Wife is scared to quit.

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
User avatar
Topic Author
HomerJ
Posts: 15694
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Wife is scared to quit.

Post by HomerJ »

My wife HATES her job. Hates, hates, hates it. She wakes up every night at 4:00 am worried about work, and can't go back to sleep. So she's tired all the time. She can't stand the people she works for; the corporate culture is sick. They recently decided to not give raises to any of the "low-level" workers, but instead take all that raise money and give it to the top-performing managers (read: friends of the CEO). This is the type of company where the Chairman of the Board's son graduates with a MBA at 23, and gets handed a $150k job from the CEO of the company the Board is supposed to be overseeing. And the kid is due for a 10% raise using money that was originally allocated for a 2% raise for all the $30k-$40k worker-bees.

My wife is a top-level person, and argues constantly against their policy decisions... Every friend and ally she's ever had has left the company and she's the last one left of the original crew she started working with.

She was really hoping to retire here in a year or two anyway. She's not really interested in looking for another job. I keep telling her she can quit now, that the stress isn't worth it. But she's worried about our finances. She thinks she'll just end up waking up every night at 4:00 am anyway, but now worried about money.

Help me convince her that we're okay.
  • House is paid off.
  • Monthly basic expenses (food, insurance, property taxes, utilities, phones, gas, fun) =~$3500 a month
  • We also spend about $12,000 a year on traveling. She doesn't want to give that up, so that's another $1000 a month.
I bring home about $6000 a month; that's after saving $1000 a month in a SIMPLE IRA at work.
If I got laid off, I could easily find a job with a take-home pay of $5000 a month (I'm in IT - there are jobs)

Investments (roughly):
  • $600,000 in tax-deferred accounts - Total Bond Market ($425k), Total Stock Market ($75k) Total International Stock Market ($100k)
  • $250,000 in taxable accounts - Total Stock Market
TOTAL: $850,000

50% bonds/50% stocks (stocks are roughly 75% domestic/25% international)

Other money:
  • Daugher is a junior in college - $40k set aside for her in bank account (we spent about $17k a year the last two years, so that should be plenty to cover the last two years)
  • Son is 9 - $30k set aside for his college in I-bonds
  • $50k in the bank as an emergency fund.
Shooting for $2 million in investable assets to retire. (Only need $1.5 million in today's money, figure $2 million needed in 10-15 years). I'm 43. Right now, we save tons because we basically save my wife's entire salary. When she quits, we'll only be saving $15k a year or so.

Calculations show that if we can make 5% (nominal) on our money, even at the lowered saving rate, we should have the $2 million in 14 years... I need/want to work for 12 more years anyway until my son is out of college.

We will have 3 kids getting married someday (I assume), and new (used) cars, and we'd like to buy a boat someday soon. Roofs will need to be replaced, and furnaces repaired. There will be expenses not accounted for up above.

Can she quit and never work again? Or will money be too tight?
Fallible
Posts: 7630
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by Fallible »

The stress and the damage (well documented in many studies) it can cause to one's health is reason enough for her to quit now. If not, she takes a very real chance that serious conditions that can be caused by stress (blood pressure, heart, depression, etc., etc.) will eventually need expensive treatment. Her waking at 4 a.m. and other worries also are stressful for you. IMHO, the work is no longer worth it and even dangerous to her health. If she still wants to continue working, I'd suggest having a thorough health checkup and letting her doctor know of her stress so he/she will know in particular what to look for. In short, don't mess with stress.

Here's a link to a Mayo Clinic article on stress:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress ... nt/MY00435
"Yes, investing is simple. But it is not easy, for it requires discipline, patience, steadfastness, and that most uncommon of all gifts, common sense." ~Jack Bogle
covertfantom
Posts: 224
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:42 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by covertfantom »

Curious: What does she plan on doing while she's retired and you're still working?

I think there are long term health benefits that can't necessarily be quantifiable by quitting a high stress job and moving into something less demanding.
User avatar
TomatoTomahto
Posts: 11632
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 1:48 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by TomatoTomahto »

I'm not a numbers maven like many of the others on the board, but I can relate to your situation. My DW has felt tremendous stress at times at work (she's a bit better now). I took the tack of suggesting a middle ground that wouldn't be 0 income, but a lower stress job. Delaying the drawdown of assets is helpful for a good night's sleep. FWIW, she has decided to stay where she is, but is trying her best to maintain her perspective.

