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I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-12-2006, 10:44 AM   #1
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I think I'm ruined.

Just venting here.

I was voluntarily unemployed for about four and a half months recently and have had this growing realization that, to quote Greaney I think, all work basically blows. The problem now is that I am still probably 7-10 years from FIRE, and I'd prefer my employers to pay me a lot of money and not bother me about doing any work. I can see their point of view would differ somewhat from my preferences. Also, work is crowding in on my time sleeping, reading the paper, watching TV, running errands, etc.

I've also done nearly everything I can do (I think) to FIRE ASAP. There is always fine tuning to be done, but I will still have to wait (@#*(&^!) for compounding to do its work.

Sigh.

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Re: I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-12-2006, 10:45 AM   #2
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Re: I think I'm ruined.

Ditto...
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Re: I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-12-2006, 10:49 AM   #3
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Re: I think I'm ruined.

SecondCor:

Well, if you are really motivated perhaps you might be a candidate for overseas FIRE.

In some countries like Thailand/Bali/South America/Mexico etc. you just may be able to live on a fourth or a half of what you need to FIRE in the states.

- It's not for everybody, but in your case it just may be something to think about.
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Re: I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-12-2006, 01:21 PM   #4
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Re: I think I'm ruined.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521
I've also done nearly everything I can do (I think) to FIRE ASAP.
You could probably reduce your expenses faster than your portfolio can compound.

But that's also a quality-of-life issue.
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Re: I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-12-2006, 02:03 PM   #5
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Re: I think I'm ruined.

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I'd prefer my employers to pay me a lot of money and not bother me about doing any work.* I can see their point of view would differ somewhat from my preferences.* Also, work is crowding in on my time sleeping, reading the paper, watching TV, running errands, etc.
why dont you just do these things at work, then.... I dont mind work...but really dont liked to be bothered....maybe that is the issue with where you work.....
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Re: I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-12-2006, 05:58 PM   #6
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Re: I think I'm ruined.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521
I'd prefer my employers to pay me a lot of money and not bother me about doing any work.* I can see their point of view would differ somewhat from my preferences.* Also, work is crowding in on my time sleeping, reading the paper, watching TV, running errands, etc.*
You should probably go back to work and consider a management position. That compounding thing may or may not work, but I've had plenty of managers over the years who thought like you.
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Re: I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-12-2006, 08:32 PM   #7
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Re: I think I'm ruined.

Thanks all for the responses.

Overseas would be hard. My wife is divorcing me and we have three young kids. If I moved, the way the law mostly works, I would end up leaving them behind.

Management is something I've thought about off and on.

And sometimes I do those things at work.

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Re: I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-12-2006, 08:37 PM   #8
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Re: I think I'm ruined.

Management? Maybe not a great idea. See "The Boss is Stressed Too" from today's Globe and Mail.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl.../Business/home
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Re: I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-12-2006, 10:37 PM   #9
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Re: I think I'm ruined.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521
. . . I've also done nearly everything I can do (I think) to FIRE ASAP.* There is always fine tuning to be done, but I will still have to wait (@#*(&^!) for compounding to do its work.

Sigh.

2Cor521
This won't be a popular post with many.

LBYM is probably the most important thing you have to do to get to a successful and enjoyable retirment. But there are two components to LBYM: 1) is controling your spending. 2) is maximizing your means. People tend to focus on 1, but when you have years to go, it makes a lot of sense to focus some attention on 2. If your work is so objectionable that you can't do this, you might consider trying to find a way into another job or career. Life's too short to die in place for a decade. If it's not that objectionable, then figure out what you can do (that doesn't compromise your values) to increase your means -- get a promotion, get a better raise, get a better job, . . . It may take addtional training or temporary set-backs and risk taking, but if you have 5 or more years to go, what else are you going to do?
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Re: I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-12-2006, 10:49 PM   #10
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Re: I think I'm ruined.

gotta agree with you here, sgeeeee... I know a lot of folks who focus on driving a junker, shopping at thrift stores, etc., but think they're selling out if they make more than 10 bucks an hour.

