Anyone give up a high-paying, high-stress job for a significant pay cut?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by DrGnosis, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Retirement age is usually when certain health issues can start to become apparent.
     
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  2. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    True that!
     
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  3. WireLine

    WireLine Tele-Afflicted

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    Couple of times, actually. Decided playing gigs is/was much more important than putting up with BS...

    Yeah, I’ve taken some serious $$ hits but still get along nicely on VA disability, savings...and SS can start whenever I want it...

    Helps to be nearly debt free
     
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  4. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    Debt free is a very important factor that hasn't been mentioned. A stiff mortgage or credit card debt can have serious effect on this decision.
     
  5. since71

    since71 Tele-Meister

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    Like a monastic order, I took a vow of poverty at 18, or to put it another way, became a musician.
     
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  6. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I took myself completely out of the workforce to become a volunteer in a non-profit intentional community.
    My needs are met and I have a budget, but no actual income and frills are few and far between.
    The payoff is, my wife and I are together every day and we both get to spend a LOT of time with our son, who is 6.
    We're also doing fulfilling work.
    Money is so useless compared to what we have.
     
  7. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Maybe not exactly what the OP is thinking about, but I left a fairly high paying blue collar career for a low paying job due to being all busted up from the physical stresses of carpentry/ construction.
    Unfortunately I waited until it was too late, and now can barely work the maintenance job I have, but am not ready for retirement at 59.

    While white collar work wears you out in different ways, it can certainly kill you young or wreck you early.

    I kind of rationalized that I was making the good choice in doing work I really loved rather than going to school for some sort of white collar job, but nobody really told me that my body would be this shot this young.

    Whatever the stress and debilitation of a job, I generally believe that the cost in terms of quality of life in exchange for more money is not a good bargain to strike.

    But for many it seems that it is a good bargain, if you wind up with the right bunch of fellows.

    Actually (hahahahahahaha) in '84 I decided I was never going to get a job that wasn't music again. Hahahahahahahahahahahaaha.
    Not sure exactly when I realized this no more jobs thing wasn't happening, maybe circa '85?
     
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  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    The key is plan ahead and reduce your expenses.

    Tackle from the top down: Housing, car(s)+fuel, restaurants. Pull out all your bills from the last year and categorize them. What can you cut? Add up those Starbucks, smokes, etc. too that might not show up in the regular bills but grind out your savings nonetheless.

    All of that will point you to freedom.




    If you want to go extreme, this is a radical option to completely eliminate the mortgage, no millenial kids will be bouncing back to live in 'the basement'... The idea though is no mortgage, or how to reduce your mortgage as much as possible. Can you downsize to something smaller or a nearby city where the houses are less expensive?


    What kind of a job do you need when both the car and the house are free?

    .
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  9. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Friend of Leo's

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    I joined the company straight out of university aged twenty-two. When I moved into management in my early-forties I did not change my lifestyle, so by the age of fifty the mortgage was paid off, and a couple of years later the kids were through university and self-sufficient. At fifty-five the job became very stressful, I stuck it out for a couple of years before finding myself a training role. The pay was about 20% less, but I still had enough coming in so I could save money each month. At fifty-nine with the company adopting a new business model, it became apparent that the training role would not last much longer. I was being pushed back towards a management role so I left. That was eighteen months ago.

    As a volunteer I teach mathematics at a local school one day a week, hold a lunch followed by a jam session for musical friends every second week, spend lots of time watching youtube guitar videos (occassionally practicing), ride my bike more, use our house in France, and do all the housework so that my wife and I can do more together at the weekends, and so on.

    I'm debt free, have enough savings so that I could comfortably live for more than ten years without touching my pension if I needed to. Thirty seven years invested in one final salary pension scheme gives me nearly two thirds of that salary. I don't think that I could have made that change in my thirties or forties. If I were that person I would not have spent my whole career with one company, or stayed in my first marriage as long as I did. I have known poverty as a child, and lived in debt for a couple of years when I divorced. It's no fun, and the fear of poverty probably kept me in situations that were bad for my health. It is only when the stress of making the change became lower than that of staying could I make the change.

    I admire those who can make the change, and wish them luck.
     
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  10. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Holic

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    I'm 50 and was where you are at 40.

    Backstory: Had a position with a positively amazing compensation package. We took good care of the customers, the customers took good care of the company and the company took good care of us. Very little office politics, just a "give the engineers what they need and get the hell out of their way while they do their jobs" ethos. In the ten years I was in that position, the customers started making it difficult to do good work and we were forced to do a lot of work that wasn't really necessary. I love working hard, but, to put it lightly, those conditions frustrated the piss out of me. The paycheck kept me there a lot longer than I should have stayed, and by 2013 I was a walking cortisol and adrenaline factory. I was burned out and it was time to bail.

    More Backstory: I did 18 months at a startup (which was stressful in a better way) that paid about half of what the last place had been worth to me and made up the rest in equity that would have been worth something had we succeeded. That all went kaboom and I spent six months looking for my next gig. (Not unusual for someone with my skills at my level of seniority.) Now I work for a company in a low-stress industry. It was a step up financially from the startup but nowhere near the place that burned me out. I work almost 100% from home, which means saves on gas and wear and tear on the car and me, because commuting is very stressful where I live. I'm still working hard, but it's not insane and I love what I do.

