Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
RW73
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:38 pm

Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by RW73 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:59 pm

We would appreciate advice and suggestions to help us ensure we’ve thought through a major life change we’re considering: I am 75% of the way through a career with a big corporation and considering quitting and going with a smaller company.

Background: I am 47 years old, married (spouse 44) and we have 2 kids. My spouse used to, but does not currently work, but has open offers to teach for about $20k/year.

Both children are teenagers. One of my children is mildly autistic, and the other also has some special needs. We are hopeful that both children can ultimately find jobs and live independently, but that is uncertain.

I am employed with a big corporation. I have been with this company for 25 years. I make a good salary, have a pension, and get a modest amount of restricted stock. I can retire in just over 8 years.

We have saved money very aggressively for 25 years, lived well below our means, and have also been fortunate to inherit cash from a grandparent about a decade ago, which we fortuitously put all in a vanguard stock index in mid-2009. Bottom line, we’ve now got a very sizable investment portfolio. Per IPS, composition is 20% bonds, 80% equities; 25% of portfolio is tax sheltered (IRAs, 401k). About 75% of investments are indexed, rest is lots of individual stocks I bought long time ago and hence have sizable capital gains. We have no debt, no mortgage.

If I were to walk away from current job, I would lose: Pension, Restricted Stock, Medical Plan. If I include Pension and current restricted stock in my net worth, then my pension and current restricted stock amount to about 20% of my current net worth. Continued restricted stock grants could increase the portion of pension/RS to 22% or 23% of net worth in 2026. If I resigned now, my remaining assets produce, after-tax, dividends and interest about 10% above our current all-in living expenses. I have not included house in net worth.

So if you are wondering why I would walk, here’s the missing link: Work/Life balance. I am in a small group that does some specialized, critical, fast-paced work. I’ve been in this group for a little under 4 years, and would be in it for at least 3 to 4 more years, possibly all the way to retirement. The work hours are wearing on me, and my spouse, and my family. I generally work 16 to 17 hours/day during the week (12 at the office, and 4 or 5 more when I get home, sometimes more…maybe a little less on Fridays), and typically about 15 hours on the weekend (trying to cram it all in one day, so I have at least one day off)…not every weekend, but call it 40+ weekends per year. It does fluctuate, and there are a few breathers from time to time, but there are also periods of time (several weeks) that are higher hours (16 to 17+ hours , 7 days per week). I have 15 annual vacation days, but almost always work a few hours every day on vacation (not popular with the family). Everyone in this group puts in essentially the same hours, including my boss…some people are ok with the work hours...some don’t have kids, or are not married.

I’ve always been a very hard worker and never a quitter on anything in life. But the intensity is wearing more and more on me mentally and physically, not to mention on spouse/kids, so I am strongly considering quitting my job and going to one that is about half the hours, and about half the pay.

I’ve worked through a bunch of what if’s….what if a new job doesn’t work out? What would the impact of market crashes be? What would run-up in inflation do? What would a large increase in tax bracket do? All of the above.

I know I’m not the only person, and not in the only line of work, that faces this intensity…so if you have advice, or might have faced a similar situation, your thoughts are much appreciated as we continue to work through the pros/cons. 



PS - when I asked my closest friends/family, about half said “quit today, you’re killing yourself for nothing” and the rest were more along the lines of “don’t be a wimp, tough it out”.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 13822
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by Watty » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:54 pm

RW73 wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:59 pm
I generally work 16 to 17 hours/day during the week (12 at the office, and 4 or 5 more when I get home, sometimes more…maybe a little less on Fridays), and typically about 15 hours on the weekend (trying to cram it all in one day, so I have at least one day off)…not every weekend, but call it 40+ weekends per year. It does fluctuate, and there are a few breathers from time to time, but there are also periods of time (several weeks) that are higher hours (16 to 17+ hours , 7 days per week). I have 15 annual vacation days, but almost always work a few hours every day on vacation (not popular with the family). Everyone in this group puts in essentially the same hours, including my boss…some people are ok with the work hours...some don’t have kids, or are not married.
Many jobs have an occasional crunch but that is insane for more than a limited time.

If this is because the company is in a death spiral then bailing out sooner rather than later might be a good choice.

