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Old 05-14-2002, 06:35 PM
Arcite Arcite is offline
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Is there a way to live without working?

I first thought of posting this in General Questions, but I soon realized the topic was too trivial, and besides, it’s largely tongue-in-cheek anyway.

I’ve always been a lethargic, lazy bum, even since early childhood. I was labeled a “gifted child” in elementary school, but I always had poor study skills and no motivation. I was never a good student, but I made it through high school, finished college with a major in a “useless” subject (music), and am now somewhat gainfully employed as a Systems Analyst within the IT organization of a large corporation. I stumbled into this job because I had a knack for computer programming, but the job has turned out to involve almost no programming and lots of, well, analysis. I can’t stand what I call “businesslike” work, so I’m not really fulfilling my duties, and consequently I fear that I may eventually lose my job for poor performance. If that happens, I’ll really be in hot water, since I’ll have proven that I can’t handle a job in the IT field, and I have no other marketable skills to fall back on; meanwhile, I’m currently supporting myself and, thanks to student loans and a car loan, still have a net worth of about -$10,000. My parents are separated and neither of them makes much money, so I can’t blithely move back in with one of them. Because of all this, I’ve started doing some deep thinking about what I should really be doing with my life.

The problem is, I hate working at all, always have, and as far as I know, always will. I have never found within myself a desire (which apparently many other people have) to “get out there in the world” and “achieve” or “accomplish great things.” Thoughts of being a successful doctor, lawyer, businessman, teacher, carpenter, beekeeper, or whatever, have never appealed to me at all. Instead, what I enjoy is merely sitting around the house, pursuing hobbies and other trivial household activities that don’t involve striking out into the “big bad world out there” for any length of time. For as long as I can remember, I have had this fantasy of possessing independent means, and being able to sleep in every day of the week, stay home and read, garden, watch movies, play golf or tennis, maybe travel once in a while, etc.–basically, live my whole life as a retired person. I just don’t want to be retired from anything.

Because most of the people I know, including my coworkers, seem to genuinely want to do their jobs, I’ve begun thinking: do these people really have to be here? Is it possible they know something I don’t know, that they work only because they want to, and there might be some way of getting by without working? I know there are ways of getting by without working, but I don’t think any of them will work for me. Here’s my complete list of ways to attain the wealth necessary to live comfortably without working, along with my thoughts on each item:

1) Win the lottery
Well, the odds are so poor that I might spend my life pouring thousands of dollars into the lottery and still never win, while the jackpots I paid into go to trailer-park-dwelling bar crawlers. Therefore, I’m not going to waste my money and time playing it at all.

2) Inherit
Not going to happen for me. None of my relatives are even nominally wealthy; most probably don’t even have a significant positive net worth.

3) Work hard at succeeding in the business world, and retire early
This is probably the most “realistic” option on the list, in that most people who want to do it badly enough probably could. To my knowledge, it can be done one of two ways: a) Start one’s own business, build it up to a high level of value, and sell it off, or b) work for someone else’s company, climb the corporate ladder, become a manager, receive stock options, etc. The chief problem here is that this plan would probably take, from start to finish, at least 15 years, and while the rest of my life would be carefree, those 15 years would be full of extremely hard work, which is exactly what I want to avoid! Then I’d be 40 by the time I was able to start my “real life.” Also, this plan would require Jack Welch-style business acumen, which I simply do not have.

4) Succeed at a high-profile entertainment or creative endeavor (movie star, rock star, professional athlete, best-selling popular writer)
The problem here is that attaining wealth in these fields requires a great deal of luck. There are scads of actors and pop musicians out there, but very few ever are admitted to the inner circle of Hollywood or release a record that ends up going platinum. Writing is something I could actually see myself trying–it’s an activity I’ve always enjoyed–but again, in order to become independently wealthy, I’d have to make the bestseller lists, and that requires a large measure of luck; there’s no guarantee that I’d ever get published at all, even in a lifetime of trying.

5) Win some sort of personal-injury lawsuit or collect long-term disability benefits from my employer
Well, there’s nothing physically wrong with me right now, so I’d have to either intentionally get injured or fake an injury or disability. While I’m lazy and could be considered immoral in that sense, I do have scruples and would never do something so dishonest.

6) Invest, with a stellar rate of return
This would require Warren Buffet-like financial acumen (cf. 3 above), which I have heard cannot be learned: you either have it or you don’t, and I don’t. Also, even with a spectacular rate of return, it would be many years before I had enough money to safely, permanently quit my day job.

7) Be a househusband/stay-at-home dad
Though this is not technically “not working,” I could actually see myself doing this. While I dislike work in the traditional sense of going out into the world and exchanging your services for a wage or salary, I don’t mind household- or family-related work. I would be perfectly happy to stay home and cook, clean, do laundry, and shuttle the kids around, while my wife worked outside the home. The problem with this idea is that my marriage prospects are currently nil, and I wouldn’t expect them to increase if I started advertising my desire to do this–I know most women find men with no desire to work unappealing.

