Ex-lawyer

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Did
Posts: 607
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:50 am

Ex-lawyer

Post by Did » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:05 pm

Hey there

Long time skeptic and lurker. I found myself drawn back and back to Jacob's work here and in his book.

I am 39 and worked in the law pretty much to this point. I also have a programming degree, which could be brushed off if need be, although it was a long time ago.

Law was putrid, as many ex-lawyers will tell you. I was on a lot of money, in the end, but it was a terrible cost to my health and soul. I lost fitness and gained a lot of weight. I think I got depressed from the tedium and stress of it all, as well as the truly horrific characters I worked with.

Finally, under enormous pressure, I threw in the towel 6 months ago. It was extremely stressful. Including my investment in the business, I had 1.8 million dollars in debt. I sold everything except for my dream house, and discovered that I owned that (valued at 500k - Australia is expensive!) and had 40k or so left over.

I was pretty messed up by the last 12 months or so at work. It was truly awful. Rather than get another job, which I could do easily, I'm taking time out, and have been living off savings. Recently I've been encouraged to think of myself as retired, just so long as I live off less than I can rent my house out for (15-20k say after expenses). I am in the process now of putting my house out to rent.

I've convinced my girl to quit her job. We are going to travel around Australia in a small van living off some final savings (selling our cars), and then relocate to a low cost country (Thailand perhaps) to live off the rent. Even though I am thinking of myself as 'retired', I plan on doing more fun internet based work to build up the passive income to increase my ability to be retired in more expensive places, and indeed return to my paradise house, and even have children.

So far, no regrets chucking in my massive job. Not going to work is awesome.

Just wanted to say g'day and share my experiences.

ps - currently living in gf's dad's granny flat prior to going on my trip. many at work would have thought this impossible from a status/ego perspective, but it's not bad, and much better than working!!!

nawor
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:07 am

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by nawor » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:08 am

Congratulations on making your move away from work. I hope you enjoy your travels.

I imagine it would be tough socialising/relating to your old work colleagues. Do you keep in touch with anyone still?

I'll be interested to hear about your experiences moving overseas. I'm also from Australia and think moving overseas will provides better value for money. From what I've read getting a long term Visa to Thailand is tough under a certain age.

Did
Posts: 607
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:50 am

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by Did » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:14 am

@ nawor thanks! I don't know how or where the travels will go. Thankfully my girl is onboard - I think it makes all of the difference. If we get our income up (from basically nothing except the rent) then as I said I'd like to live in more expensive countries as well. Re keeping in touch - it's only been 6 months and I've kept in touch with a few people from work and one client. They are all very supportive. The rubber will hit the road when I'm living off the rent though! As for relating - yeah, the less I see of most of them the better. I wouldn't call them friends or people I will miss.

Storapa
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:18 pm

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by Storapa » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Hey Did,

Welcome to the forum.

Well done for taking the big step. I'm still working and find that I relate to less than 1% of the people I work with.

Looking forward to hearing about your new adventures.

BM

Aus_E_Expat
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:38 am

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by Aus_E_Expat » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:34 pm

Did,

Interesting introduction.

I am also Australian and a lawyer but my career path has taken me on a different journey.

I moved to that low cost country many years ago to follow the dream, but have found myself working harder than ever (and making very good money). The low cost country is not so low cost if you let yourself be carried away on lifestyle.

I am now 55 and still find myself busy working as I am not sure what else I would do for the next 30 years. It is depressing that after 30 plus years of work, I do not know what else to do. It also reflects on our society that we are often measured or judged by what our profession or job is - not the person we are or what we really do.

Be very interested to hear of your progress.

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GandK
Posts: 1890
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:00 pm

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by GandK » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:39 am

My husband, G, is a future ex-lawyer here in Ohio. He would agree with most of what you wrote about work stress. We have several children, so he can't just cut loose. Our timeline for him is about 7 years.

MoneybagsGalore
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:16 pm

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by MoneybagsGalore » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:36 pm

I was pretty messed up by the last 12 months or so at work. It was truly awful.
@Did, I feel you on this one. I've had some brutal, stressful experiences at work. But, I'm always impressed with how long people can last in circumstances that I can't. Twelve months is a long time. That probably means you're a tough cookie.

Did
Posts: 607
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:50 am

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by Did » Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:47 pm

It's an interesting one isnt' it. How much hell to put up with for how long and what gain?

I've done my time....

simple aly
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:28 pm

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by simple aly » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:36 am

I've also quit my legal job and am living off savings, but for me it's not the first time, more like the fifth. My quality of life was pretty terrible, which is why I keep quitting.

Joggernot
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:00 pm
Location: Gulf Coast, TX

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by Joggernot » Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:51 pm

I see a travel blog in the making...:) Should bring in a little income, if you get the advertisers to come in.

Matt_Adventuror
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:06 am

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by Matt_Adventuror » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:41 am

Welcome! I'm a fellow Aussie as well, living in the USA now. Keen to see how things go for you.

Aus_E_Expat
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:38 am

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by Aus_E_Expat » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:56 pm

Did - so what are you doing now?

