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FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 03-27-2006, 09:40 AM   #1
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FIRE isn't for everybody

I was out looking at cars last Friday when I saw a car that I was casually interested in. I could write a whole nother' post on this adventure however..., The salesguys kept trying to close the deal which I, of course, resisted. Their last move was to have me talk to the owner of the big dealership in the big plush corner office overlooking the dealership.

Well the owner, a very personable guy about 70 or so, told me his story. He had owned (simultaneously) 16 new car dealerships and sold them all so that he could retire. He took first class round' the world cruises, tried golf, and was bored stiff. So after sitting on the sofa for a year he bought the dealership that I was in "just for fun". Guessing from this guy he must be worth several hundred million dollars.

I told him that I was considering retirement but had not made the leap yet for the very issues he raised. We had a long talk about retirement, cars, and traffic in the Southern California. I liked the guy but never agreed to purchase the car.

In a way I admired this guy. Besides being a very successful businessman, he was in his element, he was around what he loved, and at that dealership it was never a dull moment.

I keep wondering what I'll do once I pull the plug. Maybe I can sell used cars...
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 03-27-2006, 10:06 AM   #2
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody

We have a salesman like that here. He's 80 and truely loves it. Still works 50-55 hours a week selling janitorial supplies. Drives a Hummer believe it or not. I will have a retirement party before he does.*
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 03-27-2006, 10:10 AM   #3
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody

Reminds me of a realtor I know around here. *Reminds me of several "retired" officers who also can't turn it off. *They could form a club, but before you know it they'd be organizing themselves into a company and starting a business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
I keep wondering what I'll do once I pull the plug. Maybe I can sell used cars...
Wonder all you want, but until you actually test-drive it you'll continue to second-guess yourself.

TH got a year off and knew in a couple months he couldn't go back. *Every time Martha takes a vacation she's ready to e-mail her resignation from three time zones away. *I took two weeks of leave and could barely muster the fortitude to come back long enough to fill out the final paperwork. *Cut-Throat, Jarhead, and many others can't imagine being hunted down, clapped in irons, and strapped to a cubicle going back to work.

ER is experiential learning. *If you're FI then you have the assets to get a little time off for a different type of education!
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 03-27-2006, 10:27 AM   #4
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Reminds me of several "retired" officers who also can't turn it off. They could form a club, but before you know it they'd be organizing themselves into a company and starting a business....
My old "involunarily retired" CEO definitely qualifies for club membership in the Can't Turn It Off Association. This morning I got an email from him with an attached newspaper article about him and his ranch foreman "Billy Bob" : finding a decomposed, headless body on this ranch.

I sent it along to some of my former co-workers with a note saying if any of them found themselves thinking they were having a bad day, just think what Billy Bob's life must be like.

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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 03-27-2006, 10:30 AM   #5
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody

Somebody is still trying to get "ahead"
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 03-27-2006, 10:47 AM   #6
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
Somebody is still* trying to get "ahead"
I figured he was still trying to raise his head count...
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 03-27-2006, 11:00 AM   #7
 
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody

Different strokes I guess!

But, if my idea of living a dream was sitting around a car dealership everyday, I'd be seriously questioning my life!
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 03-27-2006, 11:31 AM   #8
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody

I guess if I had my own small biz, the pressure was low, no politics, good synergistic relationship with my suppliers and customers, and the environment to do the right thing the right way, I could show up for work every morning and enjoy the day.

I had several 'test runs' at ER. I left a job around 1990 and took a 'job' doing consulting work for a customer. I'd do 4 days of nonstop stuff in exchange for ten grand, then nothing for a couple of weeks. Business turned down around June of that year and really nothing happened until the end of september. Then a short but very profitable gig.

Having that summer off, where I was ALMOST on-call at any moment, still getting a small weekly salary, but had my time to myself...probably one of the most relaxing times in my life. Really reset my expectations.

I had a standing offer for a job running a small high tech reseller...low six figures plus bonuses and a percent ownership. My new perspective had me turn that down and put me behind the wheel of my car with a trunk full of essentials, pointed at california and a lingerie model I used to date that was getting her masters degree. Ok, so there were several influences acting on me.

I fiddled with some silly jobs, made some money, saw the SF Bay Area, had a pretty nice fall and winter in a place where you could go to the waterfront on new years eve, stand outside to see the fireworks, and not freeze your tucus off.

Then I got a referral to do some consulting work for another Big Business. They offered me a job. I fell back in the well.

Seven years later, a three month paid sabbatical. Probably the second most relaxing time in my life.

When I went back to work, I had a couple of 2x4's strapped to my ass and couldnt fall back into the well. Six months later, a one year buyout and I never looked back.

It really might not be for everyone. I was SO SURE I would get bored to death if it wasnt just a summer off or a couple of quarters spent goofing around. I had always known there was an eventual end to my 'summer vacations'. Some people can handle the risks, stresses and volatility in the workplace but cant handle the risks, stresses and volatility of being your very own person.

And to be further fair...I wouldnt do this in my 20's or maybe not even during my 30's. I have successes and memories and achievements and accomplishments that i made that I can think on and consider during my days off. If I had never had those, I might still feel a "what could I have done?" tug or a "did I develop fully as a person and reach my potential?" regret.
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 03-27-2006, 12:46 PM   #9
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senior Cute 'n' Fuzzy Bunny
When I went back to work, I had a couple of 2x4's strapped to my ass and couldnt fall back into the well.
Great story CFB. The above-quote didn't give me a great mental picture, unless those 2x4's were strapped to MasterBlaster's avatar.

