Author Topic: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?  (Read 17421 times)

EconDiva

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #50 on: January 24, 2018, 10:34:20 AM »
I have. 

I remember having those same fears, too.  I was nowhere near FI/retirement, and even had a little debt. 

Life is too short to live it with constant anxiety, no sleep, and so on.  Just not worth it. 

If that's the only way you can reasonably enough survive, then sure, do that.  But if you can downgrade a lot of stress and gain your time back with some cash reduction, it may well be worth it. 

Tip: read YMOYL if you haven't yet.  Especially the part about figuring up your actual hourly rate.  Include all those hours you stress at home and can't sleep and so on.  Then see what you're "really" paid for.  And that doesn't even count the non-financial price you pay when you give up your mental health, your relationships, and your physical health.  You're probably not being paid as well as you think.

Regarding YMOYL....

...I had purchased this book several years ago and actually never read it.

I dug it out just 2 or 3 days ago!  I definitely have it as a "to do" item and plan on getting through a large portion of it starting this weekend.

EconDiva

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #51 on: January 24, 2018, 12:15:16 PM »
I wish I had the confidence to quit my job.  I'm scared that I wouldn't be able to find another job with a comparable salary, but what really frightens me is that I might take a lower paying job and end up hating it just as much.  Talk about a lose-lose scenario.

Itís all about risk management and priorities.

I was able to quit my super high paying job despite still having a ton of debt and no other job lined up because I knew my job market and I had been cultivating my network for over a year *just in case* the excessive stress at my job didnít ease up. It took one phone call and within two days I had my pick of the best un-listed positions in the city. Iím good at my job, but Iím better at networking.

Things were only supposed to be super high stress at my old job for 3 months, then go back to normal. I had no plans on leaving, I loved my job. However, the moment I stopped enjoying it, even temporarily, I started building a professional escape route of people who could help find me work if needed, just in case. 3 months turned into a year, and I was still committed, but that escape route was so well developed by then that when my boss crossed a line with me too far *once* I was able to quit that day. I had no plans to quit, but I was prepared to.

Iíve also researched and cultivated side hustles since I started my career. Some will pay off but only after a lot of research and effort. That said, my side hustles are all joy projects, so spending my free time on them feels no different than spending my free time here writing this post.

In contrast, a friend of mine is miserable at his job that heís been at for 20 years. Itís a technical job and the only thing heís trained to do. Heís closing in on 50, he has zero other skills, and his job pays quite well. He canít make a lateral move to another company for many reasons so heís stuck at his current company just being miserable.
He canít just quit, but heís also done *nothing* of substance to change his miserable life either because all he could see in front of him was pay cuts and no promises. Meanwhile I looked at him and said: ďdude, you could have learned a foreign language in that time and been paid more than double to do technical consulting overseasĒ and that was just one option off the top of my head that he could have done during his long daily commute to make himself more skilled and marketable.
Anyway, Iím pretty sure heís going to get fired, so the decision will be made for him soon.

Having good reasons not to quite is not the same as having an excuse to do nothing to change your life and career.

One of the best posts I've read in a minute...thanks for sharing.  That last sentence really drives home a VERY good/important point.

Now you've got me super curious (I can't be the only one wondering)...what did your boss do to "cross the line"?

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #52 on: January 24, 2018, 07:17:46 PM »
@EconDiva awesome.  If you don't tell anyone: I haven't finished it yet.  But the first part makes such a great point about actual hourly rates that it made an impression.  (Ditto the lifetime income piece.) 

SugarMountain

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #53 on: February 05, 2018, 01:00:05 PM »
I'm not speaking about those who were anywhere close to being FI either...as I'm not.

I feel like I always go through this cycle of wanting to try something different but never do.  Actually, its moreso a matter of having too much stress which comes in waves for me.  Sometimes I could go 4 months without it being "too bad"...other times it could be an entire 8 months of stress, night meetings and little sleep. 

I guess I'd just like to hear some stories of people who did it and why and how it worked it out.  Going through some major changes at work and hadn't slept most of the week due to anxiety about it.  Don't want to be a complainypants; just having one of those days but wondering more and more if it's all worth it.  I swear now I'm almost 40 it just really gets harder to do what I do; particularly because I do it only for the money and it's hard work for me because the skills I have to employ don't come naturally.

Anyways....any stories to share?

