Author Topic: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!  (Read 6280 times)

BeginnerStache

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Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« on: December 09, 2016, 07:27:34 AM »
Great news after thinking long and hard, crunching numbers, and then talking it over with the wife. I have made the decision to switch from full-time to part-time and eventually full FIRE.

Over the last couple of years we have really downsized our lifestyle. To the point that we can get by on one income if need be. We have a good chunk in retirement accounts. We downsized our home and most of the rehab work is completed. Still some minor things to wrap up.

My job has become nearly unbearable. I've been sitting in a cubicle staring at computer screen for the better (or worst) part of 10 years now. I simply cannot do it anymore. My son is struggling a bit in school (adolescence sucks!). Downshifting to part-time will provide me with more time to focus on his needs and offer some guidance. It's difficult to do with both of us working full time. I plan to actively be more involved in his Boy Scouts as well. Which means more camping and hiking trips. Yeah! My wife is totally on board and is ecstatic about it. She enjoys her job so she plans on keeping with it for another 10 years. Her choice of course. She will continue to actively save as well, depending on how much income I am bringing in. She also has a lot of flexibility with time off, picking up hours, cutting hours etc.

My plan is to continue full time until the kids start summer vacation in 2017. At which point I will offer my employer to go part-time, work from home, with a pay cut and sacrifice of benefits. I don't know if they will go for it, but it's win-win situation. If they don't I will seek part time work elsewhere. I have marketable skills.   

I am really looking forward to the next phase of my life. Although not fully FIRE, it's a step in that direction. And a really big one. Wish me luck!

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2016, 07:50:22 AM »
w00t@!  Very happy for you!
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Tiff

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2016, 08:52:01 AM »
So happy for you! I am getting closer to a decision myself, but not ready to pull the plug just yet. Every time I read about someone taking the plunge, it gives me more confidence, that it is possible. And as for sitting in front of a computer all day... human were just not meant to do this. You will probably add years to your life!

BeginnerStache

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2016, 11:19:04 AM »
So happy for you! I am getting closer to a decision myself, but not ready to pull the plug just yet. Every time I read about someone taking the plunge, it gives me more confidence, that it is possible. And as for sitting in front of a computer all day... human were just not meant to do this. You will probably add years to your life!

Hi Tiff, yep I felt the same way. Although I am not fully taking the plunge, just getting out of this rat hole called a cubicle will be sweet relief.

Good luck to you!

Fishingmn

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2016, 12:22:01 PM »
My DW and I went to semi-retired a year ago.

She was going to straight up retire but they wanted her to do consulting. She offered them 2 days a week at a ridiculous amount of money and they said yes. A year later there's no end in sight to when that might end. I continue to sell real estate here and there but don't try real hard to find new clients.

Keeps us still engaged with lots of days off to go do whatever we feel like.

Good luck!

BeginnerStache

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2016, 12:36:09 PM »
My DW and I went to semi-retired a year ago.

She was going to straight up retire but they wanted her to do consulting. She offered them 2 days a week at a ridiculous amount of money and they said yes. A year later there's no end in sight to when that might end. I continue to sell real estate here and there but don't try real hard to find new clients.

Keeps us still engaged with lots of days off to go do whatever we feel like.

Good luck!

Sounds awesome. It's good when you are in a field where consulting is possible and you can somewhat determine your own schedule. I've thought about real estate as a bit of a side project. But I am much more into fixing up homes. I am open to flipping a house here and there. Could be a way to make enough to not have to do anything the rest of the year. We'll see.

They did send out an email today that they are looking to fill two more engineering positions. So I might have a bit of leverage come April/May with offering to go part-time. 

Mr.Tako

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2016, 01:24:58 PM »
That's a great plan!  I spent some time working from home too, and it's 10x better than working in a cubical.  You may find out that you like it enough to continue for another 10 years!

Easing into FIRE is actually a really great way to go about it.  You can test the waters before anything is set in stone.

Good luck to ya!
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Sustainable Happiness

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2016, 01:44:52 PM »
If you don't mind me asking, rough details on financial situation? NW, SWR, Multiple of Expenses?

I am curious because I am thinking about doing a similar thing, but switching into a part-time location independent role where my goal is to cover expenses and still save a little while letting a $350K FU-Money nest egg stay invested till traditional retirement. I am currently 27, so I figured 30 years of compound interest plus the likelihood of more cash coming in than expected will work out fine.

Plan is to change into this when we have our first baby, but I am curious when others take the Semi-FIRE plunge.

My semi-FIRE plan in #s (P.S. This is for a couple)
$350-400K Invested
Rent fo' Life
~30K Expenses
12-14x Expenses
Income at least $20K per year + Wife's Income

On another note, WAY TO GO!!!!!!!

BeginnerStache

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2016, 04:02:35 PM »
If you don't mind me asking, rough details on financial situation? NW, SWR, Multiple of Expenses?

I am curious because I am thinking about doing a similar thing, but switching into a part-time location independent role where my goal is to cover expenses and still save a little while letting a $350K FU-Money nest egg stay invested till traditional retirement. I am currently 27, so I figured 30 years of compound interest plus the likelihood of more cash coming in than expected will work out fine.

