How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

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latearlyFI
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How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by latearlyFI » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:26 am

I worked in the Financial and Insurance Industry for the last 20 years and I've seen lot's of changes. There has been lot's of automation and less and less staff. I also haven't had a meaningful pay rise in a decade, in fact my perks have gone and benefits diminished. The most recent being a sudden drop in the contribution to Health care costs - without warning. I'm jaded now and disillusioned with being an Employee and I'm wondering what others have experienced. I also recently watched a documentary that explained how new Artificial Intelligence will do my job better than me, that people will also be able to call and speak to a "person" that will actually be AI and you may not be able to tell.

I've looked at re-skilling. The costs of college are high and the jobs I'm looking at, Nursing, Radiology, lot's of those will go the way of AI too. Factor in having to also take care of young children it makes it extremely difficult.

A lot of these issues led me to the path of FIRE. I am saving as much as possible to try and get there before the job market completely collapses. It will most likely affect equity investments too. I am also working on becoming as self reliant as possible, ie growing food, solar and having an EV car - I haven't paid for Gas this year!

I just finished reading the book, "The War on Normal People" by Andrew Yang which was mind blowing and confirmed a lot of things I had already noticed. I am so glad he is running for President and like his clear logical Policies without throwing jabs at everyone.

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Dream of Freedom
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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by Dream of Freedom » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:53 am

You could have said the same about the industrial revolution. People were getting replaced by machines. The thing is that work hours actually increased and only moderated with the introduction of unions and labor laws. Is this time different? I don't know.

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Stahlmann
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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by Stahlmann » Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:19 am

I've looked at re-skilling. The costs of college are high and the jobs I'm looking at, Nursing, Radiology, lot's of those will go the way of AI too. Factor in having to also take care of young children it makes it extremely difficult.
That's scary even for pessimist like me :shock: . I assume that your're smart 40-45 yr old guy and... you feel outed from job market?!

So what's left for 40+ folks who got kicked out from corporate tree house and wanna jump out from minimum wage range?!

IlliniDave
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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:47 pm

My job has not changed much in the last 20 years other than my colleagues growing steadily younger on average (probably 25% are younger than my kids!). In a sense there's more automation, but it still takes a human to make sense of what the "automation" produces, and to create the automation. The number of jobs has not decreased, it has increased, but most notably productivity has blown through the roof and we're doing things now that were time/cost prohibitive 20 years ago. So the opportunities have expanded with the technological growth.

Scott 2
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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by Scott 2 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:53 pm

Maybe not what you are looking to hear, but in my case, it's been about a 2.5x increase over the last 17 years. I've been in the insurance industry, on the automation and data side of things. It's hard to separate career growth from industry growth, but the increase is significant.

About a year ago, it became clear automation would eventually transform or take my fairly technical job. I decided to aggressively re-specialize. I am now implementing that automation, and in the process, developing expertise that will carry me into the future.

IMO tech is creating a strong class divide. I am doing my best to be on the lucrative side of the chasm.

Frita
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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by Frita » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:00 pm

When I went into teaching nearly three decades ago, people said our jobs would be automated by now. It hasn’t happened; however, teacher autonomy and creativity has been replaced with teaching to the test. Staff are younger and churn as they are cheaper and the stress can be high. (People used to retire after 40+ years, no longer heard of.) Staff now can have any bschelor’s degree and work provisionally, often for near-minimum wage pay. The job is NOTHING like it used to be.

OTCW
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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by OTCW » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:25 pm

I do a lot more now than I did then. I was lucky that when I started, I had an older Engineer as a role model. He was the guy who never stopped learning, and could do things that others his age couldn't or wouldn't. I tried to model myself after him as best I could and not after the guys who looked like they got to a point and started coasting. Technology will pass you by fast in my line of work if you let it.

I am in year 25 of my career.

7Wannabe5
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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:41 am

Twenty years ago I was working for a corporation that twenty years earlier had been on the cutting edge of technology. It went bankrupt a few years after I had quit to start my own micro-lifestyle-business which was based on even more cutting edge technology, which is now at least 4 generations off the cutting edge.

Shortly before I joined this forum, in an effort to improve my level of stick-to-it-ive-ness towards mastery, I decided to attempt lifestyle design based on 7 year cycles of re-invention. I now think this was a mistake, because these-a-days you have to "aggressively re-specialize" more often than that if you want to keep up.

