Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

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geerhardusvos
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Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by geerhardusvos »

There are a number of personal factors that have me wanting to quit my corporate job in the next 3-5 years. I have had an over 10+ year career in technology, and work at a well respected fortune 500 company. I started a side hustle and it’s going really well, but it could go even better if I spent more time on it. I also want to be able to raise my children and get out of the corporate rat race to reduce stress and take care of some aging family (to name a few reasons, but there are more). My current employer is very happy with my performance, job is stable, I’ve been promoted a few times since joining, and I am feeling ready to move on.

Well, I did some quick analysis and looks like I can quit my corporate job in a couple years at age 33ish with ~$1.3M in a 85/15 portfolio. We rent, have no debt, kids college paid for, and wife will continue to work part time. Here’s the plan I’m considering:

- We would live off the portfolio and my side hustle income which is currently about $22,000 per year, and I conservatively assumed I would side hustle from age 35 to age 50. I could probably grow this pretty easily to $40,000 per sustainably for the next decade or two. This income comes in regardless of where we live and regardless of the general economic cycles. This side hustle income is pretty sustainable and might be as reliable/steady as my current corporate job. I really enjoy the side gig and would be doing it anyways.
- I also assumed that we would get a conservative $500,000 as part of an inheritance from well off grand/parents, we may not get this at all, but we would likely get more than that from each parent. The projection without this puts it at more of a ~95% success rate. Still a comfortable success rate for us.
- I did not take into account that my wife works part time and make some money which will continue into her 50s. She currently makes about $20,000 per year and she can do this from anywhere.
- This budget allows us to live in our current area which is HCOL (spending ~$70k/year), so if we are to move to a cheaper area, which we plan to do since we already sold our home, we would live on even less (maybe under $55k/year)
- If things got pretty bad I could (in a worst case) get some crappy contractor role making over $100,000 pretty easily with my network and skillset. Better case scenario, I can just get rehired at one of the fortune 500 companies I’ve worked at. I wouldn’t have to do this for more than a few years to get our portfolio back up to a sustainable place though. Even working one or two more years would make a huge difference in this projection. I fully understand the challenges of stopping work and trying to restart again
- If we don’t like ACA for healthcare, we are in a good state for it by the way, my wife could ramp up her hours and get medical benefits for us through her work. She may want to work full-time 10 years from now when our kids are grown anyways. Which would dramatically increase her income and also provide us medical benefits.
- Edit: we are budgeting about $2000 per month for healthcare
- Edit: noting here that I have not accounted for any Social Security which we will likely get something
- Edit: we are planning 15% in taxes on average

What do you all think? Am I crazy? Would you do this? Any advice or encouragement either way would be appreciated. If I keep working for another 7-10 years I’ll have >$2M and would be in better shape, but contemplating the financial options of transitioning sooner. Thanks! 😊

See rough analysis below:
https://engaging-data.com/will-money-l ... &mort=best

Edit:
Our current portfolio:
20% Roth
15% 401(k) pretax
65% taxable brokerage

We max out these each year for a wife and myself, then the rest is in taxable. Investing about $120,000 per year without match and ESPP gains.

Asset allocation currently 98/2 (80VTI/18VEA/1BND/1VTEB)

Plan to glide down to 80/20 ahead of FI with the same above funds. I have about 6 months cash. Planned withdrawal rate is around 3.5% but will be a variable withdrawal strategy depending on market performance and our need.
Last edited by geerhardusvos on Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:51 pm, edited 13 times in total.
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AlabamaPaul
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by AlabamaPaul »

Just a quick observation, never count on an inheritance in any financial plan...
TheLaughingCow
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by TheLaughingCow »

It is inadvisable to count on an inheritance unless you have been told in no uncertain terms that you will be getting it, and perhaps not even then.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by geerhardusvos »

AlabamaPaul wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:59 pm Just a quick observation, never count on an inheritance in any financial plan...
Right, it’s not needed for success here as stated above. Already have funds set aside for kids college or their own investment ventures.
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Makaveli
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by Makaveli »

geerhardusvos wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:56 pm There are a number of personal factors that have me wanting to quit my corporate job in the next 3-5 years. I have had an over 10+ year career in technology, and work at a well respected fortune 500 company. I started a side hustle and it’s going really well, but it could go even better if I spent more time on it. I also want to be able to raise my children and get out of the corporate rat race to reduce stress and take care of some aging family (to name a few reasons, but there are more). My current employer is very happy with my performance, job is stable, I’ve been promoted a few times since joining, and I am feeling ready to move on.

