The great FIRE resignation?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 2250
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

The great FIRE resignation?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Almost two years into the pandemic, we've heard and seen the great job resignation & rotation for better jobs, higher salary.

Has anyone here either accelerated their plans for retiring early, OR decided to take a meaningful break form work (3 to 12 months, sabbatical etc)?
I think about the latter more and more.

Keep hearing burnout is more and more an issue at work. However, i don't see many employers offering official breaks, sabbaticals (just lines about take your PTO - which is still good to hear...)
I did see this a lot more in Europe, sometimes with the same company! (Big 4 etc). I wonder why career breaks are more the norm/offered in other parts of the world?

I feel like companies will be forced to offer this kind of benefit once the big firms (Facebook, Google etc) make this a part of their HR benefits.
Others normally follow their lead.

Anyway, just wanted to take a pulse survey from this group. It will help me learn from other peoples experiences.
I can edit this OP as needed.

Cheers & stay healthy!
:sharebeer
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
MAKsdad
Posts: 329
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2021 7:43 am

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by MAKsdad »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:33 pm Almost two years into the pandemic, we've heard and seen the great job resignation & rotation for better jobs, higher salary.

Has anyone here either accelerated their plans for retiring early, OR decided to take a meaningful break form work (3 to 12 months, sabbatical etc)?
I think about the latter more and more.

Keep hearing burnout is more and more an issue at work. However, i don't see many employers offering official breaks, sabbaticals (just lines about take your PTO - which is still good to hear...)
I did see this a lot more in Europe, sometimes with the same company! (Big 4 etc). I wonder why career breaks are more the norm/offered in other parts of the world?

I feel like companies will be forced to offer this kind of benefit once the big firms (Facebook, Google etc) make this a part of their HR benefits.
Others normally follow their lead.

Anyway, just wanted to take a pulse survey from this group. It will help me learn from other peoples experiences.
I can edit this OP as needed.

Cheers & stay healthy!
:sharebeer
The pandemic actually caused me to delay my ER by a year. I didn't think it made sense to quit when they were paying me to work at home. When we went back to the office in the fall, that clinched it for me and I announced my retirement in Jan.
randomguy
Posts: 9836
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by randomguy »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:33 pm
I feel like companies will be forced to offer this kind of benefit once the big firms (Facebook, Google etc) make this a part of their HR benefits.
Others normally follow their lead.

Tech companies have been offering sabbaticals and the like since the 90s. The reality is not much of the workforce is in demand enough for companies to pander to them. And not enough of the population has the money to just stop working at 45. Don't let the internet popularity of a movement make something bigger than it is. It is easy for a couple thousand people to create a echo chamber...
GP813
Posts: 260
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:11 am

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by GP813 »

The American worker has been overworked for decades. The pandemic caused a lot of existential thinking among people. When faced with your own mortality or a stark outline of what work/life balance is supposed to be, many have changed their thinking and priorities. You see it reflected in the surveys and polls of people saying they'd take less money to work from home or even leave a good paying job to look for one with a more flexible work/life balance.
Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 2250
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Thanks MaksDad & congrats on retiring!
Boundaries at work are kinda non existent. The WFH benefits are great, but the expectations in general are outsized. I’m actually fortunate it’s not a huge issue for me, but my tolerance is diminishing fast. Lol
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 2250
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

randomguy wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:38 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:33 pm
I feel like companies will be forced to offer this kind of benefit once the big firms (Facebook, Google etc) make this a part of their HR benefits.
Others normally follow their lead.

Tech companies have been offering sabbaticals and the like since the 90s. The reality is not much of the workforce is in demand enough for companies to pander to them. And not enough of the population has the money to just stop working at 45. Don't let the internet popularity of a movement make something bigger than it is. It is easy for a couple thousand people to create a echo chamber...
Hmmm. Not sure I’d agree. I don’t know many people who have access to sabbaticals (tech companies in the Bay Area) or have taken them. I think this benefit has actually gone away at most tech companies. Intel May be the one I know that still has it?
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 2250
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

GP813 wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:39 pm The American worker has been overworked for decades. The pandemic caused a lot of existential thinking among people. When faced with your own mortality or a stark outline of what work/life balance is supposed to be, many have changed their thinking and priorities. You see it reflected in the surveys and polls of people saying they'd take less money to work from home or even leave a good paying job to look for one with a more flexible work/life balance.
Agree. Thanks for your response GP
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
hoofaman
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:39 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by hoofaman »

As a full time remote worker, I'm not sure what I would stand to gain at this point. I have almost complete autonomy of my time already, and we have plenty of time off available to take for travel, spend time with kids, and pursue hobbies. Sure, I spend part of my week working, but I still enjoy it. When I stop enjoying it I guess that's when it's time to go
stoptothink
Posts: 10708
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by stoptothink »

My wife took a higher pressure sales job in Fintech last August. She was abundantly clear that she was a mom first and wasn't working over 40hrs/week or traveling non-stop. Five months in and she was killing it, but having to work 50+hrs/week to keep up and then a situation occurred on Christmas Eve where they wanted here to head to the nearest airport and fly to Virginia. Luckily it was resolved, but she told them she's quitting a few days later. They begged her to stay; she's currently on her 2nd week of paid time off and they'll be cutting her work load down (which means less $, but we don't need her income) and she has in writing that she will not travel more than once a month under any circumstances. She on-boarded with 8 other people in August (in various departments all over the company) and she is the only one left. This particularly company does have a reputation for being an insane grind, but paying better than anyone else.

