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Old 11-29-2014, 09:23 PM   #81
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Interesting stuff - my dad once tried to get me interested in metrology before I was out of hs, but I didn't bite. He took me to a regional airport, and we went somewhere into the bowels of the operation - and I recall a very concerned looking gentleman sternly telling me I could not be there! Next thing I know he and I were chatting about a career in metrology. I know my dad had been involved with Wx Corps in his Army Air days during WWII, hence his interest in steering me in that direction. It was many years later when he told us of his involvement with what was at the time, a very clandestine operation to decipher coded weather related radio communications to Russian pilots departing from Elmendorf as part of the lend-lease program.
Theseus: You might be thinking of Meteorology (science of weather), I was in Metrology (science of measurement).
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:56 AM   #82
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I managed to make a pretty good living by words alone (and hard work, of course).

My undergraduate major was Communications/Journalism. Besides being in the 99th percentile on all tests of verbal ability, I also tested a bit above average in math ability, but nobody thought that meant anything, since I wasn't way above average. (After my mother died, I found a score page from an aptitude test I took in 9th grade, a few months before my 13th birthday, which put me in the 95th percentile for "mechanical reasoning." I do wonder what this may have indicated in a career sense. Apparently, no adult considered it significant).
Or, if you're my age (61), sometimes people didn't quite know what to do with a young woman with high scores in mechanical reasoning. I scored very high in that as well as "abstract reasoning". Dad was an engineer and I was encouraged to think about STEM-type majors and went into Math. I can understand why you were so valuable explaining technical concepts to non-tech people. It was a vital skill in my field, too.


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When we moved from high COL San Francisco Bay Area to Ohio, we cut our COL in half. During last 12 years of career, I taught in private school here: a pure delight. Class sizes averaged 18-22, kids wanted to learn, and parents were absolutely supportive. Though I ended my career earning in the low 50Ks, it had been twelve years of fulfilling some dreams as a teacher. I could have been earning another 30K back in the old Bay Area job, if I had stayed in it full-time. But it was worth sacrificing those paychecks for the quality of life here in Ohio.

I sent DS to a private boarding school (NY Military Academy) for HS. What a difference. Kids who didn't want to be there were taken out by their parents or dismissed by the school. The parents had a large financial stake in their kids' education. I also felt that the faculty and staff appreciated the parents. They knew we could send our kids and our money elsewhere if we weren't happy. Somehow, they "got it" immediately that I had a different last name than my son, while the public school teachers and staff had just called me Mrs. Husband'sLastName for years.


But to get back to the OT- current DH and I moved from northern NJ to a LCOL area in the Midwest after we married in 2003. Each of us owned a house in NJ and we needed very little of the equity to buy out here, so we invested 99% of the rest. Our housing expenses decreased considerably. I doubt I'd have been able to ER in NJ.
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:01 AM   #83
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Same here, part of my value to my employer was being able to boil down very complex issues to their essentials and explain them to clients in a simple way that they could understand and act on.
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:13 AM   #84
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Theseus: You might be thinking of Meteorology (science of weather), I was in Metrology (science of measurement).
oops - Good thing I did not choose either as a profession, or this would have been really embarrassing

Odd thing is, I did initially note a difference in the spelling, but dismissed it when doing a quick spell check and search engine check verification. Double-checking now, I find that MS Thesaurus doesn't recognize Metrology, and when typing it into my default search engine (Bing) it automatically spell-check disambiguates to the more common Meteorology. So I learned a few new things – there is a science called Metrology, and that I need to trust my intuition and be more cautious of allowing computers to ‘assist’ in my thinking.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:18 AM   #85
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I make things work and I fix things that don't work. I am a verdammt ingenireur. Sometimes I get paid what I am worth. Most times, not.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:32 AM   #86
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I went to college to be a land use manager (big picture planning). Long story short, I ended up taking accounting classes and ended up a CPA! My career started in auditing migrated to tax and for the past 20+ years the "tax guy" at a private family office. I help my clients plan for their future, and the future of their children. It has helped me focus on the future for my own situation. The family treated my well, and I have saved the max in my 401k for the past 20 years, and they had a pension (terminated and rolled into an annuity that has a guaranteed 7% growth rate). I never got into the social ladder climbing that some co-w**kers saw as so important.


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Old 11-30-2014, 09:38 AM   #87
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I make things work and I fix things that don't work. I am a verdammt ingenireur. Sometimes I get paid what I am worth. Most times, not.
Yeah, that's me too, Ed.
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Old 11-30-2014, 09:22 PM   #88
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oops - Good thing I did not choose either as a profession, or this would have been really embarrassing
Not a problem, most of us in this field are used to it! Everyone thinks we are the Weatherman!
I have had soooo many higher up bosses who have thought the same, both in the military and the civilian world. Basically ended up being a running joke in this career.
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:13 PM   #89
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Theseus: You might be thinking of Meteorology (science of weather), I was in Metrology (science of measurement).
I know what a meteorologist does. What does a metrologist do all day?
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Old 11-30-2014, 10:30 PM   #90
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Retired after 24 years of monitoring "George" and making Public Announcements (PA's) on airplanes. Before that while attending college in Hawaii was a lifeguard, sailing instructor, and garbage truck driver. Cut my hair and spent 11 yrs in the AF pretending to be "Maverick."

