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When do you retire or quit the stressful job

NYCburnoutNYCburnout Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
edited February 2012 in Parent Cafe
I've been employed in financial services industry in NYC for decades with total compensation that puts me just into 'the 1%'. Spouse also works in NYC, earning about 60% of my total package. We have been big savers over the years, own 2 houses (primary residence & vacation home that's under 90 minutes away) with no mortgage debt and have sufficient money set aside to put both kids through college & grad school and have plenty for retirement. (Currently one in college and one in high school).

The past six months have been very stressful. My boss died suddenly in the fall and hasn't been formally replaced. The interim replacement is my former peer with less experience and whom I never had any respect for his business sense. It's a European company that has been reducing risk due to the economic climate and regulatory pressures. My job is not at risk due to these issues, but all I do these days is complete reports.

I'm quite tempted to just quit and try to enjoy life, clean out closets, volunteer a bit, and get more involved with younger child who needs more oversight on school work than the older one. I could possibly get some consulting work in my field, teach at a community college or expand another skill I have to bring in $35-45K/year gross. The spouse & I have commented frequently that we are just waiting for the younger one to finish high school and we sell the big house, buy another house in Florida and become snow birds.

When do you know it's time to get off the treadmill? I'm ony in my early 50s. It's not the annual income that concerns me, but rather disability and the other benefits you have as an employee versus being self-employed.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
Post edited by NYCburnout on

Replies to: When do you retire or quit the stressful job

  • MomofWildChildMomofWildChild Registered User Posts: 21,806 Senior Member
    One word. Benefits. That's what's keeping me working, plus the need for a few more years of income. I am at the stage where every day is a struggle to get myself to work and tolerate it. I lost the job I loved in August due to an economic layoff, and am grateful to have found a contract position at an excellent company with nice people, but it's not the kind of work I like. Benefits. Oh, wait. I don't HAVE benefits since I'm a contract employee! This gig should go permanent, and then I will, but paying COBRA until then. (had 6 months paid COBRA as part of my severance)

    If you have a source for benefits and you feel you can live to 90 or so with what you now have, I would pack it in. Jobs these days are not so rewarding, it seems.
  • overseasoverseas Registered User Posts: 2,925 Senior Member
    I am getting off the treadmill and doing something I have always wanted to do. I am much older than you! You only life once. I knew all of a sudden and then went through the process of giving notice etc. Nothing drastic. I am so sure it is right. But I have never followed the straight and narrow. Best of luck.
  • sylvan8798sylvan8798 Registered User Posts: 5,930 Senior Member
    I think you can start to analyze the situation as to exactly where you would stand. One concern is medical insurance. Does your spouse have coverage for the whole family? Is it adequate? A friend of ours just retired (closer to 70) but he has a younger wife and a daughter who is still at home and on their insurance for now. His insurance premiums are going to be $20K. I'm not sure whether he can scale back the coverage benefits or not, but it's a fairly large sum as it stands.

    How much can you actually make at the community college? If you don't get a full-time appointment, and adjunct instead, it's unlikely you would make $35K. (Unless NYC schools pay their adjuncts MUCH better than they do here.)

    Is the recent stress at work likely to be the new long-term paradigm, or is it a short term flux associated with the change in climate?

    Can you go to 3/4 time or some other less-than-ft hours at work? Job share with someone else?

    Someone else had a thread on this about a year ago, but I wouldn't know where to search for it.
  • dstarkdstark Registered User Posts: 34,241 Senior Member
    Would you really enjoy life my if you quit?
    For some people....work is very important to their self worth.

    Do you have enough money if somebody gets sick or disabled? You mentioned what you can make doing something else...which tells me....you might not be totally financially secure..or the amount of money you make has some importance...

    Would you like your job better if the boss changes?

    What does your wife want? Are you two on the same page?

    Having said this...life is short...people should do what they want if they have the means...
  • college_querycollege_query Registered User Posts: 3,980 Senior Member
    My situation was a little different, but when I found myself saying "this isn't worth it" more and more frequently, I finally decided to quit my 2nd job I'd had for 12 1/2 years.