That’s all I can think of. Is there anything else? Some secret yet perfectly legal and foolproof way to manipulate the stock market and obtain large sums of money in a short amount of time? Some time machine with which I could peek into the future and discover tomorrow’s winning lottery numbers? I must emphasize that what I desire is not wealth per se, but independent means; not a mansion and Mercedes, just a split-level and a Chevy, as long as I don’t have to work for them. I have often fantasized about the existence of what you might call a “non-working military base/monastery” which, like a regular military base or monastery, would support you and provide you with the basic necessities of life (i.e., food, clothing, and shelter,) but instead of requiring you to work there in return, would simply allow you to do as you please, spending your days reading, going for jogs/hikes, watching movies, maybe cultivating a garden. I would join in a second, but I don’t suppose such a place exists.

So that’s it. To recap, my question is: Is there any way for an average joe with no inheritance or brilliant business plan to survive (and ideally, not just survive, but maintain a relatively comfortable, American middle-class lifestyle) without working?

(To preempt the “you’ve got a bad attitude” replies: I am half-joking here. But then, being half-joking also means you're half-serious.)
  #2  
Old 05-14-2002, 08:53 PM
Kalashnikov Kalashnikov is offline
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Well, I like working (engineer/programmer) and trying to get ahead, although not so much that I'll kiss the boss' ass to do it.

I've heard that currency speculation is easier and less risky than stock trading. I haven't gotten around to trying it though.

Some people do make a living - but not a good or secure one - by writing shareware, creating webpages etc.
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Old 05-14-2002, 08:55 PM
Kalashnikov Kalashnikov is offline
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Or how about buying stuff and selling it on ebay, there are certainly people who do all right at that. Its gotta be better than selling the same crap at flea markets.
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Old 05-14-2002, 10:36 PM
Hedda Rosa Hedda Rosa is offline
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Quote:
non-working military base/monastery
The word you are looking for is "university".

In all seriousness my husband and I regularly joke about getting around to submitting our "Independantly Wealthy" application. This is an option I have rejected for myself but one suggestion I have for you is to become a college professor. You may have to go to school for a number of years to get a PhD to make this work, but even that could help fufill your goals.

1) take out massive studen loan to support your grad schooling. Work to complete grad school swiftly, and publish. You said you like to write, right? And school, if you enjoy it, can be very puttery and self-paced and not at all like 9-to-5ing it for the man.

2) Find job at obscure college. Even a junior college or community college will do.

3) Hi Opal!

4) Teach 4 or 5 classes each semester at most. Time comittment is almost like a full time job, but you can schedule in lots of hiding in your office under the guise of "office hours". Be advised there may be some extra hours spent grading and in department meetings.

5) Take summers off, usually late May to late August. Teach summer school class every couple of years. On your off years travel, garden, sleep late, etc. Publish something every 5 years or so, just to keep your hand in.

6) Retire at 60 or 65 and spend the next 30-odd years doing whatever you damn well please.

Granted to go this route you have to find an academic subject you really want to talk about every day for decades. And I don't mean to imply that professors are lazy in any way. Just that teaching college can allow for the type of flexibility and low-impact schedule you are looking for. And of course don't forget the crown jewel - summers off.

Twiddle
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Old 05-14-2002, 10:44 PM
Burnt Sugar Burnt Sugar is offline
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Well, in Oz if you were a female it would be easy.
Just have lots of kids and go on the dole.

You could go on the dole without kids, but you wouldn't get nearly as much.

Do they not have the dole in America?
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Old 05-14-2002, 11:30 PM
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Duckster Duckster is offline
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Somehow become a permanent resident of Australia and go on the dole. Despite attempted "reforms" at filling in the loopholes in the law, the overbearing and inept government bureaucracy can work to your benefit.

There are generations of families who have never worked a day in their lives and live on the dole in Oz.

Of course, one needs to somehow passed the required entry requirements, emigrate to Oz and work for a few years to get passed the mandatory "no government help" laws for new migrants. You could use the time working your ass off with a cash-paid job (thus avoid paying the taxes), buy a house (first-time house-buyers get somewhere around $5-7,000 from the government as a grant!) and settle in.

Then go on the dole. If your work experience combined with your location don't add up so that you have to take a job if ordered by the government, you can kick back and live. (Best bet is living in Dingo Whoop Whoop with your PhD in molecular chewing gum research.)

You could always travel to a state capitol every so often for a cash job while on the dole to get some more money. Just don't put it in an Oz financial institution under your real name/tax file number. The government is getting better all the time looking/catching the poor tax/dole cheaters while ignoring the real cheats with big bucks (Everyone is equal in Oz but some are more equal than others.)

Better still, go back to university and study from Dingo Whoop Whoop via the Internet and distance education. The student dole payments are higher than just the jobless dole (have they changed that yet?). That way you can price yourself out of your local non-job market and thus increase your ability to stay on the dole.
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Old 05-14-2002, 11:39 PM
sandalfeet sandalfeet is offline
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it's called being homeless. honestly, how could you expect to live comfortably and not work? if there was a way, do you think people would work as much as they do?
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Old 05-14-2002, 11:44 PM
Urban Ranger Urban Ranger is offline
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Amazingly, some people actually enjoy working.

But I digress. You can also become a professional gambler. But that probably takes as much talent as being a Warren Buffet, and a lot of self-control to boot.
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Old 05-15-2002, 12:30 AM
Caught@Work Caught@Work is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Duckster
dole cheaters
Excuse me. The term is dole bludger. We don't cheat. We bludge.
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Old 05-15-2002, 12:38 AM
Ranchoth Ranchoth is offline
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Of course, there's another possibility...hermitage. Read "my side of the mountain" for pointers, run off into the Sierra Nevada (Or your mountain range of choice), find a nice cave, and if you live through a winter, you'll probably be good to go!*

...Though if you even see a crazed-looking Irishman lurking in a cave, gnawing on a Skunk kibab, that'll be me. It means working as a cashier didn't agree with me. Just stay away from my vermin snares!



