Why do we work?

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EnjoyIt
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Why do we work?

Post by EnjoyIt » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:07 pm

I have a question for those willing to answer: Why do you work?

I can see working for some goals such as making sure you are debt free and the kids get a college education. But then why do you work? Sure make sure we have a roof over our heads and well fed. Okay but after those are covered why do you keep earning money?

What I notice is that there is no limit to how much one can spend. And there is no limit to "more." If someone has a reasonable car to get around, one can always work to buy a nicer car. I wonder though when considering the cost of the nicer car, after taxes over long term this difference can be hundreds of thousands if invested. What about other items. A nicer TV can cost an extra thousand, a nicer coffee pot, nicer plates, nicer watch, it all adds up over the years. It gets even more interesting when we want a slightly bigger home or a slightly nicer location. Some areas will cost 10-20 times as much for a similar home simply because it is in a nicer location. Does all the extra time spent earning money provide the benefit of "better stuff?" I ask especially because there is no end to "better." There is always something better.

For example, I was recently looking at homes in a nicer part of town that will cost about 40% more than our current home. As a reference this home would be 2.5x salary and our current home has 9 years left in a 15 year mortgage. The home is a bit bigger with nicer amenities. I calculate to own this home, pay for the extra property tax, extra maintenance, extra utilities, as well as save up the extra money needed to retire and still be able to live in this home, I will have to work an extra 5333 hours or 664 days or 132 weeks. for me, all that extra time working just seams silly to live in a slightly nicer area but that is just me. Although I enjoy my work it so much more enjoyable when working part time. Plus, my life outside of work is so much more enjoyable when working part time.

I have a friend that works 6 days a week to be able to afford a 8,000 sqft home in an amazing neighborhood. The place is gorgeous. But is it worth the time she is losing away from family, friends, and hobbies?

Please discuss if you are interested.

onourway
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by onourway » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:14 pm

I concur.

I work in order to have enough to have a nice enough home for our family in a nice part of town that is safe and convenient and quiet. I want to have enough that we can take care of the house without resorting to borrowing, or stressing about money, enough to have new enough vehicles to keep us safe and not in the shop at inconvenient times. Enough to be able to send my kids to college and provide them enough to be comfortable but not so much as to teach them that everything comes for free.

Getting to this level requires a certain level of income. Below this and many issues (car and home repair, college, etc) become stressors. Lower-paying jobs also tend to be more stressful day in and day out. So I guess in short, my goal is to have enough to minimize stress on both myself and my family. Earning significantly more begins to increase the stress while the things it buys us aren't significantly different than what we already have.

Miguelito
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by Miguelito » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:19 pm

I like the challenges that come with my job, the creative part, solving problems, interacting with others and working as a team, the satisfaction of succeeding, and more.

But I wish I could get paid 80% of what I get paid and that 20% pf the time off. That would be great.

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Re: Why do we work?

Post by KlangFool » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:24 pm

EnjoyIt wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:07 pm

What I notice is that there is no limit to how much one can spend. And there is no limit to "more." If someone has a reasonable car to get around, one can always work to buy a nicer car. I wonder though when considering the cost of the nicer car, after taxes over long term this difference can be hundreds of thousands if invested. What about other items. A nicer TV can cost an extra thousand, a nicer coffee pot, nicer plates, nicer watch, it all adds up over the years. It gets even more interesting when we want a slightly bigger home or a slightly nicer location. Some areas will cost 10-20 times as much for a similar home simply because it is in a nicer location. Does all the extra time spent earning money provide the benefit of "better stuff?" I ask especially because there is no end to "better." There is always something better.
EnjoyIt,

<< What I notice is that there is no limit to how much one can spend. And there is no limit to "more." If someone has a reasonable car to get around, one can always work to buy a nicer car. >>

Yes, there is a limit. We do not live forever.

1) We do not know how long we will live.

2) We do not know how long that we will be healthy enough to enjoy certain things in life.

3) Yes, there is a cost of those spending. You are trading your limited healthy lifespan for more money and material thing. There will be a point in time when you could not trade for more healthy life even if you have all the money in the world.

4) As I have more money, I am less willing to trade my time to earn more money. This might be an age thing. I am old enough to know that I do not live forever.

It is very simple.

If you know you have only X years to live, will you work longer in order to buy those stuff? Or, you will work less and spend those time with your friends and families?

