Salary vs. Lifestyle

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VictoriaF
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by VictoriaF » Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:35 pm

smitcat wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:34 pm
EnjoyIt wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:32 am
Also, with added stress and more hours your health suffers which not only costs money but clearly makes you less happy. Some stress in life is ok, but if one is not getting enough sleep and exercise as well as not eating healthy it will all add up. In addition more stress can make you short at home which leads to arguments and less happiness.
It may be true in some cases but overall higher income means a longer life. Higher income means a lower drug abuse %. Statistics over the population for many years.
I agree with smitcat. As livesoft wrote earlier, those with high salaries frequently refer to their stress, but in reality their stress levels are probably lower than those of their subordinates. You can find anecdotes proving or disproving any combination of high/low salaries and high/low stress. But the way companies and other organizations operate, job satisfaction increases up the salary ladder and stress increases down the ladder.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

michaeljc70
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:19 pm

Personally, I've chosen to spread out the stress and money. I have taken off a lot of time over the years (which wasn't hard to do being self employed) at the expense of $$$$. I still am going to retire early (~50), but really enjoyed the time to do things I wanted to while young.

In your case, you say you will save the money. Most people have a hard time saving all their raises (even post tax). Higher pay also means more taxes. If you will truly save the extra money and you (and your family) can deal with the stress and time away from family, then I don't see an issue but it is a personal choice.

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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by MJW » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:47 pm

I do my best to avoid making it a binary choice.

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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by nyclon » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:25 pm

livesoft wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:58 am
Everybody I know that has had higher salary has figured out a way to enjoy life while earning a higher salary. I think much of the pain now stuff is just talk to make the wealthy feel more normal and not get hassled by the less well off.
True. Interestingly, as I have negotiated salary significantly higher over the years, the amount of work I do has decreased while my pay has increased. My schedule has become far more flexible.

I believe this is a function of self realization of what I value (time), and seeking opportunities which include those features.

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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:26 pm

fortfun wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:41 am
UncleBogle wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:35 am
I realize that this is a very subjective matter, but after reading one of the threads regarding early retirement, I noticed they recurring theme: Enjoying life while you can (having more time for "living in the sunlight" - hobbies, taking walks, exercising and spending time with family).

I thankfully have a good paying job, but now have the opportunity to take a higher paying job ( 35% more salary, but more stress / less family time). It made me think that if I earned more money up front, this would allow me to achieve retirement earlier - Save more earlier on, and let time work for your funds.

While I realize that this is a personal choice, I was wondering if others out here have grappled with the "take the pain now, and enjoy more life's later" argument?
I'm a teacher and wish my wife was one too. Having summers off with the kids is worth a million dollar salary. I also hope to retire at 50. I'd chose to live/retire frugally and work less. I know that isn't the exact question that you asked but might provide some perspective. For us, expensive cars/clothes aren't important and we've figured out how to travel on a shoestring budget.
I know this is not meant literally and I get your meaning about summers off being great. That being said, personally, I'd be willing to teach summer school for a lot less than a million dollars. However, I don't sign up to do it because the school district I teach in doesn't provide enough incentive. The OP must make a similar calculation. Is the amount of extra stress and reduced family time worth a 35% pay increase? I suppose it boils down to things like how much extra stress and how much reduced family time we're talking about. If it's only a little bit of pain, it's a much better deal, obviously, than if it's a lot of pain. The price tag to put on one's time is very personal but I wouldn't sell something so precious too cheaply.

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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by davidsorensen32 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:51 pm

Ignore the mumbo jumbo advice. It's very simple. Save every $ you can until you hit $1M in investable assets. Then start living your life. Spend all your cash flow but don't touch the $1M or the dividends (reinvest them). You will do fine.
UncleBogle wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:35 am
I realize that this is a very subjective matter, but after reading one of the threads regarding early retirement, I noticed they recurring theme: Enjoying life while you can (having more time for "living in the sunlight" - hobbies, taking walks, exercising and spending time with family).

I thankfully have a good paying job, but now have the opportunity to take a higher paying job ( 35% more salary, but more stress / less family time). It made me think that if I earned more money up front, this would allow me to achieve retirement earlier - Save more earlier on, and let time work for your funds.

While I realize that this is a personal choice, I was wondering if others out here have grappled with the "take the pain now, and enjoy more life's later" argument?

UncleBogle
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by UncleBogle » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:40 pm

But the way companies and other organizations operate, job satisfaction increases up the salary ladder and stress increases down the ladder.

Victoria
---------------------------
I'm curious as how you came to this conclusion. That's a pretty broad brushstroke, IMHO.

