Anyone aged 50+ quit their job and took a 50%+ pay cut for another job

strangely tim

Active Member
I suppose this makes my whining worse but, I did that last May, I now work 32 hours a week and have Friday off. Problem is, it really has not made the job itself more tolerable etc.

But, thanks for the suggestion.

The only thing I really know is that I need to get out of this job.

Keep you job and good income. I suggest you find something else outside of work to shift your focus to, new hobby, volunteer work, train with St John's Ambulance, ham radio, offer to help at the Boy Scouts...something different.
 
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Apsilon

Senior Moderator
I was in the same situation back in 2019. I worked in IT and while my role paid me very well (SA and projects lead), it stultified me. It got to the point where I would turn up for work and feel depressed. Seeing the same faces and doing the same things day after day after day sent me spiralling towards the precipice - I'd just had enough. Don't get me wrong, my job (aerospace sector) sent me all over the globe and those respites from office drudgery were a nice deviation, but even the trips became an unwanted grind. The wife noticed the change in me as my outgoing demeanour changed to browbeaten. We discussed what I wanted to do and she knew I'd always harboured ambitions to develop property at some point. I started as a Civil Engineer and worked in the building industry for several years before I transferred to IT and knew I could do it, and that I'd probably enjoy it a hell of a lot more than IT. The problem was capital.

Back in the noughties, I worked in the Middle East for several years as an IT Manager which allowed me to almost pay off the mortgage. When me the 'then missus' split, however, we had to sell and split the house, so while not quite back to square one, it was a hit financially. 10 years later and married, I was back on track and at the point - above - of being completely fed up at work. Me and the wife had a discussion and she told me to leave. We'd just bought a property to extend and do up to sell, and she earned enough to cover all the bills, so that's what I did. I left work in Dec 2019 and took the plunge. I didn't take a 50% pay cut, I took a 100% pay cut. All my time since has been spent grafting.

Then COVID hit. To be honest, COVID has been a double-edged sword. On the one hand, tradesmen couldn't get materials and were locked down for intermediate portions of last year which meant the renovations and extension got pushed back. On the other, it allowed me the time to crack on with rakes of other work which I couldn't have done had the tradesmen been here. Then, the restrictions were relaxed for tradesmen and everything started moving quickly again. I then bought another house with my sister (extension and refurb again) and have been working on that one as well. Dividing my time between the two hasn't been easy on my own (my sister works) and it's been tiring, but the end result will far outweigh my current moans and should put me in a much, much better position financially for the next one - which is already lined up.

I won't deny it though, at my age it's been tough on my body physically (aches and pains galore) and it has cost a lot more than I first budgeted, but I've also saved a fortune on labour as I can do a lot of the work. It's almost ready for market now and the only downer is I'll probably miss the stamp duty relief, which is a pain, but it is what it is. The next one should be completed around the tail end of August and the next one purchased (after the sale of the mine) to hopefully have it ready to go with plans passed in October.

Do I regret my decision. No. Not in the slightest. I might be knackered and work longer hours than I did when in IT, but I shudder when I think of the time I spent in an office, bored rigid doing something I didn't want to do, too afraid/reluctant to take the chance of going it alone. I wished I'd have done it 10 years ago. The freedom of being beholden to nobody is liberating. There are no clients to shmooze or argue with or tolerate (I'm the client). No chasing money. No pointless meetings every other hour to discuss something equally pointless. No playing the game and affecting a faux interest in my job because 'I love the challenge of my role'. None of that crap.

Even if my profits are minimal (and they shouldn't be), I wouldn't change what I'm doing now. I love it too much. I love being outside and love the freedom. So in answer to your question about leaving for a lower salary; go for it. Do your sums and if you can afford to live on a lower salary while having a comfortable life, do it. My sister earns stupid amounts of money as a contractor but has often said she would happily give the money and stress up for a nice easy life running a little cafe etc. And there is a lot to be said for that.

Mind you, she also does property on the side so she can't quit. Making hay while the sun shines is equally important as an easy life sometimes.

Good luck with whatever you decide anyway :thumbsup:
 

MSW

Distinguished Member
Just curious, what do contributors to the thread mean by ’well paid or very well paid job’?

I have been pondering this for some time, and what I meant by / how to articulate very well paid.

In conclusion I (albeit subconsciously) measured very well paid not by the number of Yachts or cars I own but rather when benchmarked against salaries earned by my peers.

so, my definition of Very Well Paid is earning double the average wage of those in my region as this compares people v people and is one step removed from skills, value, job type etc (Not saying this is the correct way but it is how I meant it)


I think the figures are quite a concern as well, if for example you take say Yorkshire which has an avg of 28K. If you took away from that calculation all those people who earn 50% more than 28K what does that do the real average. Maybe it drops it down to 20K who knows.
 
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Apsilon

Senior Moderator
I have been pondering this for some time, and what I meant by / how to articulate very well paid.

