Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

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Petroljunkie
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Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by Petroljunkie » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:35 pm

Hello there!

I'd like to tap into the collective wisdom of this board, and get a reality check on my strategy and goals. I have been fortunate enough to work in a niche industry that has provided me with a great income over the last 4-5 years; however, given the sacrifices required by my job, I am at the point of burnout.

I won't get into the details but the job is exceedingly difficult when it comes to maintaining your personal life and subsequent mental health. :annoyed

Consequently, I am mulling over the idea of exiting my current job very soon, and will more than likely explore substantially lower paying career fields (e.g. 50K salary).

Please see my info below:

Emergency funds: 30k (Will fund 10 months of living expenses)
Debt: None
Tax Filing Status: Single
Tax Rate: 28% Federal, 5.2% State
State of Residence: OK
Age: 28
Desired Asset allocation: 100% Stocks

Current retirement assets:

Taxable:

100K Vanguard Total Stock Market (VTSAX)
100K Vanguard Total International Stock Market (VTIAX)
30K Vanguard Emerging Market (VEMAX)

ROTH IRA: 30K JP Morgan Alerian MLP ETN (AMJ)

401k: 25K Vanguard Value Index (I forget the symbol)

Note: I have no plans to add bonds to my portfolio for quite some time.

Questions:

Given my current retirement assets and standard of living (35-40K worth of expenses), do I have enough saved in order to quit my six figure job without jeopardizing a comfortable retirement in the future (Given expected lower market returns in the future)? I'm shooting for 1.5m - 2m when I'm +/- 60...

What would you tell your son or daughter in my position? I am obviously torn between financial security and quality of life (e.g. settling down / house / family, etc.).

Has anyone left a high paying job in their late twenties in the pursuit of a more stable life on a modest income?

Or should I just stick out a few more years and continue to destroy my personal life for more money? :? :wink:

Thanks in advance. I look forward to the response.

bloom2708
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by bloom2708 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:49 pm

You are single with no kids. You answer to yourself.

Health trumps wages in almost every scenario for me. I have quit high stress jobs a few times, taken less pay and maybe even derailed my career.

Now, I didn't go from making $120k to $50k. But, I also have a wife and 3 kids to consider. You have options.

Really, your spending/expensese/lifestyle drive everything. I think you can live quite nicely on $50k. That may depend on if you are in a HCOL area or LCOL area.

Life is short. Good luck!

Oh. I think at ANY age, 80/20 is a good place to be. You have only been working during this bull likely. Much different in an 07-09 environment.
"We are not here to please, but to provoke thoughtfulness." --Unknown Boglehead

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munemaker
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by munemaker » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:55 pm

Treat this as an (early) mid-life crisis.

- Take a vacation
- Have a fling
- Buy a red sports car.

Then get back to work.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:55 pm

$50k ain't chump change. It's close to the average (or median, I forget) income of a full family of 4 in the US.
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aristotelian
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by aristotelian » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:00 pm

No, you do not have enough to retire permanently at age 28. But if you are burned out now, you should quit your job and take some time to figure out a more fulfilling career. If you go back to work for $50K, then you will want to adjust your lifestyle to stay within your means. In which case, you could have nothing saved now and you would be fine.

If you plan to take an extended leave, I would increase your cash position now while US and international stocks are high. Give your brokerage account a haircut now and make sure you don't get caught making withdrawals in the midst of a bear market.

How long do you think you might need to develop your new career?

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Conch55
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by Conch55 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:02 pm

Treat this as an (early) mid-life crisis.
- Take a vacation
- Have a fling
- Buy a red sports car.
Then get back to work.
This is the advice you should heed. You will encounter other difficulties as you age and this doesn't seem like enough reason to make a potentially big change financially.

Snowjob
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by Snowjob » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:04 pm

Knowing when to stop investing is really a tricky thing -- so many variables the further you are from your end point.

Who the heck knows about health care, your future family situation etc etc.

I'm 7 yrs older than you and I struggle with when and how much to down shift -- I don't think any of us can really get much clarity on things until you are 5-7 years from retirement.

