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Old 05-02-2013, 12:16 AM   #41
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Seems to me the old adage "do you work to live, or live to work" is appropriate here.

Personally I worked my butt off for 30 years, travelled incessantly, dealt with all of the megacorp bs and more than earned my ER. I don't really worry...or care what others think.

I bet if I asked (and don't have to as I speak to several former co-workers on occasion) most who are still working would gladly change places.

Find a new purpose, don't relive the past and move on. Never look back!
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:14 AM   #42
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As much self respect as from work I gain from
- having been able to save enough dough to dare ER while having lived a full and satisfying life so far
- having learned to resist the traps of marketing experts
- having resisted all desires to keep up with the Joneses
- being able to distinguish a want from a need.

The high praise of self respect through work could just be another variation of the tale about the grapes that are sour - and hanging too high.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:31 AM   #43
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Regarding being laid off or fired and self-esteem...

I've been fired from two jobs in the past when the companies went out of business (two startups in Silicon Valley) and both were spur-of-the-moment things. Tap you on the shoulder, visit HR, sign some papers, and out the door.

My self-esteem didn't suffer one bit. In fact, I thought, "Great! The weekend starts early!"

Never had problems finding other jobs, and I don't tie my self-esteem or self-respect to a job. Any job. After being in the working world for almost 30 years, and long getting over any sense that a job somehow defined me (thank God I lost that idea my first job out of college), to me a job working for someone else is just something I do for a paycheck. Nothing more.

Now, when I was a real estate agent, working for myself, and that business failed after a couple years, that I did feel personal about because I wasn't working for someone else, I was working for myself. It was MY business. That hurt.

For a job working for someone else? Nah. To me, that's just sitting in a cube all day for a paycheck. Nothing more than that.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:10 AM   #44
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I find it interesting that some people equate employment with self-respect. When I had to jump to meet unreasonable client demands, do stupid things for business travel (like drive at 1 am in a Colorado snowstorm), navigate corporate political waters, deal with meaningless metrics and other Megacorp BS, or do things to "look good" in front of management and clients, I lost a lot of self-respect. I felt like a trained seal arfing for prizes.
I have experienced the same thing. The lack of positive recognition/rewards in most the jobs I have had meant that there was no real offset to the psychological downer effect of all these contortions on my part. These days when I get through a stressful or difficult task/meeting I am usually just relieved that I did not blow up.

I am also now used to putting myself last. No more.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:27 PM   #45
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Had a bit of a dustup at my last job in which I had to figuratively land a hard right to the jaw of my sadistic weakling manager, in front of the coworkers. He had set up the scene so that that was my only chance at salvaging my self-respect.

Even though I saved my self-respect, I was quite upset by being fired two weeks later. It's tough to get fired, whatever the reason.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:52 PM   #46
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Had a bit of a dustup at my last job in which I had to figuratively land a hard right to the jaw of my sadistic weakling manager, in front of the coworkers. He had set up the scene so that that was my only chance at salvaging my self-respect.

Even though I saved my self-respect, I was quite upset by being fired two weeks later. It's tough to get fired, whatever the reason.
Boy, that's an extreme reason to get fired. How did you feel after punching your manager?? What was the reaction of your co-workers?
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:58 PM   #47
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Boy, that's an extreme reason to get fired. How did you feel after punching your manager?? What was the reaction of your co-workers?
"FIGURATIVELY" not literally...he did not actually punch anyone.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:11 PM   #48
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"FIGURATIVELY" not literally...he did not actually punch anyone.
That's right. He was trying to embarrass me in front of the co-workers and my only option was to one-up him, and make him look like the ass he was.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:59 PM   #49
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I suddenly and abruptly entered the ER world via layoff during the crash of an industry. I unexpectedly was able to parlay a layoff into ER, which came as a total surprise to me. Megacorp gets no credit for that, instead it was LBYM & DIY.

The first 6 months or so were the hardest. Being out and about during the weekday felt good, but yet seemed so wrong, as if I had called in sick to work and then was just driving around, thinking that people were seeing me and saying "hey, why isn't that guy at work?"
Also seemed a waste of my abilities, a lot of seasoned potential just "wasted".
But there was another voice in there too, one that said "hey bud, I think it's over, you are your own boss now, and retirement is the company!"
Considering I never thought that an ER was possible for me, it was a real surprise.

After a year or two, I was completely acclimated, and if I saw other guys out during the day, I thought "they really need to be at work and get offa my roads and outta my stores! The slackers! Get back to work! Begone till after 5 O' Clock!

And now I just with a shining , and if I ever drive by what is left of Megacorp, I just look over there and

No more and or or or

Now I just let others while I slowly get in retirement. Aaahhhhhh....
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:06 AM   #50
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After a year or two, I was completely acclimated, and if I saw other guys out during the day, I thought "they really need to be at work and get offa my roads and outta my stores! The slackers! Get back to work! Begone till after 5 O' Clock!

