You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

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Sandtrap
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You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:52 pm

What are your "blue collar" (or similar) working roots and your path to financial independence?
Actionable and conceptual steps and/or tips you would give to your child, grandchild, or other as a mentor?

Roots:
Carpenter's helper at $1.25 an hour.

Steps:
Carpenter, contractor, businessman, landlord, R/E developer.
(concurrently: economics/business major.)

"Actionable" Tips:
40 hrs/week is not enough. Showing up is not enough. Learn to love work. Learn to win.
Think outside of the box and don't stop. Go beyond the average employee, way beyond. Find a passion. Dream big. :D
There is always time for education and it's never too late.
And, of course, "the golden rule".
Do this and the money will come as a byproduct.

j

"Edited" to stay actionable per forum guidelines so others can benefit from your experience and real life examples. :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

PoppyA
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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by PoppyA » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:22 pm

Live below your means
Systematically save
Have a low cost investment strategy
Max out tax advantage Accounts first
"La Bella Luna"

TheHouse7
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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by TheHouse7 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:42 pm

Learn to love, what you have to do.

You will always have work if you keep doing what others are not willing to do.

Make plans to show how the person managing you is doing great(needs to be promoted), and don't hold back training the person under you to replace you (make it easy for management to promote you).
"PSX will always go up 20%, why invest in anything else?!" -Father-in-law early retired.

investing1012
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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by investing1012 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:03 pm

I used to work 6 bucks an hour at a convenience store. I studied my ass off and got into medschool and now combined with my wife we're making near 7 digit salary. I remember some days I would go to the library in the early morning when it was dark and would come out of the library at night when it was dark again. Hard work pays off.

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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by RudyS » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:21 pm

Details vary, but here goes:

Live below your means (house, cars, etc.).
Save all you can.
Take advantage of employer plans that match.
Take advantage of tax-advantage investments.
Invest following the BH approach.
Have a spouse who also brings in money, or at least believes the above.
But don't let the urge to accumulate take away the fun of life.

DW and I are close to 80; this worked for us although we didn't know the BH philosophy as such. It helped that kids went to good state schools.

123
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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by 123 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:37 pm

I had an aunt and uncle who accumulated $1M by the time they were 80 a few years ago (I helped them handle their accounts and did their taxes). Neither one of them went beyond the 8th grade. They retired when they were each 62. They did not participate in any 401K, workplace savings, or IRA programs. They did not invest in the stock market. They invested only in bank CDs and Treasury Direct. They did not operate any businesses. They had unspectacular everyday jobs. My uncle worked in a clerical position for a county government for 15 years before he retired). They grew up during the depression and simply lived below their means. They enjoyed life by taking vacations all around the county using a camper or small RV. They lived in a small house. Their children graduated from college. They never felt a need to impress anyone about anything. Their social circles centered around their church and local senior center. They rarely ate out except for some lunches at the senior center where they usually shared a table with friends. They wanted for nothing.

LBYM
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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Procopius
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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by Procopius » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:48 pm

Get an education and a professional degree that will pay. Observe how many Bogleheads are doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. This is not a coincidence. It's not the only path to financial independence, but going the blue collar route seems a lot more difficult and uncertain.

staythecourse
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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by staythecourse » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:09 pm

If your talking starting as a blue collar worker then I think the usual bogleheads advice will not be sufficient to make it FI. I would advice those who are blue collar either 2 routes. Route 1. Leave the blue collar job and go get a government job with a pension. There are plenty of those with very little education and have great pensions or Route 2. Turn from a blue collar worker to SBO (small business owner). Take the next step in your current occupation and get into the position your are not losing money out to middle man and be your own boss. Then work hard and grow the business and then employee other folks and make money off their work.

Of course, there are many other ways as well, such as: Leave job and get a better education (easier said then done as you need $$ to fund this and time which may be difficult if you have family obligations) and the old favorite real estate. The latter is not a bad idea if you are a blue collar worker in the trades and are handy. In which case the idea of buying a 2 flat and living in one and renting the other sounds great. Then your regular job+ rent is to pay off the mortgage. Then go buy another and do the same. Then the regular job+ 2 rents help pay off the second. Rinse, repeat.

Good luck.

p.s. Personally, I don't like affirmations and other positive, vague points that are not a direct action point. They sound great out of a fortune cookie, but not helpful in the end.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by adamthesmythe » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:30 pm

Father was HS educated, mother went to secretarial school. Only one near relative went to college and he didn't graduate. First job was odd tasks for a machinist, second was bagging groceries.

I retired from a position as a full professor at a well-known engineering school.

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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by j0nnyg1984 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:26 am

staythecourse wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:09 pm
If your talking starting as a blue collar worker then I think the usual bogleheads advice will not be sufficient to make it FI. I would advice those who are blue collar either 2 routes. Route 1. Leave the blue collar job and go get a government job with a pension. There are plenty of those with very little education and have great pensions or Route 2. Turn from a blue collar worker to SBO (small business owner). Take the next step in your current occupation and get into the position your are not losing money out to middle man and be your own boss. Then work hard and grow the business and then employee other folks and make money off their work.

Of course, there are many other ways as well, such as: Leave job and get a better education (easier said then done as you need $$ to fund this and time which may be difficult if you have family obligations) and the old favorite real estate. The latter is not a bad idea if you are a blue collar worker in the trades and are handy. In which case the idea of buying a 2 flat and living in one and renting the other sounds great. Then your regular job+ rent is to pay off the mortgage. Then go buy another and do the same. Then the regular job+ 2 rents help pay off the second. Rinse, repeat.

Good luck.

p.s. Personally, I don't like affirmations and other positive, vague points that are not a direct action point. They sound great out of a fortune cookie, but not helpful in the end.
Attitudes like this are exactly what's wrong with today's America. There is nothing wrong with a blue collar career and one can make a great income in said careers.

None of my circle of friends graduated from a 4 year college. Every one of us makes 70k / year or more, with me doing ~110k this year and my best buddy doing ~130k.

