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Old 07-14-2013, 08:20 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by ShortInSeattle View Post
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?

SIS
Great plan! When?
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:18 AM   #42
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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 didn't mean that (some) people enjoy their work so much that they would do it for free. I think you're framing the issue in black/white terms, as if you either work only for the money or you love your work so much you would do it for free. There are plenty of options in between.

All I meant was that it is quite possible, and a good idea, to try to find work that is interesting, stimulating, and rewarding for you personally, if you can. A paycheck is great, but some people find jobs that supply a paycheck and also provide other rewards (challenge, intellectual stimulation, creativity, etc.). That doesn't mean those people would do that work for free. It just means that they get more from their work than just money.

We spend a huge part of our lives at work. Why not try to make it as rewarding as possible? That's all I'm saying.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:30 AM   #43
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We spend a huge part of our lives at work. Why not try to make it as rewarding as possible? That's all I'm saying.
Agreed if it's possible, albeit finding work that's fun and well-paid is rare. If it's fun, it's not work anymore.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:30 AM   #44
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Great plan! When?
For me, about 10-15 years from now.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:41 AM   #45
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For me, about 10-15 years from now.
Thanks for the response. Best of luck!
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:52 AM   #46
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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.
This is the best piece of advice I've read on these forums in ... maybe ever.
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:35 PM   #47
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Some folks are indeed motivated to retire in their 40's. They save to become financially independent, with this goal in mind.

I *may* retire early, but this is not my motivation.

If perception colors reality, perhaps my view of the world is darker than it truly is. However, I can't shake this gnawing feeling in my gut that my generation is much less secure, and our outcome much less certain than my parents or grandparents before me.

I save as much as I do to be financially secure, and independent as a goal in and of itself. Once I'm FI, I will be free to take greater risk, and take more interesting work without worry of what will happen if I fail.

I do realize at some point after I'm FI, that interesting work may not be as rewarding as pursuing my hobbies, and spending time with family. I will make that decision when I come to it.

It's important that you have something to retire to, not simply a job you're escaping from.
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Old 07-14-2013, 02:58 PM   #48
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I really enjoyed reading all the replies...it definitely gives someone like me, a young "go-getter", some perspective as to why anyone would retire at an age when you should be nearing the peak of your earning potential.

My idea of an early retirement was retiring in your lower to mid 50's before I ever heard of this forum. The idea of calling it quits at 45 seemed to be preposterous unless you inherited a boatload of cash or made gobs of money in the stock/real estate boom.

My personal goal is to retire at age 52-53 with a solid 30 years in the working world. Hopefully by this time I have enough retirement savings as well as income-producing investments to allow for a comfortable lifestyle in my golden years. I plan "ideally" to escape the cornfields of Iowa to my retirement in sunny San Diego in a comfortable condo with views of the pacific. I've always felt that waking up every day in a city with perfect weather, beaches, sunshine, and an easy-going vibe would make me a happier person than dealing with snow, sleet, tornadoes, hail, excessive humidity, etc.

Maybe my personal goals are a bit lofty but I figure I have 30 years to hopefully plan for such a lifestyle.
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Old 07-14-2013, 03:50 PM   #49
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I'd love to retire as early as possible, so you could put me in this category. I'll take my stab at responding.

First the why:

In college I was constantly told despite studying all the time, that this was going to be the best time of my life. I didn't realize how true it would seem until I started my first job. Despite choosing a career generally considered to be good and intellectually stimulating, I was bored. I moved to a new company for more money, and I was much busier working overtime, but still bored.

The commute sucks because it's wasted time, but I'm doing it because the job doesn't pay enough to live in the area it's located in, at least not maintaining an adequate standard of living.

I'm told when to wake up every workday for the rest of my life. I'm told how to dress -gotta have buttons- and how to look -no long hair, etc. I'll put in extra time one day and feel too guilty to leave early the next. I don't feel at ease joking or being myself in a work atmosphere.