Plan is to change into this when we have our first baby, but I am curious when others take the Semi-FIRE plunge.

My semi-FIRE plan in #s (P.S. This is for a couple)
$350-400K Invested
Rent fo' Life
~30K Expenses
12-14x Expenses
Income at least $20K per year + Wife's Income

On another note, WAY TO GO!!!!!!!

Thanks. I can provide some details but they are by no means concrete. Our expenses vary from month to month.

We have roughly $300K+ invested. Roughly 100K home equity. We got lucky on our house. Bought it on the cheap (really bad condition) in an affluent area with HCOL so it's value has skyrocketed over the last 2 years. And I've rehabbed nearly the entire house.

Not sure what total expenses are, as I stated they vary. Will be adding those up for the year in the next week or so. I can ballpark. My wife brings home roughly 40K after taxes. She can handle all the bills herself with some change. So I would ballpark expenses around 36K. We've had some pretty expensive animal medical bills this year as well. I am convinced we have the sickest animals on the planet.

As our pets die off (sorry if that sounds mean) our pet expenses will drastically decline. We live in a very HCOL area. We plan on moving to a LCOL area once we are both FIRE so housing expenses will drop. 2 kids still in school. 

Over the next 10 years we won't touch the investments and continue to put more in, although not nearly as much as we have been. Once we reach conventional retirement age, between my wife's pension and SS (if there is any) we'll be bringing in about 40K outside of any investment income. Investment income will mostly just be supplemental at that point.

Sorry I don't have any hard fast numbers. Our situation is a little unique. I certainly wouldn't FIRE completely with 300K, even though I think I could do it while the wife continues to work and pay all the bills, leaving the stash to grow over the next 10-12 years. 

Oh and we are both 40. So we plan to fully FIRE around 50 give or take a year or two. Hope that helps you.

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2016, 04:16:50 PM »
Very cool!  I'm hoping to join you on the SEMI-RE bandwagon soon enough.

BeginnerStache

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2016, 04:21:38 PM »
Very cool!  I'm hoping to join you on the SEMI-RE bandwagon soon enough.

Awesome!! Good luck to you. ( :

Metric Mouse

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2016, 01:59:37 PM »
Awesome.  Good luck!
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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2016, 05:45:42 PM »
I did the same this year--started jobsharing (5 days to 2.5).  I am 45, have 2 kids 14 and 11, and I can't tell you how much happier I am.  Having those extra days is heaven.  My husband calls it my mid-week weekend.  It has made me greedy for full retirement which is a couple years off.   

BeginnerStache

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2016, 05:31:59 AM »
I did the same this year--started jobsharing (5 days to 2.5).  I am 45, have 2 kids 14 and 11, and I can't tell you how much happier I am.  Having those extra days is heaven.  My husband calls it my mid-week weekend.  It has made me greedy for full retirement which is a couple years off.

Very cool. So how is it working out financially for you? I am a little scared but excited as well. I know we'll be fine of anything bad happens and I can always go back to full time work.

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2016, 05:33:41 AM »
I think what you're suggesting makes great sense.  No job is more important than your family, especially a job you don't even love. 

I'll be semi-retiring at the end of this year (so in a few more weeks) with plans for a half year sabbatical (not starting new job until end of June).  About the same age as you.  Just wanted to say you're not alone. :-)

BeginnerStache

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2016, 05:37:32 AM »
I think what you're suggesting makes great sense.  No job is more important than your family, especially a job you don't even love. 

I'll be semi-retiring at the end of this year (so in a few more weeks) with plans for a half year sabbatical (not starting new job until end of June).  About the same age as you.  Just wanted to say you're not alone. :-)

I bet you are excited. Will you be going back to full time?

I took 3 months off this year over the summer on a company approved unpaid LOA. It was awesome.

Libertea

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2016, 06:03:39 AM »
Will you be going back to full time?
Kind of.  I'll be doing a FT paid internship (albeit not very well paid compared to my current job) to prepare me to switch careers, and I'll be working PT (one day per week) in my current job to make extra money.  My plan is to do both for six months, then reassess. 

fidreamer

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2016, 05:30:19 PM »
I did the same this year--started jobsharing (5 days to 2.5).  I am 45, have 2 kids 14 and 11, and I can't tell you how much happier I am.  Having those extra days is heaven.  My husband calls it my mid-week weekend.  It has made me greedy for full retirement which is a couple years off.

Very cool. So how is it working out financially for you? I am a little scared but excited as well. I know we'll be fine of anything bad happens and I can always go back to full time work.

It is working out fine.  My mortgage is paid and like you I could go back if I needed to.  My husband has been deployed 3 times and I have a daughter with special needs which is a job in itself.  I had no idea how stressed I was until I slowed down a bit.  It's time to relax a little and enjoy the simple things!  I think you should go for it!

Metric Mouse

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2016, 04:35:52 AM »
I had no idea how stressed I was until I slowed down a bit.  It's time to relax a little and enjoy the simple things!  I think you should go for it!

