Tired [of Corporate Life]

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einstein
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Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by einstein » Thu Dec 26, 2013 12:06 pm

55yo and tired of corporate life. Have lots of responsibilities. 2 kids in college (private) and 3rd going next year. Have saved enough for kids and some for myself but not enough given anticipated expenses. Enjoy my work - struggling a little to bow head to chain of command at this point in my life. Don't want to bite the golden hand etc… Get calls from headhunters but really don't entertain given my near-term very high expenses and vesting in company.

So here's the score. Currently make about 240k in base comp and about 200k in variable, much of the variable is in LTI. LIve well but not extravagantly. Only expense is mortgage (350k) at 3100/month. Have about 2MM saved. Entitled to small pension from previous company (1800/month at 65yo). Wife works and will continue to do but makes significantly less than I (about 50k).

Get a lot of calls from headhunters - really don't entertain though given college expenses and desire to pocket more money for retirement. Many of jobs will also require some kow-tow to Management - some however are at smaller companies where I can pretty much call many shots though of course higher risk and less compensation (given lack of good LTI and secure bonus etc…).

Guess it doesn't hurt to pursue options a little further though feel some ambivalence - since grass is always greener and really should count blessings.

Advice?

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cheese_breath
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by cheese_breath » Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:30 pm

einstein wrote:Guess it doesn't hurt to pursue options a little further though feel some ambivalence - since grass is always greener and really should count blessings.

Advice?

Exactly.

It never hurts to explore other options, but don't expect miracles. I stuck with a miserable job, but it eventually enabled me to retire early.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:35 pm

How long until kids 1 and 2 graduate school?
What is the term left on the mortgage?
How much do you estimate you will need annually to retire once your near term expenses are gone?
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

einstein
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by einstein » Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:41 pm

Kid 1 graduates 2014; kid 2 graduates 2015. Have 20 years left w/mortgage. Hard to estimate how much I'll need. Currently however I burn through a lot - my guess is about 10-12k/month. Don't plan on retiring for a while (maybe 10 years) as long as still have some enjoyment from work. Wife not likely to retire until later by many years.

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Watty
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by Watty » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:22 pm

Advice?


With the kids almost out on their own and with a nice next egg built up then at some point working and adding more to your portfolio will likely just be putting more numbers on the page for money that you will never spend.

Sooner or later you will get tired of it and retire or be forced out when people sense that you have lost your motivation since you will have won the "I need enough to..." game.

Take a look at what you would want your typical retirement day will be filled with and start developing those interest before you retire. One way or the other it will be coming soon or later.

Once the kids are all out of the house next year then your relationship with your wife will also undergo a lot of changes too so start actively working on developing more common interests with her.

If the situation seems like more than the normal midlife crisis, then be sure to consider professional counseling to work through your issues.

einstein
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by einstein » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:38 pm

Good advice Watty. Of course, you're right - there is more than just working though I do enjoy the 'intellectual' part of what I'm doing - just hate all the egos etc…..

Dave76
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by Dave76 » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:46 pm

After child number 3 leaves the nest, you can sell the house and buy a cheap 1 bedroom apartment. The house is a white elephant.

Drive an old car. Child #3 can pursue a BA/BS degree online.

Why be a corporate slave who's saddled with a large mortgage, car loans, extortionate higher ed. costs, etc.?

einstein
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by einstein » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:10 pm

Really like my house - it has a large garden that my wife and I really enjoy. Also my wife works only 3 miles from the house - very convenient for her (not me though). Recently, must admit that I did buy nice car - but I drive 1 hour to 1.5 hours to work each day each way. Can send youngest to online BA though would be very unfair to her considering her brother and sister got to choose their own school (my parents gave me the same luxury).

But I take your point - can reduce expenses and quit the corporate world. But, I would need to find some way to keep myself intellectually engaged - there are other ways but I have not an established track record in those areas.

Wouldn't choose to characterize myself as corporate slave however. Not self-affirming enough.

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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by Savvy » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:40 pm

einstein wrote:Really like my house - it has a large garden that my wife and I really enjoy. Also my wife works only 3 miles from the house - very convenient for her (not me though). Recently, must admit that I did buy nice car - but I drive 1 hour to 1.5 hours to work each day each way.