I accepted an internal transfer November 2020, the pandemic has been absolutely amazing for my work/life balance. With full-time WFH, total autonomy, and a great boss; although we are pretty close to FIRE now, I see no reason to stop until they can't pay me anymore.
JoeNJ28
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:13 am

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by JoeNJ28 »

Would love to take some time off and have the funds to do it if I didn’t lose the genetic lottery and be born sick. Have tried to figure out a way to make it work but haven’t been able to so far. Unfortunately I’ll have to work until retirement to have health insurance, yay me. That being said a good friend just left his job because their employer wasn’t giving raises that even kept up with inflation. They are going to take a few months off and see what’s out there.

Our company a large fortune 100 involved in finance just announced significant raises and from what I was told by a friend in management they are trying to stem the tide of people leaving.

I would say if you have the funds and it won’t set you back to far take some time off and recharge. You only live once.
visualguy
Posts: 2432
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:32 am

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by visualguy »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:43 pm
randomguy wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:38 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:33 pm
I feel like companies will be forced to offer this kind of benefit once the big firms (Facebook, Google etc) make this a part of their HR benefits.
Others normally follow their lead.

Tech companies have been offering sabbaticals and the like since the 90s. The reality is not much of the workforce is in demand enough for companies to pander to them. And not enough of the population has the money to just stop working at 45. Don't let the internet popularity of a movement make something bigger than it is. It is easy for a couple thousand people to create a echo chamber...
Hmmm. Not sure I’d agree. I don’t know many people who have access to sabbaticals (tech companies in the Bay Area) or have taken them. I think this benefit has actually gone away at most tech companies. Intel May be the one I know that still has it?
I don't think most tech companies ever had this. It is possible to take a leave of absence, but nothing is guaranteed at the end of it, and it's very rare for anyone to go on such a leave.
Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 2250
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

visualguy wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:57 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:43 pm
randomguy wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:38 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:33 pm
I feel like companies will be forced to offer this kind of benefit once the big firms (Facebook, Google etc) make this a part of their HR benefits.
Others normally follow their lead.

Tech companies have been offering sabbaticals and the like since the 90s. The reality is not much of the workforce is in demand enough for companies to pander to them. And not enough of the population has the money to just stop working at 45. Don't let the internet popularity of a movement make something bigger than it is. It is easy for a couple thousand people to create a echo chamber...
Hmmm. Not sure I’d agree. I don’t know many people who have access to sabbaticals (tech companies in the Bay Area) or have taken them. I think this benefit has actually gone away at most tech companies. Intel May be the one I know that still has it?
I don't think most tech companies ever had this. It is possible to take a leave of absence, but nothing is guaranteed at the end of it, and it's very rare for anyone to go on such a leave.
Back in the big 4 days, early/mid 2000's my old company offered unpaid 3 month sabbaticals. Some lucky souls took it and had the time of their lives (e.g. Alaska for 2/3 months, south america etc etc). I think that was directly tied to the economy at the time (and only offered one-time i think), and more about the company saving $, but not losing billable resources ;)
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
retiringwhen
Posts: 2550
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:09 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by retiringwhen »

visualguy wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:57 pm I don't think most tech companies ever had this. It is possible to take a leave of absence, but nothing is guaranteed at the end of it, and it's very rare for anyone to go on such a leave.
Intel is the only tech company with sabbaticals I know.

BTW, I was thinking of retiring in 2020, but the pandemic gave me reason to stick around (I was stuck at home already! and I have been a 100% telecommuter for a decade).

I am starting the transition to retirement this year. If 18 hrs/week doesn't mess with my desires, I may keep at it for a while! There is little financial incentive for me to stick around, except somewhat cheaper health benefits. I do like some of the challenges.
Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 2250
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

stoptothink wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:53 pm My wife took a higher pressure sales job in Fintech last August. She was abundantly clear that she was a mom first and wasn't working over 40hrs/week or traveling non-stop. Five months in and she was killing it, but having to work 50+hrs/week to keep up and then a situation occurred on Christmas Eve where they wanted here to head to the nearest airport and fly to Virginia. Luckily it was resolved, but she told them she's quitting a few days later. They begged her to stay; she's currently on her 2nd week of paid time off and they'll be cutting her work load down (which means less $, but we don't need her income) and she has in writing that she will not travel more than once a month under any circumstances. She on-boarded with 8 other people in August (in various departments all over the company) and she is the only one left. This particularly company does have a reputation for being an insane grind, but paying better than anyone else.

