Birthday Reset

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Kylinne
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Birthday Reset

Post by Kylinne » Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:11 pm

I turned 38 today, so I'm among the oldest of the Millennials.

I'm an aerospace engineer with a mech degree in Los Angeles, married to a teacher, no kids though we'd like some, and we have roommates in very walkable neighborhood. I found Jacob and ERE in about 2008 or 2009, right about when he started posting, while trying to escape an unfortunate job situation. My plans to retire early kept being delayed for a variety of reasons, so I've instead been continuing to accumulate - I have a NW of about $1.7M with $2M in assets, and I've never earned more than $90K and only recently came close to that, so thank you to Jacob for the baseline in frugality (and the LA housing market, roommates that pay some of the housing costs, and parents that funded both my schooling and a lot of travel with them). I have no idea what my spouse is worth; we keep our finances mostly separate. I have insisted that he max his 403b and his Roth, and I know from doing our taxes that he makes more than I do. (In the oh-so-common teacher/engineer pairing, one would assume the teacher would make less - but when the engineer stayed in the same job instead of leaving for promotions and raises like her peers, and the teacher not only moved to a high-paying district, but also got a Master's degree (actually, 3....), and changed to a high-paying specialty, the teacher out earns the very undervalued but stably employed engineer, lol). I know my spending has been ramping up a lot in the last few years, both from home repairs (it needed a new roof and sewer main, among other things - cheapest, short-sale house in the most expensive neighborhood near two colleges was a rental for 40 years and then a badly done flip, and a lot of deferred maintenance showed up on my watch), but also more travel and eating out. I'm hoping to reset back into a healthier, more frugal lifestyle (I gained 20lbs in a month last year after a majorly traumatic event, and gaining weight is already super easy due to PCOS, and I was already overweight after a major surgery in 2016 left me unable to walk or stand more than 10 minutes at a time for quite a while - but the surgery improved my quality of life inordinately, not to mention gave me an amazing, paid year off) with other people looking for the same goal. There's my info dump for the afternoon, and happy birthday to me! :D

George the original one
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Re: Birthday Reset

Post by George the original one » Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:36 pm

Kylinne wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:11 pm
I have no idea what my spouse is worth
I think my spouse says the same thing occasionally... oh, you meant financially! :lol:

Kylinne
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Re: Birthday Reset

Post by Kylinne » Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:40 pm

@GTOO HAHAHAHAH. I don't know what he sees in me, but I definitely know he's worth it. He's my second one, so I have an excellent comparison, and this one is much better. <3

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unemployable
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Re: Birthday Reset

Post by unemployable » Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:40 pm

I would have quit years ago

Kylinne
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Re: Birthday Reset

Post by Kylinne » Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:48 pm

@unemployable So would I have, except when I planned my first sabbatical, in 2010, I got married (the first time) instead. Then my ex convinced me to buy a house in 2011 - and the 3 year separation and divorce after that meant I couldn't sell the house until 2016, by which time I went on my year-long medical leave for surgery instead, and then got married again in 2017. This spouse convinced me to stay working until he maxes out his teacher's pension in 4 years, and then we'll sell or rent this place out and move to someplace much colder than here.

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unemployable
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Re: Birthday Reset

Post by unemployable » Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:54 pm

If he's CalSTRS he should be able to take any (public) teaching job in the state and keep his service credit. Although perhaps he's on one of the LA plans (city or county) instead. I was an ME major but ended up in pension consulting.

I think now would be a great time to sell a house in LA and buy one in like Redding or Susanville.

Kylinne
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Re: Birthday Reset

Post by Kylinne » Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:02 pm

unemployable wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:54 pm
If he's CalSTRS he should be able to take any (public) teaching job in the state and keep his service credit.
Yeah, he is, but he is also in one of the highest paying districts in the area, so even if he kept his service credit, he wouldn't be earning as much towards his pension. Staying the extra time is my way of assuaging his adorable, worrying ass. He's willing to be out in 4 years, and may possibly sub after that, if we stay in CA. Otoh, I keep threatening to quit and telling him he can support me for the 4 years he wants to keep working. *rofl*

Kylinne
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Re: Birthday Reset

Post by Kylinne » Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:08 pm

unemployable wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:54 pm
I was an ME major but ended up in pension consulting.
How do you get out of ME into … hell, anything else? I've been needing a change for … 13 years now (but the stability has been nice, too)? And haven't figured out how to get out. At this point, most people think I'm too experienced where I'm at to want to hire me in anything even remotely related, much less something completely different, so I have debated on quitting and retraining in the trades (thanks Mike Rowe) or pretty much anything but engineering.

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unemployable
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Re: Birthday Reset

Post by unemployable » Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:24 pm

I didn't get into ME, really, other than a quick stint as a spreadsheet jockey.

