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Three Day Workweek
Old 11-18-2004, 03:13 PM   #1
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Three Day Workweek

I am real close (30 months) from financial independence but it took me along time to get here. In retrospect, I think it would have been better just to get my expenses to a point where I could have managed on the income from working just three days a week.

It would not have take so long, I would have had more free time in my prime years and I like work, it's the five days a week, forty + hours grind that wore me down.

What do you think?
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Re: Three Day Workweek
Old 11-18-2004, 03:57 PM   #2
 
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Re: Three Day Workweek

I think for myself it would have been very difficult to get a job that had a 3 day week.

I struggled for 30 years to keep it at 40. Most of my co-workers put in 60-80 and never took a vacation. There was a lot of snipping behind my back that I was a slacker. I had to produce damn good work in the 40 hours, so that upper management was convinced that I was worth keeping.

However, the politics and backbiting was omnipresent and was one of the reasons that I wanted out for good.
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Re: Three Day Workweek
Old 11-18-2004, 03:58 PM   #3
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Re: Three Day Workweek

I've recently posted on this subject in the past week or two. I am about 42 months from FI, and I am working an average of 20 hours a week right now. In 42 months I plan on working 1 hour a day on average.

The stress reduction has been incredible and has made the work I do even more enjoyable. When I get to FI and can stop anytime I want, the 5 hour workweek will be enough to bring in enough money to max out the Roth IRAs and give me more fun spending money.

I'm easing into retirement with a balanced approach and it is working beautifully for now.
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Re: Three Day Workweek
Old 11-18-2004, 07:23 PM   #4
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Re: Three Day Workweek

Retire@40,
Interested in your story. Are you doing the same kind of job you used to with less hours? Or did you switch to something different to arrange a part time schedule?
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Re: Three Day Workweek
Old 11-19-2004, 05:01 AM   #5
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Re: Three Day Workweek

Prior to my full retirement 6 weeks ago, I worked an average of 20 hours per week for two and a half years. The way this happened was that I was set to fully retire at age 55 from the federal government. I was working on a massive software project. I had been one of two people to design a critical portion of the software. The rollout of the system had been repeatedly delayed. When I submitted my retirement paperwork my boss begged me to come back as a contractor to complete the testing of the system and then to conduct the training for 300 users and conduct workshops during system rollout. I stipulated that I would only consider doing this for a maximum of 3 days a week. At first the boss said it had to be full time but I stuck to my guns and she gave in. I was able to negotiate an hourly contract with a rate that paid me as much for three days a week as I would have been making full time if I hadn't retired. I was also able to draw my civil service pension.

After a year of three day weeks I reduced it to two days a week. I did the contract work for 2.5 years because another new system came along that was a perfect fit for my skill set and experience. When that second system was completed I fully retired.

I was very lucky with the timing of all this. The gov't couldn't afford to lose the knowledge and experience that I had at that point. I made the most of it.

It turned out to be a perfect transition to full retirement.


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Re: Three Day Workweek
Old 11-19-2004, 05:07 AM   #6
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Re: Three Day Workweek

Part-time work is great if you can swing it. I scaled back two years ago to a twenty-hour week but ended up working closer to 30. Now I work what's considered "full time" (which allows me to get full benefits) but only 32 hours per week. It's a great schedule and like another poster added, the reduced amount of stress is worth it.

At 40 hours a week, the work kept piling on and at times I put in 70 hours. It was crazy! For some reason 32 hours is perceived as being "part time" so the full-timers have to absorb the extra tasks.

Part time is great. I want to reduce my hours again in a year or so to 24 (three days) and eventually work not at all. And that's the whole point, isn't it?
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Re: Three Day Workweek
Old 11-19-2004, 05:12 AM   #7
 
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Re: Three Day Workweek

The last 2 years I drew a paycheck (1997-98)
I was working in Texas one week each month.
Good salary, some benefits, generous travel allowance
and very low stress. In spite of my strong aversion to work in general, I would have kept that job forever.
Alas, they decided to go with full time and I decided
to hang it up. I'm happy with my decision and hope they
are as well.

