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Downsizing the j*b
Old 05-08-2008, 11:57 AM   #1
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Downsizing the j*b

Hello all. What a great resource this forum is! It' s great to read like minded posts and learn from the groups experience!
I am almost fifty and probably 9 or 10 years from being able to retire completely. I've been in the same job/career for the past 28 years!
I have the opportunity to reduce my hours at work (immediately) to 32 hours over four days per week instead of five with correspondingly lower pay but with my benefits intact.
I think it would be great to commute one day less per week and to gain another 52 days off per year, if I can afford the pay cut (which I think I can).
Have any of you done this? Did it work out? I searched for similar threads but so far I have come up empty. Thanks for reading.....L_is_M
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Old 05-08-2008, 12:24 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum! It can be habit forming.

I worked full time until the day I retired...because the numbers worked out well.

Have you tried firecalc yet? Run your numbers and see what you get. If you think you could do fine with a cut in pay and keep your bennies, I say go for it. If you're on the fence, could you go back to full time if you so desired?

Good luck to you...let us know what happens.
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:13 PM   #3
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I went from working 5 days to 4 days about 3 months ago and everything is going great. Fridays are now my favorite day of the week. I expect to work 3 more years, cutting back to 3 and then 2 days a week before I retire totally. I delegate some of my work to others, and all of my benefits are intact (so far). I've decreased my expenses so that having lower pay hasnt been too much of a problem.

Good luck in cutting back!
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:32 PM   #4
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I'm envious. I would love to reduce my hours from 40 to 35 (or 30) in order to gain an hour or two each day. My problem is I already work an early schedule (6:00 am to 2:30/3:00 pm), so I have serious doubts my employer would allow me to leave at 1:30 pm each day.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:40 PM   #5
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Welcome, Less is More. At 49, I might go the other way, work some overtime to get there faster, but that's me ten years ago. Now, I also wouldn't go for it because I think my in-box would remain the same. In fact, that's one of the things I really look forward to in retirement, there will be no over-flowing in-box to return to after a few days, weeks or months off.

I've known people who were very happy to get Fridays off (with pay reduction) but many more who bitterly complain about it. Since apparently the offer comes from your employer, I would be doubly wary. Let us know how it goes. All the best.
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Old 05-08-2008, 02:06 PM   #6
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A big motivator is my commute. I drive a long way to work and I'm looking for some relief from the time spent in the car each day. My employer also offered to "revisit" the arrangement if I found that the pay reduction was too much to handle. I am flattered that they are willing to work with me to provide relief from my commute but I must admit that I am suspicious at the same time.
Ronstar - At what age did you cut back?
Cuppajoe - O.T. is not where my head is at right now. I'm thinking it will be nice to have some extra time to do what I want for a while. Life is short and I have been doing the work thing for a long time.
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Old 05-08-2008, 06:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Less_is_More View Post
Ronstar - At what age did you cut back?
52. The commute was one reason for me too. Its only 35 minutes each way, but I was getting sick of it.
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Old 05-08-2008, 06:56 PM   #8
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Before I retired, I worked a 4 day schedule for about five years, but it wasn't with a salary reduction so the situation was different. In my case, I negotiated a 40 hour work week over four days, by adding 2 hours to each of the four days I worked (10 hrs vs. 8). My motivation was not only to have Fridays off -- I was sick and tired of a 1 to 1-1/2 hour commute each way. Adding to the beginning and end of my work day helped me miss most of the rush hour traffic.
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:23 PM   #9
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Now, I also wouldn't go for it because I think my in-box would remain the same.
I was completely burned out some years back and went to a half-time jobshare. That lasted for about 9 months, after which the woman I was sharing with decided she was still sick to death of the place and quit altogether.

While I didn't work 60 hours anymore, I also didn't work 20 either -- because the inbox DID remain the same. The tasks didn't get any better either and in fact, they got worse because we part-timers got all the temporary grunt work thrown our way.

