Author Topic: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation  (Read 33500 times)

JLee

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #150 on: January 08, 2018, 06:25:01 PM »
I just retired last month from a corporate job.  It was an early retirement, but not so early by MMM standards.  I am thinking about picking up a part-time, local retail gig, because I've never done anything like that and I think it could be fun!  Low pay, but no meetings, no 60-hour work weeks, no killer commute and no crushing responsibilities.  If I don't like it, I certainly don't need to stay for 39 years like I did with my corporate employer.  These jobs are so easy to come by right now, but I agree with others that this will not be the case when there is another economic downturn.
 

Trust me, you might think it is fun, but the caliber of people you will work with will be an eye opener. My friend works for Walmart (WM) and she tells me stories you wouldn't believe of some of her coworkers. She formerly worked in banking for 20 years and in HR for around 10 years but during the recession lost her job and couldn't find a decent job. Now she is close to retirement.

One woman who worked at my friends WM was killed by her boyfriend. Another one is divorced with two kids and broke but sending money to some guy in Africa who she thinks is in love with her. Others my friend has had to train that can't be trained. They just don't have the skills to learn. She has done everything but stand on her head to help these people learn but they just don't get it! Then there is the local grocery store that has bottle returns and the machines are always full or malfunctioning. They always send the new guy out to remedy the situation. Gathering up the shopping carts out in the snow or rain. Then the hours usually are horrible. They won't give you enough hours to get benefits. You will work weekends or second or third shift. Don't forget all the holidays. Most stores don't shut down for any holidays. If the store opens on Black Friday at 1 am, you will be scheduled to come in to work the hellish night shift and deal with these customers rampaging thru the store. People do disgusting things in the bathrooms and you might be told to clean it up. They are not very tolerant of absences no matter what the excuse. Don't think you will get overtime. They schedule very tightly and expect you to be there on time and leave on time. To go from a corporate type job to a retail gig is really not easy to swallow. But, good luck if you try this!

Youíre also citing one of the most notorious cases of a company that is known for not exactly being great to its staff.

Retail doesnít necessarily mean Walmart.
I worked in retail for several years and had some great chill jobs working in little mom and pop shops and then in menswear in a mall in my early 20s where I actually met my husband when he came in to buy a shirt. I enjoyed my time in retail, I like chatting with people, and Iím a neat freak so I found folding clothes all day to be meditative.

My parents both own(ed) stores and employ only middle aged people looking for a bit of extra income, either stay at home moms, artists, or retired people. They work reasonable hours and no holidays. Mom and pop shops usually close on holidays because the sales volume canít offset the increased wages on those days.

My dad worked his own retail store until his early 70s and he would have kept at it except that his wife didnít want to continue and wanted to move (they lived upstairs). He loved it, he loved being part of the community and chatting with locals all day. He misses it now and has gotten really involved in local politics to compensate for the missing connection to the community.

Retail is an enormous category of jobs, I wouldnít cite a single personís experience working for Walmart as representative of the entire retail job experience overall.

Yep.

http://fortune.com/2017/11/07/best-workplaces-in-retail/

I worked for Publix for years when I was much younger.  It wasn't bad at all.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 06:28:59 PM by JLee »

MicroRN

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #151 on: January 08, 2018, 07:17:27 PM »
My husband jokes about going to work at Home Depot after he retires from the military. 

Healthcare has a lot of possibilities.  Hospitals and nursing homes employ massive numbers of people, and most of the jobs require no training or experience.  Of course many are physically demanding and not exactly prestigious.  Janitorial, cafeteria, materials management, transporters, security, administrative assistants, unit clerks, schedulers... Some healthcare jobs require a little training but are in demand - home health aids, phlebotomists, CNAs.  Monitor surveillance techs here have a 3 month course, but make around $30K.  The nice thing is that healthcare jobs often have great flexibility if you need to work per diem, or opposite shifts from your partner, or weekends only.     

As an RN, I plan to keep up my license, certification, and at least enough ongoing work to keep me employable.  The consensus seems to be that about 2 years out of work is when you start having trouble getting hired.  The nice thing is I can work per diem, just a few shifts/month to stay current.  When I'm ready to step out of FT work, I'll probably do Hospice home health. 

kpd905

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #152 on: January 08, 2018, 08:02:40 PM »
Seasonal tax accountant is my plan. I like getting in the zone and working 12 hours a day or so sometimes. Just not all the time. 4 months on, 8 months off sounds perfect to me.

I've thought about this too.  Are you a CPA now?  I am interested in studying for the Enrolled Agent exam, and then I guess either going to H&R block or finding a CPA who needs some help during the busy season.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #153 on: January 09, 2018, 11:12:07 AM »
Seasonal tax accountant is my plan. I like getting in the zone and working 12 hours a day or so sometimes. Just not all the time. 4 months on, 8 months off sounds perfect to me.

I've thought about this too.  Are you a CPA now?  I am interested in studying for the Enrolled Agent exam, and then I guess either going to H&R block or finding a CPA who needs some help during the busy season.

A friend of mine works during tax season and is not an accountant.  She works for a small firm doing the administrative side of the return, putting the stuff the accountant prints out back together to be returned to the client etc.