I had a interview coming out of college with a large defense contractor. Everything about it, from the office decor to the people working there, felt like they were stuck in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Forty years of that? No thanks.

I always wanted to work on a trading floor, so I moved to Chicago and got a job on one, and took it from there.

Regarding moving, at some point you (plural) may wake up one day and decide to just do it, pension contribution be damned. From experience I would start laying the groundwork now in terms of where you want to go and what you want your life to be like so that you'll be able to pull the trigger with confidence.

Kylinne
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Re: Birthday Reset

Post by Kylinne » Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:36 pm

unemployable wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:24 pm
I didn't get into ME, really, other than a quick stint as a spreadsheet jockey.
Ahhhh.
unemployable wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:24 pm
I had a interview coming out of college with a large defense contractor.
Yeah…. it's about as not-fun as you would expect. Some programs are less bad, but the one I'm on is super rigid, and aging from new program to sustaining, so also boring.
unemployable wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:24 pm
Regarding moving, at some point you (plural) may wake up one day and decide to just do it, pension contribution be damned. From experience I would start laying the groundwork now in terms of where you want to go and what you want your life to be like so that you'll be able to pull the trigger with confidence.
I would have years ago but boys keep getting in the way of my plans. :P He won't - as much as we're both ADHD, he's also worries about everything. The 4 years is already a compromise - getting him out of debt was step one, getting him saving was step two, getting him to see we can do it and be fine is the part I'm still working on. Also where is a big question - we both love to ski and we love the outdoors, but the argument between the PNW, CO, the NE, Tahoe, EU, and NZ rages on. Aka, we both want trees and snow (we've both lived in it and like it in spite of being native to SoCal), but which *kind* of trees and snow is the crux of the argument. *rofl* I like evergreens, he likes deciduous, and it will be a never-ending discussion until we give up and get multiple cheap houses or a tiny home with an electric SUV to pull it. :P

Sclass
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Re: Birthday Reset

Post by Sclass » Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:52 pm

What part of engineering do you dislike?

I used to dream of being in aerospace/defense after getting run ragged in Silicon Valley. Grass looked greener I guess. I have no idea what that world is like. It just was an “anywhere but here” reaction to my job.

After seven years of retirement I realized I loved design. I just hate doing it on other people’s terms. I guess I also hated my company’s threat culture where people were coerced into unreasonable deadlines with subtle threats of lay-off. At the end I was FI and it just pissed me off rather than motivate me to work harder. It’s like some guy is bullying you but you happen to be holding a Glock mini pointed at his middle inside your pocket. You can nod and wait for his bs to stop but in the meantime it gets old as he tries his best to scare you.

So if you’re FI and your job is still awful...well that means there is something really sucky there. Tell us more.

And Welcome.

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unemployable
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Re: Birthday Reset

Post by unemployable » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:06 pm

Kylinne wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:36 pm
The 4 years is already a compromise - getting him out of debt was step one, getting him saving was step two, getting him to see we can do it and be fine is the part I'm still working on. Also where is a big question - we both love to ski and we love the outdoors, but the argument between the PNW, CO, the NE, Tahoe, EU, and NZ rages on. Aka, we both want trees and snow (we've both lived in it and like it in spite of being native to SoCal), but which *kind* of trees and snow is the crux of the argument. *rofl* I like evergreens, he likes deciduous, and it will be a never-ending discussion until we give up and get multiple cheap houses or a tiny home with an electric SUV to pull it. :P
He's nicely progressing up the Wheaton scale. We're all basically working our way up it.

The process tends to be one towards inevitability. First it seems like a stupid idea, then merely a crazy one, then a possible one, then a more reasonable one, then a workable one, then the only possible one. At least that was my experience.