All-in-all it probably saved my job, given how fried I was. And I did take some great three-day vacations. Even so, I decided when I came back to full time that I'd stay in full-time harness until I could shake the dust off and never look back.

That said, I didn't have a big commute and YMMV given how much you like the job / tasks / etc. and how well you take advantage of your Fridays off. If your management is working with you and will let you move back to fulltime, then I see no downside to giving it a try and seeing how you like it.
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:32 PM   #10
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When I moved from full-time to part-time (temporarily) I found my workload dropped a great deal more than I expected. Working full-time, nobody gave a second though to assigning me enough stuff to fill a 60-70 hour week. Once I was on a 32-hour, 4 day part-time schedule people seemed much more aware of the "part-time" nature of my position and I found myself working 32-35 hour weeks. For me that was 20% drop in pay for 50% drop in workload. It was a dream come true. Sadly only temporary.
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Old 05-09-2008, 01:38 AM   #11
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Three years ago, I quit my job of 23 years, due to stress factors, with no intention of looking for another one. But, last week I started working part time (20Hrs, 4 hrs a day) for my former boss who have moved to another business. So far, I love it despite a 25% reduction in hourly rate from my former job. I hope I'll never have to go back to 8-hour days.
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Old 05-09-2008, 06:09 AM   #12
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If I decide to go for it, which I think I will, I'm wondering how my co-workers will look at it. Management thinks that because it involves a reduction in pay, the rest of the work force will not be interested and thus management will not be hounded by hords of workers wanting the same treatment. I guess, if they are wrong, it could be short lived as they can't let everyone go to part-time. Originally I asked to work four, nine hour days with less pay cut but management thought too many people would want to do it.
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:04 AM   #13
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I'm fortunate enough to be working 4 days a week, 13 weeks a year off, and still have a great income. I can't imagine going back to working a full-time job.... hoping to taper even more, to 24 x 4 days per week in about 3-4 years (I'll be 45-46 then), and working to cover living expenses while my assets grow without tapping into them.
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:25 AM   #14
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I just recently got approval to go to 20 hours a week starting June 1. I telecommute so getting to work is no issue, I just want more time to do other things, and this will transition me to retirement. I'm 46 now.

I don't think my workload will be cut in half but we do have a plan to cut it some, and also a plan to make sure it doesn't get out of hand.
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:36 AM   #15
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Oh yeah, my biggest concern is that I don't really count hours well right now, so I don't know how I'll be when cutting it to 20.

Right now I do a lot of flexing. I start around 8, and work til 5 or 6 many days. But I goof off online, take time off nearly every day to go running (or 2-3 hours to go skiing in the winter), run errands, etc. I almost always look at email a couple times in the evening, and sometimes answer them because many times I can save a day turnaround when I work with people in Asia and Australia. Does that count as the 15 minutes I took to answer the email, or the 3 hours I had my laptop open and glanced at Outlook as I was watching hockey or whatever? I haven't been worrying about it as a full-timer, but as a part timer I need to think about it. I suppose I could just not work at all in the evenings, but that really provides a lot of value to everyone and I don't mind. I never feel obligated to look if I've got something else going on.
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:52 PM   #16
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I have been trying to cut out some time in the office (due to stress and related illness that comes with it) and it seems to be working. My laptop and smartphone are always on, though, and I monitor them pretty closely. By delegating more and monitoring from elsewhere, I have cut the time in the office (and the accompanying stress) quite a bit. I'm actually thinking of working at home one day a week from the autumn, in hopes that such a move will help season my anticipated replacement a little faster...(and hopefully help me push up my FIRE date).

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Old 05-10-2008, 06:46 PM   #17
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If I could cut back to 32 hrs/week I would jump at it. I'm doing the next best thing within the rules of the company. I work a 9-8-9 schedule which means I get every 3rd Friday off and I love it. During the week of 8 hrs we are allowed to flex up to 4 hrs so I have a half day on those Fridays.

To get to this location I had to re-locate and give up some annual bonus % but it was well worth it.
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