Author Topic: Conflicted: FI x4, want to keep working but don't at same time  (Read 5785 times)

Bearded Man

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I have investment income that is about four times my retirement expenses. Most of that would just keep snowballing and compounding. All I have to do is give the tenants in one of my rental houses notice to vacate and I can spruce it back up, be within walking distance to stores, transit, easy drive to freeway, entertainment all around, etc. all in a paid off house.

Granted it's an older and smaller house, not a show piece like the house I live in now, and it's on a somewhat busy side street with the swoosh of a car every few minutes parts of the day but I did live there for 2.5 years before. With white noise running, it's not so bad. Plenty of yard for garden and chickens, and no HOA. I can ride and bike everywhere. I could rearrange the rooms so the rooms I spend the most time in are facing the back yard.

Or I could sell it and use the money to buy a similar house in a better location in the same area. I like the area largely because if I decide to go back to work after retirement, I can easily do so from a commuting perspective. Alternatively, I can sell the house and use the proceeds to buy a house in a small town on the other side of the mountains a couple hours from Seattle and live the small town country life I love. When I consider the above, I just think to myself, why are you still working?

Well, I have been making six figures for the past few years and am now making 150K a year from salary alone. I'm starting grad school starting tomorrow but feel like I'm loosing motivation to work. The original plan was to keep working for 7 more years while I'm doing good, I mean why give up the money!?! But I don't have as much of an incentive to keep working now that I have all this money already, and my attitude at work has changed as a result. I push back more and don't tolerate as much BS. I've basically checked out to an extent. At this point, I'm just trying to hand in there for 2 more years, which is about how long I expect this job to last. That should give me close to 400K additional assets, between growth and savings for the next two years.

Sure, I'm saving even more money, but part of me wonders, should I even go to grad school at this point? 10-15K for an AACSB accredited public university and in one year I will have my MBA which will come in handy if I want to keep working for now. But will I have the emotional fortitude to keep facing the incompetent people in the office, the liars, the credit thieves, the cheats, and general "a$$ holes"? I don't know.

With all this money I'm able to sock away, I'm starting to think the way to get through it is to just make it work for me instead of against me. Use down time to build myself up. Not get dragged into petty office politics and remember that even if they try to fire me for less effort or output, I'm already "FI" a few times over and I have a ton of experience, credentials and education. I can get another six figure job easily if anything happens to this one, even though I don't have to.

So why do I keep studying for more certs, an MBA, new technologies and such, when at the same time, I keep thinking to myself, "You don't have to do this anymore"? Which urge is the right one? Am I working just to pool more cash just in case? To live a more lavish lifestyle that planned in retirement? Because I can't detach from the system? Conflicted thoughts...

I guess the part of me that wants to keep working is to get as much money as possible before retiring. I definately would rather not deal with the headaches though, and I think it's because I am FI and don't have to I have these conflicting desires.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2015, 11:34:18 AM by Bearded Man »

nereo

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Re: Conflicted: FI x4, want to keep working but don't at same time
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2015, 10:08:37 AM »
I think you are making this more complicated than it needs to be.
Given that you are FI "several times over" you do not need to worry about the money.
Therefore, make your decisions completely independently of money.

Would you do what you are doing if they stopped paying you?  If not, how would you change things? (work less?  be less involved in office politics?  take a sabatical?  quit entirely?)

Would you sell that rental and buy a new home if the total cost to you was $0?

Would you go back to grad school even if you knew you wouldn't make any additional money by doing so?

Lis

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Re: Conflicted: FI x4, want to keep working but don't at same time
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2015, 10:12:01 AM »
I think you are making this more complicated than it needs to be.
Given that you are FI "several times over" you do not need to worry about the money.
Therefore, make your decisions completely independently of money.

Would you do what you are doing if they stopped paying you?  If not, how would you change things? (work less?  be less involved in office politics?  take a sabatical?  quit entirely?)

Would you sell that rental and buy a new home if the total cost to you was $0?