In conclusion I (albeit subconsciously) measured very well paid not by the number of Yachts or cars I own but rather when benchmarked against salaries earned by my peers.

so, my definition of Very Well Paid is earning double the average wage of those in my region as this compares people v people and is one step removed from skills, value, job type etc (Not saying this is the correct way but it is how I meant it)


I think the figures are quite a concern as well, if for example you take say Yorkshire which has an avg of 28K. If you took away from that calculation all those people who earn 50% more than 28K what does that do the real average. Maybe it drops it down to 20K who knows.
I would agree with that, and I would imagine that there is a lot of variation between what people consider a high-income salary. Someone up North, for example, may think £30k is a good amount while a high earner would be around £50k+. Someone in London certainly wouldn't.

That being said, it's all relative. London pays more because it costs a fortune to live there, so London and the North cannot be compared. I have two nephews who both work in London City Centre and both are on circa £75k (afaiaa). One is a Solicitor and one an associate at JP Morgan. Granted, they're not bog-standard jobs, but they're both 30 years old. That to me is a stratospheric amount of money to earn for a 30-year-old in a white-collar job.

Come up North, and £75k, at least in my experience, is top-level bracket earning irrespective of age. It's almost director level earning power. Push past the £100k per year mark and I would question anyone who says it isn't. One hundred thousand pounds a year in a permanent role is a lot of money - anywhere.

The flip side, of course, is contracting. I've done both and my friend who got me into IT was an IT contractor (he specialised in SAP & programme management). He has never ever worked permanently anywhere. From leaving school, he started in a contract role and learned, and moved and learned and moved etc,... He has worked all over the world and retired last year. The reason I mention him is to offer perspective on what we consider is a high earning salary. About 8 years ago he was working in Basra (Iraq) for an oil company. His tax-free take-home was £70k per month!!! He was there for three years and ended up buying a villa in Spain for tax reasons. His last role, in London, before he retired paid him £1500 per day. That to me is insane money. For the role in London, he rented a Penthouse apartment on the Thames and the monthly rental was eye-watering.

His problem, if you can call it that, is he's become so used to earning such a high amount of money, he is almost detached from reality. Because he earned a lot, he assumes everyone else earns a lot or, at least, far more than they actually do. He has often said to me "you want to get this or invest in that" and I've had to remind him that I don't have the money. He was completely oblivious and aghast at what I earned. The best of it is, he pleads poverty. He whines about the prices of things and yet spends inordinate amounts of money on stuff. He drives around in a new Range Rover every other year has a huge house yet pleads poverty... He's a superb bloke and very down to earth, but it's comedy and a whole different level of existence. I hate to think what he considers a low salary never mind a high salary :laugh:
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Most folks whatever they earn spend most of their salary on living, even those on 500k a year.

It's just that those on £500k have the best of everything where those on £50k live more modestly.

They do say anyone earning over £50k a year is no more happy than those on much less.
 

MSW

Distinguished Member
That being said, it's all relative. London pays more because it costs a fortune to live there, so London and the North cannot be compared.

I agree with what you say there, but I think its a bit out of sync

Where I worked a person in London would get paid more than a person in the North for doing exactly the same job.

Whilst is does cost more to live in London I always felt that just because a London persons house costs and is worth more how come the difference in cost is subsidised when compared to a worker outside of London.

After all

Person A works in London for 30 years and is able afford to pay off a mortgage on a house due to earning more for do the same job than

Person B who works in the North, also after 30 years of doing the same job is able to pay off a mortgage on a house.

Person A can sell their house and move to the North and have a shed load of money spare

Person B has no hope of moving to London.

Despite both people doing the same Job, living in the same country (England) with the same government there is a big disparity.

Never understood the above. But weirdly, utilities, Supermarket Items, Cars, Clothes etc are no less, cost wise in the North.
 
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KyleS1

Distinguished Member
When you earn more, you get used to it and you spend more. Every time I’ve stepped up the ladder to what I thought was “goal” money, suddenly I don’t have any more disposable and there is a new goal.
I’ve got a friend who’s built a business up from scratch and now is seriously loaded. Very down to Earth but also very far removed from what stuff costs or what is expensive as it’s not a concern any more. You just get used to what you have. But he came up from nothing, so thoroughly deserved. He’s seen both ends of the spectrum. The reason for mentioning is that one day we were talking and he mentioned the bank had changed the interest rate on some of the mortgages on his properties (he has quite a portfolio) and now he needs to put an extra £8k in a month. He found the money no problem. He just found an extra £8k per month! That to me just seems insane.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
I would agree with that, and I would imagine that there is a lot of variation between what people consider a high-income salary. Someone up North, for example, may think £30k is a good amount while a high earner would be around £50k+. Someone in London certainly wouldn't.
London weighting for NHS is 20% maximum for inner and capped to around £6,500. Not exactly huge.
 

MSW

Distinguished Member
London weighting for NHS is 20% maximum for inner and capped to around £6,500. Not exactly huge.

I would disagree, however, I can agree that “huge” can mean many different amounts of money to different people.

£6.5K over 30 years = almost 200K which, IMO is a tidy sum to have earned more than someone else for doing the same job even if, most of all of it was invested in bricks and mortar which benefits your kids. A base a lot of this on my understanding that, Gas, Electric, Boradband, New Car, Supermarket food, McDonald’s etc, etc all cost the same wherever you live.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
I would disagree, however, I can agree that “huge” can mean many different amounts of money to different people.