The road isn't easy and it isn't quick, but that's life. Work hard, use your head, and MAKE a career.

heyyou
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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by heyyou » Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:42 am

Find what your goal is, and work towards it.

Early on I saw that I only needed to work until I could afford to not need a job. With a sense of having enough, enough car and enough house, I then saved most of each pay raise, maxed all retirement accounts a little early, then continued to put the payroll deduction into taxable savings, and did the same with the mortgage payment amount after the house was paid off early. In the 1990s, I called that lifestyle "living in the 80s" (the 1980s) since I was a slow adopter of new technology (audio equipment in those days). The products have changed since then, but the marketing hasn't, it still appeals to your insecurities--you will supposedly be more cool than others, if you own the very newest device.

Kept the same blue collar job since it had a pension. A dozen years ago, I retired from there at age 55, after 30 years. About luck happening to the well prepared, the 401k was started in the early 1980s offering the Magellan Fund and a S&P500 index fund. Even then, the symmetry of equal slices of the allocation choices suited me. The nominal value of my early 500 index shares is now 18+ times their purchase prices.

My highest annual pay was just under $70K. SS at age 70 will be a few hundred dollars per month less than the pension. These days, the no-COLA pension nearly covers our bare bone expenses in our LCOL retirement area, so the low two comma portfolio is mostly for discretionary spending. We are not rich but we are comfortable and happy, and we feel grateful about our lives every day.

mindboggling
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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by mindboggling » Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:16 am

I spent about two-thirds of my working years in hourly-paid positions. I graduated (just barely) from an elite, private university, where I learned nothing. My first job after graduation paid $3.75/hour in 1975.

I would say that living below one's means is most important. I was exposed to Vanguard's investment philosophy in my 30s, which, of course, helped, too.

I retired from full-time work at 60, then worked part-time for three years before calling it quits completely. Investment portfolio at 60 was about 1.5 million, mostly tax-deferred.
In broken mathematics We estimate our prize, --Emily Dickinson

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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by Cunobelinus » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:26 am

investing1012 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:03 pm
I remember some days I would go to the library in the early morning when it was dark and would come out of the library at night when it was dark again. Hard work pays off.
Very easy to do in the wintertime if you live up north.. heck, there were winters that it seemed like I only saw the sun for a few hours each month, usually through a window only.

Has a different connotation to those who live closer to the equator.

Cunobelinus
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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by Cunobelinus » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:29 am

PoppyA wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:22 pm
Live below your means
Systematically save
Have a low cost investment strategy
Max out tax advantage Accounts first
I'd only add: invest in yourself. You don't have to be a doctor, but working towards the next certification or degree that can add to your income or make you promotable is worthwhile.

P.s., start as early as possible, both for compounding interest and for compounding good behaviors.

msk
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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by msk » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:50 am

Pick the right trade and then get to the high end of your trade. Do not settle for being just a "carpenter" if a fine-cabinet restorer makes 3x (?) as much. Just recently saw on TV that a plumber in London UK can expect to make GBP150k annually, compared to GBP50k for BSc/BEng graduates. What I tell my kids, no matter what job they end up in:

Save and invest 30% of your after tax income (100% world stocks by market weight, 40-year investment horizon)
Never acquire a car worth more than 6 months income
Never purchase a house worth more than 3 years income (paying off principal counts as saving and investing)

chmcnm
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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by chmcnm » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:24 am

Be willing to do things and go places that others won't. I've heard of welders making $300k but the conditions aren't always great and they have to travel to the site. My cousin was a master pipe fitter. Good living but he had to travel to make the money. If you can hack it for 10 years, you're set as long as you live below your means.

My dad always to me there's always work for cleaning up messes. I work in IT and that has been true since I started.

My mom has a framed pay stub from my grandfather. He was a coal miner. He made $27 that week. Problem was he also paid $27 to the company store.

If you can find someone who grew-up during the Great Depression talk to them. It's amazing how people survived. It gives you perspective.

So, live below your means, pay yourself first and start saving young, and invest in yourself through education. Oh...also marry well if you get married (and I don't mean a sugar momma).

aristotelian
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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by aristotelian » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:40 am

Worked minimum wage as a teenager stocking shelves at a deli and making cookies at Mrs fields, camp counselor etc. Taught me the value of a dollar for sure.

My dad was incapacitated due to a medical mishap when I was 9. We received some insurance and a legal settlement. Taught me the both the fragility of finances and human capital, but also be got me started on investing. I was fortunate to graduate college debt free. Never occurred to me to use an advisor. Made plenty of mistakes but always did it myself.

staythecourse
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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by staythecourse » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:23 am

j0nnyg1984 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:26 am
staythecourse wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:09 pm
If your talking starting as a blue collar worker then I think the usual bogleheads advice will not be sufficient to make it FI. I would advice those who are blue collar either 2 routes. Route 1. Leave the blue collar job and go get a government job with a pension. There are plenty of those with very little education and have great pensions or Route 2. Turn from a blue collar worker to SBO (small business owner). Take the next step in your current occupation and get into the position your are not losing money out to middle man and be your own boss. Then work hard and grow the business and then employee other folks and make money off their work.

Of course, there are many other ways as well, such as: Leave job and get a better education (easier said then done as you need $$ to fund this and time which may be difficult if you have family obligations) and the old favorite real estate. The latter is not a bad idea if you are a blue collar worker in the trades and are handy. In which case the idea of buying a 2 flat and living in one and renting the other sounds great. Then your regular job+ rent is to pay off the mortgage. Then go buy another and do the same. Then the regular job+ 2 rents help pay off the second. Rinse, repeat.

Good luck.

p.s. Personally, I don't like affirmations and other positive, vague points that are not a direct action point. They sound great out of a fortune cookie, but not helpful in the end.
Attitudes like this are exactly what's wrong with today's America. There is nothing wrong with a blue collar career and one can make a great income in said careers.

