Exciting News: A New Door Opens! (September 05, 2014)

by FI Fighter on September 5, 2014

in Career


Ok, enough beating around the bush… I have some very exciting news to share with everyone, so I’m just going to lay it all out there. At the beginning of this year, I made the conscious decision to attempt early financial independence at the ripe young age of 30. I had grown extremely weary of the rat race and wanted to desperately exit out of the corporate workplace. I was exhausted and running on fumes. I wanted nothing more to do with work. My plans were to check out for good sometime next year, a year in which I would still be 30.

Well, as it so often happens with life, plans change. I just came back from a wonderful, unscripted vacation that took me through: Tokyo, Bangkok, and Rome, so it’s probably most fitting for me to announce another unscripted twist that has just recently taken place…

I will not be retiring at age 30 next year!

While in Tokyo, I received a job offer of a lifetime… I had interviewed at a premiere Silicon Valley high-tech company just prior to leaving the states, and while in Japan, the recruiter got back to me with some exciting news. Apparently, I had made a strong impression on the team, and they wanted to come at me aggressively.

And aggressive they were!

  • 30%+ increase in base salary (sure puts my 2% merit increase earlier this year to shame!).
  • $30,000 signing bonus.
  • RSUs.
  • Multiple Bonuses each year.
  • Outstanding health, and other benefits.

Basically, there was no way I was going to say “no” to this offer… But by accepting this offer, I’m pretty much closing the door on retiring within the next year (otherwise I would have to forfeit the $30,000 signing bonus, which requires 1 full year of service).

And now, let me explain to you readers my decision and logic behind all of this…

Yes, it’s true that I am sick of engineering and work. I’m also sick of working long hours and slaving away at the cubicle/lab all day long. After getting a taste of international travel, I am also yearning for early FI more than ever. I definitely want to travel and play on the beach all day long!

However, it’s worth noting that I’m still very much a fan of technology and innovation. Honestly, there really aren’t many tech companies out there that I would consider working for… But for a select few, I’ll admit, I would have a strong interest in being a part of that team. Being able to work on some cutting edge products with some of the best engineers in the world is definitely something that would get me up in the morning! Even in my current burned out state of mind…

This new company that I will be joining is like the New York Yankees of high tech. I liken my situation to that of an aging ballplayer who’s knees are shot and who’s on the downslope of his career. The love for the game isn’t really much there anymore, and the thoughts of calling it a career are constantly on the mind. But when the Yankees come calling (and they’re also willing to open up the vault for your services), are you really going to say “no”? Even if you are sick of it all, I would imagine that playing for the Yankees would be akin to uncovering the fountain of youth… at least temporarily.

In the short-term, my early FI plans change a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to pursue early FI as aggressively as ever (even more so, actually), so nothing changes from that standpoint. But, unfortunately, this will probably mean that I will have to stay employed in the workforce for longer than I originally anticipated for earlier this year when I made that premature announcement to retire at age 30… Sorry J$!

I don’t regret the announcement… I was really set on retiring at 30… There was really no way for me to know that this opportunity would even become available… And just like I’ve always done since the beginning of this journey, I’m going to remain highly adaptable, open minded, and keep on going full steam ahead.

How long do I plan on working at the new company? 1 year? 2 years? 5 years? I honestly have no clue at this point, but 1-2 years would be my initial guess…

Ultimately, I think this news is something very positive. The big boost in salary will allow me to save even more aggressively and supercharge the portfolio gains even further. I’ll be making a lot more money, but definitely not spending more! My frugal habits won’t change at all… As a matter of fact, I’m really stoked that I’ll have even more funds to invest with! This means more real estate deals and more stock purchases! 🙂

In the end, whether I retire at 30, 31, 32, or even 35, I’m still going to come out well ahead. The plan is still to check out while the sun is still shining brightly and I still have a ton of life left to live. Playing in this cave for a little longer isn’t the ideal scenario, but it’s a short-term sacrifice that will hopefully yield huge dividends in the future.

And I’ll confess, the nerd in me is actually really looking forward to starting a new chapter at this state-of-the-art company. It’s extremely exciting! The honeymoon phase will of course come to an end (it always does when it comes to working for the man), but I’m really going to try and enjoy this ride for as long as I can.