I accepted an internal transfer November 2020, the pandemic has been absolutely amazing for my work/life balance. With full-time WFH, total autonomy, and a great boss; although we are pretty close to FIRE now, I see no reason to stop until they can't pay me anymore.
sounds brutal for your wife. good luck to her - some of these companies/roles/orgs are thankless :(.
Glad you have better balance!
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
User avatar
warner25
Posts: 634
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:38 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by warner25 »

I've actually extended my own plans during this pandemic to work for at least three more years. To your point, it's partially because my employer has offered me something like a sabbatical to attend a PhD program. Work-life balance during the pandemic has been much better for me at times, and worse at other times, but at least it gave me a taste of working from home (about 40% for the first year) and made me realize that I could happily do that in the future instead of retiring as early as possible.

If I were in a job where work-from-home never happened, I would be beyond burned out and rushing for an exit at this point.
User avatar
AerialWombat
Posts: 2416
Joined: Tue May 29, 2018 1:07 pm
Location: Cash Canyon / Cashville

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by AerialWombat »

I sold my business and retired in December.

Then immediately started another side hustle biz that I don’t need. I’m managing to keep it at 4-hour workweek level, but it’s already clear that it could easily creep upwards.

I should have taken some pure time off. Zero projects. But I’m just not wired that way.
For entertainment purposes only.
sailaway
Posts: 4232
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by sailaway »

retiringwhen wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:07 pm
visualguy wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:57 pm I don't think most tech companies ever had this. It is possible to take a leave of absence, but nothing is guaranteed at the end of it, and it's very rare for anyone to go on such a leave.
Intel is the only tech company with sabbaticals I know.

BTW, I was thinking of retiring in 2020, but the pandemic gave me reason to stick around (I was stuck at home already! and I have been a 100% telecommuter for a decade).

I am starting the transition to retirement this year. If 18 hrs/week doesn't mess with my desires, I may keep at it for a while! There is little financial incentive for me to stick around, except somewhat cheaper health benefits. I do like some of the challenges.
AMD had sabbaticals a few years ago, but it was only a month. Not sure if you could work something out unpaid, as we were just ramping up our savings back then.
randomguy
Posts: 9836
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:00 am

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by randomguy »

retiringwhen wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:07 pm
visualguy wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:57 pm I don't think most tech companies ever had this. It is possible to take a leave of absence, but nothing is guaranteed at the end of it, and it's very rare for anyone to go on such a leave.
Intel is the only tech company with sabbaticals I know.

BTW, I was thinking of retiring in 2020, but the pandemic gave me reason to stick around (I was stuck at home already! and I have been a 100% telecommuter for a decade).

I am starting the transition to retirement this year. If 18 hrs/week doesn't mess with my desires, I may keep at it for a while! There is little financial incentive for me to stick around, except somewhat cheaper health benefits. I do like some of the challenges.
The half dozen I applied to/worked with in the 90s/early 00s all had them. I have no clue if they still do. The reality was it was never much of an incentive. If after 4+ years you couldn't afford to take 12-16 weeks off without pay, things hadn't gone well. And if your boss didn't value you enough that they would give you unpaid leave, the company sure didn't want to retain you... Again if this was a valuable perk that people really cared about, all the companies competing for talent would have it. It hasn't been.

There have also been a couple of cycles with remote work versus everyone on a central campus. We will see if remote work sticks this time after the companies have basically been forced to do it for 2 years.

And of all the people I know who were "retiring" in their 30s/40s, pretty much all of them would have keep working if they could have done 20-24/hr weeks. Things like job sharing get a lot of press but I have seen very few examples of it. Maybe if the worker shortage continues...
Humility101
Posts: 144
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:39 am

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by Humility101 »

I wouldnt’t say I am in the FIRE resignation camp, but there is something mentally going on that is really making me rethink everything. I work remotely and it is very flexible, but my 3.4% annual raise does not keep up with 7% inflation, not to mention 20% increases in housing in my area.

It is a strange feeling having a six figure income and feeling like your barely skating by. I don’t feel poor, but we are certainly not living anything like the American Dream.
Have one kid and another on the way and can’t afford to scale up from our 2 bedroom 800 sq. ft condo. I am looking for higher paying jobs or possibly a side hustle, but I’ll be honest, things feel sort of hopeless. Feels weird making more than both my parents did (combined) at my age, and yet having a much lower quality of life for my kids. Must be doing it wrong.

Cheers,

Humility101
User avatar
BrooklynInvest
Posts: 531
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:23 am

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by BrooklynInvest »

My FIRE "resignation" was forced - got laid off. A hit to the ego but other than that a significant quality of life improvement.

