Author Topic: Calling all downshifters!  (Read 67933 times)

SpareChange

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #250 on: November 15, 2021, 09:13:48 AM »
Welcome Eniacs! Looks like you've got your "stuff" together. Quite the juggling act to keep you busy :).

Jack0Life

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #251 on: November 16, 2021, 08:55:12 PM »
- why you did it?
The pandemic changed everything. I was out of work for over 1 yr and I enjoyed every bit of it.
I got my job back and my wife quit her end of Sept.
I'm at about 70% of what I worked before and will go down to 50% next year to get ACA for 2022.
- what your downshift looks like?
I work 3 days a week. Sometimes 4 sometimes 2. Basically whatever I want.
My 3 days will cover all our expenses while letting our current stash  grow. NW around $1.4 million.
- what do you like about it?
What's not to like about it ??
- what isn't so awesome about it?
We do have a budget now and we follow it.
It's all mentally actually. We can maintain our lifestyles just as before but since the work income only cover expenses, we don't want to over spend and dip into our current stash. But then again our stash is growing exponentially.
- what are your plans going forward around downshifting and FIRE?
My job is very flexible. I can basically take off when ever my want while my wife cannot.
Since she quit last Sept, we are free to travel as we please.
We have gone to Colo. in Oct. We have a trip to Tahiti end of Nov.
Ski trip in Dec and many afterwards as we have the Epic pass this season.
We will hit Colo, Tahoe, Utah, Vermont and others during this winter season. This will get us through end of April.
Looking at a big trip in May. Europe or Vietnam. We'll see what Covid will be like by that time.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2021, 10:02:07 AM by Jack0Life »

boarder42

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #252 on: November 17, 2021, 05:58:05 AM »
- why you did it?
The pandemic changed everything. I was out of work for over 1 yr and I enjoyed every not of it.
I got my job back and my wife quit her end of Sept.
I'm at about 70% of what I worked before and will go down to 50% next year to get ACA for 2022.
- what your downshift looks like?
I work 3 days a week. Sometimes 4 sometimes 2. Basically whatever I want.
My 3 days will cover all our expenses while letting our current stash  grow. NW around $1.4 million.
- what do you like about it?
What's not to like about it ??
- what isn't so awesome about it?
We do have a budget now and we follow it.
It's all mentally actually. We can maintain our lifestyles just as before but since the income only cover expenses, we don't want to over spend and dip into our current stash. But then again our stash is growing exponentially.
- what are your plans going forward around downshifting and FIRE?
My job is very flexible. I can basically take off when ever my want while my wife cannot.
Since she quit last Sept, we are free to travel as we please.
We have gone to Colo. in Oct. We have a trip to Tahiti end of Nov.
Ski trip in Dec and many afterwards as we have the Epic pass this season.
We will hit Colo, Tahoe, Utah, Vermont and others during this winter season. This will get us through end of April.
Looking at a big trip in May. Europe or Vietnam. We'll see what Covid will be like by that time.

congrats no one seems to ever regret this choice. 

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #253 on: November 17, 2021, 10:37:15 AM »
congrats no one seems to ever regret this choice.

I sure haven't!  That's a good open question, anyone regret downshifting and gone back to 40 hours?

I have, admittedly, come close to wanting to.  I downshifted at the end of 2019, took a 20% paycut, which was fine.  Then the pandemic hit and we lost our bonuses, which was another 20%, which was still fine.  Then we bought a house and I moved off the boat (which was super cheap COL).  Still (mostly) fine.  But we had some big (expensive) things we want to do to the house/property.  For the first time in over a decade, I was starting to feel the pressure of lack of income.  Thankfully before I could make any mistakes, bonuses came back.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #254 on: November 17, 2021, 10:56:40 AM »
That's a good open question, anyone regret downshifting and gone back to 40 hours?

Regret it? No.

I did DS and then go back to FT work for a while. I was able to increase my income significantly due to the opportunity to work on two contracts simultaneously.

My thought at the time was that I either wanted to work PT and have a lovely relaxing coast to FIRE despite it taking longer or I was okay with a fast and furious fast track FIRE. Both seemed like better options that the middle of the road average FT gig.

SpareChange

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #255 on: November 20, 2021, 12:00:20 PM »
That's a good open question, anyone regret downshifting and gone back to 40 hours?

PT for just over 2 years now. No regrets.

LateToTheParty

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #256 on: November 24, 2021, 01:30:11 PM »
Iím coming up on 4 years of a series of downshifts, and it has been the most amazing transition ever.

