Honey, would you be mad if I just go ahead and quit now?

Published August 22, 2016   Posted in How to Retire

The closer I get to early retirement, the tougher it becomes to wait for it. Virtually every day, I am conscious of the fact that I’m still “going to work”, even though I am close to the end. I am still working, checking email, writing reports, answering phone calls.

Pinterest: Can I quit now?It’s still happening. I know the end is near, but that doesn’t make these last few remaining months easier to get through, as I assumed that it would. Human nature strikes again. The closer that we get to something, the more we want it and less patient we become.

If anything, getting closer makes it tougher. And half-jokingly, I periodically ask my wife if I can just quit early – of course, in complete jerk-face style.

Steve, can you do me a favor?

Sure, if that favor means I get to quit work tomorrow.

“Oh, quit your whining, Steve!” – you might be thinking. And well, I can’t say I disagree with that. I only have a few more months to go, so I should just buck up and get through it and quit whining about it.

Okay, true that.

But remember, my boss already knows. Most of my immediate family knows. We’re all settled into our kick-ass Airstream digs and ready to get this show on the road. All that really needs to happen is for us to quit our jobs and set sail.

Airstream renovations loom

But we shouldn’t, yet.

After all, we have a few expensive renovation items that we need to do on the Airstream.

  • New flooring: The original floors are in good shape considering the unit was built in 2005, but they definitely show their wear. We need something new to walk on. Cost: $2,000.
  • Replace dinette with desk: We hate the dinette. We never use it – we don’t eat there, nor do we really need that much seating right in the middle of the rig. We want it replaced with a real desk that I will primarily use for my workstation. Cost: $1,500.
  • Solar and battery upgrade: We want to spend a lot of time off-grid, and solar power on the roof and upgraded batteries will make that happen for us. Expensive, though. Cost: $7,000.

Right there, we have around $10,000 worth of work that we need to do (or have done) to the Airstream at some point in the future.

And thus, we press on.

But still, I could quit

The thought is always there, and I sort of enjoy its taunts. I know that I can’t punch it in the face quite yet, but knowing that I can in less than a half-year continues to intrigue me. Thoughts of “I quit” re-surface during a telecon that I’d rather beat myself over the head with a hammer than listen to.

I will think about it when I’m crawling out of bed early in the morning just so I can spend time doing work. Or during my performance review a couple weeks ago, which was a mere formality. Or that business trip I had to take over my birthday. I could quit. Or maybe more accurately, “Soon, I will quit”.

And it has changed the way that I do business. Doing the work still brings me very little joy, but I operate differently. I am not painstakingly re-reading every email through “cover your ass” glasses like I once did. I don’t sugar-coat my thoughts or feelings and I am clear with my boss about my expectations for my remaining months. He knows that I’m out the door at the end of the year and I’m just hanging on and riding the wave until it finally breaks and throws me on shore.

I don’t care about looking good in front of my boss or coworkers. Their incessant push for more and more influence is met with zero push back from me. I let it happen, smiling. Because to me, it just doesn’t matter. It’s their career, not mine. I’m nearly out the door.

I’ve already put my F-U Money to good use

A couple of weeks ago, my boss emailed me about a potential opportunity to fill out my remaining few months of work. The catch was it required nearly constant cross-country travel.

I hate air travel. Combine it with a job that I don’t particularly enjoy and we end up with a situation that’s just about the perfect storm of nastiness for me. My boss asked me how I would feel about taking on this gig. I played my FU Money card.

In the past, I would have begrudgingly agreed to this assignment. I never said no to work, not because I enjoyed the thought of doing that work, but because I wanted to make my boss happy with my presence in the company. Basically, I had to protect my career. But today, that’s changed.

I said no. Flat no. I had discussed it with the wife and we both agreed that constant travel cross-country for the next three or four months was unacceptable. I would sooner quit than put that kind of strain on our family at the moment. We have a lot to do before we hit the road, and my availability is critical to make the timing work out.

I was prepared to quit if it came to that. But, it didn’t. My boss knows my distaste for travel. If he didn’t then, he certainly does now.

Meanwhile, I’m just doing my very best not to up-and-quit today, as much as I would like to.

This is going to be a wonderful holiday season, my friends. Wonderful indeed!

