It’s Virtually Impossible To Escape The Allure Of Money

allure-of-moneyWhen we’re young, we have this idealist image of the way the world should be. Then we enter the work force, get beaten down by the system, and fork over a good amount of our earnings to the government. Suddenly, we’re no longer as much about helping other people or higher taxes anymore. Instead, we’re trying to figure out things for ourselves.

During the summer of 2016, I got to know several MBA interns. One of them went to Harvard for undergrad and was attending Stanford for her MBA. Before Stanford, she worked at a private equity firm, one of the highest paying industries today.

She was now interning at a startup where I was a consultant, that paid much less than what she earned before business school. She was a dreamer who longed to do more.

When I asked her during lunch one day whether she planned to return to private equity, like so many of her classmates with similar experience do, she said, “No Sam, I’m not going back. It was a good experience, but I want to do something more meaningful with my life instead of just investing other people's money for more money.

I responded, “Are you sure? The starting pay for MBA grads is huge (~$300,000+ all-in) compared to what many startups pay. Will you really be able to resist the money?

Absolutely!” she replied, and with a nice dig towards me, “I’m not like you Sam. You’re very focused on money given your long experience in finance and your personal finance blog. I, on the other hand, really want to do something different. Something more impactful to help change the world.

Zing! Talk about a slap in my face.

Well, newly minted MBAs were recently unleashed to the world, and it turns out my idealistic summer intern is going back to the very private equity industry she looked down on! She shunned the startup company that focused on helping the 99% for making big bucks for herself and the wealthiest of Americans!

I reached out to her a couple times over LinkedIn to ask her why she decided to go back to PE, but she never responded. I think she's embarrassed.

Oh well, another bright person chasing money instead of figuring out a way to cure cancer or alleviate poverty.


I don’t blame my MBA intern for taking a multiple six-figure job out of business school. She or her parents just forked over $100,000+ in tuition and another $200,000+ in lost wages. Accepting a job that provides the highest ROI is a savvy business move! What I didn't appreciate was the way she positioned herself as someone above me just because she wanted to change the world, but didn't. (Related: Is Business School A Big Waste Of Time And Money?)

We all like to believe that we’ll follow our dreams instead of follow the money. But rarely will people ever forsake a boatload of money when they’re actually offered the chance. It's so easy to say money doesn't buy happiness if you are already rich or poor. But if you aren't already rich, then the allure of money is too hard to deny.

Examples Of Real People Who Couldn't Say No To Money

1) A debt blogger who struggled with debilitating debt for years decided to write for a credit card site because the freelance income was too good to pass up.

2) The founders of Secretly, an anonymous web app, shut down a year after they cashed out $3 million each. The right thing to do would be to return the money to their investors, but they legally have every right to keep their windfall, despite knowing their company was in trouble during fund raising.

3) My doctor friend who said he wanted to be a pediatrician because he loves kids. Instead, he went to school for four more years because he wanted to make more money as a cardiologist. His parents paid for all his tuition, so it's not like he needed to make more money to improve his ROI or get out of debt.

4) Any worker who leaves his/her employer within a couple years, despite saying how much they love the employer. You see it all the time with coaches in college sports or professional athletes as well.

5) Me not taking what would have been an amazing startup job in China after college to join a private investment bank in Manhattan. I also wasn't able to leave banking after my 10th consecutive year despite losing a tremendous amount of interest. It took three more years to finally break free.

6) Galleon fund manager, Raj Rajaratnam who was worth ~$1.8 billion already when he got caught paying for insider tips in order to make mere millions. Isn't $1 billion enough?!

7) Anybody whose family is already rich, yet goes into an industry that's primarily focuses on making themselves even richer! For example, one of the MBA grads at the fintech startup I was consulting for decided to leave after three years to work at a hedge fund. Come on now. Her family paid for her MBA and is planning on buying her a $1.5M condo. How about using your wealth to work as a teacher, blogger, nurse, or in non-profit to help people in need help?

Related: No Wonder Why Millennials Don't Give A Damn About Money!

8) How about you?


If I actually received my severance check, I promised I’d never go back to work. Yet, a year and a half after receiving a nice check, I was back to consulting 25 hours a week. I told myself it was mainly for the camaraderie and experience. But I can’t deny that wonderful feeling of getting a steady paycheck again! At least I haven't gone back to work full-time in four years.

Chase the money if you have bills to pay, a family to provide for, or because you simply love money. Just don’t go around pretending to be better than anybody else because you supposedly don’t care about money. If you make a lot of money, you can give away lots more money or utilize your greater resources to help other people!

It’s human nature to poo poo those who focus on money if you don’t have money or don’t have any money-making opportunities. Just read the comments in the post on scraping by making $500,000 a year. But I promise you won’t be able to resist the money either once a massive wad of cash gets shoved in your face!


* Start Your Own Website, Be Your Own Boss: There's nothing better than starting your own website (tutorial) to own your brand online and earn extra income on the side. Why should LinkedIn, FB, and Twitter pop up when someone Google's your name? With your own website you can connect with potentially millions of people online, sell a product, sell some else's product, make passive income and find a lot of new consulting and FT work opportunities.

Financial Samurai started as a personal journal to make sense of the financial crisis in 2009. By early 2012, it started making a livable income stream so I decided to negotiate a severance package. Years later, FS now makes more than I did as an Executive Director at a major bulge bracket firm with 90% less work and 100% more fun. You never know where the journey will take you!

Pro Blogging Income Statement
You can start your site for next to nothing and potentially make a lot of extra income. This is a real example.

* Track Your Net Worth For Free: Sign up for Personal Capital for free and link all your accounts in order to calculate your financial health. You can analyze your cash flow, your investment returns, look for excessive fees, and see whether your net worth is properly allocated. They recently launched the best Retirement Planning Calculator around, using your real data to run thousands of algorithms to see what your probability is for retirement success. Once you register, simply click the Investing tab on the top right and then click Retirement Planner. There's no better free tool online to help you track your net worth, minimize investment expenses, and manage your wealth.

Retirement Planning Calculator
Is your retirement in excellent shape for your goals? Run the numbers to find out

Updated for 2019 and beyond.

121 thoughts on “It’s Virtually Impossible To Escape The Allure Of Money”

  1. I had to choose between 250k a year and 100k and went with the smaller amount because it gauranteed I would be home most nights with limited travel (4-6 weeks a year) while the 250k work required about 35 weeks a year travel (home for the weekends). We had 3 little ones at the time (now 4) and I asked my wife what she wanted me to do (I was making 6k a week traveling) she said she would rather have me home. Happy wife, happy life! That was 5 years ago and I’m still working at the same place, no regrets.

