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I handed in my Two Weeks Notice

by retirebyforty on July 16, 2012 · 240 comments

in early retirement, employment, goals and milestones, health

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2 two weeks notice quit resign

We are starting a new chapter in life and we will make the time to stop and smell the roses.

Well, now I’ve gone and done it! I gave my two weeks notice to my manager last Monday. I’ve been with my current employer for 16 years, but it was an easy decision to make. You’ll see why as I tell you what happened over the first six months of 2012. I haven’t shared much of the story here because I think many people expect me to “retire” in 2013 when I turn 40. I wasn’t sure if I would actually do it this year and I didn’t want to disappoint anyone if I couldn’t do it in 2012.

Now that I have taken concrete action, I feel free to share more. I’m sure long time readers could tell something was in the air because I wrote quite a few passionate posts recently.

Go it alone

Quit or get fired

Why I want to be a stay at home dad

So here is the whole tale. First of all, I got a bad annual review for the first time in 16 years this April. This wasn’t entirely unexpected because I really did not perform well in 2011. My motivation was gone and I was dragging. The bad review wasn’t unexpected, but it was tough to swallow. Who wants to hear that they got a D in class? This bad review set off a chain of events that led to the resignation letter I handed in last week.

Health

Before we continue, let’s talk about how my health was doing in early 2012. The truth is I have been feeling shitty for a long time and I place the blame squarely on the job. Here are the problems I was dealing with in April.

  • Shoulders. My shoulders were always painfully tight. This was due to sitting in front of the computer for 8-12 hours per day. I consulted with the ergonomic department and they came out to adjust my chair and workstation. However, that really didn’t help much so I sought additional health care. I went to see my doctor and got a referral for physical therapy. I had about 15 PT sessions which really helped and my shoulders are feeling almost normal now.
  • Eyes. Over the last year or so, my right eye had been blurry and fatigued after a long day in front of the computer monitor. By the end of the day, it became difficult for me to read documents and emails on the monitor. I have pretty bad myopia and I have been putting a lot of strain on my eyes for years. I saw several optometrists about this, but they couldn’t find anything wrong. However, I know that my eyes feel better when I spend less time on the computer.
  • Headache. I was having headaches all the time and it sucked to be feeling that way so often.
  • Back. I’m sure all office workers have to deal with lower back pain at some point. I don’t like it.
  • Depression. Here is the big one. I was feeling really stressed out due to the performance issue and increasing pressure at work. Here are some symptoms that I had – insomnia, chronic fatigue, short temper, weight loss, and problems with concentration. Normally, I am a very easy going guy and I rarely lose my temper and I didn’t like how I was behaving. Thankfully, I’ve never had any thoughts about death or suicide.

Medical Leave of absence

OK, where were we? I got a bad review, I was pissed off and talked to HR about my options. I asked if it is possible to get a severance package and go our separate ways with the bad annual review. The HR told me that they only consider that option if an employee had multiple bad reviews. I work in the highly profitable core area of my company and there is no layoff on the horizon for my group. Think of it this way — if I worked for Microsoft, I would be in the Windows operating system department.

I also talked to my manager and asked him to look into a severance package, but he was not helpful. I think he’d rather keep me working even at the lower performance than trying to find a replacement. It is difficult to find an employee with the right experience for this job. I also think he liked having a scapegoat around so he can use up the bad review quota for his group. The perfect annual review should have 5% superstars, 5-10% dead weights, and the rest can be in the middle of the pack.

Anyway, since I have been a long time employee and have been a good performer previously, the HR suggested a Leave of absence instead. At this point, I was feeling very crappy and went to see my doctor. He gave me two weeks off initially, but I was able to obtain 10 weeks of medical leave. Fortunately, I was smart enough to buy Short Term Disability insurance which replaced my paychecks during that time.

Warning: The official cause of the medical leave was depression. If you are tempted to fake depression, I wouldn’t do it. This will go on your medical record and it might affect your health care options later on.

Handed in my two weeks notice

During the time off, I talked to a psychiatrist and continued my physical therapy. The talk therapy actually helped solidify my decision to quit and begin a new chapter. The only deterrence I potentially had was my finances. Anyway, my return to work date was last Monday and I decided to hand in my 2 week notice on that day.

You know the old story about the frog and a pot. If you turn up the temperature a little at a time, the frog won’t notice it. That’s what it was like for me. The pot was getting too hot and I was malfunctioning for a while now. After 10 weeks off, I won’t jump back into that pot of boiling water. If I didn’t get the extended time off, I probably could have ground it out until next year. Financially, we would be more ready next year, but I honestly think we’ll be fine.

The job was no longer a good fit for me. The expectation for a senior engineer is different than for a new hire. The manager expected a lot from me and I just wasn’t able to deliver. At this point in my career, I needed to be a multiplier and work through others. Unfortunately, that’s not my talent. I am good at my own job and enjoy being an individual contributor and I am terrible at the whole multiplier BS. Feeling gradually forced into becoming a “leader”, I was just not motivated anymore and the only reason I went to work was for the paycheck. I hated going into work in the morning and that’s not sustainable.

The only thing I regret was that I couldn’t get any severance pay. Financial Samurai released his book, How to Engineer Your Layoff, two days after I handed in my notice. If I didn’t take the medical leave, his book would have helped me with the severance package. I think I would have a good chance of getting a decent severance package if I grind the rest of this year out and get another bad review. However it is 10 more months until next April and that’s a really long time to be stressed out and depressed. This would in turn, cause Mrs. RB40 to be stressed as well.

New Chapter

Anyway, I feel like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I am quite euphoric since I handed in my resignation letter. I have a spring in my step again and I’m getting my confidence back. The job is actually a great job, but it’s no longer a good fit for me. The worst case is that I’ll have to go back to work once baby RB40 starts school. On the other hand, if I can be build up some income from this site and perhaps pursue other self employment opportunities, I’ll have the freedom that I always craved.

This one was pretty long, but I hope you understand where I am coming from and had a good read. It’s surprisingly cathartic to write this post down. Now I’m really ready for the new chapter in my life. Thanks everyone for the support!

How we’re doing?

It’s been about 6 months since I quit my engineering career and I couldn’t be happier. Life is great and I’m enjoying being a stay at home dad blogger. We did OK financially in 2012, but 2013 will determine if I can really avoid going back to work for a corporation. If we can keep increasing our net worth while avoid withdrawing from our retirement funds, we should be fine for the long run. Our net worth increased 25% in 2012, but my goal for 2013 is much more modest at 7%. Have a prosperous 2013!

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{ 222 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea @SoOverDebt July 16, 2012 at 12:57 am

Joe, I am SO HAPPY FOR YOU! Congratulations, and I hope this last week flies by!

I’m sorry about the health issues, but I completely understand. In the months before I quit my job, I was taking so many medications I couldn’t even keep up. Antidepressants because I was so deflated and beaten down, sleeping pills so I wouldn’t stay up all night worrying, muscle relaxers for chronic tension in my neck, antacids every Sunday night to quell my anxiety about Monday, antibiotics for the recurring sinus infections I kept getting… And once I got out of there, almost all that stuff disappeared.

Sending you all the good karma I can – I know this is a great move for you and your family, and you will NEVER regret the extra time with the baby! I can’t wait to see what’s next. :)

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 8:49 am

Thanks Andrea! I’ll be mostly working from home this week so it won’t be much problem. :)
Sorry to hear about your health issue too. I’m feeling back to normal now after 10 weeks off.
It’s not good to live like that.

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maria@moneyprinciple July 16, 2012 at 1:04 am

Sorry to hear about the health issues – all you describe are symproms of stress and depression. I know about stress first hand but not about depression (have been blessed in this one). It sounds like your decision feel right to you – I apploud your courage and wish you all the best in whatever you decide to do next.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 8:50 am

Thanks! Stress is ok in the short term, but I can’t handle it for the long term.