But I take your point - can reduce expenses and quit the corporate world. But, I would need to find some way to keep myself intellectually engaged - there are other ways but I have not an established track record in those areas.


That drive is a killer...it's unhealthy to sit that long, it's dangerous to be on the road that much, and you're blowing a TON of your free time on the commute! How much is your time worth??

One writer that I recommend is Mr. Money Mustache:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/ ... commuting/

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/04/ ... car-habit/

einstein
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by einstein » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:52 pm

You're ABSOLUTELY right Savvy. The commute is a killer. Don't need to read about it - I live it. My days are very long! Plan on starting to work from home 1 day/week and leave earlier for work in the morning to avoid traffic (something that, for some reason, I find difficult). I'd like to move closer to work but my wife has a practice very near to our home and alternative jobs for me are all about the same distance away.

That's my justification for nice car.

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Ged
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by Ged » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:55 pm

einstein wrote:
But I take your point - can reduce expenses and quit the corporate world. But, I would need to find some way to keep myself intellectually engaged - there are other ways but I have not an established track record in those areas.

Wouldn't choose to characterize myself as corporate slave however. Not self-affirming enough.


It's a classic choice you are facing. Is the job punishing enough that you are willing to give up some material possessions to escape?

Your choice. Maybe counseling would help.

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ruralavalon
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by ruralavalon » Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:01 pm

einstein wrote:Enjoy my work - struggling a little to bow head to chain of command at this point in my life.
. . . . .
. . . though I do enjoy the 'intellectual' part of what I'm doing - just hate all the egos etc…..

Since you enjoy your work, you had best make sure that there are no "egos" at any place you would switch to.

Your age? Any realistic chance of self-employment in your field?

That is a killer communte.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

einstein
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by einstein » Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:23 pm

Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a while for people to show their true colors. Really no opportunity to be self-employed. Probably best to stick it out till kids done college then take some risks when don't require the $$ so much. Just need to prevent myself from allowing others with egos to bring out my own.

Valuethinker
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:48 am

einstein wrote:Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a while for people to show their true colors. Really no opportunity to be self-employed. Probably best to stick it out till kids done college then take some risks when don't require the $$ so much. Just need to prevent myself from allowing others with egos to bring out my own.


The commute is, I suspect, a significant part of your unhappiness. On the egos, a degree of self reflection helps. So do outside interests and hobbies.

I wouldn't move til the kids are out of college. Then, you can downsize expenses and take some risks. With the pension income you are looking at, you are going to need to downsize anyways in terms of cutting mortgage and expenses.

You may need to have a heart to heart with your wife about that commute. She might be more amenable than you think. She will sense you are unhappy.
Last edited by Valuethinker on Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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market timer
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by market timer » Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:12 am

einstein wrote:You're ABSOLUTELY right Savvy. The commute is a killer. Don't need to read about it - I live it. My days are very long! Plan on starting to work from home 1 day/week and leave earlier for work in the morning to avoid traffic (something that, for some reason, I find difficult). I'd like to move closer to work but my wife has a practice very near to our home and alternative jobs for me are all about the same distance away.

That's my justification for nice car.

Have you considered renting an apartment very close to your work? You could stay there a few days a week and treat your house more as a weekend getaway. You could probably get a sublet fairly easily as an experiment.

carolinaman
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by carolinaman » Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:46 am

What can you do to make your current job more satisfying? You make an excellent salary and seem to enjoy many aspects of your job. Can you minimize the annoyance factor of the egos? There are some things in our work that we cannot control, except in how we respond to it or how it affects us. Perhaps a good counselor could give you some coping techniques so these egos do not get to you like they are now. They are not going to change but perhaps you can. Best wishes.

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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by CurtStowers » Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:12 am

A few questions for you that might help:

Have you considered the trade off you are making between time and money? Staying put in corporate does have cost (time) that many overlook.
Have you taken the time to define success? No, not the goals in your annual review, success for you personally in your life.
Have you ever read "How to Retire Happy Wild and Free"? While the title suggests it's for reading "later", it actually (IMHO) should be required MUCH earlier.

