Midlife Crisis outsourced: a dinner with KM-Finanzen

Hi RIP friends,

I guess it’s time to write about my midlife crisis.

First of all, it’s not over yet. I guess it’s a process that will take years to complete. Or maybe it’s becoming my new permanent way of perceiving life. Call it “growing up”, “adulting”, or the exact opposite: “fighting back life’s autopilot”, “design your ideal life and go for it”. I like to call it “when you realize the true meaning of the words opportunity cost“. Yep, I should write a book on opportunity cost… oh, come on! Is there something left to do in this world?

Anyway, even though my midlife crisis is not over yet, after a lot of thinking, reasoning, and talking with friends I think I see things with more clarity now. Some decisions have been taken and I want to share them with you.

Not today though!

Today I’m going to share one of the many “midlife crisis talks” I had with friends, readers and colleagues. I want to thank all the people who showed up to help, to share their experience, to simply rubber duck debug my situation. I’m grateful I received so much support and help!

For many people it won’t work, but for me “going public” with my problems has always worked amazingly. I know I can be laser focused on some aspects of my problems, entering rabbit holes, micro-optimizing and missing some angles. Talking to friends, and even to “strangers”, helps me put things in perspective and detach from my problems. It’s like discussing about them in third person, which is the triumph of rationality.

Thanks to all of you who reached me out!

Before I jump on today’s midlife crisis talk, few words about my status: I’m still on medical leave (burnout) until the end of September 2019. I’ve been out since beginning of April 2019. It will be 6 months of “not working” (5 at the time of writing, early September 2019), a mini retirement, an indeedably year (wait, what? indeedably is not semi retired anymore?). It’s been a mixed bag of anxiety, tough decisions to be made, a family to be loved, a self to be fixed, options to be explored. It’s been an amazing unique period of my life where I had the luxury of time to refocus on what really maters, even though I’m at the peak of my career with a young family to handle. I can’t be grateful enough to life, to my past decisions, to my current self for this opportunity.

First of all, during these 5 months I have never been bored. For those who think “you’ll get bored in early retirement” my answer is: no way! I think I had less free time while not working than while working. I don’t know how I’d fit a working routine back in my schedule. I wasn’t even able to find time to blog!

So what did I do? First 3 months have been intense. I spent my time decompressing, doing sport, thinking, thinking, writing lists, many lists, options, plans. I even met a therapist for a short while, but I found it useless so I quit. By the end of June I got extremely close to “just quit” Hooli, with no backup plan. Call it lean FIRE, almost FIRE, barista FIRE, mini retirement, go-the-fuck-away-from-Switzerland FIRE, whatever.

Then… wait, no spoiler!

Ok, back to end of June 2019. After few emails exchanged, I invited a RIP reader over for dinner at the Hooli office. A RIP reader who happens to also be a blogger: KM-Finanzen. We spent a couple of hours together, an amazingly deep couple of hours. He wanted to listen to my midlife crisis problems and sincerely help me. What follows is more or less the core of our conversation.

I’ll post a couple more of these conversations in the following days. I hope you enjoy them 🙂

Enters KM, dressed in blue

KM: “Wow RIP! From my point of view you’re very lucky: you’re talented, you work at Hooli (is all this food really free??), you have more than a million in the bank… why are you unhappy?

RIP: “Because I’m burnt out and I can’t work here anymore. And I’m not FI yet. And we love Switzerland, but to be FI here we’d need much more money. Something like 4-5M.

If you were FI in Switzerland (let’s pretend you win a 5M lottery), what would you be doing today?

I’d relax, I’d get a bigger apartment and send my daughter to kinderkrippe (child care, at least 2.5k per month). I’d budget 100k per year, which should be enough for extra space and my daughters’ child care. And I’d read and write all day every day!

If you really want to write all day, why don’t you do it now?

First, I’m not sure I want to write all day. I’ve been wanting many things in the past that I don’t want anymore. I don’t trust my gut feelings anymore. I think I’m passionate about coding/videogames/boardgames/acting/writing/astrophysics/philosophy, but it’s just that I tried them and I liked. Actions, deliberate practice and deep work generate passion, not the other way around. So… do I really like writing? Wouldn’t I also like underwater cricket if I tried? Who the hell am I??”

