Author Topic: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?  (Read 2773 times)

wageslave23

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Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« on: August 01, 2022, 12:42:38 PM »
This goes a long with another similar thread, but I think gets more to the heart of the matter. Has anyone quit their job for FIRE and then later regretted quitting because they realized they needed more money and that they had a pretty cushy job and regretted quitting.  I think that's what I'm most afraid of. Running out of money and having to go back to work or cutting expenses isn't that big of a deal, I just want to end up regretting quitting my cush job.

spartana

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2022, 01:16:28 PM »
I regret getting out of the Coast Guard before hitting 20 years when I would have gotten a pension at age 38 and medical for life. But mostly because I loved what I did (although not cushy or high paying) and would have liked to do that longer. I still kick myself on occasion.

I did go back to work at age 38 for 4 years at my civilian Gov job after 2 years off to FIRE/FIREbattical but regretted it deeply even though I liked the job and the money and benefits were ok and put me in a much better place financially to Re-FIRE following a divorce. However I would have been fine without that extra 4 years income (mostly PT and on call) and money wasn't the motivator to go back.

less4success

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2022, 03:03:06 PM »
Not quite what you asked for, but I very nearly had the opposite problem. When I FIREd, I moved out of reasonable commuting distance to my job, but if I had held on a bit longer, I would have been able to work from home for 2 years (because COVID), and I also would have had roughly $35k in unrelated healthcare costs covered by my employer.

That extra cushiness might have enticed me to keep working. Financially, it would have been a great deal because I would have been pulling down a fat salary, working from home, in a cheaper area, during the beginning of a bear market of unknown length.

If I'd kept working, there would have been non-financial regrets. I would have missed out on multiple years of early retirement, and I also probably wouldn't have spent as much time with relatives who have since passed away.

Bottom line: I might have ended up regretting not quitting!

One additional comment: having been away from work for a few years, the thought of needing to go back to work doesn't seem as horrible as I'd imagined it would (although this is all theoretical, since I still don't see a need to go back to work yet). Your mileage may vary, but I've seen the same sentiment from many other folks who disliked (but did not despise) their old jobs.

sui generis

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2022, 03:19:24 PM »
There's a job I regret quitting but it's not the one I left for FIRE.  Sort of similar to the situation spartana mentioned.  At that time, I probably had it better than I thought I did, and I was pretty close to a lifelong pension and possibly some health care benefits (that I still wouldn't be accessing for almost 20 years, but to have it waiting for me would have been nice).  I did end up getting a job where I made far more money that I stashed, but I'm sure it doesn't compare to even that not-large pension for several decades that I would have had. 

When I left that job, I had no concept of FIRE or retiring earlier than about 50-55 (which was my then-goal) but happily events came together to make me aware and I was already a saver so I quickly got to a good FIRE number and retired at 41.  If I had stayed at my original job, maybe I wouldn't have been in such a hurry to FIRE. But since I remember spending hours reading websites about being a "wage slave" and "quarter-life crises" just a couple years into my career I have a feeling I would have always been willing to trade off money made even in a cushy way for freedom and autonomy.  Even though I was excited about where my career was going I was also like, "really, is this what people do for 40 years??"

wageslave23

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2022, 04:06:36 PM »
Thanks for the responses! I don't like my job but I don't mind it. It's work from home permanently now due to covid, I don't have any direct bosses, I have my set of clients that I have had for several years, and I have it down to about 2-6 hrs a day of actual work depending on the season.  Part of me wants to quit soon because we have a little baby and will probably try to have another one soon and I'd like to be able to have more time in general. But I dont know if I'd regret it later, thinking I should have saved up more. It's a decent 6 figure salary, so it would be hard to make near the hourly rate with such little hassle or energy. But maybe I would also be able to find a job I really liked and or paid more.  I wish I could walk away and then come back in a few years if I changed my mind but my boss/owner frowns on that.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2022, 04:30:28 PM »
Not FIRE yet but I left two jobs (out of two) and don't regret either one. First one was almost 10 years in commercial real estate for a large corporation. I was 100% commission and working way too hard to be making $60k or so a year while my colleagues could make twice that in less time just because they weren't trying to do A+ quality work at B/B- prices/expectations. I enjoyed parts of the job but just knew that long term it was not a good fit.

Second job was only a few years working for the federal government. The pay was better than my previous corporate job and at just 40 hours a week plus paid holidays, PTO, and 120 hours of paid military leave (great for my second career in the National Guard). However, the work was very unfulfilling as I just sat and was powerless to stop rampant fraud, waste, and abuse (mostly just the inherent gouging of the government by contractors). I was also not really in charge of anyone as my whole team were contractors and there were constant issues with that. I could have worked 100 hours a week for 10 years and barely made a dent in the problem that was decades in the making. And even if I fixed it, it really wouldn't have mattered that much.

I left that job to run a small business I purchased and a year later I don't miss the corporate/federal jobs a bit. Steady paycheck and paid time off are nice but don't compare to the flexibility and overall satisfaction of knowing what I do matters. If I fix something in my business, or cut some expenses, or execute a marketing campaign well I see the rewards in my pocket. I'm also not bound by getting consensus from 20 people or going through some convoluted process.

sui generis

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2022, 05:22:40 PM »
Thanks for the responses! I don't like my job but I don't mind it. It's work from home permanently now due to covid, I don't have any direct bosses, I have my set of clients that I have had for several years, and I have it down to about 2-6 hrs a day of actual work depending on the season.  Part of me wants to quit soon because we have a little baby and will probably try to have another one soon and I'd like to be able to have more time in general. But I dont know if I'd regret it later, thinking I should have saved up more. It's a decent 6 figure salary, so it would be hard to make near the hourly rate with such little hassle or energy. But maybe I would also be able to find a job I really liked and or paid more.  I wish I could walk away and then come back in a few years if I changed my mind but my boss/owner frowns on that.

I understand where you are coming from and why you might feel conflicted.  With the 2-6 hours a day, are you truly free for those other hours or are you sort of tethered to your desk to appear online to monitoring systems/apps?  Or even not that, but knowing you could get a call at any moment and should be immediately on task and in front of your computer if so?  I can imagine that in those cases, I might lean a little more toward taking a few years off during these critical years and doing what I could to maintain ties and hope a fortuitous series of events could bring me back to the same company or a similar job when the time was right.  This is the risk many women have been taking for decades around those child-bearing and rearing years so you can see how that works out well for some and not so well for others. 

If however, you feel able to untether in the middle of a weekday as long as your work is done and literally be out at a playground with the kiddo or getting errands done so you'll have quality family time that evening....then that seems pretty sweet and I'd lean toward keeping the job.

