Author Topic: Semi-Retirement  (Read 6865 times)

regulator

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Semi-Retirement
« on: August 06, 2015, 11:07:27 AM »
I am treading this path it seems, and I was wondering if others are doing something similar.  What are your experiences?  Tips?  Ideas? Pitfalls?

I bailed on the last "career" job in early 2014.  At the time I was extremely burnt out and just wanted to take a break for a year and figured I would sort out what comes next afterwards.  Marginally FI (by my standards, anyway) mostly due to being early 40s with two kids in grade school (a couple dinks would not have been marginal).  After 8 months off, I fell into a contract/consulting gig via a buddy and it is scheduled to run to the end of this year.  Pays well, does not require full time effort, and I work from my patio if I wish.  I have kind of decided that I would like to continue earning some income, but I am not willing to do a full time cube job if at all possible.  So I have started sniffing around.  Yesterday I applied for a promising looking part time, remote, flexible job listing that matches my skills very, very well and I have a phone interview on Monday.

In the meantime, I plan to continue having time to do what I enjoy, spend more time with family, and have a better life than in the 20 years of my career.

Anyone else doing this?

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2015, 11:45:33 AM »
Not yet, but I plan to do something similar so I'm interested in the replies as well.

I've been burned out for a bit, and I'm hanging on for a stock sale since I own a small chunk of my employer. It will likely happen in a couple months, then I need to transition into the new place for a year or three. Once our passive income reaches about 65-75% of our expenses I plan to pull the plug which should happen just before I turn 40.

After that I may freelance a little in my current field, but I plan to change it up a bit as well and make some money in other ways since I don't really like what I do anymore.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2015, 12:27:27 PM »
I always looked upon "semi-retirement" as being the same as a "part-time worker". I was so keen on eliminating the "worker" part that it was never really something I considered.


RoseRelish

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2015, 12:46:09 PM »
I plan to do this. To me, "semi-retirement" means having basic expenses covered and working to get luxuries added back in. Like vacations, new golf clubs, concerts, etc.

Thinkum

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2015, 12:55:02 PM »
I am toying with this myself right now. Quit my job in Feb of this year, been doing lots of other stuff not related to making money. I got a PT job just to try it out and then quit a few weeks later. Now I am wondering if I should continue doing the PT thing or just go back to FT, stacking cash until full FI is achieved. My plan was to take a year off to travel, work on the house, learn some new things, etc. I still get somewhat paranoid about no incoming cash from me. My SO is still working, so that's good. I REALLY should put together an Ask A Mustachian to get other peoples opinions and perspectives since there are just so many things that are up in the air.

ash7962

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2015, 01:44:12 PM »
There was already an ask a mustachian post asking if people are planning on going part time as a FIRE plan.  I actually hope to go part time once I reach something like 200-300k in invested stash.  I figure I'd rather have more free time sooner, but work more years overall.  I think its a viable path, but probably not for 100% of people.  For me, I plan on moving to a much lower COL area so I don't 100% know my post FIRE expenses.  I also think that some of my hobby interests could potentially reduce my required spending more than I'm estimating, and finally that some of my interests could generate some small income.  For me it really comes down to the fact that I'd rather retire a bit too early and have to work part time for a number of years rather than work full time until I'm sure I can fully FIRE but find I have way more money than I need (and thus lost free time working to get it).  I could always go back to work FT if things fall apart.

Thinkum

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2015, 02:18:42 PM »
  For me it really comes down to the fact that I'd rather retire a bit too early and have to work part time for a number of years rather than work full time until I'm sure I can fully FIRE but find I have way more money than I need (and thus lost free time working to get it).  I could always go back to work FT if things fall apart.

This was exactly my thinking.

regulator

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2015, 02:27:56 PM »
  For me it really comes down to the fact that I'd rather retire a bit too early and have to work part time for a number of years rather than work full time until I'm sure I can fully FIRE but find I have way more money than I need (and thus lost free time working to get it).  I could always go back to work FT if things fall apart.

