YOU CAN QUIT THAT AWFUL JOB RIGHT NOW

Here are some of the things to consider if you want to retire early and quit that job from hell. #earlyretirement

YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORK TILL YOU DIE

If you're one of those lucky people who love their job then I take my hat off to you. I truly envy people who look forward to going to work every Monday. I can't even begin to imagine what that would be like because I've never had a job I could truly say I loved. I've had jobs that I've been really good at, jobs I've not minded doing, jobs that have paid well, jobs that were okay, but nothing all that fabulous. Because of that I've always wanted to NOT have to go to work and wondered if that day would ever arrive.

THEN IT HAPPENED

One day the job from hell became too much to bear and I walked away (actually I ran away as far and fast as I possibly could!) and in doing so I realized that life's too short to be working in a job that I hate until I'm old and worn out, and ready to lie down and die. I'm not getting any younger and the thought of spending another ten years in the workforce in a job that gives me no real satisfaction is so unappealing to me now - and the other side of the coin, early retirement, is like a dream come true.

When I Googled "you don't have to work forever" I was surprised to find there were several results that were the complete opposite, with "Why you should work forever" and "Forget retirement" heading the list. Both alluded to the fact that retirement equals boredom and we need to be working to maintain the lifestyle we had pre-retirement and to keep ourselves from "atrophying". These articles struck me as being a little bit sad - the idea of needing to work to stay relevant and to sustain a consumer lifestyle are the antithesis to what early retirement means to me.

Do things that remind you there's more to life than making money #lifequotes

SO WHAT IS EARLY RETIREMENT?

  • Leaving work before retirement age (in my case I was 57 and the retirement age in Australia is 67) so I was 10 years earlier in retiring than I expected. But it's not for everyone, you need to:
  • Make sure you can afford to live on a smaller income - my husband still works, however our income halved when I left my job - although what we found was that my earnings were actually surplus to our basic needs and not as vital as I'd led myself to believe.
  • Evaluate your spendings and savings - some people are spenders, we're not. Spenders may not be able to make do with an income that significantly reduces. We're savers and we live a fairly simple and minimal life, because of that we have money in the bank, we're debt free, and we have no large purchases on the horizon.

WHY RETIRE EARLY?

  • Leaving that awful job behind - if you're like I was, with a job that's draining the joy out of your life, then maybe it's time to re-evaluate and figure out why you show up every week to something that makes you unhappy.
  • Unappealing new job options - I've been keeping an eye on the "Situations Vacant" for several years, and there aren't a lot of interesting and engaging jobs on offer. In fact, there are so few that it would be easier to find a unicorn grazing on my front lawn than to find a job that would make me want to get up and get dressed at 7am on a Monday morning.
  • Discovering a love for being home - I love my home, it's a haven and refuge from the world around me. It's a wonderful place to venture out from and to return to when I've had enough. I'm sure some people hate their homes or the people they share them with, that would make being home 24/7 an unappetizing option. But not for me - I love my house, I love my husband, and I love our cats - being at home is a dream come true for me.
  • Living life on your own terms and at your own pace - when you aren't working on someone else's timetable, you can do what you like and do it when you like. Sleeping in? Sure! Volunteering? Why not? Hobbies? Exercise? Books? Coffee? Go for it! You don't have to fit in around a job - every day is your day.

HOW I COULD RETIRE EARLY

  • My husband still works - he doesn't have a high flying/big earnings job, but he earns enough to pay our bills and keep the wolf from the door. Losing my income hasn't made a big difference to how we live, I'm a bit more careful with my purchasing, but we haven't really noticed any major change to our lifestyle.
  • Living on a small wage - as I said earlier, our income halved when I stopped work. It means less goes into our retirement fund, and there won't be any extravagant purchases (no world cruises, flash new cars, or holiday homes), but our day to day expenses are covered and there's a bit left over for smaller luxuries.
  • Keeping my needs and wants few - this is a big one for those who like to spend. I've found that some people's "needs" are much bigger than mine - I have a different definition of "need" compared to "want". Also, over all those years of working we've bought everything we need and there's very little on our "want" list, so life on a smaller income is easy.
  • Money isn't my motivator - it's about knowing I have enough. Western society is so consumer focused. All the sales, the emails, the catalogues, the TV ads - all shouting at us to buy more, and spend more, and have more. But I feel like we already have enough - more than enough. I don't envy those with the latest gadgets or the newest fashions because my gadgets do the job, and I have more clothes than I need. Enough is an important concept because lowering your spending means you can lower your earnings
  • Being debt free - this is probably the biggest one for us in regard to being able to leave work. We always focused on paying off our mortgage as a first priority. Any spare income went into the mortgage account and once that was gone, a load was taken off. We don't have credit card debt or car loans. We don't buy on credit and we save up for the things we need. When you take debt out of the picture then retirement becomes a very real option.

