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Old 01-28-2016, 07:56 AM   #41
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I just received my review, bonuses and raise this week. Annual salary and bonuses are right at $122,500. (4 weeks vacation, 4% 401K match, etc.) Not much different than past years. When I look at that number, I wonder if I am a fool to give it up. (I am giving it up, that thought just runs through my head a bit.)

Of course, even if I worked until I was 70, I would have the same issue. People would line up around the block for a job that paid that amount, but most would be unqualified.

If you got laid off and decided to FIRE, its not really a decision you made. If you requested severance and got it, that would be a decision you made. If you gave up a job and got a big pension, you only gave up a partial amount.

When you finally declared FIRE, what was your number that you gave up?
I understand your state of mind. I'm planning on going part time or fully retiring this year, with income similar to yours. There is that nagging voice that says I'm crazy to walk away from such a paycheck, especially when I still enjoy my job (most days).

However, with a withdrawal rate of about 3%, I should be good to go, so why not give myself the gift of time?
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Old 01-28-2016, 08:03 AM   #42
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When I took an early retirement back in 2003, gave up a big salary and a bonus of 25 - 30%, plus company 401K match, large stock option award and an office that overlooked a TPC golf course. It was great compensation, but that paled in comparison to the negative environment that was created after a merger with another mega corp (and I tried to tolerate the new entity for 3 years). Just got sick and tired of having to layoff perfectly good people each year.
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Old 01-28-2016, 08:48 AM   #43
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I walked away from $220K, but more importantly from a job I loved to move cross country where my DW wanted to live. I don't miss the money as our lifestyle is the same in ER, but I miss the job and the people I worked with considerably.
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Old 01-28-2016, 08:56 AM   #44
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....It wasn't how much I was making. It was how much I was working and giving up to taxes. ...
That was a factor for me too. I was paying more in taxes than most middle class families earn. In the last year I worked, 27% of what I earned went to SS, medicare, federal income and state income taxes. As a W-2 employee, there was nowhere to hide.
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Old 01-28-2016, 09:10 AM   #45
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I walked away from some pretty good bosses, and a very, very good total compensation package. However, I also walked away from office politics that seemed to get worse every year, and a job where I was was truly burned out. Looking back, what keep me there the last few years before I retired was "greed" (money). It was hard to say "quit sending me that check" (and other compensation) plus almost 2 months of vacation each year.

After ~4 years of retirement, I don't regret it at all.
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Old 01-28-2016, 09:16 AM   #46
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$250k with subsidized Blue Cross. No added pension. I had worked for 5 extra years to help finance my divorce. Little did I know that I would connect with someone of means. She was making $200k and retired two years later. That was in 2004.

We mico-managed the equity portfolio for a few years to maximize returns, then adopted a dividend-oriented equity portfolio.
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Old 01-28-2016, 09:24 AM   #47
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I walked away from 2 year contract left at very low end 6 figure salary and about 10k yearly loss to pension. This is peanuts compared to most posted here. No wonder I have regrets....It clearly wasnt worth my time.


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Old 01-28-2016, 09:25 AM   #48
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I'm not retired but I'll chime in anyway.

If I were to retire right now I'd give up around $60k w-2 income, monthly 401k match of $50, subsidized health insurance (note I have never used it so far, knock on wood), and the biggy would be contributions to my state's pension system.

If I retired today I'd be able to collect about $1,000 a month from the pension(starting at age 60). If I keep working until 55 that amount is projected to be twice as much (starting at age 55). Either way it has a 3% yearly cola.

My living expenses are around $28k a year. My taxable brokerage account income from dividends is around $23k a year. So with w-2 and taxable investments I have available around three times my living expenses to spend.

I don't own a house yet. May or may not buy one. I'm 39. Theoretically I may switch to part-time work at 45 if I can find a 100% telecommute IT job. Possibly I will keep working until 55 and max out the pension.
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Old 01-28-2016, 09:39 AM   #49
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I gave up a mid-7 figure income. That's right. Of course, I was being paid in Venezuelan currency, so in US$ it was worth much less, especially the last couple of years when I had to exchange everything on "parallel exchange markets".

This thread is a testament not of how much we left behind but how much we had, and just how valuable early retirement is. In my case it was worth my life, which I got back when I quit my job. Not one second of regret.
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:08 AM   #50
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I gave up a mid-7 figure income. That's right. Of course, I was being paid in Venezuelan currency, so in US$ it was worth much less, especially the last couple of years when I had to exchange everything on "parallel exchange markets".