Well, I did some quick analysis and looks like I can quit my corporate job in a couple years at age 33ish with ~$1.3M in a 85/15 portfolio. Here’s the plan:

- We would live off the portfolio and my side hustle income which is currently about $22,000 per year, and I conservatively assumed we would get that from age 35 to age 50. I could probably grow this pretty easily to $40,000 per sustainably for the next decade or two. This income comes in regardless of where we live and regardless of the general economic cycles. This side hustle income is pretty sustainable and might be as reliable/steady as my current corporate job.
- I also assumed that we would get a conservative $500,000 as part of an inheritance from well off grand/parents, we may not get this at all, but we would likely get more than that parent. The projection without this puts it at more of an ~80% success rate. Still a comfortable success rate for us.
- I did not take into account that my wife works part time and make some money which will continue into her 50s. She currently makes about $20,000 per year and she can do this from anywhere.
- This budget allows us to live in our current area which is HCOL (spending ~$70k/year), so if we are to move to a cheaper area, which we plan to do since we already sold our home, we would live on even less (maybe under $55k/year)
- If things got pretty bad I could get some crappy contractor role making over $100,000 pretty easily with my network and skillset. I wouldn’t have to do this for more than a few years to get her portfolio back up to a sustainable place though. Even working one or two more years would make a huge difference in this projection.
- if we don’t like ACA for healthcare, we are in a good state for it by the way, my wife could ramp up her hours and get medical benefits for us through her work. She may want to work full-time 10 years from now when our kids are grown anyways. Which would dramatically increase her income and also provide us medical benefits.

What do you all think? Am I crazy? Would you do this?

See rough analysis below:
https://engaging-data.com/will-money-l ... &mort=best
Subscribing. 32 YO with similar motive, $1.2MM portfolio, 85:15 AA.

My $0.02, you are not crazy but a lot can change in a "couple years". I see no harm in planning for such a change, put yourself in the position to pull the rip cord, but then see how you are feeling when the time comes. Clearly you've done a great job thus far putting yourself in a position to "FIRE".
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by geerhardusvos »

TheLaughingCow wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:00 pm It is inadvisable to count on an inheritance unless you have been told in no uncertain terms that you will be getting it, and perhaps not even then.
Totally agree. Yes we have had that talk. We can still live off our portfolio and part-time work income, it would just mean that we would have to work longer without inheritance, which we will likely do anyways. Just was conservative for calculation.

Forgot to mention above that I have not counted any Social Security which we will likely get something
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by stan1 »

A lot can happen in 3-5 years. Good that you have a fallback with the side hustle, but unless you are ready to quit within the next 3 months the biggest actionable step is to keep costs low and not buy another house if you plan to relocate. In 3-5 years you could be working on something completely different that you like (or don't like). Your family health situation could be very different and preserving health insurance would be a higher priority. Predicting job security that far out can also be tricky. I've known plenty of well compensated top performers who have been laid off (and have had to do that myself to a few, I've been fortunate it hasn't happened to me).
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by Goal33 »

Keep saving and lets talk in 3-5 years :)
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by JBTX »

I'd say work toward that goal so that you can make that choice, but don't get so locked in that you can't change your mind. As to the side hustle, is the nature of the work so much better than you'd rather do this 5 years vs one year of contracting? Is it possible that you could find part time at home contracting work that pays better than $22k (or in addition to it)

My personal take as long as the corporate job is treating you well and it isn't overly stressful then stick with it. Also, at your age sometimes an extended break, be it a long vacation, or extended time off, can be worthwhile to put things in perspective.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

Number of children, ages?

What is your income now?

What are your expenses now?

A probable inheritance is fraught with danger, sounds like you aren't counting on it 100%, which is the way you should be thinking.

Did you have enough equity in the house you sold to be able to buy another?

Lots of things could go wrong; death, disability, divorce could really sink you. Though, IF everything comes together, you might be fine.

What does your wife think about it? Will you be living on her portfolio? I didn't understand this:

"...I wouldn’t have to do this for more than a few years to get her portfolio back up to a sustainable place though..."

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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by Normchad »

34 is pretty young, but some people do it. How would you feel about sticking it out a little longer, say til 37? How much more bulletproof proof would your plan be then? Or would you feel more confident then?

I understand the desire to ditch a high paying but unfulfilling job. However, I always come back to “one more year”. I think I’d rather work 1 more year at the job I have, than have to work 10 years at one of these hobby jobs. I just can’t ever envision working at Home Depot. I’m sure it’s a fine place to be, but I’m sure it has its own frustrations to deal with. So I’ll just take the bigger check while I can.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by geerhardusvos »

Broken Man 1999 wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:11 pm Number of children, ages?

What is your income now?

What are your expenses now?

A probable inheritance is fraught with danger, sounds like you aren't counting on it 100%, which is the way you should be thinking.

Did you have enough equity in the house you sold to be able to buy another?

Lots of things could go wrong; death, disability, divorce could really sink you. Though, IF everything comes together, you might be fine.

What does your wife think about it? Will you be living on her portfolio? I didn't understand this:

"...I wouldn’t have to do this for more than a few years to get her portfolio back up to a sustainable place though..."

Broken Man 1999
Thanks for the response.

Current income is around $200,000 per year without side hustle. Right now side hustle essentially pays for taxes.

Expenses are about $70,000 per year before COVID-19, and now they are <$60,000.

The equity from our home was invested into VTSAX in mid-March (got fortunate there so far). We plan to rent from here out until we settle on a retirement location in a less expensive area. May continue renting then, don’t know

This is obviously a quick and dirty plan, but I tried to leave enough contingency to allow for those unforeseen events that you mentioned above.