    my dream job is not needing one #lifequotes

    LIVE SIMPLY

    The secret to being able to quit that awful job is to live simply. Pay your debts off, save some money so you have a buffer against emergencies, do your math, and remember that there's a lot more to life than making money. If you work in a job you love that's wonderful - go for it, but if you work in a job you hate to pay for a lifestyle you can't afford, then maybe it's time to do some re-evaluation. Nothing beats the satisfaction of knowing you can walk out the door and never look back. Working til you die to pay for things you can't really afford just sucks.

    I hope one day you wake up and don't have to get out of bed to go to that horrible job anymore. I hope you roll over and smile to yourself and think how lucky you are that you made decisions with your finances that led to you never having to sell your soul to the highest bidder ever again. I hope you get to leave the workforce at an age when you can still enjoy all the freedom and flexibility that retirement offers. I hope you can high five me when we meet and say "isn't early retirement amazing!"

    WHAT ABOUT YOU?

    Are you in a job that you can't wait to get out of bed for each morning? Or are you slogging on through your work days and hanging out for the weekends? Have you thought about whether you could afford to leave that horrible job behind and enjoy life on your own terms?

    RELATED POSTS


    Here are some of the things to consider if you want to retire early and quit that job from hell. #earlyretirement
    Here are some of the things to consider if you want to retire early and quit that job from hell. #earlyretirement

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    37 comments

    1. Leanne,

      I was downsized in November and will be 59 soon. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said. I also read your post on "genteel poverty". I have pretty much decided to retire now as my husband is still working. We lost 61% of our income but we are doing just fine. I don't feel the need to shop for new clothes and shoes since I'm not working. I don't know what the future will bring but I am very encouraged by your blog. Thank you. Rita

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      1. Hi Rita - thanks so much for taking the time to comment. You'll probably feel a lot like I did when I was suddenly jobless - all the what ifs? and what nexts? But if you give yourself time to process it all and not jump straight back into things (like I almost did!) you'll find a real peace and joy in this not-working gig. It would be really hard if finances were desperate, but if you can pare back and still live nicely on less, then the question starts to become....why would I want to go back? I haven't found an answer to that - what's better than being at home and doing the things I love? Absolutely nothing! :) I do hope you'll be back and we can share the journey together x

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    2. Hi, Leanne - Once again, you have provided great food for thought here. I absolutely loved my job...and there was A LOT to love. Five years ago, I also retired at 57. I absolutely love early retirement and have never looked back (at least not yet)! :D

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      1. Hi Donna - I think walking away from something you absolutely love puts another layer on the whole retirement thing. It shows how great early retirement is if you can find more joy now than you did when you were employed doing lots of things you loved. I had a lot less to sacrifice, but regardless, it's such a lovely space to be in compared to the 9-5 and getting up on a Monday morning to do it again each week.

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    3. Hi Leanne, everyone has different ideas on retirement and I love your advice. As you know I was made redundant at age 56 and haven't worked since but I enjoy volunteering with Rotary in our local community and have a great lifestyle, now. It was hard at first as it wasn't my plan to finish like that but I've managed to make the most of it over the past 3 years. I find there's no need for lots of new clothes or shoes anymore and am more careful with money. My husband retired at about the same time and we have managed quite well with the transition. It's been great following your journey into early retirement and seeing your delight at it all. Good on you!

