Not sure what to do

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max12377
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Not sure what to do

Post by max12377 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:47 pm

Esteemed Bogleheads-

I find myself in a situation at work that is causing me a lot of stress and sleepless nights. I am single, in my early 50's, rent, and have about 1.6 million - 450K in a taxable account. I have started looking for another job but I really want to get out now as there is more stress coming in the foreseeable future. I won't necessarily go into the details of why I want to leave but assume for the sake of this post that most rational people would do the same if they were able. I hope to hit 2 million before I officially retire. My job prospects are reasonably good and I am not limited geographically if I need to move to another state to find work. For the time being I think I can keep my expenses under 48K/yr which is a 3 percent withdrawal rate. (I track my budget on MINT and would have to add healthcare when I leave)

I hear a lot of horror stories about people in their 50's not finding other jobs so that scares me a little. On the flip side, life is too short to "suck it up" and stay at a job where you're not happy and it could possibly affect your health if you stay.

Anyone been in this situation ? I'd love to take a sabbatical for 3 months if I could just to regenerate. I've been at this current job for a long time but the culture is becoming toxic and I'd rather move on.

Max

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JoeRetire
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by JoeRetire » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:55 pm

max12377 wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:47 pm
Anyone been in this situation ? I'd love to take a sabbatical for 3 months if I could just to regenerate. I've been at this current job for a long time but the culture is becoming toxic and I'd rather move on.
Since you are looking for a job, I'm assuming that you want to work, not retire. I always advise that folks find their next job before leaving their current job. That's what I always did.

Only you can know how risky it would be to take a sabbatical for 3 months at your age in your field. In some fields, it would be fine. In other fields you might as well plan on finding a new work domain on your return.

If you can't find a new job rather quickly now, why would you think it would be easy after taking 3 months off? If you take this route be ready to explain to a hiring manager why you won't get burned out in your new job and decide to quit again.
Last edited by JoeRetire on Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Very Stable Genius

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AerialWombat
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by AerialWombat » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:56 pm

max12377 wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:47 pm
Esteemed Bogleheads-

I find myself in a situation at work that is causing me a lot of stress and sleepless nights. I am single, in my early 50's, rent, and have about 1.6 million - 450K in a taxable account. I have started looking for another job but I really want to get out now as there is more stress coming in the foreseeable future. I won't necessarily go into the details of why I want to leave but assume for the sake of this post that most rational people would do the same if they were able. I hope to hit 2 million before I officially retire. My job prospects are reasonably good and I am not limited geographically if I need to move to another state to find work. For the time being I think I can keep my expenses under 48K/yr which is a 3 percent withdrawal rate. (I track my budget on MINT and would have to add healthcare when I leave)

I hear a lot of horror stories about people in their 50's not finding other jobs so that scares me a little. On the flip side, life is too short to "suck it up" and stay at a job where you're not happy and it could possibly affect your health if you stay.

Anyone been in this situation ? I'd love to take a sabbatical for 3 months if I could just to regenerate. I've been at this current job for a long time but the culture is becoming toxic and I'd rather move on.

Max
Are you looking for permission? Poof, you have it. Just quit and go. You have money, and we could all die tomorrow.
“Life doesn’t come with a warranty.” -Michael LeBoeuf

delamer
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by delamer » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:01 pm

Sorry about your work situation.

If you decide to leave your current job, you can continue your health insurance under the COBRA for 18 months.

You’d have to pay the entire premium plus a 2% administrative fee.

But that would give you some breathing room to figure out what’s next.

All that said, I agree with JoeRetire that it is easier to find a new job while you still are employed.

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GerryL
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by GerryL » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:06 pm

max,
I write as someone who, on numerous occasions, quit a job with no new job lined up to move across the country or even to another country … when I was young.
I always landed on my feet, and the experiences are part of what formed me. But a period of unemployment in my 40s made me realize that the world can be more generous and forgiving to a young person who operates like that.
The fact that you rent gives you the flexibility to try something or someplace new. That's a plus. Your significant savings are also a plus. Your age? Not so much. You may find the 3-month sabbatical you have planned turning into 18 months of unemployment. Or more.
My advice would be to do some serious networking before you quit. I'm a big believer in networking whatever the circumstances, but in this case it will give you a feel for how your plans sound to others, including people who might be able to offer you a job or, at least, refer you to someone who might be hiring. Also, having a plan to move on may give you the mental fortitude to hang onto the paycheck for a bit longer.

That's my $0.02.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by ThankYouJack » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:09 pm

Sure it’s easier to find a job when you have a job but I think you have 1.6 million reasons to quit. Best of luck to you with whatever you decide.

7eight9
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by 7eight9 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:12 pm

At 53 I've been out of work for 5.5 months with no real prospects. Some interviews (phone/Skype) but right now I've been turned down by all that I've spoken with. Company was sold. There was plenty of advance notice but the sale itself came down to the wire (on again and off again and then back on again etc.). If you left before the sale you didn't receive the stay-put etc. Only one person jumped ship prior to the sale. Obviously I stayed. However, if I don't find a job before the end of the year that will start looking like the wrong decision financially. I didn't think it would be this difficult. That said, since you are open to relocation things may be easier for you. Best of luck in your decision.
I guess it all could be much worse. | They could be warming up my hearse.