Her should have been *our sorry... typo. Edited OP.
Last edited by geerhardusvos on Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by geerhardusvos »

Normchad wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:16 pm 34 is pretty young, but some people do it. How would you feel about sticking it out a little longer, say til 37? How much more bulletproof proof would your plan be then? Or would you feel more confident then?

I understand the desire to ditch a high paying but unfulfilling job. However, I always come back to “one more year”. I think I’d rather work 1 more year at the job I have, than have to work 10 years at one of these hobby jobs. I just can’t ever envision working at Home Depot. I’m sure it’s a fine place to be, but I’m sure it has its own frustrations to deal with. So I’ll just take the bigger check while I can.
I definitely think about the “why not work a few more years.” By age 35 to 40 we could have $2 million invested which would be a little bit less lean of a financial independence situation.

If it didn’t come out in the OP, I can state it now, I really enjoy my side hustle. It’s my passion and I’ve turned it into something that can be an income. It’s not always glamorous and it’s outside of corporate America. But it’s very stimulating and rewarding. It’s what I will be doing anyways because I enjoy it, which is probably why I can sustain it as an income and even grow it. Anything can change, but I have a number of things in my life that need attention outside corporate America for better and for worse
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by mathwhiz »

How about finding a part-time contract or low stress remote job and find a way to optimize your income stress level? Do you have the skill set and marketability to work on projects for a few months a year and get $50k to $100k in income and just take the rest of the year off or work 20 hours a week or whatever.

Seems leveraging your skill set for a low stress semi-retirement is a more sustainable safer course.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by anon_investor »

OP, just curious what about your job now makes it stressful and prevents you from enjoying your life? I wonder if a different job (aside from your side hustle) would make you happier.

Personally I went into the corporate world for the slower pace and less stress (used to be a lawyer at a big firm). It has worked out well for me. It is all about perspective...
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by BolderBoy »

Don't do it; it is too soon.

If you do, here is how it may play out... In 10-15 years you realize you retired too soon [maybe the market tanked and didn't come back for 10 years] and seek to re-enter the workforce. Only by then, you'll be competing with folks about half your age. See where I'm going?

Work a bit longer and rethink this when you have $2.5 - $3 mil. It is usually better to wring as much as you can out of a particular career before stopping.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by redmaw »

I wouldn't count on getting a 100k "crappy" job if things go bad. How quick could they go bad for you? 5 years out? Are you keeping up your skills and network for that time. How's your resume with 5 year off... How about 10? Get a job, sure, but I would imagine your skills are worthless and you network is dead unless you plan on keeping both up as part of your are hustle.

Otherwise 70k expenses minus 20k side hustle minus 20k spousal income leaves 30k for the portfolio which is low enough it will continue to grow without contributions. You can take withdraws to almost 0 if you achieve that 40k on the side hustle, if you do that and drop expenses by moving to a lower cost area and you can probably continue contributing to those accounts. So it sounds reasonable to me.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by bluquark »

It seems the covid bounceback has made you confident that 85% stock will throw off generous returns as it usually does, but it should be the opposite. There are basically two theories for the rise: 1) "no other place to put it" because the Fed drove interest rates so low, 2) the market has optimistically front-loaded future expected profits. Both of those seem to augur low expected returns over the next, most critical decade of your retirement. And everyone was already predicting lower than average historic returns before all this happened.

Are you using unaltered backtest data for US market history or have you adjusted it to be reasonably conservative?
Last edited by bluquark on Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by geerhardusvos »

anon_investor wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:34 pm OP, just curious what about your job now makes it stressful and prevents you from enjoying your life? I wonder if a different job (aside from your side hustle) would make you happier.

Personally I went into the corporate world for the slower pace and less stress (used to be a lawyer at a big firm). It has worked out well for me. It is all about perspective...
It’s less about my current job. There is some stress, but the stress really comes from the fact that I have things I want and need to do outside of my current job. I don’t have time for my job anymore in some respects. There are things that are more valuable to me right now.
mathwhiz wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:30 pm How about finding a part-time contract or low stress remote job and find a way to optimize your income stress level? Do you have the skill set and marketability to work on projects for a few months a year and get $50k to $100k in income and just take the rest of the year off or work 20 hours a week or whatever.

Seems leveraging your skill set for a low stress semi-retirement is a more sustainable safer course.
I think I would rather work longer than go straight to contract work, my current gig is pretty manageable at around 45 hours per week and pretty stable. Contracting would be a worst-case scenario option I think.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by geerhardusvos »

BolderBoy wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:38 pm Don't do it; it is too soon.

If you do, here is how it may play out... In 10-15 years you realize you retired too soon [maybe the market tanked and didn't come back for 10 years] and seek to re-enter the workforce. Only by then, you'll be competing with folks about half your age. See where I'm going?

