Can I retire today?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Topic Author
KingAAAA3
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2021 5:02 pm

Can I retire today?

Post by KingAAAA3 »

Hi fellow Bogleheads,

I've been a long time reader but this is my first post in the forum.  I wanted your opinions on whether or not you think I can retire today.

I'm 34, single, and have no plans right now to have children.

I have 865k in a taxable brokerage account (comprised mostly of US equity index funds or ETFs, but with some individual FAANG tech stocks and one airline), about 510k in 401k accounts (110 of which is in a ROTH IRA, the others in deferred taxables, and all of this invested in equity index funds (mostly VTI and the Russell 2000, but some Vanguard target retirement funds too)), and about 140k in cash.  I also have a coin collection worth about 40k but I hope to never have to liquidate any of that.

I've lived very frugally my whole life, don't have high spending habits, and strongly dislike my job.  I also don't think it's sustainable long term (I spent most of my career in tax in private industry, and recently switched to tax in public accounting.  These may sound quite similar, but really, they are worlds different.)  I don't think I have the knowledge right now to succeed in this industry and don't want to be spending my time this way.  I do think that if I put my head down and worked hard at this that I could perhaps learn it well enough in as little as two or three years to succeed, but really, I don't know that that is necessary at this point.  If I were 24, yes, but now I'm not so sure.

I recently found out about a covered call ETF (ticker symbol: QYLD) that has a yield of 11.99% that pays out monthly.  I'm still doing my due diligence on it, but from what I can tell, it is rather stable and has been around for almost a decade.  It seems like the biggest drawbacks to this fund are that its total return will be lower than an equity index fund or good tech stock over time, and that it is not tax efficient.  All of the income it generates will be taxed as ordinary income.

But, from what I can tell, simply shifting $500k of my taxable account into QYLD would be enough to yield $60k of passive income a year that I can live off of.  I estimate that I spend about $33k a year including rent expense, but excluding taxes.  I quickly ran the numbers on $60k of income if that's my only income, and see that I would owe about $9k in Federal tax on that amount.  I feel like that's a little bit more than I'm looking to pay in tax, so maybe I could even shift less into QYLD and just live off of a smaller income.  I'll likely need to buy some sort of catastrophic out of pocket health insurance also, but from what I can tell, it seems like I could retire today.

If I opted for the $60k annual yield, I'd still be left with 365k in a taxable account and 510k in retirement and $140k in cash, and could always go back to work if this didn't work out for whatever reason.  

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
BernardShakey
Posts: 266
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:52 pm
Location: CA

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by BernardShakey »

I mean I guess you could but at 34 why not move back into tax in private industry ? It appears you must have thrived there given your significant assets at a young age.
An important key to investing is having a well-calibrated sense of your future regret.
delamer
Posts: 11849
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by delamer »

Two major points:

1. Seems like you are the perfect candidate to find part-time and/or consulting work as an accountant, rather than fully retiring.

2. Bringing in $25,000 or $30,000 a year would allow you to avoid using an esoteric investment like a covered call ETF as core of your retirement. If such an investment was really stable and really expected to pay out 12% of the long run, why isn’t every sophisticated investor in it?
One thing that humbles me deeply is to see that human genius has its limits while human stupidity does not. | | Alexandre Dumas, fils
poker27
Posts: 898
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:48 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by poker27 »

You are a bit younger than me, have a bit more $, but this is a question I ask myself daily.

I’ll ignore the individual stock.
You have about $1M. IMO you could withdrawal about $35k annually, without running out of $.

If you are that unhappy, your in a position to take time off, switch careers, or become an uber driver. If you retired at 34, I have a feeling you’d have to start doing something again to keep yourself sane (I would).
rascott
Posts: 2699
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:53 am

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by rascott »

I'd suggest a career change rather than "retire" at 34. You are still very young.

What will you spend your time doing for the next 50 years?

The covered call etf sounds like a terrible idea.
PowderDay9
Posts: 458
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:29 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by PowderDay9 »

rascott wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:50 pm I'd suggest a career change rather than "retire" at 34. You are still very young.

What will you spend your time doing for the next 50 years?

The covered call etf sounds like a terrible idea.
+1

Start looking into a career change or go part time. If you need to take a year or two off then do it but you'll need to fill your time with something.
User avatar
arthurdawg
Posts: 918
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:47 am

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by arthurdawg »

Nope. I wouldn't go for the iffy covered call.

Frankly... you've done very well, but you don't know what life will throw at you.

I'd second the thought to find a new career or get back into the one you liked and look for part-time or consulting work that allows you to control your income, access good benefits, and make enough so that you don't have to tap your savings. And... making enough to add to your portfolio would be gravy too.

I could theoretically retire right now at 47... actually, I could retire. But I question what I would do with myself given that I have responsibilities for the kids and help people at the job.

Maybe at 55 for me...
Indexed Fully!
flyingaway
Posts: 3472
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:19 am

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by flyingaway »

If you post your question on MMM forum, most people will tell you that you can retire now. You have $1.5M, 4% of it is $60k.

You have a long time to pass potentially. Maybe you meant to retire from your current job, take a break. You can do that, you have FU money. I'm sure you can find some ways to generate some money in the next 60 years of your retirement.
TwoBitsCA
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:12 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by TwoBitsCA »

Impressive net worth for someone your age! So no plans to have kids but do you foresee the possibility of getting married someday? What about health insurance? Like others have said, it might be better to change career paths, take a sabbatical, or downshift/consult than to retire at 34.
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 1685
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

You may be in the perfect position to take an unpaid sabbatical/leave of absence from work. Sounds like you have zero commitments.

Very few times in life may an opportunity like this be available. I would research what options are available for leaves. Plan to take it. Take it and travel chill find yourself whatever. Then come back to your job and quit or stay. Binary.
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
dbr
Posts: 36371
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by dbr »

In the seven years that fund has existed the CAGR has been 8.43% with a standard deviation of annual returns of about 11%. CAGR is total return meaning it includes that 12% yield reinvested. You can't sustain 12% withdrawals from 8% return which is volatile on top of it. A Monte Carlo simulation shows that $60,000 inflation indexed withdrawal from $500,000 with a return of 8% and a volatility of 11% will be exhausted to zero between 8 and 14 years out (10% to 90% percentiles). If you were to reduce the withdrawal to $12,500k or so you could count on the withdrawal being safe indefinitely.