- why you did it?
I reached lean FI 4 years ago and was ready to reclaim some of my time and take my foot of the gas to coast a little.

- what your downshift looks like?
2011-2017 I was healthcare middle manager, 60+ hour workweeks, little job satisfaction
2018 downshifted to 4x10 hour days back to direct patient care. 10% pay reduction, but back to manageable work week
2020 downshifted to 4x9 hour days, patient care role, pay 10% less, totally worth it
2021 due to a pandemic miracle, was able to downshift to 2x10 hour days, salary pro-rated for 0.5 FTE. I feel like I hardly work at all.  !Full Benefits!!!!

- what do you like about it?
Iíve succeeded in flipping the workweek. Instead of working 5 days with 2 off, I work 2 days, with 5 days off. And I have tons of banked sick and vacation days, so I get to take a lot of time off.

- what isn't so awesome about it?
Nothing. Loving every minute of it. My husband FIRED early this year, so we get to spend plenty of time together

- what are your plans going forward around downshifting and FIRE?
Probably continue to work 0.5 FTE for 5 more years to age 55 when golden handcuffs unlock completely (padded pension and some retiree health benefits). Our FIRE number will be more FatFire by that time, which will ensure adequate funding for LTC.

Hope my employer does not wise up to the fact that I am an expensive and not terribly productive employee.

iluvzbeach

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #257 on: November 24, 2021, 02:26:18 PM »
@LateToTheParty, congratulations on your awesome success at downshifting. Great story!

bownyboy

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #258 on: November 27, 2021, 03:33:18 AM »
why you did it?
Reached FI a while back and then covid happened. Work as a contractor in IT and kept getting renewed so with nothing much else to do continued to add to the stash.

Then when last renewal came round in August this year I requested a 5 week break (agreed to) and also a 4 day week (agreed to)

- what your downshift looks like?
I have every Monday off which is fantastic, its amazing how quickly me and the wife have got used to it (she stopped working a while back).

Typically Monday is now our 'go out and explore' day, going walking, cycling or visiting historic places of interest. 

what do you like about it?
3 day weekend; not having to cram outside interests into 2 days.

-what isn't so awesome about it?

I'm pretty much 'phoning it in' regarding my work now. I've lost pretty much all motivation to work as we have more than enough in the stash. Having a 3 day weekend (sometimes 4) means 'work' is now getting in the way.

- what are your plans going forward around downshifting and FIRE?

From January I will start taking every other Friday off, plus a week off every 6 weeks.
My contract finishes end of August and then that's me done! FIRE here we come!


LightTripper

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #259 on: November 30, 2021, 08:16:50 AM »
Only just found this thread, but downshifted earlier this year - still finding my way (and planning to cut my hours further next year!)

Currently I'm paid based on 24h/week (that allows me to stay as an employee and keep health insurance - though I'm in the UK so the latter isn't such a big deal).  My work is project based so it's pretty volatile.  I have had 40h/weeks and 8h/weeks or less (this is one of the latter) so it can be stressful at times: particularly if the 40h/week coincides with school holidays and having to piece together some childcare.

On the other hand, I am basically never short of sleep now.  Very rarely work on a weekend.  Can keep on top of most of my admin during the week, so I don't have to spend so much family time at the weekend on paperwork or laundry.  Spend lots of time with the kids and generally know what is going on with them and what they need at school each day.  I have the mental bandwidth to juggle that now - which was a struggle when I was doing 40-50 hour weeks, even with a full time nanny.

Anyway, I am still not getting a huge amount of "me" time to sort out the house or pursue hobbies - but the increase in family time and the ability to cook nicer meals and spend more time with the kids has already been a massive benefit.  I'm FIRE already, so I'm going to cut my hours more next year - and probably fully RE from there (later next year or 2023 some time I guess), unless something weird happens and I start to really enjoy work again.  I used to really love my job - which I've done for nearly 25 years now, but before I down-shifted I was pretty burnt out - and even now I'm kind of "meh" about it all - but still a bit scared to call it a day).

DaTrill

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #260 on: November 30, 2021, 06:15:15 PM »
Also just joined/found this thread.

Currently in the middle of downshifting in a somewhat ambiguous method. 

- why you did it?
Change in job function in the "new normal".  I like WFH and would continue in this manner for a long time even though I don't need the money.  Downshifting in hopes the WFH comes back. If not, will FIRE. 