This must be fun, I should give it a try! Image credits: abc.net.au

“Second, I’m not alone. If I were alone I’d be biking in south east Asia right now (uhm, probably not!), but I have a family to take care of.

How many things you think you liked that you don’t like anymore?

Actually not many… only the things I then made a profession out of. Essentially some aspects of software engineering. I thought I liked robotic research, videogame development, working at Hooli… but for every dream I was able and lucky to make it real (and get paid for it) I then discovered I don’t like it anymore. Is this the famous arrival fallacy? Just lack of patience? Low threshold for stress? The inevitable fact that passion and ‘a job’ are incompatible? Mark Manson would say ‘decide what’s your favorite shit sandwich’… maybe I should.

What makes you happy?

As I said, I don’t trust my feelings anymore and I don’t know who I really am, but let’s just pretend that I do. There are things I think they would make me happy, but then we have another problem: there are too many of them. And I’m afraid I don’t have time to try more than a handful with the required depth in my life. I’m also afraid that I will discover they don’t make me really happy (ok, ok, we’re pretending I know myself). I guess I blogged about passions left years ago, but the list is outdated. To list a few: coding (I still think I like it and I have a few ideas to explore), writing, blogging, teaching (I have this crazy project called ‘Youniversity‘, i.e. a curriculum of ‘important things they don’t teach you in school‘, or other forms of teaching), acting, creating in general, studying… these are the ‘productive things’. Essentially it makes me happy to spend most time possible in ‘the flow state‘, and to enjoy the happy playground after, instead of procrastinating in the dark playground. There are also other things that (I think that would) make me happy, like spending time with family and friends, doing sport, being outdoor, being in nature, helping others, practice mindfulness, studying philosophy, reading fiction (which is another form of asking philosophical questions) and so on.

Why don’t you mix some of your passions? Like AI and philosophy… or teaching and coding…

Good point, like Altucher ‘idea sex’ thing. I think it’s complicated and almost all my possible ‘passion pairs’ have already been explored and exploited. I realized that what ‘I think I like’ is not that original at all… it’s hard to become successful in such an exploited environment.

How do you define success?

That’s a good question. It’s similar to how I define happiness, but more aggregated. While I think happiness (I don’t like the word happiness though, I prefer peace of mind) should be a daily experience, success is a long term metric. I think I would like to live a life with few regrets, where my potential is fully expressed, where many lives are impacted by my actions – especially (but not limited to) the lives of of the people I love the most, like family and close friends. That means essentially doing what I love, what I’m good at, what people need. My Ikigai thing.

You’re already impacting the life of others with your blog, many of them.

Thank you 🙂 That suggests that I should go all-in with writing/blogging, and that’s what I started with at the beginning of this conversation… but you know… 5% of me is resisting. That part of my brain is telling me I’m quitting my current career because I’m weak, because I’m a quitter, because I don’t have grit. Because I failed at Hooli and I’m giving up. I used to be good at coding and problem solving, and I think I could still be! Maybe I should regroup the troops, code my own pet project and see if the passion is still there! Anyway, of course it’s still there. As I said, if I would code on a project I like (like my pet videogame project or my pet startup idea) I would surely love it! I just hate being in a Tech Giant today. Or maybe what I hate / can’t sustain anymore is following someone else’s dream and mission, unless it aligns (99% at least) with mine. So even if my passion is still there (and I think it is), and I get excited about being a software engineer again, then if I’d get another standard job I know I will get depressed again. It looks pretty predictable.

Maybe you shouldn’t care about making money. If you decide to code, then do it just for fun. Don’t overthink about money, you have a lot of it.

Yes and No. Our burn rate in Switzerland is unsustainable with our current net worth. It’s worse that that, actually. Our expenses are doomed to grow by a lot if we’d move to a bigger apartment (and we need it) and if we’d send our daughter to child care (and she needs it). If we’re staying in Switzerland I can’t not think about money. Maybe I can relax a bit in the short term. Maybe we can try it for few months, even a year… not more. We’re going to spend 100k CHF per year in the next few years, and that’s a lot of money. I don’t want to find myself 5 years from now, at age 47, with half our current wealth in the thrash, in urgent need to find a job, with my skills no more valuable on the market, landing on an inferior job, paying a third of what Hooli pays… That would be my definition of Hell.

Do you really need a bigger apartment?

