My husband and I’ve been fortunately married for over 30 years. Am I silly or egocentric for desirous to stop my job?
I would love to quit my job in early 2022, but I’m trying to find out if I’m stupid and / or selfish. Here is our situation:
My husband and I have been happily married for over 30 years. He’s 58 and I’m 54. We have a beautiful forever home worth about $ 900,000 and we owe him about $ 285,000, which is our only personal debt.
We also have a small business that doesn’t really generate a lot of income. We bought it in the hopes that in the future it would earn enough to at least pay the health insurance premiums when I was ready to quit, which could be true if we pay off the business loan in two years.
We also have a few other real estate, cash, and stocks valued at about $ 400,000. Our retirement accounts are pretty healthy with a current total value of around $ 1.5 million with a mix of 401 (k), Roth, and IRA accounts.
I make a low six figure income teaching online classes because I enjoy it, but that only makes about $ 25,000 a year and is not a guaranteed income. My husband’s income is variable as it is 100% commission based.
““We have three grown children who all live alone and are largely financially independent.””
So when he makes a commission, we put enough into our “home savings” account to match the balance of the home payments for 18 months, and then decide what to do with the rest.
We have three grown children who all live alone and are largely financially independent; however, we may at some point have to set up a pension for a child for his or her future.
Our financial advisor did an excellent job running various scenarios to gauge how our retirement savings are doing. Most of the scenarios look fine, especially the one I’m working in in my current position until I’m 65.
That leads us to leave our kids over $ 10 million if we die in our 90s! But he also says we’ll have an estimated $ 2 million left if I quit my job early next year. Still, I know these are only estimates.
I am very dissatisfied with my job and have been for some time. Since I carry all of our health insurance benefits for work, I feel trapped. My husband loves his job so I don’t want him to get anything else. At least one of us should love our job, so insurance was a problem.
““I could quit my job and we could afford to buy insurance on the stock exchange for 2022. We could never afford that before.””
However, due to COVID-19, Congress passed a bill in the American Rescue Plan that removes the “subsidy cliff” for 2021 and 2022. I could quit my job and we could afford to take out insurance on the stock exchange for 2022.
We could never afford that before. We’ve already had house money in our cash account for two years and I would still have a small income for 2022 from teaching and maybe something else to pick up plus whatever my husband brings in.
My husband is currently undergoing cancer treatment and I have a few minor health issues as well. I would like to use the year 2022 to concentrate on us, our health and to take some time off from my stressful job. But I only have health insurance for 2022, I don’t know what the cost will be in 2023 so it’s a bit of a gamble.
Am I selfish and / or stupid to give up my good salary with perks on my full-time job just because I’m unhappy? The search for a new job is not really on the table for me. It’s also the industry I’m fed up with and I don’t want to start over anywhere else.
My husband will support anything I want to do, but I don’t think he would do the same if the situation were the other way around.
Try not to be selfish
It would be more helpful if we change your question from “try not to be selfish or stupid”. What is behind door no. 3? How about trying not to do something you might regret later and making a financial decision based on emotion that could be irreversible.
Your financial situation would be the envy of millions of Americans. You did well to build your retirement and pay off your mortgage so aggressively, but you and your financial advisor are also right to allow for another 30 to 40 years, a time when you are likely to have higher medical bills.
Read: Your Retirement Plan Cannot Provide Financial Security – So Think About The Big Risk Factors
You are about a decade in your peak earnings years. According to Payscale, women peaked in their mid-40s, about 11 years earlier than men. One of the reasons for this is that women pay the “maternity penalty” with part-time work and career breaks to look after their children.
Your social security benefits are based on the 35 years of work in which you have paid the most in social security. As such, you are in the middle of the last leg of your work life that determines your performance and you would lose that money if you quit work now.
““Your financial advisor’s optimistic vision of a $ 10 million nest egg is based on enviable longevity.””
It wouldn’t hurt to get a second opinion from another financial advisor – your financial advisor’s optimistic vision of a $ 10 million nest egg based on enviable longevity – and explore some alternatives like downsizing, family and sick leave, or even a career switch if you have burnout.
Else else to consider: It is in your advisor’s best interest to model a bright future for you because it will appear like he is great at his job. Converting your $ 1.9 million into a portfolio so robust that you still have $ 10 million left after decades of drawdown would be quite an accomplishment.
Read: Find Out What Social Security Knows About You
Under the American Rescue Plan, “the vast majority of people who buy their own health insurance can be protected from premium increases by taking advantage of the subsidies offered on the ACA marketplace,” according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
“When these subsidies expire, however, middle- and upper-middle-income people who lose the subsidy will not just have to make up the difference in subsidy; You will also be on the hook if the “sticker price” of the premium is increased by January 1, 2023, ”says KFF.
““Stress test your retirement plans with your financial advisor and give you a roadmap in five-year steps.””
“Without a subsidy, a 60-year-old’s health insurance premium averages more than $ 11,000 a year,” it said. “If this 60-year-old has an income just over $ 51,000 – more than four times the poverty line – his ARPA grant will cover more than half of his monthly expenses. Without the ARPA, your premium would increase by 165%. “
Another catch in your work life: the COVID-19 pandemic. It has made people rethink their work-life balance, and – for some, at least – the prospect of returning to full-time, personal work gives them no small measure of anxiety. It’s not an ideal time to make life changing decisions.
Test your retirement plans with your financial advisor – give you a roadmap in five year increments so you can at least achieve something – and test your emotional life with a therapist. If you quit your job in the next year, it may not fix your underlying misfortune and will only create new problems.
Having a job that you don’t care about is infinitely better than being out of work and facing unforeseen medical bills, and given your specific health conditions, I urge you to exercise caution before using this employer-funded health safety net and guaranteed income from under you.
You can email The Moneyist at firstname.lastname@example.org with any financial and ethical issues related to the coronavirus and follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.
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