Author Topic: Calling all downshifters!  (Read 126857 times)

Step37

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #150 on: February 09, 2020, 02:41:58 PM »
- why you did it?
Before my current position, I was at a company that was growing very quickly. For the last three to four years of it, almost all I did was work - long days, weekend days (to ďcatch up,Ē which obviously never happened). The culture got toxic and I was burnt out; the company getting sold was the end of the line for me, as I had no loyalty to the new owners. I agreed to go to work for a friend at his one-man operation; he wanted to grow the business, but needed someone to do the books and admin. I agreed, on the condition that I could buy in if I thought it made sense after getting the books in order (seeing the shareholders of the company I left get 80x their investment after eight years may have influenced my desire to want a piece of ownership;).

Being burnt out, I wanted more time off, so I said Iíd only do four days per week. It was enough for the first few years (with some f/t weeks thrown in at busy times), but 2017 got very busy and I was back to f/t and NEVER caught up. I didnít want to work this much and I have no need to work this much.

- what your downshift looks like?
Partway through this year, I hired someone to take over the day-to-day aspects of the business and I immediately got back to four days per week. She is very solid in the position now, and I am CAUGHT UP (an amazing feeling that I never thought Iíd feel again) and ready to reduce down to my goal of half time (two office days and an hour or two from home on the other days). This starts next week. I will have to increase to f/t to cover off holidays, but thatís only a few weeks per year.

- what do you like about it?
I know Iím going to love driving less (itís a 30 minute commute each way, and winter always brings frustrating traffic delays). I will enjoy having more free time to read, do house projects, cook, visit friends/family... whatever I want, really. I have badly wanted this for a long time and I feel a deep sense of satisfaction that itís finally happening.

- what isn't so awesome about it?
Iím a bit worried that I will feel out of the loop, but Iím sure I will get over it!

- what are your plans going forward around downshifting and FIRE?
Assuming this goes well, I think I would be quite happy to be 20-50% time for the next five years at least. I would not want to be a completely uninvolved shareholder, so unless the company gets sold or one of my partners wants to purchase my shares, I will be there in a financial oversight capacity.

The retirement stash is enough now for barebones RE, so working p/t will cover all regular expenses as it grows. My husband is still working for a year or two. The company is also paying dividends which, if it continues to grow as it has, could more than fund our modest lifestyle. Given this, itís possible that we have oversaved, but nothing is guaranteed.

Iíve been wanting to get more involved in my community league and saw that the Treasurer position is open. I emailed about it and I seem to have gotten the (volunteer!) job, so that will take up some of my new free time. Itís a good match for my skill set and Iíll be able to meet some new people who live nearby (not easy to do when one has no children).

UPDATE

Around March/April 2018 the busy season started. I worked some extra days during that time, but have mostly managed to keep it to 3 days per week (2 days per week simply did not happen yet, sadly). I am starting to get a lot of pushback from one of my business partners (the majority shareholder) about working more. Heís not saying it directly, but it feels like he wants me to implement our expansion into a new geographical location. Iíve explained that since I have less than zero enthusiasm for expansion (or working more, period), that itís not me who will be driving this initiative.

This ďscheduleĒ conflict (which is mostly him having terrible work habits and worse organizational skills and thinking my presence in the office will help ó my tasks that Iím responsible for are easily done in 2-3 days per week) is going to end up with me leaving the company, I am quite certain. Provided I can get bought out for fair value of my shares, Iím completely fine with that. I donít think that he will be; it will make for an interesting transition (possibly something for the Epic FU Money thread, but I hope not). The person I hired in July 2017 to take over my everyday tasks is still awesome and I am eternally grateful to her for making my downshift possible.

Iíve gotten more comfortable in the volunteer treasurer role. It turned out to be a bit more work than expected, but after getting past the first year, everything is more familiar and should go more smoothly. The monthly board meetings can be a bit of a drag, but I have met some great people in the community by taking on this role, so I think it is worth it. Itís not forever, either!

Yay! Someone resurrected this thread, which Iíve been wanting to update. In somewhat of a DREAM COME TRUE, my company has agreed to be purchased, and we are in the due diligence phase (one week down of an anticipated four) - this has me working full-time for the next bit, which Iím more than happy to do to facilitate the transaction. The sale talk with the company thatís purchasing us started in early July, so itís a huge relief to finally have things underway. It would take a pretty big disaster to have this transaction not happen, but Iím still offering up a prayer to the universe that all goes through. Itís structured as an earn out, so we will see 1/6 of the price at closing, another 1/6 after a year, 1/3 after two years and the final 1/3 after three years. The agreed (minimum) price has me quadrupling my initial investment (after having received healthy dividends along the way); there is also strong potential to exceed this amount with the way itís structured. While it would be nice to have everything up front, I think the long game could work out extremely well.

As for downshifting . . . The purchaser is aware of my preferred schedule, and actually mentioned to my partner that ďthere may be redundancies in accounting now, so what do you think Step37 will think about that?Ē to which he replied that Iíd be happy to stay on to facilitate whatever transition for as long as they need (accurate). When he told me this, it was presented as good news/bad news (good that we are going to be getting an offer/maybe bad for you, Step37) - I made sure to emphasize that that was ONLY good news! My two partners are the people who are key to the deal (technical knowledge of the industry) - they arenít going to let the earn out fall apart, so I think I might comfortably be able to step away prior to the three years being up. If not, I should at least be able to maintain a p/t schedule, which isnít a bad worst-case scenario. Iím not under any illusions that it will be easy, clear sailing for the next while, but at least there is a reasonable end in sight (with a good payout!).

My husband fully downshifted at the beginning of November, when he received a package from his employer. The timing could not have been better, as he was planning to leave within the next several months anyway. Now heís fully in charge of the cooking and general house stuff, so even if I have to work more for the next while, it will be with so much less stress. Iím beyond grateful for all of the above.

Bird In Hand

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #151 on: February 09, 2020, 03:12:38 PM »
Yay! Someone resurrected this thread, which Iíve been wanting to update. In somewhat of a DREAM COME TRUE, my company has agreed to be purchased, and we are in the due diligence phase ...

Oh wow, congratulations!  If I understand correctly, you will be able to maintain the status quo 2-3 days/week PT schedule for the next 3 years MAX, and possibly less than that.  Meanwhile, you'll be getting that initial 1/6 chunk imminently, and another 1/6 in a year.  I hope it all goes through as expected, that you can continue your PT schedule without drama, and that all six sixths come your way (and your partners') as planned.

I hope you and your husband have countless adventures together with all that free time!

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #152 on: February 09, 2020, 06:33:14 PM »
My plan is to work FT until March 31 2020, where I will take a 6-12 month sabbatical, after which I would like to explore the possibility of a 3-4 day work week.

I will still be a ways away from my full FIRE # using 4%, but a large majority of my recurring day to day expenses should be covered.

Fun to quote this post years later.

Mission accomplished. Sitting over 25X baseline expenses and leaving for a year of travel in a few short weeks :)

Step37

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #153 on: February 09, 2020, 08:08:12 PM »
Yay! Someone resurrected this thread, which Iíve been wanting to update. In somewhat of a DREAM COME TRUE, my company has agreed to be purchased, and we are in the due diligence phase ...

Oh wow, congratulations!  If I understand correctly, you will be able to maintain the status quo 2-3 days/week PT schedule for the next 3 years MAX, and possibly less than that.  Meanwhile, you'll be getting that initial 1/6 chunk imminently, and another 1/6 in a year.  I hope it all goes through as expected, that you can continue your PT schedule without drama, and that all six sixths come your way (and your partners') as planned.

I hope you and your husband have countless adventures together with all that free time!

Yes, you understood correctly! Thank you so much, and congratulations on achieving your 25x and travel goal as well. How exciting - enjoy! 😁

EDITED!!

LOL - I misread the next poster as being you. So, congrats to the OTHER bird name, @2Birds1Stone. Reading comprehension fail.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 08:17:37 PM by Step37 »

Retire-Canada

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #154 on: February 10, 2020, 06:55:55 AM »
I downshifted back in July from a 40hrs/week contract gig + some side gig hours to a 3 x 8hrs/day Mon-Wed contract gig. With 4 months of part time work under my belt I am noticing I don't fit in well to the discussions FT workers are having nor do I resemble the lucky bastards who are FIRE. Downshifting seems to have its own unique set of benefits and challenges. So I figured it was worth starting a thread where MMMers who have reduced their work hours from FT, but haven't quite managed to FIRE yet can gather and chat.

