Author Topic: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?  (Read 1781 times)

nyfireguy

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Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« on: April 29, 2019, 09:51:11 AM »
Wondering how many folks, if any have just taken 6-12 months off from work, if they quit, took a leave etc

I'm pretty miserable at my job and outside of health insurance which concerns me, think I could FIRE.

With that said, I am also not sure I am ready to not work but thinking maybe I just need some time off or a reset. This past year has been a tough one for me and given my company has zero respect for the right people in the organization and although make a great product the management overall is horrendous.

I thought I secured a new position elsewhere which ended up not coming to fruition so just thinking of leaving the current situation. Not really expecting anyone to have an answer but figured maybe others have been in the situation and have some thoughts or advice

iris lily

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2019, 09:54:48 AM »
So, your workplace supports formal leaves of absences? Interesting.

nyfireguy

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2019, 09:56:41 AM »
So, your workplace supports formal leaves of absences? Interesting.

No.. they did, apparently I just found out they stopped and I could possible take a leave under family leave act but would need to do more research on that as I don't think it would apply

Cassie

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2019, 09:58:02 AM »
I never had the opportunity to do that.  I donít think you will qualify under the family leave act unless you have a sick relative to care for.

iris lily

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2019, 10:05:12 AM »
So, your workplace supports formal leaves of absences? Interesting.

No.. they did, apparently I just found out they stopped and I could possible take a leave under family leave act but would need to do more research on that as I don't think it would apply
FMLA is about a health condition for you or a member of your immediate family.

While it is fine to wonder aloud about options, playing devilís advocate here:  I wonder why your employer should go to all the trouble of granting you leave of  absence, finding someone to do your work, training that person, and then welcoming you back on board with open arms.

What is in it for your employer?

nyfireguy

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2019, 10:05:48 AM »
I never had the opportunity to do that.  I donít think you will qualify under the family leave act unless you have a sick relative to care for.

Yeah I think so too.. so it would mean just quitting; not sure if that's a smart move from a career standpoint but realistically it's just a job and even if I quit I believe I can still get overpriced COBRA for a while

Padonak

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2019, 10:06:19 AM »
Yes, you have to have a sick relative under ny family leave. Also,  the max pay is something like 650 per week if I remember correctly.

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MonkeyJenga

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2019, 10:12:28 AM »
I never had the opportunity to do that.  I don’t think you will qualify under the family leave act unless you have a sick relative to care for.

Yeah I think so too.. so it would mean just quitting; not sure if that's a smart move from a career standpoint but realistically it's just a job and even if I quit I believe I can still get overpriced COBRA for a while

How much income do your taxable investments throw off? If it's low enough, you can go on Medicaid expansion.

I took half a year off, and that's what I did.

nyfireguy

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2019, 10:22:03 AM »
I never had the opportunity to do that.  I donít think you will qualify under the family leave act unless you have a sick relative to care for.

Yeah I think so too.. so it would mean just quitting; not sure if that's a smart move from a career standpoint but realistically it's just a job and even if I quit I believe I can still get overpriced COBRA for a while

How much income do your taxable investments throw off? If it's low enough, you can go on Medicaid expansion.

I took half a year off, and that's what I did.

Hmm from my 2018 return looks like 37K was taxable income from investments

and 6 months, maybe 12 sounds great
« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 10:27:31 AM by nyfireguy »

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2019, 10:51:50 AM »
I never had the opportunity to do that.  I donít think you will qualify under the family leave act unless you have a sick relative to care for.

Yeah I think so too.. so it would mean just quitting; not sure if that's a smart move from a career standpoint but realistically it's just a job and even if I quit I believe I can still get overpriced COBRA for a while

How much income do your taxable investments throw off? If it's low enough, you can go on Medicaid expansion.

I took half a year off, and that's what I did.

Hmm from my 2018 return looks like 37K was taxable income from investments

and 6 months, maybe 12 sounds great

Ok, you're well outside of Medicaid range then. Upside is you probably have a lot more money than I do! Way too much money to justify staying in a job that makes you miserable.

Assuming COBRA premiums and full deductible spending, how many years of expenses do you have saved up?