We track our net worth using Personal Capital



Comments

66 responses to “Honey, would you be mad if I just go ahead and quit now?”

  1. “I let it happen, smiling” – I love this and not having to worry about the CYA everyday too. I am in a similar boat right now. Took a temporary job since my son’s is still in high school this year. Putting the extra funds into our “camper fund” so we can get what we want, not just what we need. I go in and smile and do what I have to do. Everyone sees a difference in me – from when I worked there a few years ago. It’s all because I know I am there for just a few weeks – doing it because I want to, not because I need to. It’s fun to follow your exit…

    • Steve says:

      Thanks for the comment, Vicki. The freedom of not having to CYA is always a great feeling, but perhaps even better is working because you want to, not because you need to. Not many people have that feeling!

  2. $2k for floors? Wow! Does that include labor?

    Do you think that the anticipation that the end is nigh is what makes you want to quit? I’m wondering if it’s best to have a date planned or simply put in one’s two weeks at some vague date in the future. Or maybe knowing when you’re leaving is what keeps you going. 😀

    • Steve says:

      Hey Claudia – honestly, that figure was just a guess, but we always like to budget on the higher side because things always seem to be more expensive than you think. Also, I’m sure the anticipation is a big part of it, but my general distaste of what I do for a living definitely continues to naw at me. I really just don’t enjoy this business.

  3. It’ll be here before you know it!

    That’s pretty exciting about hooking up some solar panels and battery to the rig. As you may know, I put solar on my house less than a year ago and someday I may hook a battery storage unit to it to be even more off grid. Curious what type of battery are you thinking about getting? Thanks Steve!

    • Steve says:

      Right now we’re thinking at least 300 Ah deep cycle marine batteries, the kind that you don’t have to water. I’m toying with upping the capacity to 370, though, if it makes sense for us financially. Really, the more the merrier! 🙂

  4. Mrs. PIE says:

    Oh I hear you! I often think that I’m wishing my life away as I wait for summer 2018 to come around. Having just survived some lay-offs at work, the prospect of being done and out of the work place was right in my face. My department is in a ‘post lay-off morose-ness’ which makes each day a little more grim. I keep having to tell myself “live in the moment”, “enjoy the journey” Hmmmm…..

    • Steve says:

      Hehe, yup, I tell myself that as well. It seems like I’ve been telling myself “It’s just a couple more months” forever, now. Maybe it’s the repetitiveness of it all that’s beginning to get to me? Oh, psychology!

  5. What an awesome position to be able to turn down work you don’t want, and not to be worried about looking bad. I remember feeling this way once I decided to leave my teaching job. Before that I was always worried about the fall-out from failing a kid for plagiarism or issuing a well-deserved detention. Parents sometimes side with whatever story their kids tell. Once I wasn’t worried about this I felt so much more in control. I’m sure every teacher learns this whether they stay or go, but it was nice to feel free to do what I thought was best.

    • Steve says:

      Hey Kalie! I have no doubt that battling the parents is just as bad…or sometimes worse, than dealing with the kids. That’s a position that I definitely don’t envy, but certainly appreciate the people who can do it, and do it well. More power to you, Kalie! 🙂

  6. Remember you’re in the drivers seat here, just like saying no to the cross-country travel. How would that “no” been received if your weren’t leaving? I’m sure your responsibility we get less and less as the short few months roll on. I think the $10K for upgrades on the Airstream should provide just enough motivation to stick it out.

    • Steve says:

      True that, Brian. I’ve thought about that as well. Not sure how that would have gone, honestly. I probably wouldn’t have even said “no” to begin with, sadly. 🙂

  7. Sounds like mentally you’re there!

    But I think you really could quit today. All of those upgrades you listed seem pretty optional. You could quit and live without pretty floors. Or, you could just not go off grid as much and skip the solar option.

    Just a thought!

    • Steve says:

      It’s true, we could quit today, and perhaps if the money wasn’t so good, I might. But alas, I recognize how good of a job that I have, and some of the expenses that we have looming. It’s entirely true that we could forgo some of these upgrades until later, but the solar (which is the most expensive one) is going to enable a *TON* more flexibility in our lifestyle. That’s a real tough one to pass on…or even delay.

      • Adam and Jane says:

        Steve,

        Stay cool and make it to the end of the year to fund the upgrades to make your airstream more comfortable. If I have to work/suffer 3 more years to double my pension at 55 then you can do 4 more months! Piece of cake for you. You can do it!

