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View Poll Results: Which would you take?
High stress job and retire at age 51 18 23.38%
Low stress job and retire at age 55 59 76.62%
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Poll: 7 more years at high stress job, or 11 years lower stress?
Old 10-18-2018, 08:15 PM   #1
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Poll: 7 more years at high stress job, or 11 years lower stress?

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?
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Old 10-18-2018, 10:23 PM   #2
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I made a version of that choice, by dropping down to part time at age 46, and working until 55.
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Old 10-18-2018, 10:48 PM   #3
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If you have the high stress job you might not make it to 55...
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:02 PM   #4
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I hope this is purely hypothetical. Often a low stress job will turn to high stress without the added compensation.
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Old 10-19-2018, 04:09 AM   #5
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Talk about a Sophie's Choice!
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Old 10-19-2018, 04:24 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:02 AM   #7
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Perspective - after becoming FI, my work stress level has been dropping.

Go ahead and fire me - make my day.

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Old 10-19-2018, 05:06 AM   #8
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Did have a high stress job, but enjoyed the job overall. Would have retired though in hindsight at 51 if I could have.
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:27 AM   #9
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With no other info - switch. Assuming High Stress is beyond the norm.

If we're talking 50+ hour weeks, often calls on weekends and nights, pushy bosh, unrealistic goals... that's everywhere and the grass will not usually be greener.

If we're talking 60+, weekends in office, screaming matches, then that's high stress and you should find something else.

7 and 11 are both a long time. I'd take the 11 and see if I could get creative to make it 9, or take the 11, do it for a year, and then start shopping for a higher salary again.
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Old 10-19-2018, 05:33 AM   #10
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I can't say what you should do but that is actually the choice I had. I spent the last 6 years in a low stress job working from home. Loved it. FIRED at 53. I actually worked longer in the low stress job than I had planned. I enjoyed it and was not in a rush to FIRE.
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Old 10-19-2018, 06:10 AM   #11
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Tough choice. I voted (with many others I see) for the low stress route but it is rarely a clear choice. You could easily make the switch only to get a new boss who turns the low stress job into a nightmare. But, if you understand the jobs, and all signs point to a better fit with the slower path I still say go for it.
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Too much stress and I'd be writing this from the psych ward
Old 10-19-2018, 06:34 AM   #12
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Too much stress and I'd be writing this from the psych ward

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.
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:04 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by flintnational View Post
I can't say what you should do but that is actually the choice I had. I spent the last 6 years in a low stress job working from home. Loved it. FIRED at 53. I actually worked longer in the low stress job than I had planned. I enjoyed it and was not in a rush to FIRE.
I got to work at home most of the time in my working career, maybe thatís why I didnít find most of jobs stressful, until the last 5 years. It was very trying in the last 5 years because I had to get up early, like 5AM to commute.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:02 AM   #14
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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.
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Old 10-20-2018, 12:55 PM   #15
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Many great points made!
Regarding stress level of the job, DH often ends his weeks looking like a guy who just got discharged from the hospital from having a heart attack. The money and perks are good, but money is worthless if you are dead, so we're exploring other options. That could be a different job, or find ways to make the current job more bearable and also find ways to make the time we aren't at work more enjoyable.
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Old 10-20-2018, 01:14 PM   #16
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My only regret is that I didn't pull the plug at 55 vs 59. Your results may vary.
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Old 10-20-2018, 01:27 PM   #17
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Agree with many others here, take the low stress option. Stress will kill you, slowly or all of a sudden.
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Old 10-20-2018, 01:37 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by foxfirev5 View Post
My only regret is that I didn't pull the plug at 55 vs 59. Your results may vary.
I forgot to add, regardless of the job....
You may read otherwise but a few years working don't mean that much, if you've been LBYM.
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Old 10-21-2018, 08:03 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atmsmshr View Post
Perspective - after becoming FI, my work stress level has been dropping.

I'm in this same situation. Being FI is great and you know you don't have to take any BS from the boss.
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:49 AM   #20
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I could answer the question better if I knew your personal longevity score....
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