Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

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Teachnik
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Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by Teachnik »

Dear BHs

Long time lurker. First time poster. The advice I'm looking for is not 100% financial, but I've seen similar threads over the years here and have always been impressed with the wisdom and perspective given by this community.

I'm mid-30s and work in education overseas. I'm going to be frustratingly vague about my job and location because my employer ruthlessly fires anyone who even makes the slightest grumbling noises.

Suffice to say I changed jobs from my wife's home country (where I worked immediately after graduating) to where I'm currently employed about 6 years ago. My salary went from about 30k to 150k/yr net. I should mention now that 20k/yr in my wife's country (where I'd been working for years before the move) goes a long way and we had enjoyed a great quality of life albeit only meager savings and we never felt poor. However for the sake of our (now young adult) child and future we made the move.

The first couple years or so in my new job and country I let lifestyle creep get the better of us but then I discovered these forums and the Boglehead Way. As of today:

AA: 80 total world / total bond
401k $280k
Roth IRA: $30k
Taxable: $6k
EF (Vanguard Moneymarket): $28k
Apartment in wife's home country: valued at $100k; bought new 4 years ago, paid off, generates $9k/yr in rent

I save one third of my paycheck (up from 25% earlier this year) plus a generous company match.
Max out my 401k and IRA contributions. I am also vested in a pension through my current employer. If I were to leave today I could expect to receive around $60k in a lump sum or take an annuity (8% of salary) beginning at age 60, no COLA. I prefer for planning purposes however to pretend that none of that money exists until I actually see it.

That's the financials. Now the dilemma from the title. I hate my job and we dislike where we live. There was a honeymoon period and it lasted a while, but it's over now for sure. My wife and I miss our old life in her country. We've traveled quite a bit, and we would be happier in almost any other country we've been than where we are now. As someone who has moved countries twice before I know well that visiting a place is not at all like living there. Even so, I'm confident this feeling is not just a phase.

Again, I am very reluctant to go into any specifics for fear of being identified although you can probably deduce. But simply put: I've never been happy here. I've put up with it because it was too good an offer to pass up financially. In the past year my wife (who for a long time enjoyed her lifestyle here) has started to feel the same way. Lateral movement in-country might be possible through my job, but once the novelty wore off we would be facing the same issues. Changing jobs to something I find more tolerable in the company simply is not possible.

The kid is in college now and is one year away from graduating. Tuition has been paid for. If we move back to wife's country the EF is more than enough to support kid's last year of expenses.

Basically as you can see I've already made up my mind that my job and location are intolerable and we need change. But I'm looking for perspective—especially from my elders—from this community before I pull the trigger irreversibly.

My dilemma is that I work in a field where I know I will never earn like this again. Ever. Absolute best case scenario anywhere in the world for someone with my skill set is I earn 50k/yr. 20-30k much more likely. I won the lotto financially when I got this job.

But honestly? It's really eating me up. I've read recent threads about quitting megacorp jobs and ticked every box. It is soulless completely meaningless work. I basically get paid to show up to work. No one at work cares about the quality of what we do. Any attempt to improve how things are done will get you in trouble or fired. I know I'm less employable now than when I got hired because the job is so mind-numbing. On top of that, tons of people have been laid off in recent months including many of our friends. The only guarantee the company has provided is that you'll get 60 days' notice when it's your turn.

My wife and our kid are my rock. I keep fit and have hobbies. I'm earning a masters online (remaining cost: $8.5k) But although I haven't felt the need to seek out a medical professional yet, I think it goes without saying that this job and this place have made me depressed.

My wife and I have talked about it of course. We're still employed through the pandemic, so intend to stay at least til that situation settles down. But then...?

Well, I'm asking all of you for your advice. My plan right now is to save more and apply for graduate study at some of the best schools in the world in my field. My online degree is keeping me sane but in my profession brick-and-mortar degrees are still the gold standard. If I get in, we might go for it, even though tuition and expenses would easily kill our EF plus anything extra we'd saved by then.

If not, I'm thinking I'll probably try and stay until my online degree ends in 2022, but taking it one day at a time. Would you, if you were in my shoes?

