{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Genuine question for highly paid fish: Are you happy with your life? What are the negative aspects that come with the high salary?\n\nI see a lot of people making $300k-500k+/yr and curious to hear some unfiltered opinions about how your life is going. I know sometimes I think it would be nice to be making bank but I imagine there are things which come with the territory that I don’t consider.\n\n(Including your salary would be helpful.)", "post_id": "60171bddf056b8002427bfcb", "reply_count": 393, "vote_count": 67, "bowl_id": "5e6fe1c31f5e51001d267e46", "bowl_name": "The Work-Life Bowl", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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Genuine question for highly paid fish: Are you happy with your life? What are the negative aspects that come with the high salary?

I see a lot of people making $300k-500k+/yr and curious to hear some unfiltered opinions about how your life is going. I know sometimes I think it would be nice to be making bank but I imagine there are things which come with the territory that I don’t consider.

(Including your salary would be helpful.)

likesmart
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500k combined, 700k left on mortgage ($1.8mm market value). We are very very fortunate, we bought our first place during the RE bubble, our ROI was 85% within 6 years. We then moved into a neighborhood with top school district that we never thought we would be able to afford, at least not during our 30s.

I would say that we are generally content and very grateful with what we have, we did not come from families with money. We both worked our way through college so we feel fortunate to have the opportunities that propelled us into this income category. It’s definitely nice to have the financial freedom, enough savings to cover living expenses for one year if one of us don’t have a job, don’t have to budget much for expenses, vacations, etc. I don’t need to work but hubby never pressured me to be a SAHM, he knows how much I love my job. During the last few years, while our kid was younger and required more attention from us, I took on jobs that were lateral move but provided flexibility of working from home.

Cons: Hubby works long hours so weekends are sacred to us spending family time together, but there are times when he works weekends too. We don’t get to have dinners together during weekdays. Kid is usually asleep by the time he comes home.

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As with most things...it's all relative.

I used to have a high-income career (IB), but left to pursue an entrepreneurial opportunity.

Ultimately that didn't come to fruition, so I had to pivot and was unable to make my way back into a role similar to what I previously had.

I landed in a relevant, though much more mundane, role and it's been a struggle.

My wife and I make about $200k per year, so we aren't hurting for money, but that doesn't necessarily relieve the anxiety of financial security.

I often think about how I could be making 3x-4x more and have a positive net worth instead of negative (student loans). I could also be plowing money into investments that would compound, instead of balancing loan payments with the need to save cash for a potential job loss situation.

Admittedly, I'm a bit of a workaholic and would gladly trade my 40-hour workweeks for 80-hour weeks in banking...and not just because of the money, but because the sense of accomplishment (both current and future) that is associated with such a role.

Being back in banking would be infinitely more stressful than my current work, but at the same time, the money and trajectory would eliminate the tremendous stress I currently encounter about whether I'm learning and growing, and whether the next potential employer is going to value my current work.

Currently I feel like I'm languishing in a role that doesn't have a very clear future, which adds to the stress of life (settling down, buying a house, kids etc.).

Financially, I'm not as high as I would like to be, and to make matters worse, my trajectory appears to be flat for the foreseeable future. That's all a challenge in its own way and a very difficult pill to swallow when you're the type of person who is capable of being...and previously was...on a high-income career path.

Complaining aside, the real takeaway is that life is life and it's rarely a perpetual, stress-free dream state, even if you do have a high income.

With that said however, having money is like a magic wand that can erase a long list of stressors that the average person struggles with on a day-to-day basis...so it's a great super power to have.

Anyways, wanted to add a perspective from someone that's sitting in the middle, but has been exposed to both sides.

likehelpful

So true! As Kanye once said “having money isn’t everything, but not having it is.”

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Recent IconRecent

My life style hasn't changed much, but I am happy that my income has enabled me to help others more easily. I currently support the college education of 13 orphans.

likeupliftinghelpfulfunny

Lou Bega seemed to manage just fine with multiple side pieces...

🎵Little bit of Monica in my life...🎵

I am a happy partner at 35. My income is solid.

I have no concerns about money, and as a result can be generous. I'm happy with the choices I've made and have a fulfilling life. However, I have exceptionally limited discretionary time.

I spend a good chunk of time working, spend evenings with my young kids (we have 4), and when they're asleep I am often getting more work done. I usually find time 5 or 6 times a week for a run, and am on the board of directors for my church. I have an amazing spouse who stays home with the family and makes sure our house stays intact.