KlangFool

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midareff
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by midareff » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:26 pm

I worked so I could enjoy my two favorite things..... living indoors and eating.

H-Town
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by H-Town » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:28 pm

It's either get busy living or get busy dying.

I have goals. I achieve them and set new goals. Life is full of adventures no matter what I do.

JoeRetire
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by JoeRetire » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:30 pm

EnjoyIt wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:07 pm
Why do you work?
I worked while it was personally and financially fulfilling. I stopped when it wasn't and when I had enough money to do so.

My wife continues to work because she enjoys it. That enjoyment is starting to wear thin. Once it is no longer enjoyable enough, she will stop working and do something else.

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Re: Why do we work?

Post by Jordan4FI » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:31 pm

midareff wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:26 pm
I worked so I could enjoy my two favorite things..... living indoors and eating.
HAHA Awesome.. For me, I used to work because that was how I was able to survive, Joined the Navy to see the world.. It worked. Now live abroad and work abroad, but work now is to get me to early freedom! Freedom from the need to work for survival. Maybe work later will be something different, but being abroad it wont always be easy to be able to work legally.

A wonderful day is coming where the need to listen to a dumbass supervisor, show up to a job, set an alarm will all go away.. That will be worth all the work.

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Re: Why do we work?

Post by KlangFool » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:33 pm

OP,

1) I save enough. I save 1 year of expense every year.

2) I spend the rest. I spend enough.

3) My happiness has little to no relation to how much that I spend. It has more to do with the time that I have to spend on my learning and with my friends and families.

4) My enjoyment in life has more to do with learning new things and doing things than owning stuff.

5) I always earn much more than I need.

So, conceptually, I have no idea why is there to gain with more stuff. I am just a dumb simple minded engineer.

KlangFool

rob65
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by rob65 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:34 pm

midareff wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:26 pm
I worked so I could enjoy my two favorite things..... living indoors and eating.
I want to retire early, but DW has this unreasonable expectation that we have both food and shelter. :happy

guyesmith
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by guyesmith » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:34 pm

Interesting thoughts. Thanks for asking.

Why do I work? I work to take care of my family. Bigger than that though, I believe I was made to work. It's a gift and a blessing and a calling to be able to get up in the morning and produce. Plus I enjoy it (most of it). Even consider the feeling in your stomach after a day of laziness on the job? Compare that to a day you can look back on as super productive. I'd take productive. Not to mention I can only lay on a beach for so many hours before I want to get something done. Maybe I'm unusual, but I do believe we were all made to produce.

Long term I intend to work even long after my kids are out on their own and I've fulfilled all the major financial responsibilities I took on. At that point my wife and I are open to enjoy our money more and put it to work for the needs of others even more. Immediate family is first priority though.

Those are my off the cuff thoughts.

KlangFool
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by KlangFool » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:43 pm

OP,

The unintentional side effect of being unemployed for more than 1 year a few times in my life had taught me that.

1) Life goes on even if I am not employed. I could live well without working.

2) Even if I do the best that I could in my job, in the end, it does not matter. In the grand scheme of life and the world, my employment is not so important that it will change the world. It is a just a game.

In summary, I have a few rehearsals with retirement life. And, I know that I will do fine.

KlangFool

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Re: Why do we work?

Post by chisey » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:45 pm

Work is a means to money, and money is a means to the things in life that are fulfilling: experiences with the people you care about and the time and resources necessary to engage in them. It has never really been more than that for me, though it very occasionally is fulfilling in itself.

As to when it's enough: I will only work as much as necessary to provide for my family and to afford some of the richness of experience that's available outside our back yard through some travels. We don't need the bigger house or the flashier cars or designer clothes. We don't need stuff.
EnjoyIt wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:07 pm
I have a friend that works 6 days a week to be able to afford a 8,000 sqft home in an amazing neighborhood. The place is gorgeous. But is it worth the time she is losing away from family, friends, and hobbies?
I can't speak for her, but my time is far more valuable than that. I recently took a pay cut to give me 10 extra hours a week with my wife, and I'd do it again if I could.

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bottlecap
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by bottlecap » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:52 pm

To meet my family's needs of living and have a sense of purpose. When you are employed, it always seems you are working to meet your family's needs. When you are unemployed, it always seems like you long for a sense of purpose.

I don't think most people work to own ever "better" things. I think that they work to meet their needs, replace things they have that wear out, buy some free time, and, for those lucky enough, because they like what they do.