Thanks for making it to the end of the post and any thoughts will be much appreciated.
Dave55
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by Dave55 »

My 2 cents. I'm in my 60's now. If I were you, I would give my notice today. You have a lot of clarity about your situation. Good luck and let us know what you end up doing.

Dave
finite_difference
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by finite_difference »

Dave55 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:21 am My 2 cents. I'm in my 60's now. If I were you, I would give my notice today. You have a lot of clarity about your situation. Good luck and let us know what you end up doing.

Dave
+1, except I would second your decision to wait until the pandemic is over before handing in your notice.
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Bogle7
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Yes

Post by Bogle7 »

Life should be enjoyable.

After you quit please come back and gives us some details.
Keenobserver
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by Keenobserver »

I have yet to see someone regret quitting a job they really hate.
tashnewbie
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by tashnewbie »

I would quit. But, I'd have a plan and another job lined up before I quit. Start looking for a job wherever you want to live (whether that be wife's home country, etc).
Lee_WSP
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by Lee_WSP »

tashnewbie wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:54 am I would quit. But, I'd have a plan and another job lined up before I quit. Start looking for a job wherever you want to live (whether that be wife's home country, etc).
Yup. You don't want to be jobless
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vitaflo
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by vitaflo »

Sometimes the best personal decisions in life are not the best financial decisions. This sounds like one of those times. One cannot overstate the benefit of increasing your mental QoL. It is almost always worth it over increasing your income. There is no point in living your life being miserable, especially if you're ok with the alternative.

Find a place that suits you and makes you happy. Be thankful you took the job you have an learned something, that money isn't everything. At least you had some time to make extra while you learned that lesson.
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Blueskies123
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by Blueskies123 »

I too worked in another country making a ton of money but at some point, it's not worth it. I would tough it out until COVID is under control and the economy is coming back. It going to hard to find a job in your home country while overseas so you may have to quit and come back.
Save every penny you can, it may take you a while to get another job. An option would be to work as a contractor.
If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging
sd323232
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by sd323232 »

Well, since this is financial board, you do what's best for ur finances. If finance is not ur priority then quit.

All feelings aside, I would never quit 150k job. Period. I dont care how soul numbing the job is. You just dont walk away from 150k knowing you will never get paid same. I know this goes against what other people have already said, but you have to decide for yourself. Last thing u wanna do, is regret ur decision later, when u stuck at another soul numbing job, but getting paid 40k a year this time. Do not mess up a good thing going for u.
KlangFool
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by KlangFool »

OP,

Move after the pandemic is over. If you can live well at 20K per year, your net worth of 200+K and a paid-off apartment should be plenty for you in that country.


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bhough
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by bhough »

I assume you are working in a middle east oil rich company that can pay people multiples of the pay they'd receive elsewhere. Otherwise, I can't make sense of your situation. Having recently made a lateral career move and having to start as the new guy again making less than I'm worth, I think frequently about whether there was something I could have done to make my previous situation better. A few ideas to try and make your current situation better:

1. Ask for a day off/week in exchange for 10 hours/day 4 days/week.
2. Pay someone to do your laundry, cook, etc.
3. Get a massage/go to therapy/spend some money on yourself each week
4. Plan a get together after hours with work associates so you can privately grouse about the situation (free therapy except for drink/app bill)0s and

Another strategy:

1. Move to a much smaller house/apartment in this country and start living like a monk. Eat rice/beans everyday and start banking 90% of your paycheck. Go crazy with financial discipline with a clear date marked on your calendar for 2, 3, or 4 years and then track your process, knowing this is the last good money you might ever make.

Another strategy:

1. Can you geo-arbitrage and work in your wife's country remotely for this company?

Would the brick and mortar degree allow you to make this much money in a country you'd like? Are you sure? Following your dreams sounds great in your 20s and 30s, but it may not be great advice in your 40s.

Good luck!
KlangFool
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by KlangFool »

sd323232 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:16 am Well, since this is financial board, you do what's best for ur finances. If finance is not ur priority then quit.

All feelings aside, I would never quit 150k job. Period. I dont care how soul numbing the job is. You just dont walk away from 150k knowing you will never get paid same. I know this goes against what other people have already said, but you have to decide for yourself. Last thing u wanna do, is regret ur decision later, when u stuck at another soul numbing job, but getting paid 40k a year this time. Do not mess up a good thing going for u.

sd323232,

150K in country X may be equivalent to 20K in country Y due to the cost of living difference.