This is stated all the time on this forum. It's amazing how much happiness a change in perspective can bring.
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BeginnerStache

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2016, 05:26:50 AM »
I did the same this year--started jobsharing (5 days to 2.5).  I am 45, have 2 kids 14 and 11, and I can't tell you how much happier I am.  Having those extra days is heaven.  My husband calls it my mid-week weekend.  It has made me greedy for full retirement which is a couple years off.

Very cool. So how is it working out financially for you? I am a little scared but excited as well. I know we'll be fine of anything bad happens and I can always go back to full time work.

It is working out fine.  My mortgage is paid and like you I could go back if I needed to.  My husband has been deployed 3 times and I have a daughter with special needs which is a job in itself.  I had no idea how stressed I was until I slowed down a bit.  It's time to relax a little and enjoy the simple things!  I think you should go for it!

Wow, good for you for taking the plunge. Deployments suck. What branch is your husband in if you don't mind me asking? I only had to endure one deployment thankfully.

I am just looking to earn enough to pay the mortgage and possibly grocery bills. That will still free up a good chunk for my wife to continue saving.

arebelspy

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2016, 06:51:04 AM »
Nice!  The longer I'm ER'd, the more I'm convinced a semi-ER path is the way to go.

And if one person likes their job, and the other doesn't, let the latter quit.  It's not true FIRE (as if the other quit, there's not enough invested to survive = not FI), but who cares?  If the first person likes their job, and will continue to do it, why make the other suffer through to full FI, first?  Have the unhappy one quit, and the fact that they're "supported" by the other is irrelevant.  What's important in that scenario is everyone gets to do what makes them happy, and the money is incidental.  Win-win.  :)
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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2016, 07:01:18 AM »
Awesome Awesome Awesome. Thank you BeginnerStache and good luck on your journey. arebelspy, I really like hearing comments like that from Mustachians with more experience than myself as it helps validate the notions that my wife and I have been kicking around for the past year. She's a much stronger subscriber to the FU Money concept vs moving straight to FIRE and after 1 terrible job, and 2 nice-environment-and-pay-but-not-fulfilling jobs, the truth of corporate life has been fully revealed as lacking something for me long-term (or short-term for that matter).

BeginnerStache

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2016, 08:28:14 AM »
Nice!  The longer I'm ER'd, the more I'm convinced a semi-ER path is the way to go.

And if one person likes their job, and the other doesn't, let the latter quit.  It's not true FIRE (as if the other quit, there's not enough invested to survive = not FI), but who cares?  If the first person likes their job, and will continue to do it, why make the other suffer through to full FI, first?  Have the unhappy one quit, and the fact that they're "supported" by the other is irrelevant.  What's important in that scenario is everyone gets to do what makes them happy, and the money is incidental.  Win-win.  :)

Very well stated. We worked very hard at saving and cutting out waste to even get to this point. I see no sense in continuing my miserable cubicle job if I don't have to.

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2016, 09:43:11 AM »
Nice!  The longer I'm ER'd, the more I'm convinced a semi-ER path is the way to go.

I'm curious as to why your thinking has moved this way.  Is it simply less total time working FT, or are there some other benefits?   Don't you think being tied down to a PT or intermittent job would rain on your travel parade or make you feel less free? Tell me what I'm not seeing as a full time wage earner!

I ask because I am seriously considering semi-RE sooner rather than later.  I dont hate my work, so I could certainly handle doing it 5-6 more years to full FIRE. OTOH, I don't hate my work, so why not keep doing it sometimes for the long term?  Just less so that it isn't the dominate force in my life.  I've manufactured a perfect savings machine in my current position, so maybe a bit of golden handcuffs as well.  Although, I don't make "golden" types of money.

I've become a big 'ole belgian waffle on this subject.  Obviously the longer I work FT, the less I have to work going forward, and I worry that at some point I will burn out. Obviously, there's now health insurance issues as well. Firecalc and Cfiresim have given me permission to drop to half time work to a ridiculous certainty whenever I see fit, 1/4 time if I stick to it through May 2018.


OP congrats again!  I would love to hear more from you as you progress through the process and how things go for you next year once you follow through.  Thanks guys!
« Last Edit: December 13, 2016, 12:14:42 PM by Classical_Liberal »

Cycling Stache

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2016, 09:50:55 AM »
And if one person likes their job, and the other doesn't, let the latter quit.  It's not true FIRE (as if the other quit, there's not enough invested to survive = not FI), but who cares?  If the first person likes their job, and will continue to do it, why make the other suffer through to full FI, first?  Have the unhappy one quit, and the fact that they're "supported" by the other is irrelevant.

I realize that this is just a semantic issue (and almost certainly pointless), but I find this view interesting.  I think the point is to exclude the classic stay-at-home parent from being considered to be "FIREd," but if one partner is committed to working, and when built into that model, you have enough to retire immediately and the partner gets to retire at whatever target date is set, why is that not FIRE?  Wouldn't working further at that point just generate extra, unnecessary money?