Kylinne
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Re: Birthday Reset

Post by Kylinne » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:39 pm

Sclass wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:52 pm
What part of engineering do you dislike?
Management, rofl. All I wanna do is do my job at whatever time of day I want to do it, preferably from home, without someone expecting me to be here at 7AM and threatening to fire me if I'm not (which is where I'm at now, and I'm kind like... bring it on - a third of our team is retiring next year, you're already gonna be screwed, so have fun firing one of your cheapest experienced engineers).
Sclass wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:52 pm
I used to dream of being in aerospace/defense after getting run ragged in Silicon Valley. Grass looked greener I guess. I have no idea what that world is like. It just was an “anywhere but here” reaction to my job.
Hah, I thought about getting out of aerospace into SV or Silicon Beach because the start-up culture seemed great - actually flexible hours and work schedules, remote work, free food, ping pong tables.
Otoh, I won't work for SpaceX because of the expected 60-80hr work weeks for the same or lower pay, so probably wouldn't be all that awesome, lol. We are salaried but get overtime, though I pretty much never do it unless mandatory.
Sclass wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:52 pm
After seven years of retirement I realized I loved design.
Me too!!! That's the fun part of it all.
Sclass wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:52 pm
I just hate doing it on other people’s terms. I guess I also hated my company’s threat culture where people were coerced into unreasonable deadlines with subtle threats of lay-off. At the end I was FI and it just pissed me off rather than motivate me to work harder. It’s like some guy is bullying you but you happen to be holding a Glock mini pointed at his middle inside your pocket. You can nod and wait for his bs to stop but in the meantime it gets old as he tries his best to scare you.
All. Of. This. I literally told my boss boss, when I was showing up at 10-11am after my dad died (see trauma above), that I didn't care. He was asking what he could do to get everything back on track, and I literally told him that he couldn't and I just didn't care. Burnout plus grief isn't a great combo. A couple months later, I was mostly back on track (or at least mostly before 8:30am), when they decided to have paperwork and email documentation to document when I come in and when I leave, and they will probably fire me one of these days because I don't do 7am well. I've talked to multiple other managers from other programs at my company and they're like - wtaf is wrong with your bosses, why don't they just let you come in at 9 or 10 like we would. *shrug* I do my work well and on time, but they want a butt in a chair for 9 hours a day from 7-4:42. If I can last the next few months one of the other managers will take me on (paperwork means they can't until then), but we'll see if I can last that long before I up and quit or they fire me because I slept through my fourth alarm, again.
Sclass wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:52 pm
So if you’re FI and your job is still awful...well that means there is something really sucky there. Tell us more.
Morale is for shit around here. I spend a lot of every week coasting, with occasionally bursts of inspired productivity. We're at the boring stage of the game, which means there is very little in new design work but the bosses are on about costs of everything, not realizing they're making it worse. Like, for example, I was trying to change a part by 0.050" - literally that small - and there was a 45 minute argument in a meeting of 20 people of why and if we should do this change, or if we should do it another way, and berating me for not looking at all possible aspects of what could be causing the problem and that they shouldn't be having to design the part in the meeting (they weren't, that manager was simply being an ass, and I had people come up to me afterwards empathizing) - meanwhile, this is costing them a couple grand every ten minutes or so, not to mention that this was the fastest and easiest fix and the supplier already said they'd do it for free. This was also after a previous pre-meeting meeting where we discussed all this for a half hour (including with the same manager that was an ass, who didn't mention anything in that meeting about what he later said in the next meeting). We had one guy screw up a couple years ago and cost the program either $40K or $400K (eh, decimal places), and now we have to take every. single. change. to multiple meetings with the management team, the scheduling and planning teams, the manufacturing teams, etc. We have to take in changes when someone makes an obvious typo (usually those are under ten minutes, and yet). So now we're spending thousands more on these meetings rather letting there be some autonomy on obvious fixes.
And on the personnel side, they're not any better: We had a couple guys that used to take about 20-30 minutes in the morning to go to the cafeteria and get coffee and breakfast together and just relax for a few minutes after their 1.5hr commute. They are hard workers and get their stuff done, but they were yelled at and told they couldn't do that anymore, because they weren't properly charging their timecards. And then they wonder why their yearly employee survey metrics are so shitty.

The most obvious question is, why not find a new job? Because honestly, every single job that I'm remotely qualified for looks like shit when I browse them, so I might as well eat the shit sandwich I know that at least leaves me with 4.5 weeks of vacation and every other Friday off, plus a lot of time to read random forum boards. Aka, I'm in a stable rut.
Sclass wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:52 pm
And Welcome.
Thank you!

Kylinne
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Re: Birthday Reset

Post by Kylinne » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:41 pm

unemployable wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:06 pm
The process tends to be one towards inevitability. First it seems like a stupid idea, then merely a crazy one, then a possible one, then a more reasonable one, then a workable one, then the only possible one. At least that was my experience.
Yup, he's slowly going up the Wheaton scale, though I know he's still worried we're going to be eating cat food and dying of cancer in a ditch.

After 5 years of me talking about it, he's finally coming around. He's a good 'un. <3

Sclass
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Re: Birthday Reset

Post by Sclass » Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:18 pm

Oh boy. I’m sorry to hear this. At least you have the FI part down. I was in a similar situation. At the time my solution was to walk out. But I sometimes wonder if I should have just stayed around and adjusted my attitude.

You have some big choices to make. Maybe have your kid while you’re still working and make your employer pay your insurance and maternity leave?

Good luck with things.

Kylinne
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Re: Birthday Reset

Post by Kylinne » Mon Nov 04, 2019 1:17 pm

Sclass wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:18 pm
At the time my solution was to walk out.
If I was single, that would have been mine a while ago.
Sclass wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:18 pm
But I sometimes wonder if I should have just stayed around and adjusted my attitude.
Tried that. Repeatedly. Lasts as long as the time in between the bullcrap from my managers over what time I arrive in the morning. :P
Sclass wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:18 pm
Maybe have your kid while you’re still working and make your employer pay your insurance and maternity leave?
Yeah, been trying for that. Have known for over a decade that I'd have trouble and might need IVF, though - froze my eggs at 33. Which, well, makes the health insurance even more useful.
Sclass wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:18 pm
Good luck with things.
Thanks! Today's good. We'll see how tomorrow goes.