After all this, I'm done. I don't get any time to play games (civilization is.. Was. A hobby). If something interesting comes up, I likely can't pursue it. And, I watch next to no tv or sports or pop culture.

All in all, I'm happy and wouldn't give up the list above. But, I would love the chance to breathe occasionally!

likehelpfulupliftingsmart

Wow, you're living the dream

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50k at age 30. Wtf am i doing with my life?!

likefunnyupliftingsmart

VP, I assume that everyone is giving pre tax income if for no other reason than we all live other places so it is hard to discuss post tax

helpful

I’m just trying to know how to get my salary to over 100k....

likefunnyuplifting

Jump = Quickest way.

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Before I had the job I have, I thought there was no way that execs could earn the comp they make.

Now that I do my job (CLO at a F500 growth Co), I feel fairly, but not over, compensated.

I am more fulfilled in my work than I’ve ever been, I also carry more stress than I ever thought I could and feel an enormous weight of some of the decisions I take. I am empathetic and I genuinely love my executive team and my department. I feel privileged to get to do what I do. The amount of empathy I carry makes my job harder... I also know it makes me better at my job.

I am happy, but also extremely stressed, I love my job, but wish I had more time with my son. I’m a single parent & I couldn’t do what I do without a lot of help - are you hearing a dichotomy?

According to my W2 I made 2.9m doing my job last year. I’m 42.

likeupliftinghelpful

CLO1 you sound like someone I'd want to be friends with

32 and at ~350k; i like that i never need to check about costs (eg buying organic). I could do with a little less stress :)

likeupliftinghelpful

EYP first year Manager at $200k base, ~10% bonus. I would think Big4 SM’s could be in the $350k range, particularly the more senior SM’s in consulting arms.

EY11 - you in Restructuring or Growth? $55k bonus is solid!

It’s hard to have a low salary (but typically less stress). It’s hard to have a stressful job (but typically high paying). Pick your hard.
I recently took a small pay cut for better WLB (190k salary plus bonus to $175k salary plus bonus). I’ve decided to exit the rat race and $175k is enough for me to have a fulfilling career that also gives me my weekends back and no more late nights. I feel very fortunate.

likesmart

The most stressed I have ever been at work was in food service making $7.25 an hour

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I thought I was happy making 400k at 40, but actually I'm happier making 160k at 50 with less pressure and more time.

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AM1 housing is absolutely crazy here, that is for sure. But we live outside of Wellington, in the wine country and I can take the train in to the CBD (central business district) when I need to (like today - I'm typing on the train ride home).

C4 we also considered Canada and Estonia. Don't have ties to any if those countries either but they had a lot of things we were looking for. New Zealand just materialized faster.

Our 3 older kids are all over - 1 in the US, 1 in Denmark and 1 in Barbados. The one in Barbados is doing grad school research and decided to stay put for the pandemic and will come here after he finishes up.

The benefits of making a decent living (north of top 1% in NY) is of course the financial freedom that my family enjoys, and the ability to have my wife stay home to raise our kids. But the downside is I am effective on-call 7 days a week (was just on a hour long call with a client bc he wanted to discuss markets and his portfolio on a Sunday afternoon). I do enjoy what I do and my current job gives me the flexibility to see my family more than previous ones. Life has been kind to me and I consider myself quite lucky.

likehelpful

This is a fascinating convo and raises a larger point. The current crusade for equality (race gender, orientation, religion, etc...) is such an important one. Imo, the issue is we’re at the point where egregious prejudice is rejected by society (a good thing!) and we are now fighting for subtler progress, systematic issues, subconscious attitudes etc... the problem is making regular people conscious of these subtler points and broadening all of our perspectives. ASM1’s aggressive, brute force approach, imo, is unproductive as it pushes people away, makes them defensive, and inhibits her credibility. I think it is good to point out issues with language that imply certain attitudes but let’s do so in a more respectful and open-minded way ourselves, no? While we have some info based on language used, we absolutely don’t know USB1’s attitudes from a handful of posts. Again, let’s point out and educate without taking such a know-everything aggressive approach...

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$325k salary; $100k+ in bonuses.

