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Old 05-03-2013, 11:59 AM   #41
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That never-retirement.org forum wants to know what the heck redduck is talking about!
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:18 PM   #42
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I don't really understand the question OP. I think my career has gone splendidly well. A job is instrumentally valuable to me, and not intrinsically valuable. Getting further education and experience to increase the earnings available at a job was simply instrumentally valuable as well. The job pays amply to provide for myself and my family, and leaves a generous surplus each month to allow accumulation of capital, from which we intend to live in perpetuity.
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:43 PM   #43
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we intend to live in perpetuity.
Now I am impressed!
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:26 PM   #44
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OP: I infer from your phrasing that you are saying that our poor choice of careers is the reason that we want to retire early and that if we had just chosen better we would not be counting the days to ER.

Hogwash! Nothing went wrong, went south, etc. It was A-OK.
+1. I really enjoyed my career for the first 33 years, so nothing went wrong. I worked 60-80 hours/week for the first 20 something years, not because I had to, because I wanted to (try to make a difference and get ahead/reach FI). And even when I retired after 35 years, I didn't hate it, I miss the broad personal interaction and the satisfaction of continual improvement. Some of the Corp politics had gotten a little tiresome, but mostly that became a game to play, and it actually fun at times (some not) to find ways to work through/around the (mostly ego driven) nonsense. I'd just run out of challenges in that position and wasn't willing to relocate for the next promotion, so time to move on - life is short. Thought I'd try retirement, and if that doesn't work out, a second career. I was lucky when all is said and done...
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Old 05-03-2013, 02:55 PM   #45
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we intend to live in perpetuity.


Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
Now I am impressed!
This can play hell with a SWR.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:04 PM   #46
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looking for the time you can quit the job you hate
I think the OP's question is a good one, and it's one I ask myself all the time, especially while reading these forums.

I do believe most Americans (yes 50%+) hate their jobs and would give almost anything to get free and still meet their needs and obligations. This observation is based on what I have witnessed over 30+ years at dozens of companies all over the U.S. I understand you may see it differently, but I have to call it as I see it.

I'm a big believer in free markets, including a free labor market, so why the sorry state of affairs? This is what I think:

1. College is a big, illusion-dispensing bubble. Animal House ain't the real world. Not even close. Even if you didn't live in Animal House, the nature of higher education is such that it bears absolutely no relation to the day-in, day-out experience of going to a real workplace full of real coworkers and real superiors.

2. Work isn't about work. It's mostly about dealing with difficult, and sometimes seriously deranged or vindictive people. Being a teacher isn't about teaching. It's mostly about dealing with difficult students, parents, and admins. Being a dentist isn't about dentistry. It's mostly about dealing with difficult patients, employees, and insurance companies.

3. Positions of power, including corporate management, attract flawed personalities.

4. Positions of power, including management, manufacture flawed personalities.

5. Workplaces change. The workplace-experience you love today may become the one you despise tomorrow. There is absolutely no way to know when or if this will happen, although the longer you are there, the more likely you are to experience it.

6. People change. That goes for your co-workers and bosses (see 5, above), but also for you. Even if you love your J*b today, your interests and tolerance levels are likely to change with time, resulting in a severe mismatch between you and your j*b/career.

7. Changing j*bs doesn't help. Eventually you realize that different workplaces are just different manifestations of the same phenomena.

8. Our modern society is like a pressure-cooker or a meat grinder. Eventually you sense your mortality and want a few gasps of freedom before you go. For me, that's what FIRE is about.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:08 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Onward View Post
I think the OP's question is a good one, and it's one I ask myself all the time, especially while reading these forums.

I do believe most Americans (yes 50%+) hate their jobs and would give almost anything to get free and still meet their needs and obligations. This observation is based on what I have witnessed over 30+ years at dozens of companies all over the U.S. I understand you may see it differently, but I have to call it as I see it.

I'm a big believer in free markets, including a free labor market, so why the sorry state of affairs? This is what I think:

1. College is a big, illusion-dispensing bubble. Animal House ain't the real world. Not even close. Even if you didn't live in Animal House, the nature of higher education is such that it bears absolutely no relation to the day-in, day-out experience of going to a real workplace full of real coworkers and real superiors.