I view it as just plugging in the data points of partner wants to work X more years, will make Y, and net worth will be Z at that point, and Z is enough for both to FIRE.  Ignoring that data point in determining FI seems similar to ignoring social security or other expected benefits in determining what's enough.  I think a key assumption is that partner will continue to work X more years, but if you have a high degree of confidence in that outcome, relying on it is no different than relying on the 4% rule because it almost always works (even though it could possibly fail).

It seems weird to ascribe any concept of incomplete success ("you haven't really FIREd") to the person who does math better--i.e., by incorporating expected revenues into the FIRE model.  Maybe the failure is not convincing the partner to FIRE too?  Or maybe the failure is caring what others on the internet think?  :)

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2016, 10:02:17 AM »
@ Cycling Stache

Following your logic anyone who actually has a plan to FIRE is FIRE'd because they know with a high degree of certainty (say 75%) they can quit in 20XX and be FI.  The further out the date, likely the lower the success rate, as the number of unexpected twists in life increase. 

For that reason, I would argue anyone who is dependent on a paycheck (single or couple) for basic living expenses is not, by definition, Financially Independent.  Now, they may be living exactly the way they want, without money being a consideration at all, but they are not FI.

Edit:  I consider SS different, it's essentially a prepaid pension.  The benefits of the pension may change, but it's highly likely (>90%) that at least some portion of the expected benefits will be available.  Best data right now shows worst case about 79% funded.  So IMHO, one can be FI if a conservative estimate of SS benefits is required for that FI.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2016, 10:06:13 AM by Classical_Liberal »

Mr. Green

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2016, 11:55:20 AM »
That is awesome, OP! Having the time to help your kid with some life struggles is priceless.

Travelling Biologist

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2016, 11:59:25 AM »
Congrats, BeginnerStash!

Nice!  The longer I'm ER'd, the more I'm convinced a semi-ER path is the way to go.

And if one person likes their job, and the other doesn't, let the latter quit.  It's not true FIRE (as if the other quit, there's not enough invested to survive = not FI), but who cares?  If the first person likes their job, and will continue to do it, why make the other suffer through to full FI, first?  Have the unhappy one quit, and the fact that they're "supported" by the other is irrelevant.  What's important in that scenario is everyone gets to do what makes them happy, and the money is incidental.  Win-win.  :)

A very interesting observation, arebelspy (I believe you made a similar point in Prospectors journal). There was another thread recently where one person suggested doing something like this while his wife continued to work and everyone poo-pooed it because they weren't fully FI yet (or actually they were FI at the husband's desired spending level but not the wife's). This is something I have been pondering myself for a while. My husband loves his job and wants to keep working until minimum retirement age (55, in 12 years for him). He would be supportive of me stopping or scaling back. We'd be fine with current savings. If I keep working for 12 years, we will have saved more than we need. I have a great job, but it's not what I would be doing with all my time if we didn't need the money. We've contemplated part-time too but it's pretty much unheard of in my field (though technically possible) and would pose some interesting challenges due to the nature of the job. So for now I keep plugging along and stuffing our investments.

fidreamer

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2016, 03:07:41 PM »
I did the same this year--started jobsharing (5 days to 2.5).  I am 45, have 2 kids 14 and 11, and I can't tell you how much happier I am.  Having those extra days is heaven.  My husband calls it my mid-week weekend.  It has made me greedy for full retirement which is a couple years off.

Very cool. So how is it working out financially for you? I am a little scared but excited as well. I know we'll be fine of anything bad happens and I can always go back to full time work.

It is working out fine.  My mortgage is paid and like you I could go back if I needed to.  My husband has been deployed 3 times and I have a daughter with special needs which is a job in itself.  I had no idea how stressed I was until I slowed down a bit.  It's time to relax a little and enjoy the simple things!  I think you should go for it!

Wow, good for you for taking the plunge. Deployments suck. What branch is your husband in if you don't mind me asking? I only had to endure one deployment thankfully.

I am just looking to earn enough to pay the mortgage and possibly grocery bills. That will still free up a good chunk for my wife to continue saving.

Army National Guard.  Bosnia, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.  It was hard, but he is retired now and small pension is very helpful towards FI.  How about you?

arebelspy

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2016, 05:18:33 PM »
Nice!  The longer I'm ER'd, the more I'm convinced a semi-ER path is the way to go.

I'm curious as to why your thinking has moved this way.  Is it simply less total time working FT, or are there some other benefits?   Don't you think being tied down to a PT or intermittent job would rain on your travel parade or make you feel less free? Tell me what I'm not seeing as a full time wage earner!

Total less working time overall, plus way more freedom.

As far as if you want to FT travel, then you get an income that you can do on the road.  Most don't want FT travel, just the freedom to travel part of the year, and semi-ER totally gives that.

It's so easy to switch into just making a little money to cover enough.

Or to do a work a year, take 2-3 years off schedule.