My personal belief – “Life is all about the experiences and memories!” I start my new position at the new company at the end of September. Here’s to New Beginnings! Wish me luck! 🙂

Fight On!


{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

1 My Dividend PipelineNo Gravatar September 5, 2014 at 7:18 am

You are experiencing something that I have been going through for a few years. Delaying FI used to hinge around not having enough money to make it for the duration of my life. Now that I am very close to FI, I unfortunately have received a couple of promotions that make me question my FI timing. When you have a $50-70k job with enough passive income to retire it is a no-brainer. Now that I am close to FI, I find my self unable to give up a $200,000+ job. There is always the thought of “just one more year”. I sometimes wish I would involuntarily lose my current job as that may be the only catalyst to jump into FI.

Best of luck in the future!



2 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 6, 2014 at 9:09 am


Very well said! You make an excellent point there… I am now starting to see how much more difficult it can be to walk away from a really great gig…

I was just about ready to pull the plug with my existing job, but if this new job can keep me engaged for awhile, it will be difficult to walk away from that enormous package they throw at you…

But we’ll see… I still very much miss free time, freedom, and the ability to travel with reckless abandon.

All the best!


3 Dividend Growth InvestorNo Gravatar September 11, 2014 at 8:20 am

The way I see it, you have achieved Financial Independence. The reality is that you do not need to work for money any more.

However, this is your painting and you can do whatever the hell you want. If you want to spend time in something that is interesting for you, go ahead and do it! If you earn money doing it, so much the better. Actually, once you have achieved FI, new opportunities open up for you, since you are willing to take risks more. Actually, Buffett “retired” at the age of 26, and his “retirement” involved a lot of reading, which lead to his partnership, Berkshire HAthaway and billions of dollars. If you wake up every day, doing what you love, why care what others think, and put restrictive labels are “retired” “working” etc.

For all I can see, you are FI. Whether you travel the globe, sleep in bed all day, or spend time in a tech company, you are “retired”. If anyone doesn’t see it that way, that is their problem.

Good luck man and happy birthday!


4 Financial SamuraiNo Gravatar September 10, 2014 at 10:16 am

The golden handcuffs definitely get tighter and tighter. The one thing that allowed me to leave my multiple six figure job was negotiating a multiple six figure severance.

Never quit, get LAID!


5 Mr. FrugalwoodsNo Gravatar September 5, 2014 at 8:00 am

Congratulations! Doing something you find fascinating for a company that is paying you very well is nothing to feel ashamed of. And who knows, if you love this job maybe after the first year you negotiate a reduced schedule and get the best of both worlds?

If nothing else, banking an extra year extends your comfort level and maybe allows you a couple more properties?


6 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 6, 2014 at 9:12 am

Mr. Frugalwoods,

Thanks! Yeah, if things go well, maybe I can ask for a tapering schedule a few years down the road… Haha, probably wouldn’t fly with upper management after only six months or a year… We’ll see.

Yes, I think this new opportunity is worth trying out. Worst case, things don’t work out and I leave within a year, or even before… I’ll just be back to where I originally thought i would be anyway! So, it’s almost like a no-lose situation.

All the best!


7 Even StevenNo Gravatar September 5, 2014 at 8:38 am

I think that’s awesome! I actually think it’s a great step towards FI, you could even simply stash away every dollar you get from the new gig and have a more cushy retirement in the upcoming years. I mean the goal of FI/early retirement is to do something you love without having to worry about the consequences. Good luck sir.


8 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 6, 2014 at 9:13 am

Even Steven,

Yup, that’s the plan! No way am I inflating my lifestyle… I’m going to stash away as much as I can.

I don’t need or enjoying spending more money. However, I LOVE buying properties and stocks! 🙂

Take care!


9 MikeNo Gravatar September 5, 2014 at 9:09 am

Congrats! There is no shame in changing your gameplan and adapting to the world around you. I think your situation is very similar to those that are currently working; if one is happy with the current role; what amount would one need to switch. Thirty percent seems like a more than fair number. In addition; they just gave you half of your next down payment.