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      1. Hi Deb - yes, your early retirement experience was a really good example for me. Probably because we both got thrown in at the deep end without choosing it - but because circumstances forced our hands. I truly thought it would be the end of the road and we'd be living under a bridge eating cat food - fortunately I've been proved wrong and I'm amazed at how little we spend, and how well we live on a very reduced income. Life is very good indeed and I haven't got a single regret about walking out the door of that horrible job and never dealing with the crazy woman I worked for ever again! :)

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      2. Back again for MLSTL and have shared. Great to read you upbeat comment :)

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    4. I'm looking at early retirement because of health reasons. I've got many ideas on how we could afford it, mainly downsizing or buying a house with dual accommodation that we could rent out. The trouble is convincing my husband to even discuss these ideas. He's so stubborn and narrow minded and shuts me down every time. Do you have any advice for how I can approach him? Thanks, Christina Henry

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    5. I'm so sorry you and your husband aren't on the same page about this. I think it comes back to the love you have for each other. If he loves you and knows what you're going through health-wise, then maybe you need to ask him to sit down with you while you explain why you need to leave your job? Or perhaps there's a compromise and you could reduce the number of hours or days you work each week? That was my first step in trying to deal with my toxic job - I dropped down to 2 days a week, when even that became too much, it was less scary to stop completely.
      My husband was supportive because he could see the damage that was being done to my mental and emotional health (I think I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown by the time I left) and we also sat down with a financial advisor who gave us a good overview of our financial situation - which helped me see that we had much more in assets etc than I'd thought and we only really need to support ourselves until pension age - not til we die.
      Good luck and feel free to email me if you want to chat more xx

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      1. Thanks so much for your advice. I hadn't thought of seeing a financial advisor. One of my sons just moved out so we may be able to downsize. Regards, Christina Henry

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    6. I worked in one place for almost 25 years. We had our ups and downs and I was fortunate with many more ups. For me, I had to stop working earlier than I had intended re having surgery on my hands and other complications. Not unusual in that field. I think the phrase, getting used to “a new normal” applies to me, since I had to get used to some new physical limitations and adaptations.

      I do take umbrage on “retirement equals boredom.” This is actually a common misconception and like you say, Leanne, “a little bit sad.” Another similarity with you is how my home has always been “a haven and refuge.” I too am fortunate I have a loving, supportive husband. Thank you for another thought-provoking post discussing the depth and layers of retirement and living a fulfilling life. xx (btw, using Google Chrome for the first time:)

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      1. Yay! Erica! Lovely to have you Chroming into the comments (was it easier?) And sorry about your hands, my neck has been my biggest work related sore spot (and the headaches that come from it). Sometimes we push on when we really should accept that it's time for a change.
        I wonder if we're worried about that whole boring/invisible mis-information our there that makes people think that retirement is only for old folks. I'm just loving the fact that I have the best years of my life ahead of me and so much free time to enjoy them in. :D

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      2. Leanne, I am revisiting from #MLSTL and sharing SM 🙂Yes, Chroming works like a charm. Thank you!

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    7. Hi Leanne I’m probably one of those rare people who love their job. When I retired I was offered a little casual job just a few hours a week. That little job has now become almost full time and I unexpectedly found I loved it so will keep going. When the day comes that I don’t love it I will bail out quickly. I know what it’s like to be on a job that you hate. It’s so soul destroying. I’m a bit like you in that we live a simple unencumbeted life so I could easily walk away. I think it’s a scary thing to do for some. I love reading how happy you are since deciding to retire #MLSTL Sharing

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      1. Hi Jenali - I'm a little bit envious of your your casual job that's turned out to be all that you love and enjoy. I'm so wary of applying for anything after being so blindsided by the last job and the people I worked for. I'm still open to something else coming along, but if I'm not going to love it, then I'm not even going to look at it or apply - life at home is so lovely and I won't swap it out for anything less than amazing!

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    8. I've never had a job that I've loved, I have, however, had jobs that I've hated. This one now is not one of those. I do, however, consider it as a means to an end ie something to finance our life (I'm the only income earner) until such time as I can make a living with my writing. As an aside, I use Chrome now too when accessing your blog & the comments are no longer an issue. #MLSTL

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      1. Chrome is magic for Blogger blogs Jo - for some reason Mac and Google just don't communicate well (weird!) I stuck out a lot of horrible or boring or whatever jobs through the last 40 years to put bread on the table, so I get that you can't walk away yet, I really hope those novels get the recognition they deserve so you can sit in your cafe every morning with a cuppa and your laptop and do what you love. x

