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Followup to "Thinking about pulling out of rat race at 32 - - good or bad idea?"
Old 08-12-2013, 06:10 PM   #1
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Followup to "Thinking about pulling out of rat race at 32 - - good or bad idea?"

Hey all,

I had a thread out last October in which I floated the idea of working through 5 years at my company to fully vest in its profit sharing program, and then duck out of the rat race to travel and take on shorter term work in varied fields. Thought I'd take a second to follow up, as a lot of people jumped in and gave some great feedback/advice.

I've done a 180 and found something at my firm (equity research) that I'm hoping to move into. Whether it happens sooner - 2nd round interview coming up for the job I want - or later, I'm fairly certain I can make it happen. The firm is also sending me for an MBA beginning this Sept, so with the eye on FIRE I feel it's a smart move as it'll be fully paid for. Hearing from others definitely talked me off the ledge, so thanks! I haven't lost the wanderlust, but I find the work pretty interesting (though still 'work') and I see this as an amazing opportunity that could potentially set me up for an earlier FIRE.

Thanks again to those that chimed in,

D

Also, thanks in general to people who post here. It's incredibly motivating, and also makes me feel like less of a kook to be planning for and thinking about retirement at 28.
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:16 PM   #2
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I took an executive MBA program when I was 30. It was 18 months of hell being a full-time employee, a full-time MBA student, husband and father - but I do have to concede that it was one of the best experiences of my career. Enjoy - but be prepared to work your butt off!
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:51 PM   #3
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I took an executive MBA program when I was 30. It was 18 months of hell being a full-time employee, a full-time MBA student, husband and father - but I do have to concede that it was one of the best experiences of my career. Enjoy - but be prepared to work your butt off!
+1

I was a bit younger when I got my MBA, but also found it quite exhausting to get it while working full time. However, nothing beats a free master's degree, and it can't hurt to have when you're looking to expand your career. If the company is willing to do it - go for it!
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:08 PM   #4
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Thanks! I'm psyched to take on the MBA. Also, totally know that I'm walking into a crazy amount of work. I just passed the 2nd of 3 Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams in June so I'm hoping that the momentum of doing work outside of work will carry me through. Wouldn't hurt if some of the material was redundant the first year, too, as I'll be studying for level 3! * Edit: some of it definitely will be... balance sheets, cash flow statements, etc. * It's also easier given that I don't have any other commitments (e.g., kids or serious relationship).
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:33 AM   #5
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Also, thanks in general to people who post here. It's incredibly motivating, and also makes me feel like less of a kook to be planning for and thinking about retirement at 28.
I can see why, after hanging out here for a while, you would feel less like a kook...

If "the company" is shelling out the big bucks for a MBA, they must be reasonably impressed with your abilities.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:32 AM   #6
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Good luck! I got a 'free' MBA (if you forget about opportunity cost), and it was worth it. It is amazing how people think you are a genius/worth a lot more if you have 3 silly letters at the end of your name. I found the extra activities (managing student portfolio, consulting projects for companies, internships, etc) to be a lot more fun and helpful than the classes, though I hear you have to take those to graduate. On a side note, the skills I learned and the way of thinking about finance definitely helped me to have a more solidified FIRE plan, so look at it as a way to speed up the process if you can apply the 'MBA skills' to your personal business of your life.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:45 AM   #7
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Thanks! I'm psyched to take on the MBA. Also, totally know that I'm walking into a crazy amount of work. I just passed the 2nd of 3 Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exams in June so I'm hoping that the momentum of doing work outside of work will carry me through. Wouldn't hurt if some of the material was redundant the first year, too, as I'll be studying for level 3! * Edit: some of it definitely will be... balance sheets, cash flow statements, etc. * It's also easier given that I don't have any other commitments (e.g., kids or serious relationship).
Congrats, level 2 kicked my rear end six or seven years ago (do they still make you hand/TI calculate derivative values?). I can tell your in finance with a larger firm as am I. These jobs come with good pay, high stress, and a narrow pyramid to climb to the top. If you ever get a manager you can't stand, this can become unbearable,

Hopefully an MBA is worth it, I looked into it and had already progressed up enough in pay to where the MBA was somewhat irrelevant.
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:28 PM   #8
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I can see why, after hanging out here for a while, you would feel less like a kook...
Only a LITTLE bit less of a kook, though!

