Author Topic: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation  (Read 33498 times)

EnjoyIt

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #50 on: December 28, 2017, 01:54:10 PM »
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.

I think this is probably the best answer to those who are able to cut to part time. Unfortunately not every profession has this option.   Instead of completely FIRE work part time and allow the stash to grow.  Even working 1 week a month or 1-2 days a week is enough to keep skills sharp and show that you are employed on a resume.  Even more important is that it allows you to bypass the sequence of return risk because you are not touching your stash. In affect it allows you a lower withdrawal rate than initially anticipated which will ideally allow your stash to grow in retirement and provide for a little lifestyle inflation as well.  Lifestyle inflation may be important as we get older and need extra assistance such as lawn care or require taking Uber because your vision is shot and you can't drive anywhere anymore.

FI4good

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #51 on: December 28, 2017, 02:07:48 PM »
I quit work 1st April 2003 started in the same job in the same industry but for a different firm Nov 2008.
 
CV gap wasn't an issue and they were really glad i had 12 years experience, i also managed to negotiate 50% more than i was on before .

My mini retirement was great it was just annoying to have to go back to the petty and timewastey stuff modern corporate jobs entail .

gobius

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #52 on: December 28, 2017, 02:14:43 PM »
I used to referee wrestling tournaments and matches about 10 years ago.  You can only make so much at it since there are only so many tournaments/matches, but the hourly rate can be pretty sweet.  I did Saturday morning small kid matches and tourneys that took 2 hours and I got paid $50, for example.  One tourney took a total of about 20 hours but I got paid $300.  Overall I probably made $1,300 that winter and was going to school full-time, so I wasn't taking every possible job.  I loved it.  It helped that I was a wrestler in high school so I knew the rules; all I had to do was pass an online test.  There is spring wrestling (freestyle/Greco-Roman) as well.  The only downside (besides the annoying parents) is that you do it on nights and weekends.

Friends of mine refereed soccer matches (in my area kids play year-round, with indoor soccer in the winter).  You could probably do the same with any sport, especially if you played in it (easier to know the rules). 

Blackeagle

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #53 on: December 28, 2017, 03:09:43 PM »
While there are some of these jobs that anyone can get, a lot of options are going to depend on an individual's experience and skills.  This could be what you did before FIRE, but it could also be other things that your life experience has prepared you for.  What hobbies could you turn into a paying gig? What jobs have you held in the past that you could still find work doing?  What ancillary skills have you picked up in your career? 

For instance, I'm a transportation planner, but if I needed a post-FIRE gig I could find work doing tech support for small businesses, working as a firearms instructor or behind the counter at a gun shop, or teach courses at a local college as an adjunct.

clarkai

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #54 on: December 28, 2017, 03:13:46 PM »
I am a teacher, and one of the reasons why I picked teaching as a career (besides the fact that I'm a spoilt millennial and couldn't see myself sticking with any other job for more than a year) is that it opens up a some post-main career opportunities because people think you've got some skills for managing people and explaining ideas. Apparently, for example, the national parks like to hire former teachers for park ranger positions, which sounds awesome.

Any way, here are some of the side-gigs I'm thinking about trialing once I quit working full-time:

- Substitute teacher
- Before or after school care
- Summer camps
- Day care for littles
- Teaching classes (to grown ups) about native plants, foraging, gardening, cooking, frugality, and other hobbies/interests I have.
- Selling artwork
- Blogging, partially in order to generate interests in the classes I'll be teaching.
- Becoming skilled at plumbing or electrical/becoming a general handyperson.
- Helping people move who just need a second pair of hands, not a whole load.
- Keep renting out rooms in my house/start airbnb-ing.
- Pruning/organic gardening service.
- Teaching online
- Dog walker

I'm keeping my mind open and I actually hope to have several small, flexible income streams when I retire from teaching.


MrMoneyMullet

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #55 on: December 28, 2017, 03:46:53 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.

Thanks! As soon as I can come up with a pithy saying that riffs on the "Business in the front, party in the back" saying, it'll be going in my signature block. I'll take suggestions as well (not sure if that can go in this thread or would need to go in its own thread...)

Cranky

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #56 on: December 28, 2017, 04:03:47 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.

Charter schools are public schools, and do require teaching credentials/licenses. Private schools may reauire them, or may not, but many may have religious requirements. Subbing might be more realistic but after a year of working with an emergency certification will likely require something more stringent.

Temp work is good, but your desirability will vary with your skills, age, and general cuteness.

