Author Topic: Ever ask the WHY question?  (Read 9773 times)

village idiot

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Ever ask the WHY question?
« on: July 25, 2015, 06:22:55 PM »
Hey all, just wanted to start by saying I love reading all your success stories. Thanks for being willing to share advice on how you did it. Some of you guys make and have so much money it makes my head spin just imagining it. I can't fathom getting to a point where asking for such a high salary is possible.

FIRE seems to be everyone's goal, usually in their 30's or early 40's, but I don't get the desire to retire that early. Or to make $250,000/year or have a net worth in excess of 3-4 million. 

I'm 29 (been working since 16), paid through and graduated college about a year ago (in information systems), and only make $36,000 a year (single). That's less than it should be, but I am still saving in excess of $8,000/year. As my experience scales up I don't feel a need to make over $60,000 year over the course of my career (not adjusted for inflation); just move up slow and steady. Since I have no desire to retire before the normal age, after 3.5 decades everything should build up into a nice nest egg. I'm planning on having 45% of my assets in real estate, and my first house become a rental property for secondary income.

Wouldn't you get bored retiring in your 30's? Wouldn't you worry about cutting your professional development short? How can you feel like you accomplished your potential in your career choice (ie became a 'master of your craft' or the best at what you do) if you only work 15 years- and what do you plan to do with your retirement, if it's 40-50 years with no obligations? Wouldn't you feel guilty or worry about lost opportunities?

A lot of you guys are smarter than me and if you worked until 65 and didn't FIRE, you could probably have 7-8MM in net worth by the end of it. If you guys are big dreamers, what do you plan to do with all the time and resources? Or maybe you've seen some rainy days.

Anyone have any similar thoughts when you first started out down the Mustachian path?
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 06:26:49 PM by village idiot »

Retired To Win

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2015, 06:34:13 PM »
... Wouldn't you get bored retiring in your 30's? Wouldn't you worry about cutting your professional development short? How can you feel like you accomplished your potential in your career choice (ie became a 'master of your craft' or the best at what you do) if you only work 15 years- and what do you plan to do with your retirement, if it's 40-50 years with no obligations? Wouldn't you feel guilty or worry about lost opportunities?

No boredom here, my friend.  It's fine if you are happy, and continue being so, following a "standard" career path.  There's no law that says one has to retire early.  But many, if not most of us, have learned not to define ourselves by what we do for a living.  Having done that then opens a whole new thinking direction and a host of non-job related possibilities for life.

Good luck on your journey.

Nangirl17

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2015, 06:38:24 PM »


Wouldn't you get bored retiring in your 30's? Wouldn't you worry about cutting your professional development short? How can you feel like you accomplished your potential in your career choice (ie became a 'master of your craft') if you only work 15 years- and what do you plan to do with your retirement, if it's 40-50 years with no obligations? Wouldn't you feel guilty or worry about lost opportunities?

Well, I won't be able to retire in my 30s, and I'm not super smart with my money (yet!)... But I am hoping to retire by/before 45 for a few reasons: my job is stressful, I can have very long days, then get called out of my bed to go spend hours doing physically, mentally draining work, often sleep deprived. At time, my work taxes my emotions too.

I hope to do quite a few things in retirement: I have quite a few hobbies, one of which could be a small side business that would pay for those hobbies! I have a son, I'd love to spend more time with him, possibly home schooling him (maybe part time?). I'm active in my church, and I'd love to be more active in my community as a whole. Plus I have a hoarders basement to clean out and that will take a year!! Lol. I worked for a temp agency while I was in school and really enjoyed hopping from job to job, so I might do that part time once I quit my "career job". Plus I can sit around for a whole day and think, " wow, what a lovely day," but maybe that is because my job is so stressful right now!

MDM

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2015, 06:39:30 PM »
Many have seen this already, but it may be new for some.  Seems on point: http://financialmentor.com/true-wealth/the-parable-of-the-mexican-fisherman-and-investment-banker/2422

forummm

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2015, 06:41:10 PM »
There are dozens of threads on this general topic. Some people do continue to work at their same jobs after getting to FI. But they have the freedom and security of not needing to. Many people continue to work at other things--some of which pay, some of which don't. I will be among those that continue to have some kind of work. Either little projects here and there or volunteering or keeping a job if I like it. But the FI brings a lot of flexibility and security. I could take jobs that couldn't afford to pay me what I could otherwise earn. Etc. There are a lot of reasons to be FI.

And even on a lower income, you could get to FIRE quickly if you wanted. Arebelspy was a teacher and only made about $35 or $40k. Yet he just FIREd (before 30 I think).

Frankies Girl

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2015, 06:50:17 PM »
Of course I've asked the "why" question, and I have my answer too. Because life is finite, and I don't want to spend one single second longer doing things I don't enjoy or at least get a sense of personal satisfaction and accomplishment from. And working for a big corporation (in my case, a pretty hostile work environment) wasn't a place I wanted to stay at for the majority of my useful life.

I have plenty of hobbies, things I want to learn, places I want to see, people I want to meet and hang out with...and somehow still fit in some me time to just laze around on my butt and surf the net or watch some movies. ;) And I can now do all of that whenever I'd like. It's wonderful and I can't imagine ever being bored. And in the unlikely event that I do get bored? I can go find something else to do, whether it's a job, another hobby, travel... the possibilities are endless.

