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30s, ready to FIRE, but...
Old 06-23-2019, 02:52 PM   #1
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30s, ready to FIRE, but...

Long time ER.org learner/lurker here. DW and I are in our 30s and have been working towards FIRE since the great recession. No kids, no debt. Long story short a small company I worked for years ago (and had equity in) was aquired for a tidy sum by a megacorp, and that event has accellerated (and inflated) our retirement plan. We've been sitting on the money for awhile but I think I'm to call it done.

Like many here, we're a LBYM couple. We've never spent more than $50k in a year, but our bogleheady portfolio will support 3-4x that at ~2%. DW stopped working last year because we don’t need her salary and we couldn’t enjoy the perks of my job together with her work schedule. Even still, she wants me to leave so we can start living a new life of freedom. I'm not worried about getting bored in retirement; I have hobbies that I love and could spend all day doing. I don’t like working, but...

In my current position I make ~$500k a year. Even with our substantial net worth that's a weighty set of golden handcuffs. If my job was stressful I'd have been gone long ago. And it was very stressful for a long time, which is why I was working hard towards FIRE, but it isn’t anymore. What I do isn't important, but it's a low stress position in a high stress industry. I like most everyone I regularly speak to and most of my job is just being available in case they want to ask me something. They rarely do anymore. My biggest stressor was that someone might figure out I'm useless and fire me, but that isn't exactly a negative anymore.

I know this is a nice problem to have. I didn't foresee this situation. My path for FIRE was to span decades; my job would be a miserable slog the entire time and I’d quit the moment I hit my number. Now we've far exceeded our FIRE number, but I have this great job and I feel dumb for wanting to leave. I worry that retirement won’t work out for some reason and that I’ll want to work again and I won't find a job like this again.

What would you do if you had more than enough, but made an unreasonable amount of money and didn’t dislike your job beyond the time it took? Stay? Leave? Something in the middle? What haven't I thought of?
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:01 PM   #2
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There is nothing wrong with being FI and still working if you enjoy the work, any stress is not negative, and it does not prevent you from doing other things that you want to do. It is all about balance.
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:45 PM   #3
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Any chance you could "work" remotely if all you have to do is be available to answer questions?

It sounds like you have a net worth somewhere around $9MM. No amount of income would keep me from retiring if I had that net worth regardless of my age or how I felt about my job.
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:45 PM   #4
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If I were in your shoes I would consider it the perfect situation. Work because you like it and make good money, but you know you could stop on a dime and chuck it all, being FI.

I actually knew a few folks like that during my working days, and I really enjoyed being around them.

Hearty congratulations!
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:47 PM   #5
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How about using the extra wealth to have some kids? They are worth it. Sounds like you could still retire now if you wanted to. Jmho
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:49 PM   #6
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How about using the extra wealth to have some kids? They are worth it. Sounds like you could still retire now if you wanted to. Jmho
Why would he want to ruin a perfect life?
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Old 06-23-2019, 04:47 PM   #7
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Please tell us how you have a 500K super low stress job, with lots of perks. Are you on a key man contract with a limited lifespan? If so you could suck it up...

Then you could share how you have managed to avoid lifestyle creep. What kind of city do you live in where you get 500K a year and can keep all your expenses down to 50K? Lifestyle creep is a big issue with multi-millionaires so I am sure you have some interesting stories to tell.

You could write a Hi, I am post you sound very interesting.
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Old 06-23-2019, 04:59 PM   #8
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The real question isn't about money. With $7.5 -10M and $50K/yr expenses you are clearly FI. What experiences do you want out of life? Extensive travel and down time with your spouse, then maybe consider retirement. Feeling "useful" and "fulfilled" then you might be happier working - at least part time.

