Why do you work?

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Why do you work?

Postby boggler » Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:56 am

For those of you who already have enough to live your life, why do you go into work every day? What keeps you motivated, especially when you have a frustrating day at work or have to do something you don't want to do?

Why not spend the time volunteering, traveling, or at home with family? It seems like this is what all of us actually want as humans, anyway, right?
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby cflannagan » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:31 am

boggler wrote:For those of you who already have enough to live your life, why do you go into work every day? What keeps you motivated, especially when you have a frustrating day at work or have to do something you don't want to do?

Why not spend the time volunteering, traveling, or at home with family? It seems like this is what all of us actually want as humans, anyway, right?


I'm not there yet, but I intend to work as long as possible and try to leave a legacy behind for my children and our future grandchildren.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby livesoft » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:54 am

My work involves traveling to teach motivated students. It's like getting paid to volunteer for all-expenses paid trips to Hawaii, New Zealand, Europe, South Africa, NY, Chicago, Japan, etc. I cannot post the thank you letters I get from students, but those keep you going.

It's a good question though to ask lots of folks. For example, all those politicians, actors, CEOs, financial book authors & blog writers, and many other wealthy folks: Why are they still working? What motivates them? I imagine work for them is fun and like a hobby. They have lots of control over their lives and are not told what to do.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby InvestorNewb » Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:08 am

I think it also comes down to the fact that everyone wants more. It doesn't matter how much you have in your bank account... the number never seems to be enough.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:55 am

InvestorNewb wrote:I think it also comes down to the fact that everyone wants more. It doesn't matter how much you have in your bank account... the number never seems to be enough.


This ^. I am not in their league, may not ever be, however, those of my colleagues who are very wealthy continue to work to have a purpose in life and accumulate more. I will say this - a number of them are totally out of touch with ordinary folk struggling to make it week to week.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby FinanceGeek » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:10 am

Wish I could give you some noble minded answer, but here's the truth - access to group health insurance.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby cjking » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:21 am

Because they keep asking me back (after every time I leave) and I can't think of a alternative mission.

I thought synthetic biology might be in interesting hobby/interest, but couldn't work out how/where to get started. Probably doesn't help that I have no particular objective in mind.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby fsrph » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:27 am

boggler wrote:For those of you who already have enough to live your life, why do you go into work every day? What keeps you motivated, especially when you have a frustrating day at work or have to do something you don't want to do?

Why not spend the time volunteering, traveling, or at home with family? It seems like this is what all of us actually want as humans, anyway, right?


I still work because (in no particular order):

1. Most times I enjoy it.
2. My work hours fit in well with my personal life.
3. To maintain structure in my life (i.e. not to get lazy).
4. I never have problems getting time off.
5. Healthcare insurance is a wild card. If I retire now (in in my early 50's), what wil I be paying for health insurance in 5 or 10 years?

However, if any of these significantly changes it is priceless to know I can stop working.

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Re: Why do you work?

Postby ClevrChico » Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:26 am

I'm an outlier, but I'm working to hit my number, then ER. I plan on spending more time with family, friends, and doing what I want to do.

I'll probably ease into it with PT work. After 20+ years of on call and lots of weekend work, I'm sure I'll be ready.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby pennstater2005 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:56 am

Pretty much exactly as Francis said above me.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby steve roy » Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:10 pm

I've always been sort of a workaholic. I also tend to ride whatever jobs I have into the ground (i.e., I'm there until they throw me into the street. This has only NOT happened twice: the Navy and a horrid private school where I taught for a year.)

I'm now in my sixties and have a job I like fine. I was planning to exit at 65, but due to a son who is lolly-gagging through college, I am going to hang in for three more years. After that, I will -- along with the Mrs. -- hook up and bail out. There's more to life than sitting in an office five days a week, even when that office is pleasant.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby chaz » Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:26 pm

I worked because I enjoyed it. But I am enjoying retirement.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby boggler » Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:52 pm

chaz wrote:I worked because I enjoyed it. But I am enjoying retirement.


