My Situation - Advice Needed

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umichman

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby umichman » Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:08 pm

It's probably most helpful for op if he puts his current budget in the thread. Then we have a better chance at seeing his preferences and how much of a salary cut he can take without any issue. If you just take into account that he has paid down 100k in loans and saved about 110k that means that roughly (because of taxes) he has lived on his total income minus 210k. Say he made 360 all in over two years with bonus, then he lived on 150. Therefore he neeeds about 75k pre tax to keep his lifestyle if no loan payments or savings. So, then add back in loan payments and you can guesstimate how much u need to make to continue your lifestyle. As far as covering stuff like doctors etc. that 70k saved should suffice until you get your salary up.

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
thsmthcrmnl wrote:
clerk1251 wrote:Also, where is your 75K sitting? That's a good chunk of change that can be earning you something. Put it in a good savings account where you are earning good interest (currently I'm earning 1% interest on my money I have in my savings account).


Don't put your savings in a savings account. If they're not going to loans, most of them should be in a tax-privileged index fund.


I don't trust the markets right now at all. This is money we are saving for a house and moving out of NYC eventually and with thoughts that the bond bubble is bursting and equities are overvalued, I don't want to touch the market. Would rather use my savings to buy a house in 2 years rather than risk losing some of it.


I would at least put half of it in short term cds.

clerk1251

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby clerk1251 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
thsmthcrmnl wrote:
clerk1251 wrote:Also, where is your 75K sitting? That's a good chunk of change that can be earning you something. Put it in a good savings account where you are earning good interest (currently I'm earning 1% interest on my money I have in my savings account).


Don't put your savings in a savings account. If they're not going to loans, most of them should be in a tax-privileged index fund.


I don't trust the markets right now at all. This is money we are saving for a house and moving out of NYC eventually and with thoughts that the bond bubble is bursting and equities are overvalued, I don't want to touch the market. Would rather use my savings to buy a house in 2 years rather than risk losing some of it.


I would at least put half of it in short term cds.


There are savings accounts that are paying 1% interest. What short term cd do you know that can beat that? There is also value in the comfort of liquidity.

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:12 pm

clerk1251 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
thsmthcrmnl wrote:
clerk1251 wrote:Also, where is your 75K sitting? That's a good chunk of change that can be earning you something. Put it in a good savings account where you are earning good interest (currently I'm earning 1% interest on my money I have in my savings account).


Don't put your savings in a savings account. If they're not going to loans, most of them should be in a tax-privileged index fund.


I don't trust the markets right now at all. This is money we are saving for a house and moving out of NYC eventually and with thoughts that the bond bubble is bursting and equities are overvalued, I don't want to touch the market. Would rather use my savings to buy a house in 2 years rather than risk losing some of it.


I would at least put half of it in short term cds.


There are savings accounts that are paying 1% interest. What short term cd do you know that can beat that? There is also value in the comfort of liquidity.


Yea honestly, I'll take my 1.05% with 100% liquidity over a 3 year CD at 1.5% and I can't touch for three years.

clerk1251

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby clerk1251 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
clerk1251 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
thsmthcrmnl wrote:
clerk1251 wrote:Also, where is your 75K sitting? That's a good chunk of change that can be earning you something. Put it in a good savings account where you are earning good interest (currently I'm earning 1% interest on my money I have in my savings account).


Don't put your savings in a savings account. If they're not going to loans, most of them should be in a tax-privileged index fund.


I don't trust the markets right now at all. This is money we are saving for a house and moving out of NYC eventually and with thoughts that the bond bubble is bursting and equities are overvalued, I don't want to touch the market. Would rather use my savings to buy a house in 2 years rather than risk losing some of it.


I would at least put half of it in short term cds.


There are savings accounts that are paying 1% interest. What short term cd do you know that can beat that? There is also value in the comfort of liquidity.


Yea honestly, I'll take my 1.05% with 100% liquidity over a 3 year CD at 1.5% and I can't touch for three years.


Exactly! I wouldn't even consider 3 years short term. I'd consider 3 months short term, and all the 3 month cd rates are around 0.7%.