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    9. I've never had a job I could say I truly loved either. I've had jobs that had bits I loved or enjoyed or jobs that have paid well or jobs where I worked with nice people but never have I had the dream job where I was living my passion etc etc. I also have basically retired earlier and in fact much earlier than you! I've dabbled in this n that but I'll never go back to the corporate world again. I haven't got it left in me to go back to that. I have a friend who was made redundant. She's older than me - she's actually 61. She lasted 3 months testing out retirement and couldn't stand it ... so she's back working in the corporate world again but part time at 3 days/week and she loves it! I think we are all different and we need to do what is best for us as individuals. I'm so glad you're happy with your decision. xo

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      1. Hi Min - I would love to know what it's like to have a job that you look forward to going to so much that it's better than being at home living life on your own timetable. I guess if that perfect unicorn turned up and knocked on my door, then I might ride off into the sunset, but it's extremely unlikely. Fortunately retirement really agrees with me so I have no problem with a unicorn-less lifestyle for the foreseeable future. Although kitten mothering sounds pretty fabulous!

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    10. It's so refreshing to hear stories like yours, Leanne. My husband quit his high flying job because he was the only caregiver for his mother (we weren't married then) and hasn't had a job since. However, he's been investing in the stock market for years and that keeps us going. I quit my business when we got married, because I moved to another city and didn't work for about 7-8 years. I took up blogging during this period. More recently I worked for an NGO and then now I've set up a small studio close to my place, where I go to write, blog and train occasionally. We are not big spenders either and have no need to keep up with anyone else.
      So happy that your choices are working for both of you. Stay happy!

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      1. Hi Corinne - being able to live on a little makes all the difference in the world doesn't it? We wouldn't have a hope of retiring if we were bigger spenders or wanted to travel the world. Our finances are quite adequate for what we need atm - who knows what the future holds? But for now I'm content and I'm happy - you can't ask for more than that can you?

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    11. Hi Leanne, I think you're the 'poster child' for anyone who is thinking about an early retirement. You've done all of the things that make sense and set you closer to that goal whether you realized it or not. And, you've listed the life choices and activities that may help a person decide if this is a wise choice for them, or not. Wonderful post, shared on SM

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      1. What a lovely compliment Candi! I hope that I'm helping others see that it's not the death knell if you need to walk away from a job that's sucking you dry. It's so hard to find something fulfilling in employment at our age, so I'm very glad we managed to steward ourselves into not needing to be rushing around grabbing any old job that we can. The thought of stacking grocery shelves or going back to train to be an aged carer just does my head in - life out of the workforce is very pleasant in comparison to what I had before (and what is on offer out in the real world).

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    12. All good points. If we are able to afford it financially, early retirement is an option, especially when you're working in a toxic job environment like you were.

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      1. Jennifer I'm just so relieved that over the years I've been a saver and have squirrelled money away for a rainy day. The rain came earlier than expected, but it turns out that financial umbrella is weatherproof and holding its own for now - such a joy!

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    13. I love this post. I can so relate because I was miserable in a job I hated for so many years too. I was afraid to quit because I always thought if my hubby lost his job we would have my job to fall back on. Plus, my job paid for all the “fun” stuff while his paid the bills. Finally I just couldn’t take it any longer and just quit. We haven’t missed the extra income at all.

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      1. That's how I felt too Amy - that my income was always needed because my husband actually changed jobs (or stopped and started) fairly regularly and I needed the certainty of a regular wage. Putting up with all the awful stuff that seems to be par for the course when you work with people with god complexes really wore me down - it's so nice to leave it behind me and to find that all those years of hard work have paid off and we can now reap the benefits and rest a little.

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    14. Leanne, another great and heartfelt post - you truly have come out the other side of your journey to a sunny place. I was in a different situation insofar as I loved my job, it suited me to a T. Then the boss-from-hell arrived and I decided life was too short for that nonsense. While, as a single person finances can be tight, I wouldn't trade my life for anything. I also live minimally - I just seriously dislike shopping! - and remain debt-free.
      I also know I could get a part-time job as a grocery clerk or something similar if the wolf did arrive at the door. I had that very discussion just yesterday with a group of older women (80-95) that I see twice a week and we agreed that sort of job fulfills all our needs as we age: extra income, socializing, new environment.
      Congratulations on designing the life of your choosing!