Would you go back to grad school even if you knew you wouldn't make any additional money by doing so?

Nereo beat me to it. What do you WANT to do? You're in the position that we're all trying to reach - you can work if you still want to, but hey, if you up and quit tomorrow you'll be fine. Do you want to go back to school? Do you want to look for a new job?

What about taking a few months off from work as you figure out what you're doing with your housing. If you're itching to get back to work by the end, do it. If you're thought process is "good riddance," enjoy retirement :)

Bearded Man

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Re: Conflicted: FI x4, want to keep working but don't at same time
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2015, 10:59:51 AM »
That's the thing, while this is reaaaally a great thing and I'm very thankful, I just don't know what I would do if I retired. Camp, hunt, fish, hike a lot probably. But that get's old after a while I'm sure. I wouldn't mind taking a year off and car camping across the US, but alas, a gf, and three pets don't help that along. My GF has noted that I always seem to be happiest when camping, doing outdoors stuff. She notes that my stress seems to just melt away. Usually after a weekend of camping, I don't want to come back to society.

That said, this may be all good for a normal retirement at 65 for 10-20 years, but at 33? I mean shit, yeah I guess I could do it, but I just feel like what the heck did I get all this education, certs and technical skill for over the past decade? And if I decide to retire in a year or two, what was the point of the MBA? I guess it could always help me get back into the game if I decided to return.

Maybe I should just deal with the bs for another 7 years and then call it good? A LOT more money to stash away in that time frame, and by then I will have had a 22 year adult working life, with maybe 22 years to go to SS withdrawals. I think if I quit at the half way point in a normal career I would have had, I won't feel like all this time, effort and money on education, certs and skills was for nothing. Maybe I'm just so used to striving that it is ingrained in me now. But at the same time, the realities of office politics is starting to wear on my psyche. 

jzb11

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Re: Conflicted: FI x4, want to keep working but don't at same time
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2015, 11:11:55 AM »
Well, I certainly wouldn't start grad school if you were retiring.

But I suppose the purpose of all the certs and what not that you gathered were to get you to the current point of FI x 4. You're not obligated to use those certs and skills for a lifetime.

If I were you, I'd retire. Nonetheless I'm sure you can find plenty of activities to pursue during your retirement. Why not use your skills to help a local non profit? Why not work as a consultant part time? The options are endless, you just need to expirement and find something that you have a passion for and that you'll find fulfilling.

nereo

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Re: Conflicted: FI x4, want to keep working but don't at same time
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2015, 11:12:40 AM »
That's the thing, while this is reaaaally a great thing and I'm very thankful, I just don't know what I would do if I retired. ...

Maybe I should just deal with the bs for another 7 years and then call it good? A LOT more money to stash away in that time frame, and by then I will have had a 22 year adult working life, with maybe 22 years to go to SS withdrawals..... Maybe I'm just so used to striving that it is ingrained in me now. But at the same time, the realities of office politics is starting to wear on my psyche.
Bearded Man - your questions have nothing to do with money here; you've already solved that problem.  You are struggling with what you want to do with your life now that you have won the game.

From everything that you are saying, you aren't very happy with your current level of employment.  You talk about your job wearing on your psyche, and how much BS you have to endure.  THis signals that you need a change.  The only problem is, you don't really know what it is that you want to do with the next half-century of your life.
Good news!  You don't have to figure it all out right now, and retiring doesn't mean you have to stop being a productive member of society.  I'd take some time to seriously consider what you want to do.  Ignore the money aspect.  You do NOT need to work another 7 years just to maximize your SS if you are 4xFI.  Most likely your biggest problem in your 60s and 70s is what to do with the wealth you've gained through compounding.
Consider taking a sabatical if you can.  Tell your boss(es) that you want to go to half-time for a while.  Anything that can get you out of your work environment and able to explore what you want to do for the rest of your life.  Consider other careers, even if they pay minimum wage (for example, working for an NGO or not-for-profit) - you don't need the salary anyway so who cares if it pays $12/hour or $82/hour.


check out this post:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/04/15/great-news-early-retirement-doesnt-mean-youll-stop-working/

Also - there's quite a few threads on the "Post FI" section of the forums where people have talked about their transitions away from lucrative careers.  You might get some ideas and inspiration there.