        Like you I am so antsy that I want to quit everyday but I know I gotta do the time to get to 55. My wife will be laid off at the end of the year and I gotta complete my 3 year “prison” sentence. ARG…FUDGE!!

        Adam

        • Steve says:

          Ha! Yup, it’s soooo close! Even though the end is near, it’s tough to stay the course sometimes. But I’m doing it. I’m not quitting…just yet! 🙂

  8. Mr. SSC says:

    I’m with you in that – “can’t we do it now?” boat and we’re about 2 years out. Although, our plans have changed and there will still be income coming in, but yeah it wouldn’t be optimal. Still just thinking that i only have ~2 years left before I can say “I’m done, thanks for the ride!” and will still just be 40 is nothing to complain about, and there’s still 2 yrs of life to live until then.

    I think if I got assigned to a super horrid position between now and then, it would most likely hasten that date and for one of the first times in my adult life, my strong work ethic would disappear. Unlike you, I’d have to begrudgingly take it, but I’d just sit back and ride it out as stress free as possible knowing the end is coming soon. 🙂

    • Steve says:

      Yup, that’s what I’d do too. I feel like I’ve been begrudgingly taking it my entire career because the money was so good. Nothing wrong with doing that for a couple of years, but that’s no way to run your entire career – at least not for me.

      Almost there. Almost there.

  9. Arrgo says:

    I’d say just put yourself on auto-pilot at work and the time will pass quickly. In the end, I think you will be glad you stuck it out and banked that extra money while you had a decent paying job.

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Arrgo – in many ways I am very much on auto-pilot, and you’re right, I will definitely appreciate the greenbacks that continue to stroll into our bank account. Workin’ for the paycheck, baby! 🙂

  10. wishicouldsurf says:

    Oh wow! I’m in the same boat though my plan is to retire June 30, 2017, if I can make it for that long. I just want to be done. Funny part is, I do sales and I fired 3/4 of my referral sources and have a “I don’t give a £¥<k" attitude whether someone wants to do business with me or not and I'm having my best year ever. Makes me wonder why I didn't fire anybody who didn't respect the value I add and/or wasted my time 5 years ago. I could also walk away now and be ok, but I keep reminding myself that now is the time where I'm building a cushion and I need to stay on track so that when I do walk away, a 20-30% drop in the stock market won't be so scary. Good luck! Oh ya, and I'm sure you could probably spend less money on those renovations… 😉

    • Steve says:

      It’s true, we could spend less, but we definitely want things to be done right – especially the solar. We might be able to do our own floors and dinette switch-out, though. Those renovations won’t be done before we take off we don’t think, so we will have time to plan those out and decide whether or not we’d like to tackle them ourselves.

      Thanks for the comment!

  11. Basil says:

    This takes me back to senior year of high school, which I hated. You can almost taste your freedom from drudgery, but you’re just…not…there!

    Thankfully, it comes to an end. From the perspective of someone still nine years from FIRE, you’ll be out in no time!

    • Steve says:

      You and me both, Basil! I hated school pretty much throughout my childhood, so graduating from high school was almost like graduating from “being treated like a child”. It was as exhilarating as the anticipation of early retirement, I tell you! 🙂

  12. Justin says:

    I used to have those same thoughts. 🙂

    And at work during the slow and dreary times, I’d rerun the calculators and projections and wonder if I could maybe just possibly get by on what we had. Or move to Mexico and live on a shoestring budget (seriously considered that for a while!).

    In the end I worked as long as I could then the job quit me, so I didn’t get a chance to voluntarily pull the plug. My wife kept working for 2 years beyond what I did, almost to our original planned “quit date” (that timing was pure coincidence though).

    • Steve says:

      Yup, I’m sure these feelings are common. It doesn’t help that we are stuck in the heat of Tucson either during one of the hottest summers *on record*. On the bright side, we’re seeing what the Airstream really can do!

  13. Wow, great story. I’m about 1 year behind your schedule and have some of the same feelings: excitement, but also new-found confidence at the job (compliments of the F-U money stash in the background).
    I wonder if after you quit your wife will then nag you and ask if she can retire as well. (If I remember correctly she wanted to work until 2/2017 or so).
    It helps a lot to have a boss who is on board with your decision to go FIRE. It could have gone the other way and the boss will try to make the last few months miserable. Of course, you could have quit then but it’s always easier to sail through the last few months, collect salary and benefits and quit on your own schedule. Good luck with everything!

