What's the fastest way to earn money to ERE?

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
Steve Austin
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Post by Steve Austin » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:54 pm

Concur w/ fraussie. I saved more than USD10k in 6 months when I went on deployment.

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Post by Mo » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:09 pm

My brother did the long haul trucking thing for a while in his late 20s, early 30s. This was about 5-10 years ago. He saw a commercial on TV, and got enrolled in a school, etc..
The job was actually pretty miserable. Many of the drivers get paid by the mile. Sounds okay, until you find out that there are rules (I think laws actually) that limit the amount of miles you can drive in a period of time-- so that extreme individuals don't drive 24 hours a day until falling asleep at the wheel. So, your income is limited. Some drivers have figured out how to avoid those limits (shocking, I know), but my brother couldn't as his truck was tracked by GPS. I don't think he ever really made much more than $30k per year.
He was able to get his living costs very low, because he lived in the truck. The downsides: every bathroom was a truckstop, every shower too. Most meals were garbage eaten from places one could bring a truck with a 53 foot trailer to. He was entirely isolated from the routine of the rest of the world-- weekends, holidays, daytime, etc... it didn't really mean anything. He got days off, but it doesn't feel to much like a day off when you're sitting in the truck in a truck stop in an unknown town, miles away from anyone who cares about you. Oh yeah, and you can't drive the truck anywhere that day-- you're not working after all. So, happy day off kid... He told me hookers would knock on the windows regularly, unless he put up a signal that he wasn't interested. He liked driving the interstates, but the drop offs and pick ups were usually in the most dangerous parts of urban areas-- places that were hard to navigate, and not the kind of place a smaller guy wants to get out and ask directions in. The company made no allowances for things like weather, so if a horrific blizzard came through you were still expected to make your miles. Getting a big truck stuck in a snow drift and shutting down an interstate for half a day didn't make him popular in New York.
Eventually he gave 2 weeks notice and left the job-- even though it meant he had to move back in with our mom. When he told me about the daily life of what he was doing, I thought he had made the right choice.
I think any job that requires 2 years or less of total education beyond high school, and has the capacity to provide you with over $60k in income by day 366 on the job (i.e. in your 2nd year) is probably pretty conducive to ERE.

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Post by JohnnyH » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:30 pm

@Mo: wow, sounds just like what I heard... Said he'd rather work for minimum wage than go back to trucking.
I was in the truck once with him and there was this funny little piece of tin-foil origami on some gadget... I asked an he said is was his "buddy's hat" -a tiny sailors hat to fit over the GPS antenna so he couldn't be tracked!
Cooking your logbook has become common because some states are mandating you drive for less than 8hrs... and apparently sit in your truck for the other 16... Yikes.
So outside of medical field, and govt employment what consensus do we have?... Anyone else feel the medical field will see greatly decreased wages within a decade or two?

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Post by il-besa » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:16 am

@Concojones :

I think those places (Emirates Arab, dunno Singapore) have the advantage to offer the expensive and the cheap alternative, without the quality difference we've in the Western world.
I mean that you can have great food (ad example) for almost-standard European prices in places for expat/visitors/international people, as well as you can have great food for a fraction of the price in places for locals.
A coke is 1 dirham in a grocery shop, 22 dirhams in a fancy place :)

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Post by Concojones » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:40 pm

@il-besa: interesting! and the same thing applies to rent?

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Post by Sven » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:21 pm

Count me in for the il-besa route! Currently i am following the wage slave sub-route (the positive thing is that you get like a daily allowance of which you can put aside a nice part if you spend it smart), but i am considering to move on to the freelance sub-route soon (to be more 'free' like il-besa describes).
I have been thinking as well about sailing merchant ships (especially the long distance trips), working on oil platforms (after the BP debacle that interest dwindled somewhat :-D) or join a big dredging company.
All offer a real good pay compared to the more common land based jobs and simply don't offer a lot of opportunities to spend all the money. :-)

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Post by il-besa » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:06 pm

@Concojones: so far I had controversial info about renting, I can't comment about renting prices but I'll investigate till I'm here :)
@Sven: "il-besa route" haha I like that, but I don't live here so I can't really say that this is my route :)


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Post by Sven » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:53 pm

@ il-besa: Well i kinda got it from "My path is IT consultancy"! :-)

Regarding the not living there.. well it all depends on the definition of living you are using, i guess! If you are working somewhere abroad for longer than a couple of weeks and go for groceries.. well in my definition you are living there! ;-) I know.. being kind of an expat myself, my definitions might got a bit twisted. :-s

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Post by Mo » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:03 pm

@Johnny H:

"So outside of medical field, and govt employment what consensus do we have?"
I wish I knew, my friend.
I think the dental hygienist gig is solid, as futuredoctor indicated. Dentists have done a pretty good job of getting themselves out of heavily organized healthcare. Many people think of dental and health together, probably due to old school benefits programs, but I suspect that a larger percentage of folks pay out of pocket for dental care, vs medical care, and thus the dental market is less impeded by gov't intervention. As a simple explanation, the last election didn't include dental reform, right? Any insulted dentists, please let me know...
Our present situation suggests that people think of healthcare as a right, but dental care as less of a right, more of a service that one should be expected to pay for (gasp!)... In my opinion this isn't really logical, but the "line in the sand" exists anyway.
As for the idea that median medical salaries will fall, as a whole, on a relative basis, I suspect they will, but slowly. If I could predict two decades ahead, I'd be mega-rich already... but my suspicion is that in the U.S., anything that requires skilled, local labor will become relatively more expensive over the next two decades. Medical care falls into this category. Salaries might come down somewhat on a relative basis (relative to the avg. worker for instance), but the relative cost of the service will probably increase. My projection is that the U.S. middle class, and below, is becoming slowly poorer, on a global scale. These groups will still be able to buy a fridge from China or India at a seemingly low price, but it will become progressively harder to afford to pay for your neighbor (particularly if he/she is wealthier than you) to work for you.
@Sven, my cousin is doing the merchant marine thing currently, I'll send him a few emails and see what I can figure out about how good of a job it is. He started about 2 years ago. At first glance, it seems better than the trucking gig, but maybe my cousin is just more up-beat than my brother...?...