Bearded Man

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Re: Conflicted: FI x4, want to keep working but don't at same time
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2015, 11:44:10 AM »
Ahhhh, nereo, you hit the nail on the head. I just have no idea what I would do if I retired. Even on my days off I still wake up before sunrise just because I'm so used to it after all these years.

One thing that I recently got the desire to do was to travel to Cambodia, Belize, Thailand, etc. These retirement destinations are very interesting to me due to the culture, climate and different way of life. I just feel like it would be an adventure.

I used to be really into guns and to an extent I still am, but that was the largest thing keeping me in the US. Now, I'm willing to leave them behind and go overseas. I wouldn't mind at least trying it for a few months to see how I like it. I might just enjoy it then sell everything here and retire there permanently.

The thought of relocating to a different part of the US such as Idaho and retiring on let's say 1K a month has crossed my mind as well. I'd still be adapting to a new environment like overseas, but the difference is the culture is largely the same, the language is the same, I'm a US citizen and I get to keep my guns. It's not as tropical and slightly more expensive, but not bad, and probably worth the extra expense to keep my guns and stay in the US.

Eric

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Re: Conflicted: FI x4, want to keep working but don't at same time
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2015, 11:48:38 AM »
Take a look at this article.  I think it could help you formulate a plan on how you'd like to fill your time.

http://livingafi.com/2015/03/09/building-a-vision-of-life-without-work/

Runrooster

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Re: Conflicted: FI x4, want to keep working but don't at same time
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2015, 01:09:24 PM »
I disagree with previous posters, and think that you should keep your job until you have a burning need to get away or do something else. Your concept of FI might change when you factor in family and friends not to mention health.  At 25 I found it easy to live an ERE level of frugality and easily found jobs that paid above that.  Being in a zero tax bracket besides ss) helped! I went back to the workforce in interest of having a family, and it wasn't trivial.   I think that being FI changed my attitude toward corporate BS.  I felt much more removed from the politics, liars and cheats.  What mattered to me was that I valued my job and thought I was paid fairly/ adequately.  Sure, some people at work were paid a lot more to do a lot less, and management allowed/ encouraged it, but i wasn't there to fix the machine.  Maybe that would feel ethically questionable to you, but for me I knew that I helped our customers (external and internal) and I had a network of colleagues who also performed reliable and responsibly.  Then there were people I avoided working with, and if I needed their input would allow a wide timeframe and margin for correcting problems.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Conflicted: FI x4, want to keep working but don't at same time
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2015, 01:40:53 PM »
Have you considered quitting your staff job and becoming a consultant (contractor) doing the same work? You could take the jobs you wanted, and you wouldn't need to get involved in the office politics. But you'd still be making money, using your expertise, and keeping up connections in the industry. The key is that you could take off a month, or several months, at a time to try out some of your retirement plans and see how it feels. If you decided you weren't ready to retire completely, you could go back to a staff job or keep consulting. If you loved not working, you could quit completely whenever you wanted to. It's a way of getting partly out of the rat race without making an irrevocable decision.

Lis

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Re: Conflicted: FI x4, want to keep working but don't at same time
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2015, 03:46:05 PM »
If you love camping so much, what outdoorsy jobs are there around you? Would you be happy working at an outdoorsy type shop?

scottish

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Re: Conflicted: FI x4, want to keep working but don't at same time
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2015, 04:08:54 PM »
With the kids starting to leave home, we're taking 3-4 weeks a year to try living in different prospective retirement areas.   This way I don't quit work without a clue of what to do instead.   Could you take the same approach?    Take a month off with the girlfriend and go live somewhere else and see if you find something you like?

former player

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Re: Conflicted: FI x4, want to keep working but don't at same time
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2015, 03:16:43 AM »
I wonder whether you have "settled" for things so often in your life so far that you have lost sight of what you really want.

