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Old 07-12-2013, 11:10 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by ArizonaDreaming View Post
So for those wanting to ER in their 40' question is why?
The horror.... The horror....

And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know.
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Old 07-12-2013, 11:21 PM   #22
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I think it helps to have worked awhile to appreciate not having to work if you don't want to, or choosing to work at a low stress job you enjoy instead of a high stress / high pay one.

Some of the rich kids in the Born Rich documentary by Jamie Johnson seemed to be kind of directionless not having to work for a living. Or some worked any way, even though they didn't need the money.

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Old 07-13-2013, 01:33 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by ArizonaDreaming View Post
In the company I work for, quite a few people in their mid to upper 40's have some of the best positions. Often times these positions pay upwards of $150K/ year, there is a decent amount of travel involved, and you truly are the manager of a small facet of a large company.
I was that person. I was passionate about my work and about leadership. But it was always work, and the reason I was earning the big bucks was another part of the job, involving many sleepless nights and lots of stress. I became FI in my late 40s and realized that I had an alternative. I did not ER immediately as I wanted to see some things through. Eventually the BS and stress were piling up and the passion died. I ERd at 55, not a moment too soon. It will happen to you too.
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:27 AM   #24
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I'm retiring at 47 years young on 30 September this year

Reason for FIREing - there are many things I want to do with my one and only life and I have reached the stage where I see more "life" outside the office than in it. Many of them would be impossible for me to do while continuing my career (or any other full time job). I'm also acutely conscious of the fact that more of my life is likely behind me than ahead of me - deathbed regrets are something to be avoided. Since the numbers stack up, I've decided to go. It was an easy decision and, so far, my only regret is not doing it sooner.

First up is an MFA in creative writing and writing a book. I've also volunteered to do some work for a non-profit.

If I had nothing that I wanted to do more than continue my career, I'd stay on but the challenge that used to drive me has long since faded and I find other things much more appealing
Budgeting is a skill practised by people who are bad at politics.
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Old 07-13-2013, 05:55 AM   #25
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48 years old here. I like what I do but feel burned out. Litigation risks are potentially very significant with every single patient. Office politics are not enjoyable, and when it comes to my consulting activities, the rat race has never been my thing. I find more satisfaction volunteering abroad where it is possible to touch the lives of thousands of patients in only a couple of weeks, which is what I would like to focus on when I finally FIRE.
Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
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Old 07-13-2013, 06:14 AM   #26
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Good question Arizona

We all have our reasons for wanting to FIRE. Over time our reasons change.

Where I am now, 47, FI, but holding out for 2 more years so we can travel more in retirement, work is purely a means to an end.

Some days are great, some, not so much. Even the days I really enjoy it, I can easily think of a 1000 things I'd rather be doing. On the bad days, well, it is hard not to submit my retirement paperwork.

The fact that you are on this board tells me you are far ahead of your peers, and when you reach the point where many of us are now, you'll be able to chose. Work on, or retire early.

I wish you fun and excitement as you work towards FI, and if it is what you want, FIRE!
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Old 07-13-2013, 06:49 AM   #27
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Like others, when I was young there was a lot I wanted to accomplish and the acheivements, titles and money that came along were great. Do anything though for 20+ years and chances are it's appeal will diminish and there are other ways you may want to spend your time. So FI is about choices and that freedom is priceless. Doesn't mean some won't chooose to stay in megacorp but I sure wasn't one of them and love all the activities, events, time with family/friends or just enjoy being that are now my life.
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:19 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by ArizonaDreaming View Post
In the company I work for, quite a few people in their mid to upper 40's have some of the best positions. Often times these positions pay upwards of $150K/ year, there is a decent amount of travel involved, and you truly are the manager of a small facet of a large company.
You do realize that org structures are pyramidal, right? Most people in their mid to upper 40s are not managers, since there just aren't enough managerial positions open for all of those people. The positions you describe are far from universal.

Being 22 years old, I aspire to be in one of these positions as I gain experience and many of those who hold these jobs seem to enjoy what they do and the various interactions on a daily basis unlike the boring and monotonous work I perform being entry-level.
Well, yes, that's the price all of us pay right out of school. And the high-powered positions demand seriously long hours and time away from friends and family, so there are trade-offs.

