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Disgusted by dishonest greedy work F$%#$%s
Old 08-15-2016, 11:30 PM   #1
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Disgusted by dishonest greedy work F$%#$%s

Hi I am a longtime lurker. Sometimes this forum motivates me and other times the posters seem unrealistic - one way or another. It's still interesting and entertaining to read now and then.

I'm age 43, no desire to ever get married, no kids. However, have had an active social and family life, which is a whole other story too long for this forum.

I have been investing and planning for ER since my 20's.

I remember when my goal was to have $30K saved and when I was around 31 years old I hit that - it was such an accomplishment at the time.

I now have about $300,000, mostly in in Roth IRAs. A few thousand of that is in a HSA which I use as a retirement account. A few thousand is in taxable accounts. I invest in index funds and a few individual stocks, all held longterm and well diversified. I have averaged what the market has - 10 percent, sometimes 11 percent, over the past 15 years since I began investing.

I have over $50,000 in a work Roth 401K which was a good plan- but now loses money every year due to work changing providers to their family friend who does a horrible job "churning" our accounts. We can not access our money until age 59.5 unless we quit, take a hardship or loan up to 50% of the account value.

To lessen my 401K losses, I take the max loan and "hardship" (ex: upcoming major dental surgery) withdrawals out whenever possible, in order to invest the money in index funds which yield a much higher return. Unfortunately we have no choice in our investments within the pooled plan, so after much calculation, taking money out whenever possible makes the most sense. This sounds extreme but it is truly the best option, given the situation.

I make $90000 a year after expenses, plus another $10000 from a part time job. I don't have a commute as I work out of my home but it's a very mentally stressful job, dealing with a lot of things day in and day out.

All commission based on dealings with hundreds of clients I have built from scratch, over my 15 + year career in the industry.

I owe $99K on house which has 7 years left on a 3.1% 10-year loan.

Owe $40,000 in credit card debt - that was used for needed home repairs - all at 0 percent. I have excellent credit and will continue to rollover the credit card debt to new 0 percent cards, paying a 3% BT fee every 18 months on average, because it makes no sense to pay it off early. I keep careful track and never miss a payment. I see it as leverage because using my index funds to pay it off would make no sense with the debt costing so little to keep it.

Car is in good shape and paid off, I drive less than 6000 miles a year due to working out of my home, and have the low-mileage ins. discount.

I don't have a lot of expenses, maybe $2000 a month is a very high estimate not counting the mortgage payment that's $1400. Usually I spend far less than that, but every 2-3 years take a "fancy" vacation (trip to Alaska was $4000, but most of my vacations are a lot less fancy and far cheaper).

So 7 years from now after the mortgage is paid off, I'll be 50 years old and 0 percent $40,000 credit card debt will be paid off.
I will likely have over $800K at the rate I am saving (I save and invest all my excess above expenses in a Roth IRA and taxable index funds - now that our w*rk 401K is no longer a good option), that's a conservative estimate. Of course, if the stockmarket tanks the next few years or shoots way up that $800K estimate will vary.

Do not know that I will fully retire right away, because if I scale back to working 2 days a week I can still make $40K off residual income/dealing with longtime clients, and keep the free health insurance my company offers.

In order to keep making $100K + a year (on paper more, but I have to pay some business expenses so I subtracted that), I must put in a lot of stressful w*rk.

I am so sick of dealing with the baloney from work on a daily basis. If it's not one thing, it's another. People making promises, then lying and not following through. List goes on and on, it's always something.

The best way to tell if my boss is lying, is look to see if his mouth is moving. Same with many other people I deal with through work on a daily basis.

Am so burnt out.
However I feel like I am so close to being able to scale back and semi-retire - I almost could do it now but that would be cutting it close.

It's not if it's when....when will I quit working full time 5 days a week (plus several hours many weekends doing paperwork) - and how soon should I give myself more time to relax and hike and do things I enjoy.

I looked into getting another job - nothing that's different from what I'm currently doing will pay me close to what I'm making now - unless I work years to build up my salary. It makes the most sense financially to keep doing what I'm doing a few more years.

I give myself 3 weeks vacation a year but usually use 2 of those weeks playing catch up from things I did not get done at w*rk.
I have set goals I follow, so I force myself to work to get everything done.
If not, I make less money, so I am strict with my schedule despite working from home.

I plan on gradually increasing my vacation time each year based on goals I hit. Example, when I have $500K in investments I will add a week's vacation. When I have the house paid off, another week.

By that time, I may change that plan and decide to work 2-3 days a week.

The job is stressful enough that I know as I get older I won't want to keep doing it.