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Early Financial Freedom July 16, 2012 at 3:05 am

I wish you a happy and healthy new start in your life and career! A decision is better than no decision at all. Your son would need you around when he grows up :)

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 8:51 am

Thanks! My son is very happy to have me at home. :)

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Don July 16, 2012 at 3:21 am

Sounds like a very rocky journey, but sounds like you have your ducks in a row and a solid plan!

So here is a bitter sweet Congratulations! Some day I hope to join you and work from home too…

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 8:52 am

Thanks Don. Working while being a stay at home dad is tough, but it should get easier as he gets older.

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Steve July 16, 2012 at 3:48 am

Congratulations on the early early retirement Joe! It sounds to me like you definitely needed out of that job. I wasn’t as bad off as you before leaving my job, however, I think I “left” my job a good 6 months before actually resigning.

You are going to feel great staying at home with babyRB40 and since you have already been doing that for the past 10 weeks the learning curve shouldn’t even be that steep.

I wish all the best for the 3 of you!

P.S. Is that picture from Chiang Mai? I thought you said you hadn’t been back for a while, but it sure looks like the Royal Gardens.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 8:53 am

The truth is I didn’t get much accomplish in 2012 even while feeling stress out. It was time to go.
The picture is from Portland’s Rose Garden. Notice all the pines in the background. :)
Thanks!

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DrCrimson July 16, 2012 at 5:15 am

Best of luck!

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Leigh July 16, 2012 at 6:23 am

Wow, congratulations!!! I wonder what the % of people who actually come back after a leave of absence is. FS chose to not go back after his leave of absence and I have a few friends who switched jobs after taking a leave of absence.

Good luck and I am looking forward to your new adventures! :)

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 9:07 am

Thank you! I guess it’s easier to make a decision when you step away from the situation for a while. I could have keep going a while longer, but the time away showed me that it’s not the right move.

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Niki {Hello Paper Moon} July 16, 2012 at 6:29 am

Congratulations. You have been working to make this a possiblity. I know you’ll have success! Best of luck and opportunity to you!

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 9:08 am

Thank you!

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Lance@MoneyLife&More July 16, 2012 at 6:50 am

Joe! Congrats to you! Hopefully things are getting better now that the stressful job is off the table. I am sure you’ll be able to get some side income to make things go smoother if you need to. Sometimes it isn’t all about the money and serlverance and instead is about getting your life back on track. Good luck and keep us updated!

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 9:09 am

I’ll keep working on increasing the side income. I guess I can’t call it side income anymore because I won’t have a main income anymore. :)

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Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter July 16, 2012 at 6:55 am

Holy smokes. Wow!! Congratulations!!! That must have felt amazing and scary all at once.

I am so happy for you . I know that you will do amazing because you have build up a solid foundation for yourself. I am hoping the best for you and your family.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 9:09 am

It feels great, but I don’t think I got to the scary part yet. It might take a few months for this to sink in. :)
Thanks!

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Financial Samurai July 16, 2012 at 7:02 am

Joe,

First of all, CONGRATS TO YOU! 16 years in one firm is very honorable, and very rare for so many people nowadays. 16 years is awesome and something you should be very proud of!!!

Second, I know the feeling about shitty reviews and feeling like no matter what you do, you can’t do more. Using you as a scape goat, and HR manipulating you into saying there’s nothing they can do is annoying, and wrong frankly.

Finally, you are HAPPY, and you’ve saved like crazy and have planned everything out. That is the most important, and I am SO HAPPY for you!

Best,

Sam

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 9:11 am

Thanks Sam! All my friends have switched job a bunch of time. It’s more difficult in Portland because we only have a few tech. companies here adn we didn’t want to move. HR wasn’t helpful at all.

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Financial Samurai July 16, 2012 at 10:00 am

A key chapter in my book, “Your Worst Enemy Can Also Be Your Best Friend”. HR’s purpose is to protect the firm FIRST, and then you second. It is what it is, but people don’t realize this and hit brick walls.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm

I know HR is working for the firm and that’s why I didn’t expect much from them. You make a great point in your book on how to get them on your side instead and I should have spend more efforts on that.

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Kurt @ Money Counselor July 16, 2012 at 7:03 am

Holy freedom, batman! Congratulations Joe, I couldn’t be more sure this is the right decision for you and your family at this point in your lives. It’s become quite clear that spending time with baby RB40 is your calling, right now. No job, no paycheck is worth trading for your health. Depression is serious, and what if you had a heart attack in part due to the stress? Once something like that happens, you can’t go back and change your decision, that’s it.

I suspect when the income stops you may have anxiety and ‘what have I done?’ moments. But few decisions are permanent. Pursue your interests, keep your radar up, and I have exactly zero doubt that you’ll soon be in a much better place–personally and financially.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 8:55 am

Thanks Kurt! I love spending time with baby RB40. It took me 10 years to convice Mrs. RB40 to have one and we love him. That’s right. I don’t want to drop dead at my desk. I feel great now and I’m sure I can deal with whatever adversity life offers. :)

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Financial Samurai July 16, 2012 at 7:09 am

Oh, I forgot to mention, PLEASE read the book, “Healing Back Pain” by Dr. Sarno for your chronic pains anywhere in your body.

I had chronic lower backpain for a couple years, read the book, and two months later, it went away. Been back pain free for 10 years now.

The book will change your life!

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 8:58 am

I still have lingering lower back pain and will get the book from the library ASAP.
Thanks Sam!

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Financial Samurai July 16, 2012 at 10:00 am

And it’s not just for back pain, it’s for ANY AND ALL type of chronic pain e.g. tennis elbow, schiatica, etc.

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Aloysa July 16, 2012 at 7:22 am

Yep, Joe, corporate America will suck your life out and your health. I am dealing with some health problems myself due to sedentary type of work I do in front of computer. Lower back is one of these problems. No depression though. Not yet!

I am so HAPPY for you! You are finally starting a new chapter in your life. Really what matters the most? Family and health, right? You made a great move. I am very excited!

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Financial Samurai July 16, 2012 at 7:51 am

Please read “Healing Back Pain” by Dr. Sarno! Trust me!

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JayCeezy August 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Financial Samurai, “Healing Back Pain” was remarkable. I did have to read it several times, and with each reading my health improved. My own problem manifested in eyesight and eye problems. Dr. John Sarno has done a remarkable job making the mind/body connection understandable.

I am buying your book today, and thank you for explaining that (like Dr. Sarno’s book) it will take some time and effort to get the full benefit of the book content.

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retirebyforty August 20, 2012 at 12:05 am

I got “Healing Back Pain” from the library, but haven’t had a chance to read it yet. I do need some help with my back.
I hope Sam’s book is useful to you. I’m planning to write a review soon.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 8:59 am

Thanks Aloysa! I’m done with corporate America and I feel great!
I think the depression was pretty mild, but I still wasn’t feeling myself.

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Evan July 16, 2012 at 7:27 am

Congrats Joe on opening up the next chapter of your life. Are you going to look for something part time and less stressful?

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 9:00 am

I’m going to be a full time stay at home dad and just work on the blog for now. :)

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DaveL July 16, 2012 at 7:28 am

Congratulations! Im glad you decided to go through with this decision. Although the timing may be a little sooner than you were originally planning, I think the end of this stressful job will only help your relationship with Mrs. RB40 and Baby RB40. I wish you the best of luck and am looking forward to what the future brings!

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 9:00 am

Thanks! We are all less stressed out already. :)

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Bridget July 16, 2012 at 7:31 am

Congrats! This definitely seems like the right move… I totally sympathize with the tight shoulders and blurry vision from sitting at a desk all day. I have that already and I’ve only been in my office job a year!

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 9:01 am

The office job is not physical demanding, but it’s not for everyone. Thanks!

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Jim Yih July 16, 2012 at 7:32 am

Good luck with your future. Change is inevitable and I hope leading that change is worthwhile.
Jim

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 9:01 am

Thanks Jim!

