Just as the Fed has been tapering down on its bond purchases, reducing a little here, and a little there, I’ve been thinking about doing the same thing at my job. You know, reducing a few hours here, taking some more days off there, and so on. As I get closer and closer to early financial independence, I must confess that I’m getting more and more anxious with each passing day.
After reading Dividend Mantra’s post earlier this week, The Journey Home Is Bittersweet, I’ll say that I’m even more motivated and inspired than ever before to leave a bad thing behind and to start my own next chapter in life. Many congratulations to Jason for having the courage to make the move, and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors! Life is about to get a whole heck of a lot more exciting!
The truth of the matter is, I’m only really still gainfully employed as an engineer because I need the paystubs to qualify for more loans. Otherwise, I would leave now and take on something else that’s a whole lot less stressful… albeit, at a lower pay as well. The days of putting in long hours because of the burning passion and intellectual curiosity of solving a challenging engineering problem are long gone. Too many bridges burned (I’m burned… out as well), and quite frankly, the ROI for my efforts leaves a lot to be desired. To be clear, ROI in this sense extends beyond just monetary compensation.
In a perfect world, I’ll be able to max out my 10 loans before bidding adieu to the cubicle life… or at least try to get as close to that mark as possible. Why? Well, once I walk away from my six figure salaried position as an engineer, I doubt any lender will want to do business with me again. Especially since my debt-to-income will be through the roof! Too much debt and no earned income… Doesn’t sound like the makeup of an ideal loan applicant, does it?
Anyway, if the Fed can do it, then so can I, right? Besides, I doubt I could just call it quits cold turkey, anyway. It would be a huge shock to the company, and especially to my immediate team. Although I’ve professed my strong desire to terminate my own employment on this blog many times before, no one in my “real” life (work) knows about any of this financial independence stuff. As far as their concerned, I’m just like everyone else — a team player who drinks the company kool aid and intends on sticking around until 65.
So, I’m thinking the best way to walk away is to do it slowly… Just like with this whole easing of Quantitative Easing that the Fed is trying to accomplish. First, I’ll stop showing up 40+ hours a week… Then, I’ll see if I can get away with just working 4 days a week… Until finally, I’ll just make that final announcement (maybe a year from today?), and ride off into the sunset. If I can introduce some gradual tapering, I should be able to cut the final cord with relative grace (I hope).
I think cutting back on the long hours will do a lot of good. It’s amazing how much more refreshed you feel with some extra time off. If anything, it will help make the next year at work a whole lot more tolerable. Perhaps, it might even reinvigorate me enough to continue working just slightly longer so that I can build up an even larger safety net?
At this point, I want to ask readers, and other fellow bloggers –”At what point would you feel comfortable with starting the tapering off from full-time employee to (f)unemployed?”
In other words, “How much net worth/cash flow would you need before you could declare yourself “ready” for tapering? Or, at what age?”
I would love to hear your thoughts on this!