If you enjoy what you do is it really even "work"?

I guess some of us expected to enjoy work and it never panned out. It's still work if you enjoy it. Look if your boss does something stupid and you can't critique it, it's because your at work. You can enjoy everything you do technically and all your interactions with clients and customers, then a new boss comes in and you have to prove yourself all over again while watching the blunders a new boss makes without getting to help because your pay grade's not high enough for anyone to listen to what you have to say.

Pay and opportunities for people 45-50

We have some highly paid employees in this age range, who seem to get involved in lots of interesting work, but they'll be 60 to 65 and still in the company when I get to their level. I'm not convinced that positions with interesting work will remain when I get to that level. I've also seen people at this age who would love to call it quits but they don't have the means.

I believe in supply and demand when it comes to salaries. You're either getting high pay because you could go somewhere else (including early retirement), you have skills that few other workers have, or you happen to work in an industry with lots of $$ to go around. I have the opportunity to chase work with travel involved, but I wouldn't consider that a plus. To me it's not a vacation since you're there for work and your family is missing.
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:21 PM   #50
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I see a lot of references to "megacorp" in this forum, which leads me to believe that there are many folks here who worked for very large corporations prior to retiring. While there can be office politics, bureaucracy, and high stress in any company, I do believe that the megacorp environment can create a very impersonal experience for a lot of people, and that only makes it that much less satisfying for them.

I worked for two very large institutions at the beginning of my career, with my last day of employment with the second one ending in my early 20's. Since then I have only worked for small companies. I knew early on that a big impersonal company was not my cup of tea.

I would discourage anyone in their 20's from stating that they want to work until they are 53 or so years old. The reality is you really have no idea how you will feel in 30 years about your job or career. By all means, do everything you can to become financially independent as soon as feasible. And listen to all the advice about living below your means. But don't assume that you won't want to work in your 50's, or won't find it fulfilling. I really enjoy being a part of an enterprise and coming up with new ideas and new ways to do things. And I enjoy the teamwork associated with being with others in an organization.

I chose to leave my last position because I was burned out. I was the CEO of my company and everything that went wrong ultimately was my responsibility to deal with. It just became too exhausting for me, and it was time for me to let it go and do something else with my life. Now I'm working part time doing consulting, and loving the freedom I have, along with the ability to keep a toe hold in the work place, along with continuing to have a nice bit of income coming in. However, I do not need the income, and if I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't be doing it.

That was my experience. But as they say, YMMV.
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Old 07-14-2013, 05:24 PM   #51
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My personal goal is to retire at age 52-53 with a solid 30 years in the working world. Hopefully by this time I have enough retirement savings as well as income-producing investments to allow for a comfortable lifestyle in my golden years. I plan "ideally" to escape the cornfields of Iowa to my retirement in sunny San Diego in a comfortable condo with views of the pacific. I've always felt that waking up every day in a city with perfect weather, beaches, sunshine, and an easy-going vibe would make me a happier person than dealing with snow, sleet, tornadoes, hail, excessive humidity, etc.

Maybe my personal goals are a bit lofty but I figure I have 30 years to hopefully plan for such a lifestyle.
Your goal is realistic. I too want to get away from the cold, chilly climate and reside in sunny California during my retirement years. San Diego or anywhere at the CA coastline would be ideal.
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:05 PM   #52
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... As an outsider looking in...being retired at such a young age seems like it would lead to an unsatisfying existence.

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...

So for those wanting to ER in their 40's...my question is why? Are you sick of work period? Does your company allow for no room to grow into better/more interesting opportunities? Do you simply want to spend more time with family?

If you enjoy what you do...is it really even "work"? Of course everyone has their bad days but when you have a job that leads to some type of self-fulfillment, why would you want to ER?

