Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Thinking about pulling out of rat race at 32 - - good or bad idea?
Old 10-29-2012, 05:22 PM   #1
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Boston
Posts: 20
Thinking about pulling out of rat race at 32 - - good or bad idea?

Hi all,

I'm a couple weeks away from turning 28 and have been thinking a lot about what direction I'd like to go in professionally, personally, etc. Folks say that you should do what you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life. Well, I like to meet new people in new places, complete lengthy physical goals (biked across the country in '08, would love to hike the AT and sail across the Atlantic), and spend time outdoors. I'm currently working in Investment Operations in Boston, and am generally not fulfilled with my 9-5.

My company has a fairly generous 401k contribution - - 15% of base salary - - that vests at 5 years. I am currently weighing whether or not it is realistic to duck out of the corporate world once I hit the 5 year mark in April 2017 and start traveling in a financially sustainable way (e.g., teach English abroad, work at a national park in the US, work as a deck hand on a ship sailing across the ocean...). I would also be very open to working in more traditional jobs for longer spurts while I try out cities that I've enjoyed visiting in the past, and those that I suspect I'd enjoy, such as Austin, Denver, and Seattle. Hopefully I would eventually land on something that just clicked, and I would find the long-term job that never feels like work.

Details are:

I currently have about $24k in a traditional 401k (I started working late). I have budgeted and believe I can fund the allowed $17.5k annual contribution beginning next March, once I've finished paying down revolving debt. Assuming that I continue contributing what I do now, max out my contribution beginning in March, that I remain until the 5 year mark, and that my investments earn 8% annually during that period, I will have just over $160k in retirement. Forecasting conservative annual raises, no promotions, and using my current spending rates, I think that I would have about $30k cash, as well as about (15k) remaining in student debt @ 6.8% - monthly payments of about $150.

What do folks think? Sound like a pipe dream? My work would also fully pay for a part time MBA during this time period, but I'm not inclined to go after that as I'd have to focus on Finance and I really just don't care for it. My current job has good work life (i.e., 35-40 hour work weeks and I don't take anything home with me), so I think I can get through the next 4 1/2 years with my psyche still intact. I'm starting to learn guitar, am involved with the outdoors community, volunteer, sail, etc., so it would just be a matter of biding my time. Friends have said both that I should suck it up and just do grad school hoping something clicks, and also that I should just get out now and try to do something different or move elsewhere. I think I'd be more comfortable having these short term adventures if I knew that I had a decent chunk of change in retirement earning some rate of return (at least over the long term).

Thanks in advance,

Denefi
__________________

__________________
denefi is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-29-2012, 05:45 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MasterBlaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,359
Just my opinion...


If you are contemplating retiring at 32 you are woefully underfunded.

If you think coming back to work after partying for some years will be easy (easier) then I wouuld suggest otherwise.

Somewhere/somehow along the line a future woman might have family plans and need your monetary support. How does that dovetail with your plans.


On the other hand...

You are only young once. It would be a shame to look back on your life some years out with big regrets.
__________________

__________________
MasterBlaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 05:47 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
gauss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,712
You haven't commented on your expenses yet. That would be key to any advice.
__________________
gauss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 05:58 PM   #4
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Boston
Posts: 20
MasterBlaster, thanks for getting back. I certainly wasn't viewing 32 as my retirement, but rather the point at which I could pivot out of... for lack of a better term... the business world.

My goal would be to find various types of work where I could at least live within my means, and hopefully put away a little money while I'm at it. I would hope to add to an IRA as I have the opportunity.

As for finding a woman and going off in that direction, I'm entirely aware that that's a possibility and would be open to it. I would reassess if that happened - worse case scenario, I've saved a lot over the next few years.

I think that at tops I would go the traveling lifestyle for a few years, at which point I would settle down somewhere. I don't think I'm entirely in tune with Boston's culture, and have in the past really pictured myself settling down in Austin or Denver. That might be an endpoint, at which point I could probably find something with a more laid back vibe than what I'm doing now. Both of those cities are also great for outdoorsy stuff.

Gauss, you're right, sorry. I didn't forecast expenses as I would hope to find work where I was making enough to live within my means. Apart from housing, food, and fuel, which would be largely variable based on where I went and what I was doing (and would hopefully be offset by whatever I was earning), I forecast $3-4k annually for health insurance and $1.8k for my school loan.