I wish you and your wife some respite from the stress.
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
sport
Posts: 9841
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by sport »

Since you are only 43, it is difficult (impossible?) to accurately assess your financial needs for the rest of your lives. You are talking about the next 50 years, or so. Therefore, IMO, it is not possible to know whether or not it would be a good idea for your wife to "retire" now. There are all kinds of unknowns in the future. What if we get an inflation period similar to that of the early 1980's? Your apparently significant portfolio could be devastated. So, I would suggest that it might be too early for her to quit working.

That being said, if her job is intolerable, she should not stay there. Therefore, my suggestion would be for your wife to reassess her aversion to looking for a new job. With a good job change, she may find she enjoys the new situation and wants to continue working longer than presently planned. That would answer the financial questions and solve her stress problem at the same time.

Congrats on accumulating your current holdings at such a young age. Most people can't/won't do that.

Jeff
User avatar
archbish99
Posts: 1646
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:02 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by archbish99 »

Your analysis seems sound, but she might feel better with a compromise. What if, instead of trying to convince her to quit working entirely, you convince her that you have enough to ride it out while she looks for a different job? Tell her you can afford for her not to hold on to the job she hates while she looks for one she doesn't.

And if she later decides she likes the not-working thing, that's a separate conversation you can have when you get there. :wink:
I'm not a financial advisor, I just play one on the Internet.
manuvns
Posts: 814
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:30 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by manuvns »

you can live on less . take a break and her to find a new job .
bungalow10
Posts: 2271
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:28 am
Location: Chicago North Shore

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by bungalow10 »

It doesn't sound like you guys need the money to get by.

How about she quit, take some time off, and then reevaluate? Maybe a part-time job somewhere that is fun or emotionally fulfilling would be good for her? Or possibly charity work, or volunteering.

My dad quit a few years ago and now works as a "paid volunteer" making the meals for Meals on Wheels. He gets paid almost nothing, but he likes the people, and like the physical aspect of the work (heavy lifting, lots of movement). It also is super low stress and gives him time to garden and train for races. His job was much like your wife's, except his had progressed to the point where the stress lead to a couple hospitalizations. He was only 50 and a marathon runner at that point, the health issues were all stress-related. The health issues stopped as soon as he quit his job. He'd probably be dead now, or at a minimum unable to work at all, had he stayed working for that company.
An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and have a dime.
supersharpie
Posts: 783
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by supersharpie »

I think a good compromise to total retirement would be your wife to find a low stress job paying around $20,000. After taxes that will fund the annual travel expenses. Since travel is more her thing than yours that would seem fair.
Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 23217
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

1) Have wife join a gym (advice I need to take myself)
2) Although you have significant assets and you are employed, would not plan on permanently retiring from workforce until age 55.

Reasoning: Assuming 5% returns, but only get 3% can throw your projections off course - only sure-way of getting to retirement goal is by savings, that you can control if employed.

3) Wife can quit, take some time off, decompress, but should plan on re-entering workforce. Five years of saving wife's income can do wonders for early-retirement goal.

4) Have her vent at home, not at work. She's not alone, plenty of those sheninigans go on in other workplaces including my own. What can you do? Look for another job, when you find what looking for then jump. Better to look while employed, than not. Though, I don't wake up at 4AM unless I have an early morning meeting to go to.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
Curlyq
Posts: 787
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:26 pm

.....

Post by Curlyq »

.....
Last edited by Curlyq on Thu Oct 18, 2018 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
staythecourse
Posts: 6993
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:40 am

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by staythecourse »

Sorry to hear your wife hates work so bad she is waking up in the middle of the night thinking about it. That just plain sucks!!

Couple of questions:
1. You mentioned 3 kids. One is finishing college and another is only 9. Where is the other one?
2. How is you health? You will be single handedly doing all the income generating so are you in good shape? Are you in a physical job? Do you have enough disablity insurance if you guess wrong?
3. How likely is your job to downsize or simple be age discriminate as you age?
4. Would you wife be more anxious about having to go to work each day for the next 1-2 years as planned OR worry about possiblity not having enough money to live the life you guys want in retirement.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle
User avatar
3CT_Paddler
Posts: 3310
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:28 pm
Location: Marietta, GA

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by 3CT_Paddler »

I would say yes. With you nest egg/time frame its not so much your savings rate that you rely on, as much as it is compound interest. Start with $850k and assume a 5% nominal return, with no additional savings, you would hit $2 million+ in 18 years. With your income, lifestyle and current nest egg, she really doesn't have to work, if you are willing to either work 4 extra years or cut back on vacations some to increase your savings rate (you still hit your original goal if you save $20k/year).