I have struggled with this to various degrees for many years.  I have a high paying job in middle management for a large software company. I'm one who has stuck it out and am now very close to FIRE.  Was it worth it?  I'm not sure.  I suppose I'll know after I'm FIRE'd.  This past year was brutal, but so far 2018 has not been bad, despite getting yet another new boss to break in.  If it stays this way, going another 6 months to a year shouldn't be too difficult.

On the comment that it's easier to go from $300k to 150k than $80k to 40k, I'm not sure I agree.  Many years ago I quit a decent paying software dev job with no job lined up.  But, I was fairly confident that even if I took a pay cut, I'd be able to get back to where I was.  If I were to quit my middle management job now with nothing lined up, I suspect I'd have a long row to hoe to even get another job, let alone work my way back up in terms of salary.  (See the thread on OMY hits the highest paid the hardest.) But maybe that's just my internal insecurity speaking and I would discover that I was even more successful in a new endeavor.

living small

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #54 on: February 05, 2018, 04:03:35 PM »
I am a health professional and have another thread that I started that sort of touches on this sort of sentiment. When you aren't FI but just aren't willing to keep on at the same thing much longer.

I have been very fortunate to have consistently made $150k + in my career. After a divorce, I found a job for half of my salary, but it was overseas and included massive perks like housing allowance, and lower taxable income. I took the job because I wanted to have a cool experience, that was definitely worth it. 

After that job, and after paying off massive student loan debt and heading steadily toward FI,  I have hit several walls. I have decided to work no more than five years in my current profession as my main source of income.

 I felt that setting this goal, wether I was FI or not, I was going to have a timeline/deadline that was tangible. After I made that decision, I made the decision to pursue several things that I am passionate about. Some of these can be monetized. I figured that I will put in the work to make these other projects monetizeable now. That way I have something that I am ready to step right into when I am finished with my official career-hopefully something that pays me back.

gobius

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #55 on: February 07, 2018, 10:53:59 AM »
I did.

I worked in the energy industry for just under a decade and was making around $90K when I left (in a low cost of living area; my salary was more than the value of my house).  My wife got a job in a higher COL area.  I decided it would be a good time to take some time off, since I was moving away from my job anyway.  I took 9 months and then decided I wanted to try carpentry.  I'm not overly good at building things, so trying carpentry was a good learning experience.  Did that for about 8 months and got a call from a headhunter about a job in my old industry nearby.  I took it, making less than I did at my previous high-paying job but more than as a carpenter.

I don't have a lot of hobbies, so my time off got boring.  It didn't help that it was a new area to me and my wife was away at work all day, plus I'm introverted and not part of a religious organization that I could join.  If I were to do it again I would make a point to find more stuff to do and/or wait until both my wife and I can leave.

When I first started in carpentry I started in framing houses.  I only lasted 2 weeks.  It wasn't the physical toll, but rather the guys I worked with, that led to me quitting.  I worked with 4 guys, and 2 of them were pure jackasses (one was the foreman).  That's an issue in the trades sometimes, and a family member (who has been in the trades for about 25 years) warned me about it.  I can handle people telling crude jokes or giving each other crap, or even having to pay my dues, but the level of disrespect was more than I was going to tolerate.  The place I worked for 8 months was much better.

FIRE Artist

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #56 on: February 10, 2018, 02:42:02 AM »
Not only did I do this as previously mentioned up thread,  but yesterday I turned down an offer for promotion to department Director. FU money and the finish line to FIRE in sight is awesome.

Sharkey

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #57 on: February 10, 2018, 04:37:59 AM »
Not only did I do this as previously mentioned up thread,  but yesterday I turned down an offer for promotion to department Director. FU money and the finish line to FIRE in sight is awesome.

Good move. Director looks like a ton of headaches and not much fun!

I left my second permanent job, which at the time my highest paying (and it wasn't badly paid, I was making at the time 24% more than I was 1.5 years before). Reason was a senior colleague took to shouting at me in public. Second time it happened I quit and was gone the next week. Took three months much-needed break and managed to get a higher paying job - and now well on the path to FIRE.

At the time I just had a decent emergency fund, really, but it was enough.

Nancy

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #58 on: February 10, 2018, 08:36:10 AM »
I did this! I switched careers and took a job paying 25% of my former salary. My story is not intended to be prescriptive since I donít think there is one right answer.

I worked in the same field for about a decade. Although I liked my organization and coworkers, the work and hours were not a match for me. There were three careers that interested me, all with extra degrees as barriers to entry, so I decided to take low paying jobs in the fields to see how I liked them before committing. Before making the switch, I meditated on my fears, which was integral to the success of my transition. I canít overstate that. I also had the benefit of a strong network in my previous field, my FI cushion, and very low expenses.