None of my circle of friends graduated from a 4 year college. Every one of us makes 70k / year or more, with me doing ~110k this year and my best buddy doing ~130k.

The road isn't easy and it isn't quick, but that's life. Work hard, use your head, and MAKE a career.
Are you FI? Have you gone through a economic recession?

Not saying it can't be done as a blue collar worker, but not easy. The thread was "steps and tips" to "path of financial independence" so unless you have accomplished that your post are like many that are full of fluff and no substance. Your post did not have ONE piece of information that substantiates an actual plan to get from point x (start as a blue collar worker) to point y (FI). Just throwing out personal experiences for you is not great advice.

Again I am not saying one should NOT be a blue collar worker or that is CAN'T be done. My advice were ways to get to FI as quickly as possible (as I am sure most folks goals are) starting as a blue collar worker. That is what I would do. Those are concrete ideas. BTW, one of those is to KEEP doing the same thing and grow it as a business.

Good luck.

p.s. I built a house and am well versed with the trades and can say without a doubt they are the WORST group of business man I have seen to date (outside of doctors). A tradesman who was a good businessman alone would make a killing. I can't tell you how much money they forgot to collect from me for upgrades (in the thousands).
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

gator15
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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by gator15 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:54 am

My advice would be to make hay while the sun shines. In the late 90's and early 2000's while I was in high school and in college I worked at McDonald's. I started out making $4.25 an hour and never made more than $6.00 during my 6 years there. It was a grind. Through my college, an opportunity presented itself were a local convention center needed workers for weekend to serve meals and bus tables. It paid $17 an hour for 12 hours of work. I jumped at the opportunity. There were about 75 of us students who did the work. At the end of night it was clear many hated the work. Over the course of a year the convention center reached out to my school for volunteers and the number of volunteers dwindled down to two people after a year. I was one of the people. I tried to work there as much I could because I wasn't sure when I would ever make that kind of money again. That job opportunity eventually dried up. I saved a good amount of that money graduating college with $3k in my pocket. I used that money to open my first IRA.

Today my wife and I earn good salaries but I'm not sure how long this will last so I save a good portion of my income. I'm not sure when this opportunity will dry up so I'm trying to make hay while things are good.

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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by vested1 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:45 am

Never compromise your principles, regardless of temptation. You may not have the largest accumulation of loot in the end, but having no personal regrets over your moral decisions is priceless.

I've worked full time since I was 12, being paid an illegal 25 cents an hour at a laundry before and after school for several years, starting at 2am. Our family was more than poor. I bought all my own clothes and anything extra from that time on, other than food, giving me an early appreciation of the value of money and hard work. Before that job I did gardening for several neighbors on a continuing basis since the age of 8. After the laundry I held a succession of jobs through my school years, never being unemployed for a single day until I was laid off temporarily at age 60 due to a refusal to compromise my ethics. I graduated high school and went to one year of junior college. My parents refused to pay for college. I only had blue collar jobs and excelled in every one of them, never straying from a need to be the best while refusing to either cheat my employer or the customer.

Having strong business ethics and sticking to them wasn't difficult when working and retiring initially from megacorp, but the following 8 years of employment for three smaller firms tested that resolve. In each of these jobs I was asked to do things that were not only immoral, but sometimes illegal as well. I steadfastly refused, contrary to what most of my colleagues had agreed to. The same manager who laid me off at age 60 because I refused to cheat the customer hired me back because he knew I was the highest performer, and because the business was suffering in my absence. On the down side, I was often the stepping stool for ambitious climbers, who took credit for my work. There is no doubt that if I had compromised, my accumulation of wealth and rise to upper management would have surpassed what I eventually accomplished.

My wife and I are now retired at 64/65 with 50 years of employment on my SS statement, and 45 years on my wife's, who never compromised during her blue collar career either. We both had early bad marriages which we escaped eventually, and reunited to marry 25 years ago. We were childhood sweethearts, but my stupidity ruined all that in early high school. She graduated from college, the only one in her family to do so. Even with a degree she was never able to earn more than me, largely because she is a woman, facing discrimination in that regard. We are currently able to delay SS because of our commitment to planning and saving, even though we raised 3 daughters, two of whom graduated from college, and all three successful. Our net worth is somewhere slightly north of 2m, counting home equity and monetizing my wife's pension, with our savings flirting with 2 commas.

Not attempting to take the moral high ground here, nor lord our ethics over that of others, since morality is a personal decision. We are neither religious, nor are we pillars of the community in any particular way, but rather a hopefully steadfast example to our children and grandchildren of an unwavering desire to do what's right. We could have easily doubled our current net worth by agreeing to tread a darker path, but at what cost?

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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:27 am

123 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:37 pm
I had an aunt and uncle who accumulated $1M by the time they were 80 a few years ago (I helped them handle their accounts and did their taxes). Neither one of them went beyond the 8th grade. They retired when they were each 62. They did not participate in any 401K, workplace savings, or IRA programs. They did not invest in the stock market. They invested only in bank CDs and Treasury Direct. They did not operate any businesses. They had unspectacular everyday jobs. My uncle worked in a clerical position for a county government for 15 years before he retired). They grew up during the depression and simply lived below their means. They enjoyed life by taking vacations all around the county using a camper or small RV. They lived in a small house. Their children graduated from college. They never felt a need to impress anyone about anything. Their social circles centered around their church and local senior center. They rarely ate out except for some lunches at the senior center where they usually shared a table with friends. They wanted for nothing.

LBYM
Thanks for sharing. This is wonderful.
Reminds me of the "Horatio Alger" stories I read when very young.
Many of my relatives were the same way, though they were mostly small business owners. Very very low key.
Mahalo
j :D

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Sandtrap
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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:36 am

staythecourse wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:09 pm
If your talking starting as a blue collar worker then I think the usual bogleheads advice will not be sufficient to make it FI. I would advice those who are blue collar either 2 routes. Route 1. Leave the blue collar job and go get a government job with a pension. There are plenty of those with very little education and have great pensions or Route 2. Turn from a blue collar worker to SBO (small business owner). Take the next step in your current occupation and get into the position your are not losing money out to middle man and be your own boss. Then work hard and grow the business and then employee other folks and make money off their work.

