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Seeing a number of philosophical posts on this board lately, I thought I would add one of my own.

I generally agree with Adam Smith's concept of the "Invisible Hand", where our own selfish decisions cause results that benefit the whole. But if I chuck it all and relax, then society is deprived of the goods and services I might (admittedly a big might) have otherwise produced.

So are the early retirees damaging the economy by reducing the total level of goods and services produced or does their example inspire others to spend and invest more sensibly; thereby improving the economy?

Baanista
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baanista: "Seeing a number of philosophical posts on this board lately, I thought I would add one of my own.

I generally agree with Adam Smith's concept of the "Invisible Hand", where our own selfish decisions cause results that benefit the whole. But if I chuck it all and relax, then society is deprived of the goods and services I might (admittedly a big might) have otherwise produced.

So are the early retirees damaging the economy by reducing the total level of goods and services produced or does their example inspire others to spend and invest more sensibly; thereby improving the economy?"


I too generally believe in the "Invisible Hand" the same way that I believe in "free markets" (or "efficient markets," if you prefer) but that does not mean that I accept them totally representative of reality.

May I remind you of the Fallacy of Composition - what is good for the individual is not necessarily good for the whole, or conversely, what is good for the whole is not necessarily good for the individual.

Just my $0.02. Regards, JAFO
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> So are the early retirees damaging the economy by
> reducing the total level of goods and services
> produced or does their example inspire others to
> spend and invest more sensibly; thereby improving
> the economy?

On the contrary, we're risking our wealth in financing businesses. Which, in turn, provide services and products, and empoyment. Which, in turn, provides the opportunities for the employees to become wealthy. Etc.

The fact that we choose not to work leaves an opening for another individual. In times of unemployment, we are also, therefore, saving the nation money.

Charitable or what?

Blue skies,
Marc
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baanista asks,

So are the early retirees damaging the economy by reducing the total level of goods and services produced or does their example inspire others to spend and invest more sensibly; thereby improving the economy?

Probably a little of both, but I think "Retire Early" phenomenon is a positive overall.

I had one job early in my engineering career where the Senior VP held a big meeting to rally the troops after the company took a $40 million write-off on a failed product launch. (This was back in the days when $40 million was real money.) The message was, "We got to work harder, nights and weekends if necessary, to get out of this hole."

Some guy yells from the back of the room, "If you [the VP, that is] went home at 4 o'clock instead of thinking up all this new stuff at night and on weekends, we wouldn't be in this mess."

The moral is, just because someone is "busy", it doesn't necessarily follow that they are being "productive." We've probably all worked with people we'd be willing to pay to stay at home.

intercst
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<<<<
So are the early retirees damaging the economy by reducing the total level of goods and services produced or does their example inspire others to spend and invest more sensibly; thereby improving the economy?
>>>>

baanista,

It's appears to me that the production of economic goods follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of the goods are produced by the most efficient and productive 20%. It might actually be a lower percentage. The equity markets over the long term determine who the most productive companies are.

When you just work for money, you are limiting yourself to the goods that your own effort creates. Realizing that there are businesses that are more capable at producing goods than you are, you can increase your wealth further by investing in these businesses.

The top producers of the economy create enough wealth to support millions of early retirees. In fact, I would make a case that many people should retire early because it might actually make their businesses more productive ;). If you have worked for a large company, you know what I mean.

rustedSoul
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So are the early retirees damaging the economy by reducing the total level of goods and services produced or does their example inspire others to spend and invest more sensibly; thereby improving the economy?

My answer is NO & YES respectively.

We (or at least I) are wrestling with the definition of what "retired" means. The easy part is that we have left/exited/retired from a traditional environment (9 to 5, M - F at the office) before others expectations. But what have we gone to?

I am retired! In no way however do I believe for one minute that I have reduced the level of goods & services I provide. I simply provide them differently. I am as productive as ever, if not more productive at those pursuits that I choose; when I choose. By the way production does not necessarily equal revenue.