Three years back I was in almost the same situation you are with trying to figure out what to do next. While it's tough to go through the process, I'm so grateful that I started asking questions about what was really important and taking steps to align my priorities.

Good luck with your search and feel free to reach out if you have any specific questions.

einstein
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by einstein » Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:00 am

Great suggestions. Plan on downsizing - just not yet - need to settle into 'empty nestland' for a while and see how things shake out. Unfortunately, can't afford an apartment closer to work (way too expensive!!!!). Absolutely right that one can only control one's own behavior and not others. Towards that end, did take a 12-week course in "Mindfulness' at local medical school - very helpful tool. Finally, have thought carefully about my own definition of success and life goals. Once had a boss who told me that in interviews w/those who are dying, when asked what they most regretted, their response included not considering more closely their 'legacy' and how others would remember them. So life goals predictably include maintaining loving/supportive relationships w/family, enriching other's lives, exercising kindness etc.., but also, nourishing curiosity, practicing courage, and focussing on the 'here and now'. Totally agree that it's important to maintain an internal compass to help guide the many choices that one faces in life. Work is important given the large investment of time and energy - just not the whole ball of wax!

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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by TRC » Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:22 am

einstein wrote:Currently make about 240k in base comp and about 200k in variable,...


I'm guessing you're in sales? If yes, have you considered working for a smaller company? I'm in sales for a 200 person tech company. The politics (lack thereof) are way less than a big company in my experience, and there's the ability to be a big fish in s small pond.

einstein
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by einstein » Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:32 am

Not sales. Scientist in pharmaceutical drug development. Big differences between large and small company setting in terms of what the company can do given the high costs. Many small companies - just very limited in their ability to take bets etc…Able to do the most interesting work if there is a reasonable portfolio with ability to invest in R&D and make decisions without fear of company going belly up.

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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by Savvy » Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:35 am

einstein wrote:You're ABSOLUTELY right Savvy. The commute is a killer. Don't need to read about it - I live it. My days are very long! Plan on starting to work from home 1 day/week and leave earlier for work in the morning to avoid traffic (something that, for some reason, I find difficult). I'd like to move closer to work but my wife has a practice very near to our home and alternative jobs for me are all about the same distance away.

That's my justification for nice car.


Thanks for the response. Because you still participate in such a commute, I think you do need to read about it.

Does your wife need to work? Why not move near your job? Your commute probably costs about as much as her job pays.

Good luck!
Savvy

einstein
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by einstein » Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:03 am

Wife loves work (she's a psychologist)! Much healthier for her to work than not (for both of us) !!

BuckyBadger
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by BuckyBadger » Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:16 am



[OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]



To the OP - I'm not sure what exactly you want to do. Are you looking to improve your current situation, or look for a new one completely? You say you want a new job but all of them are 90 minutes away from you house. You can't downsize now but want to later?

Sounds like you need to just maintain the status quo until you can actually change something. Make sure you have hobbies and ways to spend your time so that your time off is as fulfilling as possible.

Lafder
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by Lafder » Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:25 am

While you have the big income, try to get a better handle on your expenses. Not cutting off the kids or the house. Those expenses sound important to you. But get a better financial picture. Spending less will make your savings last longer once the income stops.

Save more! It will be practice for if you can live on less when your work income stops.

Find things that bring you happiness. What would you do if you were retired or financially independent? Or if you found out you had a limited time left to live? Can you do more of that now?

We moved to decrease my husband's long commute. He doesn't complain about the drive anymore, and is less grumpy when he gets home, but still questions his overall job satisfaction.The move itself was very stressful. Each day working from home gives you almost 3 free hours. 2 home days a week is 6 hours. That is a lot of rest and relaxation, or active interests time.

Your wife may have some good resources for finding more happiness. I like a book called Stumbling Upon Happiness.

With your high income, it seems you should have more options than the average person. But if your spend rate eats up most of the high income, you might as well make less and spend less too.

I know $ doesn't buy happiness, but it should buy more options and opportunities.

This is a workable dilemma to have. Sounds like some change is worth a try.