Ranchoth
(Hey, it beats the christmas rush)


*Note: If you actually do this, I absolve all myself of all liability. I don't want to be sued when your relatives find your mummified corpse being used as a futon by a grizzly bear.
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Old 05-15-2002, 12:48 AM
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Originally posted by Caught@Work
Excuse me. The term is dole bludger. We don't cheat. We bludge.
My apologies. You are correct.

Just like Oz politicians don't steal from the taxpayers, break the law and commit crimes. They rort. And rort. And rort.

You say tomatoe and I say tomato ...

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Old 05-15-2002, 01:04 AM
Tom Head Tom Head is offline
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Jay Conrad Levinson (of Guerrilla Marketing fame) once wrote a whole book on how to make money without working; but it's not clear to me whether you're asking whether you want to make a living without working or whether you want to make a living on a freelance, contract-by-contract basis. They're not quite the same thing.


Cheers,
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Old 05-15-2002, 02:52 AM
MisterThyristor MisterThyristor is offline
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Take something you love to do and find a way to make money at it. That way it won't feel like working. I read about someone who liked showing people around town, and created a job for herself giving city tours to the bored wives of executives who brought them along on business trips.
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Old 05-15-2002, 05:37 AM
Chez Guevara Chez Guevara is offline
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Marry a Wealthy Widow.

This post does not constitute an offer. I am a heterosexual male, I have no husband and, perhaps crucially, I am not wealthy.

If there should be any change in my circumstances I will let you know. Please do not give up hope. There may still be a chance for you.
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Old 05-15-2002, 05:43 AM
LolaBaby LolaBaby is offline
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Re: Is there a way to live without working?

Quote:
Originally posted by Arcite
Here’s my complete list of ways to attain the wealth necessary to live comfortably without working, along with my thoughts on each item:

1) Win the lottery
Well, the odds are so poor that I might spend my life pouring thousands of dollars into the lottery and still never win, while the jackpots I paid into go to trailer-park-dwelling bar crawlers. Therefore, I’m not going to waste my money and time playing it at all.

2) Inherit
Not going to happen for me. None of my relatives are even nominally wealthy; most probably don’t even have a significant positive net worth.

3) Work hard at succeeding in the business world, and retire early
This is probably the most “realistic” option on the list, in that most people who want to do it badly enough probably could. To my knowledge, it can be done one of two ways: a) Start one’s own business, build it up to a high level of value, and sell it off, or b) work for someone else’s company, climb the corporate ladder, become a manager, receive stock options, etc. The chief problem here is that this plan would probably take, from start to finish, at least 15 years, and while the rest of my life would be carefree, those 15 years would be full of extremely hard work, which is exactly what I want to avoid! Then I’d be 40 by the time I was able to start my “real life.” Also, this plan would require Jack Welch-style business acumen, which I simply do not have.

4) Succeed at a high-profile entertainment or creative endeavor (movie star, rock star, professional athlete, best-selling popular writer)
The problem here is that attaining wealth in these fields requires a great deal of luck. There are scads of actors and pop musicians out there, but very few ever are admitted to the inner circle of Hollywood or release a record that ends up going platinum. Writing is something I could actually see myself trying–it’s an activity I’ve always enjoyed–but again, in order to become independently wealthy, I’d have to make the bestseller lists, and that requires a large measure of luck; there’s no guarantee that I’d ever get published at all, even in a lifetime of trying.

5) Win some sort of personal-injury lawsuit or collect long-term disability benefits from my employer
Well, there’s nothing physically wrong with me right now, so I’d have to either intentionally get injured or fake an injury or disability. While I’m lazy and could be considered immoral in that sense, I do have scruples and would never do something so dishonest.

6) Invest, with a stellar rate of return
This would require Warren Buffet-like financial acumen (cf. 3 above), which I have heard cannot be learned: you either have it or you don’t, and I don’t. Also, even with a spectacular rate of return, it would be many years before I had enough money to safely, permanently quit my day job.

7) Be a househusband/stay-at-home dad
Though this is not technically “not working,” I could actually see myself doing this. While I dislike work in the traditional sense of going out into the world and exchanging your services for a wage or salary, I don’t mind household- or family-related work. I would be perfectly happy to stay home and cook, clean, do laundry, and shuttle the kids around, while my wife worked outside the home. The problem with this idea is that my marriage prospects are currently nil, and I wouldn’t expect them to increase if I started advertising my desire to do this–I know most women find men with no desire to work unappealing.

Looks like you've already answered your own question, eh? Wake up.
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Old 05-15-2002, 06:13 AM
sturmhauke sturmhauke is offline
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There's a woman out there who is basically a professional contest entrant. She enters all the ones she can find, wins a bunch of stuff, and sells what she doesn't want. Kind of like Lazlo Holyfeld from Real Genius.
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Old 05-15-2002, 07:53 AM
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No one's mentioned gigolo... Or is that too much like work?
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Old 05-15-2002, 10:23 AM
Clever Hans Clever Hans is offline
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Ah, retirement, it's wasted on the old.
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Old 05-15-2002, 02:06 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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Re: Is there a way to live without working?