    1. Hi Joel – Thanks for sharing! That’s a huge income spread! That’s great that you got to spend more time with your family. Do you have the option 5 years later to get another 250K/year job potentially?

      1. Yes I could still go that route now or later, but I’ve reached FI and the plan is to continue working (I love this job, the people I work with, and the impact I have) until the kids are a little older and then take them on a one year international trip.

        When we return I may or may not get my job back. May just turn the page and do something completely different.

        Thanks for asking, and for the amazing content on your site.

  2. Mrs. SimplyFinanciallyFree

    Just over three years ago I left my job and took a 20% cut in pay but I don’t regret it at all. My happiness and sanity are worth so much more! When my husband got laid off in the spring of 2014 he decided to try the self-employment route. He is making half the salary but is much happier and is in more control of his work. Would we be further along financially if we were at our previous soul-sucking jobs? Probably. But our sanity and happiness is worth so much more to both of us.

  3. Money is nearly impossibly alluring. I’ll be quitting my six-figure job this spring after my second child is born, but have spent some time building up freelancing to sort of pad our stash (since my husband is a student right now). Now that I’ve built up my hourly rate to one that is greater than my day job, I have a tough time believing that I’ll work less than 20 hours per week within a year or so.

  4. Pingback: It's OK To Love Money | Financial Samurai

  5. i make about 600k/yr as a research analyst. Recently, a friend of mine’s family came into some significant wealth and he asked me if i would like to be the cio of his family office. Sounded really cool, but i asked him if he could buy out my deferred compensation (~500k) and then match my current income and he said yes to the first but no to the second. I had to turn the offer down because i have a family of 4 to support and need all the $ i can get, but some days i still think about how cool that job would’ve been.

      1. Somewhere in the 100-200 million range. He didnt say what he could pay me, but when I stated my price he just said it wasnt feasible. I was thinking about maybe accepting a lower guaranteed comp and structuring some upside incentives, but that’s a bigger discussion and he’s still trying to figure out the overall format of the family office at the moment.

  6. I am having the opposite issue. I have the opportunity to take a 2 year assignment in Canada. The salary is in CAD, 1:1 with NYC, which normally would be great. However, the Canadian fx is going from bad to worse, 1:1.3 at the moment. I still want to do it because it’s a city I really want to live in, though it doesn’t align with my inner must-save-now mentality (I’m in my 20s). Is there a way to limit any more downside risk? Options, forward contracts, ultrashort oil etfs? Getting salary in usd isn’t an option.

    1. Oh man, if you have a 2 year assignment to work in NYC, TAKE IT! It is one of the most amazing, dynamic, high energy place in the world! I swear, you will have second thoughts of ever going back to Canada. Or if you do, you’ll be bored out of your mind within a couple months now that you have NYC to compare to.

      Going to NYC will make you work your hardest, meet tons of folks, see new things, and realize how much upside there is in America!

      Go for it!

  7. My work allows me to work with and talk to the elderly; some relatively healthy, some very sick, and others terminal. Over the years, I have tried to absorb as much wisdom and advice as possible as people at this stage in their lives rarely ever lie or cover up. I deal with patients from all walks of lives; from judges to real estate tycons, to bus drivers and mechanics. I might write a one day as there is definately enoguh material there. Some very powerful incidents come to mind . These individuals have only re-enforced my.inclinations towards wanting to achieve freedom of time and place. I recall a book authored by a nurse from pallative care of dying.people. Its a good read. I am tempted to write.a very long post, I am at work.and typing on my, I must refrain. In.short, I.have learned that what you did for a living.and how much you earned becomes a lot less significant and much smaller part of your psyche as you age. People, when.they want their.accomplishments, rarely ever they.managed to earn, but family.members they took care of, sacrifices they made for their friends, and the journeys they undertook to preserve their self respect and diginity. No one.has.ever said to me ” I wish I.had worked more.” Almost everyone has advised me to make most of time with friends and family because it will fly by. I have been told.time and time again, to.not take life too seriously. Money comes.up of course, but.not in dollar amounts, but how it.helped or.prevented relationships and experiences. Top regrets I have come across are not.spending.enough time.with kids and.not.having.enough worthwhile .experiences with wife along.with worrying.too much and preventing that

  8. Now this is an article I totally identify with.

    In college I came to a realisation that all jobs suck, so take the one that pays the highest, save as much as you can and get out asap. So I started in IBD corporate finance drudgery.

    That was about 6 years ago and I’m c. 3 to 4 more years away from leaving the finance world for good.

    I guess when one is financially free, he would then be able to do whatever he pleases, including working for free :)

  9. ManhattanFrog

    I agree it is indeed hard to escape the allure of bags of some cold hard cash. People can be as idealistic as they want, but they can’t say no to making 300k or doubling/quadrupling their income, else they are dumb. My issue is that I earn a lot more than 300k in a stable job, love my job, don’t work long hours ever, BUT I want to retire early so I can travel and live somewhere nice. I just can’t say no to the money while its coming in!

  10. Well most people don’t work for money, they work for what it buys. We ALWAYS want what we don’t have, and always think “if I just had this, I’d be set and life would be perfect”. It’s important to try to find balance and fight the never ending cycle of un-satisfaction and try to be satisfied once in a while.

    I think you can definitely “know when to stop”. Most people who get to half a billion to billions of dollars didn’t get there by want of money in the first place. They’re working because they either get intrinsic value from working or they’re trying to change the world. If you don’t fall into that category, and you have enough money to have any house and live the lifestyle you want, there’s no need for *more* money.

    1. Not sure most people know when to stop.

      The more experience you have, the more money you generally make. Hence, the more difficult it is to just let go.

      That said, hopefully the person accumulates more wealth over time, and the incremental earnings just doesn’t mean much anymore after a certain point.

  11. About 5 years ago, I made a very similar choice to the poll hypo. My change was all about reducing stress and improving quality of life. My wife worked in finance and I worked at a large law firm. My schedule was brutal and neither of us was happy in our job. We left NYC and moved to a small new england city. We make a LOT less money now ($250k less at the time of the move, but probably closer to $300k-$400k now), but we have everything we need and a lot more satisfaction at work. We both still have real jobs, but we have a lot more autonomy and respect, and have reasonable schedules.

