Author Topic: Golden Handcuffs  (Read 10335 times)

phxguy23

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Golden Handcuffs
« on: March 07, 2014, 06:30:27 AM »
Hi all,

Long time reader, first time poster. I love that this blog and this forum exists to prove that I'm not crazy just because I don't spend like my friends/coworkers!

I have a bit of a dilemma that I'm hoping you all can help me out with. Up until about a year ago I thoroughly enjoyed my job, and although financial independence was a goal, it wasn't with the mindset that I'd stop working any time soon. I manage a team of software developers and found the work engaging, challenging, and worthwhile. Unfortunately, things more recently have changed. I am not engaged, don't like some of the newer people I have to work with, and finally understand why a lot of engineers steer clear of management (it never made sense to me before!).

Here's where things get tricky. I'm not quite at a point of financial independence, and the company has me in a bit of a golden handcuff situation. Not only is my salary high at $135K plus a bonus that is generally in the 10-15K range, but I also have been given stock options. While I may be able to replace the salary elsewhere, this company is on track to IPO as soon as this or next year, and it could be really big. While these things are hard to measure, I estimate that the shares I've already vested in or will vest in over the next year could easily net me between 100-500K.

To help paint a full picture, my expenses at the moment run around 35K/year and my invested assets are just over 800K. While I'm getting really close to MMM's 4% recommendation, I don't consider myself FI for a few reasons: 1. The 35K I currently spend doesn't include health care or taxes. 2. I would like to spend some amount of time traveling the world for a while, and ultimately see myself settling in a place like Seattle, which is more expensive than Phoenix (where I am now). 3. I'm only 34 and in good health, which means I have a long window of time to plan for.

Sorry for the mouthful. To sum up, I suppose it's a simple question. If you're unhappy, do you stay for the hopes of a large sum of money that seems to be right around the corner?

lackofstache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 313
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2014, 06:46:36 AM »
Since you don't feel quite ready to give it up making money yet anyway, I'd say stay and see if the IPO happens and what it means. If that gives you enough to retire early & travel, give it up then. If it doesn't, you can then choose to stay until you have enough or try to replace the salary somewhere else at that point.

Bank

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 224
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2014, 07:02:28 AM »
I would first quantify the difference in FI dates under the two scenarios -- leaving your job or staying for the stock options.  What is the number you need given your plans pus a safety cushion your comfortable with, and how long will it take to earn that stash under each scenario?  Then you can honestly ask the question, "do I dislike my current situation enough to delay my retirement by XX years and XX months."

This will help you focus in on what you need, rather than what you could have.  I think a lot of people would be dazzled by the thought of earning a cool $500K and stay because they can't bear to give it up.  But as close as you are to FI, you probably don't need that full amount.  And if you don't need, it's a waste of your life energy to stay for it.*

*Assuming you have fully budgeted for contingencies, have an emergency fund, safety cushion etc.

dude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2353
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2014, 07:11:11 AM »
At 34, hell yes, suck it up and stick around for the possible bonanza.  It could change everything, while a couple more years in the game probably won't be too burdensome.  Find ways to tolerate the system with grace -- reminding yourself every time something sticks in your craw that it'll be worth it in the end.  And if the IPO doesn't happen?  Oh well, you've had a couple extra years of @$150K/year earnings to juice up your retirement accounts.  At that point, you could walk for another job, or possibly be FIRE'd.  Yeah, I'd probably take the gamble.  If I was 55, probably not; 34, definitely.

soccerluvof4

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5007
  • Location: Artic Midwest
  • Retired at 50
    • My Journal
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2014, 07:14:32 AM »
Your 34 and are doing Extremely Well so first Congrats on that. Second , I think most people make there biggest mistakes in there 30's when they have success. I have no source to support that so its my own assumption from when I was in my 30's so just to be clear on that.

So back to the ? I think you your self said you dont feel your ready for FI so figure out what that number is. Secondly, Dont move so fast. Get out in the market and see whats available to you before you walk away from what might happen because you do know what is happening now.