And I think you've not been around here very long to make the assumption that everyone pursuing FIRE is out for multi-millioniare status and spending several hundred thousand a year, since I don't see many (if any really) posters talking about needing multiple millions or $250k/yr for the rest of their lives... in fact most people here are discussing the best way to FIRE on the smallest amount with a small margin for error. And you said you've just graduated and are at the beginning of your career. You might change your mind about early retirement 10 years from now. So making sure you're pretty much happy while maintaining a high savings rate will give you the freedom to decide whether you want out of the rat race early or if you're happy and want to keep going, but it will be YOUR choice.



If you love your job, super! Being FI doesn't mean you have to quit.

If you don't make a crazy high salary, no problem! Just make sure your savings rate is good in comparison.



And I'll end this with the cartoon that should help understand a tiny bit about the WHY of FIRE:

http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2722
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 07:13:08 PM by Frankies Girl »

curlyfry

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2015, 06:52:44 PM »
I appreciate this question.

I think a lot of it has to do with what jobs people have.  ie. some people in helper-professions find their jobs meaningful & so it seems more wrong to just stop doing what they have spent years training to do. Others get decent money with a regular amount of training in a job they don't particularly find meaningful & would rather be able to choose what to do with their time instead (or the ability to work without the necessity to get paid for it)

To each his own!

I'm hoping to move from 5 days/wk to 3 days/wk once I feel financially capable of doing so - that seems like a good middle ground.

trailrated

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2015, 06:55:59 PM »
Great responses so far. It's all about the freedom to do what you want. It puts you in a position of power. If you want to take two weeks off and the company won't let you. You can walk away because you don't have to depend on them to pay your mortgage, keep the lights on, put food on the table, etc. When you have more leverage and don't need to depend on others to maintain your lifestyle it is incredibly liberating.

Neustache

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2015, 06:58:14 PM »
My FIL just had a heart attack at 63, and for insurance purposes he hasn't retired yet.  He's fine...but it cemented my desire for my husband to quit full-time work in his mid 40's.  He'll keep busy - he already has a ton of hobbies, but he'll just have more time to invest in them.

ender

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2015, 07:01:54 PM »
There is so much to life that I could accomplish if I was not tied to a 40-50 hours work/commute each week. Both mentally and logistically, this is draining.

I by all standards am setup to have a great career - I'm in a field I enjoy (I like my job quite a bit), I'm good at it, it pays pretty well (we won't be in the 1M by 30 club but we probably will by 40?), and probably could advance significantly if I make that my goal. But there's more to my life.

I yearn to live a life carefree, free, and purposeful. Work constrains the first two and makes them very difficult and significantly limits the latter.

bobechs

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2015, 07:03:25 PM »
Try being a lawyer for a few -or even many- years and see how powerful the thirst to ditch it before tomorrow gets.

Just try it.

ender

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2015, 07:09:07 PM »
Try being a lawyer for a few -or even many- years and see how powerful the thirst to ditch it before tomorrow gets.

Just try it.

I also figure, to answer the "why" that if I'm wrong and love my career until I'm 65, we'll have a huge pile of money to play with.

I don't feel super deprived right now and so as far as "worst cases" go, well, ending up way too rich is not the worst problem to have.

The risk of not being positioned to be FI is considerably worse, however, and has much less contingency planning options. Hard to summon 1M or whatever your number is if you decide at age 40 you hate your job and have a net worth of $0.

okits

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2015, 07:25:25 PM »
Ever seen a company exploit its workers?  Ever been exploited, yourself?

Ever had a loved one get seriously ill and you want to be there (not just for a few vacation days, and not just any time outside of M-F, 9-5 - that is not how illness works)?

Ever realize that you are one car accident, cancer diagnosis, random violent act from dying?  Would you be satisfied with your life if it ended today?

Ever realize that your marriage would be so much happier and stronger if you weren't both stressed, exhausted, and overworked all the time?  Don't you (and the love of your life) deserve that happiness?

Do you aspire to give the best of your time and energy to your children?  Or should that always go to MegaCorp?

Those are my personal ones, off the top of my head.

As for professional achievement, bear in mind that there are a wide range of careers out there.  For some, you will not need 15 years to become a master. For the really soul-sucking ones, you will be desperate to quit long before mastery is in your sights (and you'll not give a damn about "realizing your potential" at that point.)

I'm glad your life and career are so agreeable.  Consider that not all circumstances are thus.

okits

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2015, 07:29:23 PM »
Try being a lawyer eating buckets of cockroaches for a living for a few -or even many- years and see how powerful the thirst to ditch it before tomorrow gets.

Just try it.

Amended for clarity. :)

village idiot

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2015, 07:33:12 PM »
Of course I've asked the "why" question, and I have my answer too. Because life is finite, and I don't want to spend one single second longer doing things I don't enjoy or get a sense of personal satisfaction and accomplishment from. And working for a big corporation (in my case, a pretty hostile work environment) wasn't a place I wanted to stay at for the majority of my useful life.

