Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

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davidsorensen32
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Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by davidsorensen32 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:43 pm

The long awaited layoff happened this week. After 17 years of continuous employment I find myself without a paycheck for the first time in my career. I was mentally prepared for it. Been searching for a job since the beginning of the year (for the last 9 months) without any luck so far. My line of tech is considered “old”. Funny how times change. When I started I was fortunate to be part of some of the hottest companies in the valley. To diversify from my “old” tech I went to business school, took up as many varied jobs as I got – Sales Engineer, Product Manager, Marketing etc. Built a business from nothing to $1B. Got stellar reviews for years. But apparently not enough to impress any hiring manager yet. My professional network is mostly in “old tech” that is rapidly shrinking hence my ex-colleagues, ex-managers are all worried about their own survival and cannot do much for me.

Here is the bottom line:

Age: 40
Portfolio: $2MM (60/40 Equities/Bonds) (60/40 Taxable/Retirement). Mostly Vanguard funds with some Berkshire Hathaway and I Bonds.
No house. I rent.
Annual expenses $100,000 (Rent+Private school tuition is bulk of this. Private school is not an option as we live in an area with very bad public schools)
Spouse earns about $85K/year. Also in a stagnant and shrinking industry.

As I look ahead I see the following options for me

* Take up a “old tech” job with 1hr 30min commute each way (3hrs total per day). There are some jobs that might fit my profile in a distant corner of Silicon Valley 40 miles from where I reside and I haven’t searched there but I’m reasonably optimistic I’ll get something. Downside is that there is a very high probability of getting laid off in another 1-2 years due to macro shifts. Along with those 3hr per day commutes. And its only going to get harder to transition out from old tech to new tech. One upside is my compensation will be closer to my current salary. So milk it for another 2-3 years till it lasts and then get forcibly unemployed.

* Relocate outside of the Bay Area but stay in the US – lots of jobs in Seattle. Again, haven’t looked closely. But Microsoft and Amazon seem to be hiring gangbusters. Downside is spouse looses her job. She has a very specialized line of work so it is not easy to find jobs.

* Keep on knocking doors on the “new tech” companies. And hope something turns up. Network like crazy. Participate in meetups etc. Downside: huge risk. No salary for months. Perhaps years. Burn through savings.

* Consider working for startups – take a deep salary cut. Insane hours. High risk of both burnout and failure.

*Retire in the US – not an option. Burn through all savings.

*Retire outside of US – I’m an immigrant. But not sure about both career prospects and family prospects as my “old tech” jobs are few and far between in my country of origin. But with low cost of living I should be able to retire. I don’t want to do this. But I see it as my last option to stretch out my savings.

What would you do ?

Masterblaster
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by Masterblaster » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:06 pm

While your present situation may seem grim, you'll work through it and be better for it.

Regarding the three hour commute. I have been doing exactly that for way too long and can vouch that it can indeed be done. If the job is right then don't let a long commute be the spoiler. It does take some getting used to though.

Per the other options - that's for you to decide. Hang in there - This too shall pass !

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bligh
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by bligh » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:06 pm

Tough situation dude. My advice/thoughts .. hopefully they help.

- Can you do any consulting work in your old tech to milk that skill set some more?
- Can you pick up new / related skills that allow you to transition into newer/higher demand technical field?
- With your wife working and enough of a portfolio that you will be fine if you don't add to it going forward.. you may be able to go after entrepreneurial pursuits. If you can get something off the ground that even just pays the bills you will be fine.
- Keep knocking on "new tech" company doors. Learn a skillset that interests you, work on a side project or two utilizing new tech and show it off during interviews. There is such high demand for workers in technology you will almost certainly find employment. Take a paycut if you need to but start collecting the experience in "new tech".
- Do contract /contract-to-hire work if needed.
- Working for startup is indeed going to be a deep salary cut and insane hours.. but if you believe in the product you will be fine. Startups are a great way of getting deep exposure to "new tech". Even a couple of years of it and you will be well positioned for future work
Last edited by bligh on Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:15 pm

Another possible option - $1.2 million in taxable = 12x expenses or roughly 10 years worth after tax. You are relatively young, if zero job exists, go back to school for advanced training. While this will increase burn rate in short run, it might improve employment ability in longer run. Your good fortune of having those assets provides you with optionality. Don't despair.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

bloom2708
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:24 pm

Tough decisions ahead. 3 hours of commuting per day? Sorry, no way. You have $2 million saved. That gives you options. You can use taxable to pad your wife's income until you make a decision.

You rent and have bad public schools. That would make relocating much easier for me. On your wife's salary you cannot seem to afford the private school (for long).

I'm not sure what "old tech" is really referring to. I would look for and secure a new job in a lower cost of living area with good public schools.