This was exactly my thinking.

I'd like to say that was my thought when I quit, but to be honest I was so massively burnt out that I could see a vague path forward, so I took it.  I would say I am thinking much more clearly now and the part time/contractor/small business strategy should work fine so long as I can periodically find enough work.  At least when my current contract ends I will have piled up enough loose change to take a year off.

Mr. Green

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2015, 11:31:21 AM »
  For me it really comes down to the fact that I'd rather retire a bit too early and have to work part time for a number of years rather than work full time until I'm sure I can fully FIRE but find I have way more money than I need (and thus lost free time working to get it).  I could always go back to work FT if things fall apart.
This.

My thought was once minimal FIRE is reached, a tiny amount of income takes care of the rest. I'm sure I could accidentally make $5,000-10,000 a year. I guess that all depends on whether you're a person who thinks he'd end up doing something that would make money anyway because you want to do something in FIRE, or if you're content to be completely retired.

lhamo

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2015, 11:42:23 AM »
I had a consulting opportunity fall in my lap my last day in the office.  I just signed the contract for the first stage of the project -- just over 20k for 30 days of work.  If it goes well, I will likely get extensions over the next 3-7 years as the project expands/rolls out to new sites.  I'll see how it goes.  The things that make it work for me are:

1)  Totally in my sweet spot work-wise -- I think I will actually enjoy the work and the team I'll be working with
2)  In a part of the world where I have never worked or traveled before, so lots of interesting things to learn
3)  First stage of contract is 100% work from home, and I can do the work whenever it suits me.  Not stuck on an office schedule
4)  Work is intermittent, and the contracting process takes a LONG time (big international bureaucracy).  So there is likely to be significant down time between contracts.

I'll see how it goes and decide whether or not to continue with it long term.  Nice to have the extra 20k to pad out my Roth this year.

zephyr911

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2015, 02:21:34 PM »
I've been saying 2-3 years to FIRE, but we could theoretically both go PT very soon (<1yr) and easily cover our bills while letting the Stash compound (and adding a little). I have three side gigs that I enjoy and would keep after quitting govt - the ANG, which nets me 15k or so in a year and would let me buy medical/dental for about $250/mo, real estate sales (to date, only clients are my own LLC and a few possible friends in the pipe, but I love it and could grow quickly), and managing our rentals.

DW was previously PT at her current job and has talked about going back to PT because the hours are cramping her style. Should I put this in Mustachian People Problems? >.<

regulator

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2015, 03:50:02 PM »
Phone interview went very well and I will be on tap for contract work after signing a contractor agreement later this week.  I will get work as the firm lands contracts and get $75 an hour to do somewhat interesting work that will be extremely untaxing and easy to do out of the house or even on the road if I wish.

Evgenia

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2015, 04:53:42 PM »
I am doing this now, though I had not planned to. Sweet Husband became FIRE in mid-May 2015 and I followed one month later, in June. I had planned to take at least a year off but a part-time, remote consulting opportunity fell into my lap with absolutely zero effort on my part.

I took it because it's work I genuinely love, prevents the use of any savings, and (this was the big attraction) creates a nice chunk of business write-offs. As a "self-employed" person I can deduct our monthly healthcare premium, Internet, mobile phone, and a lot of other things with even a tiny profit. It will be even better next year, when we move from our ridiculous tax bracket (from being employed for the first half of this year) into a more normal one.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2015, 05:53:59 PM »
This is a great thread. I work in megacorp software sales right now.

Once I have enough 'stache to cover basic living expenses I will seek out sales jobs that are no office time. I am cool with 100% commission positions. I know many successful reps making mid 6 figures working 20-30 hours a week.


Upstate NYer

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2015, 08:34:01 PM »
Talked to my boss for the second time today about going part time in January. Looks like I'm going to be working 4 days a week, 9 to 2:30.

