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Poll: Should I stay or should I go now
Old 09-27-2017, 05:27 PM   #1
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Poll: Should I stay or should I go now

As the title says, I am pretty much agonizing about whether to ER now or not. The decision is now vs. 2 years from now. Here are the necessary bits of information, you get to vote on what you would do and maybe leave some comments if you like.

Reasons for going now:

- I am not passionate about my job, at all. Don't hate it, but could easily never do it again a day in my life and I'd be fine. I do, however, have a passion outside of work. It is an outdoor lifestyle sport that requires a lot of focus, time, training, and commitment. My wife shares this passion with me. This is not a sport that gets easier with age - a year now in my early 40s is extremely valuable to me. I've been doing this sport for almost 20 years and hope to do it another 20 - it's not a passing thing for me, I live and breath it and spend most of my time at work thinking about it.

- If I sell my house I'd walkaway with about $3.8M total. We could go buy a nice house in a lower cost area for $500k, set aside $200k for college expenses, and still have over $3M to live on. At 2.5% WR this is $75k per year - we could easily live on that and supplement with seasonal part time work if we needed to, perhaps coaching our sport.

Counter-argument for staying:

- I am in a unique position where I have unusually high compensation for the next two years because of a one-time business deal. Long story short, if I stay two more years the walkaway number would be closer to $5M instead. Kind of a lot of money to walk away from.

Every day is a struggle to convince myself not to quit - it's been much harder for me to keep going after FI than before, the option to walk away is just so tempting. I am afraid I'll regret walking away from the money, and I'm equally afraid I'll regret selling these two prime years of my life for money that I don't really end up needing.

If it makes any difference, my wife is much more adventuresome than me - she's fine to wait 2 years but thinks we should go now.

So... what would you do?
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Old 09-27-2017, 05:42 PM   #2
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You didn't list your age, but I imagine 3% would be very safe, so $90K to spend, and you already said $75K was enough. Another $1.2M would be another $36K/yr. What would you do with that extra? More and nicer trips? Bigger house? Nicer cars? No need whatsoever to worry about seasonal work? What else?

This is the kind of comparison I think you have to make, having those extras vs. 2 extra years of retirement. On the one hand, it seems like a lot of money to leave on the table and it could set you and yours up for a better life than you dreamed, but if it's just for luxuries you really don't care about, why not pull the plug now? Especially since you have definite ideas for the time now.

Also is that $1.2M post-tax takeaway? Otherwise you could lose close to half that to taxes, depending on your state tax. So is it really more like ~$650K?

Really hard for me to make a value judgement on your behalf so I'll stick with listing the trade-offs that I see.
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Old 09-27-2017, 05:44 PM   #3
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You made a fairly passionate argument why you want to ER now. And your finances look good. With a 2.5% WR, your assets are likely to grow significantly over time. By leaving now, you will get the extra 2 years to do what you want and likely reach the $5M down the road. Great job.

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Old 09-27-2017, 06:05 PM   #4
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My reasoning, I've retired twice. The first time I got bored so I went back to doing something that I really loved doing. You're going to have more money than you can spend according to your post. So if you decide to retire and get bored after 4 or 5 years, you are absolutely correct that you can always work in your sport on a part-time basis. I have friends who have become seasonal ski lift employees bc they like to ski who also retired financially secure. I have other friends who have retired and do very limited part-time work in music. At what they do, their positions are notoriously poor paying. However the money is irrelevant because they have enough from their Investments. So if you decide to get out and then go back in five or ten years - - you're still fine
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
You didn't list your age, but I imagine 3% would be very safe, so $90K to spend, and you already said $75K was enough. Another $1.2M would be another $36K/yr. What would you do with that extra? More and nicer trips? Bigger house? Nicer cars? No need whatsoever to worry about seasonal work? What else?

This is the kind of comparison I think you have to make, having those extras vs. 2 extra years of retirement. On the one hand, it seems like a lot of money to leave on the table and it could set you and yours up for a better life than you dreamed, but if it's just for luxuries you really don't care about, why not pull the plug now? Especially since you have definite ideas for the time now.

Also is that $1.2M post-tax takeaway? Otherwise you could lose close to half that to taxes, depending on your state tax. So is it really more like ~$650K?

Really hard for me to make a value judgement on your behalf so I'll stick with listing the trade-offs that I see.
Thanks.

I'm early forties.

This is an after-tax increase in NW of about 1M over 2 years.
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:44 PM   #6
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Once you have enough (not sure when that is) OMY is always a problem. While you might have $5M in 2 years if you keep working, you might have $6M in 5 years, $7M in 7 years and $10M in 13 years! And once you get to $10M at 7% your portfolio increases $700k per year. See the spreadsheet calc below. With those kind of numbers I am changing my vote to reflect you need to work at least ten more years.

