Author Topic: Help me lay out options  (Read 2805 times)

Raenia

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Help me lay out options
« on: April 09, 2018, 09:00:48 AM »
I'm not really sure if this belongs here or in case studies, so sorry if it's wrong.

Current situation (all numbers are monthly)
My salary: ~5200
Partner's salary: ~4000
My 401k: 1542 (max, no matching)
Partner's 403b: 392 + 255 matching
HSA: 408 (max)
Other Pre-tax: 469
Taxes: 1024 + 769 (unsure how this will change when we get married later this year)

Take-home Gross: 2716 + 1880 = 4596

Monthly spend (not including pretax) = 2769 (this is our budgeted amount, but we consistently come under budget by several hundred)
Monthly post-tax saving (incl Roth IRAs) = 1827

Current Stache: ~200k
FIRE number: 1.5 mill

Time to FIRE on current plan: 13 years, assuming 7% market return

I'm 28, partner is 27.  We plan to buy a house in the next year or so, and we want to have children in the next few years.  That plus concerns about healthcare raise our FIRE number.

------

The hitch is, my partner is very unhappy at his job.  Evenings are spent decompressing, weekends are a desperate scramble to get something done on his personal projects, to the point where even planning our upcoming vacation is stressing him out beyond belief.  He's badly burnt out, falling into an anxiety-fed depression, and on top of it all, feeling guilty for not helping out around the house and spending quality time together.  He has hated every job he ever had, and is coming to the conclusion that he just isn't suited to the field.  He needs a change, but is scared to lose the great benefits package at his current employer, plus many of the things he has interest in as alternatives require expensive certifications and/or degrees.  He's tried working toward certs while working, and it's not possible for him.  I've suggested a few options, but he is worried about how it will push back our FIRE date.

Option 1: He works for 2-3 more years, then quits to be a SAHP.  Goes back to work in 6-7 years when the kids go to school.
Time to FIRE: 16 years, assuming his salary after the gap is the same.

Option 2: He works for 2-3 more years, then quits to be a SAHP.  Never works again.
Time to FIRE: 18 years

Option 3: He quits now, takes a 2 year degree, and goes back to work in a new field.  Savings stall for 2 years while paying for degree.
Time to FIRE: ???  Cost of childcare, cost of degree, new salary?  Harder to predict.

Do my estimates look reasonable?  Are there other options I haven't thought of?  I'd appreciate some more sets of eyes on this.  Thanks all!

mozar

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2018, 12:42:14 PM »
Another option is reduce your FIRE number. Why is it 1.5m?

Regardless I think your partner should save a years expenses and quit. It's better to quit than have a heart attack.

Raenia

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2018, 01:08:14 PM »
That would have been my first choice answer too, but 1.5 mill is the number we compromised on.  I would be happy with 1 mill, but he wanted 2-2.5 due to anxiety about the healthcare situation in the US, and he thinks kids will be more expensive than I expect them to be.  This was as low as I could negotiate, he wouldn't be comfortable with us both FIREing on less.

The question is, quit and then do what?  Because of his anxiety, he's unwilling to quit without a plan, which is why I'm trying to lay out some options to show him how it would affect our finances.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 01:15:34 PM by Raenia »

poetdereves

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2018, 01:23:02 PM »
While I do not have much financial advice in the situation, I do feel for your partner and went through the same thing two years ago, at 27. I was working in finance making decent money and was very unhappy, probably borderline depressed, and was struggling with anxiety hardcore, which never existed in my teens and 20’s. Yes, my job was a contributing factor, but it was not the foundation of my struggles with unhappiness.

My wife and I decided that I would quit, forgo our budget and plans, and figure something out. We knew it would decrease our income and savings, but was not worth the loss of my mental stability and possible depression. It was a hard choice to make because the numbers didn’t line up, but it was the BEST step we have ever made.

Did I go out and immediately find a job I loved with better pay? No. Was I happy with the next job I took? Not really. But, looking back on the past two years I and my wife would agree that we are in a WAY better spot now. I worked through some things on my own, found a solid group guys to talk with, and took my time finding what kind of career I could commit to that would better myself and others without income being the focus. I am now just a little bit away from making more money than before, with a better attitude, and a stronger marriage. Even though it was not our goal, taking those two years to work something out put us closer to FI than we would have been in the first place.