Where are you getting 1.05%?

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:36 pm

clerk1251 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
clerk1251 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
thsmthcrmnl wrote:
clerk1251 wrote:Also, where is your 75K sitting? That's a good chunk of change that can be earning you something. Put it in a good savings account where you are earning good interest (currently I'm earning 1% interest on my money I have in my savings account).


Don't put your savings in a savings account. If they're not going to loans, most of them should be in a tax-privileged index fund.


I don't trust the markets right now at all. This is money we are saving for a house and moving out of NYC eventually and with thoughts that the bond bubble is bursting and equities are overvalued, I don't want to touch the market. Would rather use my savings to buy a house in 2 years rather than risk losing some of it.


I would at least put half of it in short term cds.


There are savings accounts that are paying 1% interest. What short term cd do you know that can beat that? There is also value in the comfort of liquidity.


Yea honestly, I'll take my 1.05% with 100% liquidity over a 3 year CD at 1.5% and I can't touch for three years.


Exactly! I wouldn't even consider 3 years short term. I'd consider 3 months short term, and all the 3 month cd rates are around 0.7%.

Where are you getting 1.05%?


Synchrony Bank - it was spun off of GE Capital like two years ago and offer the highest rates.

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:14 pm

umichman wrote:It's probably most helpful for op if he puts his current budget in the thread. Then we have a better chance at seeing his preferences and how much of a salary cut he can take without any issue. If you just take into account that he has paid down 100k in loans and saved about 110k that means that roughly (because of taxes) he has lived on his total income minus 210k. Say he made 360 all in over two years with bonus, then he lived on 150. Therefore he neeeds about 75k pre tax to keep his lifestyle if no loan payments or savings. So, then add back in loan payments and you can guesstimate how much u need to make to continue your lifestyle. As far as covering stuff like doctors etc. that 70k saved should suffice until you get your salary up.


My monthly budget is right here - I keep to it pretty well (go over a lot on food but under on the other stuff so it rounds out to be pretty easy to keep to). Also, the debt payments are my new amount and rent is so low because I live with my SO and we split rent 50/50. Think I calculated that I would need to make around $100,000 to be able to save anything at all.

Debt Payments 1,000
Rent/Mortgage 1,425
Cell Phone 50.00
Internet 50.00
Gym Membership 69.99
Spotify Subscription 9.99
Donation 15.00
Groceries 250.00
Eating Out/Delivery 500.00
Coffee 50.00
Transportation 100.00
Household Items 40.00
Personal Items/Vices 150.00
Travel/Trips 250.00
Utilities 50.00
Other Health/Fitness 150.00
Gifts/Special 80.00
Laundry/Dry Cleaning 75.00

Total Expenses 4,315.83

cll321

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby cll321 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:26 pm

I've been there. Never to quite to the complete edge, but definitely to the point where it affects every part of your life, you stop really sleeping, etc. Was even having some weird heart issues by the time I left.

First of all, that debt load, while high, is manageable on a range of non-Biglaw salaries. You can make it work if you find something that will make you happy for 100k/year, etc. Two, if you can stick it out until the end of the year and just apply your full bonus to your loans, you'd take a huge big out of them. (Obvs, play the high interest ones first.) Three, have some conversations internally. The ideal option: express interest in a secondment. Those are usually 9-5 at your current salary. And more generally, if you get in to some of the stress issues you're having, most firms will go to some lengths to help you get some balance back. If you're not planning a partner run, what do you have to lose? Maybe you could work on a flex schedule of some sort or change groups to something less demanding. (I've seen a couple of folks do that.) If you're not trying to be a Biglaw partner, you have a lot of options. Even though it may not always feel like it. Good luck!

Npret

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby Npret » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:38 pm

Are you sharing all expenses with SO? Is that likely to continue?

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:45 pm

Npret wrote:Are you sharing all expenses with SO? Is that likely to continue?


