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Old 11-10-2007, 06:55 AM   #41
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I agree with some of the sentiments expressed here about taking the time to smell the roses. Presently, I'm torn between pursuing a significantly higher paying job (which in turn would require more hours) and keeping the one I have (which has very reasonable hours). Because of my LBYM lifestyle, I don't really need the money, nor does my DW (since she earns more than I do). That said, more money is always nice to have, especially if it provides the ability to ER and do what I really want to do much sooner than life would normally permit.
If the higher paying position provides more job satisfaction despite longer hours, it may worth pursuing. Dominic Orr, a CEO of a networking company, became a success (financially) at the expense of his family life.

How Dominic Orr almost ruined his life - Oct. 30, 2007
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:37 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Surfdaddy View Post
Brewer wrote the excellent statement:

"Once your portfolio is up to a certain size, the returns it generates over time far outweigh the effects of your additional contributions. To me, in my current situation, this is a big deal. It means that if I dialled back my efforts in my career and spent more time sniffing roses with my wife and kids, it would make only a small difference in when I get to check out for good."
To Brewer and SurfDaddy's point about the seeming pittance additional cash contributions make...

I know the syndrome but can only say after having been through up and downturns... the additional cash may seem a pittance during good years like this, but during years of negative returns it can really help, if only psychologically, to know that you are adding fresh cash in and filling up at least some of that hole from the investment losses.
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:03 PM   #43
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If the higher paying position provides more job satisfaction despite longer hours, it may worth pursuing. Dominic Orr, a CEO of a networking company, became a success (financially) at the expense of his family life.

How Dominic Orr almost ruined his life - Oct. 30, 2007
Perhaps, but I'd rather find a way to make my fortune without having to sacrifice my personal time. This may require taking a few weeks off to brainstorm about "the next big idea" or get a better idea about my next move.
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:12 PM   #44
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To Brewer and SurfDaddy's point about the seeming pittance additional cash contributions make...

I know the syndrome but can only say after having been through up and downturns... the additional cash may seem a pittance during good years like this, but during years of negative returns it can really help, if only psychologically, to know that you are adding fresh cash in and filling up at least some of that hole from the investment losses.

They do indeed help. But the simple math shows that they make far, far less of a difference than those early cash infusions.
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Old 12-16-2007, 08:46 PM   #45
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Hi Folks,

So what’s my point? I don’t know I guess. Just something on my mind as I get closer to RE. How do you strike the balance? Is there a balance? How much is enough? Etc.

Tomcat98
Tomcat, thank you for bring this up, and I'm glad to see that your diplomatic skills has caused the villagers to decide against stoning you to death.

Another thing that nobody ever seems (dare?) to bring up is that work can be engrossing and fun. After 3.5 years on this board on and off under my previous incarnation as BunsofVeal, I have not read many stories on people who enjoyed what they do. It could be that work is just awful for everyone and that there is no such thing as enjoyable work, or it could be that finding interesting work is really hard and that the people who congregate on this board comprise the small percentage of people who don't enjoy what they do but are good at it anyways and thus have amassed enough money to think about quiting early. I don't know.

I must confess that I'm not the original thinker on this topic. If you read Paul Graham at all, you'll find that he discusses the topic eloquently in "Doing What You Love." He points out doing what you love to do doesn't mean doing leisure activities or satisfying your every whim because that kind of stuff gets old, and you'll require every greater highs whatever the highs may be.

To over-worked wage slaves, that is a nice thought experiment but no more than that. That is what I used to think until I had the chance to try the leisure route for 4 months last year between quitting my job and starting grad school, and towards the end of my summer vacation, I couldn't wait to dive back into work. OK, I have to admit that after 6 months in grad school, I couldn't wait to get back out of it. The difference though is that after grad school, I could look back and say that I did so much more with my life in that 1 year than I had done with any 5 year period in my previous life as an engineer. I did my CFA exam despite not knowing the difference between an expense and a prepaid expense 8 months before the exam, I ran the student council's finances, I did a case competition on top of that, and I learned to salsa and recalled my skirt chasing skills. LOL. I know that I still don't know a lot, but I now know what invigorates me, and that to me is priceless.

What can I say about the 4 months that I had off? OK, I did some studying, visited some really great museums, and got some really great lap dances (not in the museums). That's it.

If you watch interviews of veterans, battlefield doctors, or NFL greats, they would invariably recall with fondness the period of life that challenged them to use every skill, every reserve, and every last bit of ingenuity they had or didn't know they had to rise to the occasion, and everything afterwards seems as if something is missing. It can't all be a coincidence.
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Old 12-16-2007, 09:02 PM   #46
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Another thing that nobody ever seems (dare?) to bring up is that work can be engrossing and fun.
Yes, it can. My take on it is that those folks who find their work engrossing and fun tend not to be interested in finding and posting on a board devoted to ER. Self-selection.