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Little House July 16, 2012 at 7:33 am

Congratulations for retiring! You’re starting a new chapter in your life and that’s exciting. Sorry it was on these terms, but now you can explore your interests, build up your side income (which you already are doing terrific with, BTW), and create a new pathway for yourself.

As for your health issues, hopefully most of these will disappear with the freedom you’ve gained. On a side note, have you tried changing your diet to help alleviate the symptoms? I’ve been doing a lot of research on gluten (I recently went gluten free) and you’d be surprised how many health issues it can cause.

I look forward to reading about your life in retirement!

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 9:02 am

Thank you! I’m feeling almost normal now and hope all those problems are the thing of the past.
I haven’t tried gluten free yet, but I would be willing to try if I don’t continue to get better.

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RichUncle EL July 16, 2012 at 7:51 am

Congrats Joe,

Being a dad myself that is the way to go as the little one can use your guidance in this stage of life. Also now that you are out of the workforce you can trim your budget even further. Best of luck.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 9:03 am

Thanks! It’ll be challenging to see what more I can trim from the budget. That will be a good post to write. :)

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SavvyFinancialLatina July 16, 2012 at 7:51 am

I hope that you will be very happy in this next phase of your life! :)
Wishing you the best of luck! And I also look forward to hearing about your next adventures!

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 9:03 am

Thanks! I think we’ll be all right. :)

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Philip Taylor July 16, 2012 at 8:32 am

Thanks for sharing this story and congratulations on finding clarity in your desired lifestyle and career choices. I can definitely identify with the practitioner/manager quandary. Running an online business will be a much better fit. But watch out for your health. Working on your own gig can sometimes lead to fun 12 hour days vs the dreaded corporate 8.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 9:04 am

Thanks Philip. I won’t be able to work 12 hours/day yet because I’ll be staying at home with the kid full time. Once he goes off to school, I’ll be able to work like crazy. :)

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JW @ AllThingsFinance July 16, 2012 at 8:40 am

That’s great that you were able to turn in your two weeks notice – that’s a big step and takes a lot of courage.

I hear what you’re saying about the back pain. I recently came across an article that talked about the health affects of sitting at a desk all day and the decreased life expectancy as a result.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 9:05 am

I am done with desk jobs!

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Budget and the Beach July 16, 2012 at 8:44 am

It’s amazing how many stories I hear now of people being driven to make decisions like you just made. Those kinds of health conditions just aren’t worth having that job. Granted I don’t know your story very well, but I’m sure you have a good, solid back-up plan and cushion so you’re not stressed in that dept.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 9:06 am

An office job is not the right move for everyone. Some of us need to be more active.

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Eric July 16, 2012 at 8:51 am

Sorry to hear you had such a rough time lately. I once had a job that I hated (fortunately not the case anymore) and it made waking up in the morning something to dread. Getting out of a toxic situation is the best thing you can do if you can afford it.

Congrats! Good luck as you move forward.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Thanks Eric. It’s hard to figure out when to move on especially if you’re in the thick of it. Most of the time, it seems like you can hold on a bit longer, but sometime it’s not worth it.

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Ted Jenkin - Your Smart Money Moves July 16, 2012 at 8:56 am

Wishing you all the best!!! Removing the toxic aspects will lead to much better things in the future!

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L Bee and the Money Tree July 16, 2012 at 9:01 am

I am new to your site, but as someone who left a job in March over a complicated harassment suit I commend you on handing in your two-weeks notice. I know how hard it can be!!

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:25 pm

It would have been more difficult if I didn’t get the 10 weeks off and realized how much better I feel. Thanks!

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Mr. Everyday Dollar July 16, 2012 at 9:14 am

Congratulations on leaving a toxic environment! I’m sure it was even harder after being there for 16 years.

I find it interesting that the firm didn’t want to negotiate a severance package yet you could put in another shitty year in order to get another bad review and *then* talk severance. There’s something wrong with that!

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm

That’s what I was thinking. Why would you want a disgruntle employee to stick around and put in a crappy year? It’s better for everyone to give him/her a severance check and call it good. A disgruntle employee can do a lot of damage especially in a tech. company.

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jim July 16, 2012 at 3:15 pm

I would guess that the companies assume (or know from experience) that the large majority of employees won’t sabotage things or “put in a crappy year” and most people will just quit when they’ve decided its time to quit. They probably know that can happen and it occasionally does but they may bank on it happening only a small % of the time. Or it could be simple mishandling by the HR or managers in question, some managers are not particularly competent.

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 12:06 am

I think you’re right, but it only take a few bad apple to make a big impact right?
A tech. firm has a lot of sensitive information to lose.

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jim July 17, 2012 at 10:35 am

If someone did something like real sabotage that caused actual physical or at least financial damage then the company may very well file criminal charges or at minimum pursue a civil case. If its severe enough. I doubt that would happen much at all to any significant extent though. Of course a big company deals with some crime from their employees routinely like theft and the like. If you get 50,000+ employees then for sure 1-2 of them are going to commit crimes against the company in some form. Big companies are best to just assume their employees are not criminals and then deal with the rare crime when it eventually happens. Just my opinion of course, I don’t know what actual company attitude on this stuff is.

jefferson July 16, 2012 at 9:42 am

Joe, congrats on moving onto the next phase of your life. Are you going to rename the site “Retired Before 40?” :-)

I am sure that the time away will give your body a chance to heal, and start to bring a full mental and physical recovery. Time away from the corporate stresspool has a way of doing that.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Thanks! I don’t think renaming the site is a good idea. :)

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20's Finances July 16, 2012 at 10:24 am

Joe, thanks for sharing your story. I am so happy for you! I’ve been following and interacting with you for almost a year now and it’s a happy day! (or will be in about a week). Congrats on making the leap! I know you will be just fine.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Thanks Corey. I’m sure life will go on and we’ll deal with it. ;)

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Broke Professionals July 16, 2012 at 10:48 am

Congrats, congrats, congrats! This is such a triumph for you! I understand how everything went down – same story for me several years ago, and I only wish I could have figured out a way to get a severance package instead of just walking out the door. But other than that, I’ve had no regrets and neither will you!

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Thank you! That’s why I think Financial Samurai’s book will be great help for people who are looking for a severance package. There are not a lot of material on that topic.

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Mike July 16, 2012 at 10:51 am

I am proud of you! I handed my notice in and I am working on finding a job overseas for myself (since it is easier to move myself as a single person). I know that doesn’t work for your situation but sometimes the best thing to do is simply hand in a notice and say I am ready for new adventures.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Thanks and good luck finding a job oversea. It sounds like a great adventure!

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Crystal July 16, 2012 at 11:24 am

Congratulations!!! Good luck on this new path. :-) When I quit from my day job last year, I magically went from having a migraine every 2-3 weeks so bad that I would lose most of my vision and light would make me nauseous to having no migraines at all for a year now…

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Thanks! That’s our body telling us to get out of there. It’s too bad that it had to come to that, but I only got a week left!

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krantcents July 16, 2012 at 11:33 am

Congratulations! Your timing looks pretty good since your other income is becoming steady.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Thanks Larry!

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Silly Lily July 16, 2012 at 11:45 am

Hey man, I’m glad you FINALLY did it! Everything in life is a paradox… when you lose something, you always gain something else. It’s great that you just FINALLY did it!
Well, you know me, I worked at Corporate for 20 years and pretty much hated it everyday… when I finally decided to be a bum and then eventually work part-time, my health and mood certainly improved. So hopefully that’d work for you too! I so wish we live close to each other.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Thanks Lily. I really appreciate your support. Corporate job sucks for some people (us. ) :)

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The First Million is the Hardest July 16, 2012 at 11:53 am

Congrats & Good Luck! Be thankful you have worked and planned for this event! The majority of us would have to continue at a job that made us miserable for many more years!

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Thanks! It’s too bad so many of us hate our jobs. I mean, we don’t have to love it, just tolerate it you know.