That said, I would not be comfortable stopping future retirement contributions at 28 with 300k. But that's a personal choice and it depends on when your looking to pull the plug 53 vs 60 vs 67 etc has wide ranging consequences for how much you need.

@ 4% real return for equities going forward its going to take 25 years for your investments to double in real terms. so you will have 600k at age 53. say we change that to 5%, thats still going to put you at age 48 to for 600k/ then your looking for another double and then some before retirement --which might be achievable by 65.

You got a hell of a head start on most people but I would continue saving at your new job too.

goldendad
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by goldendad » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:10 pm

Not time to retire! Take a break. Go back to school, take a six month vacation, etc. Take some time off and go back to work. I personally know four guys who retired early (45-55) with plenty of money. Within six months they were all working again. They got bored. Make sure you have a plan and something to do.

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flamesabers
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by flamesabers » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:11 pm

OP,

If you can commit to scaling down your standard of living to match a lower income it might be a worthwhile decision. You also probably won't be able to retire as early when you're earning $50k instead of $100k+. Alternatively, you may just need a vacation to get away from the stress of your job instead of going through the work of starting a new career.

If you decide you want to get a lower paying/less stressful job, I highly recommend you don't quit your current job until you've received job offers for your new job. (Being unemployed can be stressful on its own).
Jack FFR1846 wrote:$50k ain't chump change. It's close to the average (or median, I forget) income of a full family of 4 in the US.
I agree. However, it may be a major adjustment for a person who's accustomed to earning a six-figure income, especially someone who's living in a HCOL area.

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Meg77
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by Meg77 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:12 pm

If you leave your $285K invested and never save another dollar, you should have roughly $961K in today's dollars when you turn 60 (assumes a 4% return after inflation and fees but does not include taxes owed annually on the taxable investments).

If you continue to invest $5K per year on top of what you already have, you could retire at 60 with $1.25M with the same assumptions. Saving $10k a year would get you to $1.55M by age 60. In short, to reach your stated retirement goals and using a 4% real rate of return, you will need to continue to save $10K+ a year for retirement and to work for 30 years in some job that enables you to do so.

OR you can keep at your current job and save a lot more for a lot fewer years and retire much earlier - or much richer. Only you can decide.

Personally I would not sacrifice my health and happiness just for more money. You're young. Find or build a career you actually want to spend more time in that will also pay you more over time. The choice isn't either money/or happiness. But don't trade your current job for a random job that pays much less and that you will like only slightly more than your current one.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

asif408
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by asif408 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:13 pm

Petroljunkie wrote:Has anyone left a high paying job in their late twenties in the pursuit of a more stable life on a modest income?

Or should I just stick out a few more years and continue to destroy my personal life for more money? :? :wink:
I didn't necessarily leave a much higher paying job, but I did career transition in my late 20s from an industry where, if I would have stayed, I would likely now be making much more money, but have much more stress and longer hours. I settled on a career path that I make less in but is more meaningful and is more conducive to having a family.

Only you can decide if it is worth it, but it wasn't to me. You might have to adjust your lifestyle if you've had lifestyle creep during this time. My goals in life have never centered on accumulating a lot of money or obsessing about when I am going to retire. I'm more interested in having enough to do the things I enjoy and give me freedom to do what I want later in life. I'm not sure I would ever completely retire. It's a balance between quality of life and income, and I've mostly leaned towards bettering my quality of life than my income when I had a choice between the two. It just depends what you value more. If you want to improve your quality of life, probably better to do it now while you have no wife/kids than later.

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Blueskies123
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by Blueskies123 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:16 pm

Conch55 wrote:
Treat this as an (early) mid-life crisis.
- Take a vacation
- Have a fling
- Buy a red sports car.
Then get back to work.
This is the advice you should heed. You will encounter other difficulties as you age and this doesn't seem like enough reason to make a potentially big change financially.
If you are burned out at 28 going out and blowing a chunk of you your money is not going to help. This is what you do at 50 with 10 more years to retire. I suggest you figure out why you are burned out at the height of you vigor and energy. How would you feel with two babies at home a big mortgage and maybe working on your MBA at night. You are way too young to feel this way.
You need to find a way in your current job, or find a new job where you are the Young Turk. You need to turn off the reality TV and stop looking at FB and find a career where you look forward to getting up in the morning.
Find something that meets these needs:

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/work/8 ... -work.html

jasc15
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by jasc15 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:18 pm

munemaker wrote:Treat this as an (early) mid-life crisis.

