Author Topic: High Pay/ Stress Job at start of Career, Lower Pay/ Stress for the rest  (Read 1364 times)

wealthviahealth

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 216
In thinking about the power of compound interest and daily enjoyment of each day; I have been tinkering with a career design in which
the first 5-10 years of a person's career would be spent in a higher paying job that is perhaps less enjoyable but allows for aggressive savings & investment to "fund" a more enjoyable/rewarding 15-25 years of work. This is obviously very similar to many of the ideas within the FIRE community but instead approaching it from a retirement or passive income lens to instead be able to enjoy a long/ "chill" career that would otherwise not be possible if financial freedom were the goal.

Example: Work from age 23-32 making 6 figures and save $400K+ and then transition to a career from age 32-60 with max flexibility/enjoyment
making a fraction of this but allowing compound interest from the $400k nest egg to work its magic the whole time.
Curious to hear if others have structured such a lifestyle design and how they went about it.

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3462
Re: High Pay/ Stress Job at start of Career, Lower Pay/ Stress for the rest
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2019, 04:49:24 PM »
I'm trying to do something similar. I got burnt out from a 10 year career as an auditor. After 2 years of being un- employed I've been applying to carpentry jobs. If I can get the one I want I will do the for 5 years or until I vest then quit.  I have about 170k saved. I would have preferred to have more saved at this point but life had other plans.

Malcat

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6897
Re: High Pay/ Stress Job at start of Career, Lower Pay/ Stress for the rest
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2019, 04:56:22 PM »
That's a version of CoastFI

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3414
    • My Wild Ride to FI
Re: High Pay/ Stress Job at start of Career, Lower Pay/ Stress for the rest
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2019, 04:59:44 PM »
I don't disagree with the overall philosophy, but at least for me & for my jobs I see/hire for, the level of experience required makes this challenging. I'm hitting my peak earning years now (early 40s) based on experience of leadership, technical depth, etc.

frugal_c

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 276
Re: High Pay/ Stress Job at start of Career, Lower Pay/ Stress for the rest
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2019, 08:19:37 PM »
I am kind of doing this. I definitely have the high stress part down.  😀  What I am finding is it's hard to do the down shift.  I wonder how much less stress it would be. I have already done the high stress gig for a number of years so it's like why not one more year.   I also am suspicious of the market and don't want to lose 5 years if its flat.  At least if I'm saving a bunch I will be able to take advantage of any correction.   So I guess easier said than done but yes it would work. I could find a job that pays half what I make and then it's just a matter of 7 to 12 years for the market to finish it off.  Hmm...

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3713
  • Age: 39
  • Location: South Carolina
Re: High Pay/ Stress Job at start of Career, Lower Pay/ Stress for the rest
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 03:49:34 AM »
I worked in a career like this, although I opted for full FIRE after fifteen years.

Commercial Banking.

Its on-the-job training and takes front loading 5-10 years with a larger bank in a larger city to learn all of the variables and see enough deals to be efficient.  The best people just work more in their 20s and early 30s.  I continued into management and at 36 my compensation was over 300k for the prior twelve months.

I could easily go work for a smaller community bank making mid-100s with an easier job & high quality of life.  If I wanted to live in a smaller city/area, there's a huge lack of talent that has the experience needed.  IMO, someone really needs 5 years of so of experience in a top 30 style city to get good at the job.

I wonder often about if I had chosen the Coast FI route instead of management and increasing my income.  The path I chose got me to financial independence, but it was tougher to walk away from that income level.

Brother Esau

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 649
Re: High Pay/ Stress Job at start of Career, Lower Pay/ Stress for the rest
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2019, 03:58:03 AM »
I did just this. Switched to a "chill" municipal job at age 50 once reaching FI. Am now coasting to retirement somewhere between 55 and 60.

Linea_Norway

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7520
  • Location: Norway
Re: High Pay/ Stress Job at start of Career, Lower Pay/ Stress for the rest
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2019, 04:29:50 AM »
I have also heard the opposite strategy from young people who straight out of school go living the outdoor life and finance it by filming themselves, blogging for products and giving talks at outdoor events. Those people live on very little money in their youth and do that because they are now young enough to want to have adventures. They will need some kind of proper job later to at least build up some pension.

I think no one should work in such a high stress job that you get burned out. But generally trying to advance in your career when you are young enough to have the energy for it, is a good idea. But please keep a life beside it. Working for 10 years, working 80 hours a week to advance in your career, gives you nothing to look back at apart from your work, as you won't have time left for a private life.

Hula Hoop

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1592
  • Location: Italy
Re: High Pay/ Stress Job at start of Career, Lower Pay/ Stress for the rest
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2019, 04:58:32 AM »
I did the 80 hour a week crazy high salary thing for around 3 years in my late 20s-early 30s after having plenty of adventures during my 20s.  I didn't know about mustachianism back then but saved like crazy and put it all in Vanguard.  That money is kind of my 'nest egg' and enabled me to quit the high paid job, move here and not work for a while after I met my now husband, then get a much lower stress 40 hour a week job.  My savings also provided a very decent down payment on our apartment. 

I never planned to do this but this is just how things turned out for me.  I think it works well especially if you plan to have children as I did.  It's way more managable to raise children when you're only working 40 hours a week rather than 80.

Freedomin5

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3985
  • Location: China
Re: High Pay/ Stress Job at start of Career, Lower Pay/ Stress for the rest
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2019, 08:00:41 AM »
Yup, itís called Coast FI or Barista FI, and itís what we did. We calculated that $200k now would equal $1M at age 65, which would give us enough to live on. So our goal was to save up $200k in retirement accounts. Once we hit that number, we downshifted to more enjoyable jobs with better work hours. Our next number was $1M, at which point we would be completely FI.

The interesting thing was that once we hit $200k and we downshifted, our income did not actually decrease. Our savings rate increased. I think that was due to a few reasons. 1) It took us about 3-4 years to save up that $200k, and after four years, we had work experience and had been promoted, so salaries were higher. 2) We got pretty good at saving and that continued even after switching jobs.

We just hit $1M, so we feel now we really have flexibility to take on whatever work we want...or not.

teltic

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 319
Re: High Pay/ Stress Job at start of Career, Lower Pay/ Stress for the rest
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2019, 11:15:03 AM »
This comes down to what you value; what path gives you maximum happiness.... Lots of variables too... How miserable you are in your career, etc.  It'd be hard shifting from a $200k+ job to a $40k job if you don't HATE your job, but don't like it.

I wouldn't downshift until I was ~50-60% FI. Making assumptions of $80k job, $40k expenses, at $500k net worth (50% FI), if you keep this path, 6.7 years.  If you downshift to a $40k job, 14.2 years. 

Is downshifting worth an extra 7.5 years?  If you could GUARANTEE the new career/job would be 100% fun and happy... Sure.  But what if it's the same bullshit?  Same lame meetings... Lame deadlines... etc.  Yikes it would be painful knowing I took a 50% paycut.

The math will always tell you to stay at the high income job until FI.  It's up to you whether it's worth the pain/sufering/boredom of the current career choice or not.

If you truly don't think you'd RE; and would get bored and get a new job... I'd say pull the plug early.  Have you thought about a mid FI sabbatical for a year, then jumping back to the grind for another ~5 years?