Life advice from ungrateful?

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levocap
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Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by levocap »

Need some life advice from wise souls on this board.
Early 40s, married w/2 kids (9,4) living in the suburbs of Boston.  NW is 4.5m including home w/o mortgage ~700k.  Annual spend $120k, Pre-tax earnings ~ $300k between my wife and myself.

My question is this.  I have been feeling really bored at my job and somewhat annoyed that I have to listen to a manager who doesn't know much but pretty much leaves me alone to do what I want most of the time.   I know I can make more money (perhaps 2-3x time more)at a different firm but would most likely have to work harder and follow more directions (hopefully from someone who knows what they are doing).  But this also doesn't really interest me as I feel like more money will not necessarily make my life any better/richer.  I do sometimes feel unfulfilled when I see contemporaries of mine taking bigger, more prestigious jobs.  I feel like these are roles that I could have gotten if I put in more work and presented myself better...but I just don't have the motivation to do it.  I already don't have ways to spend my money because I have always LBYM and avoid purchasing things I don't really need.

I have a few "hobbies" like cooking, doing DIY home/auto Maint but not interested enough to make these side gigs.  I also recently had to manage my aging parents as they are running into some age-related health issues...meaning I have to do all the research, talk to medical providers, set up appts and pay for some stuff.

My goal is to put these kids thru school, move to LCOL in 15yrs when kids are out of the house and do "something" in the new area that I move to.  I will also be late 50s by then so prob won't be easy to get hired.  But then, I prob will have close to $10m by then so what do I care.  

I know this is not a typical profile but would like to get advice from people who have been in similar situations and what they wished they did if they can do it all over again.  Thanks guys and happy Friday 


  
lakpr
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by lakpr »

With a $4.5M net worth, and annual expenses of $144k, your annual withdrawal rate is just about 3.5%.
That's a safe withdrawal rate that's guaranteed to last at least 30 years, according to studies.

In other words, you are financially independent. You can retire now if you want, with no significant drop in your lifestyle.

The only gamble here is health care expenses. They seem to be totally out of control, and in the absence of employer-provided coverage, has the potential to seriously derail early retirement. If you can accept a lower paying job but one that would provide decent health insurance coverage, it will be a great solution to your issues.

If you move to a LCOL area as you suggest, you can make your nest egg go even farther.
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Sandtrap
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by Sandtrap »

May Nots:

Double your NW to 10 million in 15 years.
Able to move to LCOL in 15 years.
Be assured of spending substantial sums on aging parents.
Be assured of children moving out or moving back. FTL/FTT.
Be assured of continuing employment.
Be assured of continuing marriage.
Be assured that the portfolio may not suffer significant SRR.

The realization of possible and/or impending tragedy or unrecoverable substantial financial loss can be a powerful motivator to double your efforts.

Beware the calm before the storm.
Going through life playing defense can have consequences.

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tibbitts
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by tibbitts »

lakpr wrote: Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:17 am With a $4.5M net worth, and annual expenses of $144k, your annual withdrawal rate is just about 3.5%.
That's a safe withdrawal rate that's guaranteed to last at least 30 years, according to studies.

In other words, you are financially independent. You can retire now if you want, with no significant drop in your lifestyle.
I would say only with a very significant drop in annual spending, but really... when someone with a household income of $300k is contemplating side gigs, this is not a person who should retire.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

lakpr wrote: Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:17 am With a $4.5M net worth, and annual expenses of $144k, your annual withdrawal rate is just about 3.5%.
That's a safe withdrawal rate that's guaranteed to last at least 30 years, according to studies.
I had no idea 3.5% was guaranteed to last at least 30 years. Anyone sign that guarantee?

OP is also early 40s and might live another 60 years.

Just sayin’
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
Pencilskirt
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by Pencilskirt »

Are you asking for financial advice or advice on how you feel about your life?