FIRE related definitions are arbitrary, but they provide a framework to base discussion off of so here are mine:

- Working = greater than 75% FT hours
- Downshifted = 25% - 75% FT hours
- FIREd = less than 25% FT hours

I started this thread back in 2017 then failed at downshifting so I stopped posting/following along. I figured I'd update my situation since I got to the planned end goal just by a different path than planned.

When I posted the OP I was at ~60%FT and solidly downshifted and loving it. Then my work schedule went from 3 x 8hr days to 4 x 8hr days so at ~80%FT and no longer downshifted at least by my own definitions. Then I got some easy PT remote work and was back to ~100%FT. I put away all the extra $$$ I could since I was earning a lot more than at 60%FT. I hit FI in Jan 2020 and will be done 4 x 8hrs contract end of May this year. I'll keep some easy PT work from home consulting work that'll be 25%FT or less so I'll be FIRE...again by my own definition.

On one hand I missed the downshifted lifestyle I would have had between 2017 and now. OTOH I am happy to have turbo charged my savings and hit FIRE sooner. The key for me is that I don't hate the work I do. I don't love it either, but it's easy and relatively stress free. Since my GF is going to work another ~6 years to get her pension downshifting longer wouldn't have been bad since my FIRE is somewhat restricted by my GF's continued working. So really I feel like both paths were excellent options for me and it was a wash when evaluating between them.

If my work had sucked I would have stuck out the downshift. My guess is the downshifted me would have caught up with the 100%FT me in ~3 years with average market returns. So the extra work paid off, but the difference isn't huge and I would have had a lot more free time at a 60%FT downshift.

Anyways I thought I should follow up my original post with my data. Congrats to everyone rocking the downshift. Enjoy your extra free time. :-)


markbike528CBX

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #155 on: February 10, 2020, 07:52:10 AM »
I downshifted back in July from a 40hrs/week contract gig + some side gig hours to a 3 x 8hrs/day Mon-Wed contract gig. With 4 months of part time work under my belt I am noticing I don't fit in well to the discussions FT workers are having nor do I resemble the lucky bastards who are FIRE. Downshifting seems to have its own unique set of benefits and challenges. So I figured it was worth starting a thread where MMMers who have reduced their work hours from FT, but haven't quite managed to FIRE yet can gather and chat.

FIRE related definitions are arbitrary, but they provide a framework to base discussion off of so here are mine:

- Working = greater than 75% FT hours
- Downshifted = 25% - 75% FT hours
- FIREd = less than 25% FT hours

I started this thread back in 2017 then failed at downshifting so I stopped posting/following along. I figured I'd update my situation since I got to the planned end goal just by a different path than planned.

When I posted the OP I was at ~60%FT and solidly downshifted and loving it. Then my work schedule went from 3 x 8hr days to 4 x 8hr days so at ~80%FT and no longer downshifted at least by my own definitions. Then I got some easy PT remote work and was back to ~100%FT. I put away all the extra $$$ I could since I was earning a lot more than at 60%FT. I hit FI in Jan 2020 and will be done 4 x 8hrs contract end of May this year. I'll keep some easy PT work from home consulting work that'll be 25%FT or less so I'll be FIRE...again by my own definition.

On one hand I missed the downshifted lifestyle I would have had between 2017 and now. OTOH I am happy to have turbo charged my savings and hit FIRE sooner. The key for me is that I don't hate the work I do. I don't love it either, but it's easy and relatively stress free. Since my GF is going to work another ~6 years to get her pension downshifting longer wouldn't have been bad since my FIRE is somewhat restricted by my GF's continued working. So really I feel like both paths were excellent options for me and it was a wash when evaluating between them.

If my work had sucked I would have stuck out the downshift. My guess is the downshifted me would have caught up with the 100%FT me in ~3 years with average market returns. So the extra work paid off, but the difference isn't huge and I would have had a lot more free time at a 60%FT downshift.

Anyways I thought I should follow up my original post with my data. Congrats to everyone rocking the downshift. Enjoy your extra free time. :-)

Thanks for being an OP who updates honestly !   Most OPs post and bail.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #156 on: February 10, 2020, 07:58:43 AM »
Thanks for being an OP who updates honestly !   Most OPs post and bail.

Every time I saw this thread title pop up in my unread thread list I did feel pangs of failed downshifter guilt. So I didn't click on the link and come read it! ;-)

SpareChange

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #157 on: February 10, 2020, 09:36:57 PM »
I downshifted back in July from a 40hrs/week contract gig + some side gig hours to a 3 x 8hrs/day Mon-Wed contract gig. With 4 months of part time work under my belt I am noticing I don't fit in well to the discussions FT workers are having nor do I resemble the lucky bastards who are FIRE. Downshifting seems to have its own unique set of benefits and challenges. So I figured it was worth starting a thread where MMMers who have reduced their work hours from FT, but haven't quite managed to FIRE yet can gather and chat.

FIRE related definitions are arbitrary, but they provide a framework to base discussion off of so here are mine:

- Working = greater than 75% FT hours
- Downshifted = 25% - 75% FT hours
- FIREd = less than 25% FT hours

I started this thread back in 2017 then failed at downshifting so I stopped posting/following along. I figured I'd update my situation since I got to the planned end goal just by a different path than planned.

When I posted the OP I was at ~60%FT and solidly downshifted and loving it. Then my work schedule went from 3 x 8hr days to 4 x 8hr days so at ~80%FT and no longer downshifted at least by my own definitions. Then I got some easy PT remote work and was back to ~100%FT. I put away all the extra $$$ I could since I was earning a lot more than at 60%FT. I hit FI in Jan 2020 and will be done 4 x 8hrs contract end of May this year. I'll keep some easy PT work from home consulting work that'll be 25%FT or less so I'll be FIRE...again by my own definition.

On one hand I missed the downshifted lifestyle I would have had between 2017 and now. OTOH I am happy to have turbo charged my savings and hit FIRE sooner. The key for me is that I don't hate the work I do. I don't love it either, but it's easy and relatively stress free. Since my GF is going to work another ~6 years to get her pension downshifting longer wouldn't have been bad since my FIRE is somewhat restricted by my GF's continued working. So really I feel like both paths were excellent options for me and it was a wash when evaluating between them.

If my work had sucked I would have stuck out the downshift. My guess is the downshifted me would have caught up with the 100%FT me in ~3 years with average market returns. So the extra work paid off, but the difference isn't huge and I would have had a lot more free time at a 60%FT downshift.

Anyways I thought I should follow up my original post with my data. Congrats to everyone rocking the downshift. Enjoy your extra free time. :-)

The man, the myth, the legend returns! :D  It's great to hear about your progress. I've been paying attention to this thread since you started it, as working PT seemed like an attractive scenario, and a relatively easy one to set up in my position. I've been enjoying my downshift for a few months now. Cheers!

startingsmall

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #158 on: February 11, 2020, 08:42:08 AM »
I tried to downshift, but hasn't quite worked out like I expected. Apparently, I'm a workaholic.

BEFORE: Worked 40ish hrs/wk as a full-time veterinarian, spent approx 5-10 hrs/wk on freelance writing side hustle.

AFTER: Work 17 hrs/wk as a part-time veterinarian, do occasional relief shifts at other veterinary clinics (avg ~5 hrs/wk), spend approximately 20-30 hrs/wk on freelance writing side hustle.

I'm definitely happier now... I'm not working any less, but I control my own schedule so I have a degree of flexibility that I didn't have before (want to go to yoga class on Friday morning? no problem!). Plus, I'm making a good bit more money than I was making previously. The relief work isn't really part of my overall master plan, but it's $650/day and I actually really enjoy the days I spend at the clinic where I'm mostly doing relief (great team, fabulous clients, fun location within walking distance of cool lunch restaurants)... so I'm not planning to give it up. I'm not ready to give up the stability of at least a PT vet job just yet and the writing is my long-term plan (just didn't expect it to take off so quickly) so that's not going anywhere.

Looks like my downshift will have to wait a while.

