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Old 09-09-2012, 11:34 AM   #41
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Sounds like you want to be happy with the financially limited and risky future you have projected for yourself. If you are content, then I guess you don't need any advice. But maybe you're not completely satisfied,and that is why you decided to post here. I think there are at least three areas where you could make improvements, which would help you to do better financially. First off, you have to decide that you want, deserve, and have the potential to do better financially. I know that sounds kinda cheesy, but without that step, you won't have sufficient motivation to do the rest of the steps . If you're having trouble with this step, keep talking to people and try to see where your mental blocks are, and work on them. Second, you need to expand your friend network. With the exception perhaps of government, most of the good jobs go to people with connections. Sounds like you have free time, so you could volunteer in places where you will be likely to meet a diverse group of people. That would be good for you even apart from employment considerations. Third, consider how you could offer your services directly to the public. You'd need to do the research on insurance, but once you had that in place, you could offer the service of driving elderly people around and/or assisting them with various tasks. I know a couple who started a business doing exactly that, and built it into a 100+ employee corporation, and just sold it for many millions. What other jobs that you've applied for could be offered by you directly to the public? Preparing tax returns? Bookkeeping? And what other kinds of services might you be able to offer? Dog walking? Babysitting? Craigslist provides countless examples of services that people will pay for. You can offer some of them, without having to convince a manager to hire you, or going to school. If you do a good job at providing a high-demand service at a fair price, people will hire you and your business will grow. Best of luck to you. Things can change quickly, so be prepared for life to amaze you.
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:50 PM   #42
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I'm already in a low cost of living area with a paid off mortgage so I think i'm in a good position as far as that goes. I don't have a large portfolio but I have a low budget. I think people would look differently at my situation if my portfolio was 4X as high even if my spending was also 4X as high but it's the same thing. I don't need as much because I spend far less and am reasonably happy doing so. If I make $12000/yr and spend $12000/yr being semi-retired how is that different than someone who spends $40,000/yr and does part-time consulting work for $40,000 while semi-retired? I've seen people in that position get much more favorable comments even though it's the same situation having an income equal to expenses while working part-time and having a reserve of more than 10 years expenses.

I'm not saying I won't keep my eye open for a better paying job but I don't think I NEED to.
If you are happy ding what you are doing, then great. I have delivered pizza in the past and it is OK, but I think it would get old after a few years. I have a huge needle phobia, so plasma donation would not be an option.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:09 PM   #43
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If you are happy ding what you are doing, then great. I have delivered pizza in the past and it is OK, but I think it would get old after a few years. I have a huge needle phobia, so plasma donation would not be an option.
I don't like needles either but I just look away and it's no big deal. Barely feel anything at all but I have good veins. People who don't have good veins, usually overweight people, can have much more pain involved because they need to move the needle around to get it in the right place(ouch). If I go twice a week every week, which is the max allowed, then it averages $27.50/session. Each session takes 1 hour, 45 minutes of which is spent just laying in a chair pumping your fist when needed. Easiest money i've ever made. Wish I could do it more often. The negative is that you have your arm wrapped up for 2 hours after you leave. Then some people bruise so I put ice on a couple times after the bandage comes off because if your arm is bruised they won't let you give. Or you can use the other arm if it's good.

As for the pizza, i'll give it thru the end of the year and see how it's going.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:39 PM   #44
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Sounds like a short-term plan and that's fine. I'm not being harsh but do you really think about how you would feel doing this after say 5 years even? I'd come up with a long-term plan & start taking steps in that direction.

For some office jobs, exposure could be the key. Get w/a temp firm and get some temp office work. A lot of people have gone this route - my brother for one went from being a safety coordinator (temp) to HR (hired FT by company) to HR regional president (what he has been to do once he got his chance). You may run into a company that likes you and will offer something permanent. You won't get that chance delvering pizzas at night.

