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Old 08-15-2013, 05:06 PM   #41
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Thanks to everyone for the advice. After reading all these post it would seem almost all are in favor of getting out of the stressful situation now rather than keeping my head down and plugging away for a few more years to reach FI.

I tend to agree, it's not worth the toll that the stress takes out of you.

It seem like my DW is getting a lot of the blame in not helping or sympathizing with the situation. I have to admit that I am not very good at communicating my feelings, actually terrible at it.
I can open up here anonymously better than one on one with her, so she probably doesn't fully grasp the problem.

I actually see that most people are not telling you to change careers, but I think someone would have to count to be sure...

I think most are telling you to find a way to reduce stress.... that might not be changing your career....


After reading some more posts... I am leaning for the suck it up for 3 years.... you say you place a lot of the stress on yourself.... so changing careers will not take that away..... IOW, you will be stressed out where ever you go.... but with less pay....
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:11 PM   #42
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OP, I sympathize with your wife, with what little I know of your situation. It scares some women, who have put a great deal of effort into their careers, to have a child...it's why some of us wait almost too long. I imagine it's equally scary going the other direction..."I'm a mom, and now I have to try to break into the work world, too? Deal with a boss and co-workers and a timetable? And on top of that, my always-like-a-rock husband is saying we may need to move the whole family into a 1,000 square foot house?"

If I were she, I'd have all the shields up, going "La, la, la, la, I don't hear you." But if your survival really depends on her contributions, you need to get that across somehow.

The last thing she wants is for you to keel over with a heart attack or God forbid, have an accident while flying. Where would she and the little ones be, then? So keep trying. You now have several forum members pulling for you, if that helps

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It seem like my DW is getting a lot of the blame in not helping or sympathizing with the situation. I have to admit that I am not very good at communicating my feelings, actually terrible at it.
I can open up here anonymously better than one on one with her, so she probably doesn't fully grasp the problem.
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:50 PM   #43
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It seems to me that communication (or lack thereof) is at the root of this problem. Both you and DW may be making assumptions about each other's wishes and needs. You have communication protocols in the cockpit (crew resource management) which help maintain safety, and you need a similar process to maintain the family integrity. Coming to a mutual understanding will be a process, not just one conversation, and I think you two will need the help of a good facilitator who can work with you.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:13 PM   #44
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I think none of us know what anyone else should do. My brother had a tough but good job that due to a public pension would set him free at age 51-30 years after he started. He was also a musician, and his band was heading off on an Asian tour. He wanted to quit his school job and go.

My Dad, who knew him pretty well, and loved him, talked him to sticking it out. It seemed to work fine, but we did not know that he was drinking his liver into its demise. Men in our family tend to live a long time, but he was dead by 57, thanks to liver disease that got him before he could get a transplant- and very likely he would have killed the new liver too.

I am very aware of power structures in different situations, but it is impossible to know how it breaks in any particular family or group. It is also impossible to know a ta distance how close to the edge someone may or may not be. No way would I want the responsibility of telling anyone what he or she should do.

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Old 08-16-2013, 12:36 AM   #45
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I'm very familiar with the stresses an airline pilot career puts on one and fully understand OPs desire to get out of that line of work. The glamour days of being an airline pilot are long, long gone; and very unlikely to ever return.

There's a lot of psychology going on in this discussion. What I don't see is evaluation of the FIRE option given that the OP has 19x annual expenses saved. This is certainly enough to at least take a year or two sabbatical from the land of the employed. I would give serious consideration to this option. Set up a plan and execute it. I'd plan for a year off just to decompress with no expectation of future employment. Just forget about working and reward yourself for being so diligent for the past 20 years. Take care of yourself and have fun with your DW and DD. You'd be surprised what unknown opportunities will present themselves during this time.

I'd spend the second year evaluating different career options and start to network in preparation of joining the land of the employed if this is the course you choose to take.

I gave up a very lucrative career less than two months ago on 19x annual expenses. ESPlanner convinced me that I could comfortably maintain my standard of living based on that amount, so I choose to ER at age 49. You can find a free basic version here:

Home | ESPlannerBasic

Check it out, you too may be surprised at the findings. Either way, I hope you can eventually find peace.

Good Luck...Nano
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:53 AM   #46
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Can you elaborate a bit more about what exactly causes the stress and the associated lack of sleep? Is it lack of sleep leading to stress or the other way around? What is a typical schedule for you when you are working, and when you are off? Are there ways you could continue to use your flying skills outside your current job -- piloting sightseeing flights in scenic places, or piloting some rich person/company's private jet? Is the Air National Guard an option as a bridge to retirement? Maybe none of these are viable, but it might help us help you think through the options if we had a few more details.