It's been roughly a year and a half since my last update, so here's another...
- Still working 17 hrs/wk as a part-time veterinarian.
- Relief work temporarily increased (avg. of 10 hrs/wk), but then I cut WAY back (10 hrs/month). Planning to stop completely after April.
- Freelance writing holding steady at 15-20 hrs/wk.

I'm trying to decide what's next.

The official plan is to hold steady at this level for the next 2-3 years, then relocate towards the coast. At that point, we (husband & I) will be roughly 75% of the way to FI and I plan to REALLY downshift at that point (stop the PT vet work and just write).

Recently, however, I've been much busier with our daughter. She begged for violin lessons and I significantly underestimated how much of a parental time commitment Suzuki violin lessons would involve!! Between than and some other volunteer commitments, I'm feeling kind of fried. I'd like to downshift even more on my work right now, but I don't know how. My PT job provides our health insurance, so it seems stupid to give that up until we see how the election/ACA goes. The writing is my post-relocation income plan (assuming that the ACA sticks around in some form), so it seems silly to cut back on that. I guess my best bet is to stick with the official plan, but I don't know.

« Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 08:51:30 AM by startingsmall »

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #159 on: February 11, 2020, 08:44:29 AM »
Recently, however, I've been much busier with our daughter (I significantly underestimated how much of a time commitment Suzuki violin lessons would be!) and have been feeling kind of fried. I'd like to downshift even more right now, but I don't know how. My PT job provides our health insurance, so it seems stupid to give that up right now (until we see how the election/ACA goes). The writing is my post-relocation income plan (assuming that the ACA sticks around in some form), so it seems silly to cut back on that. I guess my best bet is to stick with the official plan, but I don't know.

Are the violin lessons essential?

startingsmall

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #160 on: February 11, 2020, 08:53:01 AM »
Recently, however, I've been much busier with our daughter (I significantly underestimated how much of a time commitment Suzuki violin lessons would be!) and have been feeling kind of fried. I'd like to downshift even more right now, but I don't know how. My PT job provides our health insurance, so it seems stupid to give that up right now (until we see how the election/ACA goes). The writing is my post-relocation income plan (assuming that the ACA sticks around in some form), so it seems silly to cut back on that. I guess my best bet is to stick with the official plan, but I don't know.

Are the violin lessons essential?

Not at all, but she BEGGED for them for over a year before I agreed to them. Honestly, she loves playing the violin and I also play myself. I don't see myself pulling the plug on lessons. I've considered becoming less invested in daily practice, but it seems silly to pay $1000/year for lessons and then be lazy about practice at home.

The time commitment is roughly 2 hours on Tuesday (drive time plus the lesson itself) plus 30-45 minutes each night for practice. In a couple of years, she'll be able to practice independently... but she's not there yet. So honestly, it's not a HUGE time commitment. But doing that on top of my work and church commitments and family time and helping her with homework occasionally and leading her Girl Scout troop just seems like a lot right now. I'm finally understanding why people told me that kids are often MORE work as they get older, not necessarily less!! 
« Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 08:56:34 AM by startingsmall »

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #161 on: February 11, 2020, 09:01:55 AM »
But doing that on top of my work and church commitments and family time and helping her with homework occasionally and leading her Girl Scout troop just seems like a lot right now.

Sounds like a lot. I think the healthy solution is not to just grit your teeth and try and survive....it's to list everything you need to do currently. Then prioritize that list from top to bottom. Then be honest with yourself and draw a line as you move down the list where stuff is too much to have a good quality of life. Whatever is below that line has to go or be significantly changed.

Nothing wrong with prioritizing violin as long as you are willing to cut back somewhere else in your life.

Just as some external feedback not once in my youth did I ever think my mom being stressed out was a good thing and it always affected me even if I didn't say anything.

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #162 on: February 12, 2020, 12:04:49 PM »
Bottom line up front:  Has anyone here experienced any negative consequences at work when they switched to PT?  Have you been moved to a less desirable group, or given assignments that arenít up to your skill set?  Have you been marginalized?

Background:  Single income household (DW is a SAHM who homeschools) with enough of a stash already to ďstandard retireĒ at 65.  If I stay FT Iím 10-12 years from FIRE.

I would love to go to PT while the kids are young and to up my volunteering, as well as take a larger portion of taking care of the several elderly family members nearby.  I feel like 32 hrs/wk would be a good start- every Friday off.   I am part of a really good group at work; we all get along great and they are really good about flexing schedules around to help with personal issues (itís ďtravel seasonĒ and two other people volunteered to cover down on 3 weeks of travel so I could spend time with DW during some semi-major surgery and recovery).  Not only that, I actually enjoy the work- I just want donít want to dedicate ~40% of my awake life to it right now.  I would happily still go FT and take my turn doing traveling season.

DW is concerned that going PT would essentially marginalize me at work.  The concern is not for ďcareer progressionĒ as Iím happy being a nuts and bolts engineer, but more in the sense of leave requests being denied (why would they give me more time off?), less important work being assigned which would lead to bad/not-good annual reviews, etc.
She thinks every other Friday (72 hrs/wk) might be acceptable.  I feel that this just wouldnít be worth the pay cut.  I would rather do, as many here do, an alternate schedule where you work 9 hrs/day and then take every other Friday off. 

Maybe Iím just being rosy, but I donít see any of the bad things happening.  I would talk with my supervisor and team lead beforehand and get their input/feedback, and as mentioned above I would be willing to still pull my fair share of traveling and crunch time duties. 
What do yíall think?

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #163 on: February 12, 2020, 12:09:54 PM »
Bottom line up front:  Has anyone here experienced any negative consequences at work when they switched to PT?  Have you been moved to a less desirable group, or given assignments that arenít up to your skill set?  Have you been marginalized?

Background:  Single income household (DW is a SAHM who homeschools) with enough of a stash already to ďstandard retireĒ at 65.  If I stay FT Iím 10-12 years from FIRE.

I would love to go to PT while the kids are young and to up my volunteering, as well as take a larger portion of taking care of the several elderly family members nearby.  I feel like 32 hrs/wk would be a good start- every Friday off.   I am part of a really good group at work; we all get along great and they are really good about flexing schedules around to help with personal issues (itís ďtravel seasonĒ and two other people volunteered to cover down on 3 weeks of travel so I could spend time with DW during some semi-major surgery and recovery).  Not only that, I actually enjoy the work- I just want donít want to dedicate ~40% of my awake life to it right now.  I would happily still go FT and take my turn doing traveling season.

DW is concerned that going PT would essentially marginalize me at work.  The concern is not for ďcareer progressionĒ as Iím happy being a nuts and bolts engineer, but more in the sense of leave requests being denied (why would they give me more time off?), less important work being assigned which would lead to bad/not-good annual reviews, etc.
She thinks every other Friday (72 hrs/wk) might be acceptable.  I feel that this just wouldnít be worth the pay cut.  I would rather do, as many here do, an alternate schedule where you work 9 hrs/day and then take every other Friday off. 

Maybe Iím just being rosy, but I donít see any of the bad things happening.  I would talk with my supervisor and team lead beforehand and get their input/feedback, and as mentioned above I would be willing to still pull my fair share of traveling and crunch time duties. 
What do yíall think?

Your wife's concerns seem kind of arbitrary. Why would every second Friday be okay, but not every Friday??

Are there possible consequences...sure, I guess, but most of those would come down to your employer not valuing you very much, which sounds like a bigger issue.

Truthfully, I'm not sure an employer would actually give you that much thought as long as you did your job well and they like you.

The biggest risk of dropping to part time is exactly that, your employer not giving it much thought and dumping as much work on you as they always do because they forget that they aren't supposed to expect as much from you.

If you are valued at your job and good with setting and maintaining boundaries, then you will be fine.

If you aren't valued at your job and not good with boundaries, then you have bigger fish to fry.

Taran Wanderer

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #164 on: February 13, 2020, 12:27:00 AM »
PTF.  Looking for inspiration.

happy

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #165 on: February 13, 2020, 03:32:35 AM »
I did not experience anything I perceived to be a negative experience going much more part-time than one day a week off. That being said, I was well regarded and valued in my workplace, and I made sure that I stayed in the loop. There were naturally projects/jobs I couldnít take on since they needed someone available every day - but I was aware of this and didnít see this as a negative consequence.