If it’s the latter, charity work is a good cure for blasé.
Nowizard
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by Nowizard »

There are frequently conflicts between what we are taught that increases achievement motivation positively and eventually efforts to define goals in terms of achieving a balanced life. From my perspective, the teaching or learning from another source that says to maximize your capability vocationally is generally well-meaning and motivates toward achievement as it obviously has for you. You have done very well and "Know" you could do even "better."
There are phases of life that appear as we age, our interests change, we marry, have children, introspect regarding what is important, etc. Personally, finances have been an important part of life and having financial stability has provided a base for a solid life, but only a base. Other areas include spirituality, leisure time, vocational choice, Puzzles (Those issues we all have individually or with others, cultural expectations, etc. that cannot be solved once and for all but can be put into a personal perspective), and love. Evaluation of personal status in each of these areas can be helpful in establishing a balanced life or discovering where our current one is unbalanced if that is a goal. Balance is not a goal for everyone, famously not so for Jeff Bezos.
These comments are from an old geezer who made a conscious choice long ago to "Underachieve," at least in terms of what other people thought was appropriate. For example, vocational choice as a healthcare provider, not a physician but a clinical psychologist, was as a solo provider when there were many opportunities to join or create a group practice. It was a conscious choice to be a "Second banana." Though it is an old metaphor, not everyone has to be Johnny Carson and Ed McMann had a pretty good life! That approach allowed a focus on finances, not an obsession, and what has been a huge pay-off in terms of personal satisfaction, time spent with children as they grew, marital relationships, time to fish and do other leisure things, etc. This is not meant to be a prescription for anyone or a judgement of others with different views but just some elaboration on the importance of evaluating life in a broader context than finances, The cliché that says few have said at the end of their life that they wish they had spent more time at the office has meaning. :happy
Tim
lakpr
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by lakpr »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:31 am
lakpr wrote: Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:17 am With a $4.5M net worth, and annual expenses of $144k, your annual withdrawal rate is just about 3.5%.
That's a safe withdrawal rate that's guaranteed to last at least 30 years, according to studies.
I had no idea 3.5% was guaranteed to last at least 30 years. Anyone sign that guarantee?

OP is also early 40s and might live another 60 years.

Just sayin’
Touche. Not guaranteed; it should be restated as "based on past studies, that 3.5% withdrawal rate is expected to last 30 years with a 99% statistical confidence". Your next point is also correct, the expected time for which this nest egg is expected to last is significantly more than just 30 years.
mak1277
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by mak1277 »

I suffer from this problem fairly often...knowing what I *could* be if I had ambition and drive. But honestly, I quickly remember that I'm lazy and don't really want to put in the effort. I try very hard to be grateful about what I have achieved, earned and done. And I am grateful that I am still highly compensated, and have lots of family time to boot.

It's hard though when you see people you know are less talented than you achieving great things. That always is going to create a pang....you just have to figure out a way to move past it as quickly as possible.
Texanbybirth
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by Texanbybirth »

Financially, the goals you’ve established will require you to work harder or longer to accomplish them. It’ll be a slog, but the good news is if you adjust the goals a bit you could literally stop working today, or maybe 5 years or so from now.

You are blessed beyond the comprehension of almost every human being who is living or has ever lived. Mentally/spiritually, I agree with the poster above that getting outside your life and involved in some charity work that shows you how good you have it would do wonders to your outlook.

I hope you find what you need! :beer
“The strong cannot be brave. Only the weak can be brave; and yet again, in practice, only those who can be brave can be trusted, in time of doubt, to be strong.“ - GK Chesterton
stan1
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by stan1 »

Yes, I'm at the point where I definitely think I could do a number of jobs better than the people selected to fill them but don't want those jobs myself because of the politics. Instead I make a good income, focus on helping people succeed, and try to find an immediate supervisor who listens to me and mostly blocks me from the downward flow of sewage.
Last edited by stan1 on Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
levocap
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by levocap »

Definitely not looking to retire. I am too much a busy body to want to do that.
I have done some charity work and found that unfulfilling and found it surprisingly political and bureaucratic. Maybe it was just the organization?
I think Tim's response hit it right on the nail. If I "choose" to underachieve, know the consequences and be ok with that and make it up elsewhere.
I know I am around for my kids more compared to other dads in my circle and that has paid dividends for me, my wife and the kids.
MY house is almost always the "cleanest" around the block as I look to tackle problems before they become a bigger issue and I do most of it DIY saving thousands a year. And I l kinda of like that....diy and saving thousands at the same time!
Cars are always washed and shiny (my pet peeve) and well taken care of.