It's just that once you are successful and realize you are making more than you need to meet your previous level of needs, then you start figuring, well, I can afford something nicer and, hey, I deserve it. And you probably do.

I don't aspire to owning nicer things, just a certain level of things. I'd never buy a fancy car no matter how much I had. I might buy a newer one, especially if it would better suit my needs. I wouldn't buy a fancier home. But I might look for one with a better yard for the kids.

While I think there is always "better," many people are fine having "well enough."

JT

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FreeAtLast
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by FreeAtLast » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:53 pm

midareff wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:26 pm
I worked so I could enjoy my two favorite things..... living indoors and eating.
You forgot to mention napping and imbibing. Funniest post of the week, midareff. :beer
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by Texanbybirth » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:12 pm

I work to support my wife and children, through whom I see my vocation and path to Heaven. (Religion talk is frowned upon here, so I don't want to be too technical.) I also get to express my creativity on occasion. :D

I can't answer the question for your friend, but I know in my family we have practically the opposite view of money/home/time. Unless she is someone with whom you're close and could have this discussion with her, I wouldn't worry too much about it. People make choices for an infinite amount of reasons, almost all of which we will never know. Your best bet is just to see the good in her and continue to be her friend if possible.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:15 pm

midareff wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:26 pm
I worked so I could enjoy my two favorite things..... living indoors and eating.
LOL, prison satisfies at least one of those needs :mrgreen:
You may not like the cusine though.

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Re: Why do we work?

Post by stoptothink » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:17 pm

EnjoyIt wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:07 pm

For example, I was recently looking at homes in a nicer part of town that will cost about 40% more than our current home. As a reference this home would be 2.5x salary and our current home has 9 years left in a 15 year mortgage. The home is a bit bigger with nicer amenities. I calculate to own this home, pay for the extra property tax, extra maintenance, extra utilities, as well as save up the extra money needed to retire and still be able to live in this home, I will have to work an extra 5333 hours or 664 days or 132 weeks. for me, all that extra time working just seams silly to live in a slightly nicer area but that is just me. Although I enjoy my work it so much more enjoyable when working part time. Plus, my life outside of work is so much more enjoyable when working part time.

I have a friend that works 6 days a week to be able to afford a 8,000 sqft home in an amazing neighborhood. The place is gorgeous. But is it worth the time she is losing away from family, friends, and hobbies?

Please discuss if you are interested.
I think exactly like you. The ROI of bigger/fancier/more expensive consumer things in regards to my quality of life simply isn't there; I can't justify in my own head that I should buy more expensive things, just because I can. I have given up trying to have this debate with others (including my wife...thankfully to a small degree) and simply learned to accept that we have a different viewpoint.

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midareff
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by midareff » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:20 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:15 pm
midareff wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:26 pm
I worked so I could enjoy my two favorite things..... living indoors and eating.
LOL, prison satisfies at least one of those needs :mrgreen:
You may not like the cusine though.
Not to mention Big Bubba looking for a new girlfriend.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:21 pm

EnjoyIt wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:07 pm
I have a question for those willing to answer: Why do you work?
I work now so I can stop working at some point. Yeah, there's always more things (or better things) I could buy. But I would rather not work than have those things. So I live frugally while investing as much as I can and paying off my house as fast as I can. As soon as I have 25x expenses and a paid off house, I'm retiring. The only benefit of working is money, so I'm trying to get all the money I need as quickly as possible. Sure I could've bought a bigger house - but then I'd have to work longer so it's not worth it. Sure I could've bought a Ferrari, but then I'd have to work longer so it's not worth it.

Some things are worth it, though. So it was just a matter of figuring out what I thought was worth it, quantifying it, multiplying the cost of that by 25 and then knowing that was how much I needed before I could retire.

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Re: Why do we work?

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:23 pm

Dave Ramsey would say I buy things I do not need with money I don't have to impress people I don't like. Repeat.

If you peel back the layers too much, you ask a deep question.

Past the needs (food, shelter, clothing, safety) there are many wants. Wants have many varying levels. From Tent to Mansion. From walking to Bentley. Some might say you are a tax paying machine. Providing for your family. Health Insurance. It's complicated.