Chalk me up as a National Park bum.  I'll work in Yellowstone's gift shop or something.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #154 on: January 09, 2018, 11:30:05 AM »
School bus driver or substitute teacher. Our school system is begging for drivers and subs every year.


I live in farm country, Ohio, and the schools are the same here.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #155 on: January 09, 2018, 11:51:47 AM »
One of TheHusbandHalf's best accomplishments:
In 1991 or so, he lost his job at the RR docks. Not one to sit around (with me even!) he applied and took maybe 5 different jobs in the 5 months he was off. His last one, before he got the job he still has now, was delivering alum.

I wish I could tell you what alum is, but it's delivered in a big tanker truck. He had never driven a semi in his life but with what he had done, thought he'd give the test a try. He did all the reading required, mentally went over driving in his brain, and set out for his testing appointment. He got it!!!!! He kept the CDL part of his driver's license for years.

So, he delivered alum, in a tanker, for 7-8 weeks., until the refinery employed him, where he is now.

Sometimes now, we drive down a road, and he says, "I drove my truck on this road" and it's been 25 years! He loved driving that truck.

The refinery parking lot is down the road from the RR docks and for a couple of years he parked out front 'just to show 'em.'

Why the story? You never know what jobs are going to be available, don't limit yourself.

The guy across the road worked at another refinery in the area, and retired. The refinery hired him back as a contracter, doing the same thing. TheHusbandHalf said there is no way he's going to do that.

lemonlyman

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #156 on: January 09, 2018, 12:57:40 PM »
Seasonal tax accountant is my plan. I like getting in the zone and working 12 hours a day or so sometimes. Just not all the time. 4 months on, 8 months off sounds perfect to me.

I've thought about this too.  Are you a CPA now?  I am interested in studying for the Enrolled Agent exam, and then I guess either going to H&R block or finding a CPA who needs some help during the busy season.

I take my first CPA exam in March. Should have it by the end of the summer. I don't need it for my job now, but yeah, I'm doing it for this back up plan. I had the education and experience requirements filled already so the CPA works for me, but the EA is good. You can definitely get a job with an EA or start your own business.

MrsPete

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #157 on: January 09, 2018, 02:38:12 PM »
Doesn't seem too realistic to expect to get a job as a lifeguard or ski patrol when you are 40 or 50 years old.
Every year neighborhoods in our area recruit teachers to "manage" pools -- not to act as lifeguards; rather, to hire staff, manage schedules, sell pool passes, keep the snack bar stocked, be sure the cleaners show up. 

I'd assume similar jobs would exist in ski country:  ticket seller, gift shop worker, etc. 

And I'd assume a 40-50 year old would have a leg-up on the teenagers.  Even if one's experience is in a different field, proven dependability counts for something.

KTG

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #158 on: January 09, 2018, 03:12:12 PM »
I would love to one day FIRE and then get a job as a park ranger. Or something that involves rescuing animals. Neither really pays well, but at that point I would be in it for the spiritual part of it, and not for the $$$.

FLStache

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #159 on: January 10, 2018, 10:34:21 AM »
Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but what about the seasonal jobs with Amazon warehouses?  I've read some reviews and seems doable even for retirees.

Also, very dependent on your location, but I ran across some listings for jobs for baseball's Spring Training - seems like that would be fun for a month or so to sell tickets or work in concessions.  Also, seasonal jobs w/ amusement parks. 

I'm not so much worried about a FIRE failure, more so fun stuff to do in 'extra early' retirement.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #160 on: January 10, 2018, 03:11:16 PM »
Doesn't seem too realistic to expect to get a job as a lifeguard or ski patrol when you are 40 or 50 years old.



I lived at a ski resort and know many people on ski patrol. Most were over 40 or 50 (as is true for many lifeguards on SoCal beaches). Experience, reliability, and skill are just as valuable as physical ability (which most 40/50 people still have if working in those fields).

I stand corrected. And it's good to know.

MicroRN

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #161 on: January 14, 2018, 07:16:09 AM »
Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but what about the seasonal jobs with Amazon warehouses?  I've read some reviews and seems doable even for retirees.


Depends on physical condition.  I've had a couple friends who worked as regular employees at an Amazon warehouse several years back, and it can be brutal.  You're moving fast for the entire 10 hr shift and there's no downtime.  Probably manageable for the healthy, fit early retiree, not so much for later ones.  That's not to say that my friends disliked their jobs (athletic mid-20s who did adventure races), but they said a lot of people quit in the first week or so because they couldn't physically keep up.  If you aren't fast enough, you get fired.  However, the pay was decent, they had reasonably flexible schedules, and stayed active at work.  They could also pick up almost unlimited overtime.   

BlueMR2

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #162 on: January 14, 2018, 10:47:24 AM »
The problem I see with FIRE failure is that it's likely to happen during an event that removes a lot of jobs from the market.  There simply may not be anything available.  I've been watching my wife try to find any kind of work the last few years.  Even now when we're supposedly at full employment, she's either turned away as over qualified or shows up to find 60 other people competing for 1 seat.  She usually makes it to the final round, but can't seem to break through to a full time position (but has had some short term part time stuff work out).  That's with just a small employment gap too.  A big employment gap is a killer come interview time.

sol

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #163 on: January 14, 2018, 02:03:04 PM »
Imagine being unemployed for a decade or 2 and then trying to find a job even if (or maybe because of) being fairly young still. HR person: So you're 50 and haven't worked in 20 years and haven't been a SAHP? Umm...yeah...we don't really have any jobs for you.