- what your downshift looks like?
Change in responsibilities, less work interaction, less work and not much less income, definitely giving up on future earnings when downshifting, but income not needed. 
- what do you like about it?
More free time, less stress, more autonomy. 
- what isn't so awesome about it?
Loss of influence at work, more of a price taker than price setter at work, almost 0 influence on anything going forward.   
- what are your plans going forward around downshifting and FIRE?
If not WFH in 2022, FIRE and relocate for 6-18 months in fun location and wait for a butterfly to land on my shoulder pointing me in a new direction.   

nyxst

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #261 on: December 02, 2021, 08:49:06 PM »
- why you did it?
During Covid I feel like I worked harder than anyone else at my office. Now we are dealing with a baby-boom.. my entire staff is either pregnant or on maternity leave. I am exhausted and tired of training new people. I have been behind on my work for basically two years and it is terribly uncomfortable for me. This year I moved to a new house, boosting my retirement fund with profits from my sale (I guess its some FU money...) I enjoy my job, but I am completely burnt out and am tired of having no energy at the end of the day. My two school aged kids have very active schedules, so I feel like I am never home to enjoy my awesome new house. I basically stopped my forward motion on my personal growth (finished college December 2020 and hoped to have completed my CPA exams by now, but I haven't had the energy or focus to study, so have gotten nowhere).

- what your downshift looks like?
Right now I generally work 8am - 5pm with an hour lunch break, plus probably an hour per day from home so I can try to get caught up... I didn't actually downshift yet, but I told my employer that I will shift to 25 hours per week on January 1st . I think this will look like 5 x 5-hour days (9am -2pm).  I intend to come home, meal plan for dinner (need to be healthier than we are now!) before my kids get home from school, study for a couple of hours for my CPA, then get the kids off to whatever lesson/practice they have that day. Not much of a downshift. I feel terrible when I am not progressing in my personal growth, so I need to build that into my life.

- what do you like about it?
I think I will like taking my time getting going in the morning. Right now, I try to get in as soon as I can to try to get stuff done without interruptions. I would really like to sit on my back porch with my coffee instead and really enjoy the morning.

- what isn't so awesome about it?
I have a bit of anxiety about the position I have put myself in. My employer has to bring someone in to train for at least a good part of my job. But really, they should have hired my counter-part by now in order to keep me from getting burned out.  I sort of forced their hand. So, it is possible that they will just fully terminate me and replace me. I don't expect that to happen though. I think they see my value very clearly. I need to earn an income, so it would be disappointing if this happened, but I have a couple of years of expenses set aside just in case.

- what are your plans going forward around downshifting and FIRE?

This will slow my savings down a lot and push back my FIRE date ultimately, but I think trading some relief and joy now for some extra years is worth it.  My expenses may naturally go down, since I have some bad habits now (buying coffee/lunch/dinner too often instead of making trying to get everything done). I also have plenty of other fat in my budget I can easily trim. Even without trimming, I will be able to save about 10% of my income towards retirement (I save 35% now, so this is a big drop). Once I complete my CPA exams, my earning potential should improve.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 09:07:13 PM by nyxst »

Off the Wheel

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #262 on: December 02, 2021, 10:45:03 PM »
I downshifted after coming back from maternity leave. The expectation was to go back to FT status, but I've stuck to 4 days a week/80%. It's led to some clarity around role, and come the new year I will be officially moving into more of an individual contributor role instead of a department head. There should be less work on evenings and weekends, less stress, fewer meetings, and more flexibility. My goal is to downshift further to 24 hours a week - but we'll see if I can make that happen.

For now I'm just loving having three days off with my kid. Life feels much more balanced.

(We also moved to a small mountain town during the pandemic, so being physically removed from my corporate HQ has also enabled me to downshift.)

StarBright

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #263 on: December 03, 2021, 08:25:12 AM »
Finally attempting to ease into downshifting!

Using PTO to work 4 days weeks through the end of the year (this is mostly to show management that things will not fall apart if I work 4 days weeks).

Fingers crossed!

If this works, I'll ease into the new year by using PTO for four days weeks every other week until spring. DH should hear about tenure in April, and then I'll make the request to go to 80%.

LifeHappens

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #264 on: December 03, 2021, 10:00:18 AM »
Nice moves, StarBright. Way to use that PTO.

I'm thinking about a further downshift. I average about 30 hours per week now (highly variable) and would love to get to an average 20 hours per week.

One possibility is outsourcing a couple small tasks. I can't outsource most of my job functions because I work with protected data, but there are some admin things I could offload without needing to disclose (I'm a 1099 contractor with an LLC). Does anyone have experience with this? Did you use a service or find an individual VA or some third option?

