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Old 02-08-2015, 07:49 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Maenad View Post

...

My youth was filled with a lot of laughter and joy, and being frugal had no negative impact on that at all.

While there is a risk of 20-somethings becoming so focused on RE that they forget to live now, I think it's FAR overshadowed by the very real risk of them squandering their future by spending too much on stuff or experiences. I also think there's some character to be built by living on a shoestring when you're young. Learning how little you need to truly be happy is a lesson just as valuable as what you learn backpacking across Europe.
Brilliant. I personally have much admiration for anyone in their 20's/30's intelligent enough to embody delayed gratification and invest in their future. They are so much smarter than I ever was at their age.
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:09 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by timwalsh300 View Post
As someone who first posted here at 23, I'll comment:

First, I don't personally know anybody who "loves" their work. People are happy to have a job, and they know their job could be worse, but they don't "love" it. In effect, I don't know anybody who dreads weekends or holidays, or feels excited on a Sunday evening at the thought of starting another work week. Did you? If not, are you sure you really loved it? If so, why did you ever retire early? Sounds like a contradiction.


Tim
I agree with you Tim. Sure, I have met people who have had rewarding careers as teachers, medical professionals, etc... I have two experiences and a third example from a friends brother to illustrate my point. I was a lifeguard in high school and college and a bartender/bouncer in college. After awhile I hated going to the beach. It took me a long time to not "work" when I went to the beach or pool. Same goes for the bar scene. I'm still somewhat disappointed when I go to a bar or club. The third example is my friends brother. They grew up in Thousand Oaks, CA. I'm told it is the adult film industry capital. My friends older brother was an adult film actor. You will never guess what he got tired of doing? Like I mentioned, I am sure there are folks who enjoy to varying degrees their jobs. But, very few people who I have met in my 49 years on this planet thoroughly enjoy going to work. I have a neighbor who loves to fly air planes. But, he hates flying his 757 (work) on a regular basis.
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:17 PM   #43
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I don't see the proverbial "$3000 backpacking across Europe trip" and hard core saving at a young age as mutually exclusive. We did the six weeks backpacking across Mexico thing back in college when we didn't have much money at all. Best trip ever? So far, but hey I'm 34 and have plenty of time left (I think). It was around $800 for each of us in year 2000 dollars.

Somehow back in college I knew that would probably be the last time I had nowhere to be for a few months and no responsibilities. Fast forward and jobs, education, then more jobs, a house, a cat, marriage and kids all happened (all good things, except maybe the cat).

I always placed a high value on travel and didn't spend money in many other areas. 10 good years of working and now I'm ER'd and ready to get some passport stamps. I'm sooooo glad I didn't waste money on booze, drugs, fancy cars, houses, etc. I never wanted any of that (well, maybe the booze and drugs).

I'm still waiting for that socially beneficial job to waltz up to me and make me an offer I can't refuse at a job I love so much I'm willing to abandon my family, friends, and leisure pursuits. I was a professional engineer and worked on a lot of projects during my 10 years. Some were tiny (parking lots and turn lanes lol). Others were major and some of you might benefit from them every day. No day was horrible, and only a few were really great. Maybe I picked the wrong career? Maybe I'll end up returning to work some day in some format?
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:21 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Bigdawg View Post
But, very few people who I have met in my 49 years on this planet thoroughly enjoy going to work.
+1

I've heard they exist but can't recall ever meeting one. Sure, plenty of folks don't hate their jobs. But if you offer them a margarita in one hand and a plane ticket to a tropical island in the other and ask if they want to skip work for the next year or three, how many would really want to keep working their 9 to 5?
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:18 AM   #45
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I'm 43 and recently became FI. This month I may well RE or at least step away from work with no schedule to return. Will I find another job in 6 months, in a year, ever? Who knows.

What really concerns me are the frequent parade of stories in the media of folks who are layed-off in their 40's. All too often I read about people who blow through their savings in the 1+ years between jobs and are faced with a HUGE financial hole to climb out of if they hope to retire at a traditional age.

Now working for a wage is at my discretion and that peace of mind is well worth the sacrifices I've made to get to this stage.
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Old 02-10-2015, 05:38 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by marko View Post
I applaud their drive and commitment to LBYM and become FI but in a way I find it a little sad.
Disclaimer: I'm 34, sort of FI (as in, 4% rule FI).

It depends on motivation, don't feel sad. I've always LBYM for as long as I can remember, even as a kid I didn't even spend my pocket money (necessities were taken care of by parents). Didn't feel like I was missing out. The more things I have, the less happy I am.

