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When would you turn down $1 million?
Old 04-17-2014, 11:48 AM   #1
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When would you turn down $1 million?

I know most people here are trying to get to a target amount of savings where they can FIRE. But after you reach that, is there some amount of compensation that is too good to pass up?

For example, what would it take for you to walk away from a job that let's you grow your wealth by $1 million a year and doesn't require any extreme sacrifices to your time or health. It just doesn't allow you to spend all your time the way you want.

For me, I think I'd be willing to walk away after achieving a net worth of 5-6 million even though I probably only need 3 million to FIRE. I'm in my early 30s.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:56 AM   #2
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At that age, I would keep the job!
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:04 PM   #3
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Nothing allows you to spend all your time the way you want. The laundry still has to be done by someone, even in ER.

I'd use the Roberts/Dominguez model here -- is the pay worth your life energy? If not, leave the job. If so, stay. This is true if you're making $1 million a year or $1,000/year.

As an aside, what is this job of which you speak? I could be persuaded out of my homemaker sabbatical for that....
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:09 PM   #4
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For me, I think I'd be willing to walk away after achieving a net worth of 5-6 million even though I probably only need 3 million to FIRE. I'm in my early 30s.
rb35, welcome to the forum. Why not stop by here and introduce yourself?
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:10 PM   #5
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You can make that money in certain finance jobs, but it takes years of hard work, smarts, and being in the right place at the right time.
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:11 PM   #6
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Thanks, MichaelB. I'll do that.
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:41 PM   #7
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For example, what would it take for you to walk away from a job that let's you grow your wealth by $1 million a year and doesn't require any extreme sacrifices to your time or health.
Jobs like that are hard to find. Do you currently have such a job? If I were in my 30s and had a job like that I would hold on to it until it became unpleasant.

My reality was a job that earned me a maximum of 30% of that number after many years of training, in my 50s, at extreme sacrifices to my time and health.
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:47 PM   #8
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I know most people here are trying to get to a target amount of savings where they can FIRE. But after you reach that, is there some amount of compensation that is too good to pass up?

For example, what would it take for you to walk away from a job that let's you grow your wealth by $1 million a year and doesn't require any extreme sacrifices to your time or health. It just doesn't allow you to spend all your time the way you want.

For me, I think I'd be willing to walk away after achieving a net worth of 5-6 million even though I probably only need 3 million to FIRE. I'm in my early 30s.
I'd do the same at early 30. At my age (52), I'd walk away if I had $3M.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:06 PM   #9
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If I can make that much with the job, then it must be something I am really good at. And when I am good at something, I would enjoy doing it and vice versa.

If the job does not make too onerous a demand on my time, I will keep it. Of course it also depends on my age and my networth. If I were in my 40s and good health, I would not walk away from a job that I enjoy until my NW is in the decamillionaire.

But such job rarely exists. And then, I am nearing 60, and have recently faced a serious health issue, so it is all hypothetical.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:13 PM   #10
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Meadbh - I do currently have a job like that and realize I am exceptionally fortunate. I also realize these jobs can vanish quickly (they laid off two people yesterday) so my question may be moot. But I figure I'll do it 3 more years or until something happens to it, whichever comes first.

It takes about 60 hours a week, requires some travel, isn't particularly enjoyable, but it's also not terrible.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:23 PM   #11
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I know most people here are trying to get to a target amount of savings where they can FIRE. But after you reach that, is there some amount of compensation that is too good to pass up?

For example, what would it take for you to walk away from a job that let's you grow your wealth by $1 million a year and doesn't require any extreme sacrifices to your time or health. It just doesn't allow you to spend all your time the way you want.

For me, I think I'd be willing to walk away after achieving a net worth of 5-6 million even though I probably only need 3 million to FIRE. I'm in my early 30s.
I'm glad you posted this. This is the very problem that I have been struggling to answer for myself.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:33 PM   #12
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I can be bought. The price is extremely high and situational, as I enjoy the freedom of being retired.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:45 PM   #13
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For example, what would it take for you to walk away from a job that let's you grow your wealth by $1 million a year and doesn't require any extreme sacrifices to your time or health. It just doesn't allow you to spend all your time the way you want.
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You can make that money in certain finance jobs, but it takes years of hard work, smarts, and being in the right place at the right time.
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It takes about 60 hours a week, requires some travel, isn't particularly enjoyable, but it's also not terrible.
aye, there's the rub....
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:45 PM   #14
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Now that I am in my 5th year of retirement, I would not return to work even for a day for $1,000,000. I don't need the money or the aggravation, no matter how small. I know this is an extreme point of view, but I am trying to be honest instead of just saying what is expected. I really, truly love and value each day of retirement and each day is literally priceless to me. YMMV and probably does.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:54 PM   #15
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Now that I am in my 5th year of retirement, I would not return to work even for a day for $1,000,000. I don't need the money or the aggravation, no matter how small. I know this is an extreme point of view, but I am trying to be honest instead of just saying what is expected. I really, truly love and value each day of retirement and each day is literally priceless to me. YMMV and probably does.
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Just for a day? Well maybe, is it tax free? Naw I don't think so!
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:06 PM   #16
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A million only gives you a $40,000 income. So if you stop now make sure that is the level you want to live on.
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:14 PM   #17
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That question is at the heart of my OMY repetition. I make safe six figures so it's not at the $1MM mark but it is still substantial. I effectively add this to my networth (less my SS and Medicare taxes) since it allows me to make no withdrawls for living expenses or medical insurance. What I do is frequently interesting from a nerd engineer standpoint. There are no significant or frequent hassles. The worst part of my day is driving in and back.
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:24 PM   #18
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For me, I think I'd be willing to walk away after achieving a net worth of 5-6 million even though I probably only need 3 million to FIRE. I'm in my early 30s.
I think I'd pick somewhere around those numbers, too, if I had those choices. I am too lazy to every even want to become a billionaire unless I could make money doing something I loved to do. If it was a high stress or unrewarding job with a 60 hour work week, then I'd check out at the numbers you posted, if not sooner.

I have a book I am reading now that you might find find helpful. It is called What Happy People Know: How the New Science of Happiness Can Change Your Life for the Better. It is by a director of the Canyon Ranch spa and his basic premise is that he works with extremely wealthy people and many aren't any happier than average income people. There is a Tedtalk by Shawn Anchor on Netflix that has a lot of the same ideas. The Canyon Ranch author says most of the wealthy people he sees think just a little more money will make them happy. But he says it won't because he has clients with that little more money and they aren't any happier. People are unhappy if they go to bed hungry or don't have financial security, but after a certain degree of prosperity, increased happiness depends more on other factors than more money.

I bought the book for $1 at a library used book sale and that made me happy.
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:30 PM   #19
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Unfortunately, I have never had your specific issue...

Once you reach financial independence, I think the calculus might change as the marginal value of $ earned dramatically drops - it did for me.

I recently bailed on a decently paid (still way, way less than yours), comfortable, not stressful, lovely boss, somewhat interesting job simply because I value my marginal time more than marginal $... and want to learn/build something different.

Would I return to that job for a year for +$1m in networth? I honestly don't think so... but perhaps I would feel a bit guilty and not want to tell spouse about the offer :-)
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:54 PM   #20
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Thanks for all the comments. I agree more money beyond a certain amount doesn't bring anymore happiness. I'm just trying to make sure I have that "certain" amount for life.

Almost everything I earn is saved. We live a relatively modest lifestyle, but don't deprive ourselves by any means. Our spending has not really increased as my earnings have throughout my career.
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