This is not an plan to extract income from a portfolio.

It might be rational to expect to withdraw from your $1M assets a rate of maybe 2.5% increased by inflation indefinitely. That would be an income of perhaps $25k a year, not $60k a year. By comparison a middle of the road retirement fund like Life Strategy Moderate Growth had a CAGR of 8.16%, a standard deviation of annual returns of about 8% and a current SEC yield of about 1.6% You could invest in that, take the dividends and sell a few shares to make up the difference to 2.5% withdrawals.
User avatar
9-5 Suited
Posts: 682
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:14 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by 9-5 Suited »

https://www.evidenceinvestor.com/are-co ... o-be-true/

No strategy will enable you to have such a large safe withdrawal rate, attractive as that idea sounds. I think you can definitely downshift and be fine with a smaller income, more fulfilling career and use your investment portfolio to round out your annual income needs, however. That’s the value of your diligent saving approach so far in life.
babystep
Posts: 524
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:44 am

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by babystep »

KingAAAA3 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:34 pm Hi fellow Bogleheads,

I've been a long time reader but this is my first post in the forum.  I wanted your opinions on whether or not you think I can retire today.

I'm 34, single, and have no plans right now to have children.

I recently found out about a covered call ETF (ticker symbol: QYLD) that has a yield of 11.99% that pays out monthly.  I'm still doing my due diligence on it, but from what I can tell, it is rather stable and has been around for almost a decade.  It seems like the biggest drawbacks to this fund are that its total return will be lower than an equity index fund or good tech stock over time, and that it is not tax efficient.  All of the income it generates will be taxed as ordinary income.

But, from what I can tell, simply shifting $500k of my taxable account into QYLD would be enough to yield $60k of passive income a year that I can live off of.  I estimate that I spend about $33k a year including rent expense, but excluding taxes.  I quickly ran the numbers on $60k of income if that's my only income, and see that I would owe about $9k in Federal tax on that amount.  I feel like that's a little bit more than I'm looking to pay in tax, so maybe I could even shift less into QYLD and just live off of a smaller income.  I'll likely need to buy some sort of catastrophic out of pocket health insurance also, but from what I can tell, it seems like I could retire today.

If I opted for the $60k annual yield, I'd still be left with 365k in a taxable account and 510k in retirement and $140k in cash, and could always go back to work if this didn't work out for whatever reason.  

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
What are you going to do with so much time?

What is the tax cost of shifting 500k from taxable to QYLD?

Looks reasonable to me that you can always go back.

QYLD has decent history. I would encourage you to think about this. Why does QYLD has only 3billion invested while VTI has hundreds of billions. Why many investors are not pilling into QYLD given that it is so great? May be they don't believe that it can provide 12% return for decades to come? What do they know?
gips
Posts: 913
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 5:42 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by gips »

forget about the etf, a 4 per cent withdrawal rate should net you $60k a year for 30 years. my dad was a cpa with a private practice, about half of his income came in tax season. when he retired he kept his tax season business, working jan-apr. seems to me you could build a tax season practice and earn an extra $20k or so a year without breaking a sweat.

as i’m sure you know, it’s useful to have self-employment income; you’ll have the ability to deduct certain expenses (including health care) and contribute to retirement accounts.

i do think retiring now will limit life’s options, basically marriage and kids, to some degree but i’m sure you know that. i’m introverted and, in retrospect, think i’d have found life lonely without my spouse and kids. it’s important to find a community…for example, i toyed with the idea of teaching tennis at a club med and finding a community among my co-workers. anyhow, think carefully about where you want to live, how you’ll structure your days and who you’ll spend time with. as you say, it’s not an irreversible decision and if you can earn $20k per year, i’d say go for it!

good luck!
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 8697
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by JoeRetire »

KingAAAA3 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:34 pmI'm 34, single, and have no plans right now to have children.
Do you plan to remain single? If not, your estimates are likely not viable.
I have 865k in a taxable brokerage account
about 510k in 401k accounts

I've lived very frugally my whole life, don't have high spending habits, and strongly dislike my job.

I estimate that I spend about $33k a year including rent expense, but excluding taxes.
If your estimates are correct, you can retire today. But at your age, you might be better served to find a job that you don't strongly dislike. With your low expense rate, there are an unlimited possibility of jobs that might suit you - perhaps some would be tolerable.

You haven't indicated what you would do in retirement. Other than not-work do you have something in mind that you would enjoy doing on a $33k/year budget?
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
SanAntionetta
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:42 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by SanAntionetta »

If I were in your position I would take the independence your money has given you to change careers to something you are passionate about. What are you truly interested in? You could go back to school, work to make connections in whatever sector, whether through volunteering, etc. You have enough to get by for a few years before you become successful in your new endeavor.
Topic Author
KingAAAA3
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2021 5:02 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by KingAAAA3 »

Thanks for all of your replies! Some points I want to make about a few of the things I'm reading here...

First, regarding the covered call ETF fund, I want to be clear that I fully understand that it is NOT a better long term investment than a broad equity index fund. It is much worse, in fact. I tried to say this in my initial post when I mentioned its disadvantages, but let me clarify now. This fund will earn you a lower total return than a broad index fund, and all of the income that it generates will be taxed as ordinary income. The value in it would be that it generates a good enough yield to possibly be able to support one's lifestyle without having to do any work or even manage the investment, but the idea would be to put as little money as possible in to it to support that lifestyle because 1. You'd be earning a better appreciation of capital in an index fund over time than in this fund (assuming we trust the last 130 years of history as data) and 2. You'd have to pay ordinary income tax rates each year on every dollar that the fund generates while an index fund that you buy and hold would have unrealized gains that you can realize in a year when you have low income and therefore pay less tax. If I do this, I may even opt to generate less than 60K a year. Why would I generate that much money if I only would need to spend 33k or 40 after taxes? It wouldn't make any sense to pay a 22% marginal tax rate on dollars that the fund generates that I may not even use each year when my cash accounts earn me .30 or .01.