Happy? Hardly. Currently on vacation and wracked with guilt for not working. Coming from humble upbringings, it is hard to justify earning this much when I see others also working 16hr days and given an hourly wage. The guilt can be crippling. As can be the incessant work and feeling like I'm not doing enough. There is no real down time, and often no intrinsic satisfaction if I can't tie it back to "helping people" in some way.

likehelpfulfunny

I'll trade you, I'll take the salary and the crippling guilt 🥳

In all seriousness though, your response was what I was expecting to see. I "only" make a little over 6 figures as a new C in a LCOL area and feel that way already. I give myself 5 solid years in consulting before looking to transition back to industry to find more meaningful work. Godspeed, my friend.

likefunny

Making over 1m. I’m quite happy generally but of course it’s stressful to keep up with sales targets and internal politics and so on. Lots of frustrating things about day to day life don’t go away although at least now I don’t need to worry about cooking, cleaning, laundry, staying in nice hotels and eating at nice restaurants etc.

Honestly the upsides way outweigh the downsides.

like

Haha nope. Not even close.

I mean even at first glance that doesn’t make sense. How long would it take you to save 2x your annual salary? ~10 years right? Why would you think it’d be different for partners?

like

The growing divide between rich and poor clearly extends to partners and their employees. Give us a raise.

likesmart

A3, I think you need to go look up in a dictionary what “monopoly” means — an industry structure where you have dozens of major players across a number of price points is the literal furthest thing from a monopoly.

The concept you’re looking for is “cartel” and consulting isn’t that either. The barriers to starting up a new firm are too low. Consulting looks the way it looks because of market forces.

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I am happy I don’t have financial stress when it comes to spending. I never have to worry if gas prices go up or if the flights are a little pricey. Still value the cost of a dollar though. But if things ever become panic mode, I can afford it.

I pull in 250 as a 25 year old w no other obligations besides myself and my pup (10-15k a year). Able to max 401 and Roth IRA each year. Spend on what I want while saving enough.

Issue down the road will be managing the money - I want to get into real estate. Right now everything in the market and it grows but gives me a headache some days. As they say, mo money mo problems

likesmart

as a 26 yo women in public accounting... how do i switch to this lmao help!!

The more you make the more the job is 24/7. More money means more headaches.

likefunny

Not in the ad industry

Highly paid ($210k) as a single male, but also heavily in debt. Working on it but it’s a slow process to get out of.

I’m incredibly happy with life, but the financial constraints I have do put a damper on things. I’d say it has slightly gotten better due to COVID and the fact that I can’t go anywhere and consequently I’m able to save a bit more while also paying off my debt.

I expect to be in a better financial state in 1-1.5 years.

likesmart

Are you able to share what debts? Is it primarily school loans?

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32 y/o, around 450k last year. Big law life is super stressful and very rarely any family time, which is crushing with small children. As others have said though, the upsides are pretty great. Never really have to stress about having nice vacations, donations or having good food. Would I trade 50% of my salary for a better lifestyle? 100%

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Depends. Fluctuates between 40 and 90.

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My SO makes ~300 in big law and is stressed beyond belief. Hoping she quits soon to take a lower paying job with less stress. Note: we don’t have debt (besides a mortgage) so it’s an easier decision to make for us.

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Which LOS^

I think once you get to a certain income level, more money won’t necessarily increase your happiness (there’s a study on this). I am about $500k now and started to feel this way around $300-$350k. Even at $500k, we always want more and I have this sense that this rat race will never end unless I make a conscious decision and leave this industry. My happiness comes from outside of work and I’ve decided to take a pay cut to have more WBL. My hours aren’t so bad but I need less pressure so I can focus more on other aspects of my life. After spending 10 months not traveling, I don’t think I can travel frequently for work again.

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And in a high COL city, amounts that seem really high elsewhere (and admittedly are a good living) don’t let you live like “rich” people. My life now isn’t significantly different than when I was making half my current salary, and wouldn’t dramatically change in terms of what I could afford house wise or schooling unless I doubled my current salary. That won’t happen. Knowing when you have enough is an important skill to have.

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When you don't have money, you think it will bring happiness. When you have it, then realize not much changes. Sure nice cars, big house, but after novelty wears out its all the same.
Money does buy freedom, that's more valuable then the material things.

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Agree it doesn’t buy happiness. If you were miserable before you will be miserable with money. Like I said above, my happiness level is the same making $800K as when we made $65K. The intangibles are what make life worth living.

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I am equally as happy as I was when I made $150k. Family, friends, a supportive partner contributes to that happiness. The only thing that the additional money brings is a sense of security and knowing that we can afford the added luxuries in life - ie the upgrades when we travel/vacation, and nice gifts for our loved ones.

I’m in my early 30s and have a combined annual income of $1.2mm with my husband.

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Do you have children? Debt?

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