Am doing some consulting. I'll probably make a quarter of what I was but I'm working half as hard and dealing with a tenth of the nastiness. My plan is to do this until my son goes to pubic school and we don't have daycare/nanny expenses. Then I'll withdraw 3 1/2% of my portfolio and retire fully or work very part time.

For me I don't wanna be twiddling my thumbs in a pandemic winter and the sudden and somewhat unexpected transition from accumulation to decumulation was uncomfortable. Having a bit of money coming in is psychological more important than fiscally important. I have work to do there!
Random Poster
Posts: 2628
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:17 am

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by Random Poster »

I got laid off in March, 2020, from a job that I didn’t particularly like and was planning on quitting in April or May anyway. Still, the lead up the layoff was stressful.

Haven’t really looked for a job since.

I might be retired.

I guess I’ll know in 20 years if I made an okay decision.
Most experiences are better imagined.
marcopolo
Posts: 5438
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:22 am

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by marcopolo »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:33 pm Almost two years into the pandemic, we've heard and seen the great job resignation & rotation for better jobs, higher salary.

Has anyone here either accelerated their plans for retiring early, OR decided to take a meaningful break form work (3 to 12 months, sabbatical etc)?
I think about the latter more and more.

Keep hearing burnout is more and more an issue at work. However, i don't see many employers offering official breaks, sabbaticals (just lines about take your PTO - which is still good to hear...)
I did see this a lot more in Europe, sometimes with the same company! (Big 4 etc). I wonder why career breaks are more the norm/offered in other parts of the world?

I feel like companies will be forced to offer this kind of benefit once the big firms (Facebook, Google etc) make this a part of their HR benefits.
Others normally follow their lead.

Anyway, just wanted to take a pulse survey from this group. It will help me learn from other peoples experiences.
I can edit this OP as needed.

Cheers & stay healthy!
:sharebeer
The "great resignation" story seems to be largely an urban myth.
There was an almost immediate steep drop off when the pandemic first started, but the labor participation rate has been steadily climbing since then. It is currently at its post-pandemic high.
https://www.bls.gov/charts/employment-s ... n-rate.htm

If there was really a steady stream of resignations (not just job changes), you would expect the labor participation rate to continue to decline, no?
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
SnowBog
Posts: 2674
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:21 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by SnowBog »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:43 pm
randomguy wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:38 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:33 pm
I feel like companies will be forced to offer this kind of benefit once the big firms (Facebook, Google etc) make this a part of their HR benefits.
Others normally follow their lead.

Tech companies have been offering sabbaticals and the like since the 90s. The reality is not much of the workforce is in demand enough for companies to pander to them. And not enough of the population has the money to just stop working at 45. Don't let the internet popularity of a movement make something bigger than it is. It is easy for a couple thousand people to create a echo chamber...
Hmmm. Not sure I’d agree. I don’t know many people who have access to sabbaticals (tech companies in the Bay Area) or have taken them. I think this benefit has actually gone away at most tech companies. Intel May be the one I know that still has it?
I think they still exist, at least at a few I know of, but they are mostly for the very senior levels. The majority of the employees will never get them...
stoptothink
Posts: 10708
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by stoptothink »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:12 pm
stoptothink wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:53 pm My wife took a higher pressure sales job in Fintech last August. She was abundantly clear that she was a mom first and wasn't working over 40hrs/week or traveling non-stop. Five months in and she was killing it, but having to work 50+hrs/week to keep up and then a situation occurred on Christmas Eve where they wanted here to head to the nearest airport and fly to Virginia. Luckily it was resolved, but she told them she's quitting a few days later. They begged her to stay; she's currently on her 2nd week of paid time off and they'll be cutting her work load down (which means less $, but we don't need her income) and she has in writing that she will not travel more than once a month under any circumstances. She on-boarded with 8 other people in August (in various departments all over the company) and she is the only one left. This particularly company does have a reputation for being an insane grind, but paying better than anyone else.

I accepted an internal transfer November 2020, the pandemic has been absolutely amazing for my work/life balance. With full-time WFH, total autonomy, and a great boss; although we are pretty close to FIRE now, I see no reason to stop until they can't pay me anymore.
sounds brutal for your wife. good luck to her - some of these companies/roles/orgs are thankless :(.
Glad you have better balance!
High compensation comes from doing things others are not capable or willing to do. She made a choice; to chase big money, knowing full well there would be trade-offs. She now realizes those trade-offs aren't worth it in our situation. "Thankless" is not a word I would use for jobs paying $250k+/yr for someone in their mid-30's without any real professional training. My wife is a superstar, but she has a business management degree from a university nobody has ever heard of and was making $12/hr 6yrs ago. Even with a guaranteed 40hr/week and limited traveling, she's going to make way more than she ever thought she could.

