Author Topic: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?  (Read 7885 times)

SnakeEyes

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Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« on: February 13, 2017, 12:45:56 PM »
Hello,

I'm new to posting here but I've been reading these blogs for a couple years now. Like most of you my dream is to one day be financial independent. I don't necessarily mean that I won't work, but I want to have the freedom to work on things I enjoy rather than work that I have to do to survive. There's a lot of endeavors I would love to be pursuing in my life but unfortunately things I really enjoy don't pay much.

So here's my current situation. I've been working in the IT field for almost 20 years. I make a yearly salary of about 101k including bonuses. I'm very good at my job and highly valued and respected at work. The problem is I'm extremely burned out and it takes a lot for me to even get out of bed and face another day. I actually think I may be developing chronic stress as I've had some issues with high blood pressure and not being able to sleep at night. At the level I'm at I've found that the work load is often overwhelming and people tend to expect a lot and demand a lot. If I still had the passion and interest in the career I probably wouldn't mind so much but I just feel like I don't care. I'm able to force myself to get through projects and tasks but I can feel I'm not performing at my best like I once did. I've thought about getting training or learning some new things in IT to apply for different roles but just nothing interests me. Actually I'm not even sure if that would help anyway because I'm just sick of the whole corporate office environment with its politics and typical BS that doesn't make any sense but we have to do it anyway.

I have two young children and my wife stays at home to care for them. Her career prior to the children only paid $10 an hour and wouldn't even cover daycare expenses anyway. For a time being she did daycare herself and was able to make about 20k per year, but that caused her stress so she quit. My wife doesn't share dream of being financial independent. She thinks if it was possible at a young age more people would be doing it. She resists and fights with me with many cost cutting things I do. She tells me I will always be working until I'm in my sixties like most "normal people". I've shown her this blog but she just doesn't have time to read it as you can imagine. She is unsympathetic towards my career burn out as well.

Our financial situation is as follows:

House valued at about 230k and 161k left on it.
Wife's school loan about 9k left.
No credit card debt
No car loans
26k in 401k
about 25k in savings

Here's how our finances work out on a normal month:

Monthly income: $5500 (after taxes, 401k withdrawal, and health insurance)

Cable Internet: $54.95
at&t   Cell phones: $110.00
life insurance: $59.00
Mortgage: $1,200.00
Money I give my wife for groceries and any entertainment, kids sports: $1,000.00
wife's school loan: $116.00
state farm car and house insurance: $100.00
family gas expenses, my commute and going to visit family - we live in the country: $250.00
electric/heat: $200.00
Misc stuff that comes up birthdays, doctor visits, house repairs, any other spending: $300.00
My Martial arts class: $50.00
Water bill: $100.00

Typically I have almost 2k left every month and I apply half to my mortgage and the other half to my wife's school loan. I'd like to apply more but like I mentioned above it's challenging with a spouse who I can't see eye to eye with and there also always seems to be random things come up like brake job in the car or something break on the house. I do fix more of the things myself though.

So I'd like to do something like carpentry, installing wood floors, handy man work, or even being an auto mechanic but from what I understand it would be hard pressed to make 50k in my area doing those jobs. If I switched careers then I would be giving up my dream of being financially independent any time soon but maybe I would be happier. I'm just not sure. Would it be better to stick it out at my current job until I can get my mortgage and loan debt paid off at least? I don't think I can stick it out to have enough to fully be FI but I might be able to make it to pay off debt at least. If anyone has a similar dilemma I'd like to hear. It's be nice to just get some outside opinions as sometimes that helps you to see things you are missing.

Thanks for reading and looking forward to hearing your thoughts!



marty998

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2017, 01:15:30 PM »
With that salary I assume you are in a management position? You should try to find a way to delegate more work, rather than leave it to yourself to do.

Do it under the guise of "developing the skills and capabilities" of your team.

Your wife is probably surrounded by friends who think that it is normal to work until your sixties... I think it would help to find a frugal friend of hers to convince her that this doesn't have to be normal. Who do you think she's more likely to listen to? Crazy internet people or the friends she has in her life?

Oh and phones/internet... $165 a month is crazy huge.. .surely that can be optimised, along with the $1,000 a month wife money - where is all that going?

historienne

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2017, 01:17:29 PM »
Lots of stuff going on here.  My first reaction is that you are probably underestimating how much of your problems are specific to your current job.  Job satisfaction varies a lot with the quality of management.  Go look for a job in your field that doesn't have "the whole corporate office environment with its politics and typical BS that doesn't make any sense but we have to do it anyway."  Get thee to a startup, or become a consultant, or find a non-profit (those roles do exist; I personally know people making your salary as software developers for nonprofits).  Or just look for an office job with a better office culture. 

Helvegen

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2017, 01:52:36 PM »
Time for marriage counseling.

Laura33

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2017, 02:05:22 PM »
I'm honestly struggling with this question, because I think the answer involves a lot more discussion with your wife.

On the one hand, it's not fair for you to insist that she accept the Mustachian way of life as the only "right" answer -- people have different priorities, and if there are things she is not willing to give up, then maybe cutting back that significantly is not the right path for you guys.

On the other hand, it's also not fair for her to quit the daycare because of "stress" while expecting you to suck up that same (or worse) stress for decades because it's your job to bring in the big bucks.  That royally pisses me off. 

