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DW leaving job 3 years early....what to do?
Old 10-04-2019, 07:40 AM   #1
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DW leaving job 3 years early....what to do?

OK, so I may ramble a bit here, but your advice is appreciated.

Recently, I changed j*bs and got a significant raise in salary and bonus, as well as some pretty healthy stock awards that vest 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 over a 3 year period. Previously, our plan had been for both DW and I to FIRE as soon as DD graduates high school in August 2025. However, with the new gig, we figured in 3 years DW could go ahead and pull the plug, as I would be vesting a full stock award (Three 1/3s) each year at that point, which would more than cover her salary.

Fast forward to yesterday. Her j*b has really been a toxic environment for a while now. But, it pays decent, she works from home and that provides flexibility to handle household and DD duties while I was travelling 1 to 2 weeks per month. Recently, things have gotten so bad that her company has been tracking the amount of time that she (and all other salespeople) is actually on her computer or away. I told her, at this stage in her career if she can't be trusted to get things done on her own schedule (which she does) that she needs to get out of there. So, yesterday she put in her notice.

Now, the question. Does she find another j*b or do we just let her FIRE (can I call it that yet?) 3 years early? I make enough to cover our expenses and still max out my 401k. My annual bonuses will allow us to still travel like we like and in July I'll start getting my 1/3 of the first stock award that will also supplement savings. What we will miss is about $35k-$45k annual savings that we would have socked away over the next 3 years. So, you're talking $10k0-$150k that would grow (or not) until 2025. There's a chance this would cause us to come up short of our goal and push out my FIRE, but that could happen anyway depending on markets

She is dead set on finding a new gig, but only because she doesn't want to derail our plans, which I really appreciate. But, she doesn't really want to work and this would be a great gift to her. Anyway, this group always gives many different perspectives, so your thoughts are much appreciated.
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:28 AM   #2
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If $100K to $150K makes the difference in being able to FIRE, you're cutting it too close.
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:39 AM   #3
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If we have a bear market in the range of a 30-50% drop, would you still be able to fire?
If not, you should think about the timing some more.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:09 AM   #4
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If we have a bear market in the range of a 30-50% drop, would you still be able to fire?
If not, you should think about the timing some more.
Really? I can understand psychologically why someone might change their plans. But isn’t that the whole point of using firecalc and other historical calculators—so that you know that you can survive the bad scenarios? By this measure, we all need to save twice what’s necessary!

Agree though that the 100-150k shouldn’t impact retirement date by much, though I suppose it depends on sources of income and age—if you’re just trying to bridge a year or two to SS, that could be important.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:09 AM   #5
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To both of your points, all I'm saying is that we have numbers that we have run through FireCalc and others that we are comfortable with. When the time comes if we are short of those numbers or have less success rates in FireCalc, even by a little bit, it may cause me to push my FIRE out a year or two. A huge market swing could do the same. So, I don't think it's accurate to say we're cutting it close.

In 6 years, the $150k-$200K could grow to be $300k. Also, failed to mention that we will lose 3 years of her 401k contributions, so add in another $50k, plus any growth in that. On a $3 million portfolio, $300kish is 10% of the total. That's not a small chunk and could change the decision to FIRE.

Dtail, I think anyone that sustains a 50% market drop within a year or 2 of FIRE would have some issues. It's hard to adequately plan for that return sequence.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:12 AM   #6
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One other question is have is how stable your job is. It sounds like you’re counting on it continuing for a decent number of years. We’ve found that to be a bad assumption as we’ve gotten older.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:13 AM   #7
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By this measure, we all need to save twice what’s necessary!
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Agree though that the 100-150k shouldn’t impact retirement date by much, though I suppose it depends on sources of income and age—if you’re just trying to bridge a year or two to SS, that could be important.
in 2025, we will be 48 and 53, respectively. That amount could grow to significant sums over the life of our retirement.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:16 AM   #8
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One other question is have is how stable your job is. It sounds like you’re counting on it continuing for a decent number of years. We’ve found that to be a bad assumption as we’ve gotten older.
That is definitely a factor to consider since I am relatively new here. However, it is a stable company, and so far I fit very well. On the other hand, my phone rings off the hook with recruiters trying to lure me away constantly, so if I got let go, I think I'd land on my feet pretty quickly. If not, we would, of course, have to adjust. But, if I lost my job for any lengthy period, we'd have to adjust anyway, regardless of current situation.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:33 AM   #9
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On a $3 million portfolio, $300kish is 10% of the total. That's not a small chunk and could change the decision to FIRE.
People really need to learn how to invest for income/cash flow in retirement. Even just a portion of the portfolio helps mitigate concerns about running out of money. I've posted before about getting about 3.5% to 6% cash flow on our investments, some still in individual bonds, but gradually moving to income producing ETFs. Nothing exotic or way out there. $3M would generate $105K to $180K cash flow at those rates, to spend or reinvest as desired.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:33 AM   #10
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What I would suggest is that your DW "casually" look for a new and better job for a few months (or more).... if a great job offer comes along and she wants to do it, then go for it... otherwise she can chill for a few months, recharge her batteries and if she decides that she wants to work she can look for a job.

