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View Poll Results: Which would you take?
High stress job and retire at age 51 18 22.78%
Low stress job and retire at age 55 61 77.22%
Voters: 79. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-11-2018, 11:07 AM   #21
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I agree with the lower stress option as long as it actually is going to be lower stress. If you work the high stress job you may be less happy and compensate with more spending, and be in a similar spot financially, just less happy.
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Old 11-11-2018, 11:17 AM   #22
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The money and perks are good, but money is worthless if you are dead, so we're exploring other options.
I would try to find a happy medium. I personally went from a high stressful job and then plateaued my career purposely so that I can continue to keep making a good salary. Perhaps your DH can find a good alternative path.
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Old 11-12-2018, 01:44 PM   #23
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It really depends on the person imo. Some people do well with stress at work and others will end up with serious medical problems as the result of stress. Seven years is a really, really, really long time for a person who doesn't cope well with stress and they should avoid it if at all possible.
This pretty much sums up my opinion.

I took the low stress route.
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Old 11-12-2018, 03:26 PM   #24
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I also took the low stress route for past 4 years. I 'm pretty bored at work now since I choose to plateau my career but have kept a good salary. I also have more time for family and friends which is Great !
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:46 PM   #25
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If the stress of your DH's current job is as bad as you say, then I'd say the only real option is to make a change. Getting to F.I. sooner is not worth destroying your health. But we really need more information to give you good feedback on this.
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:51 PM   #26
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I hope this is purely hypothetical. Often a low stress job will turn to high stress without the added compensation.
That absolutely CAN happen.
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Old 11-22-2018, 01:06 PM   #27
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That absolutely CAN happen.
So true! That's why I voted to remain in the high stress situation: at least the higher compensation is a given, whereas the lower stress in a lower paying job may well be illusory.

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[W]hen I'm honest with myself and ponder my 25 years in Corporate Hell, I think it was "me" that caused the stress, not really the job. I over-prepared for everything. Worried about little details. Took on the projects no one else wanted. Thought about work 24/7. Over-achieved. Over-analyzed. This paid off in terms of compensation, but the last 7-10 years was miserable. So even if I had changed to some hypothetical "low stress" job, I'm reasonably sure I would have figured out a way to make it stressful.
Best post in this thread ... indeed, the best post I've read on this board in quite a while.

Knowing that one is over-analyzing, over-preparing, and generally caring too much is one thing. Being able to significantly 'dial it back' is quite another.

I have no evidence for this, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that the majority of those who practice LBYM to achieve FI are relatively driven, goal-oriented people: inside and outside their paid employment. It's just not the sort of thing that appeals to a slacker / skiver who is quite comfortable putting in the absolute minimum effort.
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Old 11-22-2018, 02:02 PM   #28
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I think the data show that I chose the lower stress option throughout my career. On multiple occasions I declined to move into management, remaining a humble engineer.

Without a doubt it cost me financially, but being a Megacorp manager would have required me to abandon deeply ingrained moral principles, which would have cost me so much more.
I went to middle management at a mega. Stayed there til I got tired of playing. Retired at 60. I saw the pressure that the next level dealt with - no thanks.

I voted low stress. Project management was often stressful. But I had a good track record, so didn't (much) have the additional BS stress that most of us dealt with along the way.
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Old 11-22-2018, 02:15 PM   #29
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I answered high stress/51. That's more-or-less what I did. It didn't kill me. And I'm so glad I retired at 52. Also, I found lots of little ways to make the job a bit less stressful. Last 3 years, I voluntarily moved to a position with less management responsibility but considerably more travel. I enjoyed the travel for a while, but after 3 years, I was done.

Also, when I'm honest with myself and ponder my 25 years in Corporate Hell, I think it was "me" that caused the stress, not really the job. I over-prepared for everything. Worried about little details. Took on the projects no one else wanted. Thought about work 24/7. Over-achieved. Over-analyzed. This paid off in terms of compensation, but the last 7-10 years was miserable. So even if I had changed to some hypothetical "low stress" job, I'm reasonably sure I would have figured out a way to make it stressful. That's just me.
That part - not - just - you.
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Old 11-22-2018, 02:38 PM   #30
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I was a stress junkie during the bulk of my career and it paid off with compensation and nice assignments. So I would vote for 55 AND stress. But my last year there I was burned out and was glad to be on my way out. I can see lowering the stress but if it were zero, I would not be having fun and would just as soon quit.
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Old 11-22-2018, 03:04 PM   #31
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I went to middle management at a mega.... I saw the pressure that the next level dealt with - no thanks.
I wonder how true that perception really is.