You could rent/buy in Fargo and land a job with one of the many tech companies (Microsoft, Wex, Discovery Benefits, Sanford hospital, Noridian) in this town and live a different life. Long winters, but great public schools, low crime, nice people.

The world is an oyster. Lots of possibilities.
Last edited by bloom2708 on Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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AlohaJoe
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by AlohaJoe » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:26 pm

After 9 months of searching, I would figure out how to move to a new city where I could get a job.

Random Poster
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by Random Poster » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:35 pm

What is your spouse's take home pay? Or, said differently, how much of the $100k yearly expense does their paycheck cover?

And how long will the $100k yearly expense keep running?

If the expenses should wind down in a few years, and the spouse's income takes care of half of the $100k, you might be able to just retire and fund the remainder of the $100k from the 2M portfolio. Have you run those numbers yet, because I'm not sure how doing so would burn through all of your savings, based on what you've written.

Glasgow
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by Glasgow » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:37 pm

I'd take the job with 3-hr drive. Rather grab something available on the table than nothing promised ahead. Once unemployment worrisome and financial matters are taken care of, you can think about looking for job in hometown 12 months from now.

bigred77
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by bigred77 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:42 pm

You have more than enough money to supplement your wife's income and meet your annual expenses. You don't have to rush. You don't really even have to bring in an income as long as your wife keeps working.

I would take a deep breath and then continue the job search. Find something that you really want to do, whether that be searching for a role that utilizes your current expertise or finding something that challenges you to learn new skills.

You have 2 million dollars and 85k in annual household income. It's not like you don't know how you'll put food on the table :D

beserker
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by beserker » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:43 pm

If I was in your situation, I would move out of the area. As an IT employee who has just hit 44 years old, I too worry about coming "doom" whereby I would be forced to retire. I think you should consider yourself lucky to have $2M saved up by your age. In fact, if I had $2M saved up where I live (DC suburb), I could just buy a decent town house for $500k or so, and use $1.5M with 4% withdraw rate would provide $60k in income. I don't have to worry about education expenses because a lot of school around here are great. Of course, I would still work as long as I can, but with paid off house and $60k retirement income, I may not have to, but it will keep me something to do and peace of mind and more time to spend with my children while they are young.

WoodSpinner
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by WoodSpinner » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:44 pm

OP,

You seem to have lot's of experience in different roles--not sure why the old tech label defines you ...

I am wondering if there maybe something else going on? No real idea but here are some thoughts you might consider

Have you had someone review your resume and give you feedback? Do you highlight some of your other skills which are more timeless than old tech?

Any opportunity for mock interviews and feedback on your style?

Have you been able to get many interviews? Or struggling to get that far?

Lastly, you have some time to adjust there is no need to panic and grab at the first job. This is one of the reasons you have been building up your savings. You have some time to work the job market and make something happen.

Wish you the best. 8-)

DC3509
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by DC3509 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:50 pm

First and foremost -- I am very sorry to hear about this. My dad recently went through a RIF and I know the emotional toll that this can take. Please do know that you have a very supportive community here and that we want to help see you through this.

If this was me, I would seriously consider moving to another location with a lower cost of living and better schools. The relatively long job search now with no luck might mean that it just isn't possible to find the right fit where you are now. I also think when you have experienced something like this -- a fresh start in a new area can renew you mentally as well, which is no small issue. I understand that losing your wife's income is not desirable, but if you can offset that partially with the lack of private school, plus a combination of a lower cost of living and drawing down on the $2 million a bit, you can make it through this and come out better on the flip side.

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Kenkat
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by Kenkat » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:04 pm

What exactly is old tech?

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celia
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by celia » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:10 pm

I would go look for a rental house near good public schools in the direction of the "old tech" jobs. In California, there are new tools to find out about each school: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/cm/ (Start by watching the 5 minute video under the first 2 tools.)
Even private/parochial schools in SV are more costly than anywhere else. If you have more that one school-aged child, the decrease in having to pay tuition can offset paying even a little more for renting.

Also discuss this with your wife and kids. This change may impact all of you and maybe one of them has a good idea or at least understand why changes are coming.

DH and I were both laid off in different industries in the 90s when the economy was terrible. There was mass unemployment. We had just re-financed to get lower mortgage payments (luckily) and had several kids in parochial school. They all understood why we were cutting expenses to the bone and knew not to ask us for money unless school required it. But we preserved and looked into many options and considered working in places we had never thought of. We both ended up with lower-paying, but more secure jobs after a year and now look at it as just another year.

Leemiller
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by Leemiller » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:13 pm

How much is private school? In my area it would be 30-40k a year per a kid, not sure how much it is in yours. One option might be to move if the private school is a huge expense.

You could take a job and live somewhere Monday to Friday and commute for awhile depending on the age of your kids or look for something where can do some commuting some teleworking.

