Done being an employee (by choice)

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peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Hearth Supporter
Jul 11, 2008
8,929
Northern NH
Well it took 47 years but as of today I am no longer an employee of anyone. I had planned to stop work the year I was 62 and with a few bumps in the last few years, I hit the goal. It might have happened 2 and 1/2 years ago when my former employer decided to shut down their consulting division. I had worked from home in a rural area for 12 years and it was not likely I could find a similar work at home position, and I really did not need to work. One thing I probably would be unable to do is go back to work in a "cube farm". I had done that for close to 20 years and I found that it was an invention to screw up my productivity. I had a few projects I was working on with a firm we had partnered with and ended up working for them as an employee on a part time basis (by choice). One project may never end but the two others were interesting and were supposed to be up and running by December of 21 so I committed to hanging around until the end of last year as a part time employee. Both are running late so I will continue to support them until both are running on a 1099 basis. I renewed my Professional Engineers license for 2 more years so at this point it is, "never say never", but one of the constants over my career was when I ended one job I really was not in rush to start a new one. They were not paid sabbaticals but having enough money in the bank and no debt meant when I did need to find a job I didnt have to take the first one that came along. I had a couple of extended "vacations" over my career by choice and in both cases I was financially ready for both of them.

One thing I found out over the years is I did not mind managing projects but had no interest in managing people on a day to day basis. When I went to college at UMaine there were two types of students, the "gearheads" and the future managers. Engineers were frequently recruited out of college by industrial plants (in Maine pulp and paper mills) to be the future supervisors and managers. I knew I was the hands on "gearhead" so I avoided the management track. Engineering skills grow "stale" if not used and by sticking with project type work, I kept my skills tuned up. One employer recognized on a corporate level that they needed a few real engineers around and gave me a pay incentive to get a Professional Engineers license along the way which was further encouragement to keep my skills active. When the pulp and paper industry crashed and burned in the US, I could take my skills and switch industries while many of the folks who became managers and supervisors struggled to stay in pulp and paper by moving around and working for a progression of sleazier owners.

My standard career advice is plan on having a couple of careers. No matter what the future looks like, things will change. I was in high school and college during the first oil embargo and the doom and gloom was in the air that the world would run out of oil in 20 years (remember the Hubbert curve and peak oil?). Current thinking of the day was by the time I was ready to retire, Social Security would be long gone, Global Cooling at end of particularly long interglacial period would be kicking in and electricity would be too cheap to meter as fusion energy would long since be commercialized. Pulp and Paper in the US at the time was king, every chemical and most mechanical engineers who graduated at UMaine had a guaranteed job with a pulp and papermill and once we had 2 or 3 years of experience in a mill, head hunters would call us begging for us to move to a different company. When I went to work for my second pulp and paper mill they paid a headhunter 30% of my first years pay plus handed me very generous relocation benefits. Within 15 years, the big companies were dumping their mills on smaller owners who specialized in extracting what little profits they could make before going belly up. The folks my age who went on the management track had a lot of lean years until they got back on track in another industry.

The other advice that is universally ignored by many is do not try to keep up with the Joneses. The Joneses usually are propped up by debt to give the outside impression of their lives. The whole economy is pitched to buy now pay later. Start early to get off that bandwagon, the longest car loan I ever had was 9 months for my first car, every subsequent one was paid for in cash unless the dealer gave me an incentive to take a loan which I would then pay off at the first loan payment. The last loan was my house loan, I paid it off in less than 10 years by making additional payments against principal. If I had cash in the bank and no loan payments, I could be picky about what I did for work and I did not need to take the first job offered. Employers like it when their employees are in debt as they know that when things get tough they can abuse on their employees as many just do not have the option of quitting. If I could recommend two books that are both still valuable but somewhat dated are the Millionaire Next Door and Bogle on Mutual Funds: New Perspectives for the Intelligent Investor. The Millionaire book shows why keeping up with the Joneses is a dumb idea and the Bogle book shows how to invest the money you will inevitably save by reading the first book.

This broken ankle has put a damper on 2022 as I really am unsure how active I can be so I dont mind supporting projects this winter but expect it will get a bit more difficult as the weather warms up. Luckily by then I will only be dealing with one project, and it will be in final construction and startup which will a nice way to close out my working life. I still plan to use my engineering and project management skills but expect they will be on my own projects.
 
Congrats! Happy New Year and a happy retirement. Keep busy!
 
