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View Poll Results: How much is too much to walk away from?
$100k/year 2 1.60%
$200k/year 10 8.00%
$400k/year 29 23.20%
$800k/year 18 14.40%
1.2M/year 7 5.60%
1.6M/year 2 1.60%
2M/year 10 8.00%
3M/year 0 0%
4M/year 4 3.20%
no amount is/would have been too large to keep me from my FIRE dream 43 34.40%
Voters: 125. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-24-2017, 02:02 AM   #21
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I stepped off that ladder already, but anyway, I thought about income in terms of
  1. How much it increases my NW per annum on a % basis
  2. How fast it brings me "enough"


And that in relation to the cost (in time, stress, freedom).


While my savings went up with 20%+ per annum, I'd keep going. When I approached somewhat free, I stepped down the fast-track to do my own thing. Now I'm arguably fully free, and still doing my own thing.


Would I go back to high-earning high-cost? Sure, but only if it brought me into a new category of FI really fast. So that ends up to be >$600k gross earnings or so. Even then I'd have to think quite hard about it.
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Old 07-24-2017, 03:41 AM   #22
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None of the above. I retired when I had enough because life is finite.
This! Very cliche but true:"can't take it with you". Once I was sure DW and I would be set for what we need, I walked. And I walked from a very high paying job that I really liked. Nevertheless, I realized that I won't get that time (spent at work) back.
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Old 07-24-2017, 03:45 AM   #23
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I respect the purists point of view of leaving work as soon as FI is achieved, but the situation is rather more nuanced, IMO as I worked many years for much less than I currently earn. I feel very fortunate to find myself in a much different situation starting in 2016 and again this year.

We are seriously considering leaving work, but the compensation forces me to linger.
I totally understand that position. That said, now that I'm FIREd, unless something changes rather drastically with my portfolio that forces me to go back, truly no amount would get me out of retirement.
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Old 07-24-2017, 04:01 AM   #24
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Annual income isn't the primary determinant, FI is IMO, so I didn't know how to answer. And FI means something very different to each of us depending on age, health, risk tolerance, and other variables. Some people here need a 200% probability of success to retire while others can sleep like a baby every night with one-third that amount. Once you're FI on your terms, the options are all available.
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Old 07-24-2017, 04:04 AM   #25
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The improvement in health and general wellbeing I've experienced since ER far outweighs any dollar amount. Enough is enough
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Old 07-24-2017, 04:47 AM   #26
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I think my situation is rather unique and certainly fortunate.

I was making 7 figures but was stressed and fatigued. Walking away was an option but chose a little time off and then found a PT position.

My numbers say I am FI but given my age and having kids plus still enjoying what I do (now that it is PT) I am still not fully RE'd. The money is just bonus - but great as still making 6 figures.
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Old 07-24-2017, 04:56 AM   #27
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Money was never a driving force in my life. I made in the mid 5 figures working at what was important to me. It was enough to take care of my needs with some left for a few wants. Now I have a modest paid for home, medical is taken care of, and I have enough to see me to the end with some left over. If more money would buy more time and good health to enjoy it then I would reconsider but that isn't going to happen so why accumulate more.

Cheers!
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Old 07-24-2017, 05:14 AM   #28
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I wouldn't indefinitely keep working for a lot more money, but I would, and did, work at least a couple extra years at part time as a buffer. The money was too easy to pass up, even though it was under your low end. Part of it was being shaky after the big downturn of 2008. I didn't have kids at home anymore, and it was low stress work with flexible hours. Eventually the decision was made for me and I got a buyout when my job was moved overseas. I only stuck around the last year because I could see this coming and waited out the buyout.

Like the retirement pitfall thread, it's an individual decision. We could all agree on one thing, but it may not be right for you. It's fine to look for different perspectives, but the decision is yours.
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Old 07-24-2017, 05:21 AM   #29
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Also I think you might get more relevant results if instead of raw $ amounts, you gave the options "current salary", 20% more, 50% more, 2x, 4x, etc. I put $100K because that applied to me, though only for a couple of years. That's probably very insignificant money to you.

If you meant indefinitely, I'd fall into the "No" category, though I probably would have done another year or two in the $1M+ range to fund first class travel and stuff like that.
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Old 07-24-2017, 05:41 AM   #30
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I started to click on a number that was quite a bit higher than my salary and then remembered that my DW walked away from that amount at age 56. I don't think there is a specific number that matters - it is the work life balance that tips the scales. It sounds like you like your work so you have to decide whether you would be happier ERd. As the balance tips toward ER you need to decide whether a few more years of a still "OK" work life will better insure the security of your ER life. No poll can help with that.
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Old 07-24-2017, 05:56 AM   #31
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The other thing to consider is that doubling or quadrupling earnings at the amounts shown in the poll would likely also result in much more pressure and stress.... towards the end of my career I brushed aside a promotion and later downshifted to part-time because money was less important once I was FI... lifestyle and time were more important.

