Author Topic: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice  (Read 1168 times)

jackieapple

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Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« on: May 17, 2021, 05:59:45 PM »
I'm about 1 year away from coast FIRE. Currently working in a good paying job. I have good coworkers and the job is not super hard. I don't hate it but it's not a job I want to work forever. My plan is to coast FIRE and taken on a couple of different minimal wage paying jobs to find out what I want to do in life. But the closer I get to my coast FIRE date the more I'm feeling afraid to actually pull the trigger. I keep having this sense of guilt because I know that some people would love to have this job and maybe I'm being ungrateful. I keep thinking maybe I should just stick it out for another eight years and completely FIRE. I see my coworkers that had stuck with this job for a long time, and get to peacefully enjoy their retirement with a good stash. On the other hand, I see coworkers with good stash but couldn't pull the trigger even though they hate the job. The former makes me think I should just stay and work but the latter makes me think why the heck would you stay in a job you hate.
I know ultimately at the end it's my decision to make but want to hear from other mustachians if they had pull the trigger to coast FIRE and how it has turned out.


terran

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2021, 06:23:07 PM »
I'm more in the "when I'm done I want to be done" camp, so not a great person to answer your question, but be careful of the grass-is-greener effect. Minimal wage doesn't mean minimal stress. Granted I'm just looking in from the outside, but those people are not treated well from what I see. 

jackieapple

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2021, 07:05:17 PM »
I'm more in the "when I'm done I want to be done" camp, so not a great person to answer your question, but be careful of the grass-is-greener effect. Minimal wage doesn't mean minimal stress. Granted I'm just looking in from the outside, but those people are not treated well from what I see.

I'm definitely not working in minimum wage jobs to get lesser stress, it's more like to explore what I want to do in my life. It just happens that alot of the jobs I want to try is lower paying jobs. The grass is greener effect is what holding me back from wanting to quit my job right now. I try to be grateful to what I have everyday but the burned out is real.

Morning Glory

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2021, 07:15:18 PM »
Any chance you could do part time work in your field or take a year off and come back? No need to work minimum wage jobs if you have a specific skill set that's in demand.

Malcat

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2021, 07:28:39 PM »
Wow, the cultural brain washing is strong with you, isn't it?

Don't feel bad, it's strong with most people.

However, consider this. None of those thoughts that keep plaguing you about leaving your job are coming from you. You know what you want to do, you've already decided and made a plan.

You don't want to keep doing your job, you know what you want to try instead. You understand what you are trading away in order to try something new, and you have decided that the trade off is worth it.

So where is this shame voice coming from? Because it's not coming from you. Not from your true self and desires. That's just some guilt-bases garbage you picked up somewhere along the way. So why own it? Why make it part of your discourse. You don't have to, no one is making you.

The frequency and persistence of a voice in your head doesn't give it value or weight. People have all sorts of persistent intrusive thoughts that they would do best just letting pass by whenever they pop up. You don't have to take everything your brain says to you seriously. You can just choose to not value some of the things your mind tells you.

The simple fact is that the vast majority of people who leave jobs they don't enjoy wish they had left them sooner.

Let me phrase is another way: you have a ton of money and a limited time on earth. You have NO EXCUSE to not pursue your best life RIGHT NOW.

So if you need a different voice to counteract those bullshit shaming voices in your head, then here, I'll add a voice to the cast and say that I'll judge you if you stay in your job for no good reason that I can see.

If you have legitimate reasons to require more financial security before you try something new, then cool, don't do anything that would put you at substantial risk. But if you are as free to try new things as it sounds you are, then WHAT GOD DAMN EXCUSE DO YOU HAVE NOT TO????

How many days do you think you are guaranteed to have left? How many healthy days do you think you are guaranteed to have left?

Oh right. None.

If you aren't living your best life, then bloody get on with it. Maybe that means quitting, maybe it doesn't, but get a move on with figuring it out and go LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE.

Metta

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2021, 07:41:32 PM »
I keep having this sense of guilt because I know that some people would love to have this job and maybe I'm being ungrateful.