I refuse to be so ruled by fear. 

I believe in my own ability to find work.  I have found jobs before, both with and without experience, and I'm confident I could do it again if necessary.  I do not think that I am so shitty that nobody would ever hire me again.  I have skills and experience working all kinds of jobs, I am dependable and honest and reliable, I show up on time and follow directions well, and I am both physically and mentally able to do a wide variety of tasks.  I think the economy will always have a place for me if I want one, somewhere, until I am senile or feeble. 

It baffles me that in a forum so full of optimists, we still hear so many people complaining about their fear of the future.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #164 on: January 15, 2018, 04:40:14 AM »
Imagine being unemployed for a decade or 2 and then trying to find a job even if (or maybe because of) being fairly young still. HR person: So you're 50 and haven't worked in 20 years and haven't been a SAHP? Umm...yeah...we don't really have any jobs for you.

I refuse to be so ruled by fear. 

I believe in my own ability to find work.  I have found jobs before, both with and without experience, and I'm confident I could do it again if necessary.  I do not think that I am so shitty that nobody would ever hire me again.  I have skills and experience working all kinds of jobs, I am dependable and honest and reliable, I show up on time and follow directions well, and I am both physically and mentally able to do a wide variety of tasks.  I think the economy will always have a place for me if I want one, somewhere, until I am senile or feeble. 

It baffles me that in a forum so full of optimists, we still hear so many people complaining about their fear of the future.
I don't give into fear as I don't think I'll ever have to.go.back to work and so FIREd fairly young.  And I also feel confident I could get some kind of job if I needed. Just might not be as easy in older age after decades off work then some envision. Even Wallymart will have robot greeters instead of old guys soon I predict ;-).

ETA: also if you've been out of the workforce forv10 or 20 years it might be harder to prove tova perspective employer that you have all those attributes you listed. For all they know you could have been avtrust fund baby in rehab all those years.

I think the key in this situation is to have something, anything, that you can put on your resume to show that you weren't just playing golf or sitting on your ass the whole time you were out of the work force.  It doesn't have to be paid work; it could be volunteer work, or even a hobby if it involves effort, skill, and/or interacting with others in a responsible manner.  And it would definitely help if your activities develop connections with people who could give a reference to attest to the fact that you do indeed possess the attributes that you list on your resume.

cerat0n1a

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #165 on: January 15, 2018, 06:15:48 AM »
I volunteered at a nursing home: got offered a job. I volunteered at a winter festival: got offered a job with the city. I volunteered with special needs kids: got offered a job mentoring/tutoring. I volunteered on the planning committee for the MS Society: got offered a job with the society,

To corroborate this, my wife who was a SAHM for 15 years, volunteered with two different charities and was later offered jobs by both, being paid to do things she previously did for free.

What seems to be common in my industry is to cover periods out of work with "consultancy", particularly on LinkedIn. If you think there's a chance you might want to go back to work in a few years, just call yourself a consultant. An interviewer is not going to audit the accounts of some consultancy company to see what revenue it had and whether you actually did anything. Amazing how many of these consultancies seem to have a non-disclosure agreement so that the person can't talk about clients or what work they did. Gets you past the "social proof" problem of "if there's nothing wrong with this guy, why hasn't somebody else already hired them?"

freya

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #166 on: January 15, 2018, 07:08:48 AM »
Doesn't seem too realistic to expect to get a job as a lifeguard or ski patrol when you are 40 or 50 years old.
perhaps MORE likely:
"Ski Patroller Among Worst Paying Jobs in America | SKI-PATROL.NET
SKI-PATROL.NET õ wordpress õ ski-pat...
Oct 13, 2014 - The average age of ski patrollers in the US is now over 50, indicating that younger candidates are unwilling to accept either the low wages noted above for paid patrollers, or the non-financial remuneration offered by ..."

I lived at a ski resort and know many people on ski patrol. Most were over 40 or 50 (as is true for many lifeguards on SoCal beaches). Experience, reliability, and skill are just as valuable as physical ability (which most 40/50 people still have if working in those fields).

That reminds me of an elderly couple I met many years ago while camping in Alaska.  They were camp caretakers at Wonder Lake in Denali National Park, which is only open part of the year.  They had an extremely space-efficient mini RV, sort of like the setup that John Steinbeck described in Travels with Charley but with bathroom/shower.  Every winter they traveled south to stay with their kids.  They did not own a house.  No electronics or other gadgets except for a ham radio - this was before the era of smartphones.  They told me this delightful story when I knocked on their door with a question, and they invited me in for hot chocolate.

Something like this would be the ultimate FIRE rescue.  A "lite" version could be Airbnb'ing your house for a few months and
then taking on a position at a national park - even just as a volunteer.  Your expenses are pretty darn low when you're living in a cabin or RV away from civilization.