I have plenty of hobbies, things I want to learn, places I want to see, people I want to meet and hang out with...and somehow still fit in some me time to just laze around on my butt and surf the net or watch some movies. ;) And I can now do all of that whenever I'd like. It's wonderful and I can't imagine ever being bored. And in the unlikely event that I do get bored? I can go find something else to do, whether it's a job, another hobby, travel... the possibilities are endless.

And I think you've not been around here very long to make the assumption that everyone pursuing FIRE is out for multi-millioniare status and spending several hundred thousand a year, since I don't see many (if any really) posters talking about needing multiple millions or $250k/yr for the rest of their lives... in fact most people here are discussing the best way to FIRE on the smallest amount with a small margin for error. And you said you've just graduated and are at the beginning of your career. You might change your mind about early retirement 10 years from now. So making sure you're pretty much happy while maintaining a high savings rate will give you the freedom to decide whether you want out of the rat race early or if you're happy and want to keep going, but it will be YOUR choice.



If you love your job, super! Being FI doesn't mean you have to quit.

If you don't make a crazy high salary, no problem! Just make sure your savings rate is good in comparison.



And I'll end this with the cartoon that should help understand a tiny bit about the WHY of FIRE:

http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2722

Thanks for this comic and the parable. :) Good points, all.

Some good food for thought..
« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 07:38:05 PM by village idiot »

JLee

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2015, 07:38:39 PM »
I don't have a strong desire to retire early. I do, however, want to have the freedom to be able to decide whether or not I want to work.

For example, there was a recent moment at work where if I was FI, I'd probably have quit and went off to find something else. I'm not comfortable yet to do so, though. To me, financial independence is more about freedom than it is about "retiring."

bacchi

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2015, 12:42:28 AM »
There's some serious ageism in IT/tech. You should be prepared to exit by 40-45.

deborah

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2015, 01:14:07 AM »
How much money is enough? If you definitely have enough to last you the rest of your life, why would you accumulate more? Life isn't about "he who dies with the most money wins". And if you DO want to participate in that sort of competition, it is stacked against you.

mohawkbrah

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2015, 02:02:23 AM »

Wouldn't you get bored retiring in your 30's? Wouldn't you worry about cutting your professional development short? How can you feel like you accomplished your potential in your career choice (ie became a 'master of your craft' or the best at what you do) if you only work 15 years- and what do you plan to do with your retirement, if it's 40-50 years with no obligations? Wouldn't you feel guilty or worry about lost opportunities?


sounds like the words of a corporate slave. if you're asking that question then you have much to learn

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2015, 06:03:21 AM »
I hope the OP is just a troll.

If not, good for you OP. I hope you work till 70, it makes Mustachians that much a rarer breed =)

Johnez

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2015, 06:29:44 AM »
Well, considering one of these paths is reversible and the other isn't, I'd say the reasoning is pretty clear.  If ya didn't like the FI life, its easy enough to go back to work. Kinda hard to turn the clock back and reclaim the lost time you could have had doing things you actually wanted with people you truly love though.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 06:54:39 AM by Johnez »

Khan

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2015, 06:50:56 AM »
Great responses so far. It's all about the freedom to do what you want. It puts you in a position of power.

This, and also this, for me:

Ever seen a company exploit its workers?  Ever been exploited, yourself?

For me, at it's most basic, I'm not interested in FIRE, I'm interested in having a completely different work dynamic. I don't trust corporations not to screw any and every employee around, and have seen such psychopathic handling of my own mother's working career. FI, completely upends that dynamic, and being a shareholder, a capital owner, means even if the company/economy fails in it's job of paying me as an employee, they'll pay me my due as an owner.

Ever seen Office Space? Read Dilbert? If you don't recognize that dynamic in your working life, either you've taken the blue pill, or congratulations! You're living the dream! Hope it doesn't come falling down when some bean counter decides to ruin the party.

andreamac

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2015, 06:52:55 AM »
I agree with a few others here. For me it's freedom to not worry about taking time off without pay if needed, having the opportunity to work part-time if we have children etc. I have a job with an incredible pension but I won't receive it until I'm 55 without deferring or cashing out. So for me, retirement before 55 won't work. Right now I enjoy my job and I'm still squirreling away just in case :) Also my husband can take 2 extra weeks of vacation with less pay all year so we are planning to work longer but make sure we have breaks in between.

I would also get bored pretty easily and I believe that going part-time after my mortgage has been paid off would be a great idea. Every weekend would be a long weekend.

amyable

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2015, 07:09:42 AM »
I don't want to RE, but I love my job, and if adds meaning to my life; however, I could imagine a day when I might not feel that way.  And, if I didn't get summers off and a 2-3 week Christmas break, I think I'd be more interested in RE.

vhalros

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2015, 07:22:49 AM »
Early retirement is not necessarily my goal. However, I like the freedom to make my employment decisions independent of financial considerations, and the simple feeling of contentment in having enough.

village idiot

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #25 on: July 26, 2015, 07:32:50 AM »
Have you read this post?
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/14/are-you-obsessed-with-early-retirement/

Or try this one:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/04/30/weekend-edition-retire-in-your-mind-even-if-you-love-your-job/

MMM does it better, but here's my answer--feeling a bit expansive after a lovely day, please forgive me:

When I was in my 20s, I started out in my field at the bottom and imagined a long life of success, with interesting co-workers, being appreciated by wise, mentoring bosses, and getting appropriate raises. It was a lovely movie montage in my head. I felt privileged to get my first job in book publishing, even though it was fairly low-paying, because it was fun and interesting. I never wanted to be rich, but I was ambitious and thought I would become "master of my craft" (as you wrote).

