Author Topic: Should I Quit My Job?  (Read 5771 times)

ColoradoTribe

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Should I Quit My Job?
« on: January 28, 2017, 10:34:23 PM »
Hello MMM community. I've been visiting the website for years and just created an account because I'm struggling with a decision.  Is it time to quit a job I generally do not enjoy?
Obviously, to offer an informed opinion or advice, you need some background. Forgive me if this bit is long winded.

Age: 39
Married for 10 years.
Three children ages 4, 6 and 7.
Debt: None
Housing: Own Single Family Detached
Net Worth: 1.3 million
FIRE Target (minimum) 1.5 million
Current (2016) Annual Spending: 57k
Post-FIRE spending estimate: 40-45k/yr (drop remaining daycare, youngest goes to Kindergarten, no commuting costs, reduce discretionary spending)
Investment/Assets: Roth IRAs, IRA (VTI), 401k, House, 2-yr cash reserve (also looking at rental properties), Some Individual Stocks (mostly TSLA), Lending Club


I have been at my current job for 8.5 years. I'm in the environmental consulting/engineering field. Through a combination of hard-work, luck, and strong negotiating I have gone from making 48k to 118k - 132k (depending on bonus) over that span. My wife has gone from full-time salaried, to part-time, to stay at home mom, and ultimately to starting her own LLC and consulting (chemistry background) from home 20-hours a week. The current consulting gig fell into her lap through former co-worked about six months ago. She's making very good money (hourly rate), but no benefits.  If I quit, her compensation and savings rate would allow us to hit our target in a couple years (assuming existing assets/account sdon't lose value).  I've slowly converted my wife to Mustachianism-lite and she is fully behind me quoting because she's see's the toll the job is taking (health, disposition, happiness). I almost quit on Friday, but nagging doubt and concern kept me from pulling the trigger.  Here are some of my biggest concerns. I'd greatly appreciate any advice or feedback.

With the ACA in limbo, a large family, and a pre-existing condition (though I'm generally in decent health), I worry about the long term affordability and access to healthcare.

Flipping roles with my spouse is a concern. Will she resent me taking over some of her former duties with the kids/house? How will I feel about not being the primary bread-winner? Will I get bored and end up regretting my choice?

Am I leaving a 17-year career, just after reaching a summit, too soon? While I'm confident I could find employment if needed, I'll likely never reach this level of compensation again without spending significant time/effort to work my way up with a new employer.

Another concern is that nearly half our net-worth is tied up in our home. We could move out-of-state and find cheaper housing that would allow us to apply the difference into other investments, but my wife is not really keen on this option.

The crux is of the issue is my job offers greater job security. My wife's job actually offers better total compensation, especially if I stay home allowing her to work more hours. She very much enjoys her work and has no desire to "retire" and her working from home allows us great freedom to move if we'd like and live an off-peak life from any location. We are committed to one of us being home with the kids.  The past six months have been a trial period, but its unsustainable from our perspective. My wife, by her own admission, is not as frugal as I am, so I do worry how comfortable she would be living on a fixed, passive income (4% Rule) under the worst case scenario that she loses her job and I can't find a new job I enjoy (unlikely scenario, but I like to be conservative).

Well, typing this out I realize there are a thousand angles to the decision and a great many unknowns, particularly in the long-term.  Happy to provide additional details that may aide any advice offered.

Unfortunately, I can't talk to friends, family or neighbors about any of this. Those in this community know why.

On the positive side, I'm stoked to think I caught be a few short weeks away from gaining control of my time back, spending more time with my wife/kids, and pursuing passions.

Thanks in advance to anyone that has read this far. If I need a punch in the face, don't hesitate to knock some sense into me.

pbkmaine

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2017, 12:18:45 AM »
If the ACA disappears without a replacement, either you or your wife could take any job that offers health care. If it were me, and the issue were preying on my mind, I would research part-time jobs with health insurance in my area. If I found a sufficient number of them, I would resign my job in good conscience and go on to live a happy life.

mwulff

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2017, 12:51:33 AM »
Here are some stray thoughts on your situation.

- You include your house in your net worth calculation, as you should. But remember that you can't eat bricks. Are your investments high enough to follow the 4% SWR rule?

- How about college for your children? Do you expect to pay for it, or will they pay for themselves?

- Are there aspects of your job that you enjoy? Could you negotiate part-time work and focus on the enjoyable stuff. It might be worth to talk to some pointy haired bosses about that. If they freak out you can just quit. I work part-time and I truly love it.

My advice would be to carefully evaluate your stash and whether it can support you and your family indefinitely before pulling the plug. Once you stop working it is next to impossible to go back, not that people won't hire you, you're just not going to want to.

former player

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2017, 03:02:41 AM »
Your current job does not sound healthy for you, which is what makes me think you should leave it - health is difficult to regain once lost, unlike money.

As mwulff says, with a high house value in your net worth your remaining investments may not enable full FIRE.  Also, your kids are still pretty young: as they grow up they will eat more and use up more in the way of clothing/utilities/activities.