If I could recommend two books that are both still valuable but somewhat dated are the Millionaire Next Door and Bogle on Mutual Funds: New Perspectives for the Intelligent Investor. The Millionaire book shows why keeping up with the Joneses is a dumb idea and the Bogle book shows how to invest the money you will inevitably save by reading the first book.
+1000!

Congrats and Enjoy It! I always review our financials EOY so this is timely for me. I have doubts at my age or younger we'll see it pan out like in the past and present, but I still hedge my bets against total societal collapse with this common sense saving advice, just in case we're lucky and not living in "The Road" by the time I retire!
 
I knew I was the hands on "gearhead" so I avoided the management track.
Same here...they keep trying to get me to be a "superintendant"...no thanks...I don't like managing people...although I am a "crew leader" in my position...but when its big decision time, that buck doesn't stop with me ::-)
Congrats on meeting your goals...a great feeling for sure...sounds like you have made many of the right decisions over the years.
Its been so long I've had a car payment that I don't even remember what vehicle that last one was on!
We were able to get debt free this last year (thanks to some extra motivation from the Ramsey show on the radio at work) and my wife just finished up her degree for her "second career", so looking forward to what life looks like with no debt and some extra income for once (and no college bills! Oh, and paying college tuition to go to work for someone else for free...grrr...I get it, but grrr)
 
I have stories like yours as well but in very different fields as a city person but the same is all around and I had one employer that told me to walk the streets just like how I came in "walking the streets" this was in a country and low unemployment area and sometimes these people think they are Gods because they know that you really need the job--terrible..You have some smart thinking on how to run your finances and you will be just fine--broken ankle and all--this will heal in time---takes awhile ankles do--longer then regular breaks..but the bottom line is--when I retired after many many years I had a feeling of insecurity and was "worried" somewhat..-lol but glad too---but the very first year of my retirement I sat in my kitchen with a hot cup of coffee looking out the door at a picture like this---coming---and all I could say was: "Thank God I do not have to go to work today--for I am retired". You will find something better to get some extra money in for you have real talent in my opinion...clancey...

Done being an employee (by choice)
 
+1000!

Congrats and Enjoy It! I always review our financials EOY so this is timely for me. I have doubts at my age or younger we'll see it pan out like in the past and present, but I still hedge my bets against total societal collapse with this common sense saving advice, just in case we're lucky and not living in "The Road" by the time I retire!
There are always reasons to think things are going to go in the ditch. I was in school right at the end of the "duck and cover" drills in schools. The media was sure the world would end in a nuclear war. During the oil embargos the doom sayers were claiming the collapse of the world economy due to running out of oil. Many folks planned on social security collapsing mid career. The big companies were already starting to have pension issues and the end of the pension era had started.

My dad was one of the first folks to do what was then called a deferred compensation plan (now a 401K) and at my first job where a 401K was offered, I started putting my money in 401Ks and eventually Roth 401Ks. These were portable, no need to hang around the same company and hope I got a pension. Most pension plans were back loaded in that if you left before retirement, the pay out was poor. The vast majority of these plans are gone or handed off the PBGC.

No doubt things will change, when SS first came out the odds were against anyone making it to 65. At some point SS was predicted to run out of funding and the full retirement age went up to 68. I think my FRA is 67 and 9 months. (I do not plan to collect until 70). Many retirees live as long in retirement as long as they worked. This is not sustainable and I expect once the political battles end in Washington, the full retirement plan will increase.

My dad handed me the Millionaire Next Door book when I got out of college. It really turned my way of thinking as it goes contrary to everything you see on TV and in the media. I found out later its required reading for many investment advisors, they are told to avoid folks like those described in the book. Over the years I have met several folks who use the principles in the book. I also got a copy of Bogel's book early on and all my investments when I got control of them went into Vanguard Index funds. I think Warren Buffet's observation, 'never bet against America' in letter trumpeting Berkshire's U.S.-based assets. “Despite some severe interruptions, our country's economic progress has been breathtaking. Our unwavering conclusion: Never bet against America. is far more likely to last as long as I need it to. Sure there is the political theatre going on but in the background in the long run the economy seems to keep growing despite it.
 
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Millionaire Next Door
The millionaire next to us looks like he's about 1 day from being homeless...and even his house is a dump...but he owns a TON of property...as in paid for...local property prices are such that he is easily a millionaire...most people that know him would never guess.
 