I just feel like I could make MORE money is i focused on career more. But is it worth the time and effort to build an even "bigger" buffer should "bad things happen in life"? How big of a buffer do i need with already $4.5m NW?
B. Wellington
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by B. Wellington »

Nowizard wrote: Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:36 am There are frequently conflicts between what we are taught that increases achievement motivation positively and eventually efforts to define goals in terms of achieving a balanced life. From my perspective, the teaching or learning from another source that says to maximize your capability vocationally is generally well-meaning and motivates toward achievement as it obviously has for you. You have done very well and "Know" you could do even "better."
There are phases of life that appear as we age, our interests change, we marry, have children, introspect regarding what is important, etc. Personally, finances have been an important part of life and having financial stability has provided a base for a solid life, but only a base. Other areas include spirituality, leisure time, vocational choice, Puzzles (Those issues we all have individually or with others, cultural expectations, etc. that cannot be solved once and for all but can be put into a personal perspective), and love. Evaluation of personal status in each of these areas can be helpful in establishing a balanced life or discovering where our current one is unbalanced if that is a goal. Balance is not a goal for everyone, famously not so for Jeff Bezos.
These comments are from an old geezer who made a conscious choice long ago to "Underachieve," at least in terms of what other people thought was appropriate. For example, vocational choice as a healthcare provider, not a physician but a clinical psychologist, was as a solo provider when there were many opportunities to join or create a group practice. It was a conscious choice to be a "Second banana." Though it is an old metaphor, not everyone has to be Johnny Carson and Ed McMann had a pretty good life! That approach allowed a focus on finances, not an obsession, and what has been a huge pay-off in terms of personal satisfaction, time spent with children as they grew, marital relationships, time to fish and do other leisure things, etc. This is not meant to be a prescription for anyone or a judgement of others with different views but just some elaboration on the importance of evaluating life in a broader context than finances, The cliché that says few have said at the end of their life that they wish they had spent more time at the office has meaning. :happy
Tim
Wonderful post Nowizard! Just another "old geezer" here who in my younger days was chasing the corporate ladder until I realized there was much more to life than a title and/or wealth. Returned to old hobbies and passions. Reconnected with old friends and family. Traveled many parts of the world and spent quality time with younger family members. No regrets. :beer
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KlingKlang
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by KlingKlang »

levocap wrote: Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:08 am I feel like these are roles that I could have gotten if I put in more work and presented myself better...but I just don't have the motivation to do it.
This is a red flag for me. If you are less than fully motivated in your early forties you could be on the path to being unemployed in your early fifties. You could come in to work one day to find that you have a new boss who does pay attention to what you are doing and wants to know why you aren't doing more. Plus life is too short to spend it just putting in the minimum effort to get by.
mak1277
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by mak1277 »

levocap wrote: Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:51 am Definitely not looking to retire. I am too much a busy body to want to do that.
I have done some charity work and found that unfulfilling and found it surprisingly political and bureaucratic. Maybe it was just the organization?
I think Tim's response hit it right on the nail. If I "choose" to underachieve, know the consequences and be ok with that and make it up elsewhere.
I know I am around for my kids more compared to other dads in my circle and that has paid dividends for me, my wife and the kids.
MY house is almost always the "cleanest" around the block as I look to tackle problems before they become a bigger issue and I do most of it DIY saving thousands a year. And I l kinda of like that....diy and saving thousands at the same time!
Cars are always washed and shiny (my pet peeve) and well taken care of.