Quote:
Originally posted by Arcite


4) Succeed at a high-profile entertainment or creative endeavor (movie star, rock star, professional athlete, best-selling popular writer)
The problem here is that attaining wealth in these fields requires a great deal of luck. There are scads of actors and pop musicians out there, but very few ever are admitted to the inner circle of Hollywood or release a record that ends up going platinum. Writing is something I could actually see myself trying–it’s an activity I’ve always enjoyed–but again, in order to become independently wealthy, I’d have to make the bestseller lists, and that requires a large measure of luck; there’s no guarantee that I’d ever get published at all, even in a lifetime of trying.

This is the only one I can really comment on, having attempted to go the musician route before. The problem is, all those professions look like they require no work at all, but they do.

Like the song "Money For Nothing" by Dire Straits; it's a musicians inside joke. These two moving men wish they were musicians so they wouldn't have to move anymore. If they did start a band they would be...moving. Moving heavy cabinets, amps, instruments, PA's,setting them up, jumping around for two hours, moving all your crap out again at two in the morning after drinking beer all night, driving home or to your hotel room and loading it in yet again at four in the morning. Then get up and go to your moving man day job until you can afford to quit it. Even once you get famous after years of moving your own stuff, you have to supervise all of the people who are now doing your loading and setup for you, and play 300+ shows a year, etc. etc. etc.

But you did hit on the secret to living without working. If you enjoy it, it's not really work-
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Old 05-15-2002, 02:30 PM
DeadlyAccurate DeadlyAccurate is offline
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Commenting on number four as a writer, I can tell you that writing is very, very hard work. In fact, I'd say it's much harder than anything I've ever done. Not only is luck necessary, but so is the ability to actually finish a novel. Easier said than done. My total salary for writing in the last three years is still less than I would be making in only one month as a programmer if I were full time, and none of that is for fiction writing.

My serious advice: work for one year saving up as much money as you can. I mean seriously scrape. Then quit for a year, living off your savings. You actually might find you don't enjoy it as much as you think. Or you might find you love it, but in the meantime, you'll figure out what you'd rather be doing.

P.S. If I can ever make as much as a writer as I'm making now as a programmer, I will quit and write full time.
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Old 05-15-2002, 03:31 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Twiddle

The word you are looking for is "university".

In all seriousness my husband and I regularly joke about getting around to submitting our "Independantly Wealthy" application. This is an option I have rejected for myself but one suggestion I have for you is to become a college professor. You may have to go to school for a number of years to get a PhD to make this work, but even that could help fufill your goals.

1) take out massive studen loan to support your grad schooling. Work to complete grad school swiftly, and publish. You said you like to write, right? And school, if you enjoy it, can be very puttery and self-paced and not at all like 9-to-5ing it for the man.

2) Find job at obscure college. Even a junior college or community college will do.

3) Hi Opal!

4) Teach 4 or 5 classes each semester at most. Time comittment is almost like a full time job, but you can schedule in lots of hiding in your office under the guise of "office hours". Be advised there may be some extra hours spent grading and in department meetings.

5) Take summers off, usually late May to late August. Teach summer school class every couple of years. On your off years travel, garden, sleep late, etc. Publish something every 5 years or so, just to keep your hand in.

6) Retire at 60 or 65 and spend the next 30-odd years doing whatever you damn well please.

Granted to go this route you have to find an academic subject you really want to talk about every day for decades. And I don't mean to imply that professors are lazy in any way. Just that teaching college can allow for the type of flexibility and low-impact schedule you are looking for. And of course don't forget the crown jewel - summers off.

Twiddle
Twiddle,

I know that you didn't mean to imply that college professors are lazy or that being a college professor is easy. However, I do take exception to the fact that this a good career for a "slacker". I dropped out of an Ivy League Ph.D. program just because I couldn't take the pressure or the lifestyle. I was forced to work over 90 hours a week by my advisor. The fact that I asked to see my then girlfriend (now wife) for 2 hours week caused a major blowout with her even though it was on a Sunday was a deciding blow.

I was amazed out how easy corporate life was when I got my first job even though I had to work 65 hours a week during systems implementations. I was also amazed at how dumb everyone was so I guess there are tradeoffs.

To be a college professor, you have to publish, publish, publish in your first few years. My mother and stepfather both just became tenured faculty at two different schools in the last two years. I didn' t really see my mother for the past three years. The one or two times a year that I went home, she would be in her office working on one paper or another. The pressure is intense and most people don't make it even after they get their Ph.D.
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Old 05-15-2002, 05:08 PM
Arcite Arcite is offline
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Quote:
but it's not clear to me whether you're asking whether you want to make a living without working or whether you want to make a living on a freelance, contract-by-contract basis. They're not quite the same thing.
You're right, that is an important distinction. What I want is the former. In attempting to explain this issue to people, I've found that when I say "I don't want to work," most people interpret that as "I want a freelance-style job that allows me to work from home and set my own hours." In fact, what I want is not to have a job at all, not even to have anything that could remotely be construed as a job. I don't want to have to concern myself in any way with obtaining income. What I would most like, ideally, is to have a bundle of money--I'd imagine it would have to be at least 5 million dollars or so--and to hand it over to a financial advisor, saying "here, take this money, start an investment portfolio, and use it to generate a comfortable income for me." Then, except for chatting with the financial advisor a couple of times a year, I would never have to think about where my money was coming from; it would simply land in my checking account each month, just as my paycheck does now, but I wouldn't have to work for it or be involved in obtaining or generating it in any way.

