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singlefin
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February 19, 2020 8:35 am  

After several years of full-time residency, there’s one thing that especially surprises me about the VI. There’s a large number of people who only want part-time, or limited time employment/residency. Right from the get go, as seen on this site often, people are only interested in employment for a few months, or a few days a week. Many seem to come and go like the tide. 

It seems to me, that there’s a lot of people who want to live in “paradise” but don’t have an especially strong desire to sacrifice what it takes to remain here. 

Personally, I blame Jimmy Buffet     😉

 

 

 


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40isthebetter20
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February 19, 2020 12:36 pm  

That is pretty surprising to me, too. We are doing our first PMV in 4 weeks and I make a little over $100k, full time with benefits and my husband made the same amount as I did last year as a contractor and I'm still nervous about finances and moving there. I'm willing to downsize everything in half or less to make it happen so I couldn't imagine trying to survive on part time or temp work. 😳 


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singlefin
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February 19, 2020 1:29 pm  

When I started my thirty year career, the phrase I heard repeated most often was, “Your lucky to have a job, kid.” 

I guess that doesn’t apply anymore.


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jaldeborgh
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February 20, 2020 7:53 pm  

Balance, today it’s all about “work-life” balance.  As someone nearing the end of my 43+ year career, having sacrificed much of my family life in exchange for their well-being (I have a wife of 31 Years who stayed home and did a brilliant job of raising 3 incredible daughters) my observation is as follows.  Priorities have changed, my definition of work-life balance has always been, work with maximum effort to provide for your family and save aggressively for retirement, then retire and focus on family, friends and community for as long as God will allow.  So many young people today don’t understand that the less they invest in their careers and savings will have an outsized effect 20, 30 and 40+ years from now.  I suspect this is because life for many has been too easy and so many are driven by immediate gratification.  The above is simply my opinion, formed by the values my parents gave me along the hard realities of real life.  

This post was modified 2 months ago by jaldeborgh

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daveb722
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February 20, 2020 8:48 pm  

@jaldeborgh

I agree, although I'm not close to retiring, I've given up 30+ years of working 55 plus hours a week, most weekends and holidays.  I was smart and invested in a 401k and real estate many years ago.  Now it's allowing me to make the move down.  I'm hoping I find a 'career' on island, but it will be one that allows me to enjoy life and focus on what really matters and that's my family.  


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jaldeborgh
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February 20, 2020 9:47 pm  

@daveb722

Sounds like we share similar values, family, friends and community, which have always been my top priorities.  I’ve been unwilling to throttle back until my wife and I had achieved some simple life goals, which importantly included what we call an unlimited scholarship (so no student debt) for our children, as we’ve always believed you only really give your children two things, Values and an Education.  Once this expensive goal was satisfied a secure retirement was the next on the list.  To be sure we have been fortunate as we are done with college tuitions and have workable nest egg.  In my case it’s taken me roughly 43 years to get there, I’m only happy for those that can get there more quickly but I have no regrets and importantly we both still have our health, so the future is bright. 


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40isthebetter20
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February 21, 2020 12:06 pm  

I am one of those "work-life balance" people. It's not as bad as you think.... But please read this and know that what works for me and my family doesn't work for everyone else. So no judgement from me AT ALL. We are all just trying to do what's best for our family, which is different for each of us. ❤️ But I think a lot of people around my age feel this way. 

I'm 41, a mom of a 5 year old and a wife and I work in the male dominated field of IT Security. I'm self taught at computers. I have a license in cosmetology and a degree in marketing so I'm willing to do and learn whatever pays the bills and I'm willing to work my ass off to do it- except for sacrificing family time. 

I am expected to get my job done in the 9 hours a day I am at work and very rarely an incident will come up after hours. But while I'm at work, I'm working and my projects get done. I don't screw around and I try to work smarter, not harder. 

I also feel the same way about school, to be very honest. They have my kid 8-9 hours a day and I expect them to get their jobs done in that time too. (Obviously if she's struggling on something we'll work on it at home, but hours of homework won't happen in our house. Ever.)

Essentially I am at work (and so is my husband) and my daughter is at school more hours than we get to spend together and this is just during a regular 40 hour work week. So the time we have together is incredibly important to me and I refuse to spend it working. I think family time is so important for building up kids to be strong mentally and emotionally and a solid family support system with time together is imperative to the foundation of their core development. Personally, I feel like this is part of why the world has lost a lot of its humanity. We're all busy doing other things and not connecting face to face with one another. 

When you look at everything that is thrown at kids today via peers, social media, tv, the world around them, etc... they need more support than ever. Way more than we did as kids because when we went home the playground bullying bullshit stopped. For kids these days, it doesn't. And when you don't interrupt that with quality family time, the stuff that gets thrown at them never ends bc of phones, computers and TVs which they gravitate to if they have nothing else to do. 

