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Subject:  Re: Unwritten Rules of Wage Slavery Date:  1/31/2000  6:30 PM
Author:  NowInMaui Number:  2765 of 876450

Hocus' post struck a nerve with me.

As one who had always followed the corporate norms, life was good as responsibilities increased, pay and perks increased, and I climbed the corporate ladder into senior management in a smallish organization. I loved my job. What I did was extremely rewarding to me personally and I felt I was making a contribution to society as a whole.

However, as time went on, personal and vacation time dimished as there was always a crisis around the corner. In short, I became a workaholic who could not distinguish between having fun in life as opposed to attending the next corporate golf tournament with the Board of Directors. Ahh, life was good.

Except I would wake up each morning angry; especially on weekends, when I found myself in the office, or on a plane travelling across country, or anywhere but at home with my wife and family or my friends playing a round of golf for a $2 Nassau.

At one point two years ago, I tried to resign. The response: Stay and we will give you more money, a bigger title, larger office, more perks, and more responsibility. You will like it, as you will get off all the time you need or want. Foolish mistake on my part, but I got sucked into the hype about being needed, etc. As you can imagine, it only got worse.

On a long vacation, to relieve the stress, and having brought my trusty laptop with me, I was surfing the web. Fate took me to Intercst's Retire Early Home Page. I read, no - hungrily consumed - , every article and recommendation on the RE home page. Ran to the book store, bought and read in three hours "Your Money or Your Life" by Joe Dominitz, and instantly realized I had been living a lie; I had deceived myself into believing that corporate life was for me. It had, instead, been slowly sucking the life out of me. Even my wife could see it and strongly encourged me to retire. But, I thought it would be a cop-out; I was a man, a coporately made man, who could tough it out.

Intuitively, I knew that I had enough to retire on. Adult children, empty nesters, a high wage earning professional spouse. Money? Not a problem, especially when I devoured the Trinity Study and RE's Safe Withdrawal Study. There was absolutely nothing keeping me from retiring, except my brain and the constant inner voice refrain: "But, what are you going to do with your time". Biggest mistake I ever made was even asking myself that question and then trying to answer it.

Had I been brainwashed by the corporate laws and rules, as Hocus suggests? The answer is probably yes.

Since I made the break and retired early (52), I have not a care in the world. Life is truly good, and helping others without pay is even more rewarding than I ever thought it could be. But, those who remain in the corporate arena treated me and continue to treat me as if I was a frankenstein or some other monster. Retire early? They think not, I know, to their regret.

So, thank you Hocus for articulating what I have only thought, and thank you Intercst for your very important work. I have become a zealot on the issue of Retiring Early and carry the RE URL with me to pass out to anyone who will listen to me. I have discovered that I am a role model to some and I eagerly relish that role.

Thanks for the RE Home Page, this board and for all of you who have read this post; writing it was very cathartic.
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