    We had the flexibility to make this move because we both went for the money early in life. We stuck it out longer than our friends, and have always lived below our means. We only have one kid. We’re able to lead a comfortable life on a healthy (but not lavish) combined salary in the $175k range. We have a net worth of ~$1.2 million in our mid 30s, which we are steadily growing. Barring some calamity, we’ll retire comfortably with some life left to live. We aren’t wanting for anything and money isn’t a big source of stress in our life.

    But I didn’t make the job change or give up the money for more “meaningful employment.” The factors that matters to me when it comes to job satisfactions are good management, the satisfaction of being good at your job, being in a position that maximizes your skillset, respect, autonomy, flexibility, time commitment, and stress level. I have a great balance of those now, and it would take a lot of money for me to give that up. Certainly more than anyone would be willing to pay me.

    I’m not sure what my point is. Working 70 hours a week for a huge salary was worth it when I didn’t have any wealth. And it’s a lot easier to pursue a “meaningful life” with some money in the bank. But now that I’ve have some money and have accomplished some of my professional goals, the money stops being worth it at some point.

    1. I think your point is that you now want to do something more meaningful to help others since you made the move not for more meaning, but for a less stressful life! You’ve got the resources.

      There’s probably no better feeling than trying to help someone else.

  12. Prior to getting my MBA, I interned with an equity research firm. It was no private equity or investment banking, but it was still a grueling business. We were the ones who’d do all the research and place a buy/sell/hold rating on a stock, then sell that research to F500 banks and investment brokers. While I was interning, I worked my tail off and was paid very little. The analyst level above me probably worked 50-60 hours a week. The senior analyst (who’s role it was to place the rating) worked well over 70 hours a week. They were well-compensated (usually 250k+ with bonuses) but the burnout rate was fast. I think I recall hearing the average career lifespan of a senior analyst was something like 7 years. That is what I used to want to do.

    Now in a completely different financial field, I look back and think how glad I am I didn’t continue down that path. Yes, the money would be great, but not at the risk of things like my happiness, work/life balance, and relationships.

    Sadly, I think everyone has their “price” but we need to stop thinking that way. Money does NOT buy happiness, no matter what anyone else says (to agree with the comment above). People who focus solely on their money typically end up lonely and miserable. Plus, to get a little more philosophical, you have to think… why were we put on this planet? Was it to just rake in millions of dollars and say “I win”? I don’t think so.

    One funny side note… I had a real estate investment professor during my undergrad who always said “the person who dies with the most stuff wins”. He died shortly after I graduated. Interesting how people think.

    Great article.

    1. Hi Chris!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Equity research is one of the toughest jobs around nowadays. You have so many clients to please, you’ll never win! It was really only in the late 90s when Henry Blodget from Business Insider were pumping up tech/interenet stocks were the days when analysts got paaaaaaid.

      BTW, just need to rake in around $5.4 million per person… since everything else is taxed after that :)

  13. Awesome read! I left a great paying career in management consulting to become a paramedic/firefighter. Constant travel took its toll on me and my family. My schedule is incredible: work 2 days, off 4 days.

    At times I miss the tens of thousands in income, free family trips on points, expense accounts, and $2k team dinners! I do not miss the time away from my wife and kids.

    I’ve really enjoyed reading this blog over the past couple of weeks. Keep up the strong work and Go Bears!

  14. I did leave my very well paying job to chase the thing that I was (and still am) passionate about. Did it for 7.5 years, then came back into the field with a different view. Here’s what I’ve found, I get bored easily so I’ll tend to go full bore on something that I’m passionate about to the point of burnout.

    That said, I’m currently in corporate (not just for the cash, but for the team – working with some great people) and have some passive income set up.

    I can see a time where I’ll tire of working for corporate and I’ll want to have other streams of income to live off of.

    One of the things that people have asked me repeatedly when I’d left tech was… how did you afford to do it?

    It’s less about affording it and more about what you really want. I am very comfortable about what I need financially and what I am willing (and not willing) to do to get there.

  15. “People who complain about the sell-outs don’t quite understand their own hypocrisy. Nobody was buying what they were selling, anyway.” – Marc Maron

    Wow, this post and the comments is an eyeful into a completely different world for me. In my old industry, MBAs were a dime-a-dozen and not particularly better performers. To even have a chance at opportunities that pay like this seems to be a given for commenters, and to job-hop is even more remarkable. Quite a talented bunch future 1%ers!

    I’m looking around at dozens of recent grads I know, and they have nothing going on. Most can’t even get a f/t job where they wear a tie or wear hard shoes. They all want to change the world, too.:-)

    1. Nothing in life is given! Just have to work really, really, hard and hope opportunities do arise. A lot of her classmates hoped to get the PE offers as well, but failed. I just so happened to know about and write about the one who did.

      You hanging out w/ recent grads nowadays mate? Everybody always wants to change the world. Best to just change themselves first.

  16. I have yet to meet anyone who makes $300K+ and works 30 hr weeks. I’d rather work part-time for less pay to see my kids grow up. But then again, I don’t go around asking what people make.

  17. Salary wise I’m pretty much capped. I earn a miserly 0 to 4 percent raise each year like most. Investment wise however I’ve earned more paper gains thus far this year than my expected yearly salary. Hopefully over long periods of time, I can continue to compound this phenomenon. Some years good, other years bad.

    1. A 0-4% raise is uninspiring. I wouldn’t be able to last more than 5 years. I want to work in an industry where you eat what you kill. Where the correlation with reward, performance, and effort is high.

      Besides getting bored, finance felt like it was turning into a communistic structure of subsidizing underperforms after the crisis.

      The opposite of 0-4% raises is becoming an entrepreneur.

      Related post:

      How Do I Have To Make As An Entrepreneur To Replicate My Day Job Income

      Techies, Bankers, Doctors, You’ll Never Get Rich Working For Someone Else

  18. A couple years back, I left a job before RSUs vested which would have put my income at around $190k per year if I had waited. I now work at a place with a much better work/life balance and work I enjoy more for about $140k. I hated giving up those RSUs esp. since I got a good strike price… but I am much happier and do not regret my decision.

    I find it ironic that the happiest cities are in Europe, not for the salaries, but for the work/life balance and extended vacations. Yet many of us choose the paths that are more lucrative, even if they are stressful and empty. I think the challenge is finding that compromise and happy medium.

      1. Yes, sets of RSUs were vested each year for four years. I got one set for a signing bonus. Then another six months later another for an annual performance bonus. People who had been around were used to these stacking for a total of four vesting in any given year. This would bump their salaries to $200k or so for a typical staff engineer.
        The company I am currently with has no such program for non-management individual contributors. However, they do allow telecommuting and provide a work-life balance where 40 hour work weeks are closer to the norm. 50% less stress for 25% less pay is a trade-off I am willing to make.

