The New York Times has a great article full of personal stories about working-age men who don't feel like working. The article portrays the men in a generally neutral light, but it's clear that these guys are pretty pathetic and/or beaten down.
Many of these men could find work if they had to, but with lower pay and fewer benefits than they once earned, and they have decided they prefer the alternative. It is a significant cultural shift from three decades ago, when men almost invariably went back into the work force after losing a job and were more often able to find a new one that met their needs.
"To be honest, I’m kind of looking for the home run," said Christopher Priga, who is 54 and has not had steady work since he lost a job with a six-figure income as an electrical engineer at Xerox in 2002. "There’s no point in hitting for base hits," he explained. "I’ve been down the road where I did all the things I was supposed to do, and the end result of that is nil."
That must be frustrating to feel like you've done all the right things and still can't succeed. It seems unwise, however, to neglect planning for the future by only trying for "home runs" when there are bills to pay.
It's a real blessing to have a job I enjoy, but I think I'd be compelled to get a job I didn't enjoy if I had to to support my family. Spending savings and incrementally selling the house wouldn't be enough.
(HT: Vox Baby.)