One thing that comes over very clearly to me is: don't "settle" for the rental on the busy road.  If you are going to move (and I suspect that you are less happy in your current "showplace" than you think you ought to be - which is balls by the way, because only you know what truly makes you happy) you should move to your dream home in your dream location.  Keep dreaming different dreams about what that is until you fix on the one that keeps coming back to mind, and then go for it.  If your dream is not to have a settled home but to roam the planet that's OK too.  But speaking as someone who grew up in a small town, worked in London for many years and retired back to the country/small town life, I think small town life in a beautiful location with big city amenities within reach when needed is pretty ideal.

Grad school and the job seem to be linked in your mind.  If you are checked out of the job and just hanging on for 2 more years and grad school is not relevant to anything you might do after your current job, then ditch it.  Alternatively, if you are truly invested in grad school then ditch the job and concentrate on grad school alone.  You have enough FU money not to have to link them together: prioritise rather than trying everything at once, the way people without your financial resources do.

I don't understand where your girlfriend fits in all this.  She seems to have a clear view of when you are happiest, but on the other hand her presence in your life seems to be stopping you going and being that happy all the time (ie going on a long car camping trip).  So perhaps figuring out that would help you make decisions: can your relationship stand a temporary separation?  can you move somewhere together?  can you be happier together where you are by making changes?  have you reached a life stage where ending the relationship allows you both to move on?

Good luck with it all.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Conflicted: FI x4, want to keep working but don't at same time
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2015, 08:50:49 AM »

That said, this may be all good for a normal retirement at 65 for 10-20 years, but at 33? I mean shit, yeah I guess I could do it, but I just feel like what the heck did I get all this education, certs and technical skill for over the past decade? And if I decide to retire in a year or two, what was the point of the MBA? I guess it could always help me get back into the game if I decided to return.

You don't need the money so what's the point in making more?

You'll never get more time on the planet so that's the resource I'd conserve value most.

Based on what you posted I'd quite working full time. Offer up your services on a consulting basis if they have some interesting projects to work on. Then use the free time to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life. The point of early retiring isn't sitting on you ass watching TV for 5 decades. It's the freedom to do what you want when you want. In order to do that you have to figure out what you want to do. If you can't resolve that question while working full time stop and get your answer.

If you want to go back to school and/or work later you can.

-- Vik

frugaldrummer

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Re: Conflicted: FI x4, want to keep working but don't at same time
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2015, 11:00:39 PM »
Maybe the problem is just this particular job?  What about looking for another job in a more compatible environment? 
Enjoyable work that you do well, in a good work environment, can be quite pleasurable. Since you are FI, you can choose a different job without worrying about salary or job security. Why not try that first?

Ricky

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Re: Conflicted: FI x4, want to keep working but don't at same time
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2015, 11:36:05 PM »
OP, I feel like you've gotten some great responses so far with good insight into your situation.

I consider myself to be in a very similar situation and I'll share my thoughts.

i hear a lot of people say it's easier to do your job and accept being there if you know you can leave anytime. For me, this isn't entirely true.. We are constantly thinking "I don't need this". Yes, we are more relaxed in what we do but it doesn't change the fact that certain things piss us off whether we aren't willing to put up with it or not. Ultimately though, it is a good feeling to be able to throw your hands up and walk out, and hopefully at least apologize for it later.

I share much the same enthusiasm with you on wanting to take a sabbatical and car camp around the U.S. I've had the same thoughts. I've seen many suggestions for going part time, but trust me when I say that isn't going to solve the problem. As long as you have a consistent connection with the situation that is driving you mad, it won't change. You need extended time off. I do as well. I just can't muster up the determination to do it since I share the same hesitations and worry about being "bored". Not because I'm a boring person, but I'm frugal and am too used to saving! It's hard to switch gears and start living. So I do understand your desire to continue to boost your stash despite having no real need for it.