- Take a vacation
- Have a fling
- Buy a red sports car.

Then get back to work.
I quit a reasonably well paying job at 27 with no definite plan for the future. I was living with my parents still, but continued contributing to the house. I spent that summer building a wooden clock in my garage, but none of the travel I thought I might do. After about 6 months, I got another job. I'm glad I did it when I did.

coupleofcents
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by coupleofcents » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:28 pm

Even if you take a 50K job, chances are you will get promotions and pay increases in the future. You could always start just saving to get the 401K match your new company would offer. Even that little bit will help you get to your retirement number.

staythecourse
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by staythecourse » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:35 pm

Do you have enough for what?

You are not married, have no kids, and have no parents to support so only you can ask if a lower paying job is enough.

No matter what it looks like this job is NOT one you can continue on with until retirement 20+ years down the road. So some change is in order. Up to you and you alone what that change is going to be.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

2pedals
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by 2pedals » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:56 pm

Petroljunkie wrote:
I won't get into the details but the job is exceedingly difficult when it comes to maintaining your personal life and subsequent mental health. :annoyed
Perhaps your issue is not with your job (external) but internal. Happiness is almost all attitude. I suggest you get some stress relief. Does your company have employee assistance program? At 28 you have a long way to go.

runner540
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by runner540 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:06 pm

I too have been very burnt out by a high stress, long hours, high $$ job with travel, etc. at about your age and shifted to a different part of the industry: still get to use my expertise and get compensated well, but have more balance.

If you have 5 years experience in investment banking, consulting, accting, Amazon, whatever it is, there are a lot of interesting ramps to slightly slower, saner lanes that will still pay you more than $50k.

Don't burn any bridges, however tempting, and don't underestimate how positive it will be to go from 60/70/80 hrs/week down to 50! Or to go from traveling every week to once a month. Those changes will help you reclaim some life outside of work.

Goal33
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by Goal33 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:09 pm

Similar profile. I am 26. I bought a sports car. Used. Spent only 5k. I feel better now.
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JBTX
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by JBTX » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:23 pm

Conch55 wrote:
Treat this as an (early) mid-life crisis.
- Take a vacation
- Have a fling
- Buy a red sports car.
Then get back to work.
This is the advice you should heed. You will encounter other difficulties as you age and this doesn't seem like enough reason to make a potentially big change financially.
Tend to agree. Take an extended break. After being away from it awhile your perspective may change. If you come back and feel the same way you have your answer.

There is no harm in looking around in the meantime to see what is out there.

You have a great start financially. As to whether you can live on $50k income, can you live on $35k to $40k a year spending? Only you can answer that.

I'm guessing you are working a tough but lucrative job in the oil industry/fracking.

As an aside i have single cousin who worked in consulting industry and made nice money after about 10 years he felt burned out and took several months off and got his pilots license including instrument rating. He even thought about being a pilot. But after a while he decided his consulting gig was too good and whatever you do has its challenges. He did consulting another 20 years or so retired from it and is now self employed.

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welderwannabe
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by welderwannabe » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:31 pm

Conch55 wrote:
Treat this as an (early) mid-life crisis.
- Take a vacation
- Have a fling
- Buy a red sports car.
Then get back to work.
This is the advice you should heed. You will encounter other difficulties as you age and this doesn't seem like enough reason to make a potentially big change financially.
Except maybe the fling part. That gets you child support!
I am not an investment professional, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Gropes & Ray
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by Gropes & Ray » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:43 pm

Find a new job, then quit. Any gap in employment on your resume will haunt you for a long time. Trust me.