Fast-forward 25-ish years, co-workers have turned out often to be batshit crazy, backstabbing freaks, bosses are often clueless assholes who can't lead their way out of a paper bag, corporate buyouts and subsequent staff cuts are the norm that result in everyone being overworked and letting books go out less than perfect, instead of paying people to do their best (ever wonder why you see so many typos in books these days?), and the pay, well, it got better, but not great. And in the end, it turned out to be just a j-o-b.

Over those decades, I discovered other activities that make me joyously happy and engaged: taking time to make lovely meals for my husband, studying a foreign language, learning guitar, taking long walks with my dogs, travel, taking naps (as you get older, naps take on another realm of pleasure), growing vegetables, it's an endless list stretching to the horizon.

Could I monetize one or more of my hobbies and interests? Sure, maybe I will (except for naps--those are sacred). But I'm no longer ambitious. I choose the goal of being free from obligatory work to pursue my interests--with no worry about having enough money, or having to put up with a crappy co-worker, or having to check in with a boss on my progress. In three years, on my 50th birthday (knock wood), I'll wake up, have a cup of coffee, and live the most awesome rest of my life. No boredom, no guilt, and my sense of self and skill mastery engaged with activities I do for pleasure and joy, not because I have to earn a paycheck. Maybe it's just another movie montage in my head, but I don't think it's unrealistic.

Imagine if I had been lucky, smart, and forward-thinking enough to do that at 30? I imagine volunteering, establishing a charitable trust, taking professional risks because I have FU money, whatever my younger, more energetic self wanted. Maybe I could have started a non-profit book publishing company! Maybe I still can! I would consider some extreme tortures to get back a decade of freedom in this all-too-short life.

I don't want to work until 65. If you do, great. Go for it. Nevertheless, I will bet that on the far side of 40, as you contemplate your 50th birthday (and probably even sooner than that), you'll be catching yourself thinking about what it would be like to be free from obligatory work and (I trust) happy that you are FI and can retire. Sounds like you're frugal and that you will have that option.

Isn't it wonderful?

This post really resonated with me, thanks. Where I work everyone is smart, hard-working , and experienced, so no frustration dealing with idiots yet. ;)

To another poster who commented about tech/IT ageism:

Thanks for the headsup.. I'm an analyst and focus on production, purchasing, and logistics. Not really IT (unless you consider Excel, Access, and VBA). Hopefully starting down that arm was a wise move in the long run over programming, but it was more of a personality decision. My brother is in IT (28) and makes double what I do, but is always looking for another job regardless of circumstance.

Fear of security, ie, the competition and low barriers to entry is why I was worried about going down a conventional programming path. Anyone who speaks English can come to the US and work for less, and I worry about what climate that might create in 30 years. There's billions of kids that speak English in India and Africa growing up with Unix, as well as China and the Phillipines, and I can't remain most qualified for the lowest pay rate forever. I also worry about programming jobs being outsourced and subcontracting. So instead I'm going the small-mid sized business route, looking for a promotion (internal or external) every 2-3 years at a time and make sure I'm confidently qualified every step of the way. They don't take chances so I do need to be overqualified and underpaid, but that's a tradeoff I can make work comfortably with Mustachian advise. 0.0

My brother is living proof of the ageism in IT though.. He only started learning to code after college (EE) major, but knew the right people each step of the way.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 07:41:52 AM by village idiot »

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #26 on: July 26, 2015, 07:49:50 AM »
I am fine working till 45-50 or even 60, but my goal is not FIRE, but FI. With FI, I can go to work knowing if things change to the point that I hate my job, I can quit at anytime. Luckily, I love my job at this moment, but who knows what will change in 10-15 years, so I would rather make sure that when the time comes when I hate my job, at least I will be prepared. By the way, I also make under 35K$, so you are wrong when you say everyone on this forum make alot of dough, it is all about living life with low expenses. In my case, 400K$ is enough to be FI (I spend around 1,5K$ per month). So it is not true that you need a huge number to be FI. Its all about income/expenses ratio.

Basenji

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #27 on: July 26, 2015, 08:07:55 AM »
Isn't it wonderful?

This post really resonated with me, thanks. Where I work everyone is smart, hard-working , and experienced, so no frustration dealing with idiots yet. ;)


I'm glad, that's what this forum does well, gives you access to people who struggle with the same issues you mention, and share with you. Keep saving and learning!

ender

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2015, 08:26:56 AM »
Fear of security, ie, the competition and low barriers to entry is why I was worried about going down a conventional programming path. Anyone who speaks English can come to the US and work for less, and I worry about what climate that might create in 30 years. There's billions of kids that speak English in India and Africa growing up with Unix, as well as China and the Phillipines, and I can't remain most qualified for the lowest pay rate forever. I also worry about programming jobs being outsourced and subcontracting. So instead I'm going the small-mid sized business route, looking for a promotion (internal or external) every 2-3 years at a time and make sure I'm confidently qualified every step of the way. They don't take chances so I do need to be overqualified and underpaid, but that's a tradeoff I can make work comfortably with Mustachian advise. 0.0

I think most of us working in IT/software dev have had good learning experiences seeing outsourced projects to China/India/Philippines being disasters on the whole. It's great from a management perspective, "cheap labor!" but when it comes to delivery.... you never know what you'll get.