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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by UncleBogle » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:49 pm

MikeG62 wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:34 am
UncleBogle wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:35 am

While I realize that this is a personal choice, I was wondering if others out here have grappled with the "take the pain now, and enjoy more life's later" argument?
I think this is highly dependent on a number of factors, including how much you earn now and how much you are saving, how frugally you live, how much do you like your current job and how much do you think you'll like the new position, are you someone who is comfortable with delayed gratification, among others.

My personal experience. For the first 23 years of my career, I placed working and climbing the corporate ladder as a top priority in my life. This caused me to miss many things on the personal side of the ledger (so it was not without a cost/sacrifice). I worked under a ridiculous amount of stress for most of that time (more in the latter half than even the first half), but by the time I turned 43 I had saved a considerable amount of money (we were FI). However, I was stressed out and decided there had to be an easier way to live. So after much deliberation with my DW, I approached my employer about leaving. Ultimately I agreed to stay on, but in a part-time capacity (working 3-4 days per week). Most weeks I worked Tues-Thurs with 4 day weekends. This was the perfect balance for me (my daughters were 14 and 11 at that time so I could spend a lot more time with them). I continued to make a lot of money and saved diligently, while having an excellent work/life balance. I stayed on in this capacity until I turned 53 at which time I fully retired. That was three years ago.

So I have made both choices. For me, the right answer was to place the emphasis on work and accumulating a large nest egg first. This has allowed us to retire early and now do what we want. Life is good and we have never been happier.

OP, I hope that helps to provide some additional perspective.
Yes it does. Thanks so much for sharing your story and perspective. I appreciate it.

To the group: I appreciate everyone's advice!

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VictoriaF
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:52 am

UncleBogle wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:40 pm
But the way companies and other organizations operate, job satisfaction increases up the salary ladder and stress increases down the ladder.

Victoria
---------------------------
I'm curious as how you came to this conclusion. That's a pretty broad brushstroke, IMHO.
This is not a conclusion, this is a general observation. The point of this discussion is to paint the reality with broad brushstrokes. Anecdotes about miserable millionaires and happy busboys are not helpful.

Getting back to livesoft's point: High-earning and wealthy people do not flaunt their wealth to the less fortunate. They emphasize unpleasant aspects of their lives, and if you look hard enough, you can find some minor unpleasantness in any life. But consider the Bogleheads Forum where people anonymously post about their achievements and challenges. Here, you find many people who have high-paying jobs and are happy, who lead the lives they wish and don't have any complaints.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by GoofyOne » Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:29 am

As there are different types of people, there are different types of jobs. I have seen people at the same level at Megacorp completely miserable in their jobs and completely satisfied with their jobs. Some feel the need to work 80 hours a week and feel it thrust upon them, others 40 hours a week and are successful.

It might not be the job, it might be the people that handle stress/workload better that advance as well. Reminds me of the feedback a coworker once received when they worked overtime consistently hoping for a promotion, "If you have to work overtime to complete your job, what will it be like when I give you even more responsibility?"

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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by pennylane » Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:47 am

corn18 wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:33 pm
I can assure you my much lower paying Navy job I had for 20 years was a LOT more stressful than my current $700k / year job.
What do you do?

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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by pennylane » Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:48 am

Nthomas wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:59 pm
PhysicianOnFIRE wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:37 pm
I've made the opposite choice, but only after reaching financial independence. I'm now working 40% less for 40% lower pay than I did as a full-timer. No regrets.

:beer
-PoF
PoF (and anyone else with an opinion) - if you were starting over would you do it the same way with working hard until FI and then “slowing down”? I’m deciding between two jobs - 385k with no call or weekends and 510k with one day a week and one weekend a month on call and overall much busier schedule. Former job also has FERS pension if I hang around. I’m currently nowhere near FI.
What job is this?

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corn18
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by corn18 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:54 am

pennylane wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:47 am
corn18 wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:33 pm
I can assure you my much lower paying Navy job I had for 20 years was a LOT more stressful than my current $700k / year job.
What do you do?
I was a Navy fighter pilot. Now I am president of a division of mega corp.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:00 am

corn18 wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:54 am
pennylane wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:47 am
corn18 wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:33 pm
I can assure you my much lower paying Navy job I had for 20 years was a LOT more stressful than my current $700k / year job.
What do you do?
I was a Navy fighter pilot. Now I am president of a division of mega corp.
So you are continuing flying high! Congratulations,

