• Malcolm Phoenix (unregistered) in reply to Ross

    It doesn't take special brilliance or extreme care to become financially independent after 35 years working in these professions. Just throttle back somewhat on expenses, live below your means, and save/invest the excess. If someone does that, then 35 years is plenty of time in 95+% of the cases.

  • pto (unregistered)

    Back in 2000 during the Dot Com boom I decided to head to Switzerland to work there for a year or two (being a dual citizen has its perks). I was planning on saving up a deposit for a house and wages in Switzerland are amongst the highest in the world to start with. But that era also coincided with a massive demand for software developers in Switzerland. The country, which normally provides excellent education and foresight in planning, had somehow missed the coming age of the computer. This meant that by the late 90's/early 2000's there was a huge demand for software developers and nowhere near enough people who were actually qualified.

    I'd lined up 7 interviews for the week that I would arrive in the country. Each of these paid at least three times my then salary. I got 7 job offers out of it. I couldn't quite decide between three which sounded the most interesting. Eventually on a whim I picked one and rang the others to decline. This resulted in a bidding war with the ones that I had turned down ringing me back with ever higher offers! I still ended up with the one I had initially picked, but at a substantially higher rate than even their gigantic starting offer. All the while thinking "this is never going to happen to me again!". And it never did. Two years later when I returned and the Dot Com boom had crashed, it took me six months to find another job.

    Still, that super-high paying job didn't just pay well, it was just flat-out one of the most amazing jobs I've ever had. Very interesting work, fantastic work environment, great people to work with and some very clever and nice people in management.

  • Valhar2000 (unregistered) in reply to snoofle


  • Valhar2000 (unregistered) in reply to Ross

    Are your comments for our benefit, or for yours?

  • Dave (unregistered)

    I don't know why people think you have to be in some kind of comfortable position before you behave like Snoofle describes. I've done that since pretty much day one of my career, and have never, ever had cause to regret it. I've never been (involuntarily) out of work more than a week or two after leaving somewhere because they were complete idiots. And when you walk into interviews and announce 'I'm here to see if you're good enough to attract me' then you get given the good jobs.

    That aside, one of the most common mistakes made by people who don't know how to run businesses is not realising that underpaying people is just as big an error as overpaying them.

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to Ross


    Either you're lying to yourself about what field you work in, or you're just an idiot, or you're lying (to yourself?) about how comfortably off you are, or you're lying to yourself about the profligacy of your spending. Pick one. No-one who's done the things you claim is hard up.

  • Carl Witthoft (google) in reply to Alan

    How do you know? Maybe the base salary was $1.5 million. :-)

  • Paul Neumann (unregistered) in reply to Ross

    But my point is that you are exceptional and unusual and it is fatuous to pretend otherwise.

    I wholeheartedly disagree. If you spend your whole life living at or beyond your means, you will be at or beyond your means for your whole life. There is nothing exceptional or unusual about that. It's not too big a stretch to find the inverse of this statement.

    It is fatuous to pretend that you are somehow disadvantaged because of the choices you have and continue to make.

    For the record, I currently pay a mortgage, have 4 children and still had a near identical experience just last December. Even if I had been out of work at the time I would have still turned down the offer after the company tried playing games like that. I would rather make less working for an honest company than to risk my financial stability at a company willing to exercise such ethical gymnastics.

  • Another Anon (unregistered) in reply to Paul Neumann

    "Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery." - Wilkins Micawber, "David Coppperfield"

  • mm1970 (unregistered) in reply to Shufflepants

    I see your point. I have hobbies, but I'm not sure how much I would enjoy 24/7 (minus sleep) of hobbies.

    Then again, I still have young kids, so ... I'm not sure how many "hobbies" I'd indulge in anyway. Even when the kids are grown, I'd think my expectation would be that the "retired" person does nearly ALL the household chores. I mean, I don't want to be lifting a finger, really.

  • mm1970 (unregistered) in reply to Greg

    This is good advice. It helps to grow up poor, so you don't spend as much money. When you get a job, live like a college student. Etc.

    I mean, crap still happens, but if you develop good habits and avoid upsizing your lifestyle, you'll do okay.

  • Rolling my eyes (unregistered)

    God this is the most self-serving tripe I've seen in a while. Don't get me wrong. Principles are important. I won't argue that. I agree it feels good to stick it to someone you don't think you can trust. This is just selfish.

    You have a wife and are approaching retirement age. At the very least, you have her to think about. You might not need the money now, but what happens if one of you becomes terminally ill and suddenly you lose all your savings? What if you lose your house to an act of god and can't afford to rebuild? Let's move past that, it's not all about your wife.

    Do you have children? I'd like to leave mine as much as I could or celebrate our family being together, whether that be vacation or having them stay at a lake house or whatever you could imagine. Hell when I croak I wan't my children to have as much money as they can from my ass while knowing god damn well that I taught them to work hard.

    Do you have grandchildren? Every grandparent wants to spoil them rotten (and undo their children's hard work!). Rinse and repeat with family vacations or reunions or whatever. Are they going to attend school in the US? God forbid you offset the awful cost (we always bitch about here).