Mr.BB
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by Mr.BB » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:48 pm

To help you answer your question on reduction of salary versus quality of life, do an estimate of your weekly or monthly income at $50,000 (AKA your new job).
Try living on the new income with your current expenses and savings (or future adjustments) try it for a few months, see how you feel about it. That will tell you a lot.
Last edited by Mr.BB on Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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lostdog
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by lostdog » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:48 pm

Quit your job. Life is short. You're on track financially.

hightower
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by hightower » Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:56 pm

You are doing very well for a 28 year old financially speaking. You're better off than me and I'm a 35 year old physician (I make a lot, but haven't built wealth yet thanks to debt). Anyway, you are young and need to be enjoying life to the fullest. Absolutely quit your current job and find something enjoyable. Even if you add nothing to your portfolio over the next 35 years you will still be able to retire quite comfortably with that level of spending. So, don't worry about money. Start worrying about enjoying life. I agree with the suggestion to take a trip and meet some girls (or boys if that's what you're into). I don't agree with buying a sports car, but that was probably just a joke;)
Your health and happiness is always more important than money. Good work so far and good luck!

scottyja
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by scottyja » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:07 pm

Does your company offer any sort of sabbatical or leave of absence options? If it's a high-paying, high-stress industry, they may have options to help you maintain your sanity. I would look into this is it's available. Or are there other opportunities within the niche market that would allow you to change focus but still maintain your expertise (potentially at a less significant pay cut)?

If none of these are viable, time to change careers. It's always easier to do this in your 20s than later in life.

Also - yes, at your age and savings, you can take a $50k job and manage $1.5-$2m by the time you retire - easily. You won't be making $50k forever.
Last edited by scottyja on Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Watty
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by Watty » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:08 pm

Petroljunkie wrote:What would you tell your son or daughter in my position? I am obviously torn between financial security and quality of life (e.g. settling down / house / family, etc.).
Unless there is an imminent threat to your health then don't quit your current job until you have your next job lined up. Looking for a job when you are unemployed is a lot more difficult and you will be under a huge amount of stress while job hunting.

If possible try to take a sabbatical or at least a three week vacation so see if you can decompress some. Even if your company does not have a formal sabbatical program you can still ask for an unpaid sabbatical. One of the reasons that companies don't have a sabbatical program is that nobody has ever asked to take an unpaid sabbatical.

When you do look for another job look for something where you don't have to take a huge pay cut. You might be surprised at what you find.

In addition to your current field there are likely either customers or suppliers where your knowledge would be useful so also consider only partially changing your field. It was a different situation but I have seen electricians with back injuries go to work at desk jobs at electrical suppliers.

Petroljunkie wrote: I have been fortunate enough to work in a niche industry that has provided me with a great income over the last 4-5 years; however, given the sacrifices required by my job, I am at the point of burnout.
There are some careers, like being a police officer, where the stress is pretty much unavoidable. For many other fields though a lot of the "sacrifices" were really self inflicted by people when they could have been avoided just by learning to say "no" at times at work. That might cost you some bonuses or might not ever be practical with your current employer but there are few fields where it would be impossible to find a less demanding job if you were willing to make a bit less.

I worked in IT before I retired and there are often fires and crunches where overtime is part of the job but I often saw people let that escalate to become a constant demand. Some employers take advantage of employees that way but if you look around in IT there are jobs with a better life work balance. At least in IT some people become contractors that charged by the hour. On a Friday afternoon when some work was expected by Monday morning a question a contractor would ask a manager would be something like, "I can have it done by Monday but it will take 20 hours of additional work over the weekend, is it worth $xx,xxx to the company to get it done by Monday or will next Wednesday be OK?" It happened but it was rare that the weekend work was really worth the extra money.

At least once in IT I saw a situation where there was a single guy that was working all sorts of hours to get projects done and he became the informal "go to" buy where there was a problem after hours. On the same team there were a number of people that had to leave work at a set time to pickup kids at day care and could only work a limited amount of time in the evenings and weekends and would only do that when they were specifically asked to. Take a look at the people that you work with to see of there are other people in similar positions that are not being put under as much pressure. Finally the single guy got feed up with the situation and let his manager know that he would not be working overtime unless there was was some real emergency. That was fine with the manager.

Working half time in your current field might also be an option but you would need to find an employer that that will let you work half time.