    It has been a bit of a struggle economically, but I feel I made the right decision for me.
  • overseasoverseas Registered User Posts: 2,925 Senior Member
    Remember life is short.
  • Classof2015Classof2015 Registered User Posts: 4,159 Senior Member
    from dstark:
    What does your wife want?

    Why assume OP has a wife? I didn't see any reference to a wife...
  • dstarkdstark Registered User Posts: 34,241 Senior Member
    Do you want to argue?

    Can you read?
  • busdriver11busdriver11 Registered User Posts: 14,109 Senior Member
    Have you priced out what the cost of disability/health insurance will cost? Though I'm sure that price is only going up. If your spouse stays working and you retire, will you retain those benefits or does he/she want to quit also? Perhaps you could get something you enjoy part time that has benefits.

    It's really a tough call. You probably will never be in a position to make so much money again, but you want to enjoy life while you're still young and fit. I think about it too. My company lets us retire at 55 with a partial hit on the pension, the job can be very stressful (while often pleasant), yet it kills us at an average age of 64. But the money is so good. I think if I had 5 million in the bank and the house paid off, I'd feel comfortable retiring. But that's a long ways off....
  • dstarkdstark Registered User Posts: 34,241 Senior Member
    Busdriver11.. The average age of death in your field is 64?

    Why do you think that is?
  • AnotherMom2009AnotherMom2009 Registered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    Response directed at dstark's post #9 -
    Just because the OP makes more than the spouse does not imply that the OP is male. The giveaway that the OP is most likely female is that the OP wants to "clean closets" upon retirement. : )
  • dstarkdstark Registered User Posts: 34,241 Senior Member
    Ok...I guess I should learn how to read.... :)

    Most people I know that work in financial services are male...

    It had nothing to do with who makes more..the wife or the husband...never crossed my mind...
  • NYCburnoutNYCburnout Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    thanks for the quick responses. A few responsed:

    - it's not possible to 'job share'. I don't even think that is possible at my level.
    - also unlikely to take it down to 4 day/week. In addition, the corporate culture does not believe in working from home despite full capabilities. I have been taking a day off here & there to relax and catch up on home stuff.
    - spouse does have access to full medical. My company has a better plan when we compared them in the fall, but the difference will cost us under $1k annually.
    - My total estimate of gross income from a variety of sources, not just CC teaching, is $35-45k or 10-15% of current gross. I frankly have a skill completely unrelated to my current job that I can turn into a business and I know there is demand. I have even developed a business plan.
    - I believe we are very secure financially. We've been in our primary residence over 20 years when our combined income was 25-30% of what it is now. With the exception of the vacation home and higher property taxes, our living expenses are near the same level as they were. We don't eat out very much, preferring to cook & eat in, and we have older, boring cars.
    - so true, that I have not disclosed my gender here. dstark always makes very traditional assumptions!!
    - I spoke with a friend last weekend about my situation and they think I sound like I need a long vacation. I don't disagree, however, looking out at work & family schedules, finding time to get away is nearly impossible for the next few months.

    keep the thoughts coming
  • alhalh Registered User Posts: 8,054 Senior Member
    ^^My first assumption was a female OP, because of the closets. Then, realizing I was being sexist, remembered a male friend who during a slow work time not only cleaned out all the closets but sort of decorated them "so they look beautiful when you open the doors" ... and then of course wondered if it might be a same-sex couple......

    busdriver - I vote for you retiring at 55!!!!!

    OP: husband and I (female) went the much less stressful route a few years back and haven't regretted it for a moment. Much less money but much nicer lifestyle.

    Also, if one reason is to spend more time with the child at home... you can only do that now. :)

    edit: I have pretty strong feelings about this because my father died only a couple of months into his retirement, at age 65, after finally leaving a much too stressful job. He thought the work worthwhile but not in any way enjoyable.
  • dstarkdstark Registered User Posts: 34,241 Senior Member
    "- so true, that I have not disclosed my gender here. dstark always makes very traditional assumptions!!"


    Good luck...
This discussion has been closed.