Work a bit longer and rethink this when you have $2.5 - $3 mil. It is usually better to wring as much as you can out of a particular career before stopping.
I totally get what you’re saying, and things can definitely change. I am planning a <3.5% withdrawal rate on the portfolio, and funding the rest of our lifestyle with my side gig. Having more of a cushion would be ideal, but I’m trying to evaluate if I have already baked enough cushion in the plan laid out in the OP.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

Interesting. I'm currently 36 and have similar plans. I don't think it's crazy. People that say that don't have the same personality and don't work in the same job in the current economy. It's been nothing but doing more with less ever since I started full-time employment, and this gets rather demoralizing. It's easy to be happy with less and live a simple lifestyle. I really haven't appreciably changed my standard of living since I was a poor college student, and I'm happy with the way I live. I feel like I'd be even happier if I wasn't working. The math is simple. Every time I get stressed at work I wonder why I am still doing this to myself. And yes, I also have lots of things more personally meaningful that I'd rather be doing, as well as aging family I want to be available for. We only get one life. Cliché, of course, but do I want to spend such a large component of it this way?
Last edited by Cheez-It Guy on Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by geerhardusvos »

bluquark wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:55 pm It seems the covid bounceback has made you confident that 85% stock will throw off generous returns as it usually does, but it should be the opposite. There are basically two theories for the rise: 1) "no other place to put it" because the Fed drove interest rates so low, 2) the market has optimistically front-loaded future expected profits. Both of those seem to augur low expected returns over the next, most critical decade of your retirement. And everyone was already predicting lower than average historic returns before all this happened.

Are you using unaltered backtest data for US market history or have you adjusted it to be reasonably conservative?
Yes, the post in the OP is an altered back test data for the US. When doing a 2% real return (my expectations for the next 10 years) for my equities I get around 70-80% success rate with my planned 3.5% WR, although I’ll go with a variable withdrawl.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by geerhardusvos »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:02 pm Interesting. I'm currently 36 and have similar plans. I don't think it's crazy. People that say that don't have the same personality and don't work in the same job in the current economy. It's been nothing but doing more with less ever since I started full-time employment, and this gets rather demoralizing. It's easy to be happy with less and live a simple lifestyle. I really haven't appreciably changed my standard of living since I was a poor college student, and I'm happy with the way I live. I feel like I'd be even happier if I wasn't working. The math is simple. Every time I get stressed at work I wonder why I am still doing this to myself. And yes, I also have lots of things more personally meaningful that I'd rather be doing, as well as aging family I want to be available for. We only get one life. Cliché, of course, but do I want to spend such a large component of it this way?
I totally hear you, and it’s nice to meet a kindred spirit. I am torn because I know the value of my career and I’ve worked hard to get where I am today, but there are so many different dimensions of my life now that need attention, and I’m trying to figure out a way to sustainably live simply moving forward. Best wishes to you on your plans as well.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by geerhardusvos »

redmaw wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:51 pm I wouldn't count on getting a 100k "crappy" job if things go bad. How quick could they go bad for you? 5 years out? Are you keeping up your skills and network for that time. How's your resume with 5 year off... How about 10? Get a job, sure, but I would imagine your skills are worthless and you network is dead unless you plan on keeping both up as part of your are hustle.

Otherwise 70k expenses minus 20k side hustle minus 20k spousal income leaves 30k for the portfolio which is low enough it will continue to grow without contributions. You can take withdraws to almost 0 if you achieve that 40k on the side hustle, if you do that and drop expenses by moving to a lower cost area and you can probably continue contributing to those accounts. So it sounds reasonable to me.
Thanks for the thoughts here. Yeah, in my field the skillsets that are technical go obsolete very quickly. And a lot of my network would go stale after about 5-10 years. So I’m trying not to make a scenario where I need to go back into the workforce. I really am confident I could do so before age 40 again if I needed to, even at a contracting or consulting capacity. But trying to work long enough and have a plan where I don’t need to get back in. I’m trying to anticipate what other large expenses could happen in the future before I make this a more formal plan.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by AlabamaPaul »

geerhardusvos wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:12 pm Thanks for the thoughts here. Yeah, in my field the skillsets that are technical go obsolete very quickly. And a lot of my network would go stale after about 5-10 years. So I’m trying not to make a scenario where I need to go back into the workforce. I really am confident I could do so before age 40 again if I needed to, even at a contracting or consulting capacity. But trying to work long enough and have a plan where I don’t need to get back in. I’m trying to anticipate what other large expenses could happen in the future before I make this a more formal plan.
Have you considered a slow withdrawal from your current position (if that is even possible)? Say from full-time to 30 hours per week, to 20 or so, etc...

A drop to 30 would most likely allow you to reverse course rather easily if necessary...
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by ronno2018 »

I think it would be worth a try, If you like the side hustle it will work out great for you. Like Mr. MM, you will just have to find a job for a few years if it all goes south (well he likely will continue to earn +$200,000 per year with is blog, rough life LOL). :sharebeer
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by n8healer »

Another option to consider is to use your money to support yourself in a sort of sabbatical for a year or two, and then reconsider what you want to do for a career. I understand wanting to get rid of the imperative to have a job, but at 34 it would seem that this is a time to be embracing and getting in to a fulfilling career rather than to be backing off permanently.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by chrisam314 »

No you aren't crazy. I get it. I'm a similar age in corporate world. I work in corporate finance though, so let me tell you what I would do if I was seriously considering this.