So I think the short answer is that you have every right to find a different job or career or whatever to make yourself happier.  But you guys really need to be a team in this.  She needs to understand that her apparent preferred option (that you keep making 6 figures until you're 65-70) is not a viable option for you, because you are too freaking miserable to do that for the next X decades.  And then you need to figure out *with her* what other options may exist and what the tradeoffs are of each.  That may be her figuring out a way to either bring in some money herself or significantly cut expenses; it may be you looking for another comparable job that reinvigorates you (or at least giving it a shot for X period of time); it may be you acknowledging that you will likely need to work longer but finding a lower-paid job where that thought isn't terminally depressing; or it may be any number of other options, or somewhere in-between.   

Tl;dr:  her desired lifestyle is just as valid as your desired lifestyle; your stress is just as valid as her stress; neither of you gets to dictate to the other.  Discuss.

SnakeEyes

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2017, 02:13:43 PM »
With that salary I assume you are in a management position? You should try to find a way to delegate more work, rather than leave it to yourself to do.

Do it under the guise of "developing the skills and capabilities" of your team.

Not management, engineering. My role is highly specialized and I'm technically the only one with my expertise at the company. There are some things I can push off occasionally but it only provides a bit of relief.

Your wife is probably surrounded by friends who think that it is normal to work until your sixties... I think it would help to find a frugal friend of hers to convince her that this doesn't have to be normal. Who do you think she's more likely to listen to? Crazy internet people or the friends she has in her life?

That's an excellent idea! Although she does have several bad friends like that I can think of one that is more frugally minded. Next time I see her I'll start a conversation up between the two.

Oh and phones/internet... $165 a month is crazy huge.. .surely that can be optimised, along with the $1,000 a month wife money - where is all that going?

The internet I can't do much about since I need it for days when I work from home and it's the only internet available in our area. The cell phone I thought about going with one of the cheap plans like discussed on this board but most of those seemed like they required you to have wifi for calling and I don't think that would work for us. One option I've thought about is cancel my phone and just use my work phone for me but not sure I want to use it for my personal calls.

SnakeEyes

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2017, 02:36:48 PM »
Lots of stuff going on here.  My first reaction is that you are probably underestimating how much of your problems are specific to your current job.  Job satisfaction varies a lot with the quality of management.  Go look for a job in your field that doesn't have "the whole corporate office environment with its politics and typical BS that doesn't make any sense but we have to do it anyway."  Get thee to a startup, or become a consultant, or find a non-profit (those roles do exist; I personally know people making your salary as software developers for nonprofits).  Or just look for an office job with a better office culture.

The ironic thing is my company is actually a nonprofit. Several people have quit due to the heavy work load. I'm keeping an eye out for another similar job but since my particular role is so specialized there's only a few job opportunities I'm even finding and most of them are further away than I'd like to commute (50+ miles). There are other aspects in IT that I have experience in but none that I can make as much money. Even so, I think if I find another job I may have less stress but still be burdened out to a certain degree. It may only serve as a temporary band aid.

FIRE me

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2017, 02:40:02 PM »
Thanks for reading and looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Cut your expenses wherever you can. Then, since it will be paid off in the next nine months or so, pretend that your wife's student loans are already paid off. now run your numbers to see how long it will take you to save and invest to reach 25x of your annual spending.

Assuming your mortgage rate is low, you will be better off to quit throwing extra money at the mortgage and invest in your 401k and VTSAX instead. So you'll be investing $2,000 per month, or more.

Now that you know how long it will take you to reach FIRE, you have to ask yourself if you can keep doing it for that long, or not.

While it make take a while to achieve FIRE, your job may be more tolerable if you can both count your blessings (your working conditions and pay both seem to be good) and you can see the FIRE light at the end of the tunnel. Even if the tunnel is rather long.

SnakeEyes

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2017, 02:42:05 PM »
Time for marriage counseling.

Been to two separate counselors for several months each, but when the counselor blaming her for most of our problems and started pushing too hard for her to change then she quit going. There's many other issues we have as well.

I could divorce but then who knows what deal the judge would cut me given that my wife has been supported by me for 10 years. I may end up paying more than 3k in alimony and child support. Then I'll definitely be working well into my 70s until I can retire. I also love my kids very much and would have a very hard time not seeing them everyday.

AlanStache

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2017, 02:54:01 PM »
Yeah your bills could be bettered but really I think all this needs to start with you and your wife getting on the same page.  Only you can say if you two should talk just yourselves or need to bring in a third party or you want to talk to someone on your own.  Always good to get an outside face to face opinion from time to time.  if you are in engineering I assume you can do the math on FIRE, can your wife follow the math - is she comfortable with compound interest etc?  If she thinks you need 5$ million to retire then that is where you need to start.

Just read your rely.  Are there non-counselors you could talk to, maybe part of a Church - someone she could not blow off as easily?

I was in a relationship where my SO always made excuses for us to not go talk to someone... sorry man, I know it can be hard.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2017, 03:01:05 PM by AlanStache »

SnakeEyes

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2017, 02:55:53 PM »
I'm honestly struggling with this question, because I think the answer involves a lot more discussion with your wife.

On the one hand, it's not fair for you to insist that she accept the Mustachian way of life as the only "right" answer -- people have different priorities, and if there are things she is not willing to give up, then maybe cutting back that significantly is not the right path for you guys.

Exactly. I've struggled with this dilemma a lot. That's why I did a bit of a compromise by giving her some free money with the $1000 per month. I just felt like it's not right for me to totally control all the finances but seems like I'm a lot more caring than she is.