Personally, I wouldn't want to just get by. I like having some resources to do things I enjoy + as others have mentioned your budget would be very tight & one big, unexpected expense could wipe you out. You're still young so it's probably hard to imagine that right now.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:40 PM   #45
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Factory work is too painful so I quit my fulltime job and am now going to work 15-20 hours/week delivering pizzas. I will also give plasma a few times per month for an extra couple hundred dollars. I figure I should be able to earn within $100-200 of my low monthly expenses. The rest will be covered by savings which should last at least 35 years at which time i'll be 68 and eligible for SS.
Lets see, if you made $20K/year then your SS at retirement age will be about $1500/month, or $18K/year, so yea, if you can live on that much then your plan will work. But at $12K/year, then your SS drops to about $12K/year. Seems to me that just doesn't leave much room for error.
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:11 PM   #46
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Lets see, if you made $20K/year then your SS at retirement age will be about $1500/month, or $18K/year, so yea, if you can live on that much then your plan will work. But at $12K/year, then your SS drops to about $12K/year. Seems to me that just doesn't leave much room for error.
TJ
SS is still calculated by your 35 best years, right?

I have 11 years with an average of ~$40K/yr which equals $440K
Add another 24 years at $12k/yr:288k +440K=728K/35 years=$20,800/yr.

That should put me just over $1500/mo which should be just right. After age 65 I could do a reverse mortgage if needed.
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:29 PM   #47
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SS is still calculated by your 35 best years, right?

I have 11 years with an average of ~$40K/yr which equals $440K
Add another 24 years at $12k/yr:288k +440K=728K/35 years=$20,800/yr.

That should put me just over $1500/mo which should be just right. After age 65 I could do a reverse mortgage if needed.
Your full retirement age is currently 67, not 65, and that is subject to change. But yes, given the above numbers, your full retirement at 67 will be more than $1500/mo.
TJ
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:30 PM   #48
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You seem to want to do just what you're doing--a little pizza delivery, a little plasma donation. I agree with those who suggest you use your free hours to prepare for plan B. What happens if you fall ill with some benign illness and the plasma banks can't use you any more (or they start cloning plasma and blood and don't need any human donors any more, ever), or the pizza restaurant closes and the others don't need any more delivery folks? You have a lot of years ahead of you and imagining what SS will be when you're 67, planning on reverse mortgages even being available then, etc., is difficult.
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:50 PM   #49
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Aaron, you have received multiple suggestions and for one reason or another none of them seem to be what you are looking for. So I am not sure we can help you. As others have said, it's important to be open to new opportunities during this transition period, because that's what it is. I would suggest taking some of your spare time to explore a volunteer opportunity that appeals to you, whether it be reading to blind people, doing grocery shopping for elderly folks, helping out at the local library, or whatever. If you do it well, you will have a network of contacts and a source of references.

Best of luck!
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:03 PM   #50
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This plan seems very similar to that guy who made wooden rakes and lived in a trailer park. We all applauded him.

You seem to not want to try to do other things, and it seems to you that you can get along with this minimalist plan. It might work fine, but that other guy had a PhD in physics, so when he (or perhaps his woman) got tired of the program, he could jump into an attractive other lifestyle. Also, he was a promoter, whereas you seem to be an anti-promoter.

Your greatest strength seems to be that you know you can live very cheaply, and you don't mind that. But as others have pointed out, if it doesn't work for any reason (including that you get really tired of it), you can't bail into some lucrative job. You best chances to climb up a few rungs on the ladder are likely right now.

Ha
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:25 PM   #51
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I second, or third, the suggestions of volunteer work. Gives you valuable contacts and some additional work experience. I was focusing on civil service work in my previous posts because that is what I currently know best, and I know it can lead to good jobs with benefits. As you have indicated that at age 33 you have some musculoskeletal issues related to being very tall, getting career-prospect employment with medical benefits is optimal.

I don't know anything about this field (other than the sister of a friend working in it) but what about teacher aide work? I know it is highly coveted by mothers who want to work around their children's school schedule while still contributing to the family budget. But I think a school district would favor a male aide for a male student possibly. Unless I am mistaken, it does not require more than a high school diploma. Which also brings me to school bus driver. I don't know if it would have any appeal to you or what the salaries or benefits are, but I think a sober, reliable person like yourself with a clean driving record and background would be snapped up.

In PA we have local government to industry employment initiatives called CareerLink. You get assigned a free career counselor who tries to match you up with available private and public jobs, and I think the employers get tax benefits or some incentive to hire you from the state (like subsidizing your salary for awhile). Probably exists in other states as well.
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:02 PM   #52
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Having read the thread, I think you have some excellent suggestions to consider. One thing that I see in a lot of other threads is the cost of health insurance. Does the pizza delivery gig provide it? If not, while you may not need it now 35 years is a long time.

