Let's say my goal is to put in my years in finance, and (truly) cash out and leave by the time I'm 40, to live a normal, middle class family life with ironclad financial security. This means I'll have to keep my costs low and live like a normal person during this time. This means I marry someone with the same lifestyle expectations that I have. This means we live in a normal house in Jersey. This means my wife and I share a Honda instead of having our own Audis. This means our kids go to public school. This means we might take occasional vacations to the Jersey shore instead of a yearly ski trip in Switzerland. This means eating out is a rare treat.
I see a lot of threads mentioning how MDs in their 50s are shackled to a job they hate because of the cost of their lifestyle, and I'm wondering why they had to end up there in the first place. If I dig the simple life, does it have to hold me back professionally? Would it make me an automatic black sheep in finance? I know that part of success in the workplace is getting along with your peers and fitting in with the "culture". So how much pressure is there to live a certain lifestyle when you and everyone you work with is rich?