But you have enough money to supplement your income for a long time even if you don't work.

visualguy
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by visualguy » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:16 pm

Kenkat wrote:What exactly is old tech?
In the Bay Area, that means almost anything that people were doing in tech 10+ years ago. :(

bloom2708
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:19 pm

visualguy wrote:
Kenkat wrote:What exactly is old tech?
In the Bay Area, that means almost anything that people were doing in tech 10+ years ago. :(
Old tech might be "current" tech outside of the Bay area. :shock:
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

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htdrag11
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by htdrag11 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:27 pm

I helped folks in transition to network as much as they can and leveraged LinkedIn. Do not pay for any premium services; they're not worth it.

I also recommend folks to read or see the video on YouTube, Designing Your Life by Burnett and Evans.

Book (borrow from library)
https://smile.amazon.com/Designing-Your ... +your+life

Video abstract
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPjoCO5Juj0

GL.

desiderium
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by desiderium » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:30 pm

Look seriously outside your current area
Seattle is great. Hot job market, your wife should be able to find something
Schools are generally ok, with some districts fantastic
Housing may not seem high to you
Given your concerns about the viability of your current path this is a good time to make the leap

Good luck!

Nate79
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by Nate79 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:33 pm

I thought one of the great things about renting was mobility? I would move in a heartbeat to a good school district with no private school. The cost of private school can pay a lot of moving expenses.

KlangFool
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by KlangFool » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:39 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:
Annual expenses $100,000 (Rent+Private school tuition is bulk of this. Private school is not an option as we live in an area with very bad public schools)
Spouse earns about $85K/year. Also in a stagnant and shrinking industry.
davidsorensen32,

With 2 million, you can retire as long as you do not live in this area. Your spouse does not earn enough to justify living in this area.

KlangFool

snowman
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by snowman » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:49 pm

OP, if I were you, I would move to a nice area with excellent public schools. With your savings, I don't think you would even need to find work. You could effectively retire but keep your options open - volunteer, work part-time, find something that interests you. You have options most people don't. Congratulations!

davidsorensen32
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by davidsorensen32 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:51 pm

Great responses. I'll try to address multiple posts in one:

* 3 hour commute - this seems to be the only viable option for now. I will continue on this course. It will break my heart not to be able to spend time with my DW + kids in elementary school. They think their dad is their best friend. Will continue to do this until my heart gives out or the next bout of unemployment hits (and it will hit, soon, I can tell given the state of the industry).

* Getting interviews - I've interviewed with some of the new tech companies but they've been **only** when I've known a friend. 100% of the time rejects are because of "we loved you but you lack background expertise in new tech". My resume usually gets dumped to the trash pile by recruiters within a couple seconds. It seems the old adage is very true - people hire people. But its not enough to have a friend. You have to have friends in high places who are willing to take a chance on you. I do have such friends but they're in the "old tech" businesses. I think I really really need a lucky break. Only hard work is not going to cut it.

* Startups - a good strategy. But they seem to be even pickier than big established companies. I've even pinged my college buddies who are CEOs of their own startups (in new tech) but again, the response is the same. Add to that the uncertainty, pay cut etc. I'm not very inclined to go the startup route.

* Moving to a better school district in the Bay Area - rents will be 50% higher than what we're paying now. We have a rent controlled apartment. Spouse will have to let go of her job (there are NO good public school districts within 30 mile radius of her work location). And kid really loves her school. It will be a bit disappointment for kiddo.

* New tech is anything that has come of age in the last 10 years - think Google, Facebook, Twitter, AirBnB, Uber, Apple, Netflix etc.

* Relocation - Yes, I have to start looking at this possibility. I agree. But what are the chances that I'll get a job outside of the Bay Area in tech when I can't get a job IN the Bay Area ? Seattle might be an exception.

* I think I need a combined income of $150K to fund $100K in expenses. Subtracting my wife's salary from $150K, I have to fund $65K from $2M which is 3.25% withdrawal rate. This is too close for comfort. A single bout of illness (we're not getting any younger), or need a new car and our budget will be busted. I don't forsee the 100K expenses going down anytime. In fact it might only increase once kid starts going to college. Bottomline - retiring in USA with my current financials is not an option.

* Going back to school - I've given it a lot of thought. But what are the chances of employment for a 44 year old data scientist competing with 24 year olds ?
Last edited by davidsorensen32 on Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KlangFool
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by KlangFool » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:58 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:
* Relocation - Yes, I have to start looking at this possibility. I agree. But what are the chances that I'll get a job outside of the Bay Area in tech when I can't get a job IN the Bay Area ? Seattle might be an exception.
davidsorensen32,

1) Much better since you got nothing from this area.

2) Think logically. Why would anyone in your situation choose to live in this area? So, why would any employer that prefer older folks stay in this area?

