For those who got out of tech industry (voluntarily or involuntarily)..

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Barkingsparrow
Posts: 277
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2017 6:09 pm

Re: For those who got out of tech industry (voluntarily or involuntarily)..

Post by Barkingsparrow »

I've been in the tech industry for over 35 years. I hit the wall about 4 years ago with severe burnout and was fortunate enough to transition into a different role - which was fun and challenging for a while. Last year however, we had a major re-org to IT and it has resulted in a bloated and inefficient org with a lot of politics and red tape taking a lot of the fun out of the job. I've been fortunate in my career - I've never been laid off - and I've only worked for 3 companies all these years. My plan is to hang in through the end of 2021 and then retire - assuming I'm not shoved out before then.
APX32
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat May 27, 2017 1:22 pm

Re: For those who got out of tech industry (voluntarily or involuntarily)..

Post by APX32 »

I currently work for one of the FAANGs, started my career out of college with another back in 2000, so 20 years total in the industry. I’m 43 now, my plan is to be FI by 50, so my exit strategy is about 7 years away. Saving like crazy at the moment. If I can achieve that, I’ll be playing with house money should I decide to continue working beyond 50.

I love my job and I have managed to transition from application development to cloud/machine learning/big data over the past 5 years. This has put me in a pretty good position in terms of employability and value to the organization. These are fairly new areas with lots of growth ahead and you can’t just outsource this work or expect to bring younger, cheaper workers to replace you, at least not yet. Everyone in my immediate engineering team as well as the larger engineering organization is in their 30s and 40s.

So I’ve probably bought myself some time to hopefully complete my exit plan. I’m well aware of age discrimination in high-tech once you reach 50 and I want to have complete control of the situation.
20% SPY | 12% GLD | 68% Cash
Topic Author
JD2775
Posts: 619
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:47 pm

Re: For those who got out of tech industry (voluntarily or involuntarily)..

Post by JD2775 »

APX32 wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:39 pm I currently work for one of the FAANGs, started my career out of college with another back in 2000, so 20 years total in the industry. I’m 43 now, my plan is to be FI by 50, so my exit strategy is about 7 years away. Saving like crazy at the moment. If I can achieve that, I’ll be playing with house money should I decide to continue working beyond 50.

I love my job and I have managed to transition from application development to cloud/machine learning/big data over the past 5 years. This has put me in a pretty good position in terms of employability and value to the organization. These are fairly new areas with lots of growth ahead and you can’t just outsource this work or expect to bring younger, cheaper workers to replace you, at least not yet. Everyone in my immediate engineering team as well as the larger engineering organization is in their 30s and 40s.

So I’ve probably bought myself some time to hopefully complete my exit plan. I’m well aware of age discrimination in high-tech once you reach 50 and I want to have complete control of the situation.
Thanks. Curious to your situation...you have been working in the industry for 20 years, how many of those years were you diligent about saving? You work for one of the FAANG companies so I am assuming a pretty solid salary. Do you have kids? House? Could you have technically retired already if you saved more earlier? Just curious on stuff like this. OP here, late to the game as far as saving goes but playing catch up now and curious as to others paths
visualguy
Posts: 2086
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:32 am

Re: For those who got out of tech industry (voluntarily or involuntarily)..

Post by visualguy »

APX32 wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:39 pm I currently work for one of the FAANGs, started my career out of college with another back in 2000, so 20 years total in the industry. I’m 43 now, my plan is to be FI by 50, so my exit strategy is about 7 years away. Saving like crazy at the moment. If I can achieve that, I’ll be playing with house money should I decide to continue working beyond 50.

I love my job and I have managed to transition from application development to cloud/machine learning/big data over the past 5 years. This has put me in a pretty good position in terms of employability and value to the organization. These are fairly new areas with lots of growth ahead and you can’t just outsource this work or expect to bring younger, cheaper workers to replace you, at least not yet. Everyone in my immediate engineering team as well as the larger engineering organization is in their 30s and 40s.

So I’ve probably bought myself some time to hopefully complete my exit plan. I’m well aware of age discrimination in high-tech once you reach 50 and I want to have complete control of the situation.
Interesting - I find that folks in the new areas that you mentioned (cloud, machine learning, big data) are actually on the younger side with relatively recent degrees. The older ones typically lack the relevant training and experience unless they somehow picked it up later on, and they need to compete with younger people who focused on these areas when getting their degrees, doing their internships, etc.
Billionaire
Posts: 339
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:05 pm

Re: For those who got out of tech industry (voluntarily or involuntarily)..

Post by Billionaire »

I retired in 2018 after spending 27 years in IT. The majority of the time was supporting SAP modules. The company I spent the most time with had so much custom code in place, there was no way they could get rid of me. If they ever considered out sourcing the work, it was short lived. When a production problem occurred it needed to be fixed ASAP. I'd heard all about ageism and obsolete skills, but I managed to work until I was 62. I would have stayed, but the people were exhausting.
APX32
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat May 27, 2017 1:22 pm

Re: For those who got out of tech industry (voluntarily or involuntarily)..