On the other hand, it's also not fair for her to quit the daycare because of "stress" while expecting you to suck up that same (or worse) stress for decades because it's your job to bring in the big bucks.  That royally pisses me off. 

Right. She says that her stress at home with the kids is very bad, although when I ask the kids they will tell me mommy watched soaps on the couch eating chocolate most of the day. She says I'm the lucky one because I get to get out of the house everyday.

So I think the short answer is that you have every right to find a different job or career or whatever to make yourself happier.  But you guys really need to be a team in this.  She needs to understand that her apparent preferred option (that you keep making 6 figures until you're 65-70) is not a viable option for you, because you are too freaking miserable to do that for the next X decades.  And then you need to figure out *with her* what other options may exist and what the tradeoffs are of each.  That may be her figuring out a way to either bring in some money herself or significantly cut expenses; it may be you looking for another comparable job that reinvigorates you (or at least giving it a shot for X period of time); it may be you acknowledging that you will likely need to work longer but finding a lower-paid job where that thought isn't terminally depressing; or it may be any number of other options, or somewhere in-between.   

Tl;dr:  her desired lifestyle is just as valid as your desired lifestyle; your stress is just as valid as her stress; neither of you gets to dictate to the other.  Discuss.

Thanks, I really appreciate your thoughts on this. I think you're spot on too, because there's the fundamental issue of us both coming to terms with a common goal. But for her unfortunately there's not much to be gained from my plan. She already has it perfect by staying home and not working, if I stop working and making money it doesn't improve her life it only lessens it. I've tried several times to argue my case with her but have not gotten anywhere. If I can come up with a way to make this plan benefit her someway then maybe something can happen. Otherwise like you said I might just have to settle for taken a job where I don't make as much money and will most likely not be able to be FI but at least not burned out.





gaja

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2017, 03:11:32 PM »
Will your company be ok with you reducing to 60% or something like that? Then you could stay home 2 days a week, and the wife could work 40-50% without worrying about the kids and the house being neglected.

Since she has school loans; what is her degree in?

Laura33

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2017, 03:30:04 PM »
I'm honestly struggling with this question, because I think the answer involves a lot more discussion with your wife.

On the one hand, it's not fair for you to insist that she accept the Mustachian way of life as the only "right" answer -- people have different priorities, and if there are things she is not willing to give up, then maybe cutting back that significantly is not the right path for you guys.

Exactly. I've struggled with this dilemma a lot. That's why I did a bit of a compromise by giving her some free money with the $1000 per month. I just felt like it's not right for me to totally control all the finances but seems like I'm a lot more caring than she is.

On the other hand, it's also not fair for her to quit the daycare because of "stress" while expecting you to suck up that same (or worse) stress for decades because it's your job to bring in the big bucks.  That royally pisses me off. 

Right. She says that her stress at home with the kids is very bad, although when I ask the kids they will tell me mommy watched soaps on the couch eating chocolate most of the day. She says I'm the lucky one because I get to get out of the house everyday.

So I think the short answer is that you have every right to find a different job or career or whatever to make yourself happier.  But you guys really need to be a team in this.  She needs to understand that her apparent preferred option (that you keep making 6 figures until you're 65-70) is not a viable option for you, because you are too freaking miserable to do that for the next X decades.  And then you need to figure out *with her* what other options may exist and what the tradeoffs are of each.  That may be her figuring out a way to either bring in some money herself or significantly cut expenses; it may be you looking for another comparable job that reinvigorates you (or at least giving it a shot for X period of time); it may be you acknowledging that you will likely need to work longer but finding a lower-paid job where that thought isn't terminally depressing; or it may be any number of other options, or somewhere in-between.   

Tl;dr:  her desired lifestyle is just as valid as your desired lifestyle; your stress is just as valid as her stress; neither of you gets to dictate to the other.  Discuss.

Thanks, I really appreciate your thoughts on this. I think you're spot on too, because there's the fundamental issue of us both coming to terms with a common goal. But for her unfortunately there's not much to be gained from my plan. She already has it perfect by staying home and not working, if I stop working and making money it doesn't improve her life it only lessens it. I've tried several times to argue my case with her but have not gotten anywhere. If I can come up with a way to make this plan benefit her someway then maybe something can happen. Otherwise like you said I might just have to settle for taken a job where I don't make as much money and will most likely not be able to be FI but at least not burned out.

SnakeEyes, I'm sorry, that sucks, I wish I had a better answer for you.  I get really angry at the fundamental disrespect and my inner smartass wants to come out (ok, gee, you think I have it so easy because I get out of the house, fine, get a ****** job).  Which, of course, solves nothing and just makes things worse, so I do try to let my inner grownup rule -- but that works only when both people are being grownups, i.e., viewing the other's needs as just as important as their own. 

I will say, it is stressful being home alone with multiple small kids (I barely survived the months I had with just one -- there's a reason I went back to work).  Might she actually be interested in going back to some kind of work outside the house, even if in the short-term it doesn't make financial sense?  Lying on the couch might be laziness, but it might also be depression.  You guys make enough money to support the financial hit of daycare, and if it helps keep your wife sane and your marriage intact, it's totally worth it.  Or do you think the "you're the lucky one" is just stuff she throws out in the heat of an argument to turn things back on you? 

