Thoughts on Semi-Retirement

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CRE - Certified Professional
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I'm starting this thread to discuss what WSO users' plans are for later in life. So much of WSO is, understandably, about getting started in careers, but I'm personally interested in the end-game goals of those of us already on track.

Growing up, I always thought that you worked for X number of years, retired, and then lived off your investments and social security. You essentially put your time in, worked yourself to the bone, and then relaxed for the rest of your life.

The thing is, no one I know does that. The founders of my company have little interest in retirement - one simply loves working and the other is more interested in ultimately "stepping back" into an advisory and investment committee role where he can work part-time. On a personal level, all of my grandparents retired and then went back to work within 5 years. My grandfather took a job part time on the country club's golf staff. My grandmother took a job behind the register at her favorite clothing boutique. My other grandparents quit the family business...only to get right back into it, much to the chagrin of my uncle. All of them have said that the friends they had who actually retired and stayed retired...died. My dad retired for health reasons and then started a part time job that he enjoys simply because it's "something to do." None of these people need to work, but they want to.

As you progress in your careers, I'm interested in the end-game goal. Do you see yourself actually retired - on a beach somewhere all day every day or hanging around in your house all day doing old people activities? Or do you see yourself stepping back your then-role to 3-days a week, or shifting industries entirely and doing something you love part-time?

Likewise, I'd love to hear stories about bosses, parents, grandparents, etc. that either partially stepped away or quit once they hit their FIRE number and opened a surf shop somewhere.

Comments (40)

Apr 4, 2018

First, I want to say that my career is, in my opinion, not quite as "on track" as I would want it to be and that I am still relatively early in said career so I am speaking from that perspective. As of now, the goal is to accumulate as much capital as possible in order to start my own business. Of course, that is easier said than done and goals change. As far as retirement, if I didn't run my own business I think I'd retire as soon as financially possible. I don't know how people can be on the corporate grind through age 70-80. If I ran my own business then there are other factors like how active I need to be in the business, what the business is worth etc. that would go into the retirment decision. In general, I'd be much more incentivized to work till I die in an entreprenuership scenario than in a corporate one.

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Apr 3, 2018

5 years in, I am positioned in a corporate groove track that has very defined milestones and checkpoints. That'll kill me over 40 years, I think. My goal is to find a gig that meets 3 criteria, in order:

1) Said gig is a very good utilization of my skills & interests, which in turns will give me long game motivation

2) Said gig is scale-able. If I want to pull back, I can. If I can dive deep, I can without much "shoulder season" between those highs and lows.

3) I have enough income generation (either by said gig, or said gig + ancillary investment income) to support the needs my family (health, education, enrichment)

I know that screams self-employment, I haven't really put any thought to how/when/where to get that. Plus I'm eligible for pension in a year #corporateslave

Apr 3, 2018

No plans on E-ship or working forever. The good thing about my situation is that I'm mid-career on the corporate track without the burdens of a spouse/kids/mortgage/etc.. I've also downsized my life considerably on a high salary, and am saving enough so that when I'm laid off at 50 for being too expensive, I can set up in a developing country for cheap until the 401K and SS kick in.

Apr 3, 2018

This is something I've given a lot of thought to lately. I'm older than many on here so I have considerations you don't yet (or never will). I'm in Corp Fin knocking on the door of business CFO within my F500 or CFO of a smaller PE backed company. One or the other should happen in 2018. (Note these are good jobs, but not $1M jobs). My thoughts are:

  • Continue on this path until kids (currently 1, 3 and 5) are done with school. High school for sure, probably undergrad.
  • Save quite a bit along the way and likely develop some passive income through real estate.
  • Transition into something more project based. This would either be consulting, but not full-time consulting - like outsourced CFO or some sort of sole proprietorship consultant/trainer. I want to control my time and pay.

