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Subject:  Re: Unwritten Rules of Wage Slavery Date:  2/2/2000  12:19 PM
Author:  NowInMaui Number:  2911 of 876437

What 4gonefool and Pyrotech talk about is, to me, the essence of what the RE philosophy is all about. I guess in its basic form it is "freedom". The freedom to work or not to work for "the man".

I enjoyed a senior management position. I thoroughly loved my job and my contribution to the company and society as a whole. At the same time, I had the financial means to retire early. Generally, but not totally aware of that fact, I tried to exercise my freedom; freedom from having to travel across the country on weekends, the freedom to be with my wife and family more often, etc.

However, new and higher compensated responsibilites and a belief that I really needed to hands on "manage" a large staff and day to day crises, I rationalized to myself that I had the "freedom" to do not to do the job. I began to try to take more time off, which according to my work agreement, I could do without the Pres' permission. Every time I tried to back off on duties, the more subtle the pressure came to spend more time on the job. "How come that crisis didn't get handled more quickly?" came the question. I didn't feel that I could say: "Just taking the time off that I am allowed to have". This happened even though I had theoretical freedom. The restriction in my freedom was subtle and, in many respects, were self or mentally imposed.

That said, lets get back to the RE philosophy. The RE philosphy ultimately gave me the real freedom to do what I did, which was to retire early.

I didn't know at the time I began living it that I was living a RE philosophy, and it wasn't until I came across Intercst's REHP that I could put a name to it. Our RE philosophy was a choice my wife and I made early in our marriage. Even with kids, we always paid ourselves first. My wife, a working professional, grew up in a household where LBYM was a daily concept. Her parents never had a mortgage, car payment, or credit card payments. They had two kids, but both worked, even in a time when it was unpopular for a women to work outside the house. My wife brought this philosophy into our marriage, and we have lived it, which has allowed me at 52 (could have been sooner) to retire. But by saving, long term buy and hold investing, LBYM, have given us the freedom to work for the man or not work for the man.

In my case, I choose to get out early because I wasn't satisfied with my quality of life due to enormous work demands although I believe my job was on one level extremely satisfying and rewarding. I am now exercising my freedom to choose to do meaningful work on my own quality of life terms and for no pay. Extremely rewarding. My wife, OTOH, continues to happily work "for the man" in a happy work environment; but she does so with the knowledge that she can leave any time she wishes and at the minute she feels she is loosing her freedom.

Again, in a nutshell, the RE philosophy is about freedom. Planning and acting early, even with kids, can give one total freedom earlier than conventional wisdom would dictate.

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