Would part-time at your current job be an option?  Otherwise, if you feel that your working outside the home will be necessary/useful, don't fixate on getting a highly paid job.  Your work so far, plus your investments, plus your wife's work, put you in a good position to prioritise quality of life and usefulness of the work over the hourly rate.  A lower-paid part time job could be all you need to live a financially comfortable life and even enable your investments to continue to grow.
Be frugal and industrious, and you will be free (Ben Franklin)

Ron Scott

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2017, 04:53:04 AM »
The most powerful financial asset you have is your ability to earn and your peak earning years are ahead of you. Your greatest current financial responsibility is planning for the natural support of your family during the development of your children and the later years for you and your wife.

Staying in a job you truly do not like is not a good solution. But retirement isn't a great one either. (The 4% Rule, which seems to be undergoing a name change, to the 3.5% Rule, does not apply to people at your age BTW.)

My advice: Look for another job before your quit your current one, in your field preferably but outside if need be. It is much easier to plan your financial future with a paycheck in waiting than a bank account and FIRECalc.


2Birds1Stone

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2017, 06:01:05 AM »
Do you really need a $650k house?

If you quit your job, could you downsize and move into a house half that price?

If your wife works 20 hrs/week remotely and you could go back to work, I think you have a great chance to take some time off and decompress.

Negotiate a sabbatical with your employer, test drive the new arrangement.

"A small house can hold as much happiness as a big one." - Fortune Cookie

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ltt

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2017, 06:30:13 AM »
What others have said.  I think your plan may be doable if the following occurs:  downsize your home and find one in the $200k range, or do you live in an extremely expensive area?  This would give you basically $1M.  Then if you go part-time or find something else, you can continue to work on retirement/college expenses.  Health care---I don't know.  It's so up in the air right now.  Have you gone out on the exchanges to try and price out the monthly cost?

We are a family of 6 and have pre-existing conditions.  Health care is through husband's employer.  I looked at the exchanges just for the sake of wanting to see how much it would cost.  Oh my--premiums were high!  Well over $500 a month, and then the deductible was over $10k per year.  Absolutely unaffordable and really not sustainable on a long-term basis.  I'd be concerned, too.

How much is your 2-year cash reserve?  As another OP mentioned, I do like the idea of asking about going to part-time (if you are able to keep your health insurance).  That might just be a win-win for you.

former player

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2017, 06:53:10 AM »
I should add: there are all sorts and varieties of part-time that you can try to negotiate which might make the current job more bearable, eg  -

additional holiday allowance, either paid or unpaid

a nine day fortnight, with a day off every other week, or a four and a half day week worked in four days (ie, longer days, but if you are working longer than conditioned hours anyway these two are win/win)

shorter days

Use your negotiating skills to make your employer think they are getting a good deal!
Be frugal and industrious, and you will be free (Ben Franklin)

RobFIRE

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2017, 07:07:53 AM »
If you can't stand the job then I'd say yes, you should plan to make a change. It sounds like overall you are in a strong position.

However, best option, rather than quitting outright will be to try to negotiate some sort of temporary break or trial period, maybe a sabbatical or some unpaid leave (raising job burnout/stress if necessary), or even just bringing forward some holiday allowance to make it a 1 month break, whatever is possible. Your wife can then try increasing her hours a bit, or at least simulating it and you have a block of time off. That way you have some time to trial the new arrangement, can return to work if issues arise or you decide bearing the job a bit longer is the best option.

If healthcare coverage is the biggest financial issue you see, then I'd be researching what part-time jobs will provide it e.g. working 2 days a week at a hardware store if you're reasonably interested in DIY.

I would also consider whether a change in job arrangements could work, e.g. some working from home or different working hours is viable.

ColoradoTribe

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2017, 08:28:41 AM »
Here are some stray thoughts on your situation.

- You include your house in your net worth calculation, as you should. But remember that you can't eat bricks. Are your investments high enough to follow the 4% SWR rule?

- How about college for your children? Do you expect to pay for it, or will they pay for themselves?

- Are there aspects of your job that you enjoy? Could you negotiate part-time work and focus on the enjoyable stuff. It might be worth to talk to some pointy haired bosses about that. If they freak out you can just quit. I work part-time and I truly love it.

My advice would be to carefully evaluate your stash and whether it can support you and your family indefinitely before pulling the plug. Once you stop working it is next to impossible to go back, not that people won't hire you, you're just not going to want to.

Thanks for your response.

We have 30k set aside/invested for each kid for college (grandparents pitched in here) that is not included as net worth above. 

There are aspects of the job I enjoy, but there is less and less I enjoy as time passes. Part-time work would be hard because my work requires a high degree of adjusting on the fly and rapid change. So, staying on top of things means being in the office. That said, I have gone back and forth as to wether to ask for PT work.

As long as my wife wants to work and enjoys her job we can stay in the house, but depending on the size of the stache when/if she hangs it up we might have to sell and downsize to have enough investments to use the SWR.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2017, 08:48:07 AM by ColoradoTribe »

ColoradoTribe

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2017, 08:32:16 AM »
The most powerful financial asset you have is your ability to earn and your peak earning years are ahead of you. Your greatest current financial responsibility is planning for the natural support of your family during the development of your children and the later years for you and your wife.