Best of luck.

PS, do you want my resume?


10 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 6, 2014 at 9:15 am


Thanks! Yes, I was very much stuck in a rut with the current company, so hopefully new changes will bring new excitement and restore some of that motivation which has been lacking.

I’m excited to start! And the 30% boost in salary doesn’t hurt either! 😉

All the best!


11 writing2realityNo Gravatar September 5, 2014 at 9:10 am

Congratulations! I think the beauty of striving for FI is that is an individual journey and does not rely on the whims of anyone but yourself. If you find something interesting and exciting, than pursue it aggressively. As long as you are happy, the end result should work out in your favor.


12 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 6, 2014 at 9:16 am


Thanks! Yes, early FI is a path where the final destination is the same for all of us… but how we get there can be radically different.

It’s so much fun following and observing what other people do… I’m so grateful to be a part of a wonderful blogging community.

All the best on your own journey!


13 Financial SamuraiNo Gravatar September 5, 2014 at 9:42 am

Exciting! Do you remember a comment I left a while ago saying I’m betting once you turn 30, you WON’T be able to give it all up?

My thesis from my post, “The Dark Side Of Early Retirement” highlights the point that many people who want to retire are simply unhappy with their jobs. Nobody quits a job they enjoy!

$$$ and the challenges make the world go round.



14 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 6, 2014 at 9:20 am


Haha, you were right about that one! Like MDP mentioned above, the walking away part becomes a lot more difficult when the total compensation goes up substantially… It’s definitely a wonderful problem to have though.

Yes, I was stuck in a rut, and if i can find excitement (enjoyment) in this new job, there really wouldn’t be a reason to walk away… at least for a few years.

Most of us don’t want to achieve early FI to just lounge around all day, bumming around. To even get to early FI on your own merits takes a ton of work, drive, commitment, etc. It’s the freedom/engagement that we all crave… Maybe 1 out of 2 will tide me over for awhile?

We shall see!



15 Financial SamuraiNo Gravatar September 10, 2014 at 10:18 am

I have a feeling you will be working for another 8 years! Not because you need the money towards the end, but b/c you enjoy the challenge and the difficulty of walking away from more and more money gets harder and harder.

Let me see if my prediction comes true!


16 KirstenNo Gravatar September 5, 2014 at 9:49 am

That’s exciting news! I think it’s just a little detour in your FI journey and it might be a scenic one, so go for it. You may be glad you did in the long run.


17 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 6, 2014 at 9:22 am


If it’s a scenic route with some spectacular views, I won’t mind so much! 😉

Yes, hopefully a few more years working the grind will buy many, many more years in paradise. That’s the hope anyway.

Take care!


18 MikeNo Gravatar September 5, 2014 at 9:50 am

Congrats! Sounds like an exciting opportunity and mo’ $.
Looking forward to hearing how it goes.


19 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 6, 2014 at 9:23 am


Thanks! I’ll keep you posted!



20 FIHopefulNo Gravatar September 5, 2014 at 10:20 am

Congrats on the new job! The possible list of companies that are the “New York Yankees” of high tech is fairly short… FaceBook, Google, (maybe VMware)… so, hopefully the job is all you hope it will be.


21 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 9, 2014 at 9:07 am


Thanks! Yup, there’s a very short list of “New York Yankees” in Silicon Valley. It’s probably pretty obvious which one of the companies it is I’m going to… Those are very logical choices.



22 Sindre FarstadNo Gravatar September 5, 2014 at 11:49 am

Congratulations on on the new job. I’m sure it will allow you more freedom when you finally decide to quit the workforce completely. And I’m sure the 30 000$ will help quite allot on your next property.


23 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 9, 2014 at 9:09 am


Thanks! The $30,000 will get taxed like no other, but I should still be receiving a sizable amount (maybe half that), which will still make a huge difference.

Very much looking forward to that bonus, as well as starting at the new company!

Take care!


24 FFdividendNo Gravatar September 5, 2014 at 11:55 am

WOW!! congrats. I would do the same if I got a pay raise of 30%.


25 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 9, 2014 at 9:09 am


Thanks! The pay raise definitely helps the path to early FI, no question.