I think the key is in the sense of obligation and being tied down vs. autonomy.  It's not necessarily about the number of widgets you have to produce and how many hours it takes you but how you *feel* during those traditional weekday work hours and stacking that up against what you want right now, and possibly making a tough decision.

I hope you can have the best of both worlds, but on the off chance that you do have to make a tough decision, I'll also say that research shows people do make the best of their situations after making whatever decision they make. In the sense that, years from now whatever you do you will find reasons that that worked out well for you.  I guess this sounds weird and not super helpful in advance, when you actually have to make a thoughtful decision.  But once you've done your best on the decision, know that you will maximize the pros of whatever decision you did make and compensate for the cons as best as possible and will still be able to be happy.  While I mentioned the job I regret leaving above, I should point out that I only shared the cons of my decision.  In the holistic view, I still have more than enough money to comfortably FIRE and I never would have met my husband if I hadn't left that job.  So even if I regret leaving it, if you asked me if I'd do it differently, I probably wouldn't!  I am hopeful that, even if things don't go as hoped in your case, you'll at least be able to say the same in a decade or two.

wageslave23

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2022, 06:27:57 PM »
Yes, I'm definitely still tethered to the computer the rest of the time, making sure it "looks like I'm working". I may at some point see if I can go part time.

sui generis

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2022, 06:38:16 PM »
Yes, I'm definitely still tethered to the computer the rest of the time, making sure it "looks like I'm working". I may at some point see if I can go part time.

Definitely should give it a try.  You don't know until you ask, even if you have a sense that the company is against it generally or have said no to others.  I have heard tons of stories of valued employees being given considerations like this, especially if they are pretty much ready to walk otherwise.

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2022, 07:18:44 PM »

I hope you can have the best of both worlds, but on the off chance that you do have to make a tough decision, I'll also say that research shows people do make the best of their situations after making whatever decision they make. In the sense that, years from now whatever you do you will find reasons that that worked out well for you.  I guess this sounds weird and not super helpful in advance, when you actually have to make a thoughtful decision.  But once you've done your best on the decision, know that you will maximize the pros of whatever decision you did make and compensate for the cons as best as possible and will still be able to be happy.  While I mentioned the job I regret leaving above, I should point out that I only shared the cons of my decision.  In the holistic view, I still have more than enough money to comfortably FIRE and I never would have met my husband if I hadn't left that job.  So even if I regret leaving it, if you asked me if I'd do it differently, I probably wouldn't!  I am hopeful that, even if things don't go as hoped in your case, you'll at least be able to say the same in a decade or two.
This really really speaks to me right now and makes me feel hopeful about some decisions I have to make soon. Thank you!

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2022, 07:34:37 PM »
It's probably poor timing starting this thread while S&P is recovering to near all time time highs...  If you'd started a thread like this in March 2009 during the GFC, you'd have plenty of ER's freaking out wishing they had more 401k contributions going in and an income stream.  I hope we aren't headed for GFC 2.0, but there are certainly complicated crosswinds to navigate ahead.

I've never regretted quitting my job in 2007 (for one that turned out to be way better)!  DW seems ambivalent about quitting her job and being ER for about a decade, then going back to work now as a part time teacher...  I think 'retirement' is a word that has lost its 1980's meaning for 20 and 30-somethings in the tech age...

MoneyTree

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2022, 10:20:27 PM »
Thanks for the responses! I don't like my job but I don't mind it. It's work from home permanently now due to covid, I don't have any direct bosses, I have my set of clients that I have had for several years, and I have it down to about 2-6 hrs a day of actual work depending on the season.  Part of me wants to quit soon because we have a little baby and will probably try to have another one soon and I'd like to be able to have more time in general. But I dont know if I'd regret it later, thinking I should have saved up more. It's a decent 6 figure salary, so it would be hard to make near the hourly rate with such little hassle or energy. But maybe I would also be able to find a job I really liked and or paid more.  I wish I could walk away and then come back in a few years if I changed my mind but my boss/owner frowns on that.

I'm in a very similar situation. Reached FI last year, but decided to keep the job, as i'm working permanently remote in a job that I don't love but don't hate. I am getting paid way too much for the amount of work that I actually do. I have 1 kid and another on the way.

Personally, I'm glad I kept the job. Its been an interesting experience trying to shift to a FI mindset while still having the job. Does having the job really prevent me from pursuing the things that I want? No, not really. It can make things more inconvenient time-wise, but I'm able to spend time with my daughter, I am able to run errands during the day, I am able to get the exercise i want, and i can spend time reading and learning new things. If anything is stopping me from doing these things, it is moreso my own laziness and lack of initiative than it is the few hours I put into the job each day. The problem isn't the job, its me.

If I quit my job, would I actually devote more time to the things I say I want to do? Or would I just be more lazy? I suspect it would be a little bit of both, but this cushy job situation is proving to be a good litmus test of how I might handle more freedom. This has given me a better understanding of how I might actually spend my time if I fully retired, and I can work to address those inconsistencies before jumping into it.

Plus, it is also VERY nice to be able to treat all my job income as essentially EXTRA income. If I don't really need it, what am I going to do with it? Thus far, its been mostly shoveling it into investments (old habits die hard), but its also given me the freedom to start thinking about spending from a different perspective.

While accumulating for FIRE, most of my spending decisions revolved around "How can I spend the least amount of money?" Now, that I have a firehose of excess cash hitting the bank account every 2 weeks,  I'm re-training myself to think more about "How can I spend money in a way that legitimately makes life BETTER?" This is a much better way to think about spending, but its been surprisingly unnatural, as my default is to avoid spending like the plague. If I had turned off the firehose of cash right away, I would probably still be thinking like this. 

Your decision will be your own, but seeing as how there's some similarities in our situations, I thought I'd share my experience.

wageslave23

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2022, 06:03:47 AM »
Thanks for the responses! I don't like my job but I don't mind it. It's work from home permanently now due to covid, I don't have any direct bosses, I have my set of clients that I have had for several years, and I have it down to about 2-6 hrs a day of actual work depending on the season.  Part of me wants to quit soon because we have a little baby and will probably try to have another one soon and I'd like to be able to have more time in general. But I dont know if I'd regret it later, thinking I should have saved up more. It's a decent 6 figure salary, so it would be hard to make near the hourly rate with such little hassle or energy. But maybe I would also be able to find a job I really liked and or paid more.  I wish I could walk away and then come back in a few years if I changed my mind but my boss/owner frowns on that.