Society steers toward home ownership, car ownership, stuff ownership, etc. There is a big element of being on the treadmill. Some choose to get off at varying stages past needs. It's complicated.
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by Meg77 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:25 pm

EnjoyIt wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:07 pm

I have a friend that works 6 days a week to be able to afford a 8,000 sqft home in an amazing neighborhood. The place is gorgeous. But is it worth the time she is losing away from family, friends, and hobbies?
I continue to work for the same reason I spend hours a week on Bogleheads: because both activities contribute to a sense of community (work much moreso given it's "real life" networking and collaboration), and both allow me to talk, think, help others and learn more about one of my favorite hobbies (wealth management/personal finance).

The paycheck is a nice bonus of course, and I'm not sure I'd spend quite so much time here if I didn't get one. But the older and wealthier I get, the more I understand why some people just don't retire. Some people like building and creating things (your Oprahs and Bill Gates); others like the social aspect of a nice office environment (several financially independent older admin ladies at my firm); others want to keep their minds sharp (my retired mom spends 15-20 hours a week teaching Math online for just a few hundred bucks a month after taxes).

I am consciously choosing to work and continue to save not only to buy myself a better lifestyle - which I definitely don't need but which is very diverting - but also because I have realized that I'm the kind of person who will ALWAYS work in one form or another. I may as well stick it out a few extra years in the high paying career I've built before shifting to potentially lower or unpaid forms of work (writing a book, starting another blog, raising a family, starting a financial planning business, caring for my aging parents, doing real estate investing full time). I think work is a large part of the nature of human beings.

Whether paid or not, we both work to live and live to work in my view. Once we give that up or have nothing left to offer the community, so begins the mental, social and emotional decline.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

staythecourse
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by staythecourse » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:38 pm

Great thread.

I would suspect the answer is different for different folks of, "Why work if you have more then you need". For some is about self identity. They like to know and have others know they make money. It adds to their self image of how they want to be viewed by others. Some work because they like the work they do. Some work out of greed. Some work because they don't know what else to do that is constructive.

I work for myself (solo physician practice). I will likely continue working well past when I need because I have nothing else to do. I don't have any hobbies other then spending time with family which will of course change when the kids get older. Working for myself gives me total freedom as I have no boss other then myself. I can work as much or as little as I want. I like talking to patients and feel good when I've helped them so it is meaningful experience for me. I've toyed with the idea of working the last couple of years and giving my WHOLE paycheck to charity. That would be a great way to go out in my career. Helping others direct and helping others indirect. If I can find other hobbies or interest (altruistic or not) I would change my plans.

Good luck.
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by simplesimon » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:42 pm

Need health insurance.

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Re: Why do we work?

Post by mak1277 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:45 pm

I work because of golden handcuffs

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Re: Why do we work?

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:46 pm

This thread has run its course and is locked (not personal nor actionable). General comment threads are off topic in the forums with "Personal" in the title. See: A reminder that non-investing general comment threads are OT
- It must be personal. In other words, you must be asking about your own situation. You can also ask on behalf of someone specific, such as a family member.

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If you have a specific question, please ask directly and provide sufficient information for members to supply appropriate advice.

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Re: Why do we work?

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:28 pm

After receiving a PM, this thread is unlocked to continue the discussion.
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:36 pm

EnjoyIt wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:07 pm

I have a question for those willing to answer: Why do you work?
I work because I still need to get a few things paid off and I want to get my debt to $0. But among that. I work in the Space industry and Space exploration is something I believe in.

I love flying airplanes, which is expensive, so I work so I can afford to do that.

I also work because it is a way to demonstrate to my kids that hard work pays off and allows us to be able to afford and do the fun things we want to do.

I won't by a bigger house just to have to work more and longer to pay it off. If I have 12 kids.. then I might buy a bigger space, but I don't need that given my lifestyle.

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Re: Why do we work?

Post by sailaway » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:41 pm

I work because it is easier than sustenance farming.

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Re: Why do we work?

Post by 220volt » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:48 pm

In the most basic primitive sense we work because we can either:
* Pay for food, housing and necessities by working a job.
* Or you can build a house yourself, grow your own food, and somehow forage for all necessities on your own.
With having a job all you are doing is paying someone else to take care of those needs for you. It's a trade.