If she won't hear you no matter what, then the answer may be to just tell her you are burned out and make the career change, now.  Seems like you have given it a great (repeated) try, and at some point you have to look out for your own health, both mental and physical.  You do not owe her, or anyone, a $100K salary for XX years; you do owe her, and you, and your kids, a healthy you to be around for them for a long, long time. 

Finally, it sounds (sadly) like divorce is not out of the question.  If that happens, you don't want to be the guy who splits from his wife and *then* dumps the big paycheck, because then it looks like you are just trying to avoid your obligations.  OTOH, if you do what you need to for your sanity now, if worse comes to worst, my understanding is that things like child support and spousal support are based on your current income (although I don't practice in this area, so YMMV).

mm1970

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2017, 04:01:39 PM »
I think the internet, depending on area, might not be that high.  We have *one* option for internet, and our internet + 2 phones comes to $180 a month.  I've done many many things to bring it down, but the only option is to get rid of internet, which isn't happening.

(Our cable company provides internet, but we don't have cable TV).

I would consider looking for another job.  Not all companies are the same, and some other companies have more people. Going from the "only guy" at a company to one that has more of a group - might help.  If you are an IT professional, could you switch to a different area of IT?  I assume you have plenty of transferable skills.  No need to specialize.

Don't know what to do about the marriage, but you do need to be a team.

Quote
I actually think I may be developing chronic stress as I've had some issues with high blood pressure and not being able to sleep at night. At the level I'm at I've found that the work load is often overwhelming and people tend to expect a lot and demand a lot. If I still had the passion and interest in the career I probably wouldn't mind so much but I just feel like I don't care. I'm able to force myself to get through projects and tasks but I can feel I'm not performing at my best like I once did. I've thought about getting training or learning some new things in IT to apply for different roles but just nothing interests me. Actually I'm not even sure if that would help anyway because I'm just sick of the whole corporate office environment with its politics and typical BS that doesn't make any sense but we have to do it anyway.

I had a couple of REALLY bad years a few years ago that were very similar.  Bad management, always yelling and blaming employees (while setting unrealistic deadlines, and not providing the needed people, time, support, equipment.)  I was *really* close to walking out the door (and a friend of mine did).

What got me through, eventually, was making small changes at work.  I changed my boss, changed some of the work I was doing.  (They seem like big changes, but weren't really.)  Honestly, it took a full two years after the switch to get my mojo back - for a long time I felt like I was phoning it in.  But now, I have a great boss (still shitty pay), but I've learned a lot of new things and I'm much more content with the job.  And new boss, way less corporate.

Even though a lot of what I do now is just. not. interesting...it's been great for me developing new skills, which will give me opportunities elsewhere.  And flexibility.

The overwhelming work load and lack of sleep was HUGE for me during that time.  I had to take sleeping pills. Making these small changes - and doing things like: eating healthfully, reading before bed, walking on my lunch break every day, getting as much exercise as possible, crocheting or doing crafts, doing yoga...also helped me de-stress and start sleeping better.

And just...going home.  I realized during this time that my company was being unrealistic in this expectation.  They would ask engineers and directors what they needed to complete a project.  Then they would give us half the resources and half the time.  The (newish, asshole) VP would say "there is no commitment!  You guys don't care if you meet your deadlines!"  No kidding dude, they are UNREALISTIC.  And it's been that way for YEARS.

So I started to realize that it didn't matter how many hours I worked, or how much I accomplished - it wasn't appreciated (company wide problem).  So I came in, I worked my hours, and I went home.  Sick kids? Sorry, not coming in.  I still worked the occasional overtime for an emergency.  It's amazing how much this helped my sanity.  I realized - are they going to fire me?  No.  Because I still accomplish more than most, on a much lower salary.

clairebonk

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2017, 05:37:06 PM »
Quit the job you hate, life is too short!!!!!!

SnakeEyes

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2017, 08:22:38 PM »
Thanks for reading and looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Cut your expenses wherever you can. Then, since it will be paid off in the next nine months or so, pretend that your wife's student loans are already paid off. now run your numbers to see how long it will take you to save and invest to reach 25x of your annual spending.

Assuming your mortgage rate is low, you will be better off to quit throwing extra money at the mortgage and invest in your 401k and VTSAX instead. So you'll be investing $2,000 per month, or more.

Now that you know how long it will take you to reach FIRE, you have to ask yourself if you can keep doing it for that long, or not.

While it make take a while to achieve FIRE, your job may be more tolerable if you can both count your blessings (your working conditions and pay both seem to be good) and you can see the FIRE light at the end of the tunnel. Even if the tunnel is rather long.

My mortgage rate is 3.75. I thought the general rule was to pay off all debt first to get your annual spending as low as possible? With my mortgage I'm at about 45k in annual spending now which would require a good bit over a million saved to retire. The 401k I can't touch until 65 right? How long could I save over a million on VTSAX?

SnakeEyes

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2017, 08:35:19 PM »
Yeah your bills could be bettered but really I think all this needs to start with you and your wife getting on the same page.  Only you can say if you two should talk just yourselves or need to bring in a third party or you want to talk to someone on your own.  Always good to get an outside face to face opinion from time to time.  if you are in engineering I assume you can do the math on FIRE, can your wife follow the math - is she comfortable with compound interest etc?  If she thinks you need 5$ million to retire then that is where you need to start.

She's really bad at math. But I could give it a try, if I break it down and show her maybe I can make it clear enough to make sense to her. But I think she will probably look at it like its my problem and doesn't affect her. I'd have to think of a way to show her this can benefit her somehow.