I am glad I have better balance, but I also make less than she does despite 7 more years of education and nearly a decade more experience in my field. We all have a choice.
User avatar
Bogle7
Posts: 1460
Joined: Fri May 11, 2018 9:33 am
Location: In the Witness Protection Program

One of us did

Post by Bogle7 »

My wife did.
In 2020, at age 62+, she was laid off from her part-time job due to Covid.
Collected UI benefits (for the first time in her life) for 1 year. UI = wages.
At age 63+ she started collecting Social Security. SS = 90% of wages.
I am quite sure that without the pandemic's effects she would have continued working until 70.

Fidelity's Retirement Planner says we are "good".
Last edited by Bogle7 on Wed Jan 12, 2022 6:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Old fart who does three index funds, baby.
oldfatguy
Posts: 1135
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:38 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by oldfatguy »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:33 pm
Has anyone here either accelerated their plans for retiring early, OR decided to take a meaningful break form work (3 to 12 months, sabbatical etc)?
I think about the latter more and more.
Not yet, but I'd like to. Having to go back to work in person after working from home for a year and a half has been a major downgrade to quality of life. Dissatisfaction with my work environment has been pushing me to consider getting out as soon as possible.
hfj
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:22 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by hfj »

Back in the 90's, besides Intel, Silicon Graphics also had a sabbatical program, which if I remember correctly was 6 weeks paid after 4 years. Unfortunately I left to a startup shortly before being sabbatical eligible; while financially it worked out, I still have some small regrets about that. Colleagues would go to Antarctica, spend a month in Europe/Asia, things like that on sabbatical. My Intel friend knows people who were there long enough for 3 (8 weeks paid every 7 years, I think) sabbaticals.

Personally, I've been contemplating early retirement or at least switching to only contract work part of the year. The pandemic has probably delayed those plans a little because the WFH has allowed me to mostly avoid the open office (which I personally detest) and the complications with international travel.
User avatar
novolog
Posts: 271
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:24 pm
Location: Greater Boston

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by novolog »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:33 pm Has anyone here either accelerated their plans for retiring early, OR decided to take a meaningful break form work (3 to 12 months, sabbatical etc)?

I think about the latter more and more.
i can relate

i find there is a negative correlation between my net worth, and my interest in my corporate job.

our net worth jumped quite a bit over the past year, so this is relationship became much more obvious (i am fully aware we are seeing unusually high returns to equities).

if i get stressed about something at work, used to plow right through it. recently, my thought process is something a long the lines of this:

“of the total annual increase in my net worth, the portion of that increase driven by my labor is decreasing at an accelerating rate. my money is making money at a faster clip than my own labor can make money. so why am i stressing out about my job and selling my own finite time on this earth for money, when my assets are already making money? my labor is slowly becoming less and less valuable to my life every year.”

i can’t seem to escape this thought process, and i can’t help but feel it’s not healthy, but I somehow can’t not think it… because I think it’s true?
7x annual expenses | 67% equities (401k + Roth) | 11% bitcoin | 16% home equity | 6% cash (emergency fund)
radiowave
Posts: 2768
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:01 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by radiowave »

Retired last summer 2 years earlier than planned. COVID was a contributing factor but not the cause. I just felt it was time. DW and I have lived a Boglehead life and invested wisely and paid off debt so everything fell into place. I could have taken a sabbatical (academia) or even worked another 5+ years if I wanted.
Bogleheads Wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Main_Page
Colorado13
Posts: 1368
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:58 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by Colorado13 »

The beginning and end of year for me are incredibly busy at work. I'm at the point in my career that I don't want to work 50-60 hour work weeks, even for 6 to 7 weeks of the year. Been there, done that too many times.

I will likely retire this year and use the excuse that constant management changes are one factor in driving the decision. Every couple of months there's a new reorganization and shifting of duties, which is getting old.

The pandemic isn't driving this decision as much as stock market gains and need for a break from work. Yet the pandemic has certainly made my job more frustrating in many ways. Like many, I am burned out. Thankfully, I can afford to take a break or retire completely.
cbs2002
Posts: 215
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:10 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by cbs2002 »

novolog wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:09 pm my money is making money at a faster clip than my own labor can make money. so why am i stressing out about my job and selling my own finite time on this earth for money, when my assets are already making money? my labor is slowly becoming less and less valuable to my life every year.”

i can’t help but feel it’s not healthy?
It is absolutely true and I'd argue quite healthy to realize this. The question now: what value do you want to generate from your labor that is not about making money?
Ed 2
Posts: 2161
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 9:34 am

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by Ed 2 »

Pre Covid I was planning to retire at 55. Year 2020 showed to me that working for 4 more years is less likely for my own sake. Pre Covid times I had to put up with a lot of office politics and BS from my employer, during Covid lockdown BS was almost gone, after lockdown everything came back but I don’t want to put up with it anymore, gladly can afford to quit anytime.Told my employer last week “ if you can’t afford to pay me on time or can’t afford period just tell me now, I don’t mind “. So far no response, I guess guy can afford me , but I still can afford to quit on my terms anytime. Probably this year is my last.
Good luck to all. Ed.
"The fund industry doesn't have a lot of heroes, but he (Bogle) is one of them," Russ Kinnel
Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 2250
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

randomguy wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:33 pm
retiringwhen wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:07 pm
visualguy wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:57 pm I don't think most tech companies ever had this. It is possible to take a leave of absence, but nothing is guaranteed at the end of it, and it's very rare for anyone to go on such a leave.
Intel is the only tech company with sabbaticals I know.