I have seen situations where people talked to their managers and basically said "no" to unreasonable demands like too much travel and overtime because of family commitments and much to their surprise their manager was OK with that and worked around the limitations. People starting to say "no" may be the catalyst to get more resources for your group.

If the problem is your manager then you might consider discreetly talking to someone higher up if you have some contacts in upper management.

RadAudit
Posts: 3005
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Second star on the right and straight on 'til morning

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by RadAudit » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:59 pm

Do the people telling you not to be a wimp work the same schedule you do?

Instead of wondering what would happen if .... run some numbers and try to figure out how much you need to meet your responsibilities.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The Calvary isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.

nyclon
Posts: 288
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2015 5:30 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by nyclon » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:32 pm

You're not asking if you have enough estate to quit - meaning as you stated, you've done the analysis and yes, you believe you can.

That means the money you'd be giving up by walking away is simply not needed.

There's no glory in working all those hours if you don't need to.

A friend of mine is a physician. The other day he told me that most, if not all, of his terminally ill patients cite one major regret - spending too much time working and not enough time with family. I'll leave it there.

123
Posts: 3627
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by 123 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:39 pm

Your post is silent about whether you have considered or explored alternate positions/departments with your current employer. Is that a possibility? Sometimes employers will discern that they are at risk of losing an employee when they explore other options with the current employer because it suggests that they may be considering external possibilities as well. Sometimes (and just sometimes) employers may attempt to remediate situations to retain an employee, or they may accommodate an internal transfer. You are a valuable asset to your present employer, they don't want to lose you.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

mouses
Posts: 3633
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:24 am

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by mouses » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:48 pm

I had a job like that for a year. Our manager was always promising to hire more staff and never did. I looked, found a better job, and happily left. The only reason I stayed for a year instead of six months is the company had paid major bucks for my moving expenses, temp housing, and I would have had to pay it back if I'd left before then.

You're being taken advantage of. How much if your pension will your family get if you have a heart attack at 50.

mortfree
Posts: 1213
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:06 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by mortfree » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:51 pm

What would happen if you didn’t put in all of those hours?

Are you actively working with your small team for all of those hours or do you work independently? That is would anyone notice.

You’ve been with this company for 25 years with 8 years to go.

I’d see what it would take for them to get rid of you (i.e. stop working so much and see what happens).

I’m also clueless about what you do.

Seems like a work culture issue or headcount issue.

JBTX
Posts: 3899
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:46 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by JBTX » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:33 pm

When I started reading your post, my thought was walking away from those benefits with 2 kids with various issues is a heavy price to pay for a hankering to work for a small company, which you ultimately may not like.

However when I read you are basically working all waking hours, that is something I couldn't do for years.

I'd recommend exhausting all options within the company before bailing. See if there are opportunities that would afford a better work life balance. If not, then by all means leave.

HEDGEFUNDIE
Posts: 631
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:06 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:03 am

I’m guessing you work in corporate development?

If so, could you lateral to Corp Dev Integration or Corp Strategy? Better work life balance and you get to keep your benefits.

m@ver1ck
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:18 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by m@ver1ck » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:26 am

Just stop working those crazy hours. See what happens. Maybe it's just you that has the need to work those crazy hours - and business would still run well enough if you didn't..

RW73
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by RW73 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:40 am

Your comments are much appreciated. I hope additional replies come in to keep my juices thinking.

I have been purposefully vague about what I do - I don’t want to divulge the name of the company, or the group within. I’ll say this much - it’s not a headcount issue and we’re not in trouble. It’s more along the lines of culture - a way we’ve chosen to do some things that we perceive as a strong competitive advantage. After trudging through many years in these assignments, the payoff can be quite nice, so in fact people are trying to get into the group. We all work together and are heavily dependent on each other, so my leaving would cause a hardship (albeit not forever) on my colleagues, and one of them leaving would cause a hardship for me.

I have run LOTS of numbers. I’ve done a lot of analysis myself…..and I’ve worked with my advisors (stress tests, monte carlo, etc). Under a wide range of conditions, we’d be fine. But when multiple things go south (a market crash with inflation spike), we'd need to curtail cash flow a lot....just like anyone under those scenarios.