Just read your rely.  Are there non-counselors you could talk to, maybe part of a Church - someone she could not blow off as easily?

I was in a relationship where my SO always made excuses for us to not go talk to someone... sorry man, I know it can be hard.

Thanks. That's a good suggestion, some of her family sees things my way, I could try reaching out to them.


SnakeEyes

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2017, 08:40:58 PM »
Will your company be ok with you reducing to 60% or something like that? Then you could stay home 2 days a week, and the wife could work 40-50% without worrying about the kids and the house being neglected.

Hmm, that's an interesting thought. I'll have to think that one through. I'd have to first win the battle with my wife to convince her to work a little, which won't be easy. If I tell work I'd like to go to part time they might just let me go, I'm not sure.

Since she has school loans; what is her degree in?

She has a medical degree but not high enough to be a nurse only lower level as assistant in a doctors office.

Ursus Major

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2017, 08:50:26 PM »
The 401k I can't touch until 65 right? How long could I save over a million on VTSAX?

You can withdraw from your 401(k) at any time, but will pay a 10% penalty on top of your regular taxes. Withdrawals after age 59 1/2 don't incur that penalty any more.

Apart from other reasons (hardship withdrawals, etc) there is another way to avoid the penalty, though it takes some longer-term planning: Once you leave your employer, roll the 401(k) into an IRA, then do a so called "Backdoor Roth Conversion". That means every year you convert part of the money in your IRA to a Roth IRA. You'll pay taxes on the conversion, but the money can grow tax-free in your Roth IRA. And after five years in your Roth you can take the money out tax- and penalty-free.

So essentially you'd need to cover the first few years of living expenses with assets in taxable accounts.

One caveat: AFAIK assets in a 401(k) are protected by federal law (ERISA), assets in an IRA or Roth IRA generally only by state law, in case of bankruptcies also by federal bankruptcy law). So - depending on the state you live in - the assets in your IRA and Roth may have weaker protection for all non-bankruptcy legal judgements against you compared to assets in a 401(k).

Oh, one more thing: Ask your employer's 401(k) provider, if they allow  401(k) after-tax contributions coupled with the ability to do a rollover into a Roth IRA, while in-service.

The company I worked at until last year allowed after-tax 401(k) contributions for years, though that was never attractive for me. Once they permitted the in-service rollover into a Roth IRA, I would make after-tax contributions and have them transfer them into a Roth IRA. Of course those rollovers are still subject to the 5 year year period, until their withdrawal becomes penalty-free, but you're starting the clock on those 5 years for those rollover amounts earlier, that is while still working.

Hope that helps a bit.

P.S.: You ARE in a tough spot. Very tough. I'm very sorry to hear that. Even if your SO doesn't want to undergo counseling with you, it might be helpful for you to find a suitable therapist, which can help you to sort out things (at least the non-financial ones) for yourself. I've used a therapist in the past and from my own experience can highly recommend it.

SnakeEyes

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2017, 08:59:52 PM »
SnakeEyes, I'm sorry, that sucks, I wish I had a better answer for you.  I get really angry at the fundamental disrespect and my inner smartass wants to come out (ok, gee, you think I have it so easy because I get out of the house, fine, get a ****** job).  Which, of course, solves nothing and just makes things worse, so I do try to let my inner grownup rule -- but that works only when both people are being grownups, i.e., viewing the other's needs as just as important as their own. 

I will say, it is stressful being home alone with multiple small kids (I barely survived the months I had with just one -- there's a reason I went back to work).  Might she actually be interested in going back to some kind of work outside the house, even if in the short-term it doesn't make financial sense?  Lying on the couch might be laziness, but it might also be depression.  You guys make enough money to support the financial hit of daycare, and if it helps keep your wife sane and your marriage intact, it's totally worth it.  Or do you think the "you're the lucky one" is just stuff she throws out in the heat of an argument to turn things back on you? 

I don't think she wants to work, but she does like just getting out of the house. One of our therapist suggested work might be good for her so she can have an identity outside the house. I'd even bill willing to stay home with the kids for a few years at least if she could make enough to support us but she can't really earn enough.

If she won't hear you no matter what, then the answer may be to just tell her you are burned out and make the career change, now.  Seems like you have given it a great (repeated) try, and at some point you have to look out for your own health, both mental and physical.  You do not owe her, or anyone, a $100K salary for XX years; you do owe her, and you, and your kids, a healthy you to be around for them for a long, long time. 

Yeah, I agree. I'm actually willing right now to tell her I'm quitting a switch to another job except for I'm not sure if that's the smartest decision in terms of being financial independent one day. Not sure if I should stick it out for the money or not since jobs I might be able to tolerate would be maybe half the pay. Is it better to work a shorter time at a job you hate or a longer time at a job you don't mind as much.

Finally, it sounds (sadly) like divorce is not out of the question.  If that happens, you don't want to be the guy who splits from his wife and *then* dumps the big paycheck, because then it looks like you are just trying to avoid your obligations.  OTOH, if you do what you need to for your sanity now, if worse comes to worst, my understanding is that things like child support and spousal support are based on your current income (although I don't practice in this area, so YMMV).

So sounds like if I do intent to go down that road I should get myself settled in a job I can stand first.

aspiringnomad

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MayDay

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2017, 04:22:36 AM »
She sounds like she may be depressed and benefit from working part time.