This thread is a testament not of how much we left behind but how much we had, and just how valuable early retirement is. In my case it was worth my life, which I got back when I quit my job. Not one second of regret.
+1. Literally yesterday I was on the phone with my best friend. He is still w*rking, makes a very high salary (I estimate 250 Grand or so), has a teacher wife making about 100 Grand, and yet still has credit card debt, mortgage, etc etc. In our discussion, I teasingly told him how I was thinking about him that day.
I mentioned I had gone on a glorious run that day, and realized that being ER'd sure pays a heckuva lot less than w*rking, but man o man it sure is a lot more fun. One makes their choices.......
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:09 AM   #51
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I'm not retired but I left my full time job at age 31. After 11 years of working 4:54pm to 5am doing hard manual labor the whole time, my body couldn't take anymore. I was making around $48-49K/yr plus 2.5% company match and average of 2.5% profit sharing which went directly into 401K. I took a full year off to rest my body then started doing contract work. I now work just enough to have an AGI of $12-15K/yr which covers my expenses and lets my investments grow. I sometimes miss the high(to me) income but don't miss the horribly hard work. I don't regret going to part time.
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:12 AM   #52
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Thanks for this perspective, which is where I think I'll find myself in 8 years when eligible to pull the plug and enjoy a moderate retirement or continue to work and impact other folks lives and get much satisfaction from it. If it were only about me it would be a no brainer as far as I'm concerned to retire when eligible as my investments would cover the lifestyle I anticipate living.

But it is not only about me, so I'll be facing a dilemma also -- Really though I see it as a win -- win -- If I have an early retirement -- WIN If I decide there are worthwhile "causes" that push me to work a few extra years -- WIN -- even if I die shortly thereafter
Although one of the main reasons I retired was that I couldn't do overnight shifts anymore, another major factor was so that I could move closer to the kid's camp I have chosen to support with my my time as well as my money. Like the director of the camp told me when I was contemplating this move, "Its not just about the money."
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:52 AM   #53
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Almost everyone I know thinks I'm insane as I walked away from $180k + benefits and additional retention bonuses. I believe that put me in the top 1% of female income earners in the US. Reality is I worked hard with a goal in mind and when I met that goal it was easy to walk away from the BS. I could write volumes on why women are not staying and exceeding in STEM jobs.
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:53 AM   #54
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When I quit my paper route, I was making about $12 a week. I still can't believe I just walked away from it.
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:12 AM   #55
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I walked away from $110,000 per year at age 51 about 7 years ago. Not having to work outweighs leaving a lot of money on the table. (only if you can maintain your standard of living)
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:31 AM   #56
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$250K plus car, benefits, options, etc. Got a 22 month severance package and decided to call it quits. Best thing I ever did. Thought about another position/consulting but just wanted out.

We were financially independent. The Gov't took a big chunk. Sometimes I wish I had the income, but only for a split second.

Now back to planning for our upcoming two month trip to Asia.
Nope...do not miss work, do not miss the IT industry, do not miss quarterly sales, revenue, and PBT. Do not miss the politics, my former boss, or being a senior manager. I miss a few work colleagues but that is as far as it goes. Nor do I miss the 10-12 hour days and the business travel.
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Old 01-28-2016, 12:30 PM   #57
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When I quit my paper route, I was making about $12 a week. I still can't believe I just walked away from it.
Now, aren't you the boastful showoff!

What I gave up was relying on someone else's assessment of my worth as my source of income. Now the market balanced by my conservative AA determines my income potential, and I'm quite OK with that. Really don't feel like I "gave up" anything.
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Old 01-28-2016, 12:39 PM   #58
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Never made 6 figures, although DW will just sneak into that realm this year. Except for the first few years right out of college when I worked for BigOil I never had a job that required more than my nominal 40 hours/week, either.

The best thing that happened to us was moving to the DC area - our income more than doubled and our expenses only went up about 25%, no lifestyle inflation for us. We were able to put aside a LOT of $$ in my last 6 years of w*rk.
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Old 01-28-2016, 12:51 PM   #59
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I just received my review, bonuses and raise this week. Annual salary and bonuses are right at $122,500. (4 weeks vacation, 4% 401K match, etc.) Not much different than past years. When I look at that number, I wonder if I am a fool to give it up. (I am giving it up, that thought just runs through my head a bit.) ....
Yes you are a fool to give it up!
Hopefully a happy fool

My number was nearly the same as yours, and I really had to come to terms with the fact that I was giving up income that is far greater than many folks will earn (but obviously not folks here ).

However my spending was low, so the extra cash didn't really do anything extra.
I still do a small amount 6->7 wks a year contracting as I like it, and of course I raised my rate and still just bank the cash
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Old 01-28-2016, 01:24 PM   #60
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Although I was laid off in 2006, I made the decision to remain unemployed when I had job offers in the very low six figures (2006 dollars). I calculated that I was FIRE'd and didn't need to start another job at 58 yo, collected unemployment for two years and walked over the horizon to another life.

During my working life, I shared Senator's zeal for building wealth. However, somewhat to my surprise, since then it's been easy to focus on living life with another focus. It's turned out to be a very pleasant change. Despite opportunities, I've chosen to participate in zero money making endeavors in retirement other than watching the portfolio and budget and it feels good.
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