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Partial Retirement?
Old 01-18-2007, 04:39 PM   #1
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Partial Retirement?

How do people feel about the term "Partial Retirement" to describe semi-retirement or some other phased approach that involves getting out of the full-time-career-w**k world?

I see from Google that the term is common in Europe, but I don't remember hearing it much around here. Could it be the new term that will replace the increasingly cumbersome "early or semi-retirement"? Any better candidates?
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Re: Partial Retirement?
Old 01-18-2007, 04:43 PM   #2
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Re: Partial Retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESRBob
How do people feel about the term "Partial Retirement" to describe semi-retirement or some other phased approach that involves getting out of the full-time-career-w**k world?
"Partial retirement" to me seems like an intermediate step with emphasis on getting it over and done so you can reach "full retirement." Semi-retirement seems more like a new state of equilibrium with less emphasis on a reaching the "real" goal of full retirement.

Guess they literally mean the same thing, but the former evokes a feeling of an unfinished agenda, rather than an alternate lifestyle. Just my $.03.
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Re: Partial Retirement?
Old 01-18-2007, 05:35 PM   #3
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Re: Partial Retirement?

I think everyone in the US knows exactly what is meant by semi-retirement. Why are you looking for a better term?
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Re: Partial Retirement?
Old 01-18-2007, 05:47 PM   #4
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Re: Partial Retirement?

Yup. "Semi" works, "partial" doesn't.
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Re: Partial Retirement?
Old 01-18-2007, 06:26 PM   #5
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Re: Partial Retirement?

Semi-retired doesn't seem cumbersome to me. But Partially-retired sure does. I'd stick with Semi.
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Re: Partial Retirement?
Old 01-18-2007, 06:53 PM   #6
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Re: Partial Retirement?

I don't really use partially nor semi. I go with the following:

- Out of the rat race (Able to live at my current means without having to work for somebody else)
- Retired (Not having to work if I don't want to)

In that regard, I am one of "those people" that would still consider myself retired if I carried a part time job because retirement for me is not a state of being, but rather, a state of options.

Mostly it's all just semantics anyway. If we removed any emotional attachments we have to words such as "semi" or "partially" then it really doesn't matter what we say as long as we understand what we mean.

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Re: Partial Retirement?
Old 01-18-2007, 06:59 PM   #7
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Re: Partial Retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESRBob
I see from Google that the term is common in Europe, but I don't remember hearing it much around here. Could it be the new term that will replace the increasingly cumbersome "early or semi-retirement"? Any better candidates?
Are you publishing a new European edition? How about demi-rentier?
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Re: Partial Retirement?
Old 01-18-2007, 10:49 PM   #8
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Re: Partial Retirement?

Yeah, I see your points -- partial sounds somehow halfway to something, whereas semi- has a nice hang-out-here for the long run feel.
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Re: Partial Retirement?
Old 01-19-2007, 12:36 AM   #9
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Re: Partial Retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESRBob
How do people feel about the term "Partial Retirement" to describe semi-retirement or some other phased approach that involves getting out of the full-time-career-w**k world?

I see from Google that the term is common in Europe, but I don't remember hearing it much around here. Could it be the new term that will replace the increasingly cumbersome "early or semi-retirement"? Any better candidates?
When I was working 1/4-time, I used to say that I was 3/4-time retired.
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Re: Partial Retirement?
Old 01-19-2007, 08:34 AM   #10
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Re: Partial Retirement?

When I was working part time at first I said I was "cutting back." Then it was "part time." Towards the end it was "mostly retired."
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Re: Partial Retirement?
Old 01-19-2007, 06:55 PM   #11
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Re: Partial Retirement?

Quote:
the term is common in Europe
LOL . That's enough for me to question the entire phrase.

When asked what I "do", I still refer to myself as a "Status Evaluator".

(I am still trying to evaluate my status).

Pretty-much the same as partial retirement, but much more confusing.
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Re: Partial Retirement?
Old 01-20-2007, 09:44 AM   #12
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Re: Partial Retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyd


When asked what I "do", I still refer to myself as a "Status Evaluator".