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

cherijoh
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by cherijoh » Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:29 am

remomnyc wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:29 pm
At every opportunity, I have chosen lifestyle. Once I made enough to pay my expenses and save, I chose shorter commute, predictable and reasonable hours, more vacation, and better benefits over more pay. The two main drivers were stress that caused me to sleep poorly and the desire to have a family and to spend time with my family. Even though I left a lot of money on the table over the years, I was still able to retire early. Many of friends and colleagues who chose salary ended up buying bigger homes, second homes, expensive cars, opted for private school, and will likely work a decade or more than I did. They probably think they have a nicer lifestyle than I do, but I can't think of anything more luxurious than owning my time. What's more important to you in the time and stuff continuum?
:thumbsup :thumbsup

Your post hits on something that I think is often ignored in these discussions - money doesn't have the same utility across the entire continuum. If you don't have enough money to cover basic needs, then being able to earn more money is extremely valuable and should be pursued aggressively even when it means making sacrifices and working long hours. If you can cover basic needs but have problems saving enough for retirement, then you should still pursue a plan to address the situation including improving your skills, switching jobs for a decent pay increase, etc. But when having additional money just means you could buy more stuff, IMO you need to seriously question whether it is worth the sacrifices you would need to make in terms of family time, stress on the job, being on call 24/7, etc.

But many people treat their compensation as a scorecard and think that earning more money automatically correlates with being more happy/ successful no matter what sacrifices they needed to make to get there. They also tend to regard people who jump off the hedonistic treadmill as lacking in ambition or being losers.

I recently retired (at 59) and the response from colleagues was overwhelmingly "I wish I could do that..." I honestly don't think they have made the connection between their bigger house and newer, more expensive cars over the years and their need to work until 65 or later.

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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by MnD » Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:46 am

Fun lower stress jobs you had in your 20's and 30's have a way of becoming more stressful and less fun in your 40's and 50's.
I took jobs with more stress, more travel, relocations, more responsibility and more pay. Faced a lot of challenges and accomplished a lot and now I'm all set to retire in my mid-50's. Imagining my now older self in my former "easier" jobs and I think I would have been miserable. A number of folks in my office haven't advanced and have not been promoted due to their decisions whether they realize it or not. They are now making less than most of their age-peers, some have younger more tech-savvy bosses who may view them as something of unmotivated dinosaurs, college bills are here or looming, and some probably aren't financially where they want to be. So early retirement is more of a dream than any kind of reality. Needing a new roof, new car, new furnace or paying for 4 years of college for a couple kids has a way of taking the fun out of lower-paying fun jobs.

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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by cherijoh » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:20 am

vitaflo wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:37 am
UncleBogle wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:35 am
While I realize that this is a personal choice, I was wondering if others out here have grappled with the "take the pain now, and enjoy more life's later" argument?
When I started my business 8 years ago I spent a ton of time...working. I had a lot of business lined up and was making a good deal of money. "Make hay while the sun shines" I told myself. I went 5 years without taking a vacation. I ended up making a lot of money and setting myself up for a very early retirement...

But I really really regret doing that. Why? Because it wasn't necessary. If I had stuck to 40 hour weeks and took 5 weeks off per year I'd still be able to retire early. The bigger issue? Now that I'm older, physical ailments are creeping up that limit the kind of things I can do in my life. Things I could have done when I was working my butt of that I can't do as much now.

The extra money wasn't worth it. Who cares if I can retire before 50 if I can't do the things I wanted to do back when I was 30 and working instead?

Now I take everything in moderation. I don't work more than 40 hours per week, I take ample time off for myself (10 weeks this year). But giving up my youth still stings a bit. If you're on this site then you're already financially aware and set up for success. Don't double down and get greedy. Enjoy your life and take time for it, you'll thank yourself later.
Good post.

Now that I'm retired (at 59) I also find that I don't have the stamina for travel that I used to have. Fortunately, I made sure to take all my vacation days while I was working and did many of the more ambitious trips on my wish list when I still was healthy enough to appreciate them. I haven't stopped traveling by any means - I just got back from a trip to Scotland - but I am doing it at a slower pace than even 10 years ago.

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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by Leemiller » Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:19 am

For the OP, I would take care to ensure that what you’re being told about overtime and being on call for each position matches reality. Then the FERS system isn’t that great. You are putting in a rather high percent (maybe 4%?) for something like 1% of your salary - not indexed to inflation - that is a pension, so a survivor annuity will lower even that. You’d be fine just saving something in taxable to compensate, and you’ll leave more to heirs.

I recently went from government to private and am thrilled to have more pay, a better title, and more autonomy with less bureaucracy. As for hours, I think many of us in higher positions exaggerate on that point. People want (need) to hear you work so much more - otherwise it gets awkward fast. Also, having staff means having more control on that point. At highest levels, looks easier to me in the sense you need less technical knowledge vs leveraging that of others.