        I read the Europe post a while back. However, I am more pessimistic on whether the European economy can sustain their happy lifestyle. Some of that happiness seems to be at the expense of large deficits.

  19. I love this site because of stuff like this. Right after I read your giving a crap article I see this and it reminds me about what I’ve committed my life towards!

    It just reinforces that the only thing I want in life is money and would do whatever it takes (legally) to acquire it. People have the wrong mindset, I could be happy in any field with large paychecks! It’s just work and they’re PAYING me to be there! They say jump I say how high? They say work I say how long you paying me for?! How could I not be happy! Then I get to be frugal and watch my millions grow in investments! Gosh how can people not love money! I think about it around the clock and it is what makes me happy!

    You folk in finance have it great get paid to work 80-100 hour weeks! If my office paid me to work OT and not this crap “flex-time” I’d be there 120 hours a week until I was 70+! When I met Bud Kline (billionaire) less than a decade ago the guy was still involved in his business even at his old age. You don’t do that unless you love the money and have the love for what you’ve created. My fortune is my baby, I nurture it, watch it grow, and because of it I’m probably the happiest person in the world!

    Tip for office managers, pay employees daily and morale will increase!

    Keep up the good work Sam! Need to continue my investment research to keep morale high! :D

  20. Smartest Woman on the Internet

    My employer offers a program whereby workers can reduce their work hours with a commensurate reduction in pay. About four years ago, I reduced my work week (and pay) by 5% (4 hours) by taking every other Friday afternoon off. A year later, I reduced my work week by taking every other Friday off (a 10% reduction). Finally, last year, I just said, “what the hell!” and decided to take every Friday off w/o pay! Every weekend is a 3-day weekend (or longer)! I’m not going to be promoted, but that’s ok because I don’t want any of the higher-level positions (nor do they pay enough for the responsibilities). Just want to keep working in my current reasonably low-stress, interesting, autonomous, & respected role and retire in 5 years at 55 y/o.

    1. Love it!

      If I had the option of taking every Friday off at my banking job, I definitely would not have negotiated a severance in 2012. I would have stayed until age 40 (2017) for sure!

  21. I made close to 200k on the books ( have some income) .last year and got raped by the IRS. Made we wonder if.that extra effort.and time taken away and family was worth what I.came home with after taxes. I realize that after a certain point you are really working for.Uncle Sam upto 50% of the extra income you think you will take.home goes to.Uncle.Sam so they can forward it to.big defense.corporations like.Lockheed.and.their $400 billion of wasteful spending.on 3rd rate airplanes that China can make.for.a fraction of the price. $400.billion! Do many.people fed and.clothed for.that much across the world? So I sacrificed my time.and went.home only to.find.wife.and kids fast asleep so.the fat cat defense.rackets can.get fat ? No Anyway, I am not.trying to.break the 200k.mark.this year since a lot that extra time for.Uncle.Sam and.whatever extra I.bring time lost from life. Unless I.make.a.significant.jump without too.much extra stress.I am I can pocket.100%.

  22. I’m already in the low 6 figures range 4 years out of school and I will continue to chase that money until I literally don’t know what else to buy…or until my quality of life suffers, it’s not worth that much.

  23. Interesting that making money and doing something you love is almost always presented as an either/or proposition.

    There are numerous jobs (mostly businesses) that pay well and that are very enjoyable. You simply have to be able to sell your product or service. There are negative aspects to every job, if they make up more than a quarter of your day it’s time to look for something new.

    1. Finding a job you enjoy is a rarity in the US, based on the endless amount of surveys who say that a majority of workers are disengaged. I believe the surveys too. Younger folks even tell me, “those who don’t HATE their jobs, are the minority.”

      I can tell you are Canadian with your comment of not wanting to work at a job more than 8 hours a day! That is a good attitude. The US can follow the lead of Canadians who have a much better work life balance. We don’t have to be the innovators and creators of everything.

      Related: Are There People Who Work 40 Hours A Week Or Less And Complain Why They Can’t Get Ahead?

      1. I’m not sure where I insinuated people should only work 8 hours, I don’t take issue with working a large or small amounts amount of hours. My take is that if you’re spending more than a quarter of your working day doing something you dislike, you should dedicate time to finding a job you like.

        As noted in your linked article, there are very few successful people in the growth phase of their career who work forty hours or less. I enjoy market research, networking, evening events, etc. which some would classify as work. I enjoy looking at business opportunities, viewing properties for potential investment, and the like. Some weeks I may “work” 80 or 90 hours, but I enjoy the majority of it. Other weeks I may work 20 hours.

        Once I decide to dial things back a bit, I would hope to work 25 hours per week and still maintain a similar income. Like anything, you have to put the work in up front.

  24. I’m really not sure where my balance is when it comes to the allure of money. My new job pays a little better which was definitely a factor, but I’m not sure how much higher I’d be prepared to go if it meant more stress, less autonomy etc. Some days I think I should just push it to the absolute max and see how I respond, but other days I think I should step right back and try and live the most balanced life I can now.

    I think some people get caught up in thinking that a job they love will satisfy their entire life, and chase it at any opportunity cost of a bigger salary. But it’s no different to thinking meeting that special person, achieving that specific goal or any other single external factor is going to magically change everything else in your life. We all need some sort of balance.

  25. To give an exact number is tough Sam but I agree with your 200 to 250k figure. Although I think I can do really well with even to 20/30 % less than that. I am not the type to.derive a lot.of meaning from.material things. Dont about keeping.up with the Jonses either. Freedom.of time and place wins over both.of those things for me. Of course I want the basics like everyone else; the house, the schools for kids, car etc. Everything descent but not.necessarily.prestigious. for.such.prestige. My.prestige lays in my freedom. So yes, if 200-250k cant make you content.then money is not your problem. Its either your ego/greed/sense of entitlement/ pride. That is a bottomless pit.and I feel sorry for.anyone.who.jumps in.

