I’ve quit or sold out and started over several times, though quitting my last paid employment years ago had nothing to do with finances. I have a generous and benign tolerance for human failings, but an awfully low limit as to how much crap I’m willing to take. The job passed that limit and I resigned. A friend asked how much money it would take to get me to go back, and I said that I didn’t know what the amount was, but since I did know that Bill Gates didn’t have enough money for that, further speculation would be pointless. I had enough money saved and invested (after immediately and drastically cutting my personal overhead) so I could have gone on without a job, but after a while I became too restless.
So, back to self-employment, and after years of working and building, I want to pull the plug again though I didn’t fully realize it until this past year. I made good money but it has become an increasingly smaller fraction of revenue, as overhead, taxes and fees have skyrocketed. It got so bad that the IRS audited me for the deductions. Although I could account for every penny of it and had no liability, I agreed with the auditor that the amounts were completely ridiculous :)
So now, a gradual disengagement. I’ve downsized offices 3 times in the past 3 years and have started turning away business. I got my last employee another job (a good one too) which he promptly quit for greener pastures. When Greener Pastures went toes up a couple of months later, I took him back. He got another job, expansion plans fell apart and he was laid off again. I took him back. He’s now on another job and I hope and pray that third time’s a charm!
My dilemma is that I can completely retire in place but with no safety margin at all. I could fix this by moving out of NYC, or at least out of lower Manhattan, but I like it here and I am seduced by the fact that I can earn the difference fairly easily. And it is a bit of a trap because I am beginning to loathe at least some parts of my work. It keeps getting harder to face, but then some very interesting work pulls me back. In LiquidSaphire’s words, I feel a bit of a tool :)
JohnnyH, at 51% at least you are a majority shareholder in your own income. I’m lucky to keep 20% of revenue after costs and taxes. And that doesn’t include lost revenue due to deadbeats and bankrupts. For taxes, just on the income side I pay 5 of them; federal (including double SS), state, city, business (5%) and the Mobility Tax (separate forms, quarterly estimates and timetables for the privilege of living within range of public transportation). I have not included certain state and local income tax flea-shitties that don’t amount to much. All very nice, but this rent-and-tax donkey is getting tired.