more, given the scarcity of available good jobs these days. Unless you're a nurse or something like that where merely having a pulse gets you a job, this is a silly argument.

9. Job perks.
Travel, free food, employee discounts? If these are important to you, just figure out their "value" on an annual basis and factor those in as added expenses in retirement. If the math still works there's no reason not to call it quits.

10. Haven't saved enough.
You shouldn't even think about retirement until you have saved enough -- or, I guess, if you have a secure and generous (preferably COLA'd) pension that more than pays your living expenses. In reality this is a precondition to considering retirement anyway, so one shouldn't (responsibly) even consider retirement unless this isn't an issue. (And I still think it's dumb to talk about "average" amounts saved in retirement accounts unless you know whether or not the people involved have any defined benefit income waiting for them. Someone with a $50K COLA'd pension may not need the $2M in the 401K that someone without will need.)

In summary, so much of this list is the old, tired "work is life" crap that so many of us have already rejected.
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