Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Tell me if I'm crazy
Old 05-22-2007, 03:51 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
lightspeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 135
Tell me if I'm crazy

I'm 41, married, 2 children ages 7 and 8. Annual income is 500-600K, and annual spending about 144K. 1.2 million is in brokerage account, 350K in a profit sharing plan, and my share of my company is around 350K. Home + some vacant land we own is worth about 850K, with 270K mortgage debt. The reasons I went into my line of work are still there, so some inherent rewards keep me going, but the bureuacracy, politics, and administrative burdens placed upon me are increasingly unbearable. My wife thinks it's my mid-life crisis. Debating whether to go to part time work (24 weeks a year) to cover 100% living expenses and let our nest egg grow, or grin and bear it another 5-10 years, and retire completely, except for working as an independent contractor, taking only work I want.

I'm not sure if I'm really asking anything here, but wanted to share my thoughts and invite other thoughts, comments, advice, pearls of wisdom.
__________________

__________________
lightspeed 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 Early-Retirement.org 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 05-22-2007, 04:27 PM   #2
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,211
Welcome to the Forum! It is kind of a zoo around here today as we changed our forum software. So, replies may be a bit slow in coming. Is there any way to take a sabbatical to think over your options? The 24 weeks a year schedule sounds like it could be intriguing.
__________________

__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2007, 04:33 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Hi, Lightspeed.

It's probably not midlife crisis, but rather the ever-mounting stresses of work that seem to arrive in midlife due to growing responsibilities, seniority and looming plausibility of FIRE. Not worth thinking about when you're 35 with no where near enough resources to make it happen.

Part-time sounds like a nice solution. Might try Bob Clyatt's book -- can't find the link at the moment in the chaos surrounding our new software switchover today, but it'll surface.

Give us a few days to clean up around here and it will seem much more friendly!
__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2007, 04:58 PM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
lightspeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 135
A sabattical is a great thought-- funny you should mention it, because I had an opportunity to go to New Zealand for 12 months. It's exciting, but after thinking about, my partners would have to replace me, and my wife and I are so conservative it's scary for us to uproot the kids and bring them to another country, even though it would probably be a great learning experience for them. I'm really tempted to go part time-- thinking if I cover my family's living expenses fully, our nest egg would double twice by the time Iwe're in our late 50's. The nest egg is not not big enough, though, for me to be confident that it would sustain us when I do decide to quit entirely, especially if we have another 9-11 or market crash....
__________________
lightspeed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2007, 05:23 PM   #5
Full time employment: Posting here.
mountaintosea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 548
Hello lightspeed,
A year in New Zealand sounds like a great idea. I'm not sure what being conservative has to do with living there. I've met people from New Zealand and they for the most part seem to be rather mild mannered friendly people.
Your children would probably benefit from attending their schools etc. It would be a great experience. When I turned 40 I took 12 months off and traveled to London then around Europe to Northern Africa hopped over to Bangkok then up through China. It was a great experience! I did not have a business, nor children nor spouse. So my situation was a little different, but I recommend it, if at all possible. I have a niece who has been traveling in Europe and now is teaching English in Turkey. If you can swing it, go for it! You won't regret it I'm positive!
__________________
mountaintosea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2007, 06:19 PM   #6
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 21
light - My situation is somewhat similar financially and age-wise (though I am an employee, rather than an owner). I'll be interested to see what people's experiences and responses are. For now, I am planning to tough it out 5-10 more years, since for me retired means "retired". My guess is that if I got off the treadmill and tried to work 24 weeks a year, I'd never get back on again.
__________________
Jeffrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2007, 06:54 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MasterBlaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,360
Lightspeed:

Well to cover expenses of $144k (using the 4% SWR) I estimate that you'll need a nest egg of upwards of $3.6M. So maybe you are just under $2M short right now. I assumed that you want to keep the house and the land.

As you pointed out you could cut back the hours to pay the bills.

Alternately, if you sold it all maybe you'd net after taxes and expenses something over $2M. So if you cut back the expenses and lived a more down-to-earth lifestyle, perhaps in a more affordable part of the country, you could think about giving it all up right now. Many people who post to this forum could live well on that nest-egg amount.

So from my point of view, you just need to work more if you want that better lifestyle. The work-life balance thing is for you to determine.
__________________
MasterBlaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2007, 06:54 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Martha beat me to it. I was in a similar position to you, took a sabbatical and when I went back couldnt stand the job anymore...or any job I could think of.