Someone mentioned that the fund would run out of money in year 14 I believe. I don't understand this at all. When the fund began in 2013, it was trading at $25 a share, and right now, it is trading at $22.28 a share. So it is down about 12% in that time span, but this does not account for the 12% yield (approximately; it varies slightly at different points in time) it generated every year. The fund makes money by selling at the money option contracts and then collecting option premiums for its investors and paying them out every month, and is designed to be stable. Even when the coronavirus hit and everything got smashed, this fund went from 24 to about 18 at its low. And its 52 week range is 20.43 to 23.58. The volatility even is not all that bad. Still worse than an index fund or Apple? In terms of a long term investment and capital appreciation, yes, absolutely it is. But an index fund or Apple will generate a 1.5% yield or less each year, and that is too small to live off of unless have you have a huge net worth.

Another person mentioned taking a sabbatical. I would love to do this, but I am too new at my current firm. I've only been here about five months, so I can't ask for anything like that any time soon.

As far as what I'd do with my time...I would definitely have some time to think about that, lol. My interests are pretty simple and I have good friends and a great family that I care a lot about, but I would think that I may want to volunteer somewhere in time. I don't see the point in continuing to find work if I won't need to work, but really, interests change over time as you all know, so I would be very surprised if I didn't eventually do some sort of work again. Being "retired" at this age doesn't mean never working again to me. It means working when you want, doing what you want, with who you want, for the duration that you want. That "what" part is not that easy for me. I've volunteered before when I was a little younger and I think it's something I might want to do again. But things like reading, going for walks, and sleeping as late as I want are things that don't cost much and that I'd certainly be able to do without a daily obligation.

Another thing I want to mention...if I did this, I wouldn't do it overnight. I would transition into it over 6 or 12 months or so (assuming I'm able to keep this job over that time). I didn't intend for this to be a fast process.

Also, one other unrelated question I'm wondering about. I can't seem to find the market cap on this fund, and I don't know why that is. I also couldn't find it for the airline ETF that I have a small position in (JETS), and I don't know why certain ETFs state a market cap and others don't. VTI or EEM (emerging markets ETF) I see a clear market cap for, but I don't for these. I also don't see one for the Vanguard bond funds ETF or Vanguard S&P 500 low volatility index fund (BND and SPLV). Not seeing a market cap doesn't concern me much since I own or had owned many of these funds for years, but I'm curious...does anyone know why market caps are stated for some of these ETFs but not for others?
User avatar
galawdawg
Posts: 2775
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by galawdawg »

To my Boglehead friends: It is true, this time isn't different. The 1960's are back! Now all we need is the return of the VW bus... :happy

Seriously, welcome to Bogleheads! Glad you found us!

Here's some food for thought. First, there is no way that I would trust a covered call ETF fund to provide for my retirement spending needs for the next five years, much less for the next fifty years! If it is such a great investment for income, why haven't all of the retirees on Bogleheads and elsewhere dumped all of their fixed income, bonds and cash and gone all-in on QYLD. In fact, why not just dump your entire portfolio in? It sounds like a proposition with a great deal of risk and personally I wouldn't do it.

Second, the idea of retiring at age 34 after a (relatively) short career because you don't enjoy the new job you have only held for a few months is letting the tail wag the dog. I retired early (age 54) and very much enjoy it, but I can't imagine having done it twenty years ago. There are many, many things in life that will happen to you in the next twenty years. While you may enjoy being a lazy, single guy living on the cheap, sleeping late, and going for walks for a short-period of time, you won't find it quite as fun when it is your daily routine. When I was your age, I called that a vacation, not a lifestyle! And you may think you can just jump back into the workforce in the future if you want or need to, but I wouldn't count on finding something in the future (after a long period of unemployment) that is fulfilling and rewarding on both a personal and financial level, in your field or another. We don't know what the employment situation will look like next year, much less further in the future.

So I'd respectfully suggest you start looking for other employment where you can enjoy what you do and enjoy where you work, all while earning a living. Maybe it will be something in your previous field, maybe something part-time or perhaps you would be successful starting your own business or firm. But I wouldn't hang up work just yet.

Good luck on your journey... :beer
iamblessed
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:52 am
Location: St. Louis

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by iamblessed »

If I were you I would put it all in Vanguard Balanced Index Admiral Shares and call it a day. Use the 4% rule.
delamer
Posts: 11849
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by delamer »

For those suggesting using the OP use 4.0% safe withdrawal method, remember that it is based on a 30 year retirement.

And the OP is only 34 years old. So if s/he doesn’t do any more paid work, that could mean a 50 or 60 year retirement. So a 2.0% or 2.5% rate would be considered “safe.” S/he will have a very small Social Security benefit and so can’t live off investments until 66 and then use Social Security to cover expenses going forward.

(It appears that the OP doesn’t plan to never work again, but there is no concrete plan for future employment either.)
One thing that humbles me deeply is to see that human genius has its limits while human stupidity does not. | | Alexandre Dumas, fils
word
Posts: 421
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:32 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by word »

My wife and I are both 36 and we have about 1.4M right now and are discussing how and when to start to move towards less work. Neither of us live to work, we make a good income, but really enjoy travel, etc. We WILL be dialing back our work responsibilities in the coming years (a whole recent discussion here). All this is to say, not SO different a situation as you're in.

Given that your timeline here is unknown, you want to be preparing for the surprises that will inevitably arise in the coming years. Some examples: significant changes to your health, healthcare costs, children, accidents, natural disasters, marital status, etc. It doesn't seem to me that 1M really leaves you in a place where you have much room for error in your planning.

If you're unhappy where you are for work, I'd recommend considering what some of the folks in this thread have suggested:
- go part time
- quit and then get back into it after a year or two off (my wife and I took a year-long trip at 28, when we came back we were making way more than when we left)
- enforce better boundaries at work and try to keep to 40 hours a week (this might cost you in career growth, but that doesn't seem to bother you at this point)

Retiring early is fine, but you should figure out a number that will work for your budget and provide some tolerance for unforeseen risks/downside and manage to that number. Under normal circumstances, I would not manage backwards from my current savings to see if I can finagle some way to make it work. If you think you have that at 1M, enjoy your retirement. I just don't think I'd make the same decision.
User avatar
Marmot
Posts: 530
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:44 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by Marmot »

PowderDay9 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:56 pm
rascott wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:50 pm I'd suggest a career change rather than "retire" at 34. You are still very young.