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I found the extra activities (managing student portfolio, consulting projects for companies, internships, etc) to be a lot more fun and helpful than the classes, though I hear you have to take those to graduate. On a side note, the skills I learned and the way of thinking about finance definitely helped me to have a more solidified FIRE plan, so look at it as a way to speed up the process if you can apply the 'MBA skills' to your personal business of your life.
I'm hoping to get involved with the investment club, which is predominantly full timers, but I'll have to see how much time I realistically have to take that on as well. I've also thought about and am excited to apply the finance skills to the business of me.

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Congrats, level 2 kicked my rear end six or seven years ago (do they still make you hand/TI calculate derivative values?). I can tell your in finance with a larger firm as am I. These jobs come with good pay, high stress, and a narrow pyramid to climb to the top. If you ever get a manager you can't stand, this can become unbearable,

Hopefully an MBA is worth it, I looked into it and had already progressed up enough in pay to where the MBA was somewhat irrelevant.
The certainly do, though the second level was more geared toward equity valuation. Level 3 is more open ended, which I'm a little nervous about. One of the reasons that I've decided to go part-time (beyond the fact that I still have plenty of room for salary growth) is that if I do land in a position that I hate, be it b/c of a bad manager, no opportunity, etc, I won't be trapped by the school loans. I figure if I'm not happy where I'm at in five years, I'll at least have some money socked away, no debt, and a degree under my belt.
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:36 AM   #9
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All you guys with MBAs, especially eMBAs, would it have been worth it if you had to pay for it? How much of it would you have been willing to pay yourself?
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:13 PM   #10
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I did a regular MBA program, but I am not sure how to answer your question. The answer that makes you sound smart is 'it depends', but to answer more directly, I only did the MBA on the condition that I got a full ride. After marriage and paying of DW's loans, it was a non-negotiable to not take on school debt again. So, with her working while I worked PT to pay bills and save for future, we didn't want any other 'bills'. Looking back, it probably would have been worth it even if it cost 30-40K a year, as my salary almost doubled upon graduation, and now has gone much higher.

Not all of that was due to the 3 magic letters, but rather from something incredibly helpful that I gained from getting an MBA: confidence. I liken it to the part on the wizard of Oz when they pull back the curtains and see the 'wizard'. I did not feel like I gained some amazing new skill set and revelatory perspective on life and business after the program, but that realization in itself freed me to become more aggressive in trying new things. I figured 'I now know all the super secret stuff that is supposed to set you apart in having success in business, and since it isn't all that great of secret stuff, it must rely more on initiative and hard work.'

So, situations work out differently for everyone and I felt a lot of peace about moving forward with an MBA since I wasn't taking on any debt, but kind of like investing, it can be a gamble with a slight 'house edge' in your favor. I think it helped me and was worth it, but anyone can learn the stuff in the books by just watching online courses or reading books. I have an MBA in finance, but I learned a lot more about finance by reading the bogleheads forum and others than I did from the program.

One practical piece of advice - devoting ridiculous hours to studying for the GMAT can only help your chances of getting a scholarship, as it is one of the key metrics b-schools like to report.
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:07 PM   #11
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I have a brother who went to a top law school and landed a great, high-paying job afterward. That was 5 or so years ago and he's still creeping up to have positive net worth (he's a spender, so a big part is on him). Seeing that, and not being 100% certain of what I want to do long term professionally, puts the $10-20k that I'll sink into my MBA close to the upper limit. It's a very personal decision. A lot has to do with risk tolerance, career goals and how badly you want it, and the expected cost and return on the particular MBA program.
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:58 AM   #12
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Thanks for the input. Since I am essentially ESR'd I would be paying my own way if I did an MBA. I wouldn't do it unless I could pay it out of ongoing cashflow.
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