Asked 3w ago
I'm current in my mid 30s, working in a stable industry (healthcare) for a few years now. I earn a comfortable pay but it is a very stressful environment with toxic boss. This job has been affecting my mental health (losing appetite, hyperventilation/twitching, not sleeping well).
I plan to retire or semi retire by 50/early 50s, which I believe with my job, I will be able to. Should I leave for a less stressful job for a lower pay (~20% cut), but delay my retirement plans to 55 or even 60?
Hi lovegood, I think what's important is to strike a balance between striving for FIRE and taking care of your mental health. Ultimately, in seeking FIRE, while you are planning ahead, you shouldn't be completely sacrficing your life in the present to get there. After all, suffering too much now, will definitely have long term health impacts which may plague you in the future.
Perhaps what I would suggest is:
Take some time off from work. I think right now you're pretty burnt out and some time away might do you some good. I do understand that this might not be possible at the moment considering the current situation, but if you can, it would be good.
It seems that some of the stress elements may be from the company that you're in (toxic boss, bad environment), so perhaps you may wish to start seeking out jobs to rotate into. SInce some of the factors are company-centric, you may be able to find alternatives that have comparable compensation packages or even better ones.
Personally, I don't think trading your mental health for the next ~15 years is worth achieving FIRE a few years earlier. As Chris has mentioned, it's all about balance.
What's the point of achieving FIRE earlier if you won't be healthy enough to enjoy it? IMO, that seems more like a curse than a blessing - sacrificing the present, golden years of your life to accelerate your suffering.
To me, FIRE is about being able to do the things you love and spending time with the people you love in order to maximise your happiness. But if you're not physically or mentally healthy, this may not be possible.
Chris' advice about taking some time off or requesting for rotation can definitely help, if those are things that are possible for you. Otherwise, perhaps you can try seeking professional help or incorporating some lifestyle habits to improve your mental well-being like meditating or exercising regularly. While these don't solve the core problem, it could help with how you manage the stress you face at work.
But if all this fails or you simply can't tolerate your work anymore, by all means take up a less stressful job. After all, achieving FIRE earlier doesn't necessarily mean you'll stop working earlier - it just means you can afford to, so you may end up working until 55-60 anyway!
Hope this helps and all the best!
Personally I refuse to slog for 15 years just to enjoy the next 15. I'd be worn out and possibly als...
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