Anyways, I kind of like the gig economy, because part-time work at $15/hour is all I need to get by at my spending level*, and gig-work offers a good deal of flexibility and variety and autonomy. I would also note that technological training is very inexpensive these days. The biggest problem that "normal" people face is that they can't do math. One of my back-burner business ideas is starting a tutoring service specifically aimed at math-phobic re-tooling adults. One of the problems with the U.S. school system is that it has been my experience that the majority of elementary level teachers are math-phobic themselves, so they unconsciously tamp down the enthusiasm of the brightest children. Also, trying to bring the lowest functioning kids up to par sucks up a ton of human resources.

*Since UBI is set at $12,000 and gig work at $12/hour is readily available at all times for unskilled/vaguely co-operative, it must just be meant to be supplement to $24,000, which would bring two-earner household to $72,000= quite respectable middle-class income.

EdithKeeler
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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by EdithKeeler » Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:31 am

I work in insurance, too, and have seen exactly what you describe. More automation, fewer people, much heavier workload (despite the attempt to spin the automation as a help—it is NOT. More expensive health insurance, though the coverage is good. (My boss is retiring in 2 weeks. The payment under COBRA is $1000/month. When my mom retired 22 years ago, her COBRA premium was $99/month!) . My retirement benefits are good—I still have a small pension, but they have discontinued for new employees. Good 401k offerings, average match.

I can’t complain too much about my salary. I had a dry spell with no raises or bonuses, but that’s loosened up recently and I have received pretty decent ones the last couple years.

I don’t think our industry is much different from any other. More with less.

I will likely retire early—I set a goal for 2 years from now, though I may not make that. Definitely by age 60 (5 years from now) I’ll be out.

Sometimes I look at the money I’ve amassed for retirement and think “my god that’s a lot!!” Other days I think “god, I’ll never be able to retire!”

I’m more spendy than most on these boards—I don’t want to live a barebones lifestyle, though I can be frugal. But I think the future of work looks bleak, really. I don’t see any work that seems terribly interesting, fulfilling and lucrative (“pick 2!”) out there. My current job is interesting, somewhat fulfilling, and lucrative, so I’ll probably just stick it out until I’ve just really had enough. (I can’t see that any longer than 5 years!!)

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Ego
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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by Ego » Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:13 pm

latearlyFI wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:26 am
I also recently watched a documentary that explained how new Artificial Intelligence will do my job better than me, that people will also be able to call and speak to a "person" that will actually be AI and you may not be able to tell.
I just listened to Daniel Schreiber from Lemonade Insurance on the Exponential View Podcast where he explains how they are processing claims using AI bots. They have more than 250,000 customers but less than 100 employees. They set aside 20% of premiums to cover costs and profit, the rest goes to paying claims. If there is money left over in the claims pool at the end of the year it is donated to charity. How can traditional insurers compete with that?

https://hbr.org/podcast/2019/05/disrupting-finance

Sorry, I know that is not what you want to hear but it is probably a good thing you are thinking about a change.

We do something similar to 7wanna but we have a three year 'work' cycle with one year off to reset.

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unemployable
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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by unemployable » Sat Jun 22, 2019 4:01 pm

My job? Well 20 years ago, I had one. I was in the middle of a trajectory where my income went from 45k to 100k to some 170k (late-90s USD). It's looking more and more like I peaked at age 29.

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Ego
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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by Ego » Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:11 am

Here is an excellent nuanced article about the ideal skills and mindset needed to adapt to the rapidly changing work environment.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... vy/590647/

“Fluid, learning-intensive environments are going to require different traits than classical business environments,” I was told by Frida Polli, a co-founder of an AI-powered hiring platform called Pymetrics. “And they’re going to be things like ability to learn quickly from mistakes, use of trial and error, and comfort with ambiguity.”

Toska2
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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by Toska2 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:43 am

From $5.35, part time swing shift
To $28.50 full time, 7-3, great healthcare, pension.
To $20 part time, 8-2, no benefits besides 10 weeks off a year.

Im coasting until I find a great job.