Are you sick of work period?
To a certain degree, yes. Much of my evenings and weekends are consumed by decompressing from work and doing chores around the house. I haven't gone fishing in years, and my new creative hobby is progressing very slowly simply because I don't have the time to dedicate to it. And my raspberry patch is not being cared for properly, either.

Does your company allow for no room to grow into better/more interesting opportunities?
This does max out, eventually. You see a lot of upside, since you're at the beginning of your career, but I'm already seeing positions where my strategic skills and ability to effect systemic change are simply not wanted. Most companies don't do the big systemic improvements until the FDA is threatening them (in my industry). I'm 38, BTW, so it happened sooner than I was expecting.

Do you simply want to spend more time with family?
Oh hell yeah. I married my husband because I actually want to be with him, not spend 3/4 of our waking hours apart.

If you enjoy what you it really even "work"?
For me, any time I have to get up when I'd really rather get another hour of sleep, makes it "work". I work in the medical device industry, which is highly fulfilling, but there's always drudgery. There's always coworkers you clash with, and DBRs (dumb business rules) you can't change. Those annoyances will wear off the shiny new coating of a career eventually, even if you like it.

I agree with others - go for FI, so you can do what you want with your life. If you want, work until you drop dead and give a bunch to charity. RE and start a chicken farm. The freedom to do what you want is always worthwhile.
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:35 AM   #29
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I got out at 45 ... managed 3 groups as a department head (and rental property on the side).

What did it for me was the politics. Too much under-tow and back-stabbing by both contractors AND CUSTOMERS. THAT'S management ... THAT's what had to be "managed" ... and I had had enough at 45.

The OP said it best ....

unlike the boring and monotonous work I perform being entry-level.
... it only gets WORSE.
FIRE'd since 2005
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:52 AM   #30
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My 2 cents:
Those positions you look at look and feel different once you have them enjoyed for some years.
At age 22 I was not aware of that.
I do not regret one minute that I pushed myself to get into such positions.
However, I am happy that I realized early enough to save for FI that the fun might go away over time.
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:57 AM   #31
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I'm 47. Had a management job by the time I was 26, hated hated hated it. Would never aspire to that again.

Then I got a good job at a good company, was making $100k in non-management pretty quickly.

But the job has changed radically, the downsizings have decimated my department, and it's no fun anymore.

I have a hobby that makes little money but has ended up being a very rewarding experience, and is what I define myself by, far more than my job.

My husband (52) and I have no kids, have done a good job of LBOM, and are ready to do something other than work full time.

But, above all that, I've recently watched a parent who always seemed like they'd live forever go through a horrible disease and die at 73, and that made the decision even easier. You've only got one life, and you never know what's going to happen.
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Old 07-13-2013, 08:43 AM   #32
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I left an interesting and fulfilling job that I had spent decades working toward at 47, last year. At some point in my thirties, I realized that fulfillment can be achieved outside of work. In my mid forties, a series of illnesses and deaths of friends and family members prodded me to realize that time is limited. I feel very lucky to have a choice about where and how I spend my time, and I choose to spend it seeing the world, making myself healthier and enjoying the company of family and friends, which could not be done while working given the stressful and time consuming nature of most high powered jobs. Even when the job is great, there are other challenges out there. Giving yourself the gift of financial independence enables you to decide what's next, rather than being forced to work because you need the income. If you happen to still love your job once you are FI, party on. But if you don't, or if you just want to try something else, it sure is nice to have the ability.

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Old 07-13-2013, 09:37 AM   #33
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I am one of the lucky ones. I retired at 59. I always enjoyed my job, up until the last 2 or 3 years when the industry and my employer changed.

I was well compensated and I had some very lucrative stock options which I exercised prior to the crash and kept in cash. My job was great, the team that I worked with was first class, and head office was far away.

I changed my focus several times during my working career. It allowed me to change, and enjoy change/challenge/personal growth.

I think the best advice I would provide is be flexible, be prepared for change, keep your ear to the ground, and gain an appreciation of what constitutes a good opportunity within your environment. And don't waste your time and talent working in a position that you do not like or enjoy if you envisage this as your future.
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:38 AM   #34
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@ OP, I want to simplify my life, reduce stress and enjoy the rest of my life. If my job wasn't going to kill me I would continue and more slowly wind down. But even then eventually the job will usually get in the way of other things you want to do.

