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December 28, 2011


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Job security doesn't exist now. It is better to look for multiple streams of income (including your job if you still have one..) so if one dries up, you still have other streams to tap into..

I was incredibly fortunate. I left high school in England in 1951 to become an aircraft engineering apprentice at a neaby aircraft company because, even with a tuition scholarship, my parents couldn't afford to support me away from home and there were then no universities in my home town, but fortunately there was a municipal college that had an engineering department.

What I didn't realize was that the UK and the USA were in a Cold War and that there was a huge demand for workers in the aviation (and later aerospace) industries.

The Cold War lasted from the end of WWII in 1946 until 1991 when the Berlin Wall came down and the USSR was no more.

There just weren't enough engineers around to fill all of the jobs that were available. The bottom line was that from 1951 through 1992 I never had a single day of unemployment and when I wanted to make a job change there were always multiple offers. In 1956 I married my highschool sweetheart and was recruited by a Canadian aircraft company in Toronto, then recruited by an American aviation company in Denver, and finally recruited by an Aerospace company in California.

With the Cold War ending in 1991 and defense contracts starting to dry up I was then offered a Golden Handshake to take early retirement in September 1992 rather than my planned retiremeny in March 1993.

How Lucky can you get?

That last part about government employees being expendable is totally true. Government employees have been laid off and taken pay cuts in a lot of places. I'm surprised he didn't mention it as a current reality instead of as just a theoretical one.

Old Limey--While there was perhaps some element in "luck" there, I somehow feel that the harder you worked, the luckier you got too. One just doesn't walk in off the street and fall into an aviation engineer position.

Now, if you'd been able to go to school and get a degree in, say, art history, then your life would have been unbelievably lucky and cush. ;-)

I've not had a full time job since 1998, when I left the UK for Australia. I've muddled by with investments (the dot com boom certainly helped!), doing a bit of online business, etc.

However when I look at my retirement fund I can certainly seen the difference. There is no employer to automatically to put cash into the fund every month. Thinking a bit more
about this 15 years ago would have been a good Idea.

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