Staying in a job you truly do not like is not a good solution. But retirement isn't a great one either. (The 4% Rule, which seems to be undergoing a name change, to the 3.5% Rule, does not apply to people at your age BTW.)

My advice: Look for another job before your quit your current one, in your field preferably but outside if need be. It is much easier to plan your financial future with a paycheck in waiting than a bank account and FIRECalc.

That's fair and good advice. Keep in mind my wife has current employment that more than covers our annual expenses even if I quit, which she supports.  Now, that covers the short term and takes the pressure off of me finding a second career right away. However, I don't want to quit and saddle my wife with having to support the family financially for an extended period of time.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2017, 08:47:26 AM by ColoradoTribe »

ColoradoTribe

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2017, 08:36:05 AM »
Your current job does not sound healthy for you, which is what makes me think you should leave it - health is difficult to regain once lost, unlike money.

As mwulff says, with a high house value in your net worth your remaining investments may not enable full FIRE.  Also, your kids are still pretty young: as they grow up they will eat more and use up more in the way of clothing/utilities/activities.

Would part-time at your current job be an option?  Otherwise, if you feel that your working outside the home will be necessary/useful, don't fixate on getting a highly paid job.  Your work so far, plus your investments, plus your wife's work, put you in a good position to prioritise quality of life and usefulness of the work over the hourly rate.  A lower-paid part time job could be all you need to live a financially comfortable life and even enable your investments to continue to grow.

Thank you for taking tim e to respond. You're thinking is fairly in line with my thoughts. While its difficult to leave a high paying job right at the peak of my earning years, I just think life is too short to be unhappy more days than not.  Great things happened for my wife when she quit a job she no longer enjoyed. I know I can't count on that, but as you suggest, given our current situation it would not take much income to supplement our investments.

ColoradoTribe

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2017, 08:41:25 AM »
Do you really need a $650k house?

If you quit your job, could you downsize and move into a house half that price?

If your wife works 20 hrs/week remotely and you could go back to work, I think you have a great chance to take some time off and decompress.

Negotiate a sabbatical with your employer, test drive the new arrangement.

We are fortunate that we are in an area that has appreciated greatly with respect to housing prices. So, while the house may be worth 700K, roughly 500k is what we have in it. A house is more or a less a house to me and I've spoken to the wife about moving to cheaper locations back east where our families live. We do like the community/schools though and we are walking distance to schools, open space, restaurants, etc. If it came down to it, we could move to grow our investment stache though.

Nature of my job wouldn't allow a sabbatical. I do have a good bit of leverage with my employer. PT work could be a good way to test drive "semi-retirement", but the nature of the work is not very conducive to PT employment due to high level of staff and client engagement required. I think I will offer to work PT though as opposed to just quitting, literally no down side to at least trying that option from my perspective.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2017, 08:45:27 AM by ColoradoTribe »

SeaEhm

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2017, 08:58:06 AM »
You mention generally do not enjoy.

If you generally do not enjoy it but mention there are parts that you like (mentioned in later posts) I would stick with it for longer to build a more solid base.

Three children is what makes me most cautious about the situation. You have kids who emotionally and pretty much legally need your guidance and support for a minimum 11 more years. 

If it was you and your wife, that is one thing.   Even that, she still likes more luxuries in life.  This lust for luxuries may pass as she gets older or it may not.

There was a part of my job that I literally hated.  Each morning I would drive to work saying, I hate this...I hate this... I tried to think about what was the root of the issue.  I acknowledged what was causing that hatred and then I tried to change it.  Now I do not mind and it has made my day so much better.


If you are getting to the bottom of the bottle and want to really reach far, think about this... The worse that you feel at your job, the happier you "should" feel when you get home and see your family, right?  You don't know happiness until you feel sorrow?  [/stretch]
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mwulff

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2017, 09:14:07 AM »
Having read the posts I would strongly suggest trying for some part-time to begin with. That would give you some spare time to think things through or maybe look for another job.

There is just something in the way the OP describes his situation that sets off a twitch that tells me not to quit just yet.

SwordGuy

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2017, 01:55:31 PM »
Do you really need a $650k house?

If you quit your job, could you downsize and move into a house half that price?

If your wife works 20 hrs/week remotely and you could go back to work, I think you have a great chance to take some time off and decompress.

Negotiate a sabbatical with your employer, test drive the new arrangement.

A $650,000 house is insane if you want to be fired.   I live in a 3500 sq ft, 5 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath custom-designed home for $227,500 in a nice LCOL area.   And that's probably 500 sq ft more than we need, even with a home business and art studio/classroom we'll be running out of it. 

That's a $400,000 savings right there, or about an extra $16,000 in passive FIRE income.  And, of course, with no mortgage either, that's another $12,000 or more on mortgage payment savings.   Those two savings on your current cost structure would cover $28,000 or over 62% of your target $45,000 post-FIRE expenses.   

Maybe you and your wife should take a look at this blog and rethink things.

http://rootofgood.com/

Best of luck!


ColoradoTribe

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2017, 03:26:39 PM »
As noted in my first post, the house is paid for in full.  Its worth around 700-750K now, but 200-250K is appreciation. Not a bad return over a nine year window, while also getting to live in a great location with high quality of life.