Seriously though, it seems like your desire for ER was partially-fueled by a desire NOT to settle down, lay in a hammock, etc...
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 03-28-2006, 07:17 PM   #10
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
He took first class round' the world cruises, tried golf, and was bored stiff. So after sitting on the sofa for a year he bought the dealership that I was in "just for fun".
Well that's the first problem right there. "Passive" activities such as going on cruises, golf, wining and dining, lounging about, reading novels, etc. These are great for relaxation, but most people will get bored if that's all they do.

(Some people live for golf - different situation)

I thought I would sail a great deal more once I retired. Well, while I was working I loved to sail because it totally destressed me - in fact it kept me sane! Once I quit working, I didn't need it much - I wasn't stressed anymore.

It's called "recreation" for a reason. You really need it when you are working!!!

Most people need something that will harness their creative energies, challenge them and help them grow in skills and accomplishments. You don't actually have to work to get these essential things, but for some folks that's the best match. For others, they develop hobbies, passions, causes, etc. that fulfill these needs.

But seriously - some people live for things like running a business. That's great! The president of my old company has a net worth approaching $1B and a few extra-work hobbies, but essentially lives for running his company (his baby). Some people are like that. In fact, I'm real glad there are people like that - I invest in them!

Do you think Steve Jobs will ever retire? I doubt it!

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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 03-29-2006, 03:04 PM   #11
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody

Off topic comment. I guess.

There's an OLD audio recording, that I heard years ago---, titled "Esther, You Asked Me." The guy finally, goes off on his wife, for all the embarrassing moments she has caused him thru the years. He ends by saying, he has found a new life. He's going to work for the Feds., in very remote Alaska. His job is to count the planes flying
overhead and report monthly, the number he has seen. (The Govt., provides for his food and his cabin.)

The highest number ever recorded, in a year, was Three! He hopes, that future years are not that busy!

"Esther---, You asked me."
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 03-30-2006, 09:42 AM   #12
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody

You got to do what you got to do. I retired because my job was killing me mentally, spirtually, emotionally and even physically. I now have a second chance to get as much of that back as possible.

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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 04-02-2006, 07:21 AM   #13
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody

I think stress is addictive. You get the rush from being put in "dangerous" situations. It creates the illusion of accomplishment and success while the next attack comes. I lived there and didn't realize how ineffective I had become versus the alternative of laughing at most of the demands.

I think some big name managers can't handle the loss of being "the boss." They are no longer groveled to or spread fear when they walk into a room with a frown. People don't jump and run at their every bark. They enjoy the company politics and power struggles.

I'm still employed but in a non-managerial role. What scares me about my earlier situation is that the pay is not much different now. I now even get paid for OT. I used to work 60+ hours a week, got called at all hours of the day and night, and was generally treated like a vassal at my master's call.

Now, my phone never rings from work. I work any hours I want but they really like me to work at least 40 (please) but that's not a condition of employment. I do think if I routinely worked less than 24 they would talk to me. I only work OT on things I find very interesting and there is a work schedule reason to do it. I can take off whenever I want. I don't feel stress at all.

I seem to be gaining a level of balance and losing my fear. I'm no longer in shock about being turned out into the street by my former lord and master and being chronically underemployed for a long while. Now that the shock is gone, I realize I could have gone into ER and been ok several years ago. Now that I have found a comfortable place, I am trying to formulate a plan to have the ER I want.


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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 04-02-2006, 07:47 AM   #14
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody

Quote:
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I think stress is addictive. You get the rush from being put in "dangerous" situations.
That's how I feel when I ride my bike in the streets of NY.
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 04-02-2006, 08:40 AM   #15
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody

I think most people dont realize the stress they're under, or how much of it is self and organizationally induced. The old saw that you can put a frog in a pot of boiling water and it'll jump out, or put one in a pot of hot water and slowly warm it...in the latter case the frog is unaware of the slow increase and doesnt get out.

My sabbaticals showed me the stress level and gave me a good look at the self and organization inducement. You get slowly 'boiled' at a new company or job as responsibilities and progressive organizational integration occurs. By the time the waters boiling, you no longer notice.
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Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 04-02-2006, 08:56 AM   #16
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody

For CFB

Speaking of organizational stress, were you demoted?

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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 04-02-2006, 09:10 AM   #17
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody

Actually no, quite the opposite.

What would lead you to that conclusion?

A demotion would have been pretty good.
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 04-02-2006, 09:14 AM   #18
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody

CFB, formerly known as Senior Senor Cute 'n' Fuzzy Bunny.
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 04-02-2006, 09:42 AM   #19
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody

Ohhhh...gee I never thought of "this" as an "organization".

But I guess you're right. It is! Fortunately (?) the demotion was self inflicted. Man do I wish I could have done that on demand at my old job...

But since this is an organization...

Who the hell is in charge around here? I havent been paid in three years! And I have no idea what my deliverables are and what my career growth path is! Whats my development plan?
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Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody
Old 04-02-2006, 10:18 AM   #20
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Re: FIRE isn't for everybody

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny

But since this is an organization...

Who the hell is in charge around here?
Judging by the past few days activities, it would appear the inmates are in charge.

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