You being in that job is denying the people who would love to have it the opportunity to take your job and love it. Itís generosity to give up what you donít need or want and allow someone else to have it.

jackieapple

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2021, 07:47:32 PM »
Any chance you could do part time work in your field or take a year off and come back? No need to work minimum wage jobs if you have a specific skill set that's in demand.

I can't keep the exact job I have right now to do part time or do sabbatical unfortunately. I want to work at the lower paying jobs because it's actually what interest me not because of the money. It just so happens that what I am interested is lower paying.

jackieapple

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2021, 07:52:48 PM »

You don't want to keep doing your job, you know what you want to try instead. You understand what you are trading away in order to try something new, and you have decided that the trade off is worth it.


Thanks Malcat for being my temporary life-coach. The brain washing is strong and my mind is getting weaker as I'm getting older. I needed to read this and get the confidence back in my head.

jackieapple

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2021, 07:53:59 PM »
I keep having this sense of guilt because I know that some people would love to have this job and maybe I'm being ungrateful.

You being in that job is denying the people who would love to have it the opportunity to take your job and love it. Itís generosity to give up what you donít need or want and allow someone else to have it.

That's a good way to think about when I have to say goodbye to this job.

Rdy2Fire

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2021, 07:55:53 PM »
I keep having this sense of guilt because I know that some people would love to have this job and maybe I'm being ungrateful.

Yes some people would love to have it, so give it up and let them apply while you enjoy your coasting

Malcat

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2021, 08:08:10 PM »

You don't want to keep doing your job, you know what you want to try instead. You understand what you are trading away in order to try something new, and you have decided that the trade off is worth it.


Thanks Malcat for being my temporary life-coach. The brain washing is strong and my mind is getting weaker as I'm getting older. I needed to read this and get the confidence back in my head.

I'm not a coach, I'm someone who has steadily lost my capacity to do a lot of cool things because I'm increasingly disabled. Even then I hold my life to a higher standard of satisfaction than you are. I'm not being supportive, I'm being judgemental ;)

In all seriousness though, I get it, the world puts a lot of pressure on you and NONE of it is for your benefit. A great life isn't something that happens, it's something you fight for and defend ferociously.

No one is going to fight for it for you.

jackieapple

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2021, 08:18:06 PM »


 A great life isn't something that happens, it's something you fight for and defend ferociously.

No one is going to fight for it for you.

I'm sorry to hear you are going through something like that. Thanks for all the advice even if they were meant to be judgmental ;) I just needed a "slap in the face" to wake up. 

Morning Glory

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2021, 08:31:39 PM »
Any chance you could do part time work in your field or take a year off and come back? No need to work minimum wage jobs if you have a specific skill set that's in demand.

I can't keep the exact job I have right now to do part time or do sabbatical unfortunately. I want to work at the lower paying jobs because it's actually what interest me not because of the money. It just so happens that what I am interested is lower paying.

Then you should definitely do it!!!  You always have your previous experience as a backup in case it doesn't work out.

The only person I know who actually likes their job did what you are contemplating. There's a bit of irony there. I chose my career for security. I regret not taking more risks.

Malcat

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2021, 08:33:44 PM »


 A great life isn't something that happens, it's something you fight for and defend ferociously.

No one is going to fight for it for you.

I'm sorry to hear you are going through something like that. Thanks for all the advice even if they were meant to be judgmental ;) I just needed a "slap in the face" to wake up.

Any time :)

jackieapple

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2021, 09:40:54 PM »
Any chance you could do part time work in your field or take a year off and come back? No need to work minimum wage jobs if you have a specific skill set that's in demand.

I can't keep the exact job I have right now to do part time or do sabbatical unfortunately. I want to work at the lower paying jobs because it's actually what interest me not because of the money. It just so happens that what I am interested is lower paying.

Then you should definitely do it!!!  You always have your previous experience as a backup in case it doesn't work out.

The only person I know who actually likes their job did what you are contemplating. There's a bit of irony there. I chose my career for security. I regret not taking more risks.

That's great to hear it works out for that person. Thanks for the encouragement!

Rosy

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2021, 09:57:18 AM »
OMG Malcat - your first response is going on my fridge for those moments when I am a coward and decide to settle instead of making the effort and going for what I really want to do while I still can.

