Author Topic: Walking away and freaking out  (Read 4570 times)

mmmdelight

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Walking away and freaking out
« on: May 01, 2020, 04:22:10 PM »
Hello hello.. I've been lurking for a while and am ready to walk away from my high paid job forever.. but given the current crisis... I am having doubts

Situation: super burned out.. for years.. but they paid me a lot of money (>400K/year).. hit my number and planned to do nothing this year until they lay me off..

BUT..

The company I'm with is doing great.. they are making more and more money due to the current crisis.. meanwhile all my friends and family are getting their pay cut or furloughed or laid off..

Am I insane for walking? I'm basically doing no work right now.. boss knows it.. waiting to be laid off... I'd need to start hustling if I wanna keep getting paid...

Financials:
Early 40s.. $3.2M invested, paid off house.. 90K/year expenses with an easy 10-15K of easy cuts possible (travel/leisure..) health insurance covered by spouse.. they make a few bucks but basically minimum wage...

Need some MMM sanity check..

SailingOnASmallSailboat

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2020, 04:40:27 PM »
Have you done a case study? Hard to know particulars without a deep dive into all of it.

3.2 million looks awesome on paper for sure. 90k a year expenses gives me pause. But so does a job where you're miserable.

charis

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2020, 04:41:39 PM »
Why would it matter what's happening to others? Are you going to pay their lost wages if you keep working? If not, stick to the plan.

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2020, 04:42:00 PM »
You already won.  You're at under a 3% withdrawal rate.  You're burnt out.  Run, don't walk the fuck out. 

bmjohnson35

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2020, 06:15:37 PM »

Have you considered asking for a temporary leave of 6 months or so or even reduced working hours?  This will give you a break from the job and time to see how not working feels to you. 

BJ

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2020, 06:22:01 PM »
Take your money and run. You won. Get out of the game.

Villanelle

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2020, 06:41:05 PM »
Sounds like your spouse is still working.  How much longer will that be and how does s/he feel about your quitting?  Are they on board with the 90k is budget in perpetuity?  Do you have kids and if so, how old are they?  And do you want to cover college, and if so, have you set aside those funds separate from your $3.2m? What will you do for health insurance once the spouse retires as well?

The short answer is that of course you can retire.  But you have to make sure your relationship is okay with that, and that you've accounted for future needs as best one can.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2020, 03:55:05 AM »
If your wife's job is stable and your covered with Insurance by her I would be fine leaving during these times. Otherwise I would maybe wait till at least the economy starts to recover and things stabilize a bit. But based on what you stated and have I would be gone in a hear beat.

BussoV6

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2020, 04:16:23 AM »
Sounds like a no-brainer. GTFO of there.

Catica

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2020, 06:09:28 AM »
Hello hello.. I've been lurking for a while and am ready to walk away from my high paid job forever.. but given the current crisis... I am having doubts

Situation: super burned out.. for years.. but they paid me a lot of money (>400K/year).. hit my number and planned to do nothing this year until they lay me off..

BUT..

The company I'm with is doing great.. they are making more and more money due to the current crisis.. meanwhile all my friends and family are getting their pay cut or furloughed or laid off..

Am I insane for walking? I'm basically doing no work right now.. boss knows it.. waiting to be laid off... I'd need to start hustling if I wanna keep getting paid...

Financials:
Early 40s.. $3.2M invested, paid off house.. 90K/year expenses with an easy 10-15K of easy cuts possible (travel/leisure..) health insurance covered by spouse.. they make a few bucks but basically minimum wage...

Need some MMM sanity check..
Sorry, I'm not really helpful but I'm curious what you do to earn >$400/year and what your company does to be doing great right now.

Redhotdog

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2020, 06:35:46 AM »
OP, I do understand your hesitation, in a comparable financial situation where after looong degrees now finally making lots of money and zoomed to FI. Difference is that 1) we enjoy what we do, 2) have not planned yet WHAT to retire to, although it will be based on traveling and hiking but need a 2-3 year trip mapped out 3) renting in VHLOC and need to figure out WHERE to have a base after that.
In your shoes I would go for a severance package, job not worth it. You can always find something else if you so decide, great news is that you are free! And agree with others that the current environment does not affect your decision


MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2020, 06:59:52 AM »
Youíre good, retire. Youíve got plenty, youíre and young and your money will grow. You wonít be traveling extensively for about 2 years so you can trim that right now. Save your sanity and enjoy your next adventure. If you want to pad it, sure, youíre call but you donít need to at all.

