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How do you really plan for the unknown?
Old 05-30-2012, 08:49 PM   #1
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How do you really plan for the unknown?

Hi Everybody!

So, compared to lots of other people in my age group and older, I am doing pretty well. I'm not close to having enough to 'retire' conventially, but I have enough for an unconventional 'retirement'. At least for a decade or so, but I wouldn't have to work for monetary reasons I would predict.

So, my big issues are, can you step away from the job market and expect to get a job in 8-10 years without having to go back to college. Starting my own business would be my 1st choice however.

I also would like to 'retire' by eliminating expenses. At least to just some food and other minor things. The big problem in the US is health insurance costs... (I could probably get cheaper insurance if I could save $$$ in a lifetime HSA fund every year) But, I haven't figured that one out yet for how to pay $2,000/year (?) .

It's not that I don't want to work anymore, it's mostly that I like working for a month or two, and then having a month or two off. I'm not sure that type of job exists. I have been working for 8 years now and have only had one 2 week vacation (which was a mad dash around Europe, which was a lot of work). I'm so behind in my life, I don't have time to exercise as much as I would like, I'm trying to read a book and finish it this year, I haven't been to the beach in months, I am so restricted on time when traveling and I am always on the company's schedule. crazyguyonabike.com: Bicycle Touring: A place for bicycle tourists and their journals I could easily do this type of thing for a year or two. I wouldn't mind buying a cheap boat and anchoring out while cruising north to Michigan in the summer and Fl/Bahamas in the winter. I would also like to work for the Red Cross in disaster areas, not for the money, but to help others.

I've watched the movie "Into The Wild", and while I'm not that extreme, I can live with very little money. And there is more to life than living in a cube for 9 hours a day, 51 weeks a year... OK, my job isn't that bad, I do get to travel to different places sometimes which is still fun and cheap. But not quite as good as going there on my own.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:19 AM   #2
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Confucius said, "no matter where you go, there you are." You don't mention your age but I would guess from your work history maybe early 30s? That is a common point for people to begin wondering what they are leaving out. But, if you look around, you will see a lot of peers who are working AND enjoying life along the way. Using your examples, sailing or bike touring on weekends, volunteering near home, participating in any number of activities/causes. It is possible that you could drop out of work, scale way back, and enjoy an unconventional life. The Kaderlis and others blog about doing just that. But it seems to me that for most of us that life style would be as much "work" as work. It might be better to focus on your self to balance your life. Unfortunately I have no advice on how you might do that. Others here may.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundevil
It's not that I don't want to work anymore, it's mostly that I like working for a month or two, and then having a month or two off. I'm not sure that type of job exists.
Such jobs do exist, although they tend not to pay all that much. E.g., waiting tables, hairdressing/barbering, trucking, manual labour, retail sales: finding new employment after taking a break is generally not that difficult, at least not compared to white collar 'career' jobs.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:32 PM   #4
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Yup, I'm 32. Been working for 8 years and it is 7 years, 10 months longer than I thought I was going to when I started this job due to me not being able to handle it. (I did work other jobs prior to this one, but they were just summer or co-op jobs)

I am kind of stuck in a routine now, but it isn't exactly what I had in mind as what I consider 'successful'. Society would consider it successful however, and that is the tough part. If I drop out and basically become homeless (I spend the holidays at my parents house, aunts and uncles invite me to lake houses, I would camp more, spend time in national parks/forests, travel and stay in hostels...

I've been figuring out my financial situation here, and I haven't increased my net worth on paper very much in the past 2 years. I have spent a lot on camera gear and new laptop.

But, I am at $65,000 cash, $40,000 stocks, $50,000 401k, $5,000 IRA, and $45,000 in home equity. My only debt is -$99,000 home mortgage. And my home expenses for property tax, HOA, insurance run close to $5,000/year...
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:48 PM   #5
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You might enjoy reading Dianne Nahirny's book, "Stop Working, Start Living: How I Retired at 36 (Without Winning the Lottery)". Or Alan Dickson, "Advance to Go: the road to a rich retirement".
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:53 PM   #6
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I have a friend who used to work on drilling sites in India, a few months on, a few months off.
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Old 05-31-2012, 08:15 PM   #7
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I worked at a ski resort, basically between Thanksgiving and Easter. Many of the positions are for 90 days only. Lots of perks with that job too! Many have employee dorms, guys sharing rent, etc. Most have other jobs; chef is a good one to share rent with. You never go hungry!

So, think 'seasonal' for a job that's a few months on, a few months off. Just about any construction job can be done this way. A buddy of mine goes to Hawaii to work a few months at a time.
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundevil View Post
....It's not that I don't want to work anymore, it's mostly that I like working for a month or two, and then having a month or two off. I'm not sure that type of job exists. .....
It depends. What do you do? For example, my understanding is that nurses are in such high demand in many areas that one could probably find a gig where you worked for a while and then had an extended period of time off.

Is there there temporary contract work in what you do?
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Old 06-01-2012, 01:02 AM   #9
Confused about dryer sheets
 
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Originally Posted by skipro3 View Post
I worked at a ski resort, basically between Thanksgiving and Easter. Many of the positions are for 90 days only. Lots of perks with that job too! Many have employee dorms, guys sharing rent, etc. Most have other jobs; chef is a good one to share rent with. You never go hungry!

So, think 'seasonal' for a job that's a few months on, a few months off. Just about any construction job can be done this way. A buddy of mine goes to Hawaii to work a few months at a time.
I was mistaken. That is a good idea, or other seasonal jobs. I'm pretty sure if you aren't concerned about making lots of money, there are a lot of jobs out there.
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:00 AM   #10
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Sundevil, quite a few options in the area with working contract. I used to do 28/14 day rotations in Venezuela.

Good luck!
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Old 06-01-2012, 03:12 PM   #11
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You might enjoy "The Four Hour Work Week" by Tim Ferris
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by lightspeed
You might enjoy "The Four Hour Work Week" by Tim Ferris
Agreed. You might find kindred spirits in the "Early retirement Extreme" forum as well.

You might look into temping, particularly if you have in demand skills that pay a decent hourly rate. Work 9mo, take 6 off, repeat. (or something similar)

SIS
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