What will you spend your time doing for the next 50 years?

The covered call etf sounds like a terrible idea.
+1

Start looking into a career change or go part time. If you need to take a year or two off then do it but you'll need to fill your time with something.
Yep, agree. So if you want to think about it this way: go ahead and retire. Take the time off as suggested above, I guarantee will get into something that you will enjoy more. When you "retire" it just opens up other doors. You won't sit around. I would get out of your current career if you don't like it, life is much too short. Something that you like will find you. Take some time, relax. I retired at 57, just about the right time.
Marty....don't go to the year 2020....Dr. Emmett Brown
lostdog
Posts: 4277
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:15 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by lostdog »

delamer wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:49 pm Two major points:

1. Seems like you are the perfect candidate to find part-time and/or consulting work as an accountant, rather than fully retiring.

2. Bringing in $25,000 or $30,000 a year would allow you to avoid using an esoteric investment like a covered call ETF as core of your retirement. If such an investment was really stable and really expected to pay out 12% of the long run, why isn’t every sophisticated investor in it?
+1
User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 16961
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by HomerJ »

KingAAAA3 wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:34 pmI recently found out about a covered call ETF (ticker symbol: QYLD) that has a yield of 11.99% that pays out monthly.  I'm still doing my due diligence on it, but from what I can tell, it is rather stable and has been around for almost a decade. 
There is no such thing as a safe 12% yield.

There is some risk involved that may not have shown up yet, but if it does, you could lose a huge chunk or even all your money.

Go back to private accounting, and/or go part-time, consulting... or take a year break.

Do NOT put a huge chunk of your money into that ETF.
Last edited by HomerJ on Thu Jun 24, 2021 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
A Goldman Sachs associate provided a variety of detailed explanations, but then offered a caveat, “If I’m being dead-### honest, though, nobody knows what’s really going on.”
User avatar
William Million
Posts: 804
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 4:41 am
Location: A Deep Mountain

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by William Million »

Dude, just retire. You'll regret it if you don't at least try.

There's a chance that you'll start working again. Life happens - new partner, parental impulse, expensive new hobby, missing the social aspect of work, exciting new entrepreneurial opportunity, whatever. If that happens, just start working again.

At 34, you can do it, At 54, you can theoretically do it - but you might not find your way back into the workforce. Now's the time.
Topic Author
KingAAAA3
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2021 5:02 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by KingAAAA3 »

lostdog wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 10:27 am
delamer wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:49 pm Two major points:

1. Seems like you are the perfect candidate to find part-time and/or consulting work as an accountant, rather than fully retiring.

2. Bringing in $25,000 or $30,000 a year would allow you to avoid using an esoteric investment like a covered call ETF as core of your retirement. If such an investment was really stable and really expected to pay out 12% of the long run, why isn’t every sophisticated investor in it?
+1
The reason why every investor isn't doing it is because it is not tax efficient and has a considerably worse overall total return than an equity index fund.
User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 16961
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by HomerJ »

KingAAAA3 wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 3:35 pm
lostdog wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 10:27 am
delamer wrote: Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:49 pm Two major points:

1. Seems like you are the perfect candidate to find part-time and/or consulting work as an accountant, rather than fully retiring.

2. Bringing in $25,000 or $30,000 a year would allow you to avoid using an esoteric investment like a covered call ETF as core of your retirement. If such an investment was really stable and really expected to pay out 12% of the long run, why isn’t every sophisticated investor in it?
+1
The reason why every investor isn't doing it is because it is not tax efficient and has a considerably worse overall total return than an equity index fund.
It's been around only since 2014. The total return is actually higher than the average equity index fund. Since 1972, the Nasdaq 100 has experienced annual returns of 10.8% and S&P 500 of 10.5%

So 12% dividends is ridiculously high. The price of the ETF has not gone down that much... yet. Like 3.5% total since 2014?

Yes, it's trailing the NASDAQ 100 by a lot over the past 7 years (which is why you think it has a considerably worse overall total return), but compared to average historical returns from equity index funds (including the NASDAQ 100 - which dropped like 80% in 2000), it's better.

You need to do some reading about investing. Check on the wiki on these boards to find some recommended books.

You are NOT going to get 12% in dividends from this fund for the next 60 years. As an accountant, you should know this. As someone with common sense who is smart enough to save a ton of money by 34, you should know this.

There is no free lunch.

But maybe you don't know this because you are young, and you've only seen the stock market go up for your entire investing lifetime.

You can ignore our advice, but you came here for a reason.
A Goldman Sachs associate provided a variety of detailed explanations, but then offered a caveat, “If I’m being dead-### honest, though, nobody knows what’s really going on.”
Harri88
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2020 8:15 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by Harri88 »

I think 34 is too early to retire. I can understand jobs that stink, but I would suggest a new job or career change. Are you factoring in smaller social security when you hit normal retirement age? What are you going to do for health insurance? What are you going to do to fill your time for the next 30, 40, or 50 + years? That is a long time. You are single now, but what if someone special comes into your life?