2pedals
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by 2pedals » Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:32 am

What do you really want salary versus lifestyle? I prefer feeling wholeness. Love, joy, happiness, freedom and inner peace are what most people want. If salary helps achieve that wholeness zen I am good with that, if lifestyle help achieve wholeness I am good with that as well. When I was younger my goal was to secure the family with a good salary, that made DW, DD and me happy. Now what I really want to do is retire and spend time on experiences for myself and with DW.

I think salary vs lifestyle might be a trade off but not really what people want most.

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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by TheNightsToCome » Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:54 pm

smitcat wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:17 am
livesoft wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:58 am
Everybody I know that has had higher salary has figured out a way to enjoy life while earning a higher salary. I think much of the pain now stuff is just talk to make the wealthy feel more normal and not get hassled by the less well off.
Yes - exactly.
Then you haven't been there.

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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by TheNightsToCome » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:12 pm

Nthomas wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:59 pm
PhysicianOnFIRE wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:37 pm
I've made the opposite choice, but only after reaching financial independence. I'm now working 40% less for 40% lower pay than I did as a full-timer. No regrets.

:beer
-PoF
PoF (and anyone else with an opinion) - if you were starting over would you do it the same way with working hard until FI and then “slowing down”? I’m deciding between two jobs - 385k with no call or weekends and 510k with one day a week and one weekend a month on call and overall much busier schedule. Former job also has FERS pension if I hang around. I’m currently nowhere near FI.
If you are able to keep about 60% of the difference after tax, that's $75K/year. For me, that wouldn't be nearly enough to compensate for the call and the busier schedule. The first (lower paying option) is a slam dunk.

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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by SQRT » Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:43 am

MJW wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:47 pm
I do my best to avoid making it a binary choice.
This is a very perceptive comment. We often have a tendency to frame issues in a binary way-either/or, black/white. Especially on anonymous chat rooms. But in reality few life choices are really like this.

Too much or too little is usually more the issue. More salary is usually a good trade off but not always. More time off is usually a good thing but within limits. Life is much more complicated than many describe. Most people display a decreasing utility for both more money and more free time. Somewhere in the middle these “utility functions” might intersect?

As well, people will often try to rationalize their circumstances post facto. So “too much stress” might be the silver lining in that promotion you didn’t get. But again things can be complicated.
Last edited by SQRT on Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

smitcat
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by smitcat » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:18 am

TheNightsToCome wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:54 pm
smitcat wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:17 am
livesoft wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:58 am
Everybody I know that has had higher salary has figured out a way to enjoy life while earning a higher salary. I think much of the pain now stuff is just talk to make the wealthy feel more normal and not get hassled by the less well off.
Yes - exactly.
Then you haven't been there.
I would say that I have been there.

sc9182
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by sc9182 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:34 am

Earn and save more (more like: a LOT) early on, then let those saved and promptly invested dollars work for you ie., compound (wouldnt it be dandy: if you make money while you sleep and/or on vacation).

After some serious savings/investing and ensued compounded growth, then you start to realize, those investments of yours start to add wind to your sails (growth in savings and nest egg).

After some more time, your continued savings, and the growth may almost add up to either your or spouses salary. Now, you decide whether to let one spouses make a less-working (or not working) choice! Once you achieve this level of nest egg growth., you will have many choices to make (good/better ones that is).

After some more time of saving, and compounding., you might realize your savings plus nest-egg-growth may overtake your Net pay, and not long after, your gross pay as well !! At that point - you feel like you have two good paying jobs in the household.

Chances are that you may have nest egg approaching/exceeding 25 times your future annual expenses. Many call this FI and or Early Retirement goal. You don't have to make a choice to retire, just knowing you could, is a great stress reliever. I am afraid, you may even develop new motivation and strength to take on additional stress at this point for additional pay !! (and infact feel less stressed doing the work actually :-)

Now, how longer do you want to continue after this point? You tell us !!

Whats the point here: As you progress along these various stages of career, nest-egg-building, the availiability/utility of Money-Vs-Time may experience different quantum changes (my friend, its not exactly a continuum). Beside, life may thow curve balls at you: job sector gone bad, slow/no growth, high-inflation, nagging/serious health issues, helping aging parents/in-laws, divorce, bankruptcy, or death of loved ones among million travesties.