KlangFool

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HomerJ
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by HomerJ » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:02 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:* Relocation - Yes, I have to start looking at this possibility. I agree. But what are the chances that I'll get a job outside of the Bay Area in tech when I can't get a job IN the Bay Area ? Seattle might be an exception.
You have blinders on.

"Old tech" in the Bay Area is still "today's tech" in the rest of the country. There's probably a ton of jobs out here for someone with your skill set, and housing is much cheaper (cheaper AND better), and there are plenty of good public schools.
Last edited by HomerJ on Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

davidsorensen32
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by davidsorensen32 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:02 pm

KlangFool wrote:
davidsorensen32 wrote:
* Relocation - Yes, I have to start looking at this possibility. I agree. But what are the chances that I'll get a job outside of the Bay Area in tech when I can't get a job IN the Bay Area ? Seattle might be an exception.
davidsorensen32,
1) Much better since you got nothing from this area.
KF - not entirely true. Everyday I see out of state license plates proliferating on Silicon Valley roads. Many of my friends have all moved to the Bay Area in the last 10 years. Silicon Valley is where the jobs are at. I don't know of anyone moving out of the Bay Area except for folks who have decided to retire abroad. (or folks like me who get forced out of employment)
2) Think logically. Why would anyone in your situation choose to live in this area? So, why would any employer that prefer older folks stay in this area?
KlangFool


No one prefers older employees. No one. Not the corner grocery store. Nor the pharmacy. Nor IT. Not in USA. Not in Timbaktu. Not in Moscow. You know this.
Last edited by davidsorensen32 on Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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HomerJ
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by HomerJ » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:04 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:I don't know of anyone moving out of the Bay Area except for folks who have decided to retire abroad.
Yeah, there are no tech jobs outside of the Bay Area. :oops:

Sheesh.
No one prefers older employees. No one. Not the corner grocery store. Nor the pharmacy. Nor IT. Not in USA. Not in Timbaktu. Not in Moscow. You know this.
40 is not old yet. Except, again, maybe in the Bay Area.

All your problems appear to be the Bay Area. What's a solution?

davidsorensen32
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by davidsorensen32 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:05 pm

HomerJ - I work in creating fairly complex and sophisticated products and services for fairly demanding Fortune 2000 enterprise companies. Outside of Seattle not too many areas where companies build the same products and services at scale. Believe me. I tried. On the operational side (that involves operating our products) - most IT shops at enterprise companies has been completely ravaged by outsourcing. That is a highly volatile and slippery slope. Layoffs ever 3 months as yet another department gets shipped overseas.
HomerJ wrote:
davidsorensen32 wrote:* Relocation - Yes, I have to start looking at this possibility. I agree. But what are the chances that I'll get a job outside of the Bay Area in tech when I can't get a job IN the Bay Area ? Seattle might be an exception.
You have blinders on.

"Old tech" in the Bay Area is still "today's tech" in the rest of the country. There's probably a ton of jobs out here for someone with your skill set, and housing is much cheaper (cheaper AND better), and there are plenty of good public schools.
Last edited by davidsorensen32 on Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

prettybogle
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by prettybogle » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:07 pm

KlangFool wrote:
davidsorensen32 wrote:
* Relocation - Yes, I have to start looking at this possibility. I agree. But what are the chances that I'll get a job outside of the Bay Area in tech when I can't get a job IN the Bay Area ? Seattle might be an exception.
davidsorensen32,

1) Much better since you got nothing from this area.

2) Think logically. Why would anyone in your situation choose to live in this area? So, why would any employer that prefer older folks stay in this area?

KlangFool
Agree with wise KlangFool here. Does the OP have any family or other affiliations in the Bay area thats forcing him to stay there ? With that good networth, there are tons of opportunities in much less expensive places in the US.

hightower
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by hightower » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:10 pm

What would I do? Reduce expenses to a level where 2 mil would be considered financially independent. Move to a lcol area to accomplish this. Then you can safely search for a new line of work since it sounds like you dont want to retire. Staying in the Bay Area unemployed is foolish. You run a real risk of burning through all of that hard earned income that you have saved up. If you can learn to live off of less in a lower cost of living region, you would be considered quite wealthy and have the option to pursue whatever work you please.
U are currently used to living off 100k a year correct? If u can reduce that to 80k, you're set.

prettybogle
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by prettybogle » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:13 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:HomerJ - I work in creating fairly complex and sophisticated products and services for fairly demanding Fortune 2000 enterprise companies. Outside of Seattle not too many areas where companies build the same products and services at scale. Believe me. I tried. On the operational side (that involves operating our products) - most IT shops at enterprise companies has been completely ravaged by outsourcing. That is a highly volatile and slippery slope. Layoffs ever 3 months as yet another department gets shipped overseas.
HomerJ wrote:
davidsorensen32 wrote:* Relocation - Yes, I have to start looking at this possibility. I agree. But what are the chances that I'll get a job outside of the Bay Area in tech when I can't get a job IN the Bay Area ? Seattle might be an exception.
You have blinders on.

