Brief Update

It’s been little while since my last post.  We have emerged from the cesspool that is Bali.  It’s funny how time drags by in a place like that and now that we’re in Japan, time is flying by.

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We spent a week in Tokyo, one of my favorite cities, then went up to Hokkaido, where we will remain for the rest of the month.  The cost of living is drastically higher here than in Bali, and even higher than Australia and NZ.  For example, we spent just under $3k during our month in Bali, just under $5k during our month in NZ, and just over $5k for our month in eastern Australia.  We’re trending towards over $6k for a month in Japan.  Despite the added cost, I would gladly spend that much in Japan versus slogging through Bali and surrounding areas for half the cost.

In other news, our net worth topped $2 million in recent days.  Pretty exciting stuff, although who knows if the market will continue to remain strong.  It took 11 years of full time work to get to the first million and only 3 years to get to the second million.  What really helped was two things that happened in 2012 — (1) a big increase in compensation due to hopping off the associate track and (2) finally starting to deploy taxable assets in the markets instead of sitting on the sidelines in cash.

Still noodling about what to do when we return.  Starting to miss some aspects of the old job.  Will probably try to start off part time (e.g. 30 hours a month) in a role like what I was doing before and evaluate from there.  It’s not guaranteed that I can even do this, but it’s a place to start.  This will give me plenty of time to explore other things.  I think my ideal life would include a nice variety including mentally challenging work, golf, working out, community service, etc.  Would certainly keep things interesting!

10 thoughts on “Brief Update

  1. I’m curious, with $2M in your investment account, do you hold it all in equities? Or do you have some percentage in bonds as well? I know there are people (e.g., Mr. Money Mustache) who are in favor of an all stock portfolio, and I think that makes sense during the wealth building phase. But once you have that nest egg, personally I would diversify a bit to decrease the riskiness of my portfolio. I think there are studies showing that an 80/20 (stock/bonds) allocation actually outperforms a 100/0 allocation in the long run, precisely because the 80/20 doesn’t dig itself into such a big hole during huge downturns (see jcollinsnh on this point; I also think Bernstein talks about this in the “4 Pillars” book).

    At any rate, I think there are good reasons for differentiating between wealth building and wealth preservation, but not everyone agrees.

  2. Anon, thanks for posting updates in your post-exit travels. I’m a mid-level Big Law associate starting to question my goals in life. FI is super appealing to me for obvious reasons, and I’m very curious about what life looks like after jumping off the Big Law train. Particularly interested if you are able to carve out a non-BL niche if you want to start practicing again. As for a question, have you felt aimless at all since quitting? Or is it probably too early?

    • Post BL life is a big mix of things. Fun, relaxing, boring, stressful, etc. It’s really what you make of it. It can be tough. We’re institutionalized like Brooks and Red in Shawshank Redemption. Without the walls and rules, it’s up to you to find your way…

      In terms of a non-BL niche, I haven’t gotten that far yet. Still somewhat on a leash in terms of my mentality. I guess pro bono and public interest is one avenue. Solo is another, but can be tough depending on your practice area.

  3. I’ve been following your path with particular interest b/c our stats are comparable. I’m in my-30s, in BigLaw, no kids, and hope to hit $2M by at least by the time my bonus check clears in early 2017 (no spouse though). Of course, as is typical for this job, i’ve also been miserable for 40% of this year. I’m trying to work up the nerve to quit and move in-house or to the gov’t (and would love to have a 3-6 month vacation in between…not sure how I could make that work though with the application process) — kudos to you for cutting the cord completely. The presumed 1/2 cut in pay is hard to stomach from a mental perspective — which is so stupid since a six figure paycheck is plenty.

    Have you considered going in-house or to the govt when you return from your trip? Or looking for legal jobs that are listed as part-time? (not common, but i’ve seen some listings. ) I know you mentioned working like 30 hours for your old firm, but do you really think that would be possible?

    • Thanks for the comment, Clay. I occasionally glance at job postings for in-house positions. Seems a little quiet these days. Haven’t really looked at government. I may expound on the angle I am going for at a later date. Still trying to nail some things down!

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