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Old 12-22-2007, 05:11 PM   #21
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My regrets are more along the lines of "I wish I'd gotten along better with that guy" or "Geez, I really wish I hadn't moved that switch to the wrong position".
This is what I regret too. People I didn't understand or respond to adequately, or definite active f*ckups that I made, either through lack of knowledge or skill, or inattention or fatigue or whatever.

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As for starting your own business while you were younger-- what advantages did we have when we were younger?
One thing I can think of that you didn't mention is that a young person has little money, so if goes spectacularly bad he can walk cleanly without maybe losing a lifetime's work. I tend to agree with Twaddle- the risk is omnipresent, so you want to throw the spaghetti against the wall. If it slides to the floor, find some more spaghetti and a different wall and try again.

And if it sticks, find someone else to unload it on. Keep a piece of the upside if this is possible, but get that leveraged risk off your books, and the cash into your bank account.

Ha
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Old 12-22-2007, 05:42 PM   #22
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When I was in college I was fortunate to have a lot of choices. Sometimes to many. Between my Jr and Sr. yr, I was offered a "great Job" with a very large Risk Mgt Company. Salary was 25 % higher than what the average class was getting. I was in the 99th percentile in my class at the time. I was also offered a full ride to stay and get a PhD. Plus I was a yr away from getting comissioned in the military with already 4 yrs enlisted time. I struggled with what to do. I remember talking to my ROTC instructor about my options. He told me there will always be high paying jobs when you leave the military, the AF will always send you to school, but if you ever give up your comission you may never get it back. Needless to say I stayed and the AF send me to grad school first assignment.

I have no regrets at this poing with a little more than 2 yrs to go before I can retire. For the most part I have had good jobs and got along with most. The military has taken great care of my family and TRICARE has really worked well with my son. We are truly blessed. It will be nice to have that pnut butter money coming in during retirement.

We have a side business, rental property, and my wife is a realtor. There is some entrepenural urge there. For example 3 wks ago we were almost part owner of a real estate company. Thank goodness calmer heads prevailed. She is much better as a realtor than owning a company and for me there is much easier money to be made as a contractor once I retire from uncle sam should I choose to work.

Could I have done things different? You bet. But we are very happy.

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Old 12-22-2007, 05:44 PM   #23
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.... I did what I wanted to do, what I set out to do.

I made a difference.
To you and any other law enforcement/public safety officers on this forum, this citizen says "thank you."
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Old 12-22-2007, 05:56 PM   #24
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To you and any other law enforcement/public safety officers on this forum, this citizen says "thank you."
And, "Please don't tase me, Bro'."
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Old 12-22-2007, 06:17 PM   #25
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Congrats to all you posters with no regrets. I am not among you.

Through the years, my then wife and I had a number of opportunities to move out of regular emplyment and into business. She was always concerned about making the insecure choice - while the devil we knew was demonstrably going to provide an ER according to plan. We talked about it a lot, but every time in the interest of security and family harmony (and her sleeping better, she said) I stayed employed.

Now for the regret part. Just as we reached FIRE, the family harmony argument changed and instead she left with most of the FI. I do not regret the "family" harmony and I'm enjoying raising my kids in a way that no amount of FI can replace. But I would have preferred trying making a living without megacorp employment if I wasn't going to be enjoying any of that security that all those years were supposed to be earning.

Now the focus is on security to get kids taken care of and launched. After that, I'll probbaly want to give doing something outside of megacorp a try. I don't regret the choices made at the time with what I thought I knew then. If I could have known differently, I think I would have made different choices.
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Old 12-22-2007, 06:33 PM   #26
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Walt34,

I also lost my dad to a heart attack when I was 22 years old. I loved him and think this event changed me forever. It may have even contributed to my desire to retire early as he was only retired for a couple of years when he passed away.

By the way, I live in Northern Virginia and travel many of the roadways you mentioned in your post. You did make a difference and have my upmost respect. Thank you.
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:36 PM   #27
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Some great life stories in this thread!!!