Congratulations and welcome to the next adventure. I totally agree with the good advice you have shared. I ended up with about 5 main careers in my working years and held around 32 different jobs since I was 13. Staying flexible and sharp keeps one adaptable to change. It worked out well for me. We subscribe to the same financial philosophy - only take on debt when it is specifically to your benefit. I was fortunate to read the book Your Money or Your Life by Joel Dominguez about 35 yrs ago and it reinforced my perspective on work and money. I was lucky in my last career to have great benefits that included sabbaticals and was able to fit in some great extended travel experiences with the family as a result.

After retirement, the next steps may be a bit harder as you refocus and start spending more than earning. Look up Ikigai, it's a Japanese concept that has been helpful for me shifting gears.

 
From a fellow P.E., great post and excellent advice! I plan on retiring from Engineering by 55.
 
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When we had lab courses, the management students would just sit there until the gearheads actually did the work, the "managers" would then sit there and write up neat notes. When I walked into the machine shop and started asking the teacher about getting access to the tools outside of class he looked at me and asked me if I had ever used any of them. I showed him I knew how to use South Bend metal lathe and Bridgeport milling machine. He waived the lab course right there.
 
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It's the same with experimental scientists: you have those who keep asking a machine shop person and those who arrange for some used lathes, welding, milling equipment to be, ahem, "stored" in the basement - hook them up and make their own parts.

Those were always the best after-hours. If unions did not discover...

Of course for real complicated (or high-precision) stuff I went to the real professional. But I liked making my own parts.
 
From a fellow P.E., great post and excellent advice! I plan on retiring from Engineering by 55.
Me too, fellow PE but won’t make 55. That’s almost too long to not be in management. Seems the “doers” age out when their hourly rate goes too high compared to fresh grads.
 
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Well it took 47 years but as of today I am no longer an employee of anyone. I had planned to stop work the year I was 62 and with a few bumps in the last few years, I hit the goal. It might have happened 2 and 1/2 years ago when my former employer decided to shut down their consulting division. I had worked from home in a rural area for 12 years and it was not likely I could find a similar work at home position, and I really did not need to work. One thing I probably would be unable to do is go back to work in a "cube farm". I had done that for close to 20 years and I found that it was an invention to screw up my productivity. I had a few projects I was working on with a firm we had partnered with and ended up working for them as an employee on a part time basis (by choice). One project may never end but the two others were interesting and were supposed to be up and running by December of 21 so I committed to hanging around until the end of last year as a part time employee. Both are running late so I will continue to support them until both are running on a 1099 basis. I renewed my Professional Engineers license for 2 more years so at this point it is, "never say never", but one of the constants over my career was when I ended one job I really was not in rush to start a new one. They were not paid sabbaticals but having enough money in the bank and no debt meant when I did need to find a job I didnt have to take the first one that came along. I had a couple of extended "vacations" over my career by choice and in both cases I was financially ready for both of them.

One thing I found out over the years is I did not mind managing projects but had no interest in managing people on a day to day basis. When I went to college at UMaine there were two types of students, the "gearheads" and the future managers. Engineers were frequently recruited out of college by industrial plants (in Maine pulp and paper mills) to be the future supervisors and managers. I knew I was the hands on "gearhead" so I avoided the management track. Engineering skills grow "stale" if not used and by sticking with project type work, I kept my skills tuned up. One employer recognized on a corporate level that they needed a few real engineers around and gave me a pay incentive to get a Professional Engineers license along the way which was further encouragement to keep my skills active. When the pulp and paper industry crashed and burned in the US, I could take my skills and switch industries while many of the folks who became managers and supervisors struggled to stay in pulp and paper by moving around and working for a progression of sleazier owners.

My standard career advice is plan on having a couple of careers. No matter what the future looks like, things will change. I was in high school and college during the first oil embargo and the doom and gloom was in the air that the world would run out of oil in 20 years (remember the Hubbert curve and peak oil?). Current thinking of the day was by the time I was ready to retire, Social Security would be long gone, Global Cooling at end of particularly long interglacial period would be kicking in and electricity would be too cheap to meter as fusion energy would long since be commercialized. Pulp and Paper in the US at the time was king, every chemical and most mechanical engineers who graduated at UMaine had a guaranteed job with a pulp and papermill and once we had 2 or 3 years of experience in a mill, head hunters would call us begging for us to move to a different company. When I went to work for my second pulp and paper mill they paid a headhunter 30% of my first years pay plus handed me very generous relocation benefits. Within 15 years, the big companies were dumping their mills on smaller owners who specialized in extracting what little profits they could make before going belly up. The folks my age who went on the management track had a lot of lean years until they got back on track in another industry.