7% annual return
Year
2 $5,000,000
3 $5,350,000
4 $5,724,500
5 $6,125,215
6 $6,553,980
7 $7,012,759
8 $7,503,652
9 $8,028,907
10 $8,590,931
11 $9,192,296
12 $9,835,757
13 $10,524,260

FN
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:51 PM   #7
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I'm in the life is uncertain camp. You have more than enough now, why run the risk of an early death or disability that could rob you or your DW of retirement years?
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flintnational View Post
Once you have enough (not sure when that is) OMY is always a problem. While you might have $5M in 2 years if you keep working, you might have $6M in 5 years, $7M in 7 years and $10M in 13 years! And once you get to $10M at 7% your portfolio increases $700k per year. See the spreadsheet calc below. With those kind of numbers I am changing my vote to reflect you need to work at least ten more years.

7% annual return
Year
2 $5,000,000
3 $5,350,000
4 $5,724,500
5 $6,125,215
6 $6,553,980
7 $7,012,759
8 $7,503,652
9 $8,028,907
10 $8,590,931
11 $9,192,296
12 $9,835,757
13 $10,524,260

FN
Totally understand the OMY syndrome. This is a bit of a special case though because the income I'd be walking away from is not my "normal" income - it won't last beyond two years and I can't come back to it if I leave now. OTOH, if I truly have enough (I think I do) and I have a compelling reason to go now (I definitely do), then who cares whether I'm walking away from 1M or 10M or 100M.

It's a head vs. heart decision and I can't seem to get any closer to making it, just constant waffling back and forth. I guess if I just keep waffling for two more years the problem is solved.
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:00 PM   #9
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Go now. Who cares about the extra money. You've got college expenses covered, $75K/year to live on, and a passion to do something else.

Congratulations, you made it. Enjoy it.
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:19 PM   #10
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Well first off since you asked for opinions I will give mine.
1- Congrats on this situation you are in. Its a nice problem to have
2-How much do you really want to spend a year? Is the 75K really enough? Im with Running Bum on that one, Id hit 3 % and live large.
3- Whats with the college fund? You have children or is it for you 2 guys? If its children you know they are always the wild card.
4-I always promote running for the exit door the minute you can, BUT, in this case for a 2 year investment of your time you would be adding in 25-30% to your nest egg, thats HUGE. Every year I stayed I added peanuts compared to your situation.
5- If you were my son, and if he asked, I would tell you to stay the 2 years, you dont hate your job, you will have 25-30% more money to take care of your family, Im a big security guy(financial, physical), I sleep well knowing if I drop dead tomorrow, ,my loved ones will not have to alter their lifestyle because of lack of funds. I live in a different world than many, I am a Husband and Father first, my wants come 3rd. After I knew they were taken care of thats when I threw in the towel, thats when I allowed myself to decompress, and pursue my leisure activities.
6- What ever you decide to do , I think you won the game, your in the catbird seat.

Best of luck, BCG
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:26 PM   #11
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I'd take the 1.2 mill. 1200 grand / 24 months = 50 grand a month.

Nice wage.
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:10 PM   #12
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Its impossible to weigh money against human experience. Having lost both my father and uncle to cancer this year, obviously, my opinion is greatly skewed.

Assuming the $75K includes adequate healthcare, it looks like you are ready to walk away. I also assume its an all or none? Obviously, best case scenario would be you do some more time, but not the full years, ie since I'm sure you need time to get ready to move and look for a place to live etc. So you could work until all that is done and secure a few extra dollars for your family.
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:06 PM   #13
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Since you are in your early 40's, don't hate your job, and this opportunity may not present itself ever agin, I would stay the 2 more years. That extra money will give you a lot of options going forward
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Playing percentages
Old 09-27-2017, 09:28 PM   #14
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Playing percentages

I voted stay. You'll increase your wealth by 30%, but only have to sacrifice about 5% of your remaining lifespan.

You said you expect to be able to pursue your passion for another 20 years, so another 2 at your current time-limited level of participation isn't costing you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to engage in the sport. Whereas ER right now will definitely cost you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bank enough dough that you'd never have to worry about what might have been.

Yeah, I know this is a forum encouraging retirement, but it's about doing retirement SUCCESSFULLY. Any schlub on the street can retire at any time. Of course, it might be for all of five minutes before they have to go back to w*rk if they haven't prepared wisely. If you will cop an extra 1.2M in just two years, that can buy a lot of extra options over the next 40. You don't despise the job, so 24 months will go by in a snap and then you'll be golden forever.

Good luck with whatever you decide. In the big picture you can't really make a wrong decision here no matter what you do. Let us know!
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:11 PM   #15
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I was on the fence as I read your post. I kept going back and forth. In the early part and when I heard you net worth I was ready to say go. Then I saw how much you would have you stayed 2 years and thought well that isn't long for that amount of money so thought stay.