We took a risk giving up our plans, but learned a lot in the process. We are more open to taking risks together, look forward to what the future brings, and know what matters to us a lot more than we did before. We also didn’t have kids yet (still don’t) but often talk about how lucky we are that we had the chance to take these risks and figure things out without them in the picture. Make the change sooner rather than later and don’t be too focused on making it fit a predetermined timeline. It all works out in the end.

meghan88

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2018, 02:12:40 PM »
Can he change employers - is that another potential option?  Maybe he's just working in a particularly bad place, or for a bad manager.

Lady SA

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2018, 02:13:22 PM »
I personally am partial to option 1. This is a variation of what my DH and I will be doing. But with some slight tweaks:

Save up as much as possible in the meantime to make the transition as smooth as possible. See if you can "live" on only your salary and bank his. Research the Rule of 72 (more below)
Plan for the worst case, that your partner never re-enters the workforce. It could happen, and you want to keep the household afloat if that does happen. But hope for the best, that eventually your partner does re-enter the workforce.
Perhaps, plan for your partner to begin re-training/certification while being a SAHP, and re-entering the workforce into this new industry as an entry level. And that would be fine, because his additional income is just a bonus.

For context, this is my DH and I's plan:
Save up $400-500k (currently $200k) and when we have our first baby, I can walk away happily and know I never *have* to work again. Be a SAHP for a few years, then possibly re-enter the workforce part-time after that. Maybe not necessarily in my original field, but it could be a possibility.
DH's salary would be enough to cover expenses with a bit left over. He could even drop down to a part-time salary and still cover our necessary expenses. The Rule of 72 states that if left alone, on average investments will DOUBLE during a decade. So, our $500k left alone, not even contributing another penny, will grow to $1 million in 10 years, which is our FI number. Anything extra beyond what is needed for our expenses (including any of my new part-time income) will go towards padding this stash, plus we would likely continue to work part time beyond that, especially while we are settled down and our children are in school. We would have ~$1 million when our oldest is 10 years old, and we have another 8 years to occupy ourselves before they would head off to college. Might as well fill the time with some income-generating work. Additionally, this is a good safety net for FIREing - if we hit a few bad investment years, we just simply continue working part time to at least partially cover our expenses (between the 2 of us, this should be doable) until things level back out and we are comfortable pulling the plug. By having one of us work at least 32 hrs/wk, we also get a few more years of being on employer health insurance and a 401k match.

It is quite possible that your partners anxiety may lesson when his exit is so close. It did for me -- I'm planning on leaving in 3 years and being a SAHP, and now when things pop up, my brain goes "I won't have to deal with this bullsh*t in 3 years!", and I'm able to give myself permission to take on less responsibility and stress. I'm not gunning for promotions or lateral moves or trying to impress my boss--the pressure is completely off, and I'm essentially just cruising until I leave.
DH and I came up with this plan last year, and until then I had been experiencing more and more anxiety and exhaustion. As soon as I had a firm-ish exit date, it melted away.
Additionally, it has taken some pressure off DH too, as he knows that as soon as we hit our pre-baby $ target, all he has to do is cover our (mustachian) expenses. So he doesn't feel the need to go crazy for promotions or work late or anything. He is actually planning on going down to 3/4 time for a few years, which would still be enough to cover expenses while our investments simply grow in the background.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 03:27:10 PM by Lady SA »

Raenia

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2018, 04:36:34 PM »
While I do not have much financial advice in the situation, I do feel for your partner and went through the same thing two years ago, at 27. I was working in finance making decent money and was very unhappy, probably borderline depressed, and was struggling with anxiety hardcore, which never existed in my teens and 20’s. Yes, my job was a contributing factor, but it was not the foundation of my struggles with unhappiness.

My wife and I decided that I would quit, forgo our budget and plans, and figure something out. We knew it would decrease our income and savings, but was not worth the loss of my mental stability and possible depression. It was a hard choice to make because the numbers didn’t line up, but it was the BEST step we have ever made.

Did I go out and immediately find a job I loved with better pay? No. Was I happy with the next job I took? Not really. But, looking back on the past two years I and my wife would agree that we are in a WAY better spot now. I worked through some things on my own, found a solid group guys to talk with, and took my time finding what kind of career I could commit to that would better myself and others without income being the focus. I am now just a little bit away from making more money than before, with a better attitude, and a stronger marriage. Even though it was not our goal, taking those two years to work something out put us closer to FI than we would have been in the first place.