Itís not to hard to pick up something parttime, especially if you are okay with wiping butts, but donít expect a 5 figure income.

10dollarsatatime

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #57 on: December 28, 2017, 04:24:03 PM »
My FIRE failure plan is the same as my lose my job plan...  I'm a lighting designer with a permanent position.  It's stable, has good bennies, and I don't have to hustle.  BUT.  Should I ever lose my job for some reason, I can always jump into full time freelance.  Freelance pays much better than resident positions in my field.  Hell, I'm doing 4 days freelance next month, and it will cover my living expenses/mortgage easily, even after putting aside the $$ for taxes.  Plus, with freelance, I can work as much or as little as I want.  I actually intend to do a show or two a month after I FIRE anyway.  It's fun.  And at 4-5 days a month, I wouldn't really have to touch my stash at all.  No... 2-3 days.  I intend to just pay off the mortgage when I FIRE, which means around $1000/month living expenses.

retireatbirth

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #58 on: December 28, 2017, 05:01:11 PM »
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.

I am thinking more along the lines of finding a job you find meaningful not necessarily easy. We have plenty of time while FIRE so I would consider a teacher training program. I don't think I could ever completely stop working. I just want to leave the corporate workd and try different things.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #59 on: December 28, 2017, 05:58:10 PM »
As soon as I can come up with a pithy saying that riffs on the "Business in the front, party in the back" saying, it'll be going in my signature block. I'll take suggestions as well (not sure if that can go in this thread or would need to go in its own thread...)

I see that you've come up with something. Here's another idea:
Spending in the front, savings in the back. I think this works because the spending part is a lot shorter than the savings part.

Take it or leave it. :)

Hula Hoop

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #60 on: December 28, 2017, 06:21:56 PM »
I'm not sure if you mean in our own particular case or in general.  In my particular case since I am an expat in a non-English speaking country and fluent in the local language and have already done this type of work, I could always do translations and English teaching.  I actually really enjoyed English teaching back when I did it about 10 years ago but it didn't pay enough and lacked stability (students often cancel last minute) and I wanted to get a job in my profession.  But I wouldn't mind going back to it for a few hours a week in a FIRE situation.  I don't love translating but I have specialist translation skills and do tons of it in my work so I'd be able to make good money at it and I would be able to do it from anywhere via the internet once I make a few contacts.

big_slacker

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #61 on: December 28, 2017, 07:09:40 PM »
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.

I think this is probably the best answer to those who are able to cut to part time. Unfortunately not every profession has this option.   Instead of completely FIRE work part time and allow the stash to grow.  Even working 1 week a month or 1-2 days a week is enough to keep skills sharp and show that you are employed on a resume.  Even more important is that it allows you to bypass the sequence of return risk because you are not touching your stash. In affect it allows you a lower withdrawal rate than initially anticipated which will ideally allow your stash to grow in retirement and provide for a little lifestyle inflation as well.  Lifestyle inflation may be important as we get older and need extra assistance such as lawn care or require taking Uber because your vision is shot and you can't drive anywhere anymore.

I'm drawing a blank thinking of one that can't, not that I'm disagreeing. My brain is shut off for the day, haha! Tradesmen, office professionals, police/fire/EMS, doctors, lawyers, teachers.

They might not do exactly the same job as their full time career but with some creativity and help from your professional network (hope you have one!) there is usually something. Like an orthopedic surgeon might not be cutting people open and fixing bones. But they could guest lecture, write a book about their specialty, be an SME for folks doing research, do case review or be an expert witness in legal proceedings, etc.

freya

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #62 on: December 29, 2017, 07:30:42 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.

This sounds like an excellent story that I'd like to hear more about.  How did you manage to keep your head on straight while newly FIREd with half your pre-FIRE net worth?  And in an economic panic that at the time looked like the second coming of the Great Depression?

BeanCounter

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #63 on: December 29, 2017, 07:46:25 AM »
As we edge closer to FIRE I've been thinking about just transitioning to a part time gig for a bit. I was considering bookkeeping for a small business or tax work. I'm afraid to step out completely because my skills would be considered "stale" rather quickly and I worry about another recession and how to pay for health insurance.

undercover

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #64 on: December 29, 2017, 08:11:35 AM »
How did you manage to keep your head on straight while newly FIREd with half your pre-FIRE net worth?  And in an economic panic that at the time looked like the second coming of the Great Depression?