Obviously the biggest variable will be the one you have little control over - future market returns (which look meager on the fixed income side, and a big unknown on the equity side).

Kudos to both of you for being excellent savers.
User avatar
prudent
Moderator
Posts: 7790
Joined: Fri May 20, 2011 2:50 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by prudent »

Rarely does a question seem so clear cut ... she needs to quit. This isn't a matter of "the job just isn't my dream job", this is a stress-generating health-killing "I can't even sleep at night" nightmare job. I justify that by noting you not only have enough income to survive, you would still be able to sock away a decent amount. With that in mind I would tell her DONE DEAL, quit that job tomorrow.

She is misguided in fearing sleepless nights over money when you clearly will have enough income if she quits. So what if you don't know right now, today, how to maintain the massive travel budget. She'll either work a different job, or you'll travel less. It's really that simple. Nothing to agonize over. If she is still an anxious wreck because there is no concrete plan on how to keep traveling on just your income, I have to say that's would be an irrational response.
User avatar
Watty
Posts: 21365
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by Watty »

You might also do a dummy tax return without her income. It could be that a lot of her earnings are really just going for taxes and other work related expenses like afterschool care for your kids. Often a second income dosn't add as much to the bottom line as you might think.

I agree with the suggestion about having her get a good physical, the stress is likely already taking a toll.

The job sounds like a no win situation, even if they get rid of the current management, except for her, then it will still be a miserable place to work. If she stays then it sounds likely that she is at risk for getting fired since she does not get along well with the rest of the management.

Retiring in your 40’s is rough to do not only financially but if figuring out what to do for the rest of her life. It might be good for her to look for a nicer position even if it is lower paying. Even with a part time job she could likely earn enough to pay for your travel so you would not need to give that up.

One other alternative might be for her to quit to go back to school for a year or two to prepare her for a career change. Classes will be starting soon so now might be a good time to put make that leap. Even if she just goes for a semester or two that could still be Ok career wise.

You didn’t give enough details but your goal of a 1.5 million dollar retirement fund is likely on the high side since with social security you might not need that much to maintain the same life style. Having a paid off house also provides an extra margin of safety since you might be able to downsize after the kids are grown.
wilked
Posts: 1856
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:50 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by wilked »

1) Quit
2) Commit to 6 months no work. Have her find something that would make her happy (maybe learn a language, maybe buy a bicycle, maybe do some low-investment remodeling
3) After 6 months reassess

You clearly have the means to bridge a year or two of her not working. Life is too short to be unhappy
User avatar
Topic Author
HomerJ
Posts: 15694
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by HomerJ »

staythecourse wrote:Sorry to hear your wife hates work so bad she is waking up in the middle of the night thinking about it. That just plain sucks!!

Couple of questions:
1. You mentioned 3 kids. One is finishing college and another is only 9. Where is the other one?
2. How is you health? You will be single handedly doing all the income generating so are you in good shape? Are you in a physical job? Do you have enough disablity insurance if you guess wrong?
3. How likely is your job to downsize or simple be age discriminate as you age?
4. Would you wife be more anxious about having to go to work each day for the next 1-2 years as planned OR worry about possiblity not having enough money to live the life you guys want in retirement.

Good luck.
1. 3rd is grown and living on her own. Hasn't asked for money for a couple of years now. :)
2. My health is good. Disability insurance is a good idea, though.
3. Plenty of jobs in IT, although most of the listings I see pay less than I'm making now. Not sure if age discrimination will be a factor.

One thing I didn't point out in my OP was that my wife is 8 years older than me... So she's 51, and closer to a retirement age anyway. She was working and saving for 8 years while I was still in school, so I don't have any problems working for 8+ years while she's retired.

I just want her to quit now, to relieve the stress...