  26. I have to deal with this dilemma all the time. The field I am in, I can pretty much work as many hours as I want including weekends and holidays and get paid accordingly. I.have done 16 hr days ( made in 1 day what most people would make in week.or more.) I have the option to do 16 hr days all the time. and the not Many times, its just being stuck at work vs having the freedom to what I.want. I am basically time for money. Some days my prescence is.required to just physically be in the building for hrs doing.absolutely nothing. I still choose to.balance.myself out.and not.become a soul less money like.some.of my.colleagues who.have suffered.divorces because I.give up .potential income everday just to.have more time and frankly.more time for Just how much of my life am.I willing to give up for the money? Time is absolutley the most precious.non-renewable resource I have. I will once and cant take my savings and mansions with me. I.have turned down director positions.with good benefits and salary just able keep my freedom and as little as I want. Sometimes, I wonder how avoid taking.a stable salaried.position and not foolishly.throw.away.good opportunities.which is what this post is all about. The VP of a approached me and stated she sees the company is growing, I politely responded by saying a position at this my career. I.probaly.end.up making more money than the director position by doing.more hrs with a lot.less stress and a lot more freedom, but a lot.less stability and benefits. I chose to reject the stability and 401ks that take away my.freedom. Of course, I will.have for.compensating the offered 401ks. So far, absolutely no.regrets whatsoever. I did switch.over at one time to.a stable.job and lasted only 6 months wings again. From.then on, I.have decided not to let fear dictate my.decisions.I will never turn down easy money, but its the money that comes with the bagge of losing.or compromising on things I cherish most that I would rather not.have. Sam, you also chose to give up.a bundle.of potential.wealth for your freedom.and I are the happier for it. I am certain you would.have been.a miserbale.millionaire and probably.a nasty person.had you.not left wall st behind. An.ounce of.freedom is worth more than a to me.

    1. I’m happier for it. Not sure I would be a nasty person if I stayed. Maybe! But I was in the service business to make clients happy, so how nasty of a person could I have gotten?

      Your ability to work more and make more is very fortunate. I guess my question for you is: how much is enough?

  27. mysticaltyger

    FYI, it’s “pooh-pooh”, not “poo poo”. They most definitely don’t mean the same thing, if you catch my drift :-0.

  28. I left IBM and had a pay increase of 250%. And then I left after a year. The lure of the money got me, but then the novelty wore off, I got bored and all that time I had spent thinking of climbing the ladder and earning more dough became less important because nothing much changed other than the size of my account and I suppose a ‘feeling’ of financial comfort (which isn’t a bad feeling, however!)

    I like balance. I’m a serial investor and business owner, 36yrs old, with a 2 small kids and a stay-at-home-wife. I earn good money, but not massive money. The opportunities are all there for me to earn massive, but my free time, which I have lots of is not up for sale anymore.

    Besides, It’s easier to make more money if you don’t crave it.

    1. A 250% pay raise e.g. going from $100,000 to $350,000? If so, that is massive! I think I would have held on for five years, while saving all income in excess of my previous job’s income.

      It may very well be easier to make money if you don’t crave it. But, it’s important to at least have a “nose for money.”

  29. I would take the PE job with the higher salary. Heck, I wanted the same thing a few years ago when I finished my MBA at UC San Diego but those high paying employers in PE/Investment Banking/Mgmt Consulting don’t target my school. It’ll probably stress her out and she’ll want to quit in a few years but it’s a great opportunity for an ambitious 30 year old. Give her a few years until the stress starts causing health problems, she has a non-existent personal life and her biological clock starts ticking. Right now she’s following the path that’s expected of someone with her credentials.

    The concept of work/life balance didn’t even exist in my mind until after I turned 30. A little heartburn or a sore throat wasn’t going to stop me from a 14 hr work day. My effort was really going to help the company, I’m a difference maker, I’m successful, I don’t lose. Our start-up was valued at $1B. We’re going public within the next 2 years or getting acquired. Nevermind the CEO driving the company into the ground. And then poof! ‘We’re going to do some re-org and right-sizing’, new executives come in, all those meetings with investors that were ‘going really well’ just stop. Welp, I guess it’s time to take my life back.

    Eventually you realize how small you are and the start seeing the value of time over money. The corporate rat race and consumerism is never ending. I’d put in some hard work for a few years to save a big nut and get out.

    1. Thanks for sharing Ken.

      What’s your startup valued at now? And do you think it will still IPO?

      Time really beats the idealist out of everyone eventually. Sooner or later we all become realists.

      1. The company is probably valued at <$100M now, did not and will not go public. The ability to generate revenue is years away. There was a window to get acquired by a big oil company but the deal never got done. I left two years ago as the implosion began.

        1. Got it. This is the problem in the bubbliscous startup world here. NO liquidity, which means, no ability to use your riches to improve life.

          There will be many tears here in SF. But at least people tried!

    2. Smartest Woman on the Internet

      @Ken: “when I finished my MBA at UC San Diego but those high paying employers in PE/Investment Banking/Mgmt Consulting don’t target my school.”

      Yes, same thing w/ my MBA school. I earned my MBA from the University of FL in ’00. (Regualarly a Top 50 school.) The economy was good and many employers recruit UF MBAs, including Fortune 500 companies. Despite the good economy, most of my classmates were lucky to receive one job offfer, at about $50K. I’m certain that, now 15 years later, none make $100K, including myself.

      The salary offers of the top 3 MBA schools dwarf every other school.

      1. Be sure to read the article Sam has linked, ‘Is business school a big waste of time and money?’

        I attended part-time while working full time so I didn’t lose two years of income. I’m only 3 years out but it hasn’t given my an ROI yet. I never viewed my MBA as a get rich quick scheme. My undergrad is in science and I wanted practical knowledge.

        Surprisingly, there were students with PhD’s and JD’s in the program. I’ve worked with MD/PhD’s, an 8 year program! Really smart people that are disgruntled with how much they make. I feel pretty good about my situation.

  30. I think it’s all in how people are wired, but honestly from everything I’ve seen, the people that would turn down such opportunities probably wouldn’t have gotten into the field of finance in the first place even going back to school. People who choose that path I believe probably have more of an inclination to follow the money versus someone who might take a known less lucrative field of study.

  31. “When we’re young, we have this idealist image of the way the world should be. Then we enter the work force, get beaten down by the system, and fork over a good amount of our earnings to the government. Suddenly, we’re no longer as much about helping other people or higher taxes anymore.”

    That first paragraph punched me hard in the face. This is me and there are many mornings I look at the guy in the mirror, and wonder where the young idealist went.

    1. You’re still there. It’s just crunch time now where accumulating money is a necessary stage in life. The goal is to think wisely now about your investments so that you can break free when you just can’t take it anymore!

  32. People who pursue higher income in a job they don’t love have a tendency to buy off the unpleasantness. Paying for massages, business class ticket, 5 star hotels. In their mind they calculated the for $2000 they earned, they can spend $1000 to “wash away” the stress, and still be $1000 ahead versus doing something they enjoy for $500.

