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User Info There Are Two Ways To Be 'Rich'; entered at 2017-09-04 13:16:08
Posts: 27
Registered: 2017-04-29 DeKalb, Illinois
When I got back from Vietnam, I managed to get a job in a factory. I soon realized that this was a dead end, and I was surrounded by miserable people. So, I went to my local community college, learned how to study, and did very well. I would work nights, and go to school days. I graduated from there, and applied to my Once Beloved University. I was accepted, and graduated from there with a BA in 1977. I then started grad school. I was working at least 2 jobs during this. I had to stop that graduate program due to my GI Bill running out, and I started working in electrical engineering job shops. I gradually got very good at microwave work, and later millimeter wave work. I worked in sales for a while during the early 1980s, and learned a very important lesson: no matter how you are officially paid, your pay is always a sales commission. Eventually, I worked in remote sensing, and then ghost wrote several reports for a Chicago think tank. I moved back to Illinois, and I later worked there for several years. The commute was terrible, and I wore out a lot of cars. This also gave me some insights.

My boss at the think tank talked me into going back to finish my MA. He also talked me into going back for my PhD. He was a true Renaissance Man, and I owe him a lot!

So, I have learned to live in a modest house, save lots of money, and buy used cars. Now, I can live very cheaply, and will be moving up to some land I purchased in north central Wisconsin some years ago, when family conditions permit.

I saw all of this reinforced when I was the executor of my cousin's estate. She and her husband worked for prominent railroads. They both worked long hours, and paid for it with their declining health. He had most of his sinuses dissolved by a fire in a caboose, and retired on disability. She worked in intermodal management solving problems for customers. She knew very well how railroads worked, and should have been a real asset, but was never really rewarded for all that she did. He was diabetic, and did not take care of himself. He eventually came down with two unrelated cancers after his kidneys were permanently damaged. He died on the operating table. She tried desperately to save him, and wrecked what was left of her health in the process. When he died, she became terminally depressed. I talked with her every day. We had her funeral on the I year anniversary of his funeral. The death certificate blames tobacco, but I know that it was really from a broken heart.

It took me about 4 trips to finally get her house cleared out. I found all of her craft stuff, that she wanted to get back to enjoying when she retired, and a lot of baking equipment that she used to use for special occasion cakes. She never made it to retirement. I filled a 20 cubic yard dumpster, and a 26 foot U-Haul truck. We left some stuff behind. I kept going through all of that clutter, and all I could see were broken dreams.

So, I have been radically downsizing here for my eventual move. I want to continue to live very frugally, and to not pay a lot in property taxes, or other taxes. After a while, stuff that you own, starts to own you. Karl is right!
2017-09-04 13:16:08