Author Topic: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job  (Read 3947 times)

yachi

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Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« on: February 05, 2020, 06:24:48 AM »
I'm calling on working Mustachians, FI but not RE members, and OMY sufferers to share benefits of remaining employed.

Things I've encountered:
Afford a large house (this one's personal as we're tight in space)
Health Care Certainty
Provides scheduled time away from family
Easily maintain Social-economic status
Studies show return to work can be therapeutic for health problems
Provides Self Esteem
Provides a connection to something larger than oneself
Provides an outside driver to develop skills and capacities

reeshau

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2020, 06:40:32 AM »
I'm calling on working Mustachians, FI but not RE members, and OMY sufferers to share benefits of remaining employed.

Things I've encountered:
Afford a large house (this one's personal as we're tight in space)
Health Care Certainty
Provides scheduled time away from family
Easily maintain Social-economic status
Studies show return to work can be therapeutic for health problems
Provides Self Esteem
Provides a connection to something larger than oneself
Provides an outside driver to develop skills and capacities

I would note that 6 of those 8 can be accomplished without a paycheck.  (assuming your item on socio-economic status is about connections / networking)  It is very beneficial to do something.  Not worrying about a paycheck expands the possibilities of what that is.

Freedom2016

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2020, 07:32:43 AM »
Left to my own devices, I'll surf the web and eat Cheetos in my pajamas all day long. IOW, I personally do better when I have some external accountabilities such as a job. And I like the intellectual stimulation of pushing myself to meet a client expectation or deliverable. Yes, of course accountability and stimulation can come in lots of forms (e.g. volunteering) but getting paid to obtain those benefits is worth it to me. :)

Kris

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2020, 08:14:43 AM »
I mean, yeah.

But I guess what I'd say is, a large, large percentage of people in this country hold bullshit jobs, i.e., jobs that provide no real benefit to society, and in many ways, contribute to negative effects on society.

So, I'd say for the last six on your list at least, doing meaningful volunteer work, or else starting up a business venture that actually provides worth to people can accomplish them -- and probably better.

yachi

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2020, 08:28:02 AM »
So I'm probably at a part time barrista-FIRE level of savings.  Looking around at other opportunities what I see is jobs don't need to offer much other than pay for people to take them.  I guess I wish people worked for more than just the pay, so that jobs would exist that offer more than just pay.

I would add reduced risk of failure to the list of benefits.  I mean, job + FIRE money is safer than FIRE money alone, especially in cases of market downturns.


Laura33

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2020, 09:23:51 AM »
I think it's all very personal.  We are FI but not RE, and that decision was based on the following:

1.  Staying married.  DH is a natural spendypants and wants a much higher level of luxury in retirement than our current investments would support, and has no desire to quit yet.

2.  Access to high-level, intellectually stimulating work in the area I've trained for.  I have a very low boredom threshold, and while I could volunteer or set up my own shop, I would not have access to the same brain-twister work I enjoy.  (This is also the big driver for DH: he is doing very advanced tech work that requires investments that start with a "B," so once he quits, that's all gone)  I also really, really like the people I work with -- and I'm an introvert, so that doesn't come easily.  And the work I do matters to them, too -- not just financially, but I have a big responsibility within the firm, and people appreciate my doing it.  Plus they think I'm wicked smart, which is good for my ego.

3.  Freedom to do whatever I want regardless of the cost -- to treat other people, or myself, to things that I literally never even thought were possible.  This one is hard for me to wrap my head around, because I grew up not just poor but frugal-poor, where saving was the priority, and never spent anything on anything more than you absolutely had to was a moral issue.  The big leap for me was when I bought my StupidCar.  That was the first truly frivolous big thing that I bought for no other reason than I really, really, really wanted one.  And OMG, I *love* it.  Every single day.

But I enjoy even more being able to do frivolous stuff for my family, without all the angst and drama that went into persuading myself that it was ok to get that car.  So, for ex, we were going to NYC for DD's HS graduation, she is a huge theater nerd, so I went on stubhub and bought tix to a sold-out show as a graduation present and didn't even have to worry about whether/how that (objectively ridiculous) cost might affect my future.  After growing up with that kind of freedom so far out of the realm of possibility that it was inconceivable, I really appreciate being able to do something like that once in a while.