Thanks again!
__________________
denefi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 06:43 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,908
If you really don't like what you are doing at age 28, I think it makes sense to pivot and find your passion. You only get one life.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 07:03 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MooreBonds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 2,091
Quote:
Originally Posted by denefi View Post
Apart from housing, food, and fuel, which would be largely variable based on where I went and what I was doing (and would hopefully be offset by whatever I was earning), I forecast $3-4k annually for health insurance and $1.8k for my school loan.
Everyone is obviously entitled to make their decisions as they see fit....but I just don't see how many of the "younger people" (this, coming from a 35 year old) don't have truly toxic jobs, but just "want to do something else", and have grand plans of quitting at 30/32/35, traveling around, and then "getting any old job to pay the bills".

It is a perfectly valid plan....but a combination of the random unknown expenses (health insurance being one of just many) PLUS the more important aspect of slaving away at any old job to barely pay the bills for 40 hours a week for X additional years, just makes me wonder why they don't simply keep working at a much higher paying job for just a few more years and THEN be totally free at 35 or 38 or 40? Not like your health is that much declined at 30 vs 40. But once you leave the workforce for 5-10 years, in many careers it's highly unlikely you'll be able to pick the job of your choice, at your salary, on your terms, as you might so gallantly assume. And being forced to slave away for $10/hr for 40 hours every week, dealing with coworkers that make your old job look like Nirvana and customers that make your previous clients seem like Miss Manners, might give you pangs of regret of a different sort.
__________________
Dryer sheets Schmyer sheets
MooreBonds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 07:34 PM   #7
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,620
Quote:
Originally Posted by MooreBonds View Post
Everyone is obviously entitled to make their decisions as they see fit....but I just don't see how many of the "younger people" (this, coming from a 35 year old) don't have truly toxic jobs, but just "want to do something else", and have grand plans of quitting at 30/32/35, traveling around, and then "getting any old job to pay the bills".
I thought that was the plot of the TV show "Route 66"... or the Travis McGee novels.

On the serious side, I could name at least a dozen bloggers who are currently doing "any ol' job" for an extra few thousand bucks while they're growing their blog income. Blog from anywhere in the world, find a cheap place to live, and freelance your butt off.

It takes you away from the direct path to ER but it hypothetically improves your quality of life, and you get to the ER destination eventually. I'd most especially do it before entertaining any possibility of becoming a parent.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 07:37 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,453
Quote:
Originally Posted by denefi View Post
I'm a couple weeks away from turning 28 and have been thinking a lot about what direction I'd like to go in professionally, personally, etc...

...I'm currently working in Investment Operations in Boston, and am generally not fulfilled with my 9-5.

...Hopefully I would eventually land on something that just clicked, and I would find the long-term job that never feels like work.

... My current job has good work life (i.e., 35-40 hour work weeks and I don't take anything home with me), so I think I can get through the next 4 1/2 years with my psyche still intact...
Perhaps a job change to a new location is all you need, but within the same field so that you can apply the work experience and maintain the pay. Or is it that you really do not like your field altogether, and want something entirely different?

I might have told this story a while back. My sister-in-law one day received a letter from her dentist. This man, in his 40s was my guess, said that he sold his practice because his heart was not in dentistry (not sure if it ever was), and he wanted to do carpentry now. I hoped it was fine cabinetry carpentry instead of house framing.

My nephew, a pharmacist in his early 30s, needed a change in scenery from the SW where he grew up and worked. Recently, he found a job in Manhattan, and is living in a tiny studio, and catching the subway to go to work. I supported his move. Better try out this out while he is still young, than wait until middle age and to regret.

I am among the very few here who often talk about how we loved our work, and that it was like a paying hobby. But reading your post, and I start to wonder if it was true, or as they say with travel, when one replays some experiences back in his mind, it feels a lot better than when he lived it.

So, truthfully, while I did like my work, it was not so exciting that everyday I would jump out of bed, anxious to get to work. I had my shares of those exciting days, but also days that I just wanted to call in sick. There are days that I told myself that if a job was really fun, I would have paid to do it, instead of getting paid.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 07:47 PM   #9
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
So you've been at this unfulfilling yet nonstrenuous job for only six months? Why don't you just look for a more fulfilling job now rather than wait 4.5 years to be vested and then leave?
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 08:11 PM   #10
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Boston
Posts: 20
Thanks, travelover.