For the original poster I just want to relate a story I heard while sitting in one of those training seminars megacorp sends you to when they have terminated a bunch of employees to save money. A guy there was in his late 50's (I'm guessing) and he had lost his small business in Oregon so signed on with megacorp to get a secure future until retirement. He had lost a lot when his small business failed and they were renting an apartment. Wife and family were unhappy with him and the situation now that he was loosing the megacorp job. Don't know what he ever did about it. As I understand it successful small businesses are less common then unsuccessful ones.
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:41 PM   #28
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I owned a restaurant with my first husband .He loved it .He's a natural chef kind of like CFB & Brewer . I hated it .All the hours ,all the intrusions on your life ,trying to find decent help . He continued in the business and was fairly sucessful but I retreated to the safety of a regular nursing job . Do I regret it ? Not at all .I was not meant for that business .
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:44 PM   #29
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I made a difference.
Yes, you did, and with compassion. Great post, Walt!
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Old 12-23-2007, 01:10 AM   #30
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but police work is a young person's job
I was 21, had a damn good cop moustache, and was in the very early stages of entry into the RCMP when someone decided that the RCMP didn't want anymore white males, especially those who were not bilingual or who had no university degree. This hiring freeze for guys like me made me understandably bitter, but in hindsight I am so glad that I didn't get to join. It seemed very exciting and sort of glamorous at the time, but I didn't even consider the long term mental toughness that you folks need, or the garbage that you have to deal with daily, or the transfers across the country, or the high divorce rate. All the respect, support, and admiration for you and your job, but I'm glad that I ended up an electrician.
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Old 12-23-2007, 01:22 AM   #31
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I used to be a corporate employee. It grated on me. I was 'released to industry' and eventually became an independent contractor with no permanent obligation to any company. Not very entrepreneurial, but not my old slavery. I get a change of scenery regularly, too (like it or not).

I can't imagine being a farmer or a restaurant owner, being chained to the business. Small business is like that.
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Old 12-23-2007, 01:39 AM   #32
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I can't imagine being a farmer or a restaurant owner, being chained to the business. Small business is like that.
Yes - its tough to ER out of small business where you are an owner/partner. You can't quit until you find someone to buy you out.
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Old 12-23-2007, 09:39 AM   #33
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It seemed very exciting and sort of glamorous at the time, but I didn't even consider the long term mental toughness that you folks need, or the garbage that you have to deal with daily, or the transfers across the country, or the high divorce rate. All the respect, support, and admiration for you and your job, but I'm glad that I ended up an electrician.
There is the divorce rate - when I had 15 years on, married two years to my wife, at one morning meeting the subject came up and looking around the room we realized that of 15 people, 12 were married, but only one to his/her original spouse, and he had married a department employee so she understood. Most other shifts didn't have that high a rate, but I think overall the rate for police officers is 20% higher than normal. The shift work was and element in my divorce but the "deal-killer" was her refusal to even discuss finances, which is really about priorities.
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Old 12-23-2007, 10:25 AM   #34
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I had my own business from 1984 until retirement in 2006. It's certainly a risky choice, so no one need think "Oh, I should have been an entrepreneur and made big bucks."

If I were starting over, only change I'd make is to be even more frugal and retire at 44 instead of 54, but I don't think of that as a regret, because I wouldn't want anything to turn out differently than it has.
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Old 12-23-2007, 10:51 AM   #35
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I always thought a country club pro would be a good job. But lately, due to the slow time of the year, I have seen my club pro either on the internet or reading a news paper. Much of the day just by himself. Looked rather bored. During the summer, he is there from 7am to 7pm, six days a week. That can't be good for the family life. Oh yeah, he just got a divorce.

I doubt there are any perfect jobs. I really have no regrets. About the only thing I wish I had done different is maybe taking the first couple of years after college and going somewhere like Colorado and working at a resort. That would have been a great thing to do while I was young. Kind of like tasting ER at a very young age.
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:34 AM   #36
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I always thought a country club pro would be a good job.
I've always thought fishing or hunting guide would be the job to have.
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Old 12-23-2007, 11:36 AM   #37
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I've always thought fishing or hunting guide would be the job to have.
Yeah, there's nothing like spending your outdoor adventures with a bunch of overweight overdemanding old guys.
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Old 12-23-2007, 12:41 PM   #38
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Yeah, there's nothing like spending your outdoor adventures with a bunch of overweight overdemanding old guys.
Yeah, you might be on to something. Perhaps a Bass Masters pro or field tester for Shimano Rods and reels would be better.
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Old 12-23-2007, 01:57 PM   #39
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At 58 i have some regrets, but understand my choices and would probably make them again. Any regrets are not focused on how our living and nest egg has been earned.

