Author Topic: Workism  (Read 2046 times)

ChpBstrd

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Workism
« on: February 25, 2019, 02:58:06 PM »
This is an interesting read that touches on topics we see in this forum. Why do some people refuse to retire even when they have plenty of money?
 

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/02/religion-workism-making-americans-miserable/583441/

tooqk4u22

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Re: Workism
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2019, 07:41:55 AM »
I read that yesterday. And I can almost say without exception the profile of those who fit that bill seem to be boomers in the late 50's to early 60's both male and female that have risen to higher income or middle management type of jobs. Type A's.

The common theme is that these people have invested so much in their career that it became their identity and social network with family and outside social pursuits being secondary, said otherwise work is all they know.  They seem to like it, but I have no way to know if that is real or simply fear of losing their identity completely.  And I get how this happens - to spend 30-40 years in a career and rise to a high level it requires sacrifices. 

I have many motivations for pursuing FIRE but I look at these people and feel sad for them.  To be 60'ish and have nothing outside of work.  Certainly has made me focus even more on the external things in life and let it serve as a staunch reminder that I don't want to turn in to them. 

ChpBstrd

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Re: Workism
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2019, 04:10:19 PM »
To some extent we are all them. We could chose to live the 1940s lifestyle Keyenes had as his reference point (small home, probably no car, minimal appliances, 4 sets of clothes, no internet bill, handwashing clothes, probably no pets, no TV, back yard gardening) and work a 15 hour week to support it. However even those of us pursuing FIRE work 40+ hours at stressful jobs to support a lifestyle so luxurious it was unattainable 3 or 4 generations ago. We only think we aren't keeping up with the Joneses, when in fact it is the presence and normalicy of all these new products is what brings us to work each day.

bluebelle

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Re: Workism
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2019, 05:08:22 PM »
I think I'm struggling with this a bit.....DH is set to retire May 2020.  I'm fairly certain we have more than enough funds even with all his wants....but I like my work.  I'm thinking of pushing for part time next year....if they say no, I 'retire'.  Or so I'm saying now....but I'm definately suffering from OMY....I'm getting paid pretty well to do stuff I like....I get a bonus early March and restricted stock matures in Decemeber....so I think, I'll wait until Dec. 2020 to get the stock....then I think, well, I might as well wait another 3 months and get the annual bonus in March 2021.....rinse, repeat.

Malkynn

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Re: Workism
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2019, 05:39:11 AM »
To some extent we are all them. We could chose to live the 1940s lifestyle Keyenes had as his reference point (small home, probably no car, minimal appliances, 4 sets of clothes, no internet bill, handwashing clothes, probably no pets, no TV, back yard gardening) and work a 15 hour week to support it. However even those of us pursuing FIRE work 40+ hours at stressful jobs to support a lifestyle so luxurious it was unattainable 3 or 4 generations ago. We only think we aren't keeping up with the Joneses, when in fact it is the presence and normalicy of all these new products is what brings us to work each day.

N'ah, I'm moving more and more to that minimalist life standard every day.

I just keep cutting back hours and downsizing, and I'm nowhere near FI. I already only wear one outfit 90% of the time, and I'm even looking today at a condo that is much smaller, no yard, and no dishwasher or laundry machines.

My aim is to keep working, but very little at a time, just enough to be really engaged and challenged, but not enough to cause fatigue or stress. I really enjoy it.

I'll probably always do some kind of work, because I love it. I'll move more towards lecturing and writing as I get older, but I'll never lose interest in professional engagement, so there's absolutely no need to work more than a minimum amount at any given time.

15 hours a week sounds about perfect to me.


Imma

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Re: Workism
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2019, 06:21:55 AM »
To some extent we are all them. We could chose to live the 1940s lifestyle Keyenes had as his reference point (small home, probably no car, minimal appliances, 4 sets of clothes, no internet bill, handwashing clothes, probably no pets, no TV, back yard gardening) and work a 15 hour week to support it. However even those of us pursuing FIRE work 40+ hours at stressful jobs to support a lifestyle so luxurious it was unattainable 3 or 4 generations ago. We only think we aren't keeping up with the Joneses, when in fact it is the presence and normalicy of all these new products is what brings us to work each day.