But, really what flipped me to the "go" decision was your dread at continuing your job coupled with your wife saying to go.

So, I voted go.

One caveat. I don't know how old your kids are but they are presumably not out of college yet. When DH retired 7 years ago (and I went very part-time in my job) we had 2 kids about to start college and the third was starting high school.

Looking back on it has basically worked out. But, we have less money now than I thought we would have and it basically because of some unanticipated kid expenses beyond what we had planned for (and we had planned). Now, none of it is fatal. We're fine, but I am mindful that even with older kids there can be unanticipated stuff that increases costs that you can't necessarily predict in advance.

That said, we didn't have your net worth and your existing net worth should allow you weather most anything (assuming you don't live in a high cost of living area).
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:37 PM   #16
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I can see why this is a tough decision for you. I could go either way, but if I look at what I did, I'd vote stay for two more years and get the financial windfall. I worked for about two years beyond our FI so that I could get 2 more years of income plus bonuses that amounted to another 1.5 years of income. By working and investing 2 more years, rather than drawing down our assets, our NW increased over 25%. While we may not "need" the extra NW, it does expand our options, and now that I've been ER'd almost a year at age 56, I'm glad I stayed for the payout.
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:58 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by novaman View Post
Since you are in your early 40's, don't hate your job, and this opportunity may not present itself ever agin, I would stay the 2 more years. That extra money will give you a lot of options going forward
Short, succinct and I think correct.

Two more years at a job while in your early 40's will give you a lot of flexibility later in life.
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Old 09-28-2017, 07:12 AM   #18
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I'm a few years older (48) with assets slightly higher with ballpark earning potential, and similar expense budget. My kids are elementary school age with college funds set aside. I'm ok with my stressful and demanding job, however do not have a passionate hobby like you. My DW is ok with ER or not. DW is SAHM with a very part time position.

I'm staying a few more years, probably until age 50 then deciding if semi-ER or something else. It's nice to have the option. If I change jobs, it will probably be for less, but still good pay.

Our spending is about the same, but I've noticed that I can spend more on my kids for the experiences now, so I think I'll continue and increase that spending from time to time. Little activities with family, sports, schooling, STEM related activities, vacations, etc. STEM activity was just announced and it's $129 per kid, wasn't planned or budgeted, but felt it could be a good experience. Both are enrolled and only checked our family calendar. Last minute end of summer cruise for 3 nights before start of school, well enjoyed for $2k. I'll probably book a cheap flight to the Midwest and rent a car to take my mom to her annual doctor's appointment so I can hear directly about her results. A few years ago, I would of checked the budget. Now, it's what I want to do for me and my family.

When my kids are in high school or college, I'm not gonna sweat spending $10k to $15k more a year on my two kids on things we value. When they get married (if that happens), I'm gonna have a good time. If we have grand kids, I'm not gonna sweat taking them to Disney or Universal. I'm not gonna sweat if an emergency expense comes up. The extra few years will offer my family greater options. This is right for me today. My job can change tomorrow and I'll be ok with that.

I voted to stay the 2 years, but you have to see the value in your choice selection. It's nice to be in your position.
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Old 09-28-2017, 07:24 AM   #19
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If you go, there will be trouble
And if you stay it will be double.

Can't believe you all saved this for me.
Thank you.
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Old 09-28-2017, 07:34 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeroday View Post

- If I sell my house I'd walkaway with about $3.8M total. We could go buy a nice house in a lower cost area for $500k, set aside $200k for college expenses, and still have over $3M to live on. At 2.5% WR this is $75k per year - we could easily live on that and supplement with seasonal part time work if we needed to, perhaps coaching our sport.
Seems like you don't have a solid plan yet (as you don't seem to have settled on if you're moving or not etc). Also, that you can "easily" live on that amount yet feel the need to mention that you might "need" to supplement that income, tends to suggest to me that you're not sure you can actually "easily" live on $75k/year (meaning live happily).

Personally, I can't see planning for anything less than a 3% WR, but that's a different story. At 2.5%, the extra 2 years worth of work bumps your lifetime planned spending ability from $75k to $125k. That would almost certainly ensure you never need to supplement your portfolio income with part time work and provide you with the means to have a more comfortable retirement.

As such, it would seem to me (based on the info here) that working for 2 more years is likely "worth it" imo.

If I was confident you were sure that your lifestyle could be maintained for less than your planned withdrawal rate currently I'd likely say go ahead and get out now though. Since your plan seems to require selling your current HCOL home and moving to a place where you'd have unknown expenses, however, I doubt you can have an extremely high confidence in your expected spending to maintain the same lifestyle.
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