If you have a job where you might get good bonuses Iíd discuss with your supervisor what effect your plans might have on things like this, so you can gauge the full financial trade off.

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #166 on: February 13, 2020, 10:13:09 AM »
Your wife's concerns seem kind of arbitrary. Why would every second Friday be okay, but not every Friday??

I mean, it is kind of arbitrary.  She feels that if I were to drop every Friday I would be perceived as "not pulling my weight", whereas thanks to the alternate work schedule some people already do, every other Friday would not really be noticed.  Most people would just assume I was doing the alternate schedule.  I, somewhat arbitrarily, feel that I wouldn't be perceived that way unless I went to 24 hrs/wk or so.

If you are valued at your job and good with setting and maintaining boundaries, then you will be fine.

If you aren't valued at your job and not good with boundaries, then you have bigger fish to fry.

I feel like I'm valued.  I've got no problems with boundaries- those have already been set for evening/weekends/vacation. 

If you have a job where you might get good bonuses I’d discuss with your supervisor what effect your plans might have on things like this, so you can gauge the full financial trade off.

Minimal bonuses.  I am slightly worried as to how my supervisor will adjust the annual review, but that's just a matter of communication and clear expectation setting.  He is, at the end of the day, a good guy who cares. 

Metalcat

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #167 on: February 14, 2020, 04:23:48 AM »
Your wife's concerns seem kind of arbitrary. Why would every second Friday be okay, but not every Friday??

I mean, it is kind of arbitrary.  She feels that if I were to drop every Friday I would be perceived as "not pulling my weight", whereas thanks to the alternate work schedule some people already do, every other Friday would not really be noticed.  Most people would just assume I was doing the alternate schedule.  I, somewhat arbitrarily, feel that I wouldn't be perceived that way unless I went to 24 hrs/wk or so.

If you are valued at your job and good with setting and maintaining boundaries, then you will be fine.

If you aren't valued at your job and not good with boundaries, then you have bigger fish to fry.

I feel like I'm valued.  I've got no problems with boundaries- those have already been set for evening/weekends/vacation. 

If you have a job where you might get good bonuses Iíd discuss with your supervisor what effect your plans might have on things like this, so you can gauge the full financial trade off.

Minimal bonuses.  I am slightly worried as to how my supervisor will adjust the annual review, but that's just a matter of communication and clear expectation setting.  He is, at the end of the day, a good guy who cares.

I've personally found that blending in and not making waves professionally puts you at a much higher risk of being devalued and taken for granted compared to demanding what you want and making a case for why your value warrants it.

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #168 on: June 05, 2021, 08:43:19 PM »
Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but I figured why start a new one when I've seen recent posts from a lot of names here and figured while not many, there are some mighty names here I respect and wanted to say thanks. I will probably be asking to go to part time in the fall, 5x6 hour days for kid reasons, and while I'd love to do 4x6 I doubt a) it'd be approved and b) our income situation is just a bit precarious right now with DW launching a solo biz and potentially never going back to her employer where she's been furloughed since Covid hit.

I probably fall into the category of nervous/scared and not relying on the math as while we're at 50-65% of FI numbers we still have $650k+ invested and dropping to 3/4 time will only decrease savings rate from ~50% to ~25%, if DW's business stalls and her employer does not call her back to work...

In the mean time, I have a few items I'd like to figure out. Maybe I'll start a journal.

Anyway, thanks all for good info here. Wish me luck as I'm realizing my timeline of "fall" happens to be in approximately less than 3 months. Eeeeeeeek.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2021, 08:52:52 PM by JJsfr »

boarder42

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #169 on: June 06, 2021, 05:16:21 AM »
Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but I figured why start a new one when I've seen recent posts from a lot of names here and figured while not many, there are some mighty names here I respect and wanted to say thanks. I will probably be asking to go to part time in the fall, 5x6 hour days for kid reasons, and while I'd love to do 4x6 I doubt a) it'd be approved and b) our income situation is just a bit precarious right now with DW launching a solo biz and potentially never going back to her employer where she's been furloughed since Covid hit.

I probably fall into the category of nervous/scared and not relying on the math as while we're at 50-65% of FI numbers we still have $650k+ invested and dropping to 3/4 time will only decrease savings rate from ~50% to ~25%, if DW's business stalls and her employer does not call her back to work...

In the mean time, I have a few items I'd like to figure out. Maybe I'll start a journal.

Anyway, thanks all for good info here. Wish me luck as I'm realizing my timeline of "fall" happens to be in approximately less than 3 months. Eeeeeeeek.

Congrats I went to 4 9s a few years ago and its the best thing I've done.  About to test retirement with FMLA for the next 12 weeks before I finally quit in Jan 22.

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #170 on: June 06, 2021, 07:07:16 AM »
Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but I figured why start a new one when I've seen recent posts from a lot of names here and figured while not many, there are some mighty names here I respect and wanted to say thanks. I will probably be asking to go to part time in the fall, 5x6 hour days for kid reasons, and while I'd love to do 4x6 I doubt a) it'd be approved and b) our income situation is just a bit precarious right now with DW launching a solo biz and potentially never going back to her employer where she's been furloughed since Covid hit.

I probably fall into the category of nervous/scared and not relying on the math as while we're at 50-65% of FI numbers we still have $650k+ invested and dropping to 3/4 time will only decrease savings rate from ~50% to ~25%, if DW's business stalls and her employer does not call her back to work...

In the mean time, I have a few items I'd like to figure out. Maybe I'll start a journal.

Anyway, thanks all for good info here. Wish me luck as I'm realizing my timeline of "fall" happens to be in approximately less than 3 months. Eeeeeeeek.

Congrats I went to 4 9s a few years ago and its the best thing I've done.  About to test retirement with FMLA for the next 12 weeks before I finally quit in Jan 22.

Some of your posts and  journal are some of the reassurance that I needed to see to trust the numbers, so thank you.

I have been toying around with the idea of part time for 6+ months and last night I finally mentally decided to do it typing up the fall timeline in that post. That's what made it real . I had the weirdest mental emotional tossing turning lack of sleep night where all the numbers were wrong right etc, despite having the data to support. Waking up, sort of, this morning all I know is I want to do this, so I'll ask and see what shakes out.

SpareChange

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #171 on: June 06, 2021, 03:09:00 PM »
Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but I figured why start a new one when I've seen recent posts from a lot of names here and figured while not many, there are some mighty names here I respect and wanted to say thanks. I will probably be asking to go to part time in the fall, 5x6 hour days for kid reasons, and while I'd love to do 4x6 I doubt a) it'd be approved and b) our income situation is just a bit precarious right now with DW launching a solo biz and potentially never going back to her employer where she's been furloughed since Covid hit.

I probably fall into the category of nervous/scared and not relying on the math as while we're at 50-65% of FI numbers we still have $650k+ invested and dropping to 3/4 time will only decrease savings rate from ~50% to ~25%, if DW's business stalls and her employer does not call her back to work...

In the mean time, I have a few items I'd like to figure out. Maybe I'll start a journal.

Anyway, thanks all for good info here. Wish me luck as I'm realizing my timeline of "fall" happens to be in approximately less than 3 months. Eeeeeeeek.

Don't apologize. This is one of my favorite threads lol. It seems this just fits a smaller niche of the FIRE universe. Looks like you're in a pretty good spot financially to be entertaining this. Good luck!





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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #172 on: June 06, 2021, 09:56:34 PM »
Don't apologize. This is one of my favorite threads lol. It seems this just fits a smaller niche of the FIRE universe. Looks like you're in a pretty good spot financially to be entertaining this. Good luck!

I hope I'm in a pretty good spot. I've thrown the numbers around so many times on paper and also on the forum without much of a perceived red flag. The only thing I can come up with is that it just delays our FI timing by ~3 years, instead of 4-7 years from now to 7-10 years from now assuming the investments do the heavy lifting. If that buys me a little more "life time" why not?

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #173 on: June 07, 2021, 10:33:23 AM »
Hello All!  I'm planning to downshift as well...currently I'm working 4-day weeks and using up copious amounts of annual leave to take every Friday off.  That should get me through the end of 2021.

For next year, I'm hoping to convince my supervisor that I should permanently work 4-day weeks (using sick leave).  Having never really used sick leave, it has just been piling up.

