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Old 09-26-2014, 10:27 AM   #21
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But he never got to enjoy any of them. He worked 60-80 hour weeks. His stress level was sky-high. He rarely spent time with his family, or on his boat.
At my worse, before I got a wife and a life, I worked those kind of hours. No vacations. I had one year that I took Christmas Day off and realized it was the only day that year I did not work. Amazingly though when I cut back I still got the job done just as well.
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:18 AM   #22
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At my worse, before I got a wife and a life, I worked those kind of hours. No vacations. I had one year that I took Christmas Day off and realized it was the only day that year I did not work. Amazingly though when I cut back I still got the job done just as well.
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Nobody ever lay on their death bed saying "I wish I'd spent more time at the office."

As I approach the end of a long corporate career, I think - for me - I've kept the right perspective. Very early on, I asked myself: Do I want the boss's job?

It didn't take long to reach a point where the answer was "no". It was actually my boss's boss. Nice guy. He drove a nicer car than mine. He had a nicer house than mine. He had a much nicer boat than mine. He could afford to pay other people to maintain them all. He never had to work on them like I did.

But he never got to enjoy any of them. He worked 60-80 hour weeks. His stress level was sky-high. He rarely spent time with his family, or on his boat.

I asked myself: is THAT what I aspire to? For me, the answer was clear. Besides, I sort of enjoy working on the house or the boat. More than working late dealing with budgets, schedules, personnel issues, long drawn-out meetings and all the rest.
I am in a highly technical career, trade, craft, profession, whatever you want to call it. I am an hourly employee.

I looked at my bosses (and often bosses bosses) over the years, and realized that I worked less hours, and actually made more money than them.

I looked at my life, and like you my stress level, (and their stress level) and realized that I could stay in my field of technical expertise and have a happier life, a better life.
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Old 09-26-2014, 11:33 AM   #23
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I have been retired since August 1st, the biggest difference is I am not on Trawler forum very much because I am not stuck at a desk and have other things to do. My wife sleeps until at least 10 and the morning dew/fog does not lift until then. Since we lived on the boat for 18 years we have not used or taken the boat out more.

My wife made me retire as she wants to travel and be a snow bird. For me the reason I retired was not money or time but to be the person I want to be full time. Priceless.
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:02 PM   #24
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"all studies and science show it doesn't relate and can even decrease productivity when pushed beyond a point. " -Yes, but i dont think that point is 30-35 hours per week.

I certainly would not be pointing to France or Germany if I were to make a case for productivity. Socialism, perhaps, but not productivity. Certainly working a measly 30 hours out of 168 hrs per week cant be considered productive!

Over the last 2 decades, I have generally worked a 60-80 hr week with 2 weeks vacation and occasional long weekends every year. In that time I have built a company that is doing pretty well and lets me and my family live comfortably. I am sure our company would not be doing so well if it was not properly cared for with that extra time and energy. Sure there are non-monetary costs associated with working that much, but I am glad I did it. In the last couple of years, I have finally been able to cut back a bit, not work weekends, take Fridays off, take longer vacations, etc. I feel that is the reward of investing so much time and effort into a career, and not what I would be doing if circumstances were different.
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:32 PM   #25
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One alternative that I think sometimes gets overlooked is Chartering....
Agreed. You often hear advice on the boating forums to go buy a boat a go which I think is often bad advice. It took only a few minutes with some very rough numbers to figure out that owning a boat RIGHT NOW would be a complete waste of time and money. Owning a boat right now would very likely prevent us from owning the boat in the future that would allow us to make the trips we wish to make.

Chartering makes far more money and time sense for us, and I suspect many others.

If we owned a boat right now it would sit at that dock most of the year. I figure we would do well to have the boat out 4-6 weeks during the year. Hardly worth the time to maintain the boat much less pay for the boat or even the cost of the dock.

IF I had been given raises over the last few years, and if I was paid as I should, I would take time off vs a raise. My company is giving people unpaid time off to save money. The only person that I know that has done this voluntarily have been an executive. Employees have been FORCED to take unpaid time off and nobody I know has taken the extra vacation days since they need the money, and more importantly, the time off would affect their performance appraisal and most likely lead to a layoff.

