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Old 01-18-2009, 08:49 AM   #41
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I present this scenario to illustrate that FI has to be adopted as an early goal but ER can be played by ear once FI has been achieved.
Yep. The bottom line is this, I think: Wouldn't you rather go to work because you want to and not because you have to? I can only imagine knowing that you are working unshackled by financial need would be a very liberating feeling. You could basically say "screw it, I quit" any time things got too crappy. If you're not FI, all that will do is stress you out and force you to accept it and keep working.
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:52 AM   #42
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Hey yall,

Can somebody please tell me why retiring in your late-40s/early-50s is so appealing to so many of you?
Since this is a forum dedicated to Financial Independence and Early Retirement, isn't it likely that most of the people are here because they support that goal?
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:06 AM   #43
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There are a few people who are blessed with truly loving their work. There are few people I envy more in the world than those who can do something they love to do -- something they might choose to do for free -- AND get paid for it.

...
Ziggy's entire post sums it up. I'd just add, as others have said, that people go typically through a change at 40. For some reason the oomph for works starts to wane. Many cultures have recognized this, so it must be part of the human condition.

It's funny though, FI was the most important goal throughout my 15 years of working. Then I reached a minimum FI last year, and learned what the real problem was - what do I want to do the rest of my life? I tried leisure - that wasn't it. My brain is too active, I want to keep learning and doing something useful. I tried a bunch of things, and finally found that what I was doing (writing software) really WAS what I liked doing. There was a reason I got into the field 15 years ago!

I'm still sorting this out, I luckily have a great job with a great boss and coworkers at the moment, but I would like to work in a new area. Or maybe working for myself would be better. Anyhow, because I have FI I have the freedom to do what I want. And that's invaluable. If my job ever gets sour again (and it was very sour a few years ago) I have more choices.
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:23 AM   #44
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That's if you're just working a 40-hour week. Try some 2 year death marches for which you're in the office 10-12 hours a day plus 1 to 2 day a weekend. There will be times when you have taken a shower only to realize that you don't have any clean underwear because you haven't had the time to do laundry in 3.5 weeks.
Yeah!
Last time I calculated, I worked 30 out of 52 weekends in a year.
The underwear thingy happens to me all the time.
Yesterday I went shopping for the first time in months.
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:34 AM   #45
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It's great that you're asking questions at this early time in your life. I just joined this site because I am struggling emotionally with some of your points and I am one of those people who, according to you, should be entering my peak earnings years. I'm 38 and have achieved financial independence, which means I don't HAVE TO work in a job or a career that I don't like anymore. (I am about to pay off my mortgage on a great home, have no debt, and have lots of savings and investments which could pay my bills for several, or even many, years without working). I have had nearly 20 years in a profession which in many ways was tailor made for me - I'm one of the lucky ones who found my calling and thrived in it, and in fact through hard work and good timing, that calling actually created my FI. So, now I am stuck in this vortex between FI and ER. Some of the folks on this site have told me I am too young to think about retiring, and I know that they're right, and I know that I would drop dead if I didn't keep working in some fashion. But at the same time, I want to use my FI to improve my quality of life, to tap my professional skills but in a different way, a different environment, and not have to rely on a certain level of income. As someone else on here said, I want to love what I do for $, not dislike what I do for 3x$. I think this is the key. And I think FI is a state of mind, a psychological freedom that can improve your state of mind for the rest of your life. Whereas ER is an action, a decision to take. They coexist nicely, but I'm learning that FI can be more satisfying and more beneficial than ER, especially when you're young.
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:35 AM   #46
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That's if you're just working a 40-hour week. Try some 2 year death marches for which you're in the office 10-12 hours a day plus 1 to 2 day a weekend. There will be times when you have taken a shower only to realize that you don't have any clean underwear because you haven't had the time to do laundry in 3.5 weeks.
At one point back in my sysadmin days, we were on crunch time to deliver a major software package to our customer. As I recall this was Megacorp's first major commercial space effort (i.e. with a customer other than the government) and they were determined not to blow it. So they authorized unlimited overtime pay for every engineer and tech guy on the project. This went on for nearly a month.

One young guy (not yet disillusioned by corporate America) logged 101 hours one week.

