Author Topic: ER is not (only) about finance  (Read 4459 times)

peter bedpan

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ER is not (only) about finance
« on: May 12, 2014, 11:34:03 AM »
Hello,

I'm a 45 yo single from Germany. I always have dreamed of and worked towards FIRE. And now I reached it and my head is a mess.

I'm not ultra frugal - I don't do oil changes or brake pad replacements on my own. But I have a spending habit that is far below my income without counting pennies. On top of that I made an inheritance that puts me at a 3% withdrawal rate and I could reduce it even further if I would move to a cheaper town.

So time to shit on my boss' desk, right?

Not so fast.
"You have studied; that did cost a lot of money; and now you cannot just throw it all away" my mother said.
And there are stock options that will be vested next year - the best reason for the one more year syndrome that you can think of. There was a supreme court decicion recently that this bonus can't be denied if I quit the company earlier (German readers google: BAG Az. 10 AZR 848/12). But this will end up in a lawsuit of which I will have to pay a share and has some risk.

So I decided to go part time. My thoughts were: This is the answer to the "what do you do question", I don't lose my skills, and gives me some room to develop what I want to do next. I have some DIY projects that need time and money so part time would be the best solution.

But even the sheer thought about going part time turns out to be the equivalent to shitting on my boss' desk. At least the reactions are similar. In my company part time is even more a taboo than ER. And it will cause a minor lawsuit, too (minor means low risk/ low cost).
And I wonder what comes next: Being bullied by the company because a broke a taboo? They are keen on keeping me and my boss knows that I'm FI. So they try every trick to avoid me going part time.

I know that these are not only 1st world problems but top 5% problems. Still bailing out of the work force has similar social effects like having your face tattooed.

What are your experiences? Did any one of you go part time or broke a taboo of the company?
Did you have to explain yourself like ER would be financial suicide?

CarDude

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Re: ER is not (only) about finance
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2014, 11:38:20 AM »
The point of FI is the ability to choose where and whether you continue to work. If you're FI and you don't like your work environment, why stay?

HairyUpperLip

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Re: ER is not (only) about finance
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2014, 11:40:46 AM »
Your work looks for ways to trick you into staying? Sounds like a good enough reason alone to leave.

PT is fine, but I'd go elsewhere.

oldtoyota

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Re: ER is not (only) about finance
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2014, 12:12:39 PM »
You live in Germany now? I feel like I am missing some cultural explanation for why they are trying to trick you into staying. Why don't you leave? Are you staying solely for the stock options?


Zikoris

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Re: ER is not (only) about finance
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2014, 02:18:36 PM »
I don't have anything to contribute, but I absolutely love your writing style.

peter bedpan

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Re: ER is not (only) about finance
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2014, 03:27:28 PM »
Thank you for your comments.

@CarSafetyGuy

If you had asked me a year ago I would have answered the same.
But now I can't wrap my head around FI. It's all full of 'if' and 'but' and a lack of an answer to this question:
"So you want to rent this apartment. What's your job?"

@HairyUpperLip
Interesting thought. Didn't think about that.

@odtoyota
In Germany employers need a good reason to fire someone. They can't just walk up to your desk and tell you that you're fired. So they are also quite careful when hiring.
But the main reason they want to keep me is that I have some rare skills. So the job market is quite illiquid for both employers and me.

Getting part time jobs is difficult bordering impossible. At the moment I have a lever to achieve this. So I made up my mind and do it.
The lawsuit will cost 400 - that's affordable. If my company gives me a hard time I'll bring pop corn and enjoy the show. Quitting and finding a job (if any) is still an option.

@Zikoris
Thank you

Cecil

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Re: ER is not (only) about finance
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2014, 03:34:24 PM »
"So you want to rent this apartment. What's your job?"

"Oh, I do personal investment management."

Argyle

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Re: ER is not (only) about finance
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2014, 03:36:53 PM »
The answer to "What's your job?" is either "I'm in investments" or "I'm independently wealthy."  They don't really need to know your job; what they're after is whether you have enough income to pay the rent reliably.  Presumably you have the bank statements to prove it.  What you call the "job" of collecting that income is just semantics.

But it sounds as if your employer and your mother are both getting on your case.  You need to grow a thicker skin.  Feeling pressure from those sources would be typical of a 19-year-old, not a 45-year-old.  You have the right to do exactly what you want to do.

grantmeaname

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Re: ER is not (only) about finance
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2014, 06:29:56 AM »
But it sounds as if your employer and your mother are both getting on your case.  You need to grow a thicker skin.  Feeling pressure from those sources would be typical of a 19-year-old, not a 45-year-old.  You have the right to do exactly what you want to do.
I don't know what age has to do with it, but I do agree with the sentiment that what other people think about a question as important as "how shall I live my life?" doesn't really matter.

ambimammular

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Re: ER is not (only) about finance
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2014, 06:43:37 PM »
I would put your feet up on your desk and savor every last trick they try.  That's the glory of FU money!

bikebum

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Re: ER is not (only) about finance
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2014, 07:10:34 PM »
Getting part time jobs is difficult bordering impossible. At the moment I have a lever to achieve this. So I made up my mind and do it.

Awesome! I want to work part-time in the future. I think it's silly that people look down on part-timers. A standard 40-hour work week seems arbitrary, when people make such different amounts. When you get a raise, the norm is to work the same hours and spend more money, WTF? I think it'd be cool if with higher level jobs, you could choose to work less instead of getting paid more. Self-employed people can do that, but most of us are expected to work at least 40 hours a week whether we want to or not, even if we make twice as much as someone else with a good standard of living.

If more people show an interest in part-time work it may become more accepted, so thanks :)

Joggernot

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Re: ER is not (only) about finance
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2014, 07:11:04 PM »
I would put your feet up on your desk and savor every last trick they try.  That's the glory of FU money!
+1