    • Steve says:

      Yup, the wife will work pretty much until her birthday, which is in late February of 2017 so she’s eligible for Social Security once the time comes. You’re dead on with the boss being on-board. Working for him makes this much easier than it could be. 🙂

  14. Troy says:

    I understand completely, I am in a similar situation and it is hard to work one more day. I am 48 and the plan was to retire at 55. Some analysis shows we are FI now so I want to start now.

    The biggest hold back is the wife, she is in a situation where she cannot quit for about 2 years, I have put her on notice that I will not be able to continue working that long so she should be prepared for anything. I am assuming if I do quit soon she may find a way to accelerate her departure as well.

    I have done the ROI analysis on quitting now and sticking it out various lengths of time and the financial gains from continued working are just not attractive enough. It sounds like you have done similar analysis.

    • Arrgo says:

      I know what you mean. Its good to earn a decent paycheck plus benefits, but if you are in a bad situation then living your life like that just to gain/ save a few more thousand $ might not really be worth it. And as you get older playing the corporate game can get old. One suggestion to consider is to look for a layoff with severance pay plus you may also get unemployment which could help.

      • Steve says:

        I would LOVE to get laid off, actually. I might broach the subject with him as I get closer, but we’ll see. The problem is my company just has SO much work at the moment that a lay off is tough to justify. Ugh, first world problems. 🙂

    • Steve says:

      Ha! I like your style, Troy. And yup, we’ve analyzed our numbers to death, squeezing out every single possibility to see just how early we can call it quits…over and over again. 🙂

    • Petra says:

      Troy, can’t you just quit somewhere in the next two years and take care of the household tasks until your wife is ready to quit, too? That will make it easier for your wife to keep working, and she’ll have more free time, too.

  15. Kate says:

    As someone who is incredibly impatient, this post resonates with me. But I have at least 7-10 years before my early retirement will be a reality. Until then, I’m trying to remind myself that it’s business as usual, even though I constantly check my calculations and wonder if I can live off a little less going forward.

    My $1300 vet expense last week was a huge dose of reality. Reminded me how unexpected expenses can easily pop up!

    P.S. Cat will be fine 🙂

    • Steve says:

      Glad the cat will be okay! We have a couple of dogs, so we know what it’s like to have unexpected vet bills, and the older they get, the worse it will become. We love our dogs, but we probably won’t get any more animals until we settle down again somewhere.

      • Kate says:

        He’s diabetic (and already expensive at $140 every 6 weeks) but he had some dental issues pop up so this has been a costly year. I adore both of my cats but they will likely be my last mainly due to the lack of freedom, given the requirement of insulin injections every 12 hours.They sure are cute, though!

  16. Apathy Ends says:

    Kudos to you for turning down the assignment. I daydream what it’s like to walk out of the building never having to think about our products and services again.

    You are going to be going stir crazy in about 2 months!

  17. Joe says:

    It’s great that you can say no. That’s the power of FI. For some people, work improve enough that they can stay working. It’s too bad most workers feel they need to say yes to everything. The employer has a lot of power these days. FI balance the scale a little bit.
    Good luck with the last few months. It’s tough, but it will be over very soon.

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Joe. Honestly, I never thought that I’d actually rely on that F-U money, but it certainly does feel liberating to know that I can. You’re right, employers sure do have quite a bit of power these days, but that is only because *we give it to them*. Ugh!

  18. Matt Spillar says:

    “But today, that’s changed. I said no. Flat no.”

    I chuckled when I read this line, love it. Gotta love having that FU Money in the bank to always have your back 🙂

    You’re sooooo close, it’ll be here before you know it!

  19. That must be tough just riding out those last few months, but I’m sure you’re enjoying it as well. They say that anticipation is the greatest of all pleasures, right? This is the adult version of laying in bed on Christmas eve, not being able to sleep because you are so excited for presents on Christmas morning!

    Enjoy the last few months, I’m sure you will look back on them as an exciting time!