Yes, I do. My current apartment has been amazing for 6.5 years. I lived there alone for 1.5 years, then my (then) future-wife joined me and it’s been our cozy nest for another 4 years. Since the birth of Baby RIP it’s been our warm (and tight) den for another year. Once my daughter started moving around everything changed. Now I’m craving for space, I’m dreaming my creative studio. I’ve dreamed about it so many times! IO’ve actually designed it in details. Yesterday we went visiting two apartments (I know it’s weird that we want to upgrade our flat right now that I’m close to quit my job!). One of them was a very expensive flat in our beloved neighborhood, with a vista on our park and a giant balcony on the 6th floor. It was a sunny day, 6pm in late June – my favorite time of the day in late spring/early summer, my favorite season of the year. It was a backstab. We just visited it out of curiosity (and it was objectively not worth its crazy price of 3650 CHF/Mo), but I kept thinking ‘how can we use these 120 square meters? Which room would be my studio?’ and so on. I literally cried when we left the apartment. No, we’re not applying for it, of course, but my need for space is real.

Describe your ideal day.

I don’t have a single ideal day, because I don’t like the idea of living every day in the same way. I wrote about it long time ago. Anyway, a classical productive day would look like this: wake up early, do my morning routine that involves meditation, outdoor and work-out (6-8am… I could already be doing this but I’m not), deep work on my main productive activity (8am-1pm, 5 hours, maybe 1 hour of necessary shallow work), family time (1-4pm), unplanned time (4-6pm), social time, better if mentally challenging like watching TED talks with friends, playing boardgames, having ‘stoa time’ like the ancient stoics… (6-10pm). Maybe add some romantic time, some reading time, some long walk/hike… but as I said I can’t put everything in a single ideal day, that’s why I like the idea of a set of ‘ideal day templates’.

I find myself better when I schedule my time, even during vacations… what about you?

Totally agree! I tried several time management techniques, and my best one is time blocking. No pomodoro, no bujo, no notebook system (well, I should try it for real), no 5-4-3-2-1, no whatever else. I work better if I have time blocked. Even unplanned time is better if blocked. Again, this talk by Cal Newport summarizes actions/passions relationship, deep work and time blocking. It should be broadcasted in every high schools in the world!

Let me ask you a side question: are you comparing yourself with someone else? You shouldn’t compare to others.

I don’t compare myself to others, really. I don’t even compare myself with my past self. I’m a changing thing, all my past selves were different persons. But I do compare my current self with the best version possible of my future self. I know I have potential, I need to express it.

You shouldn’t be too hard on yourself.

Maybe I am a bit hard on myself. I want to have an impact, as I said. I know I have potential, ideas, skills. It’s like knowing you can win the champions league but you’re playing in a C series club.

September 2019 RIP’s note: amazing posts by Jacob Falkovich about the need to express one’s potential: unstriving and impotential. Go read them!

Here’s a quote:

Since I was a kid, I have built my self-esteem on a feeling of “forthcoming greatness”. Whatever I actually accomplished I never paused to be proud of, and I never sweated the failures either. It was all just a stepping stone to something completely different and undeniably awesome, a “life mission” that will be important and meaningful and finally confer on me the title of #SuccessfulPerson. Until that moment came, I just needed to know that I was growing, progressing, improving, optimizing.

You already won the Champions League, you reached Hooli!

Good point. But I don’t think so. I think I’m wasting my skills here. My creativity is getting killed. I never felt competent here. My impostor syndrome is peaking. I learned coding when coding was ‘application development’, console applications in C/C++. I know nothing about web development, frontend, backend… never liked this shit. I love algorithms and data structures, not AI/ML. So, I have no mastery, not enough autonomy, no perceived impact, no direct feedback from users, no desire to learn yet another deprecated-to-be framework every other day. This is not for me anymore. It never was, actually.

Spirituality in the key. You can choose to be relaxed, you can choose to see things differently.

Yes and No. I think Relax can be achieved as a consequence of other decisions, not directly. Too many things trigger me here at Hooli. I tried to see things differently, it didn’t work. I need to move on. I can keep saying ‘maybe if I do this or that, if I change team, if I see X as a challenge instead of a pain point, if I see Y as something necessary to achieve Z…’ No way, it didn’t work. I had 6.5 years to make it work, and I tried hard. Ok, maybe not too hard. Anyway, enough.