I had lived and worked in several countries. The basic conclusion that I reached is if you are paid several times the median income of that area, you will live very well.

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Gato
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by Gato »

You only live once. You move.
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by nigel_ht »

Teachnik wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:08 am
The kid is in college now and is one year away from graduating. Tuition has been paid for. If we move back to wife's country the EF is more than enough to support kid's last year of expenses.
...
My dilemma is that I work in a field where I know I will never earn like this again. Ever. Absolute best case scenario anywhere in the world for someone with my skill set is I earn 50k/yr. 20-30k much more likely. I won the lotto financially when I got this job.
...
My wife and our kid are my rock. I keep fit and have hobbies. I'm earning a masters online (remaining cost: $8.5k) But although I haven't felt the need to seek out a medical professional yet, I think it goes without saying that this job and this place have made me depressed.
...
My wife and I have talked about it of course. We're still employed through the pandemic, so intend to stay at least til that situation settles down. But then...?
...
Well, I'm asking all of you for your advice. My plan right now is to save more and apply for graduate study at some of the best schools in the world in my field. My online degree is keeping me sane but in my profession brick-and-mortar degrees are still the gold standard. If I get in, we might go for it, even though tuition and expenses would easily kill our EF plus anything extra we'd saved by then.

If not, I'm thinking I'll probably try and stay until my online degree ends in 2022, but taking it one day at a time. Would you, if you were in my shoes?
If your field typically tops out at $50K a year I wouldn't bother going to brick and mortar graduate school. The ROI seems questionable.

I'd keep your current plan...hold out through the pandemic...which I think might take you to 2022 and you get your degree and your kid graduates college. Given the job market your kid may boomerang unless he's in a hot field.

I'd say invest in his grad school if he can't find a job over your own but you're mid 30s so the ages aren't all that different.

Yah, it sucks but if you know it's only for another year or two it gets psychologically easier in me experience. Especially if you luck out and get a decent severance package.
KlangFool
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by KlangFool »

OP,


A) Once upon a time. I telecommuted my US job from Asia for several years.


B) Depending on what you are doing, we are migrating to a remote working model. So, it really does not matter where you are as long as you have a good Internet connection.

C) So, it might be possible for you to start a business to do your work remotely from another country.


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rich126
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by rich126 »

This is a personal decision. Some people "hate" their jobs but somehow stick it out 20, 30, 40 years. I was in one bad situation but was determined to stick it out (I almost took it as a personal challenge not to leave and let them "win"). It was a painful 12-18 months and certainly didn't do my health any good at that time, although hopefully no long term damage.

And honestly, I have been pondering similar thoughts, although not as severe financially, for a while now as I get closer to retirement. Do I want the higher paying job so I can save more for retirement or should I take the lower paying job and enjoy it more. I'm leaning more and more to the latter, especially since I had a friend who just passed away near my age (he was fortunate to get in a couple of years of retirement early before passing away).

Last year I left a safe government job to relocate and scratch an itch. Well, I realized now that was a bad decision (but one that had to be explored and I don't regret doing it) and would like to return but I'm not sure that will happen.

That is a big pay cut and in the US I wouldn't do it (20%, 30% but not 80%) but I don't know your situation and it may be ok there. Good luck.
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by nigel_ht »

bhough wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:21 am
Would the brick and mortar degree allow you to make this much money in a country you'd like? Are you sure? Following your dreams sounds great in your 20s and 30s, but it may not be great advice in your 40s.

Good luck!
Agreed.

Toughing it out another 5 years and saving 50% until age 40 makes following your dreams a lot easier. Then earning $20K a year following your dreams isn't bad.

My target would be to continue to max 401K while saving $250K in taxable before I quit. That would mean going back to a more frugal lifestyle while earning $150K for a few more years.

In his mid 30's he's got time to enjoy that toughing it out for 5 years isn't bad. Whats the worst that will happen?

He gets laid off? Oh well, he hates the job anyway.