Inquiring minds...
So I am 36, just now playing around with the idea of ER in my 40s. I have had one of those positions where I was in charge, dictated my own daily schedule, and had to travel. The other aspect that came with running the show was the fact that I was never truly "off", even on vacation. I got phone calls, emails, text messages, all telling me things "just so I would know when I got back". My wife deals with this at 32 in a Director position. Her time is rarely hers. Few evenings go by without a call, text, or email from a client or someone in her charge. It grates on you after a while.

Money, once viewed as a means to various ends, is now viewed as a means to one end: independence - the ability to do what I want, when I want to do it, and without the say so of someone else, whether I work for them or they work for me.

I am tired of working, yes, and I don't necessarily enjoy what I do every day (my wife loves her job... she may work longer than I do - I'll have no problem being a kept man!). But every day that passes where I do what someone else wants me to instead of what I (or we) want to do is a day wasted.

I'm not going to look back on my life and think "I was once the _______ at Megacorp." I'm going to think "I hope I was a great husband, (maybe a great father/grandfather if we have children), and I got to see ________ and do __________. I've led a full life!" Work, to me, is a means to get to that end, and the less of it I have to do to get there, the better!
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:10 PM   #53
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I really enjoyed reading all the replies...it definitely gives someone like me, a young "go-getter", some perspective as to why anyone would retire at an age when you should be nearing the peak of your earning potential.

My idea of an early retirement was retiring in your lower to mid 50's before I ever heard of this forum. The idea of calling it quits at 45 seemed to be preposterous unless you inherited a boatload of cash or made gobs of money in the stock/real estate boom.

My personal goal is to retire at age 52-53 with a solid 30 years in the working world. Hopefully by this time I have enough retirement savings as well as income-producing investments to allow for a comfortable lifestyle in my golden years. I plan "ideally" to escape the cornfields of Iowa to my retirement in sunny San Diego in a comfortable condo with views of the pacific. I've always felt that waking up every day in a city with perfect weather, beaches, sunshine, and an easy-going vibe would make me a happier person than dealing with snow, sleet, tornadoes, hail, excessive humidity, etc.
I live in a house with a view of the Pacific (OK, well, from my driveway), and yes, I do not miss Indiana from that standpoint. Perfect weather - check. Beaches, sunshine - check. Easy going vibe - well, if you work here, it's the same stress as anyplace else, you just get to escape it on the weekends a little bit better than some others.

Like you, I hope to retire here, and the sooner the better. Believe me, I'm not going to miss the commute on the 5 or seeing how great it is outside while I'm stuck inside or on a ship all day! Instead, I'll just go be out there!
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Old 07-14-2013, 07:21 PM   #54
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I retired to a home on the beach in Southern California after working very hard since graduating college. We paid off the home last year and thoroughly enjoy being by the beach and having the beautiful weather every day. So, in case you were wondering...I can assure you - it's great!!
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:24 PM   #55
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I plan on (semi?) retiring at the age of 48, in early 2015. Except for two years spent doing real estate (which I loved), I've been in the IT field for almost 30 years (I've been working with computers and IT in some form or fashion since I was about 17 years old), and I've grown jaded and bored. It simply doesn't interest me anymore, and in the grand scheme of things, I find the work I do boring and meaningless.

I tried to escape all that with my first career change (not just job change, but a career change) in 2005 when I got my license and started practicing real estate. I loved it. For the first time in my life, I was working for myself, with no boss, projects, or schedules hanging over me. I just couldn't make it last due to the economy. 2005 was probably the WORST year to get involved in real estate, and I lost every dollar I had.

If I'm blessed enough to walk away from where I'm at with a life-changing windfall in 2015, I am leaving the IT field forever, and never looking back. If I do choose to work again, it will definitely not be in IT, nor be for another person. I'll run my own business of some type. But I'm taking at least 2 or 3 years off to travel and enjoy the world before I even think of something like that. I want zero responsibilities for a couple years, with nobody to answer to but myself (I'm not married, and have no kids, so that makes it easier for me to do that than most people).

And even if I do start my own gig, be it real estate or anything else...the day it stops being "fun", or rewarding, is the day I'll shut the business down.