(I am still trying to evaluate my status).
This is the best I've heard. At first it sounded like some sort of elevator repairman, then a really important efficiency expert consultant and finally a consmer marketing trends guru. The navel contemplation component is a delicious dessert. The perfect figleaf for ERs everywhere.
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Re: Partial Retirement?
Old 01-21-2007, 07:42 PM   #13
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Re: Partial Retirement?

Yup, when I read "partial retirement" I naturally envisioned a failed or pseudo-retirement. I haven't worked in the past 7 months, but I need future income and plan to return to full time work, so "partial retirement" could describe my situation. (So could "lazy bum", "shiftless loafer", etc.. )

I'm afraid we're stuck with "semi-retired" as the term as language seems to change ground-up rather than by a leader's pronouncement.

Come to think of it, retirement is often redefined by the speaker to fit his or her situation. Perhaps we could have varying values of retirement...

First degree retired would be FIRE with no job needed. Second degree could be semi-ER.

Or category I and II retirements, type I or type II retirements, Yin and Yang retirements, gold and silver retirements, Hatfield and McCoy retirements, fiduciary and psychological retirements...
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Re: Partial Retirement?
Old 01-21-2007, 08:13 PM   #14
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Re: Partial Retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim
Yup, when I read "partial retirement" I naturally envisioned a failed or pseudo-retirement.
I like the 'degrees' idea in terms of use for an identifier, but I have to admit two things:

1) Different people have different ideas of what 'retired' means, and I am too old to argue until they are all bird-dogged into my definition, so I am learning to try to be open minded...

2) For ME (and only for me, YMMV, OIMACTTA, etc) the idea of 'semi' or 'partial' retirement is a non-starter, because the whole essence of what bugs me about work these days is not usually the actual activity once I get there, it is the fact I cannot just drop it all to go to the beach or on a three week road trip as I see fit.

At this stage of my life, that seems to be building up to be a terribly important thing. I just don't want to HAVE to do a dang thing that I haven't personally decided to do, anymore. This feeling seems kind of new to me, because I have always enjoyed a workplace with lots of other team members, and I don't always have to be the lead pack dog. I enjoyed interacting and working with people all my life, and I have been getting up in the AM and working til the job was done since I've been seventeen, without interruption and without complaint. The idea of having a schedule pretty much means that I might as well work a few more years of regular work until I don't have to do the 'semi', 'temp, 'partial', 'pseudo' or other modifier to add in front of RETIRED. Wow, more than I thought I'd say, but figured it might be worth saying.

mod EDIT: Fixed quote-instead-of-modify edit - BMJ
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Re: Partial Retirement?
Old 01-21-2007, 08:58 PM   #15
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Re: Partial Retirement?

Drip Guy,
I hear ya -- I know I've been through multiple phases in just 6 years, so I suspect there are more to come, too. The first was straight never-work-another-day-in-my-life ER. That lasted a year and then I felt the need for a bit more savings or supplement to stay within an SWR, and I also had done all the stuff I thought I wanted to do and was looking for a little bit of challenge. So the second stage saw me trying to crank up a little part time something in my old industry which lasted a couple years.

As soon as markets recovered and I realized I didn't need to do that anymore, I found myself in the third phase, which was doing something that makes a little bit of income (writing books and making sculpture) which is totally fun and flexible, free from any BS that goes with a j*b, and gives me a lot of pleasure and some sense of meaning that work can provide.

It may be because I have kids and therefore less flexibility to up and go any time (we aren't the home schooling type) but I find I actually enjoy a little structure in life, a sense of obliging myself to do something on a schedule or something that stretches me a bit-- some sort of goal or challenge. I think other ERs may feel this, too -- some people can do golf or hobbies every day and be totally satisfied, but for a lot of former Type-As there is a need for a little bit more.

So semi-retirement doesn't have to mean 'semi-good' or 'a diluted version of the happiness which is ER', at least in my experience. It can actually feel more fulfilling than full-ER. The key is to make the activity's values center around pleasurable, appropriate challenges, not just making money or getting ahead in a career or all the other stuff we used to have to be motivated by during the accumulation/savings years...
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Re: Partial Retirement?
Old 01-21-2007, 09:22 PM   #16
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Re: Partial Retirement?

