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Critical milestone reached - contemplating semi-ERE in the next few weeks
Old 02-28-2014, 06:31 PM   #1
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Critical milestone reached - contemplating semi-ERE in the next few weeks

Hello All,

So due to various circumstances (not finding work enjoyable or fulfilling, no balance at 120 hrs/week, stressful relationships etc.) I have been on the path to cut my career short and modifying my goals.

I am 27, and my accelerated goal was to hit $400K net worth before I would call it quits, then after a break I would pick up random fun jobs here and there just to cover basic expenses and let my main capital grow.

I ended up hitting $425,000, and I let me bosses know that I wouldn't be opposed to a layoff or even just being let go. They responded by saying that they really want me to do this upcoming project for them which would go from March to December. I wasn't expecting that, and now contemplating it. Having a hard time deciding and they want a response in <2 weeks.

This would be a decently good project (still has it's stressful aspects though) and that would bring me to over $500,000. But it would mean yet another year of my life that I would be giving up and missing out on everything.

I figure I can live happily at just under $25,000/yr expenses in the city (Toronto). With $425,000 I figure would need to make at least $10,000-$20,000 supplemental income per year to allow the initial capital to grow slowly over time.

But at $500,000, that would improve the situation, not tremendously, but enough to be significant perhaps?

My family says I should do the extra year. Friends say continuing to miss out on everything is not worth it. I suspect my family's point of view is influenced by the fact that we grew up quite poor.

I am torn and seeking advice, thank you
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:41 PM   #2
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You are 27? You are just getting started. Why would you want to retire so early? What are your friends telling you that you are missing out on at 27 years old? At that age I was just getting started. I was too young to even know there was stuff out there to be missing!

If you don't like what you are doing, why not just find something else to do?
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:01 PM   #3
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120 hours a week? That's 17 hr/d 7 days a week. No one should work that much. Not safely. You don't have time for sleep, or a life. What boss requires that? d not work that much. Please tell us more.

Also, $400K at age 27 is not enough to retire on. Not by a long shot. But it does sound like you need to be doing something different.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:22 PM   #4
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Yes my job is extreme, I generally work rotations of ~42 days on, ~14 days off and usually about 14-17 hours per day. And it is generally out of the country in really poor accommodations.

I did not know my job was going to be this demanding when I first started. I was under the impression it would be 12 hour days but then my bosses always find ways of making it very clear that you are expected to do more than that. Even on my time off I spent a big portion of it just recuperating from the work.

The only saving grace has been making >$100,000/yr. However when you consider how many hours I do, it really is not all that impressive in terms of $/hr.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:32 PM   #5
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Rather than retiring altogether at such a young age and scraping together your life forever, take a month off and find new work. You're way too young to start doing random things to make ends meet, IMO. You've not even cross the bridge of marriage, kids, etc. Those things might not be on your horizon, but (1) things change; and (2) you're still pretty young.

The longer you keep yourself out of the active work force doing "odd jobs", the less employable you become. Just consider that before you pull the plug. But making six-figures in your 20s is great and all, but not at 17hrs/day.

You just need to find something more normal and be willing to take a pay cut. I doubt you will be satisfied with that same standard of living (living in a major city on $25k) for your whole life (and I question how you can do that anyway...).

FYI - I'm 36... at 27 I wasn't close to getting married, was working a crappy, long-houred job and making six-figures. I moved on through the nature of my work and found balance, but there wasn't one part of me that ever thought of quitting altogether, and I wasn't that far off from you in terms of net worth at that age. Now? Married, house, similar but different job making more with a higher net worth... considering retiring at 42, but I'll have a pension and enough to live a good lifestyle in San Diego. You may choose differently, but my standard of living now and priorities are way different than at 27. Just consider that before you pull the plug so young. You obviously have valuable skills. You just need to find a better situation, my friend!