Regarding the OP's statement about management...when I had to give up the real estate thing and get back into IT, I decided I was going to try climbing the ladder a bit more, something I hadn't really done before, as I was content to be a worker bee. I assumed a management role for about 6 months when my boss got promoted, and I took over our team.

HATED IT. I detest office politics, and I didn't realize how much my manager shielded us from all the BS that went on at the executive level. All of a sudden, I had to deal with all that crap, and I hated it. I also hated dealing with interviewing, hiring, salary reviews, performance appraisals, and all that other paperwork BS crap that goes along with managing people. The final straw was realizing that when you're a manager, ALL your peoples' problems are YOUR problem.

No thanks. I lasted 6 months, and then went to a new company. I have no plans to pursue a "management" job again, unless it's me running the show at my own place, in which case I'll delegate all the junk I don't care to do to somebody else (it's good to be the king, right?)

My .02...
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:08 AM   #56
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Like ArizonaDreaming, I too had strong career aspirations in my early 20's of reaching lofty heights in megacorp. And like many posters in this thread, I too had a change of heart as I climbed the corporate ladder and FI edged ever so much closer. Once FI is achieved, it is amazing how you get that lotto-winning like feeling and wonder how you ever put up with all that BS that is suddenly is so obvious, but that was seemingly so tolerable for so long. RE may shortly follow.

In short, don't be too surprised to find that the "fire" of your ambition at the start of your career is what can lead to the "FIRE" that prematurely ends it.
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Old 07-15-2013, 09:37 AM   #57
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In short, don't be too surprised to find that the "fire" of your ambition at the start of your career is what can lead to the "FIRE" that prematurely ends it.
It's called victory at last or the end of suffering.
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:10 PM   #58
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Work is instrumentally valuable in that it provides me with an income that has allowed me to accumulate sufficient wealth in a short period of time and will allow me to do whatever I want to do at a very early age.

Some days it has been fun, others boring, occasionally stressful or emotionally draining. The good times are mixed with the bad. I try to find things to do that are interesting and keep myself engaged, but not too much (since then I would be identified as a high performer and relied on too much).

I sort of look at work (since I'm close to FI) as a volunteer position and try to find things that I like to do or that I'm good at. The difference is that they pay me here in exchange for me showing up for some minimal amount of hours and putting forth a minimal amount of effort.

Over time new experiences lose their novelty. Sitting in a fancy office is neat at first. Then you realize you have decades more of your life to sit in a similar setting. The first few times you hire someone it is cool. Then it is merely admin work. Managing your first million/100 million/billion dollar project is an awesome responsibility. Then it becomes drudgery. Being clever enough to navigate your group/org through choppy waters without foundering is amazing the first couple of times. Then you start noticing a bunch of dipshits on the side of the canal that are causing the erratic currents you are suffering through due to their poor planning or overzealous ambitions and lack of foresight.
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:55 PM   #59
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^^ Fuego's reply above is exactly how I feel about IT work, and especially development (programming). The first few systems or programs you create are challenging and fun. But after almost 30 years of doing it, I've realized that all these systems do basically three things: Take input, process it, and create output. That's it.

The output could be a report, a screen, a worksheet, an application, whatever. But it's still pixels on a screen, or printed on paper.

The only thing that varies from project to project is the amount of: unrealistic expectations, insufficient requirements, upset customers, unneeded meetings, overabundance of politics, land grabbing, etc, that get in the way.

It just gets old. Real old.

But hopefully, 18 more months and I'm done to the point I can walk out the door and never have to work another IT job ever again.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:39 PM   #60
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LoneAspen,

Just curious, but is it possible for you to get back in to real estate part time while continuing with your IT job, and eventually retire from IT and move into real estate on a full time basis? The market seems to be coming back now, so the timing may be pretty good to do so.

Doing the same thing for 30 years would likely bore almost anyone. Why not make a change into something you like doing?
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