I've seen a lot of people with years of experience transition into more gig type rolls. They work for themselves and charge $10-20k/week +expenses when they take on an engagement. If you can build a little bit of a client list it is absolutely fantastic. They usually bring their spouse when they travel and turn it into a vacation after the work is completed. I would view this as my semi-retirement until I am truly to old and stop working all together.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

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Apr 3, 2018

Retirement, or even semi-retirement seems so far off. But my end goal is to be a real estate investor/developer to enable me to work flexible hours when/where I want, and earn as much, or as little as I want. I'm entrepreneurial at heart and have been working towards owning my own shop in everything I do. I can't imagine just sitting on the beach doing nothing. For anyone attracted to high finance or real estate, hard work is such a part of our DNA we would be bored doing nothing.

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Best Response
Apr 3, 2018

been itching to find some good threads on WSO, this is another good one. random stories and then I'll share what I want (which will likely change as I get older and go through a half dozen bear markets)

  1. guy in my office retired at 81. dad founded an investment bank back in the 50's, hired him, firm got sold a few times over, he built a great practice, brought his son on, for the latter years worked maybe 2/3 of the time and got paid at least $500k a year (didn't need the money). he's still in good health, and because of how he structured his PWM practice, he was able to achieve many of the things we only dream of in retirement (travel, charity, see grandkids, etc.). he nailed it I think, seemed really happy every step of the way.
  2. my grandfather retired before he turned 60 and has been declining meaningfully, he wouldn't say this, but he stepped away too soon. he could've been fine had he kept physically and socially active, but without some engagement with other people and activities, you will waste away, sad really. this taught me that just because you're able to retire doesn't mean you SHOULD.
  3. client of mine hit his walkaway number (and then some), retired fully before he was 55, played golf, travelled, did cruises, the whole 9 yards, lived really really really well and got bored out of his mind. he made the comment "what else is there to do?" and it really surprised me. he's now a sales executive at a tech company in silicon valley, he's changed his focus to impacting another organization positively, who knows what the next step will be, but I don't see him slowing down, even if it's not for pay.
  4. another client was C-level at a tech company local to me, hit his walkway number, kids graduated college and launched their own careers, he got bored. he's more introverted so big trips were nice, but he travelled so much for work he didn't care to jet set all over the place. eventually he got appointed to a bunch of boards for small tech companies and then got hired to be C-level at one of those companies, he seems as happy as I've seen him in years.
  5. last client story, widow retired from a tech job (sensing a theme here?) and is your typical jet setter. because her husband has passed she has found a group of people she enjoys travelling with and this, among other things, is a big part of her social life. she goes to far flung places (think Siberia) so the list of things for her to do is never ending. she has no interest in going back to work or starting her own business, really loves seeing the world.

finally, what the hell will I do? the way our business is going, I'll hit my walkaway number before 50, maybe earlier, maybe later. this business is too fun to just stop, so when I get into my 60s (maybe sooner) I'll likely take a smaller share and just improve my quality of life, surfing every day I can, fishing, golfing, and maybe working 4-8 hours a day instead of 8-12. maybe instead of spending every free second looking for new business, I log off and go 2000m on my outrigger canoe or do a few rounds on the heavy bag. of course, that implies I have competent partners behind me who can run the ship. I don't see myself working until 80, but if I can get like my office colleague got into my 60s, I'll happily take that. I truly do love what I do, so I don't think I'll ever leave.

for those of you who are more employee-types than owner-types, I would suggest doing what client #4 did. get board seats, use your expertise, even if for nothing else than a free lunch once a quarter and a couple of worthless shares of private company stock. the time you invest will be valuable and you will feel fulfilled.

I'll also recommend volunteering. cast a wide net. charities will take up as much of your time as you allow them, but if you can get to a place where you volunteer a handful of times or so a month, that's enough to keep you interested, but not overwhelmed, and will likely still allow you to travel and do other things you enjoy. I volunteer once a week and would probably double that in retirement.

    • 22
Apr 3, 2018

moral of the story: get into tech.

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Apr 4, 2018

SB'ed, great context. What do you do PWM?

