I'm really enjoying the give and take in this thread! I remember--and resented--being told to buy my employer's product when I worked in the private sector many years ago. A co-worker was told to give up her temp. tax prep. job because it made our employer look as if he wasn't paying her adequately. When I worked for various government employers over many years, there was the problem of lifers blocking my progress and the interference of politics in getting things done. In my most recent, executive-level position in government, a combination of a politician's egomania and co-worker treachery did me in. When I let my boss know I would be moving on when I found another position and presented him a succession plan, which I thought was the responsible thing to do, he told me to make the resignation effective the end of that month. I am happy living frugally, but I wish I had prepared for a lengthy period of unemployment before my retirement income is available to me. I had always believed I would "die with my boots on," but here I am at age 54 really enjoying being able to watch my stocks and do little projects around the house--and I don't ever want to work for anyone else again! Exercising control over when people take vacations and how productive they are at work is necessary to assure citizen/customer service and financial viability of an enterprise; however, even if you live to work, as I did, it's good to recognize that you may want to channel those energies in another direction someday. Being financially prepared can give you a sense of freedom, even if you don't end up using it.
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