"Old tech" in the Bay Area is still "today's tech" in the rest of the country. There's probably a ton of jobs out here for someone with your skill set, and housing is much cheaper (cheaper AND better), and there are plenty of good public schools.
OP, if you were able to show good work in that job description, you can easily code in any language. That opens up myriad opportunities outside the bay area. US is very large country almost a continent

davidsorensen32
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by davidsorensen32 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:19 pm

How so ? My expenses are

Rent + Utilities: $36,000 per annum. But rent controlled. So I don't expect rent to go up very much.
Tuition: $24,000 per annum.
Vacation: $10,000 per annum. [We will get rid of this]
Food, clothing etc: $30,000 per annum [Maybe some opportunity to squeeze here]

So ok. Down to $90K. But hard to go down to $80K. And 4% SWR is calibrated for a 25 year retirement. I'm looking at 45 years ! No, retirement is not an option.
hightower wrote:What would I do? Reduce expenses to a level where 2 mil would be considered financially independent. Move to a lcol area to accomplish this. Then you can safely search for a new line of work since it sounds like you dont want to retire. Staying in the Bay Area unemployed is foolish. You run a real risk of burning through all of that hard earned income that you have saved up. If you can learn to live off of less in a lower cost of living region, you would be considered quite wealthy and have the option to pursue whatever work you please.
U are currently used to living off 100k a year correct? If u can reduce that to 80k, you're set.
Last edited by davidsorensen32 on Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

davidsorensen32
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by davidsorensen32 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:22 pm

I used to program years ago (but have undergrad+masters in computer science). Ever since my MBA I shifted to the business side.
prettybogle wrote:
davidsorensen32 wrote:HomerJ - I work in creating fairly complex and sophisticated products and services for fairly demanding Fortune 2000 enterprise companies. Outside of Seattle not too many areas where companies build the same products and services at scale. Believe me. I tried. On the operational side (that involves operating our products) - most IT shops at enterprise companies has been completely ravaged by outsourcing. That is a highly volatile and slippery slope. Layoffs ever 3 months as yet another department gets shipped overseas.
HomerJ wrote:
davidsorensen32 wrote:* Relocation - Yes, I have to start looking at this possibility. I agree. But what are the chances that I'll get a job outside of the Bay Area in tech when I can't get a job IN the Bay Area ? Seattle might be an exception.
You have blinders on.

"Old tech" in the Bay Area is still "today's tech" in the rest of the country. There's probably a ton of jobs out here for someone with your skill set, and housing is much cheaper (cheaper AND better), and there are plenty of good public schools.
OP, if you were able to show good work in that job description, you can easily code in any language. That opens up myriad opportunities outside the bay area. US is very large country almost a continent

hightower
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by hightower » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:30 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:
KlangFool wrote:
davidsorensen32 wrote:
* Relocation - Yes, I have to start looking at this possibility. I agree. But what are the chances that I'll get a job outside of the Bay Area in tech when I can't get a job IN the Bay Area ? Seattle might be an exception.
davidsorensen32,
1) Much better since you got nothing from this area.
KF - not entirely true. Everyday I see out of state license plates proliferating on Silicon Valley roads. Many of my friends have all moved to the Bay Area in the last 10 years. Silicon Valley is where the jobs are at. I don't know of anyone moving out of the Bay Area except for folks who have decided to retire abroad. (or folks like me who get forced out of employment)
2) Think logically. Why would anyone in your situation choose to live in this area? So, why would any employer that prefer older folks stay in this area?
KlangFool


No one prefers older employees. No one. Not the corner grocery store. Nor the pharmacy. Nor IT. Not in USA. Not in Timbaktu. Not in Moscow. You know this.
Dude 40 is not old. Maybe in tech bro college age towns like SF, but in the rest of the real world you would be welcomed with open arms. I dont have a clue what kind of work you do, but I refuse to believe that your skills as an employee are not at least somewhat transferable to other indistries or organizations. To successfully find new employment in a situation like this you first have to rid of any negative thoughts rolling around in your head. Until you do, you might actually be walking around with blinders on as suggested.