As I said in the original post, I never been a quitter in life. I take pride in my work and wish I could see it to retirement. That said, the sacrifice is huge and, according to my analysis, unnecessary in most cases.

SoAnyway
Posts: 118
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:49 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by SoAnyway » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:32 am

RW73 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:40 am
I have been purposefully vague about what I do - I don’t want to divulge the name of the company, or the group within. ....
I have run LOTS of numbers. I’ve done a lot of analysis myself…..and I’ve worked with my advisors (stress tests, monte carlo, etc)....
[T]he sacrifice is huge and, according to my analysis, unnecessary in most cases.
OP, there's no need to divulge the company or group or whatever successful strategy it's pursuing. As you say, you've already run lots of numbers, done various analyses, consulted advisors, etc. If you shared the info all y'all are analyzing, maybe we could weigh in and/or pressure-test it. If that's not what you're looking for, I respect that. If that's the case, though, how can we help?
Maybe I'm misreading your post, but it sounds like you're seeking validation for your conclusion in red above that the sacrifice is "unnecessary". Without more info, though, anything we can offer are just uninformed opinions based on limited facts/data, no? :confused

chipperd
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:58 am

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by chipperd » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:30 am

OP:
By my math, and it's a bit rough given you work even more hours some weekends, you are putting in an average of well over 92-94 hours per week. Not sure about commute time that would be added to that. Safe to say this isn't living. You are existing to serve others needs. Have you figured out how much you make per hour? Might be interesting to compare that number to another position you could obtain with a more sane 40 or so hours per week. Either way, I like what another said about having a discussion with your employer and if, as you say the culture of the place would look at you cross eyed, perhaps seeing what else is out there and work less to see how that goes. For many reasons, I just took a position that gives me every Friday and weekend off to see what I do with my time with an eye towards retirement. If you and the family are set for retirement financially, taking a position that reduces your work week to 25-30 hours might be interesting to see what you do with your free time.

Boats day
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:39 am

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by Boats day » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:52 am

UGG .......this sounds more like a prison sentence than a job. :happy

If it were me I would quit. Your body is not meant to work that many hours.

Best of luck
Boat

jminv
Posts: 523
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:58 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by jminv » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:59 am

Those are ridiculous hours to do for an entire career, quit. You have zero work life balance. I say that having done similar hours for a few years. Get some job offers, compare, and make the move.

As far as the pension goes, it's worthless if you work yourself to death beforehand or if you are laid off convienently just shortly before becoming eligible. You can show loyalty, work tirelessly for the good of the company, and be left very bitter in the end with none of it having mattered.

Silverado
Posts: 170
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:07 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by Silverado » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:06 am

I am curious about the pension. You said you would 'lose' it if you leave. You aren't already vested in some amount after 25 years?

What would happen if you simply dialed back the hours? Walk out the door after nine or ten hours. Spend time with the kids on the weekend.

In general, based on the info you have given, it seems you need to get out. I would not concern myself with anyone's opinion except my spouse and kids.

Eta: three weeks vacation after 25 years?????? You should have left 20 years ago.
Last edited by Silverado on Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Elysium
Posts: 1151
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:22 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by Elysium » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:07 am

OP, not directly addressing your question but related: How is your health?

Are you fit, exercising regularly 4-5 hours a week at least, eating healthy, and get to breathe fresh air.

User avatar
Lieutenant.Columbo
Posts: 1161
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2015 9:20 pm
Location: Los Angeles CA

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by Lieutenant.Columbo » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:21 am

Is talking to the team and boss as a group an option? I'd imagine most if not all of the others are going through the same dilemma. Maybe you all could agree to work much less that you all are right now.
Lt. Columbo: Well, what do you know. Here I am talking with some of the smartest people in the world, and I didn't even notice!

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 7629
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:37 am

I have found that employers are universally willing to let employees like you work 24/7 to avoid hiring another person. Stop it! If they won't properly staff up, stuff won't get done. In the middle of my career, I saw myself extending hours like you are and specifically forced myself to stop it. 5:00 came on the clock at work and I would drop what I was doing and go home. No working from home, no coming in on weekends. At meetings, when asked why a task wasn't done, I'd ask what other task could be dropped for me to focus on completing that task. Eventually, they figured it out and hired more people. When I finally did leave, they replaced me with 3 people. I didn't have to quit to limit my time at work. I just had to convince myself that I had to put in the limits. I thought to myself.....if I drop hours, what's the worst they can do? Fire me? Well, how's that any different from me leaving? It isn't.