I think we have a similar mentality towards winding down/retirement. The difference is, in the Corporate world I can't just take my foot off the gas. Either I work a job or I dont. This is why I want to transition into something like Consulting/Training where I own my own hours and time. I also envision some sort of charity work and getting board seats is a TOP goal of mine.

Punching out one day and then going to sit on the couch is not for me. When I'm out of the day-to-day corporate world I want to still be active physically and mentally, while also traveling the world and seeing the grandkids.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy

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Apr 4, 2018

yup, been PWM since I graduated college, will most likely never leave. if you were curious about something else let me know

Apr 26, 2018
thebrofessor:

I'll also recommend volunteering. cast a wide net. charities will take up as much of your time as you allow them, but if you can get to a place where you volunteer a handful of times or so a month, that's enough to keep you interested, but not overwhelmed, and will likely still allow you to travel and do other things you enjoy. I volunteer once a week and would probably double that in retirement.

At a certain point I considered the the idea of volunteering, since I feel strongly about a bunch of causes. Realistically, though, the best way to make an impact is to keep doing what I am doing and donating the dough.

I am planning to work for as long as I can, I love this shit and don't really want or know how to slow down. So yeah, I am going to be that guy the coroner wheels out of his office. I have a time consuming hobby/sport in addition to work, that stuff is also for life (or at least for as long as I can do it physically).

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Apr 3, 2018

@thebrofessor Thank you for sharing those stories. Helps young guys like myself with point of reference for the options that are open down line the for financially successful individuals.

I've been thinking about this topic a bit lately, but my thoughts on what life would look life later down the line have never changed too drastically. Grind out corporate until I feel financially comfortable enough (it's going to be a relative amount), and then chase high-risk / high-reward business opportunities that I am passionate about. I've got a walk-away number that when I hit it, I'm going to absolve myself from any financial obligations that take toll on me. I'm almost certain I'll be doing an advanced technical degree that is not a terminal discipline. This would give me the opportunity to obtain a PhD. and teach at the college level. I'd love to spend my older days teaching the next generation, chasing academic pursuits, reading a lot of literature, taking care of my body, staying involved in community (both institutional and municipal), and visiting family / friends and the world.

I think I'd be pretty damn content with that life.

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Apr 4, 2018

Retirement sounds terrifying. My dad is 65+ and a partner at his firm, so he's seen plenty of colleagues and friends go into full retirement. Without the everyday challenges and stimulus of working on problems and staying current with their network, they just kind of...fade away. A man can only golf so much.

Also, if you've worked your whole life to get to the top of your game-- you do the things you want to do, and you guide an organization to run underneath you-- why would you want to step away? Step back, sure. Work 20 hours a week and go to board meetings, sure. But retire? Nah.

I love the challenge of putting capital to work, dead stop. Sure, I have a number, or rather a series of numbers, where I would incrementally reduce my reliance on others (as employers, or as limited partners). I could also see stopping a day-in-day-out grind to work on projects piecemeal through the year, as I see fit. But I don't think I'll ever stop working to build investment theses and then executing on them.

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Apr 4, 2018

I simply don't understand the idea that challenges and stimulus can't consistently be found outside of the office. I think this is an American mentality and why we as a society are such work drones (I can only think of Korea and Japan as being a worse from that perspective). There are so many things to do and learn that it boggles my mind that someone who retires at 65 (or 40 or 30 for that matter) can't find challenges for rest of their life. So many places to see, things to do, languages to learn etc. I think if you don't embrace that mindset in the first place you never will though; personally, that's my mindset. Every minute I am sitting in front of this computer on excel is another minute I'm not learning to do something new.

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Apr 4, 2018

It's easy to understand when you realize that for many of these highly driven finance types, work IS their social network or source for connecting. It's not like they'll hop in a winnebago and go roadtripping with buddies, who will probably either still be working, off seeing their grandkids, or even dead. I don't imagine 70 year olds are hanging out at lounges looking to make new friends either. You spend your entire life focused on one thing, living a particular lifestyle, and suddenly you have to make yourself interested in, what? Sightseeing? For many of these guys it's a death sentence.