No, we pretty much split what is both of ours (apartment stuff, rent, etc.) and then we pay our own way for others. We are very flexible with this stuff and it will likely continue (she doesn't work in a big money job but feels its her responsibility to not rely on me). She even pays half rent even though I make like 2x her salary since she knows my debt is a big issue.

clerk1251

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby clerk1251 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
umichman wrote:It's probably most helpful for op if he puts his current budget in the thread. Then we have a better chance at seeing his preferences and how much of a salary cut he can take without any issue. If you just take into account that he has paid down 100k in loans and saved about 110k that means that roughly (because of taxes) he has lived on his total income minus 210k. Say he made 360 all in over two years with bonus, then he lived on 150. Therefore he neeeds about 75k pre tax to keep his lifestyle if no loan payments or savings. So, then add back in loan payments and you can guesstimate how much u need to make to continue your lifestyle. As far as covering stuff like doctors etc. that 70k saved should suffice until you get your salary up.


My monthly budget is right here - I keep to it pretty well (go over a lot on food but under on the other stuff so it rounds out to be pretty easy to keep to). Also, the debt payments are my new amount and rent is so low because I live with my SO and we split rent 50/50. Think I calculated that I would need to make around $100,000 to be able to save anything at all.

Debt Payments 1,000
Rent/Mortgage 1,425
Cell Phone 50.00
Internet 50.00
Gym Membership 69.99
Spotify Subscription 9.99
Donation 15.00
Groceries 250.00
Eating Out/Delivery 500.00
Coffee 50.00
Transportation 100.00
Household Items 40.00
Personal Items/Vices 150.00
Travel/Trips 250.00
Utilities 50.00
Other Health/Fitness 150.00
Gifts/Special 80.00

Laundry/Dry Cleaning 75.00

Total Expenses 4,315.83


You'd need to make $100k to save anything, assuming you continue to live the exact same lifestyle. There is loads here that you can, essentially, trim the fat on.

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:48 am

OP Here - I have pretty much settled on moving out of NYC to a small northeastern market (i.e. small city like Burlington, Portland, Manchester). The quality of life seems far better and from speaking to attorneys at firms there, they love their life and feel they have made the best decision to stay put up there rather than try to make in a big city. Cost of living is far lower, and with my savings in NYC, I think the transition can be pretty smooth as I get my cost of living to even out with the salary decrease.

Just last week I got staffed with our groups' asshole partner and I honestly just want to quit after my next paycheck. Only thing really saving me is the fact that I interviewed up in Manchester at a few firms the last few weeks that were promising and so I want to stick it out to see if they'll accept me before I quit. I doubt I'll make it here much longer since I just am either an anxious wreck or seriously considering just staying in bed all day. It's not hard to get by on the day to day, but this guy consumes your life, calls you into the office on weekends and nights after you have already left, and I just can't put up with this bullshit anymore. Too old, too tired and honestly, the stress isn't worth it.

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Toni V

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby Toni V » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:21 pm

Since you are at an NYC V you must receive a number of headhunter calls….how’s that not a lifeline?

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP Here - I have pretty much settled on moving out of NYC to a small northeastern market (i.e. small city like Burlington, Portland, Manchester). The quality of life seems far better and from speaking to attorneys at firms there, they love their life and feel they have made the best decision to stay put up there rather than try to make in a big city. Cost of living is far lower, and with my savings in NYC, I think the transition can be pretty smooth as I get my cost of living to even out with the salary decrease.

Just last week I got staffed with our groups' asshole partner and I honestly just want to quit after my next paycheck. Only thing really saving me is the fact that I interviewed up in Manchester at a few firms the last few weeks that were promising and so I want to stick it out to see if they'll accept me before I quit. I doubt I'll make it here much longer since I just am either an anxious wreck or seriously considering just staying in bed all day. It's not hard to get by on the day to day, but this guy consumes your life, calls you into the office on weekends and nights after you have already left, and I just can't put up with this bullshit anymore. Too old, too tired and honestly, the stress isn't worth it.


I started having unbearable anxiety in college and started taking a low dose of Zoloft once a day. It completely changed my life. It may not solve your situation, but taking something may give you some relief. I only lasted a few weeks before talking to my doctor about it, but I remember how awful it was. Im sorry your going through this, but talking to a doctor might help.