Long shot but...has anyone else met this couple?  You'd have had to be camping at Wonder Lake sometime around 1996.

desk_jockey

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #167 on: January 15, 2018, 08:18:14 AM »
It baffles me that in a forum so full of optimists, we still hear so many people complaining about their fear of the future.

I too am surprised at the pessimism and skepticism about the ability to find income producing work, especially when it doesnít take much to move the needle.  A couple who started at a 4% WR of $1.5M only need to earn an inflation-adjusted $15,000 per year to move their withdraw rate temporarily to very safe 3%. 

$15-$20K would not be so difficult for a couple in decent health to earn if they are each willing to work more than one part time job.  There are plenty of feasible ideas in this thread.

The advantage that the early retiree has is flexibility.  Why work at Wal-mart when you can earn enough by combining 2 shifts per week at the cash register of the local golf pro shop, reselling some items on Amazon, and a bit of Uber?

Rather than working part-time for many years, the early retiree can go back to work full-time for a few years to alleviate financial concerns.  Itís not easy to find a job when youíve been retired for 10-years, but again flexibility is the key.   If you donít need to find a job immediately but rather need to move into a job within 2 years, then you can start by doing a little volunteer work at a several places and networking with the people that you meet.   A lot of jobs are fulfilled through recommendations, so the retiree would need to actively put themselves out there so they can be recommended.   

desk_jockey

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #168 on: January 15, 2018, 10:22:07 AM »
Posted by a sad boring volleyball scratcher

BFGirl

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #169 on: January 15, 2018, 10:47:03 AM »
I think it is definitely going to be harder to find employment if you are over 50 and there is a downturn with lots of people competing for jobs.  I see a friend of mine struggling with this right now because of her age and unemployment is low. 

However, I think innovative people will be able to find something. 

I've considered the possibility of cleaning houses or seeing if I can get on at a temp agency if my FIRE plans don't work like I've planned.  I shouldn't need a lot of money to get me through.

L2

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #170 on: January 15, 2018, 11:01:28 AM »
I enjoyed reading through this thread. Like a few others, my plan for some side income for at least a few years after FIRE will be seasonal tax work. Some other things that are fun (and lower earning) that I have in mind are working on/owning a fishing charter, refereeing, coaching, and being a whitewater rafting guide. Not sure if I want to combine the "fun" jobs with the non-fun one or not (meaning both in the same year) when the time comes. The busy seasons can be rough, but I am glad that I chose to go down the accounting path. So many options there.

FIRE Artist

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gerardc

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #172 on: January 15, 2018, 01:15:01 PM »
And it might actually be A LOT easier after spending a decade+ doing interesting things and meeting interesting people.

I canít fathom the type of boring sad person who retires early just to do absolutely nothing of value and learn no useful skill and associates with no one of any interest or consequence for 10-20 years.

FIRE + tons of free time and energy = you will probably do some really cool shit and meet some really cool people and have more interesting work available to you than you ever realized was possible.

Do some volunteering, learn a new language or two, develop some useful skills, literally do anything other than spending a decade scratching your balls, and you shouldnít have a hard time finding work, even in a recession because if you are doing interesting things, you are guantanteed to be networked with interesting people.

Iím the kind of person who is always involved in various projects, Iím always volunteering my time, Iím always meeting new people and taking an interest in what theyíre working on and always offering my help or input. Because of this, I have always been offered jobs, often jobs that Iím not even remotely qualified for.

Iíve had over a dozen serious jobs as an adult and I only interviewed for one, and thatís because it was urgent. I had actually spent three years networking and lining up an amazing job for after I graduated, but it fell through at the very last minute, so I was stuck scrambling urgently to find work in a city i hadnít lived in for four years, where I had no active network.
I hated having to look for work that way, applying online, etc. It was depressing.

Oh, and I used to work in staffing. I interviewed people for a living.
Iím well aware of the employer biases that people are speaking of, but my experience in staffing also taught me that itís urgency to find a job that makes it a difficult task.
I said this above already: post-FIRE people are ideally positioned to never need jobs urgently. They have time to invest in their networking in order to find work if they need it.


If you are post-FIRE, then you have the luxury of strategically investing time and energy into volunteering and re-upping your skills. Spend a year working on multiple high level volunteer committees and you are guaranteed to be rubbing elbows with a wide variety of important people who are *always* on the lookout for talent. Same thing for local politics, community projects/initiatives, even individual companies.

I volunteered at a nursing home: got offered a job. I volunteered at a winter festival: got offered a job with the city. I volunteered with special needs kids: got offered a job mentoring/tutoring. I volunteered on the planning committee for the MS Society: got offered a job with the society, got offered a job at a bank (a VP was on the committee), got offered a job with a telecom company. I volunteered to help my university department during a staff strike: got offered a job.
And those are all examples from when I was still in undergrad, and barely qualified to do anything other than work hard and have a positive and helpful attitude.

Iím not saying itís easy, Iím saying that it takes time and effort, both of which should be readily available to early retirees.

I literally have ZERO concern about my ability to generate income at any stage of my life no matter how long Iíve been out of the work force. I think if thereís a global downturn, that it will actually be much MUCH easier for me to find work than for the poor laid off people who desperately need it to pay their mortgages because they donít have a year to spend networking and skill building. They need to take whatever they can get. Iíll be able to sit back, survey they jobs landscape, position myself strategically, and maybe even sniff out the rich opportunities that hide in downturns.