The happiest ones stay involved. They sit on boards, do charity work, enter politics, part time consulting, or advise businesses and mentor young executives. They don't go fishing.

Apr 4, 2018

I don't think anyone ever said you had to stay in an office. Nobody ever said you had to be paid for your work, either. But let's say what motivates someone is to work on and solve problems with major implications that attract other capable minds similarly motivated? Sure, if that means you and a group of 10 people figure out how to synthesize a new vaccine and you decide to give it away, awesome. But more often than not, I think those kinds of opportunities arise in a setting where there's significant value to be captured, and they probably involve professional life.

Personally, I just don't get the same lifelong fulfillment from things that don't have implications outside of myself. I'm not a total work drone - I like working on my golf swing, visiting national parks, you know, traditional leisure activities. I enjoy them! But they're the dessert of life. I love dessert - but it can't be the only thing you eat.

I had a 6-week winter break during my second year of business school. Already had a job lined up, no classes, no responsibilities. It was like being retired. And honestly? I hated it. I was miserable. The lack of structure and the effort required to feel like I was productive was draining. That's the mental picture I have of what retirement would be like, and it's not a rosy one.

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Apr 4, 2018

yea but if you can play 5x a week and be on the range 2 hrs a day you can aspire to be on the senior tour!

Apr 4, 2018

No intention to retire

Apr 4, 2018

I just want to own enough property where I can scale to have a PM or two who run my properties and I just act as the AM and make sure they aren't scamming me/cut me a check every month from the operations. Live off the cash flow. Have no intention of flipping, but just want to get CF positive properties. Then, once IDGAF, go back and get a marine biology degree and spend my days on a boat sailing around trying to discover shit. Hardest part will be finding a girl who a) does not get seasick and b) is cool with raising our kids on a boat.

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Apr 4, 2018

54 and own / operate and investment and insurance brokerage (retail and wholesale). I think about this topic a lot. Have actually taken classes from a business coach to help determine how you want to spend or even if you want to retire (ment).

I think we need to view retirement differently then previous generations (and you will too). Life expectancy is much greater so you will need much more money to live comfortably for a long time. Think of retirement as the longest period of unemployment you'll ever experience. Along the way, make sure you invest a ton of Money wisely (definitely have fun blowing some of it but really get in the habit of socking a bunch away so you have a decent nest egg waiting for you- the more you have, the more control you have (of the situation).

I'll likely will be able to walk away in a few years (want to get through all the college tutition crap for my kids first). That said, I don't know if "retirement" , as in no longer working at all, is in the cards. There are certain aspects of what I do I will definitely retire from. All the admin BS, compliance BS, etc. However, the actual client facing advising I love. You know you love it and it's your "Unique Ability" when:

  1. You are really good at it
  2. You Love it
  3. Doing it gives you energy
  4. You would do it for free

In my case, that's helping people simplify their financial lives and reaching their goals in a manner consistent with their lifestyle and risk tolerance. In other words, getting them where they want to go without the stress or any "2am issues". I love doing that and I get paid really well to do that.

So if I love it and it gives me energy, and I'm good at it, why would I want to stop doing it? I think my future retirement is going to basically be doing what I want, when I want but still engaging in the part of my business that I enjoy. I'll use that extra cash flow for charity, legacy or to have more fun (probably a combination of the three)

As you build your career, it's important to discover something that you really like, that you're really good at, and that you can make a lot of money at. Good to Great stuff but it's true!
*

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Apr 8, 2018

So true. As they say, if you do what you love you'll never have to work a day in your life.

Apr 8, 2018
luv2speed:

So true. As they say, if you do what you love you'll never have to work a day in your life.

Eh - yes and no. I love what I do. It's absolutely what I want to do for the rest of my life. That said, there are bullshit tasks that are a part of what I do that aren't any fun and I don't enjoy. Not every part of your dream job is going to be a dream.