ROF Expat

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2020, 07:02:41 AM »
As a relatively recent retiree, my advice is to step back and look at the bigger picture beyond the financials and then formulate a plan that is most likely to help you achieve happiness. 

I get the desire to leave a situation where you are burned out, but the absence of pain isn't the same as pleasure, and ending unhappiness with your current work situation won't necessarily equate to happiness in retirement.  Do you have a reasonably detailed and realistic vision of what you want to retire to?  Does your spouse share that vision?  If the answer to these questions is no, I'd start working there first.  There are a number of posters here who find themselves disappointed with early retirement (IMHO, often for lack of planning and/or unrealistic visions of retirement) and you won't want to be one of them.  Like most things in life, success in retirement is more likely with planning and preparation than without, and that should go far beyond the financial/mathematical. 

You mention that you're burned out.  That's a good thing to want to change.  But, did you ever enjoy your work?  If so, is there anything you could do to get your work mojo back?  Rather than sit around doing nothing until they lay you off, maybe you should propose some kind of sabbatical or leave without pay, or even a change in the kind of work you do.  In the meantime, I'd start making detailed plans for a retirement that would make me happy, probably sooner rather than later. 

Good luck!

Cranky

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2020, 07:33:35 AM »
If you can't live comfortably on $90k and a paid off house, you are not trying very hard. LOL

So it's not the money, it's the question of what do you want to do with your life without work to define you and set the schedule.

mmmdelight

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2020, 09:24:20 AM »
Thanks everyone for your responses.. I just need to settle down I think.. I made a plan years ago and this is the result.. other people's situation is not mine..

No options for temporary leave.. very fast moving and reward driven.. think very specific east coast finance related field..

Spouse works in a totally different field with lots of flexibility.. would do the work for free if not paid.. although it barely pays.. no kids in the picture.. so that helps..

Post-retirement my plans involve taking a couple of years to address many things neglected over the past decade of 60-80 hour weeks.. family.. home maintenance.. physical health..

After that we'll see what happens!

former player

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2020, 03:09:48 PM »
Is your wife happy with the proposed reduced expenses?   Is she happy that your current standard of living will stay pretty much the same while contemporaries who keep working may increase their standard of living?  (Are you?)  Is she happy for you to retire while she keeps working?

Two further thoughts.  Firstly, you are educated, capable and people think well of you (going by your current salary): if you wanted to find paid work in the future I'm pretty sure you would have no difficulty.  Less pay for less work might well suit you at some point.

Secondly, I'm not convinced if someone is suffering burnout that they need something to retire "to".  In that situation it can be enough to retire "from" and take time to recover physically and mentally before being able to find either a current contentment or a new animating purpose - it is only after stopping work that the toll decades of work have taken on your time, energy and outlook really starts to become apparent and your own internal needs emerge to become the guide to your future.

Zoot Allures

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2020, 03:24:50 PM »
Is your wife happy with the proposed reduced expenses?   Is she happy that your current standard of living will stay pretty much the same while contemporaries who keep working may increase their standard of living?  (Are you?)  Is she happy for you to retire while she keeps working?

Not to be that guy, but...OP said "spouse" and even used "they."

former player

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2020, 04:35:14 PM »
Is your wife happy with the proposed reduced expenses?   Is she happy that your current standard of living will stay pretty much the same while contemporaries who keep working may increase their standard of living?  (Are you?)  Is she happy for you to retire while she keeps working?

Not to be that guy, but...OP said "spouse" and even used "they."
True.  Apologies for the assumption, OP.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2020, 05:30:17 PM »
Thanks everyone for your responses.. I just need to settle down I think.. I made a plan years ago and this is the result.. other people's situation is not mine..

No options for temporary leave.. very fast moving and reward driven.. think very specific east coast finance related field..

Spouse works in a totally different field with lots of flexibility.. would do the work for free if not paid.. although it barely pays.. no kids in the picture.. so that helps..

Post-retirement my plans involve taking a couple of years to address many things neglected over the past decade of 60-80 hour weeks.. family.. home maintenance.. physical health..