As the guy who was responsible for making sure the workstations on the network kept running, I was merely asked to be on site and not do anything that might take CPU cycles away from the developers and testers. So basically I was like a fireman waiting for a distress call. One week I put in 77 hours, about 70 of which were just kicking back at my desk, reading books and magazines and messing around on my PC (both surfing the net and playing games). And management was okay with that -- they just wanted me there to immediately respond to system problems.

It wasn't hard work, and I liked getting paid for 77 hours of "work" in one week, but even that would get old after a while.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 01-18-2009, 11:03 AM   #47
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I really liked my job and I did not even mind the long hours and the heavy work loads till my mid fifties and then it got harder and harder but I still enjoyed it . At 59 the enjoyment was fading fast so I retired . I get bored occasionally but then I find some project to do and it fades .
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:37 AM   #48
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It's surprising to me how little i've worked for wages or salary - enough to get social security, but not enough to buy groceries come 62. For some years we both worked (for the last 4-5 of my working years i was 1/2 owner of a little import car repair shop) and also worked on building up a pool of rental properties. When we were younger we showed off our abilities to each other and were united in our lust for the game of finding and making good little places out of bad.

When the shop partnership faded i noticed that there was enough money coming in that i could just manage the rentals and skip other work - so i did. A couple years later my gal went 1/2 time, then independent time. She has never been motivated by money and gets paid a nominal amount - she just likes knowing chunks of her business that others don't and the social contact. Going to turn 60 this year and am a bit trapped by the lack of buyers for our rentals - I'm getting less able to do many of the repair/maintenance jobs that are called for - and less willing to do them! Also getting less happy dealing with the renters - have seen the same situations too many times, know how they will turn out, and don't want to see the same play again. I don't want to be a crabby old landlord - i do want to provide surprising service - i do not want the open spirit of my soul to close up and darken.
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:45 PM   #49
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But you are planning to help your parents retire early (Helping parents retire)....

At your age your job can fill lots of needs--financial, social, professional. It is great that you are excited about it (and you have an unbelievable starting salary per the above thread). As you progress in your career you hopefully will find that those needs have been fulfilled but sadly may lose your enthusiasm for doing the same thing day after day, year after year.

But good luck in your career--let us know how the bar exam goes.
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:15 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by landonew View Post
Can somebody please tell me why retiring in your late-40s/early-50s is so appealing to so many of you?
I think the main reason is that this is an early retirement forum. If we weren't interested in ER, why would we be here?

When you draw from the whole English speaking world, you can form a group dedicated to most anything.

Ha
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:51 PM   #51
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But you are planning to help your parents retire early (Helping parents retire)....

At your age your job can fill lots of needs--financial, social, professional. It is great that you are excited about it (and you have an unbelievable starting salary per the above thread). As you progress in your career you hopefully will find that those needs have been fulfilled but sadly may lose your enthusiasm for doing the same thing day after day, year after year.

But good luck in your career--let us know how the bar exam goes.
I wouldn't consider them to be retiring "early". My main concern is for them to retire "comforatably" at a reasonable age.

Yea, the starting salary is not bad. I worked extremelly hard in school and the job path that I have chosen has relatively high barriers to entry and requires and diversified skill set. I am extremelly lucky to have had parents that gave me guidance and provided me with an opportunity to pursue the path that I have.

I will let yall know how the bar goes..I will be crossing my fingers.
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:41 PM   #52
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It wasn't hard work, and I liked getting paid for 77 hours of "work" in one week, but even that would get old after a while.
Man, where did you find a sysadm job where you got paid overtime? I worked untold 60+ hour weeks with ne'er an extra penny. If I got paid for all that I might have stuck with Megacorp for a while longer. I realized a decade or so ago that I was making about 25% less per hour than my salary indicated due to the overtime. I gave myself an instant raise by cutting back wherever I could.
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:58 PM   #53
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Man, where did you find a sysadm job where you got paid overtime? I worked untold 60+ hour weeks with ne'er an extra penny. If I got paid for all that I might have stuck with Megacorp for a while longer. I realized a decade or so ago that I was making about 25% less per hour than my salary indicated due to the overtime. I gave myself an instant raise by cutting back wherever I could.
It was an unusual circumstance. We didn't normally get paid overtime.

