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Old 08-02-2012, 12:43 PM   #21
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So, FIREd, what would be a better career for you?

As for me, I was doing the right thing I always wanted to do, and I am damn good at my specialties. I have always liked my work too. Megacorp work was relatively easy and well-paid, but politics pissed me off. Working in business ventures or start-ups was very satisfying on the technical side, as we were free to do whatever we thought would be right, but oh, the hours and the financial pressure were something that people working 9-to-5 would never know.

So, after getting burned out, I have been goofing off and doing a bit of work now and then, if an interesting project comes along. Could have been really busy with a project right now, but the politics were not to my liking so I walked.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:59 PM   #22
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The reason I retired at 53 is because I had so many things to do and the job was getting in the way. I wanted to sail the Caribbean. Live where there are no laws about every facet of life. Freedom to do anything long as it dose not harm anyone else. Start a family as I was to busy working and saving for my retirement. Now that I am 70 years old and have accomplished all that I set out to do. Now I can just live life to the fullest and enjoy every minute.
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:01 PM   #23
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So, FIREd, what would be a better career for you?
No real career I can think off. I am a guy who likes to design and build stuff -all kinds of stuff- out of his garage, ya know? There is something very rewarding for me to take a project from conception to realization and then be able to point a finger at it and say "I made that". That makes me happy.
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:04 PM   #24
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There is something very rewarding for me to take a project from conception to realization and then be able to point a finger at it and say "I made that". That makes me happy.
I'm the same way about having kids...
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:12 PM   #25
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Yes, it was satisfying for me and groups of friends to design and build things, first in our garages and living rooms, then graduated to office suites, with warehouses, sales offices, etc... But we need more and more people to buy our stuff. People in startups have a phrase for that: "need more dogs to eat your dog food".

Oh, the bills for rent, part vendors, subcontractors, lawyers, accountants, utility bills... Everyone wants his cut. These greedy people! And these dogs, er, I mean customers, were getting more demanding all the time. They kept asking for tastier dog food, while wanting to pay us less and less. I worked day and night to please them. I wanted to kick their ass. These customers started to piss me off just as much as the bureaucrats at megacorps. I quit!
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:23 PM   #26
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Variety is very much the spice of life. Even when you “like” your job, spending 40, 50, 60, 70+ hours per week (plus commuting time) doing any one thing is bland and tasteless; especially compared to the smorgasbord of delectable opportunities that must be forgone for the sake of that job.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:25 PM   #27
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..... And these dogs, er, I mean customers, were getting more demanding all the time. They kept asking for tastier dog food, while wanting to pay us less and less. I worked day and night to please them. I wanted to kick their ass. These customers started to piss me off just as much as the bureaucrats at megacorps. I quit!
I was struggling to compose my response when I read yours and decided that you very eloquently and accurately summarized my own reasons.

I love my job, I really do. And the pay is phenomenal. But you get to the point where the frustration and stress simply aren't worth it anymore, and I am so tired of a client base that will never appreciate the behind-the-scenes efforts involved in providing the high level of service they currently get at below-market rates, yet they continue to beat us up over it. Not all of them, but enough of them to make us realize that there will always be that challenge.

So personally, I'm looking forward to the day that I no longer compare every personal experience in my life to the services I provide my clients and struggle with why they aren't happy to pay more instead of constantly whining to pay less.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:58 PM   #28
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In my case, the pay was never phenomenal, and in fact was way, way below my salary at megacorps on a per-hour basis. But we kept saying that things would get better. It was OK for a while, but our business was in a high-tech field that was fast evolving, and we needed to constantly redesign to keep up with competition. Thought we were smarter and had a better initial design, but they were bigger and had more resources. We could not continue to fund new developments if we were barely able to pay bills, and the founding members of the business including myself worked for free for a while at the end.

I am no longer in that field and have not followed it. But I occasionally wonder if our customers, who were big businesses, missed us. Now that we are gone, our competition can jack up their prices. Well, maybe, maybe not. It could still be dog-eat-dog as it was. I am just glad I survived it, even though I still have emotional scars. Not too many financial scars though, thank heaven.
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:31 PM   #29
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Like many of you, I had reached my goals both professionally and financially. This took the "fire out of my belly" and the job got really tedious. Pay was outragious but eventually you reach the conclusion that enough is enough. So retired at 56. Absolutely no regrets. Health greatly improved as job was very stressful. Life is really good now.
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:30 PM   #30
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@58, maybe I am a little chicken to pull the retirement trigger, but I am still working on the nest egg. Looking to live off the investment interest, pension annuity & SS, leaving the principal for the kids. They are beyond their college years and self sufficient, but I believe they will need the $$.