Post by APX32 »

JD2775 wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:45 pm
APX32 wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:39 pm I currently work for one of the FAANGs, started my career out of college with another back in 2000, so 20 years total in the industry. I’m 43 now, my plan is to be FI by 50, so my exit strategy is about 7 years away. Saving like crazy at the moment. If I can achieve that, I’ll be playing with house money should I decide to continue working beyond 50.

I love my job and I have managed to transition from application development to cloud/machine learning/big data over the past 5 years. This has put me in a pretty good position in terms of employability and value to the organization. These are fairly new areas with lots of growth ahead and you can’t just outsource this work or expect to bring younger, cheaper workers to replace you, at least not yet. Everyone in my immediate engineering team as well as the larger engineering organization is in their 30s and 40s.

So I’ve probably bought myself some time to hopefully complete my exit plan. I’m well aware of age discrimination in high-tech once you reach 50 and I want to have complete control of the situation.
Thanks. Curious to your situation...you have been working in the industry for 20 years, how many of those years were you diligent about saving? You work for one of the FAANG companies so I am assuming a pretty solid salary. Do you have kids? House? Could you have technically retired already if you saved more earlier? Just curious on stuff like this. OP here, late to the game as far as saving goes but playing catch up now and curious as to others paths
Sure, let me try answer your question as best as I can.

I started saving from the moment I got that my first job. I was reasonably educated in terms of finances, so I immediately opened a Roth IRA (they were fairly new at the time) and signed up for the company 401k plan. I still lost a good chunk during the dotcom crash, but learned some good lessons and kept saving.

There were some years where I couldn’t fund the Roth and only contributed the 6% to the 401k to get the match. This was due some financial challenges as I bought a house, went thru a divorce, but I have caught up nicely by maxing everything the past 6 years or so.

I’m currently single, own my house, and pretty happy with where I’ve ended up. I never lived above my means, but didn’t live frugally either. I’ve always driven nice cars (I’m a car guy), travelled and taken vacations every year, and made great memories. It’s entirely possible that I could be ready to retire now or even earlier had I done a few things differently, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So always diligent about saving, but have gone into overdrive lately and will look to keep that going for a few more years.
20% SPY | 12% GLD | 68% Cash
APX32
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat May 27, 2017 1:22 pm

Re: For those who got out of tech industry (voluntarily or involuntarily)..

Post by APX32 »

visualguy wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:52 pm
APX32 wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:39 pm I currently work for one of the FAANGs, started my career out of college with another back in 2000, so 20 years total in the industry. I’m 43 now, my plan is to be FI by 50, so my exit strategy is about 7 years away. Saving like crazy at the moment. If I can achieve that, I’ll be playing with house money should I decide to continue working beyond 50.

I love my job and I have managed to transition from application development to cloud/machine learning/big data over the past 5 years. This has put me in a pretty good position in terms of employability and value to the organization. These are fairly new areas with lots of growth ahead and you can’t just outsource this work or expect to bring younger, cheaper workers to replace you, at least not yet. Everyone in my immediate engineering team as well as the larger engineering organization is in their 30s and 40s.

So I’ve probably bought myself some time to hopefully complete my exit plan. I’m well aware of age discrimination in high-tech once you reach 50 and I want to have complete control of the situation.
Interesting - I find that folks in the new areas that you mentioned (cloud, machine learning, big data) are actually on the younger side with relatively recent degrees. The older ones typically lack the relevant training and experience unless they somehow picked it up later on, and they need to compete with younger people who focused on these areas when getting their degrees, doing their internships, etc.
I’m not familiar with the Computer Science curriculum at the universities today. We held two college recruiting/hiring events the last two years, and while we interviewed some solid candidates, they didn’t quite have the experience we were looking for, especially with big data and cloud services. But we recommended hire for a number of folks who ended up elsewhere in the company.

I admit my particular organization is primarily made up of principals and seniors, and I came here at the right time about five years ago and got an opportunity to learn some of these new technologies at their infancy.
20% SPY | 12% GLD | 68% Cash
Topic Author
JD2775
Posts: 619
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:47 pm

Re: For those who got out of tech industry (voluntarily or involuntarily)..

Post by JD2775 »

APX32 wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:01 pm
JD2775 wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:45 pm
APX32 wrote: Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:39 pm I currently work for one of the FAANGs, started my career out of college with another back in 2000, so 20 years total in the industry. I’m 43 now, my plan is to be FI by 50, so my exit strategy is about 7 years away. Saving like crazy at the moment. If I can achieve that, I’ll be playing with house money should I decide to continue working beyond 50.