From here on out you can go as deep and philosophical as you like on why do we work, but that's the most basic reason.
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by JoMoney » Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:03 pm

Because it feels good to have a purpose, to feel useful, needed, and see progress toward some goal.
Because no matter how beautiful you make your garden, the weeds begin to grow when you stop tending to it.
Because when you're unemployed, there's no vacation.
Albert Camus in The Myth of Sisyphus wrote:...That hour like a breathing-space which returns as surely as his suffering, that is the hour of consciousness. At each of those moments when he leaves the heights and gradually sinks toward the lairs of the gods, he is superior to his fate. He is stronger than his rock
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by RadAudit » Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:23 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:43 pm
Even if I do the best that I could in my job, in the end, it does not matter. In the grand scheme of life and the world, my employment is not so important that it will change the world. It is a just a game.

I didn't know you were in the next cubicle!

Looking back, I'm fairly sure I didn't make a lasting difference in the corporation, either.

Before I retired, someone asked if I'd work long enough (40 years) to get in to a special designation oraganization at work. I told him that when I hit my number - even it was five minutes before the 40 year mark - I was out of there.

Food on the table, clothes on the back and a roof over the head for the duration. In the end, that's why I worked. The rest was hopes and dreams that turned to dust.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The Calvary isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.

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Re: Why do we work?

Post by theplayer11 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:34 pm

It really is a good question. Were we really put here to work 9-5 5 days a week? Our culture is built around work, it's what defines us. I'm in my 50's now and my wife and I have owned are own seasonal business since our mid 20's. Crazy busy april-july, but we have dec-feb basically off. I really don't know how I would survive working for someone else every day since I never really had to do it...but I'm sure If I had to I would, like most people do. I do enjoy the freedom we have been self employed though.

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Re: Why do we work?

Post by plumberboy » Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:49 pm

guyesmith wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:34 pm
Interesting thoughts. Thanks for asking.

Why do I work? I work to take care of my family. Bigger than that though, I believe I was made to work. It's a gift and a blessing and a calling to be able to get up in the morning and produce. Plus I enjoy it (most of it). Even consider the feeling in your stomach after a day of laziness on the job? Compare that to a day you can look back on as super productive. I'd take productive. Not to mention I can only lay on a beach for so many hours before I want to get something done. Maybe I'm unusual, but I do believe we were all made to produce.

Long term I intend to work even long after my kids are out on their own and I've fulfilled all the major financial responsibilities I took on. At that point my wife and I are open to enjoy our money more and put it to work for the needs of others even more. Immediate family is first priority though.

Those are my off the cuff thoughts.
Totally agree . +1

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Re: Why do we work?

Post by golfCaddy » Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:50 pm

I work because I need to. If I won $2M net of taxes, in the lottery, and could find affordable health insurance, I would be very tempted to quit my job.

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Re: Why do we work?

Post by JoMoney » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:01 pm

golfCaddy wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:50 pm
... If I won $2M net of taxes, in the lottery, and could find affordable health insurance...
<SIGH> That caveat, the fact that it is a serious one, juxtapose to becoming a multi-millionaire, says something about the cost of health care today (and subsequently insurance for it).
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by runner3081 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:06 pm

I work to fund a minimal lifestyle now and a longer period of doing that I want, when I want.

28fe6
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by 28fe6 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:10 pm

Many things, like housing prices, are priced by a bidding process. And the people bidding are all working too hard. So I have to work harder than I want to to afford a decent house.

With all the productivity advances of the last century, we should all be working 2 hours per week by now.

I wish everyone else didn't work so hard so that I did not have to.

It's sort of like yelling in a loud restaurant because everyone else is yelling. I don't know the solution.

KlangFool
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by KlangFool » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:14 pm

theplayer11 wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:34 pm
It really is a good question. Were we really put here to work 9-5 5 days a week? Our culture is built around work, it's what defines us. I'm in my 50's now and my wife and I have owned are own seasonal business since our mid 20's. Crazy busy april-july, but we have dec-feb basically off. I really don't know how I would survive working for someone else every day since I never really had to do it...but I'm sure If I had to I would, like most people do. I do enjoy the freedom we have been self employed though.
theplayer11,

I always worked for myself. I may be paid by some employer. But, I always worked for myself.

KlangFool

international001
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by international001 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:18 pm

Natural selection or the call of my genes

Only the fittest will survive

This was in the old days... Nowadays is just a matter of circumstances. Since society is screwed, only a few will be able to surely live a comfortable life and procreate. I plan to invest on my kids Roth, and teach them how to invest on their own kids Roth.

Thanks the the composite interest magic, my genes will have a chance to endure

Some hope for society.