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Apr 25, 2018

You're missing my EXACT point. Eliminate all those BS tasks by delegating them to someone else. Literally hire someone to do those things for you, whatever they are.

Many yrs a go I kept an activity log and literally tracked EVERYTHING I did for a week. Opened the mail, met with client, answered the phone, etc. I then weeded out everything that I didn't enjoy and that became a job description for an assistant. I keep on refining that and now I basically do two things, meet with clients and meet with other advisors. That's it. Everything else is delegated. It's easier than you think.

And a few extra people have decent jobs they otherwise wouldn't have. They actually like all the detail crap and are better at it than me. (because it's draining)

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Aug 15, 2018

I've got to DM you King Kong. I'm 40 and I resonate with so much of what you're saying.

Apr 4, 2018

I think the reason you see so many high level executives never fully retire is because they are doing what they love for a living. It's almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy (I am sure there is a better phrase for this), but those who are good at their jobs and rise quickly in them usually enjoy their jobs, and one does not simply do something one loves for 40 years and then stops cold turkey. That's why many c-level executives move into board seats or advisory roles in order to semi-retire.

    • 1
Apr 4, 2018

That's a point of view I usually see from people who a) own their own business or b) run or manage a firm

Most people who are stuck with bosses or don't get to the absolute top will not have the "live to work" mindset; it will be the other way around. It's the difference between a Mitt Romney (who can't seem to stay retired either) and some schmuck who keeps getting passed over for SVP year after year. I reckon that if you've still got bosses 40 yrs into your career retirement might look pretty sweet.

Not to veer too far off track, but has anyone ever seen the old teleplay "Patterns", written by Rod Serling? They also made a movie version. It's about a corporate upstart who realizes he's being groomed to take the place of a beloved company man who's been there 40 years. The company wants him to "resign" or "retire" since it has no cause to fire him, but he loves his job (and needs the money), and likely wouldn't get picked up anywhere else at his age. His boss then starts treating him like garbage while celebrating the upstart in an attempt to force him out. Definitely got me thinking about getting on the off ramp late in my career. That and seeing all these mid 50s execs suddenly get let go during the recession.

Apr 4, 2018

I can certainly see the appeal of going full retirement, where the biggest decision all day is what club you hit into 18. I also see the appeal in keeping a few side projects/jobs going to keep your mind working. What's my endgame? Honestly, I probably won't know until I get there. I could work for another 30 or so years and get to the point I say fuck it and go play golf and live a life of leisure, or I could see myself working in at least some capacity until it's nearly impossible.

A guy I worked with retired in his early 60's and drinks scotch and smokes cigars by his house on the lake and loves it. My old man on the other hand retired in his late 60's and constantly has projects going.

Apr 4, 2018

I'm a long way off, but my goal has always been to to hit the amount where I would be comfortable retiring and focusing on managing my own money. Hopefully, from there I could build out a little business to do the same for some close friends/family along with a mix of other side-projects/charity work. I don't really know how likely this is, but this would allow me to travel more and have more free time, while still keeping active and involved (as others stated above). I don't think I'm the type to work the grind til I die that absolutely loves the corporate game too much to ever quit

    • 1
Apr 4, 2018

Interesting topic. My father worked until 70. 22 years retired Navy Lieutenant and Nuclear Weapons Officer, 23 years retired VP of a large nuke power plant in SC, and polished it off by training TVA executives for ~ 5 years. Problem is, when he retired, literally within months, his health declined remarkably. He's still alive, but it's not much of a life.

FFWD to today: Went back to work for a guy who owns his own company and has for 30 years or more. He's 72 and the guy is a work-horse. I think he lives to work, not the reverse, but I also think it keeps him vibrant and keeps him thinking. It's an EPC engineering firm, so the guy, as with our staff, is wide open 7 days/week.