She says she'd rather work 2 more years and then get to retire forever safely, than take 2 years off, find out we need more money, and she would have to take a lesser paying job for maybe more years.

But I think she needs to quit right now. We'll probably be fine with the exact same lifestyle even if she never works again. I guess she wants to know the odds... I think the odds are pretty good, like in the 80% range. If things do change, we can then either cut back our lifestyle a bit, or she might have to get a job.

What do you all think the odds are? (Impossible question I know)
Tom_T
Posts: 1525
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 2:33 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by Tom_T »

bungalow10 wrote:It doesn't sound like you guys need the money to get by.

How about she quit, take some time off, and then reevaluate? Maybe a part-time job somewhere that is fun or emotionally fulfilling would be good for her? Or possibly charity work, or volunteering.

My dad quit a few years ago and now works as a "paid volunteer" making the meals for Meals on Wheels. He gets paid almost nothing, but he likes the people, and like the physical aspect of the work (heavy lifting, lots of movement). It also is super low stress and gives him time to garden and train for races. His job was much like your wife's, except his had progressed to the point where the stress lead to a couple hospitalizations. He was only 50 and a marathon runner at that point, the health issues were all stress-related. The health issues stopped as soon as he quit his job. He'd probably be dead now, or at a minimum unable to work at all, had he stayed working for that company.
Agree. Life is short. People forget that.
supersharpie
Posts: 783
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by supersharpie »

Yeah I am surprised that so many people seem to lose sight of the fact that LIFE IS SHORT. I am only 28 but I know I sure as heck want to have 100% of my time from my mid-50s until my death to be mine alone. I am thinking of working another 25 years max.
Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 23217
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

rrosenkoetter wrote:But I think she needs to quit right now. We'll probably be fine with the exact same lifestyle even if she never works again. I guess she wants to know the odds... I think the odds are pretty good, like in the 80% range. If things do change, we can then either cut back our lifestyle a bit, or she might have to get a job.

What do you all think the odds are? (Impossible question I know)
If you told me you had $250K in cash or bonds above and beyond the VTSAX account, I'd say QUIT today and you probably had an 85%+ probablity of being just fine until Social Security with you working. Only you working will still be fine, but if you lose your job, have to take a pay cut or experience a market shock that takes 5 years to get back to today's numbers, you would have to make a lifestyle adjustment or risk seriously depleting your taxable account. Cash is bird in hand, bonds are close to bird in hand, stock market is an unknown - could be worth $1.10 tomorrow, today it's worth about 99 cents at current quotation.

And yes, Life is SHORT - but that doesn't mean you should be QUICK in making a decision that can have a SIGNIFICANT impact on your future ability to enjoy said life. The wife sounds like she wants to tough it out another 2 years and then get out. Unless the wife has a current impairment in her performance and assuming management tolerates her which I assume they do in spite of her arguing policy decisions, her current employment is a known quantity. What's unknow is what lies beyond. Ultimately, wife and spouse need to weigh all the variables and make the decision, not me and not us.
Last edited by Grt2bOutdoors on Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
letsgobobby
Posts: 12073
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:10 am

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by letsgobobby »

compromise - she look for a much lower stress job while she is still employed (it's harder to find a job once unemployed). Then maybe arrange a layoff/severance rather than quitting.

Financially of course you are fine. Your savings rate will fall sharply but time is on your side. College for your son is the one bugaboo but that's a want, not a need. I think you can do it.
Last edited by letsgobobby on Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
BL
Posts: 9541
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:28 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by BL »

It is a decision she will have to make. You have shown her that you will make it, possibly with some concessions if necessary.
If she chooses to work there, she cannot change them, but she can choose to change her behavior and reactions (I know, easier said than done.)
1. It is pointless to argue so why bother when it only increases stress?
2. As suggested above, starting some kind of exercise program may help relieve stress, even if it is just taking long walks.
3. Getting involved in a hobby, education, new skills, or whatever interests her can help get her mind off the job.
4. Planning an exit strategy that is her choice rather than being fired (if that is a possibility) will help.
5. Preparing to leave if it is just too much stress and nothing helps. Good health is priceless!
Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 23217
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

How's your life insurance coverage? If you are primary breadwinner, would look to increase coverage.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
User avatar
Topic Author
HomerJ
Posts: 15694
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by HomerJ »

GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:How's your life insurance coverage? If you are primary breadwinner, would look to increase coverage.
I have a $1 million in term, with another 16 years to go, so that's not a problem..