All the best!


26 SavvyFinancialLatinaNo Gravatar September 5, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Wow!!! That’s awesome news! Take advantage of the extra money to increase your savings. Then you can cut the chord.


27 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 9, 2014 at 9:10 am


Yup, it’s gonna be more nose to the grindstone for me, but hopefully I can expedite the wealth building part.

Take care!


28 J. MoneyNo Gravatar September 5, 2014 at 12:38 pm

Good for you man – congrats! I’d do the exact same thing too. Soak up all that money, learn and do something cool for a bit and then reconsider again in a year or so… It would be interesting to see how much of an effect this money earned would give you – length wise – in retirement if you could guestimate it 🙂 And better to do now than in 40 years if you run out of money! Haha…


29 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 9, 2014 at 9:11 am


Thanks! Yeah, maybe one day I’ll sit down and break out the numbers and see how much more time I’m buying with this move…

If I can stick it out for 2 years or so, I’m guessing all the extra income, investment capital, etc. will add a good 10+ years to the early FI master plan. But we’ll see…

Take care!


30 MaryNo Gravatar September 5, 2014 at 3:21 pm

As another bay area person, oh how I would love to see a 30% increase in pay!!
totally not going to happen, since I’ve become complacent in the last 8 years here and with three small children, i can’t find anything else with this kind of flexibility.


31 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 9, 2014 at 9:13 am


Flexibility is also extremely important, and it sounds like you have a good gig going. I’m definitely going after the cash, but also extremely excited to join this new company.

Getting to work on something new and exciting can’t help but reinvigorate my mind (and career).

Best wishes!


32 LeighNo Gravatar September 5, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Good luck! +30% on base is a HUGE raise! Congrats to you for securing that offer! Are you taking a bit of time off between jobs? That was my plan, though I’m still job searching/interviewing.


33 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 9, 2014 at 9:14 am


Thanks! Yup, 30% is a pretty sweet deal, and it even surprised me… I wasn’t anticipating more than 15% or so.

Good luck on the job search! You are already doing a fantastic job and lightyears ahead of most people in the networth/income department. Hope you land something even more amazing!



34 Henry @ Living At HomeNo Gravatar September 5, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Wow, that’s awesome! Congrats and good luck with your new journey! Very inspirational.


35 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 9, 2014 at 9:15 am


Thanks! It’s going to be exciting, that’s for sure! 🙂

Take care!


36 OliviaNo Gravatar September 5, 2014 at 9:29 pm

That is amazing news congratulations!! Retirement is all about having options and freedom to pursue your life’s passions so don’t think of it as a set back at all 🙂


37 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 9, 2014 at 9:16 am


Thanks! Well put, and I’m going to continue to go after life in full force! Hoping this next experience will be another amazing one.

Best wishes!


38 Dave @ The New York BudgetNo Gravatar September 6, 2014 at 3:10 am

Dude – congrats! That is awesome!

If it were me, I would totally do the same thing and head to a position I was that excited about. Wanna know what the great news is? You can still become financially independent by age 30 and just CHOOSE to keep working.

I think that will make working for the man less onerous right there, just by the fact that your conscious and subconscious know that you are choosing to be there every day.

It also means that you are free to retire at any point. Even if you have to forfeit your bonus, that bonus means less because you already have the money you need to retire, if that makes sense.

Anyway, this is great news and I am stoked that you are doing something you enjoy! Best of luck – when do you start?


39 SundeepNo Gravatar September 6, 2014 at 8:49 am

This is a great comment and is a great way to think about financial independence. Financial independence doesn’t mean you don’t work anymore, it’s more having the choice to do whatever you want. In your case that could be working at a sweet tech job because you WANT to, not because you need to.

When it rains it pours, congrats!


40 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 9, 2014 at 9:21 am


Well stated — FI is all about freedom of choice!

Take care!


41 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 9, 2014 at 9:20 am


Thanks bud! I couldn’t agree more with your assessment, and that’s one of the reasons why I enjoyed talking to you so much in New York… we are like totally on the same wavelength when it comes to early FI! 😉

Life should be about freedom of choice. We all covet that. Yup, I’m gonna dig my head into the sand, become a company man and give maximum effort at the new place… In the process, I should reach early FI, and then have the complete ability to control and dictate my future moving forward.