What would a rational person realistically do with their money if they were to sell during a recession? The answer would be to put it back in a cheap stock market. Then of course you'd try to withdraw as little as possible which she was able to do due to a cash cushion. If you didn't have that, all you could do is still try to withdraw as little as possible by lowering expenses and finding work.

Sharkey

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #65 on: December 29, 2017, 01:11:54 PM »
I knew a bunch of people who couldn't get a job during the 2008 recession, in all sorts of professions. spartana is right IMO, the ability to get by at minimal cost is really valuable to weather that.

Some recessions are sectoral. I was a new grad in computer science in the dot com bust, could not get a junior job in software for a year. It was an object lesson in how fast a job market could turn around, for me. The year ahead of mine were all snapped up by graduate recruiters before final exams, my year, tumbleweeds.

But the rest of the economy was fine and I picked up temporary admin work consistently until I got a job in my field. Flexibility can pay, there.

Same with architects and quantity surveyors and such after the housing bubble burst, some of them I know didn't work for several years if they weren't willing to take something outside their specialty.

clarkai

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #66 on: December 29, 2017, 03:56:00 PM »
I had just graduated in the winter of '08 and I had jobs doing yard work and before/after school care. I could totally do that again.

Cassie

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #67 on: December 29, 2017, 04:22:05 PM »
I retired 6 years ago and shortly after started teaching a class each semester at the college because I have a PhD so no teaching credentials needed.  I really love it and don't intend to quit.  It is online so it doesn't interfere with going anywhere as long as there is internet.  It was something totally new that I had never done before.  I have a friend that helps out at her friend's restaurant 3 days/week between 11-2. It is fun and she gets good tips. I think it is important to not retire on too tight of a budget so you have items you can cut if things get tough.  Personally we could cut plenty of fat such as travel, etc if we ever needed too.

skip207

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #68 on: December 29, 2017, 04:32:41 PM »
My fall back would be truck driver. 
Need to keep medical and periodic training up to date.
If I updated everything just before FIRE then I would be set for 5 years which after 5 years of FIRE I think it would be safe to say it would be going ok enough to let it lapse.

However that said I plan to keep at least 12 months basic expenses in cash at all times should such a situation occur.  If it was still looking bleak after 6 months I would start looking for work as above to keep the 6 month buffer which is something everyone should have IMHO if you are FIRE or not.

TexasRunner

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #69 on: December 29, 2017, 04:39:11 PM »
My fall back would be truck driver. 
Need to keep medical and periodic training up to date.
If I updated everything just before FIRE then I would be set for 5 years which after 5 years of FIRE I think it would be safe to say it would be going ok enough to let it lapse.

However that said I plan to keep at least 12 months basic expenses in cash at all times should such a situation occur.  If it was still looking bleak after 6 months I would start looking for work as above to keep the 6 month buffer which is something everyone should have IMHO if you are FIRE or not.

Ya, but that is still going to the mentality of "I can't touch the stash" in a downturn.  Realistically, you don't need to avoid touching the stash, just keep it to 3% or even a little less withdraw ratio and you'll be fine.

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.
...

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #70 on: December 29, 2017, 05:41:01 PM »
I think it is important to not retire on too tight of a budget so you have items you can cut if things get tough.  Personally we could cut plenty of fat such as travel, etc if we ever needed too.

I saw fat that I could cut, so I cut it. I figured if I could cut it in FIRE, I could go without it now. That made my spending much lower, and I was able to quit my job earlier. I still have a financial buffer of extra savings, because I kept working while getting a certification, but I was much more focused on freeing up my time rather than being able to spend more money.

inline five

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #71 on: December 29, 2017, 05:51:27 PM »
I remember looking for a job in 2002 and even Pizza Hut wasn't taking applications which is where I had worked in high school. Pretty crazy and it hit me pretty hard. Expecting to find a job when many are out of work might be eye opening.

gaja

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #72 on: December 29, 2017, 06:41:30 PM »
I have a teacherís certification, and experience in teaching in all age groups between 6 and 67. The younger ones (6-10) would only be as a substitute, I donít have (or want) the certification for those. And I should ideally get second language training if I wanted to do the adult teaching as a permanent thing. But as a part time gig, it shouldnít take me more than a week to start earning something again from teaching.

Iím also planning to take full advantage of the free higher education here, and get a degree in sign language interpretation. Freelance interpreters have a lot of freedom in when they want to work, and what type of jobs they want. It is horrible for someone who needs a steady income, but sounds very good for someone close to FIRE.