(of course, that monetary freedom is offset by much less time freedom, but see point 4).

4.  I am externally motivated.  Without some deadline, I would happily sit on the couch and run the clicker.  It's not a problem when DH and I are off together, because he has things he wants to get done, and I enjoy finding stuff to do with him.  But he's working for another @5+ years.  I also know that sitting and doing nothing is very bad for my depression.  So I'm going to need something to do that uses my brain and makes me feel useful.  Which means that until DH retires and we come up with a better plan to spend our days, I need either a job or a volunteer gig.  Which brings me back to #1.  And really, if I'm going to be going somewhere on a schedule to do something productive every day, I might as well be getting paid a metric shit-ton of money for it. 

tl;dr:  I'm really fucking lazy, but being lazy bores the shit out of me and triggers bad depressive spirals.  So given that I'm going to need to be busy anyway, I enjoy staying busy at something that I find interesting and challenging, and it turns out I really like getting paid for it.

Hadilly

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2020, 10:04:33 AM »
Iíll bite. We could sell up and move somewhere LCOL or MCOL easily and be FIRE forever. But. 

1. We like where we live. Great schools, excellent community, can bike easily, good weather, close to family, etc.
2. I like my part time work a lot. Mr Hadilly LOVES his work and it requires a fancy institution with lots of resources.
3. Security is important to me. Health care, affording college, traveling - all those things are important to us and easily do able with work.
4. Like Laura33, I appreciate the lack of stress around spending. If I want to buy two types of unsalted butter at TJ, I can! If my kids want to take tennis, I can pay that bill. If we want to fund our IRAs in full in January, I can. Getting weird echoes of ďSi se puedeĒ but whatever.

I do think, to borrow terminology from The Millionaire Next Door, that playing defense and offense financially are important. We still do all the frugal things at home and all, so that puts us way ahead of our more free spending peers.

Itís an interesting place to be in, not needing to work. My family does not need my pay to survive, so itís definitely elective. Itís also become another saving mechanism once I discovered the solo Roth 401K.

AMandM

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2020, 11:03:03 AM »
Like Laura's and Hadilly's husbands, mine loves what he does for pay and it's not something easily done as a volunteer or self-employed.

I'll add another reason to have a job, only half joking: it gives you an excuse to say no when people ask you to do favors for them.

Laura33

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2020, 12:06:45 PM »
I'll add another reason to have a job, only half joking: it gives you an excuse to say no when people ask you to do favors for them.

Yeah.  No joke at all.  I have zero desire ever to serve on the PTA or do any of the volunteer tasks that SAHPs are expected to do around here.  Really, I hate poorly-run meetings, I cannot tolerate inefficiency,* and so I don't play well with others in those sorts of kaffeklatch environments.  Having a full-time job allows me to politely decline and write them a check. 

*Yes, I do have to put up with that crap at work.  But, again, if I'm going to subject myself to something like that, I prefer the option that pays me for the privilege of boring the crap out of me.

mm1970

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2020, 12:49:23 PM »
Quote
tl;dr:  I'm really fucking lazy, but being lazy bores the shit out of me and triggers bad depressive spirals.  So given that I'm going to need to be busy anyway, I enjoy staying busy at something that I find interesting and challenging, and it turns out I really like getting paid for it.
I think my mom was this way.  She was always BUSY.

BUSY raising kids, gardening, etc.   She went back to work when my dad got laid off.  It was stressful.  They divorced, she ended up working FT in a very challenging bank job for low pay and a bad boss.  But I had conversely NEVER seen her happier.  I lived with her, my brother lived with dad.  I was a teen and she owed nothing to anyone.

So despite the fact that she told me over and over again that she "only ever wanted to be a mom and housewife", from what I saw, it made her miserable.  First, my dad was an ass.  Not a nice man, she married him to get a family, and eventually when I was 15 she left.  She remarried several years later to a lovely man, but when she quit her job she fell back into the old habits.  "I love being a housewife!"

