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Old 05-06-2013, 11:56 AM   #101
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I played trumpet (bounced between second and third chair, was never good enough for first chair) in my HS band. My HS's football team wasn't that good, and a lot of the people who showed up at games were there for the band. After our half-time performance, a lot of people would leave the stadium.

I still remember those hot Alabama days out on the practice field, getting our formations right. But it paid off, because we won several marching band competitions, and also concert band competitions at the state level.

Didn't continue my involvement at the college level, however. But it was fun while it lasted.
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:57 AM   #102
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This quote might answer the OP:
"The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life."
– Muhammad Ali
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:38 PM   #103
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I played trumpet (bounced between second and third chair, was never good enough for first chair) in my HS band. My HS's football team wasn't that good, and a lot of the people who showed up at games were there for the band. After our half-time performance, a lot of people would leave the stadium.

I still remember those hot Alabama days out on the practice field, getting our formations right. But it paid off, because we won several marching band competitions, and also concert band competitions at the state level.

Didn't continue my involvement at the college level, however. But it was fun while it lasted.
"This one time, at band camp..."
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:14 PM   #104
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Great question.

Ended up in a field that I "minored" in during college (didn't think I could get a job in it, but enjoyed learning about it).

It's been interesting for 30+ years, taken me places and given me experiences I never would have dreamed of, and allowed me to become financially comfortable. So, in retrospect, it was a good decision to take the path and see where it would lead. No regrets and much gratitude.

But having said that, I'm still looking forward to saying "So long, and thanks for all the fishes"
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:45 PM   #105
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When I was growing up, I don’t think “early retirement” as used now really existed—although if the term did exist it might have been used to mean somebody stopped working because they were injured and could no longer work. So, maybe I assumed that people were just supposed to work until they were 62 (or, what ever was considered a reasonable age to retire).
I disagree with this point a bit. My grandfathered "took retirement" with a pension at age 55. They moved from the midwest to San Diego (where I was growing up)... so they could enjoy going to the beach with the grand-kids.

I'm a bit younger than you, so this was in the late 1960's that he retired. I'm thinking aroung 67 or 68...

It taught me that
a) the younger you retire, the more you can have a full time vacation lifestyle. My grandparents truly enjoyed the beach, outdoor living, and social activities as if they were on vacation. And still found time to volunteer (pink lady at a hospital, ran a church charity that funded an orphanage in Tijuana, etc.)

b) it taught me that you better account for inflation. (Grandmother had to take a part time job in a high-end retail store in La Jolla in the mid-80's for a few years, because the pension wasn't going as far. But that was temporary, and she enjoyed the work.)

And to the original post - I guess it depends on what you are retiring to, and less what you are retiring from. I have more stuff to do at home that is interesting, fulfilling, etc.. work is interfering with this. And I live in paradise (San Diego) where people pay good money to vacation here. I still feel like I made a good career choice (engineering), but after 25+ years and multiple corporate splits/mergers/acquisitions/sell offs.... I'm feeling a lot less love for my corporation. Especially since each transaction resulted in significant RIFs. I do my job, enjoy my career (but not every aspect of my job) and am hoping a severance package will ease my transition to ER in the next year or two.

If I didn't have a life outside of work, I might feel the same way you do... but my life outside of work has expanded to where work is infringing on it.
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:38 PM   #106
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I'll admit, I dislike my job. I fell into a career in IT by accident trying to make ends meet once I moved away from home to go to college (after 2 years of community college). I was going to major in geology, but didn't like any of the careers in the field. I've been at megacorp for 18 years or so, even though I'm just 38. I get paid well (especially for a non-college grad), but I'm tired of the grind and I'm tired of the lack of work/life balance.

I have way too many interests outside of work to have it fit in during my free time, so I'm really hoping to retire sooner rather than later.

I think part of the reason I was clueless about my career was coming from a lower middle class family, I didn't really know what was available. We didn't have career days during high school, I knew I didn't want to be a teacher, and I disliked biology enough that I didn't want to be a doctor, but I didn't really know what other options there were. The few majors I thought of (marine biology) had not so good career opportunities, so I didn't go for those either.

I wish there had been some kind of program that would test me for my interests and give me some career ideas and college majors to try, but I really see a lack of that kind of opportunity for most kids. Without a concrete dream job, I ended up just blowing in the wind and getting lucky at a decent paying career.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:39 PM   #107
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I wish there had been some kind of program that would test me for my interests and give me some career ideas and college majors to try, but I really see a lack of that kind of opportunity for most kids.
Only thing I can think of is the military has the ASVAB (or something like that) which was an aptitude test. In high school they encouraged us to take it just as a potential career diagnostic.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:12 PM   #108
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I wish there had been some kind of program that would test me for my interests and give me some career ideas and college majors to try, but I really see a lack of that kind of opportunity for most kids.
I almost recall that in about 7th or 8th grade our career guidance consisted of a counslor telling us to look though the yellow pages to find a career that we might be interested in. Some of us did look through the yellow pages (for only a few minutes). I remember it being kind of dreary and uninteresting and uninspiring.
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Old 05-06-2013, 07:45 PM   #109
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Some of the really smart people I work with just aren't passionate about the finance stuff. One guy asked me to help him log on to 401k (never had), and help him rebalance his portfolio away from around 80% in our Megacorp stock. After that, I am sure it was several more years before he logged on again.
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:58 AM   #110
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I like work. I like having the option to quit even more.
+1

One of my favorite statistic (even though it is probably made up) is
Percentage of multimillion dollar Lottery winner who say they intend to keep their job 75%
Percentage of winner who are still working one year latter 25%. (of course many lottery winners blow their winnings).