Maybe Iíll even get a PhD in something? Iíve maxed out all the regular state student grants, but the PhD grants might be up for grabs (normally ~50k/year). Sounds like a lot of work, though.

I have also done some online work earlier; interpretation and webpage assessment were the ones who came closest to a normal income. Very boring, and rather stressful at times, but it was money. Microstock photography still makes me some passive income, but Iím not good enough to make more than a few hundred bucks a month.

MrsPete

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #73 on: December 29, 2017, 07:04:58 PM »
As a teacher, I have to say the idea of "jumping into teaching" isn't particularly realistic: 

- Yes, even if you already have a bachelor's degree, you probably don't have a teaching certificate.  Sure, you can look into private schools, etc., but they pay considerably less than public schools -- and give no benefits. 
- Someone said a teaching license is good for life.  False.  They must be renewed every five years and require CEUs. 
- Realistically, if you're looking for a teaching job, you have one "window of time" every year.  Teachers don't tend to leave the classroom mid-year (emergencies happen, of course, but they're few in number). 
- Teaching has never been easy, and changes in society /expectations are making it harder. 

However, while teachers are the most numerous employees in the school system, other jobs exist:

- Substitute teachers.  Yes, if you have a degree + have taken one 3-day community college course, you can substitute.  Without question, this is your most flexible job choice in the school system.
- Teacher assistant for young elementary kids or special ed classes.
- Bus drivers.  It's an awful job:  you must get up in the wee hours of the morning, run two loads (probably one for the high school, then one for the elementary school) ... then you have a couple hours of downtime mid-day before you repeat the process in the afternoon.  But, yeah, you can walk in and ask for this job any week of the year, and they'll say, "Yes, yes, yes!  Our next training session is ___." 
- Cafeteria worker. 
- Receptionist or office worker.  These jobs don't require a teaching credential, yet these staffers enjoy the same hours and benefits as teachers.
- Coaching sports teams.  Yeah, coaching jobs go to teachers first, but we have more sports teams than we used to have, and more teachers have second jobs ... meaning we hire outside the teacher pool more and more often.  You might not want to take on a big team like football ... but you might be interested in coaching tennis or golf, teams that typically have 5-10 players. 
- Referee.  The county never has enough referees.  Even if you've played the sport for years, you have to go through a short training program and get a certification, but you can work as much as you like, and you'll take home a check that very night. 

Jobs you aren't likely to get through the school system -- unless you're a retiring teaching:

- Teaching online.  Teachers are lining up to get this gig in retirement.  The state writes the curriculum, so all you do is put up the work, communicate with the students, and grade things.  The pay is lower than classroom teaching, and you get no benefits, but you can do the job from home.  Realistically, so many retiring teachers want this -- a new person isn't going to break into this system.
- Supervising the SAT or ACT.  This is a cushy gig.  Check credentials for a room of kids, read the instructions from the book.  Package the tests and mail them away.  I've been trying to get into this deal for about five years, and I haven't been successful yet.  And I'm in the school system.
- Tutoring.  The easiest way for parents to find tutors is through the school system, and they only promote teachers and retired teachers.  Maybe you can go through another door -- Boys and Girls' Club or the YMCA? 

Lmoot

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #74 on: December 29, 2017, 09:05:13 PM »
I live in a tourist area and work with several retirees. They also get the benefit of free admission to the attraction and others around the state. I am assuming that the emergency would be minimal if one were disciplined enough to FIRE in the first place, so I can imagine that youíd be able to take any job you feel like doing, as long as youíre making at least minimum wage, and not needing to work full-time, ideally. This would be meant to stretch the stash.

If you determine that you need to actually add to the stash, then that is a different type of problem.. You may just need to get right back into your career soon as possible and eek out a few more good years. Personally if I were already FIRE, I would just see how little I could get away with working, even if that meant working longer. At least it would have to be something I would enjoy, without having the limitations of needing to earn a minimal salary. I would not want to get back into full force.

Bartleby_the_Scrivener

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #75 on: December 29, 2017, 09:17:50 PM »
@Cyanne and @MrsPete are quite realistic about teaching. Leaving aside the challenges inherent in the profession, obtaining a teaching position with a decent public school is challenging. At the last district that hired me, I had to...

  • Have a graduate degree
  • Have certification
  • Have more than three years of experience
  • Have stellar recommendations from employees already in the district
  • Pass through three rounds of interviews

All of this for the privilege of working for the highest-paying district in my state and earning a salary that, if most of the people on this board were earning it, would sink them into a horrific depression. I guess you could spend time and energy obtaining those credentials, but that wouldn't be my first option.