Lastly ďIíll work for free for a yearĒ is a powerful phrase that can make magic happen.

I agree with the sentiment but this urgency to find a job is mostly psychological, no? I can see some confident people with $10k savings taking it easy and taking the time to form connections, but I can also see a FIREee with $1M in a recession who starts to freak out and feels like they need a job ASAP; this won't necessarily turn out well.


It baffles me that in a forum so full of optimists, we still hear so many people complaining about their fear of the future.

I too am surprised at the pessimism and skepticism about the ability to find income producing work, especially when it doesnít take much to move the needle.  A couple who started at a 4% WR of $1.5M only need to earn an inflation-adjusted $15,000 per year to move their withdraw rate temporarily to very safe 3%.   

You're aware that 3% is only "very safe" if you withdraw this from the very beginning until the end, right? Using 3% only in downturns is not enough in most cases. Maybe 2% would work, if you have the room in your budget.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 01:18:11 PM by gerardc »


FIRE Artist

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #174 on: January 15, 2018, 02:00:11 PM »

big_slacker

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #175 on: January 15, 2018, 02:39:46 PM »
It's also worth considering doing some research into a vocation that is very in demand that might need some short for pay training and certification. There is an up front cost but again if the field is in demand you have immediate work when you're done. And often when these fields are desperate for employees of ANY type if you come in having your shit together as a mature adult you're an immediate superstar.

Off the top of my head CNA, aesthetician, dental assistant, massage therapist, HVAC tech (my dad did this late in his career!), fitness instructor (my mom is almost 70, retired out of law enforcement and now teaches Zumba classes for fun and profit). All under a year of training.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #176 on: January 15, 2018, 05:34:03 PM »
Lastly, one of my main points has been that generally people who are post-FIRE arenít going to need work ASAP. They have giant sums of money, which puts them into the perfect position to take time to hone skills, survey the job market, and network effectively.

I think anyone smart enough to manage to retire early can figure out how to use their ample free time and resources to figure out how to reinforce their retirement if needed.

The FIREd person has time work out a plan and add some income to their lives. As you note there is no panic to get to work the day the market crashes. Plus it doesn't take much additional income to move the needle back towards success. If your FIRE budget is $40K/yr and you earn $10K/yr for a few years that will have a huge impact. You don't need to land a $200K/yr gig.

BlueMR2

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #177 on: January 15, 2018, 05:41:12 PM »
I believe in my own ability to find work.  I have found jobs before, both with and without experience, and I'm confident I could do it again if necessary. 

<snip>

It baffles me that in a forum so full of optimists, we still hear so many people complaining about their fear of the future.

I'm quite familiar with that attitude.  That's the one I had when I was younger.  And indeed that's how it was when I was in my 20's.  Then all of a sudden I'm older and being good and reliable isn't as important as being young.  Then I've watched my wife struggle even more than I did.  It's brutal out there if you're over 30 years old.  All they'll hire is kids out of school these days.  Forget finding a job if you've got any experience!

Villanelle

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #178 on: January 15, 2018, 05:45:28 PM »
It baffles me that in a forum so full of optimists, we still hear so many people complaining about their fear of the future.

I too am surprised at the pessimism and skepticism about the ability to find income producing work, especially when it doesnít take much to move the needle.  A couple who started at a 4% WR of $1.5M only need to earn an inflation-adjusted $15,000 per year to move their withdraw rate temporarily to very safe 3%. 

$15-$20K would not be so difficult for a couple in decent health to earn if they are each willing to work more than one part time job.  There are plenty of feasible ideas in this thread.

The advantage that the early retiree has is flexibility.  Why work at Wal-mart when you can earn enough by combining 2 shifts per week at the cash register of the local golf pro shop, reselling some items on Amazon, and a bit of Uber?

Rather than working part-time for many years, the early retiree can go back to work full-time for a few years to alleviate financial concerns.  Itís not easy to find a job when youíve been retired for 10-years, but again flexibility is the key.   If you donít need to find a job immediately but rather need to move into a job within 2 years, then you can start by doing a little volunteer work at a several places and networking with the people that you meet.   A lot of jobs are fulfilled through recommendations, so the retiree would need to actively put themselves out there so they can be recommended.

To me, the safety net is that any and all of those things are options.  If every other unemployed person is doing Uber so it becomes difficult to get many rides booked, I go to the pro shop.  If they aren't hiring, I go to the Walmart. And maybe I also substitute teach as I can fit that in around my pro shop or Walmart or Macy's shifts.  And/or maybe I ask a couple elderly people on my street if they want me to mow their lawn or pick up grocieries for them once a week or drive them to doctor's appointments, all for $10-20 per job.  I can and would do any of those things (and many more) part time for 6-18 months without being miserable.  So it's the idea that there are so many possibilities that make me so optimistic I can find *something* to bring in $5-15,000 in a year. 

People are correct that any specific job may be very hard to land in retirement, in an awful economy.  But any job at all?  And with a cushion of many months, if necessary?  No problem. 

