Author Topic: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?  (Read 6378 times)

aGracefulStomp

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Just starting my FIRE journey and messing round with the figures (in a spreadsheet of course 😉).

My maths has highlighted two different scenarios or strategies: working full-time till FIRE (about 15-17 years) OR working full-time for 10 years and then working part-time for another 10 years and then FIREing. I would spend my entire part-time income as living expenses and let my FIRE principal compound by itself (alternatively I could work full time at a much lower paying and lower stress job). Both scenarios end up with the same investment sum.

The FIRE difference between the two is only 3-5 years, and the second option seems so much more desirable.

I've been reading a lot on the forum and on the reddit thread and I haven't seen many people pursuing this strategy. Like a lot of people seem to do part-time as a way to ease into FIRE, but not actually pull the plug on full-time work (or at least high-paying but often high-stress accumulation-focused job) years in advance as part of their strategy.

So did anyone do this? If you didn't, why? Or have I got the maths wrong?

Please move if this is in the wrong forum :)

Edit: should note that I'm Australian so don't have concerns about benefits like healthcare insurance etc etc
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 09:15:48 PM by aGracefulStomp »

Beardog

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. Thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2017, 05:06:30 PM »
I asked my employer to move from full time job (that I'd been working at for 8 years) to a part time job and they offered me a one year contract, which I accepted.  However, it's a one year contract at their option to renew or not.  Having looked around a bit, I think it will be difficult to find a part time job in my field with benefits.  Since one of the reasons I want to continue to work is health insurance, benefits are important to me.  So I wouldn't count on part time work if I were you unless there is significant social change, or you don't care about benefits.  You may want to look around and see how many part time jobs are available in your field as you consider your options.

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2017, 11:41:11 PM »
You are not alone in your plans

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/semi-retirees-united/

Less income of semi-retirement means many tax advantages.  Having some income is an inflation (second greatest risk to FIRE) hedge .  If your income remains scalable (ie FT work remains an option if you choose) you are essentially immune to the dreaded sequence of returns risk, which is the largest risk to FIRE failure.

No only do you get to start enjoying more free time sooner, but your retirement become more antifragile. 
 

AlexK

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2017, 11:52:00 PM »
I FIREd and now working part time just for something fun to do. My job has free health insurance too so that is a bug plus here in the US. My part time job actually pays all my expenses, about $22k/yr so the stache investment income is just compounding and growing.

The part time gig is awesome. I fly drones and usually stay home when the weather is not good. I spent 10+ years working inside so really what I love is being able to work outside now. I like to be cold when it's cold, get wet when it rains, basically feel alive as opposed to sitting in a cubicle under fluorescent lights.

Also I have a need to work with my hands and build things. If not working I would have to pay for everything. At work I can get a lot of that out of my system and they foot the bill.

limeandpepper

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2017, 01:32:55 AM »
I am sort of doing this at the moment, though I guess somewhat by accident. I was working full-time for several years and then I quit to travel for a while with my partner. Upon our return I found a part-time job and well... I've just kind of stuck with it as I'm enjoying the lifestyle and I'm feeling like I can't be bothered going back to a full-time job. It's still possible that I may work full-time again, but don't really find it financially necessary, so I'll just cruise along and see what happens.

deborah

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2017, 10:43:03 PM »
There are several Australians doing this, so it's not uncommon here.

HappierAtHome

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2017, 10:51:08 PM »
As other Aussies have noted, I think it's more common here - probably because our employers are more likely to approve part-time work arrangements? Seems like the US has a very "full time or nothing" culture".

I've seen a few threads on this within the last six months so it might be a growing trend among the posters here :-)

Personally: I've been working part-time (30 hours a week) for the last eighteen months. After having my first child later this year my plan is to never work more than three days a week / 22.5 hours a week again (my husband will work "part-time" too, four days a week which is about 40 hours a week for him, so 80% pay and 80% effort but still as many hours as my full-time load was). So my career looks like: work full time for 6.5 years, work part-time and take lots of long breaks for maternity leave, for 14-16ish years. FIRE. Enjoy.

