Author Topic: New and Overwhelmed  (Read 3969 times)

always_evergreen

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New and Overwhelmed
« on: May 29, 2016, 01:43:15 PM »
Hi All,

I've been lurking for a while, and finally decided to share my dilemma with you all.

I am 27, been working toward FI for just about 6 months now so I am still pretty new to all this. I have a decent paying job in the tech sector in the Seattle area. According to my calculations, my SO and I have at least 12-15 years until FI. I realize that this puts us in a great place compared to most people who won't retire until their 60's or 70's and that I am lucky to have a job that allows me and my SO to live comfortably in an expensive city, but I am just getting so beat down by the corporate world these days that it feels like 12-15 years might as well be a lifetime away. Sometimes I feel like if I have to attend one more useless meeting, BS one on one, or stupid office birthday celebration I might explode. I keep telling myself that if it gets to be too much I can start using my hard earned savings to take a year or so off, but that seems counterintuitive to the goal of long term FI. Plus, I can't imagine how hard it would be to try to go back to the corporate world after taking a long time off. We are toying with the idea of moving to a less expensive area of WA state and just working part time jobs - but we are at least a couple of years out from that being an option as well due to the fact that we have thrown most of our money at paying off student debt and an ill advised car loan.


So to the point: how do you mustachians who have a longer amount of time until FI keep your spirits up and stay focused on the goal? How do you keep the day to day grind from getting to you?

Classical_Liberal

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Re: New and Overwhelmed
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2016, 03:21:09 PM »
Ever consider retiring from full-time work earlier and planning for part-time or side income on your terms?

You're young and have a ton of time for your investments to grow, add in frugality and you don't need nearly as much to live a happy life. Be debt free & save 5X spending in retirement accounts, 1-2X spending post tax as a buffer and just earn enough to live until the retirement accounts grow you into FI.  Time frame to a semi-re drops substantially.

If the idea makes you uncomfortable, run some senerios on cfiresim or the new tool https://www.ontrajectory.com/welcome.html which provides historical runs and a monte carlo. 

Zikoris

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Re: New and Overwhelmed
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2016, 03:38:49 PM »
I hear you. We're looking at another 7 or 8 years, with varying levels of enthusiasm for our current jobs (I'm ambivalent towards mine, he hates his). What works for us is to just focus on having really awesome lives outside of work. We live in an apartment we love, have a lot of fun hobbies, eat our favourite foods all the time, and take every single vacation day our employers give us. We also try to maintain strong relationships with friends and family, and take great care of our health (sleep, diet, exercise, stress).

We basically try to optimize the shit out of any unpleasant-but-necessary tasks, so we can spend most of our non-working hours doing fun things. It makes a HUGE difference in our day-to-day happiness levels. Frequent travel also makes a big difference, because we always have something really cool to look forward to all the time.

cakie

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Re: New and Overwhelmed
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2016, 03:54:52 PM »
Urgh, the app froze and deleted my long reply. My point was: if the job / environment you are in is toxic, you have the power to change it. Go on some long holidays doing hobbies you enjoy or want to try out. If you're like my SO and hate office environments but can't always get better jobs eg. outside and/or physical, then work out how much luxury you personally can live happily without and lower your expenses...we are 11yrs from true FIRE on current expenses but aiming to stop full-time work in ~5yrs ☺

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk


Jaguar Paw

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Re: New and Overwhelmed
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2016, 04:38:35 PM »
Get a job you enjoy? I couldn't imagine working in a corporate job doing the mind numbing things that you described. There is a good paying job out there that won't make you want to kill yourself and won't make another 15 years of work seem absolutely miserable. Wife and I have 20 years or so until our pensions kick in but it's all gravy because we both love our jobs (though we would still rather be hiking, camping, brewing coffee all day).

mozar

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Re: New and Overwhelmed
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2016, 08:30:50 PM »
When I first started my journey I estimated it would take me 15 years. With the negotiating skills I learned in this forum I was able to increase my income by 30% and decrease FIRE time to 9 years. I was absolutely sure that I couldn't make anymore money until I learned about how to take advantage of the opportunities around me. Also side hustles can shorten time to FIRE.

PhysicianOnFIRE

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Re: New and Overwhelmed
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2016, 09:04:47 PM »
That's the problem to learning about FI so soon. The good news is you'll start making all the right moves early on, and like you say, be in great shape much sooner than the rest of your cohort making the usual mistakes.

But, like the venerable Tom Petty says, the waiting is the hardest part. Do your best to find joy in the work that you do. If you can't, try to find a different job with comparable pay, if such a thing exists.

I lucked out and hit FI shortly after I knew what it was. Ignorance was bliss.

