Do you know anyone who left a really high paying job

to go and do something more enjoyable but which paid far less?


i.e. a reduction of hundreds of thousands of pounds, not going in-house for a £20k pay cut

I know one (mate of mine), true story this, who left a £600 p/d contract and sold a riverside flat in Barnes, to move to Mexico 'to avoid the collapse of Western civilisation'. He's been there a year.

I presume that pays less. Not sure how enjoyable it is, but he seems happy enough when I speak to him.

Yes, I know a chap who left a crazily well paid job in a bank to retrain as a secondary school maths teacher.

Finished the training, but didn’t last terribly long as a teacher.

Fortunately he had already made enough money that he need never work again.

m8 left equity at a city law firm to do a PhD and become a lecturer paid in buttons.

went great until he got a young Eastern European lady pregnant, suddenly the nest egg was a smidge less comfy

As an aside, Uber lol at going to Mexico to survive the breakdown of the West


Yes, I know a chap who left a crazily well paid job in a bank to retrain as a secondary school maths teacher.

Finished the training, but didn’t last terribly long as a teacher.

Was that part of Lucy Kellaway's project?

Step dad was very senior in the mining industry and just left. To deal stamps. So lame but he likes stamps and weird collectibles.

I think his last job title was chief operations officer. In a big mine.

He didn't leave really early in his career and takes a serious risk like I think what is being implied in the question and was kind of near retiring anyway. He kind of did It in a cool way though. Just called the MD a aunt (after years and years of arguments) and then never went back to the mining industry. Like didn't even do his notice. Just called his MD a aunt and left the meeting and never went back.

heh @ escaping the collapse of western civilisation by moving to mexico#

There were many flaws in his plan. Didn't stop him though. All sparked (or at least cemented) by his attending an event called Apocalypto, in Acapulco, for similar lunatics. 

It would be fair to say covid had a very negative impact on this particular mate of mine. He just flipped from being relatively normal, to a gibbering conpsira-loon, over the course of a year. We honestly thought he was on an elaborate wind-up.

Then, eventually, adios.

Prodigal I agree there is a trend. If what you mean is 'stamp collecting is weirdly more profitable than most people realise'

It is not 100s of k per year though. Trust me. I know because  idiot step dad also was doing DIY a couple of years ago and crippled himself (waist down). Can't do the stamp dealing anymore and he thought he'd have that till death pretty much.

If it were me I would do something in games. There are so many people who have nice memories of gaming stuff. Different generation maybe.

Gaming is an colossal seller BB.

I'm involved with it at the margins of my business which is pretty weird given I've never played a computer game in my life.

Before you do that laz you might want to check in with the roffer who was a law firm partner and left the law recently to become a scientist - he may have some tips for you.

If you can’t find him there was another with a similar background who stepped down to become a ‘beltway lawyer’ recently too.

Our economics teacher at school was a former A&O equity partner. Lovely guy, but I'd be surprised if he didn't have the occasional pang of regret when faced with a classroom of 16 year old boys speaking faux-patois who mostly thought they were witty geniuses.

Wealthy trader I know quit to open a restaurant. Didn't know much about food, basically did it for his wife. Restaurant closed within a year. 

I almost did. It fell through.

Would have been twice the work for a quarter of the cash.

Every time I plan a holiday or some wasteful spending, I'm relieved it didn't happen.  But every time I have to do some boring shit I don't care about - or hear something relevant to what I might have been doing, I wish it had.

I know quite a few who did it late 40s/early 50s but that's more like (very) early semi retirement.  I don't know, but I suspect most had family money they inherited and then it just wasn't worth the bullsh1t anymore. 

I know one couple who were pretty successful in house lawyers out here (joint income probably around a million US tax free) who in their early 40s went back to their home town. He became a teacher and she became a high street lawyer. They are happy with their decision but they had bought their forever home outright at that point and set aside a decent chunk of cash as a college fund for the kids and a head start on their pension.  They are also from big, close (but not remotely wealthy) families and so now have a big mutual support network. They are from a civilised country and so have access to good healthcare and state education. That makes an absolutely massive difference.

I am full of admiration for them but I think it works best if you are 'going home' somewhere nice which offers a reasonable deal for ordinary middle class folk.  

I also know a couple with no kids who actually did the FIRE thing and retired to somewhere cheap with a house paid for and about a million quid invested at age 40 (they were very open about the numbers). They plan to live relatively frugally and never work again.  They are more than a bit weird to be honest but from what I hear they are happy enough.  There seems to be a lot of bike riding and kayaking. 

