Author Topic: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation  (Read 32879 times)

retireatbirth

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Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« on: December 27, 2017, 05:17:43 PM »
One thing that frustrates me in the FIRE community is most comments around getting a job in early FIRE failure situations are either overly optimistic or overly pessimistic. You tend to have overly conservative people make comments like "good luck finding a job with a 10 year resume gap" or "would you like fries with that?" while the overly optimistic crowd says things like "just get another job" or "become a barista".

There is certainly a middle ground that hasn't really been explored. While a FIRE failure is not going to be able to get a software engineer job at Google, they aren't going to necessarily need to resign themselves to working at McDonald's or Starbucks either. I think most of us tend to focus on big corporate jobs because it's where we've earned our net worth.

Here are a few ideas I came up with and I'd love to hear from the community:

- Teacher: school districts are always looking for people to take on teaching and, if you're smart enough to FIRE, you're smart enough to at least try out teaching
- Tutoring: less commitment than teaching
- Personal trainer: for the physically fit, focus on training your own demographic and you can build a client base
- Online business: a self-employed option: e-commerce or one of the many only business models
- Retirement community staff: if you've moved to a 55+ community as part of your retirement, there are part time jobs to lead all the activities
- Poker dealer: if you live in Vegas and gambling is your thing, take on the persona of a poker dealer!

If your FIRE fails, you don't need to go back to mega corp and make six figures again as there are plenty of other options that can get your retirement back on track, in my opinion.

big_slacker

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 05:41:53 PM »
I used to work as a blackjack and poker dealer. Just want to point out that in Vegas it's not that easy. You'll need to either come from an existing poker room somewhere else and have a good audition or have gone to a dealer school locally, maybe work a break in job at some dive before you get to deal at a strip casino. I was dealing for a year and auditioned for a spot at the Wynn before it opened. Did good on hold 'em and stud but had never dealt a hand of omaha in my life so I didn't get the call.

My wife was a craps dealer in tahoe before we moved and she DID get a job at the Rio (then still Harrah's flagship property) but they took her off craps because the action was WAY more intense and she was too green. Back to blackjack and carnival games.

Just wanted to throw that out there, you generally can't just walk on to a table games job on the strip. :D

About the topic itself though, definitely agree if you were say a high earning programmer or IT tech you might not step back into a job at the same level. BUT there are a million small and medium businesses that you could get a spot with. You could also teach classes with a little bit of brushing up, the courses at IT training places tend to be pretty static and limited, students also love having dry lessons made real with real examples from big tech companies. Alternately brush up on a specialization and do 1099 consulting. Short term contracts employment gaps don't matter as much if at all.

And there are always other fields that take some smaller amount of training but are still in demand. My wife just did 1.5 years in esthetician school and immediately got a fairly well paying job at a med spa after 10 years of no work. Salary, tips, commission, medical and 401k.

I think the important thing to start out with is positive mindset combined with pragmatism and cleverness. There is always a way, and often it's not even as hard as people imagine.

Caoineag

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2017, 05:59:48 PM »
Temp agency fill in positions. During the height of the Great Recession, I did odd jobs through temp agencies. In fact that is how I ended up with my permanent job. As long as you don't expect top dollar, they generally can place you for something. You get the experience and the exposure to a variety of workplaces. Makes it much easier to rack the recent job experience back up.

lbmustache

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2017, 06:38:09 PM »

Here are a few ideas I came up with and I'd love to hear from the community:

- Teacher: school districts are always looking for people to take on teaching and, if you're smart enough to FIRE, you're smart enough to at least try out teaching


This one might be a bit iffy because many teaching jobs require a credential. However, private and charter schools do not, so this may be a possible avenue.

MJseast

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2017, 07:17:22 PM »
Oooh, I like this thread, mainly because I also worry about this!

I like the teaching idea, but I know WA state requires certification, which I wouldn't totally be opposed to getting if it came to that. Does anyone here have experience getting WA state teaching certificate?

The only ideas I have to contribute are just side hustles:
   - Airbnb a room (or the whole house while you're already planning to be out of town)
   - Rover - watch dogs in your home as a doggie daycare or overnight
   - Amazon package delivery
   - Teach English online

MrMoneyMullet

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2017, 07:44:04 PM »
"Become a barista" (or barist-o...?) might be a legitimate option... since some chains provide healthcare and other benefits to PT employees.

I think for most people, maintaining professional ties will enable project-based or part time work in their previous field, and that will be the likeliest path to financial recovery if FIRE goes awry.

