{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Every other week, I think of leaving B4 Partnership and do something different like working for a big tech or a startup or even start my own business. I am not too much worried about sacrificing my yearly income but leaving the pension on the table is too much of a bitter pill to swallow. I am 13 years away from retirement and been a Partner for 7 years. More time I spend here, I get less motivated (financially) to leave. Did anyone of you deal with this dilemma successfully? Thanks!", "post_id": "601ecc715f10c10036ef10cf", "reply_count": 44, "vote_count": 6, "bowl_id": "5c133802e4f35d0012ad759f", "bowl_name": "Partners Only" }

Every other week, I think of leaving B4 Partnership and do something different like working for a big tech or a startup or even start my own business. I am not too much worried about sacrificing my yearly income but leaving the pension on the table is too much of a bitter pill to swallow. I am 13 years away from retirement and been a Partner for 7 years. More time I spend here, I get less motivated (financially) to leave. Did anyone of you deal with this dilemma successfully? Thanks!

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Really dive into the mechanics of what you might take with you. Firms tend to save a lot of money to fund the pensions. That money is often yours if you leave so the gap may be smaller than you think. This is especially true when you invest that money and are able to get normal returns because you no longer have independence restrictions. A pension is just an annuity and not some mythical benefit that cannot be replicated. In fact given the life span of many partners post retirement you are likely better taking the lump sum. (Not sure why but the actuarial tables are not good for partners.) You have to make the call but the knowing the math may help ease the stress.

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Thanks P1. This is very helpful!

IMO, always starts with figuring what annual income you want once you stop. Even if you’re north of a mil a year now, it’s unlikely that’s your required steady state after kids are gone and mortgages paid off. Mine happens to be 300k/yr low risk earned on my asset base. That’s probably high and I might dial it back. But I’m targeting 10M asset base to generate 3%-4% annually. I’m 43, and testing my resolve every day 😂. I’m at 6M now, and very well might bail sooner.

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I left a mid sized consulting firm at the partner level. No pension like Big 4, but if you believed the firm’s leadership, I walked away from millions in equity. And I can tell you life on the other side is so much better. Stress level down. Relationships better. Time for hobbies. Everyone comments on how much happier I am. Is the financial security worth how you are feeling? Only you can answer that question. It wasn’t for me. Took the payout from the old firm and the pay cut to try something new and I could not be happier. I don’t look back at the money I gave up . . . I look at the relationships with my family and friends that are improving.

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Thanks MD2 for reminding us what matters in the short time we have on Earth

Have you considered looking to change up roles in your firm? Take on something more focused on innovation/practice building? Try to create a new offering? Switch sectors?Big4s have the advantage of having a large diversity of roles and services. The pension is certainly an incentive but not intended to force you to stay in a role you hate. No one wins if you feel shackled for the next 13 years. Do you have a trusted senior partner mentor or leader you can discuss this with?

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I am currently a competency/practice leader but I believe switching verticals or moving into a different competency is not going to change my core responsibilities as much. In my firm, you still have to sell and manage revenue irrespective of your “level” with the exception of executive leadership team, which I don’t think I will get to at least in next 8-10 years. This means the grind never stops and I am just selling a delivering different services.

helpful

Definitely following this B4 MD, 40y/o, expected to make equity partner next year and already feel like I'll be feeling how you described in 7 years Can't even imagine 20

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Interesting, will give that some thought The comp variance is pretty big, .5-1mm annually

smarthelpful

What kind of pension do you have? A lot can be said for stock options and other means of achieving financial security

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That’s the wrong way of planing it. I hope you are planing to live off your savings and investments. Any potential social security payment and retirement payout is a bigger boat, another vacation property and inheritance. Your nice baseline needs to be secured with what you control. Primary home and related expenses, medical, vacation and reasonable fun needs to be taken care of regardless of retirement.

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Don’t worry about pension.. don’t think you will regret having lesser money in older stage of your life over trying a new experience when you felt like you wanted to.

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We are in the same situation.... I have decided that I will make it to the 10 year mark and then make my decision. I also think about what the stress and the way you are feeling the way you do does to your body and overall wellness which is key to overall wellness and longevity... as someone with a healthcare background I am so cognizant of people/patients who worked to retirement to then “live life” and were unable to due to ill health! Hope you gain some peace of mind on your journey and exploration of potential paths!

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Exactly same thoughts. Wondering if I can “retire” very early and try and live off what I have to date. Would be a huge shift in lifestyle.

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Yeah, not sure. Maybe doing something I’m not qualified for like stocking shelves at a CVS.

If you’re thinking this every other week, you won’t last 13 years. This job requires motivation to keep hitting the numbers, especially as clients retire and we need new ones. If you want to leave consulting, as I did aged 50, it’s tough. Don’t quit now, lay the groundwork thoroughly while on the payroll.

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Makes sense, thanks!

I stuck it out as a Partner / Senior Partner. Eventually left seven years after making partner. Got a job in industry where I have a better life and make more. Took a while to find it but was worth sticking it out.

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Better pay? That’s great. What was the pay raise?

Golden handcuffs. Does your firm provide part time type programs that still gets you covered from a pension perspective but allows for more time to do other stuff (with associated decrease in annual cash comp)

We do have part time partners. Same independence restrictions apply though.

When do you vest. Ours is at 10 years. That means you can leave in 3 and keep your pension.

Same for us but that amount is very small. As you probably know, pension goes up significantly after 15 years as a Partner even though vesting is at 10 years. I think I would be able to draw $75K pension if I retire in 3 years vs. $550K if I retire in 13 years. Also if you draw pension after 10 years, you are only allowed to do certain types of jobs/businesses (cannot compete with your firm) to be eligible for that pension.

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How much of this is FOMO on the tech growth and it’s possibilities vs. absolutely knowing that you don’t want to sell consulting work for the rest of your career?

Same job for 30 years??? I feel like I do 3 different jobs at a time with a rotation of those 3 every couple of months. This is what makes it exiting for me. I would die a slow death in industry. Someone made a point that this is a job for people that are wired a certain way. It all works great for me and I don’t sacrifice my friends or family life.

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