Echo the sentiments about the importance of good communication with your wife. I've worked our entire marriage so I really don't get the whole "I need to be home for the kids" thing, especially after they are in school all day, but I have told my DH at times of particular stress in his job that I would support whatever decision he wanted to make -- if he wants to quit and try something else, I'd be fine with that. Heck, if he wants to retire early I'd be fine with that, too (as long as he agrees to leave Beijing -- we can't support our lifestyle here without his income) His health and our marriage/family happiness is more important than preserving his golden handcuffs. I hope he would say the same to me (actually he more or less has -- supported me to leave a job that was doing serious mental/emotional damage when I needed to, without another job lined up).
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:53 AM   #47
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I second the suggestion of the EAP or a visit to the Dr. where you talk about some of the anxiety that's keeping you awake at night. I worked commercial construction for 6 months and suffered the same sleeplessness about What Could Happen On the Job (it was a major underground tunnel project with some unique risks). Finally, after quitting and returning to my former desk job, I saw a Dr. who accurately diagnosed and treated my depression. I can't say how much of it was genetics and how much was a poor job fit (actually, a lot was genetics, LOL), but I certainly had an easier time making life decisions once the depression-anxiety-insomnia was being treated. I certainly sympathize with the big questions you're facing.
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Old 08-17-2013, 05:17 PM   #48
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Is there any possibility to get,a job in a related position. I know that my neighbor was a pilot for years and then took a job with the FAA doing flight checks and eventually became an administrator. He has since retired.
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:22 PM   #49
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Update:

I've reach the tipping point and decided to pack it in. Life's too short to be miserable 3 weeks a month. I'm currently on the other side of the world, but will be giving my two weeks notice when I get back.

The wife is on board, although probably slightly worried. I plan on taking six months to a year off and try to figure out the next step.

It will be strange to see the savings decrease instead of increase but I believe I will figure something out. I don't know what the future holds but who does?
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:27 PM   #50
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I don't know what the future holds but who does?
I am certain that no one does. But are you sure this is the best question to ask?

Ha
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:31 PM   #51
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Update: I've reach the tipping point and decided to pack it in. Life's too short to be miserable 3 weeks a month. I'm currently on the other side of the world, but will be giving my two weeks notice when I get back. The wife is on board, although probably slightly worried. I plan on taking six months to a year off and try to figure out the next step. It will be strange to see the savings decrease instead of increase but I believe I will figure something out. I don't know what the future holds but who does?
Congrats.

With your level of savings, you do have choices, just enjoy the time off and start downsizing expenses. Life's too short.
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:52 PM   #52
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Good for you for making a sound decision. No job is worth your sanity or your life. I'm glad DW is on board. Supporting partners through difficult decisions is what spouses do for each other (or so I'm told). For now, fly safely, and when your last day of work arrives, take a couple of weeks to relax and recharge before considering future options. You deserve it!
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Old 10-21-2013, 08:56 PM   #53
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Thanks for positive thoughts, I can hardly wait till it's over.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:09 PM   #54
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Good luck ryd4er and congratulations on making the decision. The hard part is now over with clear skies ahead. It's all gonna be good.

Nano
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:44 PM   #55
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Good decision, and I bet having made it takes a load off of you! Congrats, carpe diem!
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Old 10-21-2013, 10:58 PM   #56
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I know from experience leaving the security of a high stress but well paying job is a bit scary. I did it first, then DH. In hindsight we were both glad we left and probably sorry we didn't leave sooner.

But there are a lot of careers to explore and in the scheme of things if you are willing to look around and maybe go back to school you might find something you love to do. With your kind of responsibility now almost anything you end up doing has to be lower stress.

I had a few fails on my second career search and then kind of stumbled into something that has worked out great. I wish you the same luck on your new job search.
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:38 PM   #57
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Congratulations on your decision, rdy4er. I am in a similar position, and I will be doing as you are at the end of this year. As others have stated, you are fortunate to have sufficient savings to hit "pause" for a few months or a year, decompress and figure out what's next. That is precisely what I will be doing. It will hurt to pull dollars out of savings, but you (and I) will both need to focus on the pragmatics of the situation and not let emotional fears get in the way. Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:29 PM   #58
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Here's today story about a 747 cargo plane that landed at a wrong little airport a few miles away from where the pilots were supposed to land. I did not know that a 747 could land and take off with a runway as short as 3,200 ft and only 75 ft wide. Regular jet runways are 10,000 ft long and 150 ft wide.

Could pilot's fatigue be part of the cause? I think these poor guys will get ridiculed for a while.

Massive Boeing 747 'Dreamlifter' Mistakenly Lands At Small Kansas Airport

PS. Correction needed! The "wrong" airport was 6,100 ft long, not 3,200 ft. I got the wrong number from another web page that also described a similar incidence earlier which involved a much smaller aircraft. It reads

"... a Silver Airways pilot making one of the Florida airline's first flights to Bridgeport, W. Va., mistakenly landed his Saab 340 at a tiny airport in nearby Fairmont.

The pilot touched down safely on a runway that was just under 3,200 feet long and 75 feet wide — normally considered too small for the passenger plane."
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:33 PM   #59
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Here's today story about a 747 cargo plane that landed at a wrong little airport a few miles away from where the pilots were supposed to land. I did not know that a 747 could land and take off with a runway as short as 3,200 ft and only 75 ft wide. Regular jet runways are 10,000 ft long and 150 ft wide. Could pilot's fatigue part of the cause? I think these poor guys will be ridiculed for a while. Massive Boeing 747 'Dreamlifter' Mistakenly Lands At Small Kansas Airport
The good news is if he is your pilot, he can land planes with the best of them. The bad news is it just might not be at the location you were wanting to be.
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:58 PM   #60
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Gonna give DW an extra big hug tonite.

Life is hard, and then ya die!
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