I think being a strong, present parent is vital due to the changing times and also because I'm raising a young, impressionable girl who has everything thrown at her from all angles already and she's only 5. (Just walk thru a mall stateside and look at the unrealistic models in the windows.) She needs her mom to be present to show her an imperfect positive body image and that strong, not skinny, is beautiful. And a father that shows her that real men respect women, have values, work hard, but also make time for their family.  If we're always at the office or working, she won't get that from us. And right now- girls are looking to the Justin Biebers, Harry Styles and and other whiny, ridiculous poptwats as role models... so it's up to us to show her what real men (and music) is about.

So for me- I'll give my job and career the 40 hours (maybe 45 at most) time we've agreed to as a working week but I won't ever take or be in a position where I'll work more. I am lucky that I'm in an industry where there's more jobs than people so I can have this attitude, but I also worked really hard to get here. And I fully believe that you can just work 40 hours and still set yourself up financially for retirement and a successful future. My only debt is 1 student loan (I graduated later in life but I'll have it completely paid off this year), my house and my car. The car will be fully paid off next year. We just built our home 2 years ago, so that is what it is but we're building incredible equity bc we built in a great area. 

Even though we refuse to work OT, I don't think we're doing too bad. And I don't think working more back in the day was a bad thing at all. I just think times are changing and if kids don't get shaped at home, then they'll get shaped by social media, peers and the outside world, unfortunately. 

Our kid will either run a company or a prison gang one day. We're shooting for company, but either way, she'll be a great leader. Haha! 

 

 

 


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East Ender
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February 21, 2020 1:36 pm  

I want to say that there are plenty of stateside transplants with full-time careers on St Thomas. Many of them are in education, health care, legal areas. Most have specific skill sets that can't be met by locals. Frequently the locals get an education,  find out that they can make more money in the states and never return. The part-timers tend to come for the sun and the sea and end up in the bar/restaurant and boating industries. It always cracked me up to be in a restaurant (especially on St John!) and have a server tell me they knew all about the island when they had only been there a month...


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Gator's Mom
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February 21, 2020 6:01 pm  

Ah to be a man with a stay at home wife.  How fortunate you were/are.

I always wanted a wife, too.

 

This post was modified 1 month ago by Gator's Mom

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Gator's Mom
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February 21, 2020 6:28 pm  

So does any body else remember a little book of tales and short stories that was sold on STJ (in particular) 30 odd years ago? Was this written for/about Foxy?

Remember this one?

Well, the transplant guy who recently moved to the VI comes upon a young West Indian (man) swinging in a hammock on a beach. The transplant guy points down the beach at his recently purchased house and tells the young man, if he works hard, he too can own a house near the beach and swing in a hammock all day when he retires.

The young man continues to swing in the hammock, which is right in front of the house his family owns.  He doesn't say a word.


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singlefin
(@singlefin)
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February 21, 2020 9:55 pm  

Hmmm...

Where does the young man in the hammock go when it rains? What does he do when a hurricane rolls through? Is he eating only what grows within walking distance of the hammock? Does he only drink when it rains? I guess he’ll never need medical assistance of any kind.

Certainly it will take more than one persons tax dollars to support Mr. Hammock. So I guess we all can’t swing between two palm trees at the beach everyday.

Unless, of course, your Jimmy Buffett  😉

 

 


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jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 187
February 21, 2020 11:42 pm  
Posted by: @40isthebetter20

I am one of those "work-life balance" people. It's not as bad as you think.... But please read this and know that what works for me and my family doesn't work for everyone else. So no judgement from me AT ALL. We are all just trying to do what's best for our family, which is different for each of us. ❤️ But I think a lot of people around my age feel this way. 

I'm 41, a mom of a 5 year old and a wife and I work in the male dominated field of IT Security. I'm self taught at computers. I have a license in cosmetology and a degree in marketing so I'm willing to do and learn whatever pays the bills and I'm willing to work my ass off to do it- except for sacrificing family time. 

I am expected to get my job done in the 9 hours a day I am at work and very rarely an incident will come up after hours. But while I'm at work, I'm working and my projects get done. I don't screw around and I try to work smarter, not harder. 

I also feel the same way about school, to be very honest. They have my kid 8-9 hours a day and I expect them to get their jobs done in that time too. (Obviously if she's struggling on something we'll work on it at home, but hours of homework won't happen in our house. Ever.)

Essentially I am at work (and so is my husband) and my daughter is at school more hours than we get to spend together and this is just during a regular 40 hour work week. So the time we have together is incredibly important to me and I refuse to spend it working. I think family time is so important for building up kids to be strong mentally and emotionally and a solid family support system with time together is imperative to the foundation of their core development. Personally, I feel like this is part of why the world has lost a lot of its humanity. We're all busy doing other things and not connecting face to face with one another. 

When you look at everything that is thrown at kids today via peers, social media, tv, the world around them, etc... they need more support than ever. Way more than we did as kids because when we went home the playground bullying bullshit stopped. For kids these days, it doesn't. And when you don't interrupt that with quality family time, the stuff that gets thrown at them never ends bc of phones, computers and TVs which they gravitate to if they have nothing else to do. 