That's why none of the suggestions made so far (college professor, professional gambler, mountain man, freelance programmer, currency speculator, city tour guide, professional contest entrant, gigolo) appeal to me. They are all, in one form or another, work. A stock daytrader, for example, may be very good at what he does, so much so that he only has to trade mornings and can take every 4th week off, but unless he has that several-million-dollar chunk of money in a long-term investment portfolio generating a comfortable income, he must keep "working" in order to get by. And that makes all the difference.

Quote:
This is the only one I can really comment on, having attempted to go the musician route before. The problem is, all those professions look like they require no work at all, but they do.
Quote:
Commenting on number four as a writer, I can tell you that writing is very, very hard work. In fact, I'd say it's much harder than anything I've ever done.
I apologize if I demeaned anyone's livelihood or hobby. I did not mean that being a musician or a writer is not work; I meant that a musician or writer who has acheived great financial success would be one example of a person who has that chunk of several million dollars I mentioned above, and therefore could choose to spend the rest of his life not working if he so desired. When Dire Straits was at their peak of popularity, they probably made enough money in one year to retire for good, if they wanted to. I realize it took them many years to get there, and that's exactly why I'm saying this option wouldn't work for me: you spend years and years toiling at it, with no guarantee you'll ever even make a living, let alone become independently wealthy. I was considering writing and music as potential paths to independent wealth (and pointing out that they weren't very good ones), not as jobs I would want to hold for a significant length of time. (See above: I dont' want a job at all.) To put it another way: I don't really have a strong desire to become a bestselling writer, nor to be a bestselling writer, only to have been a bestselling writer. And to quit writing, live off my investments, and sit around the house, read, garden... you get the idea. Stephen King never has to write another book; Tom Hanks never has to play in another movie. They continue to work because they enjoy it; good for them. But for me, the clincher is that if they don't want to, they don't have to.


Quote:
My serious advice: work for one year saving up as much money as you can. I mean seriously scrape. Then quit for a year, living off your savings. You actually might find you don't enjoy it as much as you think.
Agreed. I wouldn't enjoy it because the whole time, I'd have the nagging knowledge in the back of my head that eventually, I'll have to go back to work. Again, the key for me is knowing that I never have to set that alarm clock again for the rest of my life, if I don't want to. Also, how would I know that I'd be able to find a job again when my savings ran out?
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Old 05-15-2002, 07:35 PM
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Well after reading this thred, my first response [well, after 1) Join the Club, and 2) Grow Up! ] was that one answer would be to find a way to be a kid again. Get food, shelter, an allowance given to you; have recess, afternoons and summers free, etc.

Of course this isn't possible, and you mentioned your parents wouldn't likely support that idea. So, how to be kid-like as an adult?

One answer is: have some kind of terrible injury/illness happen so that you can't (either mentally or physically) work ever again, and others will have to take care of you. It meets many of your criteria (especially if you can still sit on the couch, etc.) but I think you'll quickly see the drawbacks.

And it kind of makes working look better, too.
  #24  
Old 05-15-2002, 07:36 PM
black rabbit black rabbit is offline
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Become a habitual felon and go to prison.

Food, shelter, books, and the occasional punk might not make up for the loss of travel priveledges, but it's a start.
  #25  
Old 05-15-2002, 08:25 PM
by-tor by-tor is offline
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There are worker bees. There are soldier bees. And then there is Royalty! (:
Seriously, I can relate. I don't think you can get millions without work outside of the ways you suggested. I still think gigolo would be your best option if you are good looking. It wouldn't be that hard (as long as you close your eyes). I knew a guy who lived in his car and worked a drone job for 3 years. He saved every penny and then bought some cheap land on the edge of town. He had a really, really old and small home moved onto his land. Did all the plumbing and electricity and rents out rooms in it. He lives there too and now does whatever he wants with his day. His girlfriend simply pays the mortgage on her house by renting it out and travels around, staying with friends and living on the rest of the rent money. Eventually the house will be paid off. I suppose you could create some useful software and sell it on the internet (such as vst hosts or instruments or photoshop plugins). Actually I have a get rich invention you can have seeing as how I will never do it. Write a translator plugin for netscape or IE. That way French, Chinese, Japanese people ect. could easily read english sites and vice versa. Ok, I am out of ideas. I do symapathize though. Life is too short to be selling your precious time for a pittance. If you were going to die tommorow, how much would you charge an hour to work today? But that's just how it is.
  #26  
Old 05-16-2002, 01:51 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Somebody already mentioned becoming homeless.

Although it sounds like a career path you may already have chosen without knowing it.

I work in the same field as you do. You sound a lot like some people I have worked for and with. I am a little surprised you haven't figured out how do just enough to keep from getting fired.

And I expect you will be rather unpleasantly surprised if you opt for the househusband role. It is no bed of roses. Or so Mrs. Shodan has told me.

Regards,
Shodan
  #27  
Old 05-16-2002, 01:58 PM
berdollos berdollos is offline
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Marriage is the answer!