I'm downright giddy at the prospect of a three day weekend every week.

Yee-ha!

happy

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2015, 07:10:03 AM »
I've worked part-time for the last 20 years. More recently I've been calling  it semiretired. I can't imagine working full-time. My spirit would shrivel and die. This week I've worked 5 days due to  having to do a course on my days off and I feel very caged in and out of sorts. Thankfully I don't have to do this often.

smiller257

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2015, 06:18:51 AM »
I reached FIRE 3 years ago and did not work at all for about a year. Now I have started a new business (blogging and creating mobile apps). I just work a few hours a day (some days none at all) and am working towards bringing enough money to cover extra travels and to supplement my upcomiing 40 years of retirement.

People always ask what I do for a living and I have a hard time knowing whether to say I am retired or semi-retired. I normally just explain that I retired and now work on projects I enjoy part-time.

I think it is a great idea to work part time now that you are out of the corporate world, it keeps your mind busy and adds enjoyment to life.

Cassie

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2015, 04:02:15 PM »
WE have been semi-retired for 3 years. I took the first 6 months off. I usually work about 10 hours/week. However, I worked for 6 months f.t. recently because the pay was good & I could work from home & I knew it was an limited opportunity & would end.

regulator

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2015, 10:42:38 AM »
Well, I am about to find out if there is too much of a good thing.  Aware that my present contract turns into a pumpkin at the end of the year, I lined up another contract opportunity that would start whenever the firm landed a job and needed help.  I figured it would be a slow burn thing that would take a while.  Surprise!  Looks like I will be doing stuff for them within a week or so.  Of course, my old contract is not over and another group at the place I am currently contracting with is making noises about wanting to hire me permanently (remote, minimal travel, low hassle job) at the end of the year.  I guess I will see what shakes out of all of this.  In the meantime I guess I will just stack up the cash and re-evaluate where I stand at the end of the year.

Cassie

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2015, 01:05:26 PM »
Sounds like great news!

purplish

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2015, 12:31:41 PM »
This is my plan!  I feel like most people here want to just RE and that's it.  Personally what I'm aiming for is saving up over the next year, and then I can go part time, working for myself :)  I get enough passive income currently to cover all but $200 a month of my expenses.  I will easily surpass that working part time.  And then in a few years when I sell one of my properties and buy another, I will have made enough on rise in value from that one I *think* to be fully FI.  I'll continue to work part time for myself though cause I like my job.

regulator

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2015, 01:36:29 PM »
This is my plan!  I feel like most people here want to just RE and that's it.  Personally what I'm aiming for is saving up over the next year, and then I can go part time, working for myself :)  I get enough passive income currently to cover all but $200 a month of my expenses.  I will easily surpass that working part time.  And then in a few years when I sell one of my properties and buy another, I will have made enough on rise in value from that one I *think* to be fully FI.  I'll continue to work part time for myself though cause I like my job.

Truth be told, if I never had to work another day I would not.  But since I could not stand more than 20 years of cube misery I hit the eject button and I just sort of fell into ESR.  Juggling two gigs makes me feel a bit more like I am full time, but since my quality of life is so very much better than in the cube farm I really cannot complain.

meadow lark

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Re: Semi-Retirement
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2015, 09:52:46 AM »
I went part-time almost 2 years ago.  2 days a week, 12 hrs shifts.  No where near FIRE but my job was killing me.  My wife continued to work full-time.  Working 2 days a week is amazing!  About 6 weeks ago I started a new, full-time job that is much better for me.  In the next 1-2 months they will let me go part-time (3 days a week, 8 hour days.).   The big issue for me is when I FIRE I want to be able to travel, and that won't happen with this.  However, this job can be done from home.  At this time they allow people to do one day a week from home.  At this point I'm too new, and I like the social aspect of chatting with my co-workers.  But I think when I am ready, this may be great for me.