No disability insurance though, except what I get through work. I probably should look into that.
Default User BR
Posts: 7501
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:32 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by Default User BR »

The other solution is to quit worrying. Show up, do the job, don't fight with anyone. Ignore politics. Work her 40 hours, leave it all at the office. If superiors complain, she can just acknowledge but continue going on her own pace. It's possible that she might get fired, but so what? An "I don't give a $#!+" attitude can be amazingly cathartic.


Brian
DTSC
Posts: 1194
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:47 am
Location: Illinois

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by DTSC »

have you wife read "Your Money or Your Life"

http://www.amazon.com/Your-Money-Life-T ... 0140286780
kydan
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:11 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by kydan »

My 2 cents: In order for her to "calm down", you might want to lock in a job for yourself. She has to be feeling responsible for financials if she's the only active working member in the family. With that in her mind, I don't see how she could consider finding another job for the "what-if" scenarios if you both went out of work.

Yes, your financials look in order, but you just never know what will happen.

Also, if I was trying to calm my wife down, I probably couldn't. She's too high strung. I'm more of the laid back types while she is my opposite. :-)
Bogleheads.org, my new addiction!! Goodbye Starcraft & League of Legends..
The Wizard
Posts: 13356
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: Reading, MA

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by The Wizard »

Have the wife eventually quit and start a new more funner job.
Better usually to find the new job prior to quitting the current one.
Mid 40's is too early to quit all employment unless you're a certified zillionaire, including the sad-case scenario of a divorce down the road as well...
Attempted new signature...
User avatar
AnimalCrackers
Posts: 436
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:37 pm
Location: Northern Front Range, Colorado

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by AnimalCrackers »

Default User BR wrote:The other solution is to quit worrying. Show up, do the job, don't fight with anyone. Ignore politics. Work her 40 hours, leave it all at the office. If superiors complain, she can just acknowledge but continue going on her own pace. It's possible that she might get fired, but so what? An "I don't give a $#!+" attitude can be amazingly cathartic.


Brian
That "strategy" is the first thing to come to my mind. I see varying degrees of that at my workplace all around me right now. I wonder how feasible it really is though?
"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." -- philosopher Mike Tyson
Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 23217
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

AnimalCrackers wrote:
Default User BR wrote:The other solution is to quit worrying. Show up, do the job, don't fight with anyone. Ignore politics. Work her 40 hours, leave it all at the office. If superiors complain, she can just acknowledge but continue going on her own pace. It's possible that she might get fired, but so what? An "I don't give a $#!+" attitude can be amazingly cathartic.


Brian
That "strategy" is the first thing to come to my mind. I see varying degrees of that at my workplace all around me right now. I wonder how feasible it really is though?
The higher up the food chain you are, the less feasible. If your employment is project focused it will be readily apparent you are not up to or for the task. Behavior like that will lead to the unemployment line quickly, especially in this economic climate. I could see doing that if I had $10 million in the bank, then the world is your oyster.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
Breezy
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:38 am

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by Breezy »

Yes, she could quit and you would be just fine. Think about it. If you converted all your investments to cash, you would be able to fund your current $3500/month spending for what...nearly twenty years? (yeah, inflation, etc., but you could also get that amount much lower, I'm sure) But you won't have to, because your income covers it.

Beyond that, if your wife can't get over that fear, then either jointly come up with a two-year plan, or cut expenses so she can hasten her departure. (Or both.) For instance, does she use all her vacation time? Spread it out so she's taking one week off every three months, and while she seems to like vacations (expensive ones!), maybe she'd be better served staying home and having the house to herself.

I don't know...try to meet halfway - 12 months from today! Then make it happen.
User avatar
bottlecap
Posts: 6588
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: Tennessee

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by bottlecap »

I've got to say I'm with your wife - at least on the money part. You're too far out to know how things are going to turn out.

Why doesn't she change jobs, take a part time job or do some consulting? Even if she makes a quarter of what she does now, that will help you make it to your $2 million. She might even find it fun.

Good luck,

JT
The Wizard
Posts: 13356
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: Reading, MA

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by The Wizard »

bottlecap wrote:I've got to say I'm with your wife - at least on the money part. You're too far out to know how things are going to turn out.