But she seemed bored.  She wallowed in her own misery.  Because she wasn't working it wasn't "their money" it was "his money", and therefore she never felt like she had control over it, or anything. And she was passive aggressive AF.  I think she had too much time to think about what was wrong with herself.  Probably add on a bunch of decades old Catholic guilt from not becoming a nun and giving birth out of wedlock.

My sister and I told her to get a job, even just a part time job at the store would be great.  "I don't want to, what if I want to take a vacation??"  Um, take a vacation?  Anyway, 10-15 years into her depression she drank herself to death.

Malkynn

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2020, 01:09:20 PM »
If work is part of your best life, then work.
Pete works a ton.

It's really that simple, no devil's advocate about it.

spartana

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2020, 02:47:50 PM »
So I'm probably at a part time barrista-FIRE level of savings.  Looking around at other opportunities what I see is jobs don't need to offer much other than pay for people to take them.  I guess I wish people worked for more than just the pay, so that jobs would exist that offer more than just pay.

I would add reduced risk of failure to the list of benefits.  I mean, job + FIRE money is safer than FIRE money alone, especially in cases of market downturns.
Lots of people chose to have careers in lower paying fields because they are motivated by the job not the money. I was like this. I would never do a job I disliked or didn't feel it contributed to something meaningful (to others) unless I had no choice. Of course that didn't mean I couldn't meet those same kinds of goals in RE once money was no longer an issue.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2020, 04:49:32 PM »
For a post titled "non-financial reasons to hold a job," you sure mention a lot of financial reasons.

Afford a large house (this one's personal as we're tight in space)

This is a financial reason.

Quote
Health Care Certainty

So is this.

Quote
Easily maintain Social-economic status

This too.

For the rest, I'd say that doing something with your life beyond just sitting at home all day with your family is probably a good idea for most of us. Working on challenging problems with good people, working toward a goal, developing skills, these are all great things for anyone to do. The benefit of being FI is that you are not limited to the opportunities for hard work and self-improvement that also come with a paycheck attached. If a traditional job ticks those boxes for you, go ahead and take one! If you find a volunteer gig or personal project that seem more appealing, those are options too.

ixtap

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2020, 05:20:15 PM »
I am not sure how this is playing devil's advocate, as you can see these reasons just about anywhere. Mustachians complain about hearing them at family reunions, or whenever trying to explain what they are doing.

And since half of the non financial reasons are actually financial and the rest are about looking for a purpose in life, it boils down to: want less and retire to something. If you don't want less, keep working. If you don't have something to retire to, it may well be best for your mental health to keep working.

jeninco

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2020, 01:32:29 PM »
Our big remaining reason is both financial and non-financial -- we're paying for college. Our kids qualify for no financial-need-based aid (and we're not going to do contortions so they can get money they don't actually need and take it from kids who actually can't attend without the support) and one is already attending a school that gives need-based-aid only. TBD where the other one will attend -- he's a sophomore. The kids could go someplace where they get more support, but education is a big value in our house, and this is something we've told them we'll provide.

Basically, when they're done, we're done, at least in terms of feeling like we "need" to keep working.

Like many other people here, I enjoy my work and my coworkers, feel that what I do makes the world (mildly) better, and I'm a consultant, so it's usually part-time. It'll just become MORE part-time after DS2 is out of college.

Nangirl17

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2020, 04:14:07 PM »
We're pretty close to FI, but RE is likely some years away for the following reasons:

1) health benefits - DS is going to need some rather expensive dental work in his teen years

2) cushion - a little bit of padding in the stash will help with peace of mind, and I am toying with the idea of travelling North America for a year in an RV before DS is a teen, so this cushion will come in handy

3) Charity - if we continue to work, we can continue to support the causes that we feel strongly about.

4) Now that my work has the option for a proper life/work balance, I'm enjoying my job more, and am not ready to leave it yet. Once I feel ready to leave, I'm sure the previous reasons will decrease in importance!

GuitarStv

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2020, 05:10:52 PM »
Free toilet paper all day, every day.

Clean Shaven

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2020, 05:36:23 PM »


I get paid to poop.

Fixed it for you.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2020, 05:57:00 PM »
I'm calling on working Mustachians, FI but not RE members, and OMY sufferers to share benefits of remaining employed.