He makes it to 5 years and makes another $750K gross? As long as he saves a lot he's set to move back to the LCOL country.
It is soulless completely meaningless work. I basically get paid to show up to work. No one at work cares about the quality of what we do.
There's a lot of folks who'd love to be in his situation...its a lot harder to FIRE on $50K a year than $150K a year.

Meh. They aren't working him 80 hrs a week if he can work on a masters degree, keep fit and have hobbies so mind crushingly bad work/life balance doesn't appear to be the issue.

My dad had an EdD, had tenure as full prof and didn't make $150K a year as a department head.
Last edited by nigel_ht on Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JupiterJones
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by JupiterJones »

I feel your pain. Sounds like you definitely do need to quit, with the question merely being "when"?

I would also be reluctant to leave without lining something else up, especially in the current pandemic situation, which is going to be a concern for quite some time.

Ditto for the degree. Sure would be nice to have that completed and on your resume when you go on the job hunt, wouldn't it? I wonder if there's any way to accelerate your progress there? Increase your classload, study and test out of more things, etc.? It would mean putting in some serious work, at the expense of getting to do a lot of what helps you cope with your job, but it (like everything in life) would only be temporary.

I also wonder if there is any control you might have over the things you don't like about your job. Are these things identifiable and perhaps changeable? Can you shape your job into something you don't hate as much, at least for as long as you stay in it while you work on the degree and wait for the pandemic to end?

Another option--and I'm only half-kidding here--is to pull an "Office Space" and just quit caring about your job. 8-)
Stay on target...
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by KlangFool »

nigel_ht wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:45 am
bhough wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:21 am
Would the brick and mortar degree allow you to make this much money in a country you'd like? Are you sure? Following your dreams sounds great in your 20s and 30s, but it may not be great advice in your 40s.

Good luck!
Agreed.

Toughing it out another 5 years and saving 50% until age 40 makes following your dreams a lot easier. Then earning $20K a year following your dreams isn't bad.

nigel_ht,

This is highly dependent on the job in the other country. In some countries, the issue of age discrimination is even worse. You can start over at age 30+ in country X but not at the age of 40.

This was true in my case. I moved to country X at the age of 30+. If I did it later, I could only be self-employed in country X.


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stockrex
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by stockrex »

Think of it like a working vac bro,
I have worked for #1 in the world in Kansas City and hated it and was treated like sheeesh, pay was sheesh too.

So if you are getting the mulas, work on making it fun, take up fishing, go on trips,
max out 401k and savings, come back to state side with a job in hand.

My buddies have taken 50% pay cut to avoid travelling. So if you have to, yes quit but figure out an exit plan
Reamus294
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by Reamus294 »

Sorry to hear about your situation. At least you aren't in a low paying soul sucking job. I included a lot of "if's" below because of the secrecy and lack of details on what you do and want. I'm guessing your salary is highly based on location, otherwise you should be able to find other companies that value what you do similarly. If your job is causing depression and other similar jobs wouldn't, make a plan to leave. If the degree would lead to the same $50K job without a degree, then it is a very expensive hobby.

I say go for the high-quality degree if:
getting this type of education is your dream,
and you can afford it now or it leads to a high salary later,
and the degree will lead to a non-soul-sucking job.

If you want to continue your online education, I would develop an exit plan and save as much as possible from your current job while you look for another job. Just having a concrete exit plan may provide some mental relief. No matter which school you continue with, start with some ground work for the job you want with some networking, school projects/research, or other avenues.

Good luck!
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by hoops777 »

If you are happy going back to your wife’s country permanently where you can live nicely on 20K per year,I would tough it out a few more years and save every penny. I would think at that point you would be financially secure and able to really enjoy the rest of your life. Get your degree or not.
How bad can your job be? I would mentally put myself in a position imagining how bad so many people have it working for a couple dollars a day, doing back breaking work, and suffer through my 150K a year job and use it to bank my familiy’s future happiness. Is it really so intolerable?
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Brianmcg321
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by Brianmcg321 »

Start making plans to move in a year. Stash as much cash as you can. Life is too short.
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egrets
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by egrets »

I would stick it out the remaining year until the kid has graduated. I assume he or she is going to college in that country? Meanwhile I'd save as much as possible, and start looking for a job in the country you want to live in a few months before the end of that year.