My half year off, I didn't mind my job that much, but I had Things I wanted to do. I didn't need a lot of recovery time. My next job, though, ruined my mental and physical health. I'm now 3 months into my year-long break from that, and I expect to need the full year to get any excitement back for working again.

iris lily

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2019, 11:00:29 AM »
Dude, there is something besides the low of
Medicaid and the high of COBRA.

Look into an ACA policy. That was a sweet deal for us low income/ high assets people.

We dis pay COBRA for 18 months for  a silly reason, but
I just wanted out of work and did not want to confront the silliness.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2019, 11:09:23 AM »
You'll probably be out of ACA subsidy range for this year, given the investment income and job income, but definitely worth checking if it's cheaper than COBRA for you, even without subsidies. And next year you should qualify for subsidies.

nyfireguy

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2019, 11:13:20 AM »


Ok, you're well outside of Medicaid range then. Upside is you probably have a lot more money than I do! Way too much money to justify staying in a job that makes you miserable.

Assuming COBRA premiums and full deductible spending, how many years of expenses do you have saved up?

My half year off, I didn't mind my job that much, but I had Things I wanted to do. I didn't need a lot of recovery time. My next job, though, ruined my mental and physical health. I'm now 3 months into my year-long break from that, and I expect to need the full year to get any excitement back for working again.

Yeah I'd be fine to FIRE now or very soon outside of the healthy insurance concerns..


Dude, there is something besides the low of
Medicaid and the high of COBRA.

Look into an ACA policy. That was a sweet deal for us low income/ high assets people.

We dis pay COBRA for 18 months for  a silly reason, but
I just wanted out of work and did not want to confront the silliness.

I am thinking of just paying COBRA for some time. I looked in ACA and because of last years income, right now there is less then $150 difference a month from COBRA for a significantly lesser policy (like going Gold or Platinum to Bronze).

Lnspilot

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2019, 07:40:43 AM »
Like you, OP, I was miserable at work. Burnt out. I tried to take a personal LOA but my company didn't approve it. I quit with 1.25m invested, and took a year and a half off. I was on COBRA for the first two months before I got on the ACA.

The first 12 months were fantastic, and a welcome break. I'm very happy I didn't have paid work for a little while, but like you again, I'm not done with it forever. However, eventually the lack of structure in my life was becoming an issue and somehow I convinced myself that I should go back to the job I left.

That decision has been the biggest mistake I've made in ten years.

I should have taken more of a risk and pursued something more meaningful, or something that brought actual satisfaction regardless of the pay. There are countless things I could have done, besides take the easy, unfulfilling way out.

Best of luck to ya.

chasesfish

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2019, 12:18:23 PM »
I quit and enrolled in COBRA.  I'm FI and its early retirement.  I won't go back to work for those folks if I ever re-enter the workforce.

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2019, 05:26:01 PM »
I started a leave of absence about 2 weeks ago, and consider myself semi-FIREd.  I have some options open to go back to work for MegaCorp, or I could do some consulting.  That was the plan, but after the past 2 weeks I am really feeling like never going back to an office (or any other paid work) ever again. 

It sounds like you're close enough that you can shift your mindset to prioritize living for today.  If you find FIRE doesn't suit you, or you don't have enough, you'll find a way to make the small amount you need to get there.  And if you do find you like it as much as I do, you'll find a way to live on what you have. 

CindyBS

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2019, 06:20:16 PM »
I went on unpaid leave for a year at my job when my son got sick.   I had a job with a union at the time and that was part of the contract.  When the year was up I quit because I wasn't ready to go back.

If you are going to do FMLA, you need to have a qualifying disability or have a family member with a qualifying health condition. You may be able to use it if you have a mental illness like depression or anxiety - a lot of that depends on what your therapist or psychologist is willing to sign off on.

I know 2 people who took a hiatus from work to care for sick kids, and because there is no paid parental leave in this country ('Merica!), they did it as short term disability for a mental illness.  Neither one actually needed the break, but they did both have diagnosed anxiety beforehand. 

A lot of this depends on what a Dr. or psychologist will sign off on, and where you draw the line ethically. 

nyfireguy

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2019, 12:50:00 PM »
Thanks for everyone that was adding comments.. I hadn't been on for a bit as I was actually dealing with this. Although I could have pursued the FMLA and have some stuff to deal with on that end (medical stuff), I actually ended up resigning with the agreement of a couple of things like being paid til months end etc.