We took a risk giving up our plans, but learned a lot in the process. We are more open to taking risks together, look forward to what the future brings, and know what matters to us a lot more than we did before. We also didn’t have kids yet (still don’t) but often talk about how lucky we are that we had the chance to take these risks and figure things out without them in the picture. Make the change sooner rather than later and don’t be too focused on making it fit a predetermined timeline. It all works out in the end.

Thank you for sharing your experience.  I'm trying to make it clear to him that his mental health is more important than anything else, and that I'm perfectly happy to support the family as needed, if he took time away or even if he never worked again.  It's difficult, because he is much more risk averse than I am and sees the unknown outcome of quitting as scarier than the certain outcome of being miserable where he is.  That's why I was trying to lay out some options, to show how 'bad' it would be, to hopefully make it less scary.  Maybe it's better to approach it from an emotional side, rather than trying to fix it with logic?  I would be perfectly happy with him quitting the day after the wedding, once I can put him on my health insurance.

Raenia

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2018, 04:37:52 PM »
Can he change employers - is that another potential option?  Maybe he's just working in a particularly bad place, or for a bad manager.

I've tried to suggest this, but it is hard to argue with his point that this is actually the best of the 5 employers/managers he's worked for - so at this point, can it really be blamed on the manager anymore?  This kind of environment seems to be typical of the field (IT support).

Raenia

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2018, 04:45:29 PM »
I personally am partial to option 1. This is a variation of what my DH and I will be doing. But with some slight tweaks:

Save up as much as possible in the meantime to make the transition as smooth as possible. See if you can "live" on only your salary and bank his. Research the Rule of 72 (more below)
Plan for the worst case, that your partner never re-enters the workforce. It could happen, and you want to keep the household afloat if that does happen. But hope for the best, that eventually your partner does re-enter the workforce.
Perhaps, plan for your partner to begin re-training/certification while being a SAHP, and re-entering the workforce into this new industry as an entry level. And that would be fine, because his additional income is just a bonus.

For context, this is my DH and I's plan:
Save up $400-500k (currently $200k) and when we have our first baby, I can walk away happily and know I never *have* to work again. Be a SAHP for a few years, then possibly re-enter the workforce part-time after that. Maybe not necessarily in my original field, but it could be a possibility.
DH's salary would be enough to cover expenses with a bit left over. He could even drop down to a part-time salary and still cover our necessary expenses. The Rule of 72 states that if left alone, on average investments will DOUBLE during a decade. So, our $500k left alone, not even contributing another penny, will grow to $1 million in 10 years, which is our FI number. Anything extra beyond what is needed for our expenses (including any of my new part-time income) will go towards padding this stash, plus we would likely continue to work part time beyond that, especially while we are settled down and our children are in school. We would have ~$1 million when our oldest is 10 years old, and we have another 8 years to occupy ourselves before they would head off to college. Might as well fill the time with some income-generating work. Additionally, this is a good safety net for FIREing - if we hit a few bad investment years, we just simply continue working part time to at least partially cover our expenses (between the 2 of us, this should be doable) until things level back out and we are comfortable pulling the plug. By having one of us work at least 32 hrs/wk, we also get a few more years of being on employer health insurance and a 401k match.

It is quite possible that your partners anxiety may lesson when his exit is so close. It did for me -- I'm planning on leaving in 3 years and being a SAHP, and now when things pop up, my brain goes "I won't have to deal with this bullsh*t in 3 years!", and I'm able to give myself permission to take on less responsibility and stress. I'm not gunning for promotions or lateral moves or trying to impress my boss--the pressure is completely off, and I'm essentially just cruising until I leave.
DH and I came up with this plan last year, and until then I had been experiencing more and more anxiety and exhaustion. As soon as I had a firm-ish exit date, it melted away.
Additionally, it has taken some pressure off DH too, as he knows that as soon as we hit our pre-baby $ target, all he has to do is cover our (mustachian) expenses. So he doesn't feel the need to go crazy for promotions or work late or anything. He is actually planning on going down to 3/4 time for a few years, which would still be enough to cover expenses while our investments simply grow in the background.

Thanks for the advice!  Based on our current expenses, we could definitely live on my salary alone, while still having some savings (though much less than currently).  We're not structuring it that way in order to take advantage of both my 401k and his 403b, but based on my takehome, we could max my 401k and live on the rest of my salary with only minor cuts to our budget. (Though who knows what will happen to that budget after kids.)