It's good that you ran that one model but its just not sufficient to do something like this. Its based on super high level assumptions and isn't tailored to you personally.

1) Since you are going to live off that portfolio I would recommend spending a substantial amount of time sensitivity testing it. What does it look like if stocks drop 50% and take 10 years to recover, stagflation, war, whatever. At 85/15, 75/25, 60/40, 50/50, etc. Look at worst case scenarios. Stare at the actual loss on the screen and put yourself in the situation. Since this is something you are going to depend on to eat and pay for the roof over your head you need to be able to stomach (pun intended) whatever happens in financial markets. Could you live with that without selling? Are you going to lose sleep at night?

2) I would build out a yearly cash flow table (similar to a mortgage amortization table). It's really not that hard to do and it will force you to think through scenarios that would impact your quality of life. You can do it in google sheets but I prefer excel. Do it now and then as you move through the next 3-5 years replace your estimates with actuals and see how much you missed by and why.

You should absolutely model in social security. If you want to toggle it out to be more conservative thats fine but you need to calculate it along with everything else to get a realistic picture of whether or not you can do this. It would be a good exercise for you to figure out how cutting out the big corporate salary will impact your social security projection, same with timing for beginning social security payments.

So your yearly cash flow should look something like this:

My income (growth rate of side hustle income at conservative rate maybe)
Spouse income
Social security (obviously this would be zero until projected receiving age)
Portfolio income

Expenses at a line item (based on last 12 months with a growth rate for each for inflation or lifestyle)
House/apt at new location
Property tax
Insurance
Food
Health care expense with projected insurance until medicare
etc. etc. etc.
Federal Income tax as its own line item
State income tax as its own line items (if applicable)
One time expenses each have their own line and year for timing (house, car, college for kids, elder care for aging family, whatever)

Be as granular as possible. Discount everything to today's dollars at whatever rate you want. Maybe like 2% for inflation.

What does it tell you? When you toggle different things like the inheritance/income/social security/ one time unexpected expenses, etc how severely does it impact things?

By going through this exercise you should get a much better idea of whether its really possible and it should give you comfort knowing you have looked at a bunch of different scenarios and everything still turns out fine.

It's good that the model told you 90% success but I wouldn't trust other peoples models for important decisions like this. I would build my own.
Last edited by chrisam314 on Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by reln »

geerhardusvos wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:56 pm There are a number of personal factors that have me wanting to quit my corporate job in the next 3-5 years. I have had an over 10+ year career in technology, and work at a well respected fortune 500 company. I started a side hustle and it’s going really well, but it could go even better if I spent more time on it. I also want to be able to raise my children and get out of the corporate rat race to reduce stress and take care of some aging family (to name a few reasons, but there are more). My current employer is very happy with my performance, job is stable, I’ve been promoted a few times since joining, and I am feeling ready to move on.

Well, I did some quick analysis and looks like I can quit my corporate job in a couple years at age 33ish with ~$1.3M in a 85/15 portfolio. Here’s the plan:

- We would live off the portfolio and my side hustle income which is currently about $22,000 per year, and I conservatively assumed I would side hustle from age 35 to age 50. I could probably grow this pretty easily to $40,000 per sustainably for the next decade or two. This income comes in regardless of where we live and regardless of the general economic cycles. This side hustle income is pretty sustainable and might be as reliable/steady as my current corporate job.
- I also assumed that we would get a conservative $500,000 as part of an inheritance from well off grand/parents, we may not get this at all, but we would likely get more than that parent. The projection without this puts it at more of a ~90% success rate. Still a comfortable success rate for us.
- I did not take into account that my wife works part time and make some money which will continue into her 50s. She currently makes about $20,000 per year and she can do this from anywhere.
- This budget allows us to live in our current area which is HCOL (spending ~$70k/year), so if we are to move to a cheaper area, which we plan to do since we already sold our home, we would live on even less (maybe under $55k/year)
- If things got pretty bad I could (in a worst case) get some crappy contractor role making over $100,000 pretty easily with my network and skillset. Better case scenario, I can just get rehired at one of the fortune 500 companies I’ve worked at. I wouldn’t have to do this for more than a few years to get our portfolio back up to a sustainable place though. Even working one or two more years would make a huge difference in this projection.
- If we don’t like ACA for healthcare, we are in a good state for it by the way, my wife could ramp up her hours and get medical benefits for us through her work. She may want to work full-time 10 years from now when our kids are grown anyways. Which would dramatically increase her income and also provide us medical benefits.
- Edit: noting here that I have not accounted for any Social Security which we will likely get something

What do you all think? Am I crazy? Would you do this?