On a related note, I was at the library several months ago and thinking that it might provide a part-time option for an interesting work environment and some part-time income, so I started chatting with an employee. He is a part time employee and said they require a library science degree even for part time employees... ouch.

crispy

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2017, 09:04:06 PM »
School bus driver or substitute teacher. Our school system is begging for drivers and subs every year.

I work in a psych hospital and recruiting direct care staff is so hard so I think getting a direct care job would be fairly easy even if they pay isn't great. We are a state run facility so we offer excellent benefits which is often lacking with other direct care jobs.

Call centers tend to have high turnover so anyone with decent computer skills should be able to get hired although they often hire through temp agencies.


better late

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2017, 10:52:04 PM »
PTF :)

Zikoris

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2017, 12:09:53 AM »
I'm a receptionist now, and have no doubt I could find some sort of receptionist or office clerk work even with a large employment gap. You really only need a nice disposition, pleasant phone voice, and basic computer skills to do this stuff. Well, and not look like a weirdo who would scare off clients. Tons of people already get into these jobs after taking large chunks of time off for other reasons, like raising kids.

GoConfidently

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2017, 12:32:21 AM »
Oooh, I like this thread, mainly because I also worry about this!

I like the teaching idea, but I know WA state requires certification, which I wouldn't totally be opposed to getting if it came to that. Does anyone here have experience getting WA state teaching certificate?

The only ideas I have to contribute are just side hustles:
   - Airbnb a room (or the whole house while you're already planning to be out of town)
   - Rover - watch dogs in your home as a doggie daycare or overnight
   - Amazon package delivery
   - Teach English online

Probably not worth the trouble in WA if you're not an experienced teacher or looking at very hard to fill positions. Requirements for initial certification:
1 - Bachelor's degree
2 - Complete state approved teacher training program
3 - Pass pedagogy and content exams
4 - Background testing

Subbing is a good option if you have the required college hours and the personality for dealing with kids.

Upscale restaurant server or bartender is another good option. I have a close friend who makes bank working Friday and Saturday nights at a swanky restaurant.

Astatine

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2017, 01:17:12 AM »
I'm still working so I just read this thread out of curiousity. Where I live (not the US), teaching requires credentials (university degree which includes work placements plus possibly other stuff). Even with tutoring, I've heard from a friend (who has a teaching degree and has done tutoring for years) that parents prefer qualified teachers or ex-teachers.

If I needed work and had been out of work for a while, I'd probably go call centre or entry level office job. Or receptionist. (hopefully not downplaying the skills required for those jobs but I have transferrable office/admin skills)

Imma

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2017, 04:12:13 AM »
I used to work at events and festivals and my s/o still does that occasionally. You work yourself to death for a couple of days and walk away with Ä250-Ä500 in your pocket. If you're lucky, you can even get to see part of the show / event and sometimes food is included. My s/o does this to earn extra cash (he already has a day job and is starting his own business) but our costs are low enough that to pay our bills he'd only need to work a few of those events every month. We'd be able to live off Ä1500 together if we had to.

I am planning on getting a teaching qualification as a back-up in a few years. With my degree, I can get a teaching qualification through a 1 year, part time program and because there's a shortage of teachers, the government covers a large amount of the tuition. I don't currently plan on teaching fulltime, just subbing or tutoring, but who knows? I might enjoy it more than I think I'd do. ( teaching seems fun to me, but teaching fulltime looks very stressful and teachers aren't exactly well paid). A teaching qualification is valid for life and with the existing shortages I know many schools are happy to take on teachers who haven't worked in the field for a decade or more. Someone I know recently started teaching again after 11 years as a SAHM. Her old employer actually asked her back.

I always see a lot of people offering cleaning services and mending/tailoring of clothes. These kind of jobs aren't really well paid, but I imagine they are very flexible.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2017, 04:34:29 AM »
This has the potential of being a good thread, yet we should watch ourselves. Teaching, especially in a public school is not something anyone can easily do in a pinch. Community College teaching might be, but donít expect to make a lot. Teaching English online would work. Personal training takes training and experience, again, not necessarily a go to careeróalso not easy getting clients. The career Iíd recommend, although it does take training, is a massage therapist. That career is almost always in need, you can have private clients or work for a medical group and itís transportable (something you can do anywhere in the world).

Any online business could work, just donít expect the money to flow right away. Youíd want to start before the failure takes hold.

The difficulty is around how big of a failure youíre experiencing? Do you need a little or a lot to get by? FT or PT work? MMM has written about multiple forms of income to prevent failure. If do experience failure you probably FIREd too soon.