To the second part, I would like to think that we can be an inspiration; however, I am admittedly less certain on this issue. Maybe teach some one who is already inspired is closer to the truth; Inspiration implies the transferrance of goals to another who didn't already have them and that is most difficult.

TheBadger


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I am retired! In no way however do I believe for one minute that I have reduced the level of goods & services I provide. I simply provide them differently. I am as productive as ever, if not more productive at those pursuits that I choose; when I choose. By the way production does not necessarily equal revenue.

You are not retired. My guess is you are running a business closely related to what you did for someone else earlier in your career.
You simply left your previous job.
H.

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The moral is, just because someone is "busy", it doesn't necessarily follow that they are being "productive." We've probably all worked with people we'd be willing to pay to stay at home.

I remember going to a Programming Management seminar many years ago and hearing Tom DeMarco talk about differences in error rates among programmers in a typical company. He said, "Your worst programmer is putting so many bugs into your software, and costing you so much to fix them, that you don't even need to fire him - you'd come out ahead if you sent him on an all expense paid trip to Bermuda!"
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On the contrary, we're risking our wealth in financing businesses. Which, in turn, provide services and products, and empoyment. Which, in turn, provides the opportunities for the employees to become wealthy. Etc.

The fact that we choose not to work leaves an opening for another individual. In times of unemployment, we are also, therefore, saving the nation money.


Another good point. And to pick up on the "What do you do?" thread, if you say you're an investor, the typical reaction is that isn't "real work." And the gains are somehow ill-gotten. Like you're stealing it, or living off the govt., when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.

I don't know about you folks, but I'm far from the Foolish 4 "15 minutes a year" type. I work hard and spend many hours determining the best investments, etc. etc.

<rant off>
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Some guy yells from the back of the room, "If you [the VP, that is] went home at 4 o'clock instead of thinking up all this new stuff at night and on weekends, we wouldn't be in this mess."

The moral is, just because someone is "busy", it doesn't necessarily follow that they are being "productive." We've probably all worked with people we'd be willing to pay to stay at home.

- - -

So, what happened to the guy in the back of the room?

If he ever got promoted to boss, he probably lost his common sense and did the same things!
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tqmbill asks,

<<<<Some guy yells from the back of the room, "If you [the VP, that is] went home at 4 o'clock instead of thinking up all this new stuff at night and on weekends, we wouldn't be in this mess."

The moral is, just because someone is "busy", it doesn't necessarily follow that they are being "productive." We've probably all worked with people we'd be willing to pay to stay at home.>>>>

- - -

So, what happened to the guy in the back of the room?

If he ever got promoted to boss, he probably lost his common sense and did the same things!


I wasn't seated close enough to see. (It was a large auditorium with 500 to 600 people in attendance.)

If management found out the employee's identity, I suspect he wasn't promoted.

And no, for those who are wondering, it wasn't intercst. <grin>

intercst

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So are the early retirees damaging the economy by reducing the total level of goods and services produced or

Do you remember the "supply curve" from micro-economics? Not the crossover point that we so commonly call "supply," but the whole curve? This curve says that as the price of something increases, more people are willing to sell it. We're not accustomed to thinking about this whole curve, but it exists regardless of our thoughts. The early rerirees aren't really removed from the economy - they've just moved the price level they are willing to sell their labor to a point far above the present equilibrium. For example, the supply curve says that you could hire more people by paying $20,000/day than by paying $10,000 per day. Many of the early retirees represent that additional supply.

Once you understand it in these terms, we can see that the question is equivalent to "would the economy be better if people were coerced into working for less than they would voluntarily work for?" And once we see that, we see that the question is morally equivalent to "would the economy be better off with slave labor?"

The loss of freedom implicit in even a small step in that direction is something to be avoided. But even in pure economic terms, the empirical results ranging from the Pilgrims to the Soviet Union show that economies are more productive when people are free to make these choices themselves and suffer the consequences and reap the rewards of their decisions.

