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Old 09-03-2014, 05:28 AM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,416 posts, read 5,145,978 times
Reputation: 7231

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I had a job that paid very well and had excellent benefits, especially the huge pension. I liked it well enough for the first 22 years but then a change in ownership made the place a living hell for almost all of the employees. I endured it for another 6 and was able to retire at 55 and I got a raise of about $200.00 a year over the base pay. My last couple of years I was more or less forced to work about 55 to 60 hours a week just to try and keep up with the work since they had laid off the other person in my department. I had planned to stay until I reached my "golden 85" when your age plus your years in service add up to 85 and then there is no reduction in your pension. That would have happened when I hit 56 but alas there came a day when I had to chose between grabbing a heavy steel pipe and bashing my boss over the skull or quitting. Since I would not have allowed to have my dogs with me in prison I decided to quit. That was on December 21, the Winter Solstice and start of the new year.Looking back it seemed so appropriate.

Many of my co-workers said that had I killed the boss they would have all sworn that I acted in self defense when the boss, in one of his alcohol induced rages (common after he returned from lunch), attacked me for no reason. That's how bad it was for everyone, not just me.

I'm very happily retired for nearly 10 years now and that boss was finally fired even though he was related to someone high up in the company.

After I left the only think I seemed able to do was to take the dogs to one or another of their favorite dog parks for many hours each day. I took about 5 months before the toxicity of the place was purged from my soul. Then I set about finding my new place to retire to, worked on getting the 80 year old house in shape to sell and sold it near the top of the market before the crash.

So now I am able to have a very comfortable income and a great deal of happiness.

ps: When I took the job I thought I would be there for 2 or 3 years, make my "fortune" and get out and do something very different but we know the saying that "man plans and god laughs".

Last edited by zugor; 09-03-2014 at 06:29 AM..
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,765,919 times
Reputation: 32309
The way the original post is framed, there is allowance for happiness (or at least a significant degree of happiness) in number one, because as a "bored accountant" one could still pursue one's music in one's spare time. Also the happiness in the second choice ("starving musician") is severely compromised by the "starving" part of the equation, as that existence would hardly be constant bliss.

Therefore, I would pick "neither" because it's really a toss-up for me.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:18 AM
 
Location: U.S. (East Coast)
1,231 posts, read 1,054,388 times
Reputation: 2627
2.. I'd chose happiness over anything else these days. Life is too short to be miserable and unhappy. (It really is..)
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:40 AM
 
29,819 posts, read 34,912,438 times
Reputation: 11737
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikester View Post
Assuming you couldn't have both, would you rather be:

(1) Well off, on track to retire early, hate your career choice (aka, "bored accountant")
(2) Poor, don't know where your paychecks are going to come from, love what you do (aka, "starving musician")
Since this is the retirement thread I am seeking clarification. You are talking about your working years but what happens when you age and you are broke, starving and no longer a practicing musician? Is happiness still in the equation? I know a young man well who is now 40 and a mid level comedian still living in his family basement. In terms of loving life he is living the dream of travel and having fun. He is very happy but not all that well off financially. Like one of his parents we wonder about his tomorrow as there tends to be some age range to his career especially since his appeal is to younger college age audiences and slightly above. He is bright and well educated with no job experience (other than entertainer) He is number 2 still striving and working real hard at his career and could have been number one. Time will tell.

Last edited by TuborgP; 09-03-2014 at 06:56 AM..
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,004,474 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by CSD610 View Post
I bet most of them were a lot happier when they were struggling financially but had steady work and friends they knew were really friends along with family that treated them like family not like a money tree.
One of my sons is starting to get really successful in the building business. He's 34. I can see the stress and overall exhaustion beginning to take a toll. He can't find good reliable help, he works 6 days a week (and has two very young kids who are demanding loads of attention, as is his wife). He's a good sport about it all, and thankfully knock on wood pretty healthy, but recently he said he'd be happy to go back to the days of being a solo carpenter, getting together with buddies to go on fishing trips, etc. and having time to read, go to concerts and hang out. He was making an adequate living then, and his happiness index seemed higher.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:47 AM
 
3,246 posts, read 5,286,609 times
Reputation: 5797
I reject the notion that life is an "either or" scenario; find something you like to do where you are properly compensated and it's that much better. I've had high paying jobs I loved and hated and low paying jobs that I loved and hated. And while I would clearly prefer to be happy first and foremost, having suffered through stretches of financial hardship I know all too well that it's difficult to be happy if you're always worried about money.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:36 AM
 
Location: UpstateNY
8,612 posts, read 8,319,627 times
Reputation: 7524
^^^ yep, show me the money.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 72,598,790 times
Reputation: 27566
I'm retired and don't have to choose.
I had a job that paid well that I thoroughly enjoyed.
I couldn't imagine hating your job and staying there for decades.

I got paid to go to work and play with computers all day long and invent/create stuff.

As the saying goes..If you enjoy what you're doing you'll never "work" a day in your life.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:51 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,227,457 times
Reputation: 22385
I reject the premise that we must chose one or the other.

Happiness is a choice. We choose to be happy, contented people, regardless of our circumstances.

Yes, the people around us can attempt to make us miserable, whether at a job or in a personal relationship. But it is how we respond to--and internalize--other people's actions that determines how happy or unhappy we are as individuals.

It is always better to have money than not have it, as money gives us options. But having money cannot magically change one's way of dealing with life (and the stressors of life).

Contentment, satisfaction and happiness are products of our thought process. We can be in dire situations and still feel satisfied that we have done our best . . . and happy to be alive.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:24 AM
 
29,819 posts, read 34,912,438 times
Reputation: 11737
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
I reject the premise that we must chose one or the other.

Happiness is a choice. We choose to be happy, contented people, regardless of our circumstances.

Yes, the people around us can attempt to make us miserable, whether at a job or in a personal relationship. But it is how we respond to--and internalize--other people's actions that determines how happy or unhappy we are as individuals.

It is always better to have money than not have it, as money gives us options. But having money cannot magically change one's way of dealing with life (and the stressors of life).

Contentment, satisfaction and happiness are products of our thought process. We can be in dire situations and still feel satisfied that we have done our best . . . and happy to be alive.
For some it is about deferred happiness in exchange for money and happiness down the road. At this stage of the game it is all good and what ever work related pains are all in the rear view mirror and the happiness and money of now are the current reality.
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