Job change--crazy financial move?

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wanderlust14
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Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:20 am

Job change--crazy financial move?

Post by wanderlust14 » Sun May 21, 2017 3:56 am

Well, I've been thinking about it long and hard for some time (probably too long and too hard) but the time has come to make a decision.

Job 1 (CURRENT): $200k salary, 9-12 weeks vacation (yes, I know this is incredibly rare and fortunate), 4% matching Safe Harbor 401k, medical/dental, amazing place to work with autonomy and beautiful brand new medical building, no potential for ownership or buy-in

While the job is great, the quality of life is challenging. Long, cold winters, absence of desired amenities (restaurants, music, entertainment), and difficult social scene (far from family, limited friend network and challenging dating scene). In short, I'm not super happy living here anymore but the ability to earn/save and travel extensively (a main hobby of mine) has made me think I'm stupid to be giving up such a good gig.

Job 2 (potential new job): $110k salary + production (probably around $130k total compensation year 1 with possibility of moderately higher in subsequent years), 4+ weeks vacation (uncapped within reason when I shift to full production in year 2, though this will be unpaid so I'll probably limit the amount of time I take to 4-6 weeks), 3% matching simple-IRA, medical/dental, potential for early on buy-in/earn-in (this is desirable for me)

Note: job 2 is in a location with a roughly 30% lower COL than my current position but does have around 8% income tax (currently I have none). Job 2 is also in an area where the bulk of my family and a substantial network of friends exist. Much better weather and amenities overall and undeniably better dating scene (which is important to me at this stage of my life).

On the contrary, my current job (through higher income, no income tax and better 401k and match, offers the ability to save around $60-70k more per year than this new opportunity offers). That is not insignificant.

My wording probably gives away my bias of taking job 2, but I always like to hear the perspective of others who have been there/done that. I feel borderline guilty walking away from a sure thing to early retirement for a unknown entity, but the pull is getting stronger the more I think about it. Thanks for the perspective!

carolinaman
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Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:56 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Job change--crazy financial move?

Post by carolinaman » Sun May 21, 2017 5:38 am

I think you have answered your own question. Number 2 is the clear choice based on how you have framed it. There is more to life than just money and you cannot get those things with job #1. Take job #2 and do not look back.

czr
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Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:40 pm

Re: Job change--crazy financial move?

Post by czr » Sun May 21, 2017 6:02 am

With that pay and vacation, Job 1 gives you the ability to visit your family and friends almost weekly if you wanted but you can't buy time and happiness. You just need to write down your weighted priorities and choose but every day you stay where you are is affirmation of your decision to be where you are.

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bottlecap
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: Tennessee

Re: Job change--crazy financial move?

Post by bottlecap » Sun May 21, 2017 6:56 am

Tough call. I value location, so number 2 would be more attractive to me. But your hobby is travelling, which will be harder to do both because of time and money.

JT

stevekozak2
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Re: Job change--crazy financial move?

Post by stevekozak2 » Sun May 21, 2017 7:03 am

To me, unless you are just miserable in Job 1, it seems that, long term, it will get you to freedom sooner. With the amount of time you get off (9-12 weeks!) you should be able to travel to see family and soak up some culture as much as you want. Early retirement, properly funded, means you get to do what you want/when you want, for the rest of your life. I would stick with Job One.

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Watty
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Re: Job change--crazy financial move?

Post by Watty » Sun May 21, 2017 11:37 am

It would be good to do a dummy tax return so that you can compare all your after tax numbers. Single people get into the higher tax brackets real quick.

I would think that the higher state taxes would be more than made up by the lower cost of living.

Two impressions that I got from your post.

1) You need to redo your vacation numbers to also include days off and holiday that you can actually enjoy. I would think that in your current job when you have a day or two off there is not a lot to do. In the new job you could head out at five o'clock friday and go somewhere for the weekend so effectively that will add two days to your enjoyable time off every time you do that.

You also need to subtract out travel time. In your current job if you need to travel a day or more from a remote location to get to your vacation destination then you should subtract out the travel time from your real vacation time.

2) It isn't like you are would be quitting your job and trying to make a living making pottery at below the minimum wage. Making over $100K a year in a medium or low cost of living area will still put at the very high end of the income scale. You have a very good position available now, that might not be available in five years if there is a recession.

3) There is a famous story told by Kurt Vonnegut.
True story, Word of Honor: Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer now dead,
and I were at a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island.

I said, “Joe, how does it make you feel to know that our host only yesterday
may have made more money than your novel ‘Catch-22’ has earned in its entire history?”

And Joe said, “I’ve got something he can never have.”

And I said, “What on earth could that be, Joe?”

And Joe said, “The knowledge that I’ve got enough.”
If decisions were all about financial choices we would all be living in a mobile home on the outskirts of town and driving 20 year old cars. Taking new job sounds like a reasonable tradeoff especially if you have already been doing it for a few years and have a nice nest egg built up.

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bligh
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Re: Job change--crazy financial move?

Post by bligh » Sun May 21, 2017 11:56 am

Truly a personal choice. More than the significantly higher earnings in Job 1, the 9 to 12 weeks of vacation is a huge deal. That is a quarter of each year completely free to pursue whatever you like. Whether that is time with friends and family, or traveling the world or pursuing hobbies and interests.

With decisions like this, I dont think there is ever a 'right' answer. Without being you, and understanding your life, I could only say that I would personally take Job 1 for the amazing vacation time and enormous saving opportunity. :)

WL2034
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Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 10:36 pm

Re: Job change--crazy financial move?

Post by WL2034 » Sun May 21, 2017 12:10 pm

It's interesting to me that Location 1 has 30% higher COL, yet worse amenities and dating scene. Usually the higher COL areas seem to have more amenities and bigger dating pool. Seems like the worst of both worlds, why do people pay more to live there?

miamivice
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Re: Job change--crazy financial move?

Post by miamivice » Sun May 21, 2017 12:20 pm

I think you should choose a life that makes you happy (or mostly happy) but the pay differential is a big deal.

Most of the COL (my opinion) difference between two places is housing costs. If you purchase, a HCOL area often has high housing appreciation while LCOL areas often have low housing appreciation, so I think that the HCOL areas often are financially better places to live if you are an owner. (My perspective only). Sometimes gas or food might be cheaper in a LCOL but I don't think that make a big difference in your spending budget.

oilrig
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Re: Job change--crazy financial move?

Post by oilrig » Sun May 21, 2017 8:05 pm

I was almost in the exact same situation as you recently. I was making around 200k/year working for a great company in a remote location in North Dakota. The money and work were great, but it was tough as a single guy living in a small town with not much to do.

I made it a goal to work 2-3 years there and save up as much money as possible. I worked there for 2.5 years and saved up around 230k and then made the decision to relocate to a bigger city with more amenities. I enjoyed the time I spent there and glad I did it, but dont know if I would do it again at my age! Maybe in a few more years :)

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