So no. I do not believe that early retirees nor any other group harm the economy by choosing the level to which they are employed.
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So are the early retirees damaging the economy by reducing the total level of goods and services produced or does their example inspire others to spend and invest more sensibly; thereby improving the economy?


Not only that, but early retirees are usually the "cream of the crop" - you don't get to retire at age 36 or 38 by being stupid !

I hope to "hurt the economy" before I turn 40 :-)
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Once you understand it in these terms, we can see that the question is equivalent to "would the economy be better if people were coerced into working for less than they would voluntarily work for?" And once we see that, we see that the question is morally equivalent to "would the economy be better off with slave labor?"

The loss of freedom implicit in even a small step in that direction is something to be avoided.


But hand in hand with that questions it the question "would the economy be better if employers were forced to pay employees more than their labor is worth?" The loss of freedom implicit in a step in that direction is also something to be avoided. Yet the minimum wage still exists.
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tqmbill wrote: ". And to pick up on the "What do you do?" thread, if you say you're an investor, the typical reaction is that isn't "real work." And the gains are somehow ill-gotten. Like you're stealing it, or living off the govt., when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.

I don't know about you folks, but I'm far from the Foolish 4 "15 minutes a year" type. I work hard and spend many hours determining the best investments, etc. etc."

Does anyone on the board have any thoughts as to how to quantify the value of the work tqmbill is defending. It seems to me that someone who retires early has an edge on other investors for two reasons: (1) he or she has accumulated a large stash of capital at an earlier stage in life than most; and (2) he or she is free to spend large amounts of time researching investments (even visiting companies, interviewing customers or managers, etc.).

If this edge could be quantified, it would affect decisions on whether one has enough to retire early or not. Thus, someone who did not want to spend time researching investment could make conventional investment decisions and presume a 4 percent return. But someone willing to work 40 hours a week investing could presume a 5 percent or 6 percent return.

Conceptually, this makes sense to me. But it seems very difficult to quantify the return from this investment work. Any clues as to how to proceed in trying to quantify it?







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Does anyone on the board have any thoughts as to how to quantify the value of the [investment mgmt] work tqmbill is defending?
- - - -

Well, my returns from 1976-1993 were poor. I was so detached, I don't even know what they were, but not enough to even catch my eye. Maybe 5-8%/yr.

I paid more attention (weekly maybe) and got better returns from 1994-97. Let's say 20%/yr to save me the trouble of actually looking it up. Roughly equivalent to S&P500 performance, with lotsa mutual funds.

Then, in early 1998, I stumbled onto AMZN and TMF, dumped all mutual funds, started picking stocks, and since 6/98 paying attention daily to the markets and learning learning learning. Returns since then up about 150%.

So I'd have to say that my time has paid off. Yeah, some is due to overall rocketing market, but if I had stayed where I was in 1994, this rising tide would NOT have lifted that boat! I was in a managed acct, 60/40 stocks/bonds, and the stocks were far from what you could call aggressive growth stocks. I doubt that 6-figure salary fund manager has yet heard of the internet!

Cheers!
Bill
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Without ressurecting old spreadsheets & other records I can tell you that my total return has gone up I think conservatively in 5% to 6% range; e.g. in working life if I achieved 12%, I would now, on a comparative basis earn 16%.

So what is 6% worth. Well on $100,000 its only $6,000 and spending --- let's say 500 hours, I guess one should go back to work as the marginal return is only $12 per hour. Conversely 6% on $5mm is worth $300,000 and thus is worth $600 per hour --- not bad pay.

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Yet the minimum wage still exists.

I would wager, though, that nobody on this board is planning to retire early from holding a minimum wage job. So I think it's off topic here.

