Yet Another Midwestern Engineer

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Seamus
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Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:21 pm
Location: Southeast Michigan

Yet Another Midwestern Engineer

Post by Seamus » Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:04 pm

Hello All

I discovered this website in summer 2016, through MMM's site. I've always been good at saving and I've been leery of consumerism since at least high school, so I won't say discovering these blogs has changed the way I live very much. The most important thing I've learned is that I should become more of an investor, rather than just a saver. It is nice to know there are others out there though.

I'm 26 years old, single, and I live in Southeast Michigan. I have a bachelor's degree in engineering and I work in the industry. I currently have 15 or 16 years of expenses saved, and my expenses are about 20% of my net income. As I noted above, I don't know much about investing yet. Since college I've found relatively cheap places to rent, mostly from my coworkers. (Seems like professional engineers are especially driven to buy houses at a young age, resulting in a surplus of rooms that need filling.) Unfortunately I do own a car. I drive about 4000 miles per year mostly on rock climbing trips. Car related expenses are about 9% of my spending, so hopefully I will be able to make arrangements to go without before too long.

I think I first decided to try to become an engineer around age 12. Now that I've done it, I know that I don't want to continue to do it until a normal retirement age like I had planned. So for the first time in my life I am uncertain about my future.

This is my first time posting on a forum of any kind. So apologies in advance for any breaches of etiquette.

-S

P.S. Anyone else in the area loving the heat this weekend?

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C40
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Re: Yet Another Midwestern Engineer

Post by C40 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:13 pm

Hello, fellow midwestern engineer. Welcome to the forum :-)

James_0011
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Re: Yet Another Midwestern Engineer

Post by James_0011 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:39 pm

Thats pretty amazing that you wanted to be an engineer at age twelve, Im not even sure if I knew what an engineer was at that age...

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Seamus
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Location: Southeast Michigan

Re: Yet Another Midwestern Engineer

Post by Seamus » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:19 pm

My father is an engineer, I think I wanted to be like him. And my impression of engineering was basically "Lego for grownups" until probably high school physics, when I discovered that my studies were about to get much more difficult.

halfmoon
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Re: Yet Another Midwestern Engineer

Post by halfmoon » Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:56 pm

Seamus wrote:
Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:04 pm
This is my first time posting on a forum of any kind. So apologies in advance for any breaches of etiquette.
Welcome, Seamus! I'd recommend reading the forum rules of conduct https://forum.earlyretirementextreme.co ... =21&t=6780 if you have any concerns. I was similarly inexperienced with forum etiquette when I began here. This is a civilized and generally respectful environment, which seems to be an exception to the common online experience.

Did
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Re: Yet Another Midwestern Engineer

Post by Did » Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:02 pm

Welcome. Amazing saving effort. At your age all of my wage and more went on beer and bad manners....

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Dragline
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Re: Yet Another Midwestern Engineer

Post by Dragline » Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:13 pm

Well, I breach somebody's etiquette almost every time I post. :lol: Welcome.

I remember thinking Astronomy was the life for me in my early teens. I was in for a rude awakening a few years later.

Changing your mind about your direction in life is a good thing. It just seems awkward until you embrace it. But the best thing is: Nobody else really cares, so long as you are not destitute or an addict.

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Seamus
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Location: Southeast Michigan

Re: Yet Another Midwestern Engineer

Post by Seamus » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:03 am

Although my most indulgent days are probably over, I still enjoy a healthy serving of adult beverages from time to time. I generally think the extra joy I get from beer is worth the money :-)

I remember reading a kid's book about stars and black holes and such and wanting to be a physicist for a few years. When I was ten or so I started wanting to write novels. From adolescence on it was all engineering.

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Sclass
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Re: Yet Another Midwestern Engineer

Post by Sclass » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:19 pm

Seamus wrote:
Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:04 pm

I think I first decided to try to become an engineer around age 12. Now that I've done it, I know that I don't want to continue to do it until a normal retirement age like I had planned. So for the first time in my life I am uncertain about my future.
Why? I recall my first real job being really sucky and wanting out ASAP. I wondered how I could keep it up. I was an engineer. Things changed. I learned to tolerate it. I gave up after twelve years after I lost my tolerance.

I guess I'm asking because I can see not wanting to continue to 65 but you're still pretty young. There are a lot of potential retirement dates between now and 2056.

It's really tough falling into something you just don't want to be in. Sometimes it's the parameters of your current position. I've been an engineer in the roles of designer, R&D, owner operator. They all sucked but in different ways. So I was just curious what was bothering you. Sometimes a change can transform the variety of suck and allow you to milk your degrees longer.

Being an engineer is great. I just hate doing it for other people. It's kind of like sex is great but being a whore sucks. Breaching any etiquette here? :lol:

And Welcome!

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Seamus
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Re: Yet Another Midwestern Engineer

Post by Seamus » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:26 pm

Good point. I suppose I don't mean to say that I want out of the profession ASAP, never to return. As good as taking a few months/years off sounds, realistically I'd probably feel like working again at some point.

Four days out of five lately, I'm merely tolerating my job. Several years ago I was moved within the company to replace someone with decades of experience, whose shoes I cannot fill. So it's hard not to feel like a failure just waiting to be found out. I also supervise people which really makes my anxiety kick in, especially since some of them are older than me. The industry I'm in is, in a grand sense, a little misaligned with my personal ethics. Plus I have to sit at a computer in an office with no windows for eight hours a day, who wants to do that? On the other hand, I do like my coworkers and feel like a part of the team. And identifying as "a professional" probably helps my self esteem.

I agree that doing it for other people sort of ruins it. Deadlines and timecards and memos and presentations... blech.

So there are multiple parameters, some which would probably improve with time off or a new job, some of which wouldn't. Unsure of where I'll be in five years but regardless, I'm happy to have options I wouldn't if I was living paycheck to paycheck.

Better be careful, you'll damage my millenial snowflake ears with that sort of talk :-)

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Sclass
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Re: Yet Another Midwestern Engineer

Post by Sclass » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:06 pm

You can always try to fill the shoes. It may not be that hard...they were filled by a human being prior to your arrival I presume. But then you may become something you don't want to be. Good luck.

I worked with a lot of old engineers in my twenties. They were really a sad bunch. I just didn't get it at the time. Timid and terrified. But they lasted, I did not. Go figure.

Good to start digging your escape tunnel early. Your post made me recall how fed up I was during my early career.

MDFIRE2024
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Re: Yet Another Midwestern Engineer

Post by MDFIRE2024 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:23 am

Seamus wrote:
Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:04 pm
I currently have 15 or 16 years of expenses saved, and my expenses are about 20% of my net income.
Wecome Seamus! With your age of 26 years it's a great start to your ERE-Journey with 16 years of expenses saved and a SR of 80%. Great progress. Keep on saving and ERE comes faster than you think. :-)

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