Me? I'm 50 and working on getting my last 2 kids out of college (about 5 years left). Not sure what we're going to do once the boys are off the dole, but I will be moving back down to the Carolinas regardless of whether I find more work or not. The real beauty of building wealth is NOT that it provides one the means to do everything on the planet, but rather that it provides an individual options. I now have options that I didn't have even 5 years ago. 5 more years in engineering management and I have options out the ying-yang.

What I choose to do down the road is a mystery even to me, but I now am in a position where if/when a job gets too stressful, I walk. no more hand-wringing over bills, tuition, mortgage, etc. I/we will do whatever we want to do, whenever we want to do it.

Apr 5, 2018

my grandpa designed nuclear subs, science advisor to congress and VP, was a board member for several companies, and then taught at U of Washington until late 70s (i think they basically kicked him out because of his age). He kept working on projects (mostly non-profit sector) up until his health wouldn't allow him anymore http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/seattletimes/obit...
i remember one time (he was in his mid 80's) i saw an envelope on his coffee table from the US Navy that said some version of "For Your Eyes Only"; he was still consulting on military projects, I was pretty impressed. His stories about being spied on in Russia during the Cold War were the best...

Uncle (late 70's) is a professor at Weill Cornell, he'll keep teaching part time for the rest of his life.

My personal opinion.... whether it's economically productive work or not, we all need some type of project in our old age to keep us engaged, to feel needed, to feel part of a community. Tons of options here.

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Apr 6, 2018

One of the most impressive obituaries I've ever read. Career paths like his don't just grow on trees, but yeah, if you're a superstar like he was, hobknobbing w/ Presidents, advising Congress, and designing nuclear subs, working will always beat the alternative.

Apr 9, 2018

Jesus, your gramps was a badass m'fugga.

Apr 6, 2018

Still way to early for me to think about retirement options so, it's so far a pretty indefinite way but I am allured by the idea of having a combination of high-level involvement (e.g. senior advisory/non-executive directorship) of:

  • small businesses, where I might be a large shareholder
  • medium firms (perhaps listed), where I could hold a small but considerable share
  • large companies, where I've been appointed as independent

For what I can figure out at the moment, the combination of the 3 will essentially depend on how much money I've managed to accumulate and the success I've achieved (or not) in the business world.

    • 1
Apr 6, 2018

I am close to retirement and I'm actively planning the transition. It's surprising how quickly it went from thoughts and dreams to taking concrete steps. My wife says that I'll "never retire," but I'm close to being ready. I will continue to work -- consulting at first, taking jobs that interest me or are in places I want to live for a while without settling. I have some business ideas to pursue. I have a lot of plans and crave the less structured time that semi-retirement will allow me.

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Apr 8, 2018

This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I ended up in private equity more by accident than by design. I like many elements of the job and really can't imagine myself doing anything differently as a career. That said, I don't have a burning passion for the work and envision myself retiring in my early 40s (assuming our investments don't all fall apart and I've pocketed a few million). Most of my hobbies are rather inexpensive and my goals don't require money. I'm confident that I can keep myself mentally engaged and incredibly active in retirement on a reasonable budget. So here is the plan (recognizing that life never goes as planned):

Step 1: Retire. Liquidate real estate, furniture, and most of my possessions.
Step 2: Find a small city in Europe, likely Spain or Italy, and book a one-way flight.
Step 3: Spend a year or two learning the language, making friends, reading books, and staying in shape. Essentially, learn as much as I can and try to meet fascinating people along the way.
Step 4: Rotate to another country. Repeat Step 3.
Step 5: Become a professor at a local university. Teach finance, private equity, or something related. Perhaps write a book.
Step 6: Devise a plan for my 50s based on the state of the world in 2035++

Obviously a thousand things could cause this plan to change, but right now this is what I'm working towards!

    • 7
Apr 9, 2018

i like it!

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Apr 9, 2018

I think what we've seen through this thread are a few key themes. First, the decision on when and how to retire is intensely personal. A lot of people on this site will hopefully have the luxury to choose to retire at some point. Most people never have that choice.