MooreBonds – very good point with respect to the possibility that the work I do while figuring things out may be less of a good fit than what I’m doing now. While I could certainly put myself in a better position with each additional year that I stay where I am now, I think that I would be increasingly unsatisfied. As travelover said, you’ve only got one life to live. The big thing that would get me through 4 ˝ more years where I am now would be that I had something off on the horizon to look forward to, and that the work leaves me enough mental energy and time outside to pursue other passions.

Nords – never seen the show?! Funny you mentioned blogging – doing that or getting into freelance writing (articles, editing, etc.) is something that I’ve started to explore as an option. I love to write and you can do it from anywhere so that might be a great fit if I can make it stick. Also, if I had a kid my priorities would immediately do a 180 and I would probably stay where I’m at and move up, or look for something that pays fairly well in another field. Right now, though, that’s not the case!

NW-Bound – this is something that I’ve considered, but the fact is that I just don’t enjoy this field. I had actually studied for and completed the first CFA exam, have done significant networking within my company, and am confident that with them supporting me through an MBA I could move into Investment Research and potentially Portfolio Management, both of which pay very well. It’s just not for me, though. It’s not in line with my value system. Another element is that my health and fitness is extremely important to me. In order to do well in this field, 60+ hour work weeks are the norm. Again, I’d rather spend that time hiking :-).

I’m really happy for you that you found something that you loved for work! That’s what I’m hoping to eventually stumble into. Your note about the dentist struck a chord, also - - I think I would actually enjoy a more ‘blue collar’ profession quite a bit.

Bestwifeever – I did similar (though significantly more low paying) work at a different company prior to moving to the company where I’m at now. I am also looking at other jobs and fields (notably nonprofit), but am inclined to stick it out for the 5 year stretch because establishing a base for retirement is really important to me. My current salary, bonus, and 401k company match would be very hard to find if I moved out of the financial services world and into something that’s more of a passion. I find my current work very easy and it provides good work life to pursue passions outside, so I guess sticking it out there is a trade off I’m willing to make to give my cash and retirement savings a significant (by my standards) boost. That said, I am still looking at other options.
__________________
denefi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 08:15 PM   #11
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
So you've been at this unfulfilling yet nonstrenuous job for only six months? Why don't you just look for a more fulfilling job now rather than wait 4.5 years to be vested and then leave?
+1

Better to get out now, than 5 more years in a non-fulfilling job at an early stage of your career. Look for a job in a similar field in Austin/Denver or location of choice. May be settle in after a geographical transition and then change fields. Volunteering in those fields part-time typically is a good way to land a paid gig.

You might find the Thorntree forum on Living and Working abroad helpful.
The Long Haul - Living & Working Abroad - Lonely Planet travel forum
__________________
pixelville is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 08:27 PM   #12
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Boston
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelville View Post
+1

Better to get out now, than 5 more years in a non-fulfilling job at an early stage of your career. Look for a job in a similar field in Austin/Denver or location of choice. May be settle in after a geographical transition and then change fields. Volunteering in those fields part-time typically is a good way to land a paid gig.

You might find the Thorntree forum on Living and Working abroad helpful.
The Long Haul - Living & Working Abroad - Lonely Planet travel forum
I think you're both striking a really valid point, thank you. Something else to consider as I look at this as an option is that both cities are significantly less expensive to live in than Boston. I'll take some time and look through the types of companies and jobs that are available elsewhere.

That said, I would still really like to have a period of my life where I sort of just wing it. Maybe that's why everyone on here is saving up for early retirement...?

I took a quick look at the link and will take some more time to read through. At first glance, I'm seeing some interesting stuff.
__________________
denefi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2012, 11:43 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,453
Many of us boomers consider ER as retiring in our 50s. Some people here managed to pull it off in their 40s, or perhaps even late 30s, but they are a minority.

And when they left the work force, they did not intend to come back. After working continuously for 25 to 30 years, they had enough. Some younger people like to intersperse periods of work and play. Nothing wrong with that, but that is not really ER as most view it.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2012, 12:38 AM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
WestLake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 239
I think it's important to do some world travel when you are young. It gives you a base of knowledge, a frame of reference, confidence and if you are lucky, life long friends you would have never met otherwise. Somehow I managed to do this on cheap tickets in my late 20s to early 40s - while keeping the boring job (now 25 years) and acquiring and managing some rental properties.

