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Differences in Generations
Old 03-25-2006, 07:07 PM   #1
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Differences in Generations

My boss is in his seventies, has worked since he was 7, and plans on working till he drops.

I'm in my twenties, have worked a few years, and plan on ER.

He'll have essentially worked an order of magnitude longer than I will.


God bless modernity! But seriously, we'll both be happy with our choices, and the freedom to make those choices is really wonderful.
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Re: Differences in Generations
Old 03-25-2006, 07:20 PM   #2
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Re: Differences in Generations

My "boss" (senior partner) is still working 4 days a week from 10-3 - when he isn't on a 6 week-long vacation. But hey - he's 78 - he deserves some vacation.

My dad just officially retired at 78 as well. Both of them were in their own small businesses since 1970. I cannot even imagine this.

After 15 years in this business I'm climbing the walls.
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Re: Differences in Generations
Old 03-25-2006, 07:41 PM   #3
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Re: Differences in Generations

I guess that I dont see as much of a difference in generations. The folks that I see continuing to work are normally the ones that have to support a lifestyle. I have one coworker in her early 60s that has to have the newest cell phone, suv, and has a crushing property tax bill and complains that she wants to retire but cant. :
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Re: Differences in Generations
Old 03-25-2006, 08:19 PM   #4
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Re: Differences in Generations

For the life of me, I cannot fathom the choice my boss (age ~45) has made. Don't get me wrong: I am very happy to be working for him. I have never been treated this weel, the work is always interesting and challenging, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for my boss. I just can't imagine making the same choices. My boss owns 50% of the company. He is *easily* a decamillionaire and seems not to live a particularly outlandish lifestyle given his net worth and income (drives a 4 YO Jeep despite the fact that he is likely worth a lot more than CFB and his pricey Lexus). Yet he clearly has no interest in hanging it up and getting on with like. Heck, he seems bent on a very ambitious plan that would end up with him (and me) working very hard for years to come. I suppose I should be glad, since it provides me with a lot of opportunity.

But I would most certainly not make the same choices.
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Re: Differences in Generations
Old 03-25-2006, 08:42 PM   #5
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Re: Differences in Generations

Well, it's a funny thing, being a "boss." I guess I would be referred to that way by about 75 people where I work, ranging from entry level to physicians. I don't think of myself that way, really, but that's more or less what they call me.

Point is that I find it very hard to not do myself what I expect in others. Not about putting in as many hours a day as you can, but it is about not leaving til the work is truly finished, holding a high standard of quality, coming in on a weekend if any unfinished business remains or if a patient might benefit (even if I am not on call).

I know it is my problem and everyone would "understand," but I find it hard to do otherwise. Partly cause I like the work, partly because I am a pushover, and partly cause I really do think it sets a positive example for my junior colleagues. Maybe that's why I am thinking that semi-retiring to a "smaller" job sounds so appealing. As long as I am "boss" I'll probably work my derriere off.

So maybe it's not a generational thing, but rather a seniority/authority thing.
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Re: Differences in Generations
Old 03-25-2006, 08:51 PM   #6
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Re: Differences in Generations

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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
So maybe it's not a generational thing, but rather a seniority/authority thing.
My oldest son is the same way. He has* about the same number of reportees, and he acts the same way- he is there or available until the work gets done. And of course, this is not life and death as in your line of work, but deadline stuff nevertheless.

Ha
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Re: Differences in Generations
Old 03-25-2006, 09:10 PM   #7
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Re: Differences in Generations

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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
So maybe it's not a generational thing, but rather a seniority/authority thing.
There's definitely some truth in that, but I don't think it's the whole story -- I'm just wrapping up now, 10 p.m. on a Saturday (minus a few posts on this board......). Also, I'm not sure what relation exists between that sort of responsibility, on the one hand, and going to work for a hundred years on the other......
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Re: Differences in Generations
Old 03-26-2006, 02:14 AM   #8
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Re: Differences in Generations

I think maybe it's just because you don't actually see early retiree's, but you see the other half all the time, because they are still working.*

Early Retiree's are far to busy for work, they are having way too much fun for that.

I think there may be a small difference in the generations but the gap probably isn't as wide as you think it is.
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Re: Differences in Generations
Old 03-26-2006, 02:14 PM   #9
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Re: Differences in Generations

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So maybe it's not a generational thing, but rather a seniority/authority thing.
Amen. I had several hundred people working for me and always busted my butt - partly to make sure things went well and partly to serve as an example. By the way, I am talking Federal government here -- where a lot of people really do work hard and care about what you bill payers think. Most of my fellow managers did the same, even as we planned our retirement. My wife is still working her tail off - about 12 hours a day - and will continue to do so until she retires in a couple of years. She is a senior attorney with a number of associates that report to her.