John Galt
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Re: Three Day Workweek
Old 11-19-2004, 06:37 AM   #8
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Re: Three Day Workweek

Quote:
Retire@40,
Interested in your story. *Are you doing the same kind of job you used to with less hours? *Or did you switch to something different to arrange a part time schedule?
I happen to be doing the same work. I'm self-employed and I stopped accepting new clients. I got rid of my worst paying clients and now just deal with a handful of my best clients.
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Re: Three Day Workweek
Old 11-21-2004, 12:36 AM   #9
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Re: Three Day Workweek

consejo is setting off some yellow flags for me. His last three posts link to a page with two ad banners and a popup window my browser blocked. His posts are enthusiastic about real estate, part time work and catching up on retirement to the point of sounding like hype for a get rich quick or work from home real estate program.

Some quotes from his posts:
"I have personally made returns on my RE investment of almost 100% a year."
"They don't have time for the market to correct or build a nest egg on the 2% or 3% of most secure investments. These folks need another way out. There is a way! Check out this link:"
" You don't need as much expertise or luck as other investments, either."
"Go for it, Jack! Even on this board there will be naysayers - be a nay SLAYER! At 35, I was broke, unemployed and over $50K in debt. 15 years later I had a net worth over $1M."

Perhaps I am jumping too soon and too hard. If I am, and consejo is just enthusiastic, I apologize. Otherwise, beware that this crowd can sniff out a scheme and turn against you fast.
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Re: Three Day Workweek
Old 11-21-2004, 04:18 AM   #10
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Re: Three Day Workweek

Quote:
His posts are enthusiastic about real estate, part time work and catching up on retirement to the point of sounding like hype for a get rich quick or work from home real estate program.
BMJ, I agree. Consejo's posts belong in the "Make money fast with no work and no brains" category.

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Re: Three Day Workweek
Old 11-21-2004, 04:22 AM   #11
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Re: Three Day Workweek

The Flags are now turning red!!!
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Re: Three Day Workweek
Old 11-21-2004, 04:35 AM   #12
 
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Re: Three Day Workweek

I agree! - I think consejo should find another forum, if he's selling anything. He needs to look for the I want to get out of debt forum.

Most of the folks here are already retired, don't want a job in real estate, and figured out to save their own nest egg.
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Re: Three Day Workweek
Old 11-21-2004, 04:58 AM   #13
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Re: Three Day Workweek

Hmm. Interesting topic for me. I am FI and am ready to pull the trigger. Except in my case, it's because of the management and not my actual profession. I work for a family owned business. Your probably wondering why someone would stay working for that when they are FI. Simply because I feel a sense of responsiblity to my current customers and because of needing to do the right thing by them.

This Wednesday I am meeting with the owner and giving my resignation. I will stop working in the main office within 30 days. The main office is where the managers work. I am hoping to phase out of my other location within 3 months. The pay from my other location will more than cover my basic living expenses.

Best case senario, it will work out so well that I can stay working only the 2 days a week, indefinatley. Of course, after I get done telling the boss what I think of his kids I may not be working the 2 days a week either. Either way works out, I guess.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving everyone. I have really enjoyed reading all of your stories, comments, and advice. I feel like I know you all so well.

LovesLife
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Re: Three Day Workweek
Old 11-21-2004, 05:39 AM   #14
 
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Re: Three Day Workweek

Hi LovesLIfe. I predict you "won't be working the 2 days a week either"
Good luck and have a nice holiday.

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Re: Three Day Workweek
Old 11-21-2004, 05:53 AM   #15
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Re: Three Day Workweek

You may be right, John Galt. I'll let you know Wednesday what happens. Take care.

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Re: Three Day Workweek
Old 11-21-2004, 02:38 PM   #16
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Re: Three Day Workweek

All: Thanks for the responses and even those who are suspect about my motives but I'm not selling anything. In fact, I'm not even in RE anymore since I sold my last rental in March. But I had owned rental properties since 1978.