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Post by Concojones » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:49 pm

@il-besa: I had a quick look online into Abu Dhabi rents the other day and found $3500/month for a 2-bedroom apt. From that I'm going to make the very rough guess that renting with roommates is gonna be a good one thousand a month.
@sven: "sven" and "dredging"... you're from the Benelux (too)! Welcome on board!

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Post by Q » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:23 am

Todays MSN article:
20 Jobs with no degree that earn well
http://msn.careerbuilder.com/Article/MS ... 58506-VK-4

George the original one
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Post by George the original one » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:11 am

There were what, 3 jobs, in the MSN list that didn't require experience because the others were all "supervisor" or "manager"? Locomotive Engineer and Pipeline Operator were the two that stuck out and I think I saw one other.
Also, I must be jaded in my IT role because I recall only one of those jobs equaling what an entry-level salary is in IT. Ah, the value of an education!

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Post by Robert Muir » Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:12 pm

I'll second Marius' IT consultancy suggestion. That's my route and it has quite a few pluses:
1. No formal education required. You can learn everything needed by self-study with a few used computers.
2. Equipment required for day-to-day work is minimal. Used laptop, USB HDD, some software and your brain.
3. If you have really good human relation skills and you're reliable, you'll clean up! Most IT workers who've always been in IT have minimal communication skills.
The skills you learn always are handy. You can pick up extra money at any time by holding personal or group training and by removing malware from personal computers.
Want free comp tickets to plays at the local theatre? Volunteer to be the theatre IT guy/gal. Likewise for many other services that you might require in "retirement".

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Post by il-besa » Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:11 pm


I totally agree with you!!

And IT consultancy can be delivered remotely too.
I was looking into some website that offer IT jobs for home-workers, does anyone know something about?

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Post by Concojones » Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:10 pm

Hi all, I thought I'd alert you on another well-paying job, here in Alberta: electrical mechanic: 2 years of paid apprenticeship (in which you work most of the year), earning $70k out of school, before overtime and taxes ($11k). ERE at age 21 is hard to beat if you ask me! ;-) Must be similar for other types of mechanic.

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Post by Q » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:56 am

Local 39 building engineers do 4 year apprentice-ship and make around $37 an hr after they finish.
I'm looking into consulting myself, as it pays around $100/hr roughly (before your insurance and other costs).

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Post by fandor » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:07 am

I worked two summers in summer camps in USA - it was cheapest option to improve English, better than any language school, I had free board, laundry and they even gave me some pocket money - like a grand or two for the summer.
Some of the American co-workers worked there year-around, they had free living, it was in rural area (no chances to spend money), so they paid only for grocery and some gas. I guess they could save around 1000-1500 USD / month.

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Post by photoguy » Fri Aug 20, 2010 5:00 pm

I think it depends on what size nest egg you are looking to achieve. Greater education/training may allow one a higher salary at the opportunity cost of delaying full-time work. Looking at my area, I think one of the better options would be a career as a police officer / firefighter. They routinely top the highest paid city employees list (granted this may be with significant overtime).

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Post by ktn » Fri Aug 20, 2010 7:00 pm

@photoguy Assuming you want to get to ER with your psyche intact, I would not consider the police officer option if I were you. It's a job that psychologically grinds one down (esp true in the US). Every working day you get to see, experience, and deal with the very worst in human behavior - not to mention the race and political issues that come with the turf. IMHO over time it desensitizes and dehumanizes officers in a very negative sort of way.

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Post by Concojones » Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:15 pm

As Sven said: a jet-setting career can boost your savings by $20k or so (rough calculation in my head), because your living expenses will be paid for (say, $10k), and you get tax-free per-diem allowances (say, $50+/day).

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Post by futuredoctor » Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:52 am

What's the fastest way to earn money to ERE?

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Post by KevinW » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:20 pm

Another idea, working on a cruise ship:


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Post by JasonB » Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:51 am

Are you a US citizen, whose never done drugs, has no felony convictions and can do IT Support (Help Desk, SysAd work)?
Congratulations! You can go to Iraq or Afghanistan as a contractor and make $250k/yr and up!
Your employer can get you an interim Secret clearance, a plane ticket and youre on your way!
Housing, food and transportation is paid for. All you have to do is go to work, help your customers with their Outlook and setting up their printers, bill your time correctly and watch the money roll in!
Just make sure to wear your body armor and dont go outside the wire without your armed convoy.
Oh, and if you think I'm joking, I'm not.

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Post by il-besa » Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:30 pm

Hi Jason,

I know you're not joking, but personally I want to have a balance between "live life now and retire tomorrow" and this is too unbalanced :)

too much sacrifice now for an uncertain tomorrow. (tomorrow is always uncertain anyway)

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Post by jacob » Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:08 am

@il-besa - How old are you? I found both from myself and from talking to older people, that in general, you get to "keep your operating system", that is, you will feel or think the same way ten, twenty, or thirty years from now. You will probably run "different programs", that is, have different opinions.
Most "old people" I've talked to still feel young inside. More specifically, they feel the same age on the inside as they've always felt regardless of how old they get for most of their life. People definitely change their opinions and priorities though.
My point is that sacrificing in the now is usually worth it because it's "5 years of now" versus "50 years of future".

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