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Looking for perspective: Should I leave a high paying job?

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  • Looking for perspective: Should I leave a high paying job?

    I am fortunate to have a high paying job in the city where my wife is finishing her residency (PCP). We have no ties to the area so we are contemplating moving to be closer to family which is important to both of us. The only problem is jobs at home pay 250-300k less than where we currently live largely due to less opportunity to pick up call shifts (I have been taking call every 2-3 days since we have no kids and couldn't travel due to COVID). On a more normal call schedule that difference would be less extreme. In addition, with my wife working as an attending we should make up the lost income.

    Thanks to this forum we have made a lot of smart decisions up to this point: paid off student loans + a high savings rate + a modest lifestyle has our retirement accounts at the edge of the 2 comma club in our early 30s. Upcoming life goals include saving for a home, starting a family, and spending fewer nights in the hospital. We don't feel the need to retire early but would love the freedom of financial independence. Wife is a saint, thinks we make more than enough either way and just wants me to be happy.

    So what would you do?
    48
    Stay and keep hu$tling
    18.75%
    9
    Go home and live a little
    81.25%
    39
    Something else
    0%
    0

  • #2
    The absolute amounts matter. If 1.0M vs 1.3M go home. If 300K vs 600K total, a more difficult decision IMO.

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    • #3
      You're a two physician family with no student loans and a 7 figure net worth. Stop taking call every 2-3 days. If my pager were going off that much, I'm pretty sure I would start punching random people in the face.

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      • #4
        $250-300k less. Is that going from $1.3MM to $1MM, or is it closer to $600k to $300k?

        Either way, working spouse makes up for a decent portion of that, plus your "$250-300k" out of pocket cost will actually be closer to half that considering your marginal tax rate. I vote go home.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Sampter View Post
          The absolute amounts matter. If 1.0M vs 1.3M go home. If 300K vs 600K total, a more difficult decision IMO.
          Didnt see this while I posted, funny that we used the exact same numbers

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          • #6
            What's the after-tax difference? What will be the lifetime earnings difference if you go home and work another 30 years, or hustle for a few years and burnout?

            You've worked hard thus far and sound like you don't make dumb money decisions. As long as you don't make any egregious errors, you'll be fine.

            Ask anyone who's lost a parent young if they'd rather have more money or their family member back...

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            • #7
              Rule #1 Do what makes you personally satisfied
              Rule #2 Do what makes your career benefit

              No clue if the "jobs at home" fit the bill for any of the rules. Comp, job, location. I would not make the choice on any one item. Ten years from now is your crystal ball.
              You sound like you could be completely content exactly where you are. No idea how a move would turn out. The job might actually suck. Maybe not.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sampter View Post
                The absolute amounts matter. If 1.0M vs 1.3M go home. If 300K vs 600K total, a more difficult decision IMO.
                Agreed. Need more information
                Inclined to vote for stay put for a few years, but cut down on call, depending on specialty and what call is like. Once kids are in picture plan may change

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                • #9
                  Early 30s and near two comma club for retirement? You said near the edge so let's assume 900k and you are 32. You said no plans to retire early. Let's assume you retire at 62 which is still early. If you contribute nothing more but have an aggressive allocation that 900k should be around $1.8m by 42, $3.6m by 52, $7.2m by 62. What's your #?

                  As others have said, a decrease of $250-$300k won't be as severe as you suspect given progressive tax rates. Plus, if you wanted and as I showed above, you could contribute less to retirement (but always get a match if there is one) and still be good. Saving less for retirement puts more money in your pocket today. You're going to burn out eventually doing that much call. Looks like you killed it this past year or two...live a little is how I voted and do what you and wifey think will make you happier. ignore money since I assume your HH income even in the near area is going to be at least $400k

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                  • #10
                    Move to where you want to be and enjoy life. You are probably good savers anyway and will continue to save a decent amount. Enjoy your 30s. My answer is the same whether your current income is 1.3 million or 600k.

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                    • #11
                      As I get older with children, I realize how nice it would be to be closer to family. Easier for holidays, child care (this is debatable), family memories, and when parents get older and need more assistance.

                      From a finance standpoint- I would just figure out life as if that 300k wouldn't get made up. There is no telling that your spouse will continue to work full time when kids come around, or that you'll take extra call shifts because of kids/burnout/spouse loves you and wants to spend time with you.

                      The second recommendation is easier said than done. As one academic attending told me after I said I might go to academia at the end of my career- it's easier to adjust to making more money than it is to making less.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Brains428 View Post
                        As I get older with children, I realize how nice it would be to be closer to family. Easier for holidays, child care (this is debatable), family memories, and when parents get older and need more assistance.

                        From a finance standpoint- I would just figure out life as if that 300k wouldn't get made up. There is no telling that your spouse will continue to work full time when kids come around, or that you'll take extra call shifts because of kids/burnout/spouse loves you and wants to spend time with you.

                        The second recommendation is easier said than done. As one academic attending told me after I said I might go to academia at the end of my career- it's easier to adjust to making more money than it is to making less.
                        I could easily adjust to making less at this point, but I would have a hard time adjusting to working more. I guess one’s viewpoint on this will depend somewhat on whether they value time or money more, and how much they have already saved.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It sounds like you are doing well financially with little debt. Do what makes you happy personally. If working a lot and making a lot of money makes you happy then stay and find another comma somewhere along the way. But for some of us mortals out here, family , friends and doing no extra call shifts would be preferable.

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                          • #14
                            Let's turn the question on its head. You and your wife both work in an area you enjoy and are close to family members. You make $600k in combined income. A job offer from across the country comes in, allowing the two of you to make $900k. IMO, it's easier to turn down a move to an increased salary, rather than accept a move to a decreased salary.

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                            • #15
                              How much closer to family are we talking?

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