Don't think the grass is always greener. If you go to a small, private company, personalities of the owners can make for a completely dysfunctional organization.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

Compound
Posts: 608
Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 1:32 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by Compound » Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:42 am

Sounds like:

80 hours/week minimum.
95 hours/week average.
110 hours/week at its worst.

Continuously putting in those kids of hours is inhumane. Particularly with a family in tow. Time to start looking.

Odysseus
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:38 am

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by Odysseus » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:05 am

OP,

When I typically see these types of posts, my first instinct is always that the poster should gut it out and make it to the finish line. You're post was different. That kind of schedule can be done in spurts, but I can't imagine being able to manage that consistently. If I were in your position I would also be seeking an alternative.

I can tell from your post that you're not the type of guy that would consider slacking or trying to run out the clock. Doing so would strain your teammates (and their families) and that would not be a palatable option.

If you think that you could pull off an internal move to a better quality of life that would be optimal at this stage (given how close you are to retirement and pension), but I understand that it may not be realistic to move internally. You might be too high up or specialized to where practically or politically you just couldn't do it.

In short, it's definitely reasonable to make a change (internally, if possible, but also externally). I think you're thinking about this the right way and wish you the best.

student
Posts: 2511
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by student » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:09 am

I understand that you do not want to divulge too much company information but it will be helpful if you tell us your net worth. It makes a difference. If you have $10 millions and you are spending $400k, I would say retire and spend less. If you have $1 million and you are spending $40k, then it is much tougher.
Last edited by student on Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

mouses
Posts: 3633
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:24 am

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by mouses » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:10 am

OP, it is not being a quiter to not let a company take advantage of you. It is, sorry to be blunt, foolish to let the company do so.

sksbog
Posts: 195
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:14 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by sksbog » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:17 am

You mentioned going for a small company. Do you have another employer in mind?
Have you given few interviews to get get insight into market as to how much in demand your skill level is?

Have you compared prospective employers to make sure, they will give you work life balance?

I was in a similar situation 2 years ago and did change the job. Never regretted.

S.

cantos
Posts: 247
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:25 am

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by cantos » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:21 am

RW73 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:40 am

As I said in the original post, I never been a quitter in life. I take pride in my work and wish I could see it to retirement. That said, the sacrifice is huge and, according to my analysis, unnecessary in most cases.
A tough decision my interwebs friend. You've mentioned twice now that you've never been a quitter. Sounds to me like you know what the best thing to do is, but doing so runs up against your identity to this point. To that I say, change is possible and change is good.

Myself, I have quit many things in my life. I like the challenge of new things and I don't see the point in powering through things that no longer have value.

fanmail
Posts: 279
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:54 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by fanmail » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:29 am

student wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:09 am
I understand that you do not want to divulge too much company information but it will be helpful if you tell us your net worth. It makes a difference. If you have $10 millions and you are spending $400k, I would say retire and spend less. If you have $1 million and you are spending $40k, then it is much tougher.
Based on the OP, I would say quit today and don’t look back. Those hours are horrific. I am curious about how golden those handcuffs are and how sizable the portfolio is.

User avatar
Soul.in.Progress
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:24 am

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by Soul.in.Progress » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:34 am

OP, your post is very well written and highly resonated with me. To answer your subject question, yes I would quit. Or alternatively, if I desired health benefits through an employer instead of through the ACA, I would seek a different position within the same company or switch employers or find a part time position. I had some surface similarities to your situation, but I had much less work hours and many more weeks of vacation (all of which I took and turned off all device connectivity when I did so!).

From reading your post I can tell that you have an incredible work ethic and most likely take significant pride in excellence performance. Both of these are virtuous but your employer is taking advantage of you, OR, you have not set appropriate boundaries. Boundaries are healthy but it’s possible that you view them as something negative, such as a weakness, or culturally unacceptable, or morally unacceptable. Perhaps setting boundaries makes you feel guilty, but I learned this the hard way: boundaries were the critical difference between me (my perfectionism tendencies), and people who “managed their careers/bosses and found work/life balance” while still contributing in a “good enough” or “very good” fashion. I also think you framing this as “being a quitter” is not the only way to look at it. It’s your choice to frame it as such, but that doesn’t mean that it is the only way to frame it, you could just say you’re moving on or moving forward to something else, whatever that something may be.