The other advice that is universally ignored by many is do not try to keep up with the Joneses. The Joneses usually are propped up by debt to give the outside impression of their lives. The whole economy is pitched to buy now pay later. Start early to get off that bandwagon, the longest car loan I ever had was 9 months for my first car, every subsequent one was paid for in cash unless the dealer gave me an incentive to take a loan which I would then pay off at the first loan payment. The last loan was my house loan, I paid it off in less than 10 years by making additional payments against principal. If I had cash in the bank and no loan payments, I could be picky about what I did for work and I did not need to take the first job offered. Employers like it when their employees are in debt as they know that when things get tough they can abuse on their employees as many just do not have the option of quitting. If I could recommend two books that are both still valuable but somewhat dated are the Millionaire Next Door and Bogle on Mutual Funds: New Perspectives for the Intelligent Investor. The Millionaire book shows why keeping up with the Joneses is a dumb idea and the Bogle book shows how to invest the money you will inevitably save by reading the first book.

This broken ankle has put a damper on 2022 as I really am unsure how active I can be so I dont mind supporting projects this winter but expect it will get a bit more difficult as the weather warms up. Luckily by then I will only be dealing with one project, and it will be in final construction and startup which will a nice way to close out my working life. I still plan to use my engineering and project management skills but expect they will be on my own projects.
If you don’t mind me asking…. since you didn’t need to work anymore, why did you go this long? I’m facing a similar decision. Culture says to work until you’re dead but I’m not interested in that.

Fellow boglehead here.

Oh and at least in WA you can let your PE license lapse and at anytime in the future just reactivate it.
 
Peak. good read. I just started collecting SS at 70. and have been collecting a pension for a few years. Still working. But went to 3 days a week. Actually have no reason to work. So lets see how long I feel like working.
 
If you don’t mind me asking…. since you didn’t need to work anymore, why did you go this long? I’m facing a similar decision. Culture says to work until you’re dead but I’m not interested in that.

Fellow boglehead here.

Oh and at least in WA you can let your PE license lapse and at anytime in the future just reactivate it
For the majority of my career I spent other people's money designing, repairing, rebuilding and building things. Some of the things were very large systems and pieces of equipment. The reason I have hung around the last few years is the projects I am working on are interesting technology and I was involved with them since developing the early concept stage. Both of them looked dead but at the last minute came back to life. If they had stayed dead, I would have been completely retired by now. It made sense to me to hang around and support them until they are up and running. The downside is the projects are not where I want to live and the window for incentives to do new similar projects has closed in Mass. No doubt I could find a niche supporting newer tech, but it might require relocating and developing a new professional network. I have done this for forty years so it makes sense to take a break. As I said never say never but time to go do other hobbies while I am still physically able to do them. The thing I have learned by working part time in the last few years is I really cannot work part time on a project that is full time so I need to make a clean break. I am not thrilled by these two projects stretching into 2022 but I made a commitment and will live up to it but if the opportunity comes up to cut it short, I will not mind. My lip is also getting sore from having to bite it from seeing clients and contractors making bad decisions with predictable results ;).

I cannot predict the future, but I feel I have done what I can to make sure that lack of resources will not be an issue. I know of many folks who do not have that choice, they think they need to "work until they are dead" or no longer of any use to any employer, some not by their choice but for others at least partially due to lack of planning on their parts, usually trying to maintain a lifestyle they could not afford. I had to reinvent myself professionally a couple of times in my career and plan to do the same in my retirement. I consider retirement a change of careers and have been planning for it that way. I am atypical, most of my friends I went to high school with have given up finding challenges to do themselves and started living vicariously through their kids and grandkids lives long ago, I dont have that option, so more power to them, but my guess is I will be attending their funerals. My dad who was physically active up until his late eighties and mentally active within days of his passing was a guarded optimist, he had a stock observation he would make in various AARP speeches he would make; there are "young" retirees and "old" retirees, and the "young" ones are not necessarily young (chronologically) and the "old" ones are not necessarily old. The "young" ones are the folks who have figured out if they dont use it, they lose it. The "old" ones have sat down on a couch and let it mold itself to them. Give it a few years and they will not be able to get up out of it.

Sure I have seen the various studies that show that working longer leads to a longer life and longer retention of mental faculties. I also think that I am not the typical retiree who has not really spent a lot of time planning for retirement. I have never smoked, rarely drink and up until my ankle issue stayed active year round. So compared to the average I hope my lifestyle shifted me to the good side of the curve.