I do meaningful volunteer work now and then and easily could do more, and enjoy it, if I did not work so much. Finding things to do with my spare time will never be a problem for me.

Seems like if I had house paid off and $800,000 invested that would be enough to scale back and work 2-3 days a week.

Not sure.
Have run Firecalc with different scenarios.

The problem with my job is it's secure to a point but a few years from now they could change our pay so we make a lot less.
A lot can happen to lower my income, it is the nature of the industry I'm in.

So I may not make $100K a year forever.
Probably won't.

It seems like I need to get it while I can, if I can make that much and invest a lot as I have been, for the next 5-7 years at least, my ER or Semi-ER plans would be a lot more anchored and likely to work.

Seems the best thing to do is put up with all this for a few more years.
Wish I had been able to do better.
Not sure how long I can keep working like I am, but when I think of scaling back and working less, and run the numbers, I see it will mean I will work longer, for more years overall.
If I don't work a lot now I will be working so much longer - investments won't compound as fast if I slow down my savings/investing.

It makes me sick to see the money the higher-ups at my company make and yet they still cut our pay/benefits in "small" ways every so often as of late - despite the fact without us bringing in clients they would make far less profits.

We do all the hard work while they plot ways to increase their profits at our expense. It is wrong. Especially after they lied to us many times saying they would not cut our pay/benefits and have done just that. Slowly but surely.

Yet if I leave and go elsewhere, I lose income.
Waiting 7 years til my house is paid off seems like the best plan even though it seems like a long time. If the stockmarket does really well I could maybe do it in 6 years.

Work 2-3 days a week. Would rather work 1 day a week - maybe can do that after trying the 2-3 days and see how it goes.

Wish I could just quit but no way does it make sense, with the income I get from years of hard work - residual - if I quit I lose that "free" income.

I have spent hours on end going round and round thinking of all my options.
Do not have any viable ideas other than keep doing what I'm doing.
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Old 08-16-2016, 04:48 AM   #2
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You mention a lot in your post. One thing...

Roth 401k - why not use a Roth IRA that you control

I had/have that option through this employer and the previous. However, I went my own way, with Vanguard, for example.

If you do stay with employer, I would use 401(k) to get employer match. Then max a Roth-IRA. Then use taxable investments.
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:26 AM   #3
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A lot of rambling. Don't be afraid to try a different career. I've had several careers in my prior w*rking life, and incomes improved with each move. Sounds like you are very unhappy and might benefit from a change to something that isn't based on commission. Translate your skills so a different industry takes you on.


Enjoying life!
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Old 08-16-2016, 05:44 AM   #4
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A lot of rambling. Don't be afraid to try a different career. I've had several careers in my prior w*rking life, and incomes improved with each move. Sounds like you are very unhappy and might benefit from a change to something that isn't based on commission. Translate your skills so a different industry takes you on.


Enjoying life!
+1 Or take some time off to cool down and give it a try again. I am sure you can always take some unpaid leave of absence. Frustration and bitterness wears off with time.
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Old 08-16-2016, 06:23 AM   #5
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Wo*k is hard, that's why they pay you to do it :-)
Hang in there until you have your ER plan figured out and your numbers all work. Perhaps a break from the daily grind is in order. Amazing how a few weeks away from the madness helps.
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:04 AM   #6
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Apart from your obvious frustration with w*rk, you seem to be doing a lot of good stuff with your financial life. The situation you describe regarding your work Roth 401k is nothing short of disgraceful . I feel certain there is a remedy for that situation, but it sounds like you have freed yourself.
Good luck.
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:20 AM   #7
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You said you are in sales. In my experience people that can truly sell can always find a different job. Why don't you switch careers and sell something different?
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:43 AM   #8
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Some 401k plans permit an "in service rollover" or "in service distribution" which allows participants to withdraw their money while still working at the company. Since you are under 59 1/2, you would only be permitted to withdraw without penalty your contribution and not the employer contribution. Check your 401k summary plan description (SPD) to see if your plan allows in service withdrawals. Also, familiarize yourself with the rules and restrictions surrounding this type of withdrawal in order to avoid any nasty surprises at tax time.
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:59 AM   #9
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Is there a decent employer match? If it's a Roth through your work, are you putting post-tax money into it? If so, and the match is poor and the fees are high (and eating up the match), why use it at all?

How much would your work 401k have earned if you hadn't taken loans from it? It sounds like the fees are high and the management firm is crappy but I think taking the loans out of it and keeping the balance down might make its performance seem even worse.