While there are activities which can be outsourced, I'm confident in my abilities to retain employment in the USA as a "high cost" tech person for quite some time. At least long enough to gather enough to FIRE....

Quote
My brother is living proof of the ageism in IT though.. He only started learning to code after college (EE) major, but knew the right people each step of the way.

How can a 28 year old be proof of ageism?

CU Tiger

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2015, 09:21:23 AM »
I sort of feel like only boring people are bored. There is always something useful or fun I can think of to do.

There is the maintenance of life, which for me includes a couple of hours a week of basic housework and as many hours as I care to spend on yardwork and gardening. Right now I squeeze it into the evenings and weekends. At retirement I'll be able to do it when my energy is best and the weather conditions are favorable.

I love to read, quilt, knit, take walks, play with my dogs, watch movies on Netflix. I practice yoga. I belong to several clubs and groups that I would like to be more involved in. I volunteer at church and for a dog rescue. I'd love to have more time to spend on those outlets. I'd like to learn to draw. I would enjoy learning to cook Chinese and Thai food.

Right now, over 40 hours of my week is working, and I try to sleep 8 hours a night! After retirement I won't have to cram all the necessary and enjoyable parts of life into my leftover time!

lhamo

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2015, 10:13:11 AM »
I just wound down my maternity leave. Some women are going mental by the end of it. They want back into an office, adult conversation, etc. I absolutely loved it. My husband works full time on a prestigious job and spends the rest of his time working as a musician. For us FIRE will mean me being a SAHM and my husband taking music gigs without an eye to whether they pay well or at all.

I'd rather give the best years of my life to my family, rather than my company. My grandmother lived to hold her great granddaughter, and I'd love to go spend a month with her. She's going blind and travel is getting harder. My parents could really use my time helping with the family business, but I don't have the time. My daughter vastly prefers me to the nanny and frankly, I'd rather be the parenting her for those fifty hours a week. My husband wishes I could drop everything to support him when something happens in his career. There's lots to do without making money, and I haven't mentioned my hobbies yet.

You should take a break from work.  I didn't realize you liked being a SAHP.  I was ready to go back to work, and did on a P/T basis -- stretched my leave out by staggering my return and first doing 2 days/week, then 3, then 4 -- when my son was 6 weeks old.  I loved my son, but SAHP life wasn't for me when my kids were infants.  With my daughter, too, I was luckily able to return to work P/T after my leave -- took a full 3 months that time, but only because I knew the PT arrangement would be ongoing (with my son I was having to stretch 12 weeks of leave out and coordinate with my DH on his leave/travel until he could bring his parents over to help with full time care). 

If I were you I would at least see if I could go to part-time at current job and see if that helps restore a bit more balance.  Or, if your parents are in a position to pay you, quit your current job and help them out on a part time basis.  I hope you can find a way to spend that time with your grandmother, too.  Mine died about 6 months after we moved to NY and never met her great-grandkids.  That still makes me very sad. 

village idiot

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2015, 10:24:36 AM »
Fear of security, ie, the competition and low barriers to entry is why I was worried about going down a conventional programming path. Anyone who speaks English can come to the US and work for less, and I worry about what climate that might create in 30 years. There's billions of kids that speak English in India and Africa growing up with Unix, as well as China and the Phillipines, and I can't remain most qualified for the lowest pay rate forever. I also worry about programming jobs being outsourced and subcontracting. So instead I'm going the small-mid sized business route, looking for a promotion (internal or external) every 2-3 years at a time and make sure I'm confidently qualified every step of the way. They don't take chances so I do need to be overqualified and underpaid, but that's a tradeoff I can make work comfortably with Mustachian advise. 0.0

I think most of us working in IT/software dev have had good learning experiences seeing outsourced projects to China/India/Philippines being disasters on the whole. It's great from a management perspective, "cheap labor!" but when it comes to delivery.... you never know what you'll get.

While there are activities which can be outsourced, I'm confident in my abilities to retain employment in the USA as a "high cost" tech person for quite some time. At least long enough to gather enough to FIRE....

Quote
My brother is living proof of the ageism in IT though.. He only started learning to code after college (EE) major, but knew the right people each step of the way.

How can a 28 year old be proof of ageism?

Ageism working in his favor.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2015, 10:35:01 AM by village idiot »

ysette9

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2015, 02:24:07 PM »
I have a very fulfilling career (engineer at a large company) and have gotten a lot of satisfaction out of making an impact and moving up. I have been very fortunate to have great opportunities and mentors along the way which I credit to how much I have achieved so far. When asked, I would say that my ultimate career goal was to be a VP. My husband has always been similarly motivated and as engineers from two top schools, we have always pushed ourselves to achieve, achieve, achieve.

This is so stereotypical it will probably make you gag, but stay with me here....