It seems from your post (though there isn’t enough details to verify) that you’ve done an incredible job saving and investing. Your kids are/will grow up fast. You don’t owe anything to this company, 25 years is something to be very proud of! You almost certainly won’t lose your pension, will you? Are you sure you’re not fully vested? I was fully vested in my pension but leaving earlier than their denominator number of years just meant I got a slightly smaller portion, in other words, it just affected the calculation of my pension but not the fact that I would receive it when age-eligible to collect. Please check into that, also look into asking for a FMLA leave of absence (maybe a doctor can say the stress of work hours is affecting your health?, I don’t know if that qualifies for FMLA in general, but I know one person who got it approved that way). While on FMLA, get some rest and then you have the option of returning or you will get clarity that you want a new/different position or if you want to leave working altogether. Best wishes! I left my longtime employer and have not looked back.

ETA: re-read Jack FFR1846’s post. Lots of wisdom in his and all the other responses from posters in this thread.
Start by doing what is necessary; | then do what is possible; | and suddenly you are doing the impossible. | -- Francis of Assisi

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 13822
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by Watty » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:46 am

RW73 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:40 am
After trudging through many years in these assignments, the payoff can be quite nice, so in fact people are trying to get into the group.

If that is the case then I would think that you could basically trade positions with someone that is in a group with rational hours. The payoff might not be so high but you would stand a better chance of surviving to get your pension.


We all work together and are heavily dependent on each other, so my leaving would cause a hardship (albeit not forever) on my colleagues, and one of them leaving would cause a hardship for me.

Regardless of the other factors that is just plain bad management. The reason is that people will have unavoidable things come up that mean that they are suddenly gone from work. I am retired now but when I was working there were at least a half a dozen times when I was called into a group meeting where it was announced that a team member had died, been in a major car accident, giving their notice, or was unexpectedly sick and would be out for the foreseeable future. If all the team members are already giving 250% like you are then there is no way to cover the gap.

It may not be a written formal plan but a good manager will have a contingency plan in case they lose a key employee.



tibbitts
Posts: 7934
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by tibbitts » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:01 am

The OP doesn't need to post company information, but it's pointless to discuss this without personal financial details - income, investments, pension provisions, expenses, etc. Everybody posts those, nobody can comment without them, although I think the schedule is crazy and essentially regardless of those other things the OP should at least just scale back to 40-ish hours and see what happens.

Dave55
Posts: 352
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:51 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by Dave55 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:15 am

The work hours are wearing on me, and my spouse, and my family. I generally work 16 to 17 hours/day during the week (12 at the office, and 4 or 5 more when I get home, sometimes more…maybe a little less on Fridays), and typically about 15 hours on the weekend (trying to cram it all in one day, so I have at least one day off)…not every weekend, but call it 40+ weekends per year.

If the job is interfering with your life (which it sounds like based on your comments above), you ought to leave. I suspect if you don't leave in the near future, you will reach a breaking point and leave then. Those work hours are uncivilized unless it is a startup, you have significant equity and you are in your 20's or 30's. In your 40's working for someone else with those hours, I would be out of there in nano second once I found a better job. Working 80 hours a week does not prove anything to anyone and you are not a wimp if you leave, you are actually quite intelligent to bail.

Dave

NickF
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:18 am

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by NickF » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:58 am

This post resonated with me so much so that i decided to write my first Bogleheads post. I found myself in a similar situation recently, about two months ago. Well, to be honest, the consideration of the situation had gone on for a few months prior to that. I was working a job with an undetermined schedule every day (never knew when i was getting off work, had to work until the work was done). On top of that there was a massive amount of stress related to the job. I was missing a lot of time with my wife and two daughters. Weekends at work were required as well. The general attitude displayed by my employer was that we should consider ourselves fortunate to work there- after all, we had “great” pay, a 401k with decent company match, a pension, and aftordable health insurance. But i started to wonder- was the abuse and stress really worth it? Is this the life i want for my family? Was i able to really be the father and husband i wanted to be? Was this job going to lead to a heart attack some day?