I used to love my job when I was in my 20's. I actually couldn't believe they paid me to do it. As I moved up through the ranks and became more exposed to politics and such, I made a lot more money, but liked the job less and less.

Today I am 48 and have a higher end position that has a base salary of 152K per yer. I have turned down a promotion to the next position 3 times in the last four years. The next position comes with a 30K raise and makes you eligible for annual bonuses. In good years those bonuses are almost equal to your entire salary. However I think the good years will be few and far between going forward. Frankly I don't need the money, and I certainly don't need the stress. In that next position I assume I would stroke out within a decade and leave my wife a wealthy widow. I don't think I could even survive to normal retirement age in 19 years staying in my current position. I am currently fairly healthy and would like to keep it that way for as long as I can.

My wife's position with the same company is similar money wise, but she is one step behind me, 80-100K now but could move into the 130-160K range at the next position in the next year or two. Next Friday is her ER date.

I used to travel extensively for the company. I'm a programmer/analyst, but often the customer wanted our techs to talk with their techs, while the sales and management guys sit at the other end of the conference room and talk about money, baseball and how cool their new Porsche is. So these trips are taking me away from what I would consider my primary job. At first the expense account living seemed like fun and adventure and almost a mini vacation each time. It quickly became a tedious pain in the ass. As the company out-sourced there were fewer and fewer actual employees to handle these meetings. So each of us began doing more of them. Each trip became a mad scramble to get there and back. No time to site see, just a series of airports and bad food. We need you back in the office doing your real job. But the management and sales guys always seem to get to stay through the next weekend on the company dime. I arrived at work one day and my boss handed me plane tickets for 4 flights that day in another coworkers name. My coworker had gotten sick so even though I had just returned from a two day trip, I was up again. Can you imagine flying today with plane tickets that are not actually yours?

Because of the travel above and the fairly senior level I have risen to, I did get to spend a fair amount of time with many of the VPs at the company listening to them while drinking at some airport or hotel bar. I learned that most deal with stress by drinking and buying things. So I actually have a larger retirement nest egg than most of them and a more conservative lifestyle to support than all of them. I only remember running into a couple that have more than 5 years of annual expenses saved up for retirement. I have 40 years saved.

My ER date is the first week of 2014. If I make it that long.
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:03 PM   #35
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It's always interesting to me to read the comments of 20/30 year olds, their careers, their motivation and in my opinion, their "lack of real world experience".
I, too, was once a fired up, pi$$-cutter of an employee, willing to leap tall building with a single bound, work hours without end and sacrifice all including my family life for the "good of the organization". My ego got in the way of living a balanced, full life. I take full responsibility for that. However, no longer will I do so.
You will soon learn the truth. Hopefully, you will do so sooner than later.
You may be in a fantastic work situation. I was several times. They do not last. Being promoted to Management is worse. No matter what they tell you, your role is to extract the most of your direct reports/teams with the least amount of resources input (that includes $). Period. It's a zero sum game and it's been the same throughout my entire working career. Today it's even worse in the workplace with all of the mind-numbing metrics, grading, political correctness, & non-value added EH&S nonsense. Work is an income generating device, whether you work for someone else or own you own business. Don't try and receive "fulfillment, inspiration or enlightenment" from your work. Make it a income generating device and keep it at that. Once your personal wealth exceeds your working income, let's just see how long you will continue to do so.

Sorry to be such a downer; however, you need to understand that the decades will change you. This includes what's "important to you", your family, your remaining time on this earth and other things you can do with your time. All I hope is that you find "enlightenment" earlier in your life than I did. Good luck to you.
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Old 07-13-2013, 03:52 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by jime444 View Post
Don't try and receive "fulfillment, inspiration or enlightenment" from your work. Make it a income generating device and keep it at that.
Although I understand where jime is coming from, I disagree with this bit of advice. There is nothing wrong and much right with trying to find work that is personally satisfying, interesting, and stimulating -- even inspiring or meaningful. Many people spend decades in work they are excited and stimulated by. May you be one of them.

Just be aware, like a lot of people are saying, that things may look a lot different after a couple of decades in the field.
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Old 07-13-2013, 07:42 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by eyeonFI View Post

...If all goes according to plan, my kids will be about 6 and 8 when I ER. I want to be able to devote a lot more of my time and attention to them, and be involved in their lives. I have only one chance to do this - if I wait a decade that chance will be gone.
This was the clincher when I was given an opportunity to retire early due to company downsizing. I had just turned 50 and the boys were 2 years and the younger only 15 months. Once I realized that I could be part of their daily lives, it was a no brainer. Call me a soccer Dad.