That said, I'm aware that a true FIRE scenario, where neither my wife or I work again, would require us to sell the house and move to a lower COL location. However, the point of this discussion, is whether I should quit my job while my wife continues to work until I find the next phase of my career.  Something that involves either fewer hours or something I enjoy doing.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2017, 04:07:50 PM by ColoradoTribe »

MisterTwoForty

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2017, 05:02:26 PM »
I can only answer your question from my own shoes.

So,  If I were in your situation, yes I would quit.  I would also sell the house and move to a lower COL area and invest the rest.  You can buy a house for sub 250K that will more than meet your needs in most areas of the country.  You will also find great school systems in those area.

Your freedom is worth more than your perceived comfort zone in the area you currently live.  The kids will thrive if you move and you will no longer have the stresses of your job.

Smokystache

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2017, 05:28:06 PM »
Having read the posts I would strongly suggest trying for some part-time to begin with. That would give you some spare time to think things through or maybe look for another job.

There is just something in the way the OP describes his situation that sets off a twitch that tells me not to quit just yet.

As mwullf says, some part-time works sounds perfect. So you say you're working in "environment/consulting," but you work for a company. Is it possible that you could find independent consulting work? Perhaps pick projects that fit your expertise and the topics that you enjoy? It sounds like you're ideally suited for this because:
a) you work as a consultant now - so you have an idea of how to work with clients
b) you've got plenty of money and time to figure out what needs you can provide and find some clients
c) it would enable you and your wife to continue to be really flexible
d) you could continue to add to your stache


Metric Mouse

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2017, 05:54:25 PM »


That's a $400,000 savings right there, or about an extra $16,000 in passive FIRE income.  And, of course, with no mortgage either, that's another $12,000 or more on mortgage payment savings.   Those two savings on your current cost structure would cover $28,000 or over 62% of your target $45,000 post-FIRE expenses.   

MustacheMath!


But seriously OP. Quit. You don't need to find another 100K+ job. Try something you'd enjoy. If it's terrible, quit and try something else. Your wife and your family will be happy you're around more, and while it will take some time to adjust, I think everyone will be better off for you finding something that you enjoy.
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SeaEhm

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2017, 06:11:51 PM »
Why is everyone's answer "Move to a LCOL area" ?

Not everyone wants to live in a LCOL area, hence, part of the reason it is a LCOL area.
Just here to feel guilty about my purchases which are often irrational, wants, and in an atypical budget.

MisterTwoForty

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2017, 07:00:27 PM »
In response to the above...you are on a forum that preaches frugality and getting bang for your buck.  You would expect the dominant response to be looking at a lower cost of living situation.

Having been to, but never lived in one, I dont see the draw.  I would much rather stretch my dollar.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2017, 07:52:46 PM »
In response to the above...you are on a forum that preaches frugality and getting bang for your buck.  You would expect the dominant response to be looking at a lower cost of living situation.

Having been to, but never lived in one, I dont see the draw.  I would much rather stretch my dollar.
I think the point is that if A) you've never lived in one, of course one wouldn't see the draw. Giving it a shot might change one's perspective.
and B) Almost anything that can be had in a HCOL area can be had cheaper. It's not just about stretching one's dollar, it's about one tossing one's money away on things that don't actually bring value or joy to their lives.
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skeptic

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2017, 08:12:21 PM »
It isn't clear to me what you want to do with your time.

Even though you're not quite at your FIRE goal, you seem to have enough or more than enough to leave this job if that's what you really want to do. So I wouldn't let the finances hold you back.

Still... what do you want? Is it to stay home with the kids for years? Or to take a couple months breather and then find another job? Is it to work a similar job but in a better environment or with people you like better or something -- and who cares if it happens to be half the pay? Or do you want to work part time? I know a lot of jobs/employers won't allow this, but it is possible sometimes, perhaps not at your current employer. Perhaps you could alter your job or assignments... negotiate your responsibilities or try to cut off the parts of your job you hate the most. Or maybe you just need a hiatus.

In sum: what do you want? You are in a financial position to go after whatever situation you most desire. But the question is not: stay at job or quit job? It is: how do you want to spend your days? I wouldn't quit without a very clear understanding of what you want to do with your time, and you feel pretty certain (as much as one can) that you will like it... at least for a while.

AlienRobotAnthropologist

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2017, 09:10:35 PM »
.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2017, 09:12:16 PM by AlienRobotAnthropologist »

ColoradoTribe

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2017, 09:51:27 PM »
Love that movie, and I've thought of that scene numerous times over the past months as I've contemplated this move.

ColoradoTribe

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2017, 10:09:40 PM »
It isn't clear to me what you want to do with your time.

Even though you're not quite at your FIRE goal, you seem to have enough or more than enough to leave this job if that's what you really want to do. So I wouldn't let the finances hold you back.

Still... what do you want? Is it to stay home with the kids for years? Or to take a couple months breather and then find another job? Is it to work a similar job but in a better environment or with people you like better or something -- and who cares if it happens to be half the pay? Or do you want to work part time? I know a lot of jobs/employers won't allow this, but it is possible sometimes, perhaps not at your current employer. Perhaps you could alter your job or assignments... negotiate your responsibilities or try to cut off the parts of your job you hate the most. Or maybe you just need a hiatus.