You have done well but you do sound unhappy. Look for a new job or find some blessings with your current one and count them.
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:01 AM   #10
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You have done well but you do sound unhappy. Look for a new job or find some blessings with your current one and count them.
I find it helps to count each of them twice, as if they were separate.
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:33 AM   #11
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Agree that this is a rambling post. I can't tell if you are just venting or really looking for advice.

So here are a few comments.

Why are you working a part time job? It seems as if you should let that go to free up some head space. There is nothing magic in the 100K a year if it grinds you into the ground. Or work the part time job and cut back to the benefit level work at your main job.

As a single person your main concern is cash flow. Don't be so focused on paying off the house. In fact you might consider a refi to a 15% year fixed which would lower your monthly house payment.

Get an estimate of your SS at 62, again, as a single person taking it early for cash flow might be the best solution.
Think about getting some after tax money together to bridge the age until SS. If you end up losing benefits at work this will help with ACA income and dramatically lower health care costs.

Track your actual expenses. Does the 2K a month include payments on the no interest CC.

And last the 100K job sounds like if you don't go BA$$s to the wall, you don't make money. So if you burn out or make yourself sick from stress you aren't making money. So add some more downtime. Only count vacation days as the amount of days you spend away from work and aren't thinking about work. If you are on vacation and doing work chores it's not a vacation.
You think you are caught between the devil you know and the devil you don't know so are paralyzed about making a change. You don't have to decide anything today, but you should slow down that hamster wheel ASAP.
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:44 AM   #12
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>> now have about $300,000, mostly in in Roth IRAs

Quote:
Originally Posted by ivinsfan View Post
Think about getting some after tax money together to bridge the age until SS
+1

When most of your savings is in government approved retirement accounts you have to play by their rules. And one of their rules is that retirement happens in your 60's.

If you want to play by your own rules and retire early (as do many of the folks in this forum) you need to start accumulating funds in non-retirement accounts.

I wouldn't be retired now (in my 50's) if I didn't have most of my funds in non-IRA/401(k)/etc. accounts.
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:29 AM   #13
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Are you an employee, or self employed ?

Your income is pretty high, if you put some into IRA instead of all in ROTH you would get a tax break, and your income in retirement will be lower than what it is now so it would work out nicely.

How can work 401K be churning the accounts ?
What are the fund choices in your 401K ?

Once you hit 59.5 you can take out IRA money without penalty, so you don't have to have all of it in ROTH to wait for SS. So build up some in IRA.
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:45 AM   #14
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If there is churning going on in the 401K and it's being run by boss's family member, there might be something illegal going on. You need to protect your nest egg.

Why not seek employment at a different company doing the same thing you do now? Do your homework about benefits too. You can roll your 401K into a Roth IRA and take advantage of the new company's 401K/Roth 401K.

Besides, if you find new work, there is often a break of a few weeks between jobs. That could give you the breather that you need.


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Old 08-16-2016, 11:51 AM   #15
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+1 the reference to churning concerns me. You need to have someone look into the handling of your funds. If you have absolutely no one you can trust, please advise. There are places to go to get help.

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Old 08-16-2016, 01:19 PM   #16
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Hi I am a longtime lurker. Sometimes this forum motivates me and other times the posters seem unrealistic - one way or another. It's still interesting and entertaining to read now and then.

I'm age 43, no desire to ever get married, no kids. However, have had an active social and family life, which is a whole other story too long for this forum.

I have been investing and planning for ER since my 20's.

I remember when my goal was to have $30K saved and when I was around 31 years old I hit that - it was such an accomplishment at the time.

I now have about $300,000, mostly in in Roth IRAs. A few thousand of that is in a HSA which I use as a retirement account. A few thousand is in taxable accounts. I invest in index funds and a few individual stocks, all held longterm and well diversified. I have averaged what the market has - 10 percent, sometimes 11 percent, over the past 15 years since I began investing.

I have over $50,000 in a work Roth 401K which was a good plan- but now loses money every year due to work changing providers to their family friend who does a horrible job "churning" our accounts. We can not access our money until age 59.5 unless we quit, take a hardship or loan up to 50% of the account value.

To lessen my 401K losses, I take the max loan and "hardship" (ex: upcoming major dental surgery) withdrawals out whenever possible, in order to invest the money in index funds which yield a much higher return. Unfortunately we have no choice in our investments within the pooled plan, so after much calculation, taking money out whenever possible makes the most sense. This sounds extreme but it is truly the best option, given the situation.

I make $90000 a year after expenses, plus another $10000 from a part time job. I don't have a commute as I work out of my home but it's a very mentally stressful job, dealing with a lot of things day in and day out.

All commission based on dealings with hundreds of clients I have built from scratch, over my 15 + year career in the industry.

I owe $99K on house which has 7 years left on a 3.1% 10-year loan.