Not sure what's next as I already have had a few calls about jobs but thinking I may just want to take a few months or til 2020 off like some of you who responded. Of course looking at the markets the last week with all the China trade deal stuff dragging it down is concerning but hopefully it will all bounce back and I will too :)

For those of you that did take time off or didn't go back, just curious what did you do with your new found time?

FIRE 20/20

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2019, 01:04:33 PM »
For those of you that did take time off or didn't go back, just curious what did you do with your new found time?

I'm only 2 weeks in, but I've done a bit of traveling, started to re-learn piano, read 2 books, had family come through on a visit, increased my workouts, cooked a few new recipes, spent time with my partner discussing how gobsmacked we are that we are actually not going to work, cleaned the house, slept in, played a few video games, grilled lunch on a weekday, and a few other things I'm sure I forgot. 
I haven't gotten to re-learning a second language, studying music theory, finding new hiking trails, and I haven't gotten back into juggling - but those things will come.  The most frustrating thing about FIRE so far is that I still don't have nearly enough time in the day to do everything I want to do. 

nyfireguy

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2019, 01:08:11 PM »
For those of you that did take time off or didn't go back, just curious what did you do with your new found time?

I'm only 2 weeks in, but I've done a bit of traveling, started to re-learn piano, read 2 books, had family come through on a visit, increased my workouts, cooked a few new recipes, spent time with my partner discussing how gobsmacked we are that we are actually not going to work, cleaned the house, slept in, played a few video games, grilled lunch on a weekday, and a few other things I'm sure I forgot. 
I haven't gotten to re-learning a second language, studying music theory, finding new hiking trails, and I haven't gotten back into juggling - but those things will come.  The most frustrating thing about FIRE so far is that I still don't have nearly enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

Damn FIRE 20/20.. that's a lot in 2 weeks.. Well I am doing some traveling this/next week and have some stuff to do around home so that will take some time as I also will listen to what these companies have to say in regards to the calls I am getting.. Outside of that if I decide to not go back to work for a while or ever to the type of work I was doing then thinking maybe go spend a few months in Asia and traveling..  My only real concern right now is still healthcare. For now I will take COBRA and then???


nyfireguy

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2019, 01:12:48 PM »
Like you, OP, I was miserable at work. Burnt out. I tried to take a personal LOA but my company didn't approve it. I quit with 1.25m invested, and took a year and a half off. I was on COBRA for the first two months before I got on the ACA.

The first 12 months were fantastic, and a welcome break. I'm very happy I didn't have paid work for a little while, but like you again, I'm not done with it forever. However, eventually the lack of structure in my life was becoming an issue and somehow I convinced myself that I should go back to the job I left.

That decision has been the biggest mistake I've made in ten years.

I should have taken more of a risk and pursued something more meaningful, or something that brought actual satisfaction regardless of the pay. There are countless things I could have done, besides take the easy, unfulfilling way out.

Best of luck to ya.

Thanks.. I would never go back that's sort of how I got where I am but it's a little more complicated. Why don't you just leave again?

Lnspilot

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2019, 01:19:47 PM »
I intend to! My last day will be the 1st of July :)

Enigma

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2019, 01:32:24 PM »
Start off taking a nice vacation of a couple of weeks.  Even if it ends up becoming Leave WithOut Pay (LWOP).  When you get back things might seem better and the small things may not stress you out as much.  If the situation just gets worse over time maybe start taking more sick days until you decide the place isnt for you.

nyfireguy

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2019, 01:56:10 PM »
I intend to! My last day will be the 1st of July :)

Nice!!


Start off taking a nice vacation of a couple of weeks.  Even if it ends up becoming Leave WithOut Pay (LWOP).  When you get back things might seem better and the small things may not stress you out as much.  If the situation just gets worse over time maybe start taking more sick days until you decide the place isnt for you.

Too late for me as I said above, I left

Lnspilot

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2019, 02:31:46 PM »

thinking maybe go spend a few months in Asia and traveling..  My only real concern right now is still healthcare. For now I will take COBRA and then???



If you are staying in one state for most of your time off work, then look into the ACA like a few folks have suggested. I was on it for most of my 547 days off. Just make sure you have an accurate idea of your MAGI. If you estimate too low, you'll have to repay (could be a bad surprise - look into the repayment schedule for your filing status). If you overestimate your income, you'll simply get some money back. 