Of course, there are many other ways as well, such as: Leave job and get a better education (easier said then done as you need $$ to fund this and time which may be difficult if you have family obligations) and the old favorite real estate. The latter is not a bad idea if you are a blue collar worker in the trades and are handy. In which case the idea of buying a 2 flat and living in one and renting the other sounds great. Then your regular job+ rent is to pay off the mortgage. Then go buy another and do the same. Then the regular job+ 2 rents help pay off the second. Rinse, repeat.

Good luck.

p.s. Personally, I don't like affirmations and other positive, vague points that are not a direct action point. They sound great out of a fortune cookie, but not helpful in the end.
Absolutely true.
The steps you outlined are actionable, and with real life examples, inspiring and motivating as well.
I met a young man many decades ago who grew up in compromised surroundings. He went to vocational school for welding then got a job at a muffler shop. I don't know the steps in between but decades later owned 8 muffler shops all over the city. He was humble, respectful, and very very motivated when I met him early on. This would be "Route #2" that you outlined.
There are many striving for FI that come from, or are in, situations with limited options that are unaware of Route 1 and 2.
Terrific :D

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Sandtrap
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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:51 am

chmcnm wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:24 am
Be willing to do things and go places that others won't. I've heard of welders making $300k but the conditions aren't always great and they have to travel to the site. My cousin was a master pipe fitter. Good living but he had to travel to make the money. If you can hack it for 10 years, you're set as long as you live below your means.

My dad always to me there's always work for cleaning up messes. I work in IT and that has been true since I started.

My mom has a framed pay stub from my grandfather. He was a coal miner. He made $27 that week. Problem was he also paid $27 to the company store.

If you can find someone who grew-up during the Great Depression talk to them. It's amazing how people survived. It gives you perspective.

So, live below your means, pay yourself first and start saving young, and invest in yourself through education. Oh...also marry well if you get married (and I don't mean a sugar momma).
Thanks, "chmcnm"
Reminds me of when I stuck my neck out, way way out, to buy a large apartment building. I was nearly broke. One day I found out how much the plumber was making. $200k/year! (and saving and investing most all of it) A Czech immigrant who worked his way up and became a US citizen and started his own small 1 man business. We became good friends but he usually told nobody what he was worth.
You're right, "chmcnm".
I often visited the BB consulting and learned from the depression age businessman who were all very kind to me. Later, I always tried to hire folks that needed a "leg up".
Always seek senior guidance, especially those with actual experience.

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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:57 am

vested1 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:45 am
Never compromise your principles, regardless of temptation. You may not have the largest accumulation of loot in the end, but having no personal regrets over your moral decisions is priceless.

I've worked full time since I was 12,. . . . . . Our net worth is somewhere slightly north of 2m. . . . .
This is why small business and other mentorship programs are so important (and forums like Bogleheads, MMM, etc, etc,) where folks like yourself have so much to give to others. :D

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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by investing1012 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:36 am

vested1 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:45 am
Never compromise your principles, regardless of temptation. You may not have the largest accumulation of loot in the end, but having no personal regrets over your moral decisions is priceless.
You can't be too dogmatic on anything. Sometimes you have to bend to get to your desired goals.

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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by investing1012 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:38 am

Cunobelinus wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:26 am
investing1012 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:03 pm
I remember some days I would go to the library in the early morning when it was dark and would come out of the library at night when it was dark again. Hard work pays off.
Very easy to do in the wintertime if you live up north.. heck, there were winters that it seemed like I only saw the sun for a few hours each month, usually through a window only.

Has a different connotation to those who live closer to the equator.
Some of those were in the summer :p

Studying is one of the hardest things to do in my opinion. And I've worked the gamut of jobs from mixing concrete to cleaning toilets.

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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:43 am

investing1012 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:36 am
vested1 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:45 am
Never compromise your principles, regardless of temptation. You may not have the largest accumulation of loot in the end, but having no personal regrets over your moral decisions is priceless.
You can't be too dogmatic on anything. Sometimes you have to bend to get to your desired goals.
There is a huge actionable gray area where business and finance and the road to FI meets morality where each has to choose or wrestle with a life path or business decision.

Actionable example to "stay on topic".

IE: A tenant doesn't pay rent and lies to me. But his family is in great need and has fallen on hard times. They promise to pay the back rent over time and catch up but will have to pay 1/2 rent over the next 6 months. Huge gray area of so many. Compromise or bend. Tough things that challenge perhaps everyone.

Apologies for straying off topic.
j :D

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Re: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by oilrig » Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:43 pm

I work for a big oil company and our mechanics, electricians, and other hourly skilled-labor folks who graduate with 2 years degrees come out of school making 6 figures + pensions + generous 401k plans.These kids are 20-22 right out of school making good money and typically make more than our entry level degreed office staff, including engineers. Also, we are always in need of these guys and are typically they are safe from layoffs. As long as these kids stay with my company or other competitors with similar compensation plans, they will retire multi-millionaires at age 50 just from the pension and 401k plans, not including their own personal savings.

I also know welders, masters electricians, instrument technicians etc who make 200k+ chasing big money shut down/turn around work. I used to work with offshore guys who were making $250k+ working half the year, most of these guys had no formal training or education.

I think the key to making good money as a blue collar worker is to find out which industries/jobs pay the best, get some kind of license or certification to get your foot into the door, work hard then reap the benefits. Of course this sounds easier than it is, these guys make good money for a reason, its often grueling back breaking work.