"Get married for money, work - if you want to - for fun!"
  #28  
Old 05-16-2002, 02:24 PM
Phlosphr Phlosphr is offline
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Hey man go to this site and check out other people in your exact position...what your feeling is kind of like a quarter life crisis... so check out :

http://www.quarterlifecrisis.com/
  #29  
Old 05-16-2002, 08:33 PM
Arcite Arcite is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by black455
Become a habitual felon and go to prison.

Food, shelter, books, and the occasional punk might not make up for the loss of travel priveledges, but it's a start.
I actually realized, write after I wrote the bit about the "non-working military base/monastery" in the OP, that what I had just described was remarkably similar to prison. But I'll have to pass on that. Not only would the loss of travel privileges be unbearable, but so would the possibility of becoming Bubba's girlfriend.

I really do think the househusband role wouldn't be that bad. I know housework can easily get overwhelming, but I don't mind the actual activities. I dislike work not in the sense of "performing tasks you don't want to be doing at the moment," but in the sense of having to fend for myself in the dog-eat-dog "big bad world." I've always been comfortable staying around the home, no matter what I've had to do or not do there. I suppose you could call me a very insecure and easily intimidated person, and that's doubtless part of the problem.

Quote:
I am a little surprised you haven't figured out how do just enough to keep from getting fired.
I guess technically, that is what I'm now doing. I just worry that I'll have misjudged the amount of work necessary for not getting fired. Also, even if I'm doing the bare minimum, it's still stressful if the work is difficult and not remotely related to anything that interests me.
  #30  
Old 05-17-2002, 11:44 AM
galen galen is offline
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Take your savings, borrow what you can, and go to some poor country. Pay off the local politicians. Build a factory to produce a product you can sell in the advanced countries of North America and Western Europe. Hire impoverished locals to work at a dollar a day. If they demand more, get your death squads to take care of the leaders.

You will soon become filthy rich. Sell your business to some multinational corporation, and live off the proceeds.
  #31  
Old 05-17-2002, 01:14 PM
thinksnow thinksnow is offline
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I heard the military is pretty easy. Talk to the recruiters, I'm sure they can find you a nice, Beetle Baily-esque MOS where you can lanquish away for 20 years, getting your 3 hots and a cot, plenty of travel and fresh air, all of your clothes paid for and then retire-retire. Piece of cake and thousands of people do it every day!


PS: I heard the Marines is the easiest.
  #32  
Old 05-17-2002, 10:48 PM
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Lumpy Lumpy is offline
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Is it still possible to pack it all up and find an uninhabited island in the Pacific somewhere? Although this may be closer to "self-employed" than non-working; no one is going to feed you, so you'd have to spend time fishing, cracking coconuts, building a hut, etc. to stay alive. But it definitely beats being homeless in Minnesota in the winter.

Is it that you can't stand to work at all, or is it just that you don't want to be in a position to be obligated to work- i.e., having to do something you don't like or when you don't feel like it? If you're willing to live very simply, it's possible to survive on a "casual" income- scavenging, odd jobs, etc. purely on a "when I happen to feel like it" basis.

Wasn't there a guy on the Web who was basicly telebegging, asking people to send him money? How did that work out?

In the "pure luck needed" category, there's also The Big Score: a single act that, if you're successful (and survive), you're set for life. Something like letting a millionaire hunt you in the desert, with a million-dollar payoff if you can elude him for a week. Or betting that you can smuggle 500 pounds of cocaine into the country just this one time...

There are monastaries, etc, that you can join, but most of them requre you to do chores, including tough work such as helping raise the food they eat.

Could you get a government genius grant, or alternatively a grant from some private foundation, to do something you're already doing?

This is a tough one. You're basicly asking the rest of the world to feed you for the rest of your life.
  #33  
Old 05-18-2002, 07:00 PM
novacaine novacaine is offline
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Although it is a bit of a high risk operation, not to mention illegal, you could always finance a drug trade. No, not become a drug dealer, there is a lot of work involved in that, just finance a dealer. You come up with a fair amount of money, say $1000.00 to start, and find a druggie with good conections. Most druggies, with the exception of most potheads, would love to be dealers but have the problem of comeing up with enough capital to do so. You provide them with the capital, they do all the work and you get around 50-60% of thier earnings. In exchange they get 40-50% and all the free drugs they can do. But like I said there is a high risk involved. The guy could easily rip you off. If he doesnt rip you off he could end up doing more of the drugs then he sells so you would lose money that way.
Hey I never said it was a good idea but if you really don't want to work for a living you're bond to end up going with a bad idea anyway.
  #34  
Old 05-18-2002, 10:36 PM
YiBaiYuan YiBaiYuan is offline
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Berdollos has the answer that seems most likely for you: it's also one you've already identified -- marriage. Find a workaholic girl, work hard for a short time to fool her -- just until you're hitched, then quit your job and become a house-husband. This is the route I've seen taken by half a dozen guys I know. The one down-side is the nagging that comes with that plan. Whew!

If that doesn't work, then Wireless' idea was close. But don't think of prison, think Mental Hospital. It's as good as living permanently in a first-class hotel. Go to a counseling session once in awhile, take an art class in the mornings, and the afternoon is yours. Once they've learned to trust you, you're free to roam somewhat. You may even get regular shopping trips into town. Just come up with an act sufficiently strange to get you admitted, repeat as necessary during the aforementioned counselling sessions, and the rest is easy-street. I know someone doing this as well.

