Great to hear from so many mustachian attorneys. I'll add my situation. Would really appreciate any thoughts/advice on this...
Career: State government attorney in Pennsylvania. Salary is 70k. Awesome benefits and work-life balance (8:30-5, vested pension, low stress). Graduated in 2012 from Penn State Law (Tier 1 but ranked in the 50’s) and finished exactly one spot away from the top 1/3 of my class (really annoying for resume purposes as “Top 35%” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it).
Life: I’m 31, Worked through law school so loans were kept to “only” 60k, all federal. I’m banking on PSLF in eight years, keeping monthly payments down through tax-deferred retirement savings. Hate nursing that debt, but I see no other route given that my wife stays home with our 1.5-year-old. Second kid is on the way. Not ideal, but it's important to us and we make it work. Actually we both feel that we live quite luxuriously—I’ve been a devout mustachian since discovering MMM a few years ago (felt like I was reading my own conscience). Doing everything I can to keep costs down as a single-income family (commute by bike year-round, plow savings into IRAs and my 457b, DIY everything, buy nothing but essentials, etc.)
Issue: My wife and I are desperate to relocate to a warmer, happier place, and to retire early. To do this, I realize I am going to need a higher salary. And maybe...shudder...take another bar exam. The problem is my government experience has not generated any interest from the countless employers to which I’ve applied.
Bottom line is I am constantly torn between two conflicting sentiments: avoiding complacency vs. appreciating what we have. On the one hand I feel extremely lucky to have a decent job, a happy/healthy family, a nice little house, healthy food, etc., but on the other hand I feel the need to optimize everything—to find a more challenging, higher-paying job, to increase my savings rate by way of a higher income, to relocate to a better climate where my family can enjoy the outdoors year-round, and to find a community where we can plant our roots and get involved.
Is it possible for me to land a better-paying job, in a warmer, more mustachian area, with the above credentials? Has anyone here done so with a similar background? If so, please tell me there's hope. Or should I just be happy to be where I am and make the most of it by continuing to work hard, network a bit, and focus on my family?
My thanks to anyone who has read this far. I would be incredibly grateful for any words of wisdom you may have. (Or, if any of you are in a position of influence and your company is looking for a badass mustachian attorney, feel free to PM me!)