Should I work the extra hours...

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
Post Reply
FRx
Posts: 195
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:29 pm
Location: Portland Or

Should I work the extra hours...

Post by FRx » Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:24 am

I know that this likely will be a personal choice/lifestyle question. However, I'm having a tough time deciding whether it's better to work less for a little longer or more for a shorter time. I'm 36 and single. My spending is not optimized but much improved from before, I'm spending about 30k/yr. I make a great salary as a doc working about 40 hrs a week, I can increase that closer to 55-60 hours and make extra.
I was hoping to retire in a little under 5 years which I can do working the 55 hours.
My aim is about 700k to retire on which is what I need to feel comfortable though I could get by on less. I'm sure others have had this dilemma on here before and I'd be really curious to see how guys resolved it.

anomie
Posts: 440
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: midwest, usa

Re: Should I work the extra hours...

Post by anomie » Sat Oct 04, 2014 4:15 pm

I'm married and 46.
I had to find a pace that I could live with to achieve my goals.
I could work extra projects , or get promoted at work, and get to where I want in 12 months .. but I can not handle the stress well, and prefer to stretch out the remainder of my sentence to 24 months. This lifestyle gives me weekends at least, and (somewhat) moderated expectations at work..

Each has to find his own path imo..
hth..

FRx
Posts: 195
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:29 pm
Location: Portland Or

Re: Should I work the extra hours...

Post by FRx » Sat Oct 04, 2014 4:22 pm

This may sound a bit weird/pathetic but I have rarely had a 40 hour work week to compare things to. I've been in practice about 6 years now and I've always done this 50ish hour weeks. I'm wondering if delaying ER 2 years (gulp!) is worth having the extra hours or if I should just stick to my 8 hours a day with no days off and just take my occasional vaca and be done with it in 4-5 years in stead 6-7 years.

@anomie, I hear ya, to each his/her own.

stand@desk
Posts: 382
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:40 pm

Re: Should I work the extra hours...

Post by stand@desk » Sat Oct 04, 2014 4:42 pm

Even though I love the idea of ERE and I bring it up all the time to my wife, I think that deep down, and personally for me, the true answer is reverting to a mean instead of an extreme.

In the case of this thread writer's personal situation, I would recommend if it were me, to gradually scale back on work. I think there are benefits to working as long as the job is better than tolerable. One of the unfortunate things about being a "J" type is that we see things as on or off, all in or all out. In reality, things are rarely that way, in our idealistic ways of viewing the world yes they could be, but I think we prefer the idea of this instead of the reality.

Working a reduced work week will still provide structure, income, interaction with the public, chance encounters, times for reflection, diversity and a feeling of purpose. I think a slow decline to retirement is averaging down work and is realistically a practical approach to take. If one's job is not desirable at all, then changing jobs to find an acceptable job and then weaning off work slowly would be a approach to consider for earlier semi-retirement.

FRx
Posts: 195
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:29 pm
Location: Portland Or

Re: Should I work the extra hours...

Post by FRx » Sat Oct 04, 2014 5:25 pm

wow, that was really well put. never thought of the concept of "slow decline to retirement is averaging down work". Thanks for your thoughts, and it really resonates with me so I gotta give it some good thought.

steveo73
Posts: 1198
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:52 pm

Re: Should I work the extra hours...

Post by steveo73 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 3:01 am

stand@desk wrote:Even though I love the idea of ERE and I bring it up all the time to my wife, I think that deep down, and personally for me, the true answer is reverting to a mean instead of an extreme.

In the case of this thread writer's personal situation, I would recommend if it were me, to gradually scale back on work. I think there are benefits to working as long as the job is better than tolerable. One of the unfortunate things about being a "J" type is that we see things as on or off, all in or all out. In reality, things are rarely that way, in our idealistic ways of viewing the world yes they could be, but I think we prefer the idea of this instead of the reality.

Working a reduced work week will still provide structure, income, interaction with the public, chance encounters, times for reflection, diversity and a feeling of purpose. I think a slow decline to retirement is averaging down work and is realistically a practical approach to take. If one's job is not desirable at all, then changing jobs to find an acceptable job and then weaning off work slowly would be a approach to consider for earlier semi-retirement.

I personally really like this idea. At this point I intend to do this although I think this will take me 5 years to start the slow down period. So 5 years of full-time work and then work less days per week and maybe take more holidays.

1taskaday
Posts: 400
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:45 am
Location: England

Re: Should I work the extra hours...

Post by 1taskaday » Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:40 am

The question I would ask myself is, “How badly do I want to be free?"

If it's just a "want" as a opposed to a "burning need" then you have the answer-take the scenic route at a slow pace.