I think your in a great position. How you navigate it is huge right now. Keep us in the loops and like i said this is to me a great situation to be in.

aj_yooper

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1091
  • Age: 8
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2014, 07:17:21 AM »
So, by staying a year more you could continue your savings, probably top out your FI fund,  and you might win $500k.  Since you are not at your freedom point yet, how costly to you is it to go another year?

I would go for another year and evaluate my options then. 

Interesting choice.

phxguy23

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2014, 07:23:03 AM »
Thank you so much for the replies so far! I know that from the outside this seems like an obvious choice, but dealing with the frustrations leads me to question whether I'm wasting my life at this place.

One thing I should have mentioned is that although the company is doing well (and I really do believe the IPO will happen, although it may be closer to the 100K mark than the 500K mark for me), there is a lot of restructuring going on. For the most part I feel safe for now, but I've seen a lot of people walked out the door so that the new upper management can bring in their own cronies. As those cronies come in the whole thing spirals, as they want to bring in their sub-cronies.

I suppose that's neither here nor there, but the idea of sticking around for the IPO only to be forced out in a few months makes the whole situation seem that much more confusing.

Noodle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1159
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2014, 07:23:53 AM »
As others have said, you don't seem to be quite ready to quit working anyhow so I might suggest this...

1. Ask yourself, is there any way to make the job more bearable? Different projects, different team, taking advantage of opportunities to do things with other departments, etc. It's not like it's going to hurt you to ask, since you're thinking of leaving anyhow.

2. A lot of time, mental adjustments can make a tough job easier, whether it's training yourself to leave work mentally behind when you leave the office, reminding yourself that you can walk anytime, detaching from the politics, developing a really great life outside the office, taking advantage of all your vacation time...Anything you can do there?

3. Set a deadline on how long you are willing to wait on the IPO. Commit to making some kind of decision at that time, even if it's to extend the deadline for another six months based on the info at that time. I always struggle with decisions, and I found the book "Decisive" by Chip and Dan Heath to have some good suggestions about effective decisionmaking.

4. You mentioned that you were concerned about being pushed out while you were waiting on the IPO. If so, so what? Then they have to offer you a nice big pile of severance money plus whatever you qualify for in unemployment. You then sigh over the IPO, pack your pile of money, take it to Seattle, and look for another job to get you the last few yards to FI. Layoffs feel crappy (BEEN THERE) but at this point, employers don't think twice when an applicant tells them their last employer went through restructuring. I wouldn't base my decision on that.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 07:31:25 AM by Noodle »

SweetLife

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 331
  • Location: Ontario
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2014, 07:41:21 AM »
phxguy23

Interesting dilemma. Having worked in completely intolerable situations where politics can really bring you down every day I can understand why you are hesistating even with the potential windfall ... I can only afford you my opinion based on what I dealt with and how I got through it ...

Before I went into work at this place every morning I would sit for 5 minutes and picture what I would do with the extra $$ I would be making that day.  (In your case the potential $100k) It wasn't going to make me FI but it certainly made me very very happy in those days ... I did end up persevering and eventually transferred to a much better place.  I did my best to ignore the politics and did my job as best as I could AND made sure to leave work at work ...

It worked for me ... I think if I had been younger and the "golden handcuffs" more like yours I would have tried even harder and smiled more lol... :)

As long as the situation isn't toxic to your life that is ... :)

Enjoy making the decision sounds like you are already almost where you want need to be to not worry about things like this much longer :) AND THEN YOU WILL BE FREEEEEEE :)

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8523
  • Registered member
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2014, 07:45:48 AM »
I'd stick around and try to make the best of it, but the beauty of being FI is that if things get/stay terrible you can leave without worry.

I think most people make there biggest mistakes in there 30's when they have success.

Can you elaborate on this?

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5753
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2014, 08:12:15 AM »
Personally: I'd probably suck it up.  If you can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel and (almost) count the days until then, things become more tolerable. 