N'ah, I'm moving more and more to that minimalist life standard every day.

I just keep cutting back hours and downsizing, and I'm nowhere near FI. I already only wear one outfit 90% of the time, and I'm even looking today at a condo that is much smaller, no yard, and no dishwasher or laundry machines.


I was just about to say, isn't that exactly what a lot of mustachians are doing?

We are living in a 800 square ft home and honestly that's pretty big for a couple, but we have hobbies that take up space. I have a big home office for my business that doubles as a sewing room and my s/o has a small studio. We enjoy gardening so we have a small garden. We don't own a car (or even a license) and we both work parttime, although I work a lot more now starting my own business next to my job. I only need to work about 20 hours a week in my business to make more money than I used to with a lot less stress.

We don't have a dryer or a dishwasher but if I'm reading it correctly that you're considering giving up machine washing, you're way more hardcore than I am, Malkynn. I have lived without a machine before and I wouldn't do it again if I had any choice.

Malkynn

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Re: Workism
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2019, 06:56:05 AM »
To some extent we are all them. We could chose to live the 1940s lifestyle Keyenes had as his reference point (small home, probably no car, minimal appliances, 4 sets of clothes, no internet bill, handwashing clothes, probably no pets, no TV, back yard gardening) and work a 15 hour week to support it. However even those of us pursuing FIRE work 40+ hours at stressful jobs to support a lifestyle so luxurious it was unattainable 3 or 4 generations ago. We only think we aren't keeping up with the Joneses, when in fact it is the presence and normalicy of all these new products is what brings us to work each day.

N'ah, I'm moving more and more to that minimalist life standard every day.

I just keep cutting back hours and downsizing, and I'm nowhere near FI. I already only wear one outfit 90% of the time, and I'm even looking today at a condo that is much smaller, no yard, and no dishwasher or laundry machines.


I was just about to say, isn't that exactly what a lot of mustachians are doing?

We are living in a 800 square ft home and honestly that's pretty big for a couple, but we have hobbies that take up space. I have a big home office for my business that doubles as a sewing room and my s/o has a small studio. We enjoy gardening so we have a small garden. We don't own a car (or even a license) and we both work parttime, although I work a lot more now starting my own business next to my job. I only need to work about 20 hours a week in my business to make more money than I used to with a lot less stress.

We don't have a dryer or a dishwasher but if I'm reading it correctly that you're considering giving up machine washing, you're way more hardcore than I am, Malkynn. I have lived without a machine before and I wouldn't do it again if I had any choice.

I do handwash a lot of my clothes because they're expensive merino wool, but the building has a laundry room, so, no, not hardcore.

Funny, in-house laundry used to be such a priority for me. Now that I am not over worked, it's really no big deal.

MaaS

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Re: Workism
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2019, 12:35:14 PM »
This was an interesting read.  Oddly, 'workism' in the US has some serious regional differences in my experience. I live in the Midwest and frequently travel to San Francisco (and to a lesser extent large cities in the North East) working with a variety of clients.

In the Midwest, people view what they do for money as a job/career. If they're sick, they use a sick day. They take every day of PTO given to them.  There's definitely more of sense of "working for the weekend" or talking about after work activities.  Work tends to stop when people physically leave the office. 

In San Francisco, everything is about growth and performance optimization.  If they're sick, they're working remotely and "available on all channels." They have unlimited PTO but take 6 days a year, where they're still responding to Slacks with chatbot-like speed.  After work is networking events, meet ups for presentations on best practices, then a meditation sesh (with the help of an app, of course) to get re-energized to crush some work before bed.

I'm obviously generalizing, but the difference is very real IMHO. My friends in San Francisco are more likely to change the world, but my friends in the Midwest do seem happier.