Would you do a crap job for 4 years?

For some people visualizing time is difficult. One thing that helped me is this:

Print out the “Your life in weeks” image on a large sheet of paper and tick off the weeks you already lived. Now look at the weeks you need to invest for the 4 years. Lots of precious boxes. How much are they worth to you?

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The “bonus” is a 100% guarantee if you work to that point. The actual amount here ($200K) is the difference between what my pension pays if I wait 4 years to collect at 50 (during the period between 50-60; if you consider the difference beyond 60, it is actually more). That, and I will have to wait until 60 to collect it.

My health is not great either. After 10 years in this career, I have had a severe fracture of my left index finger (which now has limited mobility - not great for a musician), back issues following a motor vehicle collision, and this last year a complete separation of my bicep which took over 6 months to heal completely, and still has issues.

Yeah, I get that. I am a huge fan of the book, “Your Money or Your Life” which has a very similar mentality.

Currently it is a rotating shift - Dayshift for 5 days (0700-1700), followed by 4 days off, then Evening shift for 5 days (1630-0230) followed by 3 days off, followed by 6 nights (2130-0730), then followed by 5 days off, after which Dayshift is resumed. 3 times a year it gets weird, and shifts will repeat (days/evenings/days or evenings/nights/evenings or nights/days/nights).

So is this to continue doing the same job you are doing now until 50?
Is there are a way that you can reduce the risk of injury during that time, or you could take some vacations and leave during that time for your mental health ?
I also do these calculations of these financial trade offs in my head (the reason I’m still here in Taiwan ) so I sympathise .

Yes, it is the same job.

And you are thinking the same as me right now - we will see if I can figure out a work around; I am working on it.

As it is the same job and given the risk of you not getting the ‘bonus’ is very low, that changes the equation. Even if you got injured, touchwood, you may be able to get medical leave . .Anyway I reckon you try first to see if you can be assigned to a less strenuous position even if it took one or two more years to wrap up. Or you find that coping strategy. Also as you are experienced in that area is there a job you can get that pays well such as private security or training officers overseas . Just a thought.
Or you can be reassigned to another district. I’m sure you have examined all of these options.

I voted yes because I mis-remembered your age. I thought you were 30ish.
I watched this the other day.

Your working on the roads I guess, stressful hard work well paid but dangerous.

All good ideas. I am waiting to see about a transfer right away, and if that doesn’t work,we will see.

The other option is move to Taiwan in the summer and teach English for 12 years or so, until the (reduced) pension kicks in at 60.

Note: We will likely be moving to Taiwan regardless - it is just a now or in 4 years question.

A question that has been hounding me: how much is “enough”?

Yeah, I’m 46, turning 47 in 2020. Not exactly a spring chicken.

I did a, semi-dangerous, job not too long ago back in the old country at the same age you’re at. I was working in the rain in 5 degree weather hanging off tall buildings to make a little over double what I made in Taiwan. It took a lot of twisting of my rubber arm for my wife to get me to come back here. I now make half as much again and save twice as much.


I don’t think $75k*4 + $200k is enough based on the description. Imagine instead you could work on wall street for 4 years - similarly bad for your health, but making more money. I’d be tempted to do a job like that if it was enough money to immediately retire, but otherwise no. Honestly I’d rather work a super easy, low-hour, low-pay job saving almost nothing until my late 60s or even 70. No time like the present!

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Unless it is a government job, i would be skeptical of “garaunteed” after 4 years in this world. Even the gov situation, i am .skeptical of even them handing out things like pensions young people are paying now when their time comes.

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Back in the days, long before I went into entertainment, I worked around the oil wells. Good money, but dangerous and handling hazardous materials. Never regretted it, but then it didn’t kill me either…

I think you need to look at the worst case scenario for what your health and physical condition could look like in four years if you continue in this job, and how that would affect your quality of life in your remaining years. There’s nothing more valuable than your health.


Wise words, Mr. Cow, wise words.

What if they fire you just before the 4 years is up ?

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6 months to 1 year is my absolute limit for a job I hate going to. Life is too short.

4 years?? No way.

Pretty close to impossible (knock on wood). I would have to screw up really, really bad for that to happen (and then I would have much bigger problems than my pension).