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christine July 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm

i’m so happy for you! I’m a pretty recent subscriber, joining around the time of the post on quitting or getting fired… I’m glad that you decided to put in your two weeks, and i’m sure that if everyone knew the medical issues you were facing they would agree. I’m only 30 now, but I too am looking forward to the day I can retire.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Thanks for your comment! It was my body telling me to get out of there. Sometime your mind stands in the way.

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Jeffrey Trull July 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Congrats, Joe! I know you’d been thinking abou this for some time. While I’m sorry to see that there was so much more to this than simply whether you liked your job or not, I’m happy that you’ve made the decision to do something better for yourself.

Hope to see you around PDX sometime soon!

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Thanks Jeff! It was great to meet you. Let’s get a drink or something.

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Steve July 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Congratulations and happy trails to you!

Did you really expect that they would say yes when you essentially asked them, “I would like to quit, will you give me a giant pile of money?”

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:35 pm

That’s why I needed Financial Samurai’s book…
Thanks!

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Dave Hilton, Financial Conflict Coach July 16, 2012 at 12:12 pm

On to the next adventure! Thanks for sharing such an intimate and personal story! I thoroughly enjoyed reading the details about why you choose to take this huge step.

So, do you have a plan of what you’re going to do the first couple of months off or are you going to just go with the flow?

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:36 pm

I’m going to be a stay at home dad while continueing to work on this blog. When my son goes off to school, I’ll have more time to work on other self employment ideas.

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Marissa @ Thirty Six Months July 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I can’t even begin to tell you how much of own story was in that that post. I am beyond happy for you for leaving. Life has a funny way of making figure out what we really need sometimes.

Congrats, once again. We can be gchat friends now.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:36 pm

It’s amazing to see how many people has a similar story. :)
Sure, gchat me anytime! Thanks.

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Financial Samurai July 16, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Marissa, you have your I quit story post too right? If so, can you e-mail it to me as I’m putting together a post on Yakezie.com and will of course include this one by Joe. thx

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Kathleen @ Frugal Portland July 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Isn’t it interesting that now that you’ve made your decision everyone is congratulating you, but before, when you were merely contemplating leaving, most people were against it? Just goes to show what decision by committee will do. Have fun! Enjoy all the fun kid Portland things.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Thanks! Portland is great in the summer and it’s perfect timing in that aspect. :)

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Tushar Mathur July 16, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Congrats Joe. Although it must have been a tough decision to make, everything will work out for the best in the long run.

You can now work for yourself and focus on growing your Online Business!! Keep it up.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Thanks for the encouragement Tushar! I’ll keep working on it.

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Buck Inspire July 16, 2012 at 1:18 pm

What a story! I had no idea it was that bad. Physical pains plus depression is your body telling you to get out. Glad you didn’t ignore it. So happy for you and can’t wait to see your next chapter. I’m sure you will successful in anything you do!

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Thanks Buck! I was trying to deal with it while working, but I couldn’t do it. It’s better to get out and get better first. Anyway, I feel much better already.

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SB @ One Cent at a Time July 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Now to help you a little bit, at this point you may not depend on private ad sales only. You have sufficient readership developed to go for GA once again. They’ll not approve your account, even if you use separate email. Create a LLC set up a PO box address and apply with that EIN and address. Over the years you can only grow your earning with CPC/CPM ads. Now this was nothing to do directly to your retirement but, they are related to post retirement life.

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retirebyforty July 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Thanks SB! I’m planning to do that soon. I’ll make sure to set up an LLC for each website that I work on in the future.

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SB @ One Cent at a Time July 17, 2012 at 7:55 am

Make sure to use the PO box address, if you continue to use the same one you used earlier, new account will be locked within 10 days.

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 9:49 pm

I’ll do that. Thanks!

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BeatingTheIndex July 16, 2012 at 1:40 pm

I know exactly what it felt like having your health deteriorate because of a job. Life is too short to spend it miserably in a job. You did a great move, just remember you can always get back into the corporate world.

Cheers,

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 12:02 am

Thanks Mich! That’s what I figured. If I really have to, I’ll find another corporate job, but that would be the last resort. I’m sure I can work for myself, work for a small business, or work in the public sector before it comes to that.

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Tackling Our Debt July 16, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Congratulations on making a wise decision!! :-)

I can completely relate to the stress and illnesses you were dealing with at work, and how it only gets worse, no matter how hard you try.

My husband and I both left our corporate jobs 6 years ago after sitting in front of a computer for many many years.

My husband works in IT like you and he just couldn’t take the stress anymore. His job required him to be on-call 24×7 certain weeks and he was often expected to work OT without pay because he was on salary.

The manager he reported to did lousy annual reviews (he also hated his job).

My husband ended up with Type 1 Diabetes (which he will now have for the rest of his life) due to all of the stress and lack of sleep.

Companies need to start supporting their employees and help them live healthier lifestyles instead of just focusing on the bottom line. But in North America we are all geared to live to work, and eventually we get ill because of it.

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 12:03 am

Thanks for sharing your story. I have high triglyceride, but thankfully no other big problems yet.
My employer is starting to put more emphasis on the work/life balance, but when it comes down to it, they will put performance first.

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jim July 16, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Its a tough decision but it sounds like you’re really doing whats best for you and your family.

Its unfortunate that companies can act like that sometimes. I’m grateful my corporate job is not particularly stressful and I’ve got had a couple good managers the past few years. I’ve known people at the same company in different divisions that had a completely different work environment and my own job was much worse in previous years when under crappy managers.

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 12:04 am

Thank Jim. It’s time for me to move on.

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E July 16, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Congrats!! i work at a place where “stress leave’ is right around the corner for a lot of us.. we all need the money but the price we are paying for it is much more than we expected. to top it off… we will be doing furloughs soon =(.

You are wise to do something about your situation now rather than later… good luck to you, will continue following your blog

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 12:08 am

Thanks! Hope you handle your stress leave ok too.

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Sandy July 16, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Oh Joe, I sort of know how you feel. I want to quit my job so badly and I decided last week to do so in 2 months after FINCON. Now that I’ve made up my mind, just getting to that point is like walking on needles every day.

Congrats to you for escaping.

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 12:10 am

Thanks! Sorry to hear your new job is not working out. Is this the wrong career for you? It’s tough to make a change.
See you in Denver and hope to talk to you more then.

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Sandy July 19, 2012 at 4:54 pm

My work is fine. It’s a great career choice for my personality. My company, however, is the proverbial fire!

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Financial Samurai July 17, 2012 at 7:50 am

Thought you just joined Sandy! Stick it out for 3-5 years and work that severance package!

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Oh man, 3-5 years is a long time to work in a job that you hate. :(

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Kanwal Sarai @ Simply Investing July 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Congratulations RB40! I am very happy for you!

The biggest winner in this is baby RB40! Having a parent at home is a precious gift you can give a baby.

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 12:11 am

Thanks Kanwal! Baby RB40 is doing better already. He is more healthy and happier over this past month.

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Kim July 16, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Congratulations! Can’t wait to see what adventures await in your new career as a stay at home dad.

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 12:11 am

Thanks! I’ll definitely write more about that.

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B. (Below Her Means) July 16, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Just found this post linked from your post in the Yakezie forum. Congratulations, definitely the best decision. Adding you to my Google Reader!

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 12:11 am

Thanks and welcome to the site.

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Sean July 16, 2012 at 9:12 pm

As a father and a guy working in tech I am so happy for you. Your point on the “forced” leadership is so true and I find myself there as well. I am on the software sales side(very large company with three letters) and have what appears to be an ever growing number which makes it harder and harder to maintain good reviews. I recently started talking about the idea of leaving somewhere between 35-40 and lets just say not one person I work with could even grasp the idea. Very eye opening when 50 guys/gals with incomes over 200k cannot imagine a life without 60hrs of work a week. Anyways congrats again!

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 12:14 am

I think that’s a way to force out many of the long term employees. You rarely see senior individual contributors anymore no matter how good they are at their job. It’s cheaper to hire young people to do the same job. People are brainwashed into that work hard/play hard/spend more mode. I’m glad I got out before 62. :)
Thanks and good luck to you too.