I absolutely LOVE my work now. I feel energized and alive when I'm there, and I'm happier in my day-to-day life. I work part-time, so Iím able to volunteer and focus on the things in life that matter to me.

Along the way, Iíve learned that Iím terrible at predicting what is going to happen in the future and how Iím going to feel about it when it does happen. When I left my former job, I had a plan that included working, getting degrees, and post degree jobs. I couldnít have understood back then that I would be quite happy and fulfilled in the lower paying job. I think Iíll get the degree and the professional job eventually because I truly enjoy the field, but maybe I wonít. Who can say?

I'm bare bones FI, but I'm still contributing to the stash and generally letting it coast. I rarely think about FI these days because I'm living my best life right now.

Rosy

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #59 on: February 12, 2018, 11:06:17 AM »
Yes - in my early forties I left corporate America (made just under $100K back in 1986). I loved my career before that, but during a restructuring of the company, it became clear to me that I didn't like the new direction and clashed with my new manager. Life at work became torture.
Never looked back - never regretted it.


Mika M

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #60 on: February 12, 2018, 11:34:47 AM »
I haven't... yet... I've been dying to for years (and fulfill my dream of moving out west), but keep talking myself into hanging in there at least a few more years because DH still doesn't seem to feel ready.

My job has it's stresses but it's relatively cush and easy for they pay (90+ for not doing any laywer-type craziness, I'm contractually prohibited from working beyond 40 hours a week so no insane hours, I've never had to do any overnight business travel, etc.) so I figured as long as I'm stuck here (in the DC area) I may as well keep trucking along in my cush easy job, piling up more toward our goal 'number'.

But every year it definitely gets harder and harder to talk myself into working a few more years especially as our net worth piles higher (about halfway to the top end of our goal, maybe 2/3 to our no-less-than number). Depending on my work circumstances, I may throw in the towel by the time kiddo finishes kindergarden (about 1.5 yrs from now) under the official excuse of being home when she gets outta school... whether we can move away or not...

MrMoneySaver

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #61 on: February 12, 2018, 01:31:43 PM »
Yes - in my early forties I left corporate America (made just under $100K back in 1986). I loved my career before that, but during a restructuring of the company, it became clear to me that I didn't like the new direction and clashed with my new manager. Life at work became torture.
Never looked back - never regretted it.

What did you end up doing?

begood

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #62 on: February 12, 2018, 02:52:40 PM »
My husband did this almost nine years ago at age 44, after 20 years with a multinational corporation. He liked the company and the work, but an opportunity came open at his high school alma mater and he went for it. Took a 2/3 salary cut, but the job came with housing and we eat dinner during the school year in the dining room at the school. We simplified our lives dramatically, moving from a 4200 s.f. Colonial to a 1300 s.f. farmhouse. We sold about half of our belongings when we moved and haven't missed ANY of it.

My husband walks to work and he hasn't missed one of our daughter's school performances, track meets, et cetera. We were nervous about making the leap, but it was a very soft landing in a community with very Mustachian principles overall, especially around materialism and simplicity.

EconDiva

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #63 on: December 10, 2019, 07:22:04 AM »
Update Dec 10, 2019:    Wow...this thread was started almost 2 years ago.  My, how time flies.  I am still at my current company fyi, and have since accepted a promotion in the same department I've been in for a while now.  Although it's nice to have the additional money, it has only increased my feelings of wanting to leave.  I think I am simply burnt out honestly.  On one hand I want to keep pushing because every year here would put me that much closer to FI (I'm not interested in RE).  Also, earlier this year I drained my 6 month emergency fund to pay off some old IRS stuff so it's not like I can just jump ship right now honestly.  I hope I can take some time during the upcoming holidays to think through all of this.  It's funny how certain "golden handcuff" scenarios make it so much harder to consider changing employment situations; since my original post we've been given 3 additional holidays for the year, I've gotten a promotion that has increased my salary ~20% or so, I have now been given restricted stock units (of course they take 3 years to vest), and this year I've gotten around 5 or so small unexpected bonuses here and there that I never used to get. 

Anyways, I'm very interested to hear from those who posted in this thread originally who were contemplating on a change.  Have you taken the jump yet?  How are things?  Updates from those who originally leave and take a pay cut - are things still peachy on your end? 

bridget

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #64 on: December 10, 2019, 01:26:10 PM »
"Coast FIRE" sounds like what I call "hobby job time," as in I can spend the rest of my life doing low-paying fun jobs that just cover expenses without adding to savings (just letting them grow without drawing down).  My hobby job/Coast FIRE number is $1M, and my true FIRE number is $2M ($1M will eventually become $2M if left alone long enough). 