Why doesn't she change jobs, take a part time job or do some consulting? Even if she makes a quarter of what she does now, that will help you make it to your $2 million. She might even find it fun.
...and it will keep her from heading to the mall to buy more shoes...
Attempted new signature...
User avatar
DiscoBunny1979
Posts: 2040
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 10:59 am

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by DiscoBunny1979 »

My two cents suggests that quiting is actually a good idea in terms of physical AND mental health. However, I'd be cautious. Retiring is life changing. It changes the dynamics of how the 'family' operates. While the stress of a 'job' might be eliminated, that does not mean there wouldn't be newly found stress at home or carry-over stress from the job just left behind. Taking care of kids full-time, feeling obligated to clean the house more often because she's home all the time, shopping for groceries or toiletries during the week, rather than on weekends, the ability for the Husband to phone the wife at home to say 'hi' or 'check on' whereas phoning to work probably would have happened less frequently, change in clothes habbits (i.e. wearing sweat pants or less attractive clothes for homemaking, rather than dress attire for work). All these factors and more change the way one will live. The new stay at home person will feel obligated to do more stuff because they are home, OR just the opposite, become coach potatoes by watching TV all day long. So, in my opinion, there needs to be some kind of counseling with a Professional to discuss transition from work to no work AND to discuss stress issues that may or may not end by stopping work. She may find comfort in meditation, Yoga, other forms of self re-vitalizing techniques in order to calm the mind and relieve tension. It's also possible that the change from work to no work would impact relationship - especially how Husband and Wife relate to each other as one becomes the bread winner and the other totally dependant. This change, while both may not want to recognize the importance, can have an impact on sexual relations. If there is a change in how the OP and Wife interact, then the Wife quitting work altogether puts Her at risk in terms of not contributing her own monies to Social Security or having the ability to contribute to a company 401K plan. So what is looming in the back of my mind is that if the dynamics of the relationship changes a year into Her not working, there could be the potential of divorce and therefore, what becomes of the Wife's ability to be independent if that occured? So, it might not be a a bad thing for Her to continue working, but elsewhere, on a part-time basis, so that She keeps her 'skills' current.
vveat
Posts: 318
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:24 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by vveat »

I am infrequent poster but wanted to add my 2 cents.
Would it be possible to find a less stressful job within the same company? Maybe at somewhat lower salary, but further from the stress-inducing part. It seemed from your comments that it's not the job content itself, but the company policy what is causing her most stress, but worth at least considering this. If your wife was planning to retire in 2-3 years anyway, a different job may relieve some pressure without her having to look for a new position (and new positions come with the need to prove yourself at first, hence stress again).
I have been on a very stressful job, with hours/travel/work-related nightmares/emerging health issues and I was scared to quit, because I was the only breadwinner at home. Finally it became too much and I found a position on another "track" in the same company. Haven't looked back since.

And another thought. There is a blog that I check out from time to time. Financial Samurai. Can't say I care much about the writing style, but the guy just came up with a book he said he has researched extensively - basically about how instead of quitting to engineer your layoff and get severance and other benefits. I haven't read the book, but maybe something to consider in case your wife decides on quitting
http://www.financialsamurai.com/2012/07 ... ur-layoff/

Good luck to her in making the right decision
Muchtolearn
Posts: 1563
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 10:41 am

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by Muchtolearn »

How are you planning to get 5% nominal after taxes?
User avatar
Topic Author
HomerJ
Posts: 15694
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by HomerJ »

Muchtolearn wrote:How are you planning to get 5% nominal after taxes?
The raging bull market of 2017-2032, of course!