We are actually in an odd place right now as a society. If you're currently 30 or under, there is a real chance that before you're 65, so much of what we now consider 'work' will be automated that we'll have to completely reconsider the concept of work itself. I started working about a decade ago, and the changes only keep accelerating. When I started as an intern, Lazard used Microsoft Word templates for slides, not PowerPoint. Ten years before that, the DotCom bubble was about to burst, people were using Windows 95, only business executives had cell phones, and they were typically Palm Pilots or OG Blackberrys. And ten years before that PowerPoint was first created, but it was useless for years. Senior Partners at McKinsey 15 years ago would never have actually created a slide using PowerPoint. They would have been too senior to do so before the technology became usable. Some of those guys haven't retired yet.

When I switched from banking to trading, there were guys on the trading floor regaling me with stories of their analyst days, where they had to keep all of their positions by hand, and had to share 1 Quotron for 4 guys. Most of them didn't have to use a computer for years.

In the not too distant future, we will have autonomous vehicles that will completely revolutionize the global supply chain. There are a lot of people whose current job is to essentially drive some vehicle (fork lift, limo, Uber, taxi, crane, back hoe, combine, tunnel borer, cargo ship, plane, train, etc.). Once we don't need people to move goods or services around the globe, we can focus on not needing people to grow, mine or gather the materials needed to produce the things we need. Barring some apocalyptic scenario, this is the future of your children and their children. It's probably your future too.

For most of us on this forum, that impacts us indirectly through lower costs associated with material goods and (invariably) some social problems that come with a lack of work for a lot of people. We'll be insulated from that for a time, but technologists will end up replacing a lot of jobs that had originally been outsourced decades ago to lower-cost jurisdictions (cheaper than the West, I mean) through automating them out of existence.

AT&T currently employs over 100,000 people in call centers around the world. That's just in call centers. A decade ago, speech recognition software was shit. It couldn't handle any customer calls. Five years ago, the algorithms had improved to the point where about half the calls could be handled with a voice assistant. Now, it's closer to 85-90%. In the next couple of years, telephone branching systems (where you select from a list of options on your key pad until you get to the appropriate department) will be replaced by a voice assistant utilizing a neural net with millions of hours of natural language processing under its belt. There may be a few 'super agents' left to handle problematic scenarios outside the ken of the algo, but not many. This is going to happen in the next 5 years.

The natural damper on progress is the rate at which people can adopt and adapt to new technologies. But we're getting better at it all the time. My mom skipped 7 generations of tech and went straight to the iPhone/iPad. And her generation didn't grow up with tech like mine did. We almost expect major tech change every couple of years or we get antsy.

I guess the point I'm driving toward is this: don't see how you guys are planning on retiring in a world you can't possibly predict. You imagine your best laid plans today will come to fruition? I don't. I make 3-year plans. I make 5-year plans. No one has any idea what the fuck is going to happen in their lives even in that window. Every plan you make is predicated on such a plethora of factors outside your control and even outside anyone's current ability to predict that I think the best thing you can do is keep learning, keep growing, keep saving and hope for the best.

I mean, if someone figures out the means of halting or reversing the aging process, we learn to produce low cost/low emission energy, we start curtailing our population growth and clean up the 200 years of shit we dumped into the oceans and smoked into the air, my retirement plan is to rename myself Legolas and move to the Woodland Realm. Either that, or I'm going to go full Rick and Morty with a portal gun, a time machine, a space ship and a total disregard for any 'societal norms'. I think these scenarios are about as improbable as 'retiring' when I'm 65.

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Apr 9, 2018

love this post. all too true. if we can just automate transportation there are so many inefficiencies/slack we'd be able to take out of the society that a lot of what we think about real estate / labor will have to be tweaked.

too bad Legolas isn't even one of the top three Elves I'd choose in this conversation :P

Apr 12, 2018

+sb

whats the source for the voice recognition/5 year part? I remember googling this a couple times over the past few years and couldn't find anything solid. did you read this in a research report? I completely agree with it btw

Aug 15, 2018
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