Fortunately for me, one of my good friends (and coworker) was questioning himself at the same time so there were a lot of deep discussions between the two of us. Considering leaving was a scary idea. I Was able to provide for my family and had a secure path to early retirement. Also, i was the last in a long line of family to work for this company- over 135 years of service in the family, so there was also i guess a feeling of upholding a legacy of sorts. The stakes were high, or so it seemed.

In the end, my friend and i both decided leaving was best for both of our families. And as it would turn out, we both got hired by the same company. The new job isn’t perfect- it’s more physical, starts at an early hour, the 401k match is laughable (if the company even decides to match that year), and health insurance is more expensive for less coverage. But.... i have my weekends to spend with my wife and kids, absolutely no work related stress, and most days i get to pick my daughter up at the school bus stop and help her with her homework in the afternoon. You cant put a price on those. I am making more money at the new job which is nice because it helps offset some of the negative aspects of the job, but for me it was more about time. I was chasing time, not money.

I have had to adjust a few things regarding my retirement plan and some other factors, but in my opinion these were minor trade-offs to live a better life. I will never regret the decision i made in leaving my former employer and make it a point to start my day reminding myself of how greatful i am for having made that change. I can sit outside drinking my coffee and watching the sun rise on a saturday morning and wonder what i’m going to do with my kids that day. I can eat dinner with my family. I can see that smile on my daughters face as she runs off the school bus. Life is good.

The hardest part was making the decision to leave. The second hardest part was starting the new job, there were a lot of unknowns. But within a few days i was questioning why i hadn’t done it sooner. It wasn’t really as dramatic as i built it up to be.

I am in no way qualified to recommend what you do in your situation, but this was my experience. the grass truly can be greener on the other side of the fence, it really just depends on what you are willing to sacrifice or trade. I wish you the best in making your decision.

Nick

tim1999
Posts: 3472
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 am

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by tim1999 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:20 am

I'll never understand people willing to work those kinds of hours and have zero life outside of working, unless you are earning like $500k/yr+ and can stick it out for a couple years and then retire permanently. OP is being taken advantage of by their employer, bigtime.

Also like everyone else mentioned, we need more information on the pension, etc. from the OP. I can't believe if OP quits after 25 years at the company that it would be worth zero and OP would never get a dime from it.

15 days vacation after 25 years is pathetic. I've worked at several megacorps and in all of them, 15 days was what people in the 5-10 year tenure period got. You'd also get at least that as a seasoned professional new to the company but with experience elsewhere. People in the 20-25+ year group got 20-25 days plus nobody questioning them if they came in early one morning and then just disappeared for the afternoon.

Katietsu
Posts: 1543
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:48 am

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by Katietsu » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:49 am

As someone about 5 years older than you, I will say that DH and I both feel we peaked around your age as far as the ability to to pull off those heavy workloads for more than a few days at a time. I remember a parent saying the same thing and not really understanding at the time.

So my warning to you is that even though you pobably feel now that you can keep up as well as you ever have for the last couple decades, there is a good chance that you just plain will not be able to do it for another eight years. Best to rearrange your life now for a career situation that will be possible to maintain in your fifties.

RW73
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by RW73 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:00 pm

We didn’t start out early in life with a goal to be extremely wealthy, just comfortable. Most of my working career, the hours were just fine. Then I got tapped to work in this special group. So I didn’t plan to work long hours to get wealthy….rather, I became wealthy, then got this intense job. While our net worth has grown substantially over 2+ decades, we haven’t made big increases to our lifestyle. We mean that in a good way….We’d buy the same (used) car today as we would have 25 years ago, and keep it a long time! That’s yielded:

Current Net Worth ~ $10.5 million (big chunk of unrealized gain)
Current Income ~ $425k salary, $100k bonus (restricted stock)
Current Expenses ~ $200k/yr

About $20k of our current expenses is due to long work hours (help with kids, etc)

Pension ~ $2 million if retired at age 55 (can take lump sum or annuity)
Current Restricted Stock ~ $400k (in total)
Future Restricted Stock ~ $500k (total received over next 8 years)

We gift appreciate stock reducing federal income taxes. I live in Texas, no state tax.