    Call me jaded or spoiled or whatever. My parents are not as well off for retirement as you, despite being near the typical age, yet they still try to help me with expenses when it is entirely unwarranted for any number of reasons. Money is no substitute for relationships or love. Money does allow those to flourish when you have little else to worry about. Money allows your family to spend time with you regardless of distance (time is immaterial to you). Money allows for special memories, more importantly it lets you be there to make them, even if there's no money

    So good for you. Be principled. If you're here entirely for yourself, or think you are, you are sorely, sadly, and pathetically mistaken. Enjoy your free time. Or you could fleece a company who bowed to you and give your family long term comfort

  • Moz in Oz (unregistered) in reply to Paul M

    I had almost the same experience, right up to the point where I whipped out my copy of the offer letter where they had agreed to the pay rise. It actually had the line pasted from my email "After 3 months we will either pay you $X or let you go".

    I'm way too old to work for promises and lies.

  • Me (unregistered) in reply to operagost

    I wouldn't walk away from the Corvette sale. I'd DRIVE away. In my 'Vette.

  • Zenith (unregistered) in reply to M

    Oh, I know all about government contracting. For that job, I was a contractor during the probation period. During the first few weeks, I heard all about how hard it was to find help and how many contractors they'd been through that hadn't worked out. That was a serious red flag but it was too late at that point.

    After probation was up, when I would be a permanent employee, my pay would actually drop (because benefits)! As the weeks went on and the WTFery piled higher and deeper, I became more determined to have another job lined up before probation was over. Two weeks before my civil service test results came back, the hammer dropped. Fortunately, that test came through and put me somewhere relatively stable (not all government is bad).

    Places like that are predators, pure and simple. They lay a trap to lure in folks who cannot put up as much resistance (support a family, unemployed, etc). That's why interview stories, even this one that's caught some flak for sounding like a humble brag, are invaluable. Workers in our industry (and arguably any industry) need to be aware of the multitude of tricks that sociopaths employ to swindle them out of their time and talent.

  • Don (unregistered)

    Nice. I just had a similar conversation with my CFO a couple of days ago. I had to fire someone; and in the discussion about replacing him, the CFO made the comment that he didn't like paying so much salary for entry-level positions. I said, "boss, it isn't entry level; there are at least 45 systems we manage or ensure availability for, and you expect us to be the expert in every one of them; that doesn't include the daily hardware/software, teleconference, and presentation support operations; and there are only five of us in the department supporting 2,300 users. There is NO entry level here!"

  • snoofle (unregistered) in reply to Rolling my eyes

    I fully funded two very expensive private college degrees, helped them furnish their first apartments, and taught them the value of money by NOT spoiling them (too much) - often saying NO when we could have afforded to say YES, thus forcing them to save up to get things on their own instead of just handing them stuff.

    Insurance, if scaled correctly, will take care of catastrophic losses - that's what it's for.

    As for leaving my kids money, that's taken care of as well. How much is determined based upon their accomplishments in life over time. The more they earn/accomplish, the more they get (think milestones by specific ages). We had been thinking about people like MC Hammer, pretty much any lottery winner, and so on, who got lots of money very quickly and burned through it just as fast. IMHO, if you don't have to work for it, you don't appreciate it and may well blow through it. If they get too much too young, it'd probably do more damage than good. If they don't earn it after a certain age, it goes to charity instead.

    Grandchildren? Maybe down the road. When they come along, there's enough in the budget to spoil them a little.

    All planned for over 35 years.

    It's interesting that you rant on about things you merely assumed and had no facts to support.

  • Barf4Eva (unregistered) in reply to snoofle

    speak for yourself I guess.. I'm with Shufflepants, and I enjoy this line of work...

  • Rolling my eyes (unregistered) in reply to snoofle

    No really. I had very little information to work off because I don't stalk you nor particularly care. You wrote 1000 words of pure drivel without giving any context. Deal with it. I still think you're being entirely self-serving here.

  • Hannes (unregistered)

    $50k is "no big deal"? WTF? It's close to my salary at my new job. And it's even a RAISE to my previous yearly salary. No I feel sad, very sad.

  • A.C. (unregistered)

    Hey people, why so jealous about Snoofle's "50k no big deal" issue? He was offered 60K/year, but then the offer changed to 10K/year - so it's obvious he turned it off )) Jokes aside, great article that provokes some thoughts. Thanks.

  • Eric Lizotte (google) in reply to MaxArt

    MaxArt, i'm guessing no matter where you are at, if they were talking $130k and reduced it to 80k, you'd still turn it down. If for no better reason that if $130 hadn't sounded ridiculously excessive to you at first, you can get a job elsewhere someone in the middle of those two, and not be dealing with a bait + switch

  • Skeptical Reader (unregistered)

    You subtly advertise a service/way to make money that revolves around quality writing. Yet under "Save your money" it has this gem:

    Frexible discout system

    What in the freak?

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