Few things feel better than quitting a horrible job. Just be sure you have a good job lined up.

I agree that if you wait too long, you may encounter age discrimination.
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Christine_NM
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by Christine_NM »

Almost everyone I've known has chosen to do whatever seems best for the future of their children. If the job has no direct psychic rewards for you, but you can see advantages for your child, it would be tough to give it up.

I don't think you have saved enough to take much risk on the job market. You have only been saving 25%? That's peanuts on this forum. Too bad about the ls creep. Get rid of that ASAP. Set a savings goal and don't quit till you meet it.

Last, it would be easy to get paid $30k to do a job that is just as soul-numbing as the one you have. Most jobs are soul-numbing by definition. Everyone's first job seems fun and life is great for the first couple years till reality sets in. You cannot go back to those days regardless of how little you make.

Hope this helps.
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Dude2
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by Dude2 »

I just got back in July from working in the Middle East for several years (off/on about six years total), not saying that is where we are talking about, honestly I don't see how we can even guess the location. Anyway, all I can say is the difference in vacationing in, say, Thailand versus living/working in the ME is as significant as going to the moon. There are just places that feel wrong, and the job also feels wrong, even if you like the people you work with and don't have any major hang ups about different cultures. Some places fit, some don't.

My vote is to get the hell out of wherever this is and return either to the US or to the laid-back location of the wife's home country. I mean, the same can be said to some extent in the US. There are plenty of places that have the jobs, high salaries, but there are strings attached. Sounds like you've suffered for six years. That's plenty long enough.

All that being said, these are difficult times, and everybody is mentally perturbed to some extent.
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casualflower
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by casualflower »

If you can happily live off of $20K a year in you're wife's home country, you've got not financial need to continue with this job if you can move. Quit today.

You're making $9K a year on the rental. Your expenses are $11K a year. You don't say how old you are, but you've got $310K in retirement savings, that's 30x, more when you hit retirement age. You don't need to save for retirement anymore. You can work for $20K /yr and be completely comfortable.

Best of luck!
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by neverpanic »

casualflower wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 1:56 pm If you can happily live off of $20K a year in you're wife's home country, you've got not financial need to continue with this job if you can move. Quit today.

You're making $9K a year on the rental. Your expenses are $11K a year. You don't say how old you are, but you've got $310K in retirement savings, that's 30x, more when you hit retirement age. You don't need to save for retirement anymore. You can work for $20K /yr and be completely comfortable.

Best of luck!
^ OP - The math is right. The math says you can definitely afford it. And the candor of your post indicates you have made your decision and had a clear mind when you made the choice.

Unfortunately for me, my only true lens is that of a capitalist in a (mostly) capitalist culture. I'm looking at that $150K and thinking you've got to make that money for as long as you can and for as long as you can stand it, but that's because of where I grew up and where I live now. You have a completely different perspective and I think your choice is validated for all the reasons you have outlined.
I am not a financial professional or guru. I'm a schmuck who got lucky 10 times. Such is the life of the trader.
JBTX
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by JBTX »

If you are that miserable I'd move back. Just a question of timing. I'd be saving a lot more than 30%, if possible while there. If you are spending most of the additional in lifestyle creep and are still miserable it defeats the purpose of being there in the first place.

I think the idea of sticking there during covid is a good one.
quantAndHold
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by quantAndHold »

I assume in a perfect world, you’d move back to wife’s home country. How far are you from being able to do that and just live off of savings? assume you’re not there yet, so what are your job prospects in that country?

If this were me, as long as the job isn’t causing health issues, I would stick it out at least until your youngest is through college and launched. In the meantime I would live simply and try to save as much as possible.

Even if you can’t just quit, you have enough money that you could take some time and change to a new career if you wanted. Some of the moves you’d need to take for that aren’t so easy mid-pandemic, but it’s certainly a good time to start thinking about what you want the next part of your life to be, and what you need to do to get there.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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celia
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by celia »

I think you should consider where you want to retire and if you will be able to afford to when the time comes. If you will retire in your current location, you are likely fine. But if you are a US citizen hoping to retire in the US, you probably won’t have enough nor be eligible for Social Security.
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Watty
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by Watty »

Teachnik wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:08 am I should mention now that 20k/yr in my wife's country (where I'd been working for years before the move) goes a long way and we had enjoyed a great quality of life.......
One big thing to keep in mind is that you might be able to live very well there on $20K a year now but things can change so that might not be always be true especially when you retire.