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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by rmelvey » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:14 pm

Have you outsourced all of the annoying parts of life and treated yourself to the things you enjoy the most? That can be better than quitting the high paying job.

For me when I feel burned out I hire a bi-weekly cleaner, eat out more because I love food and don't like doing dishes, and get massages. These are small luxuries, but pale in comparison to the cost of quitting. If the hours are the worst part of your job, try to focus on things you can do to "buy back" time such as paying more rent to live closer to the job or having everything taken care of when you come home.

North Texas Cajun
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by North Texas Cajun » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:32 pm

Petroljunkie wrote:Hello there!

I'd like to tap into the collective wisdom of this board, and get a reality check on my strategy and goals. I have been fortunate enough to work in a niche industry that has provided me with a great income over the last 4-5 years; however, given the sacrifices required by my job, I am at the point of burnout.

I won't get into the details but the job is exceedingly difficult when it comes to maintaining your personal life and subsequent mental health. :annoyed

Consequently, I am mulling over the idea of exiting my current job very soon, and will more than likely explore substantially lower paying career fields (e.g. 50K salary).

Please see my info below:

Emergency funds: 30k (Will fund 10 months of living expenses)
Debt: None
Tax Filing Status: Single
Tax Rate: 28% Federal, 5.2% State
State of Residence: OK
Age: 28
Desired Asset allocation: 100% Stocks

Current retirement assets:

Taxable:

100K Vanguard Total Stock Market (VTSAX)
100K Vanguard Total International Stock Market (VTIAX)
30K Vanguard Emerging Market (VEMAX)

ROTH IRA: 30K JP Morgan Alerian MLP ETN (AMJ)

401k: 25K Vanguard Value Index (I forget the symbol)

Note: I have no plans to add bonds to my portfolio for quite some time.

Questions:

Given my current retirement assets and standard of living (35-40K worth of expenses), do I have enough saved in order to quit my six figure job without jeopardizing a comfortable retirement in the future (Given expected lower market returns in the future)? I'm shooting for 1.5m - 2m when I'm +/- 60...

What would you tell your son or daughter in my position? I am obviously torn between financial security and quality of life (e.g. settling down / house / family, etc.).

Has anyone left a high paying job in their late twenties in the pursuit of a more stable life on a modest income?

Or should I just stick out a few more years and continue to destroy my personal life for more money? :? :wink:

Thanks in advance. I look forward to the response.
Hard to give much advice without knowing more, but here goes.

If your employers are paying you a significant salary at age 28, obviously they see a lot of value in your talents. They probably do not want to lose you. Have you considered talking with your employer about the stress of your job? I know a few employers do not care if they burn out talent. But most will try to help in any way they can. I've known employers who were willing to grant 60 days leave of absence in order to give talented employees a break. They don't advertise this to the rest of the workforce, but I am positive it happens.

If you are convinced that you want to leave this employer, then consider doing so in such a way that does not leave them in a bind. Offer to stay until a replacement can be trained. Why care about your current employer who burned you out? Never burn your bridges. It is highly unlikely that a 28 year old will want to remain unemployed for the rest of his life. You may decide to go back to this employer some day. But even if you do not, it is only smart to ensure you can always get a good recommendation from them.

Finally, and this is from firsthand experience, it is very foolish to not have health and disability insurance. So be certain you have that covered. The best disability insurance in the world is that available from the federal government through SS. But I think you need to first be employed in order to receive any OASDI benefits. You may have enough work credit to be eligible for SS disability right now. But I'm pretty sure you will not be eligible in 10 years if you stop working now.

I worked 70-80 hours a week for a period when I was younger, and I did get burned out. But I got through it, and learned how to control the stress. I'm sure you are smart enough to do so also.

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ClevrChico
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by ClevrChico » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:00 pm

Is it your specific employer or your profession that is such a grind? If it's your employer, find something better!

I was at the point where you were, switched employers, and received much better hours plus higher pay. I would do everything I can not to take a paycut.

I thought early retirement was the only way out at the time, so I'm having to rethink things now that I'm pretty happy with my job.