Lafder

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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by bhsince87 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:06 pm

I think your last words say what needs to be said: “ really should count blessings”

You’re in the top 1-2% income in the US, you have a supportive wife, 3 kids who want to go to college, apparently all are healthy, you’ve got minimal debt for your income level, and you have a decent nest egg already saved. And you are working as a researcher in a field that literally improves other people’s lives.

I’m a corporate guy myself, so I understand some of your pain. But you must realize that if you want to be a part of “big” things, you’re only choice is the corporate world or a government related institution. In any case, politics, egos, and BS are all part of the package. They come along with a high salary.

I would recommend you stay the course, because you are already succeeding in a very big way. Maybe you could look for some sort of satisfying activities outside of work.

But you should definitely put some effort into getting a handle on your expenses. Your current estimate of 10-12k a month needs to be firmed up and detailed. Once you have a better handle on your actual expenses, you can project a retirement income level based on your lifestyle desires.

Then you can decide whether you should be saving more or possibly even less! Maybe you can take a more satisfying, but less well paying job. But at this point, I don’t think you have enough information about your true income needs to make that decision.
BH87

Valuethinker
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:40 pm

einstein wrote:Not sales. Scientist in pharmaceutical drug development. Big differences between large and small company setting in terms of what the company can do given the high costs. Many small companies - just very limited in their ability to take bets etc…Able to do the most interesting work if there is a reasonable portfolio with ability to invest in R&D and make decisions without fear of company going belly up.


Given the way big pharma is going don't assume you will choose the moment of your exit. That's why it's important to get a handle on expenses-- build up a buffer.

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4nursebee
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by 4nursebee » Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:43 pm

There are egos everywhere. I do my best to ignore them as I am not willing to join them. i eat some crow as a result but care not. I am winning the game and have all that I want.

Advice:
Decide what you want.
Do what would get you there.

For me, my goals in life entailed paying off the mortgage early, minimzing expenses, saving about 50% gross pay each year. Your income and savings offers a lot of flexibility.

Humor and reflection help me deal with some of the crap. So does intense exercise.
4nursebee

einstein
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by einstein » Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:19 pm

Really appreciate everybody's thoughtful input and good intentions. Certainly, I do count my blessings and plan to take the advice to look more carefully at my expenses. It can only lead to better choices and more informed decision-making.

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Watty
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by Watty » Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:55 am

Once your last kid is off to college, then could your wife find a job closer to your work, and are there decent areas to live closer to your work?

I would think that with a short commute that putting up with the rest of your job might be a lot more manageable. I had a ten minute commute for a couple of years and it made a world of difference.

einstein
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by einstein » Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:48 am

My wife hastens to remind me that there is one other important reason that we don't consider more seriously selling the house at this time - the value of our home has decreased very dramatically since we bought it in 2003. At that time, home prices were very high, now not so much. The house cost $630k and now it's probably worth around 120k less (my guess). That's a lot less equity. I work in Boston - the closer you get to the city, the more the real estate prices increase. But, my wife would consider moving - she recognizes that she has much more flexibility than I.

Valuethinker
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by Valuethinker » Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:16 am

einstein wrote:My wife hastens to remind me that there is one other important reason that we don't consider more seriously selling the house at this time - the value of our home has decreased very dramatically since we bought it in 2003. At that time, home prices were very high, now not so much. The house cost $630k and now it's probably worth around 120k less (my guess). That's a lot less equity. I work in Boston - the closer you get to the city, the more the real estate prices increase. But, my wife would consider moving - she recognizes that she has much more flexibility than I.


Interesting that the prices have fallen so far from *2003* that you are still under water. At a bet you'll be in better shape 2-3 years out. Housing prices rise and maybe coming to the end of the big cash spending period.

iceman68
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by iceman68 » Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:53 am

einstein wrote:My wife hastens to remind me that there is one other important reason that we don't consider more seriously selling the house at this time - the value of our home has decreased very dramatically since we bought it in 2003. At that time, home prices were very high, now not so much. The house cost $630k and now it's probably worth around 120k less (my guess). That's a lot less equity. I work in Boston - the closer you get to the city, the more the real estate prices increase. But, my wife would consider moving - she recognizes that she has much more flexibility than I.