I am still going with the lawyering - making lots of money, being bored and not sure what else to do with my time.

EMJ
Posts: 311
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:37 pm

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by EMJ » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:04 am

Here's another ex-lawyer:
I’m a former lawyer currently traveling (and eating!) my way around the world, one country at a time. This site began when I quit my job in 2008 and took off to see the world, having saved up money by lawyering for 5 years in New York City. I wanted to have a blog where I could post photos and share crazy stories so that my friends and family could follow along from afar.
http://www.legalnomads.com

Matt_Adventuror
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:06 am

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by Matt_Adventuror » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:30 am

Aus_E_Expat wrote:Did - so what are you doing now?

I am still going with the lawyering - making lots of money, being bored and not sure what else to do with my time.
Out of interest my fellow Aussie, have you read this book: http://www.amazon.com/How-Retire-Happy- ... 096941949X

It makes an interesting point that the harder and longer you've worked the more challenging it can be to figure out what to do outside of work. That awareness itself can make figuring out what to do easier I think.

simple aly
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:28 pm

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by simple aly » Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:14 pm

EMJ wrote:Here's another ex-lawyer:
I’m a former lawyer currently traveling (and eating!) my way around the world, one country at a time. This site began when I quit my job in 2008 and took off to see the world, having saved up money by lawyering for 5 years in New York City. I wanted to have a blog where I could post photos and share crazy stories so that my friends and family could follow along from afar.
http://www.legalnomads.com

Nice site. I'm going to check it out.

Did
Posts: 607
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:50 am

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by Did » Sun Apr 13, 2014 8:50 pm

Hello again

As planned, we hit the road 5 weeks ago. It's been much better than I ever expected! I'm writing this from a campsite at batemans bay, south of Sydney. I'm slowly recovering from a decade and a half of abuse (to myself). It takes time! But I'm getting there.

We stay in free camps at least 5 days out of 7

The thought of ever returning to an office is obscene.

Very keen to make it work. The fact my girlfriend is supportive makes all the difference I suspect.

Someone sent a link to a post retirement book: I don't need it! I don't need help filling my time, although an Internet connection helps.

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jennypenny
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Location: Stepford USA

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by jennypenny » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:25 am

Bump :D

From your other posts, it sounds like you're off the road. I'd love to hear an update of how it went. (there are quite a few would-be nomads here)

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jennypenny
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Location: Stepford USA

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by jennypenny » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:58 am

I just saw your other post about buying a place in Ireland. I'd love to hear about that, too.

cimorene12
Posts: 467
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:10 am

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by cimorene12 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:16 am

jennypenny wrote:I just saw your other post about buying a place in Ireland. I'd love to hear about that, too.
I'd also like to hear about buying a cottage in Ireland after retirement.

Devil's Advocate
Posts: 187
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:25 am

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by Devil's Advocate » Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:42 am

Just read this. Been a year now since you quit, isn't it, but still, Congratulations!

So it seems we have lots of lawyers (ex or otherwise) here!

I was just now commenting on the "How to monetize your interests without working" thread, and it seems that for lawyers that should be easy. I mean here is one profession that is practically crying out for well-paid part-time work, done at your own pace (for people who are good at it, and experienced, and have quit -- like you). Another such profession would be Medicine, I suppose.

But of course, if you dislike the whole process there then I suppose you may not like any part of it, no matter how small. Like you indicate. And that's great too.

I agree with your attitude when you say : We need no help "filling our time". Those who do ought not play with retirement proper!

Did
Posts: 607
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:50 am

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by Did » Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:59 pm

Hello all

The trip was the best time of my life. Much better than I could have imagined. I encourage you to do it if you can, especially if you are in a couple.

The best part of it was the freedom. I know there was a lot of contrast with me having worked in a job I disliked prior to this, but for some months I just skulked around my home city, and that was not a joyous period. But to be away from it all, in a new location - a bush setting, for example - with someone you want to spend time with and all day to do it.... Well, it's a wonderful thing. Nobody tells you what to do. There are no stresses, apart from finding somewhere to sleep and eat (which come naturally). Multiply this by almost 8 months and you have a very special period of your life.

As for monetizing interests - I am a great supporter of this. I wrote a short book on the road, which I will not promote here, and have started a blog. On the legal side, well, I'm retired, right. My brain needs new things to think about please.

Ireland awaits. We thought about lots of options. The main thing I did to escape was to sell down property (2 of them) which paid off a third and then I rented it out. So, homeless, some would say. Turning my dead money into investments and being able to retire straight away, I say. Just need to solve the housing problem now, which, when you throw travel into the mix, is a fun thing to do.

We visited Thailand on a whim out of Darwin. It just seemed so close on the map. Retirement lets you do that. We spent most of our time in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. I was interested in both from a digital nomad, geoarbitrage perspective. It is a fascinating place. Many coffee shops. Eminently liveable. And very cheap.

So we thought about living in a place like that. Obviously.

But the old girl has an Irish passport. Local property is crazy-overpriced, and Irish property is, well, affordable if not underpriced (as is much American and other European property). So swapping a relatively small equity interest for 100% ownership sounds like a good idea to me. And fun.