Substitute teaching, on the other hand, would be a decent fallback plan, since the requirements are much lower. The pay's not great, but if you're reliable, you should have somewhat regular work. If you're just trying to obtain a little cash flow to float you through a down market, it would definitely be worth considering.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #76 on: December 29, 2017, 09:48:40 PM »
The "cashier at REI or trader joe's" responses crack me up.

Y'all do realize that a portfolio failure situation is much more likely to happen in a prolonged economic downturn, right? Not a couple bad years like the latest recession; I'm talking a decade or two of 12% unemployment, and CNBC painting their peacock logo black. A world where pleasant low-skill retail jobs are the first to go and every opening will receive a thousand applications.

FiveSigmas

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #77 on: December 29, 2017, 11:45:40 PM »
The "cashier at REI or trader joe's" responses crack me up.

Y'all do realize that a portfolio failure situation is much more likely to happen in a prolonged economic downturn, right? Not a couple bad years like the latest recession; I'm talking a decade or two of 12% unemployment, and CNBC painting their peacock logo black. A world where pleasant low-skill retail jobs are the first to go and every opening will receive a thousand applications.

I clicked on this thread half hoping/expecting to see snarky suggestions like "repo man" or "suicide prevention specialist". Not helpful, I know.

That said, I think the second* best option would be a job you are particularly qualified for that will be in demand in an economic downturn.

* I agree with others on this thread that the best option is simply to have the resourcefulness and mental fortitude to make do and be happy with less.

skip207

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #78 on: December 30, 2017, 02:25:22 AM »
Its defo a house of cards situation.  I think the key is to own a property that is paid for and have low outgoings such as taxes, utils etc.

Be able to grow your own food, perhaps have chickens and the like.  Or be able to set something like that up quite quickly.  IYSWIM.

After that you can sit it out.  Might not be the best lifestyle but honestly its going to be better than living in the back of a car or under a bridge.

The reality is most people on here will fair much much better than your average person due to the 5 Ps. 

So long as you have kept your FIRE budget in line with your spending it should be possible to ride out any major issues.  I mean we are not just talking financial crash, there could be another disaster which may take years to recover from too.

Lmoot

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #79 on: December 30, 2017, 02:32:16 AM »
 Funny, my mind didnít even go to an economic downturn. I feel that there are so many other reasons why an individual would have a FIRE failure. Things such as needing to take a large chunk of money out that they didnít anticipate, having higher expenses than anticipated, or wanting to spend more money than anticipated. Or just becoming FIRE too early in the game. I probably also didnít think too much about it because I plan on being mostly (or at least half) in real estate myself....value and income.

rosarugosa

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #80 on: December 30, 2017, 08:23:50 AM »
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.

gaja

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #81 on: December 30, 2017, 09:26:49 AM »
As a teacher, I have to say the idea of "jumping into teaching" isn't particularly realistic: 

- Yes, even if you already have a bachelor's degree, you probably don't have a teaching certificate.  Sure, you can look into private schools, etc., but they pay considerably less than public schools -- and give no benefits. 
- Someone said a teaching license is good for life.  False.  They must be renewed every five years and require CEUs. 
- Realistically, if you're looking for a teaching job, you have one "window of time" every year.  Teachers don't tend to leave the classroom mid-year (emergencies happen, of course, but they're few in number). 
- Teaching has never been easy, and changes in society /expectations are making it harder. 

False for the US, maybe. True for other parts of the world. My education is good for life (or until the parliament decides otherwise, which for the forseeable future seems very unlikely).

As for the one window a year, that also varies. In the parts of the world that have maternity leave, there are always some 6-12 months openings popping up. These often start out as substitute gigs, but once you've gotten inside the door there is always something to do.

I do agree that teaching is in no way easy. But if you don't need to do it full time, and are able to wait until you find the gigs you like, you can take away a lot of the downsides.

I remember looking for a job in 2002 and even Pizza Hut wasn't taking applications which is where I had worked in high school. Pretty crazy and it hit me pretty hard. Expecting to find a job when many are out of work might be eye opening.
yeah the dot-com crash wasn't as far reaching as the 2007 crash but it was tough on a lot of people. I had a lay-off proof government job so would likely never get laid of in.any kind of downturn but that's not the case for most people. Even teachers were very hard hit in Calif during the recession with mass lay offs and mandatory unpaid furloughs and hiring freezes.  So those who plan to go back to teaching may not have that option. Fortunately I can't really see anything happening like the 2007,crash again...hopefully.