At the very top: while people often talk about how much stress a CEO has, those individuals are largely shielded from meaningful criticism and job insecurity, especially during the first two or three years of their tenure. For one thing, during that period they are able to blame virtually any problem on their predecessor; for another, no Board relishes firing a CEO they hand-picked for the job only a short time ago. And unlike most employees, C-suite executives typically have gold-plated employment contracts that guarantee them generous severance packages in the event of premature termination. So, while they may well be motivated by their own ego (the internal factors summarized by Cobra9777), they are under little real external pressure.

More importantly, the Whitehall Studies convincingly demonstrated that there is an inverse relationship between one's rank in an employment hierarchy and stress-related illness. The lower the job status, the higher the prevalence of ischemic heart disease, hypertension, obesity, psychological distress, etc. After many years of follow-up, those in the highest employment grade had one-third (!!!) the mortality rate of those in the lowest grade.
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Old 11-22-2018, 04:40 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Milton View Post
I wonder how true that perception really is.

At the very top: while people often talk about how much stress a CEO has, those individuals are largely shielded from meaningful criticism and job insecurity, especially during the first two or three years of their tenure. For one thing, during that period they are able to blame virtually any problem on their predecessor; for another, no Board relishes firing a CEO they hand-picked for the job only a short time ago. And unlike most employees, C-suite executives typically have gold-plated employment contracts that guarantee them generous severance packages in the event of premature termination. So, while they may well be motivated by their own ego (the internal factors summarized by Cobra9777), they are under little real external pressure.

More importantly, the Whitehall Studies convincingly demonstrated that there is an inverse relationship between one's rank in an employment hierarchy and stress-related illness. The lower the job status, the higher the prevalence of ischemic heart disease, hypertension, obesity, psychological distress, etc. After many years of follow-up, those in the highest employment grade had one-third (!!!) the mortality rate of those in the lowest grade.

^ very true and well stated.
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Old 11-22-2018, 05:44 PM   #33
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Stress kills, even if you love what you do. You can only put so many miles on the frame. It really is an individual choice. I chose low stress - might have more time to find the perfect job.
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:48 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Cobra9777 View Post
Also, when I'm honest with myself and ponder my 25 years in Corporate Hell, I think it was "me" that caused the stress, not really the job. I over-prepared for everything. Worried about little details. Took on the projects no one else wanted. Thought about work 24/7. Over-achieved. Over-analyzed. This paid off in terms of compensation, but the last 7-10 years was miserable. So even if I had changed to some hypothetical "low stress" job, I'm reasonably sure I would have figured out a way to make it stressful. That's just me.
You have described me exactly, Cobra9777! Did you have any coping techniques that helped you decrease the stress you were putting on yourself?
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Old 02-10-2019, 04:49 PM   #35
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If you had the choice between a very stressful job and retiring at age 51, or a lower stress job and retiring at age 55, which would you choose?

What kind of toll is the stress taking on you mentally/physically? That became one of the deciding factors for me...
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:11 AM   #36
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I answered high stress/51. That's more-or-less what I did. It didn't kill me. And I'm so glad I retired at 52. Also, I found lots of little ways to make the job a bit less stressful. Last 3 years, I voluntarily moved to a position with less management responsibility but considerably more travel. I enjoyed the travel for a while, but after 3 years, I was done.

Also, when I'm honest with myself and ponder my 25 years in Corporate Hell, I think it was "me" that caused the stress, not really the job. I over-prepared for everything. Worried about little details. Took on the projects no one else wanted. Thought about work 24/7. Over-achieved. Over-analyzed. This paid off in terms of compensation, but the last 7-10 years was miserable. So even if I had changed to some hypothetical "low stress" job, I'm reasonably sure I would have figured out a way to make it stressful. That's just me.
+1 This is me perfectly. Even when I try to back it down, knowing that I would be fine in terms of my stature in the org, I just can't seem to keep it up and go back to overworking and worrying about everything.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:49 AM   #37
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I left the high stress full time gig and transitioned to a low stress part time gig. Did the part time work for three years until it was no longer fun. A benefit for the DW and me was it allowed us to have a solid understanding of our expenses after moving to FL. I started a budget and continue to update it each month. As others have said on this thread, a low stress gig is far better than enduring hell 40+ hours / week.
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:01 AM   #38
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This is me perfectly. Even when I try to back it down, knowing that I would be fine in terms of my stature in the org, I just can't seem to keep it up and go back to overworking and worrying about everything.
So not me!

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