And then we finally had that baby we had been trying for so long to have, and our perspectives have changed. He went from wanting career growth and trying to figure out how to get that team lead position to deciding that his current position was just fine, thankyouverymuch, and what he wants to do is hang out with us and go surfing. My work, while still a great job, suddenly doesn't give me that same sense of deep satisfaction it used to and all I can think of each morning is how much I hate to leave my husband and baby behind. FIRE now burns as an obsession in my mind and I dream all the time of what I will do once I no longer have to work.

My point is: things change. Your perspective changes, your goals and priorities change and that is a natural part of life. I can kick myself for not making smarter decisions in my 20s that could have allowed us to be FIRE already, but instead I am grateful that at least we were good savers from the beginning though we didn't have a goal in mind until recently. It is really easy to save now and let compounding work its magic to allow you options in the future. It is very hard to squander this time now and then try to make it up 10 years from now when you realize that what you really want to do in life is tour the national parks, or whatever.

Iron Mike Sharpe

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2015, 02:40:49 PM »
For the OP,

Come back to this thread when you are in your 40's and let us know how much you still enjoy corporate bullshit.  All the new buzzwords and methods of work that MBA's come up with every two years that management feels the need to implement only to abandon them and switch to the hot new thing in two more years. 

tooqk4u22

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2015, 03:27:34 PM »
There is always enough "Why" to go around....just have a two year old in the house and you will hear Why endlessly.  So just few thoughts specifically on your points:

I can't fathom getting to a point where asking for such a high salary is possible. FIRE seems to be everyone's goal, usually in their 30's or early 40's, but I don't get the desire to retire that early. Or to make $250,000/year or have a net worth in excess of 3-4 million. 


Then you will never get there, and that's ok, but if you want to you need to envision it, set it as a goal, and work toward it.  The amazing thing is that if you reach for your goals, even if you fall short it still usually is far better than where you started. Dream baby dream....

It's also not everyone's goal, and more importantly it doesn't have to be your goal.

I'm 29 (been working since 16), paid through and graduated college about a year ago (in information systems), and only make $36,000 a year (single). That's less than it should be, but I am still saving in excess of $8,000/year. As my experience scales up I don't feel a need to make over $60,000 year over the course of my career (not adjusted for inflation); just move up slow and steady. Since I have no desire to retire before the normal age, after 3.5 decades everything should build up into a nice nest egg. I'm planning on having 45% of my assets in real estate, and my first house become a rental property for secondary income.

See that, perfectly reasonable goals for you....and they can always be tweaked (or completely changed) along the way.

Wouldn't you get bored retiring in your 30's?

Can't say that worry ever crossed my mind.

Wouldn't you worry about cutting your professional development short? How can you feel like you accomplished your potential in your career choice (ie became a 'master of your craft' or the best at what you do) if you only work 15 years- and what do you plan to do with your retirement, if it's 40-50 years with no obligations? Wouldn't you feel guilty or worry about lost opportunities?

However, I have thought about this.   Keep in mind that after you spend 10-15 years in a career you are usually an expert in your field (at least you should be if you put in even a half assed effort IMO) and after that it leads to management/beurocratic/administatively mundane opportunities (all of those that are up the ladder so to speak). So the lost opportunities to develop more are actually hindered by staying in the same field.

A lot of you guys are smarter than me.......

You may have to work on your confidence a bit, which will help with the first point.

dsmexpat

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #35 on: July 27, 2015, 04:01:48 PM »
Easy question. In many ways being rich is exactly like being poor, only you have a shitton more money. And money is great! If you want to keep working for $36k but your expenses are higher because you want to have kids or your wife gets sick or whatever then it's amazing because you can keep acting like you're poor only without all of the disasters that happen because of it. If it turns out you're infertile you can pay for IVF and still have kids. If your house burns down you can afford to stay somewhere while waiting for insurance. It's brilliant!

sisto

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2015, 04:13:27 PM »
Have you read this post?
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/12/14/are-you-obsessed-with-early-retirement/

Or try this one:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/04/30/weekend-edition-retire-in-your-mind-even-if-you-love-your-job/

MMM does it better, but here's my answer--feeling a bit expansive after a lovely day, please forgive me:

When I was in my 20s, I started out in my field at the bottom and imagined a long life of success, with interesting co-workers, being appreciated by wise, mentoring bosses, and getting appropriate raises. It was a lovely movie montage in my head. I felt privileged to get my first job in book publishing, even though it was fairly low-paying, because it was fun and interesting. I never wanted to be rich, but I was ambitious and thought I would become "master of my craft" (as you wrote).

Fast-forward 25-ish years, co-workers have turned out often to be batshit crazy, backstabbing freaks, bosses are often clueless assholes who can't lead their way out of a paper bag, corporate buyouts and subsequent staff cuts are the norm that result in everyone being overworked and letting books go out less than perfect, instead of paying people to do their best (ever wonder why you see so many typos in books these days?), and the pay, well, it got better, but not great. And in the end, it turned out to be just a j-o-b.

Over those decades, I discovered other activities that make me joyously happy and engaged: taking time to make lovely meals for my husband, studying a foreign language, learning guitar, taking long walks with my dogs, travel, taking naps (as you get older, naps take on another realm of pleasure), growing vegetables, it's an endless list stretching to the horizon.

