Author Topic: What would it take for you to go back to work?  (Read 4640 times)

LAGuy

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What would it take for you to go back to work?
« on: April 19, 2018, 06:39:54 PM »
I'm assuming the answer is "money" since nobody on this forum "loves" their job. I know the gut answer for a lot of people is going to be to say "nothing can convince me to go back", but surely we all have our price?

The reason I ask is that I've been turning this question over in my mind recently. First, some background. In the end of 2016 I did a partial retirement thing. I work in hospital laboratories - a Med Tech or Clinical Scientist is the official term, but most people outside of healthcare won't have heard of it. I do contract work, like a traveling nurse. The pay is similar, but not quite as good as a nurse. I work half the year, travel the world half the year. Right now, I'm in my 2nd year of this rotation and about 1/3rd of the way through the work part of things. I've got about $750k invested and I'm sure I could cut loose and retire for good with my low expenses as a single nomad, but...well it's not exactly "big" money right? And for me OMY is only 6 months.

There's a big shortage of people that do what I do. Just like there was in nursing in the 2000's (and still is to some extent, but not quite as acute). Unfortunately, it hasn't really translated into massively higher pay. Lab people aren't on the front line of healthcare and in hospitals the hierarchy goes like this: Doctors, then nurses, then "the help". For years (well into my 2nd decade of doing this) we've been told that retiring Baby Boomers and increasing healthcare demand would cause demand for my profession to skyrocket. And to be fair, times have been good...but hardly spectacular. Recently, that's finally looking like it's starting to change. The shortage has become so acute that some rural hospitals are on the verge of losing all laboratory services entirely. Pay in coastal California has just recently broken $100k a year and now it seems the sky is the limit. A recruiter recently reached out to me for a position at $138k. An acquaintance is claming $160k a year in the Bay Area. Management positions pushing $200k. 401k matches of 9%. Combine that shortage with the current state of full employment in the economy and it increasingly has me mulling over the question I posited here in the first sentence. Is there anything that would get you to go back? If the current economy starts really creating some serious demand for labor for really the first time in most of our working lives (since the 1970's at least) would you consider going back? Have you seen an uptick in salaries in your former field given the current state of "full employment" in the economy?

LAGuy

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2018, 07:18:38 PM »
I''ll be the first to say "nothing" and that includes money...any amount of money...unless I or a loved one were in dire straights and money would help. I have enough (and probably more than enough) for my desired lifestyle and have no reason to work unless an EOTWAWKI kind of thing happened and I lost everything.

I hear what you're saying. And when I imagine myself going back to work full time, I think "What would I do with that money." Probably just save it. There's no way I could spend it...just not in my nature.

I guess what I'm imagining is something that's maybe difficult for young and even middle aged people to imagine. A world where our labor is in massive demand. Think about how great the 1970's must have been for the American worker. Get a loan for a house. A car. A boat. Whatever you wanted, no problem. Big raises every year. After a few years of inflation your debt on the aforementioned purchases was chump change. As investors, of course, we're constantly living in fear of a 1970's scenario. But for labor they were golden years. In such a world, Mustacians would have looked like fools. Nobody wanted to retire early in those circumstances.

The big issue of our time is "income inequality". And I think that's what drives a lot of us to seek out early retirement. Sure, income inequality as it currently exists sucks. But on the flip side I kind of feel like the FIRE community is indirectly a reaction to that income inequality situation by those of us with money, intelligence, and frugality to just punch out of the whole system entirely. While I'm not necessarily predicting a return to 1970's style inflation I wonder how many of us would change our mind and think that work isn't such a bad idea if the balance of power shifted from investors to labor? Or would we even have latched onto the whole FIRE idea in the first place?

Gone Fishing

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2018, 09:25:58 PM »
Even if the balance shifts from investors to labor, a modest part time income would easily supplement a MMM type lifestyle. 

More than cash, a perfect schedule might lure me back.  Say, 3-4 six hour days a week, no BS work, and 8 weeks of vacation.  Otherwise, I'd hold out until my FIRE appeared to be in peril, 2-3 years of deep recession might do it. 

Even as it is, I can't figure a way to meaningfully spend my meager part time earnings.  Gobs of extra cash would be cool for endowment purposes, and I might get there some day, but I'm not going to work just for that purpose.

As a caveat, things might be different if the kids were out of the house.

Mr. Green

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2018, 10:01:28 PM »
I love working but, as my post-FIRE part-time grocery clerk job showed me, it has to be on my terms which likely means I have to own the business, yet I don't want employees so that means some type of lone wolf or consulting gig. I didn't like my career at a keyboard but I love work that involves physical activity - labor - and creating/building things. The challenge is figuring out a job that allows me to still have enough travel/down time to be satisfied with the work commitment.

The money is irrelevant to me at this point because I'm FIRE. As someone who earned a 1%-er salary during his career I can say that based on experience. My post-FIRE stint as a grocery clerk paid $10.50 an hour. It was actually incredibly freeing not giving the first fuck about the paycheck, I acted like I worked there for free for the most part.

What I've actually found difficult in considering post-FIRE work on my terms is explaining to people I don't care about the money. The reaction is usually negative. I've been surprised by this because you'd think an intelligent person would realize that someone not interested in the money but still talking to them about a job must really want to be there. It also conveniently shakes out any potential gigs where the might try to hold you hostage over pay, since they have no hold over you there.

2Cent

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2018, 06:43:54 AM »
What I've actually found difficult in considering post-FIRE work on my terms is explaining to people I don't care about the money. The reaction is usually negative. I've been surprised by this because you'd think an intelligent person would realize that someone not interested in the money but still talking to them about a job must really want to be there. It also conveniently shakes out any potential gigs where the might try to hold you hostage over pay, since they have no hold over you there.
I wouldn't hire someone who is just coming for fun unless I really knew their work ethic.

I might be convinced for an unusually large sum to work more. Money can be used for more than consumption. I could fund things that I think are cool/worthwhile. Best example is Elon Musk who spend his fortune from Pay Pall to start Tesla and SpaceX. I would never take risks like that with money that I have to live on.

jim555

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2018, 07:08:09 AM »
If my former job was paying 2X, 3X what it was when I left I would NOT be interested.  It would have to be some disaster scenario to change my mind.

Mr. Green

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2018, 07:36:04 AM »
I wouldn't hire someone who is just coming for fun unless I really knew their work ethic.
I'm genuinely curious about the thought process behind this. If someone was applying for a job and sounded like they seriously wanted to be there, yet they didn't care about money, why is that a negative thing? I thought it was a plus because it means I'm there for more than the money; I'm there for the work.

2Cent

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2018, 08:01:53 AM »
I wouldn't hire someone who is just coming for fun unless I really knew their work ethic.
I'm genuinely curious about the thought process behind this. If someone was applying for a job and sounded like they seriously wanted to be there, yet they didn't care about money, why is that a negative thing? I thought it was a plus because it means I'm there for more than the money; I'm there for the work.
If you're really there for the work that is good. It kind of depends on the job. But if you're just there to have a place to hang out during the day and meet some people I guess they will assume you're not going to work hard. Also you'll probable not stay for long if the work is not that much fun, so they will have to replace you again.

jim555

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2018, 08:24:10 AM »
I wouldn't hire someone who is just coming for fun unless I really knew their work ethic.
I'm genuinely curious about the thought process behind this. If someone was applying for a job and sounded like they seriously wanted to be there, yet they didn't care about money, why is that a negative thing? I thought it was a plus because it means I'm there for more than the money; I'm there for the work.
If you're really there for the work that is good. It kind of depends on the job. But if you're just there to have a place to hang out during the day and meet some people I guess they will assume you're not going to work hard. Also you'll probable not stay for long if the work is not that much fun, so they will have to replace you again.
Employers like people in desperate situations, it makes them easier to boss around.

RedmondStash

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2018, 10:17:40 AM »
For me, it absolutely would not be about the money. No amount of money would persuade me to go back to a bad job. And if the right good opportunity presented itself, the money wouldn't matter -- as long as there was some, enough that the company wasn't taking advantage of me. Volunteer work for a good cause would fit the bill too.

I could see going back to work under my own specific rules: very part-time, remote work from home, doing something that I feel, in some broad way, makes the world better or helps someone.

The only money-related thing I could see tempting me would be a good part-time gig with health insurance. Heath care expenses are my only big unknown at this point.

bacchi

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2018, 12:09:47 PM »
I could never go back to full-time employment. I was never good at it.

If the work is interesting, and it's a short contract with WFH, I'll consider it. Bonus points if the work will actually help the world instead of, for example, help people pay their bar tab with an android app.


former player

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2018, 12:18:24 PM »
There is high (Brexit-related) demand for my specialty at the moment. But I don't need the bullshit, I don't think I can cope with being at anyone's beck and call any more, and however much they pay per hour I'd have to pay tax on it at 40% or 55%.

I actually do an ample sufficiency of "work" of the unpaid, local volunteering kind that I'm happy to do.

Gone Fishing

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2018, 02:04:51 PM »
...however much they pay per hour I'd have to pay tax on it at 40% or 55%.


Good point!  A doubling or tripling of my previous salary would result in a much higher tax load, eating a large portion of the perceived gains.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2018, 02:17:10 PM »
I intended to FIRE and be happily lazy for life, but turns out I'm applying for jobs again. They are all mission-oriented (politics). If none of these work out, I may consider going back to work for higher wages than the NGO's can provide in order to donate tens of thousands to charity/political orgs.

bridget

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2018, 03:11:03 PM »
I intended to FIRE and be happily lazy for life, but turns out I'm applying for jobs again. They are all mission-oriented (politics). If none of these work out, I may consider going back to work for higher wages than the NGO's can provide in order to donate tens of thousands to charity/political orgs.

^^ This.  At some point, my needs will be amply covered to the point that there is no point in attempting to amass more for my own sake.  But I take very seriously the fact that I can easily make a lot more money than other folks, so that it is much more efficient for me to do good in the world than it is for other people.  I could work for a month and earn $12,000 I don't actually need, which is a lot of money for a lot of people who are in bad circumstances, or non-profit organizations that do work that is important to me. 

Sure, I could spend my newfound time volunteering for public interest organizations.  But that same amount of time spent in paid employment would easily pay for 3-4 people to have a job doing that work instead, which makes me feel like it's kind of selfish to not work longer than strictly necessary.  As tempting as happy laziness is, opting out due to my own excellent fortune makes me uncomfortable. 

lakeridge

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2018, 04:11:18 PM »
I''ll be the first to say "nothing" and that includes money...any amount of money...unless I or a loved one were in dire straights and money would help. I have enough (and probably more than enough) for my desired lifestyle and have no reason to work unless an EOTWAWKI kind of thing happened and I lost everything.

Definitely agree with this.  Haven't stopped working yet but close.  Money is the main reason I get up and go to my job so when the need goes away so does the job.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2018, 04:14:18 PM by lakeridge »

Sun Hat

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2018, 05:09:20 PM »
For me, the job would have to be interesting. I loved my old career until I was promoted into management. If I could demote myself, I'd go back because it was exhilarating to solve practical problems. Whether my health would sustain a return to the stress is another question, but not pertinent to OP.

The money would be nice too. I have enough to sustain my current lifestyle, but I worry about my ability to fund lifestyle inflation that I might want down the road. Returning to work for another few years, even at reduced pay, would solve that worry.

exit2019

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2018, 08:06:18 PM »
I would work as long as I'm adding 10% to my net worth each year.  I did that for years and after awhile it gets very challenging.

SwordGuy

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2018, 08:59:57 AM »
I really understand the arguments about working longer and using that earned money for charitable purposes.

But I'm 60 years old and I've been working for 47 years.  I've been in my current (for a few more weeks only) career for 36 years.   

It would take an extraordinary amount of money to lure me back -- assuming our FIRE plans actually work out.   If they don't, then I'll do what needs doing.

There are non-monetary reasons I might go back for a very brief, part-time stint, but that's only because I value what my current client does.  If their new programmer was run over by a bus and something essential stopped working before a replacement arrived, I would help them out long enough to get it working. 

Seadog

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2018, 01:54:57 AM »
I wouldn't hire someone who is just coming for fun unless I really knew their work ethic.
I'm genuinely curious about the thought process behind this. If someone was applying for a job and sounded like they seriously wanted to be there, yet they didn't care about money, why is that a negative thing? I thought it was a plus because it means I'm there for more than the money; I'm there for the work.

I've wondered about this exact situation, and if I should mentioned being FI in interviews. I figure there are two types of employers/jobs. Ones filled with interesting people who want to do interesting things (Think Tesla, Apple, a few other CEOs come to mind), and other people who need a pay check.

For the former type of job, being FI would be a huge plus. You're there because you want to do something exciting. For the latter, not so much. Thaese companies only want you there since you're a warm body who can generate profit for them. You're a replaceable number, and if you, (or others currently there) didn't need the money, they would likely be gone.

I recently took a job like this. Sounded fun on paper with helicopters, but if the company had their way you'd be working away from home 365 days a year, 16 hour days. Turnover was high as it was, and everyone had an exit plan, most of which had financial barriers as the only stopping point. For you to be FI in such a job makes you a wild card liability.

2Cent points out that despite somehow managing to bank high 6 figures by a young age, he still wants to question your work ethic, as if there is someone just tossing out 100k cheques to people who don't deserve them. Then he's concerned about having to replace you. Apparently he's too obtuse to connect the dots and realize that if people who don't need to be there want to leave, maybe he should reevaluate why his jobs are so shitty. If I need to lock my wife, children, or employees up with a figurative of literal chain (financial or the metal kind) to prevent their leaving, maybe I should step back and take a look at myself and how I treat them? Nah. forget that. It's those lazy, job hopping, rich bastards with no work ethic who are the problem.

Like others, the only thing that would make me return is genuinely interesting work, on a very reasonable part time schedule. Money? It would need to be well beyond the realm of anything normal. Like enough to buy a private jet. It comes back to the idea of "enough". To the man who's already eating a steak dinner, "how many more steaks do I need to give you for dinner tonight" isn't a very motivating proposition. 

Mrbeardedbigbucks

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2018, 04:42:59 AM »
If I could find a job that allowed me to work from anywhere in the world and never had to go into a office, group meetings are completely optional and without judgment if you didn't show up, bosses didn't exert their power or ego, I wasn't expected to do anything extra curricular like work related parties and functions, I didn't have to attend any contrived professional development meetings and I actually enjoyed the work and the after tax pay covered all of my expenses and health insurance, I would wouldn't mind working full time again.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2018, 10:43:46 AM »
I would work as long as I'm adding 10% to my net worth each year.  I did that for years and after awhile it gets very challenging.

This ^

If the time traded doesn't allow me to add at least 10% to my net worth via contributions then I would not continue doing that FT employment arrangement.

Being semi-fire and working PT as a hobby or for spending cash that's a different story to me.

It's one of the reasons I haven't quit working and moved to SE Asia and been FIRE'd, I'm still able to add about 15% per year just on my base salary alone.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2018, 10:51:01 AM »
A huge downturn in the market, like a 70% drop might make me think about going back to work but likely there would not be much work available in that scenario.

A loss of ACA, especially the prexisting conditions acceptance would likely send us back to some sort of work.

Carrie

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2018, 02:03:25 PM »
I am weighing going back to work (have been a sahm) for the sole purpose of funding a custom house build for us to live in during retirement.  It's quite expensive to build compared to buying "used" and would be a luxury. We should be able to fire in 3 years in our current home but if I ever want to realize my life-long dream, I'll have to work & stash the cash for 3-5 years. Not sure yet if it's worth it.

Daisy

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2018, 09:06:52 PM »
I FIREd in 2017 from an office technical job. Hopefully I will never work in that capacity again.

I've always said I want to do a fun job, like be a kayaking guide. I mention this to people all of the time. So today I was paddling with some friends and they were amazed I was "retired" at my age (told them it was either a sabbatical or frugal early retirement) and mentioned my interest in being a kayaking guide. So someone mentioned a local rental kayaking place I have frequented was hiring. I just sent them an email. Let's see what kinds of "jobs" they are offering.

I would do it for my love of paddling and to meet interesting people.

I would actually hope it was for a small enough amount of money to just stay in the lowest tax bracket and pay my ongoing expenses. Not that I need it, but it would be awesome to do a fun job and not even have to take money out of the stash.

soccerluvof4

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2018, 03:21:02 AM »
I think about this often. I recently celebrated April 3rd 3 years of being fire'd and in the last year 2 kids have gone off to college and still have 2 at home. Being 53 I wouldn't mind making a couple extra bucks doing/learning something new just to toss to my kids in school and or to touch my stache even less but even with the perfect schedule I seem so busy that when i do look at things i would be cheating the employer.  Something like 9-2 mon-Friday would be great but i'd have to have the option to take off whenever I want too.  The thing that would make me do it for sure would be if something happened and I saw our stache getting hammered but even then it would be something part time. I really am done working and the longer I go Fire'd the harder it would be for me to go and do something but I wouldn't say i would never do it.

Linda_Norway

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2018, 05:31:11 AM »
I could take on a job after FIRE for the following reasons:
- needing more cash
- feeling socially bored/alone during the winter or so

I would then look at a nice job, like working in the one local grocery store that the village has. Where you would meet all villagers. And preferably not the kind of job you would take home with you and which would not case stress at home. In the past, when I was a student, I had a bar job at a theater. That was the kind of job where you worked hard during your shift, but when you were done, you were done. I liked it to work there.

But if I really needed cash, I would try to work at my current job, as a consultant. Against good specialist prices. And only during period that I wouldn't want to be outside. But I really feel like I am wasting my life, sitting inside an office. So I would not do it full time at all.

Sun Hat

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2018, 06:50:35 AM »
I would try to work at my current job, as a consultant. Against good specialist prices. And only during period that I wouldn't want to be outside. But I really feel like I am wasting my life, sitting inside an office. So I would not do it full time at all.

An interesting job where I felt valued, working 1-5pm, M-F, November-March would be the dream! Heck, for that, they wouldn't even have to pay me much. I'm going to give some thought to what organizations might be able to use my skills on a seasonal basis - I suspect that it won't be many.

Malkynn

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2018, 07:15:11 AM »
I wouldn't hire someone who is just coming for fun unless I really knew their work ethic.
I'm genuinely curious about the thought process behind this. If someone was applying for a job and sounded like they seriously wanted to be there, yet they didn't care about money, why is that a negative thing? I thought it was a plus because it means I'm there for more than the money; I'm there for the work.
If you're really there for the work that is good. It kind of depends on the job. But if you're just there to have a place to hang out during the day and meet some people I guess they will assume you're not going to work hard. Also you'll probable not stay for long if the work is not that much fun, so they will have to replace you again.
Employers like people in desperate situations, it makes them easier to boss around.

My desperate employees are by far my worst performing staff members. They’re also my most entitled because they seem to feel like they’re doing me some huge favour by showing up to do their jobs.
The best staff member I ever had was independently wealthy and worked for me to get out of the house. My industry involves intense work done by highly specialized staff, the paycheck-players and clock-watchers tend to burn out pretty fast.

To answer the OP’s question, some of us do actually love our work. Granted, I have 4 jobs, which are all related but wildly different, so “retirement” for me won’t be a case of stopping working at a company. It will just consist of me getting pickier and more demanding about the contracts I choose to work on.

I think most retirees would easily “go back to work” if they were offered the chance to be well paid for doing something rewarding and exciting.

DH will never go back to working for our federal government once he leaves after 30 years, but if he were offered a consulting gig with an international development project, I’m sure he would happily accept. It’s no different than staring a profitable blog. There’s all sorts of paid work that can be done in retirement.

If the question is specifically about how much it would take to go back to your previous full time day-job, then that’s another question altogether.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2018, 07:54:15 AM »
I think most retirees would easily “go back to work” if they were offered the chance to be well paid for doing something rewarding and exciting.

Maybe this ^^^, but I'm not sure that unicorn exists, at least for me.

The one real-world thing that would make me go back is firmly rooted in the money issue.  If something happened that rendered my spending estimate plus buffer inadequate (e.g., US health care meltdown), then I would grudgingly start looking for a job.

2Cent

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2018, 09:09:26 AM »
I would try to work at my current job, as a consultant. Against good specialist prices. And only during period that I wouldn't want to be outside. But I really feel like I am wasting my life, sitting inside an office. So I would not do it full time at all.

An interesting job where I felt valued, working 1-5pm, M-F, November-March would be the dream! Heck, for that, they wouldn't even have to pay me much. I'm going to give some thought to what organizations might be able to use my skills on a seasonal basis - I suspect that it won't be many.
Ski instructor.

Linda_Norway

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #31 on: April 24, 2018, 01:14:20 AM »
I would try to work at my current job, as a consultant. Against good specialist prices. And only during period that I wouldn't want to be outside. But I really feel like I am wasting my life, sitting inside an office. So I would not do it full time at all.

An interesting job where I felt valued, working 1-5pm, M-F, November-March would be the dream! Heck, for that, they wouldn't even have to pay me much. I'm going to give some thought to what organizations might be able to use my skills on a seasonal basis - I suspect that it won't be many.

My DH has an old colleague who is a pensioner and works this way. Never in the summer and as little as he wants. He is also only working on projects and can skip the BS meetings. This man used to lead the department, but is now only working as a specialist.

SnackDog

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #32 on: April 24, 2018, 03:47:47 AM »
I plan to run through a whole series of silly jobs after I retire. It will be an excuse to get out of the house and into the city. Maybe a cheeky ale at lunch or after my shift. Could work in a small coffee shop, bookstore, big restaurant kitchen, counselor, car salesman, etc. it will be a riot!

2Cent

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #33 on: April 24, 2018, 04:52:15 AM »
I plan to run through a whole series of silly jobs after I retire. It will be an excuse to get out of the house and into the city. Maybe a cheeky ale at lunch or after my shift. Could work in a small coffee shop, bookstore, big restaurant kitchen, counselor, car salesman, etc. it will be a riot!
This is a fantastic idea! I'm stealing it. :P

Mr. Green

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #34 on: April 24, 2018, 08:15:56 AM »
I plan to run through a whole series of silly jobs after I retire. It will be an excuse to get out of the house and into the city. Maybe a cheeky ale at lunch or after my shift. Could work in a small coffee shop, bookstore, big restaurant kitchen, counselor, car salesman, etc. it will be a riot!
My thought process was a bit like this when I started my part-time job at the grocery store. I was curious how the grocery mechanism worked. It was a brand new store so I got to see it half empty and still being put together before opening to the public. And since I didn't care about the money I found myself buying foods I'd never tried before and eating them on break. It was a fun experience that I don't regret. If we found ourself wanting to stay in one place for more than a year at some point in the future I'd consider working at another place if there were things I wanted to learn about the work, the company, the industry, etc.

Seadog

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #35 on: April 24, 2018, 11:24:33 AM »
My desperate employees are by far my worst performing staff members. They’re also my most entitled because they seem to feel like they’re doing me some huge favour by showing up to do their jobs.
The best staff member I ever had was independently wealthy and worked for me to get out of the house. My industry involves intense work done by highly specialized staff, the paycheck-players and clock-watchers tend to burn out pretty fast.

I think there are people who have the causality backwards. "They're desperate, therefore they're more likely to work their ass off". No. "They're by their nature slackers and suck at delaying gratification and have piss poor money management skills. Therefore they are constantly in extremely tenuous situations financially, but when push comes to shove, will do enough to stave off starvation for another week".

Most high performers I have met (CEOs, Generals, et al), are all competent, reasonable people. Other people if given such power, would use it to personally benefit themselves to make their situation better at the expense of the employees/company/shareholders. 

Malkynn

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #36 on: April 25, 2018, 07:41:35 AM »
I think most retirees would easily “go back to work” if they were offered the chance to be well paid for doing something rewarding and exciting.

Maybe this ^^^, but I'm not sure that unicorn exists, at least for me.

The one real-world thing that would make me go back is firmly rooted in the money issue.  If something happened that rendered my spending estimate plus buffer inadequate (e.g., US health care meltdown), then I would grudgingly start looking for a job.

I can’t agree that opportunities like that are “unicorns” or not “real-world” because it’s the norm in my world.
Literally almost every member of my family has had some kind of amazing retirement project that paid them to do something exciting, and these are all people from different fields who ended up almost accidentally making money just by pursuing passions and interests, sometimes totally unrelated to their original field.

Here’s an example: My aunt retired from teaching, got bored, took a free Inuit language class at the university near her house, got inspired, traveled up north extensively and got involved in the community, kept studying and became fluent in the language, and was recently offered a major grant to engage the community in writing a multi-lingual series of children’s books showcasing the culture.

If you stay engaged and keep being involved in cool things, then chances are eventually someone will offer to pay you to do something you are already enjoying doing for free.

That’s the beauty of FIRE, it frees people’s time and energy to be able to do their best work without worrying about a paycheck. It’s rather ironic that work gets so in the way of professional success.
I made dramatic and rapid progress in my career when I cut down to part time because my day job stopped always being in the way of my fun projects, which I’m now paid to work on.

If that kind of learning and engaging in projects isn’t your thing though, then yeah, opportunities aren’t reaslistically going to pop up out of nowhere and I can see only work you don’t really want to go back to being an option.

frugal_c

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #37 on: April 26, 2018, 08:23:09 AM »
I plan to work part-time for 3 or 4 years once I FI as a safety net.  So once I am 100% FIREd I should be really safe and it would take a LOT to get me back in.  It would have to be either an extremely high rate (3x last salary) with a short duration or else something I was truly passionate about.  I liked the comment on Antarctica, never thought of that before but for a life experience, sure I could do that.

To go back to the op, I don't think you are ready for FIRE.  Nothing wrong with that.  You can pat yourself on the back that have the funds but there is nothing wrong with working some more.  Maybe you can alternate between contract work and travel so you don't feel like you are missing out?  No need to rush into anything if you are happy working a bit.

Liberty Stache

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #38 on: April 26, 2018, 11:02:31 AM »
I would work as long as I'm adding 10% to my net worth each year.  I did that for years and after awhile it gets very challenging.

+1 They way to think about this question is based on a NW increase % basis. Most people are going to go back in the 5-25% range of NW depending on NW size, desired lifestyle, and age (the older you are, the higher the %-needed should be)

dude

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #39 on: April 26, 2018, 11:39:13 AM »
I''ll be the first to say "nothing" and that includes money...any amount of money...unless I or a loved one were in dire straights and money would help. I have enough (and probably more than enough) for my desired lifestyle and have no reason to work unless an EOTWAWKI kind of thing happened and I lost everything.

A-fucking-MEN!  When I cut the cord next year, that's it! No more. Okay, I'll do paid rock climbing guiding because I enjoy it (and it's not my primary job currently, just a minor side hustle).

EOTWAWKI -- haha, took me a second! Now I have R.E.M. in my head!  Thanks, spartana!

dude

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2018, 11:49:50 AM »

I think there are people who have the causality backwards. "They're desperate, therefore they're more likely to work their ass off". No. "They're by their nature slackers and suck at delaying gratification and have piss poor money management skills. Therefore they are constantly in extremely tenuous situations financially, but when push comes to shove, will do enough to stave off starvation for another week".


LOL!!! This cracked me up!

LAGuy

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2018, 05:08:49 PM »
I plan to work part-time for 3 or 4 years once I FI as a safety net.  So once I am 100% FIREd I should be really safe and it would take a LOT to get me back in.  It would have to be either an extremely high rate (3x last salary) with a short duration or else something I was truly passionate about.  I liked the comment on Antarctica, never thought of that before but for a life experience, sure I could do that.

To go back to the op, I don't think you are ready for FIRE.  Nothing wrong with that.  You can pat yourself on the back that have the funds but there is nothing wrong with working some more.  Maybe you can alternate between contract work and travel so you don't feel like you are missing out?  No need to rush into anything if you are happy working a bit.

Oh, believe me...I am SO ready for FIRE. Alternating between contract work and time off to travel is actually what I'm already doing. It's just, as I'm hitting my so called "peak earning years" right at the same time that there's a general ongoing (worsening?) labor shortage as well as a very acute shortage in my particular field, has me at least second guessing if there isn't going to be some opportunities to Hoover up some serious cash in the years to come and maybe I'm selling myself a bit short.

That said, as others have pointed out, the tax hit is just brutal with those high salaries compared to my current set up. That's certainly one of the top reasons holding me back. As well as just not wanting to work very much, lol!

Freedomin5

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2018, 05:36:40 PM »
The other thing to consider is, if there’s such a shortage, are they paying you 30% more to do 200% more work?

That’s what’s happening here. There are so few people with my skill set that I can increase prices each year with no lessening of demand, but it’s stressful because “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”

Then it becomes a bit of a lose-lose situation for yourself. Jump in and be stressed by the amount of work piled on you. Stay out and feel guilty about how many people you could be helping and all those poor people not getting lab services and potentially dying/getting sicker because of the long processing times.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #43 on: April 26, 2018, 06:46:12 PM »
I think most retirees would easily “go back to work” if they were offered the chance to be well paid for doing something rewarding and exciting.

Maybe this ^^^, but I'm not sure that unicorn exists, at least for me.

The one real-world thing that would make me go back is firmly rooted in the money issue.  If something happened that rendered my spending estimate plus buffer inadequate (e.g., US health care meltdown), then I would grudgingly start looking for a job.

I can’t agree that opportunities like that are “unicorns” or not “real-world” because it’s the norm in my world.
Literally almost every member of my family has had some kind of amazing retirement project that paid them to do something exciting, and these are all people from different fields who ended up almost accidentally making money just by pursuing passions and interests, sometimes totally unrelated to their original field.

Here’s an example: My aunt retired from teaching, got bored, took a free Inuit language class at the university near her house, got inspired, traveled up north extensively and got involved in the community, kept studying and became fluent in the language, and was recently offered a major grant to engage the community in writing a multi-lingual series of children’s books showcasing the culture.

If you stay engaged and keep being involved in cool things, then chances are eventually someone will offer to pay you to do something you are already enjoying doing for free.

That’s the beauty of FIRE, it frees people’s time and energy to be able to do their best work without worrying about a paycheck. It’s rather ironic that work gets so in the way of professional success.
I made dramatic and rapid progress in my career when I cut down to part time because my day job stopped always being in the way of my fun projects, which I’m now paid to work on.

If that kind of learning and engaging in projects isn’t your thing though, then yeah, opportunities aren’t realistically going to pop up out of nowhere and I can see only work you don’t really want to go back to being an option.

Perhaps I'm too deep into decompression right now to wrap my head around the possibility that an opportunity that is rewarding, exciting, and remunerative might materialize (I just FIREd in January).  The remunerative part usually involves doing things to someone else's specs and on someone else's schedule, which, right now, doesn't appeal to me in the least.  But I suppose if someone wanted to pay me to go birdwatching when and where I want to, I'd be all over it.

Daisy

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #44 on: April 26, 2018, 07:32:09 PM »
I''ll be the first to say "nothing" and that includes money...any amount of money...unless I or a loved one were in dire straights and money would help. I have enough (and probably more than enough) for my desired lifestyle and have no reason to work unless an EOTWAWKI kind of thing happened and I lost everything.

A-fucking-MEN!  When I cut the cord next year, that's it! No more. Okay, I'll do paid rock climbing guiding because I enjoy it (and it's not my primary job currently, just a minor side hustle).

EOTWAWKI -- haha, took me a second! Now I have R.E.M. in my head!  Thanks, spartana!
Well it could have been worse - I could have said I wouldn't go back to work because it would hurt My Achy Breaky Heart... You're welcome ;-)

OK, got it now.

I originally thought spartana's music reference was in relation to her mention of "dire straights".

Quote
Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Money for nothin' and chicks for free
Now that ain't workin' that's the way you do it

DreamFIRE

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #45 on: April 26, 2018, 07:36:41 PM »
Other than the first year after I FIRE of potentially working part time in my current job at my full hourly pay, I can't see myself going back to work by choice for anything unless it's basically for the fun and social aspect with few work hours.  If I was 30 or 40 years old, it would be a better possibility.

Romag

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #46 on: April 27, 2018, 01:01:57 PM »
I'm 47 and have been FIRE'd for two years. I've turned down a few offers and opportunities, but now I am considering going back. There is a nonprofit in my area that I grew up with and they have had some leadership turnover in recent years and need someone to "right the ship" on day-to-day operations and fundraising. It would likely be for a limited period of time (1-3 years) while concurrently looking for a permanent director. They understand my position and seem open to a reasonably flexible schedule. I'm interested, and have been meeting people and seeing how it would work out.

So I would say if it is something that relates to a cause I believe in and offers a challenge, while providing a strong work-life balance (stronger than what I experienced in my old career), I'd consider it. It is nice to be having these discussions with really no regard for money or bigger career goals. We'll see what happens...
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 01:04:27 PM by Romag »

SachaFiscal

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #47 on: May 01, 2018, 09:02:40 AM »
I would go back if it was part time (5-20 hours per week), and I wouldn't feel pressured to work more hours by management or peers.  Also if I could have flexible work hours (i.e. work when it was dark so I could play outside when it is light) and if I could work from home sometimes and if the office environment was friendly and fun.  Also I would need to be able to take time off every month or every other month for a vacation (up to a week).  The work would have to be just technical, no supervising, no team leading, no daily standup meetings.  Ideally I would work by myself on a project or just with one or two other people.

I don't think this type of job actually exists.  I was offered part time at my company before I left and I always felt like my peers who were working full time were jealous or still expected me to work as much as they did. We had annoying meetings daily or every other day where we had to "demo" the inanely small progress we had made the previous day. Because there was a lack of supervisors and team leads, I was always being pressured to take on those roles.  Even if not officially, I had to provide technical leadership and training junior engineers.


Knapptyme

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Re: What would it take for you to go back to work?
« Reply #48 on: May 01, 2018, 09:17:49 AM »
I'm not exactly retired, more semi-retired because we don't need the extra income (DW still works), and there are benefits to making less money, too.

The reality is, there's very little chance I go back to work unless the kids are grown up and gone. If some ridiculous, no long-term commitment of a job came along that could propel us quickly to FIRE, maybe. Otherwise, side hustles are fine for me and the family, and I would do them even if I was FIRE.