Like you may have already noticed, Time is free (you don't have to earn it, it comes free to every living soul), but Money ain't - you gotta earn it. Strive to earn more, much-more-badly than others., otherwise., somebody else will catch that ship, you be stuck in your own little paradise island., and may never see/experience bigger/better corners of life/world. BTW, your paradise island may be best island in the world for you., be happy so long family fully supports that decision "Now" as well as test-of-future-time ! Also, nobody may have mentioned to you yet, your own personal paradise island may have a big-as Volcano nobody talks about (personal/life tragedies/u-turns) and possible land-mines. So, do have some serious monies/nest-egg built up to handle such evacuation type uncertainties! Besides, there is no Personal FEMA in everybody's life, your nest egg (Army of Dollars) and good relationships may come to rescue/assist!!

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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:52 am

jharkin wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:53 pm
HomerJ wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:30 pm

Ah, thank you.

I would then like to make the counterpoint that I know people who were miserable in higher paying jobs, and were much happier when they changed to a lower-paying job. There are indeed people who have LESS job satisfaction after a promotion and a salary increase.

My neighbor was making $200k+ a year, but traveling all the time, and never saw his kids. He took a lower-paying job with less responsibilities and less pay, and is much happier now.

My wife quit her high-paying stressful job the day after we paid off our mortgage. She took a year off, and then a new job fell into her lap. She gets paid half as much as she used to, but works 1/3 as much (20 hours a week instead of 60).

I'm just presenting counterpoints to the idea that "Everybody I know with a higher salary is happier than if they had a lesser salary".
I can add myself as a similar experience. 20 years in a public megacorp and I was up to developer level. Managing people on 3 continents. meetings all hours of hte day. having to take 20 hour flights a couple times a year. No mater how much we delivered it was never enough and we where always told "you need to go faster" Icing on the cake is they where about to move the office and start enforcing no tellecommuting adding 4 hours of round trip daily commute to the mix.

I recently left to a private firm for what amounts to a 10% initial pay cut... but my responsibility was cut nearly in half, all the pressure is gone, and time savings in reduced commute (now 20 min) alone more than makes up for the pay differential. I could not be happier.

Yeah those high rollers can use their salary to pay for a service to maintain those manicured golf course lawns... but whats the point, they are never home to use them....
Yea for you! I understand the concept of “it’s never enough”.

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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by EnjoyIt » Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:17 pm

There is always more. You can always find ways to spend more money on just about anything. At some point you need to realize that spending more doesn't provide any real value to one's life so why look to earn more? Sure if you make $30k a year and you go up to $80k that is a big deal. But if you make $500k and you can make an extra $50k a year does it really add anything to your life or happiness? Probably not. In fact one will find more value in figuring out how to spend their own money more efficiently and lower costs as opposed to looking for more ways to make more.

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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:59 pm

EnjoyIt wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:17 pm
There is always more. You can always find ways to spend more money on just about anything. At some point you need to realize that spending more doesn't provide any real value to one's life so why look to earn more? Sure if you make $30k a year and you go up to $80k that is a big deal. But if you make $500k and you can make an extra $50k a year does it really add anything to your life or happiness? Probably not. In fact one will find more value in figuring out how to spend their own money more efficiently and lower costs as opposed to looking for more ways to make more.
I don't think it's appropriate (or helpful) to judge what some extra income will mean to someone else, regardless of their income level (unless it's something truly trivial, such as $10/yr).

None of us can know how a "high income" person (e.g., $500k) is spending or what the obligations are.
It could be anything from gambling it all away, to spending rather than saving, to mostly saving rather than spending, to paying for huge life-long care costs out of pocket for a young family member.
Or said person might have a hefty mortgage, two children in private schools/colleges at mid 5 figures each, and perhaps another child or two in private primary/secondary school, perhaps support needed for elderly parents (maybe on both sides)???
Who knows what their finances are like, and what would "add happiness" or "make life less stressful", etc.

Scale it down, it's like writing that someone who earns $50k wouldn't be affected by an extra $5k... and I think most of us would think that the extra $5k could be used/enjoyed.
(No, it doesn't really scale that way in real life, given baseline needs, but I hope that makes part of my point clear.)

I can't possibly presume to know what adds "real value" to someone else's life, nor could they necessarily predict the same for me.
Who is defining "real value", and for whom?

As for "In fact one will find more value in figuring out how to spend their own money more efficiently and lower costs as opposed to looking for more ways to make more" - how in the world could others know what other income is available OR how tight someone else's budget is...??

We are, for example, somewhere in the middle of the range you gave.
Do YOU really know if we really could use $XXk more, and if so, whether we'd rather cut back $XXk or do $XXk more consulting?

There is sometimes a lot of judging that goes on here on BH ("nobody needs an X").

BTW: A favorite saying of mine:

Walk a mile in someone's shoes before you judge him.
That way, when you judge him, you'll be a mile away and already have his shoes.