As for your international trip, check out a policy from world nomads. I've used them as well. All quite doable.

nyfireguy

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2019, 03:16:15 PM »

thinking maybe go spend a few months in Asia and traveling..  My only real concern right now is still healthcare. For now I will take COBRA and then???



If you are staying in one state for most of your time off work, then look into the ACA like a few folks have suggested. I was on it for most of my 547 days off. Just make sure you have an accurate idea of your MAGI. If you estimate too low, you'll have to repay (could be a bad surprise - look into the repayment schedule for your filing status). If you overestimate your income, you'll simply get some money back. 

As for your international trip, check out a policy from world nomads. I've used them as well. All quite doable.

Thanks I have used nomads as well works great..  As for ACA for 2019 I need to see what MAGI is but believe I'd get better benefits for about the same $$ because my income from last year and so far this year won't qualify for low monthly insurance. My current coverage is the equivalent or close to a gold plan and what I am seeing on the market place is over $800 a month for a silver plan and over $600 for bronze

Lnspilot

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2019, 07:56:14 AM »
Geez, that's expensive!

I'm also over the 400% FPL for the year and am looking into other options for the remainder of the year. I didn't even know Short-Term health insurance existed, and I'm thinking it could be the right thing for me. I don't ever utilize the insurance anyway and just need something for a possible catastrophic scenario.

Have you looked into it at all?

https://www.ehealthinsurance.com/short-term-health-insurance/what-is-short-term-health-insurance

nyfireguy

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2019, 04:09:27 PM »
Geez, that's expensive!

I'm also over the 400% FPL for the year and am looking into other options for the remainder of the year. I didn't even know Short-Term health insurance existed, and I'm thinking it could be the right thing for me. I don't ever utilize the insurance anyway and just need something for a possible catastrophic scenario.

Have you looked into it at all?

https://www.ehealthinsurance.com/short-term-health-insurance/what-is-short-term-health-insurance


I haven't but will read through it

frugaldrummer

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2019, 11:41:29 AM »
You get what you pay for. Short term health insurance won't cover pre-existing conditions (and believe me, insurers can claim almost anything is pre-existing) and lack other very important protections included in the ACA such as no cap (probably the most important feature for someone who is FIREd, as it guarantees you won't run out of insurance coverage if you need catastrophic care such as a heart transplant; otherwise you'd have to spend your life savings on your illness and have nothing left to live on when you recover).

If you're in good health and don't need to see the doctor often get a bronze plan with an HSA and fund the HSA every year. The HSA is a great savings vehicle anyway. Once you have an individual plan, so long as you don't have any lapses in coverage you'll be safe.

Hopefully Medicare for all or at least a public option will come along in a few years and we can bring healthcare costs down by half to what other first world countries pay. But don't leave yourself vulnerable with any of the bullshit products out there. Remember that healthcare is the number one cause of bankruptcy.

nyfireguy

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Re: Leave of Absence, Quit, etc; thoughts?
« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2019, 07:59:21 AM »
You get what you pay for. Short term health insurance won't cover pre-existing conditions (and believe me, insurers can claim almost anything is pre-existing) and lack other very important protections included in the ACA such as no cap (probably the most important feature for someone who is FIREd, as it guarantees you won't run out of insurance coverage if you need catastrophic care such as a heart transplant; otherwise you'd have to spend your life savings on your illness and have nothing left to live on when you recover).

If you're in good health and don't need to see the doctor often get a bronze plan with an HSA and fund the HSA every year. The HSA is a great savings vehicle anyway. Once you have an individual plan, so long as you don't have any lapses in coverage you'll be safe.

Hopefully Medicare for all or at least a public option will come along in a few years and we can bring healthcare costs down by half to what other first world countries pay. But don't leave yourself vulnerable with any of the bullshit products out there. Remember that healthcare is the number one cause of bankruptcy.

I think this sums up or validates most of my concerns.. Yes short term is out.. And I have some medical issues so not sure Bronze is a good plan currently. Going to do COBRA for now since it seems to make the most sense while I decide how long I will take off or, if I go back to work at all in the current type of capacity