I'm usually a pessimist and a worrier, but this is one thing I worry about not at all. 

desk_jockey

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #179 on: January 15, 2018, 08:45:58 PM »
You're aware that 3% is only "very safe" if you withdraw this from the very beginning until the end, right? Using 3% only in downturns is not enough in most cases. Maybe 2% would work, if you have the room in your budget.

Iím familiar with the numbers so disagree with your point in the quote.   When I play with cFIREsim Iím getting 80% to 90% success rates for a 40 year retirement at 4% WR before I factor in Social Security.  In most cases the straight-up 4% rule of thumb works just fine even with economic downturns. 
 
Going to 3% WR for a few years during downturns improves the success rate.  I agree that earning more and cutting spending to result in a 2% WR for a few years improves the success rate further, after some time of a 3% or 2% WR the model begins to exceed 95% and then additional work has less significance for 40-year success (other threads address the black swans and global war scenarios that show there is no 100%). 

Withdrawing at 2% for a while will improve the likelihood that you can spend more later, but then again so will OMY.  My point was simply that it doesnít take much income for most of us to improve both our odds and our personal comfort level.   

oldtoyota

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #180 on: January 15, 2018, 09:07:58 PM »
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).

I would consider this, too. I see some older folks working at Trader Joe's. It would be physically demanding yet perhaps fun for a bit. Costco treats its employees well, I hear. Might be another option.

You can also work your network to find projects in your previous field. I started a consulting business and then changed its focus. What I made last year part-time (and working when/if I want) is way more than I would make at a Trader Joe's type of job.


Paul der Krake

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #181 on: January 15, 2018, 10:10:10 PM »
I'm quite familiar with that attitude.  That's the one I had when I was younger.  And indeed that's how it was when I was in my 20's.  Then all of a sudden I'm older and being good and reliable isn't as important as being young.  Then I've watched my wife struggle even more than I did.  It's brutal out there if you're over 30 years old.  All they'll hire is kids out of school these days.  Forget finding a job if you've got any experience!
The funny thing with the labor market (at least the small corner that I know) is that everybody thinks they have it hard.

- Experienced people complaining that companies only hire fresh graduates
- Fresh graduates complaining about experience requirements
- Minorities complaining about racist/sexist hiring
- Majorities complaining about diversity hiring
- Americans complaining about H1Bs
- H1Bs who can't wait to become Americans

dresden

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #182 on: January 15, 2018, 10:27:17 PM »
This is what I have been thinking about, but not as much in a fire failure situation as a bridge to age 60 when I start getting my pension to make sure I don't fire failure.

Work has been a real struggle due to daily headaches and back tightness from an auto accident almost a year ago.  They are letting me cut back to part time but I am not sure how much they like the arrangement so I assume it won't last too long.

I am 51 with 9 years to go until I start getting my pension I can live off of, but until then I will work try to at least break even with wages to avoid pulling out too much.

desk_jockey

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #183 on: January 16, 2018, 06:55:03 AM »
Sure, we all know people who worked themselves into the ground, retired in their senior years and coasted out their days literally sitting on the porch and watching the river flow by and drinking themselves to death. Theyíre burnt and spent. They worked soulless jobs for so long that theyíve got no energy or personal identity left. Those are the ball scratchers and they are truly sad.
I donít know you, but I canít fathom that you are like that if you are here posting.

Malkynn, I think this ball scratching may be some self-depreciating humor.  From reading 1000+ posts over the past 4 years, Iíd say Spartana is anything but sad, old and boring. 

Spartana could find a job within a month just reaching out to people on this forum but quite determined to complete life without anything remotely resembling work ever again.   Participating in a thread about the possibility of returning to work is, as best I can tell, just a form of personal entertainment. 

lexde

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #184 on: January 16, 2018, 05:03:48 PM »
Consulting in whatever field you’re in. If you happen to be an attorney, then hanging a shingle is a good fallback after leaving a firm.

wordnerd

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #185 on: January 16, 2018, 05:45:56 PM »
I'm quite familiar with that attitude.  That's the one I had when I was younger.  And indeed that's how it was when I was in my 20's.  Then all of a sudden I'm older and being good and reliable isn't as important as being young.  Then I've watched my wife struggle even more than I did.  It's brutal out there if you're over 30 years old.  All they'll hire is kids out of school these days.  Forget finding a job if you've got any experience!

I think age discrimination is a very real phenomenon, especially if you're looking to jump back into the same level you left. But the levels of income needed to stave off a FIRE failure, if you have low living expenses, should be very attainable based on the types of careers suggested in this thread.

My personal experience: I heard my dad complain about age discrimination for over a decade. He was in his 50s when I was growing. When he was 55ish, he quit his high-paying gig and eventually lost a ton of money in a failed business. He didn't have a college degree, couldn't get back into the job market where he left, and blamed age discrimination (which I think was real). Eventually, however, he found a lot of ways to make money. He sold cars. He finished his degree and became a substitute teacher and eventually a full-time English teacher. When he got laid off from that, he started volunteering at an adult education center. Eventually, they hired him to run the program full time (he was almost 70 at that point). He left that job eventually, and now makes over $30K a year tutoring at age 75.