Your plan looks a lot like what I had floating around in my mind - once we're ready for kids, he can leave his job, and either re-enter or not, in a different field or not, depending how we feel when we get there.  I will talk with him more about this.  I guess the point I was trying to make is that doing that doesn't push our FIRE back by as much as he thinks - only 5 more years for me, even if he never went back to work.  I don't love working, but I like my field well enough for that!

shelbyautumn

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2018, 06:06:41 AM »
Since you’re only 28, I’d also guess that your income will probably increase as well. If you can stick with your same level of spending (minus adjustments for kids) while getting pay increases, your FIRE timeline may not even change (or at least not by much).

As for your question - if your partner has hated all five jobs in his field, he really should consider finding a new field. It could still be IT related since he has those skills, but if I hated all 5 jobs I had in a field, I’d be finding a new career.

I am also the risk averse person in my marriage, so I understand his fear, but your salary covers all the bills plus savings. Him quitting isn’t risky - it’s not like your electricity is going to be shut off. I’d even say it’s more risky for him to stay where he’s at rather than quit, it’s not going to be good for either of you (or your future children) if he keeps on the way he is.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2018, 06:33:13 AM »
Before he makes any major decisions, please encourage him to see a therapist or counselor. He needs someone to talk to through and explore what’s happening with him. It will help him make the plan that he needs. You both might want to consider couples therapy so you can talk through the various issues in your relationship and how you’ll navigate these types of major changes. Invest in each other and your relationship.

chaskavitch

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2018, 06:49:38 AM »
I'd encourage you to look in the Mini Money Mustaches subforum to see some of the threads about how much kids cost, too.  Just in the first two pages I found three good threads on how much people have spent and how to save money with young kids:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mini-money-mustaches/okay-mustachian-parents-it's-my-turn-now-what-do-i-need-to-know/
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mini-money-mustaches/tips-on-saving-money-on-a-newborn/
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mini-money-mustaches/is-it-possible-to-spend-less-than-$2800year-per-kid/msg1885845/#new

I know there are more in there, too, if you dig a little deeper, and there are other threads about older kids as well (our kid is 2, so I haven't looked for those as much). 

Maybe getting solid advice about how to minimize your costs with young kids, and examples of people doing it frugally, will make your partner a little less stressed about the added costs of having children, and make him more open to taking a break for his health.

I'd say that other than actual childbirth, the most expensive thing about kids for the first 5 years is daycare, especially if you have decent health coverage.  If he's able to stay home with them, that's at least $1000/mo per child he'd be saving you, even if you're in a LCOL area.  I know that doesn't make up for his monetary contribution right now, but if you're cutting out the biggest money-suck, small kids aren't a huge budget expense (in my experience).

Raenia

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2018, 07:32:14 AM »
Before he makes any major decisions, please encourage him to see a therapist or counselor. He needs someone to talk to through and explore what’s happening with him. It will help him make the plan that he needs. You both might want to consider couples therapy so you can talk through the various issues in your relationship and how you’ll navigate these types of major changes. Invest in each other and your relationship.

Thanks for reminding me of this, I need to push him more to go back to therapy.  He did used to go to therapy, but his great therapist retired, and he had a string of useless ones that kind of put him off the idea and he stopped going.  We need to find one who will really help, and not parrot the same trite advice he's heard hundreds of times.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2018, 08:27:14 AM »
Is it an option for him to work part-time at his current job?  Halving his hours might make the job less awful.

We were in a similar position to you 3 years ago.  My husband chose to quit his job and go back to school full-time.

I had a huge spreadsheet to figure out how that would impact FIRE.  I looked at the loss of his salary on our investments (including missing growth), the cost of tuition (including missing growth on that money if we'd invested it) - any savings because he'd be home more (for us, day care and grocery), and then ran some numbers on what it would look like when he started working 3 years later, at the low end of the salary range for his new field.

For us, it turned out that him being out of the workforce for 3 years would probably add 12-18 months to our FIRE date.  He was in a very low-paying field before, and we already had kids in pricey daycare, so that made a significant impact.

My H is graduating next month, and when I reran the numbers last week, it looks like we're still on track to our new plan.  It was definitely worth it to me to push back FIRE for his mental and physical health!

Easye418

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2018, 09:33:53 AM »
No chance for a flex schedule? 