AnEDO

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2017, 07:54:35 AM »
A big part of our FIRE plans involve part-time work.  We are close to FI but about 1/3 of our assets are in 401ks and traditional IRAs.  We plan to work part time while doing ROTH conversions on the IRAs over time starting 2020.  We also plan to sell off the rental properties over time as the right opportunities present themselves. So while we do that and the ROTH conversions, we will keep earning part time.  We have 3 young kids.  I am in the reserves so I get health insurance for the family for a little over $200/month.  End goal is all rentals sold and equity invested into stock ETFs, house completely paid off, and all IRA funds converted to ROTH IRA.  At that point, work is completely optional but we might work a project here and there and travel during the summers when kids are out of school.   

Retire-Canada

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2017, 06:35:09 PM »
So did anyone do this? If you didn't, why? Or have I got the maths wrong?

I am doing something like this. I'm ending FT work this year and downshifting to PT. Since I have no idea what the market will do I don't have a timetable to stop working PT. I have a FIRE $$ target. I'll work PT until I hit it.

I think this is a solid plan because you lots of time off sooner when you are healthier and my feeling is that FT desk work is terrible for us so stopping that early means better health and enjoyment in FIRE. The switch from FT work to zero work can prove traumatic for people so a more gradual shift is less stressful and who knows you might find that working 10-15hrs a week is actually enjoyable when you combined with massive amounts of time off?

aGracefulStomp

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2017, 02:27:31 PM »
I am doing something like this. I'm ending FT work this year and downshifting to PT. Since I have no idea what the market will do I don't have a timetable to stop working PT. I have a FIRE $$ target. I'll work PT until I hit it.

Awesome - that's a really interesting approach. Let's say the market returns the 7% average, how long do you estimate it will take you to reach FIRE? I guess the sooner you switch to part-time, the more uncertain the future becomes in terms of when you will reach FIRE. I'm wondering at what point I would feel confident enough to switch (e.g based on the assumption of 7% - 5, 10, 15 years?)

Retire-Canada

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2017, 02:55:33 PM »
Awesome - that's a really interesting approach. Let's say the market returns the 7% average, how long do you estimate it will take you to reach FIRE? I guess the sooner you switch to part-time, the more uncertain the future becomes in terms of when you will reach FIRE. I'm wondering at what point I would feel confident enough to switch (e.g based on the assumption of 7% - 5, 10, 15 years?)

So at 7% returns after inflation it would take me 4-5yrs PT to hit FIRE. It's true that as soon as I go PT the time to reach FIRE expands since it's only returns fuelling my portfolio growth, but I will be so much happier and healthier I don't think I'll care. I'll have months off a year and get to see everyone I want to see and do everything I want to do and still make enough $$ to pay for my actual life costs. That sounds awesome to me.

I actually see far less risk with this plan as I can happily work a bit extra if there is a market crash, I can adapt to FIRE without a harsh life change and if I am feeling uncertain/unhappy about the economy I can downshift to minimal PT and earn say $10K/yr, which would massively buffer my portfolio through the early sequence of return risk phase.

John Doe

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2017, 03:19:17 PM »
I am going to PT as of April 1.  I will be going to 2.5 days/week but have the flexibility as to how I meet that target - I could work FT one week then take the next week off.  While I am already FI I feel going to PT is a good transition for me to permanent FIRE. I will go PT for a year, maybe two if I am enjoying it.  No more than two years though.  I am 50 years old an d am excited about having more personal time available to me in the near future.  Also letting the stash grow for a couple of years without having the need to dip into it while working PT is pretty appealing.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2017, 03:25:35 PM »
I am going to PT as of April 1.  I will be going to 2.5 days/week but have the flexibility as to how I meet that target - I could work FT one week then take the next week off.  While I am already FI I feel going to PT is a good transition for me to permanent FIRE. I will go PT for a year, maybe two if I am enjoying it.  No more than two years though.  I am 50 years old an d am excited about having more personal time available to me in the near future.  Also letting the stash grow for a couple of years without having the need to dip into it while working PT is pretty appealing.