Imma

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2017, 05:24:02 AM »
This has the potential of being a good thread, yet we should watch ourselves. Teaching, especially in a public school is not something anyone can easily do in a pinch. Community College teaching might be, but donít expect to make a lot. Teaching English online would work. Personal training takes training and experience, again, not necessarily a go to careeróalso not easy getting clients. The career Iíd recommend, although it does take training, is a massage therapist. That career is almost always in need, you can have private clients or work for a medical group and itís transportable (something you can do anywhere in the world).


When you're talking about non-minimum wage jobs, you're generally talking about jobs that you need some kind of training for. Most people on here will already have some kind of degree or special skill set, so I think the best bet is to find something related to that.

I'm not sure about the requirements for a teaching qualification over there, but in my country it's only a cheap, 1 year, parttime program if you already have a Bachelor's degree. Especially if you have STEM background it's very easy to find a school that will actually employ you from day 1 and pay your tuition to get qualified. (this applies only to teaching in high school, it's more difficult to get a primary school qualification). I imagine other countries also have this short-cut route to a teaching qualification if you already have a degree. I agree that if you have to start from scratch, teaching might not be the most efficient way to quickly find a job.

Another option, similar to massage, is working as a beautician. You need some training, but it doesn't take long and because there are several different certificates, you can start working when you get your first certificate and slowly get other certificates as well. You can work as an employee, start your own business, or work as a contractor for a salon.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2017, 05:39:11 AM »
One of the reasons I mention massage therapist is because itís an all genders, all ages, all orientations type career. Beautician would generally be for women (and maybe gay men?). I agree that you should align with whatever your current skills are.

the_fixer

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2017, 05:52:15 AM »
I will second the school bus driver option. My FIL does this as a retirement job and they are always looking to hire. They make a decent wage $15 - 20 an hour here in Colorado and he gets benefits / PERA

As far as skills they are hiring just about anyone with a pulse and they train you as well so you end up with a CDL license

Downside are the odd hours and driving a bus full of kids

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slappy

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2017, 06:06:58 AM »
I think the important thing to remember is that you likely won't need a professional income. Even a minimum wage income can take the pressure of the investment portfolio and provide some breathing room. A lot of folks on here seem to have low FIRE expenses anyway, so they wouldn't need get a high paying job to cover those expenses. 

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2017, 06:20:37 AM »
I think the important thing to remember is that you likely won't need a professional income. Even a minimum wage income can take the pressure of the investment portfolio and provide some breathing room. A lot of folks on here seem to have low FIRE expenses anyway, so they wouldn't need get a high paying job to cover those expenses.

I think part of OPís point is that most minimum wage jobs are too, umm, low-skilled for most people in FIRE, but exec jobs are too far at the other end. So basically, what jobs are in the middle, donít need much training and you have some flexibility?

retireatbirth

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2017, 06:29:20 AM »
I think the important thing to remember is that you likely won't need a professional income. Even a minimum wage income can take the pressure of the investment portfolio and provide some breathing room. A lot of folks on here seem to have low FIRE expenses anyway, so they wouldn't need get a high paying job to cover those expenses.

I think part of OPís point is that most minimum wage jobs are too, umm, low-skilled for most people in FIRE, but exec jobs are too far at the other end. So basically, what jobs are in the middle, donít need much training and you have some flexibility?

Yep, or too backbreaking. Sure you could work at McDonalds or even retail, but you'd be standing around all day and working with teenagers. These aren't really necessary options unless you are desperate.

Lots of good ideas in this thread. I may start looking into what training I need for the teaching option.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2017, 06:30:47 AM »
With out relatively low projected FIRE budget ($40-45k/yr), even a $15/hr job at Trader Joes could make a huge impact to the success likelihood.

2 People working 3X a week = $37,440 a year.

If a bad sequence of returns hit, I would do something like that in a heartbeat. Not to mention you would then get employer subsidized health insurance and other perks (free food). 

slappy

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2017, 06:33:50 AM »
I think the important thing to remember is that you likely won't need a professional income. Even a minimum wage income can take the pressure of the investment portfolio and provide some breathing room. A lot of folks on here seem to have low FIRE expenses anyway, so they wouldn't need get a high paying job to cover those expenses.

I think part of OPís point is that most minimum wage jobs are too, umm, low-skilled for most people in FIRE, but exec jobs are too far at the other end. So basically, what jobs are in the middle, donít need much training and you have some flexibility?

Yep, or too backbreaking. Sure you could work at McDonalds or even retail, but you'd be standing around all day and working with teenagers. These aren't really necessary options unless you are desperate.

Lots of good ideas in this thread. I may start looking into what training I need for the teaching option.