KlangFool
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by KlangFool » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:33 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:
KlangFool wrote:
davidsorensen32 wrote:
* Relocation - Yes, I have to start looking at this possibility. I agree. But what are the chances that I'll get a job outside of the Bay Area in tech when I can't get a job IN the Bay Area ? Seattle might be an exception.
davidsorensen32,
1) Much better since you got nothing from this area.
KF - not entirely true. Everyday I see out of state license plates proliferating on Silicon Valley roads. Many of my friends have all moved to the Bay Area in the last 10 years. Silicon Valley is where the jobs are at. I don't know of anyone moving out of the Bay Area except for folks who have decided to retire abroad. (or folks like me who get forced out of employment)
2) Think logically. Why would anyone in your situation choose to live in this area? So, why would any employer that prefer older folks stay in this area?
KlangFool


No one prefers older employees. No one. Not the corner grocery store. Nor the pharmacy. Nor IT. Not in USA. Not in Timbaktu. Not in Moscow. You know this.
davidsorensen32,

Look at the median age of the employees for those employers. Do you see a pattern here?

http://www.smartinsights.com/manage-dig ... toftheday/

In summary, you should look for jobs in Dell/IBM/HP/Oracle outside of the Bay Area.

https://venturebeat.com/2014/12/31/hp-i ... -youngest/

<< In the data, gathered throughout 2014, HP employees topped the list, at 39, while IBM and Oracle were next in line, both with median ages of 38, followed by Dell and Monster.com at 37; and Sony Electronics at 36.>>

<<Many of my friends have all moved to the Bay Area in the last 10 years.>>

How does that help you? It does not.

<<Silicon Valley is where the jobs are at. >>

Ditto. If that is useful to you, you will be employed now.

This is the reality. Unless someone offers you a good paying job in the Bay Area, it does not make sense for you to hang around this area.

KlangFool

hightower
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by hightower » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:34 pm

Moving to a LCOL area could easily bring your housing costs down to 18k a year. And you would be living in a nice area with good schools. And without the 24k tuition you could live off of 58 k a year and still vacation as before.
And the 4% rule does not mean you will run out of money in 25 years. Though there is some debate on the issue, 4% could potentially sustain you indefinitely. Plus that assumes that neither you or your wife are able to find any employment, which is highly unlikely. Keep your chin up man
davidsorensen32 wrote:How so ? My expenses are

Rent + Utilities: $36,000 per annum. But rent controlled. So I don't expect rent to go up very much.
Tuition: $24,000 per annum.
Vacation: $10,000 per annum. [We will get rid of this]
Food, clothing etc: $30,000 per annum [Maybe some opportunity to squeeze here]

So ok. Down to $90K. But hard to go down to $80K. And 4% SWR is calibrated for a 25 year retirement. I'm looking at 45 years ! No, retirement is not an option.
hightower wrote:What would I do? Reduce expenses to a level where 2 mil would be considered financially independent. Move to a lcol area to accomplish this. Then you can safely search for a new line of work since it sounds like you dont want to retire. Staying in the Bay Area unemployed is foolish. You run a real risk of burning through all of that hard earned income that you have saved up. If you can learn to live off of less in a lower cost of living region, you would be considered quite wealthy and have the option to pursue whatever work you please.
U are currently used to living off 100k a year correct? If u can reduce that to 80k, you're set.
Last edited by hightower on Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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willthrill81
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by willthrill81 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:43 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:How so ? My expenses are

Rent + Utilities: $36,000 per annum. But rent controlled. So I don't expect rent to go up very much.
Tuition: $24,000 per annum.
Vacation: $10,000 per annum. [We will get rid of this]
Food, clothing etc: $30,000 per annum [Maybe some opportunity to squeeze here]

So ok. Down to $90K. But hard to go down to $80K. And 4% SWR is calibrated for a 25 year retirement. I'm looking at 45 years ! No, retirement is not an option.
hightower wrote:What would I do? Reduce expenses to a level where 2 mil would be considered financially independent. Move to a lcol area to accomplish this. Then you can safely search for a new line of work since it sounds like you dont want to retire. Staying in the Bay Area unemployed is foolish. You run a real risk of burning through all of that hard earned income that you have saved up. If you can learn to live off of less in a lower cost of living region, you would be considered quite wealthy and have the option to pursue whatever work you please.
U are currently used to living off 100k a year correct? If u can reduce that to 80k, you're set.
In many, many places in this country, you can get a nice place (rent or buy) for well under $3k with all expenses included. Find a place with good public schools and avoid the $24k in tuition, or better yet, retire and homeschool your kids. Around a 3.3-3.5% withdrawal rate is safe for periods longer than 30 years, which translates to $66-70k a year. But either you or your spouse could still work doing something, and that would easily bring you back above $100k a year.

Either you or your spouse could easily retire IF you're willing to move. Don't forget that you're living in one of the most expensive places in the country and virtually anywhere else (other than Seattle or NYC) will be cheaper, probably far cheaper. And don't forget that you're paying some of the highest state income taxes possible right now.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

lostinjersey
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by lostinjersey » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:50 pm

What would I do? I would get the heck out of the Bay Area as fast as I could, find jobs in a nice city in the Midwest, and settle down to raise my family.

Oh wait. That's exactly what I did. And it's amazing. Mortgage is $1,100 a month for a nice 4 bed/3 bath, schools are rated 10/10, commute is 20 minutes. Child is thriving with tons of friends and activities. Mom and dad have time to play with child at night and stress is reduced about a thousandfold.