Key to my ER was divorcing early in life and staying single for 28 yrs. Owning used trucks and living in a 1100sq ft house helped.

Surprisingly, my life and career went pretty much as planned.
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:16 PM   #91
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I know what a meteorologist does. What does a metrologist do all day?
Meadbh: Here is a good Wiki link that covers it pretty well:
Metrology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Basically we either define measurements and standards, create new measurements and standards or use existing measurements and standards to calibrate equipment or other standards.
Goes from a simple example of field testing and calibrating the gas pumps you use to fill your car (when you paid for a gallon did you actually get a gallon?) all the way up to extremely low uncertainty precision laboratory measurements of the speed of light and many other scientific measurements etc.
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:15 AM   #92
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A lot of Boomers and Gen X here. Ok, well a Gen Y perspective then ...

Expensive liberal arts university and college degrees left us with about $70,000 of debt at the starting gate. Realized following our passions wasn't going to pay the bills, so left for greener pastures overseas.

Have worked in education in one form or another in the Gulf for just over a decade. Combined household income after tax is about $143,000 US. Not sure what that would equate to with income tax in the States.

Tried hard to save 50% of what we have made. Not always possible, but we have been close. The loans slowed us down, as has travel and some medical issues that cost a pretty penny. Not sure what the future will bring, but pensions are definitely not going to be part of it.

Spending too much time on MrMoneyMustache and ERE these days.
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:16 PM   #93
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We're 38/36 and aiming for ER in 10 years maybe. No kids, so that helps!

We (H and I) are both in university research (science and technologies that deal with remote sensing). Together we take home less than $160k.
Our employer gifts us almost 15% of each of our salaries into 401a accounts, while we put away 35% of our savings, so a total of 50% of our income goes into retirement accounts annually. We have each have an HSA, 401a, 403b, 457b and Roth accounts as retirement vehicles.
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:21 AM   #94
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Product developer currently - 2 years ~$132k, wife is SAHM for our three kdis
Prior gigs:
Research scientist for big chemical corporate labs - 5 years
Graduate research assistant - 6 years
Electronics retail sales on weekends and breaks - 8 years
Fork lift driver in brewery - two summers
summer intern big pharma - two summers
jack of all trades at hotel/restaurant/petting zoo - 14-17
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:34 PM   #95
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I'm a 31 year experienced petroleum reservoir engineer, at a large oil company.

I estimate how much oil and gas is going to squirt out of tight rock I can't see or touch , and how fast it's going to squirt out, and how much money it will make.

I make $266,000 a year total, and I've been investing 40-50% of that for FIRE the past 5 - 10 years.
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Old 12-04-2014, 06:04 PM   #96
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After high school I wanted nothing to do with school so I went in the US Army. After 6 years I got out and started college but was recruited by a friend to apply with the Feds as an officer in the federal prison system. I spent 26 years moving up the ladder (chasing the money :-)) from officer to lieutenant, captain, regional office and finally to the Central Office (DC) assigned as an onsite manager/monitor at a federal prison operated by a contractor in California. As I was classified as law enforcement I was eligible to retire after 25 years at 48 but stayed one more year to 49. With my military and accrued sick leave I had 32 years credited for my retirement benefits. I was a GS 13. Retired almost 1 year now.
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:17 PM   #97
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We are 31/33 years old, working in finance and consulting. Combined annual income is $500K-600K, depending on bonuses. We put away approximately 65% of our after-tax income for retirement.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:10 AM   #98
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Journalist (don't laugh). Most of the media are feast-or-famine for those who work there, but wife (also a newsie) and I made a pretty decent living once we got hired by a good big-city newspaper. Of course the business has been bleeding jobs for years, but we were fortunate to have the bulk of our careers coincide with a time when ad dollars flowed freely. The non-financial benefits: lying was not a significant part of office politics; the work was intellectually stimulating; and we met a lot of witty, charming people.

Since I retired, I still keep my hand in with a little magazine freelancing and a part-time job at a small daily where I work half a day every other week. Just enough to keep the adrenaline flowing!
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Old 12-07-2014, 05:23 PM   #99
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Just starting out (24) but I work in IT so I was able to start with a decent salary. I recently made my November cash flow.



Really depends on how you calculate savings %. My take home is about 5K from salary after taxes and I save about 5K but that includes pension/401K so idk I'd guess 75-80%? I'd be interested to see how you calculate it.
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:02 AM   #100
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Humanities major who ended up in retail. (retail everyone hates retail!)

Started at 17k a year 22 years ago.

Will make 350k this year. (many promotions)

Was saving a TON the last 4-5 years when my pay about doubled.

Just had my divorce finalized.

Ex-wife took half.

Need to save some more now.
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