SpareChange

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #265 on: December 04, 2021, 10:36:42 AM »
- why you did it?
During Covid I feel like I worked harder than anyone else at my office. Now we are dealing with a baby-boom.. my entire staff is either pregnant or on maternity leave. I am exhausted and tired of training new people. I have been behind on my work for basically two years and it is terribly uncomfortable for me. This year I moved to a new house, boosting my retirement fund with profits from my sale (I guess its some FU money...) I enjoy my job, but I am completely burnt out and am tired of having no energy at the end of the day. My two school aged kids have very active schedules, so I feel like I am never home to enjoy my awesome new house. I basically stopped my forward motion on my personal growth (finished college December 2020 and hoped to have completed my CPA exams by now, but I haven't had the energy or focus to study, so have gotten nowhere).

- what your downshift looks like?
Right now I generally work 8am - 5pm with an hour lunch break, plus probably an hour per day from home so I can try to get caught up... I didn't actually downshift yet, but I told my employer that I will shift to 25 hours per week on January 1st . I think this will look like 5 x 5-hour days (9am -2pm).  I intend to come home, meal plan for dinner (need to be healthier than we are now!) before my kids get home from school, study for a couple of hours for my CPA, then get the kids off to whatever lesson/practice they have that day. Not much of a downshift. I feel terrible when I am not progressing in my personal growth, so I need to build that into my life.

- what do you like about it?
I think I will like taking my time getting going in the morning. Right now, I try to get in as soon as I can to try to get stuff done without interruptions. I would really like to sit on my back porch with my coffee instead and really enjoy the morning.

- what isn't so awesome about it?
I have a bit of anxiety about the position I have put myself in. My employer has to bring someone in to train for at least a good part of my job. But really, they should have hired my counter-part by now in order to keep me from getting burned out.  I sort of forced their hand. So, it is possible that they will just fully terminate me and replace me. I don't expect that to happen though. I think they see my value very clearly. I need to earn an income, so it would be disappointing if this happened, but I have a couple of years of expenses set aside just in case.

- what are your plans going forward around downshifting and FIRE?

This will slow my savings down a lot and push back my FIRE date ultimately, but I think trading some relief and joy now for some extra years is worth it.  My expenses may naturally go down, since I have some bad habits now (buying coffee/lunch/dinner too often instead of making trying to get everything done). I also have plenty of other fat in my budget I can easily trim. Even without trimming, I will be able to save about 10% of my income towards retirement (I save 35% now, so this is a big drop). Once I complete my CPA exams, my earning potential should improve.

Sounds like you're ripe for a downshift. I hope it works out for you! You deserve a break!

SpareChange

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #266 on: December 04, 2021, 10:41:22 AM »
Hopefully one of the good things brought about by the pandemic will be the labor market loosening up and letting more people have the option to flex and have more control over their hours. Lots of good stories the last couple of weeks in this thread. Inspiring.

Glenstache

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #267 on: December 04, 2021, 07:10:36 PM »
PTF. I put the mechanisms in place to shift to a flexible reduced schedule with variable hours. Iíll end up having to to go to ACA healthcare, which seems fine once I do the homework on what makes sense. Just knowing it is out there is good for me. I also very much appreciate the management at work who are supportive and pro active in helping make the downshift happen.

Octotat

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #268 on: December 07, 2021, 02:49:32 PM »
- why you did it?
Had enough to FIRE, gave my notice around the same time my boss got an incurable brain cancer.   When he passed before my FIRE date, the new boss begged me to stay on at least part time to help him transition

- what your downshift looks like?

Getting full time benefits and 30 hr/week pay for approximately 10 - 15 hours work plus the occasional several day business trips.

- what do you like about it?

A ton of time to work out, travel for local sport and leisure and can really spend a lot of time resotring antique tools which is my main hobby. 


- what isn't so awesome about it?

Having mandatory meetings and training that keep us from doing long travel (month long plus).

- what are your plans going forward around downshifting and FIRE?  Final retirement date in Feb 2022.  After six months off will do consulting for the same company.  2 - 3 month contracts will allow a lot of time for long distance travel with no rushing back home. 

boarder42

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #269 on: December 15, 2021, 05:00:30 AM »
- why you did it?
Had enough to FIRE, gave my notice around the same time my boss got an incurable brain cancer.   When he passed before my FIRE date, the new boss begged me to stay on at least part time to help him transition

- what your downshift looks like?

