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Anyone trade non-performing self-employment for ER?
Old 09-10-2009, 05:05 PM   #1
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Anyone trade non-performing self-employment for ER?


I've been reading the forums, but haven't seen a discussion about the topic that's heavy on our minds here.

My DH is self-employed in a service industry. He took a loss in 2008, and may break even in 2009 if he's lucky. That's with no salary; just enough income to cover expenses. 2010 is likely to be more of the same. yada, yada, yada. I have a decent income from my job, and we have some income property that is giving us a positive cash flow (although it's also feeling the economic hit).

The dilemma is that he turns 62 very soon. If he "retires" he can take early SS and he also has a small pension from a previous career; the combination would be about $24,000 annually. Obviously, this is a lot more than he's making in his business right now, but not what he would like to earn. We still have kids in college, and have committed to helping them finish. (They work hard, have scholarships, loans, etc.) We're pretty frugal, drive older cars, aren't big "consumers." We have some very decent investments, 401K from previous career, some SEPs and IRAs from the good years, etc. Our home is nearly paid off, although we have some HELOC debt from some necessary remodeling and college expenses. I am planning to work for another few years.

My gut feel is that it would be much better for him to take the early SS and pension, than to stick out a very difficult business environment in the hopes that he starts to see some income in a year or so. He is emotionally tied to the business, but tells me daily how impossible it is to make any money there.

Does anyone here have experience in trading a non-performing business for early retirement? Is it possible to "ride the fence" and take the SS while being self-employed on a part-time basis?

thanks -- I've really enjoyed reading many of the posts.

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Old 09-11-2009, 09:00 AM   #2
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Welcome , You can collect SS and make $14,160 a year .

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Old 09-11-2009, 09:28 AM   #3
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I knew a couple of secretaries who took SS at age 62 and stayed below the SS limits by working part time until they reached age 65, and continued working into their 70s.

If your DH were to suddenly make a lot of money, he could apply to pay-back SS and re-apply later. It sounds like he really wants to continue working which might be good for both of you.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:02 PM   #4
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thanks for the welcome and information. I'm thinking 62 isn't really "early-retirement" around here! (athough it seems really early to us...)
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Somewhat the same situation
Old 09-18-2009, 06:40 AM   #5
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Somewhat the same situation

I'm 58, a bit younger but having been in business for 30+ years, I faced something similar. The past year, we have only been breaking even, some months haven't managed to do that.

I figured in my business, things aren't going to turn around for a year or so. Even then, there is a very good chance the people's attitude about spending will have changed forever. That would have meant, I would need to spend another year to get back to where I am now and another few years to actually stash more money away for retirement.

It just so happened that because of this economy, a strange series of events is allowing me to sell my business for a decent price. I decided to take the money and run. I'm just not sure of my destination yet.
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