Maybe I am tooo selfish to retire. I know the DW is scared to live with me 24/7. (who wouldn't)
I keep pluggin away, received a 3.8% increase last yr, thanked all, up the line. I am one of six employees remaining of a corp engineering group of 89 in 1987.

I am pleased and content with my sucess.
Looking at 36 months, but really 24 months to pull the trigger.
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:46 PM   #31
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Career was down shifting so I used it as an opportunity to adjust into semi retirement as it did. Was tired of 60 hour weeks...
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my reasons - and achieve soon
Old 08-02-2012, 07:16 PM   #32
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my reasons - and achieve soon

For me, I am 14 months away (i hope). That is assuming the market doesn't tank. I will be 55 next month. Reasons I desire to retire early;
  1. Looking for life-style simplification. May not completely retire, but want to move to the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina and slow down life. Enjoy my wife and a higher quality of life.
  2. Work for mega-consultanting firm and no longer inspired. I want to do something that makes a difference. Not just work for the sake of a paycheck and making a bunch of partners more wealthy. Do what I want to do and make a difference in my community, family and friends.
  3. Freedom to travel. I am not talking about world travels (but hopefully some on occassion). I am talking about camping and exploring the wonders and beauty of this great country.
  4. Just flat burned out on corporate America. So overrated!
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:28 PM   #33
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I took Nemo's comment totally differently. I have a very strong work ethic, even though I never wanted to work and would have preferred being a trust fund baby. It has to do with my belief that a contract is sacred - I must keep up my end. Plus, I've had to work pretty hard to get ahead. The pay in my line of work is anything but outrageous

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Really? That would sure make working seem like a longer more tedious experience than it could be. After a while, in my case maybe 25-30 years, I can understand but right off the get go? I sure wouldn't want to be your boss.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:42 PM   #34
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Trigger for my retirement was cancer (cured now), but at the time in my own business and about to expand and take on debt. Looking death in the face gives a different perspective. Fortuitive forced decision.
Having been retired for a time, now... have become selfish... Love the freedom that makes worries seem insignificant.

Joyous... waking in the AM, and not having to go to the train.
Congratulations on beating the beast of cancer. That was the motivating factor in me retireing early in so much as DW went through breast cancer in the 80's. Her last surgery was 1986 and I pushed from that point on to get out early. I was successful in achieving early retirement in 1988 and will never regret making that move. DW is a survivor, having gone through reconstruction in 1996. I am so thankful that everything worked out for the best. Best wishes to you imoldernu.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:51 PM   #35
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The reason I retired at 53 is because I had so many things to do and the job was getting in the way. I wanted to sail the Caribbean. Live where there are no laws about every facet of life. Freedom to do anything long as it dose not harm anyone else. Start a family as I was to busy working and saving for my retirement. Now that I am 70 years old and have accomplished all that I set out to do. Now I can just live life to the fullest and enjoy every minute.
Good for you d0ug! That was a great plan and happy if worked out for you. I love it!
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:04 PM   #36
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Reading all these posts makes me so happy. I just wish everyone had the opportunities and good fortunes I have had that enabled me to retire early. As I mentioned, DW getting cancer was the deciding factor but I was ready to go. I had put in 34 years, worked a lot of weekends and daily overtime. If they had counted all that time, I probably had 40 years in. Never to match my father who had 47 years of service. Going into my 25 year of retirement, loving every minute of it and wish everyone could experience that.

I'm really feeling this thread because my very good friend, all the way through elementary school, best man at my wedding, died last week of lung cancer. Called him four weeks ago as he was getting ready for his first chemo treatment and that was out last conversation. He was too weak to even have another chemo treatment and he died last Saturday.
RIP Ben.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:57 PM   #37
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Company acquired + being part of the "redundant executive team" + insanely generous buy-out package = RE at age 53
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:03 PM   #38
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I want to spend more time with my DH. 2 hours a night plus weekends isn't enough. Life is short.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:58 PM   #39
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Not even remotely there yet, but the reason for me, is there just isn't a job out there that excites me nearly as much as my hobbies, which aren't particularly reliable for supplying income, and eat up a ton of time. Started developing a plan in my late teens.

Tried taking what looked like the fastest route, but the recession changed the economics around drastically, and in hindsight my original second choice route would have resulted in me reaching FIRE at 31, instead of 36, graduate school was a huge waste of money for the most part. But, can't have everything go just right. I at least picked up some extra skills along the way.
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:49 AM   #40
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1. insurance-driven medicine
2. some obnoxious patients and MAs
3. litigation risks
4. want to enjoy life as I am getting older
5. would like to volunteer more for medical missions abroad and help others.
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