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Started my countdown.
Old 08-17-2013, 11:48 PM   #1
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Started my countdown.

Hello All,

So have been reading for a couple years now and posted a few times and have the latest update. Let me know if I am crazy or have any advice/suggestions.

My situation is that I used to be entirely dedicated to becoming wealthy and I am saving very aggressively with my current j*b, but it is utterly exhausting and running me into the ground. The w*rk world gives me little to no fulfillment as no one really cares about anything other than getting their money. I have no time for anything resembling a healthy personal life and my health is being affected.

So I am looking to get out after this year is over. This involved re-evaluating my financial goals as it's much sooner than I had anticipated. Instead of "How fast can I reach multi-millions $$$". I am now "How fast can I passively cover all my expenses". I decided early this year and thus my countdown started with 300 days. I'm now at 125 days! (166 if I can last for an additional mini-bonus)

Breakdown: 26 yrs/old. Currently have ~325,000 saved up from this j*b (which I have mostly in TD e-series equities). I am expecting to have around 375,000 or thereabouts by the end of the year.

No matter how I slice it, this isn't enough for full retirement. I made a couple investing mistakes as well by buying into the market when everything was very high which is biting me in the rear today. And though I am very good at living very cheaply and could get pretty close to making it. I am likely not going to be happy with my current standard of living for much longer.

I see myself wanting to move to downtown big city, get a better apartment, get a better car, and go out more. Just moving to the big city alone is going to make everything go up This is going to balloon my expenses from ~ $17,000 to easily $25,000 or $30,000 per year.

So I'm going to need another j*b. I am still young (though this career has made me feel much older than I should), but hopefully after being done I can take 6 to 12 months off and feel refreshed again. Then I will be looking into another job that is much less stress and commitment. Even if it's just 20 hours / week and covers my expenses, I can at least just let my savings grow.

Problem: One more year that this current j*b is like 5+ years at any other j*b. Taking that pay cut is a really tough pill to swallow.
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:25 PM   #2
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I wish I'd been in your shoes at 26! Congrats on saving so much. You may not have achieved FI yet, but you are well on your way far faster than 99% of us. Also, you obviously already subscribe to LBYM. And you recognize that good health comes first.

You've arrived at your decision. Are you seeking reassurance that it was the right one? You're not likely to hear from anyone here that you should stick it out at a job you hate, at some risk to your heath, for the sake of more money.

So what if it takes more time in a new job -- one you love (or at least like) -- to reach your ultimate goal? Remember, it's about the journey, not the destination (ultimately, an urn). Don't be so focused on a future FI goal that you miss out on living along the way.
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:20 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum. You're doing great for a 26 year old financially!

My only suggestion is to take a closer look at why you are getting burned out. At 26 you have your entire career ahead of you and should be loving what you are doing. If not, it may be time to find a new career path. Counting down the days to leave a job at your age is counterproductive. Simply find another opportunity that is more appealing to you and move toward that.

Keep LBYM going and whatever you do you'll find that reaching FI will come sooner than you think, and if you enjoy the journey, it will be that much sweeter.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:02 PM   #4
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A countdown to what??

You only say you're going to quit your current job and look for another one. I agree that with $375K you don't have anywhere near enough for a 60+ year retirement plan unless you are going to move to a cave somewhere and live off the land. That $375K would barely generate $10 to 15K per year. That won't buy much of a life in any big city I'm familiar with.

So, let me comment on your real issue. You hate what you are doing. If you loved it, it wouldn't be stressful. You'd be saying how exciting it is. You need to contemplate your naval (or is it navel - where's Nords when I need him) for awhile about your options. Read some career guidance books and suck it up until you know what your plan is.

Don't quit without another position to go to. Being out of work is a big negative to many employers so don't handicap yourself unnecessarily. Knowing you are going to leave should help with the stress. You can cut down on the unpaid OT you're probably doing now because you know it won't be your longterm career.

Improve your investing with low cost, index funds. Read Bernstein's Investors' Manifesto.

I'm not trying to be harsh, only realistic.
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:53 PM   #5
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A countdown to what??

You only say you're going to quit your current job and look for another one.
I guess a better title would have indicated that I'm counting down to the end of my career and the end of being in the corporate world. I will still need some kind of j*b. But it will be just a simple part time affair where I would only need to invest a fraction of the time, energy or emotion that I currently have to in the current career.

Instead of being almost entirely focused on accumulating wealth, my time will be dedicated to doing the things I enjoy with the people I care about. That sure feels like a milestone worth having a countdown for.

Thanks for the input
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by PolarisTLX View Post
I guess a better title would have indicated that I'm counting down to the end of my career and the end of being in the corporate world. I will still need some kind of j*b. But it will be just a simple part time affair where I would only need to invest a fraction of the time, energy or emotion that I currently have to in the current career.

Instead of being almost entirely focused on accumulating wealth, my time will be dedicated to doing the things I enjoy with the people I care about. That sure feels like a milestone worth having a countdown for.

Thanks for the input
I think you are smart to do that. I left the corporate world, went back to school and tried a few different career paths before I found something I really liked and could work from home. Years later DH was able to leave the megacorp job behind, too.

I think the American dream we kind of just accepted for too long in hindsight was high stress and a lot of work. We slashed our expenses and are looking forward to downsizing, having a lock and go home base condo or townhouse with no yard to take care of, and being able to travel for extended periods.

I don't know why we didn't do that years ago. All the blogs and books on sustainable and simple living we have been reading have opened our eyes to a lower stress, lower cost way of life.
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:13 AM   #7
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You need to contemplate your naval (or is it navel - where's Nords when I need him) for awhile about your options.
Well, if you're in the Navy then it's a naval navel...

Polaris, if you're planning to quit your job then you can certainly take a few months off to decide what you want to do with the rest of your life. Take a few years and travel the world, too, if that's what you want to do. But if you're going to eventually get another job, then why wait on the planning? Why not start the planning process now?
The “fog of work”

Without knowing anything about your industry, I suspect that there are opportunities for part-time, flex time, or contract/consulting work. It's a lot easier to develop those opportunities while you're at work and planning your exit. And if you're going to go to a completely different career field, then now would be a good time to start networking about ways to make the switch.

Yeah, I know, you're exhausted and have no time to plan your future. Sorry. Been there, done that. Find 20 minutes out of your busy day (even if it's hiding in a restroom stall) to write notes on a piece of paper. Do something about that plan every day for 20 minutes, even if it's just doodling on the piece of paper while you organize your thoughts.

Eventually enough of the fatigue will clear for you to become motivated to work on your plan (whether that's at work or at home) and you'll figure ways to leverage off your employer's resources. Then the countdown won't just be a long agonizing wait, but rather a race to the finish line.
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:42 AM   #8
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It seems to me that you need either a job change or a career change.

I wouldn't give up on the corporate world just yet. As an example, my cousin was in investment banking with JPM after university for a few years and while it was a great experience and he made good $$, it is one of those businesses where you are on call 24/7/365 and his quality of life was low. He recently changed jobs and is loving it - much less stress and much more job satisfaction and he has his life back.
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