Congrats. Enjoy and post something when you get to PT. Let us know how it's going.

financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2017, 02:34:06 AM »
I FIREd and now working part time just for something fun to do. My job has free health insurance too so that is a bug plus here in the US. My part time job actually pays all my expenses, about $22k/yr so the stache investment income is just compounding and growing.

The part time gig is awesome. I fly drones and usually stay home when the weather is not good. I spent 10+ years working inside so really what I love is being able to work outside now. I like to be cold when it's cold, get wet when it rains, basically feel alive as opposed to sitting in a cubicle under fluorescent lights.

Also I have a need to work with my hands and build things. If not working I would have to pay for everything. At work I can get a lot of that out of my system and they foot the bill.
I completely agree with you! I am currently in the market for a new job and also want something that gets me out of the cubicle. Did it for 16 years and I am done with it!! Kudos on flying the drones! Seems like a cool job to do, it is being out and about physically but also mentaly challenging with the build/repairs, good find!

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2017, 02:42:53 AM »
The reason the OP hasn't heard about this seems to be the US work ethic / contract / benefits and particularly health insurance system.

Outside of the US, I think this is much more do able. One of my options is to work full time for a while, and then go travelling in LCOL countries while the stache does its thing, maybe doing a bit of consulting work and maybe not. When the stache can cover a SWR in my HCOL home geography, come back.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2017, 07:13:37 AM »
The reason the OP hasn't heard about this seems to be the US work ethic / contract / benefits and particularly health insurance system.

I'm in Canada and don't need a PT job for any reason beyond it let's me free up time years before I would have the $$ if I worked FT until FIRE.

Libertea

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2017, 07:44:52 AM »
I started the semi-retirement thread CL linked, and I just semi-retired a few weeks ago.  I will be doing a (relatively poorly paid) internship to become trained in a new field (for interest), and also working very PT in my prior career (one day per week) starting this summer after taking a six month sabbatical.  I have saved enough money at this point that I could FIRE right now with some lifestyle changes, but this does not seem desirable to me--both because I would rather not make the lifestyle changes (which would include being unable to pay for my niece's and nephew's college tuitions), and because at this point in my early 40s, I don't really want to stop working altogether yet.  I just didn't want to continue on with my prior job any more, and particularly not FT.  Regarding doing it PT, my plan is to try it for six months, see how I feel about doing it PT, and then reassess at the end of this year.

Guesl982374

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2017, 12:30:40 PM »
The FIRE difference between the two is only 3-5 years, and the second option seems so much more desirable.

I've been reading a lot on the forum and on the reddit thread and I haven't seen many people pursuing this strategy. Like a lot of people seem to do part-time as a way to ease into FIRE, but not actually pull the plug on full-time work (or at least high-paying but often high-stress accumulation-focused job) years in advance as part of their strategy.
Edit: should note that I'm Australian so don't have concerns about benefits like healthcare insurance etc etc

I agree that using part time work for a number of years from a lifestyle standpoint is much more desirable, however:

-For better or worst, most on English speaking financial websites & forum members are from the US where health insurance is important
-Most people thinking about FI earn above the median income for their location. Most of these jobs can't be done part time. Taking a part time job usually results in a lower $/hr pay which extends part time period in your example (eg. moving from 100% FT to 50% PT results in gross income dropping from 100% to 20-30%, not 50%)

Show me a 50% PT job (hell even 60%) where I can earn an annualized (if working full time) 3x the annualized median in my field with health insurance and I'll jump ship right now. It just isn't an option in my discipline/industry/country.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2017, 12:39:33 PM »
Show me a 50% PT job (hell even 60%) where I can earn an annualized (if working full time) 3x the annualized median in my field with health insurance and I'll jump ship right now. It just isn't an option in my discipline/industry/country.