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jim July 17, 2012 at 10:49 am

I really doubt that the company has a policy to force out senior people by promoting them to management. You really do NOT want your managers to fail so thats not a good plan at all. It would hurt everyone under that manager. If they wanted to get rid of more expensive senior people they’d find other ways that didn’t involve pushing them *up* the career ladder to management. They’d just lay people off and selectively pick the senior people or they’d quietly offer some high priced people severance packages or early retirement incentives. Or if you want to be cynical they can just give the guy a pile more work and a few bad reviews in his current job then push him out due to that without promoting them or risking them ruining the efforts of a team.
I think experienced people being promoted to management is just a natural consequence of good performance by the individual, company growth and natural turnover. Sometimes that doesn’t work well though for everyone. Companies should be smarter about promotions and not just promote people to management because they are senior. Some people are much more valuable as individual contributors. I know a guy who’s been here about 25 years now and they’d be insane to make him a manager but he does a great job as an engineer. But sometimes its not as obvious, an employee may be really great at their job and seem like they might make a great manager but you only find that out for sure after they become a manager.

In my job there are a LOT of individual contributors who have 10, 20 or more years experience and theres no much turnover, its mostly just people hanging on to jobs till they’re gradually shipped to a cheaper company one by one. The only way I figure I’d get promoted to management is if my manager leaves and then I don’t know if I’d get promoted since my team is full of competent and equally senior guys.

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JP @ My Family Finances July 17, 2012 at 3:44 am

Congrats! There is nothing that motivates an effort to retire by 40 like a bad job. I’m glad you’ve made the right decision in leaving. It sounds like your job was creating some serious costs, I don’t know that it would have been worth sticking around for a severance.

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 7:45 am

The job isn’t bad. It just isn’t a good fit for me anymore. All the health problem didn’t cost too much extra, but who knows what could happen in 10 months?

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Amanda L Grossman July 17, 2012 at 5:55 am

Hey Joe–scary, exciting decision, and yet I am sure it is exactly what your body has been telling you to do.

I think we all need to listen to our bodies more. This is coming from a person who has been sick out of the blue many times in 2012 (four times of flu/fever/chills/4-5 days off of work so far, and some other issues as well). I have decided that health MUST be my top priority now, and funny enough, just making that decision in my head has helped me to break the sick cycle.

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 7:47 am

Thanks Amanda! Hope you feel better the rest of this year. We are just too busy to listen to our body and I think that’s a bad mistake. Many people have chronic health problem and can’t find a way to get better. That’s too bad.

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Invest It Wisely July 17, 2012 at 7:29 am

Congrats on taking the leap, though given the circumstances you were in, I would say that staying in the job would have been the riskier thing to do! Health is the most precious thing that we have.

I also left without getting the package, and I was also in the most vital part of the company. I don’t really mind since I don’t know how I could have tolerated another 6 months to a year of that. The great thing is that you now have the freedom to pursue your own destiny, and you’ll be that much more available to Mrs. RB40 and Baby RB40. Worst case, the tech industry is still doing well and not going away anytime soon!

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Khaleef @ KNS Financial July 17, 2012 at 8:02 am

Congratulations, Joe. I am happy that you were in a position to retire, given all that changed over the past year or so.

Now you have the freedom to pursue anything that you want, and also to spend more time with family. I really wish you the best and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter of your life will bring!

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Thanks Khaleef! I appreciate your support and good wishes.

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Linda July 17, 2012 at 8:42 am

Congrats! I am very, very envious of you and have been trying to figure out how to leave my job for a while. Since I am on my own, supporting myself, it has made the possibility of leaving my well-paying job with benefits very scary. I need to figure something out within the next year or two; not sure how much more I can last when I’m spending every day doing stuff that ranges from dislike to intense dislike.

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Thank you! You should explore what else you would like to do. I have a post on that topic tomorrow and will email you when it goes live. It really helped me figure out that it’s time to move on. Sorry to hear about your job. You should get Sam’s book and see if you can work the system.

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Rosey July 17, 2012 at 8:58 am

It’s a big step, and I wish you so much joy! Thanks for sharing your story.

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Thanks for reading!

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J$ July 17, 2012 at 10:00 am

CONGRATS!!!! I AM SO PROUD OF YOU, SIR!! Call or email me anytime you’d like to chat or if you have any questions/etc on how all this stuff works :) I’ve been there!

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Thanks J$! I will take you up on that, but I’ll let you deal with your newborn for a few months first. That’s your first priority. :)

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Cat Alford @ BudgeBlonde.com July 17, 2012 at 11:59 am

Joe, this is my first time to your blog and what a great day it was for me to see it! Congratulations on turning in your 2 week notice. It doesn’t sound like it was an easy time for you, but I know your kids will be so excited to have you home!
Best,
Cat Alford
aka
Budget Blonde

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you stick around. :)

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Julie @ Freedom 48 July 17, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Congratulations on taking the leap. Nothing in life is more valuable than your health and your sanity. Enjoy your time with the little one… and if you do decide to re-enter the workforce in a few years, it’ll be under much better circumstances.
Best wishes!

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Thanks Julie! It’s pretty crazy how much someone would put up with. The stress and health problem become a new normal and you don’t realize it until something goes really wrong.

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Fig July 17, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Congrats! I’m so excited for you!

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Roshawn @ Watson Inc July 17, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Wow! Well, congratulations! I am sorry about your health problems. That is never any fun, but I am glad that it provided the impetus to do what you know needed to be done. I was also in the camp that you would do this next year (I was expecting you to leave towards the end of next year), so this announcement caught me off guard (I was thinking, this has to be premature). Kudos on the misdirection? Anyway, I’m just happy for you and applaud you starting a new chapter in your life.

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retirebyforty July 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Thanks Roshawn. I wanted to leave my job for a few years now. Frankly, I’m amazed I lasted that long.

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Gekko July 19, 2012 at 10:31 am

Best of luck on your new chapter. When you draw the line only things that maters in life is your health and your family. Nothing else maters!

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retirebyforty July 19, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Thanks! We all need to put health first. What use is money if you’re not feeling well.

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Eddie July 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Joe,
Congrats on taking such a huge step.
Money will always come and go, things that can’t be replaced are health and time.
Good luck in the next chapter.

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retirebyforty July 21, 2012 at 11:25 am

Thanks Eddie! Money is important, but health and family are much more so.

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Chase Miller July 21, 2012 at 1:23 pm

I think it’s awesome that you were able to do this. I’m planning to go through college without debt with the hopes of early retirement too. Glad to know it can be done!
Chase

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retirebyforty July 21, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Good luck and enjoy college!

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Will @ HTB July 22, 2012 at 11:07 am

Super congrats on getting out of the job! I’ve been waiting for you to make the leap and I’m glad the time has finally come. I hadn’t realized how much your job was psychologically taxing you, which makes it even better that you’ve been able to set up your financial life to make to escape. Even if you have to eventually go back, I think you’ve earned this much needed reprieve and you should see improvements in your life.

Will

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retirebyforty July 22, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Thanks Will! Yeah, I have been hating the job for a few years now and it’s not a good way to live.
Even if I have to go back to work, I think I’ll try a different career track. :)
Take care.

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Shilpan July 22, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Sorry to hear about what you went through, Joe! But, remember that best opportunities grow from the mud of worst experiences. I think you are destined to sail your ship towards a beautiful journey as long as you decide not to look back, ever!

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retirebyforty July 22, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Thanks for the encouragement. It’s not all bad. I’m very thankful of my ex-employer for giving us a good financial start up. I won’t look back!

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John @ Married (with Debt) July 22, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Congrats, man, very happy for you. I see the same symptoms in my job, and I have also “checked out” a while ago. Can’t wait to see how the newfound freedom positively benefits your life. After all, health and happiness aren’t as important as “work.”

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retirebyforty July 22, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Thanks John! Sorry to hear about your job. It’s not a good way to go through life. Hopefully, you’ll find an alternative soon.