Are you able to take a 3-6 month sabbatical, or an extended leave from your job? This would give you a chance to take a step back, clear your mind, and think this through thoroughly.
MoonOrb
Posts: 1185
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:58 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by MoonOrb »

At that age I would find a different job or pursue a different career. I certainly would not consign myself to a risky retirement situation with large downside.
User avatar
Cheez-It Guy
Posts: 1722
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

I'm just a few years older and have many similar feelings. Others can't really advise you on what to do because they don't have the same situation or the same personality. I've blown through the financial goals I've set, and even several revised goals, and can also live super cheap. Every time I have stressors at work, which is frequently, I question why I am still doing this at all. There is no financial imperative. It seems to be mostly societal expectation, which is admittedly a pretty stupid reason to do anything. Some people can't imagine life without the structure of traditional work. I certainly can. I want to be accessible to assist aging family and not to waste the best years of life and the health I still have grinding away at a job that robs me of both time and health. I don't feel like my work is changing the world. It's just a job. I'll be following your thought process and decision with interest.
User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 16961
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by HomerJ »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 10:33 pm I'm just a few years older and have many similar feelings. Others can't really advise you on what to do because they don't have the same situation or the same personality. I've blown through the financial goals I've set, and even several revised goals, and can also live super cheap. Every time I have stressors at work, which is frequently, I question why I am still doing this at all. There is no financial imperative. It seems to be mostly societal expectation, which is admittedly a pretty stupid reason to do anything. Some people can't imagine life without the structure of traditional work. I certainly can. I want to be accessible to assist aging family and not to waste the best years of life and the health I still have grinding away at a job that robs me of both time and health. I don't feel like my work is changing the world. It's just a job. I'll be following your thought process and decision with interest.
So do something different.

No one is telling the OP he has to keep doing a job he hates...

I had a few jobs I hated... I quit and got a different job. He has enough money to take a year or two off, find something he likes, maybe even part-time, just probably not enough to retire forever.
Last edited by HomerJ on Fri Jun 25, 2021 6:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
A Goldman Sachs associate provided a variety of detailed explanations, but then offered a caveat, “If I’m being dead-### honest, though, nobody knows what’s really going on.”
esteen
Posts: 340
Joined: Thu May 23, 2019 12:31 am

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by esteen »

Maybe go back to school for a different degree toward a 2nd career? That's a good way to quit working for a good long time, learn something new, and come out the other side without looking too unemployable.
User avatar
Cheez-It Guy
Posts: 1722
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

HomerJ wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 1:12 am
Cheez-It Guy wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 10:33 pm I'm just a few years older and have many similar feelings. Others can't really advise you on what to do because they don't have the same situation or the same personality. I've blown through the financial goals I've set, and even several revised goals, and can also live super cheap. Every time I have stressors at work, which is frequently, I question why I am still doing this at all. There is no financial imperative. It seems to be mostly societal expectation, which is admittedly a pretty stupid reason to do anything. Some people can't imagine life without the structure of traditional work. I certainly can. I want to be accessible to assist aging family and not to waste the best years of life and the health I still have grinding away at a job that robs me of both time and health. I don't feel like my work is changing the world. It's just a job. I'll be following your thought process and decision with interest.
So do something different.

No one is telling the OP he has to keep doing a job he hates...

I had a few jobs I hated... I quit and got a different job. He has enough money to take a year or two off, find something he likes, maybe even part-time, just probably not enough to retire forever.
Well, nothing IS something different. Most people that retire love it and say they wish they had done it sooner. What is your motivation to work (in the traditional sense of a job)?

My job isn't even that bad, but it's hard for me to envision a job without annoyances that I would always happily do and would prefer over having complete scheduling autonomy. Work, no matter how enjoyable and fulfilling creates obligations. Again, I think this discussion doesn't really work because of the drastic differences in personalities. Everyone tries to put themselves in the same situation and thinks about what THEY would do (which is only natural and not "wrong"), but they're not the OP. I'm surprised at some of the confident recommendations to switch jobs or go back to school when retirement may be a completely valid option based on the math. I'm sure these are some of the first and most obvious options that someone in this position considers on their own. And while I know it's cyclical, LOL at the idea that someone capable may not be able to find work in the future if they want it. Every business in the country is hiring right now. They have signing bonuses, retention bonuses, recruitment bonuses, and attendance bonuses. I was in a meeting earlier this week where someone legitimately proposed exploring the use of "correctional labor" (prisoners). That was shot down pretty quickly, but that's how hard it is to hire and retain people right now. Given the demographic shifts, I don't foresee that getting future work after an employment gap should be a major concern for anyone.
Topic Author
KingAAAA3
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2021 5:02 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by KingAAAA3 »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 10:33 pm I'm just a few years older and have many similar feelings. Others can't really advise you on what to do because they don't have the same situation or the same personality. I've blown through the financial goals I've set, and even several revised goals, and can also live super cheap. Every time I have stressors at work, which is frequently, I question why I am still doing this at all. There is no financial imperative. It seems to be mostly societal expectation, which is admittedly a pretty stupid reason to do anything. Some people can't imagine life without the structure of traditional work. I certainly can. I want to be accessible to assist aging family and not to waste the best years of life and the health I still have grinding away at a job that robs me of both time and health. I don't feel like my work is changing the world. It's just a job. I'll be following your thought process and decision with interest.
Definitely can appreciate this and see where you're coming from. This isn't going to be an overnight decision for me, and I'd assume that I'll be at this job for at least another few months before I transition out. The decision is just too big for me to bounce out immediately. I'd even give it about a 30% chance that I get good enough at this job to stay, and stay another 5 or 7 years toggling away at this garbage just because it's safer. Of course I'd rather have 2 or 3 or 4 million saved up rather than less than any of those numbers, but the question is is it worth the time? But then also, if we do get a huge market downturn like it seems like we're long overdue for and the market stays down for years, then having more saved up would be much more valuable. I don't see that as likely to happen with all of the money that's been printed and with rates likely to stay near 0 for the foreseeable future, but nobody really knows what will happen.

I don't agree with what others have said about this covered call ETF, but am not done doing my due diligence on it. It isn't too good to be true or "a free lunch" because most investors would see that its total return is poor compared to other investments. By my count this fund has had a total return of about 30% less than VTI since its inception, and that includes both the capital appreciation/depreciation and yields of both of the funds. I've bounced it off of the two people in my life who are very financially savvy whose opinions I trust the most, and one seems to think that it is definitely a viable option, and the other thinks it's a viable option, but strongly dislikes it because of the tax implications. He says that there are better ways of achieving the same goal basically by selling puts, but that would require actively managing the portfolio and really understanding the process.

As far as QYLD being too risky...I don't know for sure, but this thing lost only 25% during the peak of the pandemic and hasn't even fully recovered since then. And paid a large dividend throughout. Most other funds lost more or much more than that and are worth much more than that today. Your upside is capped if you invest in this fund, but the yield still seems to make it very attractive to someone in my shoes.