I realize this is all anecdotal, but the lessons I've drawn from the past 20 years of his life are: 1) age discrimination exists, but 2) there are a ton of ways to make money and reinvent yourself if you're creative. FIREes have the added benefit of tons of time to retool themselves through education, networking, and volunteering before they're out of money.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 05:48:47 PM by wordnerd »

Livingthedream55

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #186 on: January 17, 2018, 09:19:26 AM »
If it were truly a depression era like really, really bad time I would probably sell stuff at yard sales/eBay plus would  rent out my house and double up with a family member and pay them a reasonable rent

or

get a roommate (or two) -  I have a paid for 3 BR house in a suburb of a pretty HCOL area - people will still need a place to live

or

nanny/babysit for the people who have jobs

But (for me) I have built in so many redundancies, margins for error, plus I have good old fashioned common sense so could problem solve whatever crisis presented itself.

 

Villanelle

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #187 on: January 17, 2018, 05:36:42 PM »
If it were truly a depression era like really, really bad time I would probably sell stuff at yard sales/eBay plus would  rent out my house and double up with a family member and pay them a reasonable rent

or

get a roommate (or two) -  I have a paid for 3 BR house in a suburb of a pretty HCOL area - people will still need a place to live

or

nanny/babysit for the people who have jobs

But (for me) I have built in so many redundancies, margins for error, plus I have good old fashioned common sense so could problem solve whatever crisis presented itself.

I don't know why I've never really considered a roommate as an additional fail safe.  Thanks!!  As an extreme introvert (and one who likes to not wear pants around the house!), I would semi-hate the idea of living with a roommate, but sucking it up for a year wouldn't be too awful if the shit was really hitting the fan, especially because presumably I'd have the time and finances to be somewhat picky or maybe even find a friend or at least a friend of a friend..  Also, this brings to mind taking in exchange students (some programs pay, others don't) and/or hosting a foreign college student for a school year.  I don't ever see us living in a house with less than 2 baths (and probably three bed, but certainly 2), so it would be very doable. 

Roadrunner53

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #188 on: January 17, 2018, 09:36:06 PM »
I am an extreme introvert too and the idea of a stranger or relative or friend living in my house is just unacceptable to me. I would find some other way to make money like ebay or some part time job even if I hated it at least I could come home to peace and quiet. I personally couldn't share my house with anyone but my Hub and dogs. I was an only child so I guess that is why I do not relish being around gobs of people. Some people I know had lots of brother and sisters and sharing their house wouldn't be an issue.

Imma

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #189 on: January 18, 2018, 03:23:57 AM »

Lastly ďIíll work for free for a yearĒ is a powerful phrase that can make magic happen.
Your FIRE life is/would be very different from mine (and probably an introverts version of hell lol) but I agree there are many things one can do in FIRE to improve your likelihood of getting a job someday if you ever need one asap.

[/quote]

As an introvert, I plan to retire to a homestead-type of situation. I come from a long line of small time farmers and my relatives never needed a lot of actual money, because they had few bills (they owned their farms outright). You can make and grow a lot yourself if you want to, at a cost of next to nothing, and you can scrimp and save and make do. I wouldn't mind at all if that meant I'd never have to step into an office again. If my retirement plan works out and I can own a small farm outright and have reached my target stash, I think I can easily go back to withdrawing 2% for a couple of years.

rosarugosa

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #190 on: January 18, 2018, 04:43:16 AM »
I actually just picked up a twice per month housekeeping job for pretty decent money, for someone I know who has a lovely home.  I figure this will pay for our occasional concert and theater tickets, stuff like that.  Interestingly, I'm hearing of additional opportunities to do housekeeping or landscape design, but working 2 days per month suits me just fine.

SwordGuy

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #191 on: January 20, 2018, 02:35:28 PM »
I am an extreme introvert too and the idea of a stranger or relative or friend living in my house is just unacceptable to me. I would find some other way to make money like ebay or some part time job even if I hated it at least I could come home to peace and quiet. I personally couldn't share my house with anyone but my Hub and dogs. I was an only child so I guess that is why I do not relish being around gobs of people. Some people I know had lots of brother and sisters and sharing their house wouldn't be an issue.

You might be surprised how motivational it can be to find out you can't pay the rent or buy food if you don't get a roommate.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #192 on: January 20, 2018, 10:01:02 PM »
Yes, might be true but for the foreseeable future, with our savings, that will never happen. Worst case, I would seek out senior housing and live in a studio. Living with a stranger would be the last thing on earth I would do. I do understand the there are people who like the company of others, but I don't!

Mika M

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #193 on: February 12, 2018, 03:04:57 PM »
I always tell DH I can take an office admin job somewhere if needed (as part of my push to ER sooner than later)... which I would be willing to do although as I get older age-ism is something to take into consideration. (This is against his argument to keep pushing out in our cush jobs several more years in order to avoid needing more jobs at all.)

I find temp-ing appealing since you can enjoy some of the perks of office work but still change up your routine (where you work, the people you interact with, etc.)... and likely still have lots of downtime during the week lol.

I used to work as a temp; covering down for women on maternity leave for as long as six months was nice; good chunk of cash to cover down but without the worry of having to kick yourself all the time for being stuck to a desk (the same desk) for eternity.