Thank you!  Yes, very similar.  I also have the thought that its not my job per se keeping me from doing all the things I want.  But then again, actually I think it is.  I behave very differently on the weekend, say a Saturday, then I do on a Wednesday.  I think subconsciously "work" affects me more than I realize.  I hesitate to dive deep into something because I need to have one eye on work.  I go to bed earlier because I wanted to get started on work right away the next morning so that my late afternoon is free.  So yes, I think its still worth staying for now, I am giving myself a free pass to be lazy because I know how I generally operate when work is out of the picture.  Its a lot of excerise, cooking, researching, exploring, family time, etc.

I'm in a very similar situation. Reached FI last year, but decided to keep the job, as i'm working permanently remote in a job that I don't love but don't hate. I am getting paid way too much for the amount of work that I actually do. I have 1 kid and another on the way.

Personally, I'm glad I kept the job. Its been an interesting experience trying to shift to a FI mindset while still having the job. Does having the job really prevent me from pursuing the things that I want? No, not really. It can make things more inconvenient time-wise, but I'm able to spend time with my daughter, I am able to run errands during the day, I am able to get the exercise i want, and i can spend time reading and learning new things. If anything is stopping me from doing these things, it is moreso my own laziness and lack of initiative than it is the few hours I put into the job each day. The problem isn't the job, its me.

If I quit my job, would I actually devote more time to the things I say I want to do? Or would I just be more lazy? I suspect it would be a little bit of both, but this cushy job situation is proving to be a good litmus test of how I might handle more freedom. This has given me a better understanding of how I might actually spend my time if I fully retired, and I can work to address those inconsistencies before jumping into it.

Plus, it is also VERY nice to be able to treat all my job income as essentially EXTRA income. If I don't really need it, what am I going to do with it? Thus far, its been mostly shoveling it into investments (old habits die hard), but its also given me the freedom to start thinking about spending from a different perspective.

While accumulating for FIRE, most of my spending decisions revolved around "How can I spend the least amount of money?" Now, that I have a firehose of excess cash hitting the bank account every 2 weeks,  I'm re-training myself to think more about "How can I spend money in a way that legitimately makes life BETTER?" This is a much better way to think about spending, but its been surprisingly unnatural, as my default is to avoid spending like the plague. If I had turned off the firehose of cash right away, I would probably still be thinking like this. 

Your decision will be your own, but seeing as how there's some similarities in our situations, I thought I'd share my experience.

4tify

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2022, 08:46:59 AM »
I left my job in January. I was making the most Iíve ever earned and had a hell of a time pulling the rip cord. Now that Iíve retired into the worst set of economic conditions since 2008 I have some questions around my decision. However I havenít had a single day of regret or missing the job.

If anything Iím wondering just how far the current set of economic conditions will impact my discretionary expenses, which is a bit of a bummer because Iíve got a lot of traveling I want to do and itís more expensive generally than I anticipated. Iím considering some ways to generate income just to cover those sorts of expenses.  BUT I now have the freedom to choose if and when I take that on, which is a wonderful feeling.

I should note I have plenty of buffer for my primary expenses at about a 3% WR so thatís of no concern so far.

NoEllipsis

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2022, 01:27:16 PM »
I left work about a year and a half ago. Since around November my net worth has declined maybe 700k, it's somewhat concerning for me. I don't regret leaving my job because it was high profile and a fair amount of work. I wasn't in a position where I could really coast or take it easy. But even if it was a cushy position I wouldn't regret leaving. I'll probably never make anywhere near that much again where I could save roughly 80k per year. The downturn is "concerning" to say the least, I am very aware of cutting back on expenses just because I'd rather be cautious than "need" to go back to the corporate world.

That being said, since I left work I started volunteering with animals in various capacities. I love the work. I have looked at part time jobs for something that might be "perfect" for me because I can be picky if I want. That being said, a job opened up as a seasonal wildlife technician which I ended up getting. It's really perfect for me because it's part time for 3 months getting to take care of wildlife... it's practically what I do with my volunteer work anyways except I get paid $20/hr... That won't cover all my expenses, but basically it covers my mortgage/HOA/Property taxes.

Because I'm in a comfortable place (and I've already had a year and a half to decompress from leaving my career) I got to choose a job that doesn't feel like a job. That's the flexibility that I worked for. Could I get by without the part time job, probably (assuming the bear market doesn't last 2 more years) but I can give myself a little more security doing something I'd want to do anyways.

wageslave23

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2022, 04:36:20 PM »
I left work about a year and a half ago. Since around November my net worth has declined maybe 700k, it's somewhat concerning for me. I don't regret leaving my job because it was high profile and a fair amount of work. I wasn't in a position where I could really coast or take it easy. But even if it was a cushy position I wouldn't regret leaving. I'll probably never make anywhere near that much again where I could save roughly 80k per year. The downturn is "concerning" to say the least, I am very aware of cutting back on expenses just because I'd rather be cautious than "need" to go back to the corporate world.

That being said, since I left work I started volunteering with animals in various capacities. I love the work. I have looked at part time jobs for something that might be "perfect" for me because I can be picky if I want. That being said, a job opened up as a seasonal wildlife technician which I ended up getting. It's really perfect for me because it's part time for 3 months getting to take care of wildlife... it's practically what I do with my volunteer work anyways except I get paid $20/hr... That won't cover all my expenses, but basically it covers my mortgage/HOA/Property taxes.

Because I'm in a comfortable place (and I've already had a year and a half to decompress from leaving my career) I got to choose a job that doesn't feel like a job. That's the flexibility that I worked for. Could I get by without the part time job, probably (assuming the bear market doesn't last 2 more years) but I can give myself a little more security doing something I'd want to do anyways.

I've thought about that too. I might end up finding a job I really enjoy once i have some time to decompress.  Just curious,  were you heavily allocated to something that got hammered more than the general stock market or was your stache just that large?

Malcat

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2022, 04:53:57 PM »
No.

NoEllipsis

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2022, 06:05:58 PM »
I left work about a year and a half ago. Since around November my net worth has declined maybe 700k, it's somewhat concerning for me. I don't regret leaving my job because it was high profile and a fair amount of work. I wasn't in a position where I could really coast or take it easy. But even if it was a cushy position I wouldn't regret leaving. I'll probably never make anywhere near that much again where I could save roughly 80k per year. The downturn is "concerning" to say the least, I am very aware of cutting back on expenses just because I'd rather be cautious than "need" to go back to the corporate world.