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max12377
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by max12377 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:19 pm

Yes, to clarify I am not ready to retire. I enjoy what I do for a living but I’d rather do it somewhere other than where I work now. I do have connections that may be able to hire me in the future but that’s not a given.

Thank you so much for the feedback so far. Gives me food for thought. I know there is no “right” answer. I have a couple interviews already lined up but I need to accelerate my search. It’s hard to do when you come home stressed and exhausted.

HomeStretch
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by HomeStretch » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:19 pm

Agree that it is much easier to find your next job while still employed. I see friends in their 50s not finding comparable jobs easily.

Can you take a few weeks vacation while you job search?

Olemiss540
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by Olemiss540 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:27 pm

HomeStretch wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:19 pm
Agree that it is much easier to find your next job while still employed. I see friends in their 50s not finding comparable jobs easily.

Can you take a few weeks vacation while you job search?
Great suggestion. One week away from the stress packed environment as well as time to dig deep into opportunities may be perfect to reset the brain.

Before quitting, is there any opportunity with the existing management to let them know you need to cut back to part time or shelve some of your existing responsibilities? I know how stress can take over your brain and ensure you are unable to focus. Just do what's right for your health and I am sure you will be fine in the end thanks to your wonderful nest egg!
I hold index funds because I do not overestimate my ability to pick stocks OR stock pickers.

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max12377
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by max12377 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:32 pm

Thank you so much for your responses !

It may be difficult to get a couple weeks vacation because of the volume of work and the hard deadlines approaching. That said, I already have a ton of unused vacation and I may be losing it if I don’t use it. I have always been a hard worker but the circumstances have transpired that really crushed my motivation. We are understaffed and I am relied upon heavily.

I can certainly try to get a couple weeks. Even a week would help if just to give me more time to look for that next job.

LISD
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by LISD » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:38 pm

My neighbor (60 years old) quit her job and was sure she would get another right away. It took her over 1.5 years, and when she did find a job it was part-time at a much lower hourly wage.

Why not just update your resume (how long could it take?) and send it out and see if you get any bites? If you do, take a couple days off for the inteview(s). If you get an offer you like, negotiate, accept, and quit your current job with 30 days notice. Done!

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whodidntante
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by whodidntante » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:50 pm

I have no idea what your situation is, but it sounds like you are enabling the situation. You've been at the job for a "long time" but can't definitely take two weeks? Yes, you can! You're just letting other people set your priorities. You are on your time with everyone and they only have the power you grant them. That power should be based on mutual respect or shared goals.

What are they going to do if you decide to definitely take two weeks or a month off? Fire you? You don't want the job anyway. And they'll probably pay a decent severance package if you sign an agreement that you will not sue.

aristotelian
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by aristotelian » Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:55 pm

I don't understand what you mean by "1.6 million -- 450K in taxable account". Does that mean you have $1.6M total?

You sound miserable. Someone with your kind of money should not feel stressed about work. You can walk away today and you will be fine.

Even if you never get hired back at your current level, surely you could do some consulting on the side to supplement your investment income. Worst case scenario, you can work at Starbucks or driving Uber or whatever you would find low stress and enjoyable.

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max12377
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by max12377 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:11 pm

Resume already updated. Got a few bites and interviews upcoming. I can tough it out but it’s not going to be easy. Sorry I am being a bit generic but you never know who reads these boards.

I have considered the “what’s the worst they can do, fire you”. I think you are right about me enabling the situation. I have a lot of responsibility and I have a hard time disconnecting. If my work suffers I feel bad. That said, I have been demotivated by some recent events and am trying to recover from the setback. I hate feeling demotivated as it’s not my nature. Hence the search for a new job with a more positive culture.

Yes 1.6M total. I was thinking that having that banked would make the decision to walk away easier. It’s still not easy but yes, I have given lots of thought to Starbucks and a low stress transition.

Murgatroyd
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by Murgatroyd » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:15 pm

I’ve always felt I could put up with most anything for a year or two. Actually done it a couple of times. Made my last job change at 52. Called it a career at 61.

Here’s my comment, if you can put up with the crap for a year while you’re job hunting then give it a try. If you find something, great. It’ll probably be your last job. If not, you’ve saved for another year and enhanced your retirement savings.

Stipe
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by Stipe » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:21 pm

Well I feel for you...in the same situation, mega Corp gone mad...shame...
But I spoke with my conservative financial advisor on Friday and she was like..um...you can walk away and be fine...
I am 48, single...2.4m nw.
Thinking REI or Patagonia as my encore.
Good luck and be ok with whatever you decide.
Life is short for sure.