BTW, I was thinking of retiring in 2020, but the pandemic gave me reason to stick around (I was stuck at home already! and I have been a 100% telecommuter for a decade).

I am starting the transition to retirement this year. If 18 hrs/week doesn't mess with my desires, I may keep at it for a while! There is little financial incentive for me to stick around, except somewhat cheaper health benefits. I do like some of the challenges.
The half dozen I applied to/worked with in the 90s/early 00s all had them. I have no clue if they still do. The reality was it was never much of an incentive. If after 4+ years you couldn't afford to take 12-16 weeks off without pay, things hadn't gone well. And if your boss didn't value you enough that they would give you unpaid leave, the company sure didn't want to retain you... Again if this was a valuable perk that people really cared about, all the companies competing for talent would have it. It hasn't been.

There have also been a couple of cycles with remote work versus everyone on a central campus. We will see if remote work sticks this time after the companies have basically been forced to do it for 2 years.

And of all the people I know who were "retiring" in their 30s/40s, pretty much all of them would have keep working if they could have done 20-24/hr weeks. Things like job sharing get a lot of press but I have seen very few examples of it. Maybe if the worker shortage continues...
Good point on job sharing. I think I’ve seen more of that in Europe/UK but don’t have data points to prove…
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 2250
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

BrooklynInvest wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:48 pm My FIRE "resignation" was forced - got laid off. A hit to the ego but other than that a significant quality of life improvement.

Am doing some consulting. I'll probably make a quarter of what I was but I'm working half as hard and dealing with a tenth of the nastiness. My plan is to do this until my son goes to pubic school and we don't have daycare/nanny expenses. Then I'll withdraw 3 1/2% of my portfolio and retire fully or work very part time.

For me I don't wanna be twiddling my thumbs in a pandemic winter and the sudden and somewhat unexpected transition from accumulation to decumulation was uncomfortable. Having a bit of money coming in is psychological more important than fiscally important. I have work to do there!
I get it. Psychology plays a huge part in this whole retirement readiness puzzle. Good luck, so glad you’ve increased your quality of life (but not at all surprised)
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 2250
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Random Poster wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:51 pm I got laid off in March, 2020, from a job that I didn’t particularly like and was planning on quitting in April or May anyway. Still, the lead up the layoff was stressful.

Haven’t really looked for a job since.

I might be retired.

I guess I’ll know in 20 years if I made an okay decision.
Good luck! Most who seem ready for retirement don’t regret it (forced or not). Enjoy 100% of your time!!
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 2250
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

marcopolo wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:52 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:33 pm Almost two years into the pandemic, we've heard and seen the great job resignation & rotation for better jobs, higher salary.

Has anyone here either accelerated their plans for retiring early, OR decided to take a meaningful break form work (3 to 12 months, sabbatical etc)?
I think about the latter more and more.

Keep hearing burnout is more and more an issue at work. However, i don't see many employers offering official breaks, sabbaticals (just lines about take your PTO - which is still good to hear...)
I did see this a lot more in Europe, sometimes with the same company! (Big 4 etc). I wonder why career breaks are more the norm/offered in other parts of the world?

I feel like companies will be forced to offer this kind of benefit once the big firms (Facebook, Google etc) make this a part of their HR benefits.
Others normally follow their lead.

Anyway, just wanted to take a pulse survey from this group. It will help me learn from other peoples experiences.
I can edit this OP as needed.

Cheers & stay healthy!
:sharebeer
The "great resignation" story seems to be largely an urban myth.
There was an almost immediate steep drop off when the pandemic first started, but the labor participation rate has been steadily climbing since then. It is currently at its post-pandemic high.
https://www.bls.gov/charts/employment-s ... n-rate.htm

If there was really a steady stream of resignations (not just job changes), you would expect the labor participation rate to continue to decline, no?
Agree. It is mostly all job changes. Except perhaps on this forum 😆
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
Afty
Posts: 1899
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:31 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by Afty »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:43 pm
randomguy wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:38 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:33 pm
I feel like companies will be forced to offer this kind of benefit once the big firms (Facebook, Google etc) make this a part of their HR benefits.
Others normally follow their lead.