But that's just what I would do.

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:51 pm

You may be suffering serious burnout. But it's hard to tell if it's fatal yet. If it is fatal, you will likely have to move to a lcol area and adjust your expectations. But not yet. And I don't think that you're mentally ready now anyway.

In reading suggestions and responses it seems fairly obvious (to me anyway) that you should take the job/commute. This buys you time to consider longterm options. As unpleasant as it may seem, 2-3 years is not that long. I say stop any hemorrhaging of your nest egg while you formulate a longterm plan. Once things stabilize, a lcol area move may appeal to you. Or you may figure out a way to get back to work into the Bay Area. Or something else. 2-3 years from now, your circumstances and outlook are likely to be considerably different from today.

youdiditr2
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by youdiditr2 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:00 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
davidsorensen32 wrote:How so ? My expenses are

Rent + Utilities: $36,000 per annum. But rent controlled. So I don't expect rent to go up very much.
Tuition: $24,000 per annum.
Vacation: $10,000 per annum. [We will get rid of this]
Food, clothing etc: $30,000 per annum [Maybe some opportunity to squeeze here]

So ok. Down to $90K. But hard to go down to $80K. And 4% SWR is calibrated for a 25 year retirement. I'm looking at 45 years ! No, retirement is not an option.
hightower wrote:What would I do? Reduce expenses to a level where 2 mil would be considered financially independent. Move to a lcol area to accomplish this. Then you can safely search for a new line of work since it sounds like you dont want to retire. Staying in the Bay Area unemployed is foolish. You run a real risk of burning through all of that hard earned income that you have saved up. If you can learn to live off of less in a lower cost of living region, you would be considered quite wealthy and have the option to pursue whatever work you please.
U are currently used to living off 100k a year correct? If u can reduce that to 80k, you're set.
In many, many places in this country, you can get a nice place (rent or buy) for well under $3k with all expenses included. Find a place with good public schools and avoid the $24k in tuition, or better yet, retire and homeschool your kids. Around a 3.3-3.5% withdrawal rate is safe for periods longer than 30 years, which translates to $66-70k a year. But either you or your spouse could still work doing something, and that would easily bring you back above $100k a year.

Either you or your spouse could easily retire IF you're willing to move. Don't forget that you're living in one of the most expensive places in the country and virtually anywhere else (other than Seattle or NYC) will be cheaper, probably far cheaper. And don't forget that you're paying some of the highest state income taxes possible right now.

$30k a year on food, that's more than most family make, after taxes and deductions!

Get out of the Bay Area and he could live well and never have to work again. $2 million at age 40? less than 10% of the population will ever have that much saved in their lifetime!

Unless you have families, not sure why you wouldnt' think of looking somewhere else if you don't plan to retire.

OnTrack2020
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by OnTrack2020 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:03 pm

For starters, with $2M, I'd move to an area with a much LCOL--meaning I would stay away from the states along the coasts. You have time now to research places/job hunt while your wife continues to work. Your expenses would pretty much be cut in half if you moved to the middle of the country. And, personally, I would stay away from a 3-hour commute.

Doom&Gloom
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:04 pm

OP, how does your spouse feel about the possibility of a move? You seem so staunchly opposed to all the suggestions that have been made, it seems like there may be dynamics other than financial and career questions involved.

But as for what I would do: I would be out of there in a heartbeat unless there was an overwhelming reason to stay put.

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HomerJ
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by HomerJ » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:14 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote:HomerJ - I work in creating fairly complex and sophisticated products and services for fairly demanding Fortune 2000 enterprise companies. Outside of Seattle not too many areas where companies build the same products and services at scale.
You might be surprised.

https://www.geolounge.com/geography-of- ... s-in-2015/

Of the 1000, only 100 or so are in California. The other 900 are elsewhere. Texas has more Fortune 1000 companies than California.

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Hyperborea
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Location: Silicon Valley

Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by Hyperborea » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:29 pm

davidsorensen32 wrote: No one prefers older employees. No one. Not the corner grocery store. Nor the pharmacy. Nor IT. Not in USA. Not in Timbaktu. Not in Moscow. You know this.
Not true at all. I started working at one of those supposed to be only young folks places in Silicon Valley when I was older than you. I had been working at other tech companies in the area for a number of years already andI was worried about being the old guy when I went in for interviews. However, everyone who interviewed me was my age or older. If you are going in for a tech job there is a heavy reliance these days on blackboard coding - it's the current popular interview style. You will need to practice for it.

These "new tech supposed young people" companies are heavily using some pretty common languages that are not that new - Java, C++/Objective-C, Javascript. So, I'm not sure what you mean by old tech but old tech experience can also be turned into experience that can get you hired working with new tech. You need to learn to phrase it right.

