Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Walking away from money
Old 02-27-2013, 08:23 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 213
Walking away from money

I'm nearing a decision point that's weighing heavy on my mind.

Still working megacorp. Travel at 60%, work most nights and weekends. I like the work and colleagues. The down-side is I feel like I'm working 2 jobs. It's only possible now because we're at the empty nest stage.

Next week I interview for a university position. The pay would be roughly 40% of what I make now. Of course, a 40 hour week with 20% travel looks inviting. It seems like the type of job that I'd enjoy long term. Hitting the gym at lunch, free tuition, etc. I really like the dean and I know that long ago he made a similar transition.

The hardest part is walking away from that pay check. I think we are OK to ER now (55) but the wife is nervous. Logically, I'm ready for the change. Emotionally, it's unsettling to walk away from the career that I'm built, including the checks that comfortably exceed my needs. Maybe it's because I grew up poor. Adults are always living with the echos of their childhood.

Anybody else make a similar decision?
__________________

__________________
Tekward 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 02-27-2013, 08:38 PM   #2
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 329
Walking away from a fat paycheck is hard, especially if like me , you were determined to RE early. But if you're already FI and working either because you still enjoy the challenge (to a point) and/or want to save that little bit extra but can't stand the job you're in right now, then I think it makes perfect sense.
I gave up a high paying tax free job plus perks overseas to settle for one on half the cash pay minus all the freebies. Stashed away quite a bit for retirement.
The first year was hard, especially when I looked at how much I could have saved. But I was only looking at the cash, forgetting the lifestyle benefits I have gained.
I now only save a third of what I could compared to my previous job, but the good thing is I enjoy my job and work life balance now.
I could have stayed and burnt out (or worse ruined my health) but made plenty over a short term, or move, make less , but increase my longevity at work and at life
__________________

__________________
UserRequested is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2013, 08:50 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,629
At some point the chase of $$ becomes self-defeating. What is your goal? Enjoyment & self-fulfillment....or numbers on your financial ledger? Yrs ago my father gave up a higher paying j@b in industry to teach at a major Midwest university. Sure there were academic politics, but overall he enjoyed the intellectual challenge far more than industry's $$. I am convinced it added yrs to his life. His children (inc me as teenager) appreciated having Dad around more & in generally happier mood. We kids honestly never missed the extra $$. In my late 40's I turned down a j@b change that would have been similar (less $$ but more interesting). As I near ER, I truly wonder if the achievement of earlier FI ($$$) was worth the intellectual sacrifice.
__________________
ERhoosier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2013, 09:01 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RunningBum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5,164
Sounds like a nice bridge to retirement. If you find it tough to walk away from the job and money to a regular full time job, think how tough it'll be to walk away to nothing. I didn't switch jobs, but made a somewhat similar move when I went to part-time for 3 years before I fully retired.
__________________
RunningBum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2013, 09:47 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 189
There comes a point where time...time with family and friends, time to do activities on your own schedule, time to explore things outside of work...becomes more important than money. It is hard to appreciate how wonderful it is to have that time without experiencing it.

During the last decade of my working life, I worked in another state during the week and was only home on weekends. I liked the job and the people, but the separation wsa tougher to bear as the years went on. Since I retired last Summer, the luxury of time has given me the most pleasure. I truly didn't know what I was missing until I got to live the lifestyle.

If you are financially able to ER and instead can go to a job that will still bring significant income/benefits along with the chance for more personal freedom, sounds to me like you've found a great way to transition to the next act of your life. It appears to be a low risk way to get off the treadmill.
__________________
Greg V is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2013, 02:34 AM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
obgyn65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: midwestern city
Posts: 4,061
It is very difficult for those of us, especially the frugal ones, to walk away from money. No doubt about this. Good luck in your decision.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tekward View Post
Anybody else make a similar decision?
__________________
Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
obgyn65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2013, 05:05 AM   #7
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tekward View Post
I'm nearing a decision point that's weighing heavy on my mind.
./.
The hardest part is walking away from that pay check. I think we are OK to ER now (55) but the wife is nervous. Logically, I'm ready for the change. Emotionally, it's unsettling to walk away from the career that I'm built, including the checks that comfortably exceed my needs. Maybe it's because I grew up poor. Adults are always living with the echos of their childhood.

Anybody else make a similar decision?
You can be walking toward one thing or walking away from another. How you view that depends entirely on you. The choice is easier if you are able to stay focused on what you are walking toward, and that path leads to your objectives, even if it is a different route.