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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by vested1 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:36 pm

investing1012 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:36 am
vested1 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:45 am
Never compromise your principles, regardless of temptation. You may not have the largest accumulation of loot in the end, but having no personal regrets over your moral decisions is priceless.
You can't be too dogmatic on anything. Sometimes you have to bend to get to your desired goals.
It is not overly dogmatic to refuse to cheat a customer when told to, or to refuse to break the law. The person telling you to do so knows that they are asking you to cross the line by proposing it, having crossed that line themselves in the past. The pursuit of perfection in effectiveness as an employee can be greatly rewarding. It is unnecessary to cheat in order to achieve your goals, especially if you are expert in your field. An employer has no power to enforce unethical behavior, other than to fire you and taking the risk of being exposed for their deceptive practices.

My best advice is to make yourself indispensable by striving to be a superior asset, which will allow you greater control over decisions once those ethical crossroads are reached.

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Re: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by KlangFool » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:41 pm

oilrig wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:43 pm
I work for a big oil company and our mechanics, electricians, and other hourly skilled-labor folks who graduate with 2 years degrees come out of school making 6 figures + pensions + generous 401k plans.These kids are 20-22 right out of school making good money and typically make more than our entry level degreed office staff, including engineers. Also, we are always in need of these guys and are typically they are safe from layoffs. As long as these kids stay with my company or other competitors with similar compensation plans, they will retire multi-millionaires at age 50 just from the pension and 401k plans, not including their own personal savings.
oilrig,

1) One of my college classmates was ex-oil rig worker. He was laid off during the 80's Houston Oil Bust. It took him 10 years to get his BSEE while working several jobs. He wanted to and did succeed in the transition away from Oil and Gas area.

2) Now, we are heading into or in another Oil Bust. The boom and bust of Oil and Gas industry tend to run in a 30+ years cycle. So, if you are in one of those cycles, you have to get out of the industry just to survive.

KlangFool

investing1012
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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by investing1012 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:46 pm

vested1 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:36 pm
investing1012 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:36 am
vested1 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:45 am
Never compromise your principles, regardless of temptation. You may not have the largest accumulation of loot in the end, but having no personal regrets over your moral decisions is priceless.
You can't be too dogmatic on anything. Sometimes you have to bend to get to your desired goals.
It is not overly dogmatic to refuse to cheat a customer when told to, or to refuse to break the law. The person telling you to do so knows that they are asking you to cross the line by proposing it, having crossed that line themselves in the past. The pursuit of perfection in effectiveness as an employee can be greatly rewarding. It is unnecessary to cheat in order to achieve your goals, especially if you are expert in your field. An employer has no power to enforce unethical behavior, other than to fire you and taking the risk of being exposed for their deceptive practices.

My best advice is to make yourself indispensable by striving to be a superior asset, which will allow you greater control over decisions once those ethical crossroads are reached.
I’m not saying break the law or cheat customers. But most employers wouldn’t promote an employee they think is making life difficult for them. If your main strategy to maintain your job is having a skill set that you think is irreplaceable, you’d be the first one out when someone with that skill applied for the job. Also don’t count on being promoted through the ranks.

vested1
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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by vested1 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:04 pm

investing1012 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:46 pm
vested1 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:36 pm
investing1012 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:36 am
vested1 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:45 am
Never compromise your principles, regardless of temptation. You may not have the largest accumulation of loot in the end, but having no personal regrets over your moral decisions is priceless.
You can't be too dogmatic on anything. Sometimes you have to bend to get to your desired goals.
It is not overly dogmatic to refuse to cheat a customer when told to, or to refuse to break the law. The person telling you to do so knows that they are asking you to cross the line by proposing it, having crossed that line themselves in the past. The pursuit of perfection in effectiveness as an employee can be greatly rewarding. It is unnecessary to cheat in order to achieve your goals, especially if you are expert in your field. An employer has no power to enforce unethical behavior, other than to fire you and taking the risk of being exposed for their deceptive practices.

My best advice is to make yourself indispensable by striving to be a superior asset, which will allow you greater control over decisions once those ethical crossroads are reached.
I’m not saying break the law or cheat customers. But most employers wouldn’t promote an employee they think is making life difficult for them. If your main strategy to maintain your job is having a skill set that you think is irreplaceable, you’d be the first one out when someone with that skill applied for the job. Also don’t count on being promoted through the ranks.
Alternatively, once your skill level has reached a point where you are in demand in the industry, losing a job or being bypassed for a promotion with your current employer can create impetus to leave for greener pastures, as I did in all three instances with the firms who pursued me after I retired from megacorp with a sterling reputation.

Edited to add: I never said I made any of my employers lives miserable, quite the contrary. The act of refusing to act unethically only arises when the action is requested. I was somewhat shocked to find how prevalent this is in small business. My experience may not be typical however.

KlangFool
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Re: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by KlangFool » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:46 pm

Folks,

My family spread all over the world and across multiple income levels. Many of them are rich and FI.

It is very simple and very hard.

If your household earns at least the median household income level of that country. it always comes down to how much you save and invest. If you earn enough (median household income) and save 30+% of your gross income, you will be rich if you save and invest long enough (10 to 20 years).

KlangFool

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Re: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by Wildebeest » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:23 pm

When I was 5 years old my mother reports I was concerned I would end up a "putjes schepper" which would be the equivalent of a manual worker cleaning out septic tanks ( no pumps and hard physical labour). I thought it was surprising that my child at age 5 great fear was that he would work at Mac Donalds the rest of his life.

Why aspire and not be happy with what you have? I wonder what the message my parents gave me and what message we gave our child that he worried at the age of 5 about his career as a fast food worker. I want to believe it is genetic and not the pressure and expectation we put on our brood.
The Golden Rule: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.

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Re: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:41 pm

I have never been, or wanted to be, either blue collar or pink collar. I have always gravitated to the ivory collar (as in "ivory tower").

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by technovelist » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:53 pm

I am the first one in my family to graduate from college.

I paid my own way through a (very expensive) private college, with the help of scholarships, student loans, and work-study, starting at 16 (in 1965).

I joined the work force at 20 and worked for the next 40 years, starting out at low pay but eventually working up to 6 figures in 1995. Almost my entire career has been as a software developer.