Surely there were bad days. What kept you going then? Why didn't you quit immediately?
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby pennstater2005 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:58 pm

boggler wrote:
chaz wrote:I worked because I enjoyed it. But I am enjoying retirement.


Surely there were bad days. What kept you going then? Why didn't you quit immediately?


I would think because unless you're near retirement and have saved enough you may not have much of a choice. I have good days and bad days but am only 34 so I can't quit. But I save aggressively as I can and will hopefully have that option of retiring somewhat early and not working at that point because I have to.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby The Wizard » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:04 pm

boggler wrote:
chaz wrote:I worked because I enjoyed it. But I am enjoying retirement.


Surely there were bad days. What kept you going then? Why didn't you quit immediately?

Speaking for myself, not Chaz, there's something that happens once your finances are good enough to retire but you still "enjoy" your job much of the time.
What happens (to me anyway) is that the bar starts to raise bit by bit. The 50-day moving average of job enjoyment starts to be an issue. Once things get dull for awhile, then BAM, it's time to give my 4-weeks notice...
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby cflannagan » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:07 pm

boggler wrote:
chaz wrote:I worked because I enjoyed it. But I am enjoying retirement.


Surely there were bad days. What kept you going then? Why didn't you quit immediately?


Because that would be far too easy to do.

You feel better about yourself if you get past challenges your life throw at you. Try it sometimes.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby chaz » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:42 pm

boggler wrote:
chaz wrote:I worked because I enjoyed it. But I am enjoying retirement.


Surely there were bad days. What kept you going then? Why didn't you quit immediately?

There were very few bad days, so I never wanted to quit. But one day I noticed that I was old enough to retire, so I retired at age 74.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby Saving$ » Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:09 pm

The Wizard wrote:Speaking for myself, not Chaz, there's something that happens once your finances are good enough to retire but you still "enjoy" your job much of the time.
What happens (to me anyway) is that the bar starts to raise bit by bit. The 50-day moving average of job enjoyment starts to be an issue. ..


This and what Frances said, except for the part of about good hours and time off when wanted - those I don't have - I have the vacation hours, but the backup after returning from a vacation makes the vacation almost not worth it.... I like my job, but wish I could do less of it. Not really an option now because of health insurance. Really looking forward to the options I hope the ACA will bring...
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby MIGIHIDARI » Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:40 pm

Was going to retire at 65. Got a chance to work in Japan. It has been exciting to live here. Want to enjoy retirement now. Will retire in a couple of years!
Money has also been the reason to work longer.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby MP173 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:47 pm

I could probably retire, but what would I do? My health insurance is on my wife's plan. We are both in late 50's and she is not happy with her work. I tell her to either find a more satisfying job or retire, but she needs it for self identification. That is probably true for me also.

My career is very satisfying and I could see another 8-10 years, unless there are changes which make it more of a burden to work or they make me an offer I cannot refuse (doubt that will occur).

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Re: Why do you work?

Postby jwa » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:15 pm

Why do I work? humm... good question.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby VictoriaF » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:32 pm

For those who already have enough, working is a status quo bias.

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Re: Why do you work?

Postby KyleAAA » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:43 pm

I didn't "work" for somebody else for three months. It was the most boring 3 months of my life, and I did all the typical travel/etc stuff. I like working. Retirement is not for me, but part-term work probably is.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby BHCadet » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:40 pm

You're right.
There is no need.
I've a date for my retirement already.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby gd » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:38 am

I have had a normal career job, a full and part-time hobby job, and been retired, not in that order. I've found it to be a personal decision, dependent on your personality and personal circumstances which change over time. I will make only two specific comments-- with reference to a recent thread about regrets about being frugal early in life-- I was frugal, found it made life more interesting not less, and is the reason my work decisions were never based on finances. Second, if I didn't have a spouse who likes to be employed and gets health insurance, and didn't live in MA, that would probably have been the determining factor up to now (I'm in excellent health).
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby Andyrunner » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:58 am

livesoft wrote:It's a good question though to ask lots of folks. For example, all those politicians, actors, CEOs, financial book authors & blog writers, and many other wealthy folks: Why are they still working? What motivates them? I imagine work for them is fun and like a hobby. They have lots of control over their lives and are not told what to do.


