Author Topic: Mustachian lifestyle without being FI yet  (Read 5328 times)

Bullseye

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Mustachian lifestyle without being FI yet
« on: June 13, 2012, 08:35:49 AM »
Anyone else considering moving to a simpler/career-free/part time income lifestyle well before attaining full financial independence?  I've always been striving towards the standard definition of FI, where your passive income covers all of your living expenses, but for my family at least, that point seems SO far off in the future, it's discouraging.  Especially being 36, and late to the frugal game.  We'd be looking at age 50 before we have our mortgage cleared and hit our SWR target savings of $500-600k.  However, we'll be mortgage free in 5 years, maybe less (the remaining 9 years till 50 would be savings building).   Once at that point, we'd only need about $35k/year to live decently.  Our retirements savings from 65 onwards are already covered, through a combination of retirement account savings thus far, employer and government pensions, and some inheritance. 

It seems so much more appealing to us to leave the career/full time job world at the time of mortgage payoff, and switch to part time/casual/small business income only.  Then we'd have so much more time to pursue our many interests that we now have only limited time for, and also to spend even more time with our kids (5 and 7).  We'd also be less stressed with a relaxed time schedule, and no corporate BS.  It's more risky, of course, having to be required to find that $35k per year every year (plus inflation!), from ages 41 to 65, instead of being able to have passive income cover it.  The trade off is 9 years of more enjoyable work and more time, though! 

Is this type of trade off something that anyone else has thought about? 

Notes - our current family income is $120k, and neither of us hate our jobs, so we should be able to work part time no problem in the same fields, if we chose to.  Wife is a hospital nurse, and already part time, but 30 hours per week.   She loves her work, but it is very challenging, and she worries about burnout, and her body giving out.  I'm an accountant, there are part time opportunities there as well, but I would try to find work in a more enjoyable field.  Bike mechanic or adventure guide are a couple I'm considering.  Even if I had no income, we could cover the $35k annual needs (and then some) from just wife's pay.  We'd essentially be throwing caution to the wind, though, assuming that we'd always be physically able to work enough to meet our needs till 65, and that there would always be enough income opportunities.

happy

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Re: Mustachian lifestyle without being FI yet
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2012, 09:19:01 AM »
I've kind of been doing that. I've been working part-time  whilst raising my kids as a single parent.  I have a high paid high stress career, and like your wife, I would burn out if I worked fulltime. I will be FI in 6 years at my current rate of employ (paid for 28 hours but actually work more, up to 40/week max. If I worked fulltime I'd be looking at 50 hours bare minimum, probably more). I've thought about working fulltime and going FI earlier, but the taxman would take 47c of every extra dollar I earnt and I've decided its not just worth it.  I don't want to put off living anymore, I've done that for years: and the kids are now old enough that life is getting a bit easier....

I'm 53 and this does effect my decision: if I had the energy I had in my twenties I'd work my but off and go FI earlier. (Pity i didn't figure it out back then)

I think its a personal decision..depends what you are willing to trade: time, money, life.

stashette

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Re: Mustachian lifestyle without being FI yet
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2012, 10:04:33 AM »
 I switched from a job with bankers hours (M-F 8-5pm) to a overnight job (7 x 10 hour days in a row) which gives me 7 days off every other week.  I'm still making full time pay, but it's been tough figuring out how to fill my hours productively.  I still have many years before FI, but this lets me ease into a lifestyle where I work fewer days.  I finally have a chance to fill my days doing whatever I want, but it takes some getting used to.  I'd hate to work my tail off to retire early and then sit around thinking, "now what?". 

Both accounting and nursing seem like fields that you could either keep regular hours and cut way back, or work full time on a seasonal basis and then have the rest of the year free. 

James

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Re: Mustachian lifestyle without being FI yet
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2012, 10:06:53 AM »
I'm a little further on from you but in a similar situation.  My oldest is 13, and if I worked full time until I was FI I will have missed out on on a lot for all three, but especially for him.  I'll be cutting back at work when I sign a new contract toward the end of this year, even though that pushes FI back.  I want more free time to pursue my priorities now, and am willing to sacrifice in spending more years working prior to FI.  If I had been smart and started this path earlier I would be FI by now, but I can't change the past.

I think cutting back is a great idea, if you cut back to income of $70-80k per year and saved half of that you would still be putting a good chunk away but have a lot more free time.  Another option would be to keep going full steam and pick some goal, such as paying the mortgage off, that will allow you to feel that time spent working is really worth it.  Once you reach that goal you could cut back.