Some day, I yearn for the 3-day work week.  I actually like the structure of working, and as a natural introvert, working keeps me from going full-time hermit.

boarder42

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #174 on: June 07, 2021, 10:45:32 AM »
Don't apologize. This is one of my favorite threads lol. It seems this just fits a smaller niche of the FIRE universe. Looks like you're in a pretty good spot financially to be entertaining this. Good luck!

I hope I'm in a pretty good spot. I've thrown the numbers around so many times on paper and also on the forum without much of a perceived red flag. The only thing I can come up with is that it just delays our FI timing by ~3 years, instead of 4-7 years from now to 7-10 years from now assuming the investments do the heavy lifting. If that buys me a little more "life time" why not?

definitely buys more lifetime and also may not add anytime to your FIRE date.  I've done 2 major lifestyle choices in my time since finding MMM.  1 a larger lake front home and 2 downshifting - both should have added 1-2 years each to my FI timeline but somehow, even though our budget grew we still hit FI 1 full year ahead of my original plan when we found this in 2014.  and by grew i mean we added like 40% to our FI number and still will hit it by year end.

SpareChange

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #175 on: June 07, 2021, 11:00:41 AM »
Don't apologize. This is one of my favorite threads lol. It seems this just fits a smaller niche of the FIRE universe. Looks like you're in a pretty good spot financially to be entertaining this. Good luck!

I hope I'm in a pretty good spot. I've thrown the numbers around so many times on paper and also on the forum without much of a perceived red flag. The only thing I can come up with is that it just delays our FI timing by ~3 years, instead of 4-7 years from now to 7-10 years from now assuming the investments do the heavy lifting. If that buys me a little more "life time" why not?

I saw your case study post. Looks good. Plus it sounds like you guys have flexibility built in if your needs change, particularly if her business develops. I assume you like your job well enough, and you have no concerns about job/career security over the increased amount of time you may need to be involved with it?

SpareChange

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #176 on: June 07, 2021, 11:07:46 AM »
Hello All!  I'm planning to downshift as well...currently I'm working 4-day weeks and using up copious amounts of annual leave to take every Friday off.  That should get me through the end of 2021.

For next year, I'm hoping to convince my supervisor that I should permanently work 4-day weeks (using sick leave).  Having never really used sick leave, it has just been piling up.

Some day, I yearn for the 3-day work week.  I actually like the structure of working, and as a natural introvert, working keeps me from going full-time hermit.

Nice. I have a coworker who works 4 days...he simply will not go back to 5 days a week he loves it so much. I'm thinking I might start using some pto in the back half of the year to take off Wed. I work every other week, but it's a 5 day week. Putting a break in the middle would be pretty sweet. 

boarder42

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #177 on: June 07, 2021, 11:48:31 AM »
Hello All!  I'm planning to downshift as well...currently I'm working 4-day weeks and using up copious amounts of annual leave to take every Friday off.  That should get me through the end of 2021.

For next year, I'm hoping to convince my supervisor that I should permanently work 4-day weeks (using sick leave).  Having never really used sick leave, it has just been piling up.

Some day, I yearn for the 3-day work week.  I actually like the structure of working, and as a natural introvert, working keeps me from going full-time hermit.

Nice. I have a coworker who works 4 days...he simply will not go back to 5 days a week he loves it so much. I'm thinking I might start using some pto in the back half of the year to take off Wed. I work every other week, but it's a 5 day week. Putting a break in the middle would be pretty sweet.

people ask me all the time if i'm going back to 5 days.  and then ask if my wife makes a lot of money or how can i possibly afford to take a 10% pay cut.  umm guys we live in one of the lowest cost of living areas and make well into the mid 100s in salary if you can take a 10% pay cut you should re examine your priorities.

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #178 on: June 07, 2021, 12:30:24 PM »
Hello All!  I'm planning to downshift as well...currently I'm working 4-day weeks and using up copious amounts of annual leave to take every Friday off.  That should get me through the end of 2021.

For next year, I'm hoping to convince my supervisor that I should permanently work 4-day weeks (using sick leave).  Having never really used sick leave, it has just been piling up.

Some day, I yearn for the 3-day work week.  I actually like the structure of working, and as a natural introvert, working keeps me from going full-time hermit.

Nice. I have a coworker who works 4 days...he simply will not go back to 5 days a week he loves it so much. I'm thinking I might start using some pto in the back half of the year to take off Wed. I work every other week, but it's a 5 day week. Putting a break in the middle would be pretty sweet.

Having a 3-day weekend really makes a huge difference after so many years of 5-day work weeks.  Prior to COVID, I had already decided that 5-day work weeks were unnecessary.  So I started taking unpaid leave in order to "buy" more leave days and take more time off.  Yes, my salary went down, but my time is more important. 

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #179 on: June 07, 2021, 03:04:02 PM »
definitely buys more lifetime and also may not add anytime to your FIRE date.  I've done 2 major lifestyle choices in my time since finding MMM.  1 a larger lake front home and 2 downshifting - both should have added 1-2 years each to my FI timeline but somehow, even though our budget grew we still hit FI 1 full year ahead of my original plan when we found this in 2014.  and by grew i mean we added like 40% to our FI number and still will hit it by year end.
Since 2013 or whenever it was I found this stuff, it's mostly been maximizing savings for future flexibility for us. I'm not going to assume the market will keep its pace and if it ends up being longer to that time well at least we've set ourselves up for it. A few extra years without the equivalent of maybe $20-$30k feels kind of a drop in the bucket at this point compared what I would expect compound interest to do on the heavy lifting side for us. If for some reason it turns out we needed it, oh well. This is a mental/life balance decision and not necessarily a financial one.


I saw your case study post. Looks good. Plus it sounds like you guys have flexibility built in if your needs change, particularly if her business develops. I assume you like your job well enough, and you have no concerns about job/career security over the increased amount of time you may need to be involved with it?

Thanks for taking a look at that post in the Case Studies section. I like it well enough to keep at it a while longer. It's a federal government / civil service position so really the last thing on my mind is job security. I don't have the aspirations to be some C-level government executive, but maybe doing this would likely close that door informally? And yeah, I think the flexibility is there whether DW's business goes back or I need to go to Full Time. First though I need to see if it's even possible. If it comes back a no, well, then we'll figure it out!





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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #180 on: June 08, 2021, 11:27:01 AM »
I'm on my third week of half-time (2.5 days/week) now and so far it's been glorious. Still in the decompression phase, obviously.

I have noted, however, that it's going to require a bit of a difference in work tasking. My current team is working towards a short-term deadline and there's a lot of week-by-week and even day-by-day reshuffling of prioritites as things come up, and that's just not going to fit well with being out half the week since that means either my tasks are dumped until next week, or someone needs to pick them up. To remain effective, I'm going to need to work on longer lead-time tasks. We'll see what happens.

SpareChange

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #181 on: June 08, 2021, 12:34:31 PM »
people ask me all the time if i'm going back to 5 days.  and then ask if my wife makes a lot of money or how can i possibly afford to take a 10% pay cut.  umm guys we live in one of the lowest cost of living areas and make well into the mid 100s in salary if you can take a 10% pay cut you should re examine your priorities.

The difference in perspective is amazing, but kinda sad. Last month I had a coworker tell me that, given my schedule, they just assumed I had a rich relative pass away and leave me a fortune. Ummm...no. Good to see you 'round these parts again, Boarder.

SpareChange

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #182 on: June 08, 2021, 12:39:06 PM »
I saw your case study post. Looks good. Plus it sounds like you guys have flexibility built in if your needs change, particularly if her business develops. I assume you like your job well enough, and you have no concerns about job/career security over the increased amount of time you may need to be involved with it?

Thanks for taking a look at that post in the Case Studies section. I like it well enough to keep at it a while longer. It's a federal government / civil service position so really the last thing on my mind is job security. I don't have the aspirations to be some C-level government executive, but maybe doing this would likely close that door informally? And yeah, I think the flexibility is there whether DW's business goes back or I need to go to Full Time. First though I need to see if it's even possible. If it comes back a no, well, then we'll figure it out!