To me partial retirement conjures up the image of having mentally checked out but physically still checking into work every day.
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Re: Partial Retirement?
Old 01-21-2007, 09:40 PM   #17
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Re: Partial Retirement?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESRBob
[snips]

I've been through multiple phases in just 6 years, so I suspect there are more to come, too.

I find I actually enjoy a little structure in life, a sense of obliging myself to do something on a schedule or something that stretches me a bit-- some sort of goal or challenge. I think other ERs may feel this, too -- some people can do golf or hobbies every day and be totally satisfied, but for a lot of former Type-As there is a need for a little bit more.

So semi-retirement doesn't have to mean 'semi-good' or 'a diluted version of the happiness which is ER', at least in my experience.
Thanks!

And I'll bet you are correct, once I have experienced six months or two years of being able to 'float', I'll bet I will want to settle into a more or less regular routine than includes some challenges and socialization. Right now, I just want to feel the sense that I really am in charge of my life. I guess getting into my mid forties has me considering that (if I'm fortunate) it's kind of the half way point. If I have worked for the family, the "man", society, rent, savings, taxes to support the roads, etc, for the first half, then I just want to be able to feel that the second half is under my control to explore, or lay in the hammock or whatever, and I don't think I'm going to believe it until a reasonable interval where I don't hear the messages, get the emails, have the meetings, appointments, lists, project schedules, supplicants, geeks, politicos, bosses, consultants, regulators, etc seeking guidance, resources, a place to drop their problems, etc.

Sometimes I feel like I'm living a bad imitation of a 42 minute Bob Dylan song with the cast of characters winding in and out. (Has anyone ever cataloged the 'players' that appear in his songs? There has got to be a thousand distinct ones)
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Re: Partial Retirement?
Old 01-21-2007, 10:12 PM   #18
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Re: Partial Retirement?

Instead of partially or semi-retired, why not just come right out and say "working part time?"

If you're still putting in some hours, you're not retired, you're working part time!
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Re: Partial Retirement?
Old 01-22-2007, 01:27 AM   #19
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Re: Partial Retirement?

Another reason not to use "partial retirement" would be the new name: PRBob. See? More misunderstanding.

re: "working part time": I think some people may want to communicate that they are financially self-sufficient. I worked part time in high school and college, but I wasn't fully self-sufficient.

My mother talks about retirement a lot. She rehashes her plan to me regularly of how she's going to leave her job in 3 years. However, when she says retirement she means quitting the job she hates and finding part time work that's either more enjoyable or more flexible in hours. It's not just a matter of convenience to say "retired"...it means something more to her I think, but I don't quite understand. It's hard for us to mutually talk about retirement because she for some reason gets upset because I'm talking about retiring fully (category I?) when I speak and she means semi-retirement when she speaks. It shouldn't be a problem, but for some reason not understood by me it causes tension. My best guess is that the words imply a sense of identity and success in reaching a goal that "working part time" doesn't convey. But I'm a guy so I may be totally missing the point in this case.

I'm not sure I can make this make sense, but I also think there's miscommunication about the two times I've gone a few months without working. Some people seem to assume that I'm taking unemployment compensation. I find myself wanting to explain that I'm not working for a few months by choice, and I planned it this way, and I'm going back to work sooner or later, and I'm financially capable of doing this without assistance. But that makes for an odd conversation. At least my family gets it this time around...they show no signs of worrying about me.

Anyway, I guess the point is that I as a pretend ER (sample ER? partial ER?) and presumably those looking to partial ER would like a simple phrase to describe what we're doing without people assuming something less responsible. Am I close to describing the problem, ESRBob?
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Re: Partial Retirement?
Old 01-22-2007, 08:14 AM   #20
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Re: Partial Retirement?

Quote:
I just don't want to HAVE to do a dang thing that I haven't personally decided to do, anymore.
Amen, brother!!
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