Paraprofessional may be an option as well. Of course it pays less than a teacher, but same benefits and even better hours. Substitute teaching could work as well, if someone doesn't need a lot of income.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2017, 06:41:07 AM »
I think the important thing to remember is that you likely won't need a professional income. Even a minimum wage income can take the pressure of the investment portfolio and provide some breathing room. A lot of folks on here seem to have low FIRE expenses anyway, so they wouldn't need get a high paying job to cover those expenses.

I think part of OPís point is that most minimum wage jobs are too, umm, low-skilled for most people in FIRE, but exec jobs are too far at the other end. So basically, what jobs are in the middle, donít need much training and you have some flexibility?

Yep, or too backbreaking. Sure you could work at McDonalds or even retail, but you'd be standing around all day and working with teenagers. These aren't really necessary options unless you are desperate.

Lots of good ideas in this thread. I may start looking into what training I need for the teaching option.

Rules massage out, very tough on the body. This gets mentioned a lot for teaching online: https://m.vipkidteachers.com

big_slacker

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2017, 06:44:52 AM »
About the teaching thing, I'm a network engineer. I also don't have a degree. (do have a CCIE which is a very high level professional cert I'd keep active after retirement) But it was easy enough for me to work fulltime at a private certification training business at $100k. These days there are training companies like Global Knowledge, Skyline, manufacturers (like Cisco, Palo Alto) and a bunch of smaller tech training places I could choose from.

These companies do 1099 and W2. They don't require a degree and there are no state teaches certificates or creds required. There might be travel depending on if it's one of the big companies (yes) or a smaller local one (no/maybe).

Teaching does not have to be credentialed school system work.

This thread does bring up a point about FIRE  vs semi-retirement. I think that I wouldn't initially completely retire, just transition to part time consulting or teaching and not touch the stache. This is partly due to being cautious with what will support us the rest of our lives, and partially to stay sharp. This part time could go from really part time (20 hours) to less and less over time. 1 week a month, 2 weeks a quarter, etc.

aneel

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2017, 06:49:50 AM »
One of the reasons I mention massage therapist is because itís an all genders, all ages, all orientations type career. Beautician would generally be for women (and maybe gay men?). I agree that you should align with whatever your current skills are.

Really? How does this add to the conversation?

SwordGuy

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2017, 07:08:52 AM »
A few points to consider.

If FIRE was just a couple of years back, one's skills shouldn't be so far out of date that a new job isn't possible.   Plus, one will have plenty of spare time to review and get up-to-date again!  Network contacts will still be mostly good if one has bothered to keep up the connections.

For a failure concern later than "right after FIRE", anyone who is smart enough, capable enough, and organized enough to FIRE should not wake up one morning only to discover they are broke. 

So, that means there should be some warning signs that one should pay attention to finances before stuff goes horribly wrong.

Warning signs allow you to start taking action before the situation has become horrible.   It should give you enough time to look for work, train up for certifications, whatever.   If your FIRE plan isn't robust enough for this, and a minimum wage job won't  be enough to make it work, then maybe it's time to strengten the plan!

Cyanne

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2017, 07:16:19 AM »
I think the important thing to remember is that you likely won't need a professional income. Even a minimum wage income can take the pressure of the investment portfolio and provide some breathing room. A lot of folks on here seem to have low FIRE expenses anyway, so they wouldn't need get a high paying job to cover those expenses.

I think part of OPís point is that most minimum wage jobs are too, umm, low-skilled for most people in FIRE, but exec jobs are too far at the other end. So basically, what jobs are in the middle, donít need much training and you have some flexibility?

Yep, or too backbreaking. Sure you could work at McDonalds or even retail, but you'd be standing around all day and working with teenagers. These aren't really necessary options unless you are desperate.

Lots of good ideas in this thread. I may start looking into what training I need for the teaching option.

You may want to rethink teaching. I am a teacher. I stand all day and works with teenagers!

FIRE Artist

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2017, 07:24:07 AM »
A few points to consider.

If FIRE was just a couple of years back, one's skills shouldn't be so far out of date that a new job isn't possible.   Plus, one will have plenty of spare time to review and get up-to-date again!  Network contacts will still be mostly good if one has bothered to keep up the connections.

For a failure concern later than "right after FIRE", anyone who is smart enough, capable enough, and organized enough to FIRE should not wake up one morning only to discover they are broke. 

So, that means there should be some warning signs that one should pay attention to finances before stuff goes horribly wrong.