:twisted:

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

bltn
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by bltn » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:19 pm

corn18 wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:54 am
pennylane wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:47 am
corn18 wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:33 pm
I can assure you my much lower paying Navy job I had for 20 years was a LOT more stressful than my current $700k / year job.
What do you do?
I was a Navy fighter pilot. Now I am president of a division of mega corp.
Congratulations. Very impressive pair of jobs.
Your situation is pretty unique.

srt7
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by srt7 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:25 am

remomnyc wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:29 pm
At every opportunity, I have chosen lifestyle. Once I made enough to pay my expenses and save, I chose shorter commute, predictable and reasonable hours, more vacation, and better benefits over more pay. The two main drivers were stress that caused me to sleep poorly and the desire to have a family and to spend time with my family. Even though I left a lot of money on the table over the years, I was still able to retire early. Many of friends and colleagues who chose salary ended up buying bigger homes, second homes, expensive cars, opted for private school, and will likely work a decade or more than I did. They probably think they have a nicer lifestyle than I do, but I can't think of anything more luxurious than owning my time. What's more important to you in the time and stuff continuum?
Brilliant! That's going in my signature (crediting you, of course!)
I can't think of anything more luxurious than owning my time. - remomnyc

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munemaker
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by munemaker » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:33 am

But the way companies and other organizations operate, job satisfaction increases up the salary ladder and stress increases down the ladder.

Victoria
I have found that to be my experience. Down the ladder, you are the ping pong ball. Up the ladder you are the paddle. Which would you rather be?

mak1277
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by mak1277 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:22 am

I think there is a lot of conflating "stress" with "effort" in this thread. Perhaps a higher level job isn't more stressful, but it is almost certainly more effort. Some people would prefer to make a lower (but still high) salary and choose not to expend additional effort in terms of working hours, travel, etc. That's really what we're talking about here, not necessarily stress.

EnjoyIt
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by EnjoyIt » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:41 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:59 pm
EnjoyIt wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:17 pm
There is always more. You can always find ways to spend more money on just about anything. At some point you need to realize that spending more doesn't provide any real value to one's life so why look to earn more? Sure if you make $30k a year and you go up to $80k that is a big deal. But if you make $500k and you can make an extra $50k a year does it really add anything to your life or happiness? Probably not. In fact one will find more value in figuring out how to spend their own money more efficiently and lower costs as opposed to looking for more ways to make more.
I don't think it's appropriate (or helpful) to judge what some extra income will mean to someone else, regardless of their income level (unless it's something truly trivial, such as $10/yr).

None of us can know how a "high income" person (e.g., $500k) is spending or what the obligations are.
It could be anything from gambling it all away, to spending rather than saving, to mostly saving rather than spending, to paying for huge life-long care costs out of pocket for a young family member.
Or said person might have a hefty mortgage, two children in private schools/colleges at mid 5 figures each, and perhaps another child or two in private primary/secondary school, perhaps support needed for elderly parents (maybe on both sides)???
Who knows what their finances are like, and what would "add happiness" or "make life less stressful", etc.

Scale it down, it's like writing that someone who earns $50k wouldn't be affected by an extra $5k... and I think most of us would think that the extra $5k could be used/enjoyed.
(No, it doesn't really scale that way in real life, given baseline needs, but I hope that makes part of my point clear.)

I can't possibly presume to know what adds "real value" to someone else's life, nor could they necessarily predict the same for me.
Who is defining "real value", and for whom?

As for "In fact one will find more value in figuring out how to spend their own money more efficiently and lower costs as opposed to looking for more ways to make more" - how in the world could others know what other income is available OR how tight someone else's budget is...??

We are, for example, somewhere in the middle of the range you gave.
Do YOU really know if we really could use $XXk more, and if so, whether we'd rather cut back $XXk or do $XXk more consulting?

There is sometimes a lot of judging that goes on here on BH ("nobody needs an X").

BTW: A favorite saying of mine:

Walk a mile in someone's shoes before you judge him.
That way, when you judge him, you'll be a mile away and already have his shoes.

:twisted:

RM
Yes, outside of weird and extenuating circumstances (I will repeat for you, outside of weird and extenuating circumstances so not a 100% blanket statement,) if one is having difficulty finding happiness making $250k a year and feel that more money will buy more happiness one has a spending problem and not an income problem. Maybe for that person it is time to re-evaluate their life choices and where they choose to spend and see where cutting back would create more value as opposed to working harder, making more, and being away from their family, friends, and hobbies. Like I said, there are always ways to find and spend more money. $500k in spending is usually an obligation that one chooses and not mandatory (outside of rare and extenuating circumstances.) Sometimes we do it because we think that throwing more and more cash at our kids will somehow make them smarter, happier, or better sports players. Sometimes we do it because we create a lifestyle which is expensive to begin with and have a hard time realizing that most of that lifestyle adds more stress due to upkeep as opposed to joy. Sure an extra $20-or 30k can buy a nicer car or help remodel that kitchen but so what?
BTW, there are tons of research out there on the internet that describe making more than $100k/yr does not buy more happiness.