I'm FI, but not RE...working on that for the summer [gave notice]. The only benefit I see to working a FT job now that I am FI is the money. It's nice to keep adding to my investment accounts. I feel good about 4%WR, but I'll keep socking away the cash until the fire hose dries up. That said I am not holding down a FT role any longer than necessary.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2020, 08:06:27 AM by Retire-Canada »

frugaldrummer

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2020, 06:00:10 PM »
I could retire today with a few downsizing adjustments. I don't yet because:
I enjoy my work and derive great satisfaction from it.
I am helping my adult children get their lives going and they are not yet completely ready to be 100% independent due to a variety of health and mental health issues.  My ex-husband, although he has much greater assets, has shown he cannot be counted on for any assistance to them.
I would prefer the additional security of a larger cushion as I am risk-averse.


2Birds1Stone

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2020, 07:47:22 AM »
Yikes, if I had to rely on a job for most of those "benefits", I would question my own creativity and/or broader life goals.

Needing financing for a home and having employer subsidized health insurance makes sense....some of the others however, should be easily attainable through other means.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2020, 02:50:31 PM »
I went back to work in order to have a larger political impact. There was only so much I could do as a volunteer. My skills are geared toward office life, not groundbreaking community organizing.

GuitarStv

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2020, 05:50:21 PM »
Yikes, if I had to rely on a job for most of those "benefits", I would question my own creativity and/or broader life goals.

Needing financing for a home and having employer subsidized health insurance makes sense....some of the others however, should be easily attainable through other means.

While I'm impressed by both your computer literacy and vocabulary at the tender age of 1, I have to ask . . . who pays you to poop?  :P

Paul der Krake

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2020, 06:01:25 PM »
I miss the clean bathrooms.
I miss the large conference rooms with dope views.
I miss the endless supply of decent coffee & tea.
I miss the archives filled with cool stuff to learn.
I miss having a quick and easy answer when someone asks me what I do.

It is my burden to carry, but you can always venmo me.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2020, 10:16:54 PM »
I mean, yeah.

But I guess what I'd say is, a large, large percentage of people in this country hold bullshit jobs, i.e., jobs that provide no real benefit to society, and in many ways, contribute to negative effects on society.

So, I'd say for the last six on your list at least, doing meaningful volunteer work, or else starting up a business venture that actually provides worth to people can accomplish them -- and probably better.

As someone who works in an industry that I think many would call a "bullshit job", it doesn't bother me. People need to make a buck one way or another. I wouldn't judge someone for the usefulness or otherwise of his or her job.

The main reasons I'm aiming for fatFire instead of leanFire are that I want extra security, I want the contentedness of knowing that I can splurge, and I also find that as I become more senior, many aspects of my job become more pleasant. People will accommodate you, rather than the other way around.

And importantly, I find it very rewarding to work with (and against) clever, motivated, usually self-aware people who are pleasant to talk to. It can be a welcome break from having to deal with less articulate people in other domains of life. So yes, I do think there are non-financial aspects to holding a job. They wouldn't get me to postpone retirement for too long, but I'd certainly be happy to work till my 40s.

Lucky13

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2020, 11:11:15 PM »
I'm calling on working Mustachians, FI but not RE members, and OMY sufferers to share benefits of remaining employed.
Provides Self Esteem

hhmm. be careful what you rely on for your Self Esteem, you could lose your job, get a new boss or coworker who makes your work life miserable, etc. Bad work environments wreak havoc for many employees self-esteem. But there are some people who are really good at their jobs or who have positions of power at work, far and above the skills and power they have in the rest of their life, and in that case yeah maybe being at work is where they shine. But this is far from universally true, there's a lot of "selection bias" where the people who continue working at the lucky ones who have a good situation.

Malkynn

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2020, 05:06:10 AM »
Let's also distinguish between continuing to work and staying at your day job.

There are a ton of benefits to working, I plan on doing it forever, but I won't stay at any one job unless I absolutely love it.

I don't need to work financially, but I'm going back to school for yet another graduate degree for yet another designation so that I can be licensed in yet another profession.

There are so many amazing work options out there, especially when you don't need a job to produce a certain high level of income.

Granted, not caring about compensation has actually led to higher compensation, but that's a different conversation.