Or perhaps I'm wrong. Many have talked about their desire to teach, which is nearly a minimum wage job at many adjunct faculty positions. Perhaps some of the lurkers are hoping to retire early so they can afford their dream of flipping hamburgers.
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I do not see any difference relative to the economy if a person retires at 50, 65, or any later age. I would guess that most retirees monitor their investments more closely in order to maximize returns. I always think of the story that it is not the guy who digs a ditch at minimum wage with a shovel who is improving the economy, but rather the person (read retiree) who invests in a backhoe that can dig a ditch wider, deeper, and faster, and the operator earns $20 / hour. So early retires who can provide the investment capital might actually be doing more for the economy.
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I do not see any difference relative to the economy if a person retires at 50, 65, or any later age. I would guess that most retirees monitor their investments more closely in order to maximize returns. I always think of the story that it is not the guy who digs a ditch at minimum wage with a shovel who is improving the economy, but rather the person (read retiree) who invests in a backhoe that can dig a ditch wider, deeper, and faster, and the operator earns $20 / hour. So early retires who can provide the investment capital might actually be doing more for the economy.

But those who don't retire early (but can) also provide investment capital !
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2 scenarios (both true stories) come to mind -
(1) "Sloth", anxious to retire early, does so at 55, collecting his full pension from 30 years of school teaching, all of it to the same grade level in the same school room. He has done nothing but get fat since, and now at 69 still sits at home while his wife works. He has contributed nothing to society, except to get out of the way of a new teacher who wanted to teach. Net - Society gains.
(2) "Energy", also retired at 55 from many years of leadership in corporate America, in companies large and small, when his company was swallowed by HugeCorporation. He stayed "retired" for 3 months, and then accepted an invitation to come in and help ("for a few weeks") a friend whose company had suddenly landed major new business. 15 years later he's still "helping" his friend run what is now a substantial enterprise, now employing many. Net - Society gains.

Early retirement doesn't always mean sloth, nor energy, but in either of these real cases, society has gained.

/pilgprog
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I don't see how anyone "chucks it all" and "relaxes" if you choose to retire early. First, if you can retire, fine, go for it, but with the full understanding that it is simply a transition to another activity. Second, I would agree if someone sits on his/her duff and clips coupons without adding anything back to society, he/she is not high on my list to keep as a friend.

If you want to keep your health and sanity, you'll definitely want to do something else, even if it's helping out as a volunteer to better yourself (more education/training), or helping others (volunteer work) or working at a job different than you had before you retired. I saved regularly and invested and was able to retire about 10 years before age 65, something for which I am grateful. Now I can choose what I want to do, when I want to do it, and enjoy life. Frankly, I'm more busy now in retirement, traveling, working with volunteer groups, and puttering in the garden, than I ever was when I had the daily grind to contend with.

Now, as my wife and I see folks traveling home on the subway, tired and down, we're on our way into the city to see a show, or play, or something else of a cultural nature. In short, work hard but realize that you shouldn't have to work forever. Nobody will miss you, no one is essential to any job, and through retirement you can choose your own course of action. Above all, don't vegetate.
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I did not retire early since I had reached 65. However, there is life after work. In retirement I have met many like minded elders who use their time to volunteer for many worthy causes.
There are great needs in our country besides producing goods and services for dollars.
Because of the tragic number of children growing up in non-traditional families, there is a compelling need to help our school systems educate them so that they will be able to function as productive adults.
Many worthy organizations can only function with the help of volunteers.
Retirees can fulfill many of the "thousand points of light" suggested by one of our recent presidents.
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Yes, I too have been troubled by what seems to be an increase in early retirement. I have also heard the bitter comments of younger folks who think there will not be any social security when they get older. Personally and I know I will offend someone, I think many retirees look downright silly wandering around the tourists traps and inhabiting the golf course. They seem to be another breed that has come to fruition in our times similar to the homeless. And then there are the folks who feel that if they stop contributing they are dead. They staff the hospital desks, the various hotlines and do all kinds of volunteer work and they are to be commended. Their unpaid work is every bit as important and useful as their paid work. So I believe that this kind of retiree is still productive in our society and it might be a good idea to separate these folks out of the do nothing group. Just my thought.
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uncas wrote:

"I think many retirees look downright silly wandering around the tourists traps and inhabiting the golf course."

