Author Topic: Should I FIRE?  (Read 3458 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Should I FIRE?
« on: December 11, 2015, 08:08:07 AM »
First post here. Basically, what would you do if you were me? I've been saving since I graduated pharmacy school in 2005 at age 26. Now 36 (almost 37) year old male. Wife is 34. No kids and neither of us want them. Working as a retail pharmacist for over 10 years. Averaged 41 hours per week. Currently making $63/hr but I reduced myself to 32 hours last year due to stress from the job. I hate people, particularly the ones who frequent a pharmacy to solve their problems. Difficult to breathe at home and work sometimes. Roughly a $130k/yr job plus benefits take it to about $150k. No state income tax. Wife just started 25/hrs a week making $9/hr at a job she likes and would do for free. The house and acreage are worth $300k, completely paid off, well built in 2010. Student loans are $83k but parents feel the obligation to pay them. Other than that, debt free. Vehicle has a good 10 years left in it. We have basically everything we want but like to travel. $11k in emergency fund. $450k in 401k/tIRA/Roth (Vanguard small cap index). $250k in savings (Vanguard INTL index and muni bond fund). $50k in ESPP. Our current spending is $38k/yr. I see an easy path to go $28-30k once retired (much less driving for my job, single vehicle, more time to cook at home and shop smart instead of fast food, ACA subsidies, more flexible vacation planning). $20-25k is not out of the realm of possibility if the market collapsed. No medical bills, very healthy. I have a lot of hobbies and interests but none look particularly promising as supplemental income. I've crunched the numbers on firecalc dozens of times using a variety of scenarios, but as you might expect, I'm nervous about leaving such a high paying job that I could NEVER get back due to the abundance of new graduates. I have applied for 30-40 other pharmacy positions but no offers. I'm very good at my job but the company has a strict no rehire policy. If I leave, the door is closed. More than happy to answer questions. So what would you do? Thanks for your help.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Should I FIRE?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2015, 08:30:25 AM »
If you are sure that you can live on the income that your investments supply at a safe rate, and you hate your job, then you should do it. You only have one life, don't spend it doing something that you don't even want to do. There will always be uncertainty, you can always save just a little more, but don't let that stop you from making the leap. The only thing that would concern me a little is your loans, I wouldn't want to let my parents pay that off for me, but if yours are financially good and they want to, then lucky you. If not, maybe work a little longer, help pay them off and then retire free and clear. I'm not FI though, I'm just starting out, so I hope someone who has actually done this can weigh in.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Should I FIRE?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2015, 08:50:57 AM »

I do use my pharmacy extensively, but not to replace my doctor. I switched to a different pharmacy in fact because I felt that the pharmacists at the place I'd used for years were burned out and unfriendly. The new pharmacy must have been infused with happy pharmacists because they are just so darn jovial. Interestingly enough they are not young either, but are a mix of older folks.

Given that I say absolutely work on an exit plan. Re. student loans. I have never owed my parents anything and that kind of money left on the table would make me nervous and I would feel very guilty if something happened to them where they could not pay and I was no longer working.

I am also in your position making about the same annual salary but in an IT field. I have set my RE date to Jan. 2017. DH REd in 2011 to build up our rental empire. We use rentals for 3/4 of our income the other 1/4 will be my 401k using 72t distributions. I have a little less in 401k than you, my monthly spend is under 4k and our income will be almost 5k. I think that will be enough of a cushion for us.

If you are not going to travel and your wife will keep working, I suspect you might fall into some part time work to keep you busy and add a little more cushion.

Congrats, I will be following along. Oh, and I also recommend that you consider starting a Journal here to keep a dialog open with your fellow MMMers.

We plan to sell everything and hit the road so I am having to cut off all side gig endeavors except those that don't deliver a physical product (think monetized blog here)


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Should I FIRE?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2015, 09:04:25 AM »
How will your parents feel if you retire and they're paying off your student loans? How will they feel if they're paying off your student loans for the degree/career that they paid for that only lasted 10 years?

I assume the $130k/yr is if you're working full-time and you make ~$100k right now? Can you reduce hours even more, giving you a 4 day weekend, for a OMY and to help parents pay off the loans? Even 25 hours/week is enough for living expenses and savings.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Should I FIRE?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2015, 09:57:46 AM »
OP Here. I should probably delve into further detail here about the loans. My parents have about $100k in retirement and $600k in equity. Their SSI is enough for them. My father has just always felt a traditional moral obligation to provide an education for his children. More principle of the matter than anything else. I have offered several times to assume the loan but they refuse. I have mentioned FIRE to them before but don't truly know how they feel. They know I'm not happy with my career and want me to be happy above all else. I also stand to inherit half their stuff when they die (which I don't like to think about), but financially speaking, I stand to get another $250-350k.

life is short

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Should I FIRE?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2015, 10:15:49 AM »
I think what you have now, excluding the debt can definitely support ~$30k/year in expenses. If your wife continues working, that cuts what you have to draw down by almost a third for less than a 3% withdrawal rate, which I would not hesitate to do at all. I might start planning to leave if I was you, doing a trial of watching your actual spending closely and seeing if you really could sustain that 28-30k you metioned. I assume your 30k number has room in there for travel and hobbies etc? You mention it could be cut down, so I would feel even more comfortable FIREing now in that case. If the market did poorly for the next couple years after you quit, would you regret it, would you feel safe with your %WR?

I also like the idea of cutting your hours significantly if your employer would allow it and slowly transitioning to FIRE.

As for the loans, my parents offered to pay part of mine too, but I refused to let them. They weren't/aren't in the best financial situation, though, and the amount was much lower. But still, I can imagine that if my parents were paying loans on my behalf and I quit my job, there might be some eyebrows raised.