Author Topic: One More Year and Guilt  (Read 3291 times)

dailycycle

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One More Year and Guilt
« on: August 04, 2016, 06:23:44 PM »
I’ve seen plenty of discussion here about One More Year syndrome in the context of fear, mainly the fear of running out of money.  I’m not free of that, but I think I’m struggling more with guilt.

I feel very lucky to have a job that pays absurdly well—biglaw type of money, I guess—but with reasonable hours.  It feels spoiled or ungrateful to cast aside something which people I know and love would toil away for a chance at. 

This seems similar to the “Eat your dinner!  Don’t know know there are children starving in China?” argument.  It doesn’t make sense to stuff yourself because someone else doesn’t have enough, but there is still something disgraceful about wasting food.
 
My parents worked hard and for less money, and not for the sake of consumer junk.  It feels like I would be dishonoring them to drop an easier gig early on in the game.  I know for a fact they didn't have to work as long as they did.  In fact, doing so had very sad consequences for them (my Dad's retirement dream turned into a cancer nightmare almost as soon as he realized it). Would my Dad want me to learn from his example and go another route?  Possibly.  But he so valued work.  It's my life to live, I know.  It hasn’t been my personality to try to please my parents as an adult and I'm not trying to please him now since he’s dead.  But somehow I find it very hard to emotionally reconcile quitting.  Anyone else have this going on?

human

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Re: One More Year and Guilt
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2016, 06:36:02 PM »
What exactly would anyone benefit from you working one more year? Do you think you're so special and indispensable that working longer will serve some purpose? We're all expendable, if you have the funds to stop working and want to stop working then go for it.

If you like being a tiny cog in a big machine and somehow feel you are so "productive" and therefore a big benefit to society working as a huckster in big law law, then by all means keep working.

You're welcome.

FIstateofmind

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Re: One More Year and Guilt
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2016, 07:52:13 PM »
Do you enjoy your job? Does thinking of retirement bring a sense of relief or dread - and not based on peoples expectations, but of thinking of your future life?

TomTX

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Re: One More Year and Guilt
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2016, 08:07:08 PM »
If you're done, let someone else have the cushy slot. Me, for example ;)

dailycycle

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Re: One More Year and Guilt
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2016, 10:23:16 PM »
I don't think I'm special.  More like I haven't paid my dues. 

Baby, you're on to something.  My job has some downside but a lot of upside.  I'm not sure I'll face the same kind of true challenges outside of work.  And I do enjoy the challenges.  So thinking of retirement... brings anticipation of quite a number of things I know I'll enjoy but also anxiety that the pace might end up feeling too slow or I'll miss some kind of personal growth through adversity.

TomTX, that perspective is a good one for treating some part of the guilt.  :)

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: One More Year and Guilt
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2016, 02:36:48 AM »
Does the idea of Work to Give appeal to you? The basic premise is that you work OMY/TMY and give all the money away to which ever charity makes your heart sing or does the most good with it.

Is your industry one that would allow you to step away for a few years to think about what you really want to achieve in life and then go back for a couple of years if your purpose needs more money (or if your purpose is to line a vault with gold).

Your parents worked and saved to put you in this position and you want to honour that. If you really look into your feelings I suspect that they did that because they want you to be happy, and safe, and fulfilled; not because they wanted you to be useful to a corporate machine. You owe your dues to the people who made it happen, and maybe to the future people who could benefit from what you have to offer, but not to your company who pay you for a service.

Good luck with this. I suspect that if you get some time away from work you will find an answer that you knew all along.

StiffUpperLip

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Re: One More Year and Guilt
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2016, 05:38:22 AM »
If you extrapolate from your thought that you have something in your job that another would work very hard for a chance at, then leaving because you're FI could potentially open up that opportunity to this 'other'. The company would still need someone to carry out your duties so would this not remove the 'guilt' part of the equation by allowing you to provide this opportunity to another hard-working soul?

Eucalyptus

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Re: One More Year and Guilt
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2016, 06:16:31 AM »
If you extrapolate from your thought that you have something in your job that another would work very hard for a chance at, then leaving because you're FI could potentially open up that opportunity to this 'other'. The company would still need someone to carry out your duties so would this not remove the 'guilt' part of the equation by allowing you to provide this opportunity to another hard-working soul?

Yeah this!

As a Scientist, I think this will be a huge thing for me when I eventually retire (not that I have even 1% of the same type of guilt as the original poster). In Science/Academia, I guess a huge part of people's motivation is to make the world a better place. Yes, I can make the world a better place by staying in the job, but so could a bright and capable young Scientist with huge potential and new ideas! The way things work in this area, most get to finish their PhDs, and then there is no opportunity left for them, so they leave Research/Academia. By leaving, I'll open up an opportunity. And its not like I won't still get to try make the world a better place by myself. Its pretty easy to volunteer yourself to a University after you retire at any age and contribute to your field almost as much as you want. So FIRE for me might essentially be me getting to do the things I love the most as much as I feel like (eg working with postgrads and mentoring, coming up with new ideas, working on really cool things that are important but for some reason society doesn't pay for), without having to do the stuff I don't want to do (teaching courses I don't like, admin duties, working on projects just because they bring in funding).

So, OP, maybe think this way. Think about, who is a younger person who would love your opportunity, that you could fill your role with? Prior to your FIRE date, spend time working on potential candidates. Mentor them. Prepare them. Give back in this way :-) Then when you FIRE, if you feel guilt about not working, find ways to contribute to Society that you like. If you are in Law (someone mentioned?) there are loads of ways to do this! I'm sure you can think of them straight away :-)

FIRE is an avenue to work on the things that really inspire you and perhaps drew you to your field in the first place, without having to sell yourself out any more :-)

arebelspy

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Re: One More Year and Guilt
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2016, 08:57:17 AM »
I feel very lucky to have a job that pays absurdly well—biglaw type of money, I guess—but with reasonable hours.  It feels spoiled or ungrateful to cast aside something which people I know and love would toil away for a chance at. 

When you quit, you aren't destroying the job--you're making it available for someone else.

Win-win!
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Metric Mouse

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Re: One More Year and Guilt
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2016, 10:12:07 AM »
Meh. No guilt.  Not sure how anyone would want to live with such sense of regret for the things they've done.  If one feels guilty leaving their job, I guess one should stay and be happy, rather than leave and be miserable.

Psychstache

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Re: One More Year and Guilt
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2016, 10:18:28 AM »
I feel very lucky to have a job that pays absurdly well—biglaw type of money, I guess—but with reasonable hours.  It feels spoiled or ungrateful to cast aside something which people I know and love would toil away for a chance at. 

When you quit, you aren't destroying the job--you're making it available for someone else.

Win-win!

This.

I am good at my job, but there are lots of people who could do it. There are very few who do what I do in my organization (4 total positions) but lots who could do it (last time we had an opening, we had around 20 qualified candidates). If I don't need the money and can retire, someone else will get the chance to move up in the organization and make their financial life a little more secure.