I just updated my forecasting spreadsheet today.  If I stay at my high-paying but stressful job until ~Feb 2020, I will have hit the $1M number and will quit it then to take subsistence jobs and coast until $2M.

That seems like such a high coast number. (High FI number, also.) Is it just you, or is that counting a significant other also?

Counting a significant other also. We live in a high cost of living city that we love, and would like the option to stay here long term. I also make enough money that ďone more yearĒ makes a humongous difference, and Iím willing to do that in exchange for not having to be very focused on keeping costs down for the rest of my life (I can and have lived on low incomes before - it just takes more focus and energy than I can commit to for the rest of my life).

Thanks for calling us back, EconDiva! I had forgotten I ever wrote this. Fast forwarding to today:

- Divorced the significant other
- Quit my very high paying big law job ($305k plus $90k annual bonus) in June
- Taking a six month sabbatical to travel, regroup, and work on some personal goals
- Iím starting a new job at a boutique firm in January; it pays well but not as well as my previous job so Iím downshifting on the savings
- Stash currently around $550k, after no paychecks and lots of travel expenses for 6 mos and everything the ex took

All in all, Iím really happy with my life and decisions and that Iím not grinding away in either an unhappy marriage or unhappy job anymore.

McStache

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #65 on: December 10, 2019, 06:32:14 PM »
I am in the middle of doing this right now (at least on a small scale).  I'm taking about a $20K pay cut in exchange for a better work life balance, more opportunity for learning, and work that I find more in line with my values.  My net worth is $300K, which I figure to be at about my Coast FI number.  I'll still be able to save quite a bit in this new position, but definitely less than I would have had I stayed where I was.

As I see it (or am continuing to try to convince myself), what's the point of saving all this money if I don't use it to take chances on interesting opportunities when they come my way?

I'm still at the pay cut job and largely loving it.  I'm still able to stash away a healthy chunk each year and my work life balance is so much better.  I'm getting my masters part time on top of work and I still feel like I'm working less overall than my old job... Sometimes I toy around with the idea of dropping to part time or taking a sabbatical - that's probably next, but not for another couple years.

My net worth is now sitting at about $425, though it feels like the markets have more influence than I do these days.

RobertFromTX

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #66 on: December 10, 2019, 08:13:57 PM »
I left a job as a commercial banker that was paying ~100k but included lots of driving, weekend emails, and just wasn't stimulating anymore. I left to become a work-from-home software developer making $85k. Savings rate dropped from 76% to 70% lol. I was about 90% to FI when I made the change, and being in that financial position made it very very easy to do because I'll be 100% FI soon anyways and don't plan to retire immediately.

imolina

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #67 on: December 10, 2019, 08:26:45 PM »
I left a job as a commercial banker that was paying ~100k but included lots of driving, weekend emails, and just wasn't stimulating anymore. I left to become a work-from-home software developer making $85k. Savings rate dropped from 76% to 70% lol. I was about 90% to FI when I made the change, and being in that financial position made it very very easy to do because I'll be 100% FI soon anyways and don't plan to retire immediately.

How did you make the switch to software developer?. I did some software developing in my early career but now I work in the oil and gas industry. I am thinking in pursuing a different job and software developer is interesting to me.

Freedomin5

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #68 on: December 11, 2019, 02:05:56 AM »
I donít know if I posted in 2018, but I also left my high paying job. Full-time salary would have been $450k per year. First I downshifted to part-time, and when that still didnít help, I found a different job. Pay plus benefits is now worth around $250k. Given that Iím at a lower paying job but not technically at a low paying job, we are still saving a healthy chunk of money, but our work-life balance and quality of life is MUCH better now.

TVRodriguez

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #69 on: December 11, 2019, 08:45:37 AM »
I didn't reply to the original post in 2018, but I left higher paying jobs for lower paying jobs a couple of times.  The first time was to switch my area of practice (I practice law) b/c I hated litigation.  The second time was to get out of a big regional law firm to start my own practice.  Both times it was the right choice for me, even though the paycut was noticeable (most noticeable in the savings rate).

mozar

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #70 on: December 17, 2019, 07:19:53 PM »
I was fired from my high paying job in march 2018. I was a federal auditor. I knew it wasn't the career for me though I did it for ten years.