(Helps that most of our money is in tax-deferred, and the taxable account is Total Stock Market Index, which is extremely tax-efficient, so really taxes aren't an issue)
User avatar
Bengineer
Posts: 560
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:25 pm
Location: NC

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by Bengineer »

rrosenkoetter wrote:My wife HATES her job. ... She wakes up every night at 4:00 am worried about work, ... My wife is a top-level person ... She was really hoping to retire here in a year or two anyway. She's not really interested in looking for another job. ...
I'm going to echo a number of posters and advocate looking for another job. Drawing from my excerpt above, I'm surmising that the issue is the people/culture of the current situation, rather than the work. I'm thinking someone with the drive to be top-level retiring at 48 is going to go through some adjustment and that a lower-stress or a "good stress" job would be more fulfilling. Keeping it general, we went through a period of "toxic job", with sleepless nights and other side effects, resigned, did a stint as a visiting professional at a university and subsequently took a demanding, but in a good way position. Much sunnier outlook, sleeping well, etc. The professional network provided key support.
I'm also guessing that the "I don't care" attitude just isn't in her psyche. While looking while working helps one negotiate from a position of strength it's possible that looking for a job while in the current position would be very difficult due to the demands of the job, its exposure outside the company, and/or the company's industry network.

You can't know how things will turn out in the long run, but you sure have the wherewithall to support her resigning, taking some time to recover and then forming a plan. I would guess she has a network of mentors and peers that would be more than helpful in this regard.

As noted by quite a few, life is too short, one spends too many hours and expends too much of oneself to stay in a toxic work situation. It might be good money, but is it worth that price in the long run? I have eventually moved on whenever work wasn't an energizing, fun place to be (at times, it _is_ work after all) and haven't regretted it a moment.

I wish you the best of luck in making what I know is a hard decision.

Good luck
User avatar
Polar_Ice
Posts: 237
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:40 am

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by Polar_Ice »

I would tell her to start looking for another job and just see what is out there. She might find something that she didn't think even existed in the job market. I don't even need to look at your finances to tell you that she should quit. Being close to retirement she should not put up with stress like that from any job. I would tell her to use vacation if she has some and take a week or two off and look for jobs. She is likely to get a lot more and better offers while she is employed. Even if she plans on retiring soon she could find something a lot less stressful and could ease into retirement. I would worry that if she quit her job based on what you have said it could be an abrupt change and she would not be happy. Also based on her experience a good contract job or part time job would probably not be hard to find and could let her ease into retirement on a good note. :happy Good luck Also you should help get her mind of her job. Surprise her and take her on a trip for the weekend.
Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 23217
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

rrosenkoetter wrote:
Muchtolearn wrote:How are you planning to get 5% nominal after taxes?
The raging bull market of 2017-2032, of course!

(Helps that most of our money is in tax-deferred, and the taxable account is Total Stock Market Index, which is extremely tax-efficient, so really taxes aren't an issue)
I've been estimating 4% nominal - so from your lips to someone who can move the market in a positive way's ears (fingers crossed).
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
Default User BR
Posts: 7501
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:32 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by Default User BR »

GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:
AnimalCrackers wrote:
Default User BR wrote:The other solution is to quit worrying. Show up, do the job, don't fight with anyone. Ignore politics. Work her 40 hours, leave it all at the office. If superiors complain, she can just acknowledge but continue going on her own pace. It's possible that she might get fired, but so what? An "I don't give a $#!+" attitude can be amazingly cathartic.
That "strategy" is the first thing to come to my mind. I see varying degrees of that at my workplace all around me right now. I wonder how feasible it really is though?
The higher up the food chain you are, the less feasible. If your employment is project focused it will be readily apparent you are not up to or for the task. Behavior like that will lead to the unemployment line quickly, especially in this economic climate. I could see doing that if I had $10 million in the bank, then the world is your oyster.
I never said not to work. You'd be surprised how much you can get done if you let distractions roll off. If nothing else, it will take time for them to realize that she's acquired a new attitude. Beats quitting.


Brian
Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 23217
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Agree with you on that, don't quit.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
hazlitt777
Posts: 1033
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:10 am
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by hazlitt777 »

They haven't fired her and don't seem to want to. Is there some way she can just let it go, and accept their agenda? Does she feel it is immoral to do this, or just distasteful? If it is just distasteful, maybe she can just treat it as a job, and not be so emotionally involved. Not worth the fight.

Just another potential perspective on it.
Dianne
Posts: 126
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:35 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by Dianne »

Does she have skills that would allow her to be profitably self-employed? Or is there a business she is interested in starting? For many entrepreneurs/professionals, the biggest hurdle to setting up shop is covering their own living expenses for the first few years. Your income and supportive attitude give her an opportunity that many people would kill for.
User avatar
greg24
Posts: 3970
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:34 am

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by greg24 »

rrosenkoetter wrote:She says she'd rather work 2 more years and then get to retire forever safely
How much would she prefer this scenario if it also included the 2 years she is gonna lose off her lifespan due to stress?
TSR
Posts: 953
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:08 am

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by TSR »

A few thoughts (possibly redundant):

1. Seems like the $12,000 travel budget might decrease if she quit her job. Not quite as much need to relieve the stress on the beach -- hit the grand canyon in an RV!

