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Your Money, Your Independence Take this job and shove it!? Measure twice, cut once.

Glenn Brown

More workers are quitting their jobs than at any time in at least two decades. 

The Wall Street Journal shared how professionals are burned out from extra pandemic workloads and stress, while others prefer the flexibility of remote work. 

Given my recent engagements, there are new perspectives on health, family, and time. Less focus on “earning more, to do more”, but what needs to happen for a new lifestyle while maintaining future goals. Some seek semi-retirement (less pay and responsibilities, more freedoms), others full retirement in their 40’s or 50’s. 

Before firing off a resignation, consider the financial and family impact. A few (of the many) items examined:

Employer benefits are left behind and taxation created? Health and life insurance comparisons are important, but a greater impact is on the values and taxation on RSUs, ESPP, pension, and deferred compensation distributions. 

Also, bonuses. Is your current firm far-exceeding ‘21 plan and you’ll forfeit by leaving? Will the new firm offer prorated bonus eligibility? 

If over 55 but under age 59 ½ and need income from oversized retirement accounts, pause on rolling over all of your 401(k) until you understand IRS Rule of 55. 

Buying a new home or refinancing? When applying for a mortgage, refinance, or HELOC, lenders base decisions on many factors, including consistency of earned income. Witness a few days before closing, they will again ask for a most recent paystub. 

If you plan to earn less or become self-employed, this can limit your ability to borrow or refinance. Thus, timing is equally important as the desire for a change. 

Will the new employer’s grass stay greener? Firms seeking talent are being aggressive with benefits and amenities. Part is due to retention of their own talent, so what do things look like in a year? 

Are promotions as frequent? 

Are “team-building” events still posting every Friday on LinkedIn? 

Are you still fully, or partially, remote? 

What is your cash flow in 2024, 2026, or with kids in college? Entering investments into a “retirement calculator” is nice, but it’s the equivalent of checking tire pressure and declaring a car will be fine in 5 years. 

Want confidence in sending your resignation? 

Run various cash flow analyses with a CFP encompassing income, assets (growth, taxation), liabilities (rates, maturity), expenses, taxes, entitlements, and experience spending goals. Add stress tests by planning for the unexpected and sequence of investment returns.  

Beyond understanding data, it’s critical all household members are engaged throughout and desire the “why” behind the change.

With cash flow models, family buy-in, and a focus on well-being, now have an honest conversation with your manager. If the firm says, “Sorry, but...”, personally thank your manager and make sure to log off Zoom before playing Johnny Paycheck or the Dead Kennedys cover.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Glenn Brown is a Holliston resident and owner of PlanDynamic, LLC, Glenn is a fee-only Certified Financial Planner™ helping motivated people take control of their planning and investing, so they can balance kids, aging parents and financial independence.