The point of downshifting is not to make a lot of money. It's to cover your costs as your assets growth on their own. If you can't live off less than 50% of 300% or 150% of the median salary in your field this won't work for you.

To your other point I do consulting work and it fits very well into the PT/downshift approach being discussed here and pays more per hour than being a full-time employee in the same position and gets better tax treatment. The downsides are no benefits and lack of stability. You'll need to figure out the benefits for FIRE one way or the other and the lack of stability/FT employment is actually what you are looking for as you downshift so it's not a problem.

Every company I've worked with loves consultants/contractors because they are so flexible and it's overall cheaper to hire someone this way than get saddled with a FT employee and all the costs they come with.

Nangirl17

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2017, 06:47:17 PM »
   We are doing this. I can't say that we actually planned from the start to do this, but now that we are here I'm so glad it worked out that way.

  My DH went to part time when my maternity leave was up (I couldn't work PT at that time, and he felt strongly that he didn't want DS in daycare 5 days a week), and 2+years later it worked out that I could go PT (good thing too - I was about to quit this job that I actually love, but is rather stressful). Now we are both part time - our FIRE date is later, but the life we lead now is SO much more sustainable and enjoyable that I will never go back to FT if I can help it. It doesn't matter to me that I have to work longer now - I have the time to do other activities and because of this good balance I enjoy my job so much more - even to the point of looking forward to being on call!

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2017, 12:16:02 AM »
-Most people thinking about FI earn above the median income for their location. Most of these jobs can't be done part time. Taking a part time job usually results in a lower $/hr pay which extends part time period in your example (eg. moving from 100% FT to 50% PT results in gross income dropping from 100% to 20-30%, not 50%)

Show me a 50% PT job (hell even 60%) where I can earn an annualized (if working full time) 3x the annualized median in my field with health insurance and I'll jump ship right now. It just isn't an option in my discipline/industry/country.

Are you in the US? I haven't found this to be universal. My organisation has MD's who work three days/week. It is a international company headquartered in the US but required to follow UK employment law.

Similarly, we have consultants who only work fixed months and are away the rest of the time.

The more I hear about US labour laws and conventions the less I like them.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2017, 09:31:27 AM »
I originally thought that I would run with option one, work till I hit my full FIRE # and then quit......the further along I get, the more appealing option two is sounding.

ToTheMoon

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2017, 09:52:18 AM »
We are currently doing something like this.

Hubby worked FT in a very physical job while I was a SAHM for the last 6 years.  He was burnt out and (because we had saved up a decent sized stash) we decided to take an approx. 1 year break so he could spend more time with the family and give his body a rest.  During this time, an opportunity came about for him to re-train in a completely different career field that we had always discussed, but could never find the right time/money for.

I took a PT job (20 hours a week), he went away to a different country to train for 3 months, and is now back doing something he really enjoys (about 30 hours a week with a lot of flexibility), and we are letting our stash do its thing for the next few years.  We may return to more FT work once the kiddos are older (if we need to), but for now we are enjoying the family time together. 

FU money is awesome - it gives you so many options that would otherwise be simply a dream!

JoJo

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2017, 02:14:55 PM »
There are some of us discussing this over in the 2017 FIRE cohort.  I was getting ready to RE this year but an opportunity to go part time has come up that will allow me to work full time most weeks and then take a couple 1-2 month trips per year plus days I want off here and there.  I'd do this at a 25-40% pay cut with benefits maintained.  It's not for sure but I really like some of the projects I'm working on now.

SomedayStache

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2017, 02:34:44 PM »
If my husband and myself could both do part-time work we would be so much happier.  (He's currently miserable as a SAHD and I'm miserable at my soul sucking job).

Anyone know any job fields that are friendlier to the idea of part time work? (I asked once at my current employer and was literally laughed at).