Petroljunkie
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by Petroljunkie » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:02 pm

Thanks all! I did not anticipate such a robust response.

Should have been more specific about my situation initially.

My position is contract field work in oil and gas, which requires long hours and significant time away from home.

I've been on the road sleeping in hotels and short term apartments for last 2 years.

Hope this clears up any ambiguity.

Many thanks.

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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by pokebowl » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:05 pm

I had a similar issue to this years ago. I was working in a very well paying industry that not only paid well, moved me to a stellar location, but also had decent benefits. After 2 years working said job, I was completely burnt out. I lived in an amazing location, but never had energy on weekends to enjoy it, as I spent my weekends recovering from the 12-14 hour days I worked throughout the week. I thought I was young and could just ride it out as I was saving a lot of money toward retirement, however that level of stress builds, your negativity builds, and your overall outlook on life slowly turns not for the best. I had that epiphany and quit said job and overall it was the best decision I made for my health. Doesn't matter how young you are, there are jobs out there that will absolutely break you if you let them. :beer
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by mega317 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:08 pm

Blueskies123 wrote: You need to turn off the reality TV and stop looking at FB
What an awful thing to say to someone who is looking for help and might be having mental health problems.

OP: I work with medical residents and I see plenty them having difficulties that sound similar to what you are describing. Some (not a few) of them are diagnosed with various mental health conditions and on medication. You need to start taking steps towards changing your life. Earning 50k is great for many people, and you have a nice head start. Don't do anything hastily, but you need to seriously evaluate where you are and make a change if needed. If you end up married and with kids in the future you will still be fine. Just marry someone with similar values and live within your means. It's not complicated and millions of people do it happily with less than that.

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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by LarryAllen » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:10 pm

munemaker wrote:Treat this as an (early) mid-life crisis.

- Take a vacation
- Have a fling
- Buy a red sports car.

Then get back to work.
+1

Life is long, work sucks, but retiring as a single 28 year old seems laughable to me. Things change. You get married, you have kids, you have more wants in life, etc.... I'd keep working. Put a reasonable date, for retirement, like 40 or 45. Until then get back to work (but take some vacations).

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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by North Texas Cajun » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:04 pm

Petroljunkie wrote:Thanks all! I did not anticipate such a robust response.

Should have been more specific about my situation initially.

My position is contract field work in oil and gas, which requires long hours and significant time away from home.

I've been on the road sleeping in hotels and short term apartments for last 2 years.

Hope this clears up any ambiguity.

Many thanks.
Oh, I've heard some tough stories from relatives about field work in oil and gas.

If you're doing contract work, I don't think - at your age - you have to worry too much about lining up a new job before you leave your current one. But I would advise talking first with your employer. If they understand why you will have to leave, they are more likely to give a good recommendation. As an employer, I always wrote good recommendation letters for good employees who requested them before they left. And I was especially appreciative of employees who took the time to explain their situation.

Once more, don't discount the importance of health and disability insurance - both now and later in life when it is harder to get. Think really long about getting on with one of the large corporations with a reputation for treating employees well.

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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by bigred3 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:19 pm

I can relate to a certain extent. Don't buy a car haha go travel and explore. You've earned. The real world will be waiting with open arms when you get tired of that. Don't waste being young and miserable. Your in a fortunate position much like I was in my 20s, but don't make yourself miserable.

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onthecusp
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by onthecusp » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:14 pm

So, if you can live on a $50,000 gross income I think you are in good shape. Would be better if you could add $10000 a year until you retire, really just about anything added would make things more comfortable given how long you have and the great start you made relative to others that were not making the bigger money.

In the oil/gas field, experience goes a long way in qualifying you for related positions. They may not pay as well as giving up your life as a nomad, but many will pay very well for much more normal hours. If you are in a roustabout type position, there are a variety of construction type jobs in refinery areas that would look favorably on such experience. If you are more technical, or just have a good feel for the technical aspects of such work there are many oil services companies which may have work (support, specific equipment installation, etc.) that involves travel, but not such a nomadic experience.