 I hung out at home for a year and a half, while taking care of a lot of medical issues.  I decided to try carpentry so I remodeled my kitchen by myself then used the pictures instead of a resume. I am into my second week as a professional carpenter. it is physically hard, but a bad day at work as a carpenter is still a better day than my best day as an auditor. It's weird going from 93k to 33k a year, but I'm so much happier.  I can't imagine having to sit in front of a computer all day again or deal with office politics. They're already talking about making me a lead and I could get to a 60k salary in a few years. My nest egg is currently 174k. It will be more like a slow walk to FIRE rather than a sprint. But I'm appreciating being happy now rather than later.

HBFIRE

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #71 on: December 17, 2019, 10:05:21 PM »
I did, to start a business.  It was actually a great high paying/low stress job relatively speaking, I probably put in around 30 min/day of real work there.  Absolutely no regrets, life is better in every way.  In fact I occasionally have nightmares about having to go back to work for someone else again.

Jonboyz

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #72 on: December 25, 2019, 03:27:59 PM »
I think I maybe should have titled my thread "how many of you actually left a high paying job for a much lower paying job prior to FI?" 

But then I imagine there would be much debate over what people consider "a high versus a low paying job" of course.

Going from $300k/yr to $150k/yr is not as hard as going from $80k/yr to $40k/yr I would think, even though in both examples the newer salary is half of the original salary.  Not sure how much others agree.

I quit a six-figure salary as a physician 10yrs ago at the age of 38yo, to start a solo practice as a careers coach earning only about $5000 p.a. This was intentional as I wanted to keep my fees as low as possible to aid similar mid-career changers. I then changed to full-time novelist 2yrs ago.

My wife earns over $350,000 p.a. now. We graduated medical school in the same year and I would be earning her equivalent if Iíd stayed in medicine, so I definitely gave up on a decent salary by leaving medical practice.

TBH, it was far easier to leave knowing that my DW earned more than enough money for us to FIRE by the age of 47yo.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2019, 03:34:58 PM by Jonboyz »

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #73 on: December 26, 2019, 03:23:33 PM »
My tangentially related response...

I make a lot ($600k+) & was incredibly burned out. I thought of full on quitting, but decided to take a sabbatical this year. I took 4 months off (mostly unpaid). It was glorious. I decided to come back (to a promotion), because the money is so great, and the promotion actually solved a few other issues. It's not perfect, but I'm able to make so much right now, that I'm planning to achieve a few big financial milestones, and then I can do whatever I want in the future. Basically, a few more years at this job is like 6-10 years at another job, so I decided to stay in & see what happens.

Is a sabbatical or extended break an option for you?

FIRE Artist

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #74 on: February 11, 2020, 12:30:34 PM »
I ended up changing jobs in my organization - same job title, but closer to the front line and no need for travel.  The job is the best job I have ever had for work life, autonomy and overall satisfaction.  The only hitch (there is always a hitch), is that it is a 3 year temporary term based on funding which is expected to run out sometime in Q2 2021. 

I am a mere 16K away from hitting my ďnumberĒ, but now would like to pay off the mortgage before going full FIRE (yes, I understand the math behind not paying off your mortgage, but I would rather be sequence of return risk proof in this political climate).  It makes me sad to think that this job will end, but I am sure everything will be alright.  I told my manager that I would accept a part time position when my job is done if they can scrape together the money for it, could be a win win situation all around.  She seemed excited about that possibility, so I can trust her to at least bring it up for consideration. 

Rubyvroom

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #75 on: February 14, 2020, 04:35:49 PM »
I quit my high paying job shortly after a promotion and major sweeping changes to the C-Suite took its toll. One night after a very bad work trip plus a full day in the office on very little sleep, I just had a bit of a break down at home and decided it wasn't worth it. I ended up freelancing and I make more hourly but I earn less overall after buying my own health care, losing paid vacation etc. I spent a lot of time thinking about the money I could have made and thinking that I should have stuck it out until we hit our number, but I'm currently coming off a 6 week "break" and I'm actually excited to go back to work for this next client. I don't remember another time in my life that I was actually excited for work... so I think it was worth the $. We are about 2/3 of the way to FI, so definitely not there yet, but comfortable enough to make these kinds of decisions without major repercussions.

Thanks for reviving this thread - it was interesting to read about everyone's different paths.

