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Old 01-17-2017, 04:37 PM
 
Location: RVA
2,164 posts, read 1,264,598 times
Reputation: 4451

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@Blitzmark: most people with a career (especially higher paying ones) vs a job, don't have the option to quit work for a few months when they feel like it, then just go back, like a union tradesperson can, for instance. Not that there is anything negative about that, as I happen to agree that life should be enjoyed all the time. The difference is I wouldn't work a job that ever put me in aposition where I was so sick of it I had to stop. Luckily I found a career that I enjoy, like going to, close to home, pays well, etc, etc. But this forum has taught me that that type career is more rare than I thought.

But honestly, I think it is a bit too much to say that MOST people work because they are slaves to "stuff". Some do, I'm sure, and I am related to a few, but even then, it's not the actual "stuff", but a lifestyle that they really think is normal, like eating out too much, or a new car every 4 years, or vacations too often. But I really think that MOST work to pay for their home and what they need in defense of the lifestyle they just assume someone in their earning bracket should be. Now, they may have bought too much house or car, but I think too many people really just ASSUME that you should always be in a certain amount of debt.
And as long as they are saving something, and earning, then they figure that they will get out of debt eventually and everything will be all right. They attribute it to bad luck, the government, bad timing, waiting for that next raise, etc etc.

It makes no sense to me at all NOW, but I was once younger and just as oblivious. BUT whenever I was in debt in more recent years past, (after age say 35 or so, when I smartened up with regards to investing) it was always to earn money in the long run; real estate, tools needed, education etc. and those debts all turned out to be decent investments.

Except for a mortgage, I haven't had any debt in over 10 years, and no matter how much I tell my relatives what a strong, positive place that is to be, it falls on deaf ears. Maybe it is something one has to learn the hard way. A right of passage, unless you are smart enough from the beginning to really comprehend.

But when I was in my 20s, I remember thinking it was perfectly normal to be in debt to buy a nice car, because I would think "The car is $16000. And interest over 4 years will "only" be $700. That's only $175 a year, and I want the car now, so that seems fine to me." The problem is I made the assumption that because the payments on a $16k car (we are talking 1982 here, BTW) SEEMED workable, the fact was I had no business buying that much car based on "feel". I should have done a budget, and determined how much I could actually afford, and still save money with.

Then you multiply that same "logic" by stuff bought on credit, an engagement ring, and a vacation, etc etc., and the next thing you know, you are 30, and owe $25k. Then you get a divorce or two, and it REALLY settles in to just making ends meet, just like Blitzman said, and you are a slave to your debt. I understand that perfectly.

Actually, it is easier today to get in trouble like that than in say. The 70s, 80s, even 90s. Virtually everyone pays for food, utilities etc, etc on a credit card. Remember when everyone paid with checks? Not that long ago, the check reader at the grocery store was high tech. But most of us remember getting "manager approval" on a check if you weren't a regular customer. Much harder to get in real debt that way, then now. Dang...I seemed to have actually argued myself to being wrong...maybe more people really are a slave to stuff!! Nevermind....

Last edited by Perryinva; 01-17-2017 at 04:48 PM..
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Old 01-17-2017, 04:50 PM
 
Location: RVA
2,164 posts, read 1,264,598 times
Reputation: 4451
BTW, notice the vast majority of responders to this thread all always worked. A self fulfilling prophecy. Except for Blitzman, most people will skip it rather than say they are fine with not having worked all the time.
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Old 01-17-2017, 06:17 PM
 
897 posts, read 1,520,475 times
Reputation: 1875
Paper boy at 12 followed by deli clerk. That was the high school years. College and grad school was waitering and bartending. Work had me ending my career after 40 years as VP of a Fortune 200 company. Missed 2 days of work for sickness in all the years. That's the way I was brought up but in hind site there were no awards for that work ethic.
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Old 01-17-2017, 08:16 PM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,427 posts, read 1,664,703 times
Reputation: 8643
.

Last edited by jean_ji; 01-17-2017 at 08:31 PM..
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Old 01-18-2017, 12:56 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,537 posts, read 39,914,033 times
Reputation: 23634
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryinva View Post
BTW, notice the vast majority of responders to this thread all always worked. A self fulfilling prophecy. Except for Blitzman, most people will skip it rather than say they are fine with not having worked all the time.
Obviously responses from a 'different' generation than what you will hire / experience today in USA. (as one would expect a the 'C-D Retirement' forum.)

40 yrs forward, the responses will be quite different. Employers don't offer the same LT employment, and the workers don't really seem to want or expect it.

But it really depends on the circles you keep. C-D posters are very 'conventional' thinkers and doers. The thousands of young and middle-aged people you meet while traveling are often on gap yrs or already retired in their 30's and 40's. Much of Europe does not live a 'career' centric lifestyle and get plenty of time off as a norm, but many take a few or several yrs off to volunteer, provide eldercare, stay home with kids, or travel; even tho their typical CoL and housing can be much more expensive than USA residents.

Affluenza is more prominent in our North America culture. We pursue it, as if it is a 'value' / benefit. Ironically, it is very much a part of NA 'retirement quest'. i.e. Gotta work till 65/67, have 'x' amount by retirement, and stick with 4% withdrawal rates, or you are an 'outcast' ...