Let us know what they say!

rob in cal

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #183 on: June 13, 2021, 01:00:32 PM »
 I went to four nights five lunches a few years ago, and now am thinking about dropping another night shift soon, which would bring us to me working about 24 hours a week and my wife 6 hours a week. We did reach millionaire status recently so it makes since to start downshifting and see how we like it. Only working three nights a week means I'm off a majority of nights during the week, and as lunch shifts are only a couple of hours I don't really mind them, its the evenings off that are far more important to me in terms of quality of life.

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #184 on: June 15, 2021, 09:35:41 AM »
I saw your case study post. Looks good. Plus it sounds like you guys have flexibility built in if your needs change, particularly if her business develops. I assume you like your job well enough, and you have no concerns about job/career security over the increased amount of time you may need to be involved with it?

Thanks for taking a look at that post in the Case Studies section. I like it well enough to keep at it a while longer. It's a federal government / civil service position so really the last thing on my mind is job security. I don't have the aspirations to be some C-level government executive, but maybe doing this would likely close that door informally? And yeah, I think the flexibility is there whether DW's business goes back or I need to go to Full Time. First though I need to see if it's even possible. If it comes back a no, well, then we'll figure it out!

Let us know what they say!

I made the request. Now we wait and see what happens! I was pretty assertive in the request, feeling confident in our ability to make it work and in my want to do it, so I'm hoping it was the right tactic.

boarder42

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #185 on: June 15, 2021, 11:04:12 AM »
I saw your case study post. Looks good. Plus it sounds like you guys have flexibility built in if your needs change, particularly if her business develops. I assume you like your job well enough, and you have no concerns about job/career security over the increased amount of time you may need to be involved with it?

Thanks for taking a look at that post in the Case Studies section. I like it well enough to keep at it a while longer. It's a federal government / civil service position so really the last thing on my mind is job security. I don't have the aspirations to be some C-level government executive, but maybe doing this would likely close that door informally? And yeah, I think the flexibility is there whether DW's business goes back or I need to go to Full Time. First though I need to see if it's even possible. If it comes back a no, well, then we'll figure it out!

Let us know what they say!

I made the request. Now we wait and see what happens! I was pretty assertive in the request, feeling confident in our ability to make it work and in my want to do it, so I'm hoping it was the right tactic.

Awesome!  Best lifestyle choice I made after starting the path to fire

JJ-

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #186 on: June 15, 2021, 07:34:52 PM »
I saw your case study post. Looks good. Plus it sounds like you guys have flexibility built in if your needs change, particularly if her business develops. I assume you like your job well enough, and you have no concerns about job/career security over the increased amount of time you may need to be involved with it?

Thanks for taking a look at that post in the Case Studies section. I like it well enough to keep at it a while longer. It's a federal government / civil service position so really the last thing on my mind is job security. I don't have the aspirations to be some C-level government executive, but maybe doing this would likely close that door informally? And yeah, I think the flexibility is there whether DW's business goes back or I need to go to Full Time. First though I need to see if it's even possible. If it comes back a no, well, then we'll figure it out!

Let us know what they say!

I made the request. Now we wait and see what happens! I was pretty assertive in the request, feeling confident in our ability to make it work and in my want to do it, so I'm hoping it was the right tactic.

Awesome!  Best lifestyle choice I made after starting the path to fire

I received support today for doing 12 months at 0.75 FTE. They wanted to put an end date on it to help justify keeping the position fully funded in the event I wanted to go back either during or after the 12 month stint. Kind of the best case scenario I think. And while they were reluctant to approve it, they understood and were supportive given my circumstances. They also wanted to make sure I still had the chance to get my full pension in 27 years if I wanted to go back Full Time. They don't know my financials, so I took it as kindness/consideration and said thanks a bunch.

I still need to work out a few of the details on which projects to ramp down, but that should be fairly straightforward, as well as get the formal OK but the support is there.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2021, 07:47:18 PM by JJsfr »

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #187 on: June 16, 2021, 08:45:05 AM »
I received support today for doing 12 months at 0.75 FTE.

Woohoo congrats!

I went to 32-hrs, Fridays off, in Q4 2019 and it's amazing.  The work week doesn't really feel any shorter (because it's only 20% shorter), but the 3-day weekends are significant (because they're 50% longer), which everyone knows when they get their few 3-day weekends a year.

It's been tricky because shortly after taking that 20% paycut, covid hit, causing our company to freeze bonuses, which was another 20% hit.  That was still ok, but then we decided to take advantage of low interest rates and working from home to move and buy our first house.  Which is still ok, but we also bought a house we want to do a lot to, which costs $$$, so I'm starting to feel the lack of that 20% (which is really only 10% after taxes).  Sometimes I think about going back to 5 days, but maaaaan I can't wrap my head around only having 2-day weekends now.

boarder42

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #188 on: June 16, 2021, 09:24:48 AM »
I received support today for doing 12 months at 0.75 FTE.

Woohoo congrats!

I went to 32-hrs, Fridays off, in Q4 2019 and it's amazing.  The work week doesn't really feel any shorter (because it's only 20% shorter), but the 3-day weekends are significant (because they're 50% longer), which everyone knows when they get their few 3-day weekends a year.

It's been tricky because shortly after taking that 20% paycut, covid hit, causing our company to freeze bonuses, which was another 20% hit.  That was still ok, but then we decided to take advantage of low interest rates and working from home to move and buy our first house.  Which is still ok, but we also bought a house we want to do a lot to, which costs $$$, so I'm starting to feel the lack of that 20% (which is really only 10% after taxes).  Sometimes I think about going back to 5 days, but maaaaan I can't wrap my head around only having 2-day weekends now.

Can you not work 4-9s and get 10% back but keep your weekend

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #189 on: June 16, 2021, 09:41:37 AM »
I received support today for doing 12 months at 0.75 FTE.

Woohoo congrats!

I went to 32-hrs, Fridays off, in Q4 2019 and it's amazing.  The work week doesn't really feel any shorter (because it's only 20% shorter), but the 3-day weekends are significant (because they're 50% longer), which everyone knows when they get their few 3-day weekends a year.

It's been tricky because shortly after taking that 20% paycut, covid hit, causing our company to freeze bonuses, which was another 20% hit.  That was still ok, but then we decided to take advantage of low interest rates and working from home to move and buy our first house.  Which is still ok, but we also bought a house we want to do a lot to, which costs $$$, so I'm starting to feel the lack of that 20% (which is really only 10% after taxes).  Sometimes I think about going back to 5 days, but maaaaan I can't wrap my head around only having 2-day weekends now.

Can you not work 4-9s and get 10% back but keep your weekend

It'd be 4 10's, but yea I considered it instead of 32-hours originally.  But I really like getting out at 4pm.  The idea of 6pm instead just seems... significant.  Now that we're working from home I'd care less and would do 4 10's, because the work day is all over the place anyway, but we don't know yet if it's going to stay work from home.

SpareChange

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #190 on: June 16, 2021, 10:22:27 AM »
I received support today for doing 12 months at 0.75 FTE. They wanted to put an end date on it to help justify keeping the position fully funded in the event I wanted to go back either during or after the 12 month stint. Kind of the best case scenario I think. And while they were reluctant to approve it, they understood and were supportive given my circumstances. They also wanted to make sure I still had the chance to get my full pension in 27 years if I wanted to go back Full Time. They don't know my financials, so I took it as kindness/consideration and said thanks a bunch.

I still need to work out a few of the details on which projects to ramp down, but that should be fairly straightforward, as well as get the formal OK but the support is there.

Sweet!