With baby 1, my wife was able to continue working 2 days a week making nearly as much as she has before (nurse).

dcozad999

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2018, 10:02:33 AM »
No chance for a flex schedule? 

With baby 1, my wife was able to continue working 2 days a week making nearly as much as she has before (nurse).

Nursing definitely provides a lot of flexibility. My buddy works full time (usually 3 shifts a week) for the hospital, but also moonlights for a local hospice house. He makes about $40/hour for the hospice house in a LCOL area. He can pick up a shift pretty much any time he wants for the hospice.  No benefits, but if the partner is providing the health insurance, this would be a pretty sweet part time gig.

Another major benefit is leave. As long as he plans a few months in advance, he can take a 2 week vacation and barely take any of his leave, just by front and backloading his schedule before and after he returns.

Raenia

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2018, 10:39:33 AM »
No chance for a flex schedule? 

With baby 1, my wife was able to continue working 2 days a week making nearly as much as she has before (nurse).

Nursing definitely provides a lot of flexibility. My buddy works full time (usually 3 shifts a week) for the hospital, but also moonlights for a local hospice house. He makes about $40/hour for the hospice house in a LCOL area. He can pick up a shift pretty much any time he wants for the hospice.  No benefits, but if the partner is providing the health insurance, this would be a pretty sweet part time gig.

Another major benefit is leave. As long as he plans a few months in advance, he can take a 2 week vacation and barely take any of his leave, just by front and backloading his schedule before and after he returns.

Unfortunately not, he works at IT support and needs to be in his office for walk-in problems.  When he tried to go to a more flexible schedule, it turned into basically being on-call all the time, and his department head would start getting pissy if he hadn't responded to requests within a few minutes, even during off-hours.  A few incidents of "What happened?  Are you working on this?  You need to give the clients an update.  Was your phone off?  Why was your phone off?" convinced us it was better to stick to the regular office schedule and stop bringing the work phone home with him.

There are a lot of upsides to nursing, I have a few relatives in that field.  I think my partner is looking for fields with less human interaction, though :)


Thank you all for your comments, even if I haven't been able to respond to each one.  You're definitely confirming my instinct that something has to change, sooner than later, and financially we'll make it through regardless.

Raenia

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2018, 07:32:41 AM »
Does anyone have advice for how to talk to my partner about these things?  I definitely feel something needs to change ASAP, whether it's asking to scale back to part time or quitting altogether.  I've tried to mention it a few times in the last week, pointing out that we can live comfortably on just my salary, it won't push our FIRE back by that much, and he doesn't necessarily need to have a plan for what comes next.  He says he understands, but wavers between the objections of "I don't want to put all that on you" and "But what if [something bad] happens?"  Any advice for how to frame the conversation to make it clear that the downsides of continuing as is are much worse than the downsides of not having a bulletproof plan?  I know I'm up against both Anxiety and financially conservative impulses here.

poetdereves

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2018, 07:53:47 AM »
Your husbands fear may be a hard thing for him to overcome. My wife is a lot less prone to taking risks, and even when I think I know what the right decision to make may be, I have to give her the time and build up confidence that the risky thing is the right thing. There will probably be a lot of patience on your part. Communication is key. What works for me is to spend time thinking of all of the positives that will come from taking a risk and focusing on those. Instead of talking about “we won’t lose that much money” talk about “you will have time to master X skill” or “we will have more quality time to spend with each other”. You say you know something needs to change ASAP, but unfortunately he’s not ready with the same enthusiasm that you are. I know in my marriage that overcommunicating my feelings is usually overwhelming for my wife and it can make her feel paralyzed and unable to make changes. It’s a hard spot to be in for you, but the timing is probably going to be a bit different than you’d hope for.

dandarc

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2018, 08:18:34 AM »
You're dealing with irrational fears, so I don't know if this will help, but: 

Even assuming all of your combined 'stache is in taxable accounts that will incur penalties if you withdraw, $200K at your burn rate + another $30K annually for taking on things like health insurance is enough to last 3+ years.  What are the odds both of you are out of work at the same time for 3 straight years?  Very low, particularly given the plan is not for both of you to quit today - that $200K will continue to go up, just more slowly.  And even if that happens, all you'd have to do is find a way to meet your expenses.