Surely no sillier than someone chained to a desk all day.


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Why do you think early retirees reduce the total level of goods and services? I didn't-I still consume goods and services; I spend my income differently but I spend as much(if not more) as when I was supposedly producing goods and services for the good of society.
Many of us do volunteer work which contributes significantly to society.
Many contnue to work either part-time or in a new career.
We don't drag the rest of you down!
denismb
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Yes, I too have been troubled by what seems to be an increase in early retirement. I have also heard the bitter comments of younger folks who think there will not be any social security when they get older. Personally and I know I will offend someone, I think many retirees look downright silly wandering around the tourists traps and inhabiting the golf course. They seem to be another breed that has come to fruition in our times similar to the homeless. And then there are the folks who feel that if they stop contributing they are dead. They staff the hospital desks, the various hotlines and do all kinds of volunteer work and they are to be commended.

Generally those that retire early don't rely on Social Security for much of their retirement funds. (and if younger than 62 aren't receiving any yet)

Also, many of those silly looking retirees on the golf course in the morning are volunteering at the various places you listed in the afternoon. It usually isn't a choice between golf or volunteering, but rather both !
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I'm a little troubled by the judgmental tone regarding what people should/should not be doing during their retirement. I'm of the mindset that people should do what makes them happy during retirement -- otherwise, what's the point? If playing golf makes them happy, great. If volunteering or continuing work makes them happy, great. If it means being a wonderful parent/grandparent/friend, great. The biggest benefit to seeing more people "retire" early is that more people get to do what they *want* to do and find their "life's work".

If more people were happy with their lives and what they were doing, wouldn't we have less stress and road rage and more smiles and compassion? Aren't happier workers more productive workers (I know my employer and clients benefit because I like my job!)? And as a side note, what's the point of volunteering to help underprivileged kids, for example, if you're neglecting your own at the same time (believe me, I've seen this -- it's not pretty).

Frankly, I don't care what other people do in their retirement or when they retire, as long as they're happy with what they do. The last thing we need is to force people to fit into more societal molds on what they "should" do with their lives, retirement or not. It makes more sense to let each person determine how best to spend their time on this earth. We all have something different to contribute to society, so let us find out what that is on our own, without judgment.

Bracing myself for some flames....
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In my opinion, assuming your assets are such that you no longer need your job, you have a moral obligation to clear out and allow another citizen, one who needs the position & its income, to assume it. Everyone oooh's and aaah's over the sudden millionaire who keeps going to his/her same job, but the fact is he/she doesn't need it and there are others, many others, who do need it, and need it desperately. That job can put another child or children through college, etc etc. The "millionaire" - again, one man's opinion - has a moral obligation to spend the rest of his/her life putting the money to good use, i.e., funding societal improvements. I will go even farther and propose that the "millionaire" has an obligation to keep only so much of his/her good fortune as allows him/her and loved ones to live a comfortable, NOT a comnspicuously consumptive, life.
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In my opinion, assuming your assets are such that you no longer need your job, you have a moral obligation to clear out and allow another citizen, one who needs the position & its income, to assume it.

-----

At the risk of starting an all out war here, I don't agree that "need" should the standard here. As long as a person can contribute, then he/she should be able to be compensated for his/her contributions.

Think about it -- if I started a business and became fabulously wealthy by doing something that I enjoy and that benefitted others through the service/product I offered, why should I step aside and give my job to someone who "needed" it more, but who in all likelihood would not have the same drive/ability/desire to contribute what I did? Who benefits? The customers won't benefit if my replacement can't do my job as well as I can -- they'd want me back. I don't benefit because I can't be compensated for doing the job I love (sure, I'll continue doing it for my own personal pleasure, but I sure would resent the heck out of the free-loader). And, in the long run, my replacement may not benefit either if taking my job means turning away something that he'd rather be doing (or, if he's really incompetent, running the business into the ground).