Jack0Life

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #191 on: June 18, 2021, 06:19:53 PM »
We are definitely downshifting.
Back in 2019, my wife just graduated and got a nice job right out of college(48k). We were doing the happy dance as we were a DINK couple. Me $120k+ her 48k and we were shooting for $2 millions before retiring.
Eight months in, she hated her job and I was going to let her quit but then the pandemic hit and I got furloughed. She stayed on. Then end of year came and I officially got laid off. She was so sick of her job that even though I don't have one, she was going to quit anyway. We were shooting for March 2021 and we were going to take at least a yr off to travel.
As she put in her notice in March, her boss begged her to stay until July 31. She agreed. Our travel can wait.
Then a funny thing happened and I got my job back in April. Since we both have jobs now, I put in a refinance with cash out(going from 15yr to 30yr) before she quit.
If the refinance come though, I will only need to put in about 16-20 hrs to take care of expenses and let our stash grow(it's around 1.3 million). If the refinance do not come through I'd probably need to put in around 24 hrs each week. Still downshifting though. My math tells me that I can earn around $50k a year with my wife not working and still get significant ACA subsidies. $50k-$12k(IRA)= $38k MAGI for a couple.
One thing the pandemic taught me was how much I enjoy my free time. Can never go back to working FT again.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2021, 07:48:17 PM by Jack0Life »

boarder42

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #192 on: June 19, 2021, 04:49:29 AM »
We are definitely downshifting.
Back in 2019, my wife just graduated and got a nice job right out of college(48k). We were doing the happy dance as we were a DINK couple. Me $120k+ her 48k and we were shooting for $2 millions before retiring.
Eight months in, she hated her job and I was going to let her quit but then the pandemic hit and I got furloughed. She stayed on. Then end of year came and I officially got laid off. She was so sick of her job that even though I don't have one, she was going to quit anyway. We were shooting for March 2021 and we were going to take at least a yr off to travel.
As she put in her notice in March, her boss begged her to stay until July 31. She agreed. Our travel can wait.
Then a funny thing happened and I got my job back in April. Since we both have jobs now, I put in a refinance with cash out(going from 15yr to 30yr) before she quit.
If the refinance come though, I will only need to put in about 16-20 hrs to take care of expenses and let our stash grow(it's around 1.3 million). If the refinance do not come through I'd probably need to put in around 24 hrs each week. Still downshifting though. My math tells me that I can earn around $50k a year with my wife not working and still get significant ACA subsidies. $50k-$12k(IRA)= $38k MAGI for a couple.
One thing the pandemic taught me was how much I enjoy my free time. Can never go back to working FT again.

Congrats. But why do you need 2 million if you're only spending in the mid 30s annually?  I mean you're fi based on what your income needs to be

startingsmall

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #193 on: June 19, 2021, 07:59:20 AM »
I tried to downshift, but hasn't quite worked out like I expected. Apparently, I'm a workaholic.

BEFORE: Worked 40ish hrs/wk as a full-time veterinarian, spent approx 5-10 hrs/wk on freelance writing side hustle.

AFTER: Work 17 hrs/wk as a part-time veterinarian, do occasional relief shifts at other veterinary clinics (avg ~5 hrs/wk), spend approximately 20-30 hrs/wk on freelance writing side hustle.

I'm definitely happier now... I'm not working any less, but I control my own schedule so I have a degree of flexibility that I didn't have before (want to go to yoga class on Friday morning? no problem!). Plus, I'm making a good bit more money than I was making previously. The relief work isn't really part of my overall master plan, but it's $650/day and I actually really enjoy the days I spend at the clinic where I'm mostly doing relief (great team, fabulous clients, fun location within walking distance of cool lunch restaurants)... so I'm not planning to give it up. I'm not ready to give up the stability of at least a PT vet job just yet and the writing is my long-term plan (just didn't expect it to take off so quickly) so that's not going anywhere.

Looks like my downshift will have to wait a while.

It's been roughly a year and a half since my last update, so here's another...
- Still working 17 hrs/wk as a part-time veterinarian.
- Relief work temporarily increased (avg. of 10 hrs/wk), but then I cut WAY back (10 hrs/month). Planning to stop completely after April.
- Freelance writing holding steady at 15-20 hrs/wk.

I'm trying to decide what's next.

The official plan is to hold steady at this level for the next 2-3 years, then relocate towards the coast. At that point, we (husband & I) will be roughly 75% of the way to FI and I plan to REALLY downshift at that point (stop the PT vet work and just write).

Recently, however, I've been much busier with our daughter. She begged for violin lessons and I significantly underestimated how much of a parental time commitment Suzuki violin lessons would involve!! Between than and some other volunteer commitments, I'm feeling kind of fried. I'd like to downshift even more on my work right now, but I don't know how. My PT job provides our health insurance, so it seems stupid to give that up until we see how the election/ACA goes. The writing is my post-relocation income plan (assuming that the ACA sticks around in some form), so it seems silly to cut back on that. I guess my best bet is to stick with the official plan, but I don't know.

Just reread my previous posts and decided that I might as well share another update.

First of all, WE MOVED TOWARDS THE COAST!! YAY!! My husband got a new FT job, which he enjoys, and I'm loving the increased access to outdoor recreation.

I ended up completely stepping away from veterinary practice, both as an employee and relief vet, during COVID. I'm now working solely on freelance writing and averaging ~30 hrs/wk (some weeks more, some weeks less). Even that was bit much while I was homeschooling our daughter through COVID, but it's more reasonable now that she's in summer camps (9 am until 1-4 pm, depending on the week). I think it will be even easier when school starts in the fall (she'll be in school/aftercare from 8-5ish).

I'd like to find time for some specific volunteer work that I'm hoping to get involved in, but I don't feel like I can make it work right now. Maybe it will be easier once school starts. If not, I'll need to decide whether to decrease my workload further or just keep plugging away until we're closer to full FIRE (2028).

Jack0Life

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #194 on: June 19, 2021, 11:22:33 AM »
We are definitely downshifting.
Back in 2019, my wife just graduated and got a nice job right out of college(48k). We were doing the happy dance as we were a DINK couple. Me $120k+ her 48k and we were shooting for $2 millions before retiring.
Eight months in, she hated her job and I was going to let her quit but then the pandemic hit and I got furloughed. She stayed on. Then end of year came and I officially got laid off. She was so sick of her job that even though I don't have one, she was going to quit anyway. We were shooting for March 2021 and we were going to take at least a yr off to travel.
As she put in her notice in March, her boss begged her to stay until July 31. She agreed. Our travel can wait.
Then a funny thing happened and I got my job back in April. Since we both have jobs now, I put in a refinance with cash out(going from 15yr to 30yr) before she quit.
If the refinance come though, I will only need to put in about 16-20 hrs to take care of expenses and let our stash grow(it's around 1.3 million). If the refinance do not come through I'd probably need to put in around 24 hrs each week. Still downshifting though. My math tells me that I can earn around $50k a year with my wife not working and still get significant ACA subsidies. $50k-$12k(IRA)= $38k MAGI for a couple.
One thing the pandemic taught me was how much I enjoy my free time. Can never go back to working FT again.

Congrats. But why do you need 2 million if you're only spending in the mid 30s annually?  I mean you're fi based on what your income needs to be

We're NOT going for $2 millions. Originally when we were DINK in 2019, we were thinking of FatFIRE at $2 millions. The pandemic changed that.
I will just work to cover expenses and let our $1.3 stash grow. My job is very flexible. It does not not hinder our traveling plans at all.
If we can refinance, our year expenses will be roughly $40k-$45k. If not ~$50k. While $1.3 million should be enough to FIRE, my job is too easy and flexible to give up. I'm 49 and wife is 39.  She can say she retired before 40 :)

SpareChange

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #195 on: June 20, 2021, 05:24:25 PM »
I tried to downshift, but hasn't quite worked out like I expected. Apparently, I'm a workaholic.

BEFORE: Worked 40ish hrs/wk as a full-time veterinarian, spent approx 5-10 hrs/wk on freelance writing side hustle.

AFTER: Work 17 hrs/wk as a part-time veterinarian, do occasional relief shifts at other veterinary clinics (avg ~5 hrs/wk), spend approximately 20-30 hrs/wk on freelance writing side hustle.

I'm definitely happier now... I'm not working any less, but I control my own schedule so I have a degree of flexibility that I didn't have before (want to go to yoga class on Friday morning? no problem!). Plus, I'm making a good bit more money than I was making previously. The relief work isn't really part of my overall master plan, but it's $650/day and I actually really enjoy the days I spend at the clinic where I'm mostly doing relief (great team, fabulous clients, fun location within walking distance of cool lunch restaurants)... so I'm not planning to give it up. I'm not ready to give up the stability of at least a PT vet job just yet and the writing is my long-term plan (just didn't expect it to take off so quickly) so that's not going anywhere.

Looks like my downshift will have to wait a while.

It's been roughly a year and a half since my last update, so here's another...
- Still working 17 hrs/wk as a part-time veterinarian.
- Relief work temporarily increased (avg. of 10 hrs/wk), but then I cut WAY back (10 hrs/month). Planning to stop completely after April.
- Freelance writing holding steady at 15-20 hrs/wk.