Owe $40,000 in credit card debt - that was used for needed home repairs - all at 0 percent. I have excellent credit and will continue to rollover the credit card debt to new 0 percent cards, paying a 3% BT fee every 18 months on average, because it makes no sense to pay it off early. I keep careful track and never miss a payment. I see it as leverage because using my index funds to pay it off would make no sense with the debt costing so little to keep it.

Car is in good shape and paid off, I drive less than 6000 miles a year due to working out of my home, and have the low-mileage ins. discount.

I don't have a lot of expenses, maybe $2000 a month is a very high estimate not counting the mortgage payment that's $1400. Usually I spend far less than that, but every 2-3 years take a "fancy" vacation (trip to Alaska was $4000, but most of my vacations are a lot less fancy and far cheaper).

So 7 years from now after the mortgage is paid off, I'll be 50 years old and 0 percent $40,000 credit card debt will be paid off.
I will likely have over $800K at the rate I am saving (I save and invest all my excess above expenses in a Roth IRA and taxable index funds - now that our w*rk 401K is no longer a good option), that's a conservative estimate. Of course, if the stockmarket tanks the next few years or shoots way up that $800K estimate will vary.

Do not know that I will fully retire right away, because if I scale back to working 2 days a week I can still make $40K off residual income/dealing with longtime clients, and keep the free health insurance my company offers.

In order to keep making $100K + a year (on paper more, but I have to pay some business expenses so I subtracted that), I must put in a lot of stressful w*rk.

I am so sick of dealing with the baloney from work on a daily basis. If it's not one thing, it's another. People making promises, then lying and not following through. List goes on and on, it's always something.

The best way to tell if my boss is lying, is look to see if his mouth is moving. Same with many other people I deal with through work on a daily basis.

Am so burnt out.
However I feel like I am so close to being able to scale back and semi-retire - I almost could do it now but that would be cutting it close.

It's not if it's when....when will I quit working full time 5 days a week (plus several hours many weekends doing paperwork) - and how soon should I give myself more time to relax and hike and do things I enjoy.

I looked into getting another job - nothing that's different from what I'm currently doing will pay me close to what I'm making now - unless I work years to build up my salary. It makes the most sense financially to keep doing what I'm doing a few more years.

I give myself 3 weeks vacation a year but usually use 2 of those weeks playing catch up from things I did not get done at w*rk.
I have set goals I follow, so I force myself to work to get everything done.
If not, I make less money, so I am strict with my schedule despite working from home.

I plan on gradually increasing my vacation time each year based on goals I hit. Example, when I have $500K in investments I will add a week's vacation. When I have the house paid off, another week.

By that time, I may change that plan and decide to work 2-3 days a week.

The job is stressful enough that I know as I get older I won't want to keep doing it.

I do meaningful volunteer work now and then and easily could do more, and enjoy it, if I did not work so much. Finding things to do with my spare time will never be a problem for me.

Seems like if I had house paid off and $800,000 invested that would be enough to scale back and work 2-3 days a week.

Not sure.
Have run Firecalc with different scenarios.

The problem with my job is it's secure to a point but a few years from now they could change our pay so we make a lot less.
A lot can happen to lower my income, it is the nature of the industry I'm in.

So I may not make $100K a year forever.
Probably won't.

It seems like I need to get it while I can, if I can make that much and invest a lot as I have been, for the next 5-7 years at least, my ER or Semi-ER plans would be a lot more anchored and likely to work.

Seems the best thing to do is put up with all this for a few more years.
Wish I had been able to do better.
Not sure how long I can keep working like I am, but when I think of scaling back and working less, and run the numbers, I see it will mean I will work longer, for more years overall.
If I don't work a lot now I will be working so much longer - investments won't compound as fast if I slow down my savings/investing.

It makes me sick to see the money the higher-ups at my company make and yet they still cut our pay/benefits in "small" ways every so often as of late - despite the fact without us bringing in clients they would make far less profits.

We do all the hard work while they plot ways to increase their profits at our expense. It is wrong. Especially after they lied to us many times saying they would not cut our pay/benefits and have done just that. Slowly but surely.

Yet if I leave and go elsewhere, I lose income.
Waiting 7 years til my house is paid off seems like the best plan even though it seems like a long time. If the stockmarket does really well I could maybe do it in 6 years.

Work 2-3 days a week. Would rather work 1 day a week - maybe can do that after trying the 2-3 days and see how it goes.

Wish I could just quit but no way does it make sense, with the income I get from years of hard work - residual - if I quit I lose that "free" income.