That being said, since I left work I started volunteering with animals in various capacities. I love the work. I have looked at part time jobs for something that might be "perfect" for me because I can be picky if I want. That being said, a job opened up as a seasonal wildlife technician which I ended up getting. It's really perfect for me because it's part time for 3 months getting to take care of wildlife... it's practically what I do with my volunteer work anyways except I get paid $20/hr... That won't cover all my expenses, but basically it covers my mortgage/HOA/Property taxes.

Because I'm in a comfortable place (and I've already had a year and a half to decompress from leaving my career) I got to choose a job that doesn't feel like a job. That's the flexibility that I worked for. Could I get by without the part time job, probably (assuming the bear market doesn't last 2 more years) but I can give myself a little more security doing something I'd want to do anyways.

I've thought about that too. I might end up finding a job I really enjoy once i have some time to decompress.  Just curious,  were you heavily allocated to something that got hammered more than the general stock market or was your stache just that large?

Combination of both probably. I have a larger portfolio, but I'm also in a wildly oversized risky position which is part of the reason I got hammered. I invested ~10k in TSLA back in 2012-13 and finally started selling bits off last year. I could sell it to rebalance but it would trigger way more in taxes than I would really like to. I'm trying to spread out the rebalancing over more years if possible.

wageslave23

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2022, 05:12:32 AM »
I left work about a year and a half ago. Since around November my net worth has declined maybe 700k, it's somewhat concerning for me. I don't regret leaving my job because it was high profile and a fair amount of work. I wasn't in a position where I could really coast or take it easy. But even if it was a cushy position I wouldn't regret leaving. I'll probably never make anywhere near that much again where I could save roughly 80k per year. The downturn is "concerning" to say the least, I am very aware of cutting back on expenses just because I'd rather be cautious than "need" to go back to the corporate world.

That being said, since I left work I started volunteering with animals in various capacities. I love the work. I have looked at part time jobs for something that might be "perfect" for me because I can be picky if I want. That being said, a job opened up as a seasonal wildlife technician which I ended up getting. It's really perfect for me because it's part time for 3 months getting to take care of wildlife... it's practically what I do with my volunteer work anyways except I get paid $20/hr... That won't cover all my expenses, but basically it covers my mortgage/HOA/Property taxes.

Because I'm in a comfortable place (and I've already had a year and a half to decompress from leaving my career) I got to choose a job that doesn't feel like a job. That's the flexibility that I worked for. Could I get by without the part time job, probably (assuming the bear market doesn't last 2 more years) but I can give myself a little more security doing something I'd want to do anyways.

I've thought about that too. I might end up finding a job I really enjoy once i have some time to decompress.  Just curious,  were you heavily allocated to something that got hammered more than the general stock market or was your stache just that large?

Combination of both probably. I have a larger portfolio, but I'm also in a wildly oversized risky position which is part of the reason I got hammered. I invested ~10k in TSLA back in 2012-13 and finally started selling bits off last year. I could sell it to rebalance but it would trigger way more in taxes than I would really like to. I'm trying to spread out the rebalancing over more years if possible.

Good problem to have

GreenQueen

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2022, 09:16:24 AM »
Thanks for the responses! I don't like my job but I don't mind it. It's work from home permanently now due to covid, I don't have any direct bosses, I have my set of clients that I have had for several years, and I have it down to about 2-6 hrs a day of actual work depending on the season.  Part of me wants to quit soon because we have a little baby and will probably try to have another one soon and I'd like to be able to have more time in general. But I dont know if I'd regret it later, thinking I should have saved up more. It's a decent 6 figure salary, so it would be hard to make near the hourly rate with such little hassle or energy. But maybe I would also be able to find a job I really liked and or paid more.  I wish I could walk away and then come back in a few years if I changed my mind but my boss/owner frowns on that.

At first glance I would say to stay put for awhile if you can. Do you get any parental leave there for the next baby?

Your job is what I call great-great. I have to say having moved from this type of job due to corporate acquisition (before it was a startup with great hours, remoteness, and quality neutral in that you don't love it or hate it) to another job that is okay-great (more hours per day, more 9-5 structure and accountability, still entirely remote), it may be best to stay where you are. I would go back to the other startup job in a heartbeat. The grass may not be greener on the other side, and you don't want to go into having another kid with a bunch of stress in terms of financial uncertainty, onboarding at a new job, etc.

Our kids are 5 and 2 years old and I appreciate being as present as possible for them. This includes rarely worrying about money or if I can greet them as they come barreling in the door at 4:45pm.

However, do what's best for you and you may do great with the break, and find something fantastic later if you need it.

« Last Edit: August 03, 2022, 09:18:10 AM by GreenQueen »

wageslave23

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2022, 09:33:04 AM »
Yes, this is what I'm leaning towards.  I only have 1 to 3 more years left, and it would take at least a year to potentially get another job to be as easy and flexible as I have gotten this one to be.  I think I'll lean towards working the 2-3 yrs now so that I don't have to worry about potentially ever finding work again.

Dicey

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2022, 09:56:09 AM »
My ten-year FIREversary is 12/5/22. My answer is: Hell, NO!

Malcat

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2022, 10:34:26 AM »
My ten-year FIREversary is 12/5/22. My answer is: Hell, NO!

I've only been retired for 2 years and many people here know that I absolutely LOVED my job and didn't retire by choice, and even then, I don't regret it. We've made choices since to take advantage of the benefits of me not working, and have built a pretty amazing life that I've become pretty attached to. So as much as I HATED losing my career, I leaned into every advantage of not having and doubled-down on enjoying the things I couldn't if I were still working.

Just do what you need to do to make your life awesome, whatever your circumstances, and you basically can't go wrong.

bmjohnson35

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2022, 08:41:17 AM »

I do not regret quitting the job, but I do regret not buying the "right" home prior to FIRE.  In preparation for early retirement, we sold our home and moved about 30 miles to a smaller city.  We were trying to downsize and buy the house cash in an area with lower taxes and less congestion.  We compromised with a townhouse because it fell within our cash budget.  The spouse reluctantly agreed to the purchase. Almost 5 yrs later and the spouse has never been happy with the townhouse.  We could have got into a single family home for around $30-$50k more.  In hindsight, we should have spent the extra money to get into another single family home.  I should have pulled more money out of our investments or simply got a small mortgage.  Instead of being set in our final home, now we will be looking to move once again in this crazy housing market.  With the markets the way they are (stock & real estate), it may take a while for conditions to be right to sell our townhouse and buy our next home.  We did not fat fire, so need to be smart about the transition.  Worst case, I go back to work temporarily, but I'm trying to avoid that option.

wageslave23

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2022, 08:57:55 AM »

I do not regret quitting the job, but I do regret not buying the "right" home prior to FIRE.  In preparation for early retirement, we sold our home and moved about 30 miles to a smaller city.  We were trying to downsize and buy the house cash in an area with lower taxes and less congestion.  We compromised with a townhouse because it fell within our cash budget.  The spouse reluctantly agreed to the purchase. Almost 5 yrs later and the spouse has never been happy with the townhouse.  We could have got into a single family home for around $30-$50k more.  In hindsight, we should have spent the extra money to get into another single family home.  I should have pulled more money out of our investments or simply got a small mortgage.  Instead of being set in our final home, now we will be looking to move once again in this crazy housing market.  With the markets the way they are (stock & real estate), it may take a while for conditions to be right to sell our townhouse and buy our next home.  We did not fat fire, so need to be smart about the transition.  Worst case, I go back to work temporarily, but I'm trying to avoid that option.