In sum: what do you want? You are in a financial position to go after whatever situation you most desire. But the question is not: stay at job or quit job? It is: how do you want to spend your days? I wouldn't quit without a very clear understanding of what you want to do with your time, and you feel pretty certain (as much as one can) that you will like it... at least for a while.

Good question. I guess my feeling is that my health, marriage, friendships, and to some extent time with my children have been been given the short-end of the stick while I pursued my career. I did my best to maintain work-life balance, but its been a losing battle. I've pushed through rough stretches because I'm not a quitter and until recently the job was a must. If it was simply a matter of not being passionate or enjoying my job I'd likely just continue to push through.  Two things changed my thinking. I was diagnosed with cancer shortly after my third child was born. I was fortunate that mine was operable and I only had one round of chemo (precautionary).  I've been cancer free for over three years and my risk of recurrence is very low. Still, nothing is guaranteed in life, including tomorrow.  Second, I noticed I was no longer able to compartmentalize my work. I was agitated and anxious at home, losing patience, and becoming cynical.

So, I want to spend more quality time with my wife and kids. Rediscover my easy-going, jovial self. I want to help out more with the kids and house work. I actually enjoy cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping etc. This will also allow my wife to focus on her career, bill more hours, etc.

I want us to have the freedom to rent a cheap place in the mans for two weeks in the summer and live and work from a remote location.

As for work, after some time away and once the kids are all in school full time. I have a few thoughts, but no solid plans. I'm big into sustainability. I moonlight as my company's sustainability program manager, have had solar panels since 2007 and an EV since 2013. I would love a new career related to this passion. I'm also going to check with a former employer to see if I could do some consulting for them (hourly contract work, not employment). I'm also working with a friend realtor to find an investment property locally. I'm reasonably handy and love the idea of building some more sweat equity.

Long-term, I grew up on a farm and its still in my blood. Would love to "downsize" property value wise and hobby farm somewhere back east, most likely Virginia.

ColoradoTribe

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2017, 10:15:14 PM »
Again, thank you to all who offered insights and advice. The comments have been useful and provided food for thought.

I'm still leaning toward quitting, but will give serious thought to the feasibility of a PT position with my current employer.

I did check out plans for the Colorado exchange several months back, but will revisit that to get a current picture of what our HC expense will be.

I still get the "high" of completing a project or pleasing  a client, but I think I can find that with other endeavors that don't bring the toxicity of my current employment.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 02:35:54 PM by ColoradoTribe »

Dicey

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2017, 02:02:56 AM »
Fellow cancer victor here. Before I pulled the plug on my employer, I had the following taped to my computer: "Retiring too early is a mistake that can be recovered from. Too late, and there is no recovery." Yes, I did work remotely, so said computer was in my home office.

My advice is to go, but not before you figure out the healthcare. Forget about moving to a low COLA until your wife is on board, if ever. When I was where you are, I literally made a 90 link paper chain, which I festooned around my office. I promised myself I'd be gone before the last link was broken, and I was. Given that you have a family to consider, you may want to push your end date out a little more. Knowing that the end is in sight really does alleviate stress significantly.
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2Cent

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2017, 03:26:48 AM »
I still get the "high" of completing a project or pleasing  a client, but I think I can find that with other endeavors that don't bring the toxicity of my current employment.
Try to get into a position where you only handle customers, and let others do the leg work. My Uncle was in a similar position, and he just started doing only the things he liked, and told No for the other things. Maybe they will change your position, maybe they will fire you. In that case, you might even get some compensation with 17 years of employment. Also someone I know just kept on pushing herself and doing whatever needed to be done to help the company, even in a toxic environment. She is now at home, burned out mentally. She is literally not able to do take any stress anymore without blanking out.

So make your health a priority, but see what you can do to make work better. Also, you could just apply for some jobs that might be better and see what the damage to your income would be.

Finally, just quit. Moving to a low cost area seems not needed as your wife earns enough, but it could be a backup in case she loses her job and you are not able to find work, or in case of emergency. But it seems to me you only need to save for a few more years to be fully FI, so it's only a few years of risk. The only real sacrifice is the possibility of a higher cost lifestyle as you'll likely not get this income back. But if that is what you wanted, you wouldn't be here.

MayDay

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2017, 04:38:35 AM »
You said you moonlight as a sustainability manager.

Can you ask to quit your primary role, become Cheif Sustainability Officer on a 25% time basis (or whatever percent makes sense for the company size) plus say 25% time taking on small chunks of projects?

Would your current company let you consult with them?

I would say you should set a date, say 3-6 months out. My reasoning is you might have more clarity on ACA then and whether the orange Cheeto will dismantle it by then.

