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Is our attitude toward work different than general population?
Old 08-09-2007, 07:19 AM   #1
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Is our attitude toward work different than general population?

Yet another article on how people WANT to work after reaching retirement age. (Or at least that's what people who aren't ready financially try to convince themselves of.)

Appeal of early retirement fades, and industries take note - MarketWatch

This article got me thinking though. I suspect that the people on this Board are some of the most work-adverse folk I have ever encountered. Do you think we are typical of the general population in this respect? I don't mean our willingness to sacrifice to achieve FI. I mean our desire to not want to work at all... sometimes to the point of giving up not just the "fluffy" material things but sometimes cutting into the "meaty" ones.
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:38 AM   #2
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When I mention RE and get all excited about not having to work people look at me like I am some circus side show.

One thing I am certain of is I don't want to work another day in my life which is a bit difficult as I am still employed. Seems like a waste of a perfectly good day to me as I have so many other things I would like to spend my time doing.
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:53 AM   #3
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Yes, people seem to think I am an alien for planning my retirement for 50 or 55! I have even been asked why I don't want to work to continue making $$$. Hmmm, and I am doing "what" now? And why? (I am sure this philosophy goes for all the w*orking board members)
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:55 AM   #4
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Work just gets in the way of what I really want to be doing.

I took a breather between college and employment for six months. I can tell you I was so busy doing things that I could not get all I wanted to do in the day. I am ready for that freedom again. Just 8 1/2 years to go!
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Old 08-09-2007, 09:01 AM   #5
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I don't know. I do many things that people would consider work, such as gardening, taking care of ten acres, cutting up trees, mowing pasture, etc. I don't mind work (physical or mental). I think I'm more Being-Told-What-To-Do-averse than I am work-averse. I just want to be able to do what I want, when I want. I have a great job, I work from home, and my boss appreciates me. But I still don't like that my schedule is dictated by someone else. That is what bothers me more than anything, I think, and is the reason I want to FIRE as soon as possible.
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Old 08-09-2007, 09:09 AM   #6
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It seems that all of these articles are written about ex-CEOs or VPs that leave their globe-trotting responsibilities to either start a Napa winery or raise horses.... just your typical people......

I think these articles are written by those that want people to continue to strive for a higher lifestyle ( I mean, we're all destined to be VPs at least... if only we'd work harder!).... and continue the consumerism that's good for the economy.

I put these articles in the same category as the Ameriprise ads that show that we want a "new type" of retirement... that includes spending tons of money... because "we haven't given up yet".

The proof to me that it's all bull is that many of these articles tout how companies are afraid of losing employees and therefore are setting up part-time jobs to keep older people.
I regularly search on Craig's List for part-time ( I wouldn't mind something 10-15 hours a week if it were challenging and fun).
.. and, except for McJobs, they mostly aren't there.

If you can do a financial plan, have enough to live reasonably, and have learned that buying crap doesn't make you happier... and you learn to find happiness within yourself, why would anyone do any one thing for 40 hours a week (minimum!)... unless you really love it??

Full time jobs that people love I'm sure exist (especially for small business owners).... but it seems are rare.

Just be happy if someone who reads these articles is motivated to strive or spend more.... it's great for the rate of return on your nest egg!
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:44 AM   #7
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Speaking for a guy in his 14th year of 'doing nothing in particular' they have their opinion and I have mine.

Mine counts!

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Old 08-09-2007, 11:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by GatorBuzz View Post
I don't know. I do many things that people would consider work, such as gardening, taking care of ten acres, cutting up trees, mowing pasture, etc. I don't mind work (physical or mental). I think I'm more Being-Told-What-To-Do-averse than I am work-averse. I just want to be able to do what I want, when I want. I have a great job, I work from home, and my boss appreciates me. But I still don't like that my schedule is dictated by someone else. That is what bothers me more than anything, I think, and is the reason I want to FIRE as soon as possible.
My sentiments exactly! It is the idea I can't blow off work, however rewarding it may be, to do something else if the fancy took me! Well said GatorBuzz!

But I think we are in the minority in the US, those making the dream of ER a reality, because so many people lack the imagination to dream of what they would do if they weren't working. It is all they know...

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Old 08-09-2007, 11:04 AM   #9
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I enjoy the feeling of a good days work. Unfortunately, that feeling is extremely rare, almost non-existent, here in paid-employment-paper-pushing-justify-my-existence-hell..............

I can find innumerable things to work on outside of a j-o-b.
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Old 08-09-2007, 11:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ScaredtoQuit View Post
This article got me thinking though. I suspect that the people on this Board are some of the most work-adverse folk I have ever encountered. Do you think we are typical of the general population in this respect? I don't mean our willingness to sacrifice to achieve FI. I mean our desire to not want to work at all...
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I don't know. I do many things that people would consider work, such as gardening, taking care of ten acres, cutting up trees, mowing pasture, etc. I don't mind work (physical or mental). I think I'm more Being-Told-What-To-Do-averse than I am work-averse. I just want to be able to do what I want, when I want.
I'm not "work-adverse" at all! I'm like GatorBuzz.....I have all of my gardens and homestead to tend to, and I love it! It's stimulating and relaxing at the same time! And also like Gator, I'm very "Being-Told-What-To-Do-adverse"! Heck, I was told what to do since birth! NO MORE!!! I do what I want...when I want.......and HOW I want......IF I want to!!!

