The Home Stretch

Well, this is the home stretch.  My wife gave notice to her employer this week.  It was well received probably because she gave them a little more notice than is typical.  It will be my turn next week.

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The stars are aligning a little bit for me as it looks like a major case may get resolved very shortly.  I’ll hopefully be able to leave without much on my plate at all!  We will see how well my notice is received.  On one hand, I won’t be leaving anyone in a crunch due to workload.  On the other, my departure has the potential to disrupt on a bigger picture level.  Can’t go into detail.  I know everyone thinks they are indispensable and I’m sure that logical flaw is part of my thinking as well.  With that in mind, I’m hoping for my notice to go more smoothly than what the little voice in my head is telling me to expect.

I was starting to play out in my mind whether I would agree if they asked me to simply take a leave of absence.  If you asked me three months ago, I would have said “hell, no!”  If you asked me two months ago, I would have said “Sure, I’ll even go ad hoc and bill some hours while we are gone to maintain some relationship.”  Last month, I was back to hell no and this month, due to the poor performance of the stock market, I was not quite back to ad hoc, but at least willing to take a leave of absence rather than outright resign.  I’m sure that will be part of the discussion next week regardless of whether I bring it up.

I guess a lot of this train of thought revolves around my fear of the unknown.  This fear is simply something to come to terms with as we figure out our next steps in the game of life.  Despite the generous compensation, only fear will drive me back to a position in a big law firm, or even in-house, as that just sounds inherently boring to me.  Maybe that fear could be justified, i.e., the sky really is falling.  But most likely the fear will just be based on my generally conservative nature.  Sometimes I go back to thinking that maybe if I stick around for another year and save a few more hundred thousand, I will be more comfortable leaving.  But that’s just the siren call of one-more-year syndrome.

Well, stay tuned folks.  Hope my next post will be a positive one!

9 thoughts on “The Home Stretch

  1. Good luck. I’ll tell you from experience that this is the hardest step, but it’s well with it.

    Last night my wife and I were out and we met someone new who learned I was retired early. She asked if I thought I’d ever go back to engineering, and I surprised even myself with how quickly and resoundingly I responded “No!”

  2. Congrats on closing in on your big move outta big law. I spent 23 years as a litigator in a massive firm before retiring in 2008. I was then age 48. Whenever people say i left too soon i tell them that as measured in billable hours i actually was retiring at age 83.

    As it turns out, i haven’t missed the litigator’s life at all. I don’t think you will either.

    BTW, like you appear to be doing, i retired right into a stock market collapse (the Great Recession of 2008-2009). Ever since, the market has rebounded and everything has worked out fine. You’ll be fine too. Don’t let macroeconomic forces control your intelligent nanoeconomic decision to escape the 2000+ billable hour lifestyle!

    • Thanks! Appreciate the comment, especially coming from someone with your background. Glad you hear your retirement is working out well and you haven’t looked back with regret. A little spooked by today’s 2.5% drop in S&P 500, but still planning on talking to my mentor tomorrow to get the ball rolling on our departure.

      • I don’t want to throw cold water, but are you financially, mentally and emotionally prepared for a market meltdown? I looked at your asset allocation on NetWorth, you are heavily overweighted in stocks. Not saying the market will crash (who knows), but between Sept 2007 and Feb 2009, the S&P lost over 50% of its value. No one in 2005 saw that coming.

      • I think “overweighted” is an overstatement. But we do have a big exposure to stocks. I still think that’s the best long term vehicle for growth and I’ve long since realized that I can’t predict the market. So we’re happy to let it ride. We came back strong since 2009 (when I was largely hiding under a rock with cash). The market correction in recent days has eaten up $75K in our gains, but it hasn’t bothered me as much as I thought.

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