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My Money Design July 23, 2012 at 9:24 am

Congratulations on finally doing it! Your posts over the last year have been very inspiring to those of us who seek early retirement and sustainability. Now I now that it will be possible!

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retirebyforty July 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Thanks! Now we’ll see if I can avoid returning to the corporations over the next few years.

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femmefrugality July 23, 2012 at 10:29 am

Sounds like you had a rough go of it there for a while. So happy that you were able to hand that notice in! CONGRATULATIONS!

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retirebyforty July 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Thanks! It’s no fun working in a job that you hate. :(

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Stewart July 23, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Joe, I live in Vancouver, Canada. A couple of nights ago, I accidentally stumbled across “retireby40.org/I handed in my Two Weeks Notice” on yahoo.com. I was so intrigued that I ended up reading many of your posts. So many well wishers and so much encouragement from your subscribers. Please let me share my personal story which is similar to your current situation, and you will find it helpful in validating your decision.
20 years ago, when I was 29, I faced similar career crossroad. By the way, I graduated with an engineering (Civil) degree, and later on completed MBA. There was so much politics in the company and between my company and our partner company when we had joint development projects. After completing a couple of projects, I found it almost unbearable to get up to go to work every morning. Luckily I did not have to deal with any health issues before I was contemplating about resignation. I also managed to save up some contingency funds. Then, I quit.
Several life events followed. Within a year, my then-girlfriend who lived in a different city and I decided to get married. Two years later she got pregnant; it was planned. Before I got too far away, let me elaborate the life in these three years. The wife worked in retails, so the salary was not great. Our living expenses were subsidized by my savings. Many days I second-guessed my decision to quit the job, not to mention the emotional rollercoaster rides because the economy started to nosedive, rendering it difficult to get back to the job market. I tried job hunting but no luck. Disillusioned and helpless, I spent a lot of time at the bookstore and the library, as much as 7 hours a day, reading many books about stocks investments. It was pure luck, then came the US stocks market boom. I became a semi-day trader. I had my hands in Oracle, Sunmicrosystem, Seagate, Enron (made money without getting burnt), Worldcom (got burnt on this one, ouch!), Nortel, Amgen, McDonald’s, Disney, Pepsi, JNJ, and more. Additionally, thanks to the central bankers, mainly Alan Greenspan, aggressively cutting interest rate, my Canadian banks stocks were rising and spitting out dividends like there was no tomorrow.
Ok, back to life events. My son was born. I spent 3 more years at home with him. Then my wife’s employer was closing down. Oh, oh … we could not really afford to sit around without any income stream, despite some killings in the stocks market. For goodness sake, I was only 35. So, I started to apply for jobs and finally landed a job with a bank, my current employer. 14 years went by just like that. Now I am looking forward to Freedom 55, at which time my son will have completed his university degree. I will likely stay around to work part-time for a few more years to enhance my retirement defined benefits.
Sorry about the long story. My simple point is your health is more important than any job. The years to be spent with your cute little guy will be priceless …. GUARANTEED!! Been there, done that, and will recommend it to anyone. Good luck & stay positive.

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retirebyforty July 24, 2012 at 7:22 am

Thank you for sharing your story. It’s great to hear about how people deal with their situation.
My wife’s job is very stable and she’ll be eligible for retirement in 10 years or so. Our goal is to avoid drawing down the saving. We should be able to live on her income, our side income, and a few extra bucks I make online. It’s great staying home with our kid. He is more healthy and is growing so much everyday.
Thanks!

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Aloi4kids October 10, 2013 at 8:34 pm

I too am in a pickle with work at the moment and unable to make a clear cut decision!

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Kris @ Everyday Tips July 29, 2012 at 7:24 am

Congratulations Joe!

Your analogy to the frog in the pot sounds perfect for your situation. Depression is definitely tough, but it looks like you are in a better place now to beat it. It just sounds like you outgrew that job and found something else you are better suited for at this point in your life (being a dad and a writer)!

You are going to do great!

Oh, and I can’t believe that little baby is walking. My oh my!

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retirebyforty July 29, 2012 at 11:39 am

Thanks! Kris. I’m feeling much better now. I knew the job was stressing me out and it was best to get away from that environment. The baby is growing up so quickly. I’m sure you know. :)

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Jen @ Master the Art of Saving August 5, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Woohoo! I am so, so happy for you Joe. :-D No amount of money is worth being depressed and in pain. I hope you’re enjoying your early retirement and can earn money without going back to a traditional job—unless you want to.

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retirebyforty August 6, 2012 at 12:46 am

Thanks! Early retirement agrees with me. :)

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ed August 7, 2012 at 5:11 am

wow, it’s like you’re writing my autobiography here. I’ve just recently placed my call into the shrink

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retirebyforty August 7, 2012 at 7:55 am

Sorry to hear that, but good luck. Hopefully the shrink will help.

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Pacer August 7, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Can definitely relate to the long-developing malaise, troubled manager relationship, accompanying physical maladies and all the rest of it. Many companies do a very poor job moving anyone but the ‘fortunate favorites’ through career progressions; in my case the demands for me to take on a leadership role did not jive with the continued torrent of individual contributor work that was simultaneously expected of me. I stuck through it (only with help from therapy and other means) for 2 years and finally a window opened up for a new assignment and new boss. Life’s far better now, but the workload still consumes more of me than it should. Plotting my next move–although in my case not to retirement but to a different, more sustainable role.

Good luck sticking to your plan, and good luck still if after a few years of recovery and getting RB40 Jr. through to his school years you decide to return (wiser and mentally well-rested) to a kinder, gentler, more humane niche of the rat race.

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retirebyforty August 7, 2012 at 11:02 pm

The problem I had was the lack of authority. They want me to lead, but nobody did what I tell them to do. Everyone has their own agenda and why should they listen to me. I didn’t like telling people what to do either so it wasn’t a good position for me. That’s ok, it was time for me to move on anyway.
It’s great that you are doing better with a new boss. I’m done with corporations. Once the kid goes off to school, I’ll start some kind of small business. Good luck!

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Peter August 7, 2012 at 8:01 pm

I’ve been following your post for some time now. You have been a big inspiration to me.
and I have a very similar outcome… I’m a Dad of 2 girls, and I’ll tell you that every moment you invest in them comes back 10 fold. Like wise every moment “away” from them will haunt you 100 fold. As your child grows in the light of your care, you and him will build a bond that money can NEVER buy. Don’t forget a home needs a “leader” (be it a mother or a father…) but keeping a family together during these times is a real challenge, and I’m sorry to say that money is NOT the glue that keeps a husband and wife or a father and child together…
It’s TIME together! … Great Job! …

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retirebyforty August 7, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Thanks for your comment. I love spending time with our kid. My relationship with Mrs. RB40 is very good right now, but we’ll keep working on it. Money is important, but once the basics are met, time is much more important. Thanks!

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Jon Rhodes August 8, 2012 at 8:31 am

Great story and glad you have found happiness. I now earn all my cash working oline for myself. I did it not to become wealthy, but so that I owned all my time. I work when I want and do other things when I want. Keep working on your blog and I’m sure you won’t need to go back to work!

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retirebyforty August 8, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Hi Jon,
That’s my goal too. I just need enough to pay the bills so it shouldn’t be too difficult.
Thanks!

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J.P. August 8, 2012 at 7:24 pm

I’ve been part of the “silent majority” that reads your blog, but never comments. While a lot of your advice in past posts are helpful, I’m wanting a different kind of help. You see, I’m going back to school after getting black-balled in the IT industry, and am going to be studying…you guessed it…engineering. So while I’m sure you had plenty of good reasons for leaving your job…and possibly the whole industry…I was wondering if you were willing to go into further detail about many of the issues you ran into that lead up to you turning in your notice and not just seeking another job in the industry, either in a post or privately. Just wondering what I’m getting myself in to! :)

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retirebyforty August 9, 2012 at 12:12 am

Sure, I’ll work on a detailed post soon.
It’s hard to say if you will like it. Some of my friends love being an engineer, but quite a few lost interest after a while. For those who doesn’t like it anymore, they are just working for the paycheck and that’s no fun.
You will probably have to be an engineer for a few years and see it’s for you.
Thanks for reading!

