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Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-23-2005, 11:06 AM   #1
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Ever wonder about giving up perks

I know there are a lot of people here who hate their corporate jobs. However, how many people worry that if they do RE they will have to give up a lot of perks that they take for granted at their jobs?

For example I eat about 3 expensive dinners a week for work for which I don't pay a dime. I also get around 2 trips to really nice locations (Palm Springs and Vegas this year) which are also all paid for.

On top of that, I get free cell phone / blackberry use along with the use of car. Don't get me wrong, it's not a reason to stay at a job you don't like, but it is something to consider for a budgeting reason.

Anybody else have a similar situation?
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-23-2005, 11:11 AM   #2
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks

IMHO, those things arn't any different that money really, are they? It still gets back to "Your money or your Life", i think.

Save enough money to retire, and you can just pay for those perks yourself without having to work to get them.
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-23-2005, 11:22 AM   #3
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks

Think of all that easy money lost and all the new people you wouldnt get to meet if you gave up that prostitution job...
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-23-2005, 11:28 AM   #4
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks

Yeah, I wish my job activities were as exciting as that!

I guess they are the same as money, but when you stop and figure out what they really cost, it can blow your mind. Then, when you think about paying for them with after tax money, forget about it!

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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-23-2005, 11:35 AM   #5
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks

I'm so unwound and relaxed, I dont need a lot of paid for trips and meals to salve the tension.

Plus I learned how to cook so well my wife doesnt want to eat out anymore. When we do she makes a face and says my cooking is better. We take a lot of almost free day trips in the car to interesting areas around where we live.

I dont feel like I'm missing anything, in fact the net is on the side of not working. In a big way.

But if you love eating out and travelling, it can be expensive on an ER's budget and something to think about. I sure spent a lot of money on restaurants and travel before I ER'ed. I dont miss it. But some might.
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-23-2005, 01:24 PM   #6
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks

"Perks" aren't part of my normal living expenses...so I'm not sure I could compare what I get for "free" at work to a cost I'd incur otherwise...

I have classmates that boast of their expense allowance for a company car. Go figure...

:-/
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-23-2005, 01:26 PM   #7
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks

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"Perks" aren't part of my normal living expenses...so I'm not sure I could compare what I get for "free" at work to a cost I'd incur otherwise...

:-/

But what I'm saying is that for a lot of people, they become part of their living expenses. I have a friend who works for a big law firm here in Chicago. They literally pay for every one of his meals. Of course every situation is different
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-23-2005, 01:30 PM   #8
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks

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I know there are a lot of people here who hate their corporate jobs. *However, how many people worry that if they do RE they will have to give up a lot of perks that they take for granted at their jobs?
The perks aren't that good anymore since the tech bubble burst anyways. No more parties with chocolate fountains, no trips around the world giving technical talks, no lavish seasonal holiday parties at fancy hotels, not as many trips to conferences, etc. etc. etc. We do still get a beer/wine bash every Friday at my current company though it's gone at my previous employers. Those things are nice if I'm going to be working anyways but they're not enough to keep me employed if I don't have to be.
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-23-2005, 05:08 PM   #9
 
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks

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For example I eat about 3 expensive dinners a week for work for which I don't pay a dime. *I also get around 2 trips to really nice locations (Palm Springs and Vegas this year) which are also all paid for. *

On top of that, I get free cell phone / blackberry use along with the use of car. *
I assume the 3 expensive dinners are with some business related folks instead of friends or family. Ditto for the trips. A 'free' cell phone has the 'perk' of being called during non-working hours.

I don't consider any of these perks things that I would want - even if you would pay me extra. I can barely drag myself to the yearly company picnick and christmas party. I would throw out that 2way pager in a heartbeat - now, I would call that a perk if I could do that.

Vicky
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-23-2005, 05:16 PM   #10
 
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks

I used to do the same gig at work. Lots of perks.

Now, I am busy planning my trout fishing trip to New Mexico.

I think I'll leave in a couple weeks (depending on weather), don't know for sure when I'll come back. I'll eat out at some nice restuarants, and I'll have to pick up the tab myself.

But during the day, I'll be throwing dry flies at rising trout instead of sitting in a meeting kissing a client's or bosses butt.

Think about it! 8)
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-23-2005, 06:41 PM   #11
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks

I was pretty lucky with the perks when I worked. I traveled all over the world -- Ireland, Italy, Spain, France, Egypt. And I traveled to half a dozen conferences and dozens of business meetings in various cities in North America each year. The last 8 years I worked they flew me 1st class. They always put me up at high end hotels (typically $200 - $400 per night). In addition to expensive meals and banquets wherever I traveled, I often got meals paid for during the week when I was at the office.

Now, more often than not, I drive my 1995 Dodge RAM with a camper shell thousands of miles and camp out. I take a cooler filled with food I bought at the grocery store and spent hours preparing. If I do stay in a hotel, it's more likely to be a Motel 6 than the Paris Hilton (not the dumb one -- the one in France). My DW and I still go on one or two more costly trips each year, but we still look for bargains on everything from flights to hotels to meals.
It's just a matter of deciding what you really want and saving enough to pay for it. Had I wanted to spend my retirement jetting around the world in 1st class seats and staying in expensive hotel suites eating only at 5 star restaurants, I could have worked several more years and saved more money. I wouldn't trade what I have now for the old perks for anything.
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-24-2005, 12:56 AM   #12
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks

I'm with Vicky... I'd take a meal at home with friends and family any day over a fancy meal out while at a work-related meeting or conference.