I just feel like I could make MORE money is i focused on career more. But is it worth the time and effort to build an even "bigger" buffer should "bad things happen in life"? How big of a buffer do i need with already $4.5m NW?
See I have even less desire to do projects around my house than I do to overachieve at work. If I had to pick, I'd spend that effort at work vs. washing cars or doing projects (my car has never been washed in the 4 years I've owned it). My laziness is complete, not exclusive to work.
sd323232
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by sd323232 »

you made it. thats why you are bored. But the danger here is you try to measure up to other people, with more prestigious career than yours. If you go that route, you will never be happy because there will always be someone with better job, more money, bigger house, nice car.... etc. Why not be happy with what you have?
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Watty
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by Watty »

levocap wrote: Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:08 am My goal is to put these kids thru school, move to LCOL in 15yrs when kids are out of the house and do "something" in the new area that I move to.  I will also be late 50s by then so prob won't be easy to get hired.  But then, I prob will have close to $10m by then so what do I care.
A big problem with that plan is that it is unlikely that your kids would have any reason to move to that low cost of living area too. So if you move there is a good chance that you will live in a different part of the country from your kids and grandkids.

If you stay in the your high cost of living area then there is a risk that your kids will move away when they are adults because they cannot afford to live near you if they do not have high paying jobs.

If your kids stay in Boston then it is likely that you will too. I did a job relocation to Atlanta when I was in my late 40s and our plan was to move somewhere else when I retired. What happened was that my son settled down here and we now have two young grand-kids that live about ten minutes from us so there is no way that we will be moving away now. It is working out fine but it is not what we planned on.

The big difference in cost of living in different areas is usually housing and taxes move so moving to an area just because the housing is a few hundred thousand dollars less really would not make a difference to you either now or later.

If there is another part of the country that you find a lot more desirable for some non-financial reason then it would probably make sense to move now while your kids are young enough to establish ties to that area and would want to live there when they are adults.

Financially you can do pretty much whatever you want but you might need to work part time if you stay in a HCOL area. It might make sense to get some professional counseling to help figure out the non-financial issues that you posted about.
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by goodenyou »

Your kids are young. When your burn rate goes up exponentially when they hit 15-25, you will be very glad that you have an income. Also, to add to the above "may nots" : your health. It's not a given and it can disrupt a lot of plans.

The grass is sometimes greener with more demanding , prestigious and higher paying jobs. Many times the grass is not so green.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | Do you know how to make a rain dance work? Dance until it rains.
bayview
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by bayview »

levocap wrote: Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:51 am Definitely not looking to retire. I am too much a busy body to want to do that.
I have done some charity work and found that unfulfilling and found it surprisingly political and bureaucratic. Maybe it was just the organization?
I think Tim's response hit it right on the nail. If I "choose" to underachieve, know the consequences and be ok with that and make it up elsewhere.
I know I am around for my kids more compared to other dads in my circle and that has paid dividends for me, my wife and the kids.
MY house is almost always the "cleanest" around the block as I look to tackle problems before they become a bigger issue and I do most of it DIY saving thousands a year. And I l kinda of like that....diy and saving thousands at the same time!
Cars are always washed and shiny (my pet peeve) and well taken care of.

I just feel like I could make MORE money is i focused on career more. But is it worth the time and effort to build an even "bigger" buffer should "bad things happen in life"? How big of a buffer do i need with already $4.5m NW?
If you put aside these “oughts” about how you should be more ambitious (greedy?), driven (obsessed?), whatever, are you in fact happy? Are you content with and proud of the things that you do outside of your work life? If so, I have to say that you sound like a wonderful person, and I wish that there were a ton more folks like you.

I would just say to be careful not to let your boredom show at work, lest some idiot superior who has bought into the kill-yourself-by-ambition ethos decide that you are expendable.
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri
WillRetire
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by WillRetire »

There are exciting jobs out there, jobs where you risk your life, or could lose your job at the pleasure of the CEO or board, or have to travel to dangerous places, or have to deal with the general public at risk of contracting coronavirus.