To answer the original question from the thread title
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Am I semi-FIRED?
I have to answer no. While you may be semi-retired, being semi-financially independant is just like being semi-pregnant, an oxymoron.
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:36 PM   #53
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Having read the thread, I think you have some excellent suggestions to consider. One thing that I see in a lot of other threads is the cost of health insurance. Does the pizza delivery gig provide it? If not, while you may not need it now 35 years is a long time.

To answer the original question from the thread title I have to answer no. While you may be semi-retired, being semi-financially independant is just like being semi-pregnant, an oxymoron.
You're right, I should've called it semi-retired not semi-FIRED.

If "ObamaCare" goes into effect in 2014 I should get free(or very cheap) health insurance because of my low income. If not then i'll probably self-insure. If I have a heart attack or a major car accident, my finances will be the least of my problems.
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:14 PM   #54
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You're right, I should've called it semi-retired not semi-FIRED.

If "ObamaCare" goes into effect in 2014 I should get free(or very cheap) health insurance because of my low income. If not then i'll probably self-insure. If I have a heart attack or a major car accident, my finances will be the least of my problems.
You will get medicaid.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:19 AM   #55
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I like brewer's take.

A guy I know did the pizza delivery thing for a long time. He also did newspaper delivery and snow plowing as side gigs.


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aaron, I would tale a slightly different philosophical tact. How about looking at your current situation as a transition period which will last for an uncertain period of time? You could do it for a period of years if need be, so you aren't in a house on fire. That being the case, keep doing what you are doing, but keep your eyes open for alternatives. There are a ton of side hustles out there that could substitute for what you are doing now. How about doing taxes for H&R Block or a local CPA firm? Working back office in a financial planning firm (if you saved up a big enough portfolio to make it with what you are doing, you must know something about all of this)? Local gubmint isn't a bad idea either (DMV clerk?).

How about something entrepreneurial? I have a friend who has lots of little side hustles going. He figured out that there was a specific part that collectors always want for a specific brand of rifle and that a majotr parts vendor had a limited supply that was misclassified on their website. So he bought their entire stock, send back the ones that were rusty or otherwise damaged, and now has a simple website set up that retails these things for 5 to 15X what he paid for them. He gets an order, cashes the check and drops them in the mail.

Finally, you are relatively young and mobile. How about achange of location, either to elsewhere in the US or elsewhere in the world? There are plces in the US with a more vibrant economy and places in the world with a much lower cost of living. Change your location and you could be well employed or permanently retired.
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:50 AM   #56
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While I can understand that you are reluctant to jump on new ideas for your job I wonder what you want to semi retire to?
So far you have not mentioned any hobby. What are you doing with your time? Is there anything you currently do as a hobby that you could turn into an income stream?
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Old 09-10-2012, 07:10 AM   #57
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As one or two others have alluded to, I don't see where the OP seems genuinely interested in suggestions to changing his situation.
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:12 AM   #58
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But, to be fair, he did not ask us for such suggestions in his opening post. We came up with them unsolicited.
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:21 AM   #59
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But, to be fair, he did not ask us for such suggestions in his opening post. We came up with them unsolicited.
I did not ask but I do welcome the suggestions. I learned about the government jobs site I didn't know about. I am also now seriously considering a CDL thanks to the suggestions. I'd rather not work fulltime if I don't have to so i'm going to see how the pizza delivery goes but if I don't make enough $$$ then i'll get my CDL. Maybe still work parttime but for better pay.
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Old 09-10-2012, 10:21 AM   #60
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If I make $12000/yr and spend $12000/yr being semi-retired how is that different than someone who spends $40,000/yr and does part-time consulting work for $40,000 while semi-retired? I've seen people in that position get much more favorable comments even though it's the same situation having an income equal to expenses while working part-time and having a reserve of more than 10 years expenses.
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The problem is when s*** happens. E.g., lets say you have a medical issue and need to payout an additional $4k that year. Or your car breaks down and you need to get a replacement, home repair, special assessment, etc. $4k/$12k = 33% of your yearly budget whereas $4k/$40k = 10%.
The other big issue is the guy spending 40k has a lot more room to cut back in case of a bad situation. The guy spending 12k doesn't have much room to cut back at all.

If I were you I'd be shooting for a plan that still lets you save money beyond your expenses to continue growing your investments and work towards actual FIRE, rather than just early semi-retirement and financial dependence.
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