And BTW, I clearly pointed out that when you are sitting on a low income range that an extra few thousand came make a big difference. That is not the case for those in the top tax brackets.

Lastly, OP already stated that they are not sure if the extra cash is worth it and I am giving them some reasons why.

EnjoyIt
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by EnjoyIt » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:48 am

munemaker wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:33 am
But the way companies and other organizations operate, job satisfaction increases up the salary ladder and stress increases down the ladder.

Victoria
I have found that to be my experience. Down the ladder, you are the ping pong ball. Up the ladder you are the paddle. Which would you rather be?
I think it is a different kind of stress. The higher up the ladder you go, the more responsibility you have and the higher the pressure to succeed on the tasks allotted to you. At the bottom you have to account for one person and one person's tasks which are your own. Your stress is just the job at hand. At the higher tiers you are not only responsible for yourself but you are responsible for everyone below you. The pressure adds up and so does the stress. For example, the CEO of a company is responsible for the entire company, every employee, every product, every sales figure, every news article, everything. That is a lot to sit on one's shoulders hence the high compensation and also the high turnover rate.
mak1277 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:22 am
I think there is a lot of conflating "stress" with "effort" in this thread. Perhaps a higher level job isn't more stressful, but it is almost certainly more effort. Some people would prefer to make a lower (but still high) salary and choose not to expend additional effort in terms of working hours, travel, etc. That's really what we're talking about here, not necessarily stress.
Often times, the higher the income, the more responsibility one has. More responsibility takes its toll via pressure/stress or more hours at work. This is not a 100% statement as every job has it particulars. But in general often times moving up the ladder adds more responsibility not less.

mak1277
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by mak1277 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:52 am

EnjoyIt wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:48 am
munemaker wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:33 am
But the way companies and other organizations operate, job satisfaction increases up the salary ladder and stress increases down the ladder.

Victoria
I have found that to be my experience. Down the ladder, you are the ping pong ball. Up the ladder you are the paddle. Which would you rather be?
I think it is a different kind of stress. The higher up the ladder you go, the more responsibility you have and the higher the pressure to succeed on the tasks allotted to you. At the bottom you have to account for one person and one person's tasks which are your own. Your stress is just the job at hand. At the higher tiers you are not only responsible for yourself but you are responsible for everyone below you. The pressure adds up and so does the stress. For example, the CEO of a company is responsible for the entire company, every employee, every product, every sales figure, every news article, everything. That is a lot to sit on one's shoulders hence the high compensation and also the high turnover rate.
mak1277 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:22 am
I think there is a lot of conflating "stress" with "effort" in this thread. Perhaps a higher level job isn't more stressful, but it is almost certainly more effort. Some people would prefer to make a lower (but still high) salary and choose not to expend additional effort in terms of working hours, travel, etc. That's really what we're talking about here, not necessarily stress.
Often times, the higher the income, the more responsibility one has. More responsibility takes its toll via pressure/stress or more hours at work. This is not a 100% statement as every job has it particulars. But in general often times moving up the ladder adds more responsibility not less.
Completely agree with all of this.

tulsuduke
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by tulsuduke » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:07 pm

munemaker wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:33 am
But the way companies and other organizations operate, job satisfaction increases up the salary ladder and stress increases down the ladder.

Victoria
I have found that to be my experience. Down the ladder, you are the ping pong ball. Up the ladder you are the paddle. Which would you rather be?
These are relevant points. But from OP's perspective,I think it's an issue of same job description, but busier practice, increased hours and weekends.

UncleBogle
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by UncleBogle » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:23 pm

tulsuduke wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:07 pm
munemaker wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:33 am
But the way companies and other organizations operate, job satisfaction increases up the salary ladder and stress increases down the ladder.

Victoria
I have found that to be my experience. Down the ladder, you are the ping pong ball. Up the ladder you are the paddle. Which would you rather be?
These are relevant points. But from OP's perspective,I think it's an issue of same job description, but busier practice, increased hours and weekends.
Exactly.