If even this doesn't appeal to you, then try moving to Alaska. It's very easy to get by with very little there; plus you have the state government paying you to live there. Every state resident gets a government subsidy paid out of the taxes they collect from all that oil. I know several people following this plan quite happily.
  #35  
Old 05-19-2002, 03:15 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Try to get abducted by aliens and placed in an intergalactic zoo.

Upside: Free room and board. Good medical care. Possible breeding opportunities.

Downside: Minimal chances for advancement. Have to perform tricks every hour. Might be send to medical lab or meat processing center if insufficiently cute.
  #36  
Old 05-19-2002, 04:54 AM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is offline
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What about voulenteering for medical trials and clincial tests?

They can pull in a bit of money.
  #37  
Old 05-19-2002, 07:46 AM
istara istara is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by FairyChatMom
No one's mentioned gigolo... Or is that too much like work?
In all seriousness, if you are attractive enough, prositution is a viable option. It is a form of work, but no formal qualifications are required, and you can pick and choose your own hours. Should you become successful/popular enough, you could probably sustain yourself on just a handful of regular clients.

The downside is that (AFAIK) most of the work is for gay male prostitutes, so unless you're gay it will be harder work/more unenjoyable. You will also run the risk of STDs, as well as violence from clients. An upmarket escort agency may be a safer option.

I also think that you should seriously consider (7). There are masses of career women out there who want to have a baby but love their careers, and would give their eye-teeth for a house husband. You should contact a dating agency or marriage bureau to increase your prospects of success here. Marriages of convenience with the aim of having children often work very well, and can deepen into true love.

Another option if you are younger might be to au pair, but that can be hard work depending on the situation, and not all countries allow male au pairs.
  #38  
Old 05-19-2002, 10:22 AM
Jervoise Jervoise is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Duckster
Better still, go back to university and study from Dingo Whoop Whoop via the Internet and distance education. The student dole payments are higher than just the jobless dole (have they changed that yet?).
Bwah haha! Duckster, you bring tears to this starving student's (Australian) eyes. Now excuse me, I must go cook some more Ramen noodles.
  #39  
Old 05-19-2002, 04:32 PM
Already in Use Already in Use is offline
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Start your own religion.
  #40  
Old 05-19-2002, 04:45 PM
red_dragon60 red_dragon60 is offline
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If you're handsome, smart, versed in etiquette, and well-dressed, you could become a male escort. Professional women without time to date need someone to hang off their arm at social events. If you're good at concocting a story to tell other people about what you do, you're set. Find an alternative newspaper and start calling up male escort agencies to see if they are hiring.
  #41  
Old 05-19-2002, 05:09 PM
yosemite yosemite is offline
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Man, so often I feel like the OP. But, I don't mind working - I just want a job I like a little more. (Something more creative, run by people that are competent.)

I often say that I want a Sugar Daddy. Some nice guy that will dote on me and support me. But I don't really want to be "supported" (as in I sleep in and drift about, doing nothing). I want to have time to do my pottery (and then sell it in galleries), a little web design on the side (nothing too high-end, it's just a hobby) and paint portraits of people. I could make money at all of these things eventually, but right now it's too risky to chuck a stable job and make a stab at all these things.

Sigh. Carry on. I can totally sympathise with the OP at times, I must say.
  #42  
Old 05-19-2002, 07:35 PM
LindyHopper LindyHopper is offline
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Shagnasty: Thank you for posting that response to Twiddle. If you hadn't, I would have. My recent ex-wife is a college professor, and she worked damn hard to get where she is (just got tenure last year). Even though your rebuttal was excellent, there are a couple of points I still have to make.

1. College professors do not get "summers off". Even if they're not teaching summer classes (which a lot of them are), they're writing lectures for new classes, refining lectures for existing classes, going to conferences, writing journal articles, doing research (which often involves travel to archives around the world), writing books, and a host of other things (the ex is also the book review editor for a major journal, so she has duties in that direction as well). One of the most persistent myths about professors (and primary/secondary teachers as well) is that they get summers off. It ain't so, folks.

2. 4 or 5 classes a semester is a hellishly huge number. Most people teach 2 to 3. Every class that you teach requires 4 months of lectures to be written, exams to be created, syllabi to be constructed, not to mention all the grading (most people don't get graders at a lot of places). If you're teaching 4 or 5 classes a semester, you're going to be so busy you won't have a single spare minute for anything even resembling a social life.

So to sum up, Arcite, disregard Twiddle's advice; college professor is no kind of career for a person who doesn't really like to work, and work hard. To be fair, it used to be different...about 40 years ago. Nowadays, however, there are so many Ph.D.'s out there that competition is fierce, and only the hardest-working survive.
  #43  
Old 05-19-2002, 10:39 PM
fish in the sky fish in the sky is offline
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This is just to say that I can totally sympathise with the OP. I think that I'd be really happy being a housewife, ya know, except for the "wife" part. It'd be really great if I could just hang around the house in the morning, garden in the afternoon, and paint and write all night. If I could just live my life for myself, by myself, I would be the happiest damn person in the world.