You said that you have an MBA and have gotten out of programming so are you looking for a program or project manager position? Lots of openings for those - good ones are hard to find and worth a lot.
davidsorensen32 wrote:Food, clothing etc: $30,000 per annum [Maybe some opportunity to squeeze here]
You're eating out a lot, somebody is dressing really fancy, or there is a whole lot hiding in the "etc."

davidsorensen32
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by davidsorensen32 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:57 pm

Guys, spouse is really attached to the Bay Area because of her line of work. She's apprehensive that she wont be getting an equivalent job (with a pension, great bennies etc.) in other parts of the country. On your suggestions for LCOL - I'm personally completely in favor of it, but am handicapped by my ignorance of life outside the Bay Area. If you have any specific suggestions for employer/location please drop me a quick line. I'll greatly appreciate it. My understanding is that LCOL is a short term mirage - employment opportunities are limited and once you're unemployed it takes a really long time to get your job back. Most of the mid-west is dying rust belt is it not ? Ditto for the southern bible belt cities. Seattle is a bright exception.

mckaydw
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by mckaydw » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:12 am

You are 40 years young with $2M banked and both you and your wife individually have the ability to make more than the average American household income. You have over half of a life ahead of you and the future is wide open. If you could flip the switch in your mind to see how blessed you are and what a great situation you are in, I'm guessing the employment situation would naturally fix itself.

sambb
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by sambb » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:12 am

i would move...quick
you are out of the range for bay area - old tech, and 40 years old
your spouse will be ok if you have a strong marriage
its been 9 months - time to move
why lose your nest egg

aaronl
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by aaronl » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:42 am

The tech job market is still really hot in the Bay Area. Even if your skills aren't an exact match for most tech companies, I'd be surprised if you don't find a good opportunity after a few more months of concerted searching. Now that you aren't working full time, you'll have a lot more time to devote to phone calls with recruiters, interviews, and so on.

My significant other (not in tech) started looking for jobs several months before graduating from her PhD program, didn't find anything promising, and felt very discouraged about her prospects. She almost decided to do postdoctoral study, even though she wasn't interested in that. Within two months of graduating, she got offered a job that turned out to be a great fit. I think a similar psychology may be at play in your case. It's very easy to feel discouraged when searching for a job. But realistically, you should end up finding something. And you have a lot of resources to draw on until you do.

I personally would have to be pretty desperate to accept a long commute (or even a commute at all), but that's personal preference.

KlangFool
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by KlangFool » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:53 am

davidsorensen32 wrote:Guys, spouse is really attached to the Bay Area because of her line of work. She's apprehensive that she wont be getting an equivalent job (with a pension, great bennies etc.) in other parts of the country. On your suggestions for LCOL - I'm personally completely in favor of it, but am handicapped by my ignorance of life outside the Bay Area. If you have any specific suggestions for employer/location please drop me a quick line. I'll greatly appreciate it. My understanding is that LCOL is a short term mirage - employment opportunities are limited and once you're unemployed it takes a really long time to get your job back. Most of the mid-west is dying rust belt is it not ? Ditto for the southern bible belt cities. Seattle is a bright exception.
davidsorensen32,

<<She's apprehensive that she wont be getting an equivalent job (with a pension, great bennies etc.) in other parts of the country.>>

She would not even need a job if you are out of the Bay Area. Her job cannot sustain your family in the Bay Area. So, how could she say no? She needs to earn a lot more in order to justify staying.

<<My understanding is that LCOL is a short term mirage - employment opportunities are limited and once you're unemployed it takes a really long time to get your job back.>>

How is this any different from your current situation? Except that you are burning out your nest egg by staying in this area.

A) The worst that it could happen to you if you move away are you retired early.

B) The worst that it could to you by staying is you burn out your nest egg and your family will suffer financially.

So, why would you choose (B)?

KlangFool

KlangFool
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Re: Life at crossroads. What would you do ?

Post by KlangFool » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:56 am

aaronl wrote:The tech job market is still really hot in the Bay Area. Even if your skills aren't an exact match for most tech companies, I'd be surprised if you don't find a good opportunity after a few more months of concerted searching. Now that you aren't working full time, you'll have a lot more time to devote to phone calls with recruiters, interviews, and so on.

My significant other (not in tech) started looking for jobs several months before graduating from her PhD program, didn't find anything promising, and felt very discouraged about her prospects. She almost decided to do postdoctoral study, even though she wasn't interested in that. Within two months of graduating, she got offered a job that turned out to be a great fit. I think a similar psychology may be at play in your case. It's very easy to feel discouraged when searching for a job. But realistically, you should end up finding something. And you have a lot of resources to draw on until you do.

I personally would have to be pretty desperate to accept a long commute (or even a commute at all), but that's personal preference.
aaronl,

How old is she?

Age discrimination is real in the Bay Area.

KlangFool

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