I also live in the Boston area. I know all real estate is local (depends on your particular suburb), but in general housing prices in the Boston metro area have risen significantly during the past couple of years. On average, they're definitely above 2003 levels. See below for housing prices in Boston proper.

http://www.trulia.com/real_estate/Bosto ... et-trends/

Have you checked Zillow to see (approximately) what your home is worth?

einstein
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by einstein » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:12 am

Hey Iceman. I live in Upton, out near 495 (hence the long commute). Don't think the market has yet recovered that far out. But as Valuethinker has suggested, I expect recovery in the next few years, especially as housing prices recover in the suburbs closer to Boston.

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cowboyinasia
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by cowboyinasia » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:43 am

You've got two choices:

1) Accept that you've got a really nicely paying job in a good field, and stick it out for the next 5 to 10 years until you' can safely retire. You seem to have done pretty well in life many people would envy your situation.

2) At age 55, make a change in your career while you still have the chance. This could be 2a) sideways such as moving to another company large or small. Or, 2b) sow something on the side that's part time to satisfy your cravings, or maybe set you up for something to do in retirement. Perhaps teaching, community/charity work, or consulting. Building some consulting skills and a network to transition to once you retire might be nice, although doing so while employed full-time might be difficult to get their agreement to. Or you could put some capital into a business venture of some sort, if you can find one that doesn't take a lot of time but would return a lot of intellectual and emotional stimulation.

In the meantime, sell your employer on the strategy that you work from home 1 or 2 days a week. Unless you actively use lab equipment every single day, I'd think it would be possible. Being away from the office 1 or 2 days a week would save you time, energy, and you'll get more opportunity to be reflective and creative in a different environment.


You are posting a lot on this thread so it's obviously important to you, and you'll figure it out. Good luck!!

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Watty
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by Watty » Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:46 am

einstein wrote:My wife hastens to remind me that there is one other important reason that we don't consider more seriously selling the house at this time - the value of our home has decreased very dramatically since we bought it in 2003. At that time, home prices were very high, now not so much. The house cost $630k and now it's probably worth around 120k less (my guess). That's a lot less equity. I work in Boston - the closer you get to the city, the more the real estate prices increase. But, my wife would consider moving - she recognizes that she has much more flexibility than I.



Unless you are going to sell and become a life long renter that has very little meaning for you since if you wait to sell until house prices go up 25% then you next house you buy will have increased in price by 25% too.

In fact with all the kids at college you might be able to buy a smaller place if you moved and even if it was in a more expensive area it might cost you the same or less.

Greentree
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by Greentree » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:47 pm

Two thoughts for what it's worth - understand exactly what you need to retire financially even if you continue to work (instead of the cloudy understanding you have now) and entertain other jobs.

For the first, I highly recomend reading Your Money or Your Life. It will tell you how to get a clear view. It is amazing how much understanding where you are and where you need to get to will increase your tolerance for idiots at work. Like if you were running and had no idea if there was another mile or 5 left, kind of changes how you are feeling.

Even though another job will likely have similar pains to your current, a switch can hit the reset for a few years at least. If you don't end up changing, at least you will feel better knowing there are other options. Definitely entertain other options.

Just started reading Love Your Enemy :happy which you might like too. I can feel your pain though, that kind of environment can drive you nuts.

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BolderBoy
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by BolderBoy » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:55 pm

einstein wrote:Advice

Loud and clear what comes through here (to me) is that you need to become debt free so that you don't feel like a wage slave. Soooo, accelerate the mortgage payments and do whatever else it takes to erase all debt. At this point, you can only imagine how freeing that is in re: being able to retire anytime.

Valuethinker
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:36 am

Watty wrote:
einstein wrote:My wife hastens to remind me that there is one other important reason that we don't consider more seriously selling the house at this time - the value of our home has decreased very dramatically since we bought it in 2003. At that time, home prices were very high, now not so much. The house cost $630k and now it's probably worth around 120k less (my guess). That's a lot less equity. I work in Boston - the closer you get to the city, the more the real estate prices increase. But, my wife would consider moving - she recognizes that she has much more flexibility than I.



Unless you are going to sell and become a life long renter that has very little meaning for you since if you wait to sell until house prices go up 25% then you next house you buy will have increased in price by 25% too.