So I basically work for saving humankind.

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JoMoney
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by JoMoney » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:19 pm

28fe6 wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:10 pm
Many things, like housing prices, are priced by a bidding process. And the people bidding are all working too hard. So I have to work harder than I want to to afford a decent house.

With all the productivity advances of the last century, we should all be working 2 hours per week by now.

I wish everyone else didn't work so hard so that I did not have to.

It's sort of like yelling in a loud restaurant because everyone else is yelling. I don't know the solution.
Some of that, is specific to the type of lifestyle you would like to maintain. There are benefits to living in a society where people are working hard to maintain it and move it forward. If you were willing to live in the type of place where there isn't much economic activity, the price of housing would go way down.
"To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks." - Benjamin Graham

ny_knicks
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by ny_knicks » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:41 pm

I regularly work 100 hour weeks. For the minimal amount of time I am not sitting in my cube all I can think about is work. I cannot ever disconnect. Vacations aren't an option. I cancel plans more than I am able to show up for them.

I ask myself everyday when I wake up why I am doing this. The money is good but the lifestyle isn't sustainable. I am working for the experience. I hope that by putting in my 3 years I either get promoted to a position where it is more sustainable or move to different subset of my industry where the money is better, the work is more interesting and the hours improve.

Finance, law, medicine, all require you to pay your dues and thats what I am doing.

Hopefully it is the right call. Someday I may look back and seriously regret sacrificing my prime years for the hope of a better future. Its impossible to know so I just keep chugging along.

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HomerJ
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by HomerJ » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:07 pm

midareff wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:26 pm
I worked so I could enjoy my two favorite things..... living indoors and eating.
I saw a documentary a few years back when a 70-year old guy was talking about his dad who worked in a hat factory back in the 50s and 60s. He remembers asking his Dad as a teenager, in that annoying teenager negative way, why he worked in a hat factory.

His Dad smacked him upside the head and said, "To feed you, you schmuck!"
The J stands for Jay

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Kenkat
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by Kenkat » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:16 pm

It all depends what is important to you. Using your house example, some would say why work an extra 2-1/2 years to be able to afford a nicer house in a nicer area? Others would say why not work an extra 2-1/2 years and then you get to live in a nicer house in a nicer area for the rest of your life?

EnjoyIt
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by EnjoyIt » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:28 pm

Kenkat wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:16 pm
It all depends what is important to you. Using your house example, some would say why work an extra 2-1/2 years to be able to afford a nicer house in a nicer area? Others would say why not work an extra 2-1/2 years and then you get to live in a nicer house in a nicer area for the rest of your life?
But no matter how nice your house is and no matter how nice the area is, there is always nicer. Subsequently the house slightly smaller in the same nice neighborhood is really not that different. When does the "nicer" cycle end. When is it enough.

If all you knew was life in an igloo, moving to a cabin with a wood burning stove might be luxury. Is life that much better or worse in the igloo as opposed to the cabin? What about a townhouse? What about mansion? How about we go into some details. Does the finest most expensive granite countertop provide anything better than something half the price? Does it make us any happier? Does a Viking stove or a sub zero fridge make life so much better as compared to a reliable lower cost alternative? Is working another 6 months worth those amenities?

What about if you buy a 70" TV. If you never experience an 80" you will never know what you are missing and life will be good with a 70".

Nicer is all about perspective and comparison to someone or something else. Reality is that it really doesn't matter all that much.

Glockenspiel
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by Glockenspiel » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:32 pm

Great question. I don’t know why. I wish I didn’t have to.

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6miths
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by 6miths » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:00 pm

I'm pretty much retired but the the work that I choose to do now is because I love to learn new things. I teach young people and they teach me. When the ask me why I do it I tell them that and that I love to get an infusion of enthusiasm. The other work that I do takes me to new parts of the world to meet new people and see new places.
'It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so!' Mark Twain

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whodidntante
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by whodidntante » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:04 pm

Did I stumble into MMM?

"Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy [censored] we don’t need."

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munemaker
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by munemaker » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:06 pm

I think to a large degree, our work ethic (or lack thereof) comes from our upbringing.

Loik098
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Re: Why do we work?

Post by Loik098 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:34 pm

chisey wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:45 pm
Work is a means to money, and money is a means to the things in life that are fulfilling: experiences with the people you care about and the time and resources necessary to engage in them.
Well said.

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