Wow. Furloughs in the public sector. Weird.

We have seen a couple of slumps in the market, but nothing like the crisis you experienced on your side of the pond. Our government still believes in Keynes, and will pour money into the public sector when the unemployment rates go up (and cut when the economy goes well). Classic counter-cyclical policies. So in cases of market decline, having skills that are marketable in the public sector is a great security.

maizeman

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #82 on: December 30, 2017, 10:00:53 AM »
Was in California for the great recession. I can confirm both public sector furloughs (essentially pay cuts without a reduction in work responsibilities) and at one point state employees getting paid with IOUs rather than paychecks. It got pretty bad for a while there, but I was younger then and didn't have the context to realize just how outside of the norm things were actually getting.

I agree with the folks who are pointing out that a lot of the jobs described in this thread may be easy to get now, but would be very difficult to get during a major recession. Planning to get a new job outside your field may be a good source of resilience to a FIRE failure caused by personal circumstances, but for FIRE failures being cause by market events, having a plan to hunker down and cut spending even below what you've budgeted for a few years is what would be the most effective at helping me sleep better at night.

And remember that all the evidence to date suggests that a hypothetical 2007-8 retiree would have been fine carrying on with 4% withdrawals and making no course corrections at all. So in an actual market-driven FIRE failure finding paying work is likely to be substantially harder than it was at the bottom of the great recession.

MrsPete

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #83 on: December 30, 2017, 06:14:40 PM »
The "cashier at REI or trader joe's" responses crack me up.

Y'all do realize that a portfolio failure situation is much more likely to happen in a prolonged economic downturn, right? Not a couple bad years like the latest recession; I'm talking a decade or two of 12% unemployment, and CNBC painting their peacock logo black. A world where pleasant low-skill retail jobs are the first to go and every opening will receive a thousand applications.
I hear you, but I do think that an early retiree with a college degree /years of professional experience (not useful in the retail world, but shows dependability) will get the job ahead of a high schooler looking for a part-time job ... or a full-time worker looking for a second job.  An early retiree probably has reliable transportation and a flexible work schedule.

False for the US, maybe. True for other parts of the world. My education is good for life (or until the parliament decides otherwise, which for the forseeable future seems very unlikely).
I'm not sure we're on the same page.  Yes, my education is mine for life -- no one can take away my college degree.  However, my teaching license must be renewed every five years.  Without the license, I still have my degree, but I am not qualified to teach.

gaja

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #84 on: December 30, 2017, 07:49:55 PM »

False for the US, maybe. True for other parts of the world. My education is good for life (or until the parliament decides otherwise, which for the forseeable future seems very unlikely).
I'm not sure we're on the same page.  Yes, my education is mine for life -- no one can take away my college degree.  However, my teaching license must be renewed every five years.  Without the license, I still have my degree, but I am not qualified to teach.

Similar pages, different countries. Our ďteacher certificationĒ is a one year university course on top of a master, or part of a 5-6 years combined teacher and master degree. As long as you have passed those, you are set. There are no more licenses that need to be renewed, additional certifications that need to be updated, etc. Some members of parliament have suggested it, but few here see the point in implementing more bureaucracy.

I can in theory walk into a school after being FIRE for 20 years, and pick up where I left.

TartanTallulah

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #85 on: December 30, 2017, 08:50:54 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.

I expect to do something similar. One of my children does hospitality work through an agency to help make ends meet at college, and when she talks about her assignments I find myself thinking, "I'd enjoy doing one of those gigs two or three times a month if I wasn't harnessed to a desk all week." Even if a job sucks, she can walk away at the end of the shift and say, "I won't go back there again."

One worry about taking on local minimum wage jobs would be that people who have known me in my main career might speculate about why I'm now serving tables or doing tours. Which isn't really a barrier, it would just be tedious.

Imma

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #86 on: December 31, 2017, 03:06:46 AM »

False for the US, maybe. True for other parts of the world. My education is good for life (or until the parliament decides otherwise, which for the forseeable future seems very unlikely).
I'm not sure we're on the same page.  Yes, my education is mine for life -- no one can take away my college degree.  However, my teaching license must be renewed every five years.  Without the license, I still have my degree, but I am not qualified to teach.