But if it is an all "consuming passion" and the thought of another winter or summer with no real long stretches of free time to take on new interesting projects/travel makes you sad-then I would just go for it.

You have such a huge advantage being single with no kids, you dictate the pace-it may not always be this simple (as anomie has said).

IlliniDave
Posts: 2606
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: Should I work the extra hours...

Post by IlliniDave » Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:00 am

I've pretty much always worked all the extra paid hours I could (I'm in the somewhat unusual situation of having a salaried position that at times allows for modest numbers of paid overtime hours). I'm shooting for a bit higher of an ER number than you are, and am probably working from a lower base salary, so for me it makes sense. When I go ER I plan to leave my profession abruptly. I may or may not find other part-time employment (maybe volunteer) for enjoyment, structure, and the other things mentioned.

I would say it depends on what you want to do during ER. If you don't have a clear vision it might be a good idea to take some more time for yourself and explore potential ER "occupations". If you do have a good idea what you want to do, then it might be most efficient to maximize your earnings for your last years of full-time professional employment to give you the flexibility of perhaps leaving sooner or accumulating a little financial margin; especially if, like me, you really enjoy your work and don't feel your present workload degrades your life. If that's the case, it's probably best to back off. Won't do you much good to ruin your health and well-being over some extra money.

dot_com_vet
Posts: 603
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:07 am

Re: Should I work the extra hours...

Post by dot_com_vet » Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:28 pm

The additional hours are going to be taxed at your highest marginal tax rate. Overtime is usually not a good deal unless you're chasing every dollar. You might be better off spending the time optimizing investments.

JohnnyH
Posts: 2007
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:00 pm
Location: Rockies

Re: Should I work the extra hours...

Post by JohnnyH » Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:42 am

I never turned down overtime (150% base rate) but otherwise, especially with a decent networth and higher tax brackets, I'd ideally work only just enough to keep my benefits...

SimpleLife
Posts: 771
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Should I work the extra hours...

Post by SimpleLife » Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:28 pm

I think you should stay where you are now and coast into retirement. I'd say work longer at a cozy job so that your investments have more time to grow. In fact, when you do retire you may find that you retire right into a downturn. Retirement is a marathon IMO, not a sprint. FI is more important than just not working IMO, since if you have a bad job, that FI will give you the cushion you need to walk away without having a job lined up (though that is always recommended as the first and best option) until you find another one. While some people may wish to travel and just do whatever, typically most people who have your credentials are not the type to just "turn it off".

Riggerjack
Posts: 2699
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Should I work the extra hours...

Post by Riggerjack » Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:37 am

I've worked plenty of long weeks, and the key factor is home life. Building a look fe around a long work week means cutting things out. Sometimes that is errands that can be outsourced or handled by your mate, sometimes it is the social life. People who try to shoehorn more OT without addressing this burn out. You've done this schedule for years, I would cut back to a 40 hour week, and see what you are missing.
On a side note, my wife and I work 10 hour shifts with a long commute. When we work eights, it seems like half days, not because a eight hour day is so much shorter, but because our waking hours after work are nearly doubled. Just something to consider.

Tyler9000
Posts: 1575
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:45 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Should I work the extra hours...

Post by Tyler9000 » Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:42 am

IMHO, deciding to work 50% more to meet a goal of not working seems irrational. Especially over 4-5 years. That's a recipe for burnout.

Focus on being happy today, and the future will work itself out.

george
Posts: 296
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:41 am

Re: Should I work the extra hours...

Post by george » Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:09 pm

I'd also warn against burnout. when you say retirement, have you got a plan for it. perhaps you want to work a couple of days a week.

is it 5 years of the extra hours versus 7 years of 40 hours? then go for the 7 years. are you planning on having children, go for the 5, you have children, family commitments go for the 7.

are you living as if you are retired in terms of expenses etc.

the last 5 years were a real eye opener for me, I really determined that life is a journey not a destination and I took time off. about 18 months before the farewell. would definitely recommend it.

depends on the type of personality you have. I'm very focused on outcomes. when I was working it was always about the customers and the simple life style etc was just who I am, it was more fear that I would lose my job, need something expensive. the last 5 years is more about your outcomes, what will you be trying to achieve. I can't live a life without purpose, sitting in the sun. why are you retiring.

whatever suits you of course, just don't forget to include you, not just the destination in your decision making.

I ask these questions for you, you don't have to tell me. thats your business.

have you seen Jeff Yaeger, the cheap life. he's mentor for me, an example of the good life. part of the transition was realising I had no mentors in my working life.

FRx
Posts: 195
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:29 pm
Location: Portland Or

Re: Should I work the extra hours...

Post by FRx » Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:20 pm

I really enjoyed reading everything that's written here. It really hits home coming from some of you who I know have done both sides of the coin.

Post Reply