One book that I'm reading that may help give you some interesting perspective is called Die With Zero. Getting all you can from your Money and Your Life, by Bill Perkins. Give it a shot if you have time; the author's goal is trying to get people to think about money and topics related to finance differently, and mentions that many, many people take 80 or 90% of their net worths to the grave.
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 8697
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by JoeRetire »

KingAAAA3 wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 7:02 amBut things like reading, going for walks, and sleeping as late as I want are things that don't cost much and that I'd certainly be able to do without a daily obligation.
We each get to decide what is important in our lives. If your goal is to read, walk, and sleep late, then you should retire today.
Another thing I want to mention...if I did this, I wouldn't do it overnight. I would transition into it over 6 or 12 months or so (assuming I'm able to keep this job over that time). I didn't intend for this to be a fast process.
I'm not sure I understand this.

If you don't want to work when you don't need to, why would you bother to gradually transition to not working?
Last edited by JoeRetire on Fri Jun 25, 2021 7:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
Topic Author
KingAAAA3
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2021 5:02 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by KingAAAA3 »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 6:36 am
HomerJ wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 1:12 am
Cheez-It Guy wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 10:33 pm I'm just a few years older and have many similar feelings. Others can't really advise you on what to do because they don't have the same situation or the same personality. I've blown through the financial goals I've set, and even several revised goals, and can also live super cheap. Every time I have stressors at work, which is frequently, I question why I am still doing this at all. There is no financial imperative. It seems to be mostly societal expectation, which is admittedly a pretty stupid reason to do anything. Some people can't imagine life without the structure of traditional work. I certainly can. I want to be accessible to assist aging family and not to waste the best years of life and the health I still have grinding away at a job that robs me of both time and health. I don't feel like my work is changing the world. It's just a job. I'll be following your thought process and decision with interest.
So do something different.

No one is telling the OP he has to keep doing a job he hates...

I had a few jobs I hated... I quit and got a different job. He has enough money to take a year or two off, find something he likes, maybe even part-time, just probably not enough to retire forever.
Well, nothing IS something different. Most people that retire love it and say they wish they had done it sooner. What is your motivation to work (in the traditional sense of a job)?

My job isn't even that bad, but it's hard for me to envision a job without annoyances that I would always happily do and would prefer over having complete scheduling autonomy. Work, no matter how enjoyable and fulfilling creates obligations. Again, I think this discussion doesn't really work because of the drastic differences in personalities. Everyone tries to put themselves in the same situation and thinks about what THEY would do (which is only natural and not "wrong"), but they're not the OP. I'm surprised at some of the confident recommendations to switch jobs or go back to school when retirement may be a completely valid option based on the math. I'm sure these are some of the first and most obvious options that someone in this position considers on their own. And while I know it's cyclical, LOL at the idea that someone capable may not be able to find work in the future if they want it. Every business in the country is hiring right now. They have signing bonuses, retention bonuses, recruitment bonuses, and attendance bonuses. I was in a meeting earlier this week where someone legitimately proposed exploring the use of "correctional labor" (prisoners). That was shot down pretty quickly, but that's how hard it is to hire and retain people right now. Given the demographic shifts, I don't foresee that getting future work after an employment gap should be a major concern for anyone.
Yeah, this is a great point. One of my other friends mentioned that all of the leverage is with the applicants right now rather than the employers, so it's a great time to start looking. And you saying that some employers even considered using correctional labor as workers certainly reinforces that point! lol

One interesting thing about my situation is that my professional career has been specifically tax, and so that caps me from being considered from most other traditional jobs. I may be interested in something in the Finance field, but don't want it to be sales related at all and don't want to start at the bottom, so I'm not sure how possible this is. I explored this path a little bit and what I was finding was that I basically wasn't qualified for any of those positions. We'll see what happens
User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 8697
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by JoeRetire »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 6:36 amLOL at the idea that someone capable may not be able to find work in the future if they want it. Every business in the country is hiring right now.
I would point out that "in the future" and "right now" aren't the same thing.

I do agree that almost anyone can find a job at any time, if they want one badly enough, are willing to accept less than they would prefer, and are willing to do almost anything.
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
User avatar
Cheez-It Guy
Posts: 1722
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

JoeRetire wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 7:25 am
Cheez-It Guy wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 6:36 amLOL at the idea that someone capable may not be able to find work in the future if they want it. Every business in the country is hiring right now.
I would point out that "in the future" and "right now" aren't the same thing.

I do agree that almost anyone can find a job at any time, if they want one badly enough, are willing to accept less than they would prefer, and are willing to do almost anything.
Right, and that's why I prefaced the quoted text with, "I know it's cyclical". I don't think it's always a reasonable expectation to be able to jump back into the same field at a similar job level and the same or enhanced compensation, but that's certainly not "needed" by someone with the assets to trial a retirement. It's important to be able to be satisfied with less, and I'd even say one of the keys to contentment.
summit
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:29 am
Location: Out West

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by summit »

I just finished a very interesting book called Die with Zero, by Bill Perkins. He argues that dying with money leftover is a waste of your life energy, because you kept working (i.e. exchanging your life energy for money) after you could have stopped. He also argues for a rich and full retirement, full of experiences and meaningful activities. He points out that there are many experiences it is difficult or impossible to have at traditional retirement age due to the natural decline of our bodies.

I say go for it. I like the Bogleheads, but if you follow most of their advice here you would die with millions in the bank and have spent years longer working than you needed to. Remember, if you’ve won the rat race, you’re still a rat.
BrooklynInvest
Posts: 436
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:23 am

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by BrooklynInvest »

Fair question OP. Some thoughts -

I had no plans to have children until I was 52. Life happens.

I just lost my job. No biggie in any practical sense but I'm way too young to retire-retire. I also want to build a bigger cushion but how I go about it might differ from the past (part time, consulting as others have mentioned). I no longer have to maximize my earnings which gives me some pleasant flexibility. But I'd like to have some earnings even if I just make enough to cover expenses so I can delay withdrawing from my next egg for a year or two.

