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Old 03-28-2016, 12:34 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
3,621 posts, read 1,636,912 times
Reputation: 6148

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A friend of mine is in a pickle. He's in his late 30's, is married, one child. He's got declining health and will need an organ transplant. He used to make pretty good money, and still does, but he gave up working full time for contract work to help his health. It worked for awhile, but his doctor is still recommending he try something less stressful. This guy that used to pull 60-70 hours easy every week plus maintain a social calendar now is pretty much all in at 40-45, and sleeping tons. He needs an organ transplant. He's hopeful of course, but he's not sure he's going to get one.

I asked him why he kept doing it and he told me he was, as I would say, making hay while the sun shines. He doesn't believe there are low stress jobs, and even if there are, he's making 5x what he would be making starting in something small. He feels that as long as he possibly can, he should be making money, at least until his home is paid off, but that's years away even with him spending almost nothing. In what felt like a scene from Death of Salesman, he notes that if he passes in the process, his life insurance will be enough to cover the mortgage.

On the flip side, if he takes it down several notches, he won't make any money, will likely never clear his mortgage, but has a better chance at finding a matching organ. If he gets the organ, after a time he should be able to work again, but if he's out of the relevant job market too long, he starts over older, weaker and outdated. Plus the surgery will cost $250-350K plus with downtime. He says he has enough that he'll have to pay it, but not enough to not worry about it...with no guarantee that he won't need another one in another 10 years. He says he doesn't want to live to simply indebt his family and destroy what he's built.

He's a smart guy, but I think he's not realizing what he's doing yet. Any thoughts?
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Old 03-28-2016, 12:58 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
16,372 posts, read 10,361,162 times
Reputation: 28588
His life. His choice.


I don't understand how working less will help increase his chances of finding an organ.
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Old 03-28-2016, 01:08 AM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 10,919,127 times
Reputation: 3843
I think he wants to do as much as he can while he can. No guarantees.

I don't see how slowing down will improve his chance of finding a matching organ?

He may be thinking that either he won't live long or if he does get a transplant (or not) he will become disabled without much of an income and may lose his house altogether. Keeping his life insurance up and his medical insurance are probably very high priorities that may suffer if he slows down.
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Old 03-28-2016, 01:41 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
3,621 posts, read 1,636,912 times
Reputation: 6148
Sorry, I left out the key detail. His doctor told him to seriously consider dropping to something part time or taking something very low stress so that he lives long enough to get his chance in line for an organ.
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Old 03-28-2016, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,759,876 times
Reputation: 32309
Quote:
Originally Posted by PAhippo View Post
His life. His choice.

.........
My thought exactly. We all have our values and our priorities, and no one can substitute his own values for those of another person.
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Old 03-28-2016, 06:42 AM
 
Location: NC
6,575 posts, read 8,008,745 times
Reputation: 13495
Subconsciously he may worry/know that if he is not intensely busy he will be consumed with fear. He would rather go out on a 'high' than a low.
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Old 03-28-2016, 06:49 AM
 
Location: 49th parallel
2,621 posts, read 1,371,782 times
Reputation: 5433
All this angst over the mortgage is not doing him any good. If he continues to work hard, pay down the mortgage, etc., he is going to die sooner and all will be left unpaid anyway. If he slows down, he will live longer and can take out mortgage insurance so his family will have the ability to stay in their home. I think he has got his priorities wrong by continuing to kill himself so the finances will be all right. But as someone above said, it's his choice, not anyone else's.
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Old 03-28-2016, 07:35 AM
 
Location: middle tennessee
1,926 posts, read 994,079 times
Reputation: 7002
a longer life is not necessarily a better life
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Old 03-28-2016, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Central NY
4,689 posts, read 3,258,145 times
Reputation: 12022
My heart goes out to this guy and his family. Talk about life throwing a curve ball.

Some decisions are a lot tougher than others. If he has made up his mind to work hard for more money at the risk of shortening his life, it's his decision to make. I think he deserves respect for doing what is important to him. None of us know what we would do if we were in that same situation.
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Old 03-28-2016, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,857 posts, read 4,972,198 times
Reputation: 17353
Reminds me of an old Jack Benney skit: A gunman points a gun at Jack: "your money or your life!"...Jack responds "I'm thinking about it..."

Seriously, running the hampster wheel to buy a $1M average house in the Bay Area is not worth it. His health should be his highest priority. He could always move to fly over country and buy a nice house for less than $100K if he can do his business on line.
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