Similar pages, different countries. Our ďteacher certificationĒ is a one year university course on top of a master, or part of a 5-6 years combined teacher and master degree. As long as you have passed those, you are set. There are no more licenses that need to be renewed, additional certifications that need to be updated, etc. Some members of parliament have suggested it, but few here see the point in implementing more bureaucracy.

I can in theory walk into a school after being FIRE for 20 years, and pick up where I left.

It's the same in my country. Once I'll have that qualification in a few years, it'll be valid for life. It's als not a hard to find a job in this country as some people describe in this thread: there is a huge shortage of teachers in many fields. And because it's a government job, you're safe in case of an economic downturn. Especially if you have a degree in STEM, you can probably get a job rightaway even if you don't have your teaching qualification yet.

There are many short term teaching jobs for 3 to 6 months (to cover maternity leave / long term illness) . Very often these short term contracts are parttime, which makes them ideal if you're retired.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #87 on: December 31, 2017, 01:02:25 PM »
Haven't seen sales mentioned much.  If you can sell, you can get a job. A commission based gig might be slim pickings in a deep recession, though.  Vacuum cleaner, anyone?

CheapScholar

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #88 on: December 31, 2017, 05:55:15 PM »
I don't plan on retiring until 2030 when my kid hopefully finishes college.  It's really hard to imagine what the economy and employment/side gigs will look like that far in the future.  I'm a university administrator/instructor.  I plan on adjuncting at least 2 courses per semester (4 per year) in retirement - not for the money, to keep engaged and have something to do.  4 courses per year would allow me to earn at least $12,000 in today's dollars.  I don't intend to include that $12,000 in my FIRE budget.  I hope to use that $12,000 as a buffer in case of bad return years.  If there's a really bad year maybe I'd be able to pick up more courses. 

SC93

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #89 on: December 31, 2017, 06:40:07 PM »
I'm not sure why anyone would ever want to work for someone else but for those that do.... my buddy made $3000 a few weeks ago announcing ball games. He announces all year long. Friday & Saturday nights at the local dirt track, other days/nights he announces for about any sport that wants him to announce. He does mostly pee wee type stuff but there is a great need for all sports. It's best to have a cheery attitude but his ex-wife used to do it and she was always Debbie -downer and drug the fans down with her sluggish voice and talk. But they need announcers so it's not like they could fire her. Want an 'easy job? Go to your local museum and be a guard. Our nephew was a guard at the local museum where my wife works while he was going to school to be a professional concert clarinet player. He also taught the clarinet to kids.... for the record, he hated teaching young kids.

The only reason I work is because I do not like not working. That is why I always have a business of my own. It feels so good to be the owner. I just couldn't imagine going to work for someone and making $8 an hour or $15 an hour or even $40 an hour. I come... I go... I do what I want when I want to do it. You could do the same with a site like Rover. There is no need to go wipe tables at Burger King when you could go house sit or dog sit for someone. Or better yet.... have 5 people working for you that house sits or dog sits.... $$$$$. Not the Rover type of person? You're bound to have something that you like to do.... so sell your service. Mechanic? Mobile mechanic..... washer & iron clothes? ..... Wood worker? Private & Montessori schools always need nice new furniture. Lots of call for a home decorator. There's all kinds of things you can do yourself that will put YOU in charge of YOUR life and make YOU a ton of MONEY! ......... but it seems most people would rather be a cashier at Walmart and complain about the pay.

RobFIRE

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #90 on: January 01, 2018, 11:45:04 AM »
I'm assuming the "FIRE failure" is market downturn/recession so there is a need for more money than planned for.

Well, firstly there is the option to cut expenses for a while.

Secondly there is the option to pick up some part time work: working in a bar or similar for say 2 days a week for a year would not be ideal but would also not be a real hardship, and would earn say $10k or so and therefore cover a lot of core expenses.

Thirdly there is also the option to not do much during that recession, but plan to do more paid work than envisaged (or some instead of zero) once the employment market picks up - might mean a well-paid contract in your area of expertise is available and by deferring the work you work in better employment conditions.

I would probably agree that readily picking up well paid work on your terms after several years out of your profession is for many people unlikely to be realistic. However, as core expenses should be pretty low, I would be confident of picking up some work to cover the majority of core expenses for a while, without that work being a real burden.

Cranky

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #91 on: January 01, 2018, 11:57:48 AM »
In the 1980s, I worked at a food co-op and we had people with engineering degrees come in looking for part time jobs. It really is hard to predict the labor market in a downturn.

maizeman

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #92 on: January 01, 2018, 12:08:38 PM »
In the 1980s, I worked at a food co-op and we had people with engineering degrees come in looking for part time jobs. It really is hard to predict the labor market in a downturn.