Warning signs allow you to start taking action before the situation has become horrible.   It should give you enough time to look for work, train up for certifications, whatever.   If your FIRE plan isn't robust enough for this, and a minimum wage job won't  be enough to make it work, then maybe it's time to strengten the plan!

This is all true, I think nothing short of a Great Depression style market crash should cause a mustachian with a properly planned FIRE to need to work, but unfortunately, if that were to happen, likely even the minimum wage jobs would be in high demand.

freya

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2017, 08:13:36 AM »
[This is all true, I think nothing short of a Great Depression style market crash should cause a mustachian with a properly planned FIRE to need to work, but unfortunately, if that were to happen, likely even the minimum wage jobs would be in high demand.

This is a really good point:  income is likely to drop exactly when you need it the most.  It's a good reason to keep a large cash buffer, rather than having your entire portfolio in volatile assets.

If the FIRE failure is simply due to underestimating expenses, e.g. if medical costs or property taxes (two things notoriously unaccounted for in CPI calculations) go up faster than expected, that's another matter.   I probably would consider a minimum wage job as a last resort, because those are typically not fun as well as poorly paid.   I would think that Mustachians would actually have trouble getting low-level jobs, because not only is there an employment gap but many would look overqualified.

I've added to my FIRE checklist "start up and develop an enjoyable and minimally invasive side hustle", like a website or Etsy shop. This is an extra bit of stash insurance, and you can always expand it or ramp up effort if needed.  Entrepreneurial ventures are well suited to Mustachians for lots of reasons, e.g. ability to plan ahead and availability of starting capital.  And no resume/CV-related issues.

Metta

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2017, 08:21:51 AM »
I just want to point out that if the failure is due to a national downturn, there are opportunities that come with downturns. You can work doing collections or doing repo work.


Gimesalot

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2017, 08:24:11 AM »
This is all true, I think nothing short of a Great Depression style market crash should cause a mustachian with a properly planned FIRE to need to work, but unfortunately, if that were to happen, likely even the minimum wage jobs would be in high demand.

One thing that kind of irks me about these discussions is that people assume that it is easy to walk into a low-level job  during a recession.  I remember in 2011, my husband was looking for work.  A new incentive was offered by the government that made it extremely attractive for business to hire people that were on government assistance (food stamps, welfare, unemployment, etc.).  This meant that my DH, who was not on any program, was never offered a job. 

Here's some options that might work in a recession: substitute teacher, tax prep/ enrolled agent, notary

retireatbirth

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2017, 08:33:49 AM »
[This is all true, I think nothing short of a Great Depression style market crash should cause a mustachian with a properly planned FIRE to need to work, but unfortunately, if that were to happen, likely even the minimum wage jobs would be in high demand.

This is a really good point:  income is likely to drop exactly when you need it the most.  It's a good reason to keep a large cash buffer, rather than having your entire portfolio in volatile assets.

If the FIRE failure is simply due to underestimating expenses, e.g. if medical costs or property taxes (two things notoriously unaccounted for in CPI calculations) go up faster than expected, that's another matter.   I probably would consider a minimum wage job as a last resort, because those are typically not fun as well as poorly paid.   I would think that Mustachians would actually have trouble getting low-level jobs, because not only is there an employment gap but many would look overqualified.

I've added to my FIRE checklist "start up and develop an enjoyable and minimally invasive side hustle", like a website or Etsy shop. This is an extra bit of stash insurance, and you can always expand it or ramp up effort if needed.  Entrepreneurial ventures are well suited to Mustachians for lots of reasons, e.g. ability to plan ahead and availability of starting capital.  And no resume/CV-related issues.

This is a great point. I think I'd like to have at least 2 years of expenses in cash when I FIRE so I can ride out a significant downturn.

Loren Ver

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2017, 08:39:14 AM »
When DH was transitioning from being a science teacher (hated it) to something unknown at the time (eventually biotech) he took random jobs.  Some things that helped keep us afloat.  Granted this information is from over a decade ago, so might be out of date.  Good for thinking on though.

- Substitute teaching.  The days/times could be pretty unpredictable.  Since he still had a licence and had been a teacher they liked him for long term gigs (teachers on maternity).  He was worked at some top notch schools so it wasn't too bad. 

- Grading standardized tests.  He could grade both the English and Math sections for 8th graders.  He preferred English, but since math people were harder to find, he did that.  The issue here was the system wasn't very good.  The tests were sent from Indiana (where the kids took them) to Arizona to be scanned in, then send electronically back to Indiana for grading.   If the people in Arizona fell behind in the scanning, then DH was sent home since there was no work to do.  No work = no pay.  This work was also mind numbing and very temporary.  Required testing to qualify and a bachelors degree. 