Now 63, boys are 14 and 16, and it was absolutely the right decision. Do some seasonal work (taxes). The boys sometimes gripe that I'm not home as much and I remind them that that is the norm for most families.
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Old 07-13-2013, 09:50 PM   #38
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My favorite statistic (never been able to verify it.)
Percentage of multi-million lottery winners who say they intend to continue working 75%
Percentage of multi-million lottery winners still working one year latter 25%.

Simply put when you no longer have to work to maintain your lifestyle it changes your attitude about work. Money may not buy happiness but the lack of money can make you pretty miserable. I have been fortunate that other than college, I've never poor. But plenty of board members have.

There are things that satisfy and things that dissatisfy about a job. There is a forum anecdote about jobs being a one big bullshit bucket. I am going expand on the concept.

Imagine when you start your job you get a outhouse toilet right next to your desk. For most people when you first start out in a job, the pit is so deep you can't even hear if you drop something down the pit. When you open the toilet lovely fragrances waft out and your favorite songs play. Now every time you get
an assignment to do something some opens the toilet and deposits some sh*t Every once in a while you catch a bit of the smell but it isn't too bad.

The good news is you are constantly learning things at the job, meeting new people.
Every time that happens the janitors come and clean the toilet. Sometimes you even get pat on the back from the boss, a fun new project, or even a promotion. Then the janitor crew comes and enhances your toilet, adds comfy heated seat, air purifiers, maybe a bidet, gold fixtures, eventually a TV even.

But the biggest single thing that happens is every two week or so is you get a paycheck. When you really want a new car, owe on your student loan, or want to treat your SO to night on the town. The paychecks are literally the equivalent of having the outhouse sh*t completely removed.

As time passes in a job, the fragrance fades, the music gets repetitive. There is less stuff to learn and some of the interesting people you met turn out to be A*holes.
More or more BS gets dumped in your toilet and you realize sh*t really does stink. Now eventually many people will find a new job and start with new clean smelling outhouse.

But a funny thing happens when you achieve financial independence. The paychecks become less important, so it seem that instead of complete emptying your outhouse the janitors open the toilet and only remove a small cup. At some point, the outhouse overflows, and doesn't really matter how pretty the fixtures are or how nice the TV. You realize you are tired of the BS. Moving to a different jobs doesn't have a huge appeal because all jobs come with outhouse toilets.

During the late 90s, at the height of the internet bubble, my stock option gains were 5x my salary, and my (paper) portfolio gains were closer to 10x. It didn't really matter that I was 39 why work if I didn't love my job and I no longer did.
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Old 07-13-2013, 10:44 PM   #39
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I really enjoy my job, and I suspect I'll like ER even more.

More time with my DH.
More freedom to travel.
Permanent Summer Vacation!
More time for sleep, exercise, family, movies, books, and sex.
The freedom to offer my skills as a consultant or volunteer, but not feeling obligated to.

What is not to love about this plan?

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Old 07-13-2013, 11:12 PM   #40
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Well, I guess we'll agree to disagree with EREddie. Personally, I've never met one person that would do the work I do(or similar) for little or no compensation. All my peers do is talk about is ER. People that LOVE their work may exist, however, I've never met them. Ask them, " how long would you work here for no compensation?". Nope, zero positive responses, ever. I really believe it's a made-up fantasy of business's management for "motivational" purposes. About every couple of months I see some "study" for managers to "motivate" their employees. They talk about engagement, inspiration, team work, etc. They never talk about improving compensation or benefits or pensions or 401k matching. Why? Because that costs money and that's a big no-no.

If you can find work that you don't truly loathe, and it's compensation is reasonable, then consider yourself ahead of the game. A lot of my so-called career has been pretty decent, interesting work and I do consider myself fortunate. However, as I near ER, either the work is getting worse or my tolerance for it is getting less. Probably a combination of the two. Good luck in your future endeavors, make sure you LBYM and properly save and invest for those works days, twenty or thirty years from now, that will seem to never end. I can almost guarantee that there will be some of those.

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