Now: if the IPO is some vapor date that keeps moving like a mirage in the desert (and I've known of folks in this situation... where the IPO was ALWAYS next year).... then I'd think about re-working that plan.

wtjbatman

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1313
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Missouri
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2014, 08:38:38 AM »
I don't think it's a waste of "life energy" to work another couple years to assure that you can FIRE. Unless you are suffering from actual depression, or your negative work environment is manifesting itself as physical or mental health problems, I'm sure working another year or two for A) that large salary, and B) 100k-500k in stock options (!!!) is worth it.

Do you want to FIRE at 34 and have to come back to work at 50 because you ran out of money, or work till 36 and be 100% sure you will be able to retire comfortably for the rest of your life?

In my eyes it's not a hard decision. But I'm not the one who has to make it.

Iron Mike Sharpe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 397
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2014, 09:04:39 AM »
Can you ask to move from management to a Sr. Developer role?  That way you can code and get away from management duties.

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3086
  • Location: At the Barn
  • Horses: for sanity & poverty!
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2014, 09:10:39 AM »
Personally: I'd probably suck it up.  If you can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel and (almost) count the days until then, things become more tolerable. 

Now: if the IPO is some vapor date that keeps moving like a mirage in the desert (and I've known of folks in this situation... where the IPO was ALWAYS next year).... then I'd think about re-working that plan.

This.

And alternately, it sounds like you have enjoyed work in the past, so it might be worth looking around for more enjoyable work.  You have more choices than 1) stay with current employer and 2) FIRE.  You're currently living off of 35K, and as an engineer, it probably wouldn't be too tough to find something more enjoyable that would still allow you to save gobs of money and reach your FI number before too long if the current situation becomes unbearable, or being cut loose seems increasingly likely.

Insanity

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1026
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2014, 09:11:04 AM »
I gotta admit, I take a different view.  There is no guarantee of IPO.  No matter what you are being told.  You are playing a risk.  What happens if in one year time the company does not go IPO?  What if it is bought out instead by a private company?  What if there are more investors that are brought in and your shares become more diluted?

The IPO game seems to be all the rage now, but to me, these are like bonus dollars.  You can't count on it. 

wtjbatman

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1313
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Missouri
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2014, 09:18:15 AM »
I gotta admit, I take a different view.  There is no guarantee of IPO.  No matter what you are being told.  You are playing a risk.  What happens if in one year time the company does not go IPO?  What if it is bought out instead by a private company?  What if there are more investors that are brought in and your shares become more diluted?

The IPO game seems to be all the rage now, but to me, these are like bonus dollars.  You can't count on it.

That almost doesn't matter anyway. Keep in mind he said that according to him he hasn't achieved financial independence yet, and he's still earning a 135k salary with expenses of 35k a year. A couple more years of work will add 200k+ to his retirement fund. Not exactly a miserly savings.

phxguy23

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2014, 09:33:54 AM »
Again, I'd like to thank you all for taking the time to comment! It seems that the majority are in agreement that I should suck it up, and I appreciate the insight to view it as a means to an end. My initial hesitation to do so has been, as I mentioned before, that I used to really enjoy this work. I fear that sticking around is ruining the prospect of being able to stay in this career field -- something I had planned to do. Yes, FI appears to be around the corner, but I planned to work anyway. I hate that this place is able to change my perspective on something I worked toward and enjoyed for so long.

Regarding the IPO: It's pretty likely that it will happen. With that said, the points about getting diluted, having to wait longer than anticipated for it to happen, etc., are all very valid. When you factor in the bit about how I fear getting walked out at any moment (and subsequently losing the benefit of those stock options), it makes it all that much harder to believe I'm making the right decision by sticking around -- even with the salary contributing to the FI goal.

The suggestions to find another prospect/job in the company are also helpful. I've tried to do that, but nothing has panned out. I hadn't fully considered stepping back into a developer role only because it didn't seem to align with my goals, but maybe that is the best way (thanks for the suggestion, Iron Mike Sharpe).

