How did I decide?
Some of this I have touched on in previous posts and I will expand on those here.
Work history. I have worked pretty mush steady since I was 15 and attending high school. I maintained a job while attending college and graduated on a Friday and started my career that next Monday. I quite literally jumped into a career with no break between college and a full-time job.
My first full-time job was with a large international chemical producing company. At that time, it was a “job for life” kind of company in the region and an excellent place to work. Corporate thinking changed and a lifetime position with a company was quickly disappearing.
Note: When a company starts heavily pushing the “People are our most valuable asset” campaign, be prepared to become an expendable asset. Companies utilize this to use your own loyalty to the company against you. The intent is to give you a sense of job security to prevent a mass exodus of employees before they are positioned to clear out their assets.
After 17 years of loyal employment my whole department got the gut wrenching notice that our value as assets was no longer what we thought it was. I was able to quickly transition into another career where I could apply knowledge from my previous job. This job was an incredible experience, but my previous employment had changed my outlook and the self preservation instinct and a dose of caution kept my ears open for opportunities that would interest me.
All the changes in career and employment during the next 18 years were exciting and informative. In those years he lay-offs were easier to accept, project completed, budgets disappearing etc. After the last job, a lot of industry in my region, and province, was plagued by unemployment and I had some issues I needed to sort out, so I was out of work for over a year and started to contemplate how to fill my time until full retirement.
This is when I began to analyze all aspects of my life from funds to my health. The process I followed took months and I knew that I truly wanted to avoid working according to another’s schedule. I hadn’t thought of pre-retirement at the time, but I was on my way.