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Author Topic: Geezerville 7  (Read 3619 times)

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Magispook

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Geezerville 7
« on: November 21, 2008, 07:21:45 PM »

This is going to be a somewhat different geezerville thread although it may apply to lots of us.  I'd be happy for input to help me make a decision.  Soooo, I'm self-employed and have been so for 12 years.  Sole employee and decision-maker.  I get to drive the boat more or less.  I have one client--the U.S. Government.  Business was booming until a few years ago when the White House made a decision that I personally believe will greatly harm our country eventually (no, won't say what it is) and that decision has decreased my work by about 60%.  So now I am working in a decreasing market with increased competition.  The result is that some months I may have under 40 hours of work.  My competition, given their socio-economic status, can weather downturns in work as merely an inconvenience.  I, on the other hand, do not have that luxury.  However, when I work I get paid well.   So that's the now.  Recently my VA disability rating has increased to a point that I am eligible for retraining.  I may qualify for free education at the masters degree level.  I will be able to "re-invent myself" at age 53.  It will be in a field I believe I can do well in and be effective at and one that I will be able to help people.  However, I will find it necessary to attend college full time.  I will receive a stipend and I do have my military retirement pay, not much but sufficient.  I can still do what I do now at reduced hours (if they are still available--remember, decreasing market).  I have crunched the numbers and we can get by IF the work market doesn't get too bad and IF our country's economic situation doesn't go down the tube.  As far as the economy is concerned, I'm a doomer but I am of the opinion it will be a slow slide which I can adjust to as it occurs.  There is, however, an equally strong chance it will go to bad really fast.  Now, for the other thing to consider.  I have applied for and could be offered a low-level job at the VA which I consider job security but would have to turn it down if I want to pursue the degree.  My decision will have to be based on how I believe the economy will turn.  Any thoughts?
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chloe

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Re: Geezerville 7
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2008, 08:02:28 PM »

I don't have an opinion as to what to do
but --
I do have a question.
How long will it take to get your masters?
I would think that would play a large part in the decision.
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Magispook

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Re: Geezerville 7
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2008, 08:37:59 PM »

Should have put that in.  Thanks.  Two years.
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shymom

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Re: Geezerville 7
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2008, 07:41:12 AM »

What do you WANT to do?  Will your life be happier/more rewarding after getting your master's degree? 

Can you continue working until the fall semester and bank as much money as possible for a cushion? 
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Magispook

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Re: Geezerville 7
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2008, 08:19:58 PM »

What I want to do ain't gonna happen.  I would like to go back to the work situation a few years ago when all was hunkey dorey.  Best job I've ever had (so far).  Happier?  Don't know the future.  More rewarding?  Not monetarily but most likely job security with potential to teach on the side.  My client is willing to work with me to a degree and will even place me on inactive status for awhile--I have a very good professional reputation.  It seems I must re-invent myself in order to keep on keepin' on thus providing for my family.  The fly in the ointment is what will happen to the economy.  I can continue as is and hope for more work, pursue the degree and hope for enough work, or take a low-paying but possibly secure job which does not provide opportunity for the benefit of education but which may at least be work IF the economy tanks.  I'll do whatever it takes to support my family.  I have preps for interim spells of bad times but if there is ever a fire, we're in hurtin' status.  Just wish I had some idea of economic future.  Some methodologies such as the webbots anticipate the entire economy crashing in the very near future.  That would solve the problem for me easily.  As the war story goes:  "we're surrounded--that greatly simplifies the problem."  But if the doom and gloom predictions are hyperbole and it is a slow slide, I could come out the other side new and improved.  Decisions......deci sions.  Thanks for everyone's input.
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Magispook

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Re: Geezerville 7
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2009, 04:13:30 PM »

Just an update.  Looks like the masters degree avenue will be shelved indefinitely.  WVU acknowledges I have a bachelor's degree but won't accept me as a grad student because my transcript has too few letter grades.  My military schooling issues grades only on a pass/fail system and WVU doesn't like that.   I'm contemplating making an official complaint at least as I believe it to be blatant discrimination against vets but have yet to do so until I get official documentation from the university.  Doing so will be an act of falling on my sword so subsequent vets will know where they stand when they submit their transcripts--my experience is that academia is a world unto itself and they (just like me) have long memories and hold grudges well.  Regarding grades, I believe it to be a black and white issue:  either credit is accepted for all of them or none of them--not some undefined threshold known only to the university decision maker.  As my old boss used to say:  "either you're pregnant or you're not."  And I worked so hard for that bachelors degree.  There was little support and most of it was through independent study.  Rant off.  ; )   Anyhow, I am back at my initial situation albeit a bit different as work is predicted to pick up significantly come Spring and remain so for months.  So I have only to make it to then and our preps are such that we can do that without much difficulty.  Meanwhile, I will continue to be on the look-out for a more secure job and task my contacts to do so as well.  I brought this situation to the Geezerville area as I suspect more and more baby boomers will find themselves in similar situations i.e. they will have to re-invent themselves or adapt somehow.  Something to think about.
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CountryLady