Being full time is just so restrictive to any plans.  Semi-ER opens up so many possibilities.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

pbkmaine

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2016, 05:39:30 PM »
My college roommate has been doing this for years. She's self employed as a strategic planning consultant. She lives in Nashville, but spends all summer, every summer in Maine. Her clients know that she does not travel for work during the summer. She will take phone calls and emails from clients on a very limited basis, strictly controlled. Otherwise, she is out on the Medomak River in her kayak.

Travelling Biologist

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2016, 06:28:20 PM »
Have you thought about seasonal or temp jobs? I always thought those would be thebetter than part time as you'd have a few blocks of longer time free from work. I think it'd be workable with a still working spouse too.
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Part of the issue is that my job has so many amazing perks that it is hard to imagine giving it up for something that pays a lot less or has a lot less job security and benefits (as I imagine seasonal jobs might be). Apparently there is the possibility to negotiate a reduction of duties in my current job at a proportional reduction in pay, but the logistics would be tricky, I have never heard of anyone doing it, and my colleagues would find it distasteful. Once DH and I have decided that I should scale back somehow and would be open to the possibility of stopping work altogether, I will definitely explore this route as it seems like it would ease the transition to FIRE. I've also been pondering some online work to replace current work down the line, but I don't know how to try it out without adding too much to my currently full plate with a full time job and two toddlers (for example, to see if I like it and to see if it pays enough).

BeginnerStache

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2016, 06:28:30 PM »
I did the same this year--started jobsharing (5 days to 2.5).  I am 45, have 2 kids 14 and 11, and I can't tell you how much happier I am.  Having those extra days is heaven.  My husband calls it my mid-week weekend.  It has made me greedy for full retirement which is a couple years off.

Very cool. So how is it working out financially for you? I am a little scared but excited as well. I know we'll be fine of anything bad happens and I can always go back to full time work.

It is working out fine.  My mortgage is paid and like you I could go back if I needed to.  My husband has been deployed 3 times and I have a daughter with special needs which is a job in itself.  I had no idea how stressed I was until I slowed down a bit.  It's time to relax a little and enjoy the simple things!  I think you should go for it!

Wow, good for you for taking the plunge. Deployments suck. What branch is your husband in if you don't mind me asking? I only had to endure one deployment thankfully.

I am just looking to earn enough to pay the mortgage and possibly grocery bills. That will still free up a good chunk for my wife to continue saving.

Army National Guard.  Bosnia, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.  It was hard, but he is retired now and small pension is very helpful towards FI.  How about you?

Air Force myself. Spent time in Bosnia. I got out right before stop loss kicked in for my career field and folks were coming back from the desert. 

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2016, 06:59:30 PM »
Good luck in semi FIRE!

I came back to work part time after a medical leave. I even have a doctor's note saying I should be part time, yet I keep being asked by management when I am going back to full time. I love the part time hours and truly feel I am still recovering and shouldn't work full time. The constant nagging by management  has me longing to declare full FIRE next year!

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #34 on: December 17, 2016, 03:23:02 AM »
Congrats BeginnerStache!!

Nice!  The longer I'm ER'd, the more I'm convinced a semi-ER path is the way to go.

And if one person likes their job, and the other doesn't, let the latter quit.  It's not true FIRE (as if the other quit, there's not enough invested to survive = not FI), but who cares?  If the first person likes their job, and will continue to do it, why make the other suffer through to full FI, first?  Have the unhappy one quit, and the fact that they're "supported" by the other is irrelevant.  What's important in that scenario is everyone gets to do what makes them happy, and the money is incidental.  Win-win.  :)

A very interesting observation, arebelspy (I believe you made a similar point in Prospectors journal). There was another thread recently where one person suggested doing something like this while his wife continued to work and everyone poo-pooed it because they weren't fully FI yet (or actually they were FI at the husband's desired spending level but not the wife's). This is something I have been pondering myself for a while. My husband loves his job and wants to keep working until minimum retirement age (55, in 12 years for him). He would be supportive of me stopping or scaling back. We'd be fine with current savings. If I keep working for 12 years, we will have saved more than we need. I have a great job, but it's not what I would be doing with all my time if we didn't need the money. We've contemplated part-time too but it's pretty much unheard of in my field (though technically possible) and would pose some interesting challenges due to the nature of the job. So for now I keep plugging along and stuffing our investments.

I'm also thinking about this (after a few years more saving). I've followed the arguments about 'not really FI' and they don't hold a huge amount of weight for me. If I get to the place where I can stop work years earlier and the cost of this is incurring the wrath of the Internet Retirement Police I'm okay with that price.

I do think it is different if you don't have FI money and the working spouse loses their job, or their feelings about their job change. It requires a rethink and a renegotiation. But that could happen to any couple. It's foolish to base your plan predominantly on an outside possibility and ignore the more likely path.

My bigger concern is what my FIRE would look like if my SO was still working. I'm not cut out for staying at home. I loved to travel alone before we were a couple but not sure how SO would react to that. We have a cool balance now with my work travel, but I'm not convinced he'd be as understanding if it was elective rather than for work.

BeginnerStache

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #35 on: December 17, 2016, 05:07:24 AM »
Congrats BeginnerStache!!