With respect to my NH PE, I can put it in "retired" status in two years at a lower cost but would need to keep doing 30 hours of continuing education units every 2 years if I want to make it active again. Not a lot of demand for a NH PE but it is what allowed me to get a Mass PE by comity via a NCEES record. If I didnt have the NCEES record, I do not think I would have been able to get through the Mass process. The Mass PE board really sets high hurdles for anyone from outside the state to get a Mass license unless they come up through the traditional working through the consulting career route. Ultimately, the hassle is liability insurance. I really cannot use my license except for personal use without it and the cost is pretty steep unless I want to do it full time.
 
Peak, thank you again for sharing your story. I don't know if your done. As a fellow, gear head engineer, I suggest, you might look to work at your terms. Are there vendors that don't have in house access to your expertise. My last 15 years has been doing just that.

So timely, as I just let my boss know I was 70 and it was time. I explained it will be 3 work days a week, at the same pay. He knew, and said I could do anything and was happy I'm still here. Of course it's strictly a business decision for the company. It had to work for them and me. Until the next change either of us decide.

We all have different situations. When to retire? For me. I'm in decent health, active, genetics are ok, both parents alive in there late 90's. The fear is not having enough money in retirement. I think I'm prepared. The last few years, I've continued to work to max out social security (SS) at 70. You get 8% additional a year, for every year after your full retirement year. Mine was 66. I got my first SS check in December and now a 5.9% increase in January. I believe my SS is tax free.

This whole thing is a moving target for me. Love to hear everyone's comments.
 
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A few years ago I saw an interview warren buffet did. He still lived in a 1800ish sqft house he bought when he was starting out, driving an 18 year old crown Vic, and eating breakfast off the McDonald’s dollar menu. (Been a few years since I saw interview so don’t hold me exactly on those numbers but they are close)

Congrats on (semi) retirement, I second what others have said...you’ll find another project on your terms. ;)
 
Peak, thank you again for sharing your story. I don't know if your done. As a fellow, gear head engineer, I suggest, you might look to work at your terms. Are there vendors that don't have in house access to your expertise. My last 15 years has been doing just that.

So timely, as I just let my boss know I was 70 and it was time. I explained it will be 3 work days a week, at the same pay. He knew, and said I could do anything and was happy I'm still here. Of course it's strictly a business decision for the company. It had to work for them and me. Until the next change either of us decide.

We all have different situations. When to retire? For me. I'm in decent health, active, genetics are ok, both parents alive in there late 90's. The fear is not having enough money in retirement. I think I'm prepared. The last few years, I've continued to work to max out social security (SS) at 70. You get 8% additional a year, for every year after your full retirement year. Mine was 66. I got my first SS check in December and now a 5.9% increase in January. I believe my SS is tax free.

This whole thing is a moving target for me. Love to hear everyone's comments.
I had Vanguard run my Social Security numbers, the difference in what I would get at age 70 between working part time and not working until my FRA is minimal. SS adjusts every quarter of earnings for inflation and then picks the best 35 years of quarters. My guess is my part time work keeps my income low enough in the next few years so these are not in the best years. Part of my planning was to assume that SS would be gone or minimized by the time I was retired (still may happen ;( ). I do agree that I do not plan to file for it until 70, its the only retirement account that is adjusted for inflation so makes sense to maximize it.

BTW to another poster, SS benefits can be taxed up until age 70 depending on your retirement or regular income. Folks depending on regular IRA distributions could be in for a rude awakening between the taxes owed on the IRA distributions and some portion of SS income. Luckily Roth IRAs distributions do not count as income so its not an issue for folks with Roths. The trick is regular IRAs are subject to RMDs at age 72 (currently) so balancing the taxes owned early on in retirement versus post 72 have to be factored in. Plus for people with big IRA distributions they can accidently trip the Medicate surcharge if they do it at the wrong time.
 
Well it took 47 years but as of today I am no longer an employee of anyone. I had planned to stop work the year I was 62 and with a few bumps in the last few years, I hit the goal. It might have happened 2 and 1/2 years ago when my former employer decided to shut down their consulting division. I had worked from home in a rural area for 12 years and it was not likely I could find a similar work at home position, and I really did not need to work. One thing I probably would be unable to do is go back to work in a "cube farm". I had done that for close to 20 years and I found that it was an invention to screw up my productivity. I had a few projects I was working on with a firm we had partnered with and ended up working for them as an employee on a part time basis (by choice). One project may never end but the two others were interesting and were supposed to be up and running by December of 21 so I committed to hanging around until the end of last year as a part time employee. Both are running late so I will continue to support them until both are running on a 1099 basis. I renewed my Professional Engineers license for 2 more years so at this point it is, "never say never", but one of the constants over my career was when I ended one job I really was not in rush to start a new one. They were not paid sabbaticals but having enough money in the bank and no debt meant when I did need to find a job I didnt have to take the first one that came along. I had a couple of extended "vacations" over my career by choice and in both cases I was financially ready for both of them.