    Of course this is not universally true or is it a awful habit, but I do want to point it out. It goes in parallel with making more and spending more. It becomes a endless cycle.

    I fully support making as much money as you want, but taking a pause to self evaluate these tendencies may nudge you in a more fulfilling direction.

  33. About seven years ago, I was offered a position with a consulting firm with a starting salary of $250,000 (twice my salary at the time) and the potential to earn over $1 million a year within just a few years. I turned it down. I know some people won’t be able to believe it, but we were getting ready to try to have Baby #2 and this new position would have had me traveling 50-75% of the month.

    My husband and I discussed the pros and cons of each and decided that it wasn’t worth it. I love spending time with my kids and for me to start missing out on recitals, ball games, etc. just wasn’t worth the money. We feel like it was the wrong time for an opportunity for me and it just wouldn’t work with our family. That being said, if an offer like that comes along in the future, I would consider taking it once the kids are older/grown.

    Sometimes there are very good reasons for not going with the money. Because of that, I am home after school for the kids and I don’t miss many ball games. And that to me is worth more in the long run.

    1. Great choice! I’m a mother of 3- all teenagers! It goes FAST! You can always work when they get older…you don’t want to miss building a relationship with your kids and let me tell you- you need to be there for the little things to build those relationships. There’s always a nicer house, a nicer purse, etc. Enjoy the simple things in life :)

      1. Thanks! It was not a difficult one to make. I work for a very flexible, family friendly company and I made/make decent money already. There was really no reason, except the money, for me to consider taking that job. I enjoy working, even now, and I enjoy seeing my kids grow up too. I currently have a perfect balance (for me and my family) and more money and travel would have made the whole family miserable!

        I am definitely realizing how fast it goes now! I can not believe that I have a 9 and 6 year old. lol

    2. That’s great your husband was so understanding. What does he do, and is he a big earner?

      I would think many (most?) men would encourage you to take that big bucks job, and volunteer to be the SAHD if necessary.

      I hear you on the need to work hard for that money though. It’s foolish for others to think high income earners can just sit back and collect those paychecks.

      1. My husband is a great one and a great father, but he didn’t think he wanted to stay at home with the kids and he makes decent money. I would say with bonuses and other “perks” somewhere around $90K a year. He manages a liquor store in a resort area where he is super busy for 3 months, steady for 3 months and slow the other 6 months.

        We really enjoy spending time with our kids and we just didn’t think that anyone in the family would be happy with me traveling so much. We discussed the pros and cons for weeks before making a decision and I have not regretted it. Sure, we could have more money in savings, but at what cost? We already have good paying jobs and flexible schedules that fit into our family lives.

        1. That’s a wonderful story. Maybe the decision was easy for you, but I’m sure it would not be for most people. Even making the choice you all made is gutsy, but it is great that you made it and it works for you. You should consider expanding on this as a guest post for Sam – if Sam was game. I would love to read it. I’m sure others would too.

        2. Interesting story.
          I am currently a consultant making 200k+/year and traveling 4 days a week.
          My (surgeon) wife is pregnant with our first, so I am contemplating something like what your husband is doing (in my case I would be buying a business to be a semi-hands-on owner). The idea is still the same – spend more time at home, and probably cut my income.
          I am still struggling with this decision.

          1. It definitely took us a while to contemplate the pros and cons, but I think it was an easier decision because we already had 1 child and I knew I did not want to miss seeing those young years. Also, my income didn’t drop….it just hasn’t increased like it could have if I took the consulting position. Again though, we make good money. Not massive amounts, but we are doing everything we want (saving for retirement, spending on some vacations, kids activities, etc.) So, my decision probably was easier than what yours will be. My personal opinion is that you will not regret seeing your child(ren) grow. I feel like I can always do something after the children grow up if I want to make more money. Now my kids are 6 and 9 and I really feel like I don’t have much time with them anymore….the 9 year old especially just wants to hang out with her friends. I truly have not regretted our decision….it was the best one at the time.

            1. Thank you for your insight. My decision is basically made. I’m just trying to find that exit point (business to buy). Actually I have one hell of a time looking. No chance I will still be doing crazy travels after this year.

  34. I answered your poll saying I’d take the $300k job (easily), and identify as one who chases the big bucks. But then I remembered I turned down a job that was $30k higher than what I currently make. The other job didn’t have a ton of upward mobility, would have added a 2hr/day commute, and would have been just plain boring. If that other job was, say, double what I make, then I definitely would have gone for it.

      1. Absolutely agreed. In fact, sometimes I still wonder if I should have even gone for the $30k raise… Ah well, I suppose it’s not too late to go looking again.

  35. I’ve definitely been tempted by the allure of money. During my severance negotiations to quit my last job of 10 years, when I was stressed to the max, there came a point when I was considering staying if they raised my base salary by 30-50k. Looking back I’m so relieved it didn’t come to that. I was tempted to put up with a lot of crap just to get my hands on more “easy” money, but I think I was also just losing patience being stuck waiting for so long during the negotiation process. I also stayed there at that job for so long because of the money and stability.

    Then after I finally broke free, a recruiter got me in the interview process for a somewhat similar type of job that probably would have had just as much stress if not more, but the pay was probably 65k-100k higher than what I had been making. I knew in my gut I didn’t want that job, but I felt compelled to continue down the interview process and thought a lot about the money. I made it down to the final 2 candidates but ultimately they gave the offer to the other person. I was actually thrilled I didn’t get the job in the end because my gut check kept telling me that job would cause me too much stress even though I would have loved the money.

    1. Money is like a dangling toffee crunch cookie…. always making you crave for more! I can understand how staying for an extra $30-50K would be alluring. It would feel like you are winning. It helped that we discussed that it would take a YEAR to make that $30-50K, and if you stayed for just six months after.. who cares about 15K – 25K, especially after taxes if you are miserable!

  36. I always like to say “take care of yourself first, before you try to change the world”.

    Reality is, most people cannot even change their own little world, but they want to change the big thing. The world is ruled by those who have money, the ones who don’t have it, will always follow their mouth. Everybody needs food to eat and a house to live.

    Nobody bites the hand that feeds him or her, no matter what they say.

    The question is not, if you chase money, the real question is, WHY you chase the money. Money itself is useless, but it is a real gift, if you think of all the great things you can do to change the world for better with it.