Fear of change is normal, we all experience it. 
Whenever I am considering life-changing decisions the first question I ask is always "what might be the worst-case scenario?".
Then I make a plan to mitigate the risk and ask myself could I temporarily live with a disastrous outcome - is it fixable?.
Could I handle it financially and emotionally if it didn't work out well?

TRUTH - if you want it bad enough you will find a way to do it. Come hell or high water, consequences be damned.
Change is uncomfortable but it can be exciting and uplifting if you embrace it, revel in it instead of fearing it.

I have a sticker that says: No fear - no limits!
Can you imagine no limits to what you can do - scary, right? perhaps utterly preposterous but maybe not:).
It gives me that shove to contemplate and soar like a bird in the heavens.
No limits:) - frees up my mind to think without restrictions because for a moment everything is possible and may well turn into my new reality.
It leads to unconventional optimization.

It takes guts to act and both recognize and honor who you are at your core.
I always knew that I'd live my life on my own terms and that I would "retire" early.
FI was all I ever wanted.

The nuts and bolts I would consider - be practical, pragmatic, realistic then you have nothing to fear:).
I am not afraid of taking risks, but you know the story about the best-laid plans... sometimes backfire.
So, I'm assuming you are a responsible person with a big enough stash to move on to a coasting FIRE lifestyle.

You don't need to touch your stash while you coast, right?
You have a contingency to live on a sizeable EF for one year if everything goes to hell in a handbasket, right?
You have an affordable apartment or paid-for place to stay no matter what, right?
You know for sure what health insurance you can get and you can afford the premiums, right?

You have already tried living on minimum wage for six months, right? Was that comfortable and doable financially given your personal circumstances?
If not, was it easy to subsidize your income without depleting your stash beyond repair or doing damage to your future retirement?
You have already interviewed/contacted-scoped out several places you would like to work at in the future and received positive feedback, right?

The way the working world has morphed in the past ten years is brutal, especially minimum wage jobs, never mind the effects of COVID.
Flexibility is key. 
So maybe now is not the best time to decide on coast FIRE yet, instead, plump up your stash for another year.
Unless of course you are satisfied that you can swing it financially and have practiced living on your new minimal wage income for at least six months.

In my mind coast FIRE is a decision that needs to be based on solid numbers so you don't destroy what you have already built. Giving yourself a full year EF gives you options and enough time to deal with whatever might go sideways - the rest is cake, you got this - embrace your new life.
Taking the plunge will be scary and exhilarating.
I'd say go for it once you have a good, solid plan in place, that is all anyone can do.
Life is so much better if you find a way to live according to your own values.
Good Luck!:)
« Last Edit: May 18, 2021, 10:05:16 AM by Rosy »

jfer_rose

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2021, 10:27:21 AM »
Lots of great stuff here already but I also want to reassure you that from reading these forums since 2013, I have noticed that guilt is a common feeling for people contemplating quitting their jobs. It can manifest in many different ways. For example, I felt that my old career made the world a better place and felt guilty that I was leaving it. But I realized that someone else would fill my shoes and improve the world in that specific way and I could find new ways to do so.

So notice the guilt you feel, but don't let it make your decision. Use your heart (and your brain to ensure your financial situation will withstand your plan). I quit my job in 2019 and have not regretted it a single day.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2021, 03:06:45 PM »
Coast FIRE is typically sought after by people in high-stress, long-hours jobs who want to build their egg quickly and get out before the job destroys them. If you have a job that is not burdensome in this way, why not strive for full FIRE in another year or two instead of taking an entry-level job away from someone who needs it for the next 5-6 years? What are the odds working at Chick-Fil-A is less stressful than what you already do or that the boss there is nicer than your current one?

Consider your underlying reasons for wanting out ASAP. Boredom? Ennui? Lack of time? Specific plans? Coworkers? Culture? Harassment? Is there a better way to solve these problems, such as taking vacations or making a lateral move?

Fuzz

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2021, 03:12:27 PM »
Any numbers general info for context?

If you're 28 and walking away from 200K/year with a 500K nest egg, that's different from 48 and walking away from 100K/year and a 750K nest egg. Are you single? Any dependents?