For example I know someone that was in parts of Central America in the 1980s and while very basic there were things like beachfront hotel rooms for a few dollars a night, sort of a laid back hippy paradise.

Now in that same area there are half million dollar condos that have security guards because the crime rate is so high
Teachnik wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:08 am If not, I'm thinking I'll probably try and stay until my online degree ends in 2022, but taking it one day at a time. Would you, if you were in my shoes?
That sound like a reasonable plan especially if you save like crazy until then.
10YearPlan
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by 10YearPlan »

You seem to be limiting your employment choices to your current employer in your current country. Is that because they are the only employer in your field? If not, then I'd seek employment at another company, perhaps with similar compensation while contemplating your longer term move. Assuming that is not possible because you did not mention it, then I'd make a 1-2 year plan to move back to your preferred location, all the while socking more money away than you have been. If you get laid off while in the middle of this, oh well. If you decide that you can stick it out longer, then great.If not, then you evaluate at year one and/or take action accordingly. For a lot of people (from what I have read on this board anyway) seem to get almost instant relief from putting a date on their retirement--it makes it easier to tolerate and/or distance yourself from all the politics and unrealistic expectations, etc. It might just make things a smidge less soul-crushing, but even if it doesn't, that's ok because your time is limited.
Old Sage(brush)
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by Old Sage(brush) »

I’m having a little trouble understanding how OP is in mid-30s and has a kid about to graduate from college but will assume there’s an explanation such as not biological kid or numbers fudged for anonymity. Guess it doesn’t matter. My two cents on quitting the job is yes, you should quit but do it in a planned way. So you may need to stay in it for longer than you’d like to make a smoother transition even if it’s tempting to more immediately make a life over job/finance decision as some suggest. As a point of reference I stayed in a couple of jobs I hated over the course of a career while figuring out how to move out, in fact one for 5 years longer than I would have liked. Not a preferred course but people do it. Tough decision, good luck.
Cruise
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by Cruise »

OP:

Unfortunately, you have learned the disconnect between income and life satisfaction. No amount of money is going to be worth a deterioration of your health. Before you pull the plug, some suggestions:

1. Get counseling from a professional.
2. Take a vacation.
3. Consider whether any job modifications would increase your well-being.
3. At the end of the counseling, consideration and vacation, go back to work and see if it sucks as bad as it used to. If it does, put in your notice.

Good luck.
hudson
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by hudson »

Get another job before quitting.
If you change countries, I'm sure that you'll figure out what it will take to move covid-wise.
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by abuss368 »

finite_difference wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:43 am
Dave55 wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:21 am My 2 cents. I'm in my 60's now. If I were you, I would give my notice today. You have a lot of clarity about your situation. Good luck and let us know what you end up doing.

Dave
+1, except I would second your decision to wait until the pandemic is over before handing in your notice.
Excellent advice all the way around.
John C. Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by stoptothink »

Old Sage(brush) wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:16 pm I’m having a little trouble understanding how OP is in mid-30s and has a kid about to graduate from college but will assume there’s an explanation such as not biological kid or numbers fudged for anonymity.
By the time my mom was in her mid-30's, all but one of her kids was in college. That's what happens when you have 4 kids by age 20 and the 5th at 22. It happens.
Compound
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by Compound »

Sounds like a change is in order.

Like others, I’d suggest you start planning the move during the pandemic and then execute it once it makes the most sense for you and your family.

The outstanding question in my mind has more to do with your educational aspirations. You suggest that graduate school may be in order. Unfortunately due to the necessary vagaries of your post, it’s challenging to comment on how wise planning for that education is.

Wishing you luck.
Stick5vw
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by Stick5vw »

You only live once. It sounds like you have made up your mind, and it’s just a question of time. See if you can tweak the job somehow to make it palatable. If there’s no chance of that, start designing your exit plan and get your financial house in order. The longer the runway available to you the better, as you don’t know how long the transition will take. Having that $$ cushion will let you sleep at night while you figure out your next step(s).