See rough analysis below:
https://engaging-data.com/will-money-l ... &mort=best
Don't quit. Keep working till your have 10M or 65.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by warner25 »

That engaging-data.com tool is really fun, and I somehow haven't seen it until now. In addition to being both detailed and easy to use, it really drives home the point about being the "richest guy in the graveyard." I'm 33 now. My Plan A is to keep my current job until retiring to a modest lifestyle at age 41. According to this tool, by age 60, I will likely have >2x more in savings than I retired with, even before tapping Social Security, with a 50/50 asset allocation...

With that in mind, yeah, I think it's worth examining the merits of continuing in a higher-paying job that you don't like vs. a lower-paying job you might like more. My main concern is that the side-hustle might become a lot less enjoyable if it becomes a full-time job, and then you will have traded away the higher pay for nothing.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by JBTX »

Just a thought - if 40+ hours isn't allowing you to do the other things you want/need to do, and you don't mind your job, at $200k it may make more sense, to the degree possible, to partially outsource some of those other things.

It seems a shame to give up a good high paying job you mostly like. But I get the sense there is more to the story you'd prefer not to share, which I understand completely.

It is possible the world could change and the market falls or stagnates for a long period. Would that change your decision? If in 20 years your portfolio only grew slightly more than inflation. Would that change your answer? At such a young age I wouldn't even consider it unless I could do it on a 3.0% withdrawal rate, max.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by Katietsu »

15 years ago, there was no iPhone. 10 years ago, there was no ACA. Federal protection for age discrimination starts at age 40 because smart people felt it was needed then. My point is just that at 31, you might not truly realize how different the landscape will look in 10,15 or 20 years. I understand quitting your corporate job. But, I would look at the kind of things people who take time off to be stay at home parents do to keep themselves employable as needed. I would not say to abandon the plan but I have seen it go badly with a few acquaintances. So, I guess I am thinking I would want to be in a position to course correct if needed.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by penumbra »

Well, I'm reading about your situation from much later in life, but I remember being stressed at your age and wondering how long I could take it, whether there was a lesser choice which might work, maybe a different employer, etc. All I can tell you is that life will look different at 40, then 45, then 50 and so on. I'm so glad I hung in there. My attitude about my work changed multiple times over the years, both externally due to different bosses,etc. but mostly because I grew and matured. I will say $1.3 M is way, way too low to be comfortable with the way life changes,and the unexpected things you never saw coming. A side hustle may sound fun now, but when it's your major source of employment income, perspectives change quickly. I could go on, but you'll listen or not. My best, best advice: DON'T DO IT! Get some counseling about what you job means to you, and what keeps it from being more rewarding. So much of this is between your ears.

Best of luck going forward!
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by chrisam314 »

Katietsu wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:46 pm 15 years ago, there was no iPhone. 10 years ago, there was no ACA. Federal protection for age discrimination starts at age 40 because smart people felt it was needed then. My point is just that at 31, you might not truly realize how different the landscape will look in 10,15 or 20 years. I understand quitting your corporate job. But, I would look at the kind of things people who take time off to be stay at home parents do to keep themselves employable as needed. I would not say to abandon the plan but I have seen it go badly with a few acquaintances. So, I guess I am thinking I would want to be in a position to course correct if needed.
This an excellent point.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by finite_difference »

You have a cushy job paying $200k/yr. One year is worth 5-10 years of your side gig from a financial perspective. I would not give that up at least until after the pandemic.

Within your corporate job, is there something you can do that would make work more interesting for you, either that would align with your passions, pro bono, etc.? Actively choosing to work on only the projects you are interested in and getting yourself off the projects you’re not?


If the culture feels corporate maybe you can fight it from within. Lol.

Would they let you move to part-time? Like 3 days/week?
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by rob »

geerhardusvos wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:56 pm - If things got pretty bad I could (in a worst case) get some crappy contractor role making over $100,000 pretty easily with my network and skillset. Better case scenario, I can just get rehired at one of the fortune 500 companies I’ve worked at. I wouldn’t have to do this for more than a few years to get our portfolio back up to a sustainable place though. Even working one or two more years would make a huge difference in this projection.
Rest of it comes down to a choice of lifestyle vs. income - it's nothing more than the age old choice. I would however be careful of this quoted part..... While that might be true now, do not underestimate how quickly skill sets and contacts become irrelevant in most of IT. Getting the traditional corporate gig, depends a lot on business cycle while might be exactly when your looking for income if stuff goes south.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by 000 »

Sure, if the side hustle becomes the new main hustle, i.e. full time job.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by geerhardusvos »

chrisam314 wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:41 pm No you aren't crazy. I get it. I'm a similar age in corporate world. I work in corporate finance though, so let me tell you what I would do if I was seriously considering this.

It's good that you ran that one model but its just not sufficient to do something like this. Its based on super high level assumptions and isn't tailored to you personally.