Getting full time benefits and 30 hr/week pay for approximately 10 - 15 hours work plus the occasional several day business trips.

- what do you like about it?

A ton of time to work out, travel for local sport and leisure and can really spend a lot of time resotring antique tools which is my main hobby. 


- what isn't so awesome about it?

Having mandatory meetings and training that keep us from doing long travel (month long plus).

- what are your plans going forward around downshifting and FIRE?  Final retirement date in Feb 2022.  After six months off will do consulting for the same company.  2 - 3 month contracts will allow a lot of time for long distance travel with no rushing back home.

i'm giving my formal notice to retire up chain the first week of Jan.  People who work for me and laterally know of my plans but I haven't told management.  I'm often asked what would make me stay and its a pretty similar situation to yours pay me full time and i work as i please.  I would not come to mandatory meetings or trainings though thats something that appears to be exploding at my company.  Many have asked if I'd just stick around to consult where my strengths lie.  I'd consider it but i doubt they will pay me what i expect to be paid for these consulting timeframes and i'd treat it far more like a when i want to thing vs 2-3 month contracts.  All this to say, while my peers and reports would like me to stick around in a mentorship capacity I don't see the company and myself agreeing to a situation that I'd say yes to.  Its interesting the responses I'm getting from the people I work with the most but I have a feeling management will likely not attempt to retain me in any capacity which I'm perfectly ok with.

I currently cannot stand the idea of being required to be somewhere doing something at some time.  Similar to MMMs latest podcast appearance. It's been my main driver for FIRE.  8 hours butts in seats is not for me. 

spjulep

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #270 on: December 15, 2021, 12:09:46 PM »
That's a good open question, anyone regret downshifting and gone back to 40 hours?

I wouldn't say I regret downshifting, but with so many well-paying WFH jobs available now, I am tempted to go back. Like perhaps I could make more money with minimal extra effort, compared to what I set up before COVID. On the flip side, I'm worried that my over-achieving, people-pleasing habits will kick in and then I'll be back in a stressful situation.

FIRE 20/20

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #271 on: December 15, 2021, 05:18:27 PM »
congrats no one seems to ever regret this choice.

I sure haven't!  That's a good open question, anyone regret downshifting and gone back to 40 hours?

I certainly didn't, and while my partner didn't regret the decision to drop to 32 hours a week she did go back to back to 40 hours a week for a few months.  Her team had a major delivery of software to support an event that couldn't be moved and she really liked the people on the team.  For their sake she wanted the event to be successful.  After the delivery she went back to 32. 


FLBiker

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #272 on: December 16, 2021, 02:02:41 PM »
That's a good open question, anyone regret downshifting and gone back to 40 hours?

I wouldn't say I regret downshifting, but with so many well-paying WFH jobs available now, I am tempted to go back. Like perhaps I could make more money with minimal extra effort, compared to what I set up before COVID. On the flip side, I'm worried that my over-achieving, people-pleasing habits will kick in and then I'll be back in a stressful situation.

This is me -- I was planning to downshift next year, but I'm having second thoughts.  I suspect I might feel more stress (trying to fit more work into less time) and I kind of love being "at work" and being able to do financial stuff and other computer work.  I WFH, and I take plenty of breaks and workout at my (extended) lunch hour.  I also get 29 days off per year (plus 10 holidays) and I am forced to take them (whereas in my last job I just banked them and got paid out).  I'm very good about working no more than 40 hours a week and not checking email off hours.  I just started this arrangement in August, and I'm thinking that I might just keep doing it until I'm ready to fully retire, rather than trying to figure out a reduced schedule.  We'll see!

boarder42

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #273 on: December 16, 2021, 02:15:04 PM »
That's a good open question, anyone regret downshifting and gone back to 40 hours?

I wouldn't say I regret downshifting, but with so many well-paying WFH jobs available now, I am tempted to go back. Like perhaps I could make more money with minimal extra effort, compared to what I set up before COVID. On the flip side, I'm worried that my over-achieving, people-pleasing habits will kick in and then I'll be back in a stressful situation.