The monetary "sacrifices" I made in my view therefore weren't big, certainly not in relation to the outcome. In fact, the more frugal I become the happier I seem to become

What's wrong with happy? Very few wants, easy to meet, and a simple life. That said, I do splurge on targeted expenses (traveling comes to mind). And if a friend wants to have lunch, I go without thinking and pay my share (or pick up the bill).

And I will certainly run into frugality trouble should I meet a nice female to share my life with.

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Originally Posted by marko View Post
.. but I feel bad for someone in their 20's who hates their job or just doesn't want to work.
Feel bad for all the people who would prefer to not do their job if the monetary reward was taken away. Depending on the survey that's easily 80%+ of the workforce, could easily be 95%.

Much of the working world is organized in a sad way. Even those that love their job wish they could have more flexibility, do less of it or in a more leisurely pace. I didn't "hate" my job all the time, some days I loved it, the amount of stressful and bad days do add up though.

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Originally Posted by marko View Post
There's time to re-group!
I realize you are talking about savings, but just want to put this out there for the 20-somethings who start out by 'having some fun and exploring' in the early years career wise.

In truth in my view for most lucrative careers, there hardly is time to re-group these days. Your peers who didn't need to regroup are pulling ahead with every year, sometimes even quarter, lost. They get tenure, research grants, specializiation opportunities, a promotion fast-track, MBA, early IPO shares, investment capital, you name it.

Of course there are exceptions everywhere for most career tracks (running your own company especially), but you better not get sidelined early or for too long, before you know it you are too old to get a shot at the big leagues.

Therefore, regrouping is best done when monetary rewards are not a high priority!

That said, I do agree with you that FI shouldn't mean RE. But frankly, what does RE mean in any case? Yes, I have retired from my academic career, my corporate career and (recently) my entrepreneurial career. All of them were kind of short-lived and currently no-one pays my for anything, that may change.

For young-uns early retirement is just a handy ph(r)ase that gives us the freedom to explore.

But not because I have to. I think I am a typical case - you putter around a bit and frequently you'll end up getting paid for it. Or not. As FI we can all choose what to do free of many financial constraints.

What's wrong with that? And why is it fine for older people but not young-uns? Aren't you missing out as well Not to mention all that excess cash you will leave to your heirs

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Originally Posted by marko View Post
Go buy/do that stupid thing you've dreamed of; yeah, it's a waste of money but you have 20-30 years to make back that $10K you blew and in the end it doesn't change your financials one bit after those years.
Realizing one's happiness cannot be bought saves the $10k. Life lessons can fortunately also be learned from other people's failures and successes

Yes the $10k wouldn't make any significant difference, but the overall attitude it implies would have cost me much much more. Where do you draw the line? Every one has a different one, and that's ok. I have many times not spent that $10k, and that's a big reason why I am where I am today. Once or twice I did spend the $10k, no regrets.

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Originally Posted by marko View Post
How sad to see a 25 year old, saying "no, I'm not going to go to backpack through Europe with my friends, I'm going to stay home and watch TV and save that $3000 instead for my retirement (20 years from now) because I hate my job."
It's more like 10 years for starters

But if that's the trade-off, I agree. What I did however was instead of traveling for a year start a very lucrative entry-level management consulting job which got me FI today. You know why I did that? Because I realized that 1) wherever you go, you always take yourself with you and that determines 80% of your happiness and 2) you can always take that year off, but once you miss the boat on your career it will be really hard to get back on.

And guess what: I can take as much travel as I want now, with a bit more style too, but it just isn't that high a priority anymore. Meanwhile on that job I learned things that make my life today so much better. Being productive teaches you stuff in real life, and builds character. And it made a bundle too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marko View Post
It seems they're doing the right things for the wrong reasons.
Look deeper at underlying motivation, you may find there is more thought put in there and your feelings of sadness may evaporate

Better keep focusing on the happiness that at least some people have such strong willpower and determination to go for what they want, and cheer them on their way to financial bliss

And yes, as others have said. Balancing future me with present me is a tough call to make every day. But that goes for every OMY person out there and underspender (vs. savings) too, plenty of those around here.

All I can say is present me is really thankful for past me, and thinks he made mostly the right choices.
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:27 PM   #47
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Honestly, the OP gets my dander up. It reminds me of the acquaintances we had from Way Back When who tried to make us feel guilty for being frugal. I fondly remember having friends over for board games and hitting BW3 for 30-cent wing night. I remember taking a "stay-cation" and installing a new shower door at 3AM because the nearby Home Depot was open 24 hours, and why the hell not? My youth was filled with a lot of laughter and joy, and being frugal had no negative impact on that at all.
I have an acquaintance couple who work in academics and make good money. He told me that he needs at least 2 cups of Starbucks coffee every day and laughed my frugal life style (I always bring lunches to office and never buy Starbucks coffee). At the age of 57, they spend almost every weekend working in the research lab and are talking about moving to another university for higher salaries.