Mika M

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #194 on: February 12, 2018, 03:08:46 PM »
I actually just picked up a twice per month housekeeping job for pretty decent money, for someone I know who has a lovely home.  I figure this will pay for our occasional concert and theater tickets, stuff like that.  Interestingly, I'm hearing of additional opportunities to do housekeeping or landscape design, but working 2 days per month suits me just fine.

Neat... I'll have to keep that in mind, too

Roadrunner53

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #195 on: February 12, 2018, 03:22:28 PM »
I had this one temp job a bunch of years ago and it was at an okay company however, everyone was walking on eggs due to many layoffs. I was given this job to enter number from one data base to another. At first it seemed confusing but once I got it pretty darn easy. I got so good at it this one day I had done the full weeks work in 2 1/2 days! I went to my boss and asked if there was something else I could do and he said no! OMG! So, I had nothing to do for two and a half days but I needed a paycheck so I dilly dallied for the rest of the week and it was hell! Then the next week I had to stretch my 2 1/2 days of work to 5 days. OMG, it was like a slow death. I was falling asleep and was bored out of my gourd. BUT, I needed a paycheck! I did this gig for 5 1/2 months and called my agency and asked them to find me another job but they didn't. Finally, the big boss over everyone came to tell me I had two weeks left and that was around Thanksgiving. He thanked me profusely for my work and told me he would be a reference for future jobs and gave me his name and phone number. I was floored! What we do for a paycheck! It was a shame for the company because I could have done so much more for them and a shame for me because the work was way too easy and killed me! I think my last day I ran out the door with my hair on fire!


SwordGuy

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #197 on: February 12, 2018, 05:40:03 PM »
I put Hardie board plank siding up on the walls of a house we were renovating to rent out.  I had several people stop, get out of their cars, walk up to the house and try to hire me out on the spot.

This is a job I had never done before!   How awesome is that?

Back when I was an IT consultant, I mentored those consultants reporting to me about what our job was.   Our job wasn't to bring technical knowledge and skills to the customer.  It wasn't to design and build software systems.   It was to (#1) make management's problems go away and (#2) make our customer contacts look like heroes to their organization.

I've volunteered for several civic functions over the years.   I've met a number of well heeled folks who either own their own businesses, or are high up in major businesses in the area, or who have strong social connections to those two groups.   If I demonstrate I have the ability to make problems go away and make the folks in the group look like heroes, I'll be able to find some work.   It might not have a darn thing to do with IT.

Plus, it makes the community I live in a better place to live.  It's a win-win.

MicroRN

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #198 on: February 12, 2018, 05:41:32 PM »
I had this one temp job a bunch of years ago and it was at an okay company however, everyone was walking on eggs due to many layoffs. I was given this job to enter number from one data base to another. At first it seemed confusing but once I got it pretty darn easy. I got so good at it this one day I had done the full weeks work in 2 1/2 days! I went to my boss and asked if there was something else I could do and he said no! OMG! So, I had nothing to do for two and a half days but I needed a paycheck so I dilly dallied for the rest of the week and it was hell! Then the next week I had to stretch my 2 1/2 days of work to 5 days. OMG, it was like a slow death. I was falling asleep and was bored out of my gourd. BUT, I needed a paycheck! I did this gig for 5 1/2 months and called my agency and asked them to find me another job but they didn't. Finally, the big boss over everyone came to tell me I had two weeks left and that was around Thanksgiving. He thanked me profusely for my work and told me he would be a reference for future jobs and gave me his name and phone number. I was floored! What we do for a paycheck! It was a shame for the company because I could have done so much more for them and a shame for me because the work was way too easy and killed me! I think my last day I ran out the door with my hair on fire!

Oh god, I'd completely forgotten about my short stint temping.  It was then that I learned that showing up to work on time, and doing what you were supposed to put you ahead of at least 50% of the the other employees.  Add efficiency and a good attitude, and you were ahead of 90%.     

I got hired into an office that needed 4 weeks of help catching up in their continuing education department.  I opened mail, filed papers, and added continuing ed credits to a database.  Easy work, but there were boxes full of mail to process.  I was efficient, found a ton of mis-filed folders, and worked myself out of a job in just over two weeks.  They raved to my temp agency though, which was nice.

Another job was for a company that scanned medical records.  After I spent 2 whole days scanning records, the boss told me that I'd picked things up so fast I was being bumped up to QC, where I spent a hellaciously boring 8 hours a day making sure that the records had been scanned properly.  The boss kept trying to hire me full time, and was even willing to pay the temp agency's headhunter fee.  I was so glad when the summer was over!

Nick_Miller

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #199 on: February 13, 2018, 08:39:21 AM »
I would worry about the combination of ageism and the blow to my ego if I were forced into a situation where I needed to work a retail or office drone type of job.

Ageism is a real thing. Technology moves so fast. After a few years out of the workforce, I can't imagine trying to get up to speed on office tech. And I highly value autonomy/calling the shots, as many here probably do. I can't help but think how hard it would be to swallow taking instructions from people 20 years younger, people with less education, etc. I would absolutely bristle at that.

I can't imagine all the engineers, nurses, IT folks, other lawyers, etc., on these boards would adapt well to that either.