It can be done - not saying my way is the only way but I am FI at 54.
__________________
WestLake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2012, 05:54 AM   #15
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 3,851
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Many of us boomers consider ER as retiring in our 50s. Some people here managed to pull it off in their 40s, or perhaps even late 30s, but they are a minority.

And when they left the work force, they did not intend to come back. After working continuously for 25 to 30 years, they had enough. Some younger people like to intersperse periods of work and play. Nothing wrong with that, but that is not really ER as most view it.
+1

After planning (in my early 20's) to w*rk until age 65 (my then current SS FRA, and also the age of retirement of parents/grandparents), I was able to pull the plug when I turned 59.

Not early to a lot of folks on this forum, but six years earlier than my original plan. ER as far as I'm concerned ...

You're also correct in saying you are not retired if you expect/plan to return to some position (for pay) in the future. A break in service? Sure. Retired? No...
__________________
rescueme is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2012, 09:35 AM   #16
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,296
Quote:
Originally Posted by MooreBonds View Post
Everyone is obviously entitled to make their decisions as they see fit....but I just don't see how many of the "younger people" (this, coming from a 35 year old) don't have truly toxic jobs, but just "want to do something else", and have grand plans of quitting at 30/32/35, traveling around, and then "getting any old job to pay the bills".

It is a perfectly valid plan....but a combination of the random unknown expenses (health insurance being one of just many) PLUS the more important aspect of slaving away at any old job to barely pay the bills for 40 hours a week for X additional years, just makes me wonder why they don't simply keep working at a much higher paying job for just a few more years and THEN be totally free at 35 or 38 or 40? Not like your health is that much declined at 30 vs 40. But once you leave the workforce for 5-10 years, in many careers it's highly unlikely you'll be able to pick the job of your choice, at your salary, on your terms, as you might so gallantly assume. And being forced to slave away for $10/hr for 40 hours every week, dealing with coworkers that make your old job look like Nirvana and customers that make your previous clients seem like Miss Manners, might give you pangs of regret of a different sort.

I would say it would be more than 40 hours to pay the bills.... which leaves very little time to do what you want...
__________________
Texas Proud is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2012, 09:45 AM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,296
Well, what you post can be done.... but is that the life you want to live

It was a LONG time ago, but I went skiing with a friend back in the 80s... I was surprised to see a good number of 40ish ski bums... we talked to a few and they would travel around getting jobs at different ski resorts teaching skiing etc... they had very little to their name, live with who knows how many other people in a hostel, but were happy with their life...

But, they were able to ski all they wanted whenever they were not working.... that was their whole life... nothing more...

So, if it is something that you want, go for it.... but as others said, after awhile you are stuck with that decision and will more than likely have to continue down that path....
__________________
Texas Proud is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2012, 09:53 AM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MasterBlaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,359
It's been a long time now but I remember clearly the difficulty I had adjusting to working in a continuous manner everyday after being in a nearly unstructured student environment. I suppose it took a few years to truly adapt. I had similar thoughts to what the OP had. I would suggest that you let your dislike of the work environment motivate your simple living/high savings lifestyle that will lead to early retirememt.


“These walls are funny. First you hate ‘em, then you get used to ‘em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them…”
-Ellis Boyd Redding
The Shawshank Redemption
__________________
MasterBlaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2012, 10:48 AM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,533
My take is, jobs generally suck and you can't do nearly as much awesome fun stuff if you have to be somewhere responsible for stuff during the daytime hours. But they typically pay well enough to live a decent life and also enough to allow you to save a large proportion of what you make.

If you have to do something that sucks, at least keep some money from doing it. I think you are in the right frame of mind, so stick with it. There are always long weekends, vacation weeks, etc to indulge in your outdoors/wanderlust.

Knowing that in 4.5 more years you'll have $200k in the bank, and all you have to do is show up somewhere between 9-5 most days of the week.
__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 11, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2012, 10:54 AM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,453
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterBlaster View Post
It's been a long time now but I remember clearly the difficulty I had adjusting to working in a continuous manner everyday after being in a nearly unstructured student environment.
I was different. I liked my first job the most, when I was eager to learn how people actually designed and built things in the industry, compared to what we learned in textbooks.

In fact, I started working part-time in graduate school, and my advising professor was curious about what I learned at work. Too bad I could not share it, because it involved proprietary info.
__________________

__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:24 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.