Theres an old saw about boiling a frog slowly...it cant recognize the temperature change and stays in the water...whereas if you throw a frog into boiling water it'll jump right out.

Theres a chance you're being slowly boiled...
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2007, 08:22 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DangerMouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 1,812
It is always easy when you are not the spouse dragging yourself off to work everyday to put it down to a mid-life crisis. I know when I didn't work I couldn't understand what my husband's moaning was about, but after 1 year back on the job I can totally relate to his complaints.

For me the question would be if you were told you only had 5 years to live would you want to spend those 5 years in the office?

I'm an Aussie and even though I have never been to NZ I have never met a New Zealander that I didn't like. I think it would be an opportunity worth exploring, however you would have to get your head around a much slower pace of life.
__________________

I be a girl, he's a boy. Think I maybe FIRED since July 08. Mid 40s, no kidlets. Actually am totally clueless as to what is going on with DH.
DangerMouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2007, 10:52 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,672
Go for NZ, you and your family will love it. The only minus might be that your parents will miss their Grandchildren (which can be a bigger deal than you might think). If their Grandparents are in good health and up for a loooooog sit now and again (even business class can be a bun-burner), I say be an xpat for a couple years.

One of the problems for a corporate xpat is that you are disconnected from the corporate social network. IMHO this isn't a problem if you are seriously considering doing something else at the end of your assignment. Just be sure that your employment agreement covers the cost of the return move (if there is any chance of corporate terminal illness perhaps have a bond to cover that detail).

One of the classic comments I heard in NZ is that the Europeans who ventured to NZ were on a mission to convert the natives, those sent to AU were criminals and the poor. AU got the best stock. So, in a nutshell NZ wants to do the right thing, AU wants to survive.
__________________
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2007, 08:41 AM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
lightspeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 135
Wow, I love this forum! I'm grateful to hear all your thoughts, and to know I'm not the only one faced with these kind of decisions. These are terrific comments.

My big concern about the sabbatical is that I won't be able or willing to return to my work, as cute fuzzy bunny's experience was, and I just don't have a big enough nest egg for my family's lifestyle. I love my wife with all my heart, but both of us are flabbergasted that the two of us are so compatible. We actually laugh about the fact that, I have minimalist tendencies and constantly strive to simplify my life, so I feel I could easily live on half of what we are spending now, but my wife keeps pulling the other way.... she wants a McMansion house while I want to live in cabin. She actually drives a Mercedes SUV, and I drive a low end Subaru. I'm sure it has something to do with her growing up in a blue collar family and me growing up in very affluent family. Bottom line is I don't think as a family we could live on much less than 144k/year, as much as I personally would like to.
__________________
lightspeed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2007, 08:50 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 38,941
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightspeed View Post
...I have minimalist tendencies and constantly strive to simplify my life, so I feel I could easily live on half of what we are spending now, but my wife keeps pulling the other way.... she wants a McMansion house while I want to live in cabin. She actually drives a Mercedes SUV, and I drive a low end Subaru. I'm sure it has something to do with her growing up in a blue collar family and me growing up in very affluent family. Bottom line is I don't think as a family we could live on much less than 144k/year, as much as I personally would like to.
“Danger, Will Robinson!”

That's a formula for non-FIRE or serious marital stress unless you build a huge nest egg or the light bulb comes on for your DW. Best of luck in your efforts to work all this out.


__________________
Numbers is hard.

The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence. - Charles Bukowski

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension

REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2007, 08:56 AM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Yep, giant flashing red light on the dashboard. See SteveR for details.

I changed my lifestyle a lot. Ended up over downsizing and moved back upscale a little bit. Never regretted not wasting the rest of my life sitting in an office.

Well, maybe about 2/3 of the way through moving all this furniture, work looked like a feasible option...
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2007, 09:57 AM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 198
I'd say that I don't envy your position, even with such a huge salary. My wife and I also don't totally see eye to eye, but she's moving in the LBYM direction. At least she understands that for our long term health, it's a good idea to scale back on "things".

As I've read in plenty of places, when you buy something, you're spending two things. One is money, and another is time. The time you're spending is the time it takes to earn the money, which is time you could have spent doing something you find valuable. I keep imagining being 75, and wishing I'd spent another 5 years of my work life doing something fun.