In full disclosure, this all may just be me being a complainypants because I'm having a particularly rough week and having more trouble than usual detaching emotionally. A young guy who worked on my team unexpectedly passed away last Friday, and I've been extremely unimpressed with the support HR has provided. Not to dump all of that on you helpful people, but isn't this forum really about therapy anyway? :-)

desrever

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 74
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2014, 09:34:29 AM »
Time to start interviewing now.

Counterintuitively, a "golden handcuffs" type situation like you describe actually puts you in the best position right now to interview and find a new job. This is because there is no gun to your head; you can go and find an organization where the work excites you. You will give a better interview because you will be able to express a strong view about the sort of team you want to be a part of. Once you get an offer, you are in a great negotiation position: you feel like you can hold out until the benefits match or exceed what you currently expect. And through negotiation, you can use this opportunity to turn your theoretical IPO windfall (however you value it today) into a recurring salary and a job you like.

I've been through this in the last couple years this with my wife, myself, and a few friends -- all software engineers. Everybody started out thinking "oh i'm paid really well now, there's no way company X would match it." But everybody wound up really happy.

My advice might be different if you weren't in software, but the job market is so hot right now, and who knows really how long this will last? You are not the first hacker to come along who needs to be bought out of some vesting schedule.

If you want to keep exposed to the possible IPO upside, and you have vested options, can you do a cash-in exercise?

4alpacas

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1897
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2014, 09:48:19 AM »
I gotta admit, I take a different view.  There is no guarantee of IPO.  No matter what you are being told.  You are playing a risk.  What happens if in one year time the company does not go IPO?  What if it is bought out instead by a private company?  What if there are more investors that are brought in and your shares become more diluted?

The IPO game seems to be all the rage now, but to me, these are like bonus dollars.  You can't count on it.

That almost doesn't matter anyway. Keep in mind he said that according to him he hasn't achieved financial independence yet, and he's still earning a 135k salary with expenses of 35k a year. A couple more years of work will add 200k+ to his retirement fund. Not exactly a miserly savings.

I'm with Batman.  IF the IPO happens, then great.  Just keep your head down, get your work done, and keep saving.  When you can RE, go for it. 

phxguy23

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2014, 09:58:02 AM »
If you want to keep exposed to the possible IPO upside, and you have vested options, can you do a cash-in exercise?

desrever, the unfortunate things with these options is that there is a clause in place that says that if I leave the company (voluntarily or otherwise), they have the right to buy back my shares at today's FMV. I've actually already exercised a few, but I'm only barely in the money on them. So basically if I leave I get almost nothing -- they'll keep that FMV relatively flat for as long as they can until the IPO.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 09:59:36 AM by phxguy23 »

Insanity

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1026
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2014, 10:07:17 AM »
I gotta admit, I take a different view.  There is no guarantee of IPO.  No matter what you are being told.  You are playing a risk.  What happens if in one year time the company does not go IPO?  What if it is bought out instead by a private company?  What if there are more investors that are brought in and your shares become more diluted?

The IPO game seems to be all the rage now, but to me, these are like bonus dollars.  You can't count on it.

That almost doesn't matter anyway. Keep in mind he said that according to him he hasn't achieved financial independence yet, and he's still earning a 135k salary with expenses of 35k a year. A couple more years of work will add 200k+ to his retirement fund. Not exactly a miserly savings.

I'm with Batman.  IF the IPO happens, then great.  Just keep your head down, get your work done, and keep saving.  When you can RE, go for it.

Staying with the devil you know is not always better than going with the devil you don't know.

4alpacas

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1897
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2014, 10:10:31 AM »
I gotta admit, I take a different view.  There is no guarantee of IPO.  No matter what you are being told.  You are playing a risk.  What happens if in one year time the company does not go IPO?  What if it is bought out instead by a private company?  What if there are more investors that are brought in and your shares become more diluted?

The IPO game seems to be all the rage now, but to me, these are like bonus dollars.  You can't count on it.

That almost doesn't matter anyway. Keep in mind he said that according to him he hasn't achieved financial independence yet, and he's still earning a 135k salary with expenses of 35k a year. A couple more years of work will add 200k+ to his retirement fund. Not exactly a miserly savings.