Then go in and negotiate hard. Play the cancer card, say you need more time.with your family because you might not have a much time left, but you want to keep working for them too, and here are some ideas, propose straight part time, consulting, sabbatical, etc. Resign if they won't play ball.
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NicoleO

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #31 on: January 30, 2017, 10:17:40 AM »
I am in the environmental field, currently at a manufacturing facility, but did consulting for over 10 years.  My last consulting employer worked a 9/80 schedule (every other Friday off), offered PT (with benefits) to employees, and had several employees working remotely across the country.  I do not think any of the managers were PT but it is possible, I am assuming at your pay range you at minimum have some manager duties.  I think you need to look for a different company and see what PT and/or remote options are out there or stay with our company until we see what is going on with healthcare. 

On a side note I am about 6 years behind you, it is nice to see the potential of where I might be in the future (both assets and income) although I need to adjust for a much LCOL area (lower incomes) then most of CO.

SuperMex

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2017, 03:10:05 AM »
Bottom line up front I would keep working at least for a little while.

1. ACA is an unknown situation you need more clarity before you pull the trigger.

2. Try to make work more tolerable. As an example my boss doesn't know how to delegate she tries to do everything herself, I have to make her give me work. Delegate, manage, supervise, train, teach, create a succession plan. If anyone says anything tell them you are creating a plan in the event your health issue resurfaces. That way they are backed into a corner because they can't discriminate against you for a health related matter.

3. Save until you can 4% all of your current spending without touching your home equity, and can cover health insurance costs. Keep in mind as your children get older the expenses will go up.

4. When you quit make sure you write that your health has reached the point you can no longer work at the expected level in your resignation letter. Again this should cause them to counter with we could lighten your load or go to part time. You would be putting them in a bad position to accept a resignation like that.

5. If your health does get bad you can always file for SSDI as well. Keep in mind mental health as well as physical.

runewell

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #33 on: January 31, 2017, 06:43:50 AM »
i think it is too early to quit. 

If the house is 700-750 then the stash is 550-600 which would generate $1,925-$2,400 per month.

The stock market is historically pricey right now.  I'm not saying investments won't go up, but long-term wisdom suggests returns will lessen.  You still have a long time horizon ahead of you so that may not be a huge concern.

The college funds are off to a good start, but I don't think you'll fund four years of postsecondary (hard to say).  That also depends on the investment returns, see comments above except now your time horizon is shorter, 10-15 years or so.    Also, kids don't get cheaper as they grow up.  They eat more, their activities cost money, additional cars for them to learn to drive and go to jobs cost money, plus auto insurance.  Eventually as they grow up they can chip in, my 19-year old son pays his own gas and car insurance while he goes to college.

Health care won't be cheap and won't likely get cheaper as you age.

I think a few more years will greatly improve your starting position.   When my mom was wondering when to retire from teaching, I encouraged her to stay in at as long as she could to increase social security and save.  A few years later she really knew she had had enough and was ready to stop.  Despite all the encouragement to retire early on this board, you can only do it when you are sure you are ready.  Other people can give you good advice but only you know for sure. 

My advice is to be very sure and assume that if you have some doubts then it's probably a bit too early yet.  Get another year or three under your belt and see how your picture changes.   I hope that you'll be as sure as my mom was when you make the decision to stop.

Please leave Dicey out of this! Have you not been paying any attention? Trolls are not welcome here!

ColoradoTribe

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #34 on: February 04, 2017, 06:11:24 PM »
Update: I resigned. Employer took it fairly well. Once I explained that I wasn't taking another job, but instead staying home to raise kids and support wife's career, they we're understanding and didn't try to talk me out of it. I opted against going for PT.  I will stay on PT for up to a month beyond the standard two weeks to assist with a transition.  I decided long-term PT wasn't appealing or really feasible given the nature of the job/position. In the end I just wanted a clean break.

I did check on healthcare. We don't qualify for any ACA subsidy due to wife's income. For a Silver family plan, we will pay an extra $6,000/yr over what I paid in premiums for my subsidized employer plan. So, if the ACA is repealed it won't hurt in the short-term.  Losing the ACA will hurt our ability to have both wife and I FIRE in the future though. Also researched Colorado law regarding pre-existing conditions. My understanding is if the pre-exiling condition protections of the ACA go away Colorado law limits the time insurers can look back for pre-existing conditions to two years.  Fortunately, I have been cancer free for over 3 years, hopefully making that a non-issue.

I'm very excited to reclaim my time, rid my life of a stressful job, get in shape, and spend more time with wife and kids. Some mixed emotions walking away from a hard-won career. However, employer said I was welcome back any time. And, while I'd take a pay cut to come back, this option provides a great safety net. I also already have lunch set-up with a former employer to discuss some PT work.  After my last day of work, I'll also get serious about my rental property search now that I'll have time to invest some sweat equity.

I agree with those that pointed out our stache is not big enough yet for full FIRE.  However, since the wife is still working and covering all our expenses with plenty to spare the stache should continue to grow and with any luck we'll reach our number in a few years.  My staying at home will also reduce our spending by several hundred a month. So, while we did not full FIRE, our stache did allow me to walk away from a high-paying toxic job. The flexibility of my wife's job (work remotely) will allow us to travel freely and life our life off peak. Stoked for the first mid-week ski day where we don't have to fight the crowds.

The house also provides an extra layer of security. We know that if the worse happens we can sell the house and move to a lower COL location.