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Re: Geezerville 7
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2009, 05:13:49 PM »

:gaah Like UWV has too many grad students as it is. :grr

There are other universities that are very cooperative with the military who would love to have an "old geezer" like you listed among their grad students, and you can do it all online. I wish you much good luck with all this. :hat :hug
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Shelly

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Re: Geezerville 7
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2009, 07:50:09 AM »

Magispook, is the VA position still an option? 

Good luck in dealing with the university.  Please let us know what becomes of it!
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Magispook

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Re: Geezerville 7
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2009, 12:03:30 PM »

Nope, VA position taken but another one is bound to open up sooner or later.  I might be able to build some reserves in the interim--my job pays well WHEN I work.  Ya rolls the dice and you takes your chances......... :)
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Magispook

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Re: Geezerville 7
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2009, 07:43:48 PM »

Nekkid - And now for something(s) completely different from the above.  I have a growth above my upper lip and had an appointment with a dermatologist today regarding its removal.  I mistakenly thought that he was going to remove it but found out that this VA appointment was simply the consult.  He will remove it surgically next month along with what appears to be a skin cancer on my arm.  Good doc--unlike his predecessor, he had me remove my shirt for a look at other than just my complaint and discovered that spot.  Silly me though for getting the cart before the horse.  I shaved off my mustache in anticipation of the removal.  Shaving off that mustache is a big deal for me because the only time I shaved it off (other than one day in 1995 due to an improper razor swipe) was when I was in basic training almost thirty-six years ago.  Right now, I have a modest sized beard (due to cold weather) so I now look like former Surgeon General C. Everatt Coop (<--spelling?) or, as my wife terms it, an "Amish guy."  Took some ribbing from some of my cop acquaintances when I went into their facility today too.  I know it's hard to concepualize but I feel buck nekkid without that mustache.  Sure do feel the cold air on my upper lip as well.  And, guess what, the doc told me he appreciated me making it easier for him to examine the growth but I can grow back the mustache as he really doesn't need it removed to do his job.  The old error of ASSumption.  Doh!  I'll be glad to get my mustache back so I'll feel back in my comfort zone.  I can't find a way to tie this following in with the above but I called my insurance company today to see what tax exposure I may have if I cash in my whole life insurance policy (thinking of getting term insurance instead).  In chatting with the clerk I learned that there has been significant increase in others checking on cashing out as well.  A sign of the economy to be sure.  The doomer part of me says what if the insurance company fails and I lose everything and the pragmatic part says I have great rates for the current insurance policy (much, much better than any term insurance) so I should gamble on staying the course.  The clerk noted there is always the option of borrowing on the policy at 5% interest payable whenever I want or upon my demise but family gets the remainder.  If the the surrender value was enough to pay off my home, I'd go for it but it's not and we have enough to get by on our budget at present so it might be best to simply hold that option in reserve.  Who'd a thunk such decisions as shaving off a mustache and insurance decisions would happen in my later middle age years?
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Magispook

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Re: Geezerville 7
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2009, 04:38:55 PM »

To add insult to injury, yesterday I fell down and hit my face against an end table.  I saw stars.  Well, today I have a nice shiner black eye.  So now I look like an Amish guy who got into a fist fight.  My friends are having a field day.  Funniest remark so far:  So, I see your wife finally gave you what you deserve.   :lol
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CountryLady

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Re: Geezerville 7
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2009, 03:31:44 AM »

Ouch! That's very humbling. Try to have some fun with it...
Everyone else is. :gaah

Wishing you well with the medical issues. :hug
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Magispook

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Re: Geezerville 7
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2009, 04:36:06 PM »

Today is the last day of school here in Mon county.  My girls are off for the next two months.  Coincidentally, this morning I remembered ("just like it was yesterday") my last day of third grade 45 years ago.  I was walking home on a sunny day and had absolutely no plans for the summer or even the next day-I was simply living the moment.  Wish I could do that nowadays!   To everything there is a season.  ::D
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chloe

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Re: Geezerville 7
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2009, 04:46:37 PM »

Sometimes I do wish the simpler times were back.
I see my sons staying so busy these days not taking time
to smell the roses so to speak.
And the Grandchildren !!!  Oh my !!
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