In my case I was burned out and needed a break, and the BS bucket was being filled quickly.

But more generally while I generally enjoy my jobs and some years loved it, .Realistically when I looked the folks up rung or two in the ladder. At least 1/2 were as smart as I was and 80-90% worked harder. It was time for a change I felt after doing the expected; getting good grades in high school, going to top college, getting a useful degree; joining corporate American....
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:47 AM   #111
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I wish there had been some kind of program that would test me for my interests and give me some career ideas and college majors to try, but I really see a lack of that kind of opportunity for most kids. Without a concrete dream job, I ended up just blowing in the wind and getting lucky at a decent paying career.
There wasn't much for us either. I do remember one aptitude assesment in Jr. HS that recommended farming. Farming!? Yuk! I think that came from my dislike of being penned up inside a building and wanting to be outside a lot. Even then I dreaded the idea of working in an office all day.

Police work filled the bill, was (mostly) interesting, and even came with a decent DB pension. And about the time I hit 40 an office job started looking pretty good.
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:53 AM   #112
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I almost recall that in about 7th or 8th grade our career guidance consisted of a counselor telling us to look though the yellow pages to find a career that we might be interested in. Some of us did look through the yellow pages (for only a few minutes). I remember it being kind of dreary and uninteresting and uninspiring.
I always found it ironic that people that couldn't get a good job were in charge of directing kids into career choices.
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:14 AM   #113
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One of my favorite statistic (even though it is probably made up) is
Percentage of multimillion dollar Lottery winner who say they intend to keep their job 75%
Percentage of winner who are still working one year latter 25%. (of course many lottery winners blow their winnings).
I always hated watching those commercials and interviews where lottery winners would get up there and say stuff like, "The winnings aren't going to change me, and I'm going to keep my job!"

THEN WHY DID YOU PLAY THE LOTTERY
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Old 05-07-2013, 04:52 PM   #114
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I always hated watching those commercials and interviews where lottery winners would get up there and say stuff like, "The winnings aren't going to change me, and I'm going to keep my job!"
Some might continue to keep their jobs and may even live frugally. However, almost half of lottery winners spend their entire winnings within the first five years.
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:37 PM   #115
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I wish there had been some kind of program that would test me for my interests and give me some career ideas and college majors to try, but I really see a lack of that kind of opportunity for most kids. Without a concrete dream job, I ended up just blowing in the wind and getting lucky at a decent paying career.
Next week 2 of my kids are being tested at Johnson O'Conner. This is aptitude testing:

Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation

My son is about half way through college and has changed his major several times. He is now on his second go round of some of his potential majors. I am hoping that this testing will help him to find an area to focus on.

My daughter is soon to graduate high school and knows what she doesn't want to do (she doesn't like purely academic work and knows she doesn't want to earn a 4 year degree), but she doesn't know what she does want to do. She wants to take a career focused program at community college but for that she needs to decide which career.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:01 AM   #116
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My daughter is soon to graduate high school and knows what she doesn't want to do (she doesn't like purely academic work and knows she doesn't want to earn a 4 year degree), but she doesn't know what she does want to do.
I suspect that happens a lot as evidenced by the number of people who end up in careers that they like and have nothing to do with their college degrees.

And some have issues/characteristics that affect careers. One guy told me he was diagnosed as ADHD, but that was okay as some people with that characteristic thrive in fast-moving police work because the situations change so often. Other people would find those conditions exhausting and overwhelming.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:31 AM   #117
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the main components of a job.... the boss....
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:21 AM   #118
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I did not anticipate that with the advance of technology, there would be such a decline in human interaction in computer engineering and other fields. I go in to work now and often only interact with my coworkers through email and IM. People are isolated in their offices or telecommuting. It is fine for your average introvert engineer but is a killer for someone more social.

The benefits are so good that it is hard to make that leap to another field. Meanwhile, I am trying to increase my non-work human interaction to try to make up for it.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:20 AM   #119
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I did not anticipate that with the advance of technology, there would be such a decline in human interaction in computer engineering and other fields. I go in to work now and often only interact with my coworkers through email and IM. People are isolated in their offices or telecommuting. It is fine for your average introvert engineer but is a killer for someone more social.

The benefits are so good that it is hard to make that leap to another field. Meanwhile, I am trying to increase my non-work human interaction to try to make up for it.
I think that's one reason I hate my IT career so much now. There is zero interaction with people outside of meetings. Otherwise, it's pecking at a keyboard all day long.

I enjoyed real estate because I could be in my office (not a cube, either...an actual office) when I needed to, doing marketing or research. but otherwise, was out in the field with people, outdoors, doing what felt like something meaningful.

IT just has no meaning for me anymore. I sit in my cube and see no value at all with what I'm doing.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:31 PM   #120
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To me FI and ER are two separate issues which I struggle with regularly. My job has become much smoother since FI. And the strange thing is that I really do pretty much as I please, but nobody considers me a slacker at all. I am beginning to realize that the hurdles I have faced have largely been self created.
But, as they say, there's alway's something. Now that the kids are all on course and doing well, Mom has started to decline at an accelerated pace. I really don't know if my financial help or personal attention is more important. Actually I do know which is most important, but the easy route is to keep my job. Due to circumstances a compromise isn't in the cards. We'll see how this next chapter plays out. Anyway my point is that there's a lot of twists and turns in life and it seldom follows the script we've written.
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