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:38 pm

Toni V wrote:Since you are at an NYC V you must receive a number of headhunter calls….how’s that not a lifeline?


I just can't go to another NYC law firm. Already worked at a "top" firm and was miserable, now I'm at a V100 that was supposed to be known for better quality of life and its miserable. No way another firm is going to be better. I came to my current firm expecting major quality of life differences from my previous firm and it has been more of the same and getting worse. Any firms with a semblance of quality of life are very hard to get into since they are competitive spots and I have likely moved around far too much already in NYC to be competitive for those firms. In-house is hit or miss and can take a long time (plus there aren't that many in-house opportunities available that are good) and honestly, I'm sick of living here.

It was interesting meeting partners in NH that straight up told me "yea, I worked with "Big NYC Law Firm" for one deal and had to pull NYC hours, never want to do that again and don't understand how they do that their whole lives". This city is just teeming with workaholics and sociopaths in the legal profession and frankly i'm getting out to save whatever is left of my soul and fragile ego. My fiance works 9 - 6 and even she can't take the anxiety of NYC anymore after 5 years of being here. Pretty much only question is if I'll last long enough to get out gracefully, or rage quit in a few weeks.

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP Here - I have pretty much settled on moving out of NYC to a small northeastern market (i.e. small city like Burlington, Portland, Manchester). The quality of life seems far better and from speaking to attorneys at firms there, they love their life and feel they have made the best decision to stay put up there rather than try to make in a big city. Cost of living is far lower, and with my savings in NYC, I think the transition can be pretty smooth as I get my cost of living to even out with the salary decrease.

Just last week I got staffed with our groups' asshole partner and I honestly just want to quit after my next paycheck. Only thing really saving me is the fact that I interviewed up in Manchester at a few firms the last few weeks that were promising and so I want to stick it out to see if they'll accept me before I quit. I doubt I'll make it here much longer since I just am either an anxious wreck or seriously considering just staying in bed all day. It's not hard to get by on the day to day, but this guy consumes your life, calls you into the office on weekends and nights after you have already left, and I just can't put up with this bullshit anymore. Too old, too tired and honestly, the stress isn't worth it.

I didn't read the whole thread, but I think you should take a long vacation (1 week at least, preferably 2) and think about your next move. It's really hard to think clearly about actionable steps when you're feeling overwhelmed and dealing with this every day. Try to take a step back. Otherwise it's tough to think of anything except quitting, not necessarily what comes after.

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:16 pm

Well don't take vacations if you are quitting. You'll be losing out on $$$. To be honest, you've been in the profession/nyc long enough to know what you want in life. Your finances are in good shape and you figured out what you want to do. Don't look back and just take the jump.

dixiecupdrinking

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Well don't take vacations if you are quitting. You'll be losing out on $$$. To be honest, you've been in the profession/nyc long enough to know what you want in life. Your finances are in good shape and you figured out what you want to do. Don't look back and just take the jump.

I agree with this if OP has a job lined up but I don't read it to say s/he does, and it may take a while to get a gig in a small NE city.

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:36 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Well don't take vacations if you are quitting. You'll be losing out on $$$. To be honest, you've been in the profession/nyc long enough to know what you want in life. Your finances are in good shape and you figured out what you want to do. Don't look back and just take the jump.

I agree with this if OP has a job lined up but I don't read it to say s/he does, and it may take a while to get a gig in a small NE city.


I understand my situation pretty well and vacations usually make me more resistant to work and my situation, not less. I am just over working in NYC big law and being in NYC for the daily grind. This is not living a meaningful life in any way and all people care about here is being the best or the richest. The mentality that nothing is ever good enough for these people is just insufferable and I'm sick of working around the clock for these people and these types of clients. Even the partners I enjoy working with and that are good to associates are sociopaths that have little empathy for others.

EDIT: Basically - i'm done with this shit. Life is far to short to continue doing this only to be able to pay off debt and not look like a job hopper. If anyone has tips on how to not quit when working with an asshole partner that monopolizes your entire life I'd love to hear it.