Health insurance is another major block to this approach for the US folk.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2017, 02:42:41 PM »
If my husband and myself could both do part-time work we would be so much happier.  (He's currently miserable as a SAHD and I'm miserable at my soul sucking job).

Anyone know any job fields that are friendlier to the idea of part time work? (I asked once at my current employer and was literally laughed at).

Health insurance is another major block to this approach for the US folk.

If you have FU money that allows you to take a risk of a period of unemployment between contracts, you could become a temp agency worker/consultant.  Work a project to completion and then have your contact at agency mark you unavailable for assignment for 6 weeks or so.  You could stay on COBRA from work (probably expensive) until we find out what the GOP congress has in store for post-ACA world. 

Beardog

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2017, 04:58:31 PM »
We are currently doing something like this.

Hubby worked FT in a very physical job while I was a SAHM for the last 6 years.  He was burnt out and (because we had saved up a decent sized stash) we decided to take an approx. 1 year break so he could spend more time with the family and give his body a rest.  During this time, an opportunity came about for him to re-train in a completely different career field that we had always discussed, but could never find the right time/money for.

I took a PT job (20 hours a week), he went away to a different country to train for 3 months, and is now back doing something he really enjoys (about 30 hours a week with a lot of flexibility), and we are letting our stash do its thing for the next few years.  We may return to more FT work once the kiddos are older (if we need to), but for now we are enjoying the family time together. 

FU money is awesome - it gives you so many options that would otherwise be simply a dream!

I really enjoyed your story.  Kudo's to both of you!  FU money is so very awesome.

aGracefulStomp

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2017, 05:10:59 PM »
If my husband and myself could both do part-time work we would be so much happier.  (He's currently miserable as a SAHD and I'm miserable at my soul sucking job).

Anyone know any job fields that are friendlier to the idea of part time work? (I asked once at my current employer and was literally laughed at).

Health insurance is another major block to this approach for the US folk.

Agreed with the US. One field may be law - I've found a few part time solicitor positions, and a lot of well paying part time legal assistants/paralegal positions going. I think it would be quite easy to get a paralegal position if you were a previously lawyer for 10 years.

PhysicianOnFIRE

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2017, 09:00:06 PM »
The Happy Philosopher is doing this as a radiologist. He wrote a great guide to part time work for physicians.

I've explored the effects of working part time at various career points as it relates to time to financial independence.


happy

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2017, 01:28:35 AM »
I didn't know about FIRE,  but I've always been interested in downshifting. I loved the Happy Philosophers article. I worked 13 years full-time as a physician albeit with 2 full years off in that period - one year to travel and one to study with minimal pay overseas. Once I had my son age 36 I worked part-time - hours between 0.4FTE and 0.75FTE. I found FIRE about 5 years ago - so am not quite retired yet. But like the Happy Philosopher, part-time work saved my career.

Edit to add: I feel so fortunate to earn a good enough income to still work part-time and save for retirement. I've thought about changing jobs to something with lower stress, but I've worked myself into a niche that mostly works for me and the patients. And honestly I can't think of anything else I want to do  ( or re-train to do) for money! Some people can't think of what to do with themselves when they retire..I'm the opposite.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2017, 01:36:03 AM by happy »

financialfreedomsloth

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2017, 10:55:35 AM »
I do not want to shamelessly promote my own blog but working a few months a year is actually central to my strategy also. It is more or less described herehttp://financialfreedomsloth.com/2017/01/17/life-achieving-financial-freedom/ . The Belgian high taxes make it difficult to build up a really big stash but our social security system also makes it difficult to quit the system completely. So a different approach might be better in Europe. And it is not all that bad of a life either I think.

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2017, 11:25:23 AM »
Curious, does anyone have links to academic research regarding job satisfaction or personal happiness on FT vs PT employment? At the very least long term, personal experience with this they would share in more detail (pros/cons)?