Thanks again to those that sounded off and offered advise and insights.  It was useful and helped confirmed my thinking and ensure i wasn't overlooking any critical angles.

Really looking forward to this next phase in my life!

former player

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #35 on: February 05, 2017, 01:49:45 AM »
Congratulations, and best of luck.  I hope you will update this thread occasionally (or have the mods move it to journals) for others to take inspiration.
Be frugal and industrious, and you will be free (Ben Franklin)

Metric Mouse

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2017, 11:29:55 PM »
Awesome awesome awesome!  Good luck with the next stage of your life! I hope it's even better than you imagine.
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Dicey

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #37 on: February 07, 2017, 04:55:32 AM »
I love it when a plan comes together! So happy for you...
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ColoradoTribe

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #38 on: February 07, 2017, 02:32:32 PM »
Thanks, five (full-time) days and counting...

We just got some backyard chickens this week by chance. I got tired of explaining the how and why's of my quitting, so I've been telling coworkers with a straight face that I'm retiring to chicken farm on a part-time basis and then break out the cell phone to show-off pictures of the hens like they're my children.

Most people are supportive.  Toughest sells have been the parents, both wife's and mine.  I attribute that to a combination of factors:

1) Generational - parents generation stayed put in one career and often one employer throughout their entire working life and would never considered quitting or changing careers.
2) Gender - the idea of a "stay-at-home-dad" just doesn't compute. If you said parent A and parent B and explained our choice in theoretical terms that'd say it make sense, but assume the working parent is male.
3) It's a parental prerogative to worry.

I think they'll get over it in time. And we can't worry about that either way.  Not going to stay in a job I don't need and don't enjoy to please parents and in-laws.

ysette9

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #39 on: February 07, 2017, 02:52:44 PM »
Congratulations! Enjoy the time with your kids and share some of those chicken photos with us on the forums. :)
"It'll be great!"

ColoradoTribe

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #40 on: February 07, 2017, 03:28:55 PM »
My new coworkers.


« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 03:35:38 PM by ColoradoTribe »

Retire-Canada

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #41 on: February 07, 2017, 04:03:54 PM »
Congrats! Good idea to free up some time and let the 'stach grow on its own. FWIW I think 4% WR is just fine for your age. Spending the prime of your life working is a far greater risk.

MilesTeg

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #42 on: February 07, 2017, 04:26:41 PM »
Sounds like you have plenty of FU money even though you are not FI, why not look for employment that you enjoy until you reach your goals? Even if it means your goals take longer, it's probably better than hating every second of your time at your current job. Don't quit without a plan, just start searching for a better job (where better is whatever you define it as).

hah woops, did not read the whole thread. Gratz on what appears to be a big improvement in your life.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 04:29:23 PM by MilesTeg »

ysette9

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #43 on: February 08, 2017, 01:04:55 PM »
Nice looking ladies you have there! Good luck with the chickens.
"It'll be great!"

redbird

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #44 on: February 08, 2017, 01:14:32 PM »
My new coworkers.

Your new co-workers are gonna benefit you directly more than any previous co-workers. ;)

Good luck! Sounds like you've got a good plan so far!
FIREd! as of Sep 4, 2015

ColoradoTribe

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #45 on: August 10, 2017, 10:01:53 AM »
OP here, it's been almost five months since I walked away from my job as an environmental consultant. For those contemplating a similar move, I thought I would post a follow-up now that a fair amount of time has passed to share my experience. As a reminder, I have three young boys and a wife that is currently working PT as a consultant from home. The first thing I observed upon quitting is the psychological hurdle of the first dollar you don't make. For my entire adult life (age 16-40) I focused on either securing job credentials or advancing my career in order to make more money. To walk away from a six figure job was nearly a complete departure from that mindset.

From my experience, here are the early impacts/observations on FIRE:

Finances
Good news, due to the continued bull run and continuing income from my wife's work, we hit our "base" net worth FI goal about a month ago ($1.5 million). This number would allow us to sell our current house and move to a LCOL area and be FI by providing 1 million in investments, with the remaining 0.5 million for housing, cars, etc.  That said, it's likely that the market is due for a correction, so our new goal is 1.8 million.  This amount would allow us to stay in our current home if we desire and also provides a cushion in the event of a downturn. My staying at home has improved our finances on the margins. We let go of the monthly visit from the cleaning lady and cut cable. I'm growing more of our food. We no longer hire childcare to cover my wife's work schedule. We are driving far fewer miles with neither of us having a daily commute. I've also taken over meals for the most part and I'm focusing on planning meals around expiration dates and reducing food waste.

I still have a goal of purchasing a real estate investment property. Anyone living in the Front Range of Colorado knows the market here is crazy right now. Came across several properties that probably would have positive cash flowed as rentals, but I'm being very conservative with our first foray. Put in one offer, but opted not to accept or counter the seller's counter. Patience will be key here, as I continue to learn with each property I evaluate.