Nice!  The longer I'm ER'd, the more I'm convinced a semi-ER path is the way to go.

And if one person likes their job, and the other doesn't, let the latter quit.  It's not true FIRE (as if the other quit, there's not enough invested to survive = not FI), but who cares?  If the first person likes their job, and will continue to do it, why make the other suffer through to full FI, first?  Have the unhappy one quit, and the fact that they're "supported" by the other is irrelevant.  What's important in that scenario is everyone gets to do what makes them happy, and the money is incidental.  Win-win.  :)

A very interesting observation, arebelspy (I believe you made a similar point in Prospectors journal). There was another thread recently where one person suggested doing something like this while his wife continued to work and everyone poo-pooed it because they weren't fully FI yet (or actually they were FI at the husband's desired spending level but not the wife's). This is something I have been pondering myself for a while. My husband loves his job and wants to keep working until minimum retirement age (55, in 12 years for him). He would be supportive of me stopping or scaling back. We'd be fine with current savings. If I keep working for 12 years, we will have saved more than we need. I have a great job, but it's not what I would be doing with all my time if we didn't need the money. We've contemplated part-time too but it's pretty much unheard of in my field (though technically possible) and would pose some interesting challenges due to the nature of the job. So for now I keep plugging along and stuffing our investments.

I'm also thinking about this (after a few years more saving). I've followed the arguments about 'not really FI' and they don't hold a huge amount of weight for me. If I get to the place where I can stop work years earlier and the cost of this is incurring the wrath of the Internet Retirement Police I'm okay with that price.

I do think it is different if you don't have FI money and the working spouse loses their job, or their feelings about their job change. It requires a rethink and a renegotiation. But that could happen to any couple. It's foolish to base your plan predominantly on an outside possibility and ignore the more likely path.

My bigger concern is what my FIRE would look like if my SO was still working. I'm not cut out for staying at home. I loved to travel alone before we were a couple but not sure how SO would react to that. We have a cool balance now with my work travel, but I'm not convinced he'd be as understanding if it was elective rather than for work.

I don't really consider myself FI. I mean I still am going to work to bring in some income so we can keep saving. It's great to put labels on things. But I don't see any sense in continuing to work full time in an office environment that is sucking the life out of me if I don't have to. And having a spouse who is on board with it, likes her job and wants to keep working for a bit makes it that much more possible. 3 years ago, no way! The though wouldn't have even crossed my mind. Our spending was a bit ridiculous.

The great thing about this blog is there are so many paths to FI. Do what leads to the greatest amount of happiness.

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #36 on: December 17, 2016, 05:08:32 AM »

The great thing about this blog is there are so many paths to FI. Do what leads to the greatest amount of happiness.

Damn straight!
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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2016, 06:12:49 AM »
I would argue that a huge benefit of being semi-retired is that you have (if not FI money) a significant amount of FU money.  Meaning, while you aren't yet at a point where you can afford to go for the rest of your life without ever working again, you are at a point where you can go without a job for quite a long time: on the order of years, maybe even decades.  And that's a pretty powerful position to be in, because the reason why most people panic at sudden unexpected job loss is not because they think they won't ever find another job again.  It's because they spend such a high percentage of their income that they can't afford to go for more than a few weeks or months without a paycheck.  And so if they lose their job, they not only need to find "some other job."  They need to find an equally well-paying job, post haste, or else their standard of living is going to take a major hit.  That is a lot of pressure to be put under, particularly if you're not expecting it and haven't planned for it.

That is the power of FU money.  It gives you resilience to leave a job you don't love, coast on savings for a while, look at different options, and ultimately decide to take something lower houred (and likely lower paying) if you so choose. 

FWIW, those of you who are married to a working spouse have yet another layer of security, because your spouse would also have to lose their job in order for you to have zero income.  As someone who's flying solo, I have to be a little more careful since I can't fall back on a spouse's income.  But if anything, having that safety net of a spouse's income would make me feel MORE secure about semi-retiring, not less.  (I'm speaking strictly from a financial perspective here; clearly, the emotional/psychological meshing of one member of a couple retiring while the other continues to work is another question entirely.)

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #38 on: December 17, 2016, 06:23:18 AM »
FWIW, those of you who are married to a working spouse have yet another layer of security, because your spouse would also have to lose their job in order for you to have zero income.  As someone who's flying solo, I have to be a little more careful since I can't fall back on a spouse's income.  But if anything, having that safety net of a spouse's income would make me feel MORE secure about semi-retiring, not less.  (I'm speaking strictly from a financial perspective here; clearly, the emotional/psychological meshing of one member of a couple retiring while the other continues to work is another question entirely.)

Yes, there is a benefit to having a working spouse, but I think a solo person has freedoms in terms of lowering the cost of living that are more difficult (not impossible) to do with a spouse or family.