Not included in my assets, but I’ve set up UGMA’s for kids with about $500k each. Have looked into special needs trusts, but not through that analysis yet, may not apply.

I would not lose all of my pension, but most. If I left now, I would get ~15% of my pension, and I could not take a lump sum. I would lose all of the restricted stock, obviously.

My health is probably average or below average for someone my age. I work out some, but not enough. I am definitely sleep deprived with 90+ hour workweek. While I have no data or reason to fear this, I do worry about an abrupt worsening of health.

If I (or anyone else in the work group) cut back hours very much, it would create a rapid logjam, noticeable and unacceptable to senior management. And that is where the golden handcuffs come in….for those that persist through the intensity, hours, and stress, almost all move (leapfrog) to very senior positions where the restricted stock is significantly more (very significantly more right away). The estimate of my future restricted stock above does not assume getting such a huge bump.

I have a couple of connections at other companies, and may not necessarily have to use a recruiter but I do have a retained recruiter with a major executive search firm. I’m in the early stages of working with her discussing things such as making a graceful exit. I could probably replace more than 50% of my income. But, for my analysis and stress test, I’m assume that if I quit I get no further income - I’ve got what I’ve got.

One piece of analysis that I am behind on is the medical plan aspects…I’ve had a company medical plan since 1990s and haven’t paid attention to what alternatives there are. I know I can use my current employer plan for a short period of time, but not for very long. I’ve been trying to find reliable, helpful, detailed info on other options (ideas for websites or resources?). My thinking includes the possibility that I’ve got expenses for one (or both) of my kids for many years to come.

I had one typo in my earlier posts (sorry, sleep deprived....). I get 25 days of vacation. As I mentioned, I (and others on same team) would typically work a lot of our vacations, so 25, 20, 15, 30, not sure it makes a difference....

Golf maniac
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:02 pm
Location: Charlotte NC

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by Golf maniac » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:19 pm

It sounds like a terrible way to live. I agree with some of the posts above, explore leaving the group within the company first, if that doesn’t work out then I would quit. Your kids are only young once and all the assets you have built up are worthless to you if you are 6 feet under. 8 years is a really long time and the health impacts could be too much for your body to take. You know what you need to do, the first step is a leap, but it is a leap to freedom.

Lucien786
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:16 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by Lucien786 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:48 pm

When I read your hours, I said "aw hell no."

Then when I read your net worth, I guffawed out loud.

If you don't leave this job, my only question is: WTF is wrong with you? :)

hmw
Posts: 521
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:44 am

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by hmw » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:50 pm

Question for OP,

How much money is enough? 15 million? 20?

Dave55
Posts: 352
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:51 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by Dave55 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:56 pm

How many Franklins can you fit in your coffin? A good friend of mine once remarked, "On your deathbed you will not have one thought about whether you should have worked harder or longer or achieved X in your career. You thoughts will be on those you loved and shared your life with".

Dave

tarmangani
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:14 am

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by tarmangani » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:16 pm

Quit and it's not even close. This was before I read your followup about your net worth.

Now it's REALLY not even close.

BogleWogle
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:40 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by BogleWogle » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:18 pm

$10.5MM/$200k=52.5 years of expenses covered by current NW

I’d say you’re covered for whatever you want to pursue. The only question is how sizable of a legacy you want to leave for your 2 kids.

Personally, I would cut back hours and see if it really makes a significant difference. I read your most recent post so I understand that this is perceived as unacceptable (at least as you see it).

I would start with the weekend hours and then cut back after hour weekdays. Best case, nothing changes but the hours your working, worst case your employer addresses the issue with you... with your financial standing I think your covered either way.

RW73
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by RW73 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:27 pm

The recent replies are the very same thoughts I’ve had over the past year or two. I got my current assignment about 4 years ago. For the ~20 years prior to that, I was working 40 to 50 hours per week and living a normal life. When I got into this current role, I hung on thinking hours would subside, but they have not, and they will not. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not in my DNA to quit anything, so I’ve struggled with it.

Bottom line, I don’t need/want the money…however, I suspect there is a reasonable chance we need to support one or both kids throughout their life, and I don’t know what costs would be covered and how much they would be….I’ve observed a distant family member who was pretty well off and medical expenses obliterated their savings.