Working hard does not keep you from dreaming about a different life style and I can attest to the fact that it doesn't prevent you from enjoying that life style when you pull the plug.

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Re: Differences in Generations
Old 03-28-2006, 08:05 AM   #10
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Re: Differences in Generations

I think with my family, work and retirement seems to be more of a lifestyle/what-life-deals-you type of thing than a generational one. On my Dad's side of the family, Granddad retired at the age of 60. Grandmom was a few years younger, and originally planned to retire at 60, but I think she went out around 58 or 59, when they realized she didn't need to keep working. After that, neither one felt the need to work again. They always did alot of stuff around the house, and they also had a cottage out near the Chesapeake Bay that kept them busy. I remember going down there quite often as a kid during the summer.

On my Mom's side, Granddad retired at the age of 55, in 1971. Grandmom kept working full-time until 1980, when she was 56. Granddad found alot of stuff to keep himself busy though, having a garden and working on cars part time with his brother in law. He did it as a hobby...just enough to be fun and make a little money, but making sure that it didn't become too much like work. Eventually, as cars became more complicated and smog-control-laden, he phased out the car stuff. And judging from the big Motor's Repair Manuals in the garage, I'd say 1976 was enough to piss him off, because he never bought a 1977 manual! He also did alot of stuff around the house, and I remember he was always helping my Mom out with house repairs. Plus, keeping up a rental property across the street.

Grandmom was kind of forced into retirement, because the hospital she worked in got closed down, when a dispute arose as to whether the Federal Gov't or DC owned it. DC won out, and promptly closed it down. For a few years after that she worked from home, doing transcription work and other paperwork for doctors and such. And then she went back to work part time/on-call at another hospital. She and Granddad did a lot of travelling in the 70's and 80's, as well, and did manage to make the most out of their retirement together.

Granddad passed away in 1990 from complications from lung cancer that had spread to his lymph nodes. Grandmom worked part time until 1994, when she turned 70. She didn't need the money, but I think it made her feel useful; gave her something to do.

So for the most part, I guess I'd call my grandparents to be "semi-early" in retirement, generally going out between 55-60, with the exception of Grandmom working sporadically from 60-70.

As for my parents' generation, well Mom plans to retire from the federal gov't when she turns 60. At that point, my stepdad will be 56, and he may quit his job, as well, see how they make it, and go back to work if necessary. They want to move to Florida, so he may try to find something down there. He's one of those types that needs to feel "useful" and "important", although sometimes that borders on being "in control", "in a position of authority", etc. He stresses out really easily, but in a twisted sort of way I think he thrives on it. Leaving the workplace and suddenly having an easy life might be well, stressful for him!

My Dad just turned 60, and will probably work for the forseeable future. He spent too much of the 70's, 80's, and early part of the 90's slacking off, making unwise decisions about life/finances, being unemployed, etc, so now he's paying for it.

Both of his brothers, my uncles, are retired now, after long careers as supermarket managers. Both of them have been retired for several years now, so I'd guess they both went out around 60-61. I always forget their ages. I think both of them did pick up part time jobs mainly to ease their phase-out from the working world. As supermarket managers, they often put in 60+ hours per week, and I'd imagine retiring cold-turkey from something like that could put you into shock!

My other uncle (Mom's brother) is 52, and will probably work until at least 65, when he can get Medicare. He works in construction, and like my Dad, spent a good deal of the 70's and 80's slacking off. He started getting serious in the 90's. He also has health problems (kidneys), and is pretty much dependent on his company's insurance.

I'm an only child, so I can't comment on plans of my siblings. My uncle on my Mom's side never had any kids either. On my Dad's side though, I have 5 cousins. I really don't talk to them that much though...really only see them on family occasions, like Granddad's birthday, or maybe Christmas or Thanksgiving or some summer family get together. So I have no idea what their plans for the future and retirement are. As for me? I'm outta here as soon as I get the chance! I took yesterday off and got a bit of a taste of it. Took my time doing stuff around the house, started building my fence, etc. Damn it was nice! And damn, was it hard to come back into work this morning!

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Re: Differences in Generations
Old 03-28-2006, 09:42 AM   #11
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Re: Differences in Generations

My maternal great grandfather was still living when I was a child. I remember him shuffling off to work in his used furniture store each morning; returning to the house for lunch; going back to work until 5 and then shuffling back home...6 days a week until he died at age 92. Ne never retired.