BeginnerStache

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #39 on: December 17, 2016, 06:32:54 AM »
I would argue that a huge benefit of being semi-retired is that you have (if not FI money) a significant amount of FU money.  Meaning, while you aren't yet at a point where you can afford to go for the rest of your life without ever working again, you are at a point where you can go without a job for quite a long time: on the order of years, maybe even decades.  And that's a pretty powerful position to be in, because the reason why most people panic at sudden unexpected job loss is not because they think they won't ever find another job again.  It's because they spend such a high percentage of their income that they can't afford to go for more than a few weeks or months without a paycheck.  And so if they lose their job, they not only need to find "some other job."  They need to find an equally well-paying job, post haste, or else their standard of living is going to take a major hit.  That is a lot of pressure to be put under, particularly if you're not expecting it and haven't planned for it.

That is the power of FU money.  It gives you resilience to leave a job you don't love, coast on savings for a while, look at different options, and ultimately decide to take something lower houred (and likely lower paying) if you so choose. 

FWIW, those of you who are married to a working spouse have yet another layer of security, because your spouse would also have to lose their job in order for you to have zero income.  As someone who's flying solo, I have to be a little more careful since I can't fall back on a spouse's income.  But if anything, having that safety net of a spouse's income would make me feel MORE secure about semi-retiring, not less.  (I'm speaking strictly from a financial perspective here; clearly, the emotional/psychological meshing of one member of a couple retiring while the other continues to work is another question entirely.)

You bring up some great points. Currently reading JL Collins Book and he brings up the same valid points about having FU money. Many of my co-workers were floored last year when I took a short 3 months off unpaid. They had no idea how one could do such a thing without going broke.

I think if we didn't have 2 kids in school right now with one struggling a bit dealing with a multitude of changes, then our outlook of one scaling back while the other continues to work might be different. As it is, my spouse is actually excited for the opportunity for our family. And it's a load off her shoulders knowing I would be here after school to help out.

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #40 on: December 17, 2016, 06:58:16 AM »


Yes, there is a benefit to having a working spouse, but I think a solo person has freedoms in terms of lowering the cost of living that are more difficult (not impossible) to do with a spouse or family.

For the average person, yes.

That's why so many struggle to get their SO aboard.

But if you find the right partner... Wowza.

We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

Metric Mouse

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #41 on: December 17, 2016, 07:25:35 AM »
I think if we didn't have 2 kids in school right now with one struggling a bit dealing with a multitude of changes, then our outlook of one scaling back while the other continues to work might be different. As it is, my spouse is actually excited for the opportunity for our family. And it's a load off her shoulders knowing I would be here after school to help out.

That's awesome when two people are on-board with the same plan.
Give me one fine day of plain sailing weather and I can mess up anything.

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #42 on: December 17, 2016, 12:05:11 PM »


Yes, there is a benefit to having a working spouse, but I think a solo person has freedoms in terms of lowering the cost of living that are more difficult (not impossible) to do with a spouse or family.

For the average person, yes.

That's why so many struggle to get their SO aboard.

But if you find the right partner... Wowza.

And along these same lines, many of the people who are FI with a partner would probably not be FI individually. There are so many economies of scale in sharing your life with someone.

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #43 on: December 17, 2016, 12:07:44 PM »
Congrats BeginnerStache!!

Nice!  The longer I'm ER'd, the more I'm convinced a semi-ER path is the way to go.

And if one person likes their job, and the other doesn't, let the latter quit.  It's not true FIRE (as if the other quit, there's not enough invested to survive = not FI), but who cares?  If the first person likes their job, and will continue to do it, why make the other suffer through to full FI, first?  Have the unhappy one quit, and the fact that they're "supported" by the other is irrelevant.  What's important in that scenario is everyone gets to do what makes them happy, and the money is incidental.  Win-win.  :)

A very interesting observation, arebelspy (I believe you made a similar point in Prospectors journal). There was another thread recently where one person suggested doing something like this while his wife continued to work and everyone poo-pooed it because they weren't fully FI yet (or actually they were FI at the husband's desired spending level but not the wife's). This is something I have been pondering myself for a while. My husband loves his job and wants to keep working until minimum retirement age (55, in 12 years for him). He would be supportive of me stopping or scaling back. We'd be fine with current savings. If I keep working for 12 years, we will have saved more than we need. I have a great job, but it's not what I would be doing with all my time if we didn't need the money. We've contemplated part-time too but it's pretty much unheard of in my field (though technically possible) and would pose some interesting challenges due to the nature of the job. So for now I keep plugging along and stuffing our investments.

I'm also thinking about this (after a few years more saving). I've followed the arguments about 'not really FI' and they don't hold a huge amount of weight for me. If I get to the place where I can stop work years earlier and the cost of this is incurring the wrath of the Internet Retirement Police I'm okay with that price.

I do think it is different if you don't have FI money and the working spouse loses their job, or their feelings about their job change. It requires a rethink and a renegotiation. But that could happen to any couple. It's foolish to base your plan predominantly on an outside possibility and ignore the more likely path.

My bigger concern is what my FIRE would look like if my SO was still working. I'm not cut out for staying at home. I loved to travel alone before we were a couple but not sure how SO would react to that. We have a cool balance now with my work travel, but I'm not convinced he'd be as understanding if it was elective rather than for work.