Like one of the other posters said: been there, done that, now who needs the work or liability--my money is in the bank.

That place that got me the ROI I talk about in the OP was in Calexico, CA. A little border town 2 hours east of San Diego in the desert where it hit 107 degrees in the summer all the time!

I bought that place four years ago now for a little over $100K and sold it three years later for almost $200. MY down payment was 20% with ~$2,000 in closing costs. Run the numbers and check my ROI figures for yourself.

My comment as to nay sayers was that there are always people ready to rain on your parade, it takes fortitude to ignore the know-it-alls.

These posts are full of people telling about how other people reacted negatively about their plans to retire early. We are supposed to be people who have done it, if you really have, why would you be so negative about the possibilities that others can do it as well?

The link is just 1000 words detailing the plan in the book, "Financial Independence." It is a simple plan with minimal risk and investment but it won't work in some markets, like San Diego, because the cost of entry is too high now.

But RE will still work if you work the basics because it creates so many streams of income. I don't like using that phrase because of the link to Robert Allen, but that is simply the best wa to describe it:

Price Appreciation
Rent Appreciation
Tax Advantages on Income
Depreciation
Mortgage Paydown
Sweat Equity

No other investment even comes close.

And, by the way, it took me 15 years to dig out but I was not w/o advantages others won't have: a great family that was of tremendous help (my brother let me live w/him rent free for 6 months), 5 degrees, and several years of valuable experience in a solid field. When I went back to work, I was soon earning in the high five-figures and it has steadily climbed.

To that, I added some prudent RE investments. It wasn't a walk in the park but you can't condense 15 years into five lines w/o omitting some details. R/
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Re: Three Day Workweek
Old 11-21-2004, 02:50 PM   #17
 
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Re: Three Day Workweek

consejo,

Hey, that's great if you retired on Real Estate! - Most of the posters here retired on some other form of Work!

Just understand that Real Estate is not the only way. It is a job, just like a hundred other endeavors!

There are no Nay Sayers here! - We all succeeded and have very little interest in Real Estate or other jobs at this point!
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Re: Three Day Workweek
Old 11-21-2004, 04:14 PM   #18
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Re: Three Day Workweek

Quote:
But RE will still work if you work the basics because it creates so many streams of income. *I don't like using that phrase because of the link to Robert Allen, but that is simply the best wa to describe it:

Price Appreciation
Rent Appreciation
Tax Advantages on Income
Depreciation
Mortgage Paydown
Sweat Equity

No other investment even comes close.
. R/
That's all fine and well, but I can't get past the "sweat equity" and the PITA factor. I know how profitable RE can be; I sold my condo for a greater than 100% gain after four years of less-than-rent carry expenses. I just don't need the headaches. Besides, I can generally get just as much return from equities and options. And no tenants or BS to deal with...
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Re: Three Day Workweek
Old 11-21-2004, 05:38 PM   #19
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Re: Three Day Workweek

Quote:
I happen to be doing the same work. *I'm self-employed and I stopped accepting new clients. *I got rid of my worst paying clients and now just deal with a handful of my best clients.
Retire@40, Thanks for your reply. The approach you took and also like traveler and grumpy, sounds like something that may work for my situation.

Hmmm.... must think some more. A reduced workweek/ part time status would definitely ease on the overtime expectations and stress levels. Not sure how to work this out, but when it gets bad enough that the tempations to to walk from it all together, is too strong to resist, its worth a shot to negotiate.

I am grateful that there are so many folks on this board with varying experiences and perspectives willing to share your stories for the rest of us.
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Re: Three Day Workweek
Old 11-22-2004, 11:08 AM   #20
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Re: Three Day Workweek

Windedhare-
You may want to have a look at the book "Downshifting" which deals with negotiating with employers for more flexibility. The author is one of the founders of Drake Beam Morin (a big HR recruiting/consulting firm).

ESRBob
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