This is me -- I was planning to downshift next year, but I'm having second thoughts.  I suspect I might feel more stress (trying to fit more work into less time) and I kind of love being "at work" and being able to do financial stuff and other computer work.  I WFH, and I take plenty of breaks and workout at my (extended) lunch hour.  I also get 29 days off per year (plus 10 holidays) and I am forced to take them (whereas in my last job I just banked them and got paid out).  I'm very good about working no more than 40 hours a week and not checking email off hours.  I just started this arrangement in August, and I'm thinking that I might just keep doing it until I'm ready to fully retire, rather than trying to figure out a reduced schedule.  We'll see!

i am a manager so most of my work can be outsourced, i've also been very efficient my whole career and clearly had tons of time to post places like here.  so when i cut my hours albeit i did have a couple things come up on my friday's off i did take care of as needed.  It didnt increase my work load per hour.  It just gave me a whole extra day off.  which i'd never give back.  We all know there are only so many productive hours in a week and its not even close to 40 so going to 4, 9s allowed me to take a day off a week for a 10% paycut.

RainyDay

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #274 on: December 20, 2021, 07:58:47 AM »
Got official approval to go to 4 days/week, so I'm effectively now a down-shifter.  Every Friday off, 3-day weekends every week, and full benefits.  What's not to love? 

Eventually I hope to move to a 3-day per week schedule, but I'm a federal government employee and those are rather uncommon.

SpareChange

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #275 on: December 22, 2021, 10:16:29 AM »
Got official approval to go to 4 days/week, so I'm effectively now a down-shifter.  Every Friday off, 3-day weekends every week, and full benefits.  What's not to love? 

Eventually I hope to move to a 3-day per week schedule, but I'm a federal government employee and those are rather uncommon.

A holiday weekend....every weekend. Sweet. Will they be tempted to add workload "density" to your 4 days in response?

Kris

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #276 on: December 22, 2021, 10:43:15 AM »
I have browsed through this thread over the time of its existence, but for some reason never responded to it (at least I don't think so, but I'm too lazy to go through all six pages to make sure).

I downshifted once in 2016, when I left my tenured full professor/department chair position at a four-year comprehensive university because it sucked. I won't get into all the ways it sucked, but suffice it to say I have not had one millisecond of regret since I drove away from that campus and never went back.

The "downshift" was that I went from that to full-time fiction writing. It was still a "full-time" job in my mind because I didn't have other employment, but I have not worked more than 35 hours a week since then, and these days work about 25-30. My plan is to do this for about five more years, but taper off even more, gradually.

To answer the questions in the OP:

- why you did it? See above paragraph about the suckage of academia

- what your downshift looks like? See above paragraph, lol

- what do you like about it? Um, everything? My favorite thing is that Sunday nights no longer send me into a funk, and I never have to get up in the morning and slog through a shower, getting ready, and a half-hour commute. Oh, and no more grading. Grading is the worst. And also, being my own boss, and having my time be my own. And getting to go on a relaxed morning walk every single day. Oh, and that we can take vacations any time of the year, instead of just summer or the the period between Christmas and about January 15. Really, there is so little that I don't prefer about this life.

- what isn't so awesome about it? Well, the self-employment thing does come with its own downside. I left academia because I was starting to feel like a slave to the job. And the concept of autonomy is a large part of the reason a lot of people are attracted to academia in the first place. I now have autonomy for sure, but it has been an adjustment to not push myself too hard and become a slave to my own self. I've gotten a lot better at that over the years.

- what are your plans going forward around downshifting and FIRE?

So, I quit my academic job at 49. That felt a lot like FIRE to me because my husband still had a job and I knew that if I never made another penny, we'd still be okay. Turned out, I was able to make more writing than I ever did at teaching, so in the end, I was able to retire my DH three years ago. Now he's retired, and I have a job where I can work part-time and make a full-time income. Since this job isn't particularly stressful, I'm content to do it basically like this for five more years, at which point I'll be 60. Then, my idea is I'll stop writing and then just manage my IP/marketing on about 10 hours a week. Or not. Who knows? The nice part is, it doesn't really matter. I can do what I want.

RainyDay

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Re: Calling all downshifters!
« Reply #277 on: December 25, 2021, 08:34:18 AM »
Got official approval to go to 4 days/week, so I'm effectively now a down-shifter.  Every Friday off, 3-day weekends every week, and full benefits.  What's not to love? 

Eventually I hope to move to a 3-day per week schedule, but I'm a federal government employee and those are rather uncommon.

A holiday weekend....every weekend. Sweet. Will they be tempted to add workload "density" to your 4 days in response?

Hopefully not!  I have a really good supervisor.  Plus, I've been in the same job for 4+ years and pretty much know the workload and the requirements.  I actually volunteer for various things when I have extra time. 

Really happy to have found MMM and this forum.  It has literally changed my life.