If your spouse is unhappy with your current home, then shouldn't your spouse be the one to go back to work in order to pay for a better house?

bmjohnson35

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2022, 10:44:54 AM »

I do not regret quitting the job, but I do regret not buying the "right" home prior to FIRE.  In preparation for early retirement, we sold our home and moved about 30 miles to a smaller city.  We were trying to downsize and buy the house cash in an area with lower taxes and less congestion.  We compromised with a townhouse because it fell within our cash budget.  The spouse reluctantly agreed to the purchase. Almost 5 yrs later and the spouse has never been happy with the townhouse.  We could have got into a single family home for around $30-$50k more.  In hindsight, we should have spent the extra money to get into another single family home.  I should have pulled more money out of our investments or simply got a small mortgage.  Instead of being set in our final home, now we will be looking to move once again in this crazy housing market.  With the markets the way they are (stock & real estate), it may take a while for conditions to be right to sell our townhouse and buy our next home.  We did not fat fire, so need to be smart about the transition.  Worst case, I go back to work temporarily, but I'm trying to avoid that option.

If your spouse is unhappy with your current home, then shouldn't your spouse be the one to go back to work in order to pay for a better house?

She is working a part-time job now. She enjoys it, but it only contributes around $5k annually. We were essentially a single income couple the 2nd half of our life together.  She has always worked low income service jobs. We utilize the ACA, so a return to work would also likely require switching back to employer sponsored health insurance.  If I chose to go back to work, she would probably try to get a better paying job and increase her hours. 

I only share my story so others can learn from our mistake.

FireLane

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2022, 01:39:46 PM »
This goes a long with another similar thread, but I think gets more to the heart of the matter. Has anyone quit their job for FIRE and then later regretted quitting because they realized they needed more money and that they had a pretty cushy job and regretted quitting.  I think that's what I'm most afraid of. Running out of money and having to go back to work or cutting expenses isn't that big of a deal, I just want to end up regretting quitting my cush job.

I've only been FIREd for a year, so it's too soon to say if I'm going to run out of money. However, I know where you're coming from, so maybe I can speak to some of these worries.

When I was working, I had a cushy job. I was making a six-figure salary, working four days a week, and I could work from home as often as I wanted. I had a good manager and coworkers I generally got along well with. There were occasional late-night and weekend emergencies, needless meetings, demanding clients, and other typical corporate annoyances, but for the most part, it wasn't too stressful.

I liked my job as much as anyone has the right to expect, and at times it felt ungrateful to want something more. In the run-up to quitting, I often thought: "Am I making a huge mistake? If I quit, run out of money and have to go back to work later, there's no way I'll find a job as good as this one! I've got a good thing going, so why throw it away? Why give up a sure thing for this crazy FIRE plan that might not even work out?"

That fear motivated me to work longer than I originally planned to. I was aiming for a 3% WR, potentially even less. I wanted to be extremely sure that once I quit, I'd have no need to go back, ever.

Like I said, it's only been a year, so I can't tell if my plan is going to work out over the long term. But I know this much already - I don't regret quitting at all. This past year has been one of the best of my life.

I love that my time is my own, that I can read a book or work out or cook a fancy meal as the mood strikes me, and that I'm accountable to no one for how I spend my days. I love that I don't have to figure out how to fit in my hobbies around a rigid work schedule.

I love being able to travel whenever and wherever I choose, without having to worry about conserving scarce vacation days. (In my 15-year career, it's shocking how little time off I had!)

I love that I can spend summer vacation with my son, that I can be present to be a parent, and don't have to pack him off to summer camp just so I can work.

If you're planning to FIRE, you're probably a cautious person who runs the numbers over and over, who budgets meticulously and plans for every scenario. If that's you, then take it from me: you're going to be fine.

You can always earn more money if you really need to. But you can't get back the time you've spent. Jobs - even good ones - will take up your whole life if you let them, and there'll be no room left over for your dreams and your goals. If you want freedom, no one's going to give it to you. You have to claim it for yourself. Don't let fear keep you from making the most of the only life you get.

Much Fishing to Do

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2022, 05:40:01 AM »
This goes a long with another similar thread, but I think gets more to the heart of the matter. Has anyone quit their job for FIRE and then later regretted quitting because they realized they needed more money and that they had a pretty cushy job and regretted quitting.  I think that's what I'm most afraid of. Running out of money and having to go back to work or cutting expenses isn't that big of a deal, I just want to end up regretting quitting my cush job.


When I was working, I had a cushy job. I was making a six-figure salary, working four days a week, and I could work from home as often as I wanted. I had a good manager and coworkers I generally got along well with. There were occasional late-night and weekend emergencies, needless meetings, demanding clients, and other typical corporate annoyances, but for the most part, it wasn't too stressful.

I liked my job as much as anyone has the right to expect, and at times it felt ungrateful to want something more. In the run-up to quitting, I often thought: "Am I making a huge mistake? If I quit, run out of money and have to go back to work later, there's no way I'll find a job as good as this one! I've got a good thing going, so why throw it away? Why give up a sure thing for this crazy FIRE plan that might not even work out?"

That fear motivated me to work longer than I originally planned to. I was aiming for a 3% WR, potentially even less. I wanted to be extremely sure that once I quit, I'd have no need to go back, ever.


I think this is really the only reasonable fear behind even a 4% SWR.  5% and even 6% WRs seem to work often enough (50%+) that if one's goal were really to maximize their days retired over their lifetime those seem more reasonable levels.  If you need your money to last a LONG time then you're young enough to go back to work if the beginning of your FIRE doesn't go well, and if things go well then you've had years off you would have otherwise lost to fear.  You can always go back to work if healthy, but can you go back to as good a situation and as much money as you left is the question.  I think thats what drives the normal SWR rates down to points were we are expecting 95%+ success rates before pulling the plug.