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby Voyager » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Hey everyone,

I was wondering if I could get some advice on my situation. I graduated from a T10 school with $230,000 in student loans. I was really dumb at the time and was looking to make up for bad grades in college and the financial crisis and did well enough on the LSAT to get into a good school and thought "hey, I can make great money and be totally fine".

Fast forward a few years and I am still $130,000 in debt, currently a 3rd year in NYC biglaw and I just can't take the job anymore. I have some savings (about $75,000) and some money in retirement (about $40,000), but the massive debt load still sits on my head. The reason I'm thinking about quitting is because I have ended up with massive anxiety from this job, something I never had, to the point where I have trouble sleeping and getting through the day. I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep. I find the demands on your time completely unreasonable and I just don't think it is worth doing this anymore. I don't want my life to be controlled by my debt situation. I know I made mistakes to get to this point, but I just can't fathom doing this for another 2 years, especially as the pressure builds and you get more senior.

Have any of you encountered these feelings yourself or in friends? have any of you said "Fuck It" and just quit with high debt loads? Any advice is welcome and thanks in advance.


Gut it out, man, gut it out.

Polish off that debt over the next 3 years.

THEN look for your next gig with no debt load. You'll be much better off.

Also, from what I can tell from my friends, senior associate is when the job actually becomes interesting. You get to finally make some decisions on your own.

Finish it out.

EDIT: you could also consider changing offices. Some offices will have slightly nicer hours than others.

EDIT2: Also, as a senior associate, you will have decent in house options where the hours are way easy.

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:40 pm

Voyager wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hey everyone,

I was wondering if I could get some advice on my situation. I graduated from a T10 school with $230,000 in student loans. I was really dumb at the time and was looking to make up for bad grades in college and the financial crisis and did well enough on the LSAT to get into a good school and thought "hey, I can make great money and be totally fine".

Fast forward a few years and I am still $130,000 in debt, currently a 3rd year in NYC biglaw and I just can't take the job anymore. I have some savings (about $75,000) and some money in retirement (about $40,000), but the massive debt load still sits on my head. The reason I'm thinking about quitting is because I have ended up with massive anxiety from this job, something I never had, to the point where I have trouble sleeping and getting through the day. I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep. I find the demands on your time completely unreasonable and I just don't think it is worth doing this anymore. I don't want my life to be controlled by my debt situation. I know I made mistakes to get to this point, but I just can't fathom doing this for another 2 years, especially as the pressure builds and you get more senior.

Have any of you encountered these feelings yourself or in friends? have any of you said "Fuck It" and just quit with high debt loads? Any advice is welcome and thanks in advance.


Gut it out, man, gut it out.

Polish off that debt over the next 3 years.

THEN look for your next gig with no debt load. You'll be much better off.

Also, from what I can tell from my friends, senior associate is when the job actually becomes interesting. You get to finally make some decisions on your own.

Finish it out.

EDIT: you could also consider changing offices. Some offices will have slightly nicer hours than others.

EDIT2: Also, as a senior associate, you will have decent in house options where the hours are way easy.


Definitely not man, I've tried gutting it out and it has left me just absolutely drained (and this is before working with the biggest asshole I've ever had to deal with in my life). Its not even about it being interesting (because it certainly isn't). I lead smaller deals now and make decisions and talk to clients and the stress is just too much to handle and the expectations of being billed out at $500/hour are just too high for someone with no idea what they are doing. Deadlines are ASAP, partners with no concept of how to treat associates, and just other things that make it hard to get up in the morning. I wasn't meant for NYC big law and i'm getting out before I ruin my relationships with people I care about or my mind (which has already begun slipping and has me questioning everything about myself). My fiance makes decent money and combined, we should be able to cut out the debt in the next 5-10 years while we actually build a life together.

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby Voyager » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Voyager wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hey everyone,

I was wondering if I could get some advice on my situation. I graduated from a T10 school with $230,000 in student loans. I was really dumb at the time and was looking to make up for bad grades in college and the financial crisis and did well enough on the LSAT to get into a good school and thought "hey, I can make great money and be totally fine".