And that will be a most liberating feeling… to have the option to simply walk away.

I start at the end of September. Only a few more weeks!



42 ILGNo Gravatar September 6, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Congratulations FI Fighter! I know how you feel about a 2% merit increase. I got one of those little treats this year even though my rating indicated a higher increase.

I am also a tech guy =) I have wondered if I should work my way out there, but I love being in Texas too much!

Good luck and that 30k bonus will help you right along to Financial Independance!

Take care!


43 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 9, 2014 at 9:22 am


2% merit increases… don’t you just hate those? Can’t even keep up with inflation 🙁

Glad you have a great thing going out in Texas. Cost of living out there is definitely more favorable than the Bay Area.

Yup, that $30k is going straight into another rental property… *spoiler alert*

All the best!


44 IntegratorNo Gravatar September 7, 2014 at 6:50 am

That’s great news for you!. Congrats. I’m mulling a similar opportunity, though I’m still some ways away from financial independence. Well done! I do agree though. When you have something you love doing, it becomes much easier to keep pushing out early retirement.


45 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 9, 2014 at 9:27 am


Thanks! Yes, work definitely is more tolerable when you do something you love. I’m actually hoping I’ll be riding that honeymoon at the new place for a year or two… Probably a stretch, but we’ll see!

Best of luck on your own journey!


46 JasonNo Gravatar September 8, 2014 at 10:55 am

Hey there FIF

I definitely understand your hesitation about walking away from the working world, especially if you’re heading toward something exciting.

Once thing to think about: use this time and money to pay off at least one of your properties first before leveraging more. It’s not as high of a return, but it’ll stabilize your retirement and insulate you against vacancies. I’m not sure if you’ve ever had a longer-term vacancy, but it literally throws things upside-down.


47 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 9, 2014 at 9:30 am


Thanks for the very shrewd suggestion. Yup, when it comes time to walk away, it becomes much less about the ROI, but more about preservation and safety of the investment.

In the short-term, before I check out, I will look into investing back into stocks so that I can build a liquid buffer. Not only that, but of course also to hoard more cash for a rainy day…

I could very well liquidate one property to eliminate debt, and perhaps use the proceeds to pay down some mortgages… If I were to pay down a loan, the easiest one would be my $60k Indianapolis loan… That’s a possibility for sure.

All the best!


48 TomNo Gravatar September 8, 2014 at 11:01 am

That is excellent news, just remember that because you’ve decided to work longer doesn’t mean you arent going to achieve your goal of FI. The beauty of FI is that you can do whatever you want, including work if its exciting to you.

I see nothing but positives from this.


49 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 9, 2014 at 9:31 am


Thanks! Yup, great point there – this move changes nothing when it comes to striving for early FI.

I may work longer, sure, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still reach early FI in the process.

And if things don’t work out, I’ll walk away. I only see positives as well. 🙂

Take care!


50 RefinerrNo Gravatar September 8, 2014 at 12:16 pm

This is great news! Best of luck in all your new awesome memories and experiences!


51 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 9, 2014 at 9:32 am


Thanks! Looking forward to some new, exciting times.

It’s what life is all about. 🙂

Take care!


52 debs @ debtdebsNo Gravatar September 8, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Wow THAT IS AWESOME. You’re going gangbusters! In the grand scheme of things that is just a small blip in your overall plan and you’d be crazy to turn your back on that. 0-2% increases $uck big time. Congratulations and high fives all ’round.


53 FI FighterNo Gravatar September 9, 2014 at 9:33 am


Haha, yup, 2% merit increases have a way of destroying employee morale, I will agree with you!

Here’s to bigger and better things!


54 LiamNo Gravatar November 13, 2014 at 5:48 pm

FI – I just came across your article here. There must have been something in the air this year. I had planned to continue work (grind away) for another two to three years until I had the REI portfolio built to cover financial independence. As the job was becoming much more difficult, an opportunity opened up to return for my MBA on a full ride. It does delay my early retirement a few years, but so far has been completely worth it.


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