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Old 11-11-2012, 09:11 PM   #21
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I looked up your profile and saw that you are an engineer. Even with a good pay, to reach that net worth just a few years out of school is a real achievement.

As others said, I would look to take time off, change job within the same company, or move to another work place. Another lower-paid job does not mean that it will be less stressful. Why throw away your education and skills?

"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leo Tolstoy
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:20 AM   #22
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Wow. 26. There's an old joke/saying that, "When I was 16, I couldn't believe how stupid my parents were. When I was 26, I couldn't believe how smart they'd gotten in just ten years."

You can't be entirely deaf to the advice of elders or you wouldn't be here, so I'll take a chance at passing on some experience. Whether it helps or not...

Think for a moment how different you feel about/view things now than you did even 4 years ago. Well, IME, that happens a few more times in life, and one of them (for me) was between 26 and 30.

Some have suggested a career change. One way to do that is job-shopping (contract employment). Benefits are non-existent, but partly made up for in higher salaries. Assignments are usually short -- a few months to 2 years (1 yr. avg.) and you can rack up a lot of experience, making you even more valuable and marketable to other employers (not to mention personal development). Not a bad way to look around for other possibilities and get paid for it.

I'd also echo others' mention of healthcare. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.


Yeah well, that's just, ya know, like, your opinion, man. ~ The Dude
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:54 PM   #23
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I understand how burned out someone can become even at such a young age. I remember working 80 - 120 hours a week for two years in my 20's. I thought it was going to (a. get me promoted b. get me more money etc.. etc..) In some ways it did but in many it became a learning experience. I eventually learned how to work smart and not as hard... not sure what is more difficult. I see this all the time for many of the young people who work in my organization. I can also understand the feeling of wanting to chuck it all. I did find the grass was greener.. I worked 9 years in my first company then 2 in the next.. then I "chucked it all" and started my own business in something totaly diffrent.. I eventually went back to my original career at another company and I am about to retire this year after 23 years there.. I did eventually find an organization I felt good in and treated me well and the grass was greener... Maybe you just need a change..
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:49 PM   #24
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Saving $250k by the time you're 26 is a real achievement. Feeling burned out at 26 isn't.

By my math, you have 250/17 = 15 years of spending saved. So you can certainly afford to take a couple years off.

Talk to your boss. Offer to take a 60% pay cut in exchange for working 40% fewer actual hours. I know the culture in a lot of places won't let that happen. But you know you can walk away if he/she say's no, and that may translate into your offer being taken seriously.

Or, you could try consulting for your current employer. Take just one project that you know you can complete on schedule with "mere" 40 hour work weeks.

Or, call a headhunter and specify that you're making $xxx,000 at your current job, but you'd like something where you work regular hours even if the pay is less. I'll bet that not everybody in your field survives without a personal life, find out who employs the others.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:43 AM   #25
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I can totally understand being burnt out that early. I worked in public accounting for a couple years, and by ~25, I was so jaded.

It took me 7 working years to hit 250K at age 30, so you are doing really well! I went thru periods of saving a lot to not saving as much during that time.

How long have you been at your current company? I'm going to echo lots of people here, find a new job. It's the bane of your existence and a fresh start at a new company will buy you some time. You'll also likely snag a raise this way. Does your company do annual increases at year end, or will they in early 2013? wait for that to come so you've got a higher benchmark, then get your job search on.

In 10 years of career I've been with 7 different companies, which looks really bad, but every time I left a place, another one (or two) were willing to hire me. Just make sure you have a decent excuse. (My excuses: Everyone leaves public, old partner called with opportunity, opportunity had no room for growth, got married and relocated, had baby and stayed at home for a year, consulting gig replaced with full time employment...) I've been with my current company for 3 now, which is a world record, and I go between hating it and loving it. So as long as my feelings about my job continue to wax and wane (and not dwell solely on hatred), I can do this for a while.

Unless you really hate your work (and not the current environment/culture) I wouldn't suggest finding another career, unless you don't mind taking the focus off of ERE. Finding a new career, depending on what it is, could halt the continued climb of great savings you've had. Unless you plan to retrain concurrently with working, and start at a similar compensation level, it could be a bad idea.
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:12 PM   #26
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Get a dog?

You need to relax somehow. You've got a few more years to go under any financial circumstances and however much you're makings sounds like it isn't worth it.

There are lots of resources available to help a young guy like you find more meaningful employment. If you find something you like to do, sticking in there until you're 50 or so won't be bad and you'll still be younger than most people who retire early.

Hang in there.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:22 PM   #27
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We have a nephew who sounds a lot like you. He graduated top of his class and went to work on Wall Street. Was making crazy money, and saving like mad. Easy to save when you spend 18 hours/day at work. (No time to spend it.)

Changed jobs to a different firm 2 years in, after collecting the initial (sweet) retention bonus. Went to a firm that had less than stellar ethics, got in trouble with his bosses for refusing to cross some ethical lines. Decided work was not going to define him, and that he wasn't going to give up doing the right thing for a buck.

At this point he did a real cold hard look at himself. He was young and had a huge salary for his age (or any age - he was making serious bucks). But no life. And he hated what he was doing.

He had saved enough he decided to go into an entirely different field... so he quit, went to graduate school.

He is now rising in a completely different field - one that he loves. He works for the government so he'll never make the $$ he was on wall street. But it's more than enough to meet his expenses and savings goals.

As a bonus he fell in love in grad school. Life is good.

Sometimes you have to shift gears, change directions, to be happy. It worked for him.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:09 PM   #28
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They say life isn't figuring out what you want to do, but rather what you *don't* want to do....
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:39 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Grinch
They say life isn't figuring out what you want to do, but rather what you *don't* want to do....
I have never heard that expression, but it sure fits me. Sounds like something a "pessimist" would say, not an "optimist"

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