NTF wrote a great post on unlocking golden handcuffs. But what do you do when you’re living below your means, you’ve mostly avoided lifestyle inflation, you don’t have a car payment or high student loans, your mortgage is well-affordable, you don’t spend your bonuses, and you don’t really rely on your bonuses?
I’ve been at my company for long enough now that I’m vested in the 401(k) matching, I have great amounts of vacation time accrued, I have lots of deferred compensation waiting for me (projected to be almost 50% of my total compensation for 2013), and I have a good amount of seniority. I’m in a good spot. But there’s part of me that looks at what other companies are doing and I see cool things that other companies around are doing. When a recruiter emails me, I ponder the idea of leaving. When I decided I wanted a change in the fall, I made a promise to myself that I would try another team within my company at the very least until the first RSU vest in 2013, but really until the end of the year. I have a strong suspicion that my next employer won’t have as hearty of bonuses and without them, paying down the mortgage is a much slower process. I also wonder if my deferred compensation won’t be quite as hearty as it will be this year going forward. Then again, my employer is smart and would probably try to avoid that happening to try to keep me for longer.
I’m not addicting to spending; I’m addicted to saving. In a way, it’s the same thing. I’m addicted to the large sums of money coming in. The large bonuses are awesome. I don’t spend my time spending it, but figuring out the best way to stash it in accounts.
I’m trying really hard (I swear!) to spend less time thinking about money. I’m finding projects around the condo and doing those. There are still plenty of those I’ve been avoiding. My theory is that if I think about money less, I’ll be less interested in staying for the bonuses that aren’t mine yet.
My “golden” handcuffs come in the form of Restricted Stock Units (RSUs). I received a grant with my initial contract and then I’ve received more grants every year since with my review. Basically, the grant spells out a schedule of dates on which I get certain numbers of shares of my company’s stock. I sell them all immediately (TFB has a great post on this) because I would never in a million years buy that many shares of my employer’s stock, let alone a single individual stock. Right now, I’m sitting on over six figures in unvested shares. That means that if I leave my company, I don’t see those shares, ever.
Is being addicted to saving my bonuses just as bad as being addicted to spending them? Almost, but not quite. It definitely encourages me to try to change jobs within my company instead of going somewhere else. But is that a good thing forever? I’m not sure. At this point, my plan is to stay at my current company in some role through the mid-2015 for a variety of reasons. I should collect quite a bit of shiny RSUs in that timeframe and who knows what will happen after that!
Readers, have you ever gotten addicted to saving? I have a feeling that a few of you have as well :)