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RB42 August 13, 2012 at 11:02 am

Good for you!!! I’ve only read a portion of your site but can relate to many of the things you have been going through. I turned in my resignation in ’05 at 42 and have not regretted it. I was an engineer at a large corporation that builds trucks in the Pacific Northwest for 13 years. My work performance was declining and the passion I once had for the company had long since been sucked from my veins in the name of corporate profit. It took a lot of planning to work myself into a position to take that big step, but I’m so glad I did. The final straw came after a mandatory attendance to a meeting that had nothing to contribute to my work and I had nothing to contribute to the meeting. Two of my colleges had hijacked the topic of the day in order to promote their agendas (egos). While these two dueled it out for the Dilbert award my eyes grew heavy and I began to slip away… I think it was only for a fraction of a second but it could have been more. At the end of the meeting my new boss pulled me aside, took notice and suggested I find a solution to this issue. Although we differed on many subjects I could not argue the point that falling asleep in a business meeting was acceptable, it wasn’t… not for him and more importantly for me. That was not the kind of person I ever wanted to be. The sense of self worth and accomplishment that comes from true contribution is where my passion lies. The time had come… The next morning I entered my bosses office and shut the door behind me. He looked at me and said “this is serious”, half statement and half question. Then, very professionally, I let him know I had come up with a solution to the previous day’s issue. His response was that this was not what he had in mind. Words can not express the feelings I had inside my chest. It was the polar opposite of the feelings I had in the meeting the day before and the countless meeting that preceded it. I felt alive.

That was seven years ago, I never could have predicted how the economy would unfold. I prepared for the unknown as best as best I could. Although it’s not been a perfect journey. I’m glad I went this route and would do it again. I encourage all those that have this dream to pursue it.

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Andi August 14, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Sorry I’m so late to this party but I am so very happy for you! I understand hitting your point of “no can do” and I’m glad you had the flexibility to be able to make that change. Looks like we might be able to make our schedules work for coffee now!

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retirebyforty August 15, 2012 at 7:26 am

Thanks! Yeap, let’s get together sometime. Are you going to FinCon?

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JayCeezy August 19, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Joe, how great for you and your family. Nice to see such a supportive readership to your blog, clearly your story and writing has been a benefit to many. As a new reader, really enjoying catching up with your blog and insights. I’m right on the scary edge of committing to a decision I made decades ago. Thanks for your story, and looking forward to your ‘next chapter’.

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retirebyforty August 20, 2012 at 12:03 am

Thanks for reading! Good luck with your decision.

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SteveB August 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm

You have definitely done the right thing. When I was your age and feeling the same
way, I did not have the courage to pull the trigger. I’m now 60, and nothing has
changed except 20 additional years of “hanging” on. I am now on the verge of handing
in 2 weeks notice. Yet, I still worry. Over the years my health, marriage, and overall
well being has suffered immensely.
Going forward none of us knows our future, but one thing I do know, is that you only have one life, and if you spend it hating your job,all those around you suffer as well.
Most of us in the boomer age group will not have all the money the experts tell us
we will need, yet, we will survive anyhow, so there is a point when you have to begin
living as your time is limited, and you surely don’t want to say: ” I wish I had quit years
ago,so that I would have been happier, my family would have been happier, and my health would have been better as well.
Trust me: you have done the right thing.

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retirebyforty August 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Thanks for your input. I hung on for probably 3-4 more years than I wanted to. It helped us financially, but I don’t think I can hang on another 20 years. Sorry to hear about the problem. Hopefully you can find something more fulfilling after leaving your job. Money is important, but family is even more so. Good luck!

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SteveB August 22, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Well said, your family always comes first. They will be there long after the corporation has long forgotten your name.

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Rich In The Heart August 22, 2012 at 8:59 pm

RB40, congratulations for saving yourself from ever increasing stress and just for saving well.

I sincerely wish you well in your endeavors and breathing a sigh of relief for at least a while.

Perhaps after a longer hiatus, you may expand on a hobby or something else that drives you.

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retirebyforty August 23, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Thank you! I think after baby RB40 goes off to school, I will be more driven to seek self employment. I’ll never go back to a corporation if I can help it, but working part time for myself sounds good to me.

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[email protected] August 25, 2012 at 9:32 am

Congratulations on making the jump.
I too have many of the same issues (shoulders, back, headache, etc) and found that fitting in some exercise time certainly helps out. Of course, now that you’re home with the youngster, you’ll have plenty of exercise options!

Enjoying the blog…

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retirebyforty August 25, 2012 at 10:45 pm

I go to the gym at lunch almost every weekday when I was working. I did yoga, boot camp, cardio, and weights. The workout helped tremendously, but the relief is only temporary. I’m doing much better now that I’m not glue to my old desk anymore. Thanks!

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Squirrelers August 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm

I’m surprised I missed this news – congrats! Stress is not good for the body and mind, and we might as well do things that are a good fit for us.

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retirebyforty August 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Thanks! Less stress is definitely better in the long run.

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Suba August 31, 2012 at 9:28 am

Joe, I am SO happy for you! Congrats! I hope you are enjoying your retirement with the little guy and free from all the stress/corporate bs.

Just got back to the US and getting back to business. If there is anything I could do, drop me a line. Looking forward to meeting you and your family next week!

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retirebyforty August 31, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Thanks Suba. It’s great to hear from you and I’m looking forward to seeing you in Denver next week.

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Christa September 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Joe, I just read your fantastic news (because I was taking a break from writing to take care of my newborn) — congratulations!! I’ll have to read more of your posts, but I clicked on your story at the top of your page as soon as I visited and had to wish you congrats :-))

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retirebyforty September 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Congratulation to you as well! Thanks. :)

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Charles September 6, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Congratulations on your retirement. I never really worried about money until this past year when I survived a layoff. I am determined now to retire at 55, but the only way you retire at 55 is you plan for it on your 20s. Do you have a tax strategy for your retirement so that you can scretch your dollars out.

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Bettie September 18, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Congratulations Joe! If you are looking to start an online business, I highly recommend Steve’s course “How to Create a Profitable Online Store”. Steve is committed and knowledgeable!
http://profitableonlinestore.com/ Not a get rich scam, he’s the real deal!

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retirebyforty September 18, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I met Steve at FinCon. He’s a great guy and is the real deal.

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marrer October 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm

I’m days away from being fired. I’m almost 50.

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retirebyforty October 12, 2012 at 11:33 pm

I hope you get some kind of severance package. Did you have a chance to read Financial Samurai’s book?
How to Engineer Your Layoff

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Financial Samurai December 25, 2012 at 9:22 am

Just re-read this post and am so pumped for you!

Including it in my 2012 Predictions wrap up on FS this week.

Cheers, Sam

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retirebyforty December 25, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Looking forward to it! You are quite good at the whole prediction thing. :)

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Kin December 29, 2012 at 1:29 am

I just came by this article on your site and is so happy for you. The way you described the review process sounds like the place I work at… at any rate, I’m turning 30 next year myself and hope to get to the point where I feel comfortable handing a resignation letter too. Cheers to that!

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Integrator December 29, 2012 at 7:42 am

Joe, this is very inspiring to read. It takes real guts to exit the workforce like you’ve done. Many of us secretly aspire to it, but struggle to put in effect. If work is impacting your health, its totally the right thing to do. I’d love to exit when my passive income hits $50k/yr. Here’s hoping in another 5 years I can double my $25k and be RB40 also :). Best of luck in your new adventure and congratulations.

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retirebyforty December 30, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Thanks for the encouragement! Good luck with your passive income!