Sorry if I get testy here, but whenever someone mentions self-sacrifice to others who "need" things more than I do, I start to rant.
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My philosophy is that work for work's sake, is not necessarily a good thing. Unless we are directly helping people or the environment, then work can be counterproductive in the long haul. I live in Maui and have seen so much of our fragile ecosystem and wilderness destroyed for the sake of JOBS (to give construction workers etc work). This is what they call progress but to me it is irreversibly destructive. It depends what the definition of work is. A retired person could actually help the world more by creating beauty, volunteering to benefit humankind in some way, being politically active or planting native trees. I am not interested in work that exploits people or the environment which a lot of it does. Not that I am totally free from the corporate world, I do invest some in mutual funds and a couple of stocks so maybe I am contradicting my philosophy here. Balance is the key I guess. Thanks for listening, katier19
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zencruzer wrote,

In my opinion, assuming your assets are such that you no longer need your job, you have a moral obligation to clear out and allow another citizen, one who needs the position & its income, to assume it.

My sentiments, exactly.

However, I'd like to present one opposing point for the sake of argument.

What if you were "early retiring" from a "crappy" job?

In that case, it might be more charitable to continue working to spare exposing your successor to whatever abuse accompanied the job. <grin>

intercst
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Let me see if understand this last set of threads correctly: Bill Gates should retire / step aside because I really need his job. Conversely, the guy who picks up my garbage but just hit the lotto last week should keep his job; otherwise I get it???

TheBadger




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This is one of the silliest notions I have heard in a long time. In the first place it is pretty vague. If I retire from XYZ Corp. early, that does not mean I am no longer gainfully employed. But let's let that go for the moment.

If the marketplace and the companies that are its surrogates want us to stay on the job, then neither should provide us with such unresistable incentives to quit. Is it the contention that we are all quitting under pressure to do so? Well, that is just not true.

In April of this year, XYX Corp., for which I still work, offered a package that was irresistable to those who met the qualifications - which I did not. One of my staff, a chap of 49, took that package even though he was not even contemplating retirement before the package was presented. He was afraid that if he didn't he would potentially lose hundreds of thousands of dollars from sweetners no longer available at a later date or rising interest rates or both. He did not cry about the choice offered to him. He laughed all the way to bank.

Now for all you market oriented folks out there, what is wrong with this picture? For you, nothing because you are not capable of understanding what the economics you preach really says. This package had nothing to do with the market. It had to do with the objectives of our CEO and COB and a weak BOD in the midst of a pending merger and internal political problems that the merger is intended to solve for him. In the short run, management can do all sorts of things that don't make long run sense and, IN THE LONG RUN, the market will catch up with these things. When it does the stockholders, or some other group that provides resources to the joint stock company, at the time, will have to pay for them. While the market always catches up, the guilty don't always pay for their sins in that particular venue.

Summary, if the market really values what I do, I will take early retirement from Company A and go to work for Company B, hopefully a competitor of Company A. I will be wealthier, the poor little old consumers will have their goods and services that I produce, just not from the original company for which I worked. If the market doesn't value what I was doing, then I will not go to work somewhere else doing the same thing and nothing is lost or I will do something that does have value and, again, nothing is lost.

The problem with 'market economics' is that the 'market' always works because no matter what happens it is because the market wants it to. Market economics is right by definition, after the fact. In the long run this is not a bad theory to explain things - or even predict them at a very high level. In the short run, the market often doesn't have a clue what is going on except in the most macro of senses. Fortunately, that is OK for most things especially things like the stock market where everything is very fluid.