I'm with Batman.  IF the IPO happens, then great.  Just keep your head down, get your work done, and keep saving.  When you can RE, go for it.

Staying with the devil you know is not always better than going with the devil you don't know.

I would argue the known devil is better for short term FIRE due to the way most vesting schedules work.

Insanity

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1026
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2014, 10:41:22 AM »
I would argue the known devil is better for short term FIRE due to the way most vesting schedules work.

That's making some assumptions.  I'm not suggesting to take the first offer that comes on the table, but if you can get a salary/bonus structure that is close to what is currently there (and who knows there maybe other benies that are provided that are better - like full health care coverage, 10% 401K matching, etc).  Putting all the eggs in the "hope the IPO comes through" basket is a big risk.

It may come out that salaries/bonus/benies don't come close and it turns out to be worth the risk. Who knows.  But not finding out would be a mistake.

Tyler

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1138
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2014, 11:02:36 AM »
One thing to keep in mind is that even when the company does go IPO, that doesn't necessarily mean the money is immediately yours. There is usually tons of fine print about when certain people are allowed to exercise their options, vested or not.  I've heard stories of people who were paper millionaires after an IPO, but were low on the schedule of allowable exercise dates (having to wait multiple years). All the executives with preferred shares cashed out in the first week, the stock plummeted, and the remaining options were worth pennies on the dollar.

Be sure to read the fine print before making a decision.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 11:04:30 AM by Tyler »

okiedoke

  • Guest
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2014, 11:30:54 AM »
Time to start interviewing now.

Counterintuitively, a "golden handcuffs" type situation like you describe actually puts you in the best position right now to interview and find a new job. This is because there is no gun to your head; you can go and find an organization where the work excites you. You will give a better interview because you will be able to express a strong view about the sort of team you want to be a part of. Once you get an offer, you are in a great negotiation position: you feel like you can hold out until the benefits match or exceed what you currently expect. And through negotiation, you can use this opportunity to turn your theoretical IPO windfall (however you value it today) into a recurring salary and a job you like.

I've been through this in the last couple years this with my wife, myself, and a few friends -- all software engineers. Everybody started out thinking "oh i'm paid really well now, there's no way company X would match it." But everybody wound up really happy.

My advice might be different if you weren't in software, but the job market is so hot right now, and who knows really how long this will last? You are not the first hacker to come along who needs to be bought out of some vesting schedule.

If you want to keep exposed to the possible IPO upside, and you have vested options, can you do a cash-in exercise?

This.  The options give you big-time negotiating leverage with a new place.  Interview, and make your decision with the benefit of the new information you glean from the process.

James

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1680
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Rice Lake, WI
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2014, 11:42:18 AM »
I agree with the recommendations to look for other options. Even if you can't find anything, then you know you made the right decision to stick it out. Finding out the other options out there don't pay as much, have worse features, etc will all serve to make this job seem more tolerable. And if you do find something better, it gives an option both for the possibility of being walked out, and if things truly do get unbearable.


I am in a similar position in the health care field. My current company is poorly managed and just cut my compensation by 7%. It would bother me more, except that I have been looking and interviewing for other jobs in the past couple years. I know my overall compensation is still fair, and my COL is low compared to other locations. The working conditions aren't perfect, but every other job I have looked at has issues that balance any benefits in changing employers. So my current job just doesn't seem all that bad in comparison, and I am better able to enjoy the good parts of my current job because I know the grass isn't any greener out there.


There isn't a right or wrong answer, but getting more information is sure a good idea when you have the thoughts you do, even thought it take some hard work networking and knocking on doors to get those answers.

goodlife

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2014, 12:17:34 PM »
Personally, I think the situation is quite different if you are talking about 100k vs 500k. Given your assets, 100k (less after tax) isn't really that much, maybe you can find another job that will pay you that amount just as a sign-on bonus. 500k on the other hand would be worth sticking around for. However, make sure you read the fine print on whatever stock option agreements you have. I work in the finance industry and have done tons of IPOs, so take it for what it's worth, but sometimes employees are not allowed to sell at the IPO and get locked up for some time after that (which of course can be good or bad, the stock may go through the roof or crash, but you don't know).
If you are truly miserable (which I don't get the sense you are), then I would not stick around for a potential 100k. IPOs get delayed or pulled all the time, nothing is ever certain. For a potential 500k, yes, I would stick around for that.