The buying process has been difficult. There are cultural differences that are real. We have had 3 offers accepted and fall over. But we are heading over soon (very bloody soon!), and it will be easier then. Anyone want to buy a proven minimalist RV in Brisbane? :-)

In a side note, I am going to write a book about examples of people who have 'retired' in the sense of having gotten out of the grind and either reached FI through savings or a four hour work week muse or the like (the more diverse the examples the more interesting it will be). Can you (dear reader) PM me if you are interested. If that doesn't work then can you just leave another message on the forum as I've not been PM'd before. The goal of the book is just exploring an interest and sending a message of encouragement. It will be positive and hopefully motivating for people like me 12 months ago.

Noedig
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:15 pm

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by Noedig » Sun Nov 16, 2014 3:07 am

Well done. Changed your own life around. Awesome. Best of luck on the move. Ireland has some wonderful places to be. Also, great bacon and beer. You can't go wrong with that.

Did
Posts: 607
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:50 am

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by Did » Fri Dec 26, 2014 2:14 pm

Update: I am now living in Ireland. The flight was long, but you get over it. We stayed with family friends for a week and are now renting month to month about 40 minutes from Dublin. An offer has been accepted on a very small cottage about 15 minutes away from a town we like. Hopefully this will go through without a hitch - there have been hitches on the past 3. Cash wise we are still spending more than we are earning, but that was always going to be the case in the transition. I'm hoping that our expenses will reduce right down once we are living rent free and have more stability. I also plan on upping my passive income in the next 12 months, one way or the other. It's dark here, and wet, but it's an adventure and the freedom will make up for any weather shortcomings I trust.

Did
Posts: 607
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:50 am

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by Did » Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:33 am

We have been in Ireland for four months now. It has been a bit of a roller coaster. The buying process has been traumatic. Although this may be offensive to Irish readers, many aspects of Ireland are broken from a first world perspective including the process for buying and selling property. It can take a year or two. Seriously. Lawyers exchange letters like it is the 15th century. It can drive you mental. But, cutting a long and painful story short, after 4 months (no banks, cash sale) we are finally in a small cottage 15 km out of Kilkenny. Hopefully we will own it by the end of the week.

The delay cost us a lot of money. Getting here and keeping housed and fed for all this time was very expensive. I went into a bit of shock with the weather. It was putrid. Dark and freezing. Everything is difficult here. Processes are broken. Things I took for granted all over the world - like hot water - are presented as miracles. Often they are broken too. It really is like going back 400 years in a dark freezing place. Many individuals are hopeless, generally speaking. Mistakes are the norm. Not giving a shit is the norm.

They can't see it. But coming in as an outsider, it can do your fucking head in. It is not a first world country, which was a real shock.

Anyway. We are in the cottage. It is a shambles, but I think we can do it up and make it liveable. Then we will live rent free, but have to pay the normal expenses here like oil, electricity, water etc.

One big downside to living here is the very high tax rate. Due to gross incompetence, the government is bankrupt. Tax is very very high. Services are very very low. 70 percent of income tax receipt last year went on interest repayments. How fucked up is that?

Anyway, bottom line is the first 20k in Oz is tax free pretty much. Here it's at least 22 percent or something on EVERYTHING which is a kick in the teeth for the early retiree.

The upside after 3 years is that I would qualify for an Irish (EU) passport although I don't think it's worth it if we aren't enjoying ourselves. I'm hoping that once we don't have to deal with the irish government or any irish companies our enjoyment levels will increase and we can just get the benefit of a paid off house and being in Europe (fun for an aussie).

I must admit I panicked last week and sent out the CV for part time remote legal jobs. Not much of an interest as it turns out and just as well as they can all go fuck themselves as I'm retired. I think I will just get the house in order and write fiction for fun and a small amount of increased cash.

Once the house is done up we will have the option to rent it out (not for much, but still...). I also want to look at housesitting opportunities in the continent.

JeanPaul
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:15 am

Re: Ex-lawyer

Post by JeanPaul » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:09 am

Well, you arrived in the worst weather, so that part should at least get better, although obviously climate will never be the draw of Ireland. But if I can trust Game of Thrones, the countryside is gorgeous, and it can be actually enjoyed soon (dragons and marauding armies permitting).

As much as I like the flexibility of renting, buying a house is definitely tempting, because it basically ensures that one's retirement plan won't fail - not much worries of fluctuating markets when your biggest cost is fixed.

The initial move is stressful, and definitely much more if you are buying, but settling in should help. If you don't like the place, there's probably not much that can fix that, but maybe you just don't like the the winter gloom, the hassles, not knowing people etc. Definitely as a base for travel, anywhere in Europe is amazing compared to Australia or the US - with a 30 Euro flight you have the option of 10 different languages and cultures.

I looked at some of those house-sitting sites a while back - looks like the most opportunities are in France, which ain't bad. Seems like you have to pay to get any useful access, which always set off alarms, but hey, if you even get one house, that\s quickly repaid. Word of mouth is the best, though. One of my parents' friends basically hops from house to house in Costa Rica.

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