Being bored but financially secure is a good problem to have these days. Sit tight until it is safe to make a major life change.
WS1
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by WS1 »

levocap wrote: Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:51 am Definitely not looking to retire. I am too much a busy body to want to do that.
I have done some charity work and found that unfulfilling and found it surprisingly political and bureaucratic. Maybe it was just the organization?
I think Tim's response hit it right on the nail. If I "choose" to underachieve, know the consequences and be ok with that and make it up elsewhere.
I know I am around for my kids more compared to other dads in my circle and that has paid dividends for me, my wife and the kids.
MY house is almost always the "cleanest" around the block as I look to tackle problems before they become a bigger issue and I do most of it DIY saving thousands a year. And I l kinda of like that....diy and saving thousands at the same time!
Cars are always washed and shiny (my pet peeve) and well taken care of.

I just feel like I could make MORE money is i focused on career more. But is it worth the time and effort to build an even "bigger" buffer should "bad things happen in life"? How big of a buffer do i need with already $4.5m NW?
Underachieve at work to overachieve at family and health

Also meditation and therapy because there is no other way to build the skills needed to clearly see what’s going in your life and the world
blake22
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by blake22 »

Consider reading up on stoic philosophy and finding a therapist to speak with regularly, either every week or every other.

You sound like you feel “stuck” and I’d recommend finding someone to talk to so you can unpack why that is.

When it comes to finances, try to internalize the concept of having “enough.” Based on what you’ve said, you have a great life, and certainly have “enough.” Don’t confuse that with complacency though - but rather contentment. Inner peace that you don’t have to keep scratching and clawing for more.

Also, it sounds like you compare yourself to others a lot. As someone famous said, “Comparison is the enemy of joy.” You have no idea how happy or unhappy those people that make a lot more money are. Just focus on you, being content with what you have (which is a lot).
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cashboy
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by cashboy »

OP,

from a financial perspective:

due to your positive financial situation you have the 'luxury' of being bored. the vast majority of people struggle financially, and their struggles occupy them.

consider, i own FXNAX U.S. Bond Index Fund. it is a very 'boring' investment, but that boring is good.

from a life perspective:

consider yourself 'grateful' for what you have.
Last edited by cashboy on Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
Three-Fund Portfolio: FSPSX - FXAIX - FXNAX (with slight tilt of CDs - CASH - Canned Beans - Rice - Bottled Water)
retiredjg
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by retiredjg »

lakpr wrote: Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:42 am
TomatoTomahto wrote: Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:31 am
lakpr wrote: Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:17 am With a $4.5M net worth, and annual expenses of $144k, your annual withdrawal rate is just about 3.5%.
That's a safe withdrawal rate that's guaranteed to last at least 30 years, according to studies.
I had no idea 3.5% was guaranteed to last at least 30 years. Anyone sign that guarantee?

OP is also early 40s and might live another 60 years.

Just sayin’
Touche. Not guaranteed; it should be restated as "based on past studies, that 3.5% withdrawal rate is expected to last 30 years with a 99% statistical confidence". Your next point is also correct, the expected time for which this nest egg is expected to last is significantly more than just 30 years.
I think you have to take this one step further than that. :happy

All we know is that a 4% withdrawal rate, adjusted for inflation, from portfolios with certain stock percentages did not run completely dry for some 30 year periods in the past.

It is true we can hope that continues. And I'm sure some people expect it to continue. But I don't think you can say "it is expected to continue" because there is no factual basis for that expectation. In fact, some people now think that 4% may be too high. There is no statistical confidence that I know of.

For things like this it is better to lay out the facts, rather than your conclusions, and let people come to their own conclusions.
jtdavid
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by jtdavid »

Sounds like things are on cruise control for you. Things could be a lot worse. Count your blessings.
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Misenplace
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Re: Life advice from ungrateful?

Post by Misenplace »

This post has been moved to the Personal Finance forum (since it was not a question about investments) and has been locked (seeking general life advice). Thanks to users posting replies providing actionable financial advice by addressing the issue of whether poster could retire.
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