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      1. Hi Agnes - my job was perfect except for that co-worker/supervisor from hell. It's amazing how one person can destroy a workplace and make it impossible to stay there if you want to keep your mental health and integrity. I've thought about being a check-out operator for the social contact and extra cash, but would rather be in my own space for now and see how things go. After nearly 12 months we're no worse off in our day to day finances - and I think we have enough put away for now - and the pension will be there if we reach our late 60's and the bank acct has run dry.

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    15. HI Leanne, I left work at 57 because of bullying which was not going to stop. For though, it was a huge shock to my system and took me a long time to adjust. I'm someone who needs projects to work on however, I am learning that I can have projects but at a slower place. I like the last line of Agnes' comment 'designing the life of your choosing' because we are all different, with different needs and what works for one might not work for someone else. So glad you are enjoying life because that is the most important thing. Thanks as always for co-hosting #MLSTL with me and I'll be sharing on social media. xx

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      1. Hi Sue - I may find that I need more as time goes on, that's why 2020 is going to be an interesting year for me. Last year was about recovery and discovering myself again, but this year will be about seeing what works for me and what needs to change. So far I'm happy in my own space and keeping to my own timetable - but who knows what lies ahead? I'm open to new adventures - so we'll see (I won't be doing a Fitness Cert though!!)

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    16. I would not say I can't wait to get to work each morning, but I do enjoy it and find it fulfilling. I am starting to look forward to the flexibility of retirement, but I am so close to earning my pension that I wouldn't willingly leave my job at this point until I get there. That said, we've done much of what you mentioned--building a savings and paying off debt to prepare for retirement. We do like to travel, so I hope to have enough to allow that, but I don't need a lot of "things" at this point in my life. #MLSTL

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      1. I would have said that about my job too Christie - except for the accelerating problem with my co-worker. Once that became untenable there was no option but to leave. Our pension system works differently to yours and we will have a pension at 67 if our assets drop low enough. For the next 10 years we are well able to self-fund and we'll see where life goes in the next decade as to what eventuates at pension age. Life is always changing and I'm happy to adapt rather than give up - and I refuse to let one toxic person cause me any ongoing issues - bygones!!

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    17. A very relevant post to many I see here Leanne. I would not have chosen to leave my role as a school principal aged 52 other than if I had not my mental health would have taken even more of a dive. The shame I felt, the way in which my beloved career was shortened took me about 10+ years to get over some aspects of it. I was not enjoying my role for a number of reasons which included my school being a very challenging one and I has no other trained executive, only ones relieving and my boss had also left. In many ways I would have been better off to have "tried" to stay with work cover support (I lost a LOT of income leaving and we were in a bad way) but even the sight of a school made me anxious for some time. I have blogged about this but coming up in the next few months there will be more about it in Telling My Story. Thanks for your take on this too. Denyse #mlstl

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      1. Hi Denyse - I think when our jobs drag us down so far that we're mentally and emotionally drained and at the point of a breakdown, then that's a strong message that we have to leave and move in a new direction. When it's not what we would have chosen (as in both our cases) the unfairness rankles too, but I can live with that now - I know who the happier person is - and it's not the toxic person I left behind in that job! I wake with a smile and with a peaceful heart these days and I can't ask for more than that :)

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    18. Leanne,

      It's sad that your search results played into the idea that we need to stay busy and what you have now will never be enough. You don't need to stay busy and enough can truly be enough. You can retire early if you set yourself up for it properly.

      I actually started working full time after my divorce 5 years ago. Before that I worked some part time jobs while the kids were in school.

      My most recent job was with a startup and I was there for 3 years until they laid me off a couple of months ago. I can honestly say I hated working there BUT I loved my coworkers. We were all a vibrant bunch of many ages and backgrounds.

      I hated working the typical 9-5 yet did it because I had mortgage, bills and needed to eat. Yet when they laid me off it was a God send because, though I'm broke, I'm building my own life I get to be in control of. I make money (or lack of right now) for me not someone else. I like that autonomy and will fight for it.

      Many people would say I'm crazy but I'd rather be broke and have autonomy than rich and chained to the "system".

      Thank you,
      Allison

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      1. Allison I feel very much the same way - we are far from rich, we'll continue to watch our spending and live within our means (easier for us than you I'm sure!) But the alternative of going back to working for someone and dancing to their drumbeat is just SO unacceptable to me right now. It would take a miracle for the right job to appear to lure me back to the 9-5 grind again. I love my Monday mornings now - and I can't remember ever saying that in all the decades of working!

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