I tend to build up my PTO to a point where I have to use it or lose it and have had periods of a month or two where I only work one or two days a week.  Anecdotally, during those periods, I am much more satisfied with my job.  I go in feeling vigorous and refreshed, enjoy the challenges, the social contact of peers, etc.  I'm lucky enough to have a "leave work at work" type of job, so YMMV.  Also, I've never done it for extended periods of years or more, over time such a situation may become more hassle than it's worth.

There are a ton of articles out there on the "new/gig economy", so I wonder if PT options will become more the norm in many fields in the US?

happy

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2017, 01:36:59 PM »
@Happy

Thx!  I'm perusing the info, already of note in the data is that both in Aus and GB only about 10 percent were actually less happy when "downshifting".  However, almost a full two thirds actually missed the money, or worse, struggling without it. Likey few on this forum would fall into those categories since we have (hopefully at least) already experimented with our personal levels of enough. 

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2017, 02:21:09 PM »
I'll likely be doing the part time thing within 5 years. My employer (~8,000 employees, research/engineering/consulting) fully supports anywhere from 20 to 40 hours a week schedules with costs for health insurance and vacation accrual all prorated. They also have a setup where I can go "on-call", which means I'm still an employee but only work if needed, which is a good option because if retiring early doesn't work out it takes 1 signature to be back to full time work. Part time employees are treated just like full time because we all work some % on multiple projects so a person working 30 hours a week will likely just work on one less project than I do.


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The Happy Philosopher

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2017, 06:13:23 PM »
I didn't know about FIRE,  but I've always been interested in downshifting. I loved the Happy Philosophers article. I worked 13 years full-time as a physician albeit with 2 full years off in that period - one year to travel and one to study with minimal pay overseas. Once I had my son age 36 I worked part-time - hours between 0.4FTE and 0.75FTE. I found FIRE about 5 years ago - so am not quite retired yet. But like the Happy Philosopher, part-time work saved my career.

Edit to add: I feel so fortunate to earn a good enough income to still work part-time and save for retirement. I've thought about changing jobs to something with lower stress, but I've worked myself into a niche that mostly works for me and the patients. And honestly I can't think of anything else I want to do  ( or re-train to do) for money! Some people can't think of what to do with themselves when they retire..I'm the opposite.

Thanks for the shout out PoF, and I'm glad you got some value from the post happy! Sounds like your path has been a success. That is excellent. I love to hear about physicians that made an alternative practice model or fraction of full time work be successful.

I am a lot happier with part-time, but everyone will have a unique experience. It is a complex decision that doesn't have nice and easy check boxes. There is the financial aspect, the psychological impact, issues of health insurance, possibility of boredom or relationship stress, job stability, etc. For me, I knew my career was only going to last a few years at full time, so the decision was easy - try and cut back or plan on a very early retirement. For people that actually like their job, or are at least not burned out the decision becomes harder. I've yet to meet a part time physician who wants to go back to full time, so in my small sample size everyone is happier working less. I need to write more on the experience of part time work now that I have done it for several years and the newness has worn off so to speak.

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2017, 06:47:19 PM »
Anecdata: my work satisfaction has improved considerably since shifting to a four day, 30 hour week. The bullshit bothers me less, I enjoy my time at work more, and everything just feels like it's better balanced.

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2017, 06:53:44 PM »
Anecdata: my work satisfaction has improved considerably since shifting to a four day, 30 hour week. The bullshit bothers me less, I enjoy my time at work more, and everything just feels like it's better balanced.

I'm glad to hear that!

I went to a 3 day 30hrs/week schedule last year for a few months and loved it. Worked 3 days and then had a 4 day weekend every week. As you note it was far far easier to deal with the typical work stressors when you get a lot of time off.

FWIW I can't wait to go back to PT.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2017, 08:26:16 PM by Retire-Canada »

happy

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #38 on: January 23, 2017, 01:56:21 AM »

Thanks for the shout out PoF, and I'm glad you got some value from the post happy! Sounds like your path has been a success. That is excellent. I love to hear about physicians that made an alternative practice model or fraction of full time work be successful.