Paternal grandmother worked as a LPN until she was in her late 80s (grandfather died in the 1930s and she never remarried). She died at age 94.

Maternal grandfather never seemed to have a real job. I think he ER'd in his 50's from several different baisic jobs and he was pretty much a Jack of All Trades most of his life. I remember him as a Justice of the Peace and a Handy Man for the most part. He was always retired as far as I could tell. My grandmother was a "house wife" but was an invalid for as long as I can remember. She died at age 65 and my grandfather a couple of years later.

My father worked until he was 65 and died at age 81.

My mother worked until she was 62 and is still living at age 83.

My borther will work until he is at least 65; maybe more.

I will retire at age 55.
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Re: Differences in Generations
Old 03-28-2006, 10:24 AM   #12
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Re: Differences in Generations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool Dood
My boss is in his seventies, has worked since he was 7, and plans on working till he drops.
Wow. Do we work for the same guy? My boss (the president and majority owner of the engineering firm I work for) is in his mid 60's. We had a discussion about his future. He plans on working at least 6 more years at the firm full time (~60 hrs/wk), then he might consider slowly reducing his work load as he eases into "retirement". And by retirement he meant "learning to daytrade stocks" and/or "opening a new branch office of the engineering firm in some warm-climate location". Wish I could get that motivated by work.

I asked him if he thought he might ride off into the sunset and relocate to some warm-climate location. He said, yeah, sure, to open up a new branch office.
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Re: Differences in Generations
Old 03-28-2006, 10:28 AM   #13
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Re: Differences in Generations

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Originally Posted by justin
...*And by retirement he meant "learning to daytrade stocks" and/or "opening a new branch office of the engineering firm in some warm-climate location".* Wish I could get that motivated by work.* ** *

I asked him if he thought he might ride off into the sunset and relocate to some warm-climate location.* He said, yeah, sure, to open up a new branch office.*
Some people live to work.......others work to live. I have never found a job that I like enough to do until I die. I can see how people can love what they do enough to do that but I don't share the concept of work=life.

Life is what you do after work.
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Re: Differences in Generations
Old 03-28-2006, 11:49 AM   #14
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Re: Differences in Generations

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Originally Posted by SteveR
I have never found a job that I like enough to do until I die.
Some days I wasn't sure which was going to happen first...
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Re: Differences in Generations
Old 03-28-2006, 11:57 AM   #15
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Re: Differences in Generations

There's a secretary where I work that started in 1966...40 years in the same position with the same company!! *

It's hard for me to imagine spending decades of my life doing the exact same thing at work. *Hopefully, she'll retire soon and really start enjoying life.

Aaron
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Re: Differences in Generations
Old 03-28-2006, 12:34 PM   #16
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Re: Differences in Generations

One of my uncles worked his whole life at his first job at his first company, married the first woman he ever dated, and lived in the same house his entire life until he retired at 67.

I asked him once why he never tried more variety in his life.

"It's simple."

That was it. For more explanation, see the above answer...

To fill in the spare time left to him by passing on all these complex decisions and changes, he bought old cars that had been sitting around for years, took them apart to their individual components, took all the parts down to the basement and laid them out on sheets. Every part was individually hand sanded, painted, waxed, conditioned and reworked until they were like new and perfect. Then he took all the parts back out to the garage and put them all back together again.

Sort of like Yoga, only you have something to drive when you're done with the meditating.

He did a 30's pickup truck, a 60's volkswagen and was working on an old corvette last time I spoke with him.

Most relaxed guy I ever met. His mere presence would just suck the tension right out of you.
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Re: Differences in Generations
Old 03-28-2006, 12:52 PM   #17
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Re: Differences in Generations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron
It's hard for me to imagine spending decades of my life doing the exact same thing at work

Aaron
Aaron,

To her, maybe it's not "work".* I "work" with a guy who's been at the same firm/job for 55 years* :P.* Another person (women) decided to "retire" after 60+ years with the company.* In her case, her husband passed, she had no local relatives, and she enjoyed the challanges and social environment of the workplace (I guess it substituted for "family"* )

Is it for you?* Apparently not.* For me?* Of course not (planning ER end of next year).* But for some, it "satisfies a need"...

- Ron
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Re: Differences in Generations
Old 03-28-2006, 12:54 PM   #18
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Re: Differences in Generations

One of the elected officials in this county died in office at 92. The served 56 years. His wife was dead, his children gone, grandkids gone, and he had hired every employ in his office (750 of them) The job was his family and he did what ever he wanted when ever he wanted. He could have made almost double in retirement, and left a retirement fund well over 1M dollars.
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