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Partially FIRE'd, Part-Time W*rk Questions
Old 03-31-2009, 12:08 PM   #1
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Partially FIRE'd, Part-Time W*rk Questions

After 30 plus years in accounting/finance, mostly as Controller or Finance Manager in the private sector, I am working only 18 to 20 hours a week as Controller for a construction firm. This is down from the 24 hour scheduled that I worked late last year. Things are quite slow here in Michigan. I guess that we'll all see what the summer brings.

Even with the collapse, and a peak loss of 40% of NW, my DW and I remain effectively FI. I'll be 56 this year, and both of us want to 'slow down'. My DW is a pharmacist/manager in a big hospital, but is paring back to a Pharm role part time. Over the last year, as I worked less, I used that time to write an action/adventure novel. I have been trying to place it in front of literary agents, with no luck so far.

With all the above background, here's the basic question: I would like to keep active and w*rk part time, possibly as a tutor or college instructor. Has anyone experienced this path? Any suggestions on approaches or sources of information?

I appreciate the feedback!

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Old 03-31-2009, 07:01 PM   #2
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I actually tried the teaching thing for a couple of semesters.

Junior colleges and technical schools seem to always be looking for adjunct instructors/professors with industry experience. And, you sound like you would fit that bill nicely. But, there are probably a lot more people looking to fill those jobs now that the economy has turned south.

I had a friend who was the dean of students at a local technical school who needed someone fitting my skill set; and, his wife knew that I wanted to give teaching a try. So, it was relatively easy for me to give this a whirl. (Glad I had this opportunity since it gave me a chance to find out that I really did not enjoy teaching as much as I thought I would.)

The pay is very low compared to what you are likely used to receiving; but, it can still be very rewarding if money is not your primary driver. I honestly still miss seeing the light bulb go on occasionally in my classes and labs; but, I did not realize quite how much work it would be until I actually did it myself.

Good luck.

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Old 04-02-2009, 11:52 PM   #3
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Can't help with any college instructor info but I thought I would comment on our experience to the part time work approach.

DW and I are both semi-ER. We moved from a college town to a waterfront beach box in a coastal resort area so it was a big change. She does long distance contract engineering for her old company 20 hours per week. It does require travel back once a month for onsite work. The travel part is cumbersome but the pay level is far more than she would ever make locally. She enjoys the flexibility and time off so it works out OK. She's been doing it for a year and will probably go another year or so and try to transition to the same work closer to home.

I went from running my own small hi-tech equipment biz to working at a kiteboarding resort close by. I instruct, manage other instructors and help out managing the retail end. Seasonal 4 days per week. The pay is measly but for me it's basically like a kid working playing in a toy store. (Did scuba instructing and commercial fishing to help pay for college)

We took an investment hit like everyone but had always planned part time work even before the crash so it wasn't a huge mental blow. However we did cut expenses and delayed a few toys (cruising sailboat, new kitchen, etc) so that we are not withdrawing more than ~1 to 1 1/2 % from the current reduced stash. Individ health care is our biggest expense. No debt, blah, blah. Still have a 5th grader at home with her college fund already set aside. Given the extreme stress many people are under we don't feel so bad. Plus the work provides a routine between the fun stuff (I'll fire up the boat and set the crab pots this weekend) and keeps us from checking and worrying about investments all the time.

We'd like to stay with the part time routine until our daugther graduates so that will be the plan.

My only advice: even when you do get paid for what you luv to do, it is still work and you have to develop the right mindset for it. Never happens overnight. Good luck!
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:38 AM   #4
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Back in my mega-corp days a co-worker was teaching night classes at a local university. Said they couldn't hire enough part time teachers to run the night program.

I would quess with 30 years experience ... you'll have no problem.
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Thanks for the replies...
Old 04-05-2009, 09:42 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies...

Fifteen years ago I taught at a business college in the evening. I'm contacting them again. I will maintain my part time Controller job as long as I can. My DW and I both agree that Michigan is a 'dead dog' for the foreseeable future, and the best move is to move. However, her 84 year old mother lives nearby, and DW's twenty-something wayward daughter is constantly in trouble. I guess that we are stuck here. DW is a pharmacist, and can continue to work at $50/hour as long as she wants to. Maybe the market will recover!?!
Work is the curse of the partying class!
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:42 PM   #6
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I like to tackle temp w**k from time to time throughout the year to pick up some pocket $ and for a few laughs. I don't earn over about $10K or so annually, but I enjoy the folks that I meet and the odd jobs that they have you work.

Best of all, no responsibility and the fact that you can walk out at any time and not worry about it affecting your career. Actually, it may help your retirement career.

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Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. Groucho Marx

In dire need of: faster horses, younger woman, older whiskey, more money.
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