You said that it would take another 8 years for you to truly FIRE. Not sure what that means. Some of this is tied to your withdrawal rate. What's your downside risk? If you're trying to Coast FIRE your way to a 50K year income stream on the 4% rule (so 1.2M stache), you've got more room to absorb a loss than someone trying to Coast FIRE their way to a 25K income stream, who is counting on 300K to turn into 600K in 8 years. It's not just withdrawal rates--at some level the absolute numbers matter too.

I try to offer the somewhat contrarian view in these forums because I think we overweight the likelihood that replacing a well-paying job with a lower-paying job improves happiness.

Morning Glory

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2021, 03:56:22 PM »
Any numbers general info for context?

If you're 28 and walking away from 200K/year with a 500K nest egg, that's different from 48 and walking away from 100K/year and a 750K nest egg. Are you single? Any dependents?

You said that it would take another 8 years for you to truly FIRE. Not sure what that means. Some of this is tied to your withdrawal rate. What's your downside risk? If you're trying to Coast FIRE your way to a 50K year income stream on the 4% rule (so 1.2M stache), you've got more room to absorb a loss than someone trying to Coast FIRE their way to a 25K income stream, who is counting on 300K to turn into 600K in 8 years. It's not just withdrawal rates--at some level the absolute numbers matter too.

I try to offer the somewhat contrarian view in these forums because I think we overweight the likelihood that replacing a well-paying job with a lower-paying job improves happiness.

I think the OP wants to make a switch to a different career, which would mean starting at entry-level again. That's not the same as taking a low paid retail job. She would have the possibility of advancing in her new field of work, which might pay less than a similar advancement in her old one, but won't be where she's starting. Lots of people switch careers for a host of different reasons.

Malcat

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2021, 03:59:28 PM »
Any numbers general info for context?

If you're 28 and walking away from 200K/year with a 500K nest egg, that's different from 48 and walking away from 100K/year and a 750K nest egg. Are you single? Any dependents?

You said that it would take another 8 years for you to truly FIRE. Not sure what that means. Some of this is tied to your withdrawal rate. What's your downside risk? If you're trying to Coast FIRE your way to a 50K year income stream on the 4% rule (so 1.2M stache), you've got more room to absorb a loss than someone trying to Coast FIRE their way to a 25K income stream, who is counting on 300K to turn into 600K in 8 years. It's not just withdrawal rates--at some level the absolute numbers matter too.

I try to offer the somewhat contrarian view in these forums because I think we overweight the likelihood that replacing a well-paying job with a lower-paying job improves happiness.

I like to give people the benefit of the doubt that when they come here and present a plan that they've *already made* for themselves, and they already say they know what they want to work on next, that they have some clue what they are talking about in terms of what they want from their lives.

OP didn't come here sounding flighty or vaguely asking for opinions about possibilities, they came here and said "here's my plans it's what I intend to do, but I'm struggling with guilt over it".

That's a hugely different scenario than someone coming here and saying "oh...I don't know what I want to do, I'm just not super thrilled with my job, it's good, but I don't know....*sigh* what should I do with my life guys???"


jackieapple

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2021, 04:16:59 PM »
OMG Malcat - your first response is going on my fridge for those moments when I am a coward and decide to settle instead of making the effort and going for what I really want to do while I still can.

Fear of change is normal, we all experience it. 
Whenever I am considering life-changing decisions the first question I ask is always "what might be the worst-case scenario?".
Then I make a plan to mitigate the risk and ask myself could I temporarily live with a disastrous outcome - is it fixable?.
Could I handle it financially and emotionally if it didn't work out well?

TRUTH - if you want it bad enough you will find a way to do it. Come hell or high water, consequences be damned.
Change is uncomfortable but it can be exciting and uplifting if you embrace it, revel in it instead of fearing it.

I have a sticker that says: No fear - no limits!
Can you imagine no limits to what you can do - scary, right? perhaps utterly preposterous but maybe not:).
It gives me that shove to contemplate and soar like a bird in the heavens.
No limits:) - frees up my mind to think without restrictions because for a moment everything is possible and may well turn into my new reality.
It leads to unconventional optimization.