How old.are the kuds- how long until they are in full day school?

I would suggest spending the money to get a couple days a week of childcare so she can work part time. If she refuses, and she also refuses to discuss anything you guys can do to make this better then.....  I don't know.  One option is to expire what you'd actually have to pay if you divorced, get a consult and get real info.  Neither of you seem particularly happy right now. If divorce is on the table but you want to save the marriage, I would think you are better off being honest with her that things are that bad, and she either needs to start participating in saving the marriage.

Short term yes you'll have to pay alimony, but long term she will likely be much worse off. She'll end up having to get a job so maybe you sharing how serious you are about making changes will motivate her.

OTOH if she is depressed (the sitting on the couch all day comment) then perhaps your help getting treatment will make all the difference.

brian313313

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2017, 12:19:18 PM »
So sorry to hear of your troubles. I can relate. So much of your story sounds familiar to me. When I first got married, my new wife told me the "everybody has to work" line too many times. I finally got so burned out I just quit my job without asking her opinion. I also quit paying some credit cards she took out in my name, screwing up my credit but I felt that necessary to stop her spending. She was wanting to finance to my income limit and I was having none of that. We almost got divorced, me filing. That woke her up though and at that point and started listening better.

Fortunately, I got her a contract working with me for $90k. She had been making under $40k so it was a huge raise. After 6 months, the company wanted to renew and she said "no", she couldn't take it any more. Since then, she has always supported me if I need to quit. I used to push myself to continue working but I don't any more. I also have a pretty good 'stach. I don't quit on a moment's notice. I make sure it's a bad job and not just a bad month. Sometimes, you just need a change though. I have also taken unpaid leave-of-absence before but that has not usually resolved the issue. Just postponed it.

Also, my wife & I were able to work through our issues and have almost been married 10 years now. This web site was the one that finally pulled her around completely to saving as much as possible.

AlanStache

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2017, 12:57:34 PM »
So sorry to hear of your troubles. I can relate. So much of your story sounds familiar to me. When I first got married, my new wife told me the "everybody has to work" line too many times. I finally got so burned out I just quit my job without asking her opinion. I also quit paying some credit cards she took out in my name, screwing up my credit but I felt that necessary to stop her spending. She was wanting to finance to my income limit and I was having none of that. We almost got divorced, me filing. That woke her up though and at that point and started listening better.

Fortunately, I got her a contract working with me for $90k. She had been making under $40k so it was a huge raise. After 6 months, the company wanted to renew and she said "no", she couldn't take it any more. Since then, she has always supported me if I need to quit. I used to push myself to continue working but I don't any more. I also have a pretty good 'stach. I don't quit on a moment's notice. I make sure it's a bad job and not just a bad month. Sometimes, you just need a change though. I have also taken unpaid leave-of-absence before but that has not usually resolved the issue. Just postponed it.

Also, my wife & I were able to work through our issues and have almost been married 10 years now. This web site was the one that finally pulled her around completely to saving as much as possible.

Going to way back in the day, after one of my moms first days at an 'adult' job working in an office she went over to her parents house and said how tired she was.  At this her mom said something like 'well I dont get why you are tired, all you did was sit all day'.  Now I am not sure my grandma had worked a job for one day in the previous 30 years, and grandpa very uncharacteristically jumped on that and defended his daughter in how hard/tiring an office job can be.  Point being people that dont work in an office may not understand it or have sympathy for its challenges.  (I am not saying anything about office worker vs brick layer!)

mxt0133

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2017, 01:43:04 PM »
There is so much going on here that the financial are the least of your worries. 

First off, there is the issue with your health, high blood pressure and unable to sleep?  How is your weight?  Have you been gaining weight over the past few years?  How are your cholesterol and insulin levels?  You say that you can barely get up for work and have low motivation, how are your energy levels on the weekends?  If you don't lower your stress levels then your family eventually be forced to live on a lower income level if you are unable to work or pass away.

Talk to her about it not in terms of finances but in term of your health, does she want you to die young and not be there for her and the kids?  Her answer or dismissal of your concerns will reveal a lot.

For me all the cost cutting and savings will be pointless if your marriage doesn't survive and you have to split everything.  I have gone through this thought exercise and it's not pretty for both parties in the end.

Thankfully focusing on communication with my wife without judgement really helped us and are mostly on the same page about finances, she tries to save as much as she can and I don't blow up if we go over budget once in awhile.  Our marriage is getting better by the day and I would not trade that over reaching FI earlier.

If she is still not responsive then for me I would take matters in my own hands, I would find a lower stress job or change my attitude at work where I would not take on more than I could handle.  Focus on improving your health and if that means finding another job even it at a lower pay so be it.  I want to see my kids grow up even if I have to work until the day I die.  Maybe that will change your relationship for the better, if not and you do end up separating, then you also lower your alimony and child support payments.  You cannot control your wife, focus on the things you can control. 

I firmly believe that if you should also take care of yourself for the sake of your family.

neo von retorch

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2017, 01:59:41 PM »
Two books you might enjoy (and benefit from reading):

7 Habits of Highly Effective People
The One-Life Solution

The gist is just what you (and your wife) put at the center of how you make life decisions, and then how those decisions result in progress and fulfillment (rather than tedium, obligation and distraction.)