At the very least I would explore the idea of either reduced hours or extended time off with your current employer. With your assets and ability to just walk away you have a pretty strong negotiating position.
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Old 06-23-2019, 06:19 PM   #9
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Aaron, I totally agree that they shouldn’t ruin a good thing)
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Old 06-23-2019, 06:39 PM   #10
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You have enough to do whatever you want without thinking about more money. Would you work at your job if they didn't pay you? If no, what else would you do with your day? Would you rather be at your job than the beach? We had a hobby business that wasn't hard, not $500K a year but still a pretty good income, but after a point the beach or something fun like it kind of ended up winning out most days.
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Old 06-23-2019, 09:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
Any chance you could "work" remotely if all you have to do is be available to answer questions?

It sounds like you have a net worth somewhere around $9MM. No amount of income would keep me from retiring if I had that net worth regardless of my age or how I felt about my job.
That's a good point. I'm not obligated to go to an office. Maybe I should start working from home full time.

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Originally Posted by ivinsfan View Post
Please tell us how you have a 500K super low stress job, with lots of perks. Are you on a key man contract with a limited lifespan? If so you could suck it up...

Then you could share how you have managed to avoid lifestyle creep. What kind of city do you live in where you get 500K a year and can keep all your expenses down to 50K? Lifestyle creep is a big issue with multi-millionaires so I am sure you have some interesting stories to tell.

You could write a Hi, I am post you sound very interesting.
You could say I'm important in my very narrow area of expertise. I wouldn't say that, but my compensation seems to reflect it. We've always kept the budget low and $50k goes a long way without home or car payments. DW and I have always been on the same FIRE wavelength. Every dollar we spent in a year was a dollar not saved, and we knew we had to save 25-50 other dollars to sustain that dollar going forward.

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The real question isn't about money. With $7.5 -10M and $50K/yr expenses you are clearly FI. What experiences do you want out of life? Extensive travel and down time with your spouse, then maybe consider retirement. Feeling "useful" and "fulfilled" then you might be happier working - at least part time.

At the very least I would explore the idea of either reduced hours or extended time off with your current employer. With your assets and ability to just walk away you have a pretty strong negotiating position.
We're planning to inflate our sub-$50k a year substantially. We've saved diligently, but there's nothing to save for now. We're excited about our new budget! It's somewhat daunting figuring out how to spend it. We've spent so long minimizing expenses that any other mode feels strange.

Honestly, I haven't enjoyed the job for awhile now, it's mostly about the money and this weird fear that I might fail at retirement for a reason I haven't considered. I've thought about going part time. I have peers that are doing 2-3 day weeks. A long break might be something to explore.
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Old 06-24-2019, 03:55 AM   #12
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If you have hobbies that would keep you busy, why would you be bored? How about part time 1-2 days per week?
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:08 AM   #13
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Financial independence gives you the ability to live life as you please. You don't seem exactly excited about your work. Don't you have something else you would rather do with your time?
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Old 06-24-2019, 05:31 AM   #14
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We've never spent more than $50k in a year, but our bogleheady portfolio will support 3-4x that at ~2%.

I'm not worried about getting bored in retirement; I have hobbies that I love and could spend all day doing. I don’t like working, but...

In my current position I make ~$500k a year. Even with our substantial net worth that's a weighty set of golden handcuffs.
Since you are financially independent, you get to decide if you want to work or not.

For me, if I didn't like working and had better things to do with my time, I'd stop working.

Golden handcuffs bind you only if you care more about gold than being free to do what you want.

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What would you do if you had more than enough, but made an unreasonable amount of money and didn’t dislike your job beyond the time it took? Stay? Leave? Something in the middle? What haven't I thought of?
I'd be doing what I actually wanted to do.

When I left my lucrative job I could have stayed on for many more years doing things I didn't want to do. But then I never cared if others thought I was making a mistake or not.
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Old 06-24-2019, 04:20 PM   #15
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...fear that I might fail at retirement for a reason I haven't considered.
Lots of people fail at RE. No big deal...get another J#@b! Some folks just aren't suited for RE. Maybe try a sabbatical to see how it goes before giving up a dream job?
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