As important as it is to me, I don't see FI as a priority that beats all others.

PS  As someone who did floor nursing for many years, my suggestion to your wife is to find a job that doesn't hurt her too much.  Burnout and physical problems are big issues in nursing, I'm glad to hear she isn't working full time with two young kids at home.  There are some jobs in nursing without as much stress and labor, so even if it means less pay for similar hours I suggest prioritizing a job that doesn't cause burnout or injuries.

jbhernandez

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Re: Mustachian lifestyle without being FI yet
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2012, 10:19:13 AM »
I think this is an appropriate video here.

Jon Jandai's philosophy is life is  easy.


Lavender

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Re: Mustachian lifestyle without being FI yet
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2012, 11:14:27 AM »
I'm going to do exactly that in about a year from now - quit my full time job, but continue a couple of work-from-home side hustles to bring in enough cash to pay bills and save a bit. Won't be quite FI when I 'retire' from the FT job, but would have 'stashed away enough to take the pay cut. I'm too hyper to just sit at home in any case, so the side hustles will be welcome :) Plus, I get to be home when the kids come home from school. I'm already doing some version of this (work 2 days a week at home) so I know this is the lifestyle for me.

fruplicity

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Re: Mustachian lifestyle without being FI yet
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2012, 01:05:42 PM »
Yes, this is really my plan for life!! I want to work PT asap for the long haul, and ideally spouse can join in down the road (he doesn't express as much interest as I do in this stuff). I don't see total FI (or working FT forever) as realistic to me at all. I'm going to work FT for a little longer then hopefully back to PT, which I did in grad school and thought was perfect (the schedule, though not the job).

I'd love to hear if there are any couples out there who have raised a family both working part-time?



happy

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Re: Mustachian lifestyle without being FI yet
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2012, 04:56:59 PM »
I know quite few couples who have chosen to both work part-time - many seem to think its ideal.  They split time for the kids between them. I even know 2 guys who are/were Professors and subtly manage to work 4 days a week......normally one would not be considered for a Professorial appointment as a part-timer.  One of them confided he had been working 4 days a week for nearly 2 decades, he just never broadcasted it in the tea-room and never got labelled as a part-timer (I suspect being a fella contributed to this).

Managed carefully it may not be the career stopper its made out to be.


Lavender

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Re: Mustachian lifestyle without being FI yet
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2012, 05:07:29 PM »
I know quite few couples who have chosen to both work part-time - many seem to think its ideal.  They split time for the kids between them. I even know 2 guys who are/were Professors and subtly manage to work 4 days a week......normally one would not be considered for a Professorial appointment as a part-timer.  One of them confided he had been working 4 days a week for nearly 2 decades, he just never broadcasted it in the tea-room and never got labelled as a part-timer (I suspect being a fella contributed to this).

Managed carefully it may not be the career stopper its made out to be.

Wow, I'm not alone?! I'm a professor and I've been doing it for about 2 years. I still do work full-time, just not AT work. I guess the really low pay in academia comes with the 'bright side' of complete freedom :)

happy

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Re: Mustachian lifestyle without being FI yet
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2012, 05:18:22 PM »
@Lavender - I'm not sure how many hours over 4 days these guys actually put in, but they were contracted to work 4 days not 5.

scantee

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Re: Mustachian lifestyle without being FI yet
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2012, 08:38:51 PM »
My family's situation is very similar to yours: mid-30's, two kids, household income around $130k. I would also like to downgrade to part-time work in the next two to three years prior to full financial independence which will hopefully come in eight to ten years. 

To make this happen I've set a goal that in three years we'll have our house payment as our only debt (our mortgage currently stands at $165k) and that we'll be able to pay if off in 5 to 7 years. On top of that I'd like to have $150k in non-retirement investments (we have $30k now). At that point, I would feel comfortable with both me and my spouse going down to part-time work.

I do enjoy working so I imagine I'll always be doing something. I just want the luxury of deciding exactly what and when I get to do it.

scantee

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Re: Mustachian lifestyle without being FI yet
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2012, 08:42:04 PM »
I guess that I should clarify that I already work part-time, 30 hours a week. I just want to work even more part-time, like 20 hours a week. Then my spouse could drop his hours to 30 hours per week. I think we could realistically pull in around $80k or more with those kinds of hours.