I will never not work, I will probably be working the day I die, but my work could be anything: writing, lecturing, advising, counselling, serving on boards, whatever.

Some will be paid well, some will be paid poorly, some will be volunteer, which is exactly how I've always worked my entire life so far.

What I have never done and will never do is stick to a single job if I am not thrilled to be there just because I can't come up with something better to do.

My biggest career stress is that I don't have enough lifetime to do everything I would have liked to do. Also, I'm only willing to pay so many hundreds of thousands for education in my lifetime ;)

caleb

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2020, 10:28:09 AM »
As usual, @Malkynn nails it.

For reasons I don't fully understand, people get hung up on concepts like "work," "job," and "retirement."

Most of us don't want to have to work out of financial necessity.
Most of us do want to continue to working on projects that interest us, in one way or another.

Adding the concept of retirement to the mix is mostly a marketing frame that generates media attention.

sixwings

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2020, 11:00:26 AM »
I work with a woman who is in her 60s and could retire with a pension worth 70% of her income. She's maxed the service she can get and isn't trying to move up for a higher salary. She's single and work is more of a social and intellectual thing for her. She does a great, takes a lot of pride in what she does and enjoys her coworkers. She's single, her family lives in a different country, so work is something she genuinely enjoys.

Lucky13

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2020, 04:17:47 PM »
As usual, @Malkynn nails it.

For reasons I don't fully understand, people get hung up on concepts like "work," "job," and "retirement."

Most of us don't want to have to work out of financial necessity.
Most of us do want to continue to working on projects that interest us, in one way or another.

Adding the concept of retirement to the mix is mostly a marketing frame that generates media attention.
I can understand it somewhat. One reason (that is actually pretty legitimate) that some people get triggered by the word "retirement" is because it feels like an irreversible or hard-to-reverse decision, depending on one's career.  Retirement typically means leaving a career that required education, training, experience, etc. and will also be harder to re-enter once you leave.  It's often not 100% a one-way door, but it can be, or at least more so than stopping unpaid work that you can more easily restart, sometimes without anyone's approval. I can go "work" on my car right now but if I want to get a paid "job" as a mechanic that's much harder.

K_in_SoCal

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2020, 08:39:18 PM »
Our big remaining reason is both financial and non-financial -- we're paying for college. Our kids qualify for no financial-need-based aid (and we're not going to do contortions so they can get money they don't actually need and take it from kids who actually can't attend without the support) and one is already attending a school that gives need-based-aid only. TBD where the other one will attend -- he's a sophomore. The kids could go someplace where they get more support, but education is a big value in our house, and this is something we've told them we'll provide.

Basically, when they're done, we're done, at least in terms of feeling like we "need" to keep working.

Like many other people here, I enjoy my work and my coworkers, feel that what I do makes the world (mildly) better, and I'm a consultant, so it's usually part-time. It'll just become MORE part-time after DS2 is out of college.

Education is also our main reason, other than DH just not being sure he's ready to retire.  FAFSA said we don't qualify for need-based aid, even with two in college.  Of course, we're a frugal family and they are doing community college before transferring to local state schools so they can continue to live at home.  But still, within those parameters, and assuming they stick to the agreed upon timetable for each child, we've agree to fund their higher educations through a bachelor's degree (although they can continue the live at home arrangement if they pay for grad school).

Also, DH's employer pays the health care premiums for the entire family (medical and dental).  As long as DH is still happy to go to work, this is an excellent perk, and because of this we've set our youngest's 26th birthday as DH's farthest out FIRE date (which we'll move forward if both boys are working and have health insurance before then).  Plus there's the 401k match *and* profit sharing.  Oh, and he has a 5 minute bike commute, flexible hours, and likes the people he works with.

I guess both of these situations are just wanting to make sure our children are fully launched before we turn off the employment tap.

Wanting to pay the mortgage off could be considered a financial reason DH doesn't want to retire yet, but it doesn't really change anything since we've accelerated it enough that it will be paid off in four years even if we don't pay extra.  So I would consider this an emotional/peace-of-mind reason.

One other thing -- we realize that after FIRE, our ability to give generously will be lessened considerably.  Yes, we can still give of our time, but we also know that money is needed.