Best,
-PoF

Choices

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Re: New and Overwhelmed
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2016, 09:26:53 AM »
It's a common situation. Working part-time can help, but the nicer you make the rest of your life and the less time you spend at work, the more noticeable the crap at work will become. So, take inventory. What bothers you the most about your job and how can you do less of it? On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with your job? If it isn't a 1, why not? How can you do more of the things that raise the score?

You're on the right track here finding MMM. Can you lower your expenses and get by on a job you like better and delay retirement? Or is retiring early worth putting up with the undesirable aspects of your job?

The fun part is knowing you're financially secure and have options, then you can try to make your job better. Say no to overtime and ridiculous requests. Share your ideas more freely. You might gain respect and do just fine. They might fire you, but who cares at that point?

GorgeousSteak

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Re: New and Overwhelmed
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2016, 01:26:50 PM »
That's the problem to learning about FI so soon. The good news is you'll start making all the right moves early on, and like you say, be in great shape much sooner than the rest of your cohort making the usual mistakes.

But, like the venerable Tom Petty says, the waiting is the hardest part. Do your best to find joy in the work that you do. If you can't, try to find a different job with comparable pay, if such a thing exists.

This is pretty much what I was going to say.  Being in this community can make you hate work (particularly if its of the standard corporate office variety).  It doesn't have to be that way, but its up to you.  If you don't like your company or career, you're too far out to stick it and I'd recommend thinking about other possibilities.  It's easy to lose sight of this, but the real goal is to maximize your happiness, not hit FI as soon as possible.

boarder42

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Re: New and Overwhelmed
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2016, 02:15:03 PM »
my company personally is too good to leave it accelarates my path to fire by almost double.  i plan to stick it out 7-8 more years and then go contract.  my personal opinion is we should be on 30 hour work weeks in america but that will never fly at my current company.  so i'm going to make a baby with my wife and go down to 4-32s and probably still accomplish what i did in my 40 hour weeks.

little_brown_dog

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Re: New and Overwhelmed
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2016, 03:12:34 PM »
We went with the threshold method: instead of actively managing every expense and being hyper aggressive about our budget, we set a dollar or % income savings threshold to achieve every year. For us right now, that means we need to max the 401k, the 2 retirement accounts, keep a solid 3mo liquid efund, and fund our baby's 529 to our satisfaction. If all of those goals are achieved (or are on track to be achieved), then we sort of just live our lives and focus on other big life or family goals like having kids, updating the house, or traveling. 

FIRE is a great long term goal, but it doesn't lend itself well to day-to-day management as there are only so many things you can really do. We are chasing FIRE even though on a daily basis it doesn't take center stage. We set smaller, more immediate goals and achievable dreams (ex: trips) that help us enjoy the journey and give us a strong quality of life in the here and now. Sure, that money could go into savings, but I am a huge proponent of enjoying the journey and not just the outcome.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2016, 03:17:07 PM by little_brown_dog »

SimplyMarvie

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Re: New and Overwhelmed
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2016, 10:48:18 AM »
Is something like a sabbatical an option? We're 15ish years away from FIRE, and are relying on retirement benefits from work to make up a good chunk of our post-FIRE income. But I also discovered that I can take up to 6 months without pay per year without negatively impacting my credits toward retirement. We're planning on sticking at least two large sabbatical trips in, one to Africa and one to China and Japan. Planning and strategizing around those trips (as well as our normal vacations) has really helped me when I feel like I'm going to lose my mind if I have to go to one more meeting.

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: New and Overwhelmed
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2016, 11:30:03 AM »
To me, Happiness is the key. 
Try reading this, and see if you have any insights:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/happiness_vs_riches.pdf

Slee_stack

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Re: New and Overwhelmed
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2016, 11:59:49 AM »
There's always drudgery work with just about any job including being self employed.

The more something seems tedious, the more you will be appreciative when you finally escape it.  There is no good without the bad so to speak.

So your work is....work.  I've had a lot of crappy jobs in my life.  My current job isn't perfect...but I appreciate it and it isn't bothersome to me.  I find many aspects of it enjoyable....partly because I've already experienced much worse.  Throw in 'how most of the rest of the world lives' thing and I further realize that I'm one really lucky SOB!

You write that you recognize that you are fortunate, but I'm suspect that you truly do.  Yes, jobs can be inconvenient and burdensome.  My advice is to just suck it up and start REALLY realizing how fortunate you are.  If you can do that honestly, I think you'll see your job in a different light.  Attitude is everything and you have 100% control over your own.

If you still feel drained after truly accepting how fortunate you are, then definitely find another job.  Just remember that the new one will likely have its own annoyances as well.  Jobs tend to do that.


Even for the financially saavy, FIRE is not an entitlement.  Its a goal that is most often reached only through significant sacrifice and hard work.  Of course the process is not meant to be EASY.  If it were...well there might not be an MMM blog to begin with.

I apologize if this sounds unsympathetic.  I honestly believe that a genuine perspective change might work wonders for you.