What if you quit and it won’t make you happy?

I don’t care. I’m not seeking happiness here, at least not directly. I’m seeking truth, authenticity, purpose. I want to get close to the best version of my future self, to what I could become if I try hard enough. That doesn’t mean I’ll be happy. You can’t ask an apple tree to make pears. Imagine you have back pain and you’re suffering from it, and you just want to get rid of the pain. Imagine someone saying ‘hey, what if you get rid of your back pain and then you’re not happy?’… what would you answer to that person? I would say ‘Ok, then what? Of course life will still suck, bad things will happen to me anyway. But let’s get rid of back pain first!’ Quitting doesn’t mean automatic happiness. It means freedom, and freedom can be a scary thing. But it’s a first step toward authenticity and truth. Happiness is the wrong goal. And btw, 50% of happiness is genetic, and I think I’ve rolled bad dice at birth time. My road is uphill.

I think you’ve everything figured out for now, you should write, or code, or whatever you want… but don’t get obsessed with it, just do 4-5 hours of deep work a day, then enjoy life, family, and friends.

So true. Also agree on the ‘don’t get obsessed’ part. According to the famous regrets of the dying, people in their deathbed care about time they didn’t spend with family and friends, not extra features they didn’t launch on their project. Thanks for the chat 🙂

That’s all for today, I hope you enjoyed!


I see… you want to know what happened then? What’s going to happen now?

Be patient and prepare to be disappointed 😀

Edit: KM wrote a nice post on his blog about our meeting and “how to be happier”. Go check it out!

Ok, it’s time to move on to the next episode!


  1. Hey RIP,

    thx for sharing – you are under intense internal pressure to do this that and the other thing. I can relate and wasn’t much different when I was in your position and just starting a family. Takes you to the breaking point because you feel torn into a million directions.

    I recommend that you quit your job and get out of your head asap. Burning some bridges is exhilarating – especially with someone highly educated in a market that needs skilled workers.

    With anything you plan to do, make sure you will be in a position where you can get to mastery in your profession and are able to get direct feedback from customers. This is key. We all long for feedback and interaction. People often get starved by consuming only „office chatter and games“ instead of meaningful interactions with customers. Money is a crappy motivator especially if you are employed. It just keeps appearing in your account but your mind is starved for real interaction and starts to freak out because of the dissonance.

    Does Hooli employ freelancers? Also a very good alternative. Taking complete control and working as a „mercenary“ frees you from feeling trapped like nothing else. Get two clients at least and enjoy your freedom – if that is your cup of tea.


    1. Hi El, thanks for your kind words!
      Just a remainder: this is a June conversation, things have evolved and I’m in a much better mental state now. Updates will follow 🙂
      Anyway, mastery and connections with customers (I prefer the term “impacted persons”) are of course a priority in my future endeavors.
      I like your metaphor of “starved mind”, even under a money rain.

      No, despite being one of the most “modern thinking” company, Hooli doesn’t like freelancers, part time workers, remote workers and so on. You must be physically here, devote your full battery to the cause.

  2. Hi Mr RIP

    Sounds like the you’re wrestling with some of the big questions.

    It might be worth pausing, taking a breath, and doing a quick stock take.

    You’re alive.

    Relatively young, fit… or at least active and mobile.

    Healthy (for the most part).

    Married to a lovely wife who loves you.

    Have a kid who thinks you are a superhero.

    Live in a warm safe home located in a nice part of the world.

    Professionally, have climbed to the top of the pile, millions of starry eyed geeks dream of one day working at Hooli. Of course, once we’ve seen inside the sausage factory at how the sausages get made, things no longer look so attractive. Some things can’t be unseen!

    Are holding your own against some of the best in the world at what you do. If this wasn’t the case, they would have fired you long ago.

    Financially secure. A decent nest egg stashed away, the value of which ebbs and flows at the whim of the markets.

    Objectively speaking, you are winning at life. Doesn’t guarantee happiness of course, but does mean you have many options and enjoy the luxury of choice.

    The engineer in you strives for optimisation. Efficiency. Perfection. You apply that same lens to your personal life, reading a lot from the self-help genre.

    Your writings often mention topics like “imposter syndrome”, and elements of the “fear of missing out” that show up in the form of what you could be doing better.