I remember listening to a presentation at my old company by the CFO (this was a fortune 50 company) basically he stated he enjoyed doing what he does and he didnt need the money. Of course he made millions each year while people were constantly getting laid off.

On top of the fun/hobby thing...I bet its a power thing too.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby kramer » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:10 am

I find wealthy Americans very generous. In fact, I would hazard a guess that over half of all individual wealth over a billion dollars will be given away for the common good -- and better yet, allocated to good projects by smart people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. And this is not even counting the fact that millions of people were getting benefits from the life work of these people in business, even if they decided to never give anything away. Finally, most of the wealthy are paying huge amounts of taxes.

Personally, I chose not to work any more when I had earned enough and retired early. But I appreciate and respect those that choose to continue working, whatever their motives. And I think talented people are far more valuable in the work sector than doing things like volunteering their time.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby Ged » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:25 am

Well, I was enjoying my job until the company I worked for started imploding. Now I'm just finishing up a project. Unless something drastic happens I'll be retired in the next month or two.
Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby VictoriaF » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:05 am

kramer wrote:I find wealthy Americans very generous. In fact, I would hazard a guess that over half of all individual wealth over a billion dollars will be given away for the common good -- and better yet, allocated to good projects by smart people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. And this is not even counting the fact that millions of people were getting benefits from the life work of these people in business, even if they decided to never give anything away. Finally, most of the wealthy are paying huge amounts of taxes.

Personally, I chose not to work any more when I had earned enough and retired early. But I appreciate and respect those that choose to continue working, whatever their motives. And I think talented people are far more valuable in the work sector than doing things like volunteering their time.


Talented people are valuable in the work sector when they apply their talents to their work. This is certainly true for Bill Gates and Warren Buffett but not for many others.

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Re: Why do you work?

Postby Mike Scott » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:17 am

"Wish I could give you some noble minded answer, but here's the truth - access to group health insurance."

more and more this one...
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby bungalow10 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:22 pm

Andyrunner wrote:..I bet its a power thing too.


You are probably correct.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby FinanceGeek » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:23 pm

Mike Scott wrote:"Wish I could give you some noble minded answer, but here's the truth - access to group health insurance."

more and more this one...


Countdown until pre-existing conditions are no longer a reason to wok - 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 days

Not that I'm counting :beer
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby hicabob » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:36 pm

FinanceGeek wrote:
Mike Scott wrote:"Wish I could give you some noble minded answer, but here's the truth - access to group health insurance."

more and more this one...


Countdown until pre-existing conditions are no longer a reason to wok - 3 months, 3 weeks, 3 days

Not that I'm counting :beer

I would think over the long term this impending change would have to be good for the US economy in that it gives people freedom to change jobs, start their own biz, retire early enabling others to replace them, etc.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby wilpat » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:16 pm

I worked in the telephone industry for 58 years. (Part time at the start and at the end) 30 years at the telephone company, 20 years manufacturing equipment for the telephone industry and 8 years doing consulting for them.

I am now retired (for health reasons) but wish I were still working. I cannot think of a dozen days when I didn't wake up looking forward to going to work.
I can't say the same about retirement. :(
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby ejvyas » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:18 pm

I love to work
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby Professor Emeritus » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:25 pm

livesoft wrote:My work involves traveling to teach motivated students. It's like getting paid to volunteer for all-expenses paid trips to Hawaii, New Zealand, Europe, South Africa, NY, Chicago, Japan, etc. I cannot post the thank you letters I get from students, but those keep you going.



My dad finished the 4th edition of his book two weeks before he died at the age of 87. I love the teaching and research and hate the grant writing and administration. My professional work in the past two years took me to similar places.
Last edited by Professor Emeritus on Sat Sep 07, 2013 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby VictoriaF » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:30 pm

The Death Clock is of great help for deciding to retire.

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Re: Why do you work?

Postby Random Poster » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:47 pm

VictoriaF wrote:The Death Clock is of great help for deciding to retire.


Seems a bit dubious.

It can't even give me the same personal day of death date twice!
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby bungalow10 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:50 pm

Random Poster wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:The Death Clock is of great help for deciding to retire.