1) Since you are going to live off that portfolio I would recommend spending a substantial amount of time sensitivity testing it. What does it look like if stocks drop 50% and take 10 years to recover, stagflation, war, whatever. At 85/15, 75/25, 60/40, 50/50, etc. Look at worst case scenarios. Stare at the actual loss on the screen and put yourself in the situation. Since this is something you are going to depend on to eat and pay for the roof over your head you need to be able to stomach (pun intended) whatever happens in financial markets. Could you live with that without selling? Are you going to lose sleep at night?

2) I would build out a yearly cash flow table (similar to a mortgage amortization table). It's really not that hard to do and it will force you to think through scenarios that would impact your quality of life. You can do it in google sheets but I prefer excel. Do it now and then as you move through the next 3-5 years replace your estimates with actuals and see how much you missed by and why.

You should absolutely model in social security. If you want to toggle it out to be more conservative thats fine but you need to calculate it along with everything else to get a realistic picture of whether or not you can do this. It would be a good exercise for you to figure out how cutting out the big corporate salary will impact your social security projection, same with timing for beginning social security payments.

So your yearly cash flow should look something like this:

My income (growth rate of side hustle income at conservative rate maybe)
Spouse income
Social security (obviously this would be zero until projected receiving age)
Portfolio income

Expenses at a line item (based on last 12 months with a growth rate for each for inflation or lifestyle)
House/apt at new location
Property tax
Insurance
Food
Health care expense with projected insurance until medicare
etc. etc. etc.
Federal Income tax as its own line item
State income tax as its own line items (if applicable)
One time expenses each have their own line and year for timing (house, car, college for kids, elder care for aging family, whatever)

Be as granular as possible. Discount everything to today's dollars at whatever rate you want. Maybe like 2% for inflation.

What does it tell you? When you toggle different things like the inheritance/income/social security/ one time unexpected expenses, etc how severely does it impact things?

By going through this exercise you should get a much better idea of whether its really possible and it should give you comfort knowing you have looked at a bunch of different scenarios and everything still turns out fine.

It's good that the model told you 90% success but I wouldn't trust other peoples models for important decisions like this. I would build my own.
Very helpful, thank you. Appreciate your approach here. Yes, I have some detailed analysis and plan to continue to build on it as I get closer to ~$1.5M. Very thankful for all I have and the opportunity to pursue my passions and have some additional freedom
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by geerhardusvos »

AlabamaPaul wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:17 pm
geerhardusvos wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:12 pm Thanks for the thoughts here. Yeah, in my field the skillsets that are technical go obsolete very quickly. And a lot of my network would go stale after about 5-10 years. So I’m trying not to make a scenario where I need to go back into the workforce. I really am confident I could do so before age 40 again if I needed to, even at a contracting or consulting capacity. But trying to work long enough and have a plan where I don’t need to get back in. I’m trying to anticipate what other large expenses could happen in the future before I make this a more formal plan.
Have you considered a slow withdrawal from your current position (if that is even possible)? Say from full-time to 30 hours per week, to 20 or so, etc...

A drop to 30 would most likely allow you to reverse course rather easily if necessary...
It’s something I’ve considered some and will consider more. Part time could potentially be an option, but I haven’t pursued it seriously with my employer. It’s not common place a group, but once I reach my lower FI number I’ll draw additional boundaries. My current level, approach, and style allows me to have some autonomy so it’s doable to work another 5-10 years, but have some things to attend to outside of work as well as some things I’d like to do while I’m younger and healthy
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by inverter »

Don't count on the inheritance and make more money using your side hustle than $20k or 40k!
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by 123 »

geerhardusvos wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:56 pm ... If things got pretty bad I could (in a worst case) get some crappy contractor role making over $100,000 pretty easily with my network and skillset...
One you leave the active technology workforce your likelihood of being able to jump back in, even at a lower salary level, may rapidly diminish in as little as a year. You would be competing for positions against others who have remained current and active in their fields. The people in your network of contacts will move on to new positions with different responsibilities. Of course there will likely be open opportunities in the non-profit and government (city/state/federal) sectors but those salaries are lower and they can have long lead times for positions, easily 3 - 12 months.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (career advice).

I concur that you should never count inheritances in your financial plans.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by mkc »

Having been through an unexpected early departure from the workforce, I would strongly advise

1) Do not include potential inheritance in any of your calculations ever. There are factors well beyond your control that can cause that to disappear.

2) Do not underestimate the cost of health insurance and health care. We left the workforce in our mid 40's. One intentionally, the other not. Our health case and insurance cost has far surpassed any other monthly expense we have had, and we are just two, not an entire family.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by geerhardusvos »

LadyGeek wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:59 pm This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (career advice).

I concur that you should never count inheritances in your financial plans.
Thanks. “Does the investment and retirement income plan hold water?” is the main thrust of this. Appreciated the comment so far about the downsides of leaving the workforce early. Totally not counting on the inheritance, but the current estimate is extremely conservative. My grandparents alone could leave us more than that soon, let alone parents.
Last edited by geerhardusvos on Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by geerhardusvos »

mkc wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:18 pm Having been through an unexpected early departure from the workforce, I would strongly advise

1) Do not include potential inheritance in any of your calculations ever. There are factors well beyond your control that can cause that to disappear.