Cyanide123
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by Cyanide123 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:27 pm

max12377 wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:47 pm
Esteemed Bogleheads-

I find myself in a situation at work that is causing me a lot of stress and sleepless nights. I am single, in my early 50's, rent, and have about 1.6 million - 450K in a taxable account. I have started looking for another job but I really want to get out now as there is more stress coming in the foreseeable future. I won't necessarily go into the details of why I want to leave but assume for the sake of this post that most rational people would do the same if they were able. I hope to hit 2 million before I officially retire. My job prospects are reasonably good and I am not limited geographically if I need to move to another state to find work. For the time being I think I can keep my expenses under 48K/yr which is a 3 percent withdrawal rate. (I track my budget on MINT and would have to add healthcare when I leave)

I hear a lot of horror stories about people in their 50's not finding other jobs so that scares me a little. On the flip side, life is too short to "suck it up" and stay at a job where you're not happy and it could possibly affect your health if you stay.

Anyone been in this situation ? I'd love to take a sabbatical for 3 months if I could just to regenerate. I've been at this current job for a long time but the culture is becoming toxic and I'd rather move on.

Max

You have plenty of money. You could retire today and live cheaply in the Caribbean or something if you wanted.

My dad had job offers at 60 when he moved back to the States and that was in 2009-2010, the height of the economy collapse.

Why be miserable? If you hate work, look for something different and less stressful even if it's a pay cut.

tibbitts
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by tibbitts » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:33 pm

Stipe wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:21 pm
Well I feel for you...in the same situation, mega Corp gone mad...shame...
But I spoke with my conservative financial advisor on Friday and she was like..um...you can walk away and be fine...
I am 48, single...2.4m nw.
Thinking REI or Patagonia as my encore.
Good luck and be ok with whatever you decide.
Life is short for sure.
Everybody says they think they'd like working retail in one of their areas of interest. My guess is that will last exactly as long as it takes the first 18-year-old to tell you you can't take a bathroom break.

Stipe
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by Stipe » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:42 pm

That’s too funny....

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Watty
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by Watty » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:45 pm

max12377 wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:47 pm
and have about 1.6 million - 450K in a taxable account.
......
For the time being I think I can keep my expenses under 48K/yr which is a 3 percent withdrawal rate. (I track my budget on MINT and would have to add healthcare when I leave)
You will also get Social Security some day. You can get the estimates on the Social Security web site but be sure to change the defaults to specify that you would stop working this year.

Even if you got a part time "fun" job in a different field having a thousand dollars a month income would help your numbers. There have been posts by people that did seasonal work at places like ski resorts for some income and have a job they enjoyed.
delamer wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:01 pm
If you decide to leave your current job, you can continue your health insurance under the COBRA for 18 months.
A some small companies are not required to offer COBRA.

A few states have extended COBRA to 36 months but they may call it something different after the first 18.

In rare cases if you are fired for some sort of gross misconduct you may not be eligible for COBRA.
delamer wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:01 pm
All that said, I agree with JoeRetire that it is easier to find a new job while you still are employed.
I agree with that and it can make a difference especially in the salary offers you might get.

Staying can also backfire on you and make it harder to get your next job though is something happens like you get fired or you are in the middle of a project that is a big fiasco.

If the project is a fiasco then you might be seen as being the cause of it instead of a victim of the situation. Saying that you left early because you saw all the problems and the company was not open to your suggestions on how to improve the situation might come off better in some situations.

I don't know what you should do but you have lots of viable options.

NewMoneyMustBeSmart
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by NewMoneyMustBeSmart » Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:08 pm

max12377 wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 7:19 pm
Yes, to clarify I am not ready to retire. I enjoy what I do for a living but I’d rather do it somewhere other than where I work now. I do have connections that may be able to hire me in the future but that’s not a given.

Thank you so much for the feedback so far. Gives me food for thought. I know there is no “right” answer. I have a couple interviews already lined up but I need to accelerate my search. It’s hard to do when you come home stressed and exhausted.
You should watch the movie Office Space and take it to heart.

johnra
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by johnra » Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:08 pm

Since one way or another you will be leaving your current job, take time off now and look around. You are most competitive to be hired by someone else while still employed--shop around, find out your marketability, and you might found a few great opportunities. This way, you are in a good position to negotiate. Then leave your old job with a strong finish, all the stronger because you have your exit strategy.

I did this at age 58 and found to my surprise that I was very marketable, got 3 really great offers, and took one that has turned out to be my dream job...and though liberated, I left the old job on a good note.

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tennisplyr
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by tennisplyr » Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:51 am

Take a break and leave your job. With freedom you can relax and look at your life more rationally. Through layoffs I was out of work a fair amount in my fifties and even got a Fortune 500 job at 58. Ultimately retired at 61, that was 8 years ago. Life's too short...you know your company wouldn't miss you for a minute, so take control of your own life.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

MJS
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by MJS » Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:24 am

You have weeks of vacation, so consider taking Fridays and some Thursdays off for the rest of the year. (Don't answer phone, text or email!) If your employer can't let you take even a little time, then at least get a 5% raise since you're so valuable. Your employer is going to push until you push back.

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max12377
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Re: Not sure what to do

Post by max12377 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:46 pm

Thank you everyone. I am much closer to a decision now. Life IS too short. Maybe this will be my “practice” retirement or maybe it will be the real one - time will tell. I have many connections in the industry I’m in and many have reached out already to let me know that they will absolutely take me on when the opportunity presents itself. I think it’s time for my, ahem, sabbatical :sharebeer

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