Some of our partners made $1 million a year or more, but there is no way I would have wanted their jobs.... those guys are running 150 mph 24/7/365.... they work hard and give up a lot for those $$$$.
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Old 07-24-2017, 05:59 AM   #32
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Money was never a driving force in my life. I made in the mid 5 figures working at what was important to me. It was enough to take care of my needs with some left for a few wants. Now I have a modest paid for home, medical is taken care of, and I have enough to see me to the end with some left over. If more money would buy more time and good health to enjoy it then I would reconsider but that isn't going to happen so why accumulate more.

Cheers!
+1.
I was in Mega-corp middle management and making ~$125 plus bonus. There were opportunities to make the move to senior management. Between the pressures at that level and the multiple relocations that would come with the new role, I asked my SAHM DW, "How much money is enough?" We agreed that additional family sacrifices were not worth another pile of Benjamins. We applied that same mindset when I retired last month. Our time is precious - our assets are just important.
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:23 AM   #33
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What matters is whether you have what you need for what you want to accomplish going forward. So it's an irrelevant question.
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4M a year? What am I, nuts?
Old 07-24-2017, 06:29 AM   #34
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4M a year? What am I, nuts?

I clicked on 4 million. It's such a large amount compared to what I ever earned I'd have to take it...

...for a few years. I predict I'd get used to it. Then it wouldn't seem like so much any more and it would take an even bigger number.
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:32 AM   #35
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I actually had to answer this question from a different angle a few years after I RE'd. A colleague and I had an idea for a new business that would upend the current paradigm. Without going into details, it was a "start-it, run it for 3-5 years, and sell it" type of business. Between us we had all the contacts, relationships, and financing needed. We estimated what we could make from the sale. Then we concluded that another $X of NW in 3-5 years would not materially change our standard of living and thus have remained gleefully out of the work force. As an earlier post said, another way to look at the poll is to ask what change in NW would compel you to keep working? Time isn't money....it's worth a whole lot more.
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:34 AM   #36
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I retired from a position paying at the higher end of your poll. I think the important consideration is not gross comp but rather the ratio of increases to net worth due to continued working. When I retired this was in the range of 5-10%. Certainly not insignificant but not so significant that I just had to continue. Earlier in my career this ratio would have been as high as 25% or even higher. To work one more year and increase your net worth by 25% is much different than working one more year to increase it 5%. Sooner or later you just have to put a pin in it.
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:49 AM   #37
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For us it comes down to not the amount but what we would do with that additional money vs the value of the freedom.

Reading this forum for a while, it is clear that the answer is different for everyone.

Despite being extremely happy with our decision, I still find myself "what if-ing" if I had stayed. Given doubling of stock/option for the past 2 years, we would have added perhaps 20% to our kitty.

In reality that would have not changed our spending and life at all - would just have left more to our kids. For my wife and I stepping off the promotion track and moving out of Silicon Valley when the kids are young had a much bigger impact financial and we have ZERO regrets about that.

As someone said, when you have two great options you don't have a hard decision, you have an easy one.
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Old 07-24-2017, 06:54 AM   #38
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What matters is whether you have what you need for what you want to accomplish going forward. So it's an irrelevant question.
That was my first thought, and then I had a change of heart in the middle of typing my response. I make just a bit above the low end of the poll now, and could retire comfortably in my current lifestyle tomorrow if handed a million dollars tax free. However, if offered $4M/year for my current job when I turned in that resignation due to someone giving me a million tonight, I'd probably go ahead and work for another 6-12 months so I could afford a "more comfortable" retirement.

I'm "technically" FI right now (as I could afford my residence, food, basic entertainment, etc). However, I'm still working because I "want" to be able to afford "at least" my current lifestyle. Thus, I don't consider myself FI because I haven't reached that point. With adequate incentive, and assuming no huge drawback, I'd likely decide that being able to fly first class instead of coach for decades would be worth working a a few months longer at $4m/year which would mean working a few more months, but not at $50k/year which would mean working for years longer (or taking more vacations or having more toys etc etc.).
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Old 07-24-2017, 07:11 AM   #39
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I broke through the triple digits salary figure at least 15 years before I retired. By the time I did retire, I had about tripled that. When I got to the point of deciding to retire, it was "really" no longer about making money. When I first told my boss I was retiring they asked me what would make me stay. I really didn't want to stay and didn't need more money so I told them 40 hour work weeks (down from 60+) and being allowed to work from home. They said okay. I hung on about 2 more years honoring my end of the bargain. I still end up working more than 40 hour work weeks (work ethic I guess) but working from home was a lot better than working out of the office. They promoted me again and the big annual salary increases kept coming.

Then after a couple of more years, I told my boss I had enough and I was retiring. Again the question was, what do you want to stay on? My answer that time was "nothing could make me stay". They they asked about working part time. I knew they was no such thing as "part time" in my job, unless you consider 40+ hours part time.

At that time, I "may" have stayed on for another year for a 1/2 million bonus since I was programmed to think "money, money, money", but I didn't ask, and they didn't offer that.

Looking back now, I'm glad they didn't offer me a lot more money since I now realize how important time is.

If I could "buy back" quality time, I would. The older I get, the more I'd pay!
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Old 07-24-2017, 07:52 AM   #40
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If somebody offered me a million a year, I think I'd work for a couple years and donate a big chunk of my earnings to my favorite charities and feel really good about what I was doing.
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