Happiness
This is where the rubber really meets the road, right?  Fortunately, there has not been a day that I regret the decision or wish that I was headed off to my old job.  This came as a relief and confirmed that I had made the right decision. As others FIRE folks warned, it was not a situation where I woke up on day one and felt like a new person, completely stress free. Wanting to feel productive, I jumped right into being a SAHD, but probably put to much pressure on myself to be uber productive immediately. Additional time with the kids, though challenging at times, has been the best part of the change. The wife and I struggled some with new roles. She had to surrender a lot of the household duties, and I had to be sensitive that I was encroaching on her terrain.  Simple things like what laundry detergent, how the dishwasher is loaded, child discipling techniques, and what kind of toilet paper to buy were sources of friction. Took some patience and feeling things out, but we are reestablishing new routines and roles. The ability to live life off peak and simple things like the wife and I taking a walk to get a coffee mid-morning have been some of the simple but most rewarding changes. I've had to learn to be patient and lower expectations as to the number of things I can get done despite all my "freedom". Especially during the summer, taking care of three active little boys really is a full-time job, so larger projects (i.e., redoing our fireplace) have been slow coming and probably will wait until the school year starts.

Health
I am getting more exercise (more time and energy for this pursuit), though again, not as much as I would hope. At least I'm not sitting on my are for 8 hours a day anymore! We are eating a bit healthier, since I can start meals sooner and start from scratch. I've lost about five pounds so far, with a goal of losing at least 5 more.  Building new routines takes time though, and again I have to manage expectations and not expect to recreate myself in a few months. I'm a passionate skier and being able to ski at a high level is motivation as we head towards the winter.

Healthcare was a pain in the butt, as we purchased insurance on the open market for the first time. We ended up purchasing a high deductible plan (Bright Health) off the Colorado ACA exchange. Using a broker to navigate the system was a big help. We did not qualify for any ACA subsidies due to my wife's income, so we are paying roughly $1,100 month for a bronze family plan and supplemental plan. I did learn through the process that for insurance purposes, I'm no longer considered to have a preexisting condition once I'm cancer free for 5 years. Happy to say that milestone is coming up in September.

Highlights/Notables
Kids were excited to have dad around more!
Day hikes/mid-week backpacking trip
Day Rockies game
Three-week vacation back east to visit family without worrying about vacation days
Yard and garden never looked better and I get all my yard chores done during the week
Organizing the house and tackling some long-shelved (small) projects
More quality time with my wife when we're not just scrambling to stay afloat

Negatives:
As others warned, some family and friends just don't get it. Sometimes it's generational or gender based bias, they're fine with a stay at home mom, but a stay at home dad, especially one that quits a good job, doesn't compute, or worse, they think I'm being irresponsible. Of course, I'm not going to live my life to meet others expectations, but it was sad that we could feel one of our best and closest friends (married couple) disapprovingly judging us, even though they have no idea of our financial situation.

There have been a few occasions when I felt a lack of purpose or motivation. I'm being productive and taking care of the kids/house is obviously important, but I know long term I need to add pursuits outside the family/home, such as volunteering, PT work in a fulfilling field (i.e. sustainability) real estate, etc., to provide that sense of purpose as the kids get older.

With freedom comes responsibility and the need for greater self control. Having access to food at all hours of the day at home is a challenging temptation.  As is the temptation to stay up late streaming my favorite show or having a few weekday beers because I don't have to get up early and go to work. Like with most of life, moderation in  all things...

I'm not an extrovert by any means, so having to make small talk with parents at school drop offs and pick-ups, schedule play dates, etc. has not been my fav. Being one of only a handful of males in this female dominated world is also challenging.

The best for last...
Two years ago, my wife quit an unfulfilling job, where after childcare expenses, commuting costs, etc. she was reaping limited financial gain. Her company had stopped giving her anything but COL raises and was no longer investing in her career advancement.  About a year ago, a former co-worked reached out with an offer to do some consulting from home and helped her set up an LLC.  From a few odd jobs, things quickly snow-balled. Fast forward to present and she was just offered a full-time position with a cancer drug development company where she loves the people she is working with and is a valued asset. The pay and benefits are generous (no HC premiums) and she will continue to work from home. As those in the MMM community know, all this was made possible because we were approaching FI, had a large cash reserve, and gave ourselves the flexibility to both quit jobs that no longer were satisfying. Good fortune has played a role, but sometimes you really do need to take step back to go forward.

Sorry for stream of conscious, novel-sized post, if you read this far hopefully it provided something of value.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 12:31:07 PM by ColoradoTribe »

PoutineLover

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #46 on: August 10, 2017, 10:12:56 AM »
I didn't see this back when you originally posted, so it was cool reading through the initial question, the thought that went into it and finally how well it's working out. Congratulations! Sounds like you made the right call.

Valhalla

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #47 on: August 10, 2017, 10:45:50 AM »
Congrats. Looks like you made the right choice for you.  Enjoy and good luck.
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Retire-Canada

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #48 on: August 10, 2017, 10:57:41 AM »
Congrats. Looks like you made the right choice for you.  Enjoy and good luck.

Ditto! :)

Bicycle_B

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Re: Should I Quit My Job?
« Reply #49 on: August 10, 2017, 11:21:46 AM »
Congrats, ColoradoTribe.  Thanks for posting the update.  Wishing you the best in your family's continued adventures.