  37. After the crash my sister was finishing her masters at Sarah Lawrence. She couldn’t find a job anywhere and my mother was getting tired of supporting her. I called her up one day and told her she needed to leave the northeast and find a good job at home. She told me “I am pursuing my dreams and that’s something you’ll never understand”. I said “OK, but you’ve never paid your own taxes, healthcare, etc.”.

    Several days later she needed new contacts. She had to call my mom who then had to call the optometrist who could ship the contacts to my mom who would then ship them to my sister in NY. Apparently it was this interchange which made my sister realize that I wasn’t completely full of it. She came home and found a job right away.

    1. Austin,

      Did I read somewhere that Sarah Lawrence is one of the most expensive universities in America? How much is that all in cost to go there a year?

      “That’s something you’ll never understand…” is a really, really annoying comment, very similar to the summer intern who said “I’m not like you, I want to do something impactful to change the world.”

      Self-righteous people can get very annoying.

      1. For several years it has been known as the most expensive school in the country.

        I can remember sitting in my kitchen in 2007 trying to talk her out of it because the economy didn’t look good. Too bad I wasn’t short! I’ll never forget driving down the road and my stock broker calling me and saying “I think we should buy American Home Mortgage”. I laughed and said alright, as long as you think they won’t go bankrupt.

  38. Sam (or others),

    Do you believe that in the end, you will earn more long term if you do something you love (or love more than something else)?

    I’d be curious to get the perspective of some older people on this idea.

    1. My guess is the potential for great money is a lot higher if you do something you love for the long term but become an entrepreneur in the process instead of staying an employee. Of course there are always risks involved with creating a startup and the failure rate is high, so it’s not an easy route to take by any means. But it would be quite a fulfilling one.

    2. S,

      Probably not. Unfortunately, if your goal is to make as much money as possible, that usually requires a tremendous amount of effort and sacrifice, more so than many people can ever imagine. The competition is fierce! Most people don’t love to work hard and sacrifice. Hence, if you find something you love to do, it probably won’t pay well!


      1. I guess that is why I added the parenthetical of (love more than something else). Perhaps, I should have said enjoyed rather than loved. Would you be better off taking less pay to do something you enjoy over a job you hate that pays better. Are you more incentivised to work harder as you say if you enjoy the work more?

  39. I left a job at a Redmond Software Giant for a much smaller game company, cutting my overall compensation about in half (now barely 6 figures). I never ever regret it but I do think about going back into software from games now and then. Mr. Geek earns tons though, and I’m not sure I would have made my move if he didn’t. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  40. It depends on your money mindset. I am a 31 yr old soon be MBA grad and I can tell you, I dont think most of my classmates would turn down the big bucks. Most of them have cultivated a high consumerism lifestyle and as a result, for them, there is no money/passion dilemma. The only viable choice is to pursue the money in order to maintain their lifestyles. It’s just one big vicious cycles as we know the more money these people make, they more they tend to spend, which further ties them to their high paying but maybe not ideal jobs.

    As for me, I dont think I’ll mind the high paying job for a bit. Dont know what is considered the minimal professionally respectable work tenure, but two or three years at $300,000 with a good chunk going towards savings and investing can add a nice bit of change to my early retirement stash. In the mean time, I’m doing good work, building a strong network of contacts and laying the foundation for success in my own entrepreneurial ventures. Sounds like a solid plan to me.

      1. Actually, this MBA is a career changing move for me. I have a life sciences background but was forever bored at my old job meanwhile, I was developing interest in entrepreneurship and business so decided to do an MBA. Long term, I want to develop my own property development firm and have already acquired a few properties of my own. In the short to medium term, I want to work in large commercial property development firm, of which there are no shortages here in the booming Toronto real estate space.

        Funny growing up, I thought business students had it so easy. They never seemed to have as much work to do as us science students (I grew up in a schooling system where kids were streamed into either science, business or arts track in high school). Well turns out I’m an entrepreneur at heart and it took the awesome daily efforts of personal finance bloggers like yourself to help me realize that. So decided to quit my job to do something that would put me closer to achieving my goal. While you may argue that an MBA is not necessary for me to achieve my long term goal, for now I still like the idea of working in a corporate work environment and an MBA has given me the skills needed to pursue a new and challenging career. And in case you’re wondering, I’m okay with the opportunity cost of putting money into the MBA. Choose an affordable school in a city with decent salary expectations for the chance to learn new skills in a new country, that works for me.

  41. Sam, most of the people I know that forego a pe job post grad to work for a start-up are in fact doing it for the money–they believe their stock package will have incremental value to the carry and cash they would have been given in pe.

    1. Tex,

      Then I would say most people who you know who forego PE jobs for startup land are delusional. It’s like I’ve written in this post’s intro. I’ve done two years worth of due diligence in the startup world, and I can absolutely tell you that the pay is so much less than PE or any other typical post MBA industry.

      Homejoy, an on demand company just went bust after raising $40 million. Famous backers, the works. Nobody is LIQUID in startup land right now. Not the folks at Pinterest or Uber. The main way to make a good income is working at the established giants like FB and Google for a high salary and RSU already.

      Let’s see what happens.

      Please have all your friends read: Thinking Of Joining A Startup? Sleep With One Eye Open!

  42. Wall Street Playboys

    She was lying. Not in a negative way, she was lying to make sure she received a full time offer.

    She knew she was going back to PE before she even took the internship. She just wanted a relaxing summer before going back to the grind. Her response was far too adamant to be genuine.

    This is a smart move for her personal life since she’s going to be getting crushed once again!

    No one goes to get an MBA ($500K sunk cost) just to go and make $150K a year. Unless they are crazy/dumb!

    Eitherway pretty funny story

    1. that’s a very good point WSP.

      well, one also has to be reminded that the MBA candidate was a girl, so she can get married to a rich, financially successful guy in the future anyways. for guys, it’s a totally different story – no money, no girls especially for high caliber girls like harvard mbas…

      1. Wall Street Playboys

        Based on her phrasing (if the quote is verbatim) she is not an attractive woman.

        Attractive women are not direct and attacking “i’m not like you Sam!”

        An attractive girl would say “I feel like I learned a lot in PE and just want to use my skillset for something different and I really enjoy x, y,z about the company”.

        An attack is 1) clearly a lie as they are defending their position, 2) her comments are masculine suggesting she is not attractive.

        Likely white/asian as well.

        Not hard to read the tea leaves : ).

    2. That is a very perceptive observation, and you are probably RIGHT!

      What type of high emotional quotient intern would say that admit that they’d go back to PE to fellow colleagues? She wisely received optionality.