And, to answer your final question, I am sure many of us have made choices where something was given up in exchange for something else. In my case I left a fair chunk of $$ on the table, even when I wasn't certain we had achieved FI. It's not always about the money.
__________________
MichaelB is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2013, 05:58 AM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
jollystomper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,357
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tekward View Post

Anybody else make a similar decision?
I'm going to have to do the same thing when I retire. I am the same age as you, making a salary that I never thought I would achieve, working in a field that is also one of my hobbies. We have been able to save at a high rate was well as put kids through school without any debt for us or our kids. But I am learning at this point in my life that TIME, and how that time is spent, has become more valuable to me than money.

In addition, I cannot feel sorry for ourselves in losing that salary. I will be getting a pension that will be about a third of it, and to make up the difference for our "worst case" $100K budget estimate requires only a 2.5% draw down of our savings/investments. Many, many folks have to retire on a lot less. Heck, the average family has to live on a lot less.

If you are able, perhaps try what I did. I had worked so much last year, to use my vacation I had to take most of the month of December off. I got all of the Christmas stuff out of the way early, and had about 3 weeks to just live... and it felt so good. I was busy with things I wanted to do, relaxed when I felt like it and at end of the day still felt energetic and not worn down. Getting back to work in January was very tough, but having a different perspective on time vs. money has really helped me.
__________________
Current target FIRE date: Under negotiation, can happen anytime.
jollystomper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2013, 07:02 AM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Brett_Cameron's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: South Eastern USA
Posts: 1,010
Yeah, I made a similar decision only after I figured out I could FIRE and not reduce my family's standard of living!
__________________
Brett_Cameron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2013, 07:08 AM   #10
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Austin
Posts: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by jollystomper View Post
I'm going to have to do the same thing when I retire. I am the same age as you, making a salary that I never thought I would achieve, working in a field that is also one of my hobbies. We have been able to save at a high rate was well as put kids through school without any debt for us or our kids. But I am learning at this point in my life that TIME, and how that time is spent, has become more valuable to me than money.

In addition, I cannot feel sorry for ourselves in losing that salary. I will be getting a pension that will be about a third of it, and to make up the difference for our "worst case" $100K budget estimate requires only a 2.5% draw down of our savings/investments. Many, many folks have to retire on a lot less. Heck, the average family has to live on a lot less.

If you are able, perhaps try what I did. I had worked so much last year, to use my vacation I had to take most of the month of December off. I got all of the Christmas stuff out of the way early, and had about 3 weeks to just live... and it felt so good. I was busy with things I wanted to do, relaxed when I felt like it and at end of the day still felt energetic and not worn down. Getting back to work in January was very tough, but having a different perspective on time vs. money has really helped me.
+1

My entire working career has been at a profession that cannot be turned off. It's not hard work, can be very enjoyable at times, but the monster is that it runs non-stop 24x7x365 and is always an hour away from disaster if several contributing variables are left unchecked.

I've been fortunate to be earning six figures for many years now, and a part of me tells myself I'm nuts to walk away from it. But the other part of me reminds myself that I've been doing this for so long (+30 years) that I don't remember and therefore can't appreciate what it would be like to no longer have to think/worry/be concerned about it every waking second.

As someone already said, you reach the point where it really is no longer about the money.
__________________
LakeTravis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2013, 07:37 AM   #11
Full time employment: Posting here.
citrine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 944
I walked away from the money in my mid thirties....could not imagine working in megacorp till I was 55! I make half of what I did then, but I also only work 20 hrs a week and love what I do. The decision needs to be made with your heart, not your mind....you can't take the money with you in the end, but you can smile at the memories you will have
__________________
citrine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2013, 07:54 AM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Jay_Gatsby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,719
I'll be at a similar crossroads in a few years, but here is my two cents. Trust in your calculations. Run the (most reasonable) worst case scenario you can. If the numbers still work for FI, then take the new job and don't look back. When I was in private legal practice I was given some very wise advice: "You can bill your time, but you can never buy it back."

