“Government employee. 20+ years, now making $150k, full benefits from day one, and on track to retire early at around 50. Started in an entry-level position and was willing to move to other states to follow opportunities to move up. I’ve worked really hard for a long time and some of my bosses were not good, but employee protections are good and no one really messes with you if you know policies and do your job well.”

“Some moves were not great but I learned how important quality of life was. Lived below what I actually earned all this time but I have a great life and pretty much buy what I want. So no degree, no specialized training that they didn’t give me and also pay for, and in about four to five years I walk away with no regrets.”

—Anonymous, 45

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