Question: If you had, tomorrow, enough capital to indefinately maintain your current lifestyle, what would you change about your work?
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Old 12-16-2007, 10:12 PM   #47
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I would go all out and work for a startup or VC instead of working for a startup that just got bought by a large company. I have come to realize that I do like running the finances of a small-to-medium-sized tech company.
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:34 AM   #48
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Another thing that nobody ever seems (dare?) to bring up is that work can be engrossing and fun. After 3.5 years on this board on and off under my previous incarnation as BunsofVeal, I have not read many stories on people who enjoyed what they do.
I recall seeing quite a few people mention that they liked or even loved their jobs for many years before they decided to RE. Maybe I noticed it more than you because I was one of them. But at a certain point the perceived advantages of freedom from work outweigh the benefits of continued working and FIRE planning sets in. By the time we look into a board like this the joys of work are no longer on our minds.

I have to admit that, having been reasonably satisfied with work for many years, I envied those who truly loved their work - those people who wake up eagerly anticipating getting in to work. But they are rare birds. There is lots of counsel out there about the advantages in finding a job that matches your "passion." - marrying your vocation with your avocation, etc. But that is a lot easier said than done. Many of us were never able to "identify our passion" at all, let alone find a way to get paid doing it. I suspect many of the young dreamers on this board fit that category.

The upside of the equation is that, for many of us who FIRE, we find that we love what we do once we are free of a job. Maybe one of the reasons is that we don't have to do anything.
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:41 AM   #49
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I am in complete agreement with UncleMick. Spending time with many "older" people and listening to what they have to say has taught me that I do not want to regret "not" doing things. This includes not saving for my future/retirement, nor passing on the fun opportunities that land on my radar. If I can make a trip work financially, I am there! The memories will be priceless! Fingers crossed that I can hang out with my cronies in my 80's+ discussing the good ol days/adventures...and that there will not be enough time to rehash them all!
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:05 PM   #50
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Tomcat, thank you for bring this up, and I'm glad to see that your diplomatic skills has caused the villagers to decide against stoning you to death.
Another thing that nobody ever seems (dare?) to bring up is that work can be engrossing and fun. After 3.5 years on this board on and off under my previous incarnation as BunsofVeal, I have not read many stories on people who enjoyed what they do. It could be that work is just awful for everyone and that there is no such thing as enjoyable work, or it could be that finding interesting work is really hard and that the people who congregate on this board comprise the small percentage of people who don't enjoy what they do but are good at it anyways and thus have amassed enough money to think about quiting early. I don't know.
I agree-- this is a good thread.

However, BGF, I think that you're describing "demographic self-selection". On this board, you'll only hear from the people who love what they do after they've stopped loving it. The people who still love what they do would never even conceive of the existence of this board, let alone go looking for it.

There is enjoyable work out there, but it doesn't last forever... or the enjoyable parts become mired in the administrivia and smothered by the bureaucracy.

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I must confess that I'm not the original thinker on this topic. If you read Paul Graham at all, you'll find that he discusses the topic eloquently in "Doing What You Love." He points out doing what you love to do doesn't mean doing leisure activities or satisfying your every whim because that kind of stuff gets old, and you'll require every greater highs whatever the highs may be.
I'm going to go out on a limb speculating that Graham is not a surfer, nor even a very persistent golfer.

I've never sucked at anything in my life as much as I sucked at learning surfing. Every time I paddle out I find something to work on and do differently, something to do better, or something that I've never seen before. That never gets old. My leg muscles still quiver with fatigue when I stagger back onto the beach, and I may want to go kick Chris "Younger Next Year" Crowley's ass, but the highs don't need to get higher.

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If you watch interviews of veterans, battlefield doctors, or NFL greats, they would invariably recall with fondness the period of life that challenged them to use every skill, every reserve, and every last bit of ingenuity they had or didn't know they had to rise to the occasion, and everything afterwards seems as if something is missing. It can't all be a coincidence.
First, at the time they got into those situations they were thinking "Holy crap, how did I get into this situation-- and how the #$%^ am I gonna get the flock out of it?!?"

I had a CO who observed "Every useful piece of submarine intelligence was obtained by guys who got into way too much trouble in a position they were never supposed to be at." (He was also emphasizing that he'd prefer I leave those decisions to his discretion, but that's another story.) Those survivors should be every bit as happy to avoid repeating those experiences as they are to have survived them.

Second, a frightening minority of these guys are testosterone-poisoned adrenaline junkies. If they keep groping for that point of maximum performance, eventually they're gonna find out that it falls short of surviving the experience.

Finally, the feeling that many of those guys have afterward is often known as "survivor guilt". As we hear from most WWII veterans, I think it's important to cherish the past, but I'm also going to spend my time seeing what I can do about the future. That's what I think is missing from the minds of those who can't stop re-living the past glories. We're supposed to learn from those experiences, not stay trapped in them.
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Old 12-18-2007, 06:42 PM   #51
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I agree-- this is a good thread.



I've never sucked at anything in my life as much as I sucked at learning surfing. Every time I paddle out I find something to work on and do differently, something to do better, or something that I've never seen before. That never gets old.
Nords,
In addition to the points about adding most to the sum knowledge of the human species when we are up a river without a paddle, I think you hit on something else important here: finding something you don't do very well but which still somehow pulls you in is a good way to stay happy, challenged and engaged by an activity for the long run. Stuff you can nail with your eyes closed after three months tends to get boring. (Sounds like a lot of those jobs we had back in our full-time career days.) Now we can move onto the stuff we suck at, could never get paid for, but really have fun doing :-)
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