Yes, I think it would be important to work through the worst-case scenarios and have back-up plans in case spouse changes their mind about not wanting to retire. There are a lot of options available in our case that would still be better than years and years of extra work by both spouses.

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #44 on: December 17, 2016, 12:15:39 PM »
Yes, there is a benefit to having a working spouse, but I think a solo person has freedoms in terms of lowering the cost of living that are more difficult (not impossible) to do with a spouse or family.
For the average person, yes.

That's why so many struggle to get their SO aboard.

But if you find the right partner... Wowza.

Yes, so true.

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #45 on: December 17, 2016, 08:38:52 PM »
Good work, and best of luck with your plan.

I semi fired in June 2016.   I liked the idea of easing into retirement sooner as opposed to a full stop later.  I had a stash around $620k when I Fired.  No mortgage, but we do pay high property tax.

DH owns a small business that earns enough to cover household expenses, but I like to contribute and to also pay for my own personal expenses and for family treats and extras, like the gym membership, vacations, home improvements, entertainment, etc.  My goal was to have $4k/month in income from combined investments and part time work.

For the first few months I just relaxed and enjoyed my first summer off in many years.   In the fall I started my own consulting business.  I have 2 clients now and work around 24 hours a week.   

  In that timeframe I withdrew around $12K from savings and earned about $6k in business income.   Because the market has been up, my stash is about $10K higher now than when I fired myself 6 months ago.

So far its working out really great, but I'm still figuring this out.  Here are some things to consider before you pull the trigger:

1. Health care costs are really high. Do your research on this ahead of finalizing your FIRE date.  Timing can make a difference when you voluntarily quit work and may result in higher costs, or a waiting period between plans.  And who knows how all this will play out if ACA is repealed.

2. I found out that I REALLY dislike withdrawing any money from my savings accounts.  Its like a mental block, due to such an ingrained habit of saving.  I find that I'm not doing things I would enjoy and can afford (like a trip to New Zealand) just because I don't want to withdraw $.  I'm hoping this problem will go away as I adjust!   

3. Starting up the consulting business and getting contracts signed took more time and $ than I expected.  I spent about $3K on startup costs including my website, technology, supplies, marketing, liability insurance, accountant/lawyer, etc.

4. There are Major tax and financial benefits from having your own business.  For example I can put over $50K in my new solo 401k, tax free in 2017.  I can write off a lot of expenses and control my taxable income.

5. I'm never bored and I have a lot less free time than I thought I would.  Before I Fired, we had more office, house and yard help and of course we cut back on that.  My extended family also has lots higher expectations of me now that I don't work my corporate job.  They delegate a lot of errands and projects to me and expect more visits and such.  My friends who are still working also expect more of me...they assume I have the time to do the organizing of our social stuff.

arebelspy

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #46 on: December 17, 2016, 08:51:44 PM »


I'm never bored and I have a lot less free time than I thought I would.

Oh yeah.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with a kid.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (occasionally) blog at AdventuringAlong.com.
You can also read my forum "Journal."

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #47 on: December 18, 2016, 05:42:50 PM »
Posting to follow!  I am in the progress of trying to negotiate a bit less work for a pay cut- hopefully I'll move to M-Th and maintain health insurance (my husband is self employed).  We are on track for bare minimum FI in 2022 so that date will be pushed out a bit longer if I take a 20% cut but I also have a toddler and could really use a bit more family time and time for self care! 
Best of luck to you and keep us posted!

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #48 on: December 19, 2016, 06:36:45 AM »


Yes, there is a benefit to having a working spouse, but I think a solo person has freedoms in terms of lowering the cost of living that are more difficult (not impossible) to do with a spouse or family.

For the average person, yes.

That's why so many struggle to get their SO aboard.

But if you find the right partner... Wowza.

And along these same lines, many of the people who are FI with a partner would probably not be FI individually. There are so many economies of scale in sharing your life with someone.

I don't know. It's a good thought. I actually enjoyed my little one bedroom apartment as a single guy. Simple, extremely cheap, and loads of free time due to no home maintenance. I could see my savings rate actually increasing if I found myself single again.

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Re: Planning to Semi-FIRE!!!
« Reply #49 on: December 19, 2016, 07:03:31 AM »


Yes, there is a benefit to having a working spouse, but I think a solo person has freedoms in terms of lowering the cost of living that are more difficult (not impossible) to do with a spouse or family.

For the average person, yes.

That's why so many struggle to get their SO aboard.

But if you find the right partner... Wowza.

And along these same lines, many of the people who are FI with a partner would probably not be FI individually. There are so many economies of scale in sharing your life with someone.

I don't know. It's a good thought. I actually enjoyed my little one bedroom apartment as a single guy. Simple, extremely cheap, and loads of free time due to no home maintenance. I could see my savings rate actually increasing if I found myself single again.

This seems more about the personalities of the people involved rather than strictly single/coupled. I'd imagine there are single people who 'need' a 4-bed for their shoes so wouldn't get the same savings sharing a household.

I'd need to spend a lot on hookers to compensate from separating from my SO. That's got to put a dent in the savings rate!