I skimmed other comments (and your responses) but I wanted to point out that, in a long-term plan, investing in index funds (historically 7% inflation-adjusted) beats a 3.75% mortgage interest payment. If her loan is 6% or higher, definitely pour money into that, but not before getting the match on a 401k (which it looks like you do.)

You should be able to carry over your existing cell phones to Cricket or Consumer Cellular. Cricket isn't perfect (they are owned by AT&T, limit bandwidth speed slightly, and don't have international support at the budget levels) but they are an improvement over AT&T (you should be able to step down to $70/month or lower.) Consumer Cellular is by far a better company (in my opinion) but it's more "jolting" to the non-mustachian user, because of lower usage limits.

While you should not sacrifice "everything" (health, your lifetime) for a high-paying job, remember the "grass is greener" effect. It could be disastrous to give up a fire-hose of cash for another (lower paying, maybe longer commute) job, only to find that the dissatisfaction was not from your previous job after all.

I won't say any more until I've read more of the thread responses!

FIRE me

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2017, 03:11:17 PM »
Thanks for reading and looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Cut your expenses wherever you can. Then, since it will be paid off in the next nine months or so, pretend that your wife's student loans are already paid off. now run your numbers to see how long it will take you to save and invest to reach 25x of your annual spending.

Assuming your mortgage rate is low, you will be better off to quit throwing extra money at the mortgage and invest in your 401k and VTSAX instead. So you'll be investing $2,000 per month, or more.

Now that you know how long it will take you to reach FIRE, you have to ask yourself if you can keep doing it for that long, or not.

While it make take a while to achieve FIRE, your job may be more tolerable if you can both count your blessings (your working conditions and pay both seem to be good) and you can see the FIRE light at the end of the tunnel. Even if the tunnel is rather long.

My mortgage rate is 3.75. I thought the general rule was to pay off all debt first to get your annual spending as low as possible? With my mortgage I'm at about 45k in annual spending now which would require a good bit over a million saved to retire. The 401k I can't touch until 65 right? How long could I save over a million on VTSAX?

First, a confession, with a thrown in humble brag. I paid off my mortgage in 6.5 years. But I only borrowed $71,000, and the rate was 6.5%. Which was a typical rate in 2007 when I took it out. By the time rates bottomed out I had it paid down some, so the outstanding balance was below $50k and it did not qualify for the lowest rates (too small of a loan). So I doubled down and paid it off.

Your situation is different. After you top out your tax advantaged accounts, if you invest in a low expense diversified fund like VTSAX, historically (average since 1929) you can expect a long term return of 7% from the stock market (and VTSAX mirrors the US market). So money invested in VTSAX should pay you better than paying off your 3.75% mortgage.

Of course, you cannot say for certain which would have been better until you have done one or the other and then looked back to crunch the numbers on what the market actually did versus what you would have saved by paying off the mortgage.

About a 401k, by current law you can withdraw from it with no penalty at age 55, provided you are separated from you employment.   Fired (the bad kind), FIRE'd (the good kind), quit, laid off, the reason does not matter. One warning, if you roll the 401k into an IRA, it becomes subject to IRA rules, and cannot be withdrawn penalty free until age 59.5.

Another thing to look into / Google is a Roth ladder.

Have a look at MMM's blog post, if you have not already seen it. It well illustrates why savings rates and cutting spending are important if you really want to retire early.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/

Also, consider this. Suppose you cut your monthly expense by $1. You don't need a degree to know that's $12 per year. But consider this: To support $12 per year in spending, forever, you need 25 X $12 = $300 invested. So by cutting that $1 per month, you now have to save and invest $300 less than before the cut.

With a significant cut, say $1,000 per month, you now need to save $300,000 less. And you'll save your new lower number much quicker because you are spending less, so your savings rate is much higher. It's like a turbocharger, it feeds on itself.

Shwaa

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2017, 07:21:34 PM »
I am struggling to understand how you have been in the IT field for 20 years, earn 100k a year (currently) and only have 26k saved for retirement.

Did you start the 401k just recently in your career?

That is the biggest red flag to me in your post, is your retirement savings.  Maybe I missed your age,but I am assuming you are at least 40 years old.

That would be my biggest immediate concern, but maybe that's just me. Good luck man.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 07:24:31 PM by Shwaa »

druth

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2017, 09:42:42 AM »
I'm surprised nobody has suggested asking for a sabattical.  At my old company you could take one after 10 years to do 6 months of volunteer work and get full pay.  You probably cant get anything that nice, but why not just save up to take 3 months unpaid vacation and use that time to decompress, and consider without completely tossing out the high paying job.

SnakeEyes

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2017, 03:48:05 PM »
I am struggling to understand how you have been in the IT field for 20 years, earn 100k a year (currently) and only have 26k saved for retirement.

Did you start the 401k just recently in your career?

That is the biggest red flag to me in your post, is your retirement savings.  Maybe I missed your age,but I am assuming you are at least 40 years old.

That would be my biggest immediate concern, but maybe that's just me. Good luck man.

I'm 39 years old. I only started 401k about a year and a half ago.

I wanted to say thanks to everyone for their comments and help. You've all given me a lot to think about and some good options. My situation isn't easy and like many of you pointed out my relationship is the biggest hurdle. This week I applied to a couple different jobs just to see if some change helps, but I think I really need to switch careers.

SnakeEyes

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2017, 03:51:20 PM »
There is so much going on here that the financial are the least of your worries. 