JMO, man. Take it for what it's worth.
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Old 02-28-2014, 07:34 PM   #6
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Also, $400K at age 27 is not enough to retire on. Not by a long shot.
I know that $425K is not enough no matter how cheaply I live. This is why I labelled it as semi-ERE and said that I assumed I would have to bring in another $10K-$20K minimum per year to make it work.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:04 PM   #7
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120 hours a week? That's 17 hr/d 7 days a week. No one should work that much. Not safely. You don't have time for sleep, or a life. What boss requires that? d not work that much. Please tell us more.

Also, $400K at age 27 is not enough to retire on. Not by a long shot. But it does sound like you need to be doing something different.
Oh yes I've done plenty of 100+ wks. Back to back, enough to drive a normal person insane, guess what it did to me?

You don't mention what the $425 is in. Company stock, options, 401k, or after tax savings. You're doing excellent at 27, but I wouldn't call an end to what maybe an fantastic career. Sounds like for now, you may have the ability to negotiate with your employer. I'd use that to limit hours and lengthen your career.

As mentioned you don't have enough now, and producing another 10-20k doesn't seem to be a problem. But what if your portfolio drops 50%? What if your skillset becomes obsolete? Then maybe a full time job might look attractive.

In a way I'm reminded of a former co-w*rker, excellent savings had lots of assets. I knew him to finance cow*rkers debts at a rate favorible to him. Then about 40 he found 'that girl', two kids later, bigger home he expects 65 could be his ER date.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:29 PM   #8
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27? You are just a child (no offense) and 400k while admirable at this young age will not cut it for long, you just have too much life left . Sounds like your slacker friends are trying to slow you down. Why not just take a nice vacation and then get back on the horse? You are really just getting started bubba...
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:59 PM   #9
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Wow, for an early retirement board, it is interesting to see this much push back. Yeah, that's not much money for complete retirement. But it is impressive at that age, and the plan is feasible.

People have already pointed out caveats that marriage/kids could change the whole lifestyle. Still, there are plenty of people who have more unusual career paths than get a boring job, work for 30 years, then retire.

You sound completely burned out. I think changing things up completely might work for you. I suppose you could try the Peace Corps, or move somewhere cheap for a while, backpack over Europe or South America, or just take a year or two off to figure things out. Things change over time; right now might be the time to step away from a job that could be working you to death. 2 years from now, you might decide to get another full time job.

I would've quit working in my 20s if I could have. I'm surprised to find so much of the "you're too young to retire" nonsense here that encounter in real life. Work sucks, avoid it when possible.

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Old 02-28-2014, 10:06 PM   #10
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I suppose you could try the Peace Corps
I don't think the OP is a US citizen.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:25 PM   #11
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Ah, whoops, forgot that was a US thing. Probably not the right type of thing for him anyway, with a job that has put him in underdeveloped places. The idea was a radical lifestyle change, though that might not appeal at all either.

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Old 02-28-2014, 10:44 PM   #12
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I probably wouldn't want to work 120 hours a week for any amount of money.

If you have health care figured out, with low expenses and your current savings you can take some time to explore new careers that cover your expenses with 40 hours or less of work. I don't think there is anything sacred about even working 40+ hours a week. I personally wouldn't just do random jobs. I like really like taking classes and learning new things so if it were me I'd just look for something more enjoyable to do with better working conditions.

If you find something that pays decent per hour, has flexible hours and have low expenses, you can cover all your expenses working part time or maybe part of the year on a contract basis.

My ideal would be to get the kids launched, downsize and follow simple and sustainable living ideas so that our expenses are covered with DH and I working part time hobby jobs. We aren't there yet, but we are on target to make that happen.

Here is a related article on the societal benefits of working less than 40 hours a week -

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/j...conomists.html

"Anna Coote, head of social policy at the NEF, an independent think-tank, said: "It's time to make 'part-time' the new 'full-time'.

"We must rethink the way we divide up our hours between paid and unpaid activities, and make sure everyone has a fair share of free time."

Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany have shown it is possible to make changes like these without weakening their economies.."
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:21 PM   #13
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27…too too early and lots of unknowns coming down in life. Plan for worst case and at least 90 years of age. Take a year break, decompress and find a job where you work 40 hrs/wk and not tap into your savings…That should be semi retire for you compared to 120hrs/wk. I would then revaluate my financial situation at 40 and if I can live off well on 3% of my asset with some travel and emergency fund of 100K saved.
Do not let your current job discourage you. You sure need to quit your current job but I'm sure you will find something you will enjoy. I had just completed my MS at age 27 and landed my first professional job. Congrats to you on amassing 425K at such an young age!
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:36 PM   #14
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I am probably not the one to ask about when to retire and all that, I'm quite a bit younger than you, but I am a professional oddjobber and love it. If you are just looking for a change, you could look into being a brand ambassador. You do end up with a good bit of travel, probably better accommodations than you're used to. The hours can be funny, but the work is fun. A 17 hour day doesn't seem so bad when you're basically just playing with new technology or giving away free ice cream.

It won't pay as much though. Most of the people I know who are in the industry full time make ~$52k per year, with food and expenses paid for anytime they're working, which can be for months at a time, so they rarely have a permanent residence. It's also flexible enough that you could look for another career in the meantime, if that's what you're into.

Just adding to the lift of options out there to change things up.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:48 PM   #15
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I am probably not the one to ask about when to retire and all that, I'm quite a bit younger than you, but I am a professional oddjobber and love it. If you are just looking for a change, you could look into being a brand ambassador. You do end up with a good bit of travel, probably better accommodations than you're used to. The hours can be funny, but the work is fun. A 17 hour day doesn't seem so bad when you're basically just playing with new technology or giving away free ice cream.

It won't pay as much though. Most of the people I know who are in the industry full time make ~$52k per year, with food and expenses paid for anytime they're working, which can be for months at a time, so they rarely have a permanent residence. It's also flexible enough that you could look for another career in the meantime, if that's what you're into.

Just adding to the lift of options out there to change things up.
Curious, but what is a "brand ambassador"?
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:19 PM   #16
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Curious, but what is a "brand ambassador"?
It's a type of promotional modeling. Companies hire people on a temporary basis, sometimes for only a few hours, sometimes for a few months, to promote their products, through demos, or sampling. The kinds of jobs can range from independent set ups, like when a brand has their own tour, to booths at conventions and events, to having a table in a grocery store somewhere.
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:16 PM   #17
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It's a type of promotional modeling. Companies hire people on a temporary basis, sometimes for only a few hours, sometimes for a few months, to promote their products, through demos, or sampling. The kinds of jobs can range from independent set ups, like when a brand has their own tour, to booths at conventions and events, to having a table in a grocery store somewhere.
Thanks, I've got a neighbor that does this sort of thing. Retired old guy. I have to find out more!
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:52 PM   #18
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Thanks, I've got a neighbor that does this sort of thing. Retired old guy. I have to find out more!
Of course! I'd definitely recommend it. I've worked with a range of people from teens to late 60s. Plus it feeds into the frugal lifestyle, you get tons of free shirts and backpacks, and if you get into the samplings, lots of free product. My house is full of snacks and sample (travel!) size products I probably never would just buy on my own. So I guess it fits into ER that way
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:21 AM   #19
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While the $425k sure gives you some wiggle room (excellent at 27!) like the others I doubt that's enough to retire on even if you do like cat food. But those 120 hour work weeks have got to go - that will kill you faster than a diet of soda, chips and smokes.

Those work hours are unreasonable for any employer to expect anyone to maintain. That was the reason for the 40-hour workweek to begin with because workers began to push back on that in the 1800's.

Talk with the employer and if they are unwilling to budge then you need to get yourself out of there and find something that will allow you to live a better life between not working at all and killing yourself with overwork.
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:06 AM   #20
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A 120-hour week is incredible but not uncommon in the investment banking. The pay is good, but the work could be detrimental to your health. Where do you find time to sleep and engage in any other activities?

While $425K may not be enough to retire on (in North America), it might be fine in other countries (e.g., India, Thailand, Philippines) for a while. As suggested by others, take some time off to find out more about what you really like to do in life. At 27, you have plenty of time and money to determine your career direction, if any.
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