Mori

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 130
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2014, 01:01:39 PM »
For me, even just putting my hat in the ring and starting to look for another job makes me feel better about the one I'm at--because I know there could be an end date in sight, and I'm making a move to improve my happiness. If you do find something you can decide if you want to take it, and if you don't, you're no worse off than you are right now.

If you told me that you were worried about a layoff (without FI), I would tell you to start applying elsewhere, even if the current job had a promise of an IPO.

lifejoy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3963
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Canada, eh
  • Lovin' the Mustachian life!
    • Not Buying This
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2014, 01:55:00 PM »
Perhaps try to make your work life better without changing your job?

I compiled a bunch of links in this post that have helped me sometimes. Ignore everything but the blue links and you might find some useful nuggets! :)

http://libraryjoy.com/2013/04/21/love-your-job/

desrever

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 74
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2014, 11:13:17 AM »
If you want to keep exposed to the possible IPO upside, and you have vested options, can you do a cash-in exercise?

desrever, the unfortunate things with these options is that there is a clause in place that says that if I leave the company (voluntarily or otherwise), they have the right to buy back my shares at today's FMV. I've actually already exercised a few, but I'm only barely in the money on them. So basically if I leave I get almost nothing -- they'll keep that FMV relatively flat for as long as they can until the IPO.

Groooossss.

mowgil

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #30 on: March 08, 2014, 11:37:32 AM »
Is it possible to stay at your company in different, more engaging, role?

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10344
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #31 on: March 08, 2014, 01:29:52 PM »
Time to start interviewing now.

Counterintuitively, a "golden handcuffs" type situation like you describe actually puts you in the best position right now to interview and find a new job

+1.  I'd add to that; you already are close to FI with $800k in savings. 
if you stay with your current job you know what that means. You have a large salary you can continue to squirrel away and an environment you don't like.  If you do that I agree with a previous poster that you should give yourself a definite timeline (XX months and I will ahve saved XX more and I will be FI and quit!)

Or, you could find a new job.  Since you only need ~$35k/year to live on you have a lot of options.  What about looking for a job where you work 20hr/week but earn "only" 40-60k.  You'd have 4 day weekends every week and still be letting your stash grow with interest and smaller contributions.   Or maybe there's another $100k job out there with a work environment you'd love.  You could meet new people and maybe make some new friends.


ThermionicScott

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #32 on: March 08, 2014, 02:52:04 PM »
Do you want to FIRE at 34 and have to come back to work at 50 because you ran out of money, or work till 36 and be 100% sure you will be able to retire comfortably for the rest of your life?

+1, that's how I'd look at it if I were one year or so away from FI.  If it were going take longer than that, then I'd look at my other options.

Being engaged and truly loving your job I think is something of a luxury -- for most people, tolerance of the conditions is much of why they're being paid to do that job in the first place.

nicknageli

  • Guest
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #33 on: March 08, 2014, 08:38:52 PM »
Being engaged and truly loving your job I think is something of a luxury -- for most people, tolerance of the conditions is much of why they're being paid to do that job in the first place.

Well said. 

oldtoyota

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3124
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #34 on: March 09, 2014, 07:39:31 PM »
My situation is slightly similar, and I'll tell you what I decided to do. I think of how the money I am making is getting me toward my goal to FI in 4-5 years. The "small stuff," which is the stuff happening today and this week, is very small in the grand scheme of my personal life goals.

I am reminding myself of some version of the above whenever I need to hear it. Sometimes, I log in to look at my 401K balance. =-)

Lastly, I am starting to nose around in the job market without feeling pressure or being rushed. If a good job appears, I will consider it.