- Data entry specialist.  He did this for a few years while he worked on a new career.  Started by going through a temp agency then got hired on full time.  Required a bachelors degree (in anything).  The work was quota based but easy.  They liked him since he met quota with few errors and didn't cause trouble (yes, that was part of his review).  One year he was one of the few to get a raise and it was 0.3% (no that is not a type-o).  I think it came out to 11 cents a weekly pay check.     In general the co-workers were obnoxious and the environment was not good at all, but when DH decided to go back to school they let him work VERY flexible hours part time hours to fit in his class work.  So one gold star for them.

Other random options:
-I donated blood plasma to make money in college. 
-I recycled cans in high school to pay for a vacation.  The "Golden Goat" crushed the cans I collected on the roadside and gave me change.  Helped the environment a little too.   I'd love to find another one of these recycles near me, but alas.

Some of my neighbors are at subsistence incomes or disability  They make ends meet by:
- collecting and recycling scrap metals
- Finding trash items repairing them and selling them
- Buying abandoned storage units and selling the goods
- Bartering (i.e. hunting deer and trading meat for other things)
- Fixing up junk cars and selling them
- Hauling trash or debris.

LV

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2017, 09:26:46 AM »
- Data entry specialist.  He did this for a few years while he worked on a new career.  Started by going through a temp agency then got hired on full time.  Required a bachelors degree (in anything).  The work was quota based but easy.  They liked him since he met quota with few errors and didn't cause trouble (yes, that was part of his review).  One year he was one of the few to get a raise and it was 0.3% (no that is not a type-o).  I think it came out to 11 cents a weekly pay check.     In general the co-workers were obnoxious and the environment was not good at all, but when DH decided to go back to school they let him work VERY flexible hours part time hours to fit in his class work.  So one gold star for them.

Oh lord. I temped when I first moved to NYC, and one of the jobs was data entry. I had a great experience, aside from the low pay, and I eventually got an analyst job at the company. This was without a bachelor's degree.

Aelias

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2017, 09:30:11 AM »
My husband and I both professionals, so we've both considered taking on consulting type work.  First and foremost, I will ALWAYS keep my law license up to date and active--never know when that could come in handy! I could see myself writing a blog in my current area of expertise and using that as a platform to land some occasional gig or contract work.  My husband is in engineering and our area has a booming industry of engineering temp contractors.  In fact, he already knows some guys who do it full time (or full time ish), so he's been pumping them for info.

For us, we're in the fortunate position to like our jobs and have skills that are in demand.  The key to being able to capitalize on those in retirement will be staying current.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2017, 09:32:46 AM »
I FIREd shortly before the Great Recession and was able to ride it out on a cash cushion fairly easily even though my NW dropped 50%. I didn't need to get a job or even a roommate (lived alone in a 3 bedroom house) and eventually my NW went back up. However as the above poster mentioned, jobs - even minimum wage unskilled jobs like flipping burgers - were in extremely high demand during that time and most people I know who lost their jobs (which was pretty much everyone I knew) couldn't find ANY kind of work at all for a couple of years. So for me low expenses and a cash cushion would be better than counting on a job in a big downturn.  I now keep about 3 years basic expenses in cash. Which is about $30k with a paid off house.

I like this approach. And I think you make a valid point about everyone else needing jobs, too, so they won't be that easy to get.

To me, the jobs that are being listed in this thread are perfect reasons to avoid FIREing too soon. If we make sure we have enough money and a good plan for our money, we can hopefully avoid the need to take on work like this. (I suppose the argument could be made that the backup plan is jobs like this, but...no, not for me.)

Nick_Miller

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2017, 09:43:01 AM »
I'm baffled that folks would put "teaching" as a job you could jump into in case of FIRE emergency. To teach in public schools, you generally need to be certified, which either means going back to college, pursuing a masters in education, or navigating one of the "teaching as a second career" alternative certification programs which can be VERY intense. And teaching is generally VERY stressful.

And driving a school bus? There's a reason many districts are begging for employees for that job. Can you imagine: 1) driving a huge ass bus, 2) on a timed route, 3) sometimes in pitch black mornings, 4) and being responsible for up to 50-60 kiddos who may or may not be acting like fools the entire time?

Now I can see maybe getting hired as a 'teacher' at a preschool or daycare or something, but will likely be a minimum wage job.