Until just a couple of years ago we hadn't heard of the FIRE movement, and it was a surprise to realize how close we are.  I had thought I would likely go back into the workforce when my boys graduated high school, but instead we realized it wasn't financially necessary and that overall my money-saving skills are more valuable than my money-earning skills (once everything is factored in).

jim555

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2020, 08:46:47 PM »
Haven't had a job in 5 years, not missing it. 

Malkynn

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #32 on: February 09, 2020, 05:45:14 AM »
As usual, @Malkynn nails it.

For reasons I don't fully understand, people get hung up on concepts like "work," "job," and "retirement."

Most of us don't want to have to work out of financial necessity.
Most of us do want to continue to working on projects that interest us, in one way or another.

Adding the concept of retirement to the mix is mostly a marketing frame that generates media attention.
I can understand it somewhat. One reason (that is actually pretty legitimate) that some people get triggered by the word "retirement" is because it feels like an irreversible or hard-to-reverse decision, depending on one's career.  Retirement typically means leaving a career that required education, training, experience, etc. and will also be harder to re-enter once you leave.  It's often not 100% a one-way door, but it can be, or at least more so than stopping unpaid work that you can more easily restart, sometimes without anyone's approval. I can go "work" on my car right now but if I want to get a paid "job" as a mechanic that's much harder.

It's only that way if someone chooses it to be that way.
If someone chooses the path of being trained in one particular thing and only cultivating a singular career that comprises of one particular type of full time work, from which leaving is a fairly permanent move, then yes, that can be limiting and intimidating.

However, just because a lot of people do that, doesn't mean that they couldn't easily choose to work differently and foster other types of flexible work opportunities.

My DH is a Fed with a pension, it's a pretty clear cut you're in or you're out kind of career. Still, he's constantly fostering connections, taking on projects, and seeking specific educational experiences to be able to branch out into independent consulting roles when he retires.

If someone wants a clear cut retirement and to sever themselves from the working world, then that's cool. However, that doesn't have to be a given, and establishing the skills and network to keep professional doors open really isn't that difficult or complicated, but it does take work.

American GenX

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2020, 10:29:11 AM »
Haven't had a job in 5 years, not missing it.

And you haven't needed to spend a lot of money to enjoy retirement, right?

I look forward to completely retiring and never taking any more college classes, either.  I like the technical aspect of my job and having my own office as the senior engineer, but dealing with meetings and other co-workers is getting old.  I need a total break.  Now, if for some reason I want to work somewhere else part time in the future, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.  My stash says I won't ever "need" to.  I might stick with my job another full year and pad the stash while monitoring the national healthcare situation.  I can't see sticking with it for any non-financial reasons (some things listed in this thread are actually financial).

big_owl

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2020, 10:51:15 AM »
If you suffer from anxiety or depression then working can definitely give your life more purpose.  That's all that is keeping me from RE at 39yo. I used to think hobbies alone would be enough but it eventually became clear to me that I needed to keep working, at least for now.  If that changes then I'll retire.

ender

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2020, 11:07:33 AM »
If you suffer from anxiety or depression then working can definitely give your life more purpose.  That's all that is keeping me from RE at 39yo. I used to think hobbies alone would be enough but it eventually became clear to me that I needed to keep working, at least for now.  If that changes then I'll retire.

I wonder about this for myself sometimes but think the way I'll approach it is to take a sabbatical and leave the option of returning on the table.


big_owl

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2020, 11:37:59 AM »
If you suffer from anxiety or depression then working can definitely give your life more purpose.  That's all that is keeping me from RE at 39yo. I used to think hobbies alone would be enough but it eventually became clear to me that I needed to keep working, at least for now.  If that changes then I'll retire.

I wonder about this for myself sometimes but think the way I'll approach it is to take a sabbatical and leave the option of returning on the table.

That to me is the ideal way to do it - work part time or consult on an as-needed basis to keep sane.  Anxiety and depression are such a formidable beast and have scared me so much that I'm afraid to open that door again. 

yachi

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #37 on: February 10, 2020, 11:04:25 AM »

What I have never done and will never do is stick to a single job if I am not thrilled to be there just because I can't come up with something better to do.