One reason people lack time today is not just work but family. As a previous poster mentioned, sports and other kid's activities really can devour time. This time is consumed not only during the week but on the weekend. Right now, if we had a trawler, we could not use it because of the kids activities more so than work vacation time.

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Old 09-26-2014, 01:02 PM   #26
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I commute 900 miles to work. Work a minimum of 84 hours for 7 days and then fly home. Paid by the hour.

Previously, I was salary and worked 55-60 hours a week, every week. I no longer leave my house earlier for work or come home later from work. I'm not at home on call, nor are my weekends interrupted by broken equipment.

I made the decision for time. As my free time was constantly morphing into work time. Now I have a distinct dichotomy between work and not working. Although I am away from home a lot, the time I am at home is 100% for my family and myself.
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:06 PM   #27
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I can retire tomorrow. I have some decisions to make.
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:49 PM   #28
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Do I want the boss's job?

I'm actually faced with that choice right now as it was offered to me a couple hours ago. Told them I'd get back to them on Tuesday.
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Old 09-26-2014, 02:16 PM   #29
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I commute 900 miles to work. Work a minimum of 84 hours for 7 days and then fly home. Paid by the hour.

Previously, I was salary and worked 55-60 hours a week, every week. I no longer leave my house earlier for work or come home later from work. I'm not at home on call, nor are my weekends interrupted by broken equipment.

I made the decision for time. As my free time was constantly morphing into work time. Now I have a distinct dichotomy between work and not working. Although I am away from home a lot, the time I am at home is 100% for my family and myself.
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Old 09-26-2014, 04:44 PM   #30
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I worked in a nuclear power plant for 33 years. Except for the last 3, a light week was 4-12 hour days. Normal was 5 - 12's, and in the summer, 6 -12s. That does not even count the 2 hr round trip commute. In the last 3 years, I had a boss that could actually plan the workload ahead and say no to all the worthless extra BS that came down from above. A 50 hour week felt like sloughing off. 33 years feels more like 50 when you work that much OT. That said retirement is the best life changing event since meeting my wife. I would highly encourage anyone to not work one day more than needed to collect your earned full pension if possible. Remember, after that day you can be home drinking beer for half pay or be working full time for the other half. You need to plan ahead so you have no mortgages or loans when that day comes.
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Old 09-26-2014, 09:52 PM   #31
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Good discussion.
More than 20 years ago the Wall Street Journal had an article on the same issue.

The conclusion was Americans opted for more money versus time off.

I think they even gave the example of an American who will buy a boat with the extra money and then only have two weeks a year to use it.

All my European friends have a much less ostentatious life style, no matter their income level, then most Americans.

For me, I was fortunate, I was forced to stop working. It seemed terrible at the time, we certainly had less money, but within months, I realized it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:16 PM   #32
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Do you live to work, or work to live?
That said, there are times the emphasis shifts to work, to provide for later.
I sold my sailboat while I was working, there was no time to use it. Retired, I bought a power boat. Now on my second one, grateful my working life could provide me with one, and my retirement allows the time to enjoy it.
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Old 09-27-2014, 07:22 AM   #33
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Actually I've spent most of my career working only 5 1/2 months a year.
Are you hiring?

Great topic because I'm at that "how-much-is-enough" stage. I retired once and came back for an offer too good to refuse. When my brother died unexpectedly last year, it put a much finer point on the question of time for me.
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Old 09-27-2014, 09:21 AM   #34
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Interesting discussion. How much is enough. Well, I certainly don't have anything like I imagined I'd have by the time I retired, but this year I dropped to a 4 day week anyway. I don't work mondays now, and I'm luvin' it..! Even tho money's tighter, there is no way I want to go back to even a 37 hour week. However, the price I will pay for that, and enjoying life more - more to the point being able to afford to visit son & family in London, is the boat has to go. I'll let you know how that works out.