Go back to school? Volunteer for a while? Would a nonprofit benefit from your skills?

Good luck OP. You're in great shape and can make some adjustments you'll likely benefit from and enjoy.
sandan
Posts: 196
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:48 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by sandan »

KingAAAA3 wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 7:24 am
One interesting thing about my situation is that my professional career has been specifically tax, and so that caps me from being considered from most other traditional jobs. I may be interested in something in the Finance field, but don't want it to be sales related at all and don't want to start at the bottom, so I'm not sure how possible this is. I explored this path a little bit and what I was finding was that I basically wasn't qualified for any of those positions. We'll see what happens
If you have a high analytic aptitude, learn to code basic things like websites, data scraping, databases, visualizations, data analysis etc.. You don't have to learn everything. It shouldn't take more than a year or two to be okay at a few of those categories.

Apply those skills to your speciality and you will likely become a unicorn. The key is having a speciality.
Slacker
Posts: 955
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 8:40 am

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by Slacker »

I would be cautious about the ETF. I'd take the caution advice seriously.

The questions about what are you going to do with your time? Seems like a lack of imagination and people wrapped up in an identity of being a worker. You really should have more motivation than "I hate my job" but I don't see any problem at all with your financial situation taking time off. You'll either decide you don't ever want to work for an employer again or you'll decide that you do and will still be young enough that it will be possible (you are young enough, and wealthy enough to even go back to school and train up for a completely different industry if you so desire).

Maybe the toughest part about being retired at 34 is you may find your friends and family don't have as much time to go on adventures or just hang out as you do.

Someone organized, motivated, and diligent enough to get themselves to $1.5 million in assets by 34 without an inheritance or winning the lottery should be just fine with whatever path they take.
supalong52
Posts: 474
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by supalong52 »

I think you're looking at things as if there are only two options and no in-between. It's not simply a choice between working a job you don't like or retiring for the rest of your life. I learned this through personal experience. I quit a very high paying job at the age of 35 with the intention to FIRE (although I called it a sabbatical to anyone who asked). Two years later, I took on a consulting role in my prior field and still work in that role today. In the interim, we also had a son, bought a house, and have a daughter on the way, which changed my mindset a little bit. But I am also considering cutting back my role or taking another break. One thing I learned about not working is that I instantly switched to a scarcity mindset, where I was always thinking about staying within spending limits, etc. I did not like living this way -- made me feel paranoid.

My point is -- life is fluid. You are young with a healthy financial situation. You can afford to just quit and take some time to yourself and eventually you will probably migrate to doing something again, even if it is unrelated to accounting. But expect that your outlook will change over time.
tsohg
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:30 am

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by tsohg »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 10:33 pm It seems to be mostly societal expectation, which is admittedly a pretty stupid reason to do anything. Some people can't imagine life without the structure of traditional work. I certainly can. I want to be accessible to assist aging family and not to waste the best years of life and the health I still have grinding away at a job that robs me of both time and health. I don't feel like my work is changing the world. It's just a job. I'll be following your thought process and decision with interest.
We humans are social creatures, so I wouldn't discount societal expectations or pressure as "pretty stupid". I do think it's unhealthy to think of a job as 'robbing' you of life and health. Maybe you don't think you're changing the world, but I bet you're making a more localized impact on friends and colleagues around you. Really, what does "changing the world" mean? The rest of your post reads like you want to retreat from society and live a life of leisure.

Personally I like the idea of downshifting to "recreational work", or simply a lighter part-time schedule.
Greentree
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:34 am

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by Greentree »

Congratulations on a nice little pile of cash. The world is henceforth your oyster:)

I remember being your age and hating my job, so I can relate. It was a terrible feeling going into work each day. Luckily I found something that I've generally really liked and has carried me through the last 8 years. It has been better than anything I could have done retired at this age (except maybe taking a year off to travel) and believe me, I hated that last job. There are many good jobs out there and many terrible ones.

I'll try to break it down so that you understand the middle of the road responses that I agree with (my impression is that you are more a 0 or 1 person):
- You are trying to decide if you should stay at your job you hate or completely retire. How about quitting next week, taking some time off to regroup and finding something that you enjoy doing for money? You don't need to save much, you don't need to make much, just cover your costs, generally enjoy your work and make you own calls how you want to do things. Become a scuba instructor, teach English as second language, drive a bus, do what you're doing but as a consultant for people who you want to work for. Your money has made it possible for you to do a wide variety of interesting work.
- You are trying to decide if you should drop a large chunk into QYLD or not. First off, this is the wrong forum for QYLD:) But I agree that it is risky. Maybe it'll work out, maybe not. I'd go traditional AA and take out 3.5%, or take some time off for a set period of time, then stop withdrawing and let it grow. But if you insist, put 10% into QYLD and see how it goes for the next 10 years.

Good luck. Take a step back and see that you have many options and not just two.
User avatar
Cheez-It Guy
Posts: 1722
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

Slacker wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 1:02 pm Maybe the toughest part about being retired at 34 is you may find your friends and family don't have as much time to go on adventures or just hang out as you do.
This is is true, but they don't have that time now either, so what's the difference? Would you rather have half of something good, or none of it?
User avatar
Cheez-It Guy
Posts: 1722
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

tsohg wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 1:17 pm
Cheez-It Guy wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 10:33 pm It seems to be mostly societal expectation, which is admittedly a pretty stupid reason to do anything. Some people can't imagine life without the structure of traditional work. I certainly can. I want to be accessible to assist aging family and not to waste the best years of life and the health I still have grinding away at a job that robs me of both time and health. I don't feel like my work is changing the world. It's just a job. I'll be following your thought process and decision with interest.
We humans are social creatures, so I wouldn't discount societal expectations or pressure as "pretty stupid". I do think it's unhealthy to think of a job as 'robbing' you of life and health. Maybe you don't think you're changing the world, but I bet you're making a more localized impact on friends and colleagues around you. Really, what does "changing the world" mean? The rest of your post reads like you want to retreat from society and live a life of leisure.