One thing I found out over the years is I did not mind managing projects but had no interest in managing people on a day to day basis. When I went to college at UMaine there were two types of students, the "gearheads" and the future managers. Engineers were frequently recruited out of college by industrial plants (in Maine pulp and paper mills) to be the future supervisors and managers. I knew I was the hands on "gearhead" so I avoided the management track. Engineering skills grow "stale" if not used and by sticking with project type work, I kept my skills tuned up. One employer recognized on a corporate level that they needed a few real engineers around and gave me a pay incentive to get a Professional Engineers license along the way which was further encouragement to keep my skills active. When the pulp and paper industry crashed and burned in the US, I could take my skills and switch industries while many of the folks who became managers and supervisors struggled to stay in pulp and paper by moving around and working for a progression of sleazier owners.

My standard career advice is plan on having a couple of careers. No matter what the future looks like, things will change. I was in high school and college during the first oil embargo and the doom and gloom was in the air that the world would run out of oil in 20 years (remember the Hubbert curve and peak oil?). Current thinking of the day was by the time I was ready to retire, Social Security would be long gone, Global Cooling at end of particularly long interglacial period would be kicking in and electricity would be too cheap to meter as fusion energy would long since be commercialized. Pulp and Paper in the US at the time was king, every chemical and most mechanical engineers who graduated at UMaine had a guaranteed job with a pulp and papermill and once we had 2 or 3 years of experience in a mill, head hunters would call us begging for us to move to a different company. When I went to work for my second pulp and paper mill they paid a headhunter 30% of my first years pay plus handed me very generous relocation benefits. Within 15 years, the big companies were dumping their mills on smaller owners who specialized in extracting what little profits they could make before going belly up. The folks my age who went on the management track had a lot of lean years until they got back on track in another industry.

The other advice that is universally ignored by many is do not try to keep up with the Joneses. The Joneses usually are propped up by debt to give the outside impression of their lives. The whole economy is pitched to buy now pay later. Start early to get off that bandwagon, the longest car loan I ever had was 9 months for my first car, every subsequent one was paid for in cash unless the dealer gave me an incentive to take a loan which I would then pay off at the first loan payment. The last loan was my house loan, I paid it off in less than 10 years by making additional payments against principal. If I had cash in the bank and no loan payments, I could be picky about what I did for work and I did not need to take the first job offered. Employers like it when their employees are in debt as they know that when things get tough they can abuse on their employees as many just do not have the option of quitting. If I could recommend two books that are both still valuable but somewhat dated are the Millionaire Next Door and Bogle on Mutual Funds: New Perspectives for the Intelligent Investor. The Millionaire book shows why keeping up with the Joneses is a dumb idea and the Bogle book shows how to invest the money you will inevitably save by reading the first book.

This broken ankle has put a damper on 2022 as I really am unsure how active I can be so I dont mind supporting projects this winter but expect it will get a bit more difficult as the weather warms up. Luckily by then I will only be dealing with one project, and it will be in final construction and startup which will a nice way to close out my working life. I still plan to use my engineering and project management skills but expect they will be on my own projects.
Working for myself is gratifying although I make less money. Its still worth it.
 
Finance was something I never spent much time researching. Catching up now. I didn't know how SS FRA payout was calculated. I thought it was weighted on many of your last years of income. But talking to the SS guy it seams to use all the years you paid in. Can low income years at the end hurt the number, maybe. I waited to 70 and fortunately maxed it out. Got all there giving, and my wife gets another 1/2 of mine. I believe early retirement before your FRA, you will pay tax on SS, or a part of it. And after FRA SS is not taxed, so my tax guy explained.

Now my quest is to avoid taxes in semi retirement, it appears hard to do. As the Beatles would say, the taxman has been doing this a long time and they have it all figured out. But........I'm open for any and all suggestions.
 
From a fellow P.E., great post and excellent advice! I plan on retiring from Engineering by 55.
I second that, great post.
I retired from Engineering at age 59.75.
 
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I think there are more digits to be had here... :)
 
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