Fast forward a few years and I am still $130,000 in debt, currently a 3rd year in NYC biglaw and I just can't take the job anymore. I have some savings (about $75,000) and some money in retirement (about $40,000), but the massive debt load still sits on my head. The reason I'm thinking about quitting is because I have ended up with massive anxiety from this job, something I never had, to the point where I have trouble sleeping and getting through the day. I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep. I find the demands on your time completely unreasonable and I just don't think it is worth doing this anymore. I don't want my life to be controlled by my debt situation. I know I made mistakes to get to this point, but I just can't fathom doing this for another 2 years, especially as the pressure builds and you get more senior.

Have any of you encountered these feelings yourself or in friends? have any of you said "Fuck It" and just quit with high debt loads? Any advice is welcome and thanks in advance.


Gut it out, man, gut it out.

Polish off that debt over the next 3 years.

THEN look for your next gig with no debt load. You'll be much better off.

Also, from what I can tell from my friends, senior associate is when the job actually becomes interesting. You get to finally make some decisions on your own.

Finish it out.

EDIT: you could also consider changing offices. Some offices will have slightly nicer hours than others.

EDIT2: Also, as a senior associate, you will have decent in house options where the hours are way easy.


Definitely not man, I've tried gutting it out and it has left me just absolutely drained (and this is before working with the biggest asshole I've ever had to deal with in my life). Its not even about it being interesting (because it certainly isn't). I lead smaller deals now and make decisions and talk to clients and the stress is just too much to handle and the expectations of being billed out at $500/hour are just too high for someone with no idea what they are doing. Deadlines are ASAP, partners with no concept of how to treat associates, and just other things that make it hard to get up in the morning. I wasn't meant for NYC big law and i'm getting out before I ruin my relationships with people I care about or my mind (which has already begun slipping and has me questioning everything about myself). My fiance makes decent money and combined, we should be able to cut out the debt in the next 5-10 years while we actually build a life together.


Do you want to continue to practice law or are you thinking about a new career altogether?

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby AVBucks4239 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:03 pm

I entirely disagree with the above post by Voyager. Debt is a number on a spreadsheet. Your life is way more important.

The main thrust of my "Personal Finance 101" post was financial independence--making smart choices with money so you can do what you wanted to do rather than be a slave to your current job or this entire profession.

I specifically wrote:

I could go on a long rant here, but money can be used as a utility for one of two things: (1) to buy stuff (houses, cars, food, etc.) or (2) time (a retirement fund). I personally place higher utility in time, not consumerist stuff. Read "Your Money or Your Life" for more on this.
***
I personally plan to "retire" at age 42-45. If I haven't started a solo practice by then, I might try that. I also might try to become a mediator and try to mediate 10-20 cases per year for some income. I'd also like to become a coordinator for a local high school football team (serious).

The better term here, I guess, is financial independence, or what some call fuck you money--having enough money so you can do whatever the hell you want with your time. This seems extremely ideal to me, so I'm aiming for it as soon as possible.

The obvious side effect of doing what I advised--low fixed monthly expenses, making smart decisions on the big things, and saving the rest--is that you end up with a pile of money that allows you to do whatever you want for a certain period of time. If you have 25 times your annual expenses invested, you can likely live on that money forever (assuming you withdraw 4% per year).

But if you are losing your damn mind at work, and you're anxious, and you're miserable, and you seriously can't take another week of it--then doing the above is even more important because it allows you to take time off work for an extended period of time.