I told them to max their 401k accounts and pay more attention to their investments.
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Old 02-11-2015, 10:36 AM   #48
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I have an acquaintance couple who work in academics and make good money. He told me that he needs at least 2 cups of Starbucks coffee every day and laughed my frugal life style (I always bring lunches to office and never buy Starbucks coffee). At the age of 57, they spend almost every weekend working in the research lab and are talking about moving to another university for higher salaries.

I told them to max their 401k accounts and pay more attention to their investments.
Most (not all) the professors/academics I'm acquainted with around here (MIT, Harvard, etc) have their FI and their RE more or less 'taken care of' via tenure, contracts, unions or other mechanisms.

I don't know any who are overly concerned about retiring comfortably.

Of course these are big, well endowed universities that also pay extremely well; I'm sure there's small places where that's not the case.
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Old 02-11-2015, 12:04 PM   #49
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I'm glad that you're happy in your life. Really.

In my case, yes, I did love my job; every minute of it. I didn't dread the weekends because I worked seven days a week for 20+ years.

No contradiction: I retired early because we sold the company, my working years were (ahem) "rewarded" and I realized how much of life I had missed out on being away from home 200 days a year. Health problems began cropping up as well.

It was time to do something different.
It's interesting to see a different perspective on this from my own. I guess I would fit part of the description of the person in their early 20's that already was gearing up for ER. I wouldn't fall under the having no experiences/watching TV part though so perhaps the OP is not for me.

I guess I was even an early bloomer since I probably started planning how much I would need to save for ER after my first actual income tax paying job at 14. I realized very quickly that my money could make me more money than my back working on a farm . Then again, that was the tech boom of the late 90's, so my expectations for returns were a bit out of touch with reality!

I view ER savings as money that will buy me more time to enjoy my life, not something that detracted from my ability to do so. I always have, and probably always will, view my career as something I do for money to fund my life, and not much more than that.

As an example, when I read the 2 bolded quotes above, I read them as being completely antithetical. I could never love doing something that pulled me away from my life, no matter how satisfying or personally rewarding it may be.
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Old 02-11-2015, 04:43 PM   #50
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Most (not all) the professors/academics I'm acquainted with around here (MIT, Harvard, etc) have their FI and their RE more or less 'taken care of' via tenure, contracts, unions or other mechanisms.

I don't know any who are overly concerned about retiring comfortably.

Of course these are big, well endowed universities that also pay extremely well; I'm sure there's small places where that's not the case.
You might want to read this:
Doctoral degrees: The disposable academic | The Economist

Random quote: "In Canada 80% of postdocs earn $38,600 or less per year before tax—the average salary of a construction worker."

Now, full university professors get by fine but it's getting a rare thing. Better have a good life partner who can bring in the dough.
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Old 02-11-2015, 05:58 PM   #51
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There is a good show I saw on Netflix by National Geographic called Stress: Portrait of a Killer that does explain in some ways who enjoys their jobs and who does not. Basically it has an element of unless you are the lead dog the view never changes kind of findings.

It can also be found on the Internet in various places:
Stress: Portrait of a Killer (2008) - Top Documentary Films

It is not good to be low man on the pecking order in either an aggressive baboon troop or in a high stress corporate or government job. The blood markers for stress come out the same.

But for people who have low stress levels on the job, don't get kicked around and/or have a high degree of autonomy and control, work can actually be enjoyable and rewarding.
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Old 02-11-2015, 06:31 PM   #52
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As an example, when I read the 2 bolded quotes above, I read them as being completely antithetical.
I don't see them as conflicting if you stretch it out to a time frame of a career spanning 30+ years.

The first quote was in reply to the poster who stated that they never met anyone who truly loved their job and couldn't wait for the weekend to end.

The second quote was in reference to having realized later in life that I had missed a number of things at home while pursuing aforementioned job that I loved, coincidentally at a time when the job was no longer around and health issues began to crop up.
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Old 02-12-2015, 06:51 AM   #53
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I don't see them as conflicting if you stretch it out to a time frame of a career spanning 30+ years.
People and priorities change just as circumstances do, certainly makes sense.

Maybe these young'uns not blowing their $10k are in your later mindset right now?

Would be beautiful if they get your job-loving chance too, but the odds are not stacked in their favor. Also makes sense to me
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Old 02-12-2015, 06:59 AM   #54
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P
Would be beautiful if they get your job-loving chance too, but the odds are not stacked in their favor.
Likely including the $38K post-docs you mention!
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