2. Surely you could realize some savings or other benefits by having one parent stay at home. Have you calculated this?

3. Please don't make "paying for kids' weddings" a large future budget item that is causing you stress. Teach them to be the sort of people who don't value $50,000 weddings (or $20,000 for that matter), and they'll be much better off for it. (There are some good threads about cost of weddings on this site -- sorry I didn't take the time to search!)

Good luck. FWIW, I'm on the side of "encourage her to quit, take some time off, and look for something else down the road."
User avatar
market timer
Posts: 6384
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:42 am

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by market timer »

Default User BR wrote:
GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:
AnimalCrackers wrote:
Default User BR wrote:The other solution is to quit worrying. Show up, do the job, don't fight with anyone. Ignore politics. Work her 40 hours, leave it all at the office. If superiors complain, she can just acknowledge but continue going on her own pace. It's possible that she might get fired, but so what? An "I don't give a $#!+" attitude can be amazingly cathartic.
That "strategy" is the first thing to come to my mind. I see varying degrees of that at my workplace all around me right now. I wonder how feasible it really is though?
The higher up the food chain you are, the less feasible. If your employment is project focused it will be readily apparent you are not up to or for the task. Behavior like that will lead to the unemployment line quickly, especially in this economic climate. I could see doing that if I had $10 million in the bank, then the world is your oyster.
I never said not to work. You'd be surprised how much you can get done if you let distractions roll off. If nothing else, it will take time for them to realize that she's acquired a new attitude. Beats quitting.


Brian
This is what I would suggest as well. It's not really the wife's business to question the hiring of the CEO's son. I couldn't imagine getting stressed about nepotism.
User avatar
mmmodem
Posts: 2333
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 1:22 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by mmmodem »

Emotions are a very irrational. If wife stays, she gets stressed and loses sleep. If wife quits, she gets scared and loses sleep. DW was in the same situation 2 years ago. I told her to quit. She didn't but luckily the boss causing her stress was fired. All was good again. DW now remembers how she wanted to quit years ago and no one supported her, not even her own husband. All of can say its an easy decision to quit... for us to make. But for your wife? Well, emotions can be very irrational sometimes. Just be there and listen to her complain.
User avatar
Topic Author
HomerJ
Posts: 15694
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by HomerJ »

market timer wrote:
Default User BR wrote:
GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:
AnimalCrackers wrote:
Default User BR wrote:The other solution is to quit worrying. Show up, do the job, don't fight with anyone. Ignore politics. Work her 40 hours, leave it all at the office. If superiors complain, she can just acknowledge but continue going on her own pace. It's possible that she might get fired, but so what? An "I don't give a $#!+" attitude can be amazingly cathartic.
That "strategy" is the first thing to come to my mind. I see varying degrees of that at my workplace all around me right now. I wonder how feasible it really is though?
The higher up the food chain you are, the less feasible. If your employment is project focused it will be readily apparent you are not up to or for the task. Behavior like that will lead to the unemployment line quickly, especially in this economic climate. I could see doing that if I had $10 million in the bank, then the world is your oyster.
I never said not to work. You'd be surprised how much you can get done if you let distractions roll off. If nothing else, it will take time for them to realize that she's acquired a new attitude. Beats quitting.


Brian
This is what I would suggest as well. It's not really the wife's business to question the hiring of the CEO's son. I couldn't imagine getting stressed about nepotism.
That was just one example... There's been two years of bad decisions from above, too much work, very little support, no recognition. How about this story?

<awesome story of bad management removed because someone from her job probably comes to this site, and we're not (quite yet) ready for her to get fired.>
Last edited by HomerJ on Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Johm221122
Posts: 5209
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Wife is scared to quit.

Post by Johm221122 »

Tell her to treat job as a game.Show up and don't care,have fun and if they say something so what.At worse maybe she can get unemployment.In other words give up and just blend in,life is too short,make every thing a non issue
Post Reply