While these types of pivots can be VERY stressful, they can also be liberating. Having a clean slate allows you to decompress and see things in a new light. Use the time wisely and be deliberate about your next move. Good luck!
BH+
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by BH+ »

You have a unique opportunity to achieve FI (financial independence) if you can muddle along for another few years. With an income of 150k net, if you save 100k for 3 years, added to your current savings, you would get somewhere close to 600k in investments. It may not be easy if you live in a HCOL area, but it can be done in many places. If you are content to live on 20k per year in your new country, that will amount to 30 times expenses, which may not be optimal for someone in his mid 30s, but is close to being FI. After that you will not be dependent on a paycheck and have more options available to you.
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by 2tall4economy »

I’ve had two jobs and about 3 years in my career where the country and or my direct boss were so miserable I had anxiety every morning when I woke up and drank every night.

In both cases i sucked it up until I had another job opportunity lined up.

I checked out mentally at work and focused on hobbies and personal improvement.

Then I took utmost pleasure in telling them to go f themselves the day I got my signed offer and sign on bonus.
You can do anything you want in life. The rub is that there are consequences.
bltn
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by bltn »

I would try to save another 100,000 dollars, taxable, over the next two years, and plan to start looking for another job at that time.
By then, covid will be resolved, and you will have your degree completed, and your son will be out of school.
You ll feel better with a planned end point for your current job . Of course, have your next job lined up before you turn in your notice.
azianbob
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by azianbob »

If you hate your job because it is boring, I would just stay. It seems your stress is from the fact you cannot add any creativity or try to better the job, and your stress is not caused by bad coworkers and bosses and deadline stress.

If your job is hated because of a bad boss or the work is very difficult, then I would consider a move once COVID situation evens out and you have figured out health insurance.
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by GetSmarter »

Teachnik wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:08 am Dear BHs

Long time lurker. First time poster. The advice I'm looking for is not 100% financial, but I've seen similar threads over the years here and have always been impressed with the wisdom and perspective given by this community.

I'm mid-30s and work in education overseas. I'm going to be frustratingly vague about my job and location because my employer ruthlessly fires anyone who even makes the slightest grumbling noises.

Suffice to say I changed jobs from my wife's home country (where I worked immediately after graduating) to where I'm currently employed about 6 years ago. My salary went from about 30k to 150k/yr net. I should mention now that 20k/yr in my wife's country (where I'd been working for years before the move) goes a long way and we had enjoyed a great quality of life albeit only meager savings and we never felt poor. However for the sake of our (now young adult) child and future we made the move.

The first couple years or so in my new job and country I let lifestyle creep get the better of us but then I discovered these forums and the Boglehead Way. As of today:

AA: 80 total world / total bond
401k $280k
Roth IRA: $30k
Taxable: $6k
EF (Vanguard Moneymarket): $28k
Apartment in wife's home country: valued at $100k; bought new 4 years ago, paid off, generates $9k/yr in rent

I save one third of my paycheck (up from 25% earlier this year) plus a generous company match.
Max out my 401k and IRA contributions. I am also vested in a pension through my current employer. If I were to leave today I could expect to receive around $60k in a lump sum or take an annuity (8% of salary) beginning at age 60, no COLA. I prefer for planning purposes however to pretend that none of that money exists until I actually see it.

That's the financials. Now the dilemma from the title. I hate my job and we dislike where we live. There was a honeymoon period and it lasted a while, but it's over now for sure. My wife and I miss our old life in her country. We've traveled quite a bit, and we would be happier in almost any other country we've been than where we are now. As someone who has moved countries twice before I know well that visiting a place is not at all like living there. Even so, I'm confident this feeling is not just a phase.

Again, I am very reluctant to go into any specifics for fear of being identified although you can probably deduce. But simply put: I've never been happy here. I've put up with it because it was too good an offer to pass up financially. In the past year my wife (who for a long time enjoyed her lifestyle here) has started to feel the same way. Lateral movement in-country might be possible through my job, but once the novelty wore off we would be facing the same issues. Changing jobs to something I find more tolerable in the company simply is not possible.

The kid is in college now and is one year away from graduating. Tuition has been paid for. If we move back to wife's country the EF is more than enough to support kid's last year of expenses.