EdithKeeler
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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by EdithKeeler » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:56 pm

If there is money left over in the claims pool at the end of the year it is donated to charity. How can traditional insurers compete with that?
We talk a lot about Lemonade at work. I think that Lemonade fills a particular niche, and it’s going to be really hard for carriers to compete in that niche.

But outside that niche, the formula fails. I work for a carrier that insures commercial companies, and our specialty is catering to some really specific needs of those businesses. We offer a lot of risk management services and things to our customers, and we’re all about “service, service, service.”

I’m really glad I got out of personal lines. I worked for a non-standard carrier for many years, and the writing was on the wall 20 years ago that something like Lemonade would come along. When you’re writing minimum limits insurance policies, it’s pretty clear that it makes sense to just pay the limits if need be and move on.

But it’s not quite so simple on the commercial side, though for smaller claims, it makes sense to apply that formula.

I’m glad I’m closer to the end of my working days than the beginning. My job is good, my company is good, but judging from the last 10 years, the next 10 years are going to bring tons of changes, and most of them probably won’t be in workers’ favor. In probably any industry. I think the people in the middle will have it the worst, too, at least short term. Decently educated, smart, but not cutting edge computer engineering smart. If you’re not smart enough to do the really hard, innovative stuff, there’s not going to be that much “middle” stuff left to do for everyone.

Which leaves almost everyone doing scut work. Until the robots come. And then we’re all fucked! 😁. 🤖

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unemployable
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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by unemployable » Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:46 pm

Ego wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:13 pm
They set aside 20% of premiums to cover costs and profit, the rest goes to paying claims. If there is money left over in the claims pool at the end of the year it is donated to charity. How can traditional insurers compete with that?
If it's a mutual they give it back to policyholders. I'll take that over a charity I may not care about.

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unemployable
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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by unemployable » Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:47 pm

EdithKeeler wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:31 am
I don’t see any work that seems terribly interesting, fulfilling and lucrative (“pick 2!”) out there.
I'll take interesting and lucrative and get my fulfillment somewhere else.

latearlyFI
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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by latearlyFI » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:00 am

Ego wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:11 am
Great article! And reminded me of the evolution of my job in another way. So i remember in my prior Underwriting insurance roles having an Assistant that would type, send faxes, make appointments etc, well that doesn't happen anymore. Everyone types their own correspondence and enters data now. But in the more recent years it's led to also doing Accountant functions. A decade ago the accounting department would chase up unpaid premiums, do the allocations and send out invoices etc. It seems that function has landed in our lap. Along with marketing etc, so many other "departments" are gone and those functions fall onto the producer as well. I was also annoyed at my last new employment that there wasn't a "HR" person, it's outsourced to a website and you have to figure it out yourself, setting it up and good luck every getting a person on the phone that can actually help.

latearlyFI
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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by latearlyFI » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:03 am

EdithKeeler wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:56 pm
Love your last line! I agree, and I'm glad I'm not just starting out in the job market. I'm saving like crazy to get out asap!

I wish there was a Health Insurance version of Lemonade!! It's basically Universal Healthcare, take out the profits and admin costs of big mega Health Insurances and should be enough money to cover all the claims..

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Ego
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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by Ego » Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:22 pm

Well, the future is here. It just hasn't traveled west yet.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/artic ... -insurance

Ping An (China's largest insurer) is using facial recognition software (and AI) to search for “micro-expressions” on people’s faces to help decide whether they’re being truthful, whether to insure them and presumably what the terms of service should be.

latearlyFI
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Re: How has your job and income changed in the last 2 decades?

Post by latearlyFI » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:43 pm

Ego wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:22 pm
Well, the future is here. It just hasn't traveled west yet.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/artic ... -insurance

Ping An (China's largest insurer) is using facial recognition software (and AI) to search for “micro-expressions” on people’s faces to help decide whether they’re being truthful, whether to insure them and presumably what the terms of service should be.
Interesting article that makes a great point, Health Care shouldn't be provided via Insurance! It's a basic necessity that should form part of society's support via taxes. I worked as an Insurance Underwriter that assessed medical conditions to provide Medical Insurance to Employees traveling long term overseas. We wouldn't cover anyone with serious issues and if they became too sick and injured while away, they would be medivac'd home, the insurance would cease upon arrival back home. The name of the game is to charge enough premium to cover the claims, costs and make a profit.

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