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mlebuf
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by mlebuf » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:57 pm

remomnyc wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:29 pm
At every opportunity, I have chosen lifestyle. Once I made enough to pay my expenses and save, I chose shorter commute, predictable and reasonable hours, more vacation, and better benefits over more pay.
That sums up the way I chose to live my life. My initial choice was to be an academic because I valued free time and autonomy more than making lots of money. That career morphed into a second career writing books and speaking that brought more freedom, more money and an early retirement. I'm now 76 and look back with no regrets. We can only eat one steak at a time.

Be careful about getting sucked into the psychology of more and becoming owned by your possessions. Decide how much is enough and smell the roses.
Best wishes, | Michael | | Invest your time actively and your money passively.

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jharkin
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by jharkin » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:29 am

mak1277 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:22 am
I think there is a lot of conflating "stress" with "effort" in this thread. Perhaps a higher level job isn't more stressful, but it is almost certainly more effort. Some people would prefer to make a lower (but still high) salary and choose not to expend additional effort in terms of working hours, travel, etc. That's really what we're talking about here, not necessarily stress.
Yes. And I think that there is an inflection point, where the money/effort ratio changes. My experience is in a software company... At the individual contributor levels it’s pretty low stress and low pay. The entry level lead/manager through director levels add significantly more stress, often for very little extra money over an IC. It’s only when you hit Senior VP that you pass the bend point and the bonuses start growing exponentially and you start earning perks like business class air travel.

I know that I am just not executive material and got stuck at the bend where each little step up came with more stress than it’s worth. Good for Victoria and others who made that jump to the executive suite, but they should realize that such jumps are rare and most of us will never even get the chance... going around telling everybody to go for it is not realistic advice.

mak1277
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by mak1277 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:34 am

jharkin wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:29 am
mak1277 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:22 am
I think there is a lot of conflating "stress" with "effort" in this thread. Perhaps a higher level job isn't more stressful, but it is almost certainly more effort. Some people would prefer to make a lower (but still high) salary and choose not to expend additional effort in terms of working hours, travel, etc. That's really what we're talking about here, not necessarily stress.
Yes. And I think that there is an inflection point, where the money/effort ratio changes. My experience is in a software company... At the individual contributor levels it’s pretty low stress and low pay. The entry level lead/manager through director levels add significantly more stress, often for very little extra money over an IC. It’s only when you hit Senior VP that you pass the bend point and the bonuses start growing exponentially and you start earning perks like business class air travel.

I know that I am just not executive material and got stuck at the bend where each little step up came with more stress than it’s worth. Good for Victoria and others who made that jump to the executive suite, but they should realize that such jumps are rare and most of us will never even get the chance... going around telling everybody to go for it is not realistic advice.
I think there's also a point where you make "enough" money and any increase in stress/effort outweighs the marginal utility of incremental salary/bonus/etc.

lostdog
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by lostdog » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:09 am

I was in a very stressful IT job. I got sick and during the recovery time we noticed how very easy it was to live on one income. I am pretty much recovered and I don't ha e to return to the stressful IT job. I have options to do whatever I want now. The wife has the option to go part time to 30 hours and keep insurance.

lostdog
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by lostdog » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:32 am

davidsorensen32 wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:51 pm
Ignore the mumbo jumbo advice. It's very simple. Save every $ you can until you hit $1M in investable assets. Then start living your life. Spend all your cash flow but don't touch the $1M or the dividends (reinvest them). You will do fine.
UncleBogle wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:35 am
I realize that this is a very subjective matter, but after reading one of the threads regarding early retirement, I noticed they recurring theme: Enjoying life while you can (having more time for "living in the sunlight" - hobbies, taking walks, exercising and spending time with family).

I thankfully have a good paying job, but now have the opportunity to take a higher paying job ( 35% more salary, but more stress / less family time). It made me think that if I earned more money up front, this would allow me to achieve retirement earlier - Save more earlier on, and let time work for your funds.

While I realize that this is a personal choice, I was wondering if others out here have grappled with the "take the pain now, and enjoy more life's later" argument?

+1

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fortfun
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by fortfun » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:22 pm

knpstr wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:17 pm
fortfun wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:41 am
Having summers off with the kids is worth a million dollar salary.
I'll have to let my stay-at-home-wife know she has an equivalent 4 million dollar salary.
:D

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JaneyLH
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Re: Salary vs. Lifestyle

Post by JaneyLH » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:30 am

Over a 10-year period, I earned an average of $300k annually. My job was high stress and required long hours and travel, but I enjoyed the achievement. I had a beautiful house and nice car but I ended up losing my husband. At a pivotal time in my career I made the decision to change direction and began working part-time, 3 days per week. I understood I was turning my back on a way of life I could never return to in my mid-40s, but the past 20 years have been wonderful and I know I made the right decision.

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