Anyway, have you considered being a caretaker? It's something I'm thinking about.
  #44  
Old 05-19-2002, 11:01 PM
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Re: the disability route. Take it from me, it's no bed of roses. Your income is small and fixed, and you have to endure wisecracks from people about how you "found a way to live off the government." If I could work, I would.
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  #45  
Old 05-19-2002, 11:27 PM
Nacho4Sara Nacho4Sara is offline
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One of my friends has made an incredibly successful, workless living as a drug dealer who recieves disability and is supported by his hard-working scientist fiancee. He has approximately 398 mental illnesses - really, I know he is manic depressive/bipolar, agoraphobic, claustrophobic, and a few more things. He takes a shitload of pills everyday for his problems and sees his therapist four times a week. He made a great living while he was a student because he sold drugs and held a real job. But things got to be too much (so many people, mood swings, etc) that he quit his job, dropped out of school, and met his future fiancee, with whom he moved in after only about three months. He kept selling pot, but because of his problems he smoked a lot more of it than he should and didn't make much of a profit.

So she's supporting him for a while, he's making enough selling pot, and then his therapist pushes his paperwork through disability. Now he recieves like $1500 a month to sit at home, deal drugs, and live off his woman. He cut back his drug-use a lot so he's making an incredible profit (although he really does smoke too much of it still). She works for Hopkins and makes a serious amount of money doing research (like $60 grand a year).

They spent a week in Amsterdam as a pre-honeymoon; he bought her a brand new Jetta; he is paying for her graduate school in Boston and they made a downpayment on a condo there; they are having a small wedding but honeymooning in Italy for a month before school starts and they move.

I would be jealous except for his mental problems. If I could spend my days with a spouse who worships and supports me, a job that requires occassionally dealing with good friends - maybe once a day - but also allows me the freedom to sit in a drug-induced stupor all day long, and a life that requires minimal contact with the outside world, I would without a doubt. However, he's about as unhappy as a person can be, so I wouldn't want to have the burden of his psychosis.
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  #46  
Old 05-20-2002, 12:45 PM
BraheSilver BraheSilver is offline
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The trick is in finding a job where you won't be constantly be asking yourself "would I be happier doing something else?" Problem - usually your dream job isn't feasible (bikini inspector) or you just can't find a way in (I'd like to find out how to be a professional foley artist - but nobody's hiring or training!).

However, your basic question (as already pointed out by Lumpy) is asking how you can live forever off the sweat of other's brows. You aren't going to find too many people willing to help you there.

My best bet would be to work on making a time machine, then gather a lot of pre-dated currency and give it to myself in the past. But if I did that, I wouldn't work on making a time machine, and so on... But in that infinite loop, at least half of the BraheSilvers created in the parallel universe offshoots will be quite happy. The others will have given their life savings over to a young punkass version of themselves. I hope I don't eventually fall into the latter category.
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  #47  
Old 05-20-2002, 02:01 PM
Deadly Nightlight Deadly Nightlight is offline
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My cousins Mother does it all the time, Its called welfare. She has been on welfare as long as I have known her, i thought it was supposed to cut off?
  #48  
Old 05-20-2002, 04:58 PM
mack mack is offline
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Fellow music school/liberal arts (I have a degree in both!) grad who earns a good living in spite of himself here.

All I can think of is find a girlfriend from a wealthy family. I knew a guy who did that, they got married, neither of them have to work if they don't want to.

My problem with not working at all is I have a tendency to feel somewhat inadequate if I'm spending money I didn't work for. I've been on unemployment and have lived off my girlfriend (now wife) while on a 6 month break/job search and while the hours were good and I was able to do what I wanted (within a strict budget), in the end I feel better as a working stiff.

At this point I've achieved a decent balance between putting in a respectable 40hrs/week at a well-paying job that doesn't suck the life out of me and having enough money, time, and energy to do what I please. Considering the amount of effort I put into it (I kind of stumbled onto it and learned as I went along), I consider myself very lucky.
  #49  
Old 03-16-2014, 05:17 PM
vasco1610 vasco1610 is offline
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12 years have passed.

What happened Arcite?
  #50  
Old 03-16-2014, 07:23 PM
nevadaexile nevadaexile is offline
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Some ideas:
  1. Find an insecure, but non-violent SO/spouse - Basically live with them while they go to work and you stay at home. Unless you are a complete slob or the sexual interactions are poor, many will keep you around simply for fear of dying alone
  2. If you are a male, live with a doting female relative - Unlike a male relative, a female relative will probably not practice "tough love" and if you don't overly abuse the relationship, you should be able to live without working for many years. Unfortunately, I have found that female relatives are not to do this as effectively as male relatives, so if you are female you may be out of luck. Also male relatives will not ususally tolerate non-working family members, so if you don't have a female relative to sponge off of , this probably won't won't work, either.
  3. Technically, don't be "homeless", but simply don't work - If you can get a hold of a few thousand dollars, buy a lot in a rural area ( there are some areas of the US where land can be purchased for as little as $500 per acre) and locate a small outbuilding and have it relocated to the site. Live in the outbuilding and travel around the arrea looking for cash handouts and free food. You will be slightly above teh traditional homeless person (you'll be viewed as a hermit or a recluse) and you should be able to bum enough money to pay the taxes on the property each year and enough to buy some extra food or water. Use public facilities for sanitation and get government assistance for health care.
  4. Travel to a boom town - This is a town which for reasons of resources or industry is currently growing vastly beyond its former size. Become a professional "hanger-on", travel from party to party and bar to bar. If you have a winning personality and you are relatively honest, you'll find numerous people who will support you with food, drink,drugs and a place to stay. This can last for months or even years if you don't wear out your welcome. Sex with your "sponsors" is optional.
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