Seems a bit dubious.

It can't even give me the same personal day of death date twice!


Maybe browsing BH is impacting your lifespan ??
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby hicabob » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:52 pm

VictoriaF wrote:The Death Clock is of great help for deciding to retire.

Victoria



Urrf - I was planning for a bit longer
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby VictoriaF » Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:52 pm

bungalow10 wrote:
Random Poster wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:The Death Clock is of great help for deciding to retire.


Seems a bit dubious.

It can't even give me the same personal day of death date twice!


Maybe browsing BH is impacting your lifespan ??


I was going to use The Death Clock for planning my distribution phase. Are you saying that visiting the Bogleheads will throw my calculations off?

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Re: Why do you work?

Postby placeholder » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:39 pm

VictoriaF wrote:I was going to use The Death Clock for planning my distribution phase. Are you saying that visiting the Bogleheads will throw my calculations off?a

You never know what might happen: http://nonadventures.com/2013/07/13/curtain-death/
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby VictoriaF » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:49 pm

placeholder wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:I was going to use The Death Clock for planning my distribution phase. Are you saying that visiting the Bogleheads will throw my calculations off?a

You never know what might happen: http://nonadventures.com/2013/07/13/curtain-death/


This gives a new meaning to a "curtain call."

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Re: Why do you work?

Postby max12377 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:55 pm

I think I just like the idea of being able to walk away & be OK. I don't want to walk away because I usually like what I do & enjoy the people I work with at the moment. But there is less stress when the going gets tough if I know I have that card in my back pocket and can play it if necessary. (I don't have the card just yet though :greedy )
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby MathWizard » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:02 pm

VictoriaF wrote:The Death Clock is of great help for deciding to retire.

Victoria


Boy is that a downer!
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby Kulak » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:00 pm

FinanceGeek wrote:Wish I could give you some noble minded answer, but here's the truth - access to group health insurance.

For someone without an expensive pre-existing condition, is there a reason catastrophic (say $10K deductible) health insurance isn't as viable an option as it seems? I haven't looked into it much because I've always had employer-paid coverage, but I assumed that I could go that route if I quit working.
Depriving ourselves to boost our 40-year success probability much beyond 80% is a fool’s errand, since all you are doing is increasing the probability of failure for [non-financial] reasons. --wbern
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby bungalow10 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:10 pm

Kulak wrote:
FinanceGeek wrote:Wish I could give you some noble minded answer, but here's the truth - access to group health insurance.

For someone without an expensive pre-existing condition, is there a reason catastrophic (say $10K deductible) health insurance isn't as viable an option as it seems? I haven't looked into it much because I've always had employer-paid coverage, but I assumed that I could go that route if I quit working.


Because you never know when you would get diagnosed with something or have an accident and get dropped?

A friend who owns a small business had an MRI done, in which nothing was found to be wrong (he had pain in his side that they thought later might have been a mild hernia), and the next time his insurance was up for renewal he was dropped.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby Mike Scott » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:15 pm

My "walk out" point comes at about age 55 on my current projection. I may or may not walk but I look forward to having that choice.
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby Kulak » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:48 pm

bungalow10 wrote:A friend who owns a small business had an MRI done, in which nothing was found to be wrong (he had pain in his side that they thought later might have been a mild hernia), and the next time his insurance was up for renewal he was dropped.

Is that typical? Is he uninsurable for life now? Seems incredible but, as I said, I haven't looked into it.
Depriving ourselves to boost our 40-year success probability much beyond 80% is a fool’s errand, since all you are doing is increasing the probability of failure for [non-financial] reasons. --wbern
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Re: Why do you work?

Postby cinghiale » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:20 pm

Per Victoria's first post on this thread, not only is there "status quo bias" but there is also Status Anxiety. Anyone thinking over retirement but cognizant of the work-identity link owes him/herself a careful reading of Alain de Botton's splendid book by the same title. It provides great perspective on our need to "place ourselves" vis-a-vis our colleagues, neighbors, friends, family, and associates. Most definitely worth a read.
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