I'm trying to decide what's next.

The official plan is to hold steady at this level for the next 2-3 years, then relocate towards the coast. At that point, we (husband & I) will be roughly 75% of the way to FI and I plan to REALLY downshift at that point (stop the PT vet work and just write).

Recently, however, I've been much busier with our daughter. She begged for violin lessons and I significantly underestimated how much of a parental time commitment Suzuki violin lessons would involve!! Between than and some other volunteer commitments, I'm feeling kind of fried. I'd like to downshift even more on my work right now, but I don't know how. My PT job provides our health insurance, so it seems stupid to give that up until we see how the election/ACA goes. The writing is my post-relocation income plan (assuming that the ACA sticks around in some form), so it seems silly to cut back on that. I guess my best bet is to stick with the official plan, but I don't know.

Just reread my previous posts and decided that I might as well share another update.

First of all, WE MOVED TOWARDS THE COAST!! YAY!! My husband got a new FT job, which he enjoys, and I'm loving the increased access to outdoor recreation.

I ended up completely stepping away from veterinary practice, both as an employee and relief vet, during COVID. I'm now working solely on freelance writing and averaging ~30 hrs/wk (some weeks more, some weeks less). Even that was bit much while I was homeschooling our daughter through COVID, but it's more reasonable now that she's in summer camps (9 am until 1-4 pm, depending on the week). I think it will be even easier when school starts in the fall (she'll be in school/aftercare from 8-5ish).

I'd like to find time for some specific volunteer work that I'm hoping to get involved in, but I don't feel like I can make it work right now. Maybe it will be easier once school starts. If not, I'll need to decide whether to decrease my workload further or just keep plugging away until we're closer to full FIRE (2028).

Almost 3 years of updates! Nice. How long were you in vet med? Do you still enjoy the freelance writing, or has it moved more towards a flexible means to an end?

startingsmall

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #196 on: June 20, 2021, 06:26:25 PM »
I tried to downshift, but hasn't quite worked out like I expected. Apparently, I'm a workaholic.

BEFORE: Worked 40ish hrs/wk as a full-time veterinarian, spent approx 5-10 hrs/wk on freelance writing side hustle.

AFTER: Work 17 hrs/wk as a part-time veterinarian, do occasional relief shifts at other veterinary clinics (avg ~5 hrs/wk), spend approximately 20-30 hrs/wk on freelance writing side hustle.

I'm definitely happier now... I'm not working any less, but I control my own schedule so I have a degree of flexibility that I didn't have before (want to go to yoga class on Friday morning? no problem!). Plus, I'm making a good bit more money than I was making previously. The relief work isn't really part of my overall master plan, but it's $650/day and I actually really enjoy the days I spend at the clinic where I'm mostly doing relief (great team, fabulous clients, fun location within walking distance of cool lunch restaurants)... so I'm not planning to give it up. I'm not ready to give up the stability of at least a PT vet job just yet and the writing is my long-term plan (just didn't expect it to take off so quickly) so that's not going anywhere.

Looks like my downshift will have to wait a while.

It's been roughly a year and a half since my last update, so here's another...
- Still working 17 hrs/wk as a part-time veterinarian.
- Relief work temporarily increased (avg. of 10 hrs/wk), but then I cut WAY back (10 hrs/month). Planning to stop completely after April.
- Freelance writing holding steady at 15-20 hrs/wk.

I'm trying to decide what's next.

The official plan is to hold steady at this level for the next 2-3 years, then relocate towards the coast. At that point, we (husband & I) will be roughly 75% of the way to FI and I plan to REALLY downshift at that point (stop the PT vet work and just write).

Recently, however, I've been much busier with our daughter. She begged for violin lessons and I significantly underestimated how much of a parental time commitment Suzuki violin lessons would involve!! Between than and some other volunteer commitments, I'm feeling kind of fried. I'd like to downshift even more on my work right now, but I don't know how. My PT job provides our health insurance, so it seems stupid to give that up until we see how the election/ACA goes. The writing is my post-relocation income plan (assuming that the ACA sticks around in some form), so it seems silly to cut back on that. I guess my best bet is to stick with the official plan, but I don't know.

Just reread my previous posts and decided that I might as well share another update.

First of all, WE MOVED TOWARDS THE COAST!! YAY!! My husband got a new FT job, which he enjoys, and I'm loving the increased access to outdoor recreation.

I ended up completely stepping away from veterinary practice, both as an employee and relief vet, during COVID. I'm now working solely on freelance writing and averaging ~30 hrs/wk (some weeks more, some weeks less). Even that was bit much while I was homeschooling our daughter through COVID, but it's more reasonable now that she's in summer camps (9 am until 1-4 pm, depending on the week). I think it will be even easier when school starts in the fall (she'll be in school/aftercare from 8-5ish).

I'd like to find time for some specific volunteer work that I'm hoping to get involved in, but I don't feel like I can make it work right now. Maybe it will be easier once school starts. If not, I'll need to decide whether to decrease my workload further or just keep plugging away until we're closer to full FIRE (2028).

Almost 3 years of updates! Nice. How long were you in vet med? Do you still enjoy the freelance writing, or has it moved more towards a flexible means to an end?

I spent a total of 14 years as a practicing veterinarian, which was more than enough for me!!

I do still enjoy the writing, though my enjoyment has waned a bit now that I'm doing more of it. I can't ever see myself stepping away from it completely, but I'm looking forward to reaching a point where I can scale back to just my favorite clients and feel free to say no to anything that will involve zoom/phone calls or multiple rounds of review. LOL.

PlanetDee

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #197 on: June 22, 2021, 07:29:33 AM »
I plan to downshift and coast starting next year. I have a cushy state job, but I've been searching for something part time and with more satisfaction. I decided to start a massage therapy program in the fall on the weekends while I'm still working and then downshift to massage 15 or so hours a week after the program is over. Husband will work for another few years as well - we're 30, no kids, with around $560k net worth. I'd much rather work part time than keep doing this full time grind.

FLBiker

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #198 on: June 30, 2021, 07:29:32 AM »
Thanks for this thread!  I'm planning to downshift next year -- not sure exactly what it will look like.  I'll probably start by asking for 75% -- either in the form of reduced hours every week or additional weeks off.  I don't really know what the reception will be.  If they push back, I might just look for a part-time job doing something different.  I don't make a fortune ($95K CAD full-time) but it's the most I've ever made and 75% of it is more than I could make doing other part-time work, I suspect.

If push comes to shove, though, I'm increasingly interested in pursuing financial planning.  The sales part of it is a non-starter for me, though, so it might be a no-go.  I'm in Canada, FWIW.

Fortunately, we're pretty much at our FI number (married, 1 kid, ~$1.25M USD) so I have some flexibility.  I'm waiting a year to do anything because my employer just engaged a PEO so that they can employ me in Canada (we moved from the US) and I told them I'd stay for a year (because it cost them some money upfront).  At the same time, I want to get a sense of our spending up here so I don't really mind.  Hopefully, they'll be receptive to 75% (and then in a year or two likely 50%).  We shall see!

boarder42

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #199 on: June 30, 2021, 01:07:57 PM »
Thanks for this thread!  I'm planning to downshift next year -- not sure exactly what it will look like.  I'll probably start by asking for 75% -- either in the form of reduced hours every week or additional weeks off.  I don't really know what the reception will be.  If they push back, I might just look for a part-time job doing something different.  I don't make a fortune ($95K CAD full-time) but it's the most I've ever made and 75% of it is more than I could make doing other part-time work, I suspect.

If push comes to shove, though, I'm increasingly interested in pursuing financial planning.  The sales part of it is a non-starter for me, though, so it might be a no-go.  I'm in Canada, FWIW.

Fortunately, we're pretty much at our FI number (married, 1 kid, ~$1.25M USD) so I have some flexibility.  I'm waiting a year to do anything because my employer just engaged a PEO so that they can employ me in Canada (we moved from the US) and I told them I'd stay for a year (because it cost them some money upfront).  At the same time, I want to get a sense of our spending up here so I don't really mind.  Hopefully, they'll be receptive to 75% (and then in a year or two likely 50%).  We shall see!

my wife was told no reduced or part time work.  Then when she put her 2 weeks in they were like you're welcome to come back part time whenever you want.