Malcat

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2022, 06:29:50 AM »
This goes a long with another similar thread, but I think gets more to the heart of the matter. Has anyone quit their job for FIRE and then later regretted quitting because they realized they needed more money and that they had a pretty cushy job and regretted quitting.  I think that's what I'm most afraid of. Running out of money and having to go back to work or cutting expenses isn't that big of a deal, I just want to end up regretting quitting my cush job.


When I was working, I had a cushy job. I was making a six-figure salary, working four days a week, and I could work from home as often as I wanted. I had a good manager and coworkers I generally got along well with. There were occasional late-night and weekend emergencies, needless meetings, demanding clients, and other typical corporate annoyances, but for the most part, it wasn't too stressful.

I liked my job as much as anyone has the right to expect, and at times it felt ungrateful to want something more. In the run-up to quitting, I often thought: "Am I making a huge mistake? If I quit, run out of money and have to go back to work later, there's no way I'll find a job as good as this one! I've got a good thing going, so why throw it away? Why give up a sure thing for this crazy FIRE plan that might not even work out?"

That fear motivated me to work longer than I originally planned to. I was aiming for a 3% WR, potentially even less. I wanted to be extremely sure that once I quit, I'd have no need to go back, ever.


I think this is really the only reasonable fear behind even a 4% SWR.  5% and even 6% WRs seem to work often enough (50%+) that if one's goal were really to maximize their days retired over their lifetime those seem more reasonable levels.  If you need your money to last a LONG time then you're young enough to go back to work if the beginning of your FIRE doesn't go well, and if things go well then you've had years off you would have otherwise lost to fear.  You can always go back to work if healthy, but can you go back to as good a situation and as much money as you left is the question.  I think thats what drives the normal SWR rates down to points were we are expecting 95%+ success rates before pulling the plug.

I can't think of a single scenario where I need to go back to making my full previous income.

I just bought a second house. It was initially going to be an income property, but I've decided I like it too much and will just keep it as a second home for the next few years at least. I picked up a stupidly easy part time job that pays a fraction of what my old job did. We *can* afford it without the part time job, but it helps keep us nice and comfortable.

Literally, a few hours a week doing work I could do in my sleep is the difference between us being very comfortable having one home, or very comfortable having two homes.

When you don't need to save, it's stupid easy to earn sums that can radically change your lifestyle. If your expenses are low, then it's quite easy to cover just those or part of those and leave your stache to compound into a much bigger pile.

Having a huge stache also gives you the freedom to retrain if you think you want to make more money in the future. I'm currently doing a graduate degree that will give me a recession-proof, high paying job that I can work as much or as little as I want to while commanding a high fee. It's also geographically flexible, can be done remotely, can be done full time or as part time as I want, and isn't subject to ageism.

Because I don't need substantial income NOW to cover my lifestyle, I can afford to take my time and retrain, like anyone who has FIREd can do.

I'm doing it pre-emptively because I like working and absolutely want options, but I could pick this up at any time, really. I'm also doing something I always wanted to do. I didn't need to aim for something *so* secure and lucrative.

Because I was forced to retire, I never had to contend with OMY, which gives me a ton of insight into the reality of retiring well before you feel totally financially secure to do so. And guess what? Just having a substantial lump sum, not even full FIRE turns out to be all you need to be secure.

No one needs to be gripped with fear that leaving their career will permanently close the door to solid earned income. It may close *that* door, but there are tons of ways for smart, resourceful people to make money.

Also, as I said, you don't ever need to make your original salary. The 'stache can and will do the heavy lifting of growing on its own. Even if you don't cover all of your expenses with earned income, literally any substantial amount of income will allow your 'stache to keep growing.

People lament "well what about if the economy is shit and it's hard for anyone to find a job?" Cool, spend that time retraining/volunteering/networking because you can afford to do that compared to everyone else desperate for a paycheque NOW.

I won't have my credentials for another 2 years, and we might be in a recession by that point. But I'm already networking and offering to volunteer for organizations I may want to work for, because if there are a lot of applicants, who are they going to hire? A rando with the exact same qualifications who sends in a resume or the awesome woman who has been helping them for 2 years?

Finding work is hard when you need it urgently, especially when you need full time work urgently. Building professional opportunities is easy when you have time, money, and energy at your disposal.

Looking for part time opportunities is also sooooo much easier since if you have professional skills, there's a lot less competition for part-time jobs because everyone else with professional skills is busy working full time.

And I'm not just talking about jobs that are listed as part time, I'm not even talking about job listings at all. Most organizations could desperately use a quarter or half professional, but don't bother adding them to org-charts because they're almost impossible to staff. But many would be very happy to take on an experienced professional who is offering part time contractor services.

If I could physically still do my old job, I could cover my entire yearly spend just by offering to occasionally sub for other professionals on vacation.

And that brings me to my last point: people always say "well what if something happens and you are less able to work?" Well...uh...that something did happen to me. I'm severely disabled, can never work full time, and am often confined to bed, need a job that I can take leave from as needed, that won't discriminate against my many, many limitations.

Guess what? I still have A TON of options and don't feel in any way like my financial future is in jeopardy because of that.


The world of options is just so massive and flexible when you have the time/money/energy to make opportunities possible. I honestly had a hard time narrowing down what I wanted to do.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2022, 09:33:38 AM by Malcat »

Turtle

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2022, 07:19:01 AM »
Yes, this is what I'm leaning towards.  I only have 1 to 3 more years left, and it would take at least a year to potentially get another job to be as easy and flexible as I have gotten this one to be.  I think I'll lean towards working the 2-3 yrs now so that I don't have to worry about potentially ever finding work again.

I'm in the same situation, for both current job and length of remaining time likely to be working.  Working from home is allowing me to continue buying stocks on sale, so I'll probably continue for another couple years at least.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2022, 09:45:48 AM »
This goes a long with another similar thread, but I think gets more to the heart of the matter. Has anyone quit their job for FIRE and then later regretted quitting because they realized they needed more money and that they had a pretty cushy job and regretted quitting.  I think that's what I'm most afraid of. Running out of money and having to go back to work or cutting expenses isn't that big of a deal, I just want to end up regretting quitting my cush job.


When I was working, I had a cushy job. I was making a six-figure salary, working four days a week, and I could work from home as often as I wanted. I had a good manager and coworkers I generally got along well with. There were occasional late-night and weekend emergencies, needless meetings, demanding clients, and other typical corporate annoyances, but for the most part, it wasn't too stressful.