So simple to just clone us all and stick us in retirement subdivisions where we all have homes that look alike, and we know right where the bathroom and kitchen is, in case we walk into the wrong home. Oh yes, take 'x' weeks / yr to travel, and have a gym membership to be perceived as 'healthy' (while actually masking the simple cause of the BIGGER issue). Yes, a very unique, but very definable class of 'retirees' .

Can you think of where this comes from?

Very evident if you have been back to a HS class reunion, and noticed the vast majority who are still stuck in HS 50 + yrs later! "...non stop from when you got out of school?"
(just a thought... IMHO, perception only) glad I homeschooled! not the best for all, but certainly forms a DIFFERENT perspective throughout life. Some of us are just 'Out-of-step'. Always have been, always will be

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 01-18-2017 at 01:09 AM..
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Old 01-18-2017, 04:19 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,830 posts, read 4,944,472 times
Reputation: 17289
One huge factor that forces most people in the USA to "keep their nose to the grindstone" continuously until age 65 is our health insurance system.

We're the only developed country where most people must work for an organization big enough to offer "group" health insurance. Depending on an employer to provide health insurance as a part of your compensation is crazy. We'd never allow an employer to decide which car we drive or what house we'd buy.

We tried to fix this with the ACA but I guess most voters didn't want that.

So America, keep running that hamster wheel until 65.
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Old 01-18-2017, 05:45 AM
 
3,714 posts, read 3,117,690 times
Reputation: 7866
I starting working full time as a teenager and worked my way up into a high-paying sales job that lasted for several years until I left with a nice severance package in my late twenties and took a year off to hit the road with a backpack and surfboard with what money I had saved. When the money ran out I scored a seasonal job, six months on, six months off. Traveled and surfed the world during the six months off every year for three years. After that I worked at a couple of different high-paying full-time jobs (in my thirties at this point) for a few years with several lengthy overseas trips mixed in between jobs. I quit one job three times to go traveling and was rehired every time when I got back off the road broke.

Moved to a new city as I turned 40 and started a business that I worked hard for nine years before selling out. Took three years off that time and began a new career in my early fifties and started another business two years later. In my mid 60s now with decent retirement savings and still working because it's easy, pays well and I like it, traveling several times a year. My lengthy Social Security earnings record has multiple zero years and quite a few low four digit years scattered among many maxed out years. I'm quite proud of the many low and zero earnings years. They represent some priceless memories. I feel very fortunate that I lucked into something other than a lifetime career. It was never a plan. It just happened.
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Old 01-18-2017, 06:26 AM
 
Location: RVA
2,164 posts, read 1,264,598 times
Reputation: 4451
Awesome post^^^^. What skills did you have that allowed leaving and returning at will? Sounds ideal!!
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Old 01-18-2017, 06:45 AM
 
Location: RVA
2,164 posts, read 1,264,598 times
Reputation: 4451
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Obviously responses from a 'different' generation than what you will hire / experience today in USA. (as one would expect a the 'C-D Retirement' forum.)

40 yrs forward, the responses will be quite different. Employers don't offer the same LT employment, and the workers don't really seem to want or expect it.

But it really depends on the circles you keep. C-D posters are very 'conventional' thinkers and doers. The thousands of young and middle-aged people you meet while traveling are often on gap yrs or already retired in their 30's and 40's. Much of Europe does not live a 'career' centric lifestyle and get plenty of time off as a norm, but many take a few or several yrs off to volunteer, provide eldercare, stay home with kids, or travel; even tho their typical CoL and housing can be much more expensive than USA residents.

Affluenza is more prominent in our North America culture. We pursue it, as if it is a 'value' / benefit. Ironically, it is very much a part of NA 'retirement quest'. i.e. Gotta work till 65/67, have 'x' amount by retirement, and stick with 4% withdrawal rates, or you are an 'outcast' ...

So simple to just clone us all and stick us in retirement subdivisions where we all have homes that look alike, and we know right where the bathroom and kitchen is, in case we walk into the wrong home. Oh yes, take 'x' weeks / yr to travel, and have a gym membership to be perceived as 'healthy' (while actually masking the simple cause of the BIGGER issue). Yes, a very unique, but very definable class of 'retirees' .

Can you think of where this comes from?

Very evident if you have been back to a HS class reunion, and noticed the vast majority who are still stuck in HS 50 + yrs later! "...non stop from when you got out of school?"
(just a thought... IMHO, perception only) glad I homeschooled! not the best for all, but certainly forms a DIFFERENT perspective throughout life. Some of us are just 'Out-of-step'. Always have been, always will be
While I agree 100% about "afffluenza", it is certainly not just a north american only phenom. Off the top of my head, both the UK & Germany have degrees of affluenza, but look at the financial state of all those European counties that have little production due to living life as you claim. Sky high unemployment, on the brink of collapse from social programs they can't pay for....unless a counrty is sitting on vast piles of government owned wealth (oil, hydo electric, etc) people and companies working and paying taxes provides the revenue for the government to operate. I am glad to be able to make enough money to pay the taxes that provide the services that help others out that also want to contribute. Not so much for people that deliberately game the system to take as much as they can, with no desire to contribute back.
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Old 01-18-2017, 06:49 AM
mlb
 
Location: North Monterey County
3,179 posts, read 2,852,979 times
Reputation: 4871
Much more difficult for women who are childbearing/rearing to take breaks and return to a job/income level they left at.....

I realize how "fortunate" I have been not having kids to take years off from the workplace.

Women's work experience is way different from men.
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