    I've learned three useful things in my career so far that I pass on to other people:
    1. Every job on the planet sucks, even the good ones. Find one with a combination of suckage you can live with.
    2. You get one go-round on this mortal coil and that's it. Extended time in a high-stress job will take a physical, mental and emotional toll that will be with you in some form for the rest of your life. I still don't feel like I'm fully recovered from
    3. Money's great, but it isn't everything. Pretty much everything is a game of the economics: working a high-stress job for a lot of money means you're being compensated for the aggravation and everything that follows. Working a lower-stress job for less money means you don't need the extra cash because you're getting a lower-stress life out of the deal. It's hard to put a dollar figure on it, but it's worth something.
    Bottom line: If you can get along on less without it becoming a long-term source of stress, go for it. Even if the numbers all work out, there will be a period of time spent adjusting to tighter finances. That period will be stressful, but it's temporary. But at some point, you're going to be hanging out with your family or your band and you're going to have a moment where you realize that what you're doing is good compensation for what you don't have in extra cash.
     
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  11. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Living with less money is incredibly easy for the vast majority of professionals.
    For instance, 2 people can live very comfortably in about 750sq. ft.
    Just the savings in energy can be substantial.
    Look at how often you eat out...this is huge for many Americans.
    Swap your big gas guzzler SUV for something sensible and cheaper to keep on the road.
    Grow some of your own food. Get some chickens. Turn your heat down and wear a sweater.
    Use your old computer for another couple years.
    Your cell phone provider has totally serviceable phones practically (if not actually) for free.
    Find a good 2nd hand store for clothes.
    If your kitchen cabinets still hold plates and your floor still supports your weight, you don't need to "remodel."
    If your fridge craps out...get a new one.
     
  12. Ebidis

    Ebidis Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes.
     
  13. Matt Sarad

    Matt Sarad Tele-Holic

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    Yes. It’s called retirement.
    After 35 years, I was loaded down with the worst kids ever. My fellow teachers, even the school librarian, saw what admin had done to me. A golden handshake was offered and I got out a year early, losing about a thousand a month.
    It took two years to get over job related ptsd, anxiety, stress, and nightmares.
     
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  14. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Afflicted

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    In 2001 I resigned from a full time job I held for 16 years because I hated it. I then worked from 4 to 1 day a week until now. No financial problems. No need for multiple Telecasters! No health issues. I started getting SS a year ago, but basically still live on what I earn that 1 or so days a week. My wife is retired.
     
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  15. ce24

    ce24 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep.... Left teaching in bush Alaska with combined income of 100k. Moved to Idaho with only me working teaching again for 25k. Net loss 75k....
     
  16. muscmp

    muscmp Tele-Afflicted

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    yes, i retired. wish it had been a real high paying job, tho.

    play music!
     
  17. eallen

    eallen Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Yes, I left my career in advanced military aircraft developement 20 years ago to become a minister. There was definately an income and benefits change. [emoji6] I loved the job I left and love the new path even more.

    Those 1st years were a struggle financially but someone took care of us. 20 years later... 52 years old, we have been abundantly blessed, wife has a strong career, no debt, & whatever we lost financially to make the change has been made up for and more. I have never regretted the change but think I would have regretted not making it.
     
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  18. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    All great points....however, many people don't realize how much is needed to live reasonably comfortably even when house and car are paid for. There's property taxes, utilities, insurance (both property and auto) car maintenance (including gas,tires, repairs, etc) I had to fully replace plumbing in my paid-for house four years ago- $6000.....new HVAC this year- $6300....new roof two years ago- $1500 insurance deductible.....and so on. Not all of us can live "off the grid" and self-sustaining, even if we wanted to. I'm not complaining or whining.....I'm getting by comfortably, and certainly better than many others....I'm grateful for what I have.
    Now I'm off to a jam type gig, will be re-joined with my old drummer from high school and college. Really looking forward to it. ;)
     
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  19. Wrighty

    Wrighty Friend of Leo's

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    Well, I was made redundant, from a £50k+ job. Panicked, looked for another job. Found and was offered a couple. Looked back on nearly 50 years and opted out, took a part time driving job delivering medication. Used my pension to pay off a loan and the mortgage and began drawing it down. Reckon worst case scenario is around 20 years before it runs out. I’ll be 84, I’ll think about it then.
     
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  20. gkterry

    gkterry Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Sorta. I had a very stressful job that payed quite well. I could see that my time was limited there and after 8 years was given 3 months to find a new job. I found one in about 2 weeks but the pays was 40% less than I had been making but the stress was way less. My wife and I sort of panicked for a while but thought it was the right thing to take the lower paying job (since lower pay is better than no pay). Indeed it was. We somehow were able to adjust things and absorb the huge loss of income. After a while we wondered what we had done with all that extra income we had before. After about 3 years I received enough promotions and pay raises to totally make up the loss PLUS I now had a retirement plan and health insurance all paid for. I am still at that same job and am nearing 15 years of service. Even though I haven't reached 65 my wife and I have decided it would be best for me to retire next summer at 63. I have several health issues that reduce my activity considerably. Also, I must say too that there have been many changes in the last 4-5 years where I am employed and most of them are not for the better. So, even the best place can change to a more stressful situation but I would take less stress and money over a position with more stress and money any time. Life is too short to endure more stress than necessary. Normal life is stressful enough by itself.
     
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