{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Hi, 23 y/o here, been working for about 6 months now. Really grateful and blessed to have a job right now, but I get a bit overwhelmed when I think about having to do this for 40 more years to have a comfortable retirement. Any advice for fighting off this anxiety/dread?", "post_id": "607caf379e4ae40024c1ca7a", "reply_count": 150, "vote_count": 136, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting" }

Hi, 23 y/o here, been working for about 6 months now. Really grateful and blessed to have a job right now, but I get a bit overwhelmed when I think about having to do this for 40 more years to have a comfortable retirement. Any advice for fighting off this anxiety/dread?

likefunnyhelpfulsmart
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Find a way to enjoy every day of your life instead of seeing it as a race to retirement. If you dislike working so much and that's all you can think about, maybe you need to find a job you enjoy more. Also if this is your very first time working, what you're probably feeling is just a period of adjustment while you learn what that's like. But everyone does it. Even the worst jobs I've had, had something about them I could enjoy. When I was 23, it was right in the middle of the Great Recession and I had several lousy jobs for years. It was very stressful bc I needed money to survive. Thinking about retirement wasn't even an option. I have a job I hate right now, but still love my life overall because of everything outside of work that I have to enjoy. And I know that I'm going to end up in a much better situation soon. So look at the present a little more and don't spend so much of your mental energy focusing on the future. Enjoy right now and don't limit your concept of your life to your career. Jobs can turn bad over time and your career interests will change, but if you have other things going on in your life, you will always be able to get through tough things.

likeupliftinghelpful

Love this, thanks

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Consulting really isn't an industry where you can plan that far out. Attrition rates mean that the likelihood that you are still here in 40 years are extremely, extremely low. That isn't to be critical of your work ethic or raw capability - it's just that the industry itself is fundamentally unsustainable for most people (you are clearly sensing some of this already). I do think we have made some progress over the years. Focus on retention and employee experience / sustainability has gone up significantly since I joined, so you are here as firms are starting to realize they need more than above-average market pay to keep top talent. I plan out my career one year at a time. I pay attention to my vesting schedule. The other thing in your control that others have mentioned is putting clear definition into what you think you actually need to have a 'comfortable' retirement. If you need to have 5MM+ in the bank, then yeah you're probably going to be going until your 60s. But if you have a more modest target, you can get out of the game much earlier. My goal is around 2MM in assets and I plan to hit that in my 40s so I can choose to live the second half of my life on my own terms. It won't be luxurious by most standards but my spouse and I don't plan to have kids and the things we aspire to in retirement are all fundamentally low cost (I already own or have access to more literature, music, film, and video games than I could consume in a lifetime).

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Look into FIRE and set a goal closer than 40 years that is measurable incrementally. I’m 26 but felt very similar a year or so back. Tracking diligently towards a savings goal has helped make things less bleak

likehelpfulsmart

Yessss another Bigger Pockets podcast fan!

Jesus. You need a social life buddy. No person in the right mind streses about retirement in their 20s lol. Maybe factor it in. But not stress over

likefunnysmarthelpful

There’s nothing like a lotto ticket to keep the hope afloat!

likefunny

Sunday scaries got you huh?

likefunny

Welcome to the hamster wheel. Just gotta enjoy the little things outside of work. I used to sit around all Sundays dreading work. Now I play golf/hike and get dinner with friends/family. Has helped the scaries big time.

likeuplifting

There are jobs that pay six figures and have great wlb and are also very difficult to get fired from

likeupliftingfunny

SA 1, it’s the dream

Same thing happened to me. Try to break it down into smaller segments like you’re used to. High school was 4 years. College 4 years. So maybe make a plan/goal list for the next 4 years.

likesmarthelpful

Damn A2 u nasty, I’m adding that one to my playbook

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Start investing so you can retire comfortably earlier

likehelpful

Nope

likefunny

Cool thanks

likefunny

I’m at the other end of my career: nearing the end of year 40 and planning to (semi) retire later this year. You’ve gotten a lot of good advice already, including saving for retirement now ( I didn’t start in earnest until I was almost 40), taking it one day at a time, and pointing toward closer goals than retirement. To which I’ll add this: both you and the world are going to change significantly over the next 40 years, which will change your work and goals in turn. When I started my career 40 years ago, PCs had just been invented. As I’m retiring, they’re very nearly obsolete. Also many people find it important to find meaning outside their work, so they can work to live, rather than living to work. One last piece of advice: it’s all going to be ok. Give yourself permission to relax and enjoy the ride. Trust me, it goes by faster than you can imagine.

likeuplifting

I am in the same category as you are and agree with everything you said.....especially how fast time goes by. When I turned 23, one of my coworkers who was nearing retirement said, “Today you are the youngest person in the office; some day you’ll be the oldest. Make everyday count.” At the time, I didn’t understand what he meant. Nearly 40 years later, I remember that exchange like it was yesterday. You know what.....he was right.

likehelpful

You can also exit out of consulting into something a lot more chill when you're ready

likeuplifting

Yeah....if you don’t like this 6 months in, exit to something else at a year. I actively work toward early retirement but you gotta enjoy the time inbetween too.