Anyway, point being, I think that you have some tough times ahead. I'd prefer to be sailing on a budget rather than working, and my wife has agreed with me. If you'd rather be in a cabin than working, you may need to have some tough conversations.

With that kind of money stored up, you could quit today and live perfectly fine in most of the midwest. There are tons of experiences you could have fun with. Good luck with everything
__________________
HobbyDave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2007, 11:05 AM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
lightspeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 135
I know it sounds like we're doomed, but please don't misunderstand me, my marital and family lives are wonderful and successful. I cannot imagine my spouse and 2 children and me not being all together at anytime. That's more improtant to me than anything in the world, whether I'm working or not, rich or poor. I think she feels the same way. We've had the tough conversations, and we are both good compromisers. She understands and accepts that we'll never live in a 5000 square foot house, and I know we'll never live in a cabin, so our lifestyle right now is a compromise of our different attitudes. I am willing to keep our lifestyle as it is for my family, which is why I don't think realistically we'll reduce our expenses. My wife is actually very willing to help me be happier in my professional life, whether it is going PT, taking a sabbatical, or retiring completely. She's even told me she'd rather live simpler with a happy me than live with a lot of material things with an unhappy me.
__________________
lightspeed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2007, 09:50 AM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 4,384
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightspeed View Post
I know it sounds like we're doomed, but please She's even told me she'd rather live simpler with a happy me than live with a lot of material things with an unhappy me.
I think you need to test that offer. Why not rent your place when you do go on sabbatical and try living the simpler life during the year. One of you might get converted.

Seriously, this gap can become a retirement killer, especailly after the kids are grown up and gone. One possibility is to get her to get psychological help because she is getting her self-esteem from what others think of her material things. This will not change without an intervention of some kind.

We have a friend who always refers to "her Mercedes" when we talk about our car. She is divorced and had "married well". (PS our car is a BMW but that is not anyone's business nor is it relevant to who we are.)
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2007, 08:09 AM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
txdakini's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 60
One of the great things about this forum is that there's no shortage of opinions! My husband and I also are in different camps WRT how much we spend. He being in the more is more camp and me being in the less is more camp. I semi-retired five years ago after 25 years in megacorp and absolutely hating the last ten years of it. I would have been willing to live in a tent so long as I didn't have to go back to megacorp. He has always loved his job. But recently he has felt burned out (last three years). Now he's retiring at 55. His feeling now is cut expenses so I can get out of here! And he's been doing well in cutting back without too much pain. If your wife doesn't work, she may never have this aha moment. Often times there are lots of expenses you can cut that are painless/invisible. Try that first if you haven't already. And working half-time sounds like a good solution as does a sabbatical and going to NZ.

BTW there are many, many folks on this forum who are retiring with a lot less (read 1/3 or 1/2) of what you already have accumulated. Where there's a will, there's a way.
__________________
Life is short and getting shorter.
If not now, when?
txdakini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2007, 08:35 AM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Its all about striking a balance. Too often we lump spending items together irrationally.

I like living in a nice big house. A little room to stretch out, plenty of room for your stuff so its easy to find. I like living in a nice neighborhood with fun and interesting things to do and fewer worries about crime.

But having four cars and an extra house and a boat and all that didnt particularly make me happy...it just got lumped in with the rest of the stuff because I could afford it and it was what one did.

So first strip back the spending made purely to satisfy emotional inadequacy problems, then strip back the stuff that on analysis, isnt making your life better or can be rented on demand, then clear up the small stuff thats draining your pennies without bringing you any joy.

Somewhere in the middle there you will find a balance of quality of life and financial independence. Maybe then you can quit, go part time, or split some of the employment to suit.

I think many people quit working because they can and then try to tailor their lives to suit. Seems to me that the ones that do it the other way around find the process a little less traumatic.
__________________

__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


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
Crazy Old Man slepyhed Health and Early Retirement 74 05-22-2010 07:07 AM
crazy real estate market semtex FIRE and Money 60 02-07-2007 06:40 AM
Retire at 45? Crazy or Just Maybe Possible? KimInWis Young Dreamers 17 01-02-2007 02:07 PM
PsyopRanger's Crazy Investing Style PsyopRanger FIRE and Money 38 07-06-2006 09:35 AM
Go with TIPs or am I crazy? Mister Bill FIRE and Money 147 06-14-2005 09:25 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:11 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.