Could I monetize one or more of my hobbies and interests? Sure, maybe I will (except for naps--those are sacred). But I'm no longer ambitious. I choose the goal of being free from obligatory work to pursue my interests--with no worry about having enough money, or having to put up with a crappy co-worker, or having to check in with a boss on my progress. In three years, on my 50th birthday (knock wood), I'll wake up, have a cup of coffee, and live the most awesome rest of my life. No boredom, no guilt, and my sense of self and skill mastery engaged with activities I do for pleasure and joy, not because I have to earn a paycheck. Maybe it's just another movie montage in my head, but I don't think it's unrealistic.

Imagine if I had been lucky, smart, and forward-thinking enough to do that at 30? I imagine volunteering, establishing a charitable trust, taking professional risks because I have FU money, whatever my younger, more energetic self wanted. Maybe I could have started a non-profit book publishing company! Maybe I still can! I would consider some extreme tortures to get back a decade of freedom in this all-too-short life.

I don't want to work until 65. If you do, great. Go for it. Nevertheless, I will bet that on the far side of 40, as you contemplate your 50th birthday (and probably even sooner than that), you'll be catching yourself thinking about what it would be like to be free from obligatory work and (I trust) happy that you are FI and can retire. Sounds like you're frugal and that you will have that option.

Isn't it wonderful?

This post really resonated with me, thanks. Where I work everyone is smart, hard-working , and experienced, so no frustration dealing with idiots yet. ;)

To another poster who commented about tech/IT ageism:

Thanks for the headsup.. I'm an analyst and focus on production, purchasing, and logistics. Not really IT (unless you consider Excel, Access, and VBA). Hopefully starting down that arm was a wise move in the long run over programming, but it was more of a personality decision. My brother is in IT (28) and makes double what I do, but is always looking for another job regardless of circumstance.

Fear of security, ie, the competition and low barriers to entry is why I was worried about going down a conventional programming path. Anyone who speaks English can come to the US and work for less, and I worry about what climate that might create in 30 years. There's billions of kids that speak English in India and Africa growing up with Unix, as well as China and the Phillipines, and I can't remain most qualified for the lowest pay rate forever. I also worry about programming jobs being outsourced and subcontracting. So instead I'm going the small-mid sized business route, looking for a promotion (internal or external) every 2-3 years at a time and make sure I'm confidently qualified every step of the way. They don't take chances so I do need to be overqualified and underpaid, but that's a tradeoff I can make work comfortably with Mustachian advise. 0.0

My brother is living proof of the ageism in IT though.. He only started learning to code after college (EE) major, but knew the right people each step of the way.

Being an Analyst is definitely not where the money is. Also wait until you spend all sorts of time pulling together data that shows what decisions should be made only to see the opposite decision happening. Enough years of that ought to drive you crazy.

crazyworld

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2015, 04:22:38 PM »
Yes, I ask this often. And the answer is not yet clear, and I am in my mid-40's and already have a child (I am mentioning this because most of the replies above state these two life changes as impetus to retire). The thing is I grew up in a third world country, living the 'simple life' and thus don't get all excited about doing that stuff for entertainment for the next 40 years. We had extended family and friends close by and everyone had time to socialize, so this provided the human interaction and entertainment. No one these days has any free time, not even in my home country!

The what if you died tomorrow question is also not a thing for me personally. when you are dead, you just are - I am not going to care whether I lived life to the full or not. I went through this mental exercise a long time ago.
The only issue I care about is not enough time for vacations (longer than 2-3 weeks) and more exercise. I ideally need to exercise every day.
Otherwise, I work in a small privately held company and it is a great place to work, my boss is smart and I like her a lot.
DH and I plan to retire in 10 years or so to make time for travel. Not 'early' in other words. Something might change before then, in which case one of us mAy quit. That's the plan so far.

Bakari

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2015, 04:50:16 PM »
I spent from age 18 to 26 working, yet never at any one place for more than 10 months.
I'd get bored and quit (or, once or twice, knowingly get myself fired).


There's just way too much interesting stuff in the world to work full time.


At least twice, when I was young, I woke up to a sunny day, was supposed to go be indoors the whole day until almost dark, and made the resolution right then to quit that day (and did).


The only thing I wish I realized back then is that if you front load your working - work full time, hard, for maximum pay, and minimum spending, while you are very young, you can be financially independent in just a few years.
Doing it the way I did meant far more total years of work.


Quote
How can you feel like you accomplished your potential... or the best at what you do

I've never understood why anyone cares about that.  How does it make my actual day to day life better to supposedly be "the best" at anything?  Aside from the fact that in a world of 7 billion people, "the best" is simply unachievable.
Ever since I was a child people would mention my "potential".  I think thats a way to use social pressure to try to get someone to do something which benefits society at large, which doesn't necessarily do anything for the individual.

The movie "Good Will Hunting" comes to mind.
If he is happy building stuff, and secretly solving equations at night, then maybe moving across the country to be with the person he loves is a hell of a lot better a choice than taking a university job so he can use the "potential" of his "gift"


I have never had even the slightest desire for $250k a year.
I'm pretty happy with about 1/10th of that.
I don't necessarily want to stop working either.
What I would like is to earn about 25k a year while only working about 5-10 hours a week.