After that we'll see what happens!

2 of those 3 things should never be neglected.

mmmdelight

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2020, 05:44:19 PM »
Is your wife happy with the proposed reduced expenses?   Is she happy that your current standard of living will stay pretty much the same while contemporaries who keep working may increase their standard of living?  (Are you?)  Is she happy for you to retire while she keeps working?

Two further thoughts.  Firstly, you are educated, capable and people think well of you (going by your current salary): if you wanted to find paid work in the future I'm pretty sure you would have no difficulty.  Less pay for less work might well suit you at some point.

Secondly, I'm not convinced if someone is suffering burnout that they need something to retire "to".  In that situation it can be enough to retire "from" and take time to recover physically and mentally before being able to find either a current contentment or a new animating purpose - it is only after stopping work that the toll decades of work have taken on your time, energy and outlook really starts to become apparent and your own internal needs emerge to become the guide to your future.

We've lived on this budget for years.. it is really a fire hose of money except compared to how my work peers live.. luckily our extended families are between very poor and lower middle class.. so no crazy expectations.. If our families knew how much money we earned compared to how we live they would choke and pass out.. we drive old cars and live in a very modest home.. etc.

and yes I'm sure I could find paid work at some point in the future if I needed to.. just not at the insane levels..

Ftao93

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2020, 06:02:40 PM »
as much as I want to say "I think you'll be fine on that!"...

You could probably pick up a side gig working at a thing you like when this settles, so you'd be fine.

The current crisis will suck.  But even if it reaches depression levels, if you're not taking it all out, you'll still be fine.

If you want to keep working and maybe help out those close to you, that might be an option.

But even when I really really really needed the job/money, no amount could make my enthusiasm for the job come back.  Ever.

I would say set yourself a date and stick to it.  Maybe it's a month, maybe 3, maybe it's next week.

Maybe you could resign and say "Sorry (boss), I have enjoyed the opportunity but life is taking me a different direction.  So I'm going to bow out.  We both know my heart hasn't been in it for a while"


dollarchaser

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2020, 06:29:23 PM »
You have me confused.
At 400k a year, YOU are not the home maintenance guy.  Just write the check.
I bet if you are in financial industry certain expenses will drop off when you leave. Clothing, parking etc. I wonder what your new spend would add up to in a year.

Sun Hat

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2020, 06:36:48 PM »
If you're burnt out, then you should leave. However, rather than just waiting to be fired, I'd suggest having a frank talk with your boss. Slacking off and waiting to be fired will ensure that your boss won't be able or willing to give you a positive reference if you ever want to work again or apply to grad school - and who knows what you'll want to do when you've had a few years to recover. I'd wager that since you're in such a high-paying field that burnout isn't uncommon, and that your boss will understand and appreciate your willingness to negotiate a smoother transition.

Trudie

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2020, 12:34:27 AM »
You already won.  You're at under a 3% withdrawal rate.  You're burnt out.  Run, don't walk the fuck out.

This.  Based on personal experience, definitely this.

dresden

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #24 on: May 03, 2020, 01:13:14 AM »
I was in an similar situation except had serious health issues related to a car accident that made working full-time extremely punishing for me on top of the work itself.

I retired december 2019 and have no regrets now - it might have literally saved my life as my wife was really concerned I might die if I kept pushing myself so hard.

My savings was much less than yours, but I also had a pension covering most my expenses and my expenses are roughly half of yours.

I would take a strong look at the expense side - some things might change for the better after retirement.  For example my medical expenses went way down as I qualify for max obamacare subsidies now.  Your spouse might qualify for earned income credit if you have enough post-tax assets that you don't need to draw your 401k.  To the extent you need to boost your income a little to avoid medicaid that is no problem - you can do that with roth conversions.

Now that I've had 6 months to recover from extreme burn-out and a difficult few years of working high hours since the accident - I am studying for an exam to possibly go back to work part-time likely making much less - but I am looking for something very part-time and without the high stress I had before.  You sound like you are experiencing the same type of burn-out I had. 