Tech companies have been offering sabbaticals and the like since the 90s. The reality is not much of the workforce is in demand enough for companies to pander to them. And not enough of the population has the money to just stop working at 45. Don't let the internet popularity of a movement make something bigger than it is. It is easy for a couple thousand people to create a echo chamber...
Hmmm. Not sure I’d agree. I don’t know many people who have access to sabbaticals (tech companies in the Bay Area) or have taken them. I think this benefit has actually gone away at most tech companies. Intel May be the one I know that still has it?
Google offers up to 3 months unpaid leave and you keep your health insurance. I believe Facebook also offers a paid sabbatical (“Recharge”) after five years.
Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 2250
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

cbs2002 wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:30 pm
novolog wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:09 pm my money is making money at a faster clip than my own labor can make money. so why am i stressing out about my job and selling my own finite time on this earth for money, when my assets are already making money? my labor is slowly becoming less and less valuable to my life every year.”

i can’t help but feel it’s not healthy?
It is absolutely true and I'd argue quite healthy to realize this. The question now: what value do you want to generate from your labor that is not about making money?
I like this line of thinking…
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
cbs2002
Posts: 215
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:10 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by cbs2002 »

We have always had an unpaid leave policy that is relatively easy to access as long as you are a good performer. Not a lot of takers TBH. We've tried to keep ourselves on the higher end of compensation for our sector, keep work weeks to a true 40 hours, and respect that people can be effective in a virtual environment. I think that is helping to retain employees.

Certain types of firms have to take these steps or they'll get left behind. Or they have to pay large amounts of money as a tradeoff for continuing to do things the "old fashioned way" - people in seats, who leaves latest awards, regular travel. To which I say no thanks!
Topic Author
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 2250
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Afty wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:47 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:43 pm
randomguy wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:38 pm
Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:33 pm
I feel like companies will be forced to offer this kind of benefit once the big firms (Facebook, Google etc) make this a part of their HR benefits.
Others normally follow their lead.

Tech companies have been offering sabbaticals and the like since the 90s. The reality is not much of the workforce is in demand enough for companies to pander to them. And not enough of the population has the money to just stop working at 45. Don't let the internet popularity of a movement make something bigger than it is. It is easy for a couple thousand people to create a echo chamber...
Hmmm. Not sure I’d agree. I don’t know many people who have access to sabbaticals (tech companies in the Bay Area) or have taken them. I think this benefit has actually gone away at most tech companies. Intel May be the one I know that still has it?
Google offers up to 3 months unpaid leave and you keep your health insurance. I believe Facebook also offers a paid sabbatical (“Recharge”) after five years.
Good to know. Wish my HR dept woke up to this and the competitive salary market driving employees to switch jobs!!
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
iamlucky13
Posts: 2699
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:28 pm
Location: Western Washington

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by iamlucky13 »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:33 pmHas anyone here either accelerated their plans for retiring early
I know several people who had already reached their number, but were continuing to work to increase the margin in their plan, or perhaps who simply didn't feel a strong desire to retire yet, but decided now is the time to pull the trigger. I think for a couple of them, plans starting to be made for return to the office were a factor.

Given the current inflationary environment, I think a safety margin is even more important than normal, especially for those retiring early and having to plan for a very long drawdown phase.
Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:33 pmOR decided to take a meaningful break form work (3 to 12 months, sabbatical etc)?
No sabbaticals, but my employer does have a very good paid parental leave benefit for births and adoptions. I know several people who used the full permitted time, where as I think before the pandemic, and certainly during our layoff phase during the pandemic, most people would use only part of the allowed time off in order to better keep up with their peers.

I've heard indirectly that one of my coworkers who I assumed quit for a better offer at another job actually did simply want to have extended time off work, and apparently went on an extended foreign volunteer trip.
Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:33 pmI feel like companies will be forced to offer this kind of benefit once the big firms (Facebook, Google etc) make this a part of their HR benefits.
While I agree it could happen that such a benefit becomes more common, I'm keeping a baseline expectation that as things return to normal, the pendulum will swing back. In particular, I expect inflation, end of reliance on stimulus payments, possible yet-to-be realized fallout from the end of eviction moratoriums, desire to pursue deferred spending (eg - vacations, home improvements, cars), etc. will pull more people back into the workforce, curtailing pay and benefits growth, and perhaps even rolling back some benefits growth (especially work from home allowances).