I have spent hours on end going round and round thinking of all my options.
Do not have any viable ideas other than keep doing what I'm doing.
I would like to build your net egg more, but you are in much better shape than mot of your peers, good luck and try to enjoy life, you seem like your in a rut and life is too short not to enjoy, working or not.
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:17 PM   #17
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I am so appreciative and surprised by the huge response to my post. Thank you for your input, everyone.

As for the 401K, I have told my company's owner and boss my concerns - and they say they are looking into it but nothing is done. It is clear there is some connection they have to the 401K plan company - through a family friend or acquaintance. I participated in it - maxed it out and got the company match- for about 6 years until my company switched providers and I saw it going down year after year in a bull market. Then I figured out how much money I was losing and quit investing, the match is eaten up by fees quickly so not even worth doing.

It is a pooled fund and we have no choice in the investments.

We were told it had no fees, yet of course it has them built into the funds. I asked for a list of what it's in and got a long list which did not tell the percentages invested in each fund. Most of the funds listed have very high fees.

As for reporting it to someone (not sure who - the government?!), I don't see how that would help. There is no company stock in the plan. The 5500 required audit form is fine, I looked at that online. It's supposed to be illegal for them to put us in high fee funds for their own benefit. But if they don't admit it - that they don't operate in our best interest (fiduciary, as required by law), then no one will stop them.
I can report them and still nothing will be done.

In a perfect world I would be able to report them and it would be investigated and dealt with so those who run the plan can't profit at our expense.

As for my Roth IRA (mostly with Vanguard), most of that is from a rollover I did many years ago from another employer. A lot of it's from where I've maxed it out for several years. I have started to invest outside the Roth, mostly index funds - Vanguard.

I love the Roth IRA because I don't have to pay taxes when I buy and sell stock within it. I don't buy and sell stock a lot, but it's still a plus to have stock within the Roth instead of in a taxable account.

As far as the next few years for w*rk, I think what I will do is move more business/clients to my 2nd job. It is the same type work as my full-time job. We are a bulk vendor of supplies. Some of my clients have contracts and other situations to where if I quit my full time job I'd lose some of them. I would be throwing money away to quit completely, because part of my commission income I get from having done a lot of work already - I get re-orders and make more commissions because I laid the groundwork many years ago.

It's like having my own business in a way but I'm a W2 employee, and the company makes products, ships and bills the clients for me.

I have looked into quitting and getting a different full time job. I could do that if I wanted to take a huge pay cut.
It would make more sense to scale back and work 2-3 days a week and make $50,000, which I could do - wheras if I got another full time job doing something else working 5 days a week to make about the same ($50,000).

I would not be able to make $100,000 a year unless I worked several years and built up in a different career - that's not what I want to do - I want to work less - not more.

It is alarming and frustrating to have to deal with the full time job's negative changes lately - too long to get into here.

The only thing that makes financial sense is keep trying to move more business over to the part time job - so I'm spending more time working with them and less with the full - time job.

The part time job's owner is someone I worked with many years ago and so far has been trustworthy and honest - the opposite of the full-time job's owners.
It's all too long and complicated to explain everything in detail without writing a book.

It is hard and that's why we get paid so much - most people quit this job due to all the w*rk involved - way worse than it first appears when you start the job!
I am grateful for that I guess. I don't comprehend why the full time company - which is an established over 70 year old family run business - gets greedier and greedier, making more changes making my job so much harder - when in the end it's to their detriment.
It costs me a lot of money and has driven a lot of customers away, but it's not to where it makes sense to quit.

Seems like if I make the money I'm making a few more years, then scale back, I will have enough not to worry.
The purpose of the mortgage being paid off in 7 years is so when I'm older I will not have as much expense - especially if I get more burnt out and can't stand working anymore.
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Old 08-18-2016, 03:05 PM   #18
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It sounds like you have made up your mind to continue. Have you investigated ways to relive your stress? Do you have social outlets (clubs, close friends)? Do you work out/exercise regularly? Take "real" vacations? Have Significant Other?

No need to answer these questions except for yourself, perhaps. Anything you can do to "get away" from the stress may make it possible to endure long enough to eventually escape. Best of luck and I'm guessing one day you will look back and decide it was all worth it. YMMV
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by workburnout View Post
As far as the next few years for w*rk, I think what I will do is move more business/clients to my 2nd job. It is the same type work as my full-time job.
Part of that plan needs to include how to payback the $25K loan from the 401K and the $40K Credit Card debt if Company 'A' decides to show you the door. I would view moving clients from your current employer to anywhere else to be a very risky move.
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:51 PM   #20
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Yes, if your second job is the same kind of work as your full time job and you "move" some clients then you will have a "conflict of interest" which is grounds for immediate termination.
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