G-dog

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13661
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #35 on: March 09, 2014, 08:04:43 PM »
You are in a great position - your MMM behaviors have given you better options because you have fallbacks.
Ideal world - your job is satisfying, engaging, enjoyable, reduces world hunger, offsets carbon emissions, saves baby seals.... Etc.
Real world - one or more of the above are missing... You need to figure out when the job becomes intolerable (again, you are in a great position to walk away)

I would stick it out for now, look for a better position/role (in this company or another or star my own biz), keep saving at an alarming rate unless/ until you reach the day you have to make the hard choice to leave this company with our without the IPOD.

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8523
  • Registered member
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #36 on: March 09, 2014, 11:28:52 PM »
If you want to keep exposed to the possible IPO upside, and you have vested options, can you do a cash-in exercise?

desrever, the unfortunate things with these options is that there is a clause in place that says that if I leave the company (voluntarily or otherwise), they have the right to buy back my shares at today's FMV. I've actually already exercised a few, but I'm only barely in the money on them. So basically if I leave I get almost nothing -- they'll keep that FMV relatively flat for as long as they can until the IPO.

That's ridiculous.  I'm not sure if you are quoting the actual contract correctly, but you may be able to extract more money from the company with a good lawyer.  The point being that if they are manipulating the value of shares, it's not the "fair market" value.  If the IPO explodes, that will pretty much prove that you didn't get FMV.

TomTX

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3397
  • Location: Texas
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #37 on: March 10, 2014, 08:08:37 AM »
Since the place is tolerable - I'd suck it up for another year, unless there is a major change.

Re-evaluate at another year (ish) - preferably right after bonus distribution.  Do a detailed FIRE calculation. You're not there today, and you HAVE TO include medical costs.


Bateaux

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1404
  • Location: Port Vincent
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #38 on: March 10, 2014, 07:06:55 PM »
Your financial engine is running strong and athe current rate in a few short years you can live really well for the rest if your life.  I'm in the same boat right now even though I'm a decade older.  My nest egg is growing rapidly and my income is higher than ever.  I'm looking to fire by 50.  You can certainly do so by 40.  Stick it out for 2 to 5 more years.

Bank

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 224
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #39 on: March 11, 2014, 07:10:07 AM »

That's ridiculous.  I'm not sure if you are quoting the actual contract correctly, but you may be able to extract more money from the company with a good lawyer.  The point being that if they are manipulating the value of shares, it's not the "fair market" value.  If the IPO explodes, that will pretty much prove that you didn't get FMV.

While I agree with this in theory, a good lawyer will cost a lot of money.  And he/she will hire a good valuation expert to contest the valuation -- and we (yes, I am one) cost a TON of money.  You may get a quick settlement, or you may end up being bled dry.  Even if the IPO explodes, there's no guarantee you can use that to prove the current value is understated.  Part of the value of an IPO is that it provides investment capital for positive NPV projects that wouldn't have otherwise been possible.  The contrary argument made by the company will be something like this:  "Our FMV wasn't understated.  We computed it before we successfully raised capital to do  XY and Z.  There was no guarantee a year ago that we were going to be able to successfully complete an IPO, so we did not include XYZ in the projections our valuation expert used to value the company."

DoubleDown

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1989
Re: Golden Handcuffs
« Reply #40 on: March 11, 2014, 12:41:36 PM »
I see all of this in a different light, and it's all positive. Don't leave today, and also don't stay for any determined amount of time.

You have already amassed more than enough FU money to walk at any time another opportunity is available, or just to (figuratively) say "F U" if things ever got bad enough and walk, period. This is a liberating thought once you realize it.

So, I'd forget aiming for any specific time horizons or events (next year, two years from now, when the IPO happens/doesn't happen, etc.) and just take things one day at a time. You have the world by the tail now. You can command your own future without the burden of wondering how you'd get by if you didn't have this job. So, just go to work each day knowing it could be your last if you choose, and keep your eyes open for any other opportunities (or go make your own opportunities) that could make you leave. If you end up leaving before you hit your final FI number, no worries, you have years and years to find the next thing to push you over the edge. Good luck!