I liked my job as much as anyone has the right to expect, and at times it felt ungrateful to want something more. In the run-up to quitting, I often thought: "Am I making a huge mistake? If I quit, run out of money and have to go back to work later, there's no way I'll find a job as good as this one! I've got a good thing going, so why throw it away? Why give up a sure thing for this crazy FIRE plan that might not even work out?"

That fear motivated me to work longer than I originally planned to. I was aiming for a 3% WR, potentially even less. I wanted to be extremely sure that once I quit, I'd have no need to go back, ever.


I think this is really the only reasonable fear behind even a 4% SWR.  5% and even 6% WRs seem to work often enough (50%+) that if one's goal were really to maximize their days retired over their lifetime those seem more reasonable levels.  If you need your money to last a LONG time then you're young enough to go back to work if the beginning of your FIRE doesn't go well, and if things go well then you've had years off you would have otherwise lost to fear.  You can always go back to work if healthy, but can you go back to as good a situation and as much money as you left is the question.  I think thats what drives the normal SWR rates down to points were we are expecting 95%+ success rates before pulling the plug.

There are plenty of reasonable motivations to keep working beyond FI / 3% SWR.  For many, it is the status and social aspects (as long as you like your job, which some people actually do).  For folks with kids, some of us don't want to be stay at home parents.  I guess I could ER and travel while my wife does the SAHP'ing and kids go to school, but that seems very 'un-family-friendly' long term.  Doesn't help that divorce does seem to happen for FIRE folks, despite finances not being an issue...  Work also simplifies my life in many ways, I don't mind hiring out annoying jobs like painting, deep cleaning once a month, etc.  I have good health, dental, retirement plans etc - so that's all on autopilot.  My company does my taxes for me (although I still run a parallel calculation just to keep from getting rusty and to ask good questions).  I also don't mind having a firehose of income that I can use to make the world a better place.  I love 'overtipping' good service, or obviously underpaid people, or as a nice surprise - in addition to other more typical philanthropy.  It's also nice not to to have to explain to family and friends that we're FI, we enjoy our stealth wealth status.

Having to go back to work, as Malcat points out, is one of the smallest worries on my list.  If I can't make retirement work at a 3% SWR, heaven help the rest of retirees out there!  My life is already an exploding volcano of comfort, so I suppose I could tighten the belt and put off travel or services if markets go in to free fall while I'm ER.  DW has also decided to go back to work because she enjoys substitute teaching and can have her pick of jobs.

flyingaway

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #31 on: August 05, 2022, 10:00:12 AM »
To the OP:
If you still are not sure if you have enough, you have to keep working. You don't want to be in a retirement worrying about if you have enough everyday. Having a cusy job does not matter in this situation.

Malcat

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #32 on: August 05, 2022, 10:33:37 AM »
To the OP:
If you still are not sure if you have enough, you have to keep working. You don't want to be in a retirement worrying about if you have enough everyday. Having a cusy job does not matter in this situation.

Based on what assumptions?

People's FIRE targets are largely arbitrary. Having "enough" depends on largely arbitrary determinants. "Feeling" like having enough is just a feeling.

The vast, overwhelming majority of people don't retire when they hit a goal, they retire when they hit an age or a date or a state of health and then check to see if they can realistically fund it with whatever resources they have. So tons and tons of people manage to retire without specifically reaching a goal of "enough."

FIRE calculators don't even make sense. They make spending assumptions that don't look at all like reality. No one spends exactly their expected spend, to the penny, plus estimated inflation, year over year, regardless of what the markets do.

One person who has calculated a 3% withdrawal rate may be doing so on unrealistically lean numbers, so that they can almost never realistically keep their spend that low, and can't weather an unforseen emergency or a huge jump in inflation, especially when the markets are down. So say they have 750K and plan to spend only 22.5K/yr, even just an extra 5-10K/yr in expenses could be a problem.

Another person may have calculated a 5% withdrawal rate, but have padded every single spending estimate with so much buffer that they never realistically ever hit that spend target, and naturally cut back on luxuries when the markets are down.
So say they have 3M. Their budget is 150K/yr, but they rarely spend the full $2000/mo they over budgeted for groceries and can easily chop 50K in travel costs, or rent out one of their homes.

The 3% person should save more, and the 5% person could probably have saved loads less and still been fine. So even looking at the "math" isn't all that meaningful.

It also depends on the person's ability to generate income. The 3% person may have minimal marketable skills in a profession that isn't forgiving to resume gaps and age. The 5% person might be an anesthesiologist who can pick up $400/hr work at will as long as they maintain their license.

The question shouldn't be "do I have enough to retire, never work again, and never be afraid?"

The question should be "do I have enough to start considering making meaningful improvements to my life that are more valuable than my current career?"

JupiterGreen

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #33 on: August 05, 2022, 11:42:57 AM »
To the OP:
If you still are not sure if you have enough, you have to keep working. You don't want to be in a retirement worrying about if you have enough everyday. Having a cusy job does not matter in this situation.

Based on what assumptions?

People's FIRE targets are largely arbitrary. Having "enough" depends on largely arbitrary determinants. "Feeling" like having enough is just a feeling.

The vast, overwhelming majority of people don't retire when they hit a goal, they retire when they hit an age or a date or a state of health and then check to see if they can realistically fund it with whatever resources they have. So tons and tons of people manage to retire without specifically reaching a goal of "enough."

FIRE calculators don't even make sense. They make spending assumptions that don't look at all like reality. No one spends exactly their expected spend, to the penny, plus estimated inflation, year over year, regardless of what the markets do.

One person who has calculated a 3% withdrawal rate may be doing so on unrealistically lean numbers, so that they can almost never realistically keep their spend that low, and can't weather an unforseen emergency or a huge jump in inflation, especially when the markets are down. So say they have 750K and plan to spend only 22.5K/yr, even just an extra 5-10K/yr in expenses could be a problem.

Another person may have calculated a 5% withdrawal rate, but have padded every single spending estimate with so much buffer that they never realistically ever hit that spend target, and naturally cut back on luxuries when the markets are down.
So say they have 3M. Their budget is 150K/yr, but they rarely spend the full $2000/mo they over budgeted for groceries and can easily chop 50K in travel costs, or rent out one of their homes.

The 3% person should save more, and the 5% person could probably have saved loads less and still been fine. So even looking at the "math" isn't all that meaningful.

It also depends on the person's ability to generate income. The 3% person may have minimal marketable skills in a profession that isn't forgiving to resume gaps and age. The 5% person might be an anesthesiologist who can pick up $400/hr work at will as long as they maintain their license.