I love my job and I have managed to transition from application development to cloud/machine learning/big data over the past 5 years. This has put me in a pretty good position in terms of employability and value to the organization. These are fairly new areas with lots of growth ahead and you can’t just outsource this work or expect to bring younger, cheaper workers to replace you, at least not yet. Everyone in my immediate engineering team as well as the larger engineering organization is in their 30s and 40s.

So I’ve probably bought myself some time to hopefully complete my exit plan. I’m well aware of age discrimination in high-tech once you reach 50 and I want to have complete control of the situation.
Thanks. Curious to your situation...you have been working in the industry for 20 years, how many of those years were you diligent about saving? You work for one of the FAANG companies so I am assuming a pretty solid salary. Do you have kids? House? Could you have technically retired already if you saved more earlier? Just curious on stuff like this. OP here, late to the game as far as saving goes but playing catch up now and curious as to others paths
Sure, let me try answer your question as best as I can.

I started saving from the moment I got that my first job. I was reasonably educated in terms of finances, so I immediately opened a Roth IRA (they were fairly new at the time) and signed up for the company 401k plan. I still lost a good chunk during the dotcom crash, but learned some good lessons and kept saving.

There were some years where I couldn’t fund the Roth and only contributed the 6% to the 401k to get the match. This was due some financial challenges as I bought a house, went thru a divorce, but I have caught up nicely by maxing everything the past 6 years or so.

I’m currently single, own my house, and pretty happy with where I’ve ended up. I never lived above my means, but didn’t live frugally either. I’ve always driven nice cars (I’m a car guy), travelled and taken vacations every year, and made great memories. It’s entirely possible that I could be ready to retire now or even earlier had I done a few things differently, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So always diligent about saving, but have gone into overdrive lately and will look to keep that going for a few more years.
Makes perfect sense. Thank you for sharing!
dknightd
Posts: 2331
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:57 am

Re: For those who got out of tech industry (voluntarily or involuntarily)..

Post by dknightd »

JD2775 wrote: Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:30 pm where did you go?

I started late in tech (about 37 years old) and am currently 44 years old and I have a feeling I won't be doing this kind of work at 60-65. I want to plan some exit strategy for sometime mid-50's (if its not "planned" for me before than). Not sure where I would look though, and I am pretty sure wherever I went I would take a pay cut. That is why I am saving as much as I can in these current years.

I am just curious what others have transitioned into from the tech industry...
I was in the education industry, but more on the computer end of it.
"tech industry" could be many things. I'm going to assume computer related.
I do not know what your current work is. I do not know why you think you need an exit strategy.
As you grow older, and perhaps lazier, you learn how to leverage your skills and experience.
I've known people who went into sales. Or system design. I've known others who kept updating their skills and kept doing what they were doing till they decided to retire. The latter takes more work, you have to be productive, and at the same time essentially go to school. Some go into management.
Some people can work as hard at 70 as they could at 30. And want to keep doing it. Some people slow down with age. I was in the latter group. So I saved enough so I could retire at 61 and still have about the same spending money as I did while I was working.
To me it seems premature for a 44 year old to be looking for an exit strategy. You should be reaching your prime earning years, and thinking about how to advance your career. Think about an exit when you can afford it.
If you value a bird in the hand, pay off the loan. If you are willing to risk getting two birds (or none) from the market, invest the funds.
VaR
Posts: 723
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2015 11:27 pm

Re: For those who got out of tech industry (voluntarily or involuntarily)..

Post by VaR »

JD2775 wrote: Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:30 pm where did you go?

I started late in tech (about 37 years old) and am currently 44 years old and I have a feeling I won't be doing this kind of work at 60-65. I want to plan some exit strategy for sometime mid-50's (if its not "planned" for me before than). Not sure where I would look though, and I am pretty sure wherever I went I would take a pay cut. That is why I am saving as much as I can in these current years.

I am just curious what others have transitioned into from the tech industry...
So you've spent 7 years "in tech" and "have a feeling" you won't be working "in tech" 20 years from now.

In order to provide a higher quality answer, it might help to know:
1. What field were you working before you started in tech?
2. What specific area of technology do you work in?
3. What kind of company do you work for? Is their business SaaS? How does technology support their business model?
4. Do you like what you're doing? What don't you like about what you are doing? What are the favorite parts of your job?

I graduated with a CS degree over thirty years ago and spent my entire career in various service industries engineering software systems that re-engineer or enhance critical business processes (i.e., the unexciting nuts and bolts of developing business software). In this I have onboarded and offboarded developers at various stages of their careers. I wouldn't say that I've been an ageist, but I have been pretty brutal with developers who either aren't very good or haven't kept up with modern industry practices. I'd say that the developers who have done best both have a knack (and mind) for it and also have the enthusiasm to make the effort to do a great job.

Find something that you like doing that you're great at. Figure out how to make a living at it.
Post Reply