In fact with all the kids at college you might be able to buy a smaller place if you moved and even if it was in a more expensive area it might cost you the same or less.


It's a good point but I was assuming (wrongly, rereading) that the OP was in negative equity.

In fact houses closer to Boston, have, apparently, gone up more in price in the recovery.

So this is really about timing the choice to downsize.

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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:40 am

einstein wrote:55yo and tired of corporate life. Have lots of responsibilities. 2 kids in college (private) and 3rd going next year. Have saved enough for kids and some for myself but not enough given anticipated expenses. Enjoy my work - struggling a little to bow head to chain of command at this point in my life. Don't want to bite the golden hand etc… Get calls from headhunters but really don't entertain given my near-term very high expenses and vesting in company.

So here's the score. Currently make about 240k in base comp and about 200k in variable, much of the variable is in LTI. LIve well but not extravagantly. Only expense is mortgage (350k) at 3100/month. Have about 2MM saved. Entitled to small pension from previous company (1800/month at 65yo). Wife works and will continue to do but makes significantly less than I (about 50k).

Get a lot of calls from headhunters - really don't entertain though given college expenses and desire to pocket more money for retirement. Many of jobs will also require some kow-tow to Management - some however are at smaller companies where I can pretty much call many shots though of course higher risk and less compensation (given lack of good LTI and secure bonus etc…).

Guess it doesn't hurt to pursue options a little further though feel some ambivalence - since grass is always greener and really should count blessings.

Advice?


You need a pretty detailed plan of what your financial goals are.

55 as you feel, is a dangerous age. It might be hard to get thsoe interesting jobs at 59, say. 59 is a point of inflection, when your last child leaves college.

I think with a detailed plan for your financial goals, and how you will achieve them, then that would make the current job easier to bear. For example when might it be feasible to downsize and get some of that mortgage off your back?

And a career plan for the kind of work you would like to be doing. So that when your finances can afford it, you can make that move.

All of this could get kick started by the industry itself. Given the changes I am seeing in that industry, I don't think anyone is safe? Your salary is big enough to have a noticeable impact on someone else's bottom line, if they shed it. Unfortunately, if you lose your job, it will be much harder to interest recruiters in you for the next one.

A friend of mine ran an investment bank (second tier) in NYC during the early 90s downturn. Every Tuesday the fax arrived from HQ, and he made more people redundant on Wednesday morning.

One Tuesday the fax did not arrive. On Wednesday, the VP of Human Resources was sitting in *his* office when he came in in the morning: 'Jake we gotta talk'.

That was (almost) the end of his Wall Street career- consulted for a few years, then went into teaching.

The egos will seem like nothing the day you have that meeting, if you have that meeting.

einstein
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by einstein » Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:19 am

Sound advice. Need to carefully inventory my expenses (frankly I hesitate to see all the $$ that is wasted and poorly spent), estimate my needs post-college, and engage in some scenario planning. I absolutely agree that a little forecasting will go a long way in relieving some of the sense of entrapment. Though there is certainly a lot of movement in the pharma industry, as it turns out, Boston is the right place to live if you're involved in the business. There are a ton of smaller biotech's in the area and all of the major companies have or are in the process of relocating to the area given the concentration of human capital. Although I'm well aware of the instability in the industry in general (many of my friends have lost jobs), there doesn't seem to be that much 'age' discrimination, i.e., I may be fooling myself, but I think that should there be layoffs etc.., I could find another job in the industry given my background and experience. I might not command the same level of compensation, but the knowledge is hard to replace (at least that's what I keep telling myself). Once kids are out of college, maintaining high level of compensation will not be so critical and I'd be much more willing to take chances. To be honest, as I've mentioned earlier, I really do like the intellectual part of my job and feel that it's important (I work on cancer drugs), just maybe indulging myself here and letting off some steam reflecting my many years of towing the line.