The question shouldn't be "do I have enough to retire, never work again, and never be afraid?"

The question should be "do I have enough to start considering making meaningful improvements to my life that are more valuable than my current career?"

This ^

Thank you for this thread. We also fear we may regret leaving our jobs and appreciate all the contributions and perspectives to this topic.

We are at the top of highly competitive very niche careers (though our compensation is not that high). We could retire now with mid-FIRE numbers but have decided not to leave our current careers so we can get fatter numbers (about 5 more years). For us there is no going back into our industry once we resign. There are some low paid part-time jobs in our field we could do once we retire (and we may), but for now we feel that we need more of a buffer given our expertise is fairly specialized. We love our jobs (hate where we live) and the work we do is meaningful so it's a trade-off we've had to negotiate. Everyone has a different situation. I am proud of the accomplishments my partner and I have made in our field, but that only goes so far. We will walk away sooner than most because we want our time to be our own. At some point the numbers will be overwhelmingly good and there will be no excuse. I'm right there with you OP.

To all the people who grew up in poverty/with food insecurities remember to recognize there is a significant mental hurdle to FIRE tied to the lizard part of our brains. At some point you will have to jump that hurdle. If your numbers are excellent but your fears are tied to childhood trauma try to acknowledge this fact and face it head-on. You are capable, you have been treating the wound, saving money for retirement is self-care and you are going to be okay.

wageslave23

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #34 on: August 05, 2022, 02:19:50 PM »
To the OP:
If you still are not sure if you have enough, you have to keep working. You don't want to be in a retirement worrying about if you have enough everyday. Having a cusy job does not matter in this situation.

Based on what assumptions?

People's FIRE targets are largely arbitrary. Having "enough" depends on largely arbitrary determinants. "Feeling" like having enough is just a feeling.

The vast, overwhelming majority of people don't retire when they hit a goal, they retire when they hit an age or a date or a state of health and then check to see if they can realistically fund it with whatever resources they have. So tons and tons of people manage to retire without specifically reaching a goal of "enough."

FIRE calculators don't even make sense. They make spending assumptions that don't look at all like reality. No one spends exactly their expected spend, to the penny, plus estimated inflation, year over year, regardless of what the markets do.

One person who has calculated a 3% withdrawal rate may be doing so on unrealistically lean numbers, so that they can almost never realistically keep their spend that low, and can't weather an unforseen emergency or a huge jump in inflation, especially when the markets are down. So say they have 750K and plan to spend only 22.5K/yr, even just an extra 5-10K/yr in expenses could be a problem.

Another person may have calculated a 5% withdrawal rate, but have padded every single spending estimate with so much buffer that they never realistically ever hit that spend target, and naturally cut back on luxuries when the markets are down.
So say they have 3M. Their budget is 150K/yr, but they rarely spend the full $2000/mo they over budgeted for groceries and can easily chop 50K in travel costs, or rent out one of their homes.

The 3% person should save more, and the 5% person could probably have saved loads less and still been fine. So even looking at the "math" isn't all that meaningful.

It also depends on the person's ability to generate income. The 3% person may have minimal marketable skills in a profession that isn't forgiving to resume gaps and age. The 5% person might be an anesthesiologist who can pick up $400/hr work at will as long as they maintain their license.

The question shouldn't be "do I have enough to retire, never work again, and never be afraid?"

The question should be "do I have enough to start considering making meaningful improvements to my life that are more valuable than my current career?"

Correct.

Everything is estimates upon estimates. What are our future costs going to be for the next 50 yrs? Estimate.  Where do we want to live? Estimate. What is our health going to be like? Estimate. Is social security and Medicare going to be similar in 30+ yrs? Estimate. Will the market be similar in the next 50 yrs as it has been in the last 100 yrs? Estimate.

So yes, can we figure out a budget based on the 4% rule now? Probably. Would we be happier overall if I worked one more year? Probably.  Would we be happier overall if I worked 2 more years? Less probable, but still likely.

Malcat

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #35 on: August 05, 2022, 03:04:26 PM »

Correct.

Everything is estimates upon estimates. What are our future costs going to be for the next 50 yrs? Estimate.  Where do we want to live? Estimate. What is our health going to be like? Estimate. Is social security and Medicare going to be similar in 30+ yrs? Estimate. Will the market be similar in the next 50 yrs as it has been in the last 100 yrs? Estimate.

So yes, can we figure out a budget based on the 4% rule now? Probably. Would we be happier overall if I worked one more year? Probably.  Would we be happier overall if I worked 2 more years? Less probable, but still likely.
[/b]

That entirely depends on how happy and healthy you are now.

A year is a long, long time to sacrifice if you aren't living your best life and aren't optimally healthy.

blue_green_sparks

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #36 on: August 05, 2022, 04:22:11 PM »
When I was in my early 20's a very nice older engineer died of a heart attack right in his office. He had talked often of his dream of building and flying a custom small airplane in retirement. They wheeled his body right past my 4x4 foot cubicle. I recall the facial expressions...how they revealed that my coworkers were resigned to a similar fate of "working till I drop".

The event took hold of my subconscious. I tightened my consumeristic behavior, sought advice, invested more and pulled my "exit the rat race date" way to the left. Smartest move I ever made.

4tify

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #37 on: August 06, 2022, 10:11:36 AM »
This is such a great conversation.

@Malcat i love how you distilled it down to that powerful question.
To the OP:
If you still are not sure if you have enough, you have to keep working. You don't want to be in a retirement worrying about if you have enough everyday. Having a cusy job does not matter in this situation.

The question shouldn't be "do I have enough to retire, never work again, and never be afraid?"

The question should be "do I have enough to start considering making meaningful improvements to my life that are more valuable than my current career?"

Having gone the long way around this never ending question, I am more convinced than ever that ďhitting my numberĒ was the wrong way to think about FIRE. Ultimately this path is about creating our best self sustaining lives. In retrospect I could have started that process with 1 or 2 years of expenses in the bank and acquire the skills necessary to do that. Instead I went the long haul and nearly burned myself out trying to get to a number I felt ok with, including at least two OMYs.

Now Iím rich but weak in skills that will enable me to craft a life worth living after being an expert at suckling on the teat of corporate life (and all the toxicity that came with it).  My journey is only just beginning and Iím grateful for the inspiration from those of you here who share your experiences.

BlueMR2

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Re: Anyone Regret Quitting a Job?
« Reply #38 on: August 07, 2022, 12:33:53 PM »
I've quit jobs without being FI and without a plan and not regretted it...

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!