    I’m wondering whether you are looking too hard, overlooking the good while searching for perfection, and making yourself unhappy in the process?

    Optimisation, efficiency and refactoring are wonderful things, but there comes a point where things are “good enough”. Beyond that lie diminishing returns, noise, and valueless busywork.

    Somebody smarter than me once said that happiness comes from being content with what you already have, rather that the constantly seeking something more/better/different. Life can never be perfect, that just isn’t how it works. However it can often be “good enough”, mostly content, and happy often.

    You kindly linked to my “I own” page above. One thing you’ll see there, which I think we share in common, is that we both have more than enough to down tools, change jobs, or take some time out if we choose to. We could also be financially independent in much of the world, just not in our chosen high cost living locales. Good problems to have.

    Changing jobs might be good for a change of scenery and making some new friends. However, we can’t run away from ourselves, and if you were to be totally honest in your exit interview, you would open with that age old break-up line: “it is not you, it is me”.

    Good luck with it, and take care of yourself Mr RIP.

    1. Thank you Indeedably, amazing and kind words 🙂
      Anyway, things have evolved since June, updates will come.

      P.S. “it is not you, it is me”… in my close-to-ragequit days I was more incline to say “it is not me, it’s you!” 😀

    1. Yes, you’re right. I’m spoiled. I’m struggling between keeping my awesome job that pays 10x an average Italian salary or quit and enjoy my investments generated earning, which are 2x the average Italian salary. And I’m crying, meeting a therapist for that, getting close to depression. What’s the problem? 
      You’re also spoiled for an average Sub-Saharan person, since you eat every day more than once! And a person living in year 5000 is spoiled compared to Warren Buffet, because they can teleport to Mars and cure every sickness with a click but they’ll be depressed because their favorite t-shirt color for their avatar in FIFA5000 requires 1000 Gems they don’t have. 
      Problems exist on each ladder. You just get better problems once you climb the ladder. I’m aware of that, and I’m extremely grateful. I know my worst case scenario is much much better than the best case one for 95+% of the world population.
      Then what? Am I not allowed to have troubles? 
      Second, how a 2008-like year would redefine my priorities? A 2008-like year would be handled with a shrug. I’m preparing for that. If stocks would lose 50%, the impact on my NW would be ~300k. Will it take a year to drop? Then ~100-150k would be amortized by savings. I’d probably end the year 150-200k below starting point, maybe still above 1M if measured in CHF. Would I lose my job? There’s this thing called unemployment insurance that would cover ~2 years. Yes, of course it won’t be easy, but it won’t even fix my “being spoiled” attitude I guess. Btw, do I get to also experience the 10 years bull market after the 2008-like year? Just to know 🙂
      Anyway, thanks for the comment, it actually got me thinking and recognize how lucky I am 🙂

  3. Hey. I tried to reach out by email/FB, but I guess you were too busy or missed it. Would be happy to chat on Whatsapp.

    We have so many things in common and are both in a similar situation, I think it would be a shame if we didn’t get the chance to chat!

  4. Hey RIP,

    I feel for you so much. In some ways I’m in a similar situation in terms of feeling burned out, being fed up with office politics, assholes at work, being stifled, not living up to my fullest potential. I’m fed up of being a bixing bag of managers in finance who take out their aggevation on me. I don’t want to do it anymore, but I have to. Until I’m 50% FI or when my side projects generate enough to move on.

    What I’m trying to say is this: I’m hearing you, I’m feeling your pain, I sympathize.
    I don’t want to say to tough it out, becuse if you want to leave then you should. You can try something self employed on the side and see who bites on your services.

    Also when I was in deep sh*t a few years ago in a similar situation I did quit, went to India (all very misguided decisions) but the best part of that horrible experience was gratefulness. Upon my return I felt grateful for being able to have a hot shower and for everything. You could try to do a 28 day gratitude practice and see how it is transforming your life. Write10 things in your journal about what you can be grateful for and you do not write the same thing twice.

    Why gratitude? because it shifts your focus from what sucks and what doesn’t work to all the things that are working, the things in your life that are amazing, and that can change how you feel.