Can you expand on this?  Say you found yourself with a single job (40 to 50 hours a week), that left you too drained to come up with something better to do.  If you don't need all the pay from this job because of FIRE money, but you do need some (maybe 1/8 to 1/4 of it).  What would be your next step?

Malkynn

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #38 on: February 10, 2020, 12:55:10 PM »

What I have never done and will never do is stick to a single job if I am not thrilled to be there just because I can't come up with something better to do.


Can you expand on this?  Say you found yourself with a single job (40 to 50 hours a week), that left you too drained to come up with something better to do.  If you don't need all the pay from this job because of FIRE money, but you do need some (maybe 1/8 to 1/4 of it).  What would be your next step?

I literally don't understand the question.

If a job is so draining that I can't even think of options, then I'm not going to stay in that job, I leave the job and come up with options.

If someone has a chunk of money, then they don't need the immediate cash flow of a job they aren't happy with. So why stay?

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #39 on: February 10, 2020, 04:41:50 PM »

What I have never done and will never do is stick to a single job if I am not thrilled to be there just because I can't come up with something better to do.


Can you expand on this?  Say you found yourself with a single job (40 to 50 hours a week), that left you too drained to come up with something better to do.  If you don't need all the pay from this job because of FIRE money, but you do need some (maybe 1/8 to 1/4 of it).  What would be your next step?

Well, it sounds like you donít need to job and youíre working for more than you should for more money than you need. That seems like madness. Iíd quit and find a p/t job that was easier and covered the money I need. Simple. Thereís no trophy for killing yourself.

Slow2FIRE

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #40 on: February 10, 2020, 04:58:09 PM »
Reason to have a job after FI:

(my own selfish reason):
I don't want my teenagers to think I'm at their service whenever they need the slightest thing.  I work from home right now and they treat it as if I'm not working at all and can just do whatever they need done at any time of day.  I need to spend more time reinforcing boundaries on them, clearly I failed that part of parenting.

...so, if I had an office job, my children would no longer think I'm just there to serve as their private free of charge Uber, concierge, etc.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #41 on: February 11, 2020, 06:23:44 AM »
...I have to ask . . . who pays you to poop?  :P

This ^^^ is why I will be doing some easy PT work from home consulting in FIRE. Wake up....walk to desk...turn on computer [start billing clock]...read a work email....walk to bathroom....go poop....make coffee/tea....walk back to computer....read MMM forums for an hour...turn off computer...[stop billing clock]. ;-)

jeninco

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #42 on: February 11, 2020, 09:16:20 PM »
...I have to ask . . . who pays you to poop?  :P

This ^^^ is why I will be doing some easy PT work from home consulting in FIRE. Wake up....walk to desk...turn on computer [start billing clock]...read a work email....walk to bathroom....go poop....make coffee/tea....walk back to computer....read MMM forums for an hour...turn off computer...[stop billing clock]. ;-)

I know you're kidding (I mean, I think you are) but I have conversations on the semi-regular with the guy to whom I subcontract about whether walking around the block is billable time. As in, I work on something for a while, and then I get stuck, so I went and walked around the block a couple of times to think about it.

I decided that "walking around the block" can be (but isn't always) billable, but "going for a hike", which also happens a lot in the summer in that situation, isn't. One of the perks of being self-employed is that it's my call.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #43 on: February 11, 2020, 09:31:04 PM »
I know you're kidding (I mean, I think you are) but I have conversations on the semi-regular with the guy to whom I subcontract about whether walking around the block is billable time. As in, I work on something for a while, and then I get stuck, so I went and walked around the block a couple of times to think about it.

I decided that "walking around the block" can be (but isn't always) billable, but "going for a hike", which also happens a lot in the summer in that situation, isn't. One of the perks of being self-employed is that it's my call.

When I work at home I bill for value. So if I budget $10,000 for a work plan and say that's 100hrs at $100/hr in my estimate I bill for the whole amount no matter how long it takes. Mostly I am able to do tasks faster than expected, but not always. Ultimately a Client cares about getting the product or service they want at a price they feel is fair. I make sure they get that, but I try and do it so I work as little as possible.