However, as an aside, you US people are quite mad. You do have the worst industrial relations regulations in the world I suspect. Here in the antipodes the usual is now 3-4 weeks annual leave a year, plus public holidays. Many jobs have more, e.g. 5-6 weeks. That's what I would enjoy if I was a salaried hospital type Specialist. In fact one of the downsides to being so-called self employed is you get none of the entitlements that wage & salary earners get, which now includes compulsory long service leave and superannuation here, on top of the sick and recreational leave. I can't believe you have no mandatory minimum holiday leave across the board. In my next incarnation, I want a salary. Self-employed be damned. Unless one inherited a nice viable business maybe...
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Old 09-27-2014, 09:35 AM   #35
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Spent many a year comparing working situations among the countries of North America and Europe. Found that a better comparison is to ignore the mandatory days off and look at the hours actually worked, worked not paid. My clients, mostly smaller companies in the US, were finding their hourly employees were on the job less than 1,500 hours across a 52 week 40 hour work week (2080 hours). 580 hours were not worked which would translate into 14 1/2 weeks off. Of course some/much of this was not paid time off.
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Old 09-27-2014, 11:22 AM   #36
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Spent many a year comparing working situations among the countries of North America and Europe. Found that a better comparison is to ignore the mandatory days off and look at the hours actually worked, worked not paid. My clients, mostly smaller companies in the US, were finding their hourly employees were on the job less than 1,500 hours across a 52 week 40 hour work week (2080 hours). 580 hours were not worked which would translate into 14 1/2 weeks off. Of course some/much of this was not paid time off.
Your clients were unique then. Overall US employees were several hundred hours a year more than European.
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Old 09-27-2014, 11:40 AM   #37
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Your clients were unique then. Overall US employees were several hundred hours a year more than European.
Don't dispute that at all, key here was hourly. When you add in the salaried workers the US was higher.
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Old 09-27-2014, 02:16 PM   #38
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Don't dispute that at all, key here was hourly. When you add in the salaried workers the US was higher.
Yes, it's amazing the percentage of people in the US working part-time jobs. It's certainly a very common retail strategy, traditionally used to avoid providing benefits. But for those in full time jobs, they simply work a lot of hours.

One of the ironies too is that the higher you rise in position, the greater the hours and stress. You'd think those at the top could certainly reduce their workload but they don't. It's not the American way. We've come to judge how good an employee is based on the hours they spend working. I know had I not met my wife I would have continued even though no one expected it of me. It was my background and training that led me to work excessive hours. In teaching me to have a good "work ethic" my parents didn't teach me to balance my life.

I really feel for parents today who are missing out on their kids lives. And it starts with birth. How many men take paternity leave and spend that first month or six weeks with wife and baby, sharing the load? I remember the first male employee I granted and encouraged to take such a leave. 10 years later he and his wife still kept thanking me. Maybe we'd have a bit less post partum depression.

I think everyone has to find what is right for them and not do what they think others expect them to or think they should. If you want to work extra years, fine. If you want to cut back hours, fine.

I once turned down a job making many times what I was making. So, we followed with curiosity what took place with the guy who took it. Well, from day one he was involved in the infighting on the board. He wasn't allowed to do what needed to be done. He lasted almost two years of misery but made a ton of money and then was given a monstrous golden parachute ride out. He was a mental and physical wreck after those two years though. Six months later his wife divorced him. While he'd been working 70-80 hours a week, she'd found someone else. If my wife and I had ever needed proof that we were smart to say "no" we had it. How much money will it take to make one go through two years of torture? I know I couldn't have handled the idiocy going on there.

When is it "enough?" I don't know. Each person has to decide. But I know a good many people making a lot of money who are miserable. And the ones who say they're doing it all for the family and kids, to provide an education and start in life, but then all the kids remember is they were never there.
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Old 09-27-2014, 02:51 PM   #39
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Interesting US labor statistic, all employees:

"For example in the U.S in the late 19th century it was estimated that the average work week was over 60 hours per week.[21] Today the average hours worked in the U.S is around 33,[22] with the average man employed full-time for 8.4 hours per work day, and the average woman employed full-time for 7.7 hours per work day.[23]" (Bureau Labor Statistics).

While this includes all employees it is unclear how they measure this. (From Wikipedia)
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Old 09-27-2014, 03:08 PM   #40
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Are you hiring?

Great topic because I'm at that "how-much-is-enough" stage. I retired once and came back for an offer too good to refuse. When my brother died unexpectedly last year, it put a much finer point on the question of time for me.
Yes, in general we are always hiring!

All skill sets, trades, and professions.
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