42 or 47 is pretty young to retire, particularly if she wants to work.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:36 AM   #11
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It sounds like your wife is not as comfortable with the numbers as you are (since you state she wants to fond a job so it doesn't derail your plans)?
Maybe she could find a less stressful job that would still bring income or go part time?
Or maybe take 6 months or more off sabbatical, then re assess finances to see where you both are at?
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:26 AM   #12
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What I would suggest is that your DW "casually" look for a new and better job for a few months (or more).... if a great job offer comes along and she wants to do it, then go for it... otherwise she can chill for a few months, recharge her batteries and if she decides that she wants to work she can look for a job.

42 or 47 is pretty young to retire, particularly if she wants to work.
pb, This is what I'm leaning towards advising her to do. And, this really wouldn't be retirement for her. It would be more of a stay at home Mom situation where she would be able to get more involved in school activities and the like.
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:27 AM   #13
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It sounds like your wife is not as comfortable with the numbers as you are (since you state she wants to fond a job so it doesn't derail your plans)?
Maybe she could find a less stressful job that would still bring income or go part time?
Or maybe take 6 months or more off sabbatical, then re assess finances to see where you both are at?
My wife wouldn't be "comfortable" with the numbers regardless of what they are.
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:30 AM   #14
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When the time comes if we are short of those numbers or have less success rates in FireCalc, even by a little bit, it may cause me to push my FIRE out a year or two. A huge market swing could do the same. So, I don't think it's accurate to say we're cutting it close.
Respectfully, it does sound like you're cutting it close. If a big market swing or being short $150K causes your RE to push out a year or two, it tells me that there's very little cushion for a 20-30 year retirement.

You might still be able to RE but there's a chance you could end up in front of a McDonald's fryolator in 10-15 years if things go south; not a risk I'd be willing to take.

JMHO.
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:31 AM   #15
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Really? I can understand psychologically why someone might change their plans. But isn’t that the whole point of using firecalc and other historical calculators—so that you know that you can survive the bad scenarios? By this measure, we all need to save twice what’s necessary!

Agree though that the 100-150k shouldn’t impact retirement date by much, though I suppose it depends on sources of income and age—if you’re just trying to bridge a year or two to SS, that could be important.
We are effectively saying the same thing. If the Firecalc numbers produce good results and by default it is taking into account bear markets, then there shouldn't be any issue with the 30-50% bear market drop.
So was just asking also from a psychological perspective.
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:33 AM   #16
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she works from home and that provides flexibility to handle household and DD duties while I was travelling 1 to 2 weeks per month. Recently, things have gotten so bad that her company has been tracking the amount of time that she (and all other salespeople) is actually on her computer or away.
While working from home she simultaneously handles household and DD duties? So is she right to be worried that tracking her actual work time would be a problem with work?

Maybe I'm missing something here.
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She is dead set on finding a new gig, but only because she doesn't want to derail our plans, which I really appreciate. But, she doesn't really want to work and this would be a great gift to her.
If she doesn't want to work, what does she want to do?

It's not like she can travel, with your daughter still in school.

Seems like it's her call to make. For many couples, retiring at the same time works out well.
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:34 PM   #17
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While working from home she simultaneously handles household and DD duties? So is she right to be worried that tracking her actual work time would be a problem with work?

Maybe I'm missing something here.
Yes, it is a problem. A great example is the other day, she had a doctor's appointment and there was a comment that she was away from her desk for 2 hours. They are implying that she must not be working very hard if she isn't online continuously during the day, which is complete nonsense. Adults should be allowed to manage their own time. The whole situation with her employer is a really long story. But, point is, I agree 100% with her decision to leave.
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:36 PM   #18
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Respectfully, it does sound like you're cutting it close. If a big market swing or being short $150K causes your RE to push out a year or two, it tells me that there's very little cushion for a 20-30 year retirement.

You might still be able to RE but there's a chance you could end up in front of a McDonald's fryolator in 10-15 years if things go south; not a risk I'd be willing to take.

JMHO.
Wouldn't everyone like an extra $150k in their kitty? It doesn't mean that I couldn't RE, just that I may choose not to.
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:37 PM   #19
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With a 3 million portfolio I seriously doubt he will ever be saying do you want fries with that.
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:43 PM   #20
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Adults should be allowed to manage their own time.
That does narrow the field of potential jobs a bit.
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