I am definitely not personally planning anything like a sabbatical, or even a long vacation. Regrettably, I've found myself more dependent than I wish I was on routine, structure, and direct interactions with other stakeholders on my project, and my job performance has suffered through this extended disruption. The hiring crunch helps reduce the stress about job security, but I've been having even more difficulty meeting expectations than before the pandemic, even though expectations are lower.
cbs2002
Posts: 215
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:10 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by cbs2002 »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:51 pm
cbs2002 wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:30 pm
novolog wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:09 pm my money is making money at a faster clip than my own labor can make money. so why am i stressing out about my job and selling my own finite time on this earth for money, when my assets are already making money? my labor is slowly becoming less and less valuable to my life every year.”

i can’t help but feel it’s not healthy?
It is absolutely true and I'd argue quite healthy to realize this. The question now: what value do you want to generate from your labor that is not about making money?
I like this line of thinking…
I encourage people to read this article by Arthur C. Brooks. He also writes shorter pieces for the Atlantic regularly on related topics that are well worth your time.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... ne/590650/
fortunefavored
Posts: 929
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:18 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by fortunefavored »

I was about to pull the plug when covid hit, then I figured I might as well keep working since what else was there to do? A year later they offered awesome packages and I bailed in my late 40s.

Unlike others, I have no interest in WFH. The serendipity, random social interaction, face-to-face mentoring, etc. were the only interesting parts of working to me. The actual job(s) were pointless in the grand scheme of things.

(my employer offered full paid sabbaticals.)
User avatar
rob
Posts: 3886
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:49 pm
Location: Here

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by rob »

It did accelerate my target. I caught this thing right at the start with no treatments and little knowledge available. Without wanting to be melodramatic; Damn thing almost (literally) killed me and I feel noticeably weaker even almost 2 years later....

Call it a flash of mortality or whatever but looking to pull my plans forward as much as I can ->
- Building a budget to get a better handle of planned retirement expenses (never been a budget person)
- Have planned a couple of big ticket items that I can do while still working
- Downgraded the work push - a LOT - The fire-drills have become funny and more of a spectator sport for me
- Trying to add more exercise with a concentration on flexibility (has been especially reduced after covid... whether related or not)
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien
User avatar
canadianbacon
Posts: 418
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:04 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by canadianbacon »

Random Poster wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:51 pm I got laid off in March, 2020, from a job that I didn’t particularly like and was planning on quitting in April or May anyway. Still, the lead up the layoff was stressful.

Haven’t really looked for a job since.

I might be retired.

I guess I’ll know in 20 years if I made an okay decision.
This is pretty much exactly me, except 2021 instead of 2020.
Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered.
User avatar
gasman
Posts: 864
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 6:13 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by gasman »

GP813 wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:39 pm The American worker has been overworked for decades. The pandemic caused a lot of existential thinking among people. When faced with your own mortality or a stark outline of what work/life balance is supposed to be, many have changed their thinking and priorities. You see it reflected in the surveys and polls of people saying they'd take less money to work from home or even leave a good paying job to look for one with a more flexible work/life balance.
Agree with this.
I also suspect that the stock markets and financial markets have made people feel more comfortable with pulling the trigger.
As an aside, I saw more than one doc come out of retirement or go back to full time after going part time post the bear market of 2000-2002.
SciurusVulgaris
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:48 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by SciurusVulgaris »

Tech employee here, and burned out from the WFH changes. Glad not to have a commute, but work hours have expanded to more than fill that saved time. The expanded work hours are what feel like unproductive meetings. Upper management likes these to be sure a remote workforce is on the ball. Several of my close colleagues have left.

I don't want to resign, and I feel overly privileged complaining about a job where I sit in a chair, but the engines are starting to overheat.

We have unpaid leave, subject to VP-approval. I might try that.
SciurusVulgaris
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:48 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by SciurusVulgaris »

Maybe employees are resigning, not to FIRE, but to move laterally to a higher paying but less stressful job?

I've seen the stories about the McDonald's workers who quit en mass and got hired at Wendy's for higher pay. I see that happening too.
Dottie57
Posts: 10644
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm
Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by Dottie57 »

gasman wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 5:28 pm
GP813 wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:39 pm The American worker has been overworked for decades. The pandemic caused a lot of existential thinking among people. When faced with your own mortality or a stark outline of what work/life balance is supposed to be, many have changed their thinking and priorities. You see it reflected in the surveys and polls of people saying they'd take less money to work from home or even leave a good paying job to look for one with a more flexible work/life balance.
Agree with this.
I also suspect that the stock markets and financial markets have made people feel more comfortable with pulling the trigger.
As an aside, I saw more than one doc come out of retirement or go back to full time after going part time post the bear market of 2000-2002.
+1000

I wonder if 401ks haven’t given a portion of the new retirees the money to retire a bit earlier. Most of the those retiring are boomers- according to recent articles in the news.
Hoosier
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:57 pm

Re: The great FIRE resignation?

Post by Hoosier »

As an IT Manager a few years ago I took a 2 week unpaid leave of absence from my fortune 500 transportation company. My boss didn’t even know the option existed. Just needed my VPs ok and I was pretty confident since I had a good relationship with him. Took my wife to Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Halong Bay in Vietnam. That was part of my justification as it represented a cultural learning experience. It was a most awesome experience…. So glad I studied the employee handbook so I could make it possible. Make sure you read yours closely.
Post Reply