      But she honestly seemed so genuine about disliking private equity anymore. We talked about it longer than our walk to lunch. It’s just that PE pay and startup pay is so wide… ~200%, that it’s too hard for most people to follow their hearts!

      1. Wall Street Playboys

        Ha! We’ll disagree on that.

        Telling you she wants the job = any idiot knows that’s the right move.

        Her saying “I’m not like you Sam!” = passive aggressive comment that should have let you know she was lying (opinion of course).

        Don’t even need to ask, the girl is asian (after mulling this for 5 minutes). Likely chinese.

  43. Erik @ A More Successful You

    This past May, I finished up my Master’s in Financial Math, and was offered jobs at a F500 regional bank in risk management, and an asset management company as a portfolio analyst for the mortgage backed securities team. While the starting salary for the risk management was more (63k starting), once I was in a few years, the portfolio analyst (55k starting) role would evolve into portfolio management, which would bring in large bonuses.

    However, the risk management position was more enticing: the team that I joined was only a year old and was growing. The regulators have made strict rules around compliance and risk since the crisis. To be apart of a growing team and to be successful in the team would work wonders for my career. Also, the job would be less stressful. Seeking profits in investments is higher stress than risk management in my opinion and my work weeks are certainly less. Hours for investment management in my area is generally in by 7 am and leave around 5 pm.

    I took the risk management position because of this reason: I would rather manage people than money. While I could be managing a team of 4 people and multiple billion dollars of assets, this wouldn’t be the same as managing a whole organization of people when I move up.

    Thanks for a great article. Your goal of creating conversations is a great one and something I am trying to replicate. Have a good day,

    1. Hi Erik,

      Congrats on your new role!

      I wonder how many people would rather manage people, than money. There is a great saying, “Hell is other people.” But managing money can be very stressful as well.

      Good luck on your career path. Looks like you have a bright future!


  44. Money can’t buy you happiness.. but it does make it alot easier to be happy. That’s how I’ve always viewed it and things have worked out okay so far.

    Saying that however, I wouldn’t continue working in a high paid job if I hated it.. but I would perhaps put up with slightly more stress for a higher pay package. It’s all a balancing act and everyone needs to find their own acceptable point.

    1. Not enough money buys you stress. Just enough money buys you happiness. More than enough money buys you time. Too much money buys you heartache.

    2. Everyone repeats this, and then links studies that are poorly structured to get this exact result, except its really a product of how they are put together.

      Enough money to not have any Maslows issues is quite obvious to most people. This is why they say up to a point, and its usually a ridiculously low amount like 75k/y, but again, examine how they come to this number and you’ll see the flaws.

      They then talk up experiences and how they are more impactful for happiness and health than money….what?! You know what gives you time away from selling your time for money and the ability to afford these experiences? Money. The more you have the more experiences you can have. There actually have been a few under reported studies that looked at that.

      Now certainly if youre just a terrible and unfriendly negative person having a billion dollars is only going to make you worse, but the great majority would be happier with more…its how you get it thats the issue.

  45. I finished veterinary school, and did not do an internship to specialize, which pays more. I don’t make 120K (about 35K less than that). I love my job. There are only a few days in the past 15 years since I finished where I’d like to quit. I was accepted to medical school, too, but my heart said go to vet med. Pets are a luxury, but they enrich our lives. I donate two weekends a month to vaccine and spay/neuter clinics for people who can’t afford the surgery. I don’t think I’ll retire very early(if all went very well, maybe 55-60 instead of 67), but still derive great benefit from your posts– you are wise and help me to be, too. As always, thanks for everything you write!

  46. Currently struggling with this decision. I was just offered a $450k job with in Abu Dhabi, which is more than double my current salary. Job is not as interesting as my current job though, and would mean living far away from family and friends. On the other hand, it would allow me to save 400-500k if I do this for 3-4 years.

    1. @Peet,
      If you don’t want the position, I guess I’ll take it off your hands ;).

      Seriously though, I’m curious as to what field this is.

      1. It’s probably being a Director/VP of Engineering or something similar for a refinery in India. Apparently India is becoming quite the manufacturing location.

        My father has worked with several people who have said “I can’t afford to pass up this opportunity. I may hate what it does to my family. I may hate my job. But if I don’t do this, I can’t ensure that my children never have to choose between a job that pays a lot of money and where they truly want to be.”

    2. Peet,

      TAKE THE MONEY! More than a 100% pay increase is significant, no matter how little or how much you make.

      To help you make the decision, think about all the people who live in Abu Dhabi already and enjoying life. It’s not like you won’t be a free man. You’ll be able to see the world, meet new people, vacation in other nearby countries, and bank that $500,000 in 4 years!

      If you get home sick, just take a $5,000 business flight back a couple times a year.

      Make the move!


      1. I don’t think anyone would resist $450/yr offhand. Dubai is a pretty glitzy place where anything is possible.

        Just know that your riches will be coming in part on the backs of what is essentially a slave economy. Maybe that is important to you, maybe not.

        1. Very interesting of you to describe Abu Dhabi residents and workers as slaves.

          Why do you think that country is so bad in your opinion? How long did you live there and what type of bad things did you see?

          1. Different example, but same part of the world – read up on what’s going on with the construction relating to the stadiums for the soccer world cup in Qatar. There are a lot of very rich people in the area – but also a TON of minimum wage migrant workers who have very few rights and are subjected to all kinds of abuse (passports kept under lockdown so they can’t leave, horrible working and sleeping conditions, minimal if any time off, physical abuse, etc.). Given how ridiculously rich a lot of these people already are you’d imagine they’d be OK with throwing a few more coins towards the workers they employ…but no. Like your examples…having a ton of money doesn’t make people not want more, even at the expense of other peoples’ lives.

      2. Peet – take the job, but set a date (e.g. 2 years) that if you don’t like it, you’ll quit and come back to the US. Save enough so that you can lounge-off for 6 months afterwards if you need to.

        Best case is that you’ll love it. Worse case is that you’ll hate it. If so, just walk away. Then, you’ll know your boundaries and get compensated for it.

        Tennessee Williams worked 2 miserable years as a shoe clerk. He once said that he needed himself back a year for a year working as a miserable clerk.

        1. Thanks for the responses everyone! I decided to take the offer & will be moving in the next few months. The job is in the field of asset management. Yes I will be subject to US tax, but several exemptions (first 100k tax free + a 35k housing allowance exemption) substantially reduce the amount due. There is no income tax in the UAE.

    3. :-) I don’t think I’d have much of a struggle with that decision. Definitely would go for the money if only for a few years. Friends can have an excuse to visit.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *