Poll

Path A or B (see below)?

A
16 (48.5%)
B
14 (42.4%)
Other
3 (9.1%)

Total Members Voted: 33

Author Topic: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?  (Read 6792 times)

dragoncar

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Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« on: January 22, 2015, 04:22:33 PM »
Usually, we discuss working full time until retirement.  But what if you had complete work flexibility?  What would happen if you started spending your SWR right now?

Path A (Full time till FIRE)


Path B (Dial back every year)


EDIT: Path B is illustrative -- you have complete flexibility so you can dial back in hours/day, hours/week, days/week, weeks/year, whatever (if it changes your vote)

*Assumed 75% savings rate and 4% SWR/real returns.  Obviously there are other permutations and some would argue accumulation returns should be higher than 4%.

I just realized that my recent hours reduction is completely made up by the SWR on my stache.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2015, 10:19:28 AM by dragoncar »

Spork

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2015, 05:03:55 PM »
Personally I'd take A.   I'm just "ready"... and B would feel less than optimal to me.  I also suspect in my case that B would come with extra hours here and there to make it not really B.


deborah

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2015, 05:32:08 PM »
Does your employer REALLY let you dial back an hour and a half a year (or thereabouts)?

dragoncar

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2015, 05:41:43 PM »
Does your employer REALLY let you dial back an hour and a half a year (or thereabouts)?

Me personally?  I negotiated a minimum hours requirement, but essentially get paid hourly once I hit the minimum, so I can choose how much time to work each week/month (within reason, and accounting for client needs which can be a sticking point).  I could probably renegotiate the minimum next year -- while I'm still needed, any hours I work is better than no hours.  Most employers probably wouldn't be happy with that arrangement, but they do exist.

So far, I don't even seem to be working less but hopefully that will change once my immediate plate is cleared.

Rezdent

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2015, 05:51:24 PM »
I also voted A.
B would entail an odd progression that would be difficult to implement IRL with most employers. It just isn't feasible so you'd likely end up working a few years at 40 then scaling down to 32.  Scope creep would also be an issue.  It looks more difficult and the benefit is small - it shaves off only one year.

It might be more feasible to work 40 for three years, then work 32, then work 24.

Left

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2015, 06:30:35 PM »
B is possible for my job, I started job doing something similar, worked part time (20 hours/week) for benefits, then worked PRN for the other 20 hours, or choose how many I work by what I sign up to work

But I work a normal 40 hour/week now but work 4-10 hour days so I have Friday-Sunday off every week.

I'm no where near FI, but I plan on going the B route when I'm about 5-8 years out from RE. Except instead of less hours/week, I'm thinking I'll just work 1 month less per year and increase it until I'm at a 12 month vacation then it's RE. But doing a variation of this or B, you end up working a bit more, notice the extra year in the A vs B.

Rural

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2015, 02:54:14 AM »
I think tracking to tenths of hours and trying to keep each week just right would add more stress than the tiny bit of free time would remove. Plus you probably wouldn't get that time off, anyway. I'd vote A

dragoncar

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2015, 07:37:34 AM »
I think tracking to tenths of hours and trying to keep each week just right would add more stress than the tiny bit of free time would remove. Plus you probably wouldn't get that time off, anyway. I'd vote A

Eh, it's illustrative.  You can calculate time worked on a days/year basis if you like.

I already have to track my time to tenths of an hour so it's no extra work for me

Metta

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2015, 08:08:58 AM »
Part of my desire to FIRE is to completely immerse myself in other things that are important to me. My job distracts my attention and prevents that. Part-time work would do the same, I fear. I want the very best hours my mind can give me to devote to writing and studying things that matter to me. I want to be able to pull all-nighters if the work of my passion calls to me and then sleep in the next morning. I want to be able to give myself utterly in this way. So path B, while always tempting, is not the right path for me.

Guesl982374

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2015, 08:58:54 AM »
I voted other. I would dial back hours but wouldn't dial it all the way back to WR + earned income = expenses. I would still want a positive savings rate: WR + earned income > expenses.

dragoncar

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2015, 09:21:31 AM »
I voted other. I would dial back hours but wouldn't dial it all the way back to WR + earned income = expenses. I would still want a positive savings rate: WR + earned income > expenses.

Option B still has a positive savings rate....

Metta

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2015, 09:32:20 AM »
Part of my desire to FIRE is to completely immerse myself in other things that are important to me. My job distracts my attention and prevents that. Part-time work would do the same, I fear. I want the very best hours my mind can give me to devote to writing and studying things that matter to me. I want to be able to pull all-nighters if the work of my passion calls to me and then sleep in the next morning. I want to be able to give myself utterly in this way. So path B, while always tempting, is not the right path for me.

I just want to add that if the question was posed a bit differently and asked if I'd be willing to work 40+ hours a week for 3-6 months a year and have the rest of the year for my personal projects, I would have gone with that option.

arebelspy

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2015, 10:03:08 AM »
Rather than dial down the hours per week, could you still keep 40 hours when you do work, but negotiate weeks off?

Like 2 weeks year 1, 3 weeks year 2, 4 weeks year 3, etc. until you're taking like two months off by the end.  That's the same dialdown plan, and earns the same, but I'd personally prefer that.

Getting to take a 6 week long vacation traveling the world each year makes working that extra year at the back end much easier, IMO.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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NICE!

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2015, 10:17:08 AM »
I just want to add that if the question was posed a bit differently and asked if I'd be willing to work 40+ hours a week for 3-6 months a year and have the rest of the year for my personal projects, I would have gone with that option.

Totally agree with this, which is why I voted for the dial back option.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2015, 10:20:36 AM by NICE! »

dragoncar

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2015, 10:21:21 AM »
Rather than dial down the hours per week, could you still keep 40 hours when you do work, but negotiate weeks off?

Like 2 weeks year 1, 3 weeks year 2, 4 weeks year 3, etc. until you're taking like two months off by the end.  That's the same dialdown plan, and earns the same, but I'd personally prefer that.

Getting to take a 6 week long vacation traveling the world each year makes working that extra year at the back end much easier, IMO.

Ok, enough of you said this that I edited the top post to explain that the image shown was an illustrative example, and other permutations can be chosen.  Myself, I plan to do a mix of coming in late, leaving early, working from home, skipping days, and skipping weeks, as my projects allow and other commitments dictate.

arebelspy

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2015, 10:28:35 AM »
Rather than dial down the hours per week, could you still keep 40 hours when you do work, but negotiate weeks off?

Like 2 weeks year 1, 3 weeks year 2, 4 weeks year 3, etc. until you're taking like two months off by the end.  That's the same dialdown plan, and earns the same, but I'd personally prefer that.

Getting to take a 6 week long vacation traveling the world each year makes working that extra year at the back end much easier, IMO.

Ok, enough of you said this that I edited the top post to explain that the image shown was an illustrative example, and other permutations can be chosen.  Myself, I plan to do a mix of coming in late, leaving early, working from home, skipping days, and skipping weeks, as my projects allow and other commitments dictate.

I understand that.  What I was asking was: can you literally take a month off.

To me getting to leave a little early, or skip a day, or whatever isn't worth working the extra year.

Getting to bunch those all together and take 5 weeks off for a huge reboot each year potentially could be.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2015, 10:36:55 AM by arebelspy »
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Livewell

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2015, 10:35:36 AM »
I voted B, but with a suggestion.   If you were in an hourly job, you would likely need to step down more than a few hours at a time - probably from 40 to 30 to 25.   Seems like a more realistic model.

I voted B because I'm living an alternate scenario - a job that pays 100% commission.   I could work more and make more, but with diminishing returns both financially and with my family life from where I am now.   I've found a sweet spot that allows me flexibility at an income level that will get me to FIRE in 5-7 years.   I'm very fortunate to be in this type of job (tech sales).   

I think the most generally applicable examples would be real estate or insurance - you put in a lot of hours when you are younger to build the business, and if successful can dial it back over time to fit the work/life balance that is good for you.    This is working well for me now that I have young children while still working on getting to FIRE. 

dragoncar

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2015, 10:35:41 AM »
Rather than dial down the hours per week, could you still keep 40 hours when you do work, but negotiate weeks off?