    • Steve says:

      There is something to be said for the anticipation, Jon. I just wonder what it will feel like after that anticipation is gone. Sure, I’ll be retired, but what then? Mission accomplished. On to the next mission, perhaps? Yes!

  20. I have this problem and I’ve only been working for three years! I feel your pain Steve.

  21. The anticipation of something we really want is so unbearably amazing and frustrating at the same time …. like a kid waiting out the week before Christmas! Enjoy your last few months!

  22. I would be feeling the same way if I was in your shoes! Almost to the finish line, you can do it!

  23. Jack says:

    Look on the bright side, Steve.

    Every time you feel the frustration rising, just imagine you didn’t have your FU money, and were stuck in that office, in that job, with no end in sight.

    It will give you a new perspective on your coworkers, and a new level of patience to get you over the hump.

    You’re almost there. Enjoy the ride!

    • Steve says:

      That’s very true, Jack! I know it could be a lot worse – in fact, it was just a few years ago. I was making good money but the end was nowhere in sight. I definitely appreciate what we’ve been able to do in such a short period of time. 🙂

  24. You guys have simultaneously managed to figure everything out for the perfect escape and set your life up now to enjoy the last few months of work as well. I think you’ve got it made… but I totally feel your pain about wishing it would hurry up. I tell Mr. T to quit his job at least once a week and we’re not even close yet!

    • Steve says:

      Hah! If Courtney said that to me, I can guarantee you I’d quit tomorrow. But alas, she doesn’t. She doesn’t because she knows that I’d take her up on that. 🙂

  25. Josh says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post, Steve. This feeling resonates with many of us who are still years out.

    My wife and I plan to do RV living in the next 5 years. We’ll be 35 and 36 respectively. I’ve run the numbers to see how early we could possibly exit the work force given various assumptions but the numbers always work out to 5 more years to feel comfortable.

    At the end of the day you are in a great position and are bringing home enough money to make the next 4 months worth it. It won’t be long now!

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Josh. Congrats for choosing the RV lifestyle, by the way. That will greatly reduce your expenses, no doubt. Retiring at 35 and 36 is still super duper early. Well done, guys!

  26. Bernice says:

    I’m in the same position – retiring at the end of the year. Just trying to get through each day of work (although I still enjoy the work and the coworkers). The part I can’t tolerate anymore is the shift work. 11 more nights to work (and 29 days!). Yes, the countdown is on. I am able to take vacation for half of November and all of December. I will be 58 when I retire and have worked for the same company for 35 1/2 years. One day I just knew it was time to end the career. I’ve been smiling ever since!

    • Steve says:

      Holy moly, 35 and 1/2 years for the same company?!? Wow, that’s super impressive. Awesome that you can take the rest of your vacation to finish out your career. That means work ends for you in mid-November rather than waiting around until the holidays. Nice perk! 🙂

  27. Adam and Jane says:

    Steve,

    You have 4 months to go….

    If you had a choice to leave now with NO severance or to leave in 4 months with a severance of 200K, what would you do?

    You would stay, right?

    Damn! I just learned that my co-worker turned down his severance of 200K and 5K more on his pension per year by leaving now!

    He got over 33 years of service, had ENUFF and wants OUT NOW!!

    Are you kidding me? I said to him, you are so close, it is only 4 more months, and to take the money! He said it ain’t worth the money and life is more important. He wants no regrets. He wants to travel with his wife now. I hope he doesn’t regret giving up a min of 100K after taxes!

    I wished him well. That is a lot of money on the table to just walk away. I don’t know anyone in the company that walked away from a severance.

    Adam

    • Steve says:

      Wow, $200,000?!? It would have to be awfully bad for me to pass on that deal. Yes, given my current position, I would definitely dig it out for another four months for that kind of severance. But, maybe this guy has a ton of cash already saved. Not sure, but it would be difficult for me to ignore, that’s for sure. 🙂

  28. Tawcan says:

    Wow $2k for floors? That seems a lot for a Airstream. But maybe I’m out of touch.

    Having options that you mentioned is exactly why FI is so powerful. Hoping I will reach that point in the near future.

    • Steve says:

      Hey Tawcan – honestly, $2k for floors was an absolute swag. We have no idea, but we’re estimating high because these kinds of renovations nearly always cost more than you’d expect. We believe $2k to be a reasonable estimate.

      Thanks for reading!

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