Best wishes as you consider your options!

kei te pai

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2020, 01:44:18 AM »
If your early life experiences were of financial hardship this may be increasing the difficulties you have now breaking the golden handcuffs. You will be able to get some form of future employment, you will never get these years back . And possibly never get your health back if you go on as you are.
Write the letter, go and talk to your boss, walk and dont look back.
The rest of your life is waiting for you.

Ethel

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2020, 04:13:29 AM »
Your numbers look great. The only thing giving me pause is your health insurance being dependent on your spouse keeping their job. Would you be able to pay for HI out of pocket if they were laid off or had to quit?

scottish

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2020, 12:59:25 PM »
Have you ever walked away from a job before?    It's a great feeling, especially from a job that's burned you out.   The world seems fresh and new and full of possibility.    Don't look back!

Linea_Norway

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2020, 01:07:29 PM »
Life is too short to spend it working in unprefered conditions. And being burned out is extremely bad for your health. Take care of yourself and quit. Just imagine that your life could also end when you are 50 (cancer). Would you like to have spent your last years earning more, but not having a life? I am thinking about those 60-80 hour weeks. You have more than enough to FIRE, especially if you can cut your expenses.

YYK

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2020, 02:23:31 PM »
Run!!!

At a 2.8% withdrawal rate, you already have WAY more money than you need. You don't even need to reduce your spending! At 90k without housing expenses, you are living on massive, massive piles of absurd amounts of money. I can't stress enough what an insane amount of money that is. You have it made! Enjoy it.

I would be fascinated to see a case study just to see how it's physically possible to spend that much money.

Cassie

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #30 on: May 03, 2020, 02:39:58 PM »
I doubt you will regret leaving. Enjoy while you are able.

nirodha

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #31 on: May 03, 2020, 03:15:38 PM »
Instead of doing nothing, why not insist upon work on your terms, and push for culture change? "Sorry, I have another commitment at 5pm. No, I'm not available this weekend. If you need this tomorrow, X will be delayed by a couple days. I can't make your meeting. I'm working from home today." Etc.

I'm working in a lower cost of living area, so absolute comp is not at your level. Accounting for COL, probably not too far off. I've had good luck with this strategy. I am typically doing 30-40 hours a week. 2/3 of it is stuff I want to do. I may not be the high performer I once was, but accumulated reputation grants me a lot of freedom.

That moderate effort, coupled with corporate policies, mean firing me would be a huge pain in the ass. Six months of performance plans at a minimum. If I gamed that system, probably years. I've been surprised at what people will tolerate.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #32 on: May 04, 2020, 12:48:08 AM »
In the last one and a half year that I worked, I worked part time. I was the only one in my department doing so. I think they approved because I needed it for health reasons and because the didn't want to loose me. You might get the same respons when you ask. But why would you. DH worked for another year because we were not sure aboyt our FIRE budget. But for our mental health it was good to quit immediately when we could.

PhilB

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #33 on: May 04, 2020, 01:32:09 AM »
You already have all the money you need, so there is basically no risk at all in being honest with your boss.  Talk to them about it to see if there is any working arrangement that works for both of you.  You say that the company is incredibly busy so they would probably be keen to still get what they can from you. 

For me it would leave a better taste in the mouth to leave on good terms and with options still open to do a bit of consulting or something.

Malcat

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #34 on: May 04, 2020, 04:59:06 AM »
As someone who walked away from a high income job, it's really remarkable how quickly you get used to not having that income.

The human brain is extremely biased towards the status quo, so thinking about losing your income *feels* like such a huge deal, but then once it's gone, not having it feels normal pretty quickly.

Being burnt out feels relatively normal while you are in it, but very rapidly, once you are out of it, not being in that hell takes over as normal, and going back sounds completely insane. That's why most people say they should have left sooner. 

So basically, if you account for this HUGE psychological bias to stay, but still feel a solid push to leave, then trust the push, because it's actually the rational drive trying to overtake the irrational bias.

Putting yourself through hell for money you don't need isn't admirable.

norajean

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Re: Walking away and freaking out
« Reply #35 on: May 04, 2020, 05:03:05 AM »
It is not a question of money. As long as you will not physically die by leaving,  it is a good idea to get away from a job which you are unable to manage to your satisfaction. I would say this even if you had no savings. Your savings are modest relative to income but you donít spend much. So, take some time off and figure out what job would make you happy. You have many years ahead of you, so make them happy and productive.