2. Work isn't about work. It's mostly about dealing with difficult, and sometimes seriously deranged or vindictive people. Being a teacher isn't about teaching. It's mostly about dealing with difficult students, parents, and admins. Being a dentist isn't about dentistry. It's mostly about dealing with difficult patients, employees, and insurance companies.

3. Positions of power, including corporate management, attract flawed personalities.

4. Positions of power, including management, manufacture flawed personalities.

5. Workplaces change. The workplace-experience you love today may become the one you despise tomorrow. There is absolutely no way to know when or if this will happen, although the longer you are there, the more likely you are to experience it.

6. People change. That goes for your co-workers and bosses (see 5, above), but also for you. Even if you love your J*b today, your interests and tolerance levels are likely to change with time, resulting in a severe mismatch between you and your j*b/career.

7. Changing j*bs doesn't help. Eventually you realize that different workplaces are just different manifestations of the same phenomena.

8. Our modern society is like a pressure-cooker or a meat grinder. Eventually you sense your mortality and want a few gasps of freedom before you go. For me, that's what FIRE is about.
BINGO Squared !
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:28 PM   #48
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Simple answer: TPS reports. (See the movie Office Space if you don't know what this is.) I'd have been more likely to stay longer if my day wasn't dominated by doing TPS reports. The funniest part is being asked about being bored in retirement. How could I be any more bored than spending a day filling out TPS reports? I suspect a lot of people have their own version of TPS reports.
This made me stop and chuckle. Just today at work I was cleaning out my files, both in my desk and email. Reams and reams of power point and excel documents, that seemed so important and consumed so much of my time and the time of many others, and in retrospect most of it was just churning. So, these files were turned into confetti by the industrial shredder, and I could feel the stress of burdens past lighten almost in direct correlation to the decreasing pile of "TPS" reports that I spent feeding into the shredder all afternoon.
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Old 05-03-2013, 03:45 PM   #49
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I recall a memory from when I was 12 years old: Baseball was my life, and I'd spend all day swinging a bat or throwing a ball to improve my skills. I took things very seriously, and when I had a bad game it would crush my soul. After one such game an adult tried telling me that I should just have fun and stop taking things so seriously. I responded with, "I'm taking it seriously and working hard now so that I won't have to work hard later." I truly thought I'd get drafted and be set for life by the age of 22. That, and my natural tendency to save (evoking strong feelings of security for me), probably means that I've always wanted to FIRE.

In my later teens (after giving up on baseball) I decided that money didn't matter as much as "doing something of great significance," and I made choices leading to my current profession. Thankfully the money is better than I realized since the feelings of "doing something of great significance" are increasingly uncommon. I don't think I was clueless about my career choice but I guess I had some unrealistic expectations. I originally came to this forum when I saw that FIRE could be a real possibility in the future, and it becomes a more important goal as I'm worn down by the day-to-day grind.

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Old 05-03-2013, 04:18 PM   #50
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I like work. I like having the option to quit even more.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:35 PM   #51
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A lot of great answers to a great post. I came across an article that stated that when people move on to new jobs, most people are motivated to escape their supervisor or manager rather than the work itself. Certainly that has been true of my own job transitions. I went into a field that fascinated me intellectually, only to discover that translating fascination into skill amidst managers, supervisors, and co-workers who were too busy trying to meet their own needs rather than that of their clients (another way of saying “corporate politics” I suppose) was and continues to be excruciatingly stressful. My wife doesn’t understand my need to move on, but for me it just can’t happen soon enough. I’m hoping I’m able to retire while I’m still young enough to enjoy it.
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Old 05-03-2013, 05:59 PM   #52
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:06 PM   #53
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Although I believe I am rather clueless when it comes to finance, I have not been clueless with my career choice. Have always enjoyed taking care of patients and providing medical services.

No idea why you made your post green. Did you want to show that we can change font color in our posts? :-)

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Originally Posted by redduck View Post
Something went south. A lot of you folks obviously studied hard, made all kinds of sacrifices, maybe even went to graduate school so you could work in your chosen profession. And, now, many of you are counting the days, months, years, or decades looking for the time you can quit the job you hate. Now, I understand that many of you just want to retire early to get on with your lives, but what about the others of you? What happened? What didn’t you account for?
(Ah, duck, is this any way to make friends)?
And, maybe more importantly, how did I make this post green?
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:25 PM   #54
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I like my career field. I have been quite happy being self employed.