You can only cut so far before you get to zero. Makes more sense to me to increase the income as much as I can stomach, in combination with frugality (you'll find ME at the thrify store too!), to bring that FIRE target as close as I can get it.

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Re: I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-13-2006, 08:04 AM   #11
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Re: I think I'm ruined.

Government work? Get some ubiquitous job doing "something" for the state or fed govt in a big cube farm (preferably something tolerable). Be very efficient at what you do - ie get your work done in 4 hours - then screw around for 4 more hours, then go home.
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Re: I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-13-2006, 08:36 AM   #12
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Re: I think I'm ruined.

So, let's see: you hate work, you don't have enough money to retire, you ruled out oversease retirement due to domestic considerations, and you "voluntarily" just took 4.5 months off. And, you'd "prefer [your] employers to pay me a lot of money and not bother [you] about doing any work."

Geez.

Must be Clinton's fault.
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Re: I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-13-2006, 08:51 AM   #13
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Re: I think I'm ruined.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
So, let's see: you hate work, you don't have enough money to retire, you ruled out oversease retirement due to domestic considerations, and you "voluntarily" just took 4.5 months off. And, you'd "prefer [your] employers to pay me a lot of money and not bother [you] about doing any work."

Geez.

Must be Clinton's fault.
I was thinking the same thing.

Many of us who are FI but not yet RE got there through working for a living and doing what had to be done in the job to get a higher paycheck or better bonus or maybe stock options. We paid ourselves first and invested in a variety of investments that met our needs for growth and safety. Sometimes we lost sometimes we won and sometimes we broke even on the deal. Life is a series of decisions where the direction taken from each decision compounds from the previous one and shapes your future. We make our future what it will be. Waiting for your ship to come in will only leave you cold and alone on the dock.

I don't love my job. I would rather not have to get up at 5:30am and get to work at 6:45 and work with morons and misguided managers 11 hours a day. I do it to get the final icing on the cake before ER. It is about trade offs and having a plan. I accept that the only line of work that will get me the $$$ I want in the shortest period of time under the self imposed constraints of my personal life and my desire to live in a certain place. I could move and make more but I resigned myself to the a later ER while improving my quality of life outside of work while I continue to save and invest for my ER. Nobody gave me anything other than a chance to work and make my own future happen.

Good luck finding a way to ER that does not involve working for $$$. Not trying to be nasty here... just sharing my thoughts.
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Re: I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-13-2006, 09:10 AM   #14
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Re: I think I'm ruined.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgeeeee
This won't be a popular post with many.

LBYM is probably the most important thing you have to do to get to a successful and enjoyable retirment.* But there are two components to LBYM:* 1) is controling your spending.* 2) is maximizing your means.* People tend to focus on 1, but when you have years to go, it makes a lot of sense to focus some attention on 2.* If your work is so objectionable that you can't do this, you might consider trying to find a way into another job or career.* Life's too short to die in place for a decade.* If it's not that objectionable, then figure out what you can do (that doesn't compromise your values) to increase your means -- get a promotion, get a better raise, get a better job, . . .* It may take addtional training or temporary set-backs and risk taking, but if you have 5 or more years to go, what else are you going to do?* *
Well, you have a couple of good points.

My take on it is that

1) stuff won't make you happy so don't waste your life force accumulating lots of stuff. So I think we are inagreement on your #1 point

2) Regarding making more money. I would only focus on that if the pain in doing so is not so much greater. If to move upwards in your organization (to make more money) it requires your life to suffer then it just isn't worth it. What's the point of making yourself all stressed out now just so you relax later in your life. Balance is what is required moreso than getting on a treadmill just to shave some time off the FIRE date.
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Re: I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-13-2006, 09:16 AM   #15
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Re: I think I'm ruined.

Op, if you have 3 kids and a future ex-wife, you are going to need some additional income anyway to pay child support and alimony, right....just might be more of a problem than moving towards FIRE
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Re: I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-13-2006, 10:39 AM   #16
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Re: I think I'm ruined.

sgeeeee, you are correct and you made your point very well. I am doing fairly well right now on the income side, but I could do better. I am working on that right now. I applied for a better job last week and should hear about that today, and I am halfway through my MBA and should graduate next June.