Traveling for work is more of a chore than something I enjoy. Staying in a hotel room by myself, no matter how nice the room is, is like being in purgatory. Nice surroundings, but no one to share it with that I care about.
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-24-2005, 02:35 AM   #13
 
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks

For me it was finding a happy medium. IF I was
traveling continuously and selling hard, the thing I wanted most at the end of the day was to retreat to my hotel room and not see a soul. I never scheduled
meetings in the evening for this reason. Later, when
the pressure was off (just consulting part time), the
travel and lavish dinners were nice, especially on someone else's nickel. It's a matter of degree and who's paying, at least that was my experience.

JG
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-24-2005, 05:18 AM   #14
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks

The one that killed me was giving up the option of calling someone to come fix my computer when it doesn't do what it is supposed to do.
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-24-2005, 05:50 AM   #15
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks

I guess I don't have it so bad compared to some people. I do get to take my wife to a lot of my client dinners. I also get to take her with on my trips.


Some of these do add up to real money. My father in law is about 1 year from retirement and we were talking the other day about how much his miles he gets are worth. He travels a lot for his work (attorney) which is the only part of his job that he likes. He earns about 300,000 airline miles and 150,000 hotel points a year which enables his to travel and stay wherever he wants for free. We are trying to quantify how much income he will need to replace this, and it's a lot!

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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-24-2005, 07:42 AM   #16
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks

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I guess I don't have it so bad compared to some people. *I do get to take my wife to a lot of my client dinners. *I also get to take her with on my trips.
. . .
My wife went with me on almost every trip I made for work that was outside the US and would also come for many longer trips (more than 2 or 3 days) within the US. *

You're right. *If you want to continue the same kind and number of trips in retirement, then your required retirement budget goes up and you will need to save and invest more to cover those costs. *We really like to travel and since retiring, we travel a little more than 1 week a month plus we typically fit in one or two overnight trips each month. *But we decided that what we liked most about travel did not always require $200 per night hotels, first class airline seats, or expensive restaurants. *We decided that we would rather retire a few years earlier and travel sooner rather than later.

When planning our retirement budget, we considered four types of trips:

1) day trips (in AZ, anything within about 200 miles we consider doing in a day trip)

2) camping trips (driving to a place where we will camp, hike, explore for several days before returning)

3) extended road trips (we drive as much as several thousand miles staying in budget hotels and visiting various sites along the way)

4) upscale tourist trips (we plan flights, hotels, event tickets, etc. *These trips include travel outside the US but might also include a week in NYC, Washington DC or some other city in the US)

Based on our experience, we established cost estimates for each type of trip and then decided how many of each type we thought we would want to do in retirement. *That set our investment targets.

I'm not implying that our choice is the right choice for everyone. *You have to choose your own mix of what you want to do and budget for it. *
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-25-2005, 07:55 AM   #17
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks

Quote:
However, how many people worry that if they do RE they will have to give up a lot of perks that they take for granted at their jobs?

Anybody else have a similar situation?
Luckily not me, but it reminds me of a story.

A party discussion focused on the amazing "Fear Factor" things that people would do for money. Alluding to a movie, one woman admitted that she'd be tempted to sleep with a rich man for a million dollars.

A bystander spoke up: "How about $20?"

She said: "No way, what kind of person do you think I am?!?"

He replied: "Madam, I believe you've already answered that question, and now we're just negotiating..."
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-25-2005, 08:03 AM   #18
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks

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Luckily not me, but it reminds me of a story.
A modern retelling of the anecdote about George Bernard Shaw.
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-25-2005, 09:36 AM   #19
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks

I agree that most material perks don't hold a candle to ER, but a recent development regarding flex/free time does give me pause. As some of you know, my wife and I recently had a duaghter (5 months old now) and we work slightly different shifts to minimize the time she spends in daycare. She works later in the day, I work early. Well her boss told her she can do slightly more than half days on Friday so she can leave when everybody else does, so she's working 37 hour weeks now. I thought that was a good deal, untill my step mom told me her boss negotiated that if she works 9 hour days, she can take every Friday off! (Normally 9 hour days would get you every other friday off, right?) And I've heard of other companies doing similar things, and letting workers go part time in jobs that would normally be considered full time. If I reach a point where I could ER, and my company says rather than lose me, they'd give me part time hours with a lot of flexibility, I might be tempted....
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks
Old 02-27-2005, 08:49 AM   #20
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Re: Ever wonder about giving up perks

As for the different perks they certainly add up - but most of them would be dramatically reduced if I had to pay them myself. I certainly would not need my current $50k company car!

I would also use the alternatives more - telephone via the internet, use the internet more for communication, banking Etc.

I would also have more time to do smart shopping via the internet for travel Etc. and could leave with short warning for those better deals.

Based the above I do not think that the impact for my lifestyle would be very serious.

On a side note I agree with the poster saying that when travelling it is important to take some time out - I try to avoid evening meeting Etc. so I can have normal evenings even when travelling.

When I reached FI I got much better at saying "no" to weekend work, overtime work and similar stupidities - people actually respect that now.

Cheers, Ben
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