    I think if you were to quit Hooli now, you may regret it later. You are in no state of mind to make a decision on your future. You need a perspective shift. Try gratitude first. It’s free… 🙂

    1. Hi Mocsi, thanks for sharing your struggle here.
      My office situation is nowhere near to yours, office politics are present, but not a big deal. Assholes at work are almost nonexistent. My manager and my colleagues are nice people. My struggle is an identity one. It’s like dating a perfect girl you don’t love. She’s perfect, but for some reasons you don’t love her and everybody keep telling you “you’ve the best girlfriend ever! You’re so lucky! You look great together”. And you not only don’t love her, you’re not even sure you like girls anymore. How the hell would you explain this to anyone, let alone yourself? I think we live in a society where coming out as “no more in love with your career” has become the toughest “coming out” action left.

      Anyway, thanks for the suggestion! I wanted to try gratitude since forever. I’ll give it a try, but I’m not sure it works. I’m an optimizer, I have hard time celebrating past successes, I’m always forward-looking next big goal.

  5. […] This article with MR RIP caused an explosion in my number of visits and views, so I would like to thank MR RIP for publishing our conversation on his blog and I would like to take the opportunity and write about … the meaning of life: The meaning of life is …. No, I’m only joking. I don’t want to bore you with a long philosophical article. But back in June, when I met MR RIP I thought about how could I help MR RIP to feel better?  […]

  6. Hy MR RIP

    I was very happy to meet you. Thanks for the Invitation. I was also sad to see you burnt out and see that I can’t help you see the world differently. You did the best Thing one can do in this Situation. You took time off. Take a break. Re-evaluate things and make yourself clear, what your goals and purposes are. Read books and take your time. With the Money you have (earned, saved) you have the possibility to do so.
    I wrote on my blog some thoughts and advices about happiness, maybe they are useful for people who are struggeling too.
    Im looking forward to meet you again soon. Take care and relax 🙂

    1. Thank you KM, it’s been a pleasure to meet you 🙂
      I added a link to your post on the original article.

      Looking forward to meeting you again soon, ideally in October!

  7. Hey RIP,

    You know that I hear you on every single point. Maybe a job change would make things better just remember the meme I created for you 😛 Anyways, I would encourage you to try yourself in whatever you feel like an option for the long-term. You have the wits and financial backing, use that possible gap year wisely. You will either earn something or learn something. Use the good old principles, like if you have to fail, fail fast and fail gracefully. I also see this as a possible solution to cure my unfulfillment. I don’t think that you should be afraid of the scenario when you try things which don’t work out and then you should apply for a job again. If you have to fear this with your professional background and your long list of achievements, then we, mortal nerds are doomed 🙂 Don’t forget all the things you went through. When you had to learn something you learned the new thing and went on. That would be the case again. For me, it gives a peace of mind that whatever will happen I could find another job which possibly pays less but still would pay just enough and could provide fulfillment. So put your worries away and keep optimizing 😉

    1. Thanks HCF, nice words!
      The gap-6-months are coming to an end, and I’ve used them wisely I guess. I prepared myself for what the future holds. Stay tuned, new episodes are coming 🙂

      “I don’t think that you should be afraid of the scenario when you try things which don’t work out and then you should apply for a job again. If you have to fear this with your professional background and your long list of achievements, then we, mortal nerds are doomed”

      I think I addressed this in the next episode, which you already read, it seems 😀

  8. Hi,

    Just to say, I had the somehow the same break point two years ago (best company in Geneva given me disgust and then left it without any plan).

    -> The answer was to find a job at 80% and set the goal to be at 60% at 35. (getting directly a 60% wasn’t possible).

    The thruth for me was that :
    -> I am as I am and I am not “strong” enough to do 10-15 years of 100% work to get FI.
    -> While working at 100%, even if it was for FIRE, I couldn’t stand distribution of my precious and unique time between the job, my aspirations, my family and my duties.
    -> But I can see myself working at 60% from 35 to 67 if we want to stay in switzerland, or to 50 if we want be FI in another country like Italy, Germany, France.

    And I am strong enough to see that burning myself for FIRE isn’t my way to live. Fire helped me to be lucid about how I spend or invest money, that’s enough for me.

    Being at 60%, getting a job with flex hours, so I can be with my family, my children and more happy is something that can’t wait 10 years.

    I wish you the best and health for you and your family.