As far as the "general population" goes, almost everybody that I interact with, that aren't already retired, are quite envious of my ER lifestyle. They're looking forward to the day that they can pull the plug on their j*b.
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Old 08-09-2007, 11:17 AM   #11
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Gatorbuzz nailed it for me. Well said
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Old 08-09-2007, 11:58 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by GatorBuzz View Post
I don't know. I do many things that people would consider work, such as gardening, taking care of ten acres, cutting up trees, mowing pasture, etc. I don't mind work (physical or mental). I think I'm more Being-Told-What-To-Do-averse than I am work-averse. I just want to be able to do what I want, when I want. I have a great job, I work from home, and my boss appreciates me. But I still don't like that my schedule is dictated by someone else. That is what bothers me more than anything, I think, and is the reason I want to FIRE as soon as possible.
This is my sentiment also. I have and do enjoy my job, though I'm less enthusiastic about it after 25+ years. Like Gbuzz, I get increasing enjoyment from tending to the "estate" grounds, cutting wood, and other physical things (my job is a desk job). Also, I am totally adverse to being told what/when/how to do things. My job is mostly unsupervised so that works to my advantage, but I still have to be there getting it done.

I also agree that many or most folks don't see FIRE as an attainable or feasible goal. Many people are too buried with day to day work/family issues and often over-consumption, and they can't (or often don't even try to) see the forest for the trees. They don't take the time to really think about what it might take to reduce/eliminate the need for earning so many $$$, and how they could get to FI and possibly RE. They see it as totally unattainable and futile, perhaps tending to view us FIRE types as dreamers, or even lazy, or they wonder if we won the lotto to have "that kind of money". I wish there were some way to convince them that it's worth the effort to research FIRE, make a plan, and spend a little less to attain FIRE. But I haven't had much luck with the few friends/relatives I've broached it with. To each his own.

Thanks for starting a great thread.

-AJ
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:15 PM   #13
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At a college graduation commencement a few years ago I heard a speaker quote someone:

"Find the right job and you won't have to work a day in your life."

My career has been filled with the "right job" and I'm still at it. I'd like to think, however, that there is a difference between slowing the pace down and retiring. When I decide to flip the retirement switch I'd like to find the "right job" on more of my terms.
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:21 PM   #14
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Another vote here for being NOT work-adverse. When I retire in a year, I'll keep working: preparing for full-time volunteer church service (refining my Spanish and piano skills), training to run the Boston Marathon again, continuing my freelance writing, doing genealogical research, enjoying my hobbies of painting and photography, and many other things.

I don't even have an aversion to my current full-time job. As a university professor, I have flexibility, freedom, enjoyable social interaction with students and colleagues, and excellent work conditions. I'm just ready to move onto another phase of my life.
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:33 PM   #15
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I think the west coast attitude that we work to live rather than live to work is good preparation for ER. The notion that retirement involves sitting on the front porch in a rocker waiting to die is still hanging around even though it is far from the truth.

I always have a huge list of things to do but they get done according to my schedule not someone else's.
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:38 PM   #16
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I'm BS averse. I love working and spend a good 4-5 hours a day doing stuff around the house. But I cant imagine sitting in another meeting where we argue over whose name we should use for a program. I cant imagine spending another minute working for someone who is a closet moron that cant stay in the closet. I cant imagine spending half my time dealing with bullshit egos and stupid personal agendas office politics.

A lot of these folks are slow boiled frogs. They need a little time in some cool water to realize what they're up to their necks in.
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:40 PM   #17
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I don't even have an aversion to my current full-time job... ...I have flexibility, freedom, enjoyable social interaction with students and colleagues, and excellent work conditions. I'm just ready to move onto another phase of my life.
Exactly. I enjoy my work and working conditions, but I have other interests on which I increasingly want to spend more time. Another phase of life as you say. And having the FI to pursue it is a great feeling.

A friend once told me "it's better to be running toward something than away from something". That seems to be a good thing to keep in mind when considering this type of decision.
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Old 08-09-2007, 01:34 PM   #18
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I'm BS averse........... I cant imagine spending another minute working for someone who is a closet moron that cant stay in the closet.
The last couple of years that I w*rked, my boss started coming out of that closet.....little by little. Toward the end of my sentence stay there, he was 'out' where most everyone could see. They tell me that now he's really struttin' his stuff!!
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Old 08-09-2007, 01:36 PM   #19
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A friend once told me "it's better to be running toward something than away from something". That seems to be a good thing to keep in mind when considering this type of decision.
So true! That's why I was running to the FIRE!!!
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Old 08-09-2007, 01:39 PM   #20
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I'm surprised this didnt come up sooner...
Bad bosses get promoted, not punished? | Oddly Enough | Reuters
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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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