First off, there is the issue with your health, high blood pressure and unable to sleep?  How is your weight?  Have you been gaining weight over the past few years?  How are your cholesterol and insulin levels?  You say that you can barely get up for work and have low motivation, how are your energy levels on the weekends?  If you don't lower your stress levels then your family eventually be forced to live on a lower income level if you are unable to work or pass away.

My cholesterol is very good, insulin too. My weight is perfect. I exercise and lift weights regularly. I think my blood pressure issues are from stress, lack of sleep, and fast food. I've been cutting out the fast food and using a juicer to get more fruit and vegetables. So I'm hoping that will help.

EconDiva

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2018, 08:13:06 AM »
@SnakeEyes

Randomly came across this thread and was curious if the OP had any updates...

doneby35

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2018, 08:48:54 AM »
Quick suggestion for you... if you're in IT, try to find an IT consulting company to work for. The salaries for IT consultants are higher than what you are currently making. IT consultants also tend to put in 40 hours/week and no weekends, since you're billing the client and most of the time the client has a set budget and they wouldn't want you to put in more than 8 hours/day.

As far as your spouse, i'm sorry to hear that, sometimes people end up with the wrong people.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2018, 01:06:08 PM »
I feel you - I'm about your age working in IT and have been burned out for a few years now. Like you, I'm the primary/sole support for my family, and I make too damn much money to throw it all away.  So far.......  I'm working on a plan to balance that desire to be a teacher (and take a 60% pay cut) with the desire to FIRE as soon as possible.
* Don't be an auto mechanic - it plays hell on your body at our ages.  My husband was one for 20 years and quit to go back to school to get an IT degree.

My first thought is that if you are as good as you think you are and have that much experience, $101k/year is low.  It's possible the salary is depressed because it's a nonprofit, and possible that you've been there so long that your salary wasn't able to keep up.   If the good jobs are further away...what's to stop you from moving to be close to the job?   Or to start looking now for the rare job that might pop up close by?   My ex is in a highly specialized field.  When he decided he hated his job and I refused to move out of state, he started looking locally.  It took a year to find a job nearby, but he was ready to pounce on the opportunity when it finally presented itself (and he worked at the hated job the whole time.)

Speaking of my ex...like your wife, he shut down when the marriage counselor started intimating that he needed to make changes, or at least think about his contribution to our marital problems.  Because OBVIOUSLY all the problems must be my fault.  He pretended everything was great for a while...and then 4 years later divorced me.  You can do everything right (not that I did), but if she isn't happy, she can still walk away from you.  You can't fix her or make her change.  (My ex is now on his third marriage and still doesn't seem to recognize that he's the common denominator.)   If you think divorce is a possibility, I highly encourage you to educate yourself now on what the laws are in your state.  Divorce sucks, especially with small kids, even when it is the best of all available choices.

That said, I would encourage your wife to find something to do outside of the house, even if it doesn't pay much.  I HATED staying at home.  Love my kids, hate being cooped up with them all day....which is a very common feeling that women don't talk about because they feel like bad moms.  If the day care was that stressful, it may be because she just isn't one of those women who is meant to stay home, which is OKAY.  I hope you've had conversations about why she is staying at home and whether the pros are still worth the cons.  She doesn't have to - and won't - make your salary.  However, if, after a few years, she can bring home half of your annual expenses, then you have a lot more flexibility in whether you work full time or even in this career path.

I would encourage you to stop paying off your mortgage, and start saving money.  At the very least, you need an FU fund.  This is exactly what it sounds like.  At my last job, the culture was toxic.  My director tried to guilt me and then threaten me to get me to cancel my vacation over Christmas week so that I could meet an unreasonable deadline on a project that one of my coworkers had messed up.   I told him I was going to spend that week with my children and if he called me at any point while I was home I would tender my resignation on the spot. 

I could do this because I had enough money in cash and a taxable investment account to cover all my expenses for a year.  That FU money completely changed the power dynamic.

When I came back from my vacation on January 2nd, I refused to work more than 40 hours per week...and started looking for a new job. 

Max your 401k for the year (this will get you a tax savings too).  That leaves you $5,500.  That just so happens to be the maximum amount you can put in a Roth IRA per person each year.  [Roth contributions can be taken out penalty-free.] 

If you haven't already, you might want to read Your Money or Your Life...maybe even with your wife.  This has made a big impact on me and my husband and helped us reduce our spending.

neo von retorch

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #34 on: March 02, 2018, 01:18:12 PM »
I wonder where each of the people with their perspectives on salary live! With a house in that price range, the OP likely lives in a low/medium COL area. It's really hard to push past six figures in these areas. The selection of employers is lower (unless you enjoy commuting hell), and the size of the companies can dictate "advancement" (which is also kind of limited in the IT world.) I only broke six figures when I moved to a HCOL area, with about ~16 years of web application development experience. (Oh yes, and "IT" is a broad field, so you can be anything from phone support to system administrator to developer to testing and so forth, each with their own broad range of salaries!)

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #35 on: March 02, 2018, 01:54:25 PM »
I'm in Houston, a MCOL area.  If I were "specialized" like OP, I'd expect a higher salary here, regardless of whether it was networking or programming or security.... of course, we have a lot of available jobs.

Phoenix_Fire

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Re: Should I quit a high paying job if I hate it?
« Reply #36 on: March 02, 2018, 03:08:24 PM »
As much as I am interested in an update from OP, I doubt we will get it since he has been inactive for almost a full year now.  Really am curious though how things went for him.