    1. Hi Euler, thanks for stopping by and dropping your experience here, really appreciated!

      About 80-60%: I tried 80% 2 years ago, it’s still too much if the job is disgusting. Maybe 60% is the right amount, but at Hooli is extremely uncommon and only for extraordinary performers with a valid (and temporary) reason. But I can explore this in other environments though.

      about “I am as I am”: in my situation years to FI could be few. I should at one point redo the FI math with realistic expenses expectations and a definitive destination (Italy, Switzerland, or what else?), but even if we plan to retire in Switzerland I should be less than 5 years 100% work to FI. Definitely doable if starting from zero mental health problems, not doable in my situation though.

      About time allocation: so true. That’s what burned me out I think. the fact that my precious time for personal development, creativity, family, friends, work-out had to be found in the leftovers of sleep and work. Frustrating.

      60% may be the long term solution, I’ll think about it. But it has to be a lucrative Hooli-like salary, else it won’t be enough to let us at least coast to FI.

      Amazing comment, thank you so much!

      Btw, did you find your 60% dream job? Please, let me know 🙂

  9. Just wanted to comment on the childcare situation and bigger apartment. Maybe you should consider moving to a different area. Not sure where you live, but childcare tend to be cheaper outside of Zurich, also it’s something you can do part-time. Like two day a week so you wife (or you or both of you) could work part-time. I really believe both parents should get the opportunity to work and spend time with their kids. Will it hurt your career and earning potential ? Maybe but if you look at some country like France 35h a week is totally normal.

    1. Thanks Maxine, moving out of the city is something we considered but then dropped. We would save on rent (but would get a bigger apartment) and probably on taxes, but we love our life quality right now, meant as “distance from anything” and connections with friends… moving out of the city would be a huge drop in happiness for maybe a 5% extra saving rate. Not worth it.

      About childcare I don’t think it’s that cheaper outside the city. We’ll be sending BabyRIP to a krippe which is literally 100 meters from our flat, on the other side of the amazing park where we live. We’ll be sending her 2 days per week for ~900 CHF/Mo. A lot, but one of the cheapest in ZRH.

    1. Just watched the TEDx talk, it’s very good! Where were you 6 months ago when I needed this? 🙂
      Joking, I followed a similar process but some ideas from this talk resonated with me. I’m going to check out other material now, like the webinars, and maybe watching again this video and taking notes.

      High quality, thanks for sharing!

  10. I’ve read through this and post posts on your midlife crisis. God damn it how your thoughts are very similar to mine 6 years ago. I’ve hit a very similar thing when I was 25, you might laugh but by then I’ve had 12 years of being semi and then pro level software developer. I’ve had the same fucking questions in my head. Found the best psychotherapist I could find and sticked to therapy for a few years. It helped quite a lot but I am not nearly as “successful” as I was. I’m not making as much money as I was before (although my financial situation is probably top 5% in my country).

    Only after 4 god damn years I was able to look at another line of code and get actual pleasure from writing it. It took a while but it’s coming back but there is still long way to go for me.

    Everything above sounds more like a negative thing. But in the very same time I’ve fixed old relationships, found new ones, got married, became much more social, found more depth in relationship with other people, learned much more about my real needs and wants, became healthier emotionally and physically, travelled, etc. In retrospective it was an amazing time period and still is. The only negative is that I’m a “quitter” and don’t make as much $$$. And that still fucking bothers me a lot 🙂

    I’m not really sure if there was a moral or point my story. Just wanted to sincerely wish you good luck and let you know that I’m 0.01% happier (might be a wrong word here, maybe more “serene”) knowing you’re facing similar issues.

    1. Hi Thomas, thanks for stopping by and leaving your contributions.
      Yours is one of the couple of dozens messages (mostly private) I’ve received along the line of “your story resonates with mine”.
      It seems to be a common pattern.
      People think that Software Development is the holy grail of career satisfaction. I actually think it’s a stressful job, with little to no connection with reality, and a constantly changing environment – constantly changing in the direction of unmanageability.

      Holy crap, it took 4 years for you to be able to touch code again? And you burned out at 25? No judgement here, but stories like yours make me feel I’m a kind of stoic (word used with the wrong meaning) for my resistance. Or just a fool 🙂

      Anyway, happy to hear that you’re feeling better now and you’re ready to get back on track to FI!

Leave a Reply

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

Comment Spam Blocking by WP-SpamShield