Rich, I reread my original post and can understand how you came to the conclusion about me that you did. What did not come across in my original post was my intended tone and about five pages of "back story" that would help everyone here better understand where I am coming from. You are correct in your implication that I have a bad attitude (something I meant to get across in my original post) and somewhat correct in that I tend to live my life too passively and putting the responsibility of where I am on others. So I appreciate that feedback even though I don't like it. I don't blame Clinton for my situation.

SteveR, a similar thanks to you as Rich. You're right in that there is no way to FIRE without money, which is obviously part of the rub.

MasterBlaster, you're right about balance. Right now I am just thrashing about what the right balance is for me. I want both and can't have both, thus my OP vent/whine.

Maddy, you're quite correct. I don't want to divulge the details, but child support and alimony are two budget items I have right now. In addition, in my state I have "work-related childcare expenses," medical premiums, and other out-of-pocket medical expenses for the kids that I will be paying. The divorce is close to final so I know what those numbers are but have not yet started paying them.

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Re: I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-13-2006, 09:27 PM   #17
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Re: I think I'm ruined.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521
Just venting here.

I was voluntarily unemployed for about four and a half months recently and have had this growing realization that, to quote Greaney I think, all work basically blows.* The problem now is that I am still probably 7-10 years from FIRE, and I'd prefer my employers to pay me a lot of money and not bother me about doing any work.* I can see their point of view would differ somewhat from my preferences.* Also, work is crowding in on my time sleeping, reading the paper, watching TV, running errands, etc.*

I've also done nearly everything I can do (I think) to FIRE ASAP.* There is always fine tuning to be done, but I will still have to wait (@#*(&^!) for compounding to do its work.

Sigh.

2Cor521

I'm not a Dr. but sounds like a mental disorder to me - I'd apply for social security benefits - certainly would be a boost for FIRE. Good Luck
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Re: I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-13-2006, 09:56 PM   #18
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Re: I think I'm ruined.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521
Rich, I reread my original post and can understand how you came to the conclusion about me that you did. What did not come across in my original post was my intended tone and about five pages of "back story" that would help everyone here better understand where I am coming from. You are correct in your implication that I have a bad attitude (something I meant to get across in my original post) and somewhat correct in that I tend to live my life too passively and putting the responsibility of where I am on others. So I appreciate that feedback even though I don't like it. I don't blame Clinton for my situation.
I respect the way you are taking what is admittedly some rough feedback. You're right about messages being easily misinterpreted in the absence of the full background story, too. Kind of a "thanks, I needed that" scenario. I would never judge a person based on a post - just reacting to the post itself (which you gotta admit was more than a little whiney ),

Sounds like you are in a rough period here - I can hear that. So, just surrender to what you can't change rather than fighting it, work however long and hard you need to to get back on your feet, and don't get too low over this - it'll pass. If you need some help, suck it up and get it.

A weird book called "The Power of Now" by Tolle addresses much of what you're experiencing. If you have a spiritual side and can tolerate a little over-the-edge ranting, he addresses how we create much of the negativity surrounding circumstance ourselves in our own mind and "story system." I read it and enjoyed it after a patient of mine told me about it. While I don't often recommend it because of its somewhat "cosmic" nature, I'm guessing you might find it helpful. Just a thought.

Hang in there and good luck. Keep us posted.
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Re: I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-14-2006, 07:40 AM   #19
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Re: I think I'm ruined.

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Be very efficient at what you do - ie get your work done in 4 hours - then screw around for 4 more hours, then go home.
This is my secret. In school, i tried to get into medical school. I was almost good enough to pull it off, but i didn't. I ended up getting a masters in Biology, and with a Federal job, i find that i can often do in 4 hours what takes 8 hours for someone else. No one complains because in our performance reviews i'm on par, or past everyone else.

Its not just smarts; i also find that having an error corrected 85WPM type speed also helps.


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Re: I think I'm ruined.
Old 09-15-2006, 02:04 PM   #20
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Re: I think I'm ruined.

Rich,

Thanks for the kind words and advice. I am printing out your post and putting it on my wall, and I will add the book to my reading list.

2Cor521
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