What might help is to define a goal. What is the minimum amount of passive monthly income you're willing to accept before leaving the workforce for long periods of time? Maybe that's $7k a month. Maybe it's $10k (my personal goal). If you define why you're working, you'll have a reason to either stay or go. Even though I know I'd never spend $10k in a month, I just want the option to be able to. I don't want to be limited in life by lack of funds and that is my primary motivator in working more and being frugal. That's not to say that you can't realistically take time off and resume the goal since you're already in a great position though.

tldr; you need to change something in your life or you're going to keep feeling the same way. The wondering if you're doing the best thing at this very moment for yourself and your life will not subside until you change a variable. Define why you're working. If the definition isn't adequate, quit and try something else. You already have ideas on what you want to do and can afford them. Go for it.

Bearded Man

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Re: Conflicted: FI x4, want to keep working but don't at same time
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2015, 08:32:23 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. I've had time to reflect since I posted and I think the issues are:

-I feel like I'm too young to retire still, at 33. I just graduated college 6 years ago, and already I've done this though  (150K salary, 500K assets). To another posters point, I've hit career goals that your average person never achieves, but the few who do, usually achieve in their 50's etc. (MMM forums exempt since most here are not your average...)


-I feel like it's a bad idea to give up such good money (150K) a year. More money doesn't hurt, in fact it gives options.

-I feel like I need to build up as much as possible and let it compound over time. The thought of retiring with passive income well above my living expenses and yet watching my wealth compound into several million just seems too good to pass up.

-At the end of the day (I think this is a key point), all the BS at work doesn't really matter. What matters is that pay check. That paycheck allows me to buy my freedom. All the BS at work, I just try to let it roll off of me and remind myself, that in 7 years, I'll be that much richer, while most of them will be dead broke living check to check.  Even if I couldn't take it anymore at a particular job, I could just switch jobs; this tactic has in the past been refreshing, at least for some time, until all the idiots and people with borderline personalities reveal themselves again.

nereo

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Re: Conflicted: FI x4, want to keep working but don't at same time
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2015, 08:52:09 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. I've had time to reflect since I posted and I think the issues are:

-I feel like I'm too young to retire still, at 33. I just graduated college 6 years ago, and already I've done this though  (150K salary, 500K assets). To another posters point, I've hit career goals that your average person never achieves, but the few who do, usually achieve in their 50's etc. (MMM forums exempt since most here are not your average...)

-I feel like it's a bad idea to give up such good money (150K) a year. More money doesn't hurt, in fact it gives options.

-I feel like I need to build up as much as possible and let it compound over time. The thought of retiring with passive income well above my living expenses and yet watching my wealth compound into several million just seems too good to pass up.

-At the end of the day (I think this is a key point), all the BS at work doesn't really matter. What matters is that pay check. That paycheck allows me to buy my freedom.
Bearded Man - thanks for the update.  Sounds like you've figured out what you want to do, and that's great.  Just remember, you have the great advantage of not needing to work, so choose what you do based on what you want to do.

Quote
I have investment income that is about four times my retirement expenses
Perhaps there was some confusion from your first post - in my interpretation, being FI x 4 would suggest that you have four times greater the amount of investments then you really need to never work again, or that you would have a WR ~1%.  From your later post (500k in assets) it sounds like you are just at the FI level (depending on your personal expenses).  If that's the case there's certainly some security with sticking it out a few more years and building up that 'stache.  Even still, you could take a huge paycut to work a job that was exactly what you wanted to do (no office BS) and just paid enough to cover your expenses, and compounding would get you into that rarefied sub 3% WR territory probably around your 40th birthday.  That's another source of 'freedom' here - not needing to work a high-paying job now... you can 'coast' by just doing the work you want to do, whether it's working reduced hours at your current job or finding another job entirely or taking a 6 month sabbatical.

Just don't let the office BS get you down - there's no reason to worry about such thing.