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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by rob » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:20 pm

bloom2708 wrote:Now, I didn't go from making $120k to $50k. But, I also have a wife and 3 kids to consider. You have options.
A spouse and 3 kids is not a hole lot different than 120 down to 50 (five of us also) :shock:

To the OP.... Is there any way to swap employers and take a smaller hit? If it's the career, then now is the time to change; pick carefully for the next one.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

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Watty
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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by Watty » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:39 pm

Petroljunkie wrote:My position is contract field work in oil and gas, which requires long hours and significant time away from home.

I've been on the road sleeping in hotels and short term apartments for last 2 years.
It wasn't clear if you are an employee of a firm that does the contracting or actually contracting yourself but either way it would seem like you are in a good position to just talk with your manager and say that you need a break and are going to be taking six months off. They know how hard it can be working a job like that so they should understand even if they are not happy that they will need to find someone to fill your position. If you give them plenty of notice then in six months if you want to go back then they will likely be glad to have you back if they need someone then. In six months if you decide to not go back then you can just let them know so that you leave on good terms.

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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by tc101 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:50 pm

Take a 6 month long vacation in another country with a lower cost of living. Try Costa Rica, or Thailand or for a more intense experience go to India. You will meet lots of interesting people who will give you a new perspective on life. You will meet lots of people like yourself who worked hard, saved some money, and want to live without thinking about money for a while. You will have fascinating conversations. You will get clarity on your next step in life.
. | The most important thing you should know about me is that I am not an expert.

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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by Nowizard » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:30 pm

For a high stress and, apparently, high paying job, you have relatively little in savings. Many who were burned out at your age would have considerably more. From the limited information, the issue to attend to is burnout. You might rephrase your question from "Do I have enough" to "How can I lead a more enjoyable life while also attending to future planning?" Burn out at 28 is a rather unusual issue unless it is extremely high paying and the person is aware of the stress but accepting it for a relatively short period of time. Good luck in figuring out how to move forward. You might use a local university counseling center to obtain a low cost evaluation regarding job preferences and skill sets.s

Tim

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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by WildBill » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:20 pm

Petroljunkie wrote:Thanks all! I did not anticipate such a robust response.

Should have been more specific about my situation initially.

My position is contract field work in oil and gas, which requires long hours and significant time away from home.

I've been on the road sleeping in hotels and short term apartments for last 2 years.

Hope this clears up any ambiguity.

Many thanks.
Howdy

Did this for a long time, so I understand. It worked out really well for me but it can be a tough and lonely life.

You got some pretty snotty comments. Ignore them.

Here are some thoughts.

As a single guy this is a pretty good way to make and save a lot of money. You know that already, which is why you haven't already quit. :P it can also be a pretty good lifestyle if you can arrange more time off.

Can you change the geographic area you work in, or get a more permanent schedule in one place? Oftentimes in positions like this a change of scene or in the routine is as good as a vacation.

Can you do this abroad as an expat? That would be a change that might reinvigorate you.

Can you work abroad as a rotator, on a 28-28 or 28-14 or something that would give you more time off?

Can you upgrade your skill set in your discipline? I don't know what you are doing, but can you move up to a more skilled position, or sideways into another associated discipline?

I know guys who moved from mud engineer to driller or tool pusher, or into other disciplines. It took some courses and studies but they were able to make the transition over about a year.

I wouldn't give up on the money and lifestyle at your age - I would look for a way to make it work better for you.

Good luck

W B
"Through chances various, through all vicissitudes, we make our way." Virgil, The Aeneid

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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by Nestegg_User » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:43 pm

munemaker wrote:Treat this as an (early) mid-life crisis.