I am a lot happier with part-time, but everyone will have a unique experience. It is a complex decision that doesn't have nice and easy check boxes. There is the financial aspect, the psychological impact, issues of health insurance, possibility of boredom or relationship stress, job stability, etc. For me, I knew my career was only going to last a few years at full time, so the decision was easy - try and cut back or plan on a very early retirement. For people that actually like their job, or are at least not burned out the decision becomes harder. I've yet to meet a part time physician who wants to go back to full time, so in my small sample size everyone is happier working less. I need to write more on the experience of part time work now that I have done it for several years and the newness has worn off so to speak.

You might like this piece from a fellow colleague Dr Hilton Koppe, who believes doctors should really work 0.6FTE...he is fairly active in the College of General Practitioners ( like family medicine in US)...and he has spoken widely about this for at least a decade. A bit of a controversial position from a male rural based GP ( guys who typically work a zillion hours here).

https://gpra.org.au/advice-from-a-gp/

arebelspy

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #39 on: January 23, 2017, 02:27:07 AM »
If we were starting over, we'd likely be doing a semi-ER path, though rather than part time work consistently for a long time, it'd look something like "work a year, take 1-2 years off, work a year, take 1-2 years off."

That gives complete freedom in those "off" years to pursue things that may require complete disconnecting from work--long hiking trips, overseas travel for months (or years) at a time, etc.

I've posted more details about such a plan before, with numbers to illustrate what the maths of it would look like, if you want to do a search.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #40 on: January 23, 2017, 06:54:05 AM »
I've posted more details about such a plan before, with numbers to illustrate what the maths of it would look like, if you want to do a search.

Coles Notes - did you find over many years that there was a difference in the FIRE math between say working 2yrs FT and taking 1yr off then repeat and say working the equivalent hours PT over the same period?

The Happy Philosopher

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #41 on: January 23, 2017, 09:30:21 AM »


You might like this piece from a fellow colleague Dr Hilton Koppe, who believes doctors should really work 0.6FTE...he is fairly active in the College of General Practitioners ( like family medicine in US)...and he has spoken widely about this for at least a decade. A bit of a controversial position from a male rural based GP ( guys who typically work a zillion hours here).

https://gpra.org.au/advice-from-a-gp/

That is great, love the list. I even had to tweet it. 0.6 sounds just about ideal to me.

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #42 on: January 23, 2017, 09:56:36 AM »
If we were starting over, we'd likely be doing a semi-ER path, though rather than part time work consistently for a long time, it'd look something like "work a year, take 1-2 years off, work a year, take 1-2 years off."

That gives complete freedom in those "off" years to pursue things that may require complete disconnecting from work--long hiking trips, overseas travel for months (or years) at a time, etc.

I've posted more details about such a plan before, with numbers to illustrate what the maths of it would look like, if you want to do a search.

Could you please link? <3

Cassie

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #43 on: January 23, 2017, 01:54:21 PM »
I think p.t. work makes for a great work-life balance especially if you have kids. I was fully retired for about 7 months but something was missing. Then I was offered a chance to teach a college class online and it is perfect. I can still travel because I can do it from anywhere that has internet. I am now 62 and don't plan to quit unless I get sick of it.

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #44 on: January 23, 2017, 03:26:21 PM »
I've posted more details about such a plan before, with numbers to illustrate what the maths of it would look like, if you want to do a search.

Coles Notes - did you find over many years that there was a difference in the FIRE math between say working 2yrs FT and taking 1yr off then repeat and say working the equivalent hours PT over the same period?

Some, yes, but not as much as you'd think, IMO.

Could you please link? <3

I will search later, sure.

I have a blog post half written with spreadsheet math on it, but it's based on the forum post, which is probably sufficient for anyone here to get it immediately.