I do appreciate the OP's point that it might not be super easy for a professional to jump back in after several years out of the loop. And I can see the person's professional background actually hurting them, because "middle range" employers might wrongfully assume the person will be gone as soon as they find a higher paying job.

slappy

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2017, 09:59:04 AM »
What about bank teller? For me, I used to work at a couple of local banks in town. So my thought would be to walk in, hand in my resume and make some sort of quick explanation of my intentions so that they don't immediately decide I'm overqualified and disregard the application. For those that are worried about being considered overqualified, it seems that being able to speak directly to someone who influences the hiring might be a benefit, so that your story can be told.

honeybbq

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #37 on: December 28, 2017, 09:59:55 AM »
This is why my FIRE # is so damn high. I can't ever go back to work and do minimum wage. (OK, I can, but I really really really don't want to).

Some things I might do:

Rover (I love dogs and use Rover all the time)

Real estate. It's probably tough to get into (passing the exams, finding a company to work for) but would be perfect for someone with flexible time.


TheAnonOne

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #38 on: December 28, 2017, 10:20:10 AM »
As a software consultant, even after FIRE I will retain these general skills.

I may not be able to fall back into a $XXX,XXX job but I should be able to pick up a low-bill-rate short contract within a few weeks. With the dust falling off my skills by the end of that.

I think, if I FIREed with my million and all I wanted to do was take my pressure off the account, I wouldn't need to make the big money anymore. After-all today I must LIVE AND SAVE on my income, where-as in that world, I simply must live. It shouln't be too hard to make 30-60k as a software guy, even part-time for the next decade or so after FIRE *After 10 years I assume your skills are now probably too out of date.*

JLee

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #39 on: December 28, 2017, 10:30:01 AM »
As former law enforcement, I am basically guaranteed a security job if I want one.

I will likely keep my foot in the door in the world of tech even when FIRE, though (at least for a while).

Retire-Canada

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #40 on: December 28, 2017, 10:32:46 AM »
I'd shoot for a job in outdoor retail if I needed to earn a bit of $$ in FIRE. It's easy/fun work and not super demanding. I have enough skill/experience in the area that I can out compete other candidates for a job fairly easily. These jobs are seasonal so I can work hard for a bit and then take it easy and get back to fun stuff with repeats as needed until I am happy with my portfolio balance.

Naturally I'd poke around for a short-term consulting/contractor role in my professional areas as that would pay more, but retail jobs are easier/more abundant and pay sufficiently well to reduce my portfolio withdrawals significantly.

Imma

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #41 on: December 28, 2017, 10:46:23 AM »
I FIREd shortly before the Great Recession and was able to ride it out on a cash cushion fairly easily even though my NW dropped 50%. I didn't need to get a job or even a roommate (lived alone in a 3 bedroom house) and eventually my NW went back up. However as the above poster mentioned, jobs - even minimum wage unskilled jobs like flipping burgers - were in extremely high demand during that time and most people I know who lost their jobs (which was pretty much everyone I knew) couldn't find ANY kind of work at all for a couple of years. So for me low expenses and a cash cushion would be better than counting on a job in a big downturn.  I now keep about 3 years basic expenses in cash. Which is about $30k with a paid off house.

I like this approach. And I think you make a valid point about everyone else needing jobs, too, so they won't be that easy to get.

To me, the jobs that are being listed in this thread are perfect reasons to avoid FIREing too soon. If we make sure we have enough money and a good plan for our money, we can hopefully avoid the need to take on work like this. (I suppose the argument could be made that the backup plan is jobs like this, but...no, not for me.)

Oh, for me it's the other way around. I always liked doing jobs like these. The only reason I'm doing a boring office job is because of the money. The reason I'm going to go for that teaching certificate in the future is because it seems so much more fun. Even though teaching will never be my nr. 1 career choice because of the low pay. Maybe I'll teach part time as a side hustle after FIRE, even when I don't need the money.


Retire-Canada

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #42 on: December 28, 2017, 10:56:13 AM »
To me, the jobs that are being listed in this thread are perfect reasons to avoid FIREing too soon.

I am far, far, far more worried about working too long than FIREing too soon. You can always make more money, but you can never make more free time.

TheContinentalOp

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #43 on: December 28, 2017, 11:00:28 AM »
If Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million are still around when I FIRE, then I would consider working there. I have 10 years of bookselling experience. Also REI

sol

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #44 on: December 28, 2017, 11:11:21 AM »
I like the teaching idea, but I know WA state requires certification,

Certifications generally aren't required at the university level.  I have a top tier PhD and years of government research experience, and I'm pretty sure any of the local community colleges could find a place for me.  They seem to have openings every semester.

The pay is terrible, like 40% of what I make now.  Fortunately, I can live quite comfortably on 40% of what I make now.