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Doesn’t get any better at 43 looking down the line at 20 more years. I try to remind myself twice a month on paydays why exactly I put myself through this.

likefunny

Yep. 43 here as well. My FIRE goal is 55 to at least be free from the 9-5. Don’t think I am actually doing much to get there 😂. I have started focusing on stocks and options a lot more but new to start saving and cut spending. Those Hawaii and Italy trips in 2021 are not helping!

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Definitely no reason to work 40 years with this high paying of a profession (as long as you don’t spend money like crazy). I started saving early and plan to be done by age 50 at the latest. You can do the same.

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A7 look into Roth ladder conversions. No reason to shy away from retirement vehicles that have restorations. Instead, understand how to legally get around those restrictions. It's almost always better to max those options out first (401k Traditional/Roth, IRA, 401k after tax, HSA) before going the brokerage account route.

helpful

Check out the F.I.R.E bowl and podcasts (financial freedom, retire early).

likesmart

If you can live on 5% of your assets, you can retire. The math checks out. If some unprecedented event happened that negated this long standing rule (unlikely), you could end a 5 year vacation, go back to work for a few years, then restart retirement. Like, this is not that risky.

Keep your mind open about what else you could/should be doing with your life. Despite what you read here on FB or may be hear from your colleagues, your financial net worth is not the secret to success or happiness. You probably have ~40 working years ahead of you, but you don’t have to be a consultant that whole time. It’s your life, and as far we can be sure, you only get one. Make the best of it, whatever that means to you.

likeuplifting

As you build experience and expertise, the work becomes more interesting. When I started I was basically glorified data entry. After that, lived in excel and PowerPoint and questioned my life. While some of those things are there to stay, you get better and faster at them. Eventually, people start working with you because they want your opinion and not just a deliverable. Do yourself a favor and find unique things to work on. Projects, whatever. I had a tendency to request to work on things people didn’t want to touch. Or took it upon myself to take whatever boring/time consuming thing i didn’t want to ever do again, and find a better way to do it. You’ll move along faster.

likehelpful

I feel you. I started 9 months ago and this is my first job out of undergrad. When you get answers let me know, cuz I know I don't want to do this for much longer. I think we should focus on skill building and keep networking. Even when something isn't a networking event, it can be. Use consulting to get to your "dream" field, not be the end career.

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I spent 6 years in industry and wanted to shoot myself, trust me the grass isn't always greener. Nobody wants to create slides for a living, but you need to find what it is you love to do and go for it. I thought I wanted to be a trader at 22, now im much happier developing strategy for centers of excellence on automation projects.

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I appreciate the vulnerability. I’ve been an Analyst here for almost 8 months now, and I understand your position. The virtual environment is all that us new college-hires know, which can be tough because there’s so much pressure to learn quickly, perform at a high level, and to do this all from home. Consulting is a lot of work, and you definitely do not have to stay in it for the long haul. Get your experience, keep an open mind, and just do your best. That will resonate with your teammates better than just stressing. Then, you may find something in your post-consulting career with less pressure that you may enjoy more. Camaraderie is so important in the work environment, which has been harder to achieve in the past year. Keep your head up. There’s more to life than retirement and you have a full and exciting career ahead

likeupliftingsmart

How in the world is FIRE attractive to anybody? Extreme frugality in order to retire early then become even more frugal until death? Lol. No thanks.

likefunny

Spoken like a true cynic, H1

Honestly I felt the same way when I first started working, because it is a really harsh transition from school to work. Build a life you love outside of work, surround yourself with friends and family, and put boundaries in place so you’re not working all the time. Save money where you can. It gets better!

likesmart

People might blast me for this but the more experience you get and the more senior you become the more money you make and the less you "work" in the sense of what you know now. I worked hardest when I made the least money at the beginning of my life (high school and early college jobs). Even if you "work more" as a more senior person your work becomes a lot more flexible and forgiving as well as cognitive or interpersonal. Another thing is you can retire on less than a million bucks if you live extremely frugally and plan (if your desire is to work as little as possible). I started from zero and had $60K in student loans out of undergraduate and in 6 years have accumulated $200K of cash/investments with just normal activities. My annual spend is only like $40K/yr right now - and if I had to I could cut it substantially - so I've already "bought" myself maybe 10 years of retirement in my mind. It's something that keeps me motivated. Focus on your earning potential early on and prioritize WLB when you seek out new opportunities. It's out there.

likesmart

This is honestly really encouraging, thank you!!

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