Like 2 weeks year 1, 3 weeks year 2, 4 weeks year 3, etc. until you're taking like two months off by the end.  That's the same dialdown plan, and earns the same, but I'd personally prefer that.

Getting to take a 6 week long vacation traveling the world each year makes working that extra year at the back end much easier, IMO.

Ok, enough of you said this that I edited the top post to explain that the image shown was an illustrative example, and other permutations can be chosen.  Myself, I plan to do a mix of coming in late, leaving early, working from home, skipping days, and skipping weeks, as my projects allow and other commitments dictate.

I understand that.  What I was asking was: can you literally take a mont hoff.

To me getting to leave a little early, or skip a day, or whatever isn't worth working the extra year.

Getting to bunch those all together and take 5 weeks off for a huge reboot each year potentially could be.

Yes, I could take an extra month off -- I know people working regular schedules who already do that with their vacation (it takes some planning ahead of course).  Maybe I will -- this is still early for me -- but I personally think I'll get the most quality of life to get more sleep and/or take long weekends regularly.

My personal situation is based on hours billed per year, so as long as I'm handling the projects in a timely fashion I can work whatever schedule I want.  This week I've put in 12+ hour days, and maybe I'll take next week off.  Have to double check my deadlines.

There's a non-calculable downside to not being in the office, which I haven't fully explored.  For example, I can't plan projects more than 1-2 months in advance, so if I miss a call offering a new project I may have to hustle more to get some when I return.  Of course, most everything is email these days and I can forward my phone.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2015, 10:40:31 AM by dragoncar »

DoubleDown

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2015, 11:25:12 AM »
I voted A, but if B floats your boat, go for it. You might find that after a while of doing A, you'll realize it's no longer financially necessary or fulfilling and you really want B.

Or, it could be that Path B should be titled "Dragoncar is a OMY Pussy!"

JUST KIDDING, you know I love you (like a brother, not a chick, so don't get weird on me). I'm goading you because I'd like you to choose Path B so you can post more on this forum.

dragoncar

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2015, 11:27:22 AM »
I voted A, but if B floats your boat, go for it. You might find that after a while of doing A, you'll realize it's no longer financially necessary or fulfilling and you really want B.

Or, it could be that Path B should be titled "Dragoncar is a OMY Pussy!"

JUST KIDDING, you know I love you (like a brother, not a chick, so don't get weird on me). I'm goading you because I'd like you to choose Path B so you can post more on this forum.

Lol, it's really the only way I'll ever catch up to rebs

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2015, 11:35:04 AM »
Rather than dial down the hours per week, could you still keep 40 hours when you do work, but negotiate weeks off?

Like 2 weeks year 1, 3 weeks year 2, 4 weeks year 3, etc. until you're taking like two months off by the end.  That's the same dialdown plan, and earns the same, but I'd personally prefer that.

Getting to take a 6 week long vacation traveling the world each year makes working that extra year at the back end much easier, IMO.

Ok, enough of you said this that I edited the top post to explain that the image shown was an illustrative example, and other permutations can be chosen.  Myself, I plan to do a mix of coming in late, leaving early, working from home, skipping days, and skipping weeks, as my projects allow and other commitments dictate.

I understand that.  What I was asking was: can you literally take a month off.

To me getting to leave a little early, or skip a day, or whatever isn't worth working the extra year.

Getting to bunch those all together and take 5 weeks off for a huge reboot each year potentially could be.

So you're saying this poll is flawed? ; )

I voted A. But I could see B looking better the closer you get to FIRE.

mcneally

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Re: Dial Down to FIRE - Which path would you pick?
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2015, 04:19:54 PM »
Voted B, which is my tentative plan, though cutting back to 4 8 hr days/ week (and maybe eventually 3) once I'm closer to FI. This is in large part because I have a job that will give me a pension even if I work part time and loses most of it's value if you "retire" before 57. I'm not even 30 yet though so the plan could change.