I think being a strong, present parent is vital due to the changing times and also because I'm raising a young, impressionable girl who has everything thrown at her from all angles already and she's only 5. (Just walk thru a mall stateside and look at the unrealistic models in the windows.) She needs her mom to be present to show her an imperfect positive body image and that strong, not skinny, is beautiful. And a father that shows her that real men respect women, have values, work hard, but also make time for their family.  If we're always at the office or working, she won't get that from us. And right now- girls are looking to the Justin Biebers, Harry Styles and and other whiny, ridiculous poptwats as role models... so it's up to us to show her what real men (and music) is about.

So for me- I'll give my job and career the 40 hours (maybe 45 at most) time we've agreed to as a working week but I won't ever take or be in a position where I'll work more. I am lucky that I'm in an industry where there's more jobs than people so I can have this attitude, but I also worked really hard to get here. And I fully believe that you can just work 40 hours and still set yourself up financially for retirement and a successful future. My only debt is 1 student loan (I graduated later in life but I'll have it completely paid off this year), my house and my car. The car will be fully paid off next year. We just built our home 2 years ago, so that is what it is but we're building incredible equity bc we built in a great area. 

Even though we refuse to work OT, I don't think we're doing too bad. And I don't think working more back in the day was a bad thing at all. I just think times are changing and if kids don't get shaped at home, then they'll get shaped by social media, peers and the outside world, unfortunately. 

Our kid will either run a company or a prison gang one day. We're shooting for company, but either way, she'll be a great leader. Haha! 

 

 

 

It doesn’t sound to me that there’s any moss growing under your feet, in a good way.  You sound focused on your goals, hard working and committed to family, we’re aligned.  Our approaches are slightly different as we’re from different generations and likely had different role models in our lives.  I also feel your passion and admire your drive to move to the islands, that same vision of island life is a very big part of our wanting to spend much of our retirement time on STX.

As I mentioned, we have 3 daughters, ages 25 to 30 and I watch with a parents interest the work-life choices they are making.  I’m also careful to not interfere or sit in judgment of their priorities.  I spent too much of my life trying to live up to the painfully obvious expectations my father had for me.  It’s been a double-edged sword, the expectations drove me to set high standards for myself but it also resulted in a number of stressful career biased compromises.

On balance, no pun intended, I have no regrets with the path we chose and took because the outcome seems good as we’ve lived interesting lives and contributed more to our community than we’ve taken.  I also couldn’t be more proud of my children, they are all well educated, gainfully employed in fields of their choice and all have serious relationships with boyfriends whom my wife and I sincerely like.  My oldest is recently engaged as well as being self employed.

Life is hard, the path of each generation is different but hopefully we all understand the job of the current generation is to prepare the next to be the best they can be.  I’ve always believed that in the final analysis we only give our children two things, values and education.  I also believe that values are set at a remarkably young age and education is more about giving them the tools and network needed to start out in life, after that it’s all up to each individual to find their own way  

Some of the interesting lessons in life, at least for me have been that the learning never stops, my perspective keep evolving and the amazement of miracle of life doesn’t seem to diminish.  It does however take courage, as it’s an uphill journey, without a map, but then again, what choice to we all have but to persevere and make the best of what life throws at us. 


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speee1dy
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February 24, 2020 8:33 am  

i talked to a bartender who only wanted to work 3 days a week. needed the other days for herself. more power to her if she can afford that. i know i cant . btw-we make no where close to 100k and are comfortable 


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40isthebetter20
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Joined: 9 years ago
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February 24, 2020 2:42 pm  

@jaldeborgh

I love that and I truly think we can all get to where we want to go on different paths. Congrats on raising amazing human beings! That's not easily done and I truly admire that. Mom (and Dad)  struggles are real. But so worth it in the end. I don't know if it's just me as a parent, but I look at other people with older, successful kids and think- I really hope I'm doing this right... especially because- as much as I hate to say it- some kids these days SUCK and so many are entitled little a-holes. And young adults these days aren't immune. I want my 5 year old to be empathetic, grateful, respectful and kind, even if it kills me. LOL. 

My parent's constant negativity is what drives me as an adult. According to them -if it isn't comfortable or safe, then you shouldn't do it. They called it "keeping with reality and being a productive member of society." They're in their 80s now so I'm not sure if I should blame them because it was just plain "life lazy" or their era or both. My life consisted of growing up in a very small town in  South Alabama and our only vacation each year was going on a cruise for some manufactured fun.  I get it- there's a time and place for a cruise and I should be grateful I got to even go on a vacation, but when that's ALL you do once a year....your entire life... My parents also hate the beach. We lived an hour away from the beautiful Gulf beaches in Florida and I can count on 1 hand how many times we went and I will have left over fingers. They still live there and never go.

My dad had a chance to be stationed in Germany as a LTC in the Army but decided to retire in Alabama instead bc it was safe and comfortable. That as a kid was really frustrating bc I hated Alabama and I wanted to leave. Looking back- he would have been promoted if he took that position and it would have put my mom in a better place financially when he dies- so as an adult that's super frustrating. I felt pretty jipped out of a great life experience for the sake of my dad staying comfortable. 

So, all of that drives me as well to get where I want. 

I think it just comes down to each generation, like you said, wanting more for their kids. And that looks like so many different things to each of us. 


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