If I can buy a 4 unit investment property, I should be able to accomplish that goal in about 8 years.


Rosy

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #39 on: July 27, 2015, 06:12:55 PM »
For the OP,

Come back to this thread when you are in your 40's and let us know how much you still enjoy corporate bullshit.  All the new buzzwords and methods of work that MBA's come up with every two years that management feels the need to implement only to abandon them and switch to the hot new thing in two more years.

+1 Besides, I do feel a little sorry for people who wouldn't know what to do with themselves if they were not working for a company. You only get one life, so why would I dedicate it to someone else - for their profit? I have a myriad of interests, there really isn't enough time in the day to do it all. There is always something new to do and see.

Life is meant to be enjoyed on your own terms. I can travel and stay as long as I like, there is no problem if I want to visit old friends or go on tour in Europe, I can hang out at the local beaches whenever I want, watch the sun rise and stay with my camera as long as I like. I can meet friends for a drink at another beach, watch the sun set over the ocean.

I love home projects, like doing a fancy stain job on our concrete and re-designing the kitchen. I love my garden and we throw fun garden parties, the list never ends ... Heck, it is hard to even find enough time to whip my photography site back into shape.
There are three new cool recipes hanging on my fridge I'm looking forward to trying.
 
I can read till 3am, because I can't tear myself away from a book and not worry about getting up in the morning. This site is proving addictive, but it is paying off with much needed information.

Since I have the time for creating a delicious meal from scratch, I will invite the kids (son+DIL) over for supper occasionally - they are glad for it, their lives are busy and stressful.
Since I am home right now, I had time to domesticate a stray kitten that showed up in the yard one day. Someone cut off part of his ear, which meant it was wild, but immunized and spayed. Took him months, but Wolfie is now a happy purring kitty, a real treasure in our lives.

By MMM standards I got my FI by 40 (my career was in Int'l Comm'l Insurance - loved it, until one day I got a new boss and the company went through a massive layoff phase) - jobbed a little - opened a Bistro - moved across the pond - jobbed some more - went back to college for another degree at 50 - opened my own Interior Design consulting business - was diagnosed with an immune disease - had to give up the biz, but still jobbed a little off and on (different things like Interpreter - Int'l CSV - Senior Home Care - Mystery Shopping).

The point is I loved it all, but it was nice to know I could walk away anytime and I have several times without regret. My first career in Insurance (near 100K then) was a choice I made based on the potential of income and the fact that here was a field just opening up for women - and drum roll, they actually were paid the same money as the men.

Yup, I'm 66 and since mid 2014 "officially" retired with SS and all:) - the only reason I'm here on this forum is because Mr. R. is still working at 54 and I'm revamping our finances so he can retire when he wants to. We are both healthy and luckily he likes his job, makes decent money and gets bonuses plus 4 weeks vacation plus personal days - so things are not dire. 

Desigirl

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #40 on: July 27, 2015, 10:47:01 PM »
Some very amazing & resonating thoughts.

"Only boring people get bored."
"Naps are sacred."

I'll chime in a few. I was in Software. Decided to stay at home after second child was born after working for 10 years. 10 years later - It was extremely exhausting journey (still is)  but won't change a thing. I believe I contributed a lot to well being of my children & DH by staying at home and in process found some time for myself as well.

DH is working his butt off in a high paying Software job. Works 14-15 hours a day. I see him aging in front of my eyes. Every year we save twice our annual expenses but he'll be retiring in next 3-4 years (as soon as we meet our goals comfortably). I would rather have him Happy & Healthy and manage with less money then have him slave for more & more money.

We are 40+ and aren't getting younger. I would rather spend more time with DH, kids & other people I love. So no doubt whatsoever in mind (even before coming to this blog) regarding what is the right thing for us.

To each his own,
Desi Girl

Cookie78

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Re: Ever ask the WHY question?
« Reply #41 on: July 28, 2015, 08:30:29 AM »

Wouldn't you get bored retiring in your 30's? Wouldn't you worry about cutting your professional development short? How can you feel like you accomplished your potential in your career choice (ie became a 'master of your craft' or the best at what you do) if you only work 15 years- and what do you plan to do with your retirement, if it's 40-50 years with no obligations? Wouldn't you feel guilty or worry about lost opportunities?

37yo. No kids.

I have no intention of being bored when I FIRE, but I'll come back and let you know if that happens. There are SO many things I want to do and learn and people I want to spend more time with and places I want to explore that I just don't have time for while I'm working full time. I can't imagine finding the time to be bored.

I don't really give a rats ass about professional development and potential past where it can help me be financially dependent and retire early. I'm not lazy, I'm still driven to learn and improve and reach some measure of success, as defined by myself, but that applies to whatever I'm doing, not just my career. I had a job interview yesterday for a promotion that would be an awesome experience, but seems to me still beyond my ability (I was surprised to get the interview and I'll be shocked if I get the position). It makes me excited at the possibility because I will learn more and it could put me in a much better situation if I wanted to do contract work later, but it's still not a reason to stay once I reach my FIRE goals in a year or two. I'm not worried about lost opportunities in my career. I'm more worried about lost opportunities for living my life, spending time with loved ones, working on personal projects, learning new things, and exploring all the places.