I never cared what others thought about my lifestyle, so I saved whatever I had left over after basic expenses.

When it looked like I might be laid off at age 60, I had enough to retire, so that's what I did instead.

I've worked about a year since then for others, and have spent the last three years developing my own software and writing a book.

I've earned the vast majority of our joint income since my marriage to my second wife in 1997. We own our home outright and have enough to live on at a reasonable level of comfort for the rest of our lives.

So you don't need to be a doctor or a lawyer to make it. But you do have to live within your means.
In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, they often differ.

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Re: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by KlangFool » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:05 pm

Wildebeest wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:23 pm
When I was 5 years old my mother reports I was concerned I would end up a "putjes schepper" which would be the equivalent of a manual worker cleaning out septic tanks ( no pumps and hard physical labour). I thought it was surprising that my child at age 5 great fear was that he would work at Mac Donalds the rest of his life.

Why aspire and not be happy with what you have? I wonder what the message my parents gave me and what message we gave our child that he worried at the age of 5 about his career as a fast food worker. I want to believe it is genetic and not the pressure and expectation we put on our brood.
Wildebeest,

Your kid is wiser beyond his age. My kids worked at the restaurant when they were high school age. They learned quickly that it is hard work and not easy to survive at that income level.

KlangFool

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Cycle
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Re: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by Cycle » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:26 pm

Get a degree or certification. Live below means. Make sure you are compensated above average for field, or make a change.

My wife and I are 34 and have $1.1 net worth. We are both engineers. We live in a duplex, rent out the other half. We save $148k per year. Our income is $260k. We take advantage of discounted stock/match. Since our work is interesting, there's not a strong desire to retire. One needs a career, not a job for satisfaction.

I find it interesting my wife works way more than me and is a people manager, but only makes $100k, where I'm an individual contributor but make $130k. We make less than many tradespeople.

I've taken machining /welding classes at the technical college, and I can vouch if u're able to stick with welding employers will bend over backwards to hire u. They even will pay for your courses. I just took the classes for fun

investing1012
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Re: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by investing1012 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:31 pm

gloss151 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:26 pm
Get a degree or certification. Live below means. Make sure you are compensated above average for field, or make a change.

My wife and I are 34 and have $1.1 net worth. We are both engineers. We live in a duplex, rent out the other half. We save $148k per year. Our income is $260k. We take advantage of discounted stock/match. Since our work is interesting, there's not a strong desire to retire. One needs a career, not a job for satisfaction.

I find it interesting my wife works way more than me and is a people manager, but only makes $100k, where I'm an individual contributor but make $130k. We make less than many tradespeople.

I've taken machining /welding classes at the technical college, and I can vouch if u're able to stick with welding employers will bend over backwards to hire u. They even will pay for your courses. I just took the classes for fun
I have an uncle who is welder and he makes only 12 bucks/hr. He's been doing it for many years and now he's been diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer.

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Re: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by truenorth418 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:02 pm

It was in college that I decided I wanted to retire early. I saw the movie "Lost in America", and I began to consider this idea of working really hard and saving my money for a while, so that I could escape the rat race at a young age and enjoy life.

I decided a 2 year MBA was a good tool to score a job with high income with relatively little time commitment. I attended a school outside of the US because it was cheaper. I worked part time and graduated with more money than when I started.

I went into corporate marketing and worked at various companies. I made it up through middle management where I was making very good money plus options, but I worked long hours and had a horrible commute. There were some happy moments, but for the most part I only tolerated my work.
Out of 4 companies, I was laid off by 2 of them and basically pushed out of one of the others. Nevertheless, I kept my eyes on my goal and saved over 70% of my after tax income over a 20+ year career.

When I was about 36 I became more disciplined and put together a detailed plan to save $1 million in investable assets by the time I was 45. I achieved this objective early, and then I kept pushing to get to a point where I could live comfortably without working. The 2008 crisis set me back a bit, but I was still able to retire at age 47.

Six years later, after some consulting work and an inheritance that helped me top off my portfolio, I now have more assets than when I retired, and I spend far more than I ever spent while working.

Tips:
-Save very aggressively
-Keep a monthly budget and stick to it-know what you spend on everything
-Identify and drastically reduce large expenses especially housing and car
-Research/read/learn about investing early in life (I waited until retired to really dig in and had to undo mistakes-costly!)
-Don't try to keep up with the Jones' - make it a source of pride to go against the grain and focus on your financial independence goals
-Look for unique ways of saving big money (education in other country? live in tiny house? have roommates? always drive used cars?)
-Have a long range financial plan including investment policy statement - again, set this up early in life

(edited to add tips)
Last edited by truenorth418 on Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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baconavocado
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Re: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by baconavocado » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:05 pm

Some of this has already been covered but here's my best advice:

Live below your means; learn to delay gratification.
(For men) Practice pro-active birth control: make a deposit at a sperm bank and get a vasectomy at least by age 25; always use condoms until then.
Find something you love to do and figure out a way to make it your job.
Begin investing in a stock index fund early in your career and make it a habit.
Marry someone who shares your values, someone you admire and respect, not just someone who turns you on.

oilrig
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Re: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by oilrig » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:57 am

KlangFool wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:41 pm
oilrig wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:43 pm
I work for a big oil company and our mechanics, electricians, and other hourly skilled-labor folks who graduate with 2 years degrees come out of school making 6 figures + pensions + generous 401k plans.These kids are 20-22 right out of school making good money and typically make more than our entry level degreed office staff, including engineers. Also, we are always in need of these guys and are typically they are safe from layoffs. As long as these kids stay with my company or other competitors with similar compensation plans, they will retire multi-millionaires at age 50 just from the pension and 401k plans, not including their own personal savings.
oilrig,

1) One of my college classmates was ex-oil rig worker. He was laid off during the 80's Houston Oil Bust. It took him 10 years to get his BSEE while working several jobs. He wanted to and did succeed in the transition away from Oil and Gas area.