In the event costs to support my kids are large (medical and non-medical), and we went through a severe stock market crash, then perhaps the lesser of evils is hang on 8 more years….

FoolMeOnce
Posts: 248
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:16 am

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by FoolMeOnce » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:30 pm

Walking away from a 14-17 hour/day job is not being a wimp; it is being a human, a parent, a spouse.

It was asked above and maybe I missed a response, but could you move to a less demanding role in the same company to stay for your pension and restricted stock? Even without it, it looks like you do not need it, especially if you are not just retiring but going to a new job that still pays 200k, as I think you indicated.

Get out of your current role. The hardship on your family now is more important than the temporary hardship leaving would cause your coworkers.

User avatar
Watty
Posts: 13822
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:55 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by Watty » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:37 pm

RW73 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:00 pm
My health is probably average or below average for someone my age. I work out some, but not enough. I am definitely sleep deprived with 90+ hour workweek. While I have no data or reason to fear this, I do worry about an abrupt worsening of health.
It would be good to talk to your doctor and have a good physical to get his or her input on what the situation is doing to your health and life expectancy.

Ask what tests they would recommend even if your insurance will not pay for it.
RW73 wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:00 pm
Bottom line, I don’t need/want the money…however, I suspect there is a reasonable chance we need to support one or both kids throughout their life, and I don’t know what costs would be covered and how much they would be….I’ve observed a distant family member who was pretty well off and medical expenses obliterated their savings.
It would be good to talk to an estate planning lawyer to see how much they would suggest setting aside for the kids to put some firm numbers on that.

Slacker
Posts: 576
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 8:40 am

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by Slacker » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:43 pm

We had a family member working those kind of hours for the last several years of their career, but for far less salary and rewards.

They passed away recently due to health complications. I can't help but believe that the work stress was a major contributing factor in their untimely death at 42. They would work 10-12 hour days at the office and continue to work at home for another 4-5 hours. It was rare for them to take a full vacation, I remember them discussing work issues on the phone with coworkers and bosses several times during the holidays.

dknightd
Posts: 703
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:57 am

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by dknightd » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:47 pm

I'd probably look for a new job. Or retire.

RW73
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by RW73 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:50 pm

Re: question of whether I can move to a less demanding role…..

I think the culture and methods at my company are pretty unique, so I’m a bit concerned if I say much more, it will reveal too much.

I can put it this way, there really is no successfully way to move to another job. Moves are carefully planned and executed, so an unexpected move is disruptive and highly frowned upon. There are a few exceptions that management will allow (example a few years ago: a spouse of an employee was offered a high level government position, so company found employee a job in same city)…..those rare exceptions would not apply to me. From my experience watching this happen, most moves would not be approved or even considered, and the few moves that are granted would taint the employee permanently….they would for sure never get restricted stock again, likely never get a raise again, and….the way our system works…..potentially put current restricted stock at risk and possibly be “worked out of the system”……summary: requesting a move very well might yield the same outcome as resigning.

RW73
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by RW73 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:51 pm

My commute is very short, not an issue.

PartIrish
Posts: 38
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by PartIrish » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:04 pm

RW73,

The biggest risk your family faces is your wife having to raise your special needs children without you. Parenting children with special needs is exhausting, and if your work stress kills or disables you early, your family will suffer for decades. The resources you have accumulated are by magnitude sufficient to provide a comfortable life as well as financial resources for your children, should they need them in adulthood.

Your circumstances would seem to indicate that your wife largely carries the parenting load. Imagine how much easier and healthier it would be for her if you could share some of that load. Leaving this job isn't quitting; it is recalibrating your priorities.

student
Posts: 2511
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by student » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:09 pm

Now that you have posted the numbers, please retire and enjoy life.

User avatar
camillus
Posts: 476
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:55 pm

Re: Considering Quitting Job - Seeking Advice. Would you do it?

Post by camillus » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:17 pm

If quitting is on the table then getting fired could (should?) be on the table too.

How about having a conversation with your manager saying that you need to reduce your hours to 50/wk or whatever number is doable for you.

If you get fired, you don't want to work there anyways. Plain and simple.

I would not trade 8 years of my life for a marginal gain in luxury.

Personally, I would be long retired.

Post Reply