Gray Matter

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #76 on: February 15, 2020, 05:45:38 AM »
I left a relatively high paying corporate job about five years ago and took a ~50% pay cut to run a non-profit.  I was feeling so burned out in my corporate job, going to work every day to do work that just didn't make my heart sing, helping the rich get richer.  The non-profit was in a completely different field and that felt amazing, to be doing work that really makes a difference in the world.  It felt like coming home and I had found my peeps.

And...running a non-profit is incredibly stressful.  Your work is never done.  In my corporate job, that was true, too, but there were so many more resources, and I could tell myself that they'd gotten their money's worth out of me and draw the line there.  But in the non-profit, because I cared so deeply about the mission, I wanted to do more and more and more.  And, as an executive director, a lot of what you're doing parallels corporate work--strategic planning, board management, fundraising.  So, while I found the work very meaningful, I also found it stressful.  It was a very hard decision, but ultimately after three years I decided I didn't want to run an organization, I wanted to do "front-line" work.

In this line of work, front line work requires retraining, so I went back to school and am working on a doctorate.  I will be 52 when I graduate.  My career trajectory has clearly not been fueled by smart financial decisions over the past five years, because after being out of the labor market for 5 years to get this doctorate, and spending 100K on it, I will make less money even than I made running the non-profit.  But I made the decision five years ago that my career, and my life, was not about the money and that it never would be again. 

And I couldn't be happier.  That is true despite the fact that doctoral programs sometimes feel like one long hazing designed to break you.  Despite that, I still love it.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #77 on: February 15, 2020, 06:16:27 AM »
I consciously reduced my hours by about 15% these past few months, which reduced my gross pay by about 10%, and my net pay by 5%. It was well worth it.

(Gross pay didn't reduce by the same amount as my hours reduced, since allocating fewer work hours allowed me to be pickier about the work I was choosing to do.)

LateToTheParty

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #78 on: February 15, 2020, 12:23:26 PM »
My downshift to direct contributor role 2 years ago has been glorious. And I have not felt any pay reduction at all, as there were some pay bumps that happened the same time as my downshift due to union-bargained raises.
The run-up in equities has also been amazing during this time.
We have nearly reached our FIRE number, and are contemplating pulling the lever next year.
My dilemma now:  do I stay 7 additional years for the full retirement benefits OR do say ďscrew itĒ and be done already?  I may have the opportunity to downshift to 36 hrs/wk soon, which would be nice.

DH will FIRE next year, regardless. I am the one with the primo benefits and golden handcuffs.

ItsALongStory

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #79 on: February 16, 2020, 04:20:58 PM »
I am somewhat in a similar situation, I work in entry level management in tech. My wife has a generous government pension that is cost of living adjusted with a pre-determined ~3% raise annually. This retirement income covers 110-120% of projected expenses in our target location of Portugal or Spain. The liquid stash we have currently is right around $500k, money that in theory we would never need to touch.

As I don't qualify for survivor benefits from my wife's pension, I want to ensure that the liquid stash can keep me afloat should she pass (she is significantly older than me) or we separate. It's a bit morbid but something that needs to be considered in these long term plans.

I am currently seeking an internal transfer from the US to our target location in a similar role, but understand that in all likelihood I will be taking a 40-50% pay cut due to lower pay scales and differences in tax rates. Provided I can put away 100% of that net income (pension covers 100% of living expenses anyway) I feel comfortable pulling the plug in 2.5 to 3.5 years. At that point we will be slow traveling through Europe but realistically end back up in the US at some point due to family.

As we have talked about this plan with friends and family, I'm looking at it more as a career break vs true 'RE' as I am expecting to 'work' again later in life or even continue to work part time come 2022-2023.

We shall see, I suppose.

wildatheart

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Re: How many of you have actually left a high paying job prior to FI?
« Reply #80 on: February 17, 2020, 12:22:08 PM »
I haven't done it yet, but I'm about to next month. my FIRE is 3/19.
Early 50s and make >$300k but I have HAD IT!
We'll struggle in the beginning to get our costs down to a Mustachian standard of spending, but all great lessons involve a little struggle. It will be WAY less than the sh!tshow of my current work.
I'm going to spend the summer getting a vacation rental ready for occupancy and relaxing, spending time with my kids and continuing my path to better fitness.

The cost to my soul to listen to a bunch of OWG chatter about EBITDA and forecasts for every hour until FIRE is enormous.

Folks have told me to "Stay until they fire me <you>". But I just can't do that - not in my makeup. I know the OWG don't care, but I do. Besides, it will be more fun to just walk away from it all on my terms.

Thanks for all the inspiration all you Moustachians!