2) Now, we are heading into or in another Oil Bust. The boom and bust of Oil and Gas industry tend to run in a 30+ years cycle. So, if you are in one of those cycles, you have to get out of the industry just to survive.

KlangFool
KlangFool we are in year 4 of a historic oil downturn/bust, but even when my company and other competitors were laying off and cutting staff, we were still hiring these skilled labor guys out in the field and plants. The need for them never goes away. They are essential to maintain the oil well sites and keep production running. This is of course all on land/shale. Offshore is a different story, those offshore rig hands typically feel the pain the worst whenever there is an oil bust. If companies aren't drilling, then there is no need for the offshore rig hands.

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Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:17 am

mindboggling wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:16 am
I spent about two-thirds of my working years in hourly-paid positions. I graduated (just barely) from an elite, private university, where I learned nothing. My first job after graduation paid $3.75/hour in 1975.
For context, minimum wage in 1986 was $3.35/hour. You were doing better, if you were making that in 1975.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

mak1277
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Re: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by mak1277 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:38 am

KlangFool wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:05 pm
Wildebeest wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:23 pm
When I was 5 years old my mother reports I was concerned I would end up a "putjes schepper" which would be the equivalent of a manual worker cleaning out septic tanks ( no pumps and hard physical labour). I thought it was surprising that my child at age 5 great fear was that he would work at Mac Donalds the rest of his life.

Why aspire and not be happy with what you have? I wonder what the message my parents gave me and what message we gave our child that he worried at the age of 5 about his career as a fast food worker. I want to believe it is genetic and not the pressure and expectation we put on our brood.
Wildebeest,

Your kid is wiser beyond his age. My kids worked at the restaurant when they were high school age. They learned quickly that it is hard work and not easy to survive at that income level.

KlangFool
My first job was at a restaurant when I was in high school. To this day, it was my favorite job that I've ever had...it was just fun to go to work. I traded that fun (wisely) for a more lucrative career after college...but I do long for the days of enjoying going to work.

KlangFool
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Re: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by KlangFool » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:43 am

oilrig wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:57 am
KlangFool wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:41 pm
oilrig wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:43 pm
I work for a big oil company and our mechanics, electricians, and other hourly skilled-labor folks who graduate with 2 years degrees come out of school making 6 figures + pensions + generous 401k plans.These kids are 20-22 right out of school making good money and typically make more than our entry level degreed office staff, including engineers. Also, we are always in need of these guys and are typically they are safe from layoffs. As long as these kids stay with my company or other competitors with similar compensation plans, they will retire multi-millionaires at age 50 just from the pension and 401k plans, not including their own personal savings.
oilrig,

1) One of my college classmates was ex-oil rig worker. He was laid off during the 80's Houston Oil Bust. It took him 10 years to get his BSEE while working several jobs. He wanted to and did succeed in the transition away from Oil and Gas area.

2) Now, we are heading into or in another Oil Bust. The boom and bust of Oil and Gas industry tend to run in a 30+ years cycle. So, if you are in one of those cycles, you have to get out of the industry just to survive.

KlangFool
KlangFool we are in year 4 of a historic oil downturn/bust, but even when my company and other competitors were laying off and cutting staff, we were still hiring these skilled labor guys out in the field and plants. The need for them never goes away. They are essential to maintain the oil well sites and keep production running. This is of course all on land/shale. Offshore is a different story, those offshore rig hands typically feel the pain the worst whenever there is an oil bust. If companies aren't drilling, then there is no need for the offshore rig hands.
oilrig,

The worst is yet to come. It will last 10 to 20 years.

Something for you to read.

https://srsroccoreport.com/trouble-fina ... ankruptcy/

KlangFool

dcabler
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Re: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by dcabler » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:08 am

At risk of repeating what others have written.

- Got out of college with little debt (especially compared to today's world)
- Bought a cheap car. Paid off student loans as quickly as humanly possible
- Got a roommate to start off with.
- Participated as much as I could in the 401K. Each year's raise was 100% applied to the 401K until I maxed out.
- Turn 50 then fully participate in catch-up for 401K
- All bonuses were applied to taxable savings
- Participate in ESPP to pre-load savings before sending it off savings after selling
- Married someone who also worked in my field - saved 100% of one salary and lived on the other, at least until we had a kiddo and the decision was made to stay at home.
- Get layed off a few times with very good severance packages, get a new job quickly, and save the severance packages.
- Make mistakes - learn from them, or at least learn from others' mistakes

Some of this is luck, but it's important to take advantage of good luck when it happens!

KlangFool
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Re: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by KlangFool » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:23 am

dcabler wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:08 am
At risk of repeating what others have written.

- Got out of college with little debt (especially compared to today's world)
- Bought a cheap car. Paid off student loans as quickly as humanly possible
- Got a roommate to start off with.
- Participated as much as I could in the 401K. Each year's raise was 100% applied to the 401K until I maxed out.
- Turn 50 then fully participate in catch-up for 401K
- All bonuses were applied to taxable savings
- Participate in ESPP to pre-load savings before sending it off savings after selling
- Married someone who also worked in my field - saved 100% of one salary and lived on the other, at least until we had a kiddo and the decision was made to stay at home.
- Get layed off a few times with very good severance packages, get a new job quickly, and save the severance packages.
- Make mistakes - learn from them, or at least learn from others' mistakes

Some of this is luck, but it's important to take advantage of good luck when it happens!
dcabler,

+1.

KlangFool

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Re: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by Psyayeayeduck » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:38 am

In addition to everything else mentioned, I would also say that while Future Me welcomes a financial stable life every time I make a contribution or make smart financial moves, it is also important to take care of Present Me as well since Present Me is doing all of the work. People forget to take care of themselves sometimes in the now.