- Take a vacation
- Have a fling
- Buy a red sports car

Then get back to work.
Fixed that for you--- OP doesn't really have the funds for the rest. I think it's not an early mid-life crisis-- rather it's a sudden realization of the rest of his w@rking life



After reading rest of thread-- I knew a few in oil and gas-- some on the road as data logging others in north Alaska doing aerial geomagnetic logging--- long days in very distant areas. They survived....OP should also
OP needs to get a plan together-- what job after that and where-- and then focus on putting the plan into action. Retirement isn't in the cards, nowhere close. ( the OP isn't even close to the minimum 40 credits of SS )

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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:56 am

tc101 wrote:Take a 6 month long vacation in another country with a lower cost of living. Try Costa Rica, or Thailand or for a more intense experience go to India. You will meet lots of interesting people who will give you a new perspective on life. You will meet lots of people like yourself who worked hard, saved some money, and want to live without thinking about money for a while. You will have fascinating conversations. You will get clarity on your next step in life.
I can relate to this. When I was in my mid to late 20s, I felt strongly that I needed to change my career path. I was doing interesting work at the time and moving up the corporate ladder but wasn't feeling particularly fulfilled. So I quit and went traveling for several months. My motivation was just to get away from the stress, but it allowed me to clear my head and decide what I wanted to do next.

I've been teaching for the past 15 years. This was one of the best decisions I've ever made because I love my job and find the work meaningful (and the salary turned out to be just fine too). I was able to make this career change in my 20s because I was young and single at the time. Trying to do it now would be a lot more challenging.

OP: You may find that after a few years in a different career, you're actually doing better than you had expected (in various ways, but including financially). In any case, time is important. Is being miserable and exhausted the best way to spend it?

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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by Txsman » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:42 am

I was in the oil field in my 20's. Worked as the company man on the drilling rig. Long hours, not much sleep, away from home. The oil industry made my choice for me and I was laid off in 1986 during the oil crash of the 80s. I went back to collage and got a degree as a chemical engineer working for my professor doing his research. Love my job now. 30 years with the same company.

Make a plan, go back to school if you need to. Oil is a good career but can be unpredictable. Good luck.

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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by bottlecap » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:51 am

I like the sabbatical idea. Either way, you have to have a plan to continue your career.

You done a decent job saving, but you only have less than $300,000, 20% of which is in retirement accounts. This isn't exactly financially independent kind of money.

Of course a lot depends on your expenses and your future plans. But if you plan to scale back work and income and ramp up fun, you'll eat into that money pretty quickly.

JT

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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by rob65 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:11 am

Geez folks, the OP isn't talking about retiring at 28; he's talking about leaving a high stress, high paying job for a job with lower pay, but lower stress.

OP, this is a very personal decision. I've got kids in their 20s and I would advise them to take the higher quality of life. I am assuming that you could find a reasonably good job that meets expenses and allows some retirement savings.

Making sure you can get a job that meets your expenses before leaving your current job and leaving on good terms in case you want to go back strike me as sound advice. YMMV.

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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by djpeteski » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:12 am

You can be done with this high-stress job if you choose.

With 285K "retirement savings", and never contributing another dime you will have 5.8m if you average 10%. Or 2.2m at 7% at age 60.

The thing is you know how to earn, it is very likely your income will increase. Also, you will contribute more.

You can be done with this, but you should see if you can take an extended vacation/sabbatical. If you still do not want to go back, then don't.

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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by miamivice » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:21 am

I'm torn on this thread.

On one hand, I agree with others that a work/life balance is important. What the OP described doesn't sound like something that he can do for the long term. We should have employment that we enjoy.

On the other hand, 28 is young. If he's a college student, he's not very many years in the workforce. He might be missing his high school / college years, and perhaps needs to grow a little.

Perhaps, rather than taking a fun vacation, maybe reducing the hours he works on his primary job to 40, and picking up a second job working at McDonalds, would give him the opportunity to see what other options are out there, and which path he would like to go. I'm actually dead serious when I say that. I can't tell if his complaint is a "first world problem" or a genuine issue.

28 just seems awfully young to me to be "burned out". I'm thinking perspective on what alternatives he could be doing might be beneficial.

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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by tainted-meat » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:38 am

Take a nice vacation then consider options.

It's hard to think clearly and rationally when you are in the mix of things.

Good luck.

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Re: Burned out at 28. Do I have enough?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:47 am

Bank it,start looking for a more fulfilling job but don't hop on the first job you find. You are in the driver's seat when employed, $ in the bank is your security. Retire at 28? No way, even if i had hundreds of millions in the bank. Life is just beginning for you, go out and seize it! Good Luck!
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