I really appreciate all the thought that has gone into all of your responses to my post!

einstein
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by einstein » Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:34 am

One more quick question. Do you think it worth paying off home mortgage? Currently 20 years left of 30 year mortgage at 5% with $330k left to pay (just checked). Still not paying down a lot of principal. I've always thought of the tax advantage of keeping the payments going is really to my benefit. Currently, also the market is performing quite well - I think it likely that I can beat the 'return' provided by the mortgage payment (with tax deduction) through my investment portfolio (60/40). Could be quite liberating though I tend to think that maybe better off just putting extra payments towards mortgage rather than paying off.

einstein
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by einstein » Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:39 am

Forgot one other point - given the recent returns in equities - I am getting a little imbalanced in my target of 60/40 - would paying down mortgage be a reasonable approach to re-balancing?
Last edited by einstein on Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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HomerJ
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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by HomerJ » Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:40 am

cowboyinasia wrote:sow something on the side that's part time to satisfy your cravings


His wife might not like that :shock:

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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by aja8888 » Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:02 pm

einstein wrote:One more quick question. Do you think it worth paying off home mortgage? Currently 20 years left of 30 year mortgage at 5% with $330k left to pay (just checked). Still not paying down a lot of principal. I've always thought of the tax advantage of keeping the payments going is really to my benefit. Currently, also the market is performing quite well - I think it likely that I can beat the 'return' provided by the mortgage payment (with tax deduction) through my investment portfolio (60/40). Could be quite liberating though I tend to think that maybe better off just putting extra payments towards mortgage rather than paying off.


I know this doesn't sound like much, but why not pay an extra principal payment each month? It will reduce the remaining years in half. So in ten years, it will be paid off. We did that on a 15 year refinance and in 7 1/2 years the house was clear. It's a step towards paying it off and still getting the interest deduction while you can. When the kids are gone, it may be your only real deduction and won't count for a hill of beans.

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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by Greentree » Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:38 pm

I would pay it down or off but that's me. I hate debt. We just paid our mortgage off but I can tell you that every time we knocked another 10k from the balance over the years, I felt a little lighter at work. I can remember getting under 250k, under 200k, under 100, etc. It was an ongoing gift and not just now that it's done.

Of course, better to reduce consumption to pay for it than reduce investments if possible.

5 percent is high, could you refinance that?

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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:51 am

einstein wrote:One more quick question. Do you think it worth paying off home mortgage? Currently 20 years left of 30 year mortgage at 5% with $330k left to pay (just checked). Still not paying down a lot of principal. I've always thought of the tax advantage of keeping the payments going is really to my benefit. Currently, also the market is performing quite well - I think it likely that I can beat the 'return' provided by the mortgage payment (with tax deduction) through my investment portfolio (60/40). Could be quite liberating though I tend to think that maybe better off just putting extra payments towards mortgage rather than paying off.


Actually the logic is reversed.

Stock market has done well, therefore I should be taking money *out* of the market. Expected future returns are falling.

For my money, you are getting c. 2.5-2.7% on US Treasury Bonds? Well, repaying a 5% mortgage you get a *guaranteed* 5% return. Now tax comes into it-- that lowers your marginal cost of mortgage to 5% x (1-marginal tax rate).

In my mid 50s reducing mortgage outstanding is an attractive idea. One caveat: you might need that liquidity for college fees. So you need to get that squared away. Mortgage borrowing is the cheapest funding you will ever have.

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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:53 am

einstein wrote:Forgot one other point - given the recent returns in equities - I am getting a little imbalanced in my target of 60/40 - would paying down mortgage be a reasonable approach to re-balancing?


Sorry I missed this one. My answer would be yes. Subject to liquidity needs for college fees.

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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by einstein » Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:22 am

Very helpful. Seems to be clear consensus that paying down mortgage is good move. That I can easily work on!

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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by JamesSFO » Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:36 am

einstein wrote:Very helpful. Seems to be clear consensus that paying down mortgage is good move. That I can easily work on!


I would +1 paying down your mortgage.

Also if you cannot work from home more, really look into spending 1-2 nights a week closer to work, you probably can find a cheap room or similar and it probably will make you feel a lot better if you get rid of the commute. I had a 25 mile commute at one point (45-60 mins each way in traffic) and it was draining compared to a 15 mile (20-30 minute each way) commute I was more used to.

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Re: Tired [of Corporate Life]

Post by Old Guy » Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:56 am

Forget the online college. It's not the same thing. No only is not fair for you to make her do that but college is a seminal experience for most teenagers in this country. It should not be denied to her

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