I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

Guesl982374

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #45 on: January 24, 2017, 08:28:14 AM »
-Most people thinking about FI earn above the median income for their location. Most of these jobs can't be done part time. Taking a part time job usually results in a lower $/hr pay which extends part time period in your example (eg. moving from 100% FT to 50% PT results in gross income dropping from 100% to 20-30%, not 50%)

Show me a 50% PT job (hell even 60%) where I can earn an annualized (if working full time) 3x the annualized median in my field with health insurance and I'll jump ship right now. It just isn't an option in my discipline/industry/country.

Are you in the US? I haven't found this to be universal. My organisation has MD's who work three days/week. It is a international company headquartered in the US but required to follow UK employment law.

Similarly, we have consultants who only work fixed months and are away the rest of the time.

The more I hear about US labour laws and conventions the less I like them.

I am in the US. For my type of work/level, part time / consulting is not an option.

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #46 on: January 24, 2017, 08:43:19 AM »
I am in the US. For my type of work/level, part time / consulting is not an option.

Just realised my post could have been clearer, at no point did I doubt that you couldn't do your job part time in the US. A lot of US FIRE sites are quiet on the PT option, because in the US there are many options for well paid FT work, but few for well paid (and with healthcare benefits) PT work. There are exceptions, but this seems a recurring theme in the US.

This is not the same in other countries (what I meant by universal). In other countries there are more opportunities to do well paid PT work, with a benefits package in line with a FT role. If there is universal/single payer/affordable healthcare then the gap between PT and FT narrows further.

Guesl982374

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #47 on: January 24, 2017, 09:07:36 AM »
Show me a 50% PT job (hell even 60%) where I can earn an annualized (if working full time) 3x the annualized median in my field with health insurance and I'll jump ship right now. It just isn't an option in my discipline/industry/country.

The point of downshifting is not to make a lot of money. It's to cover your costs as your assets growth on their own. If you can't live off less than 50% of 300% or 150% of the median salary in your field this won't work for you.

To your other point I do consulting work and it fits very well into the PT/downshift approach being discussed here and pays more per hour than being a full-time employee in the same position and gets better tax treatment. The downsides are no benefits and lack of stability. You'll need to figure out the benefits for FIRE one way or the other and the lack of stability/FT employment is actually what you are looking for as you downshift so it's not a problem.

Every company I've worked with loves consultants/contractors because they are so flexible and it's overall cheaper to hire someone this way than get saddled with a FT employee and all the costs they come with.

Retire-Canada - I was answering the OP question on why more people don't do it, I wasn't talking about my own situation. Making a higher hourly rate is a legitimate reason why more people don't do it even if PT work is available because it reduces the lifetime working hours needed to reach FI.  Consulting work isn't always possible depending on the industry/company/department. For example, in Supply Chain/Purchasing and most of the work is based on relationships with ongoing suppliers. Companies do not want to contract this responsibility/relationship out to a consultant.

Guesl982374

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Re: Full-time work for half, part-time for half, then FIRE. (Un)Common?
« Reply #48 on: January 24, 2017, 09:09:48 AM »
I am in the US. For my type of work/level, part time / consulting is not an option.

Just realised my post could have been clearer, at no point did I doubt that you couldn't do your job part time in the US. A lot of US FIRE sites are quiet on the PT option, because in the US there are many options for well paid FT work, but few for well paid (and with healthcare benefits) PT work. There are exceptions, but this seems a recurring theme in the US.

This is not the same in other countries (what I meant by universal). In other countries there are more opportunities to do well paid PT work, with a benefits package in line with a FT role. If there is universal/single payer/affordable healthcare then the gap between PT and FT narrows further.

PWFUK - I completely agree that other countries are much more flexible on well paid PT work (Swiss, etc). A large percentage of PF sites, especially the hugely popular ones, are run by Americans for better or worse so they don't talk about PT work nearly as much because of the reasons we agree on.