Basically as you can see I've already made up my mind that my job and location are intolerable and we need change. But I'm looking for perspective—especially from my elders—from this community before I pull the trigger irreversibly.

My dilemma is that I work in a field where I know I will never earn like this again. Ever. Absolute best case scenario anywhere in the world for someone with my skill set is I earn 50k/yr. 20-30k much more likely. I won the lotto financially when I got this job.

But honestly? It's really eating me up. I've read recent threads about quitting megacorp jobs and ticked every box. It is soulless completely meaningless work. I basically get paid to show up to work. No one at work cares about the quality of what we do. Any attempt to improve how things are done will get you in trouble or fired. I know I'm less employable now than when I got hired because the job is so mind-numbing. On top of that, tons of people have been laid off in recent months including many of our friends. The only guarantee the company has provided is that you'll get 60 days' notice when it's your turn.

My wife and our kid are my rock. I keep fit and have hobbies. I'm earning a masters online (remaining cost: $8.5k) But although I haven't felt the need to seek out a medical professional yet, I think it goes without saying that this job and this place have made me depressed.

My wife and I have talked about it of course. We're still employed through the pandemic, so intend to stay at least til that situation settles down. But then...?

Well, I'm asking all of you for your advice. My plan right now is to save more and apply for graduate study at some of the best schools in the world in my field. My online degree is keeping me sane but in my profession brick-and-mortar degrees are still the gold standard. If I get in, we might go for it, even though tuition and expenses would easily kill our EF plus anything extra we'd saved by then.

If not, I'm thinking I'll probably try and stay until my online degree ends in 2022, but taking it one day at a time. Would you, if you were in my shoes?

Thanks for making it to the end of the post and any thoughts will be much appreciated.
Life is short. You're miserable at your job. If it were me, I'd find a way to leave soul-numbing job and live a simple, soul-satisfying life. It sounds like you have rental income, savings, and we know you write well. So you have multiple skills to apply to a new creative endeavor. Maybe a part-time consulting job while you finish school? I vote for figuring out how to enjoy life ASAP. My 2 cents. I gave up a lucrative career years ago for a fulfilling career. I didn't have kids to consider. Earning money had come easy to me, and I figured it would again if I wanted it to. Spoiler alert: I never earned as much as I did in my former career but my life became richer. I lived simply. Good luck to you whatever you decide.
“The more simple we are, the more complete we become.” August Rodin | | “The less I needed, the better I felt.” Charles Bukowski
Chicken Little
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by Chicken Little »

You have to play the game you're in (work, save, invest, retire).

These threads are common; leaving a relatively high-paying job for whatever reason.

How many people really love their job? How many of those people simply don't know about better jobs? How many people would love to quit their job? How many people are happy every day at their job?

At some point, the question becomes why don't we all quit? Certainly there's happiness to be gained.

You asked for an older person's opinion. My opinion is that the way out is to work until the pile of money is big enough to stop.
Dude2
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by Dude2 »

Chicken Little wrote: Sun Sep 27, 2020 5:16 amMy opinion is that the way out is to work until the pile of money is big enough to stop.
Doesn't take into account a toxic work environment. Doesn't take into account how labor laws have evolved over decades. If people did nothing, nothing would be done to improve things. Surprisingly, when a large turnover rate happens, this gets noticed, and companies that wish to remain in business take active steps to fix it. In this particular case, the OP isn't even in the US, so there is simply no limit to the hell he might have to endure, and there may also be no legal remedy to anything. His only option is to vote with his feet.
Henceforth I’ll bear Affliction till it do cry out itself, “Enough, enough,” and die.
000
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by 000 »

Sure, but first double check that there aren't other non-job problems: spiritual, health, family, etc.

Taking an 80% pay cut to discover you were part of the problem (not saying you are) would be a double whammy.
snailderby
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Re: Should I Quit Hated Job And Take 80% Pay Cut?

Post by snailderby »

1. If you can live comfortably on $20K per year in your wife's home country, and your rental generates $9K per year, then you just have to cover $11K per year to retire there, right?

2. Would you be OK with living in your wife's home country for the rest of your life?
Last edited by snailderby on Sun Sep 27, 2020 6:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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