I didn't like 2 hour commutes, rigid hours and 60 hours work weeks.
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:26 PM   #55
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It seems to me a little odd that someone who professes to love their work so much would subscribe and post so frequently to an early retirement website.
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Old 05-03-2013, 06:41 PM   #56
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Work, for some, is something that one just "does". For others, it is a means to an end. I am one of the latter group. Enjoyment of the process is nice, but there is always a long term vision.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:13 PM   #57
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In my first career I flew army helicopters. I loved it but it was not something most people can do for a lifetime. I was still able to pass a flight physical when I retired but my vision eventually got to where I needed to wear bifocals. Daylight flight was fine but bifocals and night vision goggles are not a good mix. I retired from the army still liking the work but realizing that I was not as good at it as I wanted to be. In my second career which was nursing I enjoyed the work for the first decade but then we started doing computer charting rather than paper charting. Instead of making the job easier computer charting took lots more time. I got tired of spending most of my shift sitting at a computer terminal rather than providing good patient care. I spent most of my shifts working at night as the charge nurse. I actually enjoyed dealing with all the unhappy patients, family members, physicians and patient care technicians more than sitting at a computer terminal. I do think this is a case of the job changing more than me changing but I do recognize that I may have become resistant to change more as I got older. The decision to early retire at age 56 was pretty easy.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:19 PM   #58
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I have almost always enjoyed my work, and I would not change any of the career choices I have made. I want to retire because I have many and varied interests and only so much time left on this Earth to pursue them.
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:21 PM   #59
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Something went south. A lot of you folks obviously studied hard, made all kinds of sacrifices, maybe even went to graduate school so you could work in your chosen profession. And, now, many of you are counting the days, months, years, or decades looking for the time you can quit the job you hate. Now, I understand that many of you just want to retire early to get on with your lives, but what about the others of you? What happened? What didn’t you account for?
(Ah, duck, is this any way to make friends)?
And, maybe more importantly, how did I make this post green?
From your post, you are not talking to me. I absolutely loved what I did for 32 years. I will admit that there were occasional unpleasant attributes to the j0b, but nothing I could not tolerate (until the very end). The j0b went away, and the industry had changed to the point where I could no longer enjoy it. It had been apparent for several years, so in those years I prepared myself to become FI ... and to ER if necessary when the time came. The time came, and I was FI, so I ER'd. The only thing that went south was the j0b. Looking back, the only thing I would do differently is to figure out a way to do it (the j0b) longer -- not for the money, though.

Oh, I almost forgot . . . This is green.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:05 PM   #60
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A lot of you folks obviously studied hard, made all kinds of sacrifices, maybe even went to graduate school so you could work in your chosen profession. And, now, many of you are counting the days, months, years, or decades looking for the time you can quit the job you hate.


What an interesting question. Thanks for it. I would say a few things:

- First that I probably don't qualify as the type of person you're talking about (someone who hates his job, which I do sometimes but not usually).

Nevertheless ...

- Work life has involved a lot more pressures and stresses than I expected. In particular, I have been dismayed by the amount of dysfunction in the system where I work, both in individuals and just in how the system responds. This is just not something I knew about before (unless you count growing up in an alcoholic home), and it has been very disappointing and stressful at times.

- I suppose I never really found a niche in my career where I really LOVED the work. There were times I enjoyed it, times that I got so immersed in the work that I lost track of time, many times when I had fun or when I felt a sense of meaning, and the job certainly allowed me to grow as a person a lot. But when people talk about finding their calling, or finding their bliss, or finding something they would do even if they didn't get paid -- I never found that. I was hoping to, but I never did. I guess that is a source of sadness or disappointment.

- What was fascinating 20 years ago is not so fascinating anymore. I still have some interest in it, but it just doesn't hold the fascination that it did before. Following my interests has always been an important motive for me, so when that petered out, it drained some of my enthusiasm.

- I was probably naive in my early attitudes/hopes for my career. I saw it too idealistically, I suppose. The realities of work have sometimes been harsh.

- Although I am a good fit for my profession in some ways, I am a poor fit in other ways. For instance, I am in a very people-heavy field, and yet I am an introvert. That's been a source of strain.
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