Time is your most valuable possession. Treat it accordingly.
__________________
Jay_Gatsby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2013, 08:41 AM   #13
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 96
I had a travel schedule like that during my megacorp days and remember sitting in an airport one night experiencing yet another lengthy delay and saying to myself, "what the hell am I doing?" I had just had enough, was in a good financial position and there was so much more I wanted to do with my life. I left soon thereafter and have loved every minute of my freedom. With a great opportunity for you to move into something else that you'll enjoy and continue earning a paycheck for years to come if you so desire sounds fantastic to me.
__________________
enjoyinglife102 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2013, 09:35 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,407
Quote:
Originally Posted by enjoyinglife102 View Post
I had a travel schedule like that during my megacorp days and remember sitting in an airport one night experiencing yet another lengthy delay and saying to myself, "what the hell am I doing?" I had just had enough, was in a good financial position and there was so much more I wanted to do with my life. I left soon thereafter and have loved every minute of my freedom. With a great opportunity for you to move into something else that you'll enjoy and continue earning a paycheck for years to come if you so desire sounds fantastic to me.
Similar story here. The breakpoint was a bit silly in that I was traveling home from NYC during bad winter weather and after 8 hours and two cancelled flights I ended up stranded at Dulles (further from home) and the airline I was booked on couldn't get me on a flight home for another 2 days. [I did get home the next day after a $100 cab fare to BWI, a flight on a different airline to a different airport and driving a rental car to my home airport to pick up my car.]

Anyhow, at that point I decided I had enough and went 50% time in exchange for limited travel and ultimately pulled the plug a couple years later.

I totally agree with an earlier post that there is a point where the value of time exceeds the value of a paycheck. Once I was comfortable that I had enough that it was unlikely that I would be a burden to my children or society anything after that was just padding the kid's inheritance (if there is one!).

A friend of mine changed employers in his mid 50s and really enjoys his new job and is totally recharged his attitude towards work and life in general. Hopefully the change you are considering might do the same for you.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2013, 01:52 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Jay_Gatsby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,719
Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
A friend of mine changed employers in his mid 50s and really enjoys his new job and is totally recharged his attitude towards work and life in general. Hopefully the change you are considering might do the same for you.
Your friend was very lucky, as there is often age-discrimination once you pass 50, if not sooner. He likely had a skill set that was in significant demand.

Regardless, being FI allows you to focus on what you want to do (with or without a paycheck) rather than what you need to do for a paycheck. Most folks who are FI don't necessarily want to RE permanently. Rather they simply want the freedom to choose what they want to do, assuming they want to do anything at all.
__________________
Jay_Gatsby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2013, 02:05 PM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
Stanley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by obgyn65 View Post
It is very difficult for those of us, especially the frugal ones, to walk away from money. No doubt about this. Good luck in your decision.

For some yes. I am pretty frugal. I can pinch a penny with the best of them. But, when I realized that my remaining time on this planet was more valuable than the additional dollars I might earn, I bailed. It's an individual choice.
__________________
Stanley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2013, 03:09 PM   #17
Moderator
MBAustin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 4,148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinch View Post
I'll be at a similar crossroads in a few years, but here is my two cents. Trust in your calculations. Run the (most reasonable) worst case scenario you can. If the numbers still work for FI, then take the new job and don't look back. When I was in private legal practice I was given some very wise advice: "You can bill your time, but you can never buy it back."

Time is your most valuable possession. Treat it accordingly.
+1

Good luck!
__________________
"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute." William Feather
----------------------------------
ER'd Oct. 2010 at 53. Life is good.
MBAustin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2013, 12:58 PM   #18
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 213
Thanks for all the great feedback. I have a phone interview 3/6, followed 30 minutes later with a call from my big boss on my annual raise. I've let her know I was contacted and I'm considering a change.

Family dynamics are interesting. My wife is a bit worried about finances but we had a good talk. I told my three grown daughters and they were enthusiastic about the change. Maybe is is just cooler to say "Dad works at State", versus "Dad works for Megacorp."
__________________
Tekward is offline   Reply With Quote
Update
Old 03-07-2013, 12:22 PM   #19
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 213
Update

The phone interview went well. They will decide on scheduling a personal interview within 3 weeks. Public service efficiency? That's not encouraging

The annual appraisal review (did everyone just shudder?) went well. Good customer feedback and the maximum annual pay raise = 2% Any bets that the corporate offices have the same limits?

So the jury is still out. Looking closer at the money differences, I would make more in the next three years at megagcorp then 10 years at State U. I go back & forth.
__________________
Tekward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2013, 12:43 PM   #20
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 559
theoretically anyone who early retires-walks away from money-in fact i would say anyone who retires at any time-walks away from money-not including social security.

the point is to RETIRE!
__________________

__________________
gerrym51 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 06:36 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.