It takes guts to act and both recognize and honor who you are at your core.
I always knew that I'd live my life on my own terms and that I would "retire" early.
FI was all I ever wanted.

The nuts and bolts I would consider - be practical, pragmatic, realistic then you have nothing to fear:).
I am not afraid of taking risks, but you know the story about the best-laid plans... sometimes backfire.
So, I'm assuming you are a responsible person with a big enough stash to move on to a coasting FIRE lifestyle.

You don't need to touch your stash while you coast, right?
You have a contingency to live on a sizeable EF for one year if everything goes to hell in a handbasket, right?
You have an affordable apartment or paid-for place to stay no matter what, right?
You know for sure what health insurance you can get and you can afford the premiums, right?

You have already tried living on minimum wage for six months, right? Was that comfortable and doable financially given your personal circumstances?
If not, was it easy to subsidize your income without depleting your stash beyond repair or doing damage to your future retirement?
You have already interviewed/contacted-scoped out several places you would like to work at in the future and received positive feedback, right?

The way the working world has morphed in the past ten years is brutal, especially minimum wage jobs, never mind the effects of COVID.
Flexibility is key. 
So maybe now is not the best time to decide on coast FIRE yet, instead, plump up your stash for another year.
Unless of course you are satisfied that you can swing it financially and have practiced living on your new minimal wage income for at least six months.

In my mind coast FIRE is a decision that needs to be based on solid numbers so you don't destroy what you have already built. Giving yourself a full year EF gives you options and enough time to deal with whatever might go sideways - the rest is cake, you got this - embrace your new life.
Taking the plunge will be scary and exhilarating.
I'd say go for it once you have a good, solid plan in place, that is all anyone can do.
Life is so much better if you find a way to live according to your own values.
Good Luck!:)

Thanks for taking the time out to write this. It's like on one side I know I will be ok but on the other side I keep doubting myself. I need to find a happy medium that's all.

jackieapple

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2021, 04:44:00 PM »
Lots of great stuff here already but I also want to reassure you that from reading these forums since 2013, I have noticed that guilt is a common feeling for people contemplating quitting their jobs. It can manifest in many different ways. For example, I felt that my old career made the world a better place and felt guilty that I was leaving it. But I realized that someone else would fill my shoes and improve the world in that specific way and I could find new ways to do so.

So notice the guilt you feel, but don't let it make your decision. Use your heart (and your brain to ensure your financial situation will withstand your plan). I quit my job in 2019 and have not regretted it a single day.

Thanks for sharing your story. I know that I'll be ok there is just a little nagging voice in me saying otherwise. I do feel more confidence about my decision after reading the comments here so thanks again for your input.

jackieapple

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2021, 04:50:02 PM »
Any numbers general info for context?

If you're 28 and walking away from 200K/year with a 500K nest egg, that's different from 48 and walking away from 100K/year and a 750K nest egg. Are you single? Any dependents?

You said that it would take another 8 years for you to truly FIRE. Not sure what that means. Some of this is tied to your withdrawal rate. What's your downside risk? If you're trying to Coast FIRE your way to a 50K year income stream on the 4% rule (so 1.2M stache), you've got more room to absorb a loss than someone trying to Coast FIRE their way to a 25K income stream, who is counting on 300K to turn into 600K in 8 years. It's not just withdrawal rates--at some level the absolute numbers matter too.

I try to offer the somewhat contrarian view in these forums because I think we overweight the likelihood that replacing a well-paying job with a lower-paying job improves happiness.

Thank you for your input. I'm not leaving my job to find happiness in a lower paying job, I'm leaving because the jobs that interested me happens to be lower-paying. I understand what you are saying, the coast FIRE number is for when I can be completely live off my stash and not having to work another day. Right now I still want to work just happens to be something entry level that I might not be able to save and live off.

jackieapple

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Re: Afraid to move on - coast FIRE advice
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2021, 04:51:32 PM »


I think the OP wants to make a switch to a different career, which would mean starting at entry-level again. That's not the same as taking a low paid retail job. She would have the possibility of advancing in her new field of work, which might pay less than a similar advancement in her old one, but won't be where she's starting. Lots of people switch careers for a host of different reasons.

This is what I was trying to convey in my story, thanks for clarifying it.