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Joanne December 30, 2012 at 6:34 pm

I told my fiancee earlier this year that I wanted to retire at 40. (Then it changed to 35.) Congratulations for having the courage to put your health and family first. Now if only I had the courage. When you can, check out my blog: http://www.randomdysfunctions.com (tw: @randomblogr). I’ll be reading yours regularly :)

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retirebyforty December 30, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Good luck with your plan!

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queenth January 23, 2013 at 7:11 am

i just want to share my
experience and testimony here.. i was married for 6 years to my husband and all
of a sudden, another woman came into the picture.. he started hailing me and he
was abusive. but i still loved him with all my heart and wanted him at all
cost…then he filed for divorce. my whole life was turning apart and i didn’t
know what to do .he moved out of the house and abandoned the kids.. so someone
told me about trying spiritual means to get my husband back and introduced me
to a spell caster…so i decided to try it reluctantly. although i didn’t believe
in all those things… then when he did the special prayers and spell, after
2days, my husband came back and was pleading. he had realized his mistakes. I
just couldn’t believe it. .anyways we are back together now and we are happy. in
case anyone needs this man, his email address helptemple at yahoo.com
his spells is for a better life.

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Jose March 19, 2013 at 5:52 am

You absolutely did the right thing. Your health is more important than any other job. Your choice to stay at home and work on your blog and other sources of income is something I wish i could do as well. I just got laid off but to be truthful, I was ready to quit anyway. My idea was similar to yours, find another job, volunteer for a ‘package” and be on my way. Unfortunately my employers timing was just a bit off :). I don’t have the financial wherewithal to stick to blogging and side ventures yet (‘I’m a few years off from getting to that point) but am glad that your giving it a go! Best of Luck!

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retirebyforty March 19, 2013 at 10:31 am

Thanks for the encouragement. Good luck with your journey as well. Let’s make life worth living. :)

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Jeremy April 2, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Job stress can be a horrible thing to endure. Sunday nights can be spent looking at the clock realizing how much time to have before Monday morning rolls around. It’s at times like that you really have to decide what action you want to take. My advice for anybody in that position, save all that you can prior to making a potentially life changing decision like giving notice. It’s so much easier to plan your exit when you have a strategy and a financial cushion. If you don’t, you’ll just be exchanging one kind of stress for another.

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retirebyforty April 2, 2013 at 10:32 pm

The last few years was like that for me. I have to keep telling myself as I walk into work that I won’t have to stay here forever. If you’re not financially ready, then changing job is a very good option. A change of scenery will do wonder.

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Boris April 4, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Could you please provide accurate details (i.e. blow-by-blow account) of the day when you handed your resignation letter? A timestamp record of events would be nice to see…

5am – Woke up. This is the day
6am – Printed and signed the resignation letter
7am – Commute to work. Excited as ever!
8am – I left the letter on my manager’s desk
9am -

It would be an interested read for me how you executed that big day! Thank you.

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Jer April 28, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Great site.

It’s good to do a sanity check and see I am not alone! I am 36 and just turned in my notice on Monday. I have been an engineer since 1997 and was promoted into management a few years ago then a director.

I have a fantastic job that people would kill for, but I always knew I wanted passive cashflow so I could do what I want. I had to quit my job since I was getting bored and the stress of going in every day was killing me. I started feeling bad and my voice was being affected too. I took a couple weeks off to deal with stress and over that period started feeling much better.

I knew it was time to quit as I just felt I was not motivated anymore and was slowly dying inside. My safety net is been my side business – I started buying rentals in a very lucrative area (25% return/year) in 2007 and now have 23 properties (44 units) that yield enough cashflow to cover all my expenses and allow for excess savings.

The best part is that the rentals are all in another state and I have two guys working part time to care for them – so I invest only a few hours per week into this business.

For those looking to make the leap, keep the faith and never lose sight of your vision – you will make it! Believe in the law of attraction and the power of the universe!

Jer

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retirebyforty April 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Congratulation! You are doing great with the rentals.
Now, you’ll just have to figure out what you want to do the rest of your life. Good luck!
Great job.

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Michael June 9, 2013 at 11:16 am

Wow, Joe. Good for you! I am 27 and I too have the goal of retiring young. Future generations don’t have a safety net to fall upon and the only way to ensure financial stability is to grab the bull by the horns and take matters into our own hands. 40 is a very ambitious goal, but as the saying goes. “Anything is possible!”

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John Zhang September 20, 2013 at 11:47 am

very encouraging story for lots of engineers! Thanks for sharing the story.

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Greg November 8, 2013 at 7:37 am

I am really enjoying your site – I found it through a link this morning and am now working my way through your posts. Health issues and depression were a huge factor for me ditching my job. The decision was made to leave about 2 years prior to actually doing it as we had to tie up some loose ends and prepare our move to Costa Rica. I wrote about WHY I quit and early retired here http://costaricacurious.com/why-i-quit-my-job-and-moved-to-costa-rica/. I think it is very common to be overworked and to stress ourselves sick in the North American more, more, more, mentality. I am much happier, off BP meds and have lost 30#’s since moving in June 2013. I am happy I found your site to connect with like minded people.

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retirebyforty November 8, 2013 at 2:03 pm

I’ll drop by and check it out. It sounds like you are doing very well. Congratulation!

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Larry November 19, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Hi RB40,

I just find out your blog recently and start looking at your story. Your story is very inspired and I would like to share my little story to you.

I’m Chinese, 38 years old, married. My wife is 5 year younger than me. Same as you, that I’m a big fans of early retirement. My goal is to retire by age 50. Because I have that goal in my mind, I pushed very hard to save as much as possible to invest, max out 401k/IRA.

Both my wife and I are working in big corporate company. About 4 years ago, my wife has been going through a lot of shitty from work. She cried almost everyday when she got off work. But, my mind were so focus on early retirement that quitting wasn’t an option. I told her to try her best and at least find a job before quitting.

Finally, she couldn’t take it anymore and take 6 months short term leave to see psychiatrist and psychologist. During this 6 months, it was a darkest stage of our life. To care the depressed person and fumble our budget with uncertain future. But, I reset my priority and focus on her health, more than our early retirement plan.

After the 6 months of short term leave, HR is offering her the severance package. I think the company worry that we will sue them. So, it was a win-win situation for us as well because my wife wasn’t planning to quit her position anyway.

Later on, she was able to find a PT job. Since then, we downsize ourselves with smaller mortgage. The goal is we can stress test our budget and we are okay with 1 paycheck. 2 paycheck would be a bonus. Right now, I’m okay whether my wife work FT, PT and early retire. As long as she is happy with her life and don’t let the shitty work environment deteriorated her body and mind.

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retirebyforty November 19, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Thanks for sharing your story. It’s hard to have to go somewhere you don’t like everyday. I’m glad you guys were able to find an alternative. Early retirement is good, but it’s a long journey for most people. It’s not worth getting depressed everyday.

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Free to Pursue February 5, 2014 at 10:05 am

Wow! Interesting story RB40. We have a lot in common. I am also 38 and quit my corporate job almost exactly a year after you left yours, but only discovered your blog via Twitter/blog rolls over the last month or so. We are on a similar path (though I don’t have a child…does a family dog count as a dependent?).

I don’t want to go back to the corporate world and am looking forward to continuing to build wealth while taking time to write and pursue various ventures. We’ll see where life takes us over the next few years.

I look forward to reading more about how life evolves for you. All the best in your quest for joy and fulfillment in life.

Sincerely, F2P

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retirebyforty July 17, 2012 at 9:53 pm

I think you are right. Most people wants to work in the same field and it’s not worth having a negative reputation. Once in a while you would hear about someone from India or China taking IP though.

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retirebyforty September 4, 2012 at 8:02 am

We are putting $4,000+ in his 529 account every year. If he can’t get financial aid or scholarship or student loan, then we can sell one of the rental to finance his education. I think in 16 years, the rental income will be enough to pay for his education.
Yes, if I can’t make the finance work, I’ll go back to work. But if I can make it work, why should I work for a corporation and watch my health deteriorate?

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