2) Do not underestimate the cost of health insurance and health care. We left the workforce in our mid 40's. One intentionally, the other not. Our health case and insurance cost has far surpassed any other monthly expense we have had, and we are just two, not an entire family.
Good point, I appreciate that. What state do you live in? How much does your healthcare cost per month? Are you guys pretty active users of your health plan?
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

reln wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:41 pm Don't quit. Keep working till your have 10M or 65.
Well played. That's not far from the dominant advice around here. Not everyone receives great fulfillment from a career. In my case, it's just something I have to do. Until I don't. I still work hard, but it won't be hard to walk away. What's the point of wasting more of your life than is financially necessary?
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by geerhardusvos »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:45 pm
reln wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:41 pm Don't quit. Keep working till your have 10M or 65.
Well played. That's not far from the dominant advice around here. Not everyone receives great fulfillment from a career. In my case, it's just something I have to do. Until I don't. I still work hard, but it won't be hard to walk away. What's the point of wasting more of your life than is financially necessary?
What’s weird is, most people I interact with don’t like their job (this is fortune 500 tech companies), even the folks who are well experienced. And yet they can’t see themselves doing anything else. It’s a really interesting phenomenon. Or they have raised their standard of living to a place where they don’t even understand they have an option to do other things. COVID-19 somewhat changed that, because now I just work remote and am even more able to draw boundaries. But even then, there are some long weeks and it’s virtual call after virtual call, and it’s draining... I am a leader and a hard worker, so it’s never a dull moment because I get involved, and I think about work outside of those working hours...

and all of that is outside of the fact that I have many other things I need and want to do with my life, and gaining 45 hours per week back to do the things I want to do is worth so much to me. Conservatively, I would be getting 20,000 hours back of my life over the next 10 years. How do I have time for a full-time job?
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by Normchad »

geerhardusvos wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:05 pm
Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:45 pm
reln wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:41 pm Don't quit. Keep working till your have 10M or 65.
Well played. That's not far from the dominant advice around here. Not everyone receives great fulfillment from a career. In my case, it's just something I have to do. Until I don't. I still work hard, but it won't be hard to walk away. What's the point of wasting more of your life than is financially necessary?
What’s weird is, most people I interact with don’t like their job (this is fortune 500 tech companies), even the folks who are well experienced. And yet they can’t see themselves doing anything else. It’s a really interesting phenomenon. Or they have raise their standard of living to a place where they don’t even understand they have an option to do other things. COVID-19 somewhat changed that, because now I just work remote and am able to draw boundaries. But even then, there are some long weeks and it’s virtual call after virtual call, and it’s draining... I am a leader and a hard worker, so it’s never a dull moment because I get involved, and I think about work outside of those working hours... and all of that is outside of the fact that I have many other things I need and want to do with my life, and gaining 45 hours per week back to do the things I want to do is worth so much to me. Conservatively, I would be getting 20,000 hours back of my life over the next 10 years. How do I have time for a full-time job?
Your salary is the money they give you to forget about your dreams.

Maybe the pay is high because the soul crushing nature is also high.

After you do this long enough, you can’t remember ever having dreams. And it is hard to Imagine what else you would do.
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by geerhardusvos »

Normchad wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:10 pm
geerhardusvos wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:05 pm
Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:45 pm
reln wrote: Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:41 pm Don't quit. Keep working till your have 10M or 65.
Well played. That's not far from the dominant advice around here. Not everyone receives great fulfillment from a career. In my case, it's just something I have to do. Until I don't. I still work hard, but it won't be hard to walk away. What's the point of wasting more of your life than is financially necessary?
What’s weird is, most people I interact with don’t like their job (this is fortune 500 tech companies), even the folks who are well experienced. And yet they can’t see themselves doing anything else. It’s a really interesting phenomenon. Or they have raise their standard of living to a place where they don’t even understand they have an option to do other things. COVID-19 somewhat changed that, because now I just work remote and am able to draw boundaries. But even then, there are some long weeks and it’s virtual call after virtual call, and it’s draining... I am a leader and a hard worker, so it’s never a dull moment because I get involved, and I think about work outside of those working hours... and all of that is outside of the fact that I have many other things I need and want to do with my life, and gaining 45 hours per week back to do the things I want to do is worth so much to me. Conservatively, I would be getting 20,000 hours back of my life over the next 10 years. How do I have time for a full-time job?
Your salary is the money they give you to forget about your dreams.

Maybe the pay is high because the soul crushing nature is also high.

After you do this long enough, you can’t remember ever having dreams. And it is hard to Imagine what else you would do.
You might be on to something there
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Re: Quit corporate job @ age 34 with $1.3M?

Post by slyfox1357 »

Not much in your perspective on work can really be debated, but that doesn't mean you're ready to retire. Not the 'wait until 10M or 65' or the '25x expenses' stuff, just too many poor assumptions and lack of details that result in a low certainty of longevity of funds. Yeah, you can always go back to work, etc...but the best move now, is work 5-10 more years, start shoring up those assumptions and preparing better, then reasses.
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