Author Topic: When to switch to part time work?  (Read 1628 times)

Murse

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When to switch to part time work?
« on: September 11, 2019, 12:02:15 PM »
Hello everyone!

My wife and I are 27, we plan on beginning to have children in mid 2021. We have a net worth around 225k. I bring in roughly 102k/year and she brings in 40-50k depending on her performance.

Our lifestyle currently costs around 48k/year

Our exit plan has been to both switch to part time once we have children. Now that we are getting close I can’t help but feel we should be traveling prior to having children... my wife is all for this.. so the question is should we switch to part time ASAP? I have over 500 hours of accrued leave that would go twice as far if I was part time.

My wife’s job likely would not translate into part time work easily, at least not at her current rate of pay.

The plan is to let our investments ride, invest as we can and work until 50 (at which point I will get a pension.) I will likely work full time off and on again depending on our needs/wants.

What would you do?
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 12:05:17 PM by Murse »

teltic

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Re: When to switch to part time work?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2019, 04:43:29 PM »
Is your company cool with you going part time?  Is your company cool with you taking multiple weeks off?  I get that you can stretch your 500 hours... I don't think too many companies will be cool with someone being gone for more than 2 weeks at a time.


Do you know if you'll keep all your benefits switching to part time?  PTO/401k/healthcare?

Seeing you are only 18.75% to FI ($225k/($48k/4%)), I would keep working full time.  I wouldn't let off the gas pedal until ~50% FI imo.

Classical_Liberal

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Re: When to switch to part time work?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2019, 03:05:52 AM »
Tonight is my last night as a full-time nurse.  I've been working in a travel pool for a large hospital system across several states for the past 5 years, prior I worked as a staff nurse for two years.  Technically I'm going PRN, but still make travel wages.  I literally can't wait.  If I were you, I'd switch without hesitation. Nursing is so much better when you don't have to do it full time (I've experimented before).  The profession is just about perfect for the semi-retiree.  You can always scale up again if you wish, why wouldn't you try it?

Hirondelle

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Re: When to switch to part time work?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2019, 04:41:35 AM »
Is your company cool with you going part time?  Is your company cool with you taking multiple weeks off?  I get that you can stretch your 500 hours... I don't think too many companies will be cool with someone being gone for more than 2 weeks at a time.


This all depends on your location and field. In my country companies often force you to take at least two weeks off every year as two weeks apparently is considered the minimum time needed to really disconnect from your job. Thanks Europe.



To the OP: What exactly is your plan? Your NW is good and so are your salaries. What kind of travel are you talking about? Is this just a one month trip abroad or are we talking multiple months of slow travel? Or do you just want to spend some weekends out of state which is easily doable if you drop down to 4 days/week and travel for 3-day weekends.

Your description is just too vague to give any good answers.

Murse

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Re: When to switch to part time work?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2019, 09:31:22 AM »
Is your company cool with you going part time?  Is your company cool with you taking multiple weeks off?  I get that you can stretch your 500 hours... I don't think too many companies will be cool with someone being gone for more than 2 weeks at a time.


Do you know if you'll keep all your benefits switching to part time?  PTO/401k/healthcare?

Seeing you are only 18.75% to FI ($225k/($48k/4%)), I would keep working full time.  I wouldn't let off the gas pedal until ~50% FI imo.

Yes and yes. This transition would be pretty easy. The only con is once I switch to part time I would have to wait for a full time opportunity to present itself prior to switching back which could theoretically take years. My benefits would be 50%, so less vacation and sick time accrued, also my health insurance would be subsidized less. I could always pick up extra shifts but the benefits would be locked at 50% (not pro-rated.)

To answer the “how much travel” question- I don’t really know yet, maybe some international volunteering. Some roads trips, camping, and just exploring my local area. There are hot springs nearby that I have never gone to. I live near a mountain and would like to try skiing/snowboarding. Lots of hiking trails I would like to go on. I would like to get into travel hacking.

I feel I want to take advantage of having no children while I can- of course the alternative is to push off having children a few more years and continuing to save. I am thinking this could be a “gap year” that I never took. I could choose to go back to full time or never go back.

I used to be very aggressive with our savings goal however after getting married and actually tracking our expenses I have realized if I work full time we won’t hit full FI until 36-40. So my calculus has changed a bit, would I rather work 9-13 more years full time or would I rather work for 23 years part time (to qualify for the pension at 50.) I figure the pension plus what our assets would grow to would easily push us over FI. And this is assuming 0 future contributions which I find hard to believe.

Another piece of information- this change likely wouldn’t happen until 03/2020 or 04/2020 at the earliest. I would do my best to max out my 457 prior to this change for year 2020. So by that time our net worth would likely be 260k+ At that time.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 09:34:09 AM by Murse »

StacheDash

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Re: When to switch to part time work?
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2019, 11:30:15 AM »
My wife and I have a two year old, and we will add a newborn here in a few weeks. We cherish the memories of our trips before we had children. They were vacation type trips more than see-the-world type trips. We got about 5 trips in before we started having children, and I would give a lot to be able to have another trip like those. I definitely support taking advantage of not having children.

Your travel goals are going to influence your plans a lot, so start with solidifying those. If your goals are only to see the hot springs near your house and learn to snowboard, then you might be able to accomplish your goals using only vacation time and weekends. If you want to travel the world, then you need to start more serious planning, but there are plenty of ways to do that.

I think you need a clearer picture of the costs associated with your travel and childrearing plans, and their affect on your FIRE plans. You have plenty of financial room to buy a snowboard and ski pass, but paying for world travel could cost a lot more. If you go part time and make 50% of your salary then you'll be at $51,000 or right around your current living expenses. Your wife's potential income could give you more a cushion. A guesstimated budget for each travel scenario would help you know if your livings expenses will be more or less than they are now. Assuming you go part-time 4/2020, and then start attempting to have child in 6/2021, then you have roughly a year to travel. 500 hours of vacation could yield a lot of travel over the course of a year, but you may want to save some of those hours if your company does not have paid family leave.

You may want to work on an expected budget for when you have kids as well. Kids change pretty much everything. Also, don't forget that having children is not always a predictable event. It can happen fast or take a decade.

mistymoney

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Re: When to switch to part time work?
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2019, 08:40:28 AM »
do you own or are renting?

If renting, maybe pack it in and do a year of FT travel, then back to the working world and family concerns.