A British guy who left banking in Singapore and moved to Thailand to live in a village there. His livelihood is representing villagers on English language matters and raising some chicken.

A Singaporean left Singapore (civil service) and moved to Indonesia to become a fisherman. 

A London based trader moved to SG in 1980s and been living in a bungalow for the last 30 years living off rent from some tenants. 

There are thousands of stories of Europeans living in S Asia and SE Asia who simply are living the local simple life.  

Coffers - a lot of slightly odd men with unfeasibly hot 20 something local wives. 
Going from City money to teacher/charity level salary is quite hard - as is the culture shock (which I underestimated) - I did it too old (too institutionalised!) and would recommend doing it early along with a realistic assessment of financials. I did a short stint in the real world, couldn’t hack it, and went back to law - never mega rof average income levels but a different ball park from charity/teacher stuff. 

I can’t see any serious downsides to being a professional historian. It’s intellectually demanding, there are plenty of jobs and an active market for freelance history writers, it’s interesting and you’d probably fairly easily crack the national average salary plus a bit. 

Money - above being able to have a home and a car, who really cares

Not yet but know a banker who is stupidly well paid who's also made some very good investments and suspect he'll quit in a few years for a quieter life at home with the family after years of insane work travel.

Er also I myself left a well paid (not hundreds of thousands but well paid) job to be a software consultant and work on my own projects and I currently make less (but still decent) money off that.

I may go back to a big co at some point if I need to suddenly make shedloads of money because I, for example, get someone accidentally pregnant, but that is hopefully not going to happen any time soon.

Prodigal Son how does your own business compare with you lawyering salary money wise? How long did It take to reach the same level per year?

Obviously I use your recommended method of prophylactic Laz m88. I am extremely careful. I also use the barrier method, and what I call 'Muggo's golden rule' which is that during every occasion where sexual activity occurs, moments after I achieve coitus, I whisper in her ear:

'shower time'

And then when she's dancing out to the bathroom I pat her on the bum and say 'there's a good girl' and they giggle coquettishly.

It's very charming.

I even employ 'Muggo's golden rule' with tr@ns women now because I heard they can also ovulate

good work m88

applaud your openness to the appeal of the trans lady

my days of dalliance are over but I would probably be persuasible by a pretty trans woman

My wife left a v. well paid job at v large investment bank to become a primary school teacher.  It doesn't feel quite like that because she spent five years at home with the kids. However, she could have easily gone back into investment banking if she had wanted.

She loves the change.  However, she's still a type A personality so now works the same 65-70 hour weeks just for a lot lot less money.  I think it's crazy.


Not me, sadly; but I knew a woman who passed the NYC bar exams and landed a no-sleep job with a mega white shoe firm.  Hated it, and re-trained as a teacher.  

Buckaroo, I was hacking it around the criminal courts primarily, so the money was pretty humble. The money wasn't the main reason for the switch. I'd just got to the end of the road at the Bar and was fortunate enough to be able to switch to something I was already involved in, and enjoyed vastly more. I've never really looked back. I pondered on it a couple of years ago - and that's how I stumbled here - but I think I will stick with what I do. Hard one to devise a complete exit strategy from and I'm nowhere near ready to exit.

I know someone who was a management consultant, took voluntary redundancy and became an apprentice stone mason.

He absolutely loves it despite the precipitous fall in salary.

I don't know many (if any) long-termers in SEA that married a significantly younger hot chick (and stayed married for more than 2 years).

Most people tend to prefer a sturdy boot for daily life and save fancy shoes for going out.

One or two examples but usually linked to voluntary redundancy or failure to get a promotion which forces a decision that is never regretted. 

Equally I have a small handful of mates which sacked in PP to try industry only to return 3 years later saying it was still a lot of work for a lot less money and progression. 

Basically I don’t want to make my hobbies my job and law is a good way of making very decent money and not having to live carefully and within a tight budget - in return for shuffling some paper and joining calls at annoying times. As long as you can manage the stress it is still a really good trade if you ask me. 

in terms of a good trade, I’d prefer an actual trade tbh

I admire the life of the self employed kent electrician 

kids in private school, big car and a weapons grade improved seventies semi-detached

I’d take that and still with autonomy and time to do serious hobbies. Those guys know what they’re rolling.

Does working as a temporary warehouseman on an industrial estate for £37-50 per week whilst awaiting exam results, then on passing signing a training contract for £6-00 per week count?