£6.5K over 30 years = almost 200K which, IMO is a tidy sum to have earned more than someone else for doing the same job even if, most of all of it was invested in bricks and mortar which benefits your kids. A base a lot of this on my understanding that, Gas, Electric, Boradband, New Car, Supermarket food, McDonald’s etc, etc all cost the same wherever you live.
Problem is the weighting was set before property boom, £200k isn't going to the difference in house pricing even with access to key worker housing.
 

MSW

Distinguished Member
Problem is the weighting was set before property boom, £200k isn't going to the difference in house pricing even with access to key worker housing.

Ah right, so, basically the same house in London versus the North actually costs a lot more than 200K but, the increased wages actually does not help.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
And if salaries don't go up to keep pace over time then it will become harder to get staff.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
Ah right, so, basically the same house in London versus the North actually costs a lot more than 200K but, the increased wages actually does not help.
Pretty much, 4 bed semi in the suburbs is maybe around £700k, in inner London, probably £1m if you can find one. That is why pretty much everyone commutes except that wipes out any weighting payment.
 

mr starface

Well-known Member
Higher salary is nice but its being able to get a large lump sum of money through inheritance, bonus, lottery win etc that is the real game changer.

You can then start to buy a property or two, renovate/rent and start to make real money which a lot of people I know do (unfortunately not me).

Once you have a decent sum of money in the bank its relatively easy to make more, down where I live this would need to be say 80k.
 

Xenomorph

Distinguished Member
Higher salary is nice but its being able to get a large lump sum of money through inheritance, bonus, lottery win etc that is the real game changer.

You can then start to buy a property or two, renovate/rent and start to make real money which a lot of people I know do (unfortunately not me).

Once you have a decent sum of money in the bank its relatively easy to make more, down where I live this would need to be say 80k.

That's the thing, you need the capital to start the process. Inheritance is perfect, if you don't need that money for something else of course.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
Higher salary is nice but its being able to get a large lump sum of money through inheritance, bonus, lottery win etc that is the real game changer.

You can then start to buy a property or two, renovate/rent and start to make real money which a lot of people I know do (unfortunately not me).

Once you have a decent sum of money in the bank its relatively easy to make more, down where I live this would need to be say 80k.
Renting business isn't what it used to be many years ago now the tax laws have changed.
 

Ono

Well-known Member
Since I left my job in the City last year I have reduced my working days to 3 with my new company - which is nice. Pay is substantially less (more to do with the industry move) but I WFH now so I save per week about £50 commuting, £40 lunch and £200 on going out drinking after work! :D .
 

Xenomorph

Distinguished Member
Since I left my job in the City last year I have reduced my working days to 3 with my new company - which is nice. Pay is substantially less (more to do with the industry move) but I WFH now so I save per week about £50 commuting, £40 lunch and £200 on going out drinking after work! :D .

And are you happier?
 

Ono

Well-known Member
And are you happier?
I think the word is content but I also feel the last year has been hugely impactful on happiness and priorities. I really do miss the socialising aspect but have been out with those mates when lockdown got/gets lifted but it is nowhere near the daily interaction.

But if I do look back at the this time, I had my kids at home. My eldest graduated, came home and got a graduate role at one of the big banks (the same one I use to work for) and I felt I was able to help him prep for that application process. I would never have done this working in my old job.

My second kid has just gone back to her first year at Uni (Medicine) after virtual lessons at home.

My youngest is doing his GCSEs. I've been able to take him for walks for excercise most days. He loves computer sciences and I talk to him about everything from computer game design, tech trends and recently block chains and crypto.

Having that time is invaluable and I know I will look at it that way when they have all left home permanently.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
I think what will have been a bonus under lockdown for those with kids/family at home (as highlighted by Ono) is that you will have shared your lives together far more than when you were normally out at work all day and they were either in education or out with their mates.

You will have learned more about them and them about you in this last 18 months than probably in their whole lives up till before Covid.

Time like this is invaluable and will never be forgotten.:thumbsup:
 

Xenomorph

Distinguished Member
I think the word is content but I also feel the last year has been hugely impactful on happiness and priorities. I really do miss the socialising aspect but have been out with those mates when lockdown got/gets lifted but it is nowhere near the daily interaction.

But if I do look back at the this time, I had my kids at home. My eldest graduated, came home and got a graduate role at one of the big banks (the same one I use to work for) and I felt I was able to help him prep for that application process. I would never have done this working in my old job.

My second kid has just gone back to her first year at Uni (Medicine) after virtual lessons at home.

My youngest is doing his GCSEs. I've been able to take him for walks for excercise most days. He loves computer sciences and I talk to him about everything from computer game design, tech trends and recently block chains and crypto.

Having that time is invaluable and I know I will look at it that way when they have all left home permanently.

That sounds really good. There's a lot to be said for reducing stress and working hours, generally taking life easier. Apparently it's better for your health

 

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