We are small town - the gal has worked for a few car dealerships as a service advisor, then service manager, now warranty person. Her abilities have far outweighed her compensation for decades - but she's good with that - it's very freeing for her to know she could walk and have given more than full measure. She has been 1/2 time, on her own schedule, for a decade or so. I rarely worked for an employer - was 1/2 owner of a 2-man import repair shop for 5 years - my SS estimated benefits might keep the cats fed.

The rental properties have carried the load for quite a while now, and they do tend to be a bit demanding. I like that we saved some buildings from falling into the ground and that they are a credit to their neighborhoods now. I like that we have provided hundreds of people with places to live, that we have rented to a lot of people who would not make the cut in a pragmatic cut-and-dried *income + rental history* type tenant assessment. I like being able to solve almost any problem with our building's systems or structures quickly, inexpensively, and with just the amount and type of repair required, neither more nor less. Also like choosing to install better carpet pads and prettier carpet if we wish to spend our money that way. No mega-corp pension, no IRA, no tax deferred accounts - we will be on our own for retirement - but by now we're pretty used to that. Our assets are greater than those of most of our friends, we spend our money differently, but we are pretty middle of the road - many smarter, richer, and prettier - and many not. I'm pretty much satisfied with how things have worked out so far. Not a whole lot of jealousy for those who have ground out year after year of 9 to 5 to earn a pension someone has promised them.
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Old 12-23-2007, 05:32 PM   #40
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No regrets for me. I was a police officer for 29 years. I worked 18 years on the road, then Fraud, then computer crime - that's a long story. If I was 22 I'd do it again, that was often a wild ride, but police work is a young person's job. Going through "burnout" that about 80% of officers go through - finding the line between caring enough to want to do a good job and not caring so much that it comes home with you.

It is hard, for example, to be at the scene of a suicide in which some guy has poured gasoline over himself and ignited it, and the next day go to a backyard pig roast and see that the skin on the pig looks just like the skin on the guy who immolated himself. "I'll just have the potato salad, thanks." It is distressing to be at a wintertime accident scene on I-495 and look up, just in time, to see a tractor-trailer coming sideways and grab my recruit (I was a training officer) by the collar and dive over the jersey wall to keep from becoming roadkill. It's hard to look at the dead body of a 9-year-old girl.

But it was also a very rewarding, even with all the frustrations, tedium, boredom, paperwork and exhaustion. There are a half-dozen people out there who are definitely alive today because of me, and dozens of probables. Having to knock on some guy's door and tell him that his wife is dead from a car accident, and doing so in a manner such that he thanked me. He was Russian, had been in the country about six months and hadn't the foggiest idea of what to do or where to go for help - I spent four hours with him, and he was astonished that the police would do that. In Russia, in about a week or so somebody might remember to call and tell you where to pick up the body.

Being able to emphasize with a 15-year old boy whose father had a heart attack and fell over in the hallway - my father died the same way when I was 22. A year later the kid pulls up next to me at a traffic light and said "You handled that very well". One of the best "thank yous" I ever got.

The only time in my life when I felt such rage that I seriously wanted to kill someone happened when I looked into the eyes of a woman who had just been raped and saw the pain, terror, and shame there. She had brown eyes, and nothing to be ashamed of. But I was able to calm her and she thanked me for it. Later I walked side streets for hours with a flashlight in one hand and a 12-gauge in the other looking for that guy, thinking "If he does ONE THING that I can articulate to a grand jury that constitutes a threat to me or someone else, I'm going to kill him". It's probably a good thing I didn't find him.

Being at the scene of a car accident and seeing the expression of relief on a pretty girl's face when I told her that no, the trickle of blood from a minor cut on her forehead does not mean she's disfigured for life. Pursuing a car with a kidnapping victim inside - her "boyfriend" said he was going to kill her - doing 4-wheel drifts in the turns at 110 mph through the "Rock Creek Roller Coaster" (495 at the Mormon Temple) at 3:00 am in the rain and hoping I didn't make my wife a wealthy widow. The look given to me during a trial by the mother of a 7-year-old girl who had been molested, whose story I was able to corroborate down to the minute by examining a computer hard drive, was worth the five years I'd spent to acquire the knowledge and skills to do that. And a thousand other things.... I did what I wanted to do, what I set out to do.

I made a difference.
Thank you for your service.
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