Were the folks with engineering degrees getting hired?

Cranky

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #93 on: January 01, 2018, 07:15:47 PM »
In the 1980s, I worked at a food co-op and we had people with engineering degrees come in looking for part time jobs. It really is hard to predict the labor market in a downturn.

Were the folks with engineering degrees getting hired?

No, they werenít. Because they really werenít interested in co-op work and didnít have any skills for it.

maizeman

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #94 on: January 01, 2018, 07:24:00 PM »
That's what I was afraid of. But useful to hear it from someone who actually saw that the job market was like during a recession firsthand. Thanks, Cranky!

Villanelle

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #95 on: January 01, 2018, 08:05:10 PM »
Substitute teaching is part of our plan.  The pay is mediocre, but would be good enough for filling a withdraw gap.  We may even set ourselves up to sub occasionally before it is needed to we are established.  My mom was a sub for many years and she found that once she was known and could be expected to do a good job, she got requested nearly every day she was available.  I like the scalability of subbing.  If we've got a vacation planned or have a lecture we want to attend, we simply aren't available that day. And subs are needed in pretty much every US location.  If we do the testing and paperwork ahead of time, it would be easy to be up and running quickly if we decided we needed more money.

I've got half a masters in library and info science and may or may not finish it.  Library work would be another possibility for me, though that depends on availability of jobs, so it could easily be hit or miss.

DH may or may not move into a teaching position (which would happen with a PhD), so he could potentially adjunct.  No idea if this will happen, but one reason it's a strong consideration in the decision.  Snagging a class or two at any level of university doesn't seem like it would be super difficult if he's not picky.

Then there are the bartending, wait staffing, retails sales types gigs.  I do think sometimes people here grossly overestimate the ease of finding specific jobs.  But given that the needs should be relatively minimal, 2-3 shifts a week at a store in the mall should be sufficient.  And I suspect snagging one of those jobs for two determined people wouldn't be incredibly difficult.  Not ideal, but should we need $5-10k, likely very doable.

PDXTabs

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #96 on: January 01, 2018, 08:50:41 PM »
If you just need to wait for your stash to grow, you could always volunteer for the Peace Corps. They are always looking for older qualified candidates (although they prefer that you have at least a Bachelor's degree). They pay for your medical, dental, room, and board while you are in the program. When you get out they give you $8k to get back to "normal" life. There are also educational benefits.

EDIT - I guess that is a very US-centic answer. Sorry about that. Also, if you do successfully volunteer for the Piece Corps you get to be considered for Federal Government jobs with "noncompetitive eligibility."
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 09:05:27 PM by PDXTabs »

rob in cal

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #97 on: January 01, 2018, 09:58:27 PM »
    Assuming that the economy hasn't totally crashed in this scenario under discussion, there is of course pizza delivery.  For a fascinating blow by blow account of how my job as pizza delivery driver has worked out, my journal offers fascinating, can't put this down type drama.  All kidding aside, its a very good way to make quick extra cash, normally without too much stress (at least with my restaurant).

Paul der Krake

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #98 on: January 01, 2018, 10:05:16 PM »
    Assuming that the economy hasn't totally crashed in this scenario under discussion, there is of course pizza delivery.  For a fascinating blow by blow account of how my job as pizza delivery driver has worked out, my journal offers fascinating, can't put this down type drama.  All kidding aside, its a very good way to make quick extra cash, normally without too much stress (at least with my restaurant).
When I last looked at it, delivering pizza means either paying through the nose for a commercial auto insurance, or hoping that nothing happens. Most pizza delivery drivers don't have two pennies to rub together and choose option #2, and that's a different story if you have assets.

Unless there's a third option that I'm not aware of, which one are you?

rob in cal

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Re: Jobs you can realistically get in a FIRE failure situation
« Reply #99 on: January 01, 2018, 11:38:42 PM »
  Pretty much all drivers that I know of just have regular insurance, and our restaurant has its own insurance (for having drivers) as well.  I do know that if I was in an accident while delivering I wouldn't bring up what I was doing (we don't have any signs identifying us, or uniforms), just as I wouldn't ask whoever I got involved in an accident with what they were doing or what job they had.  In  the one fender bender I had while delivering many years ago what I was doing (and what the other driver was doing as well) didn't come up.