Peanut
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Re: Birthday Reset

Post by Peanut » Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:13 pm

Welcome to the forum, your profile is fascinating. Don't listen to unemployable, never leave L.A. I'm happy where we are now but looking back I think we should have returned when we had the chance.

You're underpaid, don't you think? Maybe threatening to leave would get them to cough up some more compensation.

If you and your spouse's finance are separate, why should you look to anyone else's timetable for leaving? You should be able to do fine with your nest egg for an extended period of time assuming your expenses are reasonable. Surely your spouse has good health insurance that will cover you too?

Speaking of, hope your health issues continue to improve. If I were in your situation I'd be trying for a kid today, both naturally and with the frozen eggs. Is there a reason why you're waiting?

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Stahlmann
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Re: Birthday Reset

Post by Stahlmann » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:18 pm

people with millions in their bank acc and their problems.... again :-DDDD

Kylinne
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Re: Birthday Reset

Post by Kylinne » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:01 pm

Stahlmann wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:18 pm
people with millions in their bank acc and their problems.... again :-DDDD
*grin* Yeah, I know... #FWP.
Also the million is mostly in the house, not the accounts.

Kylinne
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Re: Birthday Reset

Post by Kylinne » Mon Nov 04, 2019 9:51 pm

I had a longer response to this, but the internet ate it. Otoh, I like to write novels, so the abbreviated post is likely appreciated.
Peanut wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:13 pm
Welcome to the forum, your profile is fascinating.
Thank you!
Peanut wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:13 pm
Don't listen to unemployable, never leave L.A. I'm happy where we are now but looking back I think we should have returned when we had the chance.

I do love my neighborhood: walking distance to the library, two grocery stores, parks, schools, good restaurants, and a longer walk to the beach, a nature preserve, and an airport. Also close to my sister and mom. I hate the heat though, and miss snow and real trees.
Peanut wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:13 pm
You're underpaid, don't you think? Maybe threatening to leave would get them to cough up some more compensation.

Absolutely. They're also threatening to fire me right now, so sadly that wouldn't work so well. They want me here at 7am. I'm a night owl. It's not a great combo. They have no problems with my work. Managers from other programs think this program is insane for expecting a 7am start time, but they can't hire me on for 5-6 months.
Peanut wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:13 pm
If you and your spouse's finance are separate, why should you look to anyone else's timetable for leaving? You should be able to do fine with your nest egg for an extended period of time assuming your expenses are reasonable. Surely your spouse has good health insurance that will cover you too?

He does have good health insurance (basically the same as mine now, but it would cost 5X more due to being on his plan rather than mine), and our finances are separate, but part of why I'm on here is motivation, as both of our expenses have been creeping up so are less ERE-friendly than they could be. Largely because of the house, but also eating out and traveling more. Given that he is convinced he needs to be here for four more years, continuing to work for me is mostly to continue paying housing expenses. Our housing costs drop dramatically anywhere outside of LA (minus SFO/San Jose or NYC), and selling or renting out the house basically will be funding our next 20 years until our pensions/retirement accounts kick in without a 5 year ladder. Also, my nest egg is mostly in retirement accounts and the house. I do have a couple years of expenses in cash/brokerage, but most of the extra cash in the last few years has gone to fixing the house. (It was a rental for 40 years and then badly flipped - roof needed a full replacement, sewer main needed to be replaced, etc. There's a lot I can do myself, and I've learned more, but some things we learned we can't - like replacing a sewer main in, basically, 8 feet deep of compacted sand underneath a driveway - dug up and replaced a bunch of it, but eventually had to line it). So unless I get fired or quit dramatically, I'll probably try and get more cash in savings outside of retirement accounts and find more roommates that pay more of the housing expenses. Or buying our next house and paying that off with a renter for a couple years, lol.
Peanut wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:13 pm
Speaking of, hope your health issues continue to improve. If I were in your situation I'd be trying for a kid today, both naturally and with the frozen eggs. Is there a reason why you're waiting?
Chronic health issue, not acute, sadly, so while there are some things I can do to mitigate some of it, it's going to be on-going. We've been trying for 4-5 years or so. It's probably time for the doctors, but doctors involve money, time, injecting myself with hormones, and parking in Santa Monica. I'm not sure which of the last two is worse. I kept hoping that all the dire warning we received in school about how easy it was to get pregnant would come to pass, but not so much, lol. Mostly in denial that I actually am going to have to do something about this instead of it simply happening.

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