Personally I like the idea of downshifting to "recreational work", or simply a lighter part-time schedule.
I'm saying that using societal expectations as your primary or sole motivation to continue doing something you don't enjoy AND don't need to do is stupid. As a corollary, how about all of the people who get married only because society expects them to at a certain age. That generally seems to work out well. . .

I'll concede that certain of my statements are purposely hyperbolic. "Changing the world" is really in jest to typical characterizations about the value of one's work when the majority are cogs in a machine. People making widgets for more people to mindlessly consume while simultaneously destroying the only environment we have is also not a motivator for me.

You don't agree with some of my characterizations, which is fine, and I'm happy for you that you don't feel the same way in your situation. I wish I didn't. A traditional job consumes a huge chunk of one's productive life that you could certainly argue could be better spent on other things, given the financial flexibility to do so. Job-related stress and inactivity imposed by the traditional modern working environment unquestionably leads to numerous chronic health issues. So what else do you call it? You can say this is a cynical and unhealthy perspective, but this is just how I see it. I think it's based on reality. Maybe this comes from being around a generally older set of people in my career and with my family. Seeing them retire after a life of wage slavery and then die suddenly. Seeing their health deteriorate to where they are unable to enjoy their remaining years. My plan is to wrap it up early and get out. I'm not seeing the compelling arguments why I shouldn't. I hear the projected fears and uncertainty of others.

Don't conflate intentions to retire with intentions to sit around and do absolutely nothing with one's life. I don't need to receive a paycheck to feel like my life has value or that I have something to offer to society as a whole. I'm more concerned about looking back in life with regret that I didn't have the time flexibility to assist loved ones with aging comfortably because I was too busy working a job for a check I didn't even need.
Invest4lt
Posts: 170
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:25 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by Invest4lt »

It sounds like you are in a great position to re-evaluate your life and priorities. You've decided that you aren't happy where you are. The next step would be to get greater clarity into where you want to be. I don't think this has been mentioned yet, but you might want to enlist the help of a life or career coach to sort out your priorities, interests, values, etc. You have a great cushion of assets and many years ahead of you. A life coach might be able to help you clarify your direction.
Wannaretireearly
Posts: 1685
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:39 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 3:03 pm
tsohg wrote: Fri Jun 25, 2021 1:17 pm
Cheez-It Guy wrote: Thu Jun 24, 2021 10:33 pm It seems to be mostly societal expectation, which is admittedly a pretty stupid reason to do anything. Some people can't imagine life without the structure of traditional work. I certainly can. I want to be accessible to assist aging family and not to waste the best years of life and the health I still have grinding away at a job that robs me of both time and health. I don't feel like my work is changing the world. It's just a job. I'll be following your thought process and decision with interest.
We humans are social creatures, so I wouldn't discount societal expectations or pressure as "pretty stupid". I do think it's unhealthy to think of a job as 'robbing' you of life and health. Maybe you don't think you're changing the world, but I bet you're making a more localized impact on friends and colleagues around you. Really, what does "changing the world" mean? The rest of your post reads like you want to retreat from society and live a life of leisure.

Personally I like the idea of downshifting to "recreational work", or simply a lighter part-time schedule.
I'm saying that using societal expectations as your primary or sole motivation to continue doing something you don't enjoy AND don't need to do is stupid. As a corollary, how about all of the people who get married only because society expects them to at a certain age. That generally seems to work out well. . .

I'll concede that certain of my statements are purposely hyperbolic. "Changing the world" is really in jest to typical characterizations about the value of one's work when the majority are cogs in a machine. People making widgets for more people to mindlessly consume while simultaneously destroying the only environment we have is also not a motivator for me.

You don't agree with some of my characterizations, which is fine, and I'm happy for you that you don't feel the same way in your situation. I wish I didn't. A traditional job consumes a huge chunk of one's productive life that you could certainly argue could be better spent on other things, given the financial flexibility to do so. Job-related stress and inactivity imposed by the traditional modern working environment unquestionably leads to numerous chronic health issues. So what else do you call it? You can say this is a cynical and unhealthy perspective, but this is just how I see it. I think it's based on reality. Maybe this comes from being around a generally older set of people in my career and with my family. Seeing them retire after a life of wage slavery and then die suddenly. Seeing their health deteriorate to where they are unable to enjoy their remaining years. My plan is to wrap it up early and get out. I'm not seeing the compelling arguments why I shouldn't. I hear the projected fears and uncertainty of others.

Don't conflate intentions to retire with intentions to sit around and do absolutely nothing with one's life. I don't need to receive a paycheck to feel like my life has value or that I have something to offer to society as a whole. I'm more concerned about looking back in life with regret that I didn't have the time flexibility to assist loved ones with aging comfortably because I was too busy working a job for a check I didn't even need.
+1 Well said.
OP is young with no ties, I think I said this upstream, but I would seriously look at taking 3/6/9 months off (an unpaid leave if possible), join similar aged people who are traveling/hosteling long term. Doing a tiny amount of that in my 20's was just amazing, meeting people easily etc etc. I'm sure there are forums for this kind of travel now. Once you get to 40s 50s I don't think you'll fit in with this type of 'backpacking' hostel crowd.

I just bought die with zero. Looking forward to reading it.
Two things bookend my thinking on FIRE, my Dad passing away before 60 (zero retirement) & my Father in law FIREing at the age of 49 (now 73 ish). FIL's health improved dramatically after he retired. Just more time to exercise.
Death and taxes. Only one is under your control!
Lowlim
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:11 pm

Re: Can I retire today?

Post by Lowlim »

I had a similar situation at about the same age. I didn't particularly enjoy my job (high stress) and had enough money to maintain my lifestyle (live frugally) and pursue all the hobbies/activities I wanted. I decided to retire and glad that I did.

Which option will have the greater chance of regret later in life?
  • If you decide to retire at age 34, what are the changes you will regret that decision and wish that you had worked another 10 years to retire 44?
  • If you decide to work another 10 years and retire at age 44, what are the changes you will regret decision and with you had retired at age 34?
For me the answer was to retire early. No matter how much money you accumulate, you cannot buy your youth back. You can however, make more money in the future if you decide that is what you want to do.
Post Reply