For running a company on a day to day basis it is worthless in trying to explain why things have happened or, more importantly, what things are going to happen and what should be done about them including when to offer and how to structure an early retirement package. The latter decision is just one of many options open to executive management to achieve the very macro goals the company promised to The Street.
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Are people who retire early cheating society? I don't think so - what about all the people who lost their jobs do to downsizing & then were told you are "over qualified" For every person who drops out, another one will step foward. I have never known anyone yet who dropped out that didn't get involved in something. This is just my feeling, I accept that I might not be looking at it in the right way & am interested in someone telling me where I am wrong.
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From an early retiree(at 55).
Ah yes. For things that could have been, but never were!
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In my opinion, assuming your assets are such that you no longer need your job, you have a moral obligation to clear out and allow another citizen, one who needs the position & its income, to assume it.

Wow.

Anyone remember the movie "Logan's Run"?

the "millionaire" has an obligation to keep only so much of his/her good fortune as allows him/her and loved ones to live a comfortable, NOT a comnspicuously consumptive, life.

Didn't you hear, comrade? The Berlin Wall is down. Communism didn't work. (Actually, I think that "from each according to his ability" nonsense was Marxism.)

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but the fact is he/she doesn't need it and there are others, many others, who do need it, and need it desperately.

I've seen this in Europe. I've seen this in the US in mill towns when the mill closes down. It happened during the Great Depression everywhere. But in the US in 1999? I see employers desperate for employees, not the other way around. I was under the impression the New England area, where I live, was one of the less hot job markets today. Where do you live that there are qualified people desperately needing jobs?
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I agree with Marc. I also believe that people are encouraged by the knowledge that others can retire early. That is, it is good for the economy for people to try to live the type of life that takes prudent risks and that produces extra goods and services. The "lost goods and service" of the retired few are made up by the encouraged others. This inspired me 7 years ago when I read a book by Paul Terhorst (sp ?). The name of the book was "How to retire at 35".

Mark
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the topic of retirement makes me mad, when i can't afford to retire. the problem is down sizing is causing early retirement, because it's not easy to get a new job in certain career fields if you're over 50!!
this eoe is so much trash. so if it's unethical to retire early tell that to the eoe employers
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I retired (at least by the definition of doing what I want without fear of running out of money) 3 years ago after we took our software company public and then sold it to IBM. I am spending at 5x the rate I did before I retired (with the help of my devoted and capable wife)and am turning away job opportunities every week. So, at least I'm taking care of 4 others who may not be holding up their end of the deal. Ergo, retirement, in today's money mad economy will not tarnish Adam Smith's economic reputation. Ciao...fijip
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I am of the same thinking as Baanista. It appears that something will be out of balance if this trend continues to grow. Although, I would love to retire early, it appears that resources needed by the whole would be reduced by my non-participation, as there may not be anyone ready to take up where I left off. However, it is hard to resist the chance to chuck it all in, and have the chance to enjoy life while young and full of life. If the opportunity ever came along...

Teresa
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I took early retirement because my company was tired of me and I was more tired of them. I have found that retirees don't just sit and consume the fruits of other people's labor. We build houses, do part time work and do volunteer work. Most of us are more productive than when we worked!
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the topic of retirement makes me mad, when i can't afford to retire. the problem is down sizing is causing early retirement, because it's not easy to get a new job in certain career fields if you're over 50!!

Who are you mad at?

What preparations have you made for retirement in the first 30 years of your working life?

Is this a case of the grasshopper getting angry at the ants?
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<< So are the early retirees damaging the economy by reducing the total level of goods and services produced >>

LOL -- I find this thread enjoyably ironic after reading the "Dilbertized" one. (:


Washu! ^O^
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It seems that retirement means many different things and many people are trying to fit them into a single catagory. It may be that people who retire early are people who are driven and will be active in society after they leave their 9 - 5 job. A second thought is that there are people who have worked themselves up to a high paying job that don't make a contribution that is equal to the pay they are receiving.
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What if you were "early retiring" from a "crappy" job?

TRUE!! In many cases a person is leaving a company after becoming fed up with what is happening with the company and may in fact go to work for someone else in the same field or may decide to just do what they want for the rest of their life.

In some cases the person taking "early retirement" will get nothing from a company that they have worked hard for, but live off what they have invested and doing what they love. This can be a big benefit to society also.
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