A while ago I had some conflict with my GF because she'd want to hang out with me when I was working at home. I'd have to tell her I needed that time to work. She pointed out that I was in fact playing Space Invaders on my Playstation. I had to explain that while it looked like I was playing Space Invaders I was actually thinking about work problems and developing solutions. She didn't totally buy it although I was being serious.

In your example if you get your work done efficiently with some creative thinking time done while walking I think billing for that time is fine as long as the overall cost for the completed task is reasonable.

And FWIW I have done some very productive thinking while pooping. ;-)



Knapptyme

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2020, 09:54:11 PM »
I'll bite on this one even if the reason is somewhat financial. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Work visas only work if you work. Thus, I'm taking a job to be able to live internationally in one country for a longer period of time. I suppose if I looked into it, I could get more than a tourist visa. I don't know how long I actually want to live there.

The job will also offer a sense of community in a foreign country where I might not find that as quickly if we just moved there.


2sk22

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #45 on: February 12, 2020, 05:38:24 AM »
To be honest, when I retire later this year, the one thing I will miss (a little) about work is earning respect for achievements and coaching younger employees.

This happened just yesterday. I'm in my late 50s and helped a few youngsters in my company had been stuck over a problem. Firstly, I felt happy that I get to mentor smart young workers and and secondly, it briefly gave me a good feeling that "ol gramps" is not completely over the hill ;-)

Malkynn

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #46 on: February 12, 2020, 06:52:36 AM »
To be honest, when I retire later this year, the one thing I will miss (a little) about work is earning respect for achievements and coaching younger employees.

This happened just yesterday. I'm in my late 50s and helped a few youngsters in my company had been stuck over a problem. Firstly, I felt happy that I get to mentor smart young workers and and secondly, it briefly gave me a good feeling that "ol gramps" is not completely over the hill ;-)

You can continue mentoring.
If your company considers you highly valuable, they may be very open to you maintaining an advisory role.

Giro

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #47 on: February 14, 2020, 07:57:40 AM »
I needed this thread, thank you.

We are FI and haven't pulled the trigger.  I love the flexibility to turn down contracts, work from home, and just all of the flexibility that comes with not needing to be employed.  I am in high demand in my job market and I use it to my advantage.  I definitely have all of the negotiating power and work when I want. 

I also have twins who are in their 20's and I try to help them out.  They have very low salaries and I can work a few months and help them out so much.  They are super responsible and it's been a blessing to be able to alleviate some of the financial burdens for them.  I was so broke in my 20s that I wouldn't want anyone I love to deal with that. 


yachi

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #48 on: February 14, 2020, 09:31:29 AM »
I needed this thread, thank you.

We are FI and haven't pulled the trigger.  I love the flexibility to turn down contracts, work from home, and just all of the flexibility that comes with not needing to be employed.  I am in high demand in my job market and I use it to my advantage.  I definitely have all of the negotiating power and work when I want. 

I also have twins who are in their 20's and I try to help them out.  They have very low salaries and I can work a few months and help them out so much.  They are super responsible and it's been a blessing to be able to alleviate some of the financial burdens for them.  I was so broke in my 20s that I wouldn't want anyone I love to deal with that.

It's helping me get some perspective too.  I would love to lean FIRE and find a hobby that turns incredibly successful like this blog.  You could be helping your twins with things like home & car repair, meal preparation, etc. to help them along.  But when your job skills are in high demand, it's probably more effective to help monetarily.  What I wanted was possible reasons to keep going at it after lean FI.  I don't have a lot of confidence in what my Health Care and tax situation will look like during FIRE, or how these might change year to year.  That an the momentum of continuing to work are some of my reasons for continuing.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Devil's Advocate: Non financial reasons to hold a job
« Reply #49 on: February 14, 2020, 08:08:22 PM »
Left to my own devices, I'll surf the web and eat Cheetos in my pajamas all day long. IOW, I personally do better when I have some external accountabilities such as a job. And I like the intellectual stimulation of pushing myself to meet a client expectation or deliverable. Yes, of course accountability and stimulation can come in lots of forms (e.g. volunteering) but getting paid to obtain those benefits is worth it to me. :)

hahaahhahahahhahahhaah me too, sigh......