Join Early Retirement Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
42 year old looking to ESR in 2 years
Old 01-09-2011, 11:27 AM   #1
Dryer sheet wannabe
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 10
42 year old looking to ESR in 2 years

Hi all,

Background: Since my first Mega Corp job as a software engineer in the early 90's (age 22) I've been focused on FIRE. Even back then I spent A LOT of time thinking about how I could better be spending my time rather than working for "The Man". The thought of FIRE in my 40's provided the proper motivation to LBMM: always maxing 401k and IRAs, no consumer debt. I've always saved 30-40% of gross annually despite living in high-tax NY state.

Current situation: Jump forward 20 years and I've had some fantastic life changes, including a family with DW (SAHM) and 3 kids (all under 10). In addition I am very blessed with a very large and close network of extended family and friends. On the less than positive side, my job over the last 4 years has me working 50-60 hours/wk under very stressful conditions, due to very tight deadlines and never enough time or resources to get the job done right. There's also the added headache of dealing with staff issues, plus very demanding business partners. In sum, I've just about reached the limits of what I can stomach from my job/career. I also pay very high state income and highest in the nation property taxes as a percentage of home value (3.2% per year on fully assessed value). Despite this, I have no intention of moving anytime soon - too many family and friends here.

Finances: For the most part I've worked at 4 Mega-corps during my career, with 12 years at my most recent company.

income: My salary has grown steadily (although not spectacularly) from 32k in 1991 to 120k in 2011. No pension plan. DW (SAHM) has part time gig earning 5k per year

"liquid" assets: ~850k with 70/30 non-taxable/taxable, 70/30 stocks/bonds

debt: none, except mortgage with 70k outstanding balance on 170k house. I'm in year 8 on 15-year at 4 3/4%

yearly expenses: currently 48k including everything except income taxes. There is not much to cut here without impacting quality of life so this is the minimum I'm targeting for ESR/FIRE until mortgage is paid off. Paying off the mortgage early is a consideration as well, perhaps just for the psychological impact.

Medium Range Goal: With my FIRE dream burning hotter with each passing year, yet still 5-8 years away, I'm looking for an interim solution: ESR. My main motivation is to be able to spend more time with friends and family. Essentially, I just want more time for kids, quality time with my wife, parents, siblings, friends, hunting, fishing, camping, golfing, volunteering at school, exercising, home maintenance, etc. Basically all of the things that are fun, but don't generate a dime of income. At this point, I'm looking to stick things out at my current position for 2 more years and (financial markets willing) hit that $1mil mark. I'd then ESR into a job/career which meet the following criteria:

- Less hours and/or more flexibility. This could either be part time: 25-30 hours per week, working 3 days per week. Or full time: 40 hours per week, working 5 days per week, but only 6-8 months out of the year.
- Individual contributor role, no more being the "the boss"
- need to earn 20k annually with medical insurance benefits or 27k w/o medical benefits. I would use the extra 7k to purchase insurance in the HealthyNY medical plan. The other 25k for annual expenses would come from a 2.5% WR from taxable accounts.

ESR job options: So far I've considered the medical field or school district, but wouldn't rule out the service industry as well. I'm open to all options here as long as I'm not a supervisor. One other thing I've considered is returning to software development as a contractor. Unfortunately my techncial skills have flagged a bit over the last several years and the (re)learning curve would be significant given the rapidly changing nature of the industry. I am not real motivated to climb this curve if my goals can be met in other ways. That said, I would make it happen if it were my best or only option.

Question for you-all: Any recommendations for a job which meets my criteria? I'm still a few years away, but it's never too early to plan. Plus it'll help with my sanity. I live in upstate NY, near Buffalo

hornet99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-09-2011, 11:44 AM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
brewer12345's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 15,911
How about a job with the state or feddle gubmint? You don't care about glamour and don't need to make a ton of money, plus you would get benefits.

I am looking at a very similar plan in about 3 years, with the added twist of moving out of NJ to the heartland where it is cheaper and we have family.

"Neither my companion or I carry firearms on our persons. We depend on the goodwill of our fellow man and the forbearance of reptiles."

- English Bob
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2011, 03:12 PM   #3
Full time employment: Posting here.
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 831

You might be surprised at what you can find for short term consulting gigs without a lot of ramp-up retraining if you have any skills (however rusty) in some of the older, out of favor languages (COBOL, PL/I, FORTRAN, etc.), experience with IBM mainframes or AS/400, etc. My only concrete recommendation: Try to have some informal discussions with partners of local, small IT consulting firms with whom you (or, your friends/colleges) have had good dealings in thee past about what might be available and a good fit for you.

My career (salary and skills wise) has followed a very similar path to yours; and, I keep thinking of pulling the plug myself. But, every time I get to the edge, things change at my current gig making it palatable enough for me to consider one more year.

Good luck and keep us posted.
If there's one thing in my life that's missing; It's the time I spend alone
Sailing on the cool and bright clear waters; There's lots of those friendly people
Showin me ways to go; And I never want to lose your inspiration
CoolChange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2011, 03:25 PM   #4
Full time employment: Posting here.
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 789
Welcome to the forum.

We're similar in many ways, i.e. early 40s, IT field, salary range, kids under 10, value time away from work, considering ESR or ER if it presents itself, etc.

Based on your IT experience, have you considered Project management or Program management role. I moved from a "boss" position to a program/ project management position about a year ago and enjoying the change.

Best of luck... looking forward to your future posts.
Aiming_4_55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2011, 01:55 PM   #5
Dryer sheet wannabe
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 10
Yes, I've thought of government positions (some sort of technician job in law enforcement sounds interesting). I've also thought of Project Management, but I'm really hoping to get out of the corporate world for a while. Thanks for the helpful responses. I look forward to continued learning on everyone's struggles, successes and strategies.
hornet99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2011, 02:27 PM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
ronocnikral's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 852

my ESR options include going back to school (engineering and dependent on what kind of "Aid" they can give me), becoming a high school teacher or w*rking at something like half priced books (my yoga teacher does this for the benis) or REI.

thanks for sharing. i enjoy hearing everyone's story!
ronocnikral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2011, 05:32 PM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cleveland
Posts: 340
I am also in a very similar situation. Same job, same salary, assets and debt even! Only difference is I am divorced with one child. I have to pay child support for four more years so I think must stick with my megacorp job till at least then.

I was going to consider UPS as a part-time gig. I have been told you can work as little as 20 hours per week and still get some sort of medical plan. Basically all you have to do is show up and sling boxes for a few hours a day. Very little to stress out about.
skyvue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2011, 07:01 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
walkinwood's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Denver
Posts: 2,434

If your technical skills are rusty, project management on a consulting basis is a good gig. Work to build your network now so that the smaller software services companies in your area know about you & your skills. If you stick to short term projects & do not take on too many, the work can be fun. I did that for about 6 months earlier this year.

Having a good professional network is key.

walkinwood is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
43 year old public employee with 5 years left Dan Hi, I am... 9 10-26-2010 03:22 PM
54/49 year old couple, how many more years? fh2000 Hi, I am... 4 08-22-2010 09:31 AM
YOYO 27 Year old obsessed with retiring in next 5 years bigmarley4 Hi, I am... 8 01-18-2010 07:06 PM
I failed at ESR LOL! Life after FIRE 12 12-16-2009 08:50 PM
End of year windfall-for next 9 years- another home? Foodeefish Young Dreamers 7 08-22-2007 01:12 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:41 AM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.