This gig was with a defense contractor who also did work for NASA, and this was in the "peace dividend" era (mid-1990s) when they thought it would be critical for their survival to get into the commercial space business (because, of course, with the fall of the Soviet Union, defense was a "dead" industry). They spared no expense, and that meant granting an exception for us to be paid overtime in order to hit their deadlines. They brought in catered dinners for several weeks for people who would work well into the night.

One thing I remember was being called into the office of the program manager, and he asked me to compile a list of what I thought we'd need in terms of hardware for the next year or two. Playing the game, I figured if I needed X, I'd ask for 1.5X because they'd probably not give me everything I asked for. A week later I told him what I thought we'd need, and without flinching he said, "We'll double it to be safe." Making money was secondary on this project; proving we could deliver on commercial projects was the emphasis.

So in this case, they just wanted me there in case a workstation crashed, or a developer need a file restored from backup, and stuff like that. But they didn't want me working on the network -- that would eat CPU cycles the engineers needed! As I said, basically like a fireman hanging around at the station waiting for a call that rarely came. Managers saw me goofing off and didn't care -- they just liked having me there just in case something hit the fan.

In the end, we hit our deadline, and at about 11 PM on that deadline date, we began the secured uploading of the deliverable to the customer, and we began what was (to this day) the only time we've ever been encouraged to drink on company property as the program manager brought in 5 cases of champagne for us.

The ultimate irony is that when this project for a civilian customer was completed, it turned out that the first customer for this civilian service was.... the U.S. Army. So much for getting out of the defense business.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 01-18-2009, 08:11 PM   #54
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I am in printing sales and believe you me as soon as I have enough to retire I'm out. With my sales down 7% year to year, management push for weekly 3 hour sales training classes, end of expense reimbursement due to recession, new bi weekly 2 hour sales discussions, and one on one sales reviews. Not to mention the various networking events, do my own estimating, delivery of small to medium jobs, and two weeks a year of vacation(one of those mandatory between Christmas and New Years).

I just love my work
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Old 01-18-2009, 08:25 PM   #55
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I do love my work. But as I have aged and my circumstances have changed, I no longer wish to do it so much. A 20-hour work week would be nice.

See, Landonew, 35 or more years of the same job or profession teaches you that balance is important. Work is fine (for some) but life has other priorities, too. Maybe it's family and grandchildren, maybe it's a poetic or artistic passion, maybe it's just unstructured time. There comes a moment where you realize it's now or never. Financial independence allows you to make those choices based solely on your personal situation.
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:01 PM   #56
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I think the main reason is that this is an early retirement forum. If we weren't interested in ER, why would we be here?

When you draw from the whole English speaking world, you can form a group dedicated to most anything.

Ha
Does anyone know of a forum for people who want to work till they are dragged out, feet first, from their workplace? I would like to visit to sample some of their posts.
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:05 PM   #57
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Does anyone know of a forum for people who want to work till they are dragged out, feet first, from their workplace? I would like to visit to sample some of their posts.
Gigolo.com
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:47 PM   #58
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NO WAY! What ya think? That these guys die with a smile on their face? NO WAY!

It's w**k!
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:27 PM   #59
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NO WAY! What ya think? That these guys die with a smile on their face? NO WAY!
It's w**k!
Well, in this situation I think it'd be appropriate to describe it as "f$%#in' work"... *

* Hey, isn't the software supposed to automatically to sanitize that four-letter word? No, not that one, I'm talking about the word "work"...
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:59 PM   #60
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I went to college 25 years ago to become an engineer, naively believing I would be developing innovative new things. Well, some of that has come true, buuuuuut, it involved working with alot of people I would prefer not to deal with in my personal life. You can't choose who you work with in corporate life. I also found working to unrealistic schedules drains the creative juices right out of you. After working on many successful projects (at multiple companies), you realize one thing---they just want more and faster. Got fed up and took one summer off 4 years ago. DW did the same and we had the best summer of our life. Didn't do anything earth shattering, but did what we wanted. We had been saving pretty good to that point, but, when we went back to work after our "get a life" sabbatical, we were alot more diligent to become FI. I became a contract Engineer, and both of us absorb as much OT to be able to get the heck out of the rat race ASAP. I don't have a career ambition anymore, at least in engineering. Now my ambition and #1 goal is to be FI.

Future employment----------Snowplow Driver Money won't be an issue by this point.
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