Present Me and Future Me agrees that Past Me is a jerk for creating financial problems in the first place.

stoptothink
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Re: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by stoptothink » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:54 am

KlangFool wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:43 am
oilrig wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:57 am
KlangFool wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:41 pm
oilrig wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:43 pm
I work for a big oil company and our mechanics, electricians, and other hourly skilled-labor folks who graduate with 2 years degrees come out of school making 6 figures + pensions + generous 401k plans.These kids are 20-22 right out of school making good money and typically make more than our entry level degreed office staff, including engineers. Also, we are always in need of these guys and are typically they are safe from layoffs. As long as these kids stay with my company or other competitors with similar compensation plans, they will retire multi-millionaires at age 50 just from the pension and 401k plans, not including their own personal savings.
oilrig,

1) One of my college classmates was ex-oil rig worker. He was laid off during the 80's Houston Oil Bust. It took him 10 years to get his BSEE while working several jobs. He wanted to and did succeed in the transition away from Oil and Gas area.

2) Now, we are heading into or in another Oil Bust. The boom and bust of Oil and Gas industry tend to run in a 30+ years cycle. So, if you are in one of those cycles, you have to get out of the industry just to survive.

KlangFool
KlangFool we are in year 4 of a historic oil downturn/bust, but even when my company and other competitors were laying off and cutting staff, we were still hiring these skilled labor guys out in the field and plants. The need for them never goes away. They are essential to maintain the oil well sites and keep production running. This is of course all on land/shale. Offshore is a different story, those offshore rig hands typically feel the pain the worst whenever there is an oil bust. If companies aren't drilling, then there is no need for the offshore rig hands.
oilrig,

The worst is yet to come. It will last 10 to 20 years.

Something for you to read.

https://srsroccoreport.com/trouble-fina ... ankruptcy/

KlangFool
My brother has been in oil & gas for over a decade. One of those guys without a college degree or any real trained skill who started off making 6-figures and after a decade was making $200k+. Somehow he managed to sidestep layoffs (EVERYBODY else he has worked with has been laid off multiple times), although he went from being able to live nearly on-site, to having to travel to Saudi Arabia one-month-on-one-month-off, then finally to having to move to Saudi Arabia permanently (while his family remained in the U.S.) to keep his job. From what I know, it was simply because he is a really hard worker and dependable employee. He finally was laid off ~5-months ago and he mentioned that of the 300+ people in his last "crew," not a single one is still there (he was one of the last to get laid off). Since then he has gone on countless interviews, most of them for consulting and not actually permanent positions. All these interviews required travel to other parts of the country. He has been formerly offered two jobs only to have the offers rescinded shortly after, without an explanation. Two other times, he drove multiple hours (from Utah to Denver Area and then Wyoming) for consulting gigs, only to be told when he showed up on-site that they didn't need him and he simply had to drive back. He is starting to get really concerned; his family has become used to the lifestyle that a $200k/salary affords and he doesn't have a whole lot of unemployment left. It's a great industry to be in when it is going well, but it is so volatile.

KlangFool
Posts: 6982
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?

Post by KlangFool » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:02 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:54 am
KlangFool wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:43 am
oilrig wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:57 am
KlangFool wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:41 pm
oilrig wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:43 pm
I work for a big oil company and our mechanics, electricians, and other hourly skilled-labor folks who graduate with 2 years degrees come out of school making 6 figures + pensions + generous 401k plans.These kids are 20-22 right out of school making good money and typically make more than our entry level degreed office staff, including engineers. Also, we are always in need of these guys and are typically they are safe from layoffs. As long as these kids stay with my company or other competitors with similar compensation plans, they will retire multi-millionaires at age 50 just from the pension and 401k plans, not including their own personal savings.
oilrig,

1) One of my college classmates was ex-oil rig worker. He was laid off during the 80's Houston Oil Bust. It took him 10 years to get his BSEE while working several jobs. He wanted to and did succeed in the transition away from Oil and Gas area.

2) Now, we are heading into or in another Oil Bust. The boom and bust of Oil and Gas industry tend to run in a 30+ years cycle. So, if you are in one of those cycles, you have to get out of the industry just to survive.

KlangFool
KlangFool we are in year 4 of a historic oil downturn/bust, but even when my company and other competitors were laying off and cutting staff, we were still hiring these skilled labor guys out in the field and plants. The need for them never goes away. They are essential to maintain the oil well sites and keep production running. This is of course all on land/shale. Offshore is a different story, those offshore rig hands typically feel the pain the worst whenever there is an oil bust. If companies aren't drilling, then there is no need for the offshore rig hands.
oilrig,

The worst is yet to come. It will last 10 to 20 years.

Something for you to read.

https://srsroccoreport.com/trouble-fina ... ankruptcy/

KlangFool
My brother has been in oil & gas for over a decade. One of those guys without a college degree or any real trained skill who started off making 6-figures and after a decade was making $200k+. Somehow he managed to sidestep layoffs (EVERYBODY else he has worked with has been laid off multiple times), although he went from being able to live nearly on-site, to having to travel to Saudi Arabia one-month-on-one-month-off, then finally to having to move to Saudi Arabia permanently (while his family remained in the U.S.) to keep his job. From what I know, it was simply because he is a really hard worker and dependable employee. He finally was laid off ~5-months ago and he mentioned that of the 300+ people in his last "crew," not a single one is still there (he was one of the last to get laid off). Since then he has gone on countless interviews, most of them for consulting and not actually permanent positions. All these interviews required travel to other parts of the country. He has been formerly offered two jobs only to have the offers rescinded shortly after, without an explanation. Two other times, he drove multiple hours (from Utah to Denver Area and then Wyoming) for consulting gigs, only to be told when he showed up on-site that they didn't need him and he simply had to drive back. He is starting to get really concerned; his family has become used to the lifestyle that a $200k/salary affords and he doesn't have a whole lot of unemployment left. It's a great industry to be in when it is going well, but it is so volatile.
stoptothink,

I used to work for an oil company long ago. I still have my contacts within the oil companies.

<< It's a great industry to be in when it is going well, but it is so volatile.>>

The problem is the oil and gas cycle tend to last very long. 10 to 30 years in each bust or boom.

KlangFool

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