And now I just with a shining , and if I ever drive by what is left of Megacorp, I just look over there and

No more and or or or

Now I just let others while I slowly get in retirement. Aaahhhhhh....

That is sweet. But please tell me it's not going to take a year or two to get acclimated.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:56 AM   #51
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That is sweet. But please tell me it's not going to take a year or two to get acclimated.
It'll take me one or two...minutes.

One minute to drop my badge off at HR, another to walk out the door, and I'll be acclimated.

That's my plan, and I'm sticking to it!
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:19 PM   #52
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That is sweet. But please tell me it's not going to take a year or two to get acclimated.
Hi NanoSour--I think it makes a difference if you've been planning your ER or if you have it thrust upon you through a layoff or reorg, such as the case was for Telly and myself.
It takes a while to get over the shock of having your j*b taken away from you.
When it happened to me I immediately knew I never wanted to work for a corporation again. It was a very emotional year, full of uncertainty and a struggle to figure out a new identity.
During that time, I slowly began to figure out that I probably did have the resources to retire early.
So since you have been doing the planning and figuring all along, I think your transition should go much more smoothly!
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:51 AM   #53
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My dad instilled in me that work was just a means to an end ("good days work, for a good days pay"). So self respect never equated to the job.

As a manager I always put my people before corporate. So when our funding was terminated (govm't terminated the contract ... not a corporate decision), I gave my group 7 months notice so they could find other jjjjobs. Much to the dismay of corporate - who needed them to log billable hours the contract. Made for an easy transition for my group. All found work ... self esteem intact.
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:36 PM   #54
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Those comments tell me more about the speakers than the people who opted out.
I very strongly agree with this. Many people don't want to understand that everyone has different goals and desires. And this may lead them to make different choices than you would.

I could accept the promotion at work that I keep turning down and continue working to my full retirement age. More money and lots more stress. I would probably end up dying of a stroke in my late 50's/early 60's and would leave my wife a very wealthy widow. There are those at work that can't understand why I would possibly turn down this "once in a lifetime opportunity". When I tell them I don't need the money or the stress, it seems like I must be talking Swahili because the only response I get back is an incredulous stare. Most of the non executives more than get it. I think I've actually inspired a few people to get off their butts and start investing in their own financial security. Some of us are just wired differently.

Full disclosure: I used to be high stress, my job is why I matter guy. But now I'm in a 12 step program for that.
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:45 PM   #55
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What sort of job requires you to crave your co-workers? Sounds really cool.

Ha
Porn? No, ... I know, fitness instructor.
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:54 PM   #56
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I have been replaced, fired, downsized, gone-in-another-direction and a few other euphemisms to tell me I was gone from that w**kplace. I always knew that my departure was not a result of shoddy work by me. Just s**t happens.

Most of the time there was a ready market for my skills and experience. The last time that was not the case.

Simple math indicated that DW and I had plenty of assets to last us till at least age 100. So ER was the way to go.

These things have a way of working out.
So you're saying retirement drove up in a white van, jumped out and grabbed you. And then you developed Stockholm syndrome and decided to stay with your abductor.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:11 AM   #57
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I think a lot of people associate income from working with their self esteem. I recently resigned from a good paying position to take a less stressful job at the same employer with a 50% pay cut. I got a lot of questions like, "So, how much of a pay cut are you taking?" I got that a lot. My standard response was, "I appreciate your concerns about my pay; but honestly, you guys seem a lot more worried about my finances than I am. Maybe you should worry about your own pay." I'll vest in less than two years and then RE at 52. My motto is, "I will vest and then I'll rest."
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:17 PM   #58
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I think a lot of people associate income from working with their self esteem. I recently resigned from a good paying position to take a less stressful job at the same employer with a 50% pay cut. I got a lot of questions like, "So, how much of a pay cut are you taking?" I got that a lot. My standard response was, "I appreciate your concerns about my pay; but honestly, you guys seem a lot more worried about my finances than I am. Maybe you should worry about your own pay." I'll vest in less than two years and then RE at 52. My motto is, "I will vest and then I'll rest."
I sorta did the same thing at my old job, twice voluntarily reducing my weekly hours worked because I simply could not stand coming to the office (lousy commute). These two pay cuts combined had me earning about 1/3 of what I had been earning (gross) full-time. I did receive a few inquiries like those you described but I actually took some joy in casualy dismissing their concerns with a "pfffft......my expenses are so low I don't need the extra money.....I'd prefer to not work as much!"

Of course, the ultimate reduction in weekly hours worked was when I went from 12 to zero in 2008 when I ERed.
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:30 PM   #59
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My motto is, "I will vest and then I'll rest."
Reminds me of a quote a former coworker of mine made when the startup he was at was bought by a MegaCorp...

"May I vest in peace"

I always liked that one
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:26 PM   #60
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When people ask me what I do, I say I am a bum. I play golf, ride my motorcycle, play with my grandkids and do volunteer work. I really could care less what people think. Retired at 54 and going on 62, life is good.
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