I'm getting out (today!) of a job that I've been complaining a lot about for 5+ years.  Initially I was thinking "it'll get better - it used to be better, just with this big transition it is crazy busy" (proven wrong here time and time again), then "I can last long enough to FIRE", then my wife made a career change going back to school and I started thinking "shit, I can't do this job for that long, maybe if I cut back my hours?" (been trying this for ~2 years now).  Then here we are 5 years later, we have hundreds of thousands invested, and I just went and got another job on the other side of the country.  It was easy - so easy I should have done it a long time ago.  I've been complaining so much, that even though my wife is still in school she said "take it." 

So I know it can take a while to mentally get to "you know, everything will be fine, I know I hate this job, so let's try something else", but having a pile of money should help, and relative to your spending, you've got a very good sized pile of money.   Actually, MMM just posted on the interchangeability of money and confidence, so that might be a good read.

ETA: link to the confidence / money article: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2018/03/09/money-and-confidence-are-interchangeable/
« Last Edit: April 13, 2018, 08:23:01 AM by dandarc »

Dee18

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2018, 08:21:17 AM »
You may have already tried this....but if his anxiety is triggered by conversations about this, perhaps you could prepare a one page outline for each option, showing the numbers. Just give him those and tell him to look at them if they would be helpful. He may need to look at them many times before he is comfortable with the plans. 

Raenia

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Re: Help me lay out options
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2018, 09:21:05 AM »
You're dealing with irrational fears, so I don't know if this will help, but: 

Even assuming all of your combined 'stache is in taxable accounts that will incur penalties if you withdraw, $200K at your burn rate + another $30K annually for taking on things like health insurance is enough to last 3+ years.  What are the odds both of you are out of work at the same time for 3 straight years?  Very low, particularly given the plan is not for both of you to quit today - that $200K will continue to go up, just more slowly.  And even if that happens, all you'd have to do is find a way to meet your expenses.

I'm getting out (today!) of a job that I've been complaining a lot about for 5+ years.  Initially I was thinking "it'll get better - it used to be better, just with this big transition it is crazy busy" (proven wrong here time and time again), then "I can last long enough to FIRE", then my wife made a career change going back to school and I started thinking "shit, I can't do this job for that long, maybe if I cut back my hours?" (been trying this for ~2 years now).  Then here we are 5 years later, we have hundreds of thousands invested, and I just went and got another job on the other side of the country.  It was easy - so easy I should have done it a long time ago.  I've been complaining so much, that even though my wife is still in school she said "take it." 

So I know it can take a while to mentally get to "you know, everything will be fine, I know I hate this job, so let's try something else", but having a pile of money should help, and relative to your spending, you've got a very good sized pile of money.   Actually, MMM just posted on the interchangeability of money and confidence, so that might be a good read.

ETA: link to the confidence / money article: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2018/03/09/money-and-confidence-are-interchangeable/

He actually did read the confidence=money article when it was posted, and it really pissed him off.  Going through the list of "A recipe for badass confidence" in the article, he doesn't actually believe those things are true for him.  And the fact of the matter is, not everyone should be confident that they'll always be able to get a job if they need one (for instance), because not everyone can get a job when they need it.  I'm confident that I have the skills and drive to find a new job if I'm laid off, but he doesn't have that confidence in his abilities, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You may have already tried this....but if his anxiety is triggered by conversations about this, perhaps you could prepare a one page outline for each option, showing the numbers. Just give him those and tell him to look at them if they would be helpful. He may need to look at them many times before he is comfortable with the plans. 

The anxiety is pretty much a constant low level right now.  He actually seems to feel a little better after we talk about it, but the next day always has a reason not to act on it.

Your husbands fear may be a hard thing for him to overcome. My wife is a lot less prone to taking risks, and even when I think I know what the right decision to make may be, I have to give her the time and build up confidence that the risky thing is the right thing. There will probably be a lot of patience on your part. Communication is key. What works for me is to spend time thinking of all of the positives that will come from taking a risk and focusing on those. Instead of talking about “we won’t lose that much money” talk about “you will have time to master X skill” or “we will have more quality time to spend with each other”. You say you know something needs to change ASAP, but unfortunately he’s not ready with the same enthusiasm that you are. I know in my marriage that overcommunicating my feelings is usually overwhelming for my wife and it can make her feel paralyzed and unable to make changes. It’s a hard spot to be in for you, but the timing is probably going to be a bit different than you’d hope for.

Thanks for the reminder to focus on the positive and let him come around at his own pace.  It's just so hard to see him come home exhausted and unhappy all the time, but I need to remember I can't push for a change he's not ready for.