Also, remember that a 3% SWR on a diversified portfolio has never failed, for any length of time for any economic conditions.  So you don't need to earn as much as you will spend in retirement, you only need to earn enough to reduce your withdrawals down (from presumably something near 4%) to 3%.  For most people here, you can do that with a part time minimum wage job.

I used to shelve books at the local library, as a high school kid.  I got really good at alphabetization, and I'd love to do that again.

One retiree I know got a part time gig at Lowes, since he spent so much time there anyway.  He had to quit after about six months because they kept trying to give him more hours and it was cutting into his nap schedule.

And, of course, I'm starting a blog.

undercover

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #45 on: December 28, 2017, 11:19:54 AM »
If you have 25X expenses saved, there's going to be absolutely zero reason to worry about ever having to "work your way up" again (even though I don't doubt that it would be easy to). And I'm not sure you'd ever want to go back? There are plenty of ways to make money other than a soul-sucking office job.

The only scenario(s) in which all your savings gets wiped would be due to some catastrophic or cataclysmic event that made money useless anyway.

Imma

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #46 on: December 28, 2017, 12:08:38 PM »
If you have 25X expenses saved, there's going to be absolutely zero reason to worry about ever having to "work your way up" again (even though I don't doubt that it would be easy to). And I'm not sure you'd ever want to go back? There are plenty of ways to make money other than a soul-sucking office job.

The only scenario(s) in which all your savings gets wiped would be due to some catastrophic or cataclysmic event that made money useless anyway.

I can imagine that for Americans, serious health issues also have the potential to wipe out savings. I don't know all the details about your health care system, but I know many people pay a lot of costs out of pocket, even if they have some kind of insurance. I'm lucky to live in Europe where my health care costs are covered, but I know how much money my relatively cheap illness actually costs (I see the bills the hospital sends to my insurance). I don't even want to know how much money something like cancer treatment for an extended period of time would cost.

MrMoneyMullet

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #47 on: December 28, 2017, 12:31:12 PM »
To me, the jobs that are being listed in this thread are perfect reasons to avoid FIREing too soon.

I am far, far, far more worried about working too long than FIREing too soon. You can always make more money, but you can never make more free time.

I agree wholeheartedly.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #48 on: December 28, 2017, 01:17:56 PM »
To me, the jobs that are being listed in this thread are perfect reasons to avoid FIREing too soon.

I am far, far, far more worried about working too long than FIREing too soon. You can always make more money, but you can never make more free time.

I agree wholeheartedly.

I love your screen name, MrMoneyMullet.

TexasRunner

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #49 on: December 28, 2017, 01:31:16 PM »
And, of course, I'm starting a blog.

LOL.  Thats hilarious.


Also, remember that a 3% SWR on a diversified portfolio has never failed, for any length of time for any economic conditions.  So you don't need to earn as much as you will spend in retirement, you only need to earn enough to reduce your withdrawals down (from presumably something near 4%) to 3%.  For most people here, you can do that with a part time minimum wage job.

This is an extremely important point to this conversation...  Of the failures, the biggest factor is early losses in the market.  If you take the '73 crash from a 45% correction to a 33.75% correction then we are all looking at a 5% safe withdraw rate.  Its that big of a difference.

On $40,000 a year with a 1MM stash, all you need is a 10,000$ a year rate of payment gig to make it very survivable.  You don't even need to work for a full year (since many downturns are several months long or so).  Reducing the withdraws from 4% to 3% on 40k a year requires that 10k a year part time gig only for the duration of the correction.  Given that we don't market time, you could generally just wait until the portfolio hit the number you fire'd at and (historically speaking) it should be fine. 

10k a year in that scenario is $192 a week.  At an abysmal 8$/hr, thats still only 24 hours.  Or 12 hours a week if you could find 16$/hr.

It does seem that many are either "happy-go-lucky just get another job" -or- "you can never work again!!!" when, in reality, it would take very little to make the failure a success.

(Another side note:  basically all failures initiate at the beginning of FIRE, as in the first 2 years...   Not 30 years down the road.  Grandpas not going to flip burgers, but 45 year old retired early Mr. Awesomesauce might have to find a 10$/hr side gig for 20 hours a week for a few months.)

(And Yet Another side note:  Recessions end.  If a FIRE'ee couldn't get a job due to such a recession, there is no reason they can't do any of the aforementioned jobs a few years later when the economy recovers.  Yes they lose some to compounding and pulling out equities for living expenses at the worst time, but they also have the financial flexibility to survive and work in better years, albeit just slightly longer...)
« Last Edit: December 28, 2017, 01:34:07 PM by TexasRunner »