OP posted the following budget:

Anonymous User wrote:Debt Payments 1,000 This can be lowered if you quit and go on REPAYE
Rent/Mortgage 1,425 Will be lower if you move to a lower COL area
Cell Phone 50.00
Internet 50.00
Gym Membership 69.99 Don't need, eliminate
Spotify Subscription 9.99 Don't need, there's free music everywhere
Donation 15.00 Don't need, you are more important than whatever you are donating to
Groceries 250.00 Can be lowered considering how much you're eating out; $50/week is a good amount
Eating Out/Delivery 500.00 Can definitely be lowered, and would be lower in a low COL area
Coffee 50.00 I love coffee as well so I won't judge, but maybe buy a great coffee maker
Transportation 100.00
Household Items 40.00
Personal Items/Vices 150.00
Travel/Trips 250.00 Won't need if you're taking time off from work and can go on 3 hour hikes every day
Utilities 50.00
Other Health/Fitness 150.00 Don't need
Gifts/Special 80.00 Don't need
Laundry/Dry Cleaning 75.00 Don't need

Total Expenses 4,315.83

My guesstimate is that OP can lower his fixed expenses to about $2,700 per month if he moves. He indicated in a prior post that he has $75,000 saved up. That's great, and that gets to my "money buys time" theme on life/finance--OP can go almost 28 months without working if he can lower his COL and fixed expenses to $2,700 per month. Even if he lowers them to $3,200 per month, that's 23 months without work.

So after all that, OP, my advice is for you to put your two week notice in today (or as soon as you can after you talk to your SO). Start looking at how to get out of your lease. Start spending time on which small market in the Northeast you want to go to. Start emailing your contacts. Start looking at apartments online.

Who gives a shit what the over-cautious and risk-averse people on TLS think. Start doing what YOU want to do. You've been smart with your money, and you've been saving. Now go take care of yourself.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:06 pm

Voyager wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Voyager wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hey everyone,

I was wondering if I could get some advice on my situation. I graduated from a T10 school with $230,000 in student loans. I was really dumb at the time and was looking to make up for bad grades in college and the financial crisis and did well enough on the LSAT to get into a good school and thought "hey, I can make great money and be totally fine".

Fast forward a few years and I am still $130,000 in debt, currently a 3rd year in NYC biglaw and I just can't take the job anymore. I have some savings (about $75,000) and some money in retirement (about $40,000), but the massive debt load still sits on my head. The reason I'm thinking about quitting is because I have ended up with massive anxiety from this job, something I never had, to the point where I have trouble sleeping and getting through the day. I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep. I find the demands on your time completely unreasonable and I just don't think it is worth doing this anymore. I don't want my life to be controlled by my debt situation. I know I made mistakes to get to this point, but I just can't fathom doing this for another 2 years, especially as the pressure builds and you get more senior.

Have any of you encountered these feelings yourself or in friends? have any of you said "Fuck It" and just quit with high debt loads? Any advice is welcome and thanks in advance.


Gut it out, man, gut it out.

Polish off that debt over the next 3 years.

THEN look for your next gig with no debt load. You'll be much better off.

Also, from what I can tell from my friends, senior associate is when the job actually becomes interesting. You get to finally make some decisions on your own.

Finish it out.

EDIT: you could also consider changing offices. Some offices will have slightly nicer hours than others.

EDIT2: Also, as a senior associate, you will have decent in house options where the hours are way easy.


Definitely not man, I've tried gutting it out and it has left me just absolutely drained (and this is before working with the biggest asshole I've ever had to deal with in my life). Its not even about it being interesting (because it certainly isn't). I lead smaller deals now and make decisions and talk to clients and the stress is just too much to handle and the expectations of being billed out at $500/hour are just too high for someone with no idea what they are doing. Deadlines are ASAP, partners with no concept of how to treat associates, and just other things that make it hard to get up in the morning. I wasn't meant for NYC big law and i'm getting out before I ruin my relationships with people I care about or my mind (which has already begun slipping and has me questioning everything about myself). My fiance makes decent money and combined, we should be able to cut out the debt in the next 5-10 years while we actually build a life together.


Do you want to continue to practice law or are you thinking about a new career altogether?


Practicing law for the foreseeable future, but want to practice more on the company-side and get exposure to in-house roles and business people that work in actual companies. Sick of working